• Published 28th Jun 2012
  • 17,953 Views, 1,427 Comments

A New Hero - Alex The Lone Wolf



What if there was another pony who joined the pony gang? (Look at longer description...)

  • ...
227
 1,427
 17,953

PreviousChapters Next
Is Any of This for Real?

I remember it was pouring. There were harsh almost flailing winds. Besides the howling winds, silence surrounded me. I felt myself drowning in punishing sorrow.

I was all alone.

I remember seeing him. The last pony I wanted to see.

I thought I had gotten rid of him for good.

"No. You can't be real…" I cried at the sight of him walking towards me step by step. "You don't exist anymore!"

"Surely you jest." He answered. "I am real. Everything here is real. Although I am Night Terror, this is in fact reality."

I couldn't accept it. I furiously shook my head.

As much as I fought both mentally and physically, I couldn't remove the sight of him. It felt like hours, maybe even days.

I tried to force myself to wake out of this nightmare. I would, but I, in fact, would be dragged onto another nightmare. And another. And another.

Just when I thought I couldn't take it anymore, I was finally…given freedom.

My senses changed. It was another exhausted night with my coat drenched in sweat. I fell off the side of my bed and remained lying there. I didn't want to do anything. I couldn't accept that I was really awake yet.

However, when I saw my mother's face appear in front me, it gave me hope that the nightmares had ended.

"Alex, answer me, are you alright?!" She asked frantically, but she managed to keep her voice low.

Holding my hoof to my head, I pushed myself up. "Are you here because of my dream? Well…more like nightmare."

"Yes. But this is no ordinary common circumstance, Alex. Tell me. What did you see in your dream?"

"I saw him…" I attempted to answer, recalling what I'd rather forget. "Night Terror. Appearing out of thin black smoke."

"Oh no…" Luna muttered frighteningly as she turned her head to the side.

"Why? What's going on?"

"Is Princess Twilight asleep?" She turned her head towards me, ignoring my question.

"I think so…"

"We must go check on her!" She exclaimed as she galloped out of the room.

"W-what?!" I lagged behind, forced to follow after her.

Inside Twilight's room, we found her definitely shifting around on her bed uncomfortably. Beads of sweat appeared on her head as she mumbled and groaned unnervingly.

I raced over to Twilight and placed my hooves on her, shaking her lightly. "Twilight! Twilight! Wake up!"

Her eyes slowly open, and her fumbling hooves ceased. However, she was still panting lightly when she saw me.

"…Alex?" She almost questioned weakly.

Brushing my hoof against the forehead underneath the front of her mane, I could tell she was certainly hot, and she needed to cool off.

"Princess Twilight." Luna approached her by her bedside. "Did you dream about a black smoke?"

Moaning shortly as she tried to search into her memory. "I…I think so… Something like that."

"This is not good… This is no good at all." Luna worriedly repeated, just like in my room.

"Mom, what is going on?"

"I can't explain right now." She shook her head. "You must gather the rest of your friends. Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, and Applejack. Now." She directed seriously.

I exchanged a look with Twilight, who appeared to be just as lost about the situation as I was. Nevertheless, we didn't hesitate to do what we were asked of. By the look on Princess Luna's face, this was no time to treat matters like they weren't of the upmost importance. In other words, there was no time to leave this until the morning, so we went out and gathered the rest of our friends as soon as we could.

I found Fluttershy in practically the same state, which concerned me even more. Luna hadn't explained yet what was going on. By what I've seen, did it have to do with some kind of…infectious dream disease or something? I could only imagine how the rest of the girls were doing.

Fluttershy had been in tears, and once I managed to wake her up, she gripped me tightly and almost didn't let go after some time. When we began flying over to Rainbow's place next, she told me what happened in her dream. It was disheartening to hear. She mentioned about seeing a black smoke, and then finding me, only I was not the same pony she knew. By what she described…it sounded like I had turned into some kind of abusive pony, which heavily reminded me of my foster dad. Even though it wasn't my nightmare to begin with, it still frightened me as I had to constantly remind myself after hearing that that I would not be like him.

Rainbow Dash had shown signs of enduring a nightmare, but for some reason, she didn't bother us with the details. In fact, she seemed too embarrassed to, as if it would puncture her hard-earned ego. Either way, all that mattered was that she was alright to us.

I believed Twilight and Spike, if he was up, took care of bringing the ponies back on the ground, Applejack, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie, so we reconvened at the castle.

"We've prepared everything exactly as you requested." Twilight told Luna among several spread of beds in Twilight's bedroom.

"Good. As you all slumber here, I will pursue the creature into whichever of your dreams it infests."

"Wait. You never even told us what's going on." I spoke up, lifting my curious hoof. "What's with this black smoke in our dreams? Why does this seem like such an urgent emergency?"

"That black smoke…" She sounded reluctant to fully explain the situation with us. "It's the Tantabus. It is a creature of my nightmares only. It escaped from my slumbers and must have found its way to yours."

"But how did it get into ours?" Fluttershy asked frightfully.

"It is like a parasite." She answered. "My dreams must no longer be enough for it. Now it seeks others to infect and corrupt. It must have learned of you all from seeing you in my dream."

"Whoa-whoa-whoa." Spike suddenly interrupted, having already been awoke in the room. "So what you're saying is... you dreamt about all of them, and not me?" He practically whimpered out.

"Spike!" Twilight turned towards him in a scolding manner. "This is serious!"

"So what's the big deal?" Rainbow Dash, taking the manner of the situation rather lightly. "It's not like we never have nightmares."

"This isn't just any kind of nightmare, Rainbow Dash." Princess Luna returned gravely serious. "I saw that the Tantabus had grown more powerful, but I did not realize that power was enough to enable it to escape my dreams. If its power grows, it could very well find a way to escape into the real world. It could turn all of Equestria into a living nightmare!"

"Okay… I take it back… That does sound really bad." Rainbow Dash revoked.

All of a sudden, I found her explanation strangely familiar. "Wait a minute… Turn Equestria into a living nightmare… Isn't that just like what…he tried to do?"

Luna solemnly nodded her head. "Yes…he…had the same kind of power. But he was stopped before it was too late. And we must stop this monster before it is too late as well."

"So what are we supposed to do?" Twilight asked, having grown in worry.

"As I was mentioning earlier, the rest of you shall go to sleep. I will pursue this creature and stop it myself."

"Are you sure you can do it all by yourself?"

"I am afraid nopony can help me tonight." Luna responded. "Only I have such power in the realm of sleep."

"You can just…take me along with you or something?" I asked for myself.

"Absolutely not." She shook her head sternly. Exploring dreams is one thing. This situation is absolutely dangerous for the inexperienced. This foe will be quick, and I will have no time to ensure your safety in crossing from dream to dream. I cannot allow the chance that you are harmed by this or perhaps even become lost in sleep, unable to wake up. Besides… You have all suffered so much because of me. You need only slumber while I hunt the Tantabus in your dreams."

Spike suddenly tugged on her mane. "I know you said nopony can help, but I'm no pony! I'm gonna stay up and watch over you guys just in case!" He proceeded to prove he was up to the task by climbing up and sitting down in bed, literally keeping his eyes wide open with the use of his claws.

Twilight appeared touched by this gesture. "Aw, thank you, Spike!"

"I just don't know if we'll be able to get back to sleep after having those nightmares…" Applejack mentioned, sharing with the others.

"Actually! I'm wide awake! In fact, I think I could just throw a 'Catch that scary Tantabus end our scary evil—'"

Pinkie disproved her solid alertness by immediately falling asleep without even finishing her sentence.

On the other hoof, Fluttershy looked as if she was going to have trouble falling asleep, especially after recalling the last nightmare she had. I took it upon myself to lay down next to her and keep her company as she attempted to return to sleep. Seeing as I wouldn't really be helping my mother this time around, I closed my eyes and waited for slumber as well.


My eyes opened to the unusual sight of a normal ceiling. The chirping of birds flowed through my ears. Was all of that just a dream? This looks like no nightmare. Not like the one with him anyway.

I stood up and found a window to my right. The land outside was definitely Ponyville, but as I turned to notice the home I had been resting inside, I found that it was somewhere I don't believe I had ever been in.

If this isn't a dream, then where are the others? Where are the castle walls? What kind of a place am I in?

Despite the sounds from the birds outside, everything else seemed quiet, as if I was the only pony that inhabited the entire town. It had taken me a while to realize that the room I had woken in was fairly small. Even though I had been the only one inside, it already felt a little cramped.

I walked out the room to notice a few other rooms on the same side. Across these rooms was a guarded ledge, revealing that I had been on the second level of this building which closely resembled a home. In fact, it almost even resembled mine. I walked down the flight of stairs that was directly in front of me and found some more areas underneath that were open. I took a gander at these empty but furnished spaces and began feeling as if this place was familiar. However, I couldn't recall a single moment when I had ever been in an area like this. But this was in Ponyville, so maybe there was a chance I actually had been here before?

Speaking of said town, I pushed the main door out to the front of the home that led me to the streets of Ponyville. There was no one in sight.

"…what's going on…?" I asked myself softly before I began walking towards the center of town, hoping I'd run into somebody that would perhaps have an explanation for everything.

I eventually reached the front of Sugarcube Corner. Still no sight of anyone, but surely Pinkie Pie had to be in there right?

Once I was inside, I looked around and especially noted the empty quarters. I had no words to speak or think on how I felt about the situation. However, for some reason, I didn't feel scared that I was alone. It was almost like I was observing the entire thing like a movie, rather than experiencing it for myself.

"Hi! There you are!" I suddenly heard from the counter when I had been turned away from it. "Your order is ready to go!"

"Pinkie Pie?" I noticed the mare at the counter. It was definitely her, but why did she look so much younger…? At least by a few years.

"Is there anything else you want? We got loads of more sugary goodness to satisfy any sweet tooth!"

She didn't look necessarily surprised to me. Did she even notice the lack of ponies inside?

"Speaking of 'we'… Do you have any idea where anyone is at?"

"Got it! Coming up!" She simply ignored and hopped towards the kitchen.

"Hey, wait!" I reached out before I followed her to the kitchen.

But by the time I caught up, she was no longer there.

After having been shown that there was no one else inside the building, not even Pinkie, whom I had seen behind the counter but a few minutes ago, it seemed there was nothing else to do but leave. As I stepped outside, I turned to take one last look. To my surprise, the entire building looked entirely inaccessible. It was fairly visible, but it appeared as if it faded away for the most part.

This is definitely a dream…but why haven't I seen Luna? For that matter, wasn't there something I was supposed to be keeping an eye out for? Something Luna was trying to catch?

As I observed my options for which way I could go, I now saw only one. The other paths faded just like the building. The way they looked was as if I was inside a map of Ponyville, and someone tore pieces of the map that gave me the opportunity to explore them.

Deciding to just sit back on this linear ride, I continued walking towards what I still could. When I was finally out of Sugarcube Corner, it faded away as a result like everything else.

I couldn't shake off the strange feeling of being involuntary led by strange patches of faded darkness, which blocked any other path I would have normally been able to take. Eventually, I caught on to Sweet Apple Acres. As expected, there was no sign of any pony living there. In fact, there weren't any animals either. There were just patches of trees, crops, and tools, if they weren't being blocked by the same faded patches.

With no sign of interest in sight, I really had no choice other than to investigate nearby sources for a clue. Just as I was about to look inside the well, another pony caught me off-guard with a rough yet equally feminine voice.

"I reckon you're wonderin' about your pay." I turned around to meet Applejack. However, just like with Pinkie Pie, she was smaller and younger. An Applejack I don't remember seeing before. This Applejack had twin pigtails and much skinner legs.

"A…Applejack?" I questioned.

"Not to fret." She ignored, showing me a capable stature. "I promise you'll get what you worked for by the end of the week."

"Pay…?" I repeated with a light squint of confusion.

Nevertheless, I was able to witness the disappearance of Applejack. She simply faded away, just like anything else I wasn't supposed to interact with.

"Gah…" I sighed with a dash of frustration. "How much longer is this going to go on?" I turned to see the rest of the farm and barn now become inaccessible, signaling me to move on.

Unexpectedly, I was led along a riverbed until I eventually reached a big open field. This place looked unfamiliar until I looked around realized that the surroundings seemed to ring a bell. But there was something big missing…

Recognizing the river pass through a bridge that hovered over, I felt a click in my mind. I imagined her cottage sitting on the same empty land, and it changed my perspective almost completely. This had to be the spot, but why wasn't the cottage here? The others looked much younger… Could it be that Fluttershy, at the same time, didn't have a cottage?

Despite that thought, I saw what must have been her seeming to admire the scenery. I began to approach her, ready to hear what felt like a scripted dialogue from the other two.

She jumped from the sight of me, especially since I had approached her from the back. "W-w-who are you?"

I decided to remain silent, wondering if anything that came from me mattered in getting a response. Nevertheless, I had to admit what she said next really…intrigued me…

"I…I remind you of someone…?"

Who is the pony she's supposed to be talking to? Because it sure can't be me. I've never met Fluttershy until she was at least a bit older, back when we were all united together by the Elements of Harmony. Just who can she be talking to…?

I shook my head. What am I thinking? This is a dream…and in a dream, anything happens…usually.

"Looks like you're clear, Fluttershy! Not only would you be by yourself, but you wouldn't be too far from where I'm gonna be staying at!"

Another familiar voice confirmed confidently as the pony the voice belonged to landed right by Fluttershy. She then looked at me…well in my direction at least.

"H-Hey! What are you doing here? This is supposed to be a private spot!" The Rainbow Dash in this dream asserted.

I responded with more silence.

"Well, Fluttershy here is not good around other ponies, so move on along buddy!"

Geez.

She directed her attention towards Fluttershy, and after seeing that there would be nothing more to gain from this area, I turned in the opposite direction and allowed myself to be led once more.

Seeing as I had been meeting all of the girls for some reason, the only two I could expect left were Rarity and Twilight, but I had been taken towards the boutique before I knew it. I walked inside, but practically like the fields missing Fluttershy's cottage, there was a whole lot of stuff missing inside boutique. It looked as if somepony just moved in here.

"Finally! I can see it now! My very own boutique! Oh, the swarm of customers I'm going to have when I produce all of the designs living inside my sketches! It's going to be fabulous."

Rarity from this realm had been eyeing the empty portions of her shop, presumably deciding what was going to go where. It didn't take long for her to sense my presence. She gasped at the sight of me and quickly galloped to service me. "My very first customer! Yes, darling? What can I get you?" Even if I had a chance to speak, there wasn't much time to get much a word out before she continued on. "I may not have anything here per se, but I'd be happy to place in an order! Here, here!" She ran over to the counter and opened a sketchbook. "I may not have the finished designs with me here, but I do have quite the variety to choose from right here." She tapped the pages and constantly flipped through them. "If you like something you see, by all means, tell me! I'd be happy to make any changes should you want something more on the original design." She appeared to study me for a quick moment. "Oh, you know what?! I believe I might just have something you'd absolutely adore! Stay right here!" In a flash, she raced up the stairs of her boutique. Despite her excited request, I was unable to stay, even if I wanted to. Things were fading away, and it was time for me to go.

Outside, there was hardly anything else left of Ponyville for me to go to. There was only one direction that seemed clear for me to head on. And from what I could see from where I was currently standing, it was the entrance of the Everfree Forest.

I suppose it was calming and somewhat reassuring that I could walk through the forest with ease, seeing as I didn't have to worry about any monsters or creatures residing in these woods apart from the occasional hanging branch or two. As I walked, I noticed that it seemed to begin drizzling overhead. The sky had grown darker until it was nighttime.

"What are you doing here?" I heard a seemingly distress voice call out.

I quickly turned my eyes back in front of me and finally noticed her.

"Twilight!" I called without hesitation.

She didn't exactly seem happy to see me. Instead, she appeared to be sort of worried while keeping her guard up for any threats at the same time. This had to be the dream Twilight too…

"You shouldn't be here. It's too dangerous!"

Now what is she talking about…?

"I'm trying to convince you to leave! Please! Something bad is lurking around here!"

All I could do was practically stare at her, observing any little change within her face. Despite looking worried, her face was filled with persistence until it suddenly switched onto surprise.

"Huh…?"

At this point, I desperately wished I could know what she was talking about, or what the pony on the other side of the conversation was saying. It was all a missing puzzle for me. But the question remained. Was this something I needed to know about?

"What are you talking about? Look, if you're looking for somepony, I'll help you! But we have to get out of here first. I can help you, I promise!"

Looking for somepony…

"Calm down. Please! I don't want to fight you! I want to help you, but like I said, we can't be here!"

Fight?!

Before she could say anything further, there was a sudden blinding light. A moment passed before I was able to see again. What I then saw lying on the moist ground shocked me. Twilight laid motionless as raindrops pummeled her body from the sky.

In a state of panic, I quickly raced to her. I was able to pick her up, but it made no change. She didn't wake up, but a piece of worry escaped from me when I noticed that she was still breathing. However, she eventually faded away, and the part of the forest that I came from enveloped in darkness.

I turned towards the only way I could move on, and what remained before my eyes was the Castle of the Two Sisters.

This is definitely no ordinary dream. It couldn't be. Was this all happening on purpose?

I shook my head almost fiercely. The only thing I could do at the moment was keep moving forward.

Once I was inside the castle, I suddenly felt a subtle realization that this was the last place I was going to be visiting. How? When I looked behind me, the front doors were now blocked by the fading darkness, which meant I was no longer going to be allowed to escape through there. It didn't help that every passageway of the castle, from what I could see, was also being blocked off. If there wasn't going to be a way out of the castle, then what else was I going to do but reach the inevitable dead end?

As I stepped forward to explore further, a green spark suddenly combusted on the ground. Seconds after, green flames enveloped into a circle in front of me, appearing to look similar to the base of a spotlight.

Green flames… Why is that so familiar…?

I decided to take the chance of stepping in between the flames. After a bright transition, I found myself in what appeared to be the giant room with the humongous organ that Pinkie had been playing at the end of our huge misunderstanding that one time we visited the castle. However, green sparks at each side of me grew into rather large flames that practically touched the ceiling of the room. They led straight ahead towards the end of the room where the organ was at.

I swear I heard a disturbing yet somewhat familiar sinister laughter, but the room remained empty. Finally, the same set of green flames circled around another particular spot in front of the organ. There was once again obviously no other way to go, so I followed and stepped into the guiding ring.

I was now in a small compacted room. Utterly no way out. This had to be the last area. It had to be, and then I could finally wake up. Taking a quick look around, I realized that this was the secret room Twilight and I had found in the library. The room where Twilight read the Journal of the Two Sisters.

"I didn't think you'd find me." I heard, causing me to immediately look in the direction it came from. "After all… I'm not supposed to exist anymore."

There, in front of me, despite what little room we had, another pony stood. The majority of his figure was covered with what looked like a hoodie… A hoodie that looked just like… Spirit's?

I stepped closer so that we were only a few steps away for a proper conversation. I didn't say anything, as I expected him to continue on as if I didn't even matter like with the others. He turned and revealed his face towards me.

"So…you've got nothing to say?"

"H-huh?" I responded with surprise.

He only smiled softly as he proceeded to remove the hood from his head, giving me a clear view of his face.

I immediately softly gasped at the sight of him. He had two different colors for his eyes…just like Spirit! In fact, if I was seeing things right, I swear the color of his eyes were exactly the same colors Spirit had. His coat. His mane. They looked almost just like mine! No way… Was this…me? No. By the account of his eyes, there was no way it could be. So, who was this…?

"…C…can you hear me?" I asked, deciding to see if maybe this wasn't just another scripted dialogue.

"Yeah, I can." He replied.

I felt myself gulp. I wasn't exactly afraid, but it was more like I was speechless.

"What's going on? Who are you?"

He chuckled lightly. "I'm no one. Like I said before, I shouldn't even exist."

"But you're here now." I stated the obvious.

"Yeah, I am." He turned away. "And it seems like there's nothing I can really do about it. How about it, huh? I can't just…disappear and forget about everything. No, I have to deal with the fact of being all alone with nowhere to go…and still deal with the memories that I have…but at the same time lost." He paused for a moment. "I could have protected her. I swear I could have…but…" He drew out a long depressing sigh.

"What are you talking about…?" I simply asked.

He solemnly shook his head. "Nothing I can change now." He turned his head towards me. "There may be nothing left for me to do…but there is for you, so I have a favor to ask of you." He drew closer to me, and I felt the slight need to back away. But I didn't. "I need you to take this seriously."

"You're not making much sense…" I tried to explain my confusion.

"Forget about what sense I'm making. Just listen to this." He requested. "You need to take care of her."

"I don't even know who you're talking about." I stated frankly. "This 'her', if she's so important to you, then shouldn't you be the one to care of her?"

"I can't!" He practically shouted, his head sulking towards to the ground as if he was about to cry. "You still exist." He managed to express. "You still matter. To her…" I had nothing to respond with yet again. I could only watch as he continued to dig up words that seemed to be important. "She may have left me…but she still has you. So please. Promise that you'll look after her. Promise that you'll protect her. You're the only one that can." He lifted his head to take a closer look at me. "Don't you see? That's exactly why it has to be you."

He told me to take this request seriously, but I wasn't sure if I could. This was supposed to be a dream, after all, so how did I know that any of this was real?

"At least…" I said. "…tell me her name."

A sense of relief seemed to wash over his face as he managed to pull out a small smile.

"Her name… You should know that her name is—"

Alex!

I heard a muffled and distanced call.

"H-huh?" I questioned, but this call repeated and continued frantically.

The pony in front of me began warping and fading away from my sight, as if the entire dream I had been in began to tear apart. Was I finally waking up?

Alex!

That's… Twilight's voice…

Soon enough, everything from my dream disappeared into a bright light rather than a deep darkness.


I awoke under another ceiling, but this time, I had a pony's face there to greet me. This had to be reality now, right?

"Alex! You're awake! Hurry, you have to help us!" She spoke frantically, already pulling my hoof heavily before I could even try to ask her about what had been the issue in the first place.

"Hey, Twilight! W-what's going on?!"

"There's no time to explain now! The Tantabus is getting bigger by the second, and everybody is giving it all they've got to stop it! But soon enough, it'll be too powerful to stop!"

"Wait!" I stopped her briefly, remembering that this Tantabus was the monster Luna was searching for through dreams in the first place. "You mean it found its way to reality?!"

"What?" Twilight grew puzzled for a second. "No! We're still in a dream!"

Seeing how I had just woken up, I couldn't grasp the logic behind it. Was I dreaming in a dream? What?

"Hurry! There's no time!" She continued to pull me out of the home I had been in.

"It's about time!" I heard above me in the sky. I saw Rainbow Dash dressed in what looked like her Power Pony costume as she shot lightning at the huge target in the sky. I took notice of what appeared to be the entirety of Ponyville, for some ponysaken reason, fighting against the Tantabus. If we're still dreaming, does that mean Luna brought everyone in one single dream?! Where is she?

"The reason it's been getting bigger and more powerful is because it's feeding off Luna's guilt." Twilight explained by my side. "She created it because she felt she needed to punish herself for what she did as Nightmare Moon."

"What?!" I immediately turned towards Twilight in shock. "But that was so long ago. Why would she feel the need to punish herself even now?"

"We've been trying to convince her that she's a different pony now, but it didn't help that you were still stuck in a sleep she couldn't bring you out of. That's why I had to go in there and try to wake you up myself in any way I could! I needed to show her that you were okay, and if anyone could completely convince her that she isn't who she used to be, it's her own son!"

I felt myself needing to take a pause to fully grasp what Twilight was explaining to me. Nevertheless, even if I didn't understand clearly at the time because of the growing monster that was literally covering the entire sky at this point, I looked seriously towards Twilight. "Where is she?"

She took me to this luminescent and transparent bubble that stood in the center of Ponyville. I could see thin bright white strings all stem from the tip of her horn. Most importantly, Luna laid in that bubble as tears fell painfully from her eyes. Whether it was from the weight of the guilt Twilight mentioned she was lying under, or all the strength being sapped from her body due to the magic she was performing, it had to be stopped.

"Mom!" I galloped towards her.

"Alex!" She exclaimed after having opened one eye to notice me. "You're awake!"

"Listen to me." I spoke. "You can't keep feeling guilty for what you've done in the past. It's not healthy and it'll only keep you from getting past it!"

"The others tell me this…but if I forgive myself now, how can I possibly make it up to everyone for all the evil I unleashed? It is because of me that Night Terror escaped. It is because of me that you've been hurt multiple times. It is because of me that you had to witness your own father fall before your eyes! How can you forgive me for all the pain I've caused since the very moment you were born?!"

"Because you're my mother and I don't want to lose you to anything!" I stated as loudly as I could. "You can't blame yourself for any little thing that happened to me. You couldn't control any of it. If you blame yourself for any little thing like that, then you'll never forgive yourself."

Her eyes jumped around to every corner of her eyes, revealing the difficulty of juggling her thoughts and keeping her magic as stable as she could.

"With all due respect, you're not thinking straight!" I told her honestly. "If I was to punish myself the same way like you are, then I would never forgive myself for the amount of pain you're going through right now. Why? Because all this guilt you're under is not just from everyone in Equestria. Most of it is me, isn't it? Because I'm your only child! You wouldn't want to see me fighting that kind of guilt, would you?!"

"N-no…!" She strained. "Otherwise, I'd hate myself even more!"

"And it all just becomes an endless cycle of guilt!" I stated. "That's why we need to forgive ourselves and find peace with what we've done! You won't fix anything by what you're putting yourself through!"

"Alex…" She stared softly at me.

"Please…" I stepped closer to her. "For my sake, don't hate yourself. After all, as bad as it seems, if you hadn't become Nightmare Moon, I wouldn't even exist right now. And because I am living right now with all the loving friends I've been blessed with, it's the best thing I could have ever asked for. So, that's why…sometimes…even good things can come from the bad. That's why…everything happens for a reason." I lifted my hoof and carefully began extending it out towards her. "I love you, mom."

Her eyes widened as she witnessed my hoof coming towards her. She slowly began extending her hoof out as well.

"I love you too." She said before our hooves touched, and then starting from between us, everything enveloped in another bright light before eventually fading out.


I heard muffled voices, each that were fairly distinguishable.

"Shh!" I heard next to me, leading me to finally open my eyes.

For the third time now, I found the first thing I saw to be yet another ceiling. Hopefully, I wasn't just dreaming yet again.

"See. He's completely fine." I heard from my bedside. Twilight's face soon popped onto my sight. She had been giving me some sort of smug smile.

"Is it over…?" I asked from a lack of awareness.

"It's over." She responded.

"Where…is my mom?"

Twilight pointed towards the center where all of our beds had been arranged. On a couple of pillows, she laid there asleep. But this time, it was clear she was no longer under any kind of distress or guilt. Instead, she was sound asleep.

"Huh. Wonder what she's dreaming about now." Spike asked, taking notice of the small smile on her lips.

"I'm guessing she's finally found her peace of mind." I assumed.

Removing ourselves from the room which Luna slept, we gathered in the throne room. Twilight led the flurry of questions that had been thrown at me about my part in the massive dream that had just taken place a few minutes ago.

She explained that before Luna began that massive dream with everyone from Ponyville in it, due to a mishap from Pinkie Pie, everyone had woken up from their dreams except me. She mentioned that Luna couldn't find the reason why I wouldn't wake up, even when she tried to wake me up herself. Of course, it made things even worse for her when she became too overwhelmed at one time, all having to do with the guilt she already had, the Tantabus, and me. To put it simply, it was like being in charge of a city, and every pony unexpectedly began coming to you with a different urgent problem. You wouldn't even have time enough to think.

"I was in this weird dream." I explained myself. "A dream that…didn't exactly feel like mine. I watched things happen in the dream, but it felt like if I had no part in it as you usually would. In other words, I guess it was like if I was watching some other pony's dream…except for...one last part." They waited to hear me continue on by what I meant by that 'one last part', but it was something I believed wasn't exactly necessary to say. I didn't get that last part myself, so I didn't think there was a chance they'd understand it either. "Anyways, I think I was…dreaming inside a dream."

"Geez…" Twilight expressed. "It must have been some deep sleep. It took forever to wake you up. And that's because I was trying to wake you up in a dream!"

"Gaahh!" Rainbow Dash suddenly yelled out. "All this talk of dreams is hurting my brain! Come on! Let's go get some breakfast!"

I suppose I couldn't really argue with Rainbow Dash there. In fact, trying to come to an understanding of what I went through began to overwhelm me, stacking on everything else I already had unanswered questions about throughout my lifetime. Based on what we all experienced last night, I definitely don't need to be keeping all this on my mind.

"Yeah, sure."

However, I decided I would stop by to check on Luna before I went ahead and caught up with them.

I entered the room and found her in the same manner we left her. I observed her for a while, feeling the liberty to smile softly at the sight of her. I don't remember if I've ever seen her sleep. Either way, it was nice to see her sleeping so peacefully. It was almost like watching one of Fluttershy's critters cuddle up and nap adorably.

I suppose I wanted to speak with my mother some more. I wanted to tell her how much she mattered to me. I wanted to tell her that, despite the many things that we could mutually consider "bad" happening to us, they all had a part to play to better ourselves. Just like with my late father, sometimes things are horrendously difficult to do, but you gotta pull through and do it for the good of what it brings.

I had been staring at the floor next to Luna as I was struck deep in thought. However, something caught me in the corner of my eye. It appeared Twilight came for a visit as well.

"I didn't expect to see you here, Twilight." I mentioned.

With a small grin, she answered. "Yeah, well… I figured if you're going to be my brother and all, I should look after Luna like a mother too." It didn't take long for her to make a weird face at the sound of that. "I'm sorry. I don't know if I can go as far as to call her my mom…" She chuckled lightly. "Not that I don't like her or anything but…"

"I get it." I answered. "You've…kind of already have a mom to think about."

There was a moment of silence between us before she walked closer towards me. "Hey… Remember when you woke me up? When Luna needed us together so she could try to catch Tantabus?"

"Yeah? Why?"

"The dream I had… I couldn't remember at the time because of everything that had been going on, but I remember pieces of it now. Enough to try to make something out of it."

"Would you really want to remember a nightmare…?" I questioned, revealing a bit of my concern.

"It wasn't just any nightmare." She stated clearly, and then adverted her eyes to the side. "I really don't know if it's worth telling you this, but seeing as you played a big part in that dream, I feel like I should tell you."

She caught my interest when she mentioned that I "played a big part" in her dream.

"All I can remember is…you and I weren't friends. In fact, I think everything about us now was just wiped away from existence. Like everything we've been through never happened. And the scariest part of that was…we were fighting."

She looked deeply distressed about this. I couldn't lie, it did sound frightening.

"You know nothing can ever tear us apart though, right?" I reminded. "In the end, that's all it was: a dream." With a little laugh, I lightly messed with her mane as if she was a little child. "I think the closest we'd ever get to a fight would be one out of love."

"It does make me feel a lot better to hear you say that." She admitted. "But still, sometimes dreams can get to you a bit."

"I know. But you know what you probably need? Some breakfast. I'm sure Pinkie wouldn't mind making some pancakes for us to gobble down."

"Yeah, you're right." She answered with a bright smile. "I'll meet you there." She assured, turning around and leaving me to watch her tail swing back and forth as she left the room.

I took another look at Luna.

She was still pretty out cold, but it was in a good way.

I didn't want to risk bothering her any longer, as I believed she deserved a very long rest.

Nevertheless, I couldn't help but kneel by her and give her a quick peck on the cheek.

PreviousChapters Next