Nightshade

by Blazing Dragon

First published

Luna tries to forget her past one night in the library and a surprise incounter with a lavender unicorn changes every thing.

I try not to think of my past or my problems, but sometimes when I’m alone, staring at my night sky, I can’t help where my mind wanders.

This is a what if Nightmare night never happened and Twilight meets Luna in a completely different way.

Art By: lulubellct
Proofread/Edited By: BeneathTheShade

Lavender Night

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Lavender Night

Written By: Blazing Dragon Edited By: BeneathTheShade

I try not to think of my past or my problems, but sometimes when I’m alone staring at my night sky I can’t help where my mind wanders.

A mare shaking in fear, praying I won’t hurt her. I do everything to reassure her, but all it does is make it worse… and she runs away.

Many more do the same; sometimes I wonder if my existence is a cruel joke. Why can't anypony love me, why must they fear me? I protect their dreams, I protect them from predators in the night when they sleep, and I create a sky that’s beautiful and filled with wonder.

I trot down the castle halls at night, and I look upon the stone faces of my night guard and wonder if they joined to be close to me, or because they couldn't get into the day guard. I know I shouldn't feel this way, but it’s hard not to when I can see the fear hidden behind their eyes as I walk past them.

The library is empty at night, and I come here to read what I've missed in the last thousand years. Libraries always held a special place in my heart; the only place I never felt alone. I would come and read about the adventures of old, romances long past, and even history turned to legend. I search for a good book to keep my mind off painful memories.

I look down upon a mare with tears in her eyes, shaking in fear and begging me to let her husband go, her foal behind her, terrified and looking to her mother for protection. Her husband held in the air having the life choked out of him. “You wish to fear me… I’ll give you a reason to fear me!” I smile manically as I hear a pleasing snap.

The memory brought back a horrible sting of regret, my hooves buckle under me, and I collapse on the floor crying. My sister may have erased my crimes from history and replaced it with a bedtime story for fillies and colts, but I still remember, and sometimes I curse my perfect memory. I shake the memory from my mind and wipe the tears from my eyes. I go back to my search concentrating intently on my task, scanning the rows of books and their titles.

My eyes settle on a particular book titled (Nightshade By Lavender Night ) I pull the book out and read the back. I smile as I realize it’s a Fillyfooler romance.

'Those never existed a thousand years ago partly because it was illegal.'

I spot one of the many lavish couches in the library near a window. I ignite my horn to light a candle nearby and make my way over to the couch and lie down, getting comfortable. I open the book intent on enjoying myself and forgetting my problems for the rest of the night.


Many chapters later I turn to look at my night, wondering if I’ll ever meet anypony who appreciates me. I wonder if there is anyone that could love a monster like me.

My ears pick up faint whispers in the distance.

'Is there someone in the library with me?'

I mark my place in my book and tuck it under my wing. Getting up off of the couch, I make my way over to the voice. As I get closer I notice a lavender mare staring excitedly into a large telescope, whispering to herself. I watch her as she moves back and forth between the telescope and an academic journal, swiftly jotting notes down.

It was then that I recognized the lavender mare, Twilight Sparkle, my sister’s devoted student, the one that saved me from my living nightmare.

I approach, making sure she would hear my hoof steps as I moved closer.

Shocked, she turned to look at me, her eyes turning to saucers as she tried to speak. “P-princess Luna,” she gasped, “you startled me!” she said while holding a hoof to her chest.

“Sorry, Twilight, I didn't mean to.” I move closer to examine her notes and come to realize she’s studying my stars. I turn to look at her, and she doesn't shy away. Her hooves weren't shaking, and looking into her eyes I couldn’t see a trace of fear…

'She’s cute,' I thought to myself.

“What are you doing in the library this late?” Twilight asks with a hint of nervousness in her voice.

“I could ask you the same question,” I counter.

She beams me a smile and answers back with giddy excitement. “Well, I’m catching up on my astronomy research, and I've found some really interesting things. It seems that Nightgazer, the father of modern astronomy, was wrong on some of his theories about the stars and how they work. I plan on releasing my own thesis on the subject and proving him wrong on a few things. Like, did you know that the stages of evolution a star goes through are determined by the size of the star?” she finishes while holding her notes up for me to review.

“Twilight, I made the stars. I could tell you everything you want to know about them,” I respond with a smirk plastered across my face.

“OH!! Could you? I have so many questions, and you are the princess of the night, the sole reason astronomy even exists,” she said with pure excitement.

It was then I took the book I was reading out from under my wing and laid it down on a nearby table. I watched as she eyed the book, interested in what I was reading, and froze up when she saw the title. I mentally facehoof as I realize that the book I was reading is a fillyfooler romance, and she might not feel comfortable talking to an old fillyfooler like me, but then I realized something. How would she know that without reading the book?

“Have you read this book?” I ask with an awkward smile.

“You could say that,” she said, rubbing the back of her head as her cheeks light up.

I wanted to inquire further, but I thought I should just let it go for now and continue where we left off. I loved hearing her talk about my night sky,

' such enthusiasm!'

We talked for hours about my night and all its wonder. She would ask about a constellation, and I would give her a lesson on what it stood for and why I made it. She was a very good student; no wonder my sister talks about her all the time.

“Sorry Princess, but I have to get some sleep” she spoke while suppressing a yawn. “Could we do this again tomorrow night? I’m going to be here for a few weeks, and I wish to get to know you a little more.” She finished, giving me a tired smile.

I couldn't believe what I was hearing… did she just say she wanted to socialize with me again? That has never happened before with any other pony besides Wildflower. I really like this mare, she’s so cute and sweet, and she hasn't shown any fear when speaking to me, which is a nice change. 'Why not do this again?' I thought to myself, having nothing better to do besides reading at this late hour.

“I would love to Twilight, its been fun,” I said happily.

“Great, see you tomorrow night, Princess,” she said, gathering up her notes and placing them in her saddlebag. She looked over at the book I was reading earlier. “Princess, please let me know what you think of this. I’m curious to hear what you have to say about it.” She said as she hoofed me my book.

“Sure Twilight, interested in reading it?” I asked, watching her cheeks light up again.

'Did I just see her blush…?'

She gives a sheepish chuckle as she walks away. “Well, it’s late, and I’m tired… I’ll talk to you tomorrow.” Before I could inquire further she bolts out of the library.

'What a curious reaction to a question,' I wondered, turning to look outside. It’s close to sunrise and time for me to get some sleep as well. I tuck the book under my wing and make my way back to my room. My room is cold and depressing, but it’s home. My bed is soft and welcoming as I lay down and drift away into my thoughts.

I haven’t felt so happy in a long time. I wonder why she was so embarrassed about this book. Could it be she’s a fillyfooler, I considered, but why would she be interested in what I thought about it unless… I pull the book out from under my wing and examine the front, a picture of a dark purple unicorn mare with a nightshade cutie mark dawned the cover. Nothing out of the ordinary, I thought, until I saw the author again Lavender Night. My mind went blank for a minute… ‘Twilight Sparkle wrote this!!’

'The fun has been doubled!' I thought with a huge grin on my face. What a strange twist of fate, finding her book and meeting her on the same night. Maybe my luck has changed, I guessed, drifting off to sleep.

Library Nights

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Library Nights

Written By: Blazing Dragon Edited By: BeneathTheShade

I quickly finished my duties for the evening, excited to talk to my new friend.

‘I wonder if she meant what she said about talking with me again. I'm tired of being lonely during my shift.’

Making my way through the long hallway to the library, I pass many rooms and windows as my hooves click upon the marble floor. The castle is so empty and peaceful, and I love the cooler shades my night casts over the gardens. I wander over to the window closest to me and lift my muzzle to catch the draft from the outside. Its cool breeze and wonderful scent bring back pleasant memories of my past.

I stare into her bluish-green eyes, my moon reflecting within them. My hooves wrap around her waist pulling her close to me. Wind from the cool night blows through her light blue mane. 'Such a beautiful mare,' I thought, leaning in and kissing her neck. She shivers at the touch of my lips on her greenish coat, and with a pleased smirk, I continue to her lips.

"I miss you, Wildflower."

"Thinking of her again, dear sister?" I snap out of my trance and turn to look at the intruding voice next to me. I find my sister standing there calmly enjoying the view alongside me. 'Why didn't I hear her approach me?' I thought. 'How odd.'

"Yes sister, I was..."

"It seemed like a good memory."

'My sister has changed a lot in the last thousand years I've been gone. She never cared to talk to me at night before... always busy. Ever since my return, she's practically fallen over backward to make me comfortable.'

"What is it you need?" I asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Nothing Lulu, just caught you zoning out again, but with a smile instead of the usual sad frown on your face. Lulu, it's not good to live in the past, especially for us immortals."

I scoff, laughing bitterly. "Yes, well, easier said than done, when all I have left are memories to keep me company."

I watch as my sister closes her eyes and turns her head from me. 'Is she crying?' I thought, trying to get a better look at her face. "Tia, are you okay?"

To my surprise, I see a tear on my sister’s face as it makes its descent to the marble floor. "You know, mortals seem to think the hardest part of being immortal is letting go of the ones we love, but it's the regret and mistakes that haunt us…” Celestia shakes her head and wipes the moisture from her eyes. "Sorry Luna, I should be getting to bed, it's been a long day."

Concerned, I stare at my sister. "Tia, are you feeling okay?"

"I'll live, Lulu." She counters, trotting her way up the spiral staircase to her bed chambers.

My sister has been acting strange lately, or maybe I'm just starting to notice it. Besides, what does she know of regret anyway? She doesn't have the blood of ponies on her hooves or the memory of the one she loved staring at her in terror. I fight the memory back and take a deep breath, trying to concentrate on more positive thoughts.

'Like the unicorn waiting for me in the library.'

I finally reach the library and open the doors making my way inside. The scent of old books brings another pleasant memory of my past.

"Should we really be doing this here Luna?" Wildflower whispered "What if somepony sees us?" she asked, frantically looking around the library worried. I put my hoof up to her lips. "Shhh, my love. No one will see us, besides, ponies aren't in the library at this hour anyway." I reassured her, feeling her relax under me. "Now where were we?" I asked with a smirk. I feel her giggle under me. "If I recall correctly, you were kissing me."

I pass the large bookcases that fill the library looking for Twilight in the place I found her the other night. When I arrive at my destination I look around to see nopony at the telescope. A sigh escapes me.

'Well, maybe she was busy and couldn't make it.' I thought, turning to leave until I hear a strange noise coming from one of the tables in the library.

I saunter over to it and can’t help but laugh at what I see. Twilight snoring with her head in a book. Chuckling on my way over to her I poke her with my hoof.

"Twilight, wake up..." I say, trying to shake her awake.

She cracks an eye open, mumbling incoherently. "Wha..." she starts, smacking her lips together and yawning. Stepping over to one of the chairs next to me, I sit down, smiling playfully at her. “Twilight, did you forget that you invited me to chat this evening?”

“I tried to wait for you, I really did but I couldn't keep my eyes open. Princess Celestia has been keeping me busy with all this research on political mechanics,” she sighs loudly “It’s been cutting in on my own research!” She finishes, slamming her head in her book, pouting.

‘By the heavens she’s adorable!’

“Well, why don’t you take a small break? I have some things I wish to discuss with you actually.”

“Really, it isn’t more research, is it? I don’t think I can handle any more at the moment.”

“No... it’s about the book from last night, you asked for me to give my thoughts on it.”

Her head raises from the book she is currently laying in, her eyes focused on me. I have her full attention. “W-what did you think?”

‘She wrote the book, I know it.’ I thought, pleased by her reaction.

I crack a smile. “I thought it was actually pretty good if a bit unrealistic at times.”

“How was it unrealistic?” She asked, frowning slightly.

“It’s okay Twilight I didn't hate the story, I just thought the romance was a bit unrealistic. Especially the part where the two lovers confess their undying love for each other the day they meet!” I facehoof, sighing and shaking my head, then continuing. “But the adventure side of things was written very well, I especially liked the part where Nightshade saves Starlight from the lair of the Dragon King, that was very exciting.”

Twilight perks up a bit at my last statement. “What about the part where she fights the Lord of the Vamponies?!”

“Oh yes, that was one of my favorites, I really liked how she defeated his vampony minions by poisoning The Fountain of Blood with garlic, very ingenious.” I said, chuckling into my hoof.

She laughed with me, smiling widely. “I’m glad you liked it…” Her smile faded into a frown. “No one else did though. Except for Spike, and that’s only because he liked the Dragon King part.”

“Twilight, I’ve been meaning to ask you a question all night but did Lavender Night write any more books?”

“No she didn't… nothing published anyway.”

“Twilight, are you Lavender Night?”

“What?!” she yells loudly, getting up rapidly and sending the chair she was sitting in flying backward. She looks behind her noticing the extreme reaction she had and starts to chuckle sheepishly. “Sorry,” she said grabbing the chair with her magic and putting it back. “H-how did you find out?” She asks nervously sitting back down.

“Twilight, your pseudonym, Lavender Night was practically a dead giveaway, and you were acting very strange last night when we talked about it.”

She grunts loudly, “I’m so stupid!” She exclaimed throwing her hooves in the air.

“Calm down Twilight, you’re not stupid.” I said trying desperately not to laugh at her antics. “You know I’m getting a little hungry, how about you?” I asked, getting up from my seat.

She answers with her stomach grumbling loudly, chuckling. “Yes, but isn’t the kitchen staff all asleep?”

“Twilight, I’m not an invalid. I can make my own sandwich and I would love to talk more about your unpublished work.”

“Okay Princess, if you say so, but most of my unpublished work is fanfic of Nightshade and Daring Do teaming up to stop The Curse of the Mummy King.”

“Please, call me Luna, and what is fanfic?”

Starry Night

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Starry Night

Written By: Blazing Dragon Edited By: BeneathTheShade

Is it friend, or is it foe?

There are things you should not know.

***

I listen to my new friend explain to me exactly what this fan fiction is and to my surprise it sounds very interesting. “How do you share your work with others?” I ask, putting the daisy sandwich she had asked for on the table, along with my own.

“I post it in a magazine or hand them out at conventions, and I get feedback from fans that way.” She says, accepting the sandwich hungrily while taking a bite.

Setting into the chair next to her I ask, “Do you ever intend to write another book involving Nightshade and Starlight, or are you just going to write this... fan-fiction?”

“Yes, I have been working on the sequel, but I haven’t done anything with it in almost two years.” She finishes with a half smile. She perks up a little and asks, “Why, do you want to read it?”

“Yes I would Twilight, I’m very interested to see what happens next… and maybe give you some insight on how to write a better romance.”

She sheepishly smiles. “Well, I don’t have too much experience with romance. I never could find the time.”

“What? A pretty mare like you?” I ask, playfully.

Her cheeks light up and she turns to stare down at her food, trying to avoid eye contact with me. “It’s not finished… I may just stop writing it and start over.”

“Maybe I can help you with that? I’m pretty knowledgeable about good fiction.”

Still looking down at her sandwich, the edges of her mouth gently curl into a very cute smile as she looks up and says, “I would really like that. Um, I have some notes I need to write, do you mind if I finish up my assignment? It shouldn't take long.”

“Not at all, I can wait.”

A large clock on the wall next to me ticks loudly while I eat my sandwich. Its rhythmic sound cuts through the silence of the dining hall like a blade. Frowning I look up at the clock in irritation, ‘I hate clocks, such an annoying contraption.’ Tuning my gaze away from the clock, my sight sets on a vase at the center of the table, a flower I haven't seen in a long time sits within… it’s still as beautiful as the night I first saw its illuminated petals...

My hooves press on the cool damp grass as I take my nightly stroll through the gardens, watching the luminescent butterflies land upon the flowers to collect the nectar inside. One of the insects gently lands on my muzzle, working its wings up and down. I smile, scrunching up my muzzle as it tickles the tip of my snout.

After awhile the butterfly flutters away leaving an itch on the tip of my snout. Chuckling to myself I scratch the irritating itch and continue my stroll through the gardens. Breathing in the cool night air around me, the bio-luminescent flowers and fireflies bring light where there should only be shadow on this starry night. The whole garden was alive with splendid colors and sound.

‘Beautiful.’

A mare in the distance digging in the dirt, planting some kind of flower I haven't seen before. Her hooves are covered in dirt, which struck me as odd. She handles the earth around her like an earth pony, but... she’s a unicorn.’Why doesn't she use her magic?’ I wondered cocking my head to the side while raising an eyebrow. I start to move closer to get a better look at the odd, but pretty mare in front of me. She pulls a pouch out of her saddlebag and begins dumping its contents on the ground.

‘She must be the gardener, the one that's responsible for all this beautiful flora.’ I approached her cautiously, hoping not to scare her. My mouth opens to try and speak, but no words come out.‘Who am I kidding, of course I’m going to scare her...’ I thought lowering my head. I turn around to leave, but my hooves step on a twig laying on the ground, snapping it in two.

“Hello!?” The mare shouts, “who’s there!?”

She turns to look in my direction, squinting her eyes to adjust to the darkness. I stopped, my hooves shaking and frozen in place, waiting for the inevitable awkward stammers and the frightened expression on her face. She looks in my direction, but still can’t make me out. Pulling a bottle out of her saddlebag, she drinks the liquid substance. Her eyes glow bright white for a brief second and return to normal. Looking back in my direction a smile forms on her face as she gets a better look at me.

“Oh, Princess Luna, how are you this evening?” She moves toward me, extending her hoof out. “My name, is Wildflower...”

“Twilight, have you ever considered making Nightshade an alchemist?” I ask, still staring at the vase on the table. Looking briefly away I notice Twilight, busy taking notes on her assignment from my sister. She looks up, tapping her chin with her quill in thought. “No, can’t say that I have, but... that’s a very good idea.” She says while giving me that cute smile again.

Returning her smile I turn my gaze back to the flower and take it out of the vase. Smelling it gingerly as I twirl it around in my magic. The clock behind me still ticking it’s annoying march forward...

I smile wide, happy for once somepony didn’t run away. I look down at her hoof wondering why she’s extended it.

“It’s a Zebra custom, you’re supposed to bump it.” She says looking at me with a happy smile.

“Oh! Sorry I didn’t mean to offend.” I bump hooves with her and ask “What are you doing out here so late?”

“It’s ok, I wasn't offended, and I was just planting some of these flowers I got from Zebreka. Do you realize how hard it is to ship these to Equestria?” She said pointing at the luminescent flower on the ground. “Not easy, I can assure you.” I watch her plant a seed in the dirt, covering it with a hoof instead of her magic.

‘Why does she continue to use her hooves? Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just, odd.’ She looks at me seeing the confusion plainly on my face, and smiles as if shes seen it before. “I bet you're wondering why I don’t use magic?...”

“Luna, are you feeling ok?” I snap out of my very vivid memory and drop the flower I was holding onto the table. Twilight staring at me worried. “You looked like you were somewhere else.”

“Sorry, I don’t know what that was.”

‘How did I get so tired?’ I thought, rubbing my eyes. “Twilight, I would like to continue where we left off tomorrow night, if that’s ok? I have several ideas on how to improve your story, but I feel strangely tired…” I get up from my seat while pushing the chair under the table.

“You’re tired, before me?” She asks in a curious tone. “Is there something wrong?”

“No, nothing’s wrong, I’m just tired.” I said, making my way out of the dining room.

‘No, nothing's wrong just a ghost that refuses to leave me alone.’ I thought sarcastically to myself.

“Ok Luna, I’ll get my draft from Spike, and we’ll go over it tomorrow ok? Oh! And good night.”

Nodding over my shoulder I smile, “Thank you Twilight, and good night to you as well.” I said, as I continue heading out of the dining room. Once in the hall I close my eyes, and take a deep breath then focus on my destination. I hear two of my guards whispering to each other, their voices echo through the hall as I make my way back to my room. ‘My sanctuary.’

The door emblazoned with my cutie mark glows as I draw near. A security measure just in case anyone wants to steal anything of mine, or harm me in any way. ‘As if they could.’ I set in front of the door waiting patiently as it speaks the first part of the pass phrase, “Is it friend, or is it foe?”

“There are things you should not know.” I answer, and the door cracks open in response. passing through the door I hear it lock behind me automatically. Quickly I go to my bed and fall into it, the sheets cold to the touch as I pull the covers over me. Grabbing one of the pillows above me I snuggle close wrapping my hooves around it, I try to fall asleep and forget about her. ‘But do I really want to?’

Feeling her warm body laying next to me as she breaths serenely. I wrap my hooves around her and snuggle close, the scent of earth and the sweet smell of flowers fills my nostrils. I sigh contentedly, listening to the rhythmic sound of her heartbeat as I drift off to sleep…

My ear twitches with every tick of the clock, it’s rhythmic sound stabbing me in the heart as the seconds march forward.

Rainy Nights

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Rainy Nights

Written By: Blazing Dragon Edited By: BeneathTheShade

The gardens looked different from the time she cared for them, but there was something that never changed: the flowers that bloomed at night. Chuckling to myself, I twirl one in my magic, admiring it’s exotic beauty, and smell it’s sweet fragrance. 'I don’t know what they are called… she never told me.' Laying under the sapling we planted so long ago, I drop the flower onto the wet grass below me and turn to stare up at the moon. A drop of moisture falls from the leaves above and lands upon my snout. ‘I wish there was more to do besides lay here and mope all night.’

Laying my head in the grass I curl my hooves close to my chest and shut my eyes. I’ve been so drowsy lately, but from what, I do not know. There is rustling in the leaves above me as rain starts to pour down from the clouds above. Each individual drop cold as ice as it hits my coat. ‘I love the rain.’ I thought, just laying there motionless listening to the sound of the rain coming down.

Next was the wind violently rushing through the leaves. ‘Storm’s coming.’ I thought, as I hear thunder, high above the clouds. Looking up, I watch lightning streak across the sky, lighting the dark clouds in the distance. I always thought thunderstorms looked better at night.

My ears perk up as I hear movement behind me. A yellowish shield surrounds the area around me and disappears, the rain hitting it the only visible clue it was still there. “Tia, we would like to be left alone.” I said with irritation clearly evident in my voice.

“Has anypony ever told you that it’s not smart to lay under a tree during a thunderstorm?” Tia says with a smile, laying down next to me in the grass.

“We do not care Tia. Our life feels so empty ever since our return. We would rather leave, not much is keeping us here.”

“Where would you go?” Tia asks, looking downcast, “Because I would be very sad to see you gone.”

“We don’t know... We have thought about visiting the human world, or the world of the fairies. That would be nice. Someplace where we would be loved rather than feared.”

“Luna, do you still think that I am only loved by my little ponies? Some love me yes, but most envy me and pretend to love me. I feel sometimes as alone as you... in a sea of faces. None ever interested in getting to know me, only caring for what I can give them, or take away from them.” Tia spits out the last part with venom.

This is the first time I have ever heard my sister speak like that about her subjects, and it worries me. This is so unlike the Tia I knew so long ago. ‘What has changed you Tia?’

“There are times I hate them.” She says under her breath looking at me with a coldness I’ve never seen in my sisters eye’s before. “But there is one that loves me, and loves me for who I am, and that is you dear sister. I don’t want to lose you...again.” She finishes, pulling me in close for a hug.

I didn’t know what to say... So, I just remain silent, and keep listening.

She buries her face in my neck, and I can hear her fighting back tears. “I love you, Luna. You’re the only real friend I have.”

The cold part of me wants to leave her wallowing in her tears, and her misery. ‘She deserves it!’ My heart though, is telling me to try and comfort her, to tell her it’s okay and that I forgive her. I feel conflicted. I still love her, but she hurt me badly, and I can’t let that go so easily. “I love you too Tia... But, it will be awhile before I can forgive you.”

Breaking down and crying into my shoulder, I hear the roar of thunder, and see lightning race across the sky again as the rain continues to pound the shield in front of me. I lay there and let my sister cry on my shoulder for awhile ‘Why? I do not know, maybe I’m too soft.’

I eventually grow tired of hearing my sister cry, and I start to get up. Pulling from her embrace I look at her. “Be thankful you can still receive forgiveness Tia, some of us don’t get such a luxury.” I tell her, perhaps harshly, turning around and walking out of the shield. As I get further away I hear the shield she erected collapse as another bolt of lightning flashes through the sky, followed by a loud bang. Finding shelter from the rain under the entrance to the postern door to the castle I look back and see my sister still lying on the damp grass, unmoving in the rain. ‘I love the rain...’

Laying in the wet grass, her body on top of mine, and the rain pouring down on us both, soaking into our coats. Our lips caress each other in a slow kiss, her hooves running through my mane slowly. Pulling from the kiss she lightly bites the bottom of my lip, pulling back in a sensual fashion. I look into her eyes, giggling happily, with her following suit. ‘How strange, our laughter looks like crying with no song. The raindrops running down my face taste like tears...but without the pain.’

“I love you Luna,” she declares, nuzzling her head under my chin. “You make me feel so special…”

Heading into my private bathroom I grab a towel off one of the silver racks that line the walls and dry myself off. I don’t want to visit Twilight looking like a wet dog… I really should take a shower, but I think I’ve gotten wet enough for one night.

After drying myself off I head down the hall towards the library, passing my night guard from last night, and like before, I hear them whispering to each other. Curious as to what they were saying to each other, I hide myself behind the corner of the hall, and lift my ear up to eavesdrop on them.

“I always get so freaked out when she walks by, like I’m going to faint or something.” He says in a hushed whisper.

“Yeah, I know, she kinda has that effect on me too. What would it be like if one of the princess asked you out?”

“If something like that were to ever happen? I think I would die if Luna ever asked me out, she’s so sexy I think it kills ponies… Never mind her seductively mysterious nature. Gives me the bucking shivers.”

My eyes go wide with shock. “My seductively mysterious nature?” I ask, under my breath, raising an eyebrow. ‘All this time I thought they feared me for the things I did in the past, but they were only intimidated by beauty.’ I facehoof, while dragging my hoof down my muzzle. ‘Of course! How could I have been so blind. They were always like that, even a thousand years ago.’ With a gleeful smile on my face I continue to listen to my guards whisper back and forth amongst themselves. ‘I have to say they are acting more like school fillies talking about colts than grown stallions.’

“What about Cadence or Celestia. What if they asked you out?”

“Cadance I would turn down, not because I think she’s ugly, but she’s dating the captain, and I would rather not get on his bad side. Celestia though doesn't really do anything for me. I see her more as a mother figure.”

“Not me! I would probably pass out if Celestia so much as winked at me.”

“If that’s the case, why’d you join the night shift?”

“The day guard’s way too strict for me, you can’t talk, and you just stand there for hours looking like a statue. I… I couldn't take it.”

“No wonder, you never shut up.”

“Hey! I don’t hear you ever complain.”

Smirking, I stop listening and move back in the sight of my guards, revealing myself to both of them. They both immediately compose themselves as I stare at them. I see that glint of fear from before in the one on the left’s eyes. Turning towards him I bring my muzzle close and kiss him on the forehead.

With wide eyed shock I see him blush as bright as my sisters sun, then faint onto the floor.

I turn to his friend. He looked almost as shocked as his unconscious companion, though he was composing himself a little better. “Princess I think you killed him!” He yells loudly, kneeling down to check on his buddy.

“He is fine, he only fainted. When he gets up, tell him I said ‘thank you’.”

Getting back up and saluting, “Ye-yes ma’am!”

“Have a good night private, we are off to the library.”

Nightfall

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Nightfall

Written By: Blazing Dragon Edited By: BeneathTheShade

I stared up, annoyed, into the night sky, the storm getting in the way of my research on the evolutions of a star. ‘Just my luck! Whenever I find time to do some of my own research, a storm comes.’ I sighed heavily, falling into the nice soft couch next to the telescope. My hoof dangling over the side as I close my eyes. ‘Why does the weather have to be so stupid right now? Couldn't the pegasi have picked a different night to have a storm,’ I thought grumpily. ‘Well, I could always write my book. Luna seems to really like reading it.’ Grabbing the book off the desk next to my notes I start writing some of my ideas down for the next chapter. The rain from outside coming down hard against the glass window next to me.

‘Mmm, what could the next book be about I wonder?’ Taping the quill in my magic against my chin. ‘Has Luna figured out I based Starlight off of her yet? Also, does she know I have a… No, no she doesn't. I mean how could she?’ I thought, chuckling sheepishly to myself.

‘Unless she’s seen my dreams... Can she do that!?’ I thought, my eyes shooting open.

Just then I hear the clicking of hooves on the marble floor of the library getting closer.“Hello Twilight.” Luna says, moving towards me, and sitting on her haunches in front of the window.

The abruptness almost causes me to jump out of my skin as Luna just appears in front of me out of nowhere. “Luna... you have an incredible talent for sneaking up on ponies!” I said, holding a hoof to my chest.

“We are sorry Twilight, we did not mean to frighten you.” Luna says, looking rather down for some reason.

“Is everything ok?” I asked curiously, setting my book on the table next to me, “you look… upset.” I finish staring into her eyes. Scrunching up my eyebrows I notice once again she doesn't hear me. She looks like she’s lost in her thoughts again, just blankly staring at the raging storm outside.

‘I wonder, what’s behind those eyes of hers… I could only guess.’

Getting off the chair and onto my hooves I lightly poke her in the side to get her attention. “Luna what is the matter?” I asked sitting down next to her.

“Twilight have you ever heard the old saying, ponies never change?” Luna asks, staring out the window distantly. The rain continuing to pound the glass as a flash of light brightens up the night sky, making it seem like day for just a split second.

“Yes, I’ve heard it before. Why do you ask?”

“Don’t ever believe it, Twilight.” She says looking into my eyes very seriously. “Ponies always change. It’s just that they don’t always change for the best. Most of the time they steadily get worse. But then, there are those rare occasions they change for the better.”

“What, um... brought this up?” I ask quizzically.

“Nothing.” She says softly, “just, the musings of an immortal.” Luna then moves over towards the table I set my book on. She looks at me while pointing at the book with her hoof. “Is this the book we talked about last night?”

Moving towards her I grab the book off the table. “Yes it is. I’ve been trying to finish it, but whenever I get to the romance, my mind just goes blank. I sometimes wonder why I even started writing a romance in the first place... I know nothing about it.” I said, holding the book close to my chest.

“We find it surprising to hear that. You’re my sister’s pupil, a colt should have made a pass at you by now.” Luna says with a smile.

‘Ok, how do I say this without embarrassing myself?’ Then I mentally facehoof ‘I don't think there is anyway for me to say this without embarrassing myself!’ I thought, laying back down on the couch from earlier.

“I have been asked many times, but none of them interested me. I have found a few slightly attractive, but never enough to go any further.” I feel my cheeks heat up after saying that. ‘Oh great! Now she’s definitely going to know somethings up.’

“We know of what you speak. When we were young Tia kept pushing us to find somepony, but when we finally did, she didn’t approve of our choice.” She says, looking sad and distant again.

“Why didn't she approve of your choice?” I asked a little hesitantly, not wanting to push too much. But... my curiosity got the better of me.

‘I wonder what sort of pony Luna could have been with to cause Celestia not to approve.’

“Well… it’s a bit of a long story but if you are willing to listen we would be willing to tell it.”

“I don’t have anything else to do. The storm’s kind of in the way of my research right now. ” I said, looking over at the window half smiling.

“Ok then,” Luna says laying down on the floor next to the chair. “Where do I begin..?”

“At the beginning.” I said with a smile, laying the book in my lap, eagerly awaiting her to start her story.

‘I have always wondered about her past...’

“It all started in the early years of our empire when we were still trying desperately to hold things together. In those days, you see, “racism” was a very big problem. The nobles would feud over the most trivial of things. Unicorns, Pegasi and Earth ponies were not as unified as this era seems to believe. But my sister accomplished over time what I wanted to solve immediately. I never understood her unlimited patience for intolerance and bigotry.”

“What about the Hearth's Warming and the windigos that forced the tribes to work together?”

“Oh, that… we believe our sister calls that one a noble lie. A lie designed to hold ponies together and to keep them unified. Nothing more. It’s a sweet story, but a story none the less. The truth though is a bit darker than that.”

“What was it actually like!?” I ask, curiously.

“You really don’t want to know Twilight, and I don’t feel like sharing. It was awful, and we do not wish to relive those early days. We tell you these things to prepare you for what you will hear next…

“I already have a hard time believing Celestia would lie to me like that.” I replied, disbelievingly.

“You do not know my sister like you think you do. She isn’t an awful pony, but she will use deception to get ponies to do the right thing. We are sometimes surprised by how successful she is, this place is nothing like it once was.”

And there she goes again, that blank stare as if a memory is forcing its way inside her mind. “Could you please tell me about it? At least some of it, I’m very interested.”

“We do not know if our sister would like you to hear such things, but as long as you keep it between us, We will share some of it, yes.”

I set my book down next to me on the couch and get comfortable. ‘I’ve always loved history lessons...’

“It all began when We were walking through our garden one night, admiring the beautiful flora around Us when We came across a most peculiar mare…”