• Published 30th Mar 2013
  • 2,286 Views, 95 Comments

Never Alone - Jagged Fox

Sometimes even a Princess needs to be seen for who she is.

  • ...

Chapter One: Nightmare Night

Luna practically sprinted down the marble halls of Canterlot Castle as she ran toward the loading bay. The servants watched, somewhat confused as to why a normally more refined princess would bound around like some young filly. They would then turn away, absorbed back into their work for the day. The ponies that worked in the ancient halls of Canterlot had no reason to pay more than a little heed to someone who they didn't, and had no likelihood of ever understanding.

As she sped down the dark corridors, lit only by the last twinklings of the setting sun, she prepared her magic to call upon the night itself, to rend the moon from its celestial resting place. The light of the day faded into the eternal darkness that she had grown to love, as only a mother can love her foal. There was something about raising it that made Luna feel content, even in the worst of times. The time in which she had spent entombed on its surface only strengthened that bond.

The moon sceamed as it was torn from its only real home, sent with shivers into a world it never wished to visit. But Luna persisted, understanding the feeling, the same feeling she had felt as she was torn from her own mother's womb to be thrown into a dark world that only wished to cause her pain. She was still trepidatious about whether or not this world would ever forgive her. But she knew that she had to at least give it a try.

I will do this, for both them and myself. I won't be brought to my knees again!

She stared longingly up at her moon. How simple it was, for the moon. The very existence of the bright orb, now obstructed by the location of her neighbor, partially between her and the sun, and ever so alone. And yet, the massive entity had little to worry about. It wasn't involved with the ponies on the surface of its sister. It was alone, simple and bittersweet.

The Princess of the Night abandoned her musings as she approached the docking bay on the side of the cliff. This design had been truly hers, and hers alone. As far as she was concerned, the air was to a Pegasus (or Alicorn) as the sea was to anypony else. That inspired the concept of placing chariots in the air itself, and she had grown to love it.

"Hail Luna!" one of her Night Guards said in a somewhat scripted manner.

"Hello, Brutus. Is everything prepared for the journey?" Luna asked, following the standard protocol.

"Yes, your highness. Everything is set, and both Blackwing and Noctus are dressed, fitted, and ready upon your command."

"Noctus? I haven't seen him around in a while. Has your brother been busy of late?"

"You hadn't heard? His first foal was born a few weeks ago. A bright young filly! Now I'm an uncle, and I couldn't be happier."

Great going, Luna! Not even bothering to pay attention to your own guards?! This is really unacceptable.

Luna looked evenly at Brutus, and simply said a quiet but firm "Congratulations", and left it at that. She trotted over to the Night Chariot that she had constructed for her back in the last era, before the whole Nightmare Moon scandal...

After donning her cloak, the blue alicorn mounted the chariot, and waited for the pair of winged stallions to take their positions. Moments later, the great steel doors that held the bay shut to the world outside opened, revealing the princess's beautiful night for all the slender and brilliance that it really was. She sighed in contentment as her eyes scanned the cold, yet gorgeous sight which she had just created only a few minutes earlier.

The chariot took off, flying with nearly impossible speeds. Luna let the her hair blow around in the night, feeling the wind blow through its presently ethereal form. It still felt marvelous despite being in a state of unreality, and she was enjoying every minute of it.

Rainbow Dash had always loved pranks. The kind of brash but amusing humor it gave her had always had its own niche in the darker side of her heart. It was the only reason the cyan mare even bothered to actually befriend Pinkie Pie, and had been what originally got the friendship between her and Gilda started back at flight school.

Tonight, the rainbow-maned pegasus decided to play dress up. It was really the only time that she bothered doing so, except when Rarity made her. She still remembered Nightmare Moon's little trick on her with the Shadowbolts, and decided that it would be the most fitting costume on a night celebrating the old hag.

It was also a great night for pranks.

"Hey Raindrops, you decided to go all Viking on us tonight? I'd never have guessed."

Rainbow snickered from the little black raincloud she had made that morning. Thunderlane had always been somewhat of an ass, and now was the best time to make him bray like one!


"I SURRENDER!" the dark coated pegasus shouted, before shooting off into the air, silver mane almost ripped from his skull at the velocity.

Rainbow nearly died laughing, and had to rush off with the cloud while Raindrops screamed a very distinct "Rainbow!!" along with a few other words that would make even the most raunchy sailor sweat. Rainbow left her in the dust, despite pushing a cloud that was laden with moisture and static charge.

That was...AWESOME!! Let's see who else we can startle...

The somewhat brash pegasus wandered around the village, surprising every pony who had not yet been exposed with a sizable charge of electric energy, the bluish bolts barely missing them. It was inevitable that she would eventually come across Twilight, with Spike in tow, of course! There was a very pink mare dressed in a chicken suit eating candy at the rate of a garbage disposal, and they were watching with great interest.

One guess who that is. My turn to startle Pinkie!

Rainbow hit the cloud with her perfected technique, aiming the bolt just shy of Pinkie's flank. The way that the cotton-candy mare jumped in surprise was priceless. Also, the distinct "bakah!" that followed was making Rainbow's sides hurt with unbridled mirth.

"Rainbow Dash! That wasn't very nice!"

"Oh, lighten up, old timer! This is the best night of the year for pranks!"

"But look what you did to Spike!!"

Yeah, yeah, yeah, so he's broken. Who cares?

"Aww, its all in good fun!"

Rainbow Dash paused for a moment to take in Twilight's appearance. The look seemed to ring some bell in the back of the sky blue mare, but she couldn't quite place it. After a few moments, Twilight noticed the was that her friend was staring at her.

"Um, Rainbow Dash?"


"Why are you staring at me?"

"I was? Oh, yeah, I was. Uh...the costume is kinda...familiar. What's it supposed to be, egghead?"

"Starswirl the Bearded, of course!"

Rainbow stared at her for a moment, as the recollection suddenly came back to her. That's why it looked so familiar. The costume was based on an old illustration in one of Twilight's dusty old books, and Rainbow had come across it when looking for something to read back when she was really bored.

Don't you ever do that again, Rainbow! Gah, you were turning yourself into an egghead way too fast that way!

The cyan pegasus realized that she had been yet again staring at Twilight, without even paying attention. After a moment of complete and utter awkwardness, Rainbow's voice piped up.

"I guess it makes sense. You're the element of magic, so of course you'd pick the most powerful unicorn on the record to imitate. Well, at least you got the bells right."

Twilight stared in shock at the element of loyalty. Her mouth worked open and closed, but no sounds came out. Rainbow had a very difficult time suppressing the urge to bust out laughing at the sight of the lavender unicorn. Twilight shook her head, and looked her companion square in the eye.

"How did you come across that information?"

Oh, I don't know Twilight! Maybe it was just the fact that you have like eight books on him sitting around your library, and I was wondering what unicorn magic was. That and I was bored, of course.

"I'll never tell! Muahahaha!!"

The purple librarian looked up at Rainbow with a look of annoyance.

"Fine, be that way. I really don't care."

With that, Celestia's prize student turned around, and stormed off, leaving the still inebriated dragon behind. The "Shadowbolt" grew bored with watching the little...green thing sit around, so she decided it was time to find some more people to prank.

This only lasted so long, however, before she began to grow tired of performing the same prank repetitively, and most the people saw it coming by that point, anyway. Rainbow decided it was about time to hang with the crowd, so she dispersed her little cloud, and descended into the masses. Everypony was having a blast, so she supposed that she would since she was there anyway.

The Mayor was kinda pathetic when it came to telling jokes, but no one ever bothered to tell her this. Not like it really mattered, did it? A few ponies bothered to cheer, and this seemed to delight the eccentric baby-kisser. However, her wig was pretty awesome.

Dude, that wig is sweet! So many colors...

"Thank you, everypony, and welcome to the Nightmare Night Festival!"

At the Mayor's statement, the crowd seemed to chipper up, and cry out in glee. Rainbow rolled her eyes, but couldn't help but join in. After all, this was her type of holiday, wasn't it?

"Now all the little ponies who've been out collecting treats should gather together to follow our friend Zecora to hear the legend of...NIGHTMARE MOON!!!! MuhhohohohAhoha!!"

Right on queue, Zecora appeared on the sidelines in a puff of green smoke. The whimsical zebra strode confidently out onto the stage, her mane matted down with cobwebs and an eerie air to her as she moved within the gray cape that shrouded her form. She certainly fit the "creepy" part a lot better than Mayor Mare ever could dream of, but the strange zebra did have a knack for that line of work.

"Follow me, and very soon, you'll hear the tale of Nightmare Moon!"

The crowd of young fillies and colts, as well as a few adults, followed the rhyming zebra away from the stage. Rainbow wasn't surprised to see Pinkie Pie follow, but Twilight? Nah, that's predictable too, in its own way. There was a moment of indecision when the assertive mare had to decide between following a friend or being awesome. She decided that it would be better not to, especially considering that she'd heard the tale about a million times anyway. As the pointless monologue that Mayor Mare wrote droned on, Rainbow Dash began to regret her decision.

This is sssooooo un-Rainbow!

That's when things actually got interesting. There was a crowd of foals running through the midst of the adults, seemingly unfazed by their parents attempts to stop them and ask what the issue was. This caused a sense of unease among even the adults, since children don't tend to remain panicked around their parents without cause. They had reason to fear.

The wind started to pick, and there was an ominous feel to the air around them. The empty skies suddenly filled with clouds, and Rainbow knew only one type of power could do that. Her suspicions were confirmed when a dark, metallic chariot that was led by a pair of "vamponies" hovered over Ponyville, and a heavily cloaked figure descended from the sky. As the figure landed, it threw back its cowl, revealing...Luna? Lightning struck behind the alicorn's head, and her eyes were lit with the burning white light for a split second.

Talk about awesome!, Rainbow thought. She knew well enough that the princess was just putting on a, well, really cool show. This, this has just made my day...er, night!

Everypony else didn't seem to be nearly so understanding. Rainbow Dash mentally facehooved at the realization that these ponies were actually scared!

Why would they be scared of her? It's just the Princess of the Night celebrating her own holiday! Sheesh, lighten up, peoples!!

The Princess of the Night strode forward confidently as everypony cowered, and the cloak around her dispersed as she walked towards the nearest ponies. They only proceeded to cower further.

"Citizens of Ponyville!" Luna spoke to them, in a voice that was far too loud to fail to intimidate an already frightened village. "We have graced your tiny village with our presence, so that you might behold the real Princess of the Night!"

It's weird enough to listen to Zecora rhyming in third person. We really don't need to add another eccentric pony who speaks in the plural while using the Royal Canterlot Voice!

"A creature of nightmares no longer, but instead, a pony who desire your love and admiration! Together we shall change this dreadful celebration into a bright and glorious feast!"

Okay, she's definitely overdoing it. While she's pulling off the whole "awesome" thing, that was just a little too much...

Rainbow Dash realized that the town must be agreeing with her on that matter, since there was the distinct smell of urine and feces being dropped nearby. She had a hard time resisting the urge to laugh at the mere stupidity of the situation. Of course, the princess seemed oblivious to the world around her. Rainbow figured that this mare had the whole speech rehearsed, by the sound of it.

"Did you hear that, everypony?! Nightmare Moon said she's going to feast on us all!!"

Of course Pinkie Pie decided to make things worse. It did seem to be her calling card. All the ponies around started screaming, and the foals took the crazy pony way too seriously. This, naturally, led to mass panic and hysteria. Pinky and the little foals ran off like hunted little goslings. Meanwhile, the adults looked to scared to move. Luna stared around her in surprise at the way they reacted.

"Wat?! No children, no! You no longer have reason to fear us. Screams of delight is what your princess desires! Not screams of terror!!"

She smacked a hoof very firmly to the ground, which caused the cobbles to shudder and crack under the force. The only reaction to that last bit was an audible whimper from the general masses. Luna wheeled on the afro-wigged pony, and decided that she was the mayor.

"Madam Mayor, thy princess of the night hath arrived!"

The Mayor proceeded to shy away from her, very clearly traumatized at just the sight of the mighty Alicorn, daughter of darkness itself. Luna looked somewhat hurt when the mayor ignored her. She turned around, trying to look for just one pony who wasn't frightened of her. They all shied away, and this only perturbed her further.

"What is the matter with you?"

Um...you're scaring the shit out of these ponies for pretty much no reason...

Rainbow Dash looked at the princess, who had already turned away at their rejection. The princess was looking away as if they were just being pieces of trash and that she was the superior entity. It looked somewhat convincing, but the cyan pegasus knew better. It was the same facade that she pulled when she felt hurt and alone.

"Very well then. Be that way! We won't even bother with the traditional Royal Farewell!"

The crowd watched as the princess left their vicinity, and seemed relieved to be left alive. Rainbow just rolled her eyes. She figured they were just a bunch of idiots, so who cares?

"I think I should go talk to her!"

The fact that it was Twilight coming up with idea to do so didn't particularly surprise Rainbow Dash. That adorkable librarian had a tendency to not fall for the general stupidity that everypony else seemed to end up falling into, so of course she was the one to keep a level head.

"No Twilight, you can't talk to her. She's Nightmare Moon!"

Spike had taken a hold of Twilight's cape, and was looking into her eyes with that sense of desperation. He was genuinely scared spit-less for the sake of his companion. Rather touching, if you could ignore the irrelevance of the situation.

"No, she's not! I remember watching the elements turn her back to good at the Summer Sun Celebration. It just seems that she's had some trouble adjusting to the new world."

The lavender unicorn was about to walk off, but Spike held firmly to the edge of her cape. They stared into each others eyes, having a wordless dialogue with just the looks on their faces. Rainbow sometimes wished that she had somepony that close to her...Oh well, there was no time for that right then.

"Don't worry, you guys! I've got this in the bag. I am, after all, like the most awesome pony in Equestria, right? Just let me take care of this."

The brash pegasus didn't wait for a reply before dashing off into the woods. She didn't know for sure were the alicorn had gone, but she took a gander to guess that it would be at the statue of Nightmare Moon. It was Nightmare Night, after all. After flying through the trees for a little while, she indeed saw the still form of the princess sitting on the ground in front of the stony statue.

Rainbow Dash landed softly behind the blue alicorn, the leaves and grass failing to stir under her feet. She took a look at her surroundings, and realized that they were well into the Everfree Forest. This wasn't particularly threatening, especially with a full-fledged alicorn sitting in front of her, but Rainbow still decided to remain cautious. The time spent around Twilight's library had given her a chance to find out what lurked around the forest, and it had somewhat bashed her sense of security while in the woods.

I don't read that much...

She knew that it was a lie, but it didn't matter. As long as the light blue mare didn't admit to herself that she had become as much an egghead as Twilight, she was fine. There had been many nights in which she had slithered into the library incognito, and "borrowed" a textbook. It was, in a way, her dark little secret.

"Hey, Princess, are you okay?"

Luna seemed to start in surprise when she heard the pegasus speak. Apparently she wasn't all powerful, or she'd have heard Rainbow land. The Moon Goddess stood up, and turned around to face Rainbow Dash with a straight face.

"Ah, Rainbow Dash. We remember you. Thou wast at the castle in the Everfree forest, one of the people who freed us from...her. For that, we thank thee."

The cyan pegasus paused for a moment, her mind reeling as it took in the full effect of the mare in front of her. The princess had changed considerably since the last time that they'd met. Her hair had adopted a similar ethereal form to what her sister had, and she'd grown in leaps and bounds during the few months since they'd last seen each other. In fact, she was kinda...attractive. Rainbow Dash shook that from her head as soon as the thought sprung up.

Keep your eye on the finishline, Dash. Eyes on the prize!

"You know, last time we met, you looked, well, different."

"Ah, we understand what thou'st means. We have resumed our Alicorn duties, and have taken on the form that comes with it. Whether thou'st believe it or not, we appeared like this before the...incident."

Rainbow was somewhat taken aback. She had suspected that this princess had merely gained the looks from the powers now bestowed upon her, not that she had already had it. This was a turn of events that even someone like RD couldn't see coming.

"Well, Princess, what're you doing here? I don't mean to sound harsh, but no one saw this coming."

"We have decided to greet the city that we first visited after being release from bondage. Tonight is probably the best night for this, since it's in our name."

"So wait, you weren't trying to just scare them?"

"Of course not! We just want to cleanse our reputation. We want people to follow us from love and devotion, not fear and terror!"

"Then why did you come unannounced like that? No one was expecting you to come, so they just...balked, you know?"

The Alicorn gazed at Rainbow with a curious expression on her face. The latter began to feel just a tad bit uncomfortable after a moment, but the princess replied.

"So thou art saying that we scared them from our appearance?"

"Well, yeah. They didn't all come see you get freed, so they barely remember that it even happened. Also, you came in a formal appearance unannounced. That usual intimidates people, since they aren't expecting it and don't understand why it wasn't announced."

"Do you know a way in which we can avoid startling them without making this official?"

"Well duh! Do you talk like this around your sister? I mean the whole "thees" and "thous" and the Royal We in the Royal Canterlot Voice."

"Well, no. We use common laymans terms. And how dost thou know about Royal protocol? Art thou a scholar?"

"If you didn't expect anypony to know proper etiquette and protocol, then why do you expect them to? Especially when you come unannounced and unofficially! They aren't going to understand what' going on. Why don't you try dropping the formal speech, and save it for when you are addressing large crowds officially? That's what your sister has done, and she gets by just fine."

"So you want me to speak like this?"


Rainbow Dash was relieved to get part one out of the way. There was no telling why Luna figured that it would somehow workout between her and the ponies if they couldn't even relate. That's when she got an idea. A rather brilliant idea, to say so herself.

"Hey, Luna?"


"Um, your looking for a way to make everypony like you, right?"

"Well, yes, that was my goal..."

"Just follow me, okay?"

Tonight's about to get twenty percent cooler...

Author's Note:

Yes, I had to throw that in there. Okay, so here's the first chapter to the story, if anyone spots a needed correction, a comment below would be nice. Also, for those of you that play the game and are actually reading this, I lost!