After another fight with Celestia, Luna has found herself in Ponyville. Mac's been working late to catch up on work that's been piling up. When the two meet, will this be a fairy tale, a romantic comedy, a story of two friends, or something else entirely?
Inspired by various KOKIA songs and Daily Lives of High School Boys.
Teen rating for very mild sex refferences in the third chapter.
The Milky Way shined through the canopy of apple trees as Big Macintosh clipped the last of the dead branches from this part of the orchard. On an average night, he'd be asleep, warm in the old sheets of the same bed he'd had since he was a kid. Tonight was not average, however. The recent Zap Apple harvest had caused the usual farmwork to pile up, and to keep on schedule meant working well into the night to keep things running. Sure, he'd rather be sleeping like everypony else right now, but what had to be done had to be done.
It wasn't all that bad either. The cool Autumn wind kept most of his exhaustion at bay. On it's breeze he felt the faint chill of Winter, reminding him how important getting in one last harvest was. Soon all the trees would shed their foliage, and that meant no more stock for at least a few months-
As the last dead limb on the last tree fell, he heard what seemed like a wail float through the air. The burly stallion shut his eyes, listening closely, closing out everything else in the world.
He heard it again.
Mac quickly propped the old saw against the tree and sped towards the source of the sound. At first he was afraid. It sounded like a scream, so naturally he was afraid somepony was hurt and needed help. Yet, as he moved farther from the clean rows of the farm and into the less maintained, brush ridden area of his family's property, the noise sounded more like...singing? He slowed to a trot, carefully winding through briars and poision oak leaves until he reached the old pond at the edge of the property.
It was a mare. She sat at the edge of the water, he back turned to her. Whether she was a Unicorn, or Pegasus, or even a Changeling he couldn't tell for she wore a coal black cloak. All he could tell was she was taller and more slender than the average mare, judging from the silhouette.
And she had a lovely voice. For a moment, he just allowed himself to be swept away by the sad melody. Each note seemed to ooze emotion. It was clear she put her heart into it. Not only that, but the world itself seemed to help her. Nightingales chirped at the correct moments, beads of dew dripped from an old willow tree to create what almost sounded like piano notes. The magical scene only seemed to enforce his belief this pony was a Unicorn.
The last word drifted on, slowly lowered in volume to a mere whisper until the evening returned to its normal state. There was no theme to the dewdrop's fall, no symphony of birds chirping. It was just Mac and the songstress, divided by about fifteen feet of grass. The stallion tried to think of something, anything to say. It's not natural when a pony wanders onto your property and just starts singing for no reason. He almost entertained the thought of walking away, but knew that was rude. Ah may not be a lord or prince, but ah know proper manners enough to know you don't just walk away from someone after you go up to 'em.
Unable to take the silence anymore, he opened his mouth to ask if she was okay. But before he could speak, he noticed tiny twinkles of light decending in front of the songstress.
She was crying.
Maybe'n this case action speak louder'n word he though, taking a step forward. During that step, however, one of his massive hooves broke a branch. The natural shape of the pond caused the tiny snap to reverberate, echo, and fan out across all of Sweet Apple Acres. A flock of birds, probably the ones from earlier, passed overhead. Squirrels, racoons, and every other nocturnal creature fled in the opposite direction. But worst of all, the girl had very much noticed him. She only turned enough for a sidelong glance, yet Mac could feel her eyes on him, even if he couldn't see them beneath the hood of her cloak.
Thouroughly embaraced, he swallowed the lump in his throat and said in a friendly tone, "Howdy"
"Good evening," she said in a voice that sounded much like a teenagers', yet with sophistication and wisdom hidden beneath, "We...did not expect company."
'We'? he though What pony talks like that anymore? Ignoring her olden form of speech, Mac simply explained, "Ah heard noises, thought somepony was in trouble."
The lady turned back towards the pond, wiping the tears from her eyes. Mac tried to discern what color her coat was, but the full moon reflected off the pond in a way that the figure was backlit, so it was impossible to tell. "We apologize for causing thee such worry. Pray tell, most are asleep at this time. Why art thou not?"
"Finishin' up some chores, farmwork," he replied, the tension in the air dissipating a bit.
"Thou owns this property?"
"We were not aware anypony owned this area. Umm...sorry."
Another long silence resumed. Now aware she had company, the pony was probably too shy to sing. Along with that, Mac was now aware of the situation he was in. Alone, in a cliche, romantic spot with a mysterious young mare. Not only that, the fact he'd been drawn by her voice didn't help him feel less guilty for putting not just himself in a scene right out of a bad romance novel, but also this pony obviously looking for some time by herself.
"Nice night," he just blurted out, the tension lost slowly coming back with a vengence.
"Thank you," the mare replied.
"What?" Mac asked, the weight in his chest gone for a moment at the confusion. Of every possible reply he could have thought, "Thank you" was not one of them.
"Umm, err...We mean yes. Indeed. Very nice."
Another silence. Now it was just annoying. Mac started to walk closer to the girl, hoping to ask if she wanted to be alone, yet instead she just said," Please stay back."
"Uh, why?" he asked.
She faced him and replied," We fear if you knew who we were, you would not like us any longer..."
"Ah doubt that," the colt replied, but still he respected her wishes. Still intent on keeping another awkward quiet away, he said," Y'know, if y'all wanna come here, to be alone'n such, ah don't mind."
The rustle of fabric told Mac her ears had perked up as she asked, "Art thou sure?"
"We...we thank thee."
He smiled to her, and thought he heard a slight giggle from the mare as she turned back to the glistening water. At that, a yawn escaped Mac's mouth. Suddenly, he realised how tired he was. In fact...he felt as though his legs would give out any moment now. The sudden realization brought on another yawn. Still rubbing his eyes, he asked, "Y'all gonna come back tomorrow?"
She simply looked up to the moon, and replied softly, "Verily."
Of course fate would try to stop Luna from leaving Canterlot on time. The nobles, Celestia, and the universe itself had this awful habit of making her want to strangle somepony, or whatever class of demon Prince Blueblood fell under.
After the Wedding, or rather, after the false wedding and the Changeling Invasion, Luna was haunted by a stack of paperwork that would put mountains to shame. Every craven lord and pompous lady in the city was assaulting her and Tia with requests for maximized security, going so far as to suggest brining in soldiers from other towns that needed them far more. Not only that, but there were also her beloved sister's ungodly pranks. Just this morning she'd replaced her vanity mirror with one enchanted so those who looked upon it's surface looked like Nightmare Moon. They had to use a battering ram to get her door open and a squadron of guards to restrain her as she hysterically begged not to be sent back to the moon.
"Ah yes, that is Tia for thee...." Luna said through grit teeth, giving the mental image of her sister a look that would make everything in a room just fall over and die.
Fortunately, Luna was not in a room, or anywhere near Canterlot and it's multitude of rooms. She was soaring through the night sky, black cloak flapping behind her. Her old friend Selena looked down from the heavens, smiling on her as she flew to the one time of night she looked forward to more than her idle chats with Celestia. Soon she'd be with the nice stallion from Ponyville, singing like she did when she was younger. After flying to that secluded spot every night for two weeks straight, hardly a tick in her eternal lifespan, she could safely say it was among the few things that gave her pleasure.
Few realized it but despite her two billionth birthday a mere one hundred and sixty two years away, Luna was mentally still a teenager. Sure, raising the moon, managing the entire universe to keep up the beauty of the night sky, and joint-ruling a nation had forced her to mature quickly, yet there was still a carefree, youthful side of Luna only Celestia knew about. It was this immature, jealous side that caused the events that led to Luna's banishment for 1000 years.
"No, we are not going to linger on that. After a long day," the queen of the night thought out loud," ...this night is going to be perfect."
* * *
Mac waited by the pond, still in the same sitting position he'd been in for roughly two hours.
Maybe she just got held up? He thought, catching his own reflection in the pond. Every night for two weeks, he came to this part of the farm, and it was starting to take it's toll. The first hints of bags were forming beneath his eyes, and his mane was more disheveled than it usually was. Still, he enjoyed it, sneaking out at night to meet a mysterious mare. And somehow these nightly meetings gave him new energy durring the day. Even AJ had commented on how quickly and easilly he'd get his choores and farmwork done nowadays. She thought he just wanted to get in as many apples as possible before winter, but Mac knew he had to make sure there was absolutely no work left to keep him from meeting the strange night mare.
Yet tonight, she was late. It made sense, everypony gets caught up in work or their everyday lives and sometimes things just don't work out.
* * *
Sure enough, he was still waiting, his mere pressence enough to cause her heart to leap. Maybe she was just a hopeless romantic deep down. Maybe it was sneaking out, keeping her nighttime meeting a secret to everypony else, even Celestia. But whatever the reason, Luna was glad to finally be out of the old castle and back at the tiny pond.
Luna realised on that first night that her lone audience member thought she was a unicorn, so to save suspision the alicorn glided into a clearing nearby, where she could simply trot to the pond as if she lived within walking distance from the place. Ever so gracefully, she emerged from the forest, taking a place just behind the workhorse. It took her a bit to form the correct words to say sorry for being late, but once she did, she put on a goofy smile and said," We apologize for our late arrival."
Or, that's what she meant to say.
"We apologi-" was all Luna could work out before fate gave her another slap to the face. Of all things, a firefly had lodged itself in her throat.
No! Luna thought, cursing all insects to be banished to the sun to burn, No please, just give me this one night! Just a few hours where things go right! She coughed, gasped for air, the nice colt facing her with concern. Luna had her head down, so fortunately he could not see her features. More ponies than she dared think about either fled or became stone rigid upon learning her identity. This pony would NOT be one of them! Not until Luna decided to let him know.
With as much grace as a chariot rolling down the side of a mountain, the insect left Luna's nasal cavity, exiting her nose like nothing had happened. Both she and the stallion watched it for a few moments, both just trying to process what on Celestia's green earth had just happened.
* * *
Mac watched helplessly as the poor pony clutched her muzzle, as if somehow the flat hooves could will the bug out of her airways. It was one of the scariest moments of his life. For once, he was useless, he couldn't do anything. A big pony like him could move a crashed cart out of the way so not to block traffic. He could climb up and reach any of Applebloom's toys that got caught in the many trees of Sweet Apple Acres. Even if he couldn't do anything on his own, he could still help. But this girl was all on her own, struggling for oxygen and there was nothing he could do to fix the problem.
And then with a snort, the bug just...flew out of her nose. It shot through the air for about two seconds before finding it's bearings and flying off, it's flank lit up like Hearth's Warming Eve.
Well...ah recon that was a tad strange....Mac though to himself.
* * *
"We...a-apologize..." Luna said, still a bit dumbfounded. Still, she tried to compose herself, putting on a formal tone as she said," We apologize for that...odd incident."
"Ee'yup," was the only answer her companion gave.
Luna tried to think of something, anything to say, but she was at a loss. The colt went back and took a seat beside the pristine waters. The radiant, tranquil surface drawing her with it's sweet promise of normalcy and fond memories. So it was that Luna took a step forward...
...and stepped on a sixteen inch snake.
She let out a shrill, ear deafening scream as it hissed at her. The stallion turned immediately, but before he could do anything, she was already backing up from the slithery beast. It made another hissing noise, threatening to strike. But just as it started to curl up and open it's fangs, Luna's horn glew white hot...
* * *
To Mac, it sounded like thunder. Or an explosion? Whatever the noise was, the result was much more...impressive. Where there was once a harmless, non-poisonous snake on the ground, there was now a smoldering crater. He was slightly blinded by the sudden flash, but he could still tell the hole was big enough to fit roughly three baskets of apples.
What have ah gotten mahself into?
* * *
No one threatens harm upon a Princess of Equestria! Luna thought to herself, a bit too satisfied with her victory. She then proceeded to take up the spot she previously intended to sit before the reptilian monstrocity threatened her. The stallion (Hmm, we suppose we never asked his name) was still looking at her with concern. But instead of adressing his worry, she simply took in a deep breath, and tried to get a nice melody going.
Sure enough, yet another obstacle stood in the way of her enjoyment. A small, brown and white dog tugged on her mane. Normally, she'd just shoo it away, but if her friend saw her obviously unnaturally magical mane, her disguise would crumble faster than a Cloud Cake in Tia's line of sight. Desperately, she pulled the wavy mass, praying to whatever godly being not intent on ruining her attempt at peace might assist.
* * *
"Ah said git!" Mac scolded the dog.
At first Winona didn't seem to hear him. She was growling too loudly, which made sense. Winona acted not just as AJ's pet and a help on the farm, but she was also a bit of a guard dog that keep wild critters from eating any of their precious fruit from the trees. To the dog, his friend was trespassing, and she intended to stop her from tresspassing as soon as possible.
* * *
With a bit more tugging, and a few orders from her friend, the dog realised it had done wrong. After a bit of sniffing to get this new pony's smell, the dog bounded back to the farm. That didn't mean the end of Luna's troubles though.
As the dog chewed into her tail, something inside Luna just broke. She was crying now, at the uselessness of it all. Why had she thought, after everything else that day, that tonight would be better? Unable to bear the weight of her sadness, she just hung her head long and wept. Cool rivers sent warming sensations over the cheeks, and she could see through hazy eyes as the tears transformed into diamonds for a few short seconds before crashing on the blades of grass.
If the colt left, she wouldn't blame him. Besides, she knew deep down she'd do everything to get here on time tomorrow. Maybe, just maybe, she'd be able to sing and be happy for a few brief minutes. Maybe tomorrow she'd work up the courage to ask for his name. Maybe....who knew, maybe she'd work up the courage to give him her name-
Luna was broken out of her latest episode of self-pity when a coarse but gentle hoof brushed against her cheek. He...is he...wiping away the tears? she asked herself. Indeed, when she opened her eyes, she caught his other foreleg reaching in to brush the sadness from her other cheek. It was a simple gesture, but so very appreciated Luna let herself grin for the first time since arriving.
"Thank you...We're sorry this evening has been so strange," Luna said, still smiling, even giggling a bit," I did not think it would be so-"
Oh thou MUST be jesting! she wanted to scream. When Luna tried to raise her head to face her savior, she didn't realise how close he must have been. Her horn not only hit his chin and jaw, but continued upwards to scratch his cheek and even a bit of his eye. He winced and reared back before rubbing his face with his hoof, as if the pain were just a bit of dirt one could wipe off.
Not willing to let herself break down again, Luna strolled up to him and said," Please, hold still."
"Ee'nope!" was all he said, eyes shut and waving his arm to keep her away. Luna simply raised an eyebrow and said," Please, trust us?"
The boy opened his good eye, looking straight into her eyes. Althought most of her face was obscured by the cloak, Luna still gave a kind smile that told him it would be okay. With a gulp, he surrendered himself to the mare. Horn glowing and healing spell readied, Luna pressed her horn against his cheek, warning him" This may just tingle a bit."
As the edges of the cut began to vanish, the big workhorse started to flinch and shy away from the spell. "Do not be such a foal! Art thou or art thou not a grown pony?"
With that, the stallion just sighed and let her do her work. In less than a minute, the scratch was gone. The two let out sighs of relief, Mac happy that the cut was gone, Luna pleased that nary a meteor or UFO had come to crash into her as she healed her friend.
"Well, this has been a most strange of nights," Luna admitted.
"We suppose thou wishes to rest after such a display?'
He just nodded.
"Very well then," Luna said, smiling sheepishly before adding," Thou...thou never told us thy name before. It is most awkward simply reffering to thee as 'the stallion'."
"Name's Macintosh. Some call me Big Macintosh, other Big Mac, some just Mac."
"I see," Makes sense she thought, looking over his large build," Well, Macintosh...We hope to see thee tomorrow night."
"You too, ma'am," he replied.
After a kind smile and a few waves, Luna left the pond. Mac left too, whistling a tune as he trotted between dense apple trees. In one last joke, courtesy of the wheels of fate, Luna tripped into the crater she created earlier, covering herself with dirt and grass. After spitting out the now Royal Grass (for it has entered her Royal Mouth), she proceeded to remove the Royal Grass Stains and cleanse the Royal Soil from her coat. With that, she glided back towards Canterlot, always keeping an eye on the sky in case she ran into an airship or another Changeling Army.
Mid-Fall. A gentle breeze blew through Luna's mane. Splotches of red and yellow leaves broke the contant wall of lavender granite that was Canterlot. The leaves were changing, and soon Luna would pay a visit to Ponyville for Nightmare Night. She'd been looking forward to it all year, and being less than a week away made the alicorn radiate joy like Celestia's blazing sun radiated warmth.
Until she was brought back to reality. Oh cruel, cruel reality.
Several of the noble lords and ladies had gotten together to view an art salon, and somehow Celestia and Luna had gotten caught up in it. Row after row, the colorful canvases, pottery, and sculptures filled the room with their beauty. The night mare remained mostly silent, Celestia giving all the opinions. That was okay. Luna didn't really see anything that caught her eye, every piece adhering to the old traditions of oil painting or being so out of the scope of imagination only Discord could fully appreciate it's beauty.
"Who is this one by?" Luna heard one noble ask. As she tried to figure out how water dripping into a bowl was considered art, another pony replied, "A newcomer, by the name of...Klimt."
Luna turned away from the odd display to find something she never expected. A unicorn colt in his twenties, lemon yellow with a curly brown mane, turned away suddenly. It was painfully obvious he'd been staring at her flank. Wonderful, after 1000 years of progress, perverts remain the same, she thought, glaring at the stallion as she asked, "And what hath thou contributed to this gallery, sir?"
He cleared this thoat, a bit of sweat reflecting off his brow as he said," G-Good afternoon Your Grace. I am Klimt, and this...is 'Tree of Life'."
With his magic, Klimt pulled back a curtain and unveiled his work. At first, Luna thought it was a sculpture, for it glittered like gold and copper. But as the curtain continued to part, she saw something absolutely unique. On one side of the painting, two ponies kissed beneath a swirling mass, obviously the titular Tree of Life while a mare watched the two with a somewhat envious look on the other side. It...was facinatingly strange. The figures had no shadows, instead their forms defined by subtle changes in colorful patterns. The textures played beautifully to create a dreamlike feeling, and the warm color scheme reminded Luna of one of Tia's sunsets.
That was half the truth at least. Looking at the two ponies embraced beneath the tree, Luna thought back to Mac beneath the apple trees near the pond. She imagined what it might be like, the two of them together under one of the massive trees. How would it feel being hugged by a stallion like Mac, body warm, muscles taught, the scent of musk and apples-...Ugh, we fear this Klimt fellow's perversity is contagious. Point is, it was a pretty picture. Moving on.
Luna smiled at it, unable to take her eyes off this creation unlike anything she'd ever seen before. However, to her side, the pompous nobility sneered and rejected the piece. What irony posessed thee to name such creatures "noble" sister? she wondered before someone asked, "What do you think of this one Your Majesty?"
Celestia shook her head, giving Luna a nudge as she said," I think you should ask Luna. She hasn't been able to take her eyes off this one."
Suddenly every eye was on her. It made her feel uncomfortable, but looking at the sex addicted artist (who was now not so subtly staring at Celestia's flank) and hostile nobles, Luna knew she couldn't pass up the chance to shock them all. With a grin, she said, "We find it lovely."
A wave of gasps flew out at her remark. Every noble assaulted her with questions as to why she liked such an odd piece, or simply looked at her with mouths agape until she explained," It's unlike anything we have seen before. The patterns and swirls are lovely. The textures and use of gold are unmatched, and the style is instantly recognizable. In fact...we would find it wonderful if thou would accept a commission, Master Klimt."
Klimt just stood with impossibly wide eyes, staring into space as he was suddenly bombarded by requests from the same nobles who had shunned his work moments ago. Luna chuckled, and saw her sister doing the same. They are like children or lost sheep, flocking to Tia and ourself like we are shepherds Luna thought of the shallow nobles that she couldn't really bring herself to hate.
Looking at those ponies crowding the artist, and then turning her gaze to the painting that reminded her of Macintosh, Luna suddenly realised she couldn't imagine herself with any of these pampered princes, no matter how high their birth.
* * *
Ponyville was alive and bucking this afternoon. A chorus of voices flooded Mac's ears as he strode through streets packed with ponies of every color imaginable. The almost overwhelming pink and pastel architecture of the town was muted against the green and blue landscape. Soaring above the other shops and stores was his destination: the Golden Oaks Library. Some sort of strange vine from the Everfree Forest had found it's way onto the farm, and he needed a way to get rid of it. Of course Applejack said she had it handled, but knowing her it wouldn't hurt to keep the book just in case.
He stepped inside, a tiny bell ringing above his head to mark his entrance. In one of the corners of the library, Spike was putting away multiple scrolls and research books Twilight had used in one of her study sessions. The entire building smelled of old paper and ink. Colorful shelves of books, too many for the average colt to finish in a lifetime, stretched to the ceiling to greet a wooden chandelier. Desks and chairs littered the main room, two such seats facing an ornate fireplace in the corner. It was there that the librarian sat reading. No surprise there.
"Just one second," Twilight said, levitating a bookmark to her side. She was obviously in her own world, but at least Spike said, "Hey Mac."
"Howdy," was all he said before the unicorn came over and asked," So, what can I help you with?"
"Somethin' on weedin'. Somethin' from the Everfree's invadin' the orchards."
Mac just shook his head as she said knowingly," Right, lemme see what I've got."
In an instant a cloud of books surrounded Twilight, each wrapped in the purple aura of unicorn magic. She shifted through the jumble of knowledge, returning each book back to the shelf as she crossed it off some sort of mental list. Mac just watched until only one book was left, which Twilight kindly handed him.
"Here you go, 'A Guide to the Everfree' is probably the best book for something like this," she said, obviously trying to avoid eye contact. Mac just sighed. Confound it, not this again. During Discord's reign, one of the odd villain's pranks had been to make Mac act like a dog, during which he...licked Twilight's face. It was awkward, but he'd gotten over it, like everypony else had after the temporary reign of chaos. He craned his neck, trying to face the unicorn as he asked," Miss Sparkle, are y'all ever gonna get over that? How many months has it been since mah sis' and y'all stopped Discord?"
At that, Twilight's face twisted into what looked like a painful smile. A few hairs on her mane curled and split, her eyes shrinking as she assured him," What? Why would I need to get over anything? I am perfectly fine around you! I'm fine! We defeated Discord seven months, two weeks, four days, ten hours and roughly thirty seven minutes ago! Whatever you think I need to get over is just like anything Discord related: IN THE PAST!"
By now her nose was pressed right against his face, not too unlike AJ during that awful conversation when he wrecked his back last year. Realising what had come over her, Twilight simply forced Mac out the door with her magic, placed the book beside him, and shouted," You take care of that book! Good luck with the weeds!"
The door shut behind him, and Mac let out another sigh. Not for the first time, he questioned his sister's choise of friends.
* * *
Next stop, Rainbow Dash. Mac found her lounging on a cloud in the middle of a field outside town. It was a nice spot, the wind blowing leaves the same shade as his coat, the approaching sunset painting the clouds a yellow not unlike that of his mane. It was nice, until Dash's very audible snores broke the peace like a pane of glass.
Mac cleared his throat, trying to get the pagasus' attention. Not surprisingly she just kept napping like a bum. Must be nice, not havin' to work all day Mac thought. "Rainbow Dash!" he called out, to no success. After a few more tries, he cleared his throat, put on his "serious buisness" face, and in the same tone he used when Apple Bloom was in trouble, shouted," RAINBOW DASH!!!"
"Wha-!? I swear dad, Fluttershy put those magazines in...my...backpack?" she sputtered for a bit, trying to come back to reality. Soon she focused on the stallion sitting beneath her makeshift bed and said," Oh, hey Big Mac."
"Ah need t'ask a favor," he asked, taking a few steps closer," Ah heard a few o' the pegasi in town sayin' there wasn't any rain scheduled for awhile, and-"
"And you wanted my help watering trees?" she replied, holding back a yawn," Sounds kinda boring. And if it's so important the trees get water, why didn't AJ ask me herself?"
Mac just raised an eyebrow, to which Dash said," Oh yeah, right...Still, why should I waste my awesome skill and talent watering plants?"
A sigh escaped Mac's lips," So, y'all can't do it?"
Dash's eyes flew wide open," What did you say!?"
"Ah mean Sweet Apple Acres is uh big property, and Ah would understand if it were too much for just one flyer to water all them trees by her lonesome."
Gotcha was all Mac had time to think before Dash flew in, cornering him as she verbally beat him" Now wait just one bucking minute! It's NOT too much for me, I CAN water that entire orchard, and I'll do it before you can blink! You got that!?"
"Ee'yup," was all Mac said, smiling at himself," Ah'll seeya tomorrow then?"
"Count on it," she said as she waved a hoof. At that, she reclined on the puffy mass. Soon the sound of her snoring resumed, and Mac took it as his cue to leave. Unlike some ponies, he still had work to do.
* * *
Once again Macintosh made his way to the pond. This time however, it was in broad daylight. The leaves had been raked, the vine invading the orchards had been identified, all the apples were collected, and it was time for Mac to relax. The sky was a swirl of pink and yellow, but it was far too early for the songstress to come by. Instead, a fishing pole was firmly held in his teeth, and hopes of game fishing filled his head.
The forest was alive with familiar sounds as Mac took a spot by the water. Birds sang and the nearby creek babbled as he secured the rod in his hooves. With a quick flick, the bobber was a good thirty feet away.
For a while, Mac was alone with his thoughts. The thing about his line of work was he spent alot of time thinking. Politics, arts, philosophy, culture, they were all subjects he'd spend hours contemplating as he plowed the fields. Thing is so much thought made him naturally quiet, so few ponies understood what went on in his head.
"It's okay. Come on down little guy" he heard a tiny voice whisper. It was soft, and fragile, and Mac probably wouldn't have heard it if what breeze there was hadn't died down. To his side, Mac saw Fluttershy, another one of AJ's friends, with a group of squirrels. One much smaller than the rest was up in one of the trees, so the pegasi floated to catch it. How she held all those squirrels in her hooves was anypony's guess.
Horseapples! Ah didn't think there were any other ponies here he thought. Of course, Fluttershy was a bit difficult to notice anyway, but it still made him feel bad that he hadn't seen her. Should ah say howdy? Or just pretend she aint there? Maybe ah should just walk away...? No! Ah'd be cold as molasses in January if ah left now.If she saw me, ah might hurt her feelin's.
The pegasi looked at him, her face immediately turning as pink as her mane. Their eyes locked for a good three seconds before she turned away. There was no pretending she wasn't there now.
This is bad. Ah don't want her thinkin' Ah'm ignorin' her! Maybe...Ah'll just say somethin'! Ee'yup, just talk t'her normally. No problem.
Mac took in a deep breath, puffed out his chest, summoned his courage and said," Howdy miss-"
She was gone. Only a few yellow feathers marked her escape, the tiny things floating to meet the soft grass. What...what in the hay just happened?
He looked back at the pond, the crystaline waters reflecting the array of gold and peach like some watered down painting. The little hollow once again brought his thoughts to the singing girl. When he compared her to the mares in his town, he just couldn't see himself with any of his sister's friends. Fluttershy's timidness, Rainbow Dash and her laziness, Twilight's mix of brains and insanity...they were just friends to him. According to the town census, there was a 5 to 1 ratio of mares to colts in Ponyville. Yet, they were all friends to him.
That mare who's name he didn't know, she had that spark, that special something that made him feel complete.
* * *
Luna stared out the window. The last fleks of gold were starting to vanish as her night began to dominate the night sky. Around her, the various nobles gossiped over food that had been twisted and warped so as to resemble some sort of "art". As Luna picked at what looked like chariot accident but Tia insisted was a sandwich, she thought about excusing herself to raise the moon. At least, she thought about it until one pony's shrill voice paralized her from sheer volume.
"A plebian!?" the mare practically screamed. Luna rolled her eyes at how every voice in the room hushed at that simply awful word.
"I kid you not, it was some woodworker," an older girl in front of the first replied," We tried to tell her, but she just wouldn't hear it. Now my little Lotus Blossom's off with some awful common boy."
"Scandalous," one pony said as the room started to sound like a swarm of angry bees. To Luna's side, Celestia just sipped her tea and said," You'll get used to it."
She looked back at the pampered lords and ladies and started to laugh. Tia chuckled a bit too, but all went dead when the noble Luna hated most asked," Do you find this funny Your Grace!?"
Of course, 'tis nearly as good a jest as thy actions upon our return Luna thought. Across the table from her, Prince Blueblood stared at her with thinly veiled outrage. His face was red, and Luna's would be too if she didn't have better control of herself. Aside from being as spoiled and rude and twice as oblivious as the average lord, Blueblood was on Luna's bad side. On her first night back to Canterlot, Blueblood had mistaken her for Nightmare Moon. That alone wouldn't have upset her, but he proceeded to have his guards arrest her, bind her, and throw her in a cell until Celestia came by.
Luna spent all three of her hours in that little box memorizing that colt's name, branding it onto her heart, waiting for revenge.
But not tonight. Victory over the pearl white unicorn would need to wait another day. Instead, through clenched teeth she replied," Indeed, Thou acts as thou somepony has broken the law."
"He has!" Blueblood shouted, pointing a hoof skyward as he bellowed to the great Faust herself," The girl has associated herself with a pony of no noble blood, and this commoner has made the mistake of corrupting a lady of Equestria. He must be hanged!"
"Thou should be hanged, Prince Blueblood," Luna muttered under her breath as Celestia said," That's not a law, Blueblood. It's just another silly tradition you need to stop clinging to."
"We do not see what the problem is," the night mare muttered again, but this time, loud enough that Blueblood heard. By now the entire table was hushed again, and the prince across from her asked in a normal voice," You don't see anyproblem with this, Your Majesty?"
Luna looked past Blueblood, at the rolling hills and mountain ranges. She felt like if she looked hard enough, she might be able to see the pond and Sweet Apple Acres from here. With that came the image of Macintosh, his smile, the simple moment when she was healing the cut on his side. That image stayed close to her heart as Luna replied," No. Regular people are kind and true, and down to earth and moral. Thou may not see it Prince Blueblood, but "plebians" as thou so likes to call them, are simply a different type of noble from what thou hath grown up knowing. If the boy is as noble as the 'common' ponies I know, then she is a very lucky mare."
Less than content with their infinitely wise leader's explanation, the dinner continued until Luna left to raise the moon.
It was mid-morning on the day of the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year, and Ponyville was bustling like some sort of deranged beehive. Not only was the festival taking up most of the ponies' time, but there was an added rush as a winter snowstorm was blowing in. Although Mayor Mare would have rather the snowstorm be driven away, Luna actually asked it simply be kept in check long enough for everypony to see the night sky and full moon. Like everypony else, Luna loved the snow, and the thought of having a snowball fight with Twilight and her friends gave her a warm feeling inside.
Until the winter wind blew and she had to tighten her snowcloak. It wasn't the same one she wore when she went to meet Mac though. This one was actually a lovely sky blue, accented with black fur with glass beads that created an effect like a night sky. It was a gift from Rarity, and she just couldn't refuse after seeing how happy wearing it made the unicorn.
As the sun crept higher into the sky, Luna went over everything with Twilight Sparkle, making sure everything was as perfect as possible. And, even though it was a bit tiring, the alicorn genuinely enjoyed that morning. Sure, everypony bowed low and gave the usual "your majesty" or "your graces", but after the formalities they were all open and happy. She chalked it up to last Nightmare Night. After having fun with the townsfolk that evening, everyone spoke and thought of her like an old friend. Such openess was so foreign, yet wonderful to Luna that she almost bounced as she walked beside her sister's student.
It was during one such conversation that Twilight pulled her away. With a smile on her face, Luna asked," Yes Twilight, how may we help thee?"
"I wanted to introduce you to a friend of mine," she said just as kindly. Then, as Luna's gaze left the librarian and met that of the pony beside her, the queen of the night actually wished she were still trapped on the moon.
"This is Big Macintosh, Applejack's brother," Twilight continued, but Luna could only gawk in shock.
Sure enough, Mac stood merely a few feet from her. He gave her a low bow and a friendly "Howdy" before Luna allowed herself to breathe again. He'll recognize me She thought, panic flowing through her veins, If we speak a single sylable, four months of secrecy shall be lost. Macintosh shall see through our disguise, he shall flee from the Night Mare, just like every other pony. Those days of innocent banter and joyous song will end...
No, not again! Luna calmed herself. Her mind frantically tried to formulate a plan. In a few split seconds, the queen of the night filtered through every memory of her late rendezvous' with the red stallion. But the more she thought, the more Luna realised the simple truth. She'd used every possible tone of voice during her nights with Macintosh....All but one... It would be more than embarrasing, and she'd need to explain herself to Twilight and probably a few others, but it was her only hope.
Luna untied the knot in her throat, arched her head, and boomed," GREETINGS, SIR MACINTOSH! 'TIS A PLEASURE TO MEET THEE!"
Every mare, stallion, foal, animal, and single celled organism in the room watched her, trying to register just what happened. Mac stared at her, an odd expression on his face as he kindly replied," You too ma'am."
"WE DID NOT MEET THEE ON NIGHTMARE NIGHT. PRAY TELL, WHERE WAS THOU DURRING SO GLORIOUS A CELEBRATION!?"
Mac just flinched a bit as he said," When y'all first showed up, ah was pullin' a hay wagon. Then, after everypony knocked over the decorations in the main square, ah helped put everythin' back in place. By then Applebloom was dun' tired, and so was I, so ah headed home Yer Majesty."
"MOST NOBLE OF YOU SIR!"
"Umm, Princess Luna?" Twilight asked sheepishly at her side," Why are you using the Royal Canterlot Voice..?"
"'TIS TRADITION TWILIGHT! AS DOES OUR SISTER, WE HOLD THE UTMOST RESPECT FOR THOSE WHO BRING FOOD TO OUR ROYAL TABLE, AS WELL AS THE KINGDOM WHOLE! 'TIS A COURTESY TO ADRESS THEM IN THIS TONE!"
"Thank ye kindly," Mac said, to which Luna once again began," MY APOLOGIES FAIR TOWNSFOLK, BUT THE MENTION OF FOOD HAS BROUGHT OUR OWN HUNGER TO OUR ATTENTION. WOULD THEE EXCUSE US, TWILIGHT SPARKLE, FOR AN EARLY LUNCHEON?!"
"Umm, not in the least," Twilight replied. At that, Luna gave a quick bow before running from Town Hall at full gallop.
"Well that was weird," Twilight thought aloud before Mac simply replied," Ee'yup."
* * *
Luna ran as fast and as far as her hooves would carry her. Right now she didn't care what anypony else thought. She just wanted to get away from Big Macintosh. It wasn't until she found a quiet alley that the alicorn allowed herself to stop and fully go over what just happened.
That was awful! She though, covering her face with her forelegs. During the two years since her return, Luna had brushed up on everything that had changed. Much sleep was lost reading not just history books, but novels, dictionaries, biographies, diaries, and notebooks of ponies who lived at any time during her imprisonment. She didn't want to just know what happened while she was away, Luna wanted to understand how society and the people had changed as well.
At the time of Nightmare Night, she'd been stuck at roughly six-hundred years after her banishment, trying to figure out exactly why a two storied tool shed was considered such a revolutionary invention. Since then, however, she'd caught up on more modern times, and it was for that reason she felt so bad about using the Royal Canterlot Voice. She didn't just understand that yelling in someone's face was rude, but she fully understood how strange it looked to everypony and how utterly inappropriate it was.
Luna still liked using the "royal we" and other olden terms because she felt it gave her more personality, but to shout in someone's face was just so embarrassing-
"Princess Luna?" somepony asked. Luna took her head out of her hooves to see Twilight Sparkle staring at her, concern spread like a tarp over he face.
"We apologize, Twilight," Luna replied, smiling despite her current emotional state," We...we do not know what came over us..."
"Your Highness," Twilight began, a smile creeping onto her face,"...were you nervous around Big Macintosh?"
Luna's ears perked up, her entire body moving to face Twilight at a speed that Rainbow Dash would be jealous of. "Beg pardon?" was all she mustered before Twilight started to giggle a bit.
"Were you nervous around Mac? I mean...do you like him?"
It was then that Luna realised Twilight's implications. She...she thought Luna was nervous? Because she thought she believed Macintosh to be attractive? Well, of course Macintosh was attractive, she was not blind, but she was more attracted to him for his kind actions than visual appeal. The princess then found herself blushing at the comment. The sudden realization brought Luna to laugh a bit as well, and admit to Twilight," Well...yes. We do not find him very difficult to look upon."
"I should have realised," Twilight said, giving Luna a helping hoof as the alicorn got back on her feet," I have to admit, I've had the same thoughts a few times too."
"Oh really?" Luna mused, laughing at her foalishness. The two began to walk through the streets, laughing as they discussed how everypony had reacted to Luna's outburst. Worry faded as Luna realised Twilight would simply spread the word that Luna had gotten nervous around a handsome colt and everyone would accept it as fact. Nothing to worry about.
After awhile though, Luna's stomach started to growl. It was then that she gave Twilight her last goodbyes before setting off on her epic quest for Lunch.
* * *
It would seem she was once again on the universe's bad side, as Luna soon found herself trapped in a line that stretched several blocks. The reward for their patience: one of Sugarcube Corner's many wonderful treats. It was a tempting prize, but after waiting fifteen minutes, the princess of the night lost all patience. Forfeighting her spot, she strode over to the front of the line to see exactly what was taking so long.
What she found was a sight that would bring a twisted grin to Discord's distorted face. Pinkie Pie was rushing to decorate the multitude of cakes, pastries, punches, and other fare the little shop had been asked to serve at tonight's festival. She shot orders at various assistants, teleporting between tables and desserts like some taskmaster evaluating the servant's work. As Pinkie worked, a sky blue mare with pink hair was caring for two crying foals. Not only that, but a yellow colt with an orange mane rushed between tables to serve the lunchrush at such a pace that Luna actually made a temporary "derp" face as some called it. It was a scene of unparralled chaos.
For just a moment, she thought about using her status as Princess to get her lunch, but this horrible thing Celestia called a conscience told Luna otherwise. She simply groaned and trotted off for some other eatery.
By the time she reached the nearest cafe, her stomach was churning. It too was hopelessly overcrowded, forcing Luna away. The same thing happened over and over for at least an hour. Her worst experience was waiting in line at one bakery, choosing to get out of line after five minutes of standing still, only to have the entire line somehow move into the place as her back was turned.
Once Luna reached the outskirts of town, she was practically crawling in her search. She'd checked off every eatery in Ponyville. Twice! The proud Night Mare, bringer of the Moon, Caretaker of Galaxies, and Painter of the Milky Way clutched her belly as it sent another roar through her system. She considered just laying down and letting the weakness overtake her. She always imagined dying by the breath of a dragon, or fighting off an army of zombies, or even passing as an old mare still caring for the last star in the sky. Never had she imagined dying of hunger in the middle of a town, praying to Faust that Sugarcube Corner were actually made of gingerbread she could sneak a bit of. Celestia could handle the night, she did so for a millenia, the world did not need her. Then, as all hope was lost, a shining beakon smiled on Luna.
Sweet Apple Acres stretched out before her. The trees were baren and the soil brown and withered, but there was hope for Luna yet. A column of smoke stretched from the farmhouse, the smells carried to the starving princess enough to make her drool a bit. Apple pies, apple fritters, apple tarts, apple strudel, baked apples, caramel apples. Smile beaming on her face, Luna made her way to the farm...
...until she saw Big Macintosh lounging under a nearby tree.
Nooooooooooooooo! She wanted to scream, but screaming would mean Mac would hear, and if Mac heard her he'd ask what was wrong and she'd be expected to explain herself, which would mean...speaking. What if he turned around? Would she risk it? Was she really that hungry? But if she did go in...he might come in as well, and she'd have to use the Royal Canterlot Voice again. Sure, if Applejack's letters were to be believed, Apple Bloom would just ask Luna how to use the Voice, and Granny Smith would think she were whispering. But it wasn't just her disguise that she cared about, it was simply rude to impose on someone because she was too impatient to wait in line.
Luna felt like her brain would just split in half due to the inner conflict. Fearing for her sanity, she just decided to walk away.
As she headed back to town, she cursed herself, cursed lunch-rushes across space and time, cursed evolution for giving ponies stomachs that needed to be filled. Then, just as she let out a tiny whine, in the middle of the road...was....A pie?
Could it be? Yes! It was not an illusion or sick joke! Still warm and steaming, the circle of crust and filling beconed her like a lighthouse on the shore. "Is this really happening?" she asked aloud. The pie answered when she lifted a tiny note beneath the confection that read "Ee'yup."
She smiled, pressing the note to her chest as she sais softly," Thank you, Big Macintosh."
It was at that moment that she decided something. Taking the pie with her magic, she reflected on this small act of kindness from the burly farmer. Luna vowed she would not let her fear get the better of her. No longer would she fear the red stallion of Sweet Apple Acres. Never again would she need to flee at his sighting. Tonight, after she raised the moon on the longest night of the year, Luna would reveal herself to Mac, regardless of what may happen.
But for now, Luna swore to the heavens she would consume this pie A.S.A.P.
It was roughly 7:00 and the Winter Solstice Celebration was in full swing. Ponies chatted, children played games, and the pegasi were finally satisfied the storm wouldn't get in the way of anypony's view of the moon. Even Clestia had arrived earlier, attracting a fairly large crowd to the dismay of her guards. Luna was making a few preperations as well. As she spoke with her friends and happy citizens, she was using her magic to make sure every star and splash of galactic color was shining at it's brightest. Normally, the full moon's light would obstruct most of the night sky, but this night Luna made sure the entire country would get to see the best her sky had to offer.
As she chatted, Luna noticed Mac serving beside Applejack and Pinkie Pie. He immediately blushed and looked away, trying to look as small as possible under Luna's gaze. The story that Luna had a crush on him had spread like wildfire, and no doubt he'd heard. She felt somewhat sorry for him, but it made it easier for her to avoid him, and in a way it was the truth.
The chime of a bell broke Luna from her thoughts. It was that time of day again. Everypony in the room gathered around the central stage as Luna rose to the podium. Behind her, a glass window extending the height of the building gave her a beautiful backdrop of pinks, purples, oranges and reds as the sun made it's final decent. An army of eyes trained on her, and Luna started to raise her old prison. Her mane bollowed with more life than usual, flowing with power as the moon made itself brighter. Slowly the sun became a mere sliver on the horizon, the approaching stormclouds reflecting it's bright rays until even those faded. Once her work was done, the window was filled with the image of a full moon, nestled between two arms of the Milky Way, and a sprinkle of stars shining brightly on her galactic canvas.
A roar of applause sounded, and Luna allowed herself a smile as her heartbeat began to slow.
* * *
Mac looked out the massive window in city hall, a tart in his hoof as he admired the landscape. Already a thin layer of snow dusted the landscape, making the rolling hills and quiet streets of Ponyville twinkle like the sky above. The Mayor had asked that all the streetlamps be extinguished so the sky could be viewed best, and it worked. He could see every star, every swirl of the universe, and each crater on the moon. It was one of the best nights he'd ever seen.
As he looked out, he noticed a lone figure come up to him. She stood next to him, still cloaked as usual, and watched the scenery with him. It was still strange to him, a mare being as tall as he was. Mac had heard of supermodels being this tall, and Princess Luna was right at eye level with him, but after living most of his adulthood looking down at other ponies he still found it weird.
"Doing well this evening?" she finally asked after struggling to find the proper words.
"We...we have given this matter much thought," the mare worked up, swallowing loudly before she said," We have decided to reveal ourself to thee."
Wasn't expectin' that Mac thought," Really?'
"Indeed. Later this evening, thou shall find a single lit lamppost in the eastern park. Meet us there, and we shall...see what transfers."
"Thank ye' kindly," he said, nodding to her. Finally after months of sneaking around, he'd get to know just who this mysterious pony is. Sure, a part of him would miss going around late at night, but it would be nice to actually know who it was he was seeing.
"We shall see thee later," were her last words before disappearing into the crowd.
* * *
Mac made his way to the lamppost the mare told him would be there. His hooves crunched under the layer of snow, which was now several inches thick. The moon no longer hovered above, instead a swirling mass of blueish-grey covering the heavens. From it, an infinite army of snowflakes decended only to meet with their friends on the cold cobblestones of the town.
He entered the light, and there he waited. After only a minute or so, he heard hoofsteps coming towards him. For a bit he was nervous, but as the mare stepped into the light he felt an overwhelming calmness. It pushed away all feelings of doubt, like being with this person was the single most right thing in the world.
"We feared thou wouldst not come," she said shyly. She kicked at a bit of snow, staring at the ground.
"Eenope," was his only reply.
"Do...Would thou...promise not to freak out?" the girl asked, fearful, as if he were an angry parent about to ground her.
It was all she needed to hear.
* * *
Art we truly going through with this? Luna asked herself. She craned her head towards Mac, finally meeting his tired eyes. From this angle, the light of the streetlamp seemed to give him an otherworldly halo. His smile was welcoming, and it assured Luna this was for the best.
Her horn glowed, and she threw back her hood with a fury. As her unearthly mane spilled from behind her, Luna looked Mac dead in the eye, confident he wasn't like the rest.
* * *
Instead of hair, a galaxy poured out from the mare's cloak. Her big, emerald eyes stared back at him, radiating confidence. A shimmering black tiara rested on her forehead.
Sweet Celestia, it's Princess Luna...?
How in tarnation did ah fall for the Princess? Mac wondered. He'd fallen for the ruler of his nation. He'd fallen for a godess. Mac was in love with a godess. Realisation struck like an angry bull bucking him in the chest. Celestia may have moved the sun, a swirling ball of fire millions of times bigger than their own planet...yet Luna was queen of the night. She controlled the moon, the stars, galaxies and nebulae trillions of lightyears away. She would live eons after he was just dirt and bones. He'd fallen fore a mare who...was blushing?
"Art thou surprised?" she asked sheepishly, trying to keep a royal air, but her grin and nervous expression made it impossible for her to look like anything other than a giddy schoolpony.
"Ee'yup" was all Mac could muster, eyes wide as the moon.
He waited in silence for a bit before speaking. A million questions presented themselves, and he had to fight back to contain them all. In the end, all he could think to ask was," Just why were y'all so sad that first night anyway?"
Luna thought for a moment, then in the most goofy, teenager-like voice one would never imagine said," We have no idea."
She actually snorted, trying to keep herself together. It made Mac happy knowing she was as nervous as he was. Soon both started to laugh, before Luna said," We believe....we think Tia and I had an arguement. She played another prank on us, and we told her about being responsible...and she brought up...the thing we hate ponies bringing up."
"The Night Mare."
She nodded sadly," I suppose thou shall not want-"
"That was rude"
Luna's eyes may well have fallen out of their sockets right then and there,"...what...?"
"Ah said that was rude. Ah see the pony in front of me, and she's learned from her mistakes. Bringin' up something they're tryin' to move past just aint right."
"We feared though wouldst not want to see us after tonight. If being a princess does not scare others off, being Nightmare Moon does."
He moved closer, so close his mistlike breath sprayed a bit of warmth on Luna's cheeks. In a low voice, he said," Ah'm not goin' anywhere."
Here with Luna, Mac felt complete solitude. The rest of the world became black against the warm orange glow, like they were on an island in a sea of nothingness. It reminded Mac of the stories, of how the godess Faust began creating the universe while perched on an island of light. Right here, right now, there was no farm for Mac to manage. There were no royal responsibilities for Luna to care for. There was no night, no town. There was just the two of them, alone, in the snow.
Luna dared to close her eyes, and move in. Mac followed her example, and moved in as well. Their faces seemed to move for an eternity before their lips finally met. For a moment, something inside resonated within them. A chain seemed to connect their hearts, or maybe it was like a fire building up within? Luna thought she felt the stars themselves start to smile, and Mac felt the same way he did standing in a field of grain and letting the wind caress his mane. There really isn't a word for it, but if she had to describe it, Luna would have said it was like a deeper form of the Magic of Friendship, purer than a snowflake, stronger than the walls of Canterlot, gentler than a dove on a windowsill.
They didn't know how long the kiss lasted. Time was not a part of the world beneath the lampost, this heaven they'd built together. The wind was, however, and it was a shiver from Luna that caused Mac to break off the kiss. He kindly offered her his scarf before asking," Would y'all like to come back t'the farm? Ah think it's a tad warmer than out here."
With a smile and a nod, Luna said," Ee'yup."
* * *
Above, on a cloud that blended in perfectly with the rest of the sky, Celestia sat watching her sister and her coltfriend. She struggled to hold back a laugh. It had been a long time since she'd seen Luna this happy, and it made the sun princess just as glad.
Of course, she was going to give her sister Tartarus on a silver platter tomorrow, teasing her about this boy. But for now Celestia just contented herself to spy on her little sister and see how far she'd come since the Summer Sun Celebration two years ago.
* * *
In the pale fog of morning, Luna and Mac stood outside of town. Behind her, the bat winged guards stomped to ground, a large carriage strapped behind them.
Yesterday had been amazing. Luna built a SnowPony shaped Like an Alicorn in the image of Mac, which Celestia pretended to swoon over. After Spike took a picture of the display, though, everyone took to chasing him down, trying to get the picture of their ruler until the chase deterorated into a snowball fight. Luna was hit a few times, but she took great victory in knowing she hit Tia with the sphere of cold ice not once, but twice on the Cutie Mark.
Now, however, it was time to leave. Celestia had left the night before, after all goodbyes had been said, and it was Luna's turn. She'd bid farewell to the Elements of Haromy, Spike, and the three "Cutie Mark Crusaders" that somehow managed to destabalize an entire rooftop of snow and bring it to rest on her head. But now she had to say goodbye to Mac.
It wasn't easy, leaving. Luna knew she could come visit at night every once and awhile, but she was once again buried by her royal duties, and she could be putting those nights to better use than sneaking out to meet her coltfriend. Duties like finishing the last few bits of paperwork related to the Changeling Invasion, helping train the newest batch of Royal Guards, or most pressing of them all, working to improve security after a "Pony Rights" group had tried to steal Discord's statue and free him so as to give him a "proper trial". Luna didn't understand it either.
"So...is this it?' Luna asked with an odd half smile," We must rule this land, and thou must manage your farm. We shall come visit thee when we find time, but time is very important to a princess and we have not used ours wisely. So..we suppose this is goodbye for now?"
"Ee'nope," was all Mac said.
From a satchel at his side, he pulled out a scroll, not unlike those Celestia recieved from her pupil. With her magic, Luna floated it in front of her, and read aloud:
"Dear Princess Luna,
Nowadays, ponies have this thing called "long distance relationships". I'm sure Spike won't mind it I asked him to send my letters to you, and I assume you're able to use the same magic Princess Celestia uses to send letters to Twilight Sparkle. We may not be able to spend time together like we did under the lampost, or at the farm. Nor will I be able to hear your beautiful voice until you can spare time from the responsibilities of being Princess. However this way we can at least stay in touch and keep this magic between us alive.
I look forward to your letter, Your Majesty.
Luna opened her mouth to say something, but her guards were stamping the ground, giving her the same look one might give a pony taking impossibly long to order something at a restaraunt. When she turned to Mac, he just ushered her towards the carriage. She took her first step onto the ramp, turning to Mac as she said," We shall miss thee."
"You too, Yer Majesty."
"We would like it if thou called us 'Luna'," she said, smiling a bit. He leaned in, the white mist splashing against her as he kissed her on the cheek. The tiny bit of warmth spread through her, and the night mare closed her eyes. Words like music, she listened as Mac said," Ah'll miss you Luna."
Everything between that moment and being seated in the coach would remain clouded by a haze until the last white dwarf died billion of systems away, but she could somewhat recall saying," I love you" and Mac returning the gesture. Luna pressed her face to the glass, watching her friend fade into the pink snow, blue shadows sprawled across the landscape under the rising sun. Even Ponyville became a mere dot beneath the infinite sky as Canterlot loomed in the distance, ready to greet her.
Luna unrolled the scroll again, going over the words and immediately starting to form her response.
She started to hum a bit, and unknowingly sang the song she'd sung when she first met the nice stallion who's name she hadn't bothered asking.