• Published 29th Aug 2022
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Dream A Dream - TCC56



Part of Luna's retirement is handing off her duties in the dream realm to another pony. She has chosen Rarity - but not for a reason Rarity is happy with.

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Chapter 2

In the soft moonlight, the two danced. Music from nowhere curled around them, giving a rhythm to their gentle swaying. Body against body, they pressed together tightly and took refuge from the world in each other's embrace.

As they - and the music - slowed, the swaying turned to longing. Rarity looked deeply into Luna's eyes. Lost in them amidst the glittering of stars, she reached up and stroked a hoof along her lover's cheek. They bent in as one, lips reaching for a kiss in the same moment--

And then Rarity yanked away from the abruptly frozen dream construct and turned to the real Luna. Taking a moment to smooth her phantasmal dress and clear her throat, she smiled at the former princess. "Terribly sorry, Luna. I'm afraid that got away from me - I'm not lucid as quickly as I'd like."

Without the slightest hint of embarrassment, Luna chuckled. "'Tis alright. I assure you that over the centuries, I have seen myself in far more compromising positions. You, in time, shall get used to such sights." She paused thoughtfully. "Perhaps an excursion in the future to the dream of a friend or two of yours as a lesson. I know there to be certain ponies whom would make you blush quite furiously."

Rarity did her best to laugh it off, though a bit of that blush was already present. "Thank you, but there's no need to trouble yourself. Coco has been more than forthright in the past, the poor dear, and I feel that was a strong enough lesson already." Conjuring a brush, she took a moment to straighten her mane. "As it stands, I hope you simply take it as I did: a compliment. You are an exceptionally attractive mare, after all."

"Indeed I am." Luna didn't bother with being bashful. "Now, if you would?"

Nodding, Rarity began as they had the last few days: she took control of the dream and created tea.

There was no glow of magic from her horn: the dream was part of Rarity's own mind. She simply thought and the dreamscape around her responded. Like flexing a muscle, it bent and shifted at her mind's command.

Also like a muscle, it had needed training to get there. Understanding which thoughts and impulses caused which reactions was not a trivial task, nor was keeping her mind focused and preventing stray thoughts from becoming dream-real. Rarity was reminded of talks with the once-exiled Sunset Shimmer and her tales of learning the use of human hands. There was considerable room to grow the skill, but Rarity was confident in the basics now.

And true to that, the world responded.

Forming it all was almost trivial after a week of Luna's tutelage, but there was also a difference between forming it and forming it well. The table was first: today Rarity chose one with a glass top, frosted with an intricate pattern that resembled interwoven tree branches. The frame under the glass was brushed metal, strong but artistically curling in smooth, almost organic lines to form a central pedestal on which the glass lay. Next were the chairs: their frames were of a similar metal and style to the table, topped with black velvet cushions on the seat and back. Then came the tea service itself: antique silver polished to a sheen, paired to a set of bone white china. The cups were painted with trellised roses along the side (with matching saucers, of course) that displayed a riot of color to contrast the stark monochrome of the rest of the service. And finally came the consumables themselves: a piping hot white peony in the teapot, with a side board of mild cheese and crackers. To a lesser level, a room formed around it all. It was only a vague background, but painted walls in a soft yellow and a solid wood floor underhoof added important context to the scene.

Luna walked around the table while Rarity poured out the tea; then on sitting down, she sipped her cup and nibbled a single piece of Havarti. "A bit slow, but good," she pronounced after swallowing. "Too good, in fact."

Rarity frowned sharply. "Pardon?"

"Too good," Luna repeated. "Your detail work has significantly improved, but you're going too far with it." She lifted the teapot up and slowly rotated it. "This is an antique, but is polished to absolute perfection. Even the best cared for would have a blemish or two - a spot of tarnish in the ridges, a dimple in the surface from being bumped against something at some point in its history. The food, as well, is a give-away. Each piece of cheese is cut to exactly the same dimensions and is lined up precisely with each other on the board."

Rarity's eyes flicked across the table, grabbing in the details. And then she pouted.

Luna put another piece of cheese on a cracker. "Do not feel so bad, Rarity. It has only been a week, and you've improved greatly. Your control over crafting the dreamscape has become far more precise, and your detail work is second only to mine. That the flaws are what makes something feel real is simply the next lesson for you to learn."

With a sigh, Rarity took up her teacup. "Yes, I suppose that's true. The difference between manufactured and bespoke is something I am intimately familiar with, after all." She took a sip before continuing. "So! Is that our agenda today?"

Luna shook her head. "Nay, and in truth that is something you will develop a feel for over time. It is less rule and more artistic instinct, and that can only be developed through practice and error. Today, I have something else in mind." She paused, giving Rarity a chance to respond. The unicorn's nod was enough of a signal to continue. "You have been working quite hard these past seven days, and you have made exceptional progress in your dreamcrafting. I would like for us to progress away from the mechanics and into practice - and so I ask you to make yourself a dream. Your perfect dream, if you would. Let the artist in you fly free, dear Rarity, and show me what you can do."

There was a moment where Rarity didn't move. The enormity of the challenge overwhelmed her - perfection was no low bar, and the sheer unrestrained freedom of the dreamscape made it even more so.

But she was Rarity, and no challenge was too great.

The tea set dissolved into the ether as the world around them changed. Cloud-like fluff swirled through the air as Rarity half-formed objects, considered them, and then either banished or reshaped them in a search to find what was 'perfect'. As the minutes passed, things started to click into place.

Perfection took the form of the upstairs of the Boutique.

Rarity had just returned from Canterlot and a wonderful day with the girls. Twilight had been overjoyed with her new gown: the anniversary of her coming to the throne was in three weeks, and Rarity had finished a masterpiece for her to wear at the celebration. It had been stunning, but the greater joy had been from the six friends spending time together. Between lunch at the Palace, a showing of Marespray, and then an evening of card games - well, it had been too long since they had all been able to get together and simply have fun. But it was over now, and a chariot ride back to Ponyville had left Rarity coming in after dark.

Downstairs, Sweetie Belle was having a not dissimilar night with her friends: the three Crusaders were laughing over a bowl of popcorn about something that had happened in school. Many other days, it would have frustrated Rarity. Sweetie and her friends could be quite loud and it was late, after all. But the Boutique was closed tomorrow, and there was a certain joy to hearing her sister being young and happy. So rather than irritate, it created an uplifting white noise in the background.

As for Rarity herself, she had all she could want. A comfortable bed to lay on; a romance novel she hadn't read yet; a single light at her bedside so she could see the book; a single glass of a fine red Shiraz. After a full and enjoyable day, she could simply relax and find the peace of sleep when she was ready.

With a quiet "Hm," Luna walked around the edges of the scene. "Interesting."

Rarity set down the book at the wine. "Interesting?"

"For starters, I'm glad to see you took my advice about backstories to heart."

Instantly, Rarity blushed bright red. It was a compliment, but also a reminder of quite the error on her part two days before. She had run them both through three hours of build up (in particular, the entire process of cooking a six course dinner for two) before Luna had reminded her that this was a dream. And that as such she could simply have things appear into existence, and that dreamers could simply be 'told' what had already happened to give context for a dream's scene. Dreams didn't need to make sense, and dreamers didn't need to run through every moment of context to understand what was in front of them.

Luna smirked slightly at the blush. "We all make errors, Rarity. You have learned from yours, and that is the important part." She motioned with a hoof to the bedroom. "I find it more interesting that your ideal dream is a quiet evening at home. Knowing your past, I had expected it to be a scene with far more glamour."

"Yes, well, once, perhaps." Rarity shifted uneasily on her hooves. "Once." She grabbed the wine in her magic and took a sip. "When I was younger, I admit I was entranced by the bright and shining ideals of nobility and class. But over the years I've had the chance to interact with Equestria's rich, famous, and powerful." She took a deeper swig of wine. "And most of them are frightful bores and often completely miserable despite their status."

"Blueblood?" questioned Luna a bit too knowingly.

Rarity shrugged. "The first chip at the façade, yes. But between my business, being the Bearer of Generosity, and counting several alicorns among my personal friends? I've had the opportunity to come to understand how thin the gilding on that lily is. And as well, I've learned the value of work-life balance. Hobnobbing with the rich and famous is work, darling. Being able to relax when needed and be comfortable in your own skin is worth more than any commission or title." The last of the wine disappeared in a single large gulp - and the wineglass dissolved into dreamstuff.

That Luna smiled broadly in return told Rarity she'd been right about the former lunar princess. "Well spoken," she declared. "I remember a quite similar - albeit more frustrated - rant from my sister shortly before we began discussing the idea of retiring. To be one's self freely is a luxury most do not realize the value of until it is gone."

"Mm. Yes, that would make sense…" Rarity's mind wandered for a moment at the image - but she dismissed it again quickly. Letting your thoughts drift while lucid dreaming could go badly very fast - another hard–learned lesson from a few nights before. She refocused on Luna again. "So! Your evaluation?"

Luna gave a small nod to the scene. "Capable. You created what was needed to make the scene happen without wasting time or focus on what was not. The dream itself is stable and you have considerable room still for flexibility within its bounds. As well –" Luna paused slightly as she leaned in over the book and flipped the pages. Each was filled with nonsense scrawls, and yet projected an aura of satisfaction and enjoyment - the essence of a good read, without the actual text meaning anything. "-- you have distilled the spirit of the scene into a compact and robust end product."

Rarity beamed happily at the praise.

"Now," Luna commanded as she stood tall, "let us reverse the playbook. Show me your worst nightmare."

The smile disappeared.

In that instant, Luna realized she had made an error. "Rarity?"

The unicorn didn't meet Luna's eyes. "Apologies. I'm not sure I need to show you my worst nightmare. You've already met her."

An awkward silence passed between them.

"We should… we really should talk about this, shouldn't we." Rarity suggested it - but didn't sound eager for it.

Luna shook her head. "Nay. In your time, not mine." She paused. "It took three months before I was able to even tell my sister the beginnings of it, and there are still some parts I have not shared with her."

"You were her for a thousand years," Rarity countered gently. "I only was for two days."

Luna had her own counterpoint to that. "A wound is no less deep because the blade is drawn quicker. An illness no less terrible if you have just caught it or if you have lingered through its symptoms."

Quietly, Rarity snorted a sharp laugh. "Is that what it is? An illness?"

Another short, sour silence sat in the dreamy air. "An illness," Luna eventually settled on. "Of a sort. One that affects the body, the mind, and the soul."

"Being you and not you at the same time." Rarity's voice was a strained whisper, audible only just barely.

Another nod from Luna. "That is one of the things Celestia has never understood. I think she does not wish to - it is easier for her to believe that her beloved sister was controlled, rather than partially being the monster herself."

Rarity's eyes went to the dream-bedroom's door - one that, in the real world, would have led downstairs to where the illusion of Sweetie Belle was laughing. "I… can understand that," she admitted, biting her lip.

"But we both know that is not how it happened," Luna ominously said.

A hesitation. And Rarity nodded. "We do, yes."

Luna opened her mouth to continue - and then stopped before replacing it with a frown. "I am sorry," she restarted a few moments later. "You said you were not ready to talk about it, yet I am pushing the subject upon you. I should be better than that."

Rarity shook her head in response. "No, no, it's okay. I brought it up in the first place, and I suppose that it needed to be." She sighed, pacing away from Luna - and dropping back on to the bed. She curled slightly, gripping some of the blanket in her idle hoof. "I've done an exceptional job at not thinking about it for years, and it's all too easy to keep not thinking about it. Objects at rest and all that."

A chair manifested itself at the bedside - a simple wooden one, as if from any random pony's dining room. (Of course, it was Luna's work in a dream so the crafting was exquisite: she even gave it a few worn spots on the seat from years of use and it made a slight squeak against the floor as she sat down.) "But at rest and at peace are not the same. I know." She took a long, deep breath. "But I also do not know where to start. This has actually been something I have thought about considerably this last week," Luna noted. "And all that I could think of to say fell into one of three worthless categories: details of hosting the Nightmare you certainly already know; self-centered venting of the consequences that would be more about my problems than yours; and empty platitudes that both of us know to be untrue."

"Yes, well, I got enough of that last one from the girls when it happened," Rarity added sourly.

Luna's response was a thin smile. "I am intimately familiar with such things. The number of times Celestia insisted to me that everything would be alright was… grating, even if she meant well."

The two laughed - a shared one that was bitter as black coffee.

Once that passed, Rarity took up the lede. "You know, the irony is that something of the sort happened to me a second time." Luna's questioning look prompted Rarity to continue. "A few years later, I was entranced by a cursed book that overcharged my magic and sent me on a crusade through Ponyville to make everything as fabulous as possible."

She looked to Luna - only to find the alicorn looking back with recognition and vague irritation. "Yes. I know. I assisted Twilight and Cadance in cleaning up the dark magic you left behind. My horn was sore for days."

Rarity nervously laughed before continuing to dig herself deeper. "Well, what I mean to say is that it was a similar incident. Our shared experience may be not as unique as once thought."

"Dark magic on that scale is exceedingly uncommon," Luna countered. "The scattered rare moments of it number less than the primary feathers on a wing. Stygian could be counted among our number, but he is far more introverted than you or I and has been reluctant when I have spoken to him in the past. Beyond him and a few humans, I can only think of Trixie–"

"Absolutely NOT." Rarity stopped as suddenly as she started, regathering herself and her composure. With a quiet clearing of her throat, she started again. "While I have come to accept that Trixie is not a bad pony, darling, that does not mean I like her or wish to tell her my innermost thoughts."

Luna pressed that last line. "And what would those thoughts be?"

Rarity was quiet for a moment - then got off the bed. "Let's go somewhere else. This is supposed to be a good dream."

Around them, the Boutique dissolved into a swirl of clouds. It darkened as it did, morphing into the grey stone of a mountaintop. Overhead the clouds became a storm - roiling thunderheads that rumbled with ominous thunder and the occasional distant flash. No rain fell yet, but the slate-colored sky promised that it would erupt at any moment and drown the world. Rarity stood alone there, a solitary bright white against an angry world. But she knew that she was as dark inside as the skies were. They both carried the same anger, the same frustration, the same shadows. Now, isolated atop a desolate mountain, she–

"Alright, no, we are not doing that." Luna's horn lit and wiped away both mountain and storm.

A perturbed Rarity turned on her frog to glare at the once-princess. "Excuse me? This is my dream, thank you very much!"

Around them, Luna's magic reformed the world into a park. The astute would identify it specifically as Pleated Pants Memorial Park in the lower parts of Canterlot. Above, the skies were bright and clear with only a scattering of fluffy white clouds. The park itself was bustling with life: couples picnicking; foals in laughter-filled play; friends sitting on benches, sharing deep conversations. Luna stood beside a small stream that flowed through the park, and Rarity had manifested nearby in the shade of a willow tree.

Immediately, Rarity began forming a new block of storm clouds above them.

Luna dispersed them just as quickly, plucking each mote of grey from the sky with a pop. "You have learned much over the last week, Rarity, but my mastery of the dream realm still vastly exceeds yours."

After a good minute of back and forth, Rarity finally gave up with a pout. "Tch. Fine."

"I respect your penchant for drama, but that is not a healthy environment for this." Luna waved her over with a wing. "Also, you are delaying."

Petulantly, Rarity sat still for a few moments more before sullenly joining Luna. "...perhaps a little," she admitted with a grumble.

Side by side, they walked forward along the stream. The park transitioned into the Baltimare harbor; then to the creek in Ponyville; then the river along the bottom of Ghastly Gorge. One location blended into the next impossibly, with the only constant being solid ground underhoof and a body of water to their side.

Only when they passed by the outskirts of Rainbow Falls did Luna break their silence by repeating herself. "And what would those thoughts be?"

This time, Rarity answered. "That I allowed myself to fall to such things not once but twice. That even after I saw what it did to you, I still made the choice to let it in. I know I'm forgiven for my errors and that I've proven myself to my friends over the years, but that doesn't change that I did it. And so help me, I cannot say with certainty that I wouldn't do it again." Her voice trembled as she came to the end, quivering like a violin string.

Luna thought for a moment. Then she made a simple - yet seemingly left field - observation. "When we have talked of the Nightmare, you say 'it' or 'she'. I do not believe you have actually called it by name."

"Names give things power," Rarity observed. "And I wish to give it as little as possible."

"Power also comes from allowing a problem to fester," was Luna's counter. "I suspect that is more the case here." There was no response from Rarity, so Luna continued. "I will not disrespect you with platitudes, but I will say that what you feel is familiar. There were few nights I did not blame myself for my weakness or wonder how long it would be before I regressed. Often, I would ponder who I truly was and if Luna was merely the caterpillar before my true self as the Nightmare emerged."

"Were?"

Luna smiled a little at the hope in Rarity's voice. "They are less common now, but not entirely gone. They likely will never truly end, as this is a weight I shall carry for eternity." She paused and glanced to her companion. "That we shall carry. Apologies, not being alone in this is something that yet slips my mind."

"It slips mine, too." Rarity tittered softly. "Really, it's amazing how often I simply… forget what happened. And then it comes back and I can think of nothing else."

They paused in the Crystal Empire beside a fountain. "Less a wound and more a scar, then." Luna let out a quiet hum. "That is very familiar to me, yes." Her eyes flicked to Rarity. "I daresay you have gotten there faster than I did, my friend."

"Entertaining as that is, it provides rather little comfort." Dark clouds started to gather over Rarity's head again - and again, Luna swatted them away with a mote of magic. The unicorn didn't seem to notice. "Rainbow Dash talks highly of scars, but I've never found them particularly fabulous." She paused. "Well, they can be, I suppose. Fizzlepop certainly pulls hers off well." She shook her head. "But they're not my style, I'm afraid."

Luna started them moving again, the scene foggily transitioning to the rocky shores of Mount Aris. "You're deflecting again," she pointed out. "My point is that the scar aches. It causes discomfort and pain, but it does not kill as a wound does. This does not make it lesser - but it does make it survivable. When we first spoke of this, I had thought your wound still bled."

Rarity's face scrunched. "Darling, can we please find a better metaphor than wounds and scars and blood? I--" She pursed her lips and let out a frustrated sigh. "I'm delaying, aren't I. That really is a bad habit. I can't seem to help myself."

"There is no shame in wanting to avoid pain," Luna gently observed.

"Yes, well, that doesn't excuse it. And truthfully, this is only partially the conversation I'm delaying." She stopped - halting them by a rather familiar sea serpent-housing river in the Everfree - and took a deep breath before locking eyes with Luna. "I've given it a lot of thought, and while I despise the idea of giving Trixie this kind of power, I simply must decline what you have offered. I understand why you chose me, Luna, but that is exactly why I can not do it. That thing's power may have rubbed off on me, but bringing it back into my life would only…" She trailed away with a frown, searching for the right words. "I managed to not think of her more than once or twice a moon," she finally settled on. "In the past week, I'm not sure I've thought of anything else."

Now it was Luna's turn to frown. She sat on a convenient tuft of grass by the river's shore and looked out to the waters. "The fault in this is mine."

Rarity stepped beside her. "Darling, it's alright, you couldn't have known--"

Luna raised a hoof to stop her. "Not in asking you this. You are still the best candidate and my first choice. Trixie was never truthfully an option, either - merely a joking attempt to goad your interest. She lacks the support network we both enjoy and still suffers from the mistakes of her past. She recovers, but I have visited enough of her nightmares to know she has a great distance to go."

"No," Luna continued, "My fault is that I did not clearly communicate my reasons. Rarity, while we are not as close as perhaps the links within the Bearers are, I still consider you a friend and an important part of my life. Without you playing your role, I would have never escaped the Nightmare and Equestria would have fallen a dozen times over. When you needed my aid most, I erred and allowed your pain to go without the help only I could have provided. And now that I have come to you with a request of my own, I have badly misrepresented myself in a way which has hurt you more. For that, I am deeply sorry."

While confused, Rarity sat beside Luna and put a comforting hoof on her shoulder. "I could never hold any of that against you, darling. Any harm you've done to me wasn't on purpose and while I don't think it's strictly necessary, I forgive you for it." She smiled her softest smile to the alicorn. "Though I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean by misrepresented."

"I did not choose you because of the Nightmare's power remaining within you. Or rubbing off on you, as you put it." Luna paused in thought for a moment. "Let me attempt to explain with a story." She shifted slightly on the grass - which molded itself under her to a more comfortable seat, as dream constructs were wont to do. "After I returned from exile, I did not take up patrolling dreams immediately. I was too weak - both in body and in mind - to do so. It was several weeks before I began stretching my magic out again and tentatively contacting the dream realm, and several more before I truly began my patrols."

"It was the second night of doing so," she continued, "When I had this encounter. It was the dream of a foal in Ponyville - not your sister or her friends, before you ask. But they had been plagued with bad dreams for some time, and I saw the chance to intervene. Upon entering the foal's dreamscape, I realized my folly. The scene before me was memorable: it was my return to Equestria. The foal was having nightmares of me."

Rarity didn't hesitate. She fiercely hugged Luna - and found the alicorn's wings wrapped around her in return. They paused for a moment for comfort, then Luna continued. "My wound was still fresh and bloody. Being confronted with it so firmly - with the dreaming foal weeping in a ball as several monstrous mes walked around him laughing… it was too much. I froze and did nothing as the poor thing suffered. Eventually I was able to recover and insert yourself and your friends into the dream to save the day, but it still remains that I faltered in the face of my own demons."

Luna pulled back slightly so that she could look Rarity in the eyes. "I chose you not because the Nightmare touched you and gave you some sort of magical might. It is because the Nightmare touched you and you persevered. It gave you the experience and the strength to face the darkness. And Equestria's dreamscape is full of it - each patrol shows me more than simply nervousness about asking somepony on a date or the ephemeral dream of an artist. I see the abused, the downtrodden, the broken, and the hopeless. I see those who take joy in bringing harm and the rotten, foul dreams they revel in that seem like nightmares but are expressions of pleasure."

"This is why I chose you, Rarity. Because you have shared space with the essence of Nightmare itself and retained your good heart strongly enough to still bear the Element of Generosity. You are noble enough to give of yourself and strong enough to survive doing so."

Finished, Luna fell silent.

It took Rarity a good half-minute to find her own words. "Well, you certainly know how to flatter a lady." She pursed her lips and quietly hummed to herself. "I suppose in that light, I have fewer reservations about this."

"So you are willing to continue?" Luna's voice brightened celestially with hope.

Rarity nodded. "I am. At the very least, after an impassioned speech like that? I simply must venture to see some of these terrible dreams you spoke of and find out if I'm as strong as you portray me as. What you see isn't what I see, but I am intrigued enough to find out which of us is right."

"Curiosity is a fine motivator," Luna chuckled.

The two broke their hug, separating to stand beside the river. It faded away again, leaving the pair standing once again at the tea table. They sat and Luna's horn flashed to re-heat the tea. She sipped before starting again. "In this case, I believe we are ready to take the next step. Tomorrow, a courier will arrive with a delivery for you in the waking world. They will bring you something very precious, Rarity: a necklace. Just as my sister and I placed a portion of our magic within the amulet for Twilight to control the sun and moon, I am placing another shard of mine in a necklace. With it, you will be able to enter the wider dream realm rather than being confined to just yours." And then Luna quickly raised a shield in front of herself.

This time, Rarity was caught mid-sip and started coughing as some tea went down the wrong pipe. "Well," she hacked, "Pinkie was right." She stopped again to finish clearing her lungs and wipe her mouth. "Now that I'm on the receiving end, that is a terrifying amount of responsibility."

The shield dropped and Luna continued with a smirk. "You will handle it fine, just as Twilight has. Now, at first you will only be shadowing me on my rounds to experience what is out there. But in time, you will progress towards more and more influence as you gain experience and confidence. Unlike moving celestial bodies, dreamcrafting is not absolute and we will be able to ease you into it."

Rarity nodded slowly. "Yes, that would be preferable. I'll have to take considerable notes so that I'll be ready when I pass the task along to whomever is my successor."

Now it was Luna's turn to look confused. "Your successor? Why would you need to plan for that already? It could take centuries to find a pony suitable for such a task."

A pause. A beat. "Luna." Rarity looked evenly across the table at the former princess. "Unless you forgot to mention ascension as part of this, I remain very much mortal and will not be around for multiple centuries."

Another pause. Luna facehoofed. "Ah. Mortality." She grimaced. "Would you believe that it actually slipped my mind?"

Rarity sighed loudly - but with amusement. "Oh Luna."

Author's Note:

So took a bit longer than expected to finish this off. A couple comments had me do some rewriting and it sort of ballooned to twice the original size. Oops.

Also a thanks to The Sleepless Beholder for giving the final product a quick look-over!

Comments ( 8 )

Pretty good, though not exactly where I thought this was gonna go I still liked it

You say this ballooned in size, but I wasn't expecting this to end in 2 chapters!

Regardless, good work!

Though it would thrill me to see Rarity's first faltering steps into the wider world this story is perfect already. Bravo, friend.

Luna facehoofed. "Ah. Mortality." She grimaced. "Would you believe that it actually slipped my mind?"

She spends the rest of eternity either being proud of or cringing at each subsequent Dream Princess's skills.

Very nice, especially the deeper reason Luna chose Rarity as her successor. I'd like to see more, but this is a nice open-ended ending.

:twilightoops: Spike! What happened?
:moustache: I was having a nightmare and then... then Rarity kissed me like forever!
:twilightsmile: Go back to sleep you silly dragon , It was only a dream
:duck: Wasn't it?
:facehoof:

Nice nightmare exploration :pinkiehappy: Do me! Do me! Do me!
:trollestia: Sister? Me cake is screaming at me...

Luna won't let a lifespan issue be a actual issue. Ascension is always a possibility in the long run.

I don't know if Rarity's character is truly worthy, but maybe Luna can ask her sister how to ease a pony into one that is and eventually do a feat that makes her an alicorn. Perhaps the feat can be she becomes the new princess of the night or something along those lines, you know dream walking becomes natural for her, or she paints the stars. Something along those lines

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