Look Harder, Luna, and You Will See the Truth

by Dustin Lange

First published

Ponies have feared Luna since her return, but that is about to change, with the help of Twilight Sparkle.

The ponies of Equestria have feared Princess Luna ever since her return from exile, something Twilight hopes to change with the help of her friends.

Twilight Sparkle

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Twilight Sparkle

After a long day of work, Celestia was beat to the ground, running a country tends to do that to a pony... even if that pony was a god. All she wanted to do was take a nice, hot bath, and retire to her bed for the night. "That is the least I deserve," she said quietly to herself. "I don't think that I can take much more of these, Nobles. For having that name, they aren't very noble... how ironic," she giggled. A guard escorting her raised an eyebrow at her. "What, a Princess can't laugh."

As she walked past Luna's bed chambers, she heard a quiet sob escape from the dark blue doors. She knew that Luna was suffering from the past, but thought that she was doing better than what she heard coming from her room. She quietly knocked on her sister’s door. "Don't come in! Leave us alone!" she cried. "Only one pony likes us, and you’re not her!"

Celestia entered her sister’s room against her wishes. "We said don't come in!" Luna bellowed, only using the Royal Canterlot voice when she was truly upset.

"I must know why you are upset, Luna, and why wouldn't I love you. You are the only sister I have, I will always love you no matter what," she said with sincerity only a pony telling the truth can muster. "The one thousand years you spent on the moon were the loneliest in my life... I can only imagine what it was like for you; now tell me, what is bothering my dear sister?"

Luna tried to gather her thoughts so she could convey them for all their worth, but came up with a question instead. "Why does every pony run from me when they see me?"

This question caught Celestia by surprise; she almost visibly stumbled on her hooves. Luna was never this straight forward with any pony, let alone Celestia herself. "Well... I don't think any pony can give a definite answer to that question, Luna. You might just need to ask those who fear you the most."

"But how can I do that when I can’t even get within speaking distance of them without their mane turning white and running in the opposite direction?"

"That is a question that can only be answered by trying to do so."

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

It has been almost a year and a half since she was freed. Freed from all the hate and anger, jealousy and mistrust. She was hoping that after a thousand years on the moon and being stripped from all the evil power she had possessed, or rather, the power that possessed her, ponies would finally talk to her and give her a second chance. But as expected, the ponies only saw her for Nightmare Moon.

As she walked the streets of Ponyville from eleven in the morning to three in the afternoon, all but one pony ran from her, that one pony being the one that freed her from her nightmare. Twilight Sparkle.

"Hello Luna, how are you today on this fine evening?" Twilight asked while bowing.

"Please Twilight, there is no need for you to bow. And to answer your question, rather lonely." Luna lamented.

"Oh, how so?" Twilight asked.

"You see, I have been here in Ponyville for over three hours, and have only conversed with you," she said rather sadly."Every other pony caches one glimpse of me or my guard, turns tail, and runs!" she yelled as thunder crashed around her.

Twilight's ears flattened against her skull, the thunder being rather loud. "But I don't see any of your guards."

"I asked them to go back to the castle so I can try my luck without them," she said. "But I fare no better without them than I did with them."

Twilight wondered why every pony in town ran and hid from her, they should know that she is no longer Nightmare Moon; they all celebrated her return in this very spot no less! Yet no pony was visible to the horizon.

"I have an idea Luna, follow me." Now Luna wasn't one to count her blessings, but this was number one.

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

Twilight and Luna made their way to a house in the middle of town. "Let’s try here." Twilight said as she came to a stop in front of the door.

"Pray tell, what are you planning Twilight?" Luna asked with a small amount of uncertainty in her voice.

"I am going to ask this pony why they are afraid of you." Twilight gave the door a few rasps before a pony answered.

The pony had eyes the size of dinner plates and Green pupils the size of a pin head, her cutie mark telling Twilight that this was Rose Luck.

"Can I ask you a question, quick?" Twilight asked. Rose Luck seemed to relax a bit and agreed. "Sure, what do you need to know? Is it about roses?"

"No, but I'll take a rain check on that? My question concerns that of Princess Luna." Rose Luck was back to her original state of nervousness.

"Wh-what about h-h-her?" she barely managed to make a coherent sentence.

Twilight noticed she tensed up at the mention of her name. "Why are you afraid of her? Don't you know that she is no longer Nightmare Moon?" she started to plead with the pony in the doorway. "All Luna wants is to talk to a pony outside of the castle staff and her sister."

As twilight asked her this Rose took a nervous glance around the door, only to see Luna standing there looking a little sad. Rose neither had time or the nerves to reason with her fight-or-flight reflex, so she ended up slamming the door on Twilight's face.

"Well... that could have gone better." Twilight said, holding her nose to stop it from bleeding.

Luna looked even more upset at her one true friend’s pain. "Are you okay Twilight? That looked like it hurt."

"I'm fine, worse has happened to me before." she recalled the time she was following Pinkie around to understand her Pinkie sense and shuttered.

"What happened before?" Luna asked, sounding a little interested.

"You don't want to know."

"Well, what should we do now that this endeavor failed?" Luna was really feeling down and out now.

As Twilight sat in thought Rose quickly closed a blind to her house. Luna only glanced that way before looking back at twilight.

Twilight shot up as she came to a solution for Luna's problem, startling Luna in the process. "What, did a bug bite thee!?" Luna asked.

"What!? There's a bug!?" Twilight shrieked, then realized what Luna was referring to and started to blush a bit. "No, I got an idea! I know how we can get the ponies of Ponyville to stop being afraid of you." she was as excited as the day she passed her magic test and got her cutie mark at the same time.

"We've been trying to convince the wrong ponies first!" Twilight said.

"Who should we start with first, then?" Luna asked, starting to build up some confidence.

"Pinkie Pie."

The Pink One

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The Pink one

"Why Pinkie, she was the leader of the scared fillies and colts, was she not?" Luna asked inquisitively.

"Yes, but she is also easy to convince, not to say she's dumb or anything, but if we can get her to think you are good, then we also have all of the fillies and colts on our side, and that will make things a lot easier." Twilight explained.

"I see your point. Shall we get going then, there is no time to spare!" Luna said with re-found confidence

"Follow me; it's not that far from here."

"Why walk when we have magic?" Luna asked pointing to her horn.

"Pinkie lives in a sweet shop, and were going there, to have a talk with her. And it probably won't be a short talk." Twilight said in a flat tone.

"I see your point with that as well, we don't want to get fat, do we?" with that, they were on their way to enact Twilight's first step of the plan.

"Plus, we can chat on the way over." Twilight has never had a real, informal conversation with the Princess of the Night; she was really just looking for an excuse to talk to her.

"So, what made you choose to come to Ponyville and not a fancy place like Manehattan?"

"Actually, Celestia suggested I come here, she probably thought I would find you here eventually." this was Luna's first real conversation with a pony outside of the castle, and she was rather enjoying it. "She knows you pretty well and probably knew that you weren't afraid of me, thinking that, if any pony can help me, it is you. Why aren't you scared of me?"

"I..." she was caught off guard by that question, but didn't need to think of an answer, for she already had one. "Isn't it obvious..." she said, "You are clearly Princess Luna and not Nightmare Moon. Why every other pony is scared, I have no clue."

"So, you like me because of me and just not because I am a Princess, or Celestia’s sister?" she smiled to herself, knowing just how to get her worked up from listening to Celestia, for some reason, read Twilight's reports out loud and speak what she is writing back to her.

Twilight was speechless. Does Luna think I like her because I have to, or because I want to suck up to Celestia? No... she doesn't... does she? She thought to herself, not even realizing that she stopped dead in her tracks, while Luna continued on, deep in self satisfaction.

After a few seconds, Luna realized she could only here her hooves hitting the ground. "Twilight..." she waited for a response, but was met only with silence. She stopped and looked to her left and right; not seeing her target of a practical joke, she turned around, only to see Twilight a good twenty feet behind her, sitting on her flank, mouth agape and eyes wide.

Luna walked back to her and sat in front of her. "Twilight..." she poked her.”Did I break her?" she said with genuine curiosity in her voice.

Why would she think that, I would never do that to anypony, especially Luna, after all the things she went through. She felt something on her face but didn't react to it, she just delved deeper into her own thoughts. If that's what she thinks I am doing, I need to try to convince her otherwise! She finally came out of her stupor with a yell. "Princess Luna!" Luna fell her back and yelped in surprise at Twilight's sudden outburst.

"Luna, where are you?" Twilight asked while looking around.

"Down here." she responded, waving a hoof in the air.

"What are you doing on the ground?"

"You just screamed my name after not moving or making a sound for almost two full minuets!"

Twilight gave a blank stare. "Really, I-I didn't even realize."

Twilight help Luna up"We still need to talk to Pinkie, let’s go." Luna started to walk again.

It took a second for Twilight to process what Luna said, and when it finally clicked she jumped up and quickly caught up to the Princess. "Luna, do you really think that?"

"Think what, Twilight?"

"That I would like you just because you are a Princess, or because you are Celestia’s sister?"

"Oh, that? That was just a little joke, and it worked out better than I thought it would!" Luna looked proud that she was able to do that to her.

Twilight stopped for a second, then started to move again. "I knew you weren’t serious about that, and when did you get a sense of humor."

"About... five minutes ago." Luna answered, a wry smile on her lips.

"It's gonna take some time to get use to that." Twilight answered. "Well, there’s Sugar cube Corner, in all its fake closed glory."

"I can see why you would worry about going here without a little exercise first; you could eat the whole building!" Luna said, a little shocked at its appearance.

"Now you know why Pinkie is always hyper... not really, no pony knows why she is the way she is, but living here is my guess." Twilight said.

"I think that you might be right, I know I would be like her if I lived there." Luna giggled. Twilight raised an eyebrow at Luna’s laughter. "What, a princess can't laugh?"

"After you, Prin--" Twilight was suddenly silent, much to Luna's confusion.

Luna looked around for her. "Twilight? Where are you, Twilight!?"

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

"Imm-imm-hmmm!" screamed Twilight, but there was a pink hoof over her mouth, preventing her from making anything decipherable.

"Shhhhhh! That’s Nightmare Moon out there!" Pinkie half yelled half whispered.

Twilight was able to get away from the pink ponies strangely strong grip. "That’s not Nightmare Moon, Pinkie, that’s Luna." she said a little irritated.

"Well duh, I know that!" Pinkie sounded like it should be obvious to Twilight.

Twilight looked a little confused. "Then why do you run away from her like she is a dragon-hydra hybrid?"

"Because it's fun to be scared... I thought that we went over this on Nightmare Night?" Pinkie asked.

"This story is not canon with the show, Pinkie." Twilight said.

Pinkie looked confused. "What does canon mean... and what show?"

"That doesn’t' mater right now, all that does matter is that you do not act scared of her from now on, can you do that for not only me, but Luna as well?" Twilight had a pleading look on her face.

"Sure, let me go get her--" Pinkie was interrupted by Twilight.

"No, I have some revenge to get on her, let her come in on her own and find us, and when she does I think that she will be done with the pranks, at least done pranking me."

"Oh yes!" Pinke said. "I've never got to prank a princess before, Dash will be so jealous!"

"Let’s go." Twilight took the lead.

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

"Twilight..." when Luna got nothing but a tumble weed and a hawk sounding off in the distance as an answer, she decided to go into the sweet shop. She quietly opened the door and peaked around its frame. "Twilight, are you in here?" she asked. "Where is that pony?" she decided to go in and look around for her.

Luna was alone in the shop... or so she thought. She heard what sounded like a muffled scream come from second floor of the building, so she went to investigate.

Upon reaching the stairs, she hesitated a bit, but then continued. The stairs were rather squeaky and only contributed to the creepy atmosphere in the shop. When she got to the top of the stairs, there was a little giggle from the right side of the hallway accompanied by squeaks of the floorboards caused by a running pony. Luna decided to follow the sound; they led her right to a door that was slightly ajar. She poked her head in only to regret ever going upstairs.

Sitting on a table In the middle of the room was a set of knives and other various tools of torment. On the wall written in what looked like blood was: life is a party.

Realizing what she was looking at, she slammed the bedroom door and ran back down stairs. She tried to open the front door, but it was locked. Upon finding the door locked, she put her back to it. Breathing heavily, she quickly scand the room for a different way out of this Little Sugar shop of Horrors. She spotted the kitchen and decided that it was the only option she had. She counted to herself, "One... two... three!" she made a mad dash for the door, and upon entering, stopped dead in her tracks.

Lined up on the counter was a bunch of cupcakes, all with various organs jutting out at odd angles, and if that wasn't enough; Twilight was strapped to a rack with multiple wounds to her body and face, a cutie mark was missing from her flank and her horn was nowhere to be seen. All of the blood from Luna’s face drained and her legs started to wobble. Luna saw Twilight twitch and ran to her side. "Twilight! Don't move; you will only injure yourself further!" Luna sobbed.

"Luna... Luna, come closer." Twilight said in a dry, barely audible whisper of a voice.

Luna leaned in so her ear was right next to Twilight's mouth. "What is it, Twilight?" she asked with tears welling up in her eyes.

"Gotcha." Twilight said in her regular voice.

"Wha-wha-a... I... What?" Luna stammered.

"Looks like we got a pranker that doesn't like to be pranked, Pinkie." Twilight said.

Pinkie walked in to the kitchen and smiled at her. "Were you scared? Were ya were ya?" she asked excitedly.

"Where were you?" Luna asked Pinkie.

"Who did you think was upstairs? A ghost?"

"That was you? You’re light on your hooves." Luna sounded impressed.

"How did you do all of this?" Luna asked, motioning a hoof at the room, then quickly added. "And why?"

"How? I used an illusion spell... the cupcakes are real though. And why? For what you did to me on our way here... I couldn't let you get away with it, now could I?" Twilight asked with a hint of satisfaction in her voice.

"This far exceeds what I did to you!"

"Well, it sure as hay was fun to do!" Twilight exclaimed.

"Can we just continue with your plan, Twilight?" Luna asked, crossing her front hooves in a pout.

Twilight sighed. "Yes, Pinkie will talk to all of the foals in Ponyville that were with her on Nightmare night, and, if she can, she will talk to some of the other ponies that are more our... well, Pinkie and I's age... that will make things a lot easier for us." she said. "Well, we better get going if we want to catch Applejack on a break."

"Before we go, can we get something to snack on? Having a heart attack tends to get me hungry." Luna said.

Twilight smiled to herself as she got up and walked over to the cupcakes on the counter, she grabbed one, and took a bite. "Man Pinkie, the ratio of heart to liver in this one is perfect!" Twilight said between bites.

Luna was shocked that Twilight would eat meat, then she realized that it was just made to look like there were organs in it. She felt dumb for not realizing that in the first place.

"Give me one." she said. Pinkie handed one to her. For being the same material, the different parts had their own distinct texture.

"Pinkie, you are really good at this, do you think you could send me a dozen every week... make that two, no, three... we all know how Celestia is." Luna laughed at her own joke, along with Twilight and Pinkie.

"Sure, no problem. What kind would you like me to make you?" Pinkie asked, excited for getting to make three dozen cupcakes for royalty a week.

"If you wouldn't mind, could you make them like this batch?" Luna sounded apprehensive when asking, not knowing how difficult it was to do so.

I will have to draw three numbers a week at this rate! Pinkie thought to herself. "Sure, no problem! Any specific day you would like to have them?" she asked.

"While I hate all mornings equally, and each in their own special way, I hate Monday mornings the most, so Monday will do."

"Alright, Monday it is!" Pinkie agreed.

"Oh, I almost forgot, I need to clean up the foal’s room before the Cakes get back with them!" she said before running out of the kitchen.

"Have fun!" Twilight called after her.

"I thought you used an illusion spell?"

"I did. Why?" Twilight asked as she raised an eyebrow.

"Then... why does she need to clean up the room?"

"I only used the spell in the kitchen." Twilight said.

Luna remained silent for a while, eyes wide, before getting up and walking out the door at a rather brisk pace.

Twilight followed. "Luna, what's wrong?"

"Nothing, Twilight... let's just go."