• Published 12th Jan 2013
  • 11,696 Views, 566 Comments

The Demon's Angel - Radiant Dawn

Wake up, go to work, be a human...but what if this all changed by the arrival of someone special? How much will change, and will it be a good change? Most of all, how important is your universe to you?

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Chapter 13: Celestial Secret

Chapter 13: Celestial Secret

"Luna, for Celest...well, your sister's sake...for someone's sake, why are we doing this again, and why do I have to be the one that gets hurt?" I whispered in a panicked voice.

The lunar princess giggled and smiled. "Well to answer your first question, we are doing it because it will be entertaining. As to why you must be the one to put yourself in a bit of danger, you are not a princess. I surely cannot return and have my sister find a bruise or scratch on me, Koa."

I sighed and growled softly. "You owe me, Luna."

She rolled her eyes and smirked. "Oh come now, it will be fun. I promise you." She then leaned extra close and whispered, "And, if you do this, I will put in a good word for you with Rainbow Dash."

I hunched lower in the bush and crossed my arms, glaring at her. "Did you forget what happened today and why your sister had to come to Ponyville? I'm about as good with Dash as is possible, next to asking her to marry me...which will come with time. So, try again. What else you got for me?"

She smirked and looked off in the air coyly. "Oh I do not know...how about a steak dinner Saturday night?"

I started drooling immediately and my eyes widened. "Steak? As in, meat?" She nodded. "I thought ponies didn't eat meat."

She nodded. "Ponies do not...but gryphons do. I am in strong diplomatic relations with the Gryphon Kingdoms...so I could pull some strings and-"

"Done." I said with a nod.

She giggled and pranced in place happily. "Huzzah! I knew that would work."

I rolled my eyes. "Offer a hungry predator meat and he becomes putty in your hooves. Big surprise, Luna."

She flicked her tail in my face and nodded towards the house. "Focus, Koa. Now, I want you to wake her up gently, say your line, and then I will do the rest."

"And by gently, you mean shock her and jump out the window. Great plan. Have you forgotten that I'm not allowed to fly yet?" I retorted.

She shoved me towards the window and giggled. "It is only five or so feet, dear Koa. You will be perfectly fine."

"I better be...or else when I get out of the hospital, I'm coming straight for you. You can find out what it's like to be flown around in a tornado for ten minutes." I said with a maniacal grin.

She gasped and stared at me. "You would not dare..."

I smirked and shrugged, looking away. "Well if I don't get too hurt and this is as funny as you say it should be, you'll never have to find out. Who knows, I might just do it for fun." I looked at her and grinned. "You have no idea what devious even is, sweetheart...believe me. Tonight, we do it your way. The next night - whenever that is - we do it my way. Deal?"

She extended a hoof and I shook it firmly. "Deal. Now go before she wakes up on her own."

With that I lightly flapped my wings and landed on the small balcony of the home, opening the bay doors. Once inside, I noticed a mint-green unicorn sleeping soundly, splayed out over the bed. I stepped close and pointed a single finger at her, charging it softly and releasing a small shock that caused the sleeping unicorn to jump out of the bed in fright.

"Wha? Wh-who's there?" she mumbled, still half asleep.

I had already dove off the balcony, thankfully only bruising my knee in the process. I then cupped my hands and started yelling, "Help! It's the humans, they're here and they're running all around town!" I then turned to Luna and rolled my eyes. "Now how is that supposed to work? She doesn't even know about hu-"

"Humans? Where?!" the unicorn screeched before bounding off the second-story balcony with a large net, a safari helmet, and...a blowgun?

A mare that looked just like Luna - but with a silvery blue mane and tail and no wings - rushed up to the panicking unicorn. She pointed wildly down the street. "There, they went that way! I believe I spotted one entering Berry Punch's house!" The hunter-unicorn nodded and scampered off. Once she was out of sight, the mare that looked like Luna began to glow, transforming back into Luna.

I smirked and crossed my arms. "Oh...you're good. I'm pleasantly surprised, Luna. Well done, but now what?"

She held up a hoof. "Wait for it..."

All of the sudden there was screaming and the sound of glass breaking. "Lyra? WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY HOUSE?!"

Luna looked at me, barely containing her laughter. "Run!" I nodded and sprinted.

While running, I realized how much my body wanted to run on all fours, so about halfway back to Dash's house, I obliged. I was amazed at how natural it felt, and noticed just how much faster I could run this way. Instead of taking ten or so minutes, it only took two and a half to make it back to the cloud house. Luna of course had arrived before me, but not by much, and when I arrived, we both collapsed in laughter. We were luckily far enough away not to wake up Dash, but for some reason Luna's deep and mirthful laughs just made me laugh harder. Have you ever laughed so hard that your groin and ass hurt? Well yeah...that's what happened.

And it was glorious.

After several more minutes of loud laughter, Luna began to find her voice. It was incoherent at first, but she finally calmed down enough to talk, wiping a tear away from her eye. "Ah...I have not laughed that hard in centuries." She then patted me lightly on the shoulder with a bright smile. "Thank you, Koa...I do appreciate this. It is so hard to find ponies to entertain me during the night. As you well know, most of the populace sleeps during my night." She then stopped smiling and frowned a bit. "It is...disheartening at times."

I gently placed a hoof on her shoulder and rubbed it, causing her to look at me. When she did, I smiled as gently as I could and looked up at the starry sky. "For the record, Luna, I enjoy the night much more than the day. No offense to your sister, but the day can just be so..."

"Bright..." she finished.

I nodded and sat beside her, leaning against her warm fur. "Exactly. I mean don't get me wrong, I love the day too...but the night holds a special place in my heart for some reason. I...I can't really explain it, but the night is definitely my favorite. It's soft, comforting...safe. Ponies may not revel in your night as much as you believe they should, Luna...but think of it this way: the day is where ponies work and tire. It is when all work of the day is done. Your lovely night offers them respite. You allow them to rest...to recover. The day drains energy and even spirit...your night replenishes it."

She seemed to mull this over. "I...I have never thought of it that way."

I nodded, then smirked. "Besides...no adult pony parties happen during the day. Real parties don't start until after the sun goes down."

The princess thankfully giggled again, and I was happy her mood had changed for the better. "Yes, this is true. No offense meant to Pinkie Pie of course, but her daytime parties are rather...well, for the younger generation."

I chuckled and lowered myself to the ground, looking up at the stars. "Technically, I'm the younger generation when compared to you, Luna."

She lay down on her stomach next to me, huffing lightly. "I thank you, dear Koa, for making me feel so young tonight."

I laughed and patted her side lightly. "Oh come on Luna, you know I didn't mean it that way." My eyes wandered over to her in awe. "In fact, I find it mysterious and even intriguing that both you and your sister are so youthful in spirit. How old are you again?"

She gasped and glared at me. "Dear Storm Rider, a classy mare never reveals her-"

"Her age, her weight, or her privates. I know the proverb, princess. I was just curious is all." I finished.

She sighed and lay her wings out beside her, tickling my side a little. "Let it simply be said that I was present for the rise of the first sun and first moon in nearly twenty millennia."

"Twenty thousand years? Excuse the language, Luna, but what the hell was going on for all that time? And how do you know it was that long?" I asked.

Luna was quiet for a moment before turning her head, looking at me with a pained expression. "What I am about to confide in you must not be spoken to another soul, Koa. Promise me."

I was a little taken aback by her sudden change in demeanor, but I nodded. "I promise, Luna."

Her aquamarine eyes looked heavenward. "It was known as the Age of Darkness...and for good reason. You see, Tia and I often tell ponies who ask that we are immortal. This however is only a half-truth." She turned again to look at me, and I could see the agony in her eyes. "Our bodies are far from immortal, Koa. In truth, I may likely pass on before you do."

I gasped in surprise, metaphorically floored by the confession. "I-I'm going to outlive you?"

She nodded sadly, bearing into me with those powerful aqua eyes. "When we die, our essence passes on to the elemental plane to live until we are needed on Terra again. Usually, my sister or I will cast a summoning spell to summon the other from the elemental plane to be reborn upon Terra. However, I fear this time will be different." A tear dropped from her eye before she continued. "The Age of Darkness was caused when the summoning spell failed, as Celestia had fallen in battle before I could be reborn upon Terra. Without their masters, the sun and the moon ceased to be...leaving Terra in darkness." I noticed that she cringed a bit in what appeared to be pain. "Billions of living things perished because of us." She then smiled sadly. "But then...you were born. You...you called us back."

"Me? I'm pretty good at math, and I'm pretty sure that you've been around at least a few thousand years longer than me by now." I answered skeptically.

She smiled softly and nodded. "Yes, you are correct. However unlike us, you are reborn each time your mortal body dies. Every being on Earth, Terra, and a few other choice worlds do the same. However, you are different." She then smirked and eyed me coyly. "Have you ever felt feelings of...oh how do you say it...deja vu? A feeling saying that you have met someone or done something before?" Before I could respond she shook her head. "Forgive me, you have no memory. I had forgotten. That, however, actually ties into reincarnation. Like us, any time you are reborn, all of your memories are wiped clean, save for memories of living beings that are or were closest to you. In this case Rainbow Dash, for you. For Celestia and I, it is usually each other." Before I could ask a question she interrupted me again. "The reason why your memories are gone is because you were reborn here now. You see, your essence was split eons ago, living upon many different worlds as different beings at once." She then smiled and nodded towards me. "Zizzanasx was one of your separate incarnations. This is why we are so friendly towards you, Koa. We have known you our entire lives...all of them."

I was frozen...utterly frozen. This was all a lot to take in. First finding out that reincarnation does exist, and that I had personally known the princesses since...well by all accounts, probably forever. Not only that, but that I was special somehow. But wait a minute...

I looked back at the princess, her eyes shining in the moonlight. "Were you and I ever...romantically involved?"

"Yes." she answered without hesitation. "Before you ask, you and Rainbow Dash have been as well...and a filly named Scootaloo."

Wow...I was a ladies' man.

I smirked and raised my eyebrows suggestively. "So that's why you..."

She nodded solemnly. "To make it fair, we tend to trade off upon the passing of one of us, or you."

I was silent for a long time before speaking again, just looking at her. "Do Dash and this Scootaloo know that this happens?"

She shook her head softly. "No, and I must ask you do not tell either of them. You will now forever know, simply because you clearly care for me on some level."

I nodded. "I do. Perhaps not romantic, at least not now, but I do care about you."

She smiled. "The memory of me telling you is now tied to me, and because I will always be, that memory will also always be. So long as a relationship in some way with a special pony is in good standing, you will always remember them."

"So wait," I started, "that means that if I screw up whatever we have, and then die...I wouldn't remember you anymore...or this conversation."

She nodded softly. "It is the universe's way of keeping us sane. Imagine if you remembered all the horrible things that have happened in your life."

Not really knowing why, I grabbed her hoof with my hand and squeezed softly. "I don't have to be telepathic to know you've seen something having to do with me, Luna. What is it?"

She raised an eyebrow while eyeing me carefully. "It is not a pleasing instance, Koa. Are you sure you wish to hear this?" I nodded, and she pulled her hoof away from me and looked back towards the sky. "It was during the founding of Old Equestria, nearly four-thousand years ago. During the last battle upon what is now the Everfree Forest, you were assassinated in your bed...as I lay next to you." She sighed and looked towards the sky again. "We were married, Koa...and you were a draconic warlord."

"So I've always been a dragon?" I asked, now coming to terms with who and what I was...what I had been.

She just smiled. "Not always. Though your form and even color has changed repeatedly, you have always been you, Koa."

I felt a little ashamed now...as this was probably very uncomfortable for the princess. "Luna, I'm sorry if this is so awkward to you. I know it's probably pretty weird to be around me while I'm with Dash..."

She placed a hoof on my shoulder and smiled. "It was at first...but all is well. It is your loyalty to your mate that I have always found so wonderful about you. What happened the first night...that was simply my greed."

I reached over and caressed the hoof gently and smiled. "Well we're going to live a long time. Your time will come, I'm sure. Now that I know that I'll see Dash again, death isn't all that scary anymore."

She frowned and shook her head. "Perhaps not for you, but it is for those you leave behind. The last time you were as you are now, I was forced to watch you die in my arms."

"You mean forelegs." I corrected.

She glared at me. "No, I mean arms."

I raised an eyebrow suspiciously at her. "Ponies don't have arms, princess."

She sighed and shook her head. "We were not always ponies, Koa. We were humans once…many, many eons ago." She then gestured a hoof to the sky. "This world was not always known as Terra, and I was not always known as Luna." She then turned back to me with a blank stare. "When you crossed the celestial barrier, you were not only traveling to a different dimension, you were travelling through time."

I had an inkling as to what she was talking about, but it just couldn't be true…it didn't make sense. "Umm…you can't be saying what I think you're going to say."

She nodded. "Tell me Koa, do you remember anyone else from your previous life on Earth?"
I closed my eyes and thought hard for a moment, straining my mind. In a few minutes though, I came up with only two faces and two names. "Desiree and Lily. I…I can't remember anything about them other than they were really close to me."

"And what have I said about the memories you keep?" she asked with a grin.

I shrugged. "That I only keep the memories pertaining to those still living that I was close to."

The princess was silent for a long moment before she spoke again, in a soft and steady voice. "My name was once Desiree Stewarts, Koa…and Celestia's was Lily Thompson." She then smiled at me and looked around the field. "Ironically, you are laying in what was once our home of Fremont, California."

In an odd way, it made sense. I had always felt as if I'd known the princesses, even when I first met them…but I still had my misgivings about the whole thing. Namely… "Okay fine, maybe Terra is some alternate Earth and maybe I've known you all for…well, forever. Why don't I remember you two then?"

"Those were past lives, Koa. When we took up the mantle of the sun and moon, our lives were changed forever. We are the same, and yet we are not." she explained. She then smiled and placed her hoof on my shoulder. "Rainbow Dash's name was once Kayla…she was your wife."

Something clicked in my mind, and memories flowed through it so fast it hurt. I remembered everything about Kay…including how I lost her. I then noticed the similarities between Kay and Dash…and it all made sense now. That was why Kay had told me to let her go. She knew...and was trying to tell me in her own way.

"You used to call her your angel, and we all called you her demon." she stated. "I remember the day we met her. I didn't believe it at all at first, until you asked me to feel her cutie mark." She looked away in thought. "So much has changed since that day. Never in a million years had I thought we would be bestowed with the powers over the day and night. And then there was the cataclysm that caused the world to change."

"What cataclysm?" I asked, now thoroughly intrigued.

She looked away, but I could still see a glistening tear run down her cheek. "A massive asteroid slammed into Earth upon the dawn of the twenty-second century of Earth's recorded history. Most of the population was killed in the following weeks, and many more for the two hundred years after until the dust from the impact settled and the ice age ended." She then looked back to me in sorrow. "What we did not know was that the asteroid was magical in nature, and imbued what was to become Terra with magic. This in turn transferred to all of Terra's inhabitants. You were among the first to change…one of the first dragons to walk the earth." She was silent for another moment before she continued. "With the introduction of magic to the solar system, many of the physics that made night, day, and even the seasons, ceased to work. In a stroke of luck – or fate, I do not know – the universe corrected this by giving Tia and I power over the celestial bodies." She looked at her hooves, as if examining their very being. "Over the next hundred years, the form of Earth's inhabitants quickly changed to more animalistic forms. The only advantage humans once had over other animals was their ability to think rationally and use tools. Ponies, however, were just as smart, and were every bit as dexterous as humans were...they were also stronger and more hardy. Beings of mythology became reality, and magic became the basis of the entire world."

"Were there wars?" I asked.

She nodded. "Many. It was pure chaos, as what forms changed for whom seemed to be random. Of course, the different races sided with their own. This however meant that siblings killed siblings, fathers killed sons, and we were forced to watch. The concentrated magic power that was released from the death of so many magical beings created the god of chaos – Discord. He is the very embodiment of hundreds of years of war and chaos. He cannot be killed, only imprisoned."

The more she explained things, the more they made sense. I still had one question though… "What about this Scootaloo? You said she was a filly. I'm not a pedophile, am I?"

Luna giggled and shook her head. "No, dear Koa, simply because she is a filly now does not mean she always has been younger than you. You must remember, death can happen in many ways…murder, illness, or simply age to name a few. Perhaps you should meet her at some point. Rainbow Dash will be able to help you."

"We uh," I started nervously, "we've never been like family or anything, have we? I don't know if I could deal with incest."

She giggled mirthfully and shook her head again, her sparkling mane flowing softly. "No, that seems to be one of the factors that are constant. We have never, nor will we ever be blood-related family."

I took that to heart with a smile, but then frowned again. "I have to ask, Luna…how are you so okay with me being with another mare?"

"When you have lived as long as I have in one life, you gain a large amount of patience and understanding for all things." she explained.

"Okay, one last question, Luna." I stated. She looked at me and listened attentively. "I'm no master of time or anything, but won't me coming here have caused a paradox or something? I mean, you said that I'd been around for a long time."

She nodded and smiled softly. "You are correct, it normally would be a problem. However, we will send you back at the proper time to keep the time stream flowing normally. This exact thing has happened in the past, and will forever continue to do so in the infinite timestreams of this one reality. You have many years to spend with us until that time comes, so do not worry." She then stood up, looking at the horizon. "It appears morning is approaching. Reluctantly, I must depart." She looked up at me as I stood and smiled. "I will meet with you tomorrow night if you are up to it."

I reached forward and rubbed her cheek softly, smiling. "I'd like that, Luna. I'll see you then."

Luna nodded before taking flight, stealing one last glance at me before disappearing into the sky. As she flew away, my mind was swirling with all this new information. She had just given me several lifetimes of secrets all in one night…and some of the thoughts actually made me a little sick from how insane they seemed. Still…something deep inside told me that Luna was telling the absolute truth, and I trusted her. She'd known where I'd lived, known what I called Dash…everything. I still had questions, but for the most part everything had been answered. Terra was once Earth…and I was ironically staying in what was once my home.

By now, I was mentally tired and ready to rest. Not sleep, but rest…so I flapped my wings once and sailed onto the beautiful cloud house that my angel was sleeping within. After entering the bedroom, I climbed in the bed just as the sun was beginning to peek over the horizon and pulled Dash close against my chest. With my memories about Kay and the truth about who she was revealed, I just felt that much closer to my rainbow angel. She wrapped her hooves around me and moaned in her sleep for a moment before opening her eyes.

She blinked a few times before smiling. "You know Koa, I don't normally get up this early…but somehow with you here, I don't feel so groggy. You must be magic."

"Not as magical as you, beautiful." I responded in a low, sultry growl.

She shivered at my tone and giggled. "There's something about that sound that just turns me on. Weird, huh?"

Thinking about what I'd found out with Luna, I shook my head. "It's not weird at all, Dashie…trust me."

She shrugged. "No, I'll tell you weird. It's just that whenever I'm around you…I feel so calm. It's like I've known you forever or something." She then chuckled softly. "Crazy, huh?"

I cupped her cheek in my hand and smiled. "Not at all, I feel the same way about you."

She giggled again and kissed my hand. "You're so corny sometimes."

"Yeah, but you love it." I responded before pulling her closer to me, resting my hand on her cutie mark.

She moaned softly in response and then sighed happily. "I kinda wish I could just stay here all day, but I have work to do in preparation for winter."

I slapped my forehead and groaned. "That's right, winter's in like two weeks, right?"

She nodded. "You're gonna have your work cut out for you, Koa. We've scheduled a lot of snows and even a few blizzards."

"Um, I'm pretty sure I can only make rain, Dashie." I said with a smirk.

She smiled back and nestled her head against my chest, drawing circles on my sensitive stomach scales with her hoof. "You let the princesses handle the seasons. You just handle the weather. It'll be cold enough to snow, I promise."

I then realized exactly what the cold meant, and with me being a reptile of sorts, I was a little worried. "Hey Dash, what should I do during the winter? I mean, aren't dragons cold-blooded?"

"Do you feel the need to bask in the sun? Are you attracted to all sources of heat?" she asked.

I shook my head. "No, not really."

She nodded and smiled. "Dragons are warm-blooded reptiles. I know it doesn't really make sense, but Luna once told me it has something to do with how they were made."

'Well, we all used to be human, so that makes sense.'

She then poked me in the side and giggled. "Besides, you're warmer than I am. I mean last night was cold, but you were out all night, weren't you?"

I nodded. "Yeah. Luna invited me out for some fun."

She raised an eyebrow in suspicion. "What kind of fun, Koa?"

I chuckled and hugged her closer to me. "The kind of fun where we convince Lyra that there's humans about and she freaks out and breaks into Berry Punch's house."

Dash burst out laughing and shook her head. "Classic. I remember the first time Luna took me to do that. Still funny all these years later."

"You mean this isn't the first time she's done that?" I asked with a small chuckle.

She shook her head. "Not by a long shot. She knows about humans somehow, and has always been more than a little obsessed with them. No pony really knows why." She then reluctantly stood up on the bed and hopped out beside me. "Well since I'm up early, I guess I'll take a shower now and have some breakfast."

I nodded. "You go shower then. I'll handle breakfast for the two of us."

She smiled wide and nodded. "That would be awesome, Koa. You better make something good. And don't blow up my kitchen or anything." The cyan mare then floated out the door towards the washroom.

After I'd prepared breakfast for the two of us, I was well aware of some newfound physical exhaustion, which meant that my body had finally synchronized with my mind and soul – or essence…whatever it's called now. This meant that I would be able to safely handle physical activity, as I'd be able to know how tired I was getting.

I looked over at Dash and sighed. "Well Dash, it looks like I'm all set now. My body's adjusted, so I'm going to start building my house today."

She looked a little crestfallen. "Oh…this is a lot sooner than I expected, Koa. I…I'm gonna miss you." As I watched, a single tear fell from her eye and she quickly looked away.

"Hey hey hey…I'm not going to be far, Dash. As a matter of fact, I'm only going to be a little ways away from you and about another hundred feet up." I said, attempting to comfort her. I ran my fingers through her soft mane and smiled. "I mean geez, you're acting like I'm breaking up with you or something. You're always welcome at my home, love. Besides, I seriously doubt that I'll be done in only a day."

She looked at me a little ashamed. "I…I'm sorry, I just thought that…"

I shook my head and rubbed her ear softly, causing her to sigh and smile. "Fluttershy told me you had some shitty relationships in the past. I assure you, Dash, I'll never be one of them." I then pushed her off towards the door. "You go on and go to work, Dash. I'll get my cloud house built and you can meet me there later today. It'll be higher in the sky than yours though, but it'll be dark clouds. Should be pretty easy to spot."

"What's with you and dark colors? You're light gray, in case you forgot." she retorted.

I shrugged and smirked. "Dark colors are easier on my eyes. The only vivid colors I like are the ones that make up your sexy body."

She gasped and swatted my hand away. "Don't talk to me like that right now, Koa. I'm already questioning whether or not I should go to work today and you're not helping that decision. I need to keep a roof over my head and to do that I need to keep a job. Save that talk for after work so I don't end up homeless."

I then smirked and raised my eyeridges twice suggestively. "You might be homeless, but you'll be well-rutted." I then growled at myself. "New rule: if I talk like that, I want you to slap me." Without hesitation, she smacked a hoof hard across my face, causing my cheek to sting. I looked back at her and nodded curtly. "Thank you."

She giggled and nodded. "No problem. So, do you want me to just meet you at your place after work?"

I shrugged. "Unless you have other plans. If I’m not done though, we’ll meet back here, okay?"

She nodded. "Sounds good to me." She fluttered forward and kissed me on the cheek. "Alright Koa, I'll see you at around six then."

I nodded before grabbing her tail. "Oh wait, I need to meet someone named Scootaloo. Luna said you'd be able to help me with that."

She raised an eyebrow and stared at me. "Why do you need to see Scoots?"

I decided to keep the truth from her for now, as Luna said not to tell anypony about it. "Well Luna said that she was a nice filly and that I should get to know her. She said that you knew her pretty well, and that I should get to know her too."

She stared at me a moment longer before shrugging. "Well today's some sort of school holiday for the colts and fillies, so it's likely she'll be at the clubhouse behind Sweet Apple Acres with her two friends, Sweetie Belle and Applebloom." She then glared at me. "You better be nice, Koa. She's like a little sister to me."

I nodded and smiled wide. "I'll be sweet as can be, Dash. I promise. Now go on and get to work, I've got things from here. I'll clean up your kitchen really quick and then get going."

She nodded and kissed me again before speeding out the front door and into the sky towards Cloudsdale.

After doing a quick run of the dishes and wiping the countertops (which were made of hardened cloud fibers…cool), I headed off to Applejack's farm. I felt comfortable enough with flying, but noticed a big difference in that I felt tired when I landed. I guess I'd need to work up my stamina with flying.

As I landed, I saw the orange mare carrying some loose tree limbs from the ground to her barn, so I grabbed a big load of them and followed her. She didn't notice I was there until I set them down next to her, and she gasped and jumped from being startled. "Ah! Oh…it's you, Rider. By Celestia, y'all almost gave me heart attack!"

I chuckled and slapped her lightly on the shoulder. "Anything I can do to get your blood pumping, AJ. So, Luna told me I should meet with Applebloom's friend, Scootaloo. Any idea where she is?"

The earth pony nodded and pointed to the rear barn door. "Go out this door and follow tha fence to yer raht. Y'all will see tha tree house when ya get over tha hill."

I nodded and smiled. "Thanks Applejack. I'll see ya later, okay?" She nodded before heading back to the orchard, so I followed her directions to the tree house.

Just like she said, I saw the little clubhouse that was nestled in a lone pear tree near the fence. I walked over to it slowly and noticed the sound of giggling and three distinct voices – one that was a little raspy like Dash's, one that was squeaky and cute, and one that had a southern accent. As I listened, I felt myself drawn to the young raspy voice, and I assumed that must be Scootaloo. I strode up to the tree house and knocked softly on the tree trunk, causing all three voices to go silent.
The head of an orange filly with a violet mane popped out, and somehow I knew it was the one I was looking for. I smiled up at her and waved. "Hey there, Scootaloo. Dash told me th-"

I was interrupted when she dove out of the window at me and landed on my chest, knocking me to the ground. She hugged me tight and was smiling. Her two friends – a yellow earth pony and a white unicorn - were staring at the window at the sight.

Applebloom looked down at me and smiled. "Oh hey there, Rider! What are y'all doin' here?" She then looked down again at her friend and raised an eyebrow at the small pegasus. "And why are ya huggin' a dragon like tha', Scoots?"

Scootaloo sat up on my chest and looked back up at her two friends. "This is my friend I told you about. This is Zizzy!"

I chuckled and rand my fingers through the violet mane and smiled. "Well I go by Storm Rider now Scoots, but yep, that's me." I had to remember that she knew the other me, so I'd have to play a bit of catch up. "I'm also the guy that saved Rainbow Dash too and brought her back."

She smiled at my touch and nodded. "Mmhmm, Rainbow Dash told me. She said you were one hay of a dragon…whatever that means."

I laughed nervously and sat up. "Umm, I'll tell you when you're older."

The orange filly giggled and blushed. "Oh, so that's the way she meant it."

The two other fillies had descended to the ground and were looking at the two of us in confusion. "What are you talking about, Scootaloo?" asked the unicorn.

"Nothing!" the pegasus replied quickly before hopping off of me.

I glared at her. "You're just a filly…how do you know about that?"

She laughed nervously as well. "I'll tell you later."

The unicorn – who I assumed was Sweetie Belle – stepped towards me and looked at her pegasus friend. "So who is he, Scootaloo? Introduce us!"

The filly smiled wide and patted me on the leg. "This is Zizzanasx, the Skylord. I've known him ever since I was a foal. He's my best friend in the entire world next to you two."

"Skylord?" the farm filly asked. "Wha's that?"

I smiled and looked towards the sky. "It means I can do this." I formed a cloud above us and shot a lightning bolt across the sky, then quickly dissipated it.

The unicorn smiled in excitement and hopped around. "That was amazing! Do that again!"

I shook my head with a chuckle. "No can do, little one. If I do that randomly like that, ponies are going to panic. I'd rather not be the cause of a riot in Ponyville." The little filly looked a little crestfallen, so I tilted her chin up and smiled at her. "Tell you what though, there's a storm planned sometime this weekend. Just…make sure you have a clear view of the clouds that day."

She nodded furiously before looking up at the sky, noting the sun's position. "Oh no! I was supposed to help Rarity today! Sorry girls, I gotta go!" The little filly sped off faster than I thought possible towards the town.

Applebloom looked up at us next and nodded. "Well Ah gotta help mah sister in tha fields. Y'all wanna join us fer lunch?"

I shrugged. "If your sister says it's okay, I'm always in the mood for some good Apple family cooking. When you see her, tell her I'm more than happy to help out with anything she needs, okay?" AJ's little sister nodded before trotting off towards the barn, soon disappearing from over the hill. I then looked back at Scootaloo and raised an eyebrow without amusement. "So…how do you know about what me and Dash were doing?"

She shrugged, blushing. "I…I don't really know. It's like I have these memories that aren't mine…but they feel…normal somehow. And I know it's me in them, for some reason. I look different though, and so do you. And we were…well, I'm pretty sure you can guess."

"Wait…you have sex dreams? About me? Well...this is awkward. How old are you, Scoots?" I asked, panicking just a little.

She giggled and shook her head. "About the age when that starts happening for fillies – nine."

I sighed and closed my eyes, shaking my head. "You're far too mature for your age, Scoots." I then opened my eyes and looked seriously at the young filly. "I'm with Rainbow Dash though. I can't and won't be doing any of that to you, Scootaloo."

She sighed as well and looked down, a little saddened. "Yeah…I know. You wouldn't get upset if I was with somepony else, would you?"

I shook my head with a smile and ran my fingers along her mane again. "Of course not, Scoots. You deserve to be happy, no matter who that's with. Besides, just because I won't be with you that way doesn't mean we can't still be close. You're still one of the most important girls in my life, and always will be."

She showed a bright smile and nodded. "I know…and you're my best friend in the whole world." She launched herself at me and hugged me tight, and this time I returned it. "No offense to Sweetie Belle and Applebloom, but I've obviously known you a lot longer than them." She sighed as I held her and nuzzled her head into my chest. "Do you still go out at night or do you sleep now?"

I shrugged as I held her against my chest, feeling her heart beat against it. "Depends. Normally, I stay up all night just fine. I'll need at least a day per week to sleep though. Otherwise, I'm good. Why do you ask?"

She released me and hopped off of me. "Well I still have trouble sleeping without you. I used to visit in the Whitetail Wood. Do you still live there?"

I shook my head. "Nope. I'll be staying in Ponyville now. Today, I'm actually going to be building my own cloud house near Rainbow Dash's."

She smiled up at me and bounced a bit in excitement. "Really? That's so cool! Now I can see you whenever I want!"

I stared at her for a moment. "Well that depends…how well can you fly?"

"I…" she suddenly looked very ashamed, "I can't. I can't fly yet." She then stomped her hoof in anger. "It's not fair! The other fillies can at least float a little, but my wings just won't cooperate with me…no pony wants to train a pegasus that doesn't even have her cutie mark anyway…"

I then stood up and looked down on the filly. "Show me how you try to fly, Scootaloo."

"But I told you, I can't-" she tried to say.

I interrupted her with a hand held up. "I know you can't fly right now. I said show me how you try."

She shrugged her shoulders and sighed. "Okay then."

As I watched, she immediately did a few things wrong. First of all, her wings weren't fully extended for the power flap, and the feathers were not extended either.

"Stop stop stop…" I said after watching for a minute.

She sighed and rolled her eyes. "I told you I can't fly."

I rolled my eyes right back and knelt beside her. "You're doing it wrong, that's why." I reached out and gently held her wing in my hand causing her to gasp.

"W-what are you doing?" she asked, her eyes wide and her cheeks flushing pink.

I chuckled and shook my head. "I'm not trying to 'get you off' or anything, Scoots. I'm just showing you what you need to do. I'll be as gentle as I can. Now…first I want you to spread your wing as wide as you comfortably can." She complied and the wing spread out in my hand. "Okay good, now what you're feeling right now is about to change, and I'm pretty sure you'll be able to feel it." I then looked at her nervously. "I apologize if this seems a little intimate, but that's not what I'm trying to do at all, so please don't take it that way." She nodded softly, so I proceeded to gently straighten out all the thick flight feathers. She sighed a few times as I did so and even twitched once, but kept her cool otherwise. I released the wing and smiled. "Now…do you feel the difference?"

She nodded. "Yeah…it feels a lot better this way."

I nodded back at her. "All of your feathers are straightened out. In order to get the most lift, you need to make sure all your feathers are like that before flying. Now, I'm going to show you how I fly. I want you to watch the way my wings move. Watch close and commit it to memory. I might not have feathers, but I have to move my wings the same way to fly. In fact, because you have feathers, you will actually have an easier time learning to fly than I did. Feathers give more lift than bare skin." She nodded and watched me, so I took off, hovering a few feet off the ground. I angled my wings to turn around in circles so she could see it at all angles before landing. "Okay, now what were they doing?"

She scrunched up her face in thought and seemed to look up at the sky. "Well, whenever your wings went up, they folded a little."

I nodded and grinned. "Good observation, Scootaloo. That's to reduce air resistance and thus reduce the amount of energy you need to spend on getting your wings back up to a ready position. Also since you're trying to stay in the air, you obviously want the brunt of your energy flapping down, not up. What else?"

"Well," she started, thinking hard again, "whenever you brought your wings down, they were spread out all the way."

I nodded. "That's called the power stroke. That movement is what gives you lift and lets you fly higher. The more power you put into it, the faster the flap and the more lift you get." I then leaned down and patted her on the back of her neck. "That's pretty much it, actually. The rest we can learn later. For now, I want to see if you can hover in place a foot or so off the ground. Start with just a little tiny bit of strength and slowly work up until you get to the point where it picks you up off the ground. When you get about a foot of air, lower the power so that you stay in place."

She sighed. "But what if I can't-"

I cut her off with a growl. "You can Scootaloo. I know you can. You have the right technique now and you're the right age to start flying. You can."

My aggressive attitude must have changed something in her, because her eyes immediately took a look of fierce determination…and I was already proud. She started flapping her wings very slowly at first, getting a feel for the technique, but after a minute or so she eased into it, and began to flap faster. I could feel the slight wind coming from her and before I knew it, she was lifting into the air. Her eyes were shut tight, however, and she didn't seem to notice.

I then smiled and leaned down to her eye level. "Don't look now Scoots, but you're flying."

Her eyes shot open and she looked down, noticing that her hooves were no longer touching the ground. Her eyes glistened with tears and she smiled wider than I ever thought possible. She then wobbled a bit and fell to the ground with a thud.

I instantly picked her up and brushed the dirt off her face. "Ouch…are you okay Scoots?"

When I looked at her face, she was giggling madly and smiling. "Of course I'm okay! I'm great!" She embraced me tightly and laughed. "Ha, I did it! Thank you so much, Zizzy! Oh, I mean Storm Rider."

I stroked her mane softly and smiled. "When we're alone, you can call me Koa. That was my name back on Earth and that's what Dash and the princesses call me."

"Rider!" shouted a voice from behind me. I turned to see Applebloom at the top of the hill. "Mah sis says she could use yer help gatherin' up the rest 'a tha branches b'fore lunch."

I turned to her, still holding Scootaloo in my arms. "Right. We'll be right there, Applebloom." The farm filly stared at us for a moment before shrugging and walking way. I looked down at the orange pegasus filly and smiled. "Feel like some lunch?"

The rest of the day passed very quickly and before I knew it, the basic shape of my cloud house was done. I wasn't sure exactly how to make the hard cloud surfaces like Dashie's house had (countertops and the like), so I figured I'd ask her later. Still, it was something to behold for me, as it was my first home here in Ponyville…and I'd built it myself no less. There wasn't a bed or any of the hard clouds in it (I'd ask Dash how to make those), but the basic shape and setup was complete. It was about three times the size of Dashie's house, and while I wasn't sure how to make the shower - or plumbing for that matter - all the rooms were built. I'd figure out the specifics later and tweak it when I'd learned how to make those hard cloud fibers, but for now it was awesome. Let's just say that being able to directly manipulate the clouds really helped.
It was still without a bed though, so I would be staying with Dash for at least another day.

The day with Scoots had been good, and while it had been a bit awkward at first we had grown very close very quickly. I chalk it up to residual memories, but as with Dash there was just something more that seemed to be between us...something that transcended mere memories.

I'd ask Luna about it tonight perhaps.