• Published 9th Apr 2013
  • 4,254 Views, 78 Comments

Reliving Memories - Brilorodion

After Twilight has not only lost memories but also starts acting strange, ancient forces begin their devastating power games.

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4: Memories

”...it wasn't fair, she wasn't thinking rationally...”

“...you mustn't blame yourself. It's not your fault!”

“...not even Celestia could have healed him...”

“...everything you could. You assured them of royal support and even saved the filly from nightmares with that spell...”

“...seeing how much you care shows how much you've changed. They will all see that one day...”

“...don't be silly, Luna. I can take a pillow over there... Well, if you say so...”

Twilight opened her eyes wide. In her dream, she had went through the previous night's conversation up to the moment when she and Luna had agreed that they needed some sleep. Did I really stay in Luna's room? Still drowsy, she looked around and realized that she was indeed lying on Luna's bed with a front leg and a wing wrapped around her friend. Luna in turn clung to them tightly. Oh dear, I'll be in trouble.

Twilight blushed, her behavior was certainly completely inappropriate, and she didn’t know what Luna would say once she would wake up. Carefully, she tried to free herself from the embrace without waking up her friend, but her attempt wasn’t crowned with success.

Waking up Luna wasn’t an option; she would need every bit of sleep after that night. Trapped this way, she lowered her head on the pillow again and let her mind wander. Through the window she could see the position of the sun; it had to be around noon, which meant that there was more than enough time before she had to get back to her duties. It seemed odd to her that the heavy curtains weren’t closed since Luna usually slept during the day. They both had to have fallen asleep mid-conversation.

Still, Twilight wasn’t uncomfortable with the situation. She enjoyed talking to Luna; both shared many interests and they got along very well. Even if a small part of her worried about Luna's reaction should she wake up right now, Twilight was neither tense nor nervous. On the contrary, she found that being this close to her friend made her feel secure, relaxed and calm; there was no place where she would rather be at this moment.

Twilight was not sure at first what all of this meant. She had always felt connected to Luna and they had become friends quickly, but was this still friendship or was there – at least from her side – more to it?

She wasn’t sure how much time has passed while she had absently stared into the blue ethereal mane in front of her before Luna began to stir. However, she didn’t get up, but only dozily snuggled even closer to Twilight.

“Luna...” Twilight said softly.

That seemed to wake her friend. “Twilight? What... I... oh!” Luna stammered in surprise, quickly blushing. She withdrew from the embrace in an instant.

“It’s my fault!” Twilight said, blushing slightly and trying to untangle her limbs from Luna’s. “I didn’t want to wake you and then…”

“Twilight, I did not know…”

“You were still sleeping, so I…”

“Please, forgive me.”

“I’m sorry, Luna!”

She finally got off the bed and slowly turned around to face Luna who was standing at the opposite site of the bed. Apparently, the blue alicorn didn’t really know what to say, either which resulted in them staring at each other for a few moments before breaking out laughing. Both threw themselves down on the bed again laughing until they finally stopped when the memories of the past night returned again.

“Twilight… I do not know how to ask this from you,” Luna said, “and it is doubtlessly too much to ask, but… would you stay with me for some time?”

“Of course I will, Luna,” Twilight said. “This is what friends are for. Hm, but I’m not sure about my court…”

“‘Tis not a problem. I do not think my sister would object to suspending court sessions for a few days.”

Twilight beamed at Luna. “What do you want to do today?”

During the following days, Twilight and Luna spent most of their time in the latter’s rooms. They talked for hours, read books Twilight had never even heard of, and tried to work through the recent events. Though most of the time they simply enjoyed spending time together, regardless of what the other mare was doing.

Now, it was late in the evening and they were sitting on a huge pillow each in front of the fireplace. Twilight was lost in a book while Luna was deep in thought, unable to focus her attention on a book she had already read as long as Twilight was around.

After a while, Twilight closed the book she had been reading. “What is it like?”

“What could you possibly mean?” Luna asked, looking at Twilight.

“Being an alicorn. There never really was a chance to ask after Celestia changed me. I can practice flying and I can practice my magic, but…” Twilight said and sighed.

Luna nodded and took a deep breath. She didn’t answer, but turned her head and gazed out the window. A few minutes passed, and just when Twilight was about talk, Luna stood up and went over to it.

“What do you see?” Luna asked, pointing at the night sky.

Twilight put away the book and walked over to her friend. “There is no moon tonight, but that is just due to the usual lunar cycle you create. New moon causes a spring tide, which means–”

Luna smiled. “You will probably never hear me say this again, but ignore the moon for a moment. What else do you see?”

“Well, the stars, of course.”

Luna nodded and asked, “What do you know about them, aside from the things you learned as a filly?”

“I’m not sure what you’re referring to,” Twilight said, mildly confused. “They move across the night sky similar to the moon. Sailors used them to navigate centuries ago... today most crews have at least one unicorn to help with that. Stars have been the inspiration for all kinds of literature and poetry. Some constellations represent certain objects or creatures and–”

Luna shook her head. “I am not referring to anything like that. Do you know anything not everypony knows or pays attention to?

“Hm...” Twilight mumbled, rubbing a temple. “I once read that although it isn’t noticeable for a pony with a normal life span, some stars apparently seem to fade until they aren’t visible anymore. Is that what you mean?”

Luna opened her mouth to answer, but shut it again for a moment. “Never underestimate Twilight Sparkle’s intellect,” Luna said smiling, giving Twilight a wink. “You are right, that is exactly what I mean, but there is more to it. The night sky has always been something I have been holding near and dear, but my talent is not the only reason. ‘What is it like to be an alicorn?’ You are not the first pony to ask this question, Twilight. I have been trying to answer it for as long as I can remember. The stars are my answer.”

“I don’t understand. What do you mean by that?”

“The first and certainly most notable feature everypony thinks of regarding this question is us being forced to outlive others,” Luna said. “‘Tis true, ponies perish… as do my stars.”

Twilight remained silent for a moment, and her ears slowly dropped. “But that would be a very sad answer. Lives around you fading like the stars…”

Luna shook her head. “But ‘tis not sad, Twilight. There is not necessarily more or less sadness than in any other pony’s life. Do you not ask yourself why there are still stars if I have been answering the question for millennia?”

“Oh, but then... why are there still any stars?”

“Because there is also as much joy as in any other pony’s life,” Luna said. “If a star resembles a pony’s life, then new stars are new ponies you meet and hold dear. In time, everything you live through will happen on a greater time scale, just like a mare perceives time different from a foal. In no way does that mean you cannot experience joy… or love.”

Twilight’s ears rose up again and she looked at the stars with wide eyes. “That is… beautiful. But… they all said... they claim that a life like this must be a bitter fate,” she said, shaking her head. “They’re all wrong!” The implications of Luna’s answer made her gulp. “I will never look at the sky in the same light again. Thank you, Luna.”

They returned from the window and sat down next to each other on a bunch of pillows near the fireplace. Staring into the fire, they silently let the time pass, lost in thoughts and enjoying the togetherness.

Twilight smiled. Luna. What an admirable mare she is.

Thoughts of admiration were nothing special considering it was Luna she was thinking of – Princess Luna, ruler over Equestria, the pony who raises the moon. Twilight’s thoughts were beyond admiration, though. Lately, she had had these thoughts frequently, but she had always suppressed them: friendship, familiarity, fondness… affection. Now, however, there was nothing that could distract her – on the contrary, the situation encouraged these thoughts. As they were sitting next to each other on one pillow near the fireplace, Twilight was unable to suppress the enjoyment she was receiving from the situation. She liked everything about it: the crackling wood in the fire, the slight touch of Luna’s svelte and warm body, the scent of her gorgeous blue mane. Her mind was racing while the sensations were close to overwhelming her. A single thought that she had previously tried to ignore manifested as the time passed. Realizing how much she liked everything about this moment, it dawned on her: she had fallen in love with Luna.

Twilight felt like the whole world came crushing down on her. For what seemed like hours, she could not find a clear thought; her brain had apparently shut down. Everything she could still think of was that she had never felt anything like this before, but it was a wonderful feeling. What would happen now? While studying friendship, she had read many books about love, but of course none said anything about starting a relationship with a princess. No historian had written something about an alicorn being in a relationship, ever. She did not even know if Luna reciprocated her feelings.

However, the more Twilight thought about it, the more some things seemed to make sense. Not only had she tried to meet Luna as often as possible, her friend had also done her best not to miss an opportunity to spend time together. The last days had been perfect from Twilight’s perspective, and Luna had also seemed to enjoy her company. Could she feel the same way?

Twilight had an idea, but there was no possible way to determine the outcome – not even the chances – of her plan before she set it into action. It could be the best thing she would ever do… or the biggest mistake which could destroy their friendship. Oh, what do I do? I can’t stand losing her as a friend, but… what if...

Just when Twilight got stuck in her inner conflict, Luna slightly leaned against her. The sensation immediately halted all progress in Twilight’s mind, and the only reaction she could manage was leaning against Luna, too. After some more minutes had passed, she realized that this was exactly the push she had needed to take the first step. Although she was concerned about Luna's reaction, she was sure that she absolutely had to obtain an answer.

Twilight was just about to say something, when Luna took a deep breath and started to sing; something Twilight had never heard her do before.

“I will lead thee to foreign lands
With endless myths and tales:
From Zebrica with desert sands
To crystals in the northern dales,
From castle with the sisters two,
Eternal is their reign,
To far out shores and oceans blue
Where winds caress thy mane.

Be careful yet, when thou mov’st on,
The sacred path unwinds,
Where ruins’ glory, long past gone,
Thee of millennia reminds
And of all perishable might –
Where on decaying bone
Of kings the graveworm crawls around,
And under one ord’nary stone
A buried world can soon be found
Not soiled, adorned! with darkest night.

Tremendous champions rise up high
With strength never disputed;
And even foes thou willst come by,
Their minds with scorn polluted;
And tones of power, wild, unbound,
The din of battle’s poetry,
The raging storm’s, the ocean’s sound:
Origin of all melody.

The silent muse of this song’s lines,
No glorified nor yearning mare;
Not pageantry, not pomp defines
Her life, for heart and soul too fair;
She cries and cheers with all her heart,
Is joyful amongst merry
And too abundant with true pain
To let contrived words carry.

What sparkling thrilled this little me
Of tunes of woe and joice,
Impressed I recited for thee
To give familiar voice –
And thee, who at all beauty’s shrine,
Art highest priestess far and wide,
I dedicate with this tune mine
My works loyal to thee with pride.”

Before Luna could say anything, Twilight gently pecked Luna’s cheek. Her ears lowered in uncertainty and she blushed as she gazed deeply into Luna’s teal blue eyes. Only a moment later, although it felt much longer to Twilight, there was a small smile on Luna’s face before she closed her eyes and leaned in to tenderly plant a kiss on Twilight’s lips.

Twilight's heart skipped a beat the moment their lips met. Luna’s warm muzzle pressed gently against hers was more wonderful than she could have ever imagined. As she closed her eyes, the whole world faded to black and there were only two mares, united in their first kiss. When Luna put her forelegs around Twilight’s neck and pulled her slightly closer, their horns met and a small spark of magic arced back and forth, causing both ponies to shiver in excitement.

When they parted, Twilight’s tried to not get lost in Luna’s eyes. She barely got her breath back when she realized that all her dreams had just come true.

She leaned her head against Luna’s neck as they both gazed into the fire once more, each wrapping a wing around the other mare.

“Luna? The lay… I’ve never heard of it before,” Twilight quietly said. “It sounded like Starswirl, but I thought I knew all his works.”

“‘Twas a gift from him a long, long time ago,” Luna replied. “He was the pony who made me look at time in a different way.”

“Oh, so you were thinking of him when you sang!” Twilight protested jokingly.

“But I was not! I wanted to…” Luna said before it dawned her. “Oh. Now you got me.”

They both shared a giggle. A few moments later, Twilight stopped leaning against Luna’s neck to look her in the eyes. “I want to be with you, Luna.”

“And I with you, Twilight Sparkle.”

Time went on, and just before they fell asleep on the bed together, Twilight whispered in Luna’s ear.



“You have to teach me how to sing as good as you one day.”

As the weeks went by, the affection Luna and Twilight held for each other grew stronger. Twilight had never been happier. They spent as much time together as possible. The commander of the palace guard had insisted on cancelling the Lunar Court for some time for safety reasons, even though the Sun Court and the Twilit Court had been reopened. Since Twilight, now more than ever, felt torn between Canterlot and Ponyville, Luna had summarily decided to join the routine of her marefriend and commute with Twilight.

Spending time in Ponyville did Luna well. In contrast to her life in Canterlot, she constantly had to face other ponies who were not directly under her command or belonged to the castle's staff. As a result of the attack, there still were two guards who accompanied Luna and Twilight wherever they went, but she still had the opportunity to make new friends.

In particular, Twilight's closest friends immediately took Luna into their hearts. Although the inhabitants of Ponyville had always been a bit reserved at first, by now there were no more masses of bowing ponies. They had grown accustomed to her; where Twilight Sparkle appeared, Luna was not far away.

However, the addition of new friends was not the only thing important to Luna; she loved Twilight and the love she received in return gave her security and stability in her life. She was grateful for every moment in which she could be with her marefriend who was so very patient with her. Luna was not suppressing her fears and worries anymore, and with Twilight at her side, she felt able to cope with those problems. For the first time in millennia her life was back together again; for the first time she felt like she had found somewhere she belonged.

However, there was but one drop of bitterness that dampened the mood of the couple. Since the incident at the palace, Celestia had hardly spoken a word to them, and she had withdrawn from everyday life. Of course, she still led the Sun Court as always with her friendly but neutral smile, but as soon as the session was over and she turned to leave, that mask slipped from her face. Although she tried to hide her worries, Twilight and Luna did notice this change. They tried their best to help, but they could not bring Celestia to talk about it.

The younger princesses were greatly worried about Celestia's condition. As Luna had already mentioned, not even she had seen her sister behave like that. They had suspected that there might be a threat and therefore had consulted with the commander of the guards. He had also noticed Celestia's behavior and he had been overfond of conducting an investigation which should determine whether Canterlot, possibly even the whole of Equestria, was in danger or not. Despite all their efforts, in the end there were no clues that could explain Celestia's behavior. Twilight and Luna had therefore come to the conclusion that she would just need some time to be able to talk about her problems, and that they would be there for Celestia once she would need their help.

Just like her sister, Luna also never spoke about her past voluntarily, but unlike Celestia she let herself be helped by her marefriend. Twilight knew that Luna struggled heavily with her experiences, and she often tried to make her open up a bit and talk about her problems. Although some events had happened ages ago and there was nothing that could be changed now, just talking about it helped Luna.

When Twilight had finished her court duties for the day, she and Luna had flown back to Ponyville, where they had grabbed some pillows and a blanket and lied down on the library's balcony, snuggled together under the soft cover, gazing into the vast array of stars and constellations that adorned Luna’s night. They did not talk most of the time, but instead enjoyed their get-together in silence.

After a while, Twilight noticed that Luna's ears were hanging low and she was staring at the night sky. Twilight followed her gaze, but she could not see anything that might be the reason for the sad expression.

“Luna, is everything all right?” Twilight asked.

“'Tis nothing anypony could change,“ Luna said, scarcely audible. Her eyes still focused at the sky, she sighed and added, “I am fine, do not worry.”

“I know that's not true. Tell me what's on your mind.”

“You will not let go, will you?” Luna asked. She now turned her head and looked directly into the eyes of Twilight, who smiled encouragingly. “I am warning you, I will probably kill the mood.”

“Oh Luna, you should know by now that you can't talk yourself out of it with something like that. How could I be happy when you are not?” Twilight asked. “What's going on? Please, let me help.”

Luna sighed again. She did not answer right away, but turned her head to look back at the sky and took a deep breath. “Do you see that star, just a bit to the left above Leo?”

Twilight followed her gaze and found the star. Although she had frequently observed the night sky through her telescope, and had read a lot about the different constellations, she did not recognize the star and could not name it.

“I can see it, but... I've never seen it before,” Twilight said, both confused and embarrassed that didn't know the star.

“You could not have. I created it today when I brought the night. It is a memorial to Warding Moon.”

Twilight gasped. “But... That's wonderful, Luna!” She rested her head against Luna's neck. “Is that what's bothering you? The memory of him? I have told you, there was nothing more you could have done.”

Luna stood up and walked up to the railing of the balcony. “That is not it. Or maybe it is. I do not know...” She shook her head. “I was just so happy with you here... Then I had to think of all the suffering I have caused.”

“It wasn't your fault,” Twilight said. She followed Luna and stood right beside her. “Daisy Garden even apologized to you the other day. Nopony can think straight after getting that kind of message. You mustn't take it personally.”

“That is not it either, Twilight. Even if I was not to blame for his death, what about all the pain suffering I have caused as Nightmare Moon? Tia has not let anything of that end up in history books, but back then I would have caused a civil war if it had not been for my sister banishing me! I... I hurt ponies, killed them, even. I let the night last so long that the plants froze to death. There was a great famine in that winter! And do not tell me that I have served my sentence. I have tried the same again when I returned.”

“But you have not done it, Luna,” Twilight said, emphasizing her marefriend's name. “You are not Nightmare Moon, you are Luna. Everypony makes mistakes, but we learn from them. Would you do all this today, now, at this very moment?”

The corners of Luna’s mouth moved slightly up, but Twilight could tell it wasn’t real: it didn’t reach her marefriend’s eyes and her ears were still hanging low.

“Of course not! But Twilight, that is exactly my problem. Back then, I never would have imagined that I could do those things. Yes, I was sad that hardly anypony noticed the beauty of my night. In the last weeks prior to my insanity the anger came up and everything just got worse. Shortly after that, I lost control. I still do not know what made me do all of this. Who can guarantee that this will not happen again? Almost nothing has changed, there are still almost no ponies who take notice of my night. It still makes me sad... what if I lose control again?”

“Are you still angry?” Twilight asked calmly.

“What? I... No,” Luna said, taken by surprise. “Maybe that was already part of my madness. I do not know. I am just afraid, Twilight. Afraid that I might hurt somepony again. That I might hurt you.”

“I know you. You're a good pony and you'd never hurt anypony voluntarily. Just that you think about all this proves that. You have friends who will stand by your side no matter what happens.” Twilight gave Luna a kiss on the cheek. “And you've got me. I will always stay with you, Luna.”

A smile loomed on Luna's face, albeit faintly. “Has anypony ever managed to stay sad in your presence?”

Before Twilight could respond, Luna leaned forward and they joined in a tender kiss.

The weekend after that day the two mares were on the way back from Sugarcube Corner. Pinkie Pie had once again thrown one of her many parties and half of Ponyville had been there. As one of Pinkie's best friends, Twilight had helped with the preparations, and of course Luna had offered her skills and experience. She had always been a prankster, and therefore she and Rainbow Dash had taken care of the large number of pranks that were spread all over the party.

The party itself had been a great success. In addition to all the baked goods Pinkie had prepared, the Apple Family had provided several barrels of fresh-brewed cider. The lightly alcoholic beverage ensured a boisterous mood amongst all guests. Therefore, it was not a surprise that Twilight and Luna were constantly laughing and giggling on their way to the library.

Only when they arrived the night air had let their tempers cool down again. They entered the hollow tree and made their way to the bedroom. Spike was lucky that he was staying overnight at Rarity's because Twilight and Luna made no effort to be quiet.

“You really thought Tia would send you back to magic kindergarden?” Luna giggled.

“Hey, don't make fun of me, I was really scared back then,” Twilight said and poked Luna gently in the side, which made her marefriend stumble. “Enough to mess up half of Ponyville.”

“I would have liked to see that.” Luna yawned. “I am reeeeeaally tired. I think I am ready to drop right here,” she said as she entered the room.

“You had to go overboard with the cider.” Twilight looked around with a searching glance. “Where did I... Oh no!”

“What is going on?”

“My checklist for tomorrow was in my saddlebags and I forgot them at Sugarcube Corner.” Twilight sighed. “I have to go back.”

“Twilight, you are crazy. I cannot talk you out of this, can I?” Luna knew exactly what the answer would be. When it came to her checklists, her marefriend could not take a joke.

“That's my whole plan for tomorrow! I mustn't skip any article on that list!”

“Very well then. Please hurry up.” Luna walked over to Twilight and kissed her briefly. “I will wait for you.”

A few minutes later, Twilight was already at the halfway mark to Sugarcube Corner. One of the unicorn guards had insisted on accompanying her, which bothered Twilight greatly because now she could not fly; therefore it would take her twice as long to fetch her saddlebags. However, she had learned that there was no sense in discussing this matter, and besides, she was too tired for that.

They walked in silence through the empty streets of Ponyville. It was common that most palace guards were not very talkative, but the two that had accompanied the two princesses today were particularly bad. They had not said a single unnecessary word all day and had not taken part in any conversation. Even now, the unicorn who walked next to Twilight was silent and just let his gaze wander over the houses, streets and small alleys of the peaceful town, always on the lookout for potential threats.

They turned around the corner and had almost reached Sugarcube Corner. The lights inside were apparently still turned on, which made Twilight sigh in relief, because she did not really want to wake anypony. Just as Twilight was about to fly the rest of the distance, the guard stopped abruptly and gestured her to stand still.

“What is it now? We're almost there,” Twilight urged.

She was tired and she wanted to return as quickly as possible to her home and to Luna. The sergeant motioned her to be still and went in the direction of an alley on the opposite side of the street, his spear directed forward.

“Who goes there?” he asked in a deep, stern voice.

When there was no answer and he could not find anything extraordinary, he muttered: “Must be my imagination.”

The moment he turned around he winced as if there was a shiver running down his spine, but then seemed to ignore it. He slowly walked over to Twilight who was glad to be finally able to go on. The guards were too cautious for her liking; they behaved as if there was a lurking threat behind every corner. Especially in Ponyville, that was just absurd.

She had already turned back towards her goal with the guard standing behind her, so she could not take notice of the spell he was aiming at her.

Twilight sighed. “Sometimes I really wonder what they tell you in training. This is Ponyville, what could possibly hap–“

She got no farther. With an extremely bright flash of light, the guard flung the spell through the air and hit her on the back of her head. Twilight immediately fainted and collapsed on the spot. The guard remained frozen for a moment and then also lost consciousness.

A few seconds later the door of Sugarcube Corner opened. Pinkie Pie came out, curious about the origin of the bright light she had seen from inside the house. Her eyes met the two unconscious ponies who were lying on the ground a few meters away. Jittery, as she was at any given time, she bounced over to her friend.

“Twilight! My Pinkie Sense told me something reeeeally strange was going on and then I saw that flash of light and... Twilight? Are you all right?”

Pinkie’s eyes widened and she screamed with horror as she became aware of the seriousness of the situation. She galloped the last few steps to Twilight and tried to jolt her awake.

“Twilight! Twilight, wake up!”

When she got no reply, she tried the same with the guard, who showed no reaction either. She went back to Twilight and again tried to wake her. This time, she began to stir.

“Twilight! What happened? Did some mean meanie-pants do mean things to you?”

Twilight looked at Pinkie, confused. After a moment, she finally replied with a shaky voice.

“Where... am I? And who are you?”

Then she lost consciousness again.

Author's Note:

I would like to thank my proofreaders and every user of the IRC channel of 'The Writer's Group' who helped me.