The Moon Dancers.
I have something to confess, something stuck deep into my heart, but I have to do things properly and work my way up from the start.
My name is Eclipse, I earned my cutie mark on Mother's Day. See, I was getting impatient because there was only a week to the day and I still didn't know what to give her
and I saw it.
A stained glass window with the sun behind, I turned around to see the colors without the light shining on my eyes and saw myself casting a shadow on the projection. Inspiration hit me.
Now, I'll come clean right now: I'm a wimp when it comes to pain, more so when I was that little. Of course I didn't use glass bits, even if I did manage to find a lot. Nope, no sharp things for me. I bought card stock and plenty of colorful plastics and got to work.
The day came, I kept telling mom I had a surprise for her but it was better to wait until nightfall. Celestia's orb was no good for something like this, something this small and delicate, it shines too brightly. It sheds its light on things that don't need it and creates unnecessary glares and shadows.
No, I needed something smaller, more manageable. I led mom outside and told her to close her eyes while I got it ready.
"You can look now!" I said after covering one of the streetlights, I had spent a whole day going back and forth measuring it and nearly didn't finish my project in time.
Her mouth was wide open, she loved it, I was so happy! On the wall there was a colorful projection around the shadow of a pony's silhouette, it also had little slits and holes on it to let some of the light through. The lines and holes on the pony's body read "I (heart) MOM" and peppered with little star-like dots around.
I decided then to work more with lights and shadows, colors and darkness. I would learn to make glass objects for real.
That's when it appeared, a ring on my flank, a solar eclipse. Considering that my coat is already charcoal black and my mane and tail snowy white I was not exactly thrilled about the shape. Well, at least until
oh, I'm getting ahead of myself again.
It happened some time ago, I discovered a taste for words and romance and being all mushy. So I visited Ponyville's library more often to read novels
and sometimes bawl my eyes out. Thankfully, the pony working there was also a romanticist and kept the secret of my soft heartstrings. I heard the librarian is now tending to the collection at Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns.
Oh, I even thought that it might be a good idea to write something myself! I always found the sound of a typewriter comforting, so I borrowed one from my grandma. Of course, it did nothing but sit inside a bag on a shelf to gather dust for over a year. Putting feelings to words is
difficult; it's so much easier to make a glass sculpture or a window.
Last year my life changed completely. The Summer Sun Celebration of that year Nightmare Moon was liberated and tried to sink the world in eternal night. I was scared, I loved the night but plants still need the sun, so who wouldn't be scared?
Apparently, Twilight Sparkle, an unicorn pony (around my age! I felt like a coward!) that came from Canterlot on royal business
at first. She and her friends later admitted to have actually been scared, but they pressed on anyways to stop Nightmare Moon.
And they brought her back with them.
Princess Luna, I couldn't help but be absorbed inside those beautiful teal eyes. She turned to look at her sister frequently and I swear I saw her glowing in jubilance and relief each time.
Pinkie Pie, as customary for her, held a large party, this time in honor of the reunion of the royal pony sisters. And I mean it! It was huge! There was dancing and singing
and Luna- err, Princess Luna never left my sight. She sang all of her feelings, from deep within, about her sister and her loneliness and everything. I never heard such an exquisite voice before. Neither had I seen someone dance like that, blending flight and sweet motions though I felt she was holding back. As the other ponies clapped their hooves and cheered at the end of each performance, I was dumbstruck, too impressed to move unless Lu- Princess Luna threatened to get out of view.
I may be good at delicate tasks with glass, but I'm pretty clumsy when it comes to moving my feet fast. I am derpy-hooved when it comes to dancing; barely doing any exercise beyond walking doesn't help. I actually entered the past Running of the Leaves that very autumn
I came twelfth; I just kept tripping and stumbling over things!
Yeah I could sing a bit, but nothing special. I couldn't bring myself to sing along some of the most incredible songs I have heard, most of which spoke of sweet, radiant hope and how it had answered her pleas.
The kicker came when she thanked everyone for being so nice to her, even after everything she did. The six ponies that saved her gathered around her in a warm embrace; while I wanted to say something, anything, I wanted to shout "That was not you!" There was no way somepony that sweet had willingly turned into something that wicked.
I could not even whimper her name.
She was crying, and because of that my eyes watered too. I still saw a hint of loneliness in the way the princess carried herself, she kept looking at the ground as if ashamed. It was evident she would need time to heal, if that would even be possible. It was as if a part of her was inside a cage, I wanted to- I really wanted to help her!
After seeing her leave, I made it my goal to let her know of my feelings. No easy task, considering I'm merely a no-name apprentice-glassmaker, even if ponies praise my work. So I thought, why not use printed words where the spoken ones failed me? So I set my hooves to the labor of developing and refining my writing.
I spent a few months going back and forth, speaking to everypony and I mean everypony and asking what they felt about the night still managing to keep up my work at the glass workshop by some sort of miracle. I researched myths, prophecies and legends related to the moon with the aid of Twilight; and she even told me she would be glad to add my book to her collection. I was all like: "Really?" It's just about what they felt when they looked at the stars, what happened when they heard Nightmare Moon, if they had feared and what they did; of what they thought when they saw princess Celestia again, saw her sister.
Very emotive, though it was just a bunch of stories and me gushing about the night, about how sad I felt that the hard lifestyle of back then prevented ponies from fully enjoying the sights of that beautiful ivory-silver moon and the diamond dust floating around it.
Just imagine my surprise when I was told that it would actually be published, even if I thought that I may have overdone it with the sentimentality. Twilight proofreading it and helping me organize the whole thing according to books she had already read really helped. I used a pen name, of course; what would I do if a copy ended in the hooves of the princesses?!
Still, I did not lose myself in that little victory after all, it was possible that it would only sell due to novelty and then wear off. No, if I wanted L- Princess Luna to consider me worthy of her time I needed to do more, I wanted to do more.
So much more. I wanted to fly with her, experience that moment when the wind is born around you, soaring through her beautiful creation right besides her. Oh! That's another thing: She's the most talented artisan in all of Equestria; her nights are very different from Princess Celestia's. I guess she's big on subtlety (he he).
The problem in that being that I'm not a pegasus pony.
And again the answer comes from Miss Sparkle. I must have an angel looking out for me, because I was right in front of the library when I saw that white unicorn, Rarity, take to the skies in translucent butterfly wings that looked like they were taken right out of the master's glass workshop.
"Don't give me that look." She had said after I asked her to give me wings like that and said she couldn't; I was told I looked like a kicked puppy. Thankfully, she explained that it was not that she wanted to refuse; just that it's a difficult spell for her to cast and she already did so for somepony whose identity was to remain undisclosed.
Darn, I was beaten to it, but if everything went well I would get a turn the next day!
She refused payment though, said that the book had been plenty. Well, with one pony that liked it I feel better. Still, that is no excuse to write only one, right?
Somehow, I even managed to get help from Rainbow Dash, the best flier in Ponyville (and maybe even Equestria, after that competition). I used what I learned from reading novels and trying to write them to stroke her ego a bit. "I want to do this the right way, so who better than the swiftest, most talented pegasus to come out of Cloudsdale?" And that was just the start. I told her I wanted to learn to fly gracefully and acrobatically and needed somepony to guide me.
That and heights are very, very scary before you get used to them.
"Yeah, I guess they are." She said, full of pride after more of my carefully-worded flattery. "Especially after being told how fragile your wings really are. But don't worry; you have the best athlete ever looking after you." Thankfully Applejack wasn't there; I didn't want to start another Iron Pony Competition.
First some pointers, naturally. Just like in dancing and jumping, the key is the base joints and the axis I use to shift my center of gravity, like rotation and things like that. I guess I'm just terrible at it, but Dash told me that it was possible that
that there was a chance I could improve with more space around me to move my limbs, without the limitation of the floor. If that didn't work, she was going to teach me how to use my whole body and make me more flexible, even if she had to beat me black(er) and blue.
Taking off and flying behind her, she tried to instruct me in how to find my rhythm.
My Princess! I was a step closer to reaching you!
I remained airborne all of an hour before my daydreams caused me to miss when Dash warned me to go higher. Ouch. I hit a tree and my wings broke. To add insult to injury I also broke every branch on my way down and got covered in tree sap.
Rainbow landed next to me and seemed torn between wanting to laugh at me and nervously trying to get me up. I made her settle for the former as I assured her I would be fine, nothing hurt but my pride this pain was just something I had to bear if I wanted to be with her. I had to go buy a bottle of alcohol to get that gunk out.
Twilight was disappointed that I destroyed the wings so quickly, but told me that I could try the day after the next. I was beaming; I worked twice as hard at the workshop, as well as try to learn how to take care of the heat to avoid making the things evaporate.
I guess the other pony in the market for wings is one of the Apple family, Twi had been visiting frequently.
Somehow I managed to stave off being overwhelmed by the dizziness of
everything about flight: Height, spins, everything. I was completely exhausted, yet I still happily trotted home to hit the hay.
I- oh, goodness, this is so embarrassing. While I was sleeping I- well, my bed had a few stacks of pillows added to ensure that I wouldn't move too much again.
The workshop was spotless, I didn't want any trash or spills making me trip and tear up something that was gifted to me despite being so hard to make.
I became much better on wings than on my own hooves. I also managed to last two days each time, because the heat of the glass furnace made the wings unusable after a while.
Then it happened, Twilight was nowhere to be found, naturally I was very worried. Forget the spell; we managed to become good friends, even if I never told her just why I was so interested in flight. She appreciated my stories! And not just that, she even commissioned presents for her parents and even a small statue of Celestia from me, from me! As a gift to the princess!
I heard she disappeared, and both of the princesses even came to Ponyville! If I couldn't approach her in what was her happiest day in millennia, how could I even face her now? I was not good enough, not strong enough to bear her sorrows.
Later, I heard that Twilight was actually traveling to a distant land on royal business again. I didn't quite believe it, since the other five ponies were very nervous and all, but they insisted that she'd be fine and would come back as soon as she was done with that.
To my relief, she did. She even brought a friend with her, a strange unicorn that behaved even more strangely (he said he was a stage magician with a flair for the dramatic). There was a party and everything, but that's a different story. This new pony besides insisting on wearing a scarf and black cape in this weather- also said he was in desperate need of some money and was looking for jobs and even was renting out
Well, of course I was skeptical; I most certainly wasn't drooling at how gorgeous those shining, pure-white feathers looked and how they matched my locks in their faint glow, or how those jeweled tips would make me look more regal and thus presentable- to other ponies. I also most definitely would not let somepony else get ahead of me in the line!
Of course, I tripped, predictably enough. Guess my moves are only graceful off the ground, though I intend on getting on the Running of the Leaves again this year.
"Congratulations, my little pony." He told me that because I was the very first client I got to try them for free! "What is your name?"
"Eclipse." I was blushing, why do I have to keep falling in front of so many witnesses?
He saw my cutie mark and smiled. "Wow, aren't you just full of symbolism?" He helped me up and we talked a little before I was fitted with the magic artifact and the spells I would need to walk on clouds and the like. Well, if the sappy romance novels I read and all of my gushing about the lights and shadows hadn't changed my opinion about my cutie mark, this guy did. I'll wear my mark with pride.
I esteem those with a way with words, can you tell?
"One last warning." I turn around, if he was friends with Twilight, then he'll most certainly know I kept busting up the wings she gave me. And these ones were not going to be free!
"I-I have practice! I swear I won't break them!" I managed to say.
"Hm? Oh no, these are made from tougher stuff than just gossamer and morning dew." He actually wanted us clients to use the wings to soften the hit in case of a crash! I guess this was to show just how many wonderful things there are to find if one is willing to go get them.
"What I want to tell you is that they are going to feel very, very real. There are just like a pegasus's wings and you're going to need more practice if you want to reach for the sky. Though if you are willing to go get them, you shall find many wonders." Ah, I get it- say what?! Did he just read my mind?
I gave him one last puzzled look before trying to take off, the deep blue gems adorning the artifacts turning obsidian black. I was used to the butterfly wings and their frail nature, so I had to put my mind on the first flaps.
Sure enough, this was something else! I could feel every brush against every feather, the breeze on the surface. Rainbow Dash looked down from a cloud and began to- Well, I don't have a word for it, it was very "her"; sort of like egging me to chase her and encouraging me to do my own thing at the same time.
It was like having to learn all over again, save for gliding; I had to remain low on the ground because every time I wanted to turn I lost my balance. I had a hard time getting used to them, a stray wind here, a useless move there, and Dash taunting me. At least this time I didn't crash into a tree.
Two hours, with an extra charge per additional hour. Sweet heaven, was that an eventful week!
I took my vacation a little bit ahead of time because I had decided to try to do something about these derpy hooves of mine, but I can't just dance like that! I'd die from the embarrassment! I visited a nightclub of Ponyville, planning on using the crowd to hide myself and see if I could lose the fear and shame I felt at my own clumsiness.
I met a new friend that day, a nice pegasus pony around my age; she came all the way from Canterlot (!!) because she had heard about Vinyl Scratch's musical abilities. I'll get back to her in a bit. Said her name was Comet and her cutie mark was a shooting star. I could also call her "Lulu" if I wanted, but the story of why she had that nickname wasn't one that she was going to tell to just anypony.
I kept partying each night and practicing my flight each day for the week. Other than paper and food I seldomly buy anything, so I had quite a few bits to spend thanks to the moderate sells of my glass works and even some on the side from my stories.
By the week after the first try with the feathered wings, Dash felt that I had improved enough to test me more strenuously.
My answer? "It. Is. ON."
After all, if I want to follow the road between winds next to Her Highness I need the stamp of approval of the best flier in all the land. So she challenges me to a mix between a race and a game of tag, I had to get to the barn in Sweet Apple Acres without getting caught by her to win.
She held back and she was still way too fast for me to put any distance. Still, all those hours of flying with delicateness on frail wings and then getting strong ones paid off, I was nimble; I had great subtlety, wings barely moving, only by tilting a few feathers I had enough to turn.
Oh, and Dash had made sure to get me used to every possible source of nausea I could experience mid-flight. Did she ever! She still won't tell me if the wings broke before or after I crashed when I went spiraling to the ground. Though not everything was done in the air; some days, she would just hang me from a tree like a piñata and spin me around like a record. Observing the orientation of my head was entirely optional.
Maybe that is the only reason I got as far as I did, I cannot thank her enough.
Don't get me wrong, I certainly didn't make it easy! As soon as I took off I rolled over to the side, narrowly avoiding the blue pegasus living up to her name. I dove into an alley and darted to the right as soon as the street was open again, once more dodging a close call.
She is my better in speed and stamina, maybe even in everything else as well she was born with a storm in her blood, after all.
Still, if I'm going to aim for the stars I cannot let this stop me. I tried everything I could think of to escape her, like make sharp turns and dive behind objects; moving my spine like a whip (which gets tiring fast), feeling the pressure on my insides. I can only wonder what would happen to my body if Arion, the magician unicorn, hadn't included "a little extra, for strength" this time!
I made it to the sign at the beginning of the apple orchard, all the while doing my best to get out of the way of the rainbow-colored streak that kept trying to take me down. I weaved a path through the trees, our intense flight making them shake and dance just like the waves of the ocean.
The air itself calls out to me. "More." It says. "Faster." I listen. "Faster!!" Even if Dash's speed is better, I had to respond to the wind. I had wings, not just in my body, but in my heart; as long as I haven't told her, I would use them to soar above every obstacle. I won't ever loose sight of my goal, thanks to them. I realized that everyone is born with wings, in one form or the other; those who think of flying, those that believe they can fly are the ones that do.
As we made our way through the trees, I quite enjoyed the rush of adrenaline that was giving me. I wondered if she also felt like this when she takes the skies, if I could make her feel like this. That
wasn't the best time to be daydreaming.
Not only I saw two lovely mares where I had expected one, but I also flew straight and gave Dash the perfect opportunity to tackle me. We crashed into one of the carts Applejack was pulling, thankfully full of hay.
"Ah HA! Oh Yeah! I am the best!" She celebrated as both of them dug me out of the hay. "You did well; I was thinking I had to get serious for a moment ther- are you OK?"
"Y-yes, I got hay in my eyes." I lied. My eyes were watering a lot, and I knew exactly why.
That was yesterday. Today, I rented the wings (Arion calls the pair "Symphony") for four hours and took to the open sky to sort out my feelings.
I danced through the air in the best imitation of my princess I could muster, which is not saying much, inadvertently incorporating some of the moves I had seen Comet perform on the dance floor. I caught myself doing it after a while and began to shed tears again; I had developed feelings for her as well.
My tears ran down all across my body, clinging to my midnight-black coat until I moved and made them fall to the ground below just to stop and repeat the process. They sparkled in the sun and remind me of the stars I admire oh so much. Not only that, they would start big and split as they fall, becoming smaller, lonelier.
This wasn't fair for either lady, I had to do something! I couldn't give up on L- Princess Luna. Neither could I let Comet think I wanted to be more than just friends and then break her heart! I-I came to like her too much for that.
Oh God! If you watch over us ponies, let me know what I have to do!
In the middle of my sad, absent-minded dance I flew all the way to Canterlot; I noticed where I was because the murmurs of those below eventually caught my attention. Now, Canterlot and Ponyville are close to one another, flying between them doesn't take long. Still, because I was so absorbed in my feelings and dancing, I had already used up an hour and a half of my time.
I became resolute, I had to confess, tell Lulu the truth before I hurt her. Even if I use up my time and have to walk back home.
This is what drives me to fly over the streets of the city, calling out for her. "Comet! Lulu! Where are you?!" This is here and now. I stop to call her, scan those gathered for her indigo mane and dark lavender coat. Nothing. I search elsewhere.
One of princess Celestia's royal guards flew out of a corner in front of me and neither of us noticed until we were almost on top of each other. I put my flight hours to use and pull up violently, spinning but untouched.
"Look where you are flying!" He yells at me, recovering from his own evasive maneuver.
"Sorry! I will!" I say, looking back at him as I try to straighten my direction.
Turns out, he wasn't yelling at me out of anger
he was warning me. It was too late for that though, I heard a bell really close, so close that my head and chest shook; I turned around just to see the big lump of metal on its second swing towards me.
I was leading with my right hoof, and with the speed I was going and the force of the bell's swing
Well, I passed out; apparently those wings really are good stuff, because the doctor said I had no serious damage on my head.
With the way I had been spending money (and the fact I left it all back in Ponyville), I could only opt for the basic healthcare, the one paid from taxes. Since it wasn't a magical injury I had my bones set very quickly by a medic unicorn. No nasty metal bars for me! But I didn't have enough money to pay the doctor's fee to heal me completely, medical magic is hard!
Still, the earth pony doctor that tended to me was very good, the cast was going to give me trouble but Doctor Whooves and Nurse Redheart said my broken foreleg and cracked hind leg bones would recover "soon".
They didn't know just how injured I really was.
I don't know if it's the painkillers or my aching heart, but I can't think straight. I jump from one thought to the next apparently without rhyme or reason. First on the wings, but I was told that that pegasus mailmare, Ditzy Doo, had picked them up for her daughter's turn a little unicorn filly by the name of Dinky, if I recall.
Then my mind turned upon my actions until that very moment.
There was a mirror on the left-hoof-side stand next to the bed, in it I see silver eyes looking back at me; those eyes almost as discolored as my mane, whose glow had faded due to the closed curtains surrounding me. Fitting, all things considered. I do not see myself in there anymore; I just see a disloyal cheater, a traitor, a two-timer.
The door clicks to my right, I hear Doctor Whooves. "This is the room." The curtains don't let me see who it is.
"Comet? Lulu? Is that you?" I tried to guess.
I hear her hooves on the flooring, tapping against it nervously when she heard me calling for her. "Y-y-yes." Her voice made it clear she was worried, my heart crumbled like a cookie at the thought. Most likely she was told I was calling out for her before I got injured.
She walks over to the bed. I feel like scum, I feel insignificant. Her shadow in the curtain is large and imposing, I am so small. I felt worse when I noticed that Comet seemed to have a party hat on, pfeh, no wonder I couldn't find her on the street.
"No!" I said when I saw her reaching for the curtain to move it. I was so sudden she gasped and recoiled.
"I-I need to tell you something, y-you can't look at me now." This was hard; I needed to build up courage. "Remember when I first met you?" She nodded immediately.
That day I was pacing back and forth, unsure if I could bring myself to enter the club. I had done so much already, yes, but I hadn't shown my face to those that read my sappy novels. Sure, ponies know about my glassware, but that is a lot different from having my feelings put to words. Managing to convince myself that it can't be worse than walking to the store covered in tree sap, I set hooves inside.
The party was in full swing by the time I had entered, Vinyl- I mean- DJ P0N-3 was working the turntables like nopony's business. The dance floor is always full. I had gulped down my fears and walked around it, looking for a way to pass unnoticed. I wished I could turn invisible.
"It was then that I saw you." Comet had been way over there at the end of the bar, a full glass in front of her I don't know of what, though we are not old enough to be allowed to buy anything alcoholic. "I forgot my nervousness. You looked so sad I had to do something."
"Do you remember what I said?"
Comet nodded, she looked so tall in that shadow. "You asked: 'Is something wrong?'" Her lilac eyes had been so full of loneliness that I had been reminded of my liege.
"You trembled a little and stammered out: 'Oh no, I-I just don't know how to dance something this
modern.'" I kept my tone firm even as a tear rolls down my face, hidden by the curtains from the not-so-little filly recalling that party with me.
Comet laughed a bit. "Then you said: 'That makes two of us.'" I can tell she's looking upwards, remembering that night fondly. "And then took my hoof." She had blushed when I did that, and remained like that for several minutes. Most likely she was blushing now too; I-I can't do this to her.
I didn't dance per se, instead just swaying to the music with her. I, like a great hypocrite, had told her to just imitate the ponies around us.
She did, oh boy she did. It didn't take long for her to get on her hind legs and gracefully wave her front hooves on the air.
By the time I got home, I realized I had completely forgotten to ask her name. Lamenting my total lack of manners I decided to try luck again and go back the next night. I waited in front of the place before it was open, having practiced flight in the morning. Scouring both air and ground, I nervously looked for the pegasus. I stood there even after nightfall.
"To my surprise, you did come back." I smiled, I felt happy. We talked some more, she had told me that she was on vacation like me; coming from Canterlot to enjoy herself a little and forget her stress.
I was surprised that she preferred Ponyville over Canterlot, but there are simply so many amazing ponies here that I kind of understood that she'd choose a nice town like this over the crowded cities.
"I didn't feel like dancing that night, the day had been rough, yet you changed my mind so easily
" I can't allow my voice to break, so I didn't. I held. "I had so much fun I almost forgot why I was searching for you." The medication helped me hold; clouding my mind a little so I didn't think about what was I doing.
She giggled, whittling away my strength; it appeared that it was too late to not hurt her. "Yeah! And I told you you'd have to come back the next night to find out." She said in a flirty tone that I didn't remember. Did she say it like that originally or was it something she thought of just now?
"That time you made me talk about myself, my ears burned from how hard I was blushing and how shy I felt." I may not have a bashful nature, but I still didn't feel comfortable talking of me like that. "I remember how surprised you had been when
"You told me that one of the windows in the palace was yours." Gee, I still burn up and blush like crazy when somepony brings it up. "You still haven't told me which one. They are all so well made!" I didn't dare turn away from looking where I guessed her eyes were, so I couldn't use the mirror to see how red was I turning.
She had somehow coaxed me to talk about my books! That little trickster was awfully persuasive! By the next party she told me how much she loved the way I wrote, even if my own opinion was that it felt very cheesy.
She also had the patience of a saint, stopping to pick me up every time I went down or just holding me there when I crashed into her or the neighboring dancers.
"Yes, I-I never noticed when I fell for you. I- You- I can't do this to you. I didn't
" I couldn't fight back my tears any longer, even with the help of the medicine; I stuttered and couldn't keep talking.
"Why are you crying? Is something wrong? What is it that you can't do?" She asked, full of concern.
"I-I can't- You- I also love another mare. I have for a long time." I blurted out; it felt like a stake had been removed from my heart only to be plunged deeper. "F-f-forgive me, Lulu, please." How could she forgive me? Calling her Lulu that time had been so painful and yet so natural, I didn't know if I could ever do it again.
She kept quiet, but I knew what she wanted to ask. I couldn't keep it secret forever anyways, and especially not from her
I took a deep breath, but the air slowly escaped me as I tried to speak and no words came out. "I love Princess Luna!" I managed to say it with the last wisp that left my body, barely above a whisper despite it feeling like a scream.
The next breath I took was just to weep, holding my good hoof to my face and whining on it. I cried like a foal, soaking my coat and the sheets.
For an entire minute, no sound was heard inside my room other than my sobbing.
"I love the princess, ever since I saw her at the party after the defeat of Nightmare Moon." I heard her breathing, trying to speak
but I had to come clean right there and then. I was breaking her heart, and that broke mine.
"I know. I'm stupid. I'm foolish. Way out of my place." I said between whimpers. "I made a stained glass window of her in front of her orb, smiling radiantly; a window that would look good in the light of both moon and sun. Twilight Sparkle saw it in the shop
she's Celestia's personal protégé, so she told her mentor about my window." I nearly had a stroke when she told me she wrote about it on one of her letters, at least she left my name out!
I looked up in longing. "Imagine my surprise when Celestia herself bought it for the redecorations in honor of the recovery of her sister, though I made Twilight promise she wouldn't tell anypony I made that. Not yet." No, I couldn't let just anyone know of my feelings, I needed- I wanted to become worthy of my queen.
"I look at the night sky and believe that I can go as far as I want." I said in admiration. "But I know there is a fence there, blocking me. I can barely even reach for the other side, somewhere that isn't here even if I'm content with my place in every other regard." I took another deep breath, a little fire in my eyes. "I am going to get over that hurdle, even if I have to take it down with my own body."
One doesn't need to be observant to know I wrote most of the books for the princess, the dedication notes ever since the very first said so as clear as day; even if worded in a way that didn't make one think it was a romantic dedication.
"Not only did I keep up my work and my writing, I want to be deserving of being next to her so bad that I even learned to fly; despite getting hurt so many times, including this one." I told her everything I had ever felt about being aloft, what I thought of wings, of the wind. How it feels like the air itself supports me, even though there is nothing under me. What I had been told and taught. Letting every part of me, every single one, be guided by the air; how its gentleness is my gentleness, how its fury is my fury.
The medication prevented me from realizing how stupid I was being by saying that to a pegasus pony, at least until I was done.
I am not strong, but even in that case I want to head to the sky and grab the moon, touch the stars, conquer my fear. Maybe because I am not strong is the reason I'm aware of my own weakness, I shall do everything to break out of this cage and get to my goal: Tell her those three words a sentimentalist like me adores so much. "I love you."
"I love you too, not just as a friend, but
" I break down again, my grief overtaking me. I burrow my face onto my good leg, sobbing. "But what I feel for the princess cannot be abandoned. I picked up a rose and its thorns dug deep into my flesh, its poison driving me crazy, but letting go of it would be more painful than anything else; even these broken bones are nothing in comparison."
"Can you ever forgive me?"
Silence fell upon the room, a deafening silence that tortured my soul. She must have been stunned by this revelation, appalled by my shamelessness.
I heard her sigh, not in sorrow or anything. It was just a sigh, letting go of air. Then, voice sounding a little different, she said. "You have a big heart, don't you?"
"I don't think I can keep it all for myself, Eclipse, I wouldn't mind sharing you
just a little."
"Thankfully, I don't have to."
If her words took away mine, what happened next took my breath as well.
I pry my eyes from the stains on my coat and bed just in time to see her reaching for the curtain. She opened it in one swift movement and made my jaw drop. Right there, to my right, was the princess of the moon herself. That was no party hat, it was her horn!
I am shocked, I tried to move but my surprise didn't let me; I tried to apologize but only managed to babble incomprehensibly.
I was silenced when her lips met mine. I find them soft, supple. She smells like lilies and lavender touched by moonlight and a hint of rain. I closed my eyes, lost in my joy.
I had one of Granny Smith's pies before flying, so she would not be complaining of the taste anytime soon!
I then caught myself having such an idiotic thought, stupid medicine. And then I noticed
I realized this is my first kiss! And it's with my lady of the night! My dancing flower! I-I can't believe- I think can't-
I opened my eyes with a start, gasping for breath; I was alone in my room of the hospital. I would like- I would want to believe I passed out from the surprise and she just left. I cannot lie to myself like that; it had to have been the painkillers playing with my mind.
"Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!" I was short of breath, I could only whisper. I tried hitting myself in the head, but I was too weak to do anything worse than tap lightly against my skull.
I tried breathing deeply to restore myself. I pressed my face into one of the pillows and wailed inconsolably. I screamed and cried, muffling the noise with the pillow and my hoof. I was the lowest of the low if I had dreamed that. I drowned in my misery.
I gasped for air once more, and shouted with all my might. "Forgive me! Forgive my traitorous heart! I wanted to believe, I wanted so hard to believe I could have both of you!" As soon as those words left my lips, the door swung open so hard it slammed against the wall. I was startled and nearly jumped on my bed, hurting myself some more.
It-it really was Luna! I mean- Princess Luna! She had Doctor Whooves in tow and was breathing heavily. I noticed her crown was missing; I leaned over the side and find it sitting on the floor. It had happened! It really had happened! That was the reason she said her nickname was Lulu!
The Doctor checked up on me and confirmed I had been so shocked my mind had blown a fuse. The princess had been so concerned she ran to fetch a doctor or nurse and lost her circlet in the process. She was worried about me. About me! To the point she forgot there is an emergency call button in the room next to each bed.
We were left alone once more, I was still crying, but now of joy. I wondered where I was storing all that water.
when you talked about my night in your books and stories, about the moon and the stars
you meant it? All of it?" She finally asked after what I felt was a bliss-filled eternity. And she did so in her own voice, her true one, not Comet's.
"Each and every word, from the first to the last and then more. I could only put so much in before annoying an editor or something." How humiliating, but she had already read them so there was no turning back. I was going to be absolutely honest.
"Like what more?" She asked.
"Please my lady I-I couldn't
." Those teal eyes of hers look at me so tenderly that my heart melts right away, she really wanted this. I remembered that it was the feeling of being shunned what had hurt her so badly.
I decide to borrow some words from that magician, Arion. "Shine Your moon upon my path, and guide me with Your stars so I never stray. Use Your darkness to put all of my fears to rest and give my heart and mind peace with Your night." Borrowing words and symbols and reshaping them to match my feelings; that is almost all I have ever done with my typewriter.
"Should You grow tired, I shall turn even the hottest sun into soft shade. I will do everything I can to turn light and shadows into beauty, for You, Your Highness." That is the meaning of my cutie mark, the sun's brilliance and the moon's gentleness. "Celestia's sun by itself is no good, for he shines too brightly. Sheds his light on things that don't need him and creates unnecessary glares and shadows." Just like what I thought that Mother's Day, years ago.
"Do you really love me that much?" She was blushing.
"Of course, princess, I do."
"Just call me Luna
or Lulu." Now it was my turn to blush; the last time I called her Lulu it tore me apart, now it would be a joyful thing forever and ever.
Still, I cannot bring myself to do it right away, obviously. I'm still nervous, I'm talking to royalty! "Did you like my window, my liege?"
"It's in the halls leading to my bedroom; the facing is such that the sun and the moon shine on it at some point in their travel." She looked sheepishly to the floor and kicked her own crown under the bed. "I love it."
I was the happiest pony in the world, and then
I felt a little ashamed. "But
my princess of the moon, your majesty
I still am nothing but a no-name employee of a glassmaker, I don't feel worthy of your praise or even time, much less your touch." I look away, recalling her kiss, my first kiss, our kiss. I was also reminded of how tired I was.
I heard something fall on the tiles of the ground and slide across it, not once, but four times. I look at her as she walks around the bed, magically removes her necklace, and drops it to kick it under the bed just like she had done with her shoes. As soon as that was done, she used her magic again to shrink to Comet's size.
"Don't think of me as a princess then, to you, I am only Luna." She nuzzled my good hoof, teasing me, making me run it across her face to wipe away her tears; she crooned gently at my touch.
"I love you, Luna." Saying it felt like the most normal thing in the world, I was soaring through the air again; the weakness in my body felt so distant.
She then said that which I had hoped so much I would hear but feared it would remain a dream forever. "I love you too."
"You, who worked hard to fly despite frustrations and injuries, all just to keep me company. You and your tender words, exhibited for all to read even with a fake name. You who didn't think twice to approach me, made the effort to dance with me. You gave me so much and didn't even know it."
"Same for me, prin-
Lulu." I had been speaking almost entirely without thinking, so it was about time I caught myself.
So I think, and think, and think some more. Seeing her running her hoof against my face, looking into my eyes, I close them to burn the image into my head; I took in her scent again... and kept thinking. "Can my lady of the stars give me wings? So I can dance in the moon at your side?"
like Twilight does?" I guessed she heard what happened at the Best Young Fliers Competition.
I shook my head. "Real wings, feathers and all."
She began to stutter, as if searching for the answer. "N- Well, y-yes." She was speaking very quickly. "I-it's possible, there's even a way to make an alicorn, a true one, of sorts. B-b-but I couldn't possibly do it by myself! It would be too painful!" She pressed her hooves on my good shoulder.
Shaking my head again, I said. "I do not care for that. I do not care for pain if I can be with you."
"I do not care for myself beyond what you care for me. For you, if you desire, if it is what it takes, I shall shed- I-I shall cast away the wings of my heart!" She trembled a bit when she heard that, after all, I told her everything while I thought she and Comet were separate ponies. "I only need enough feathers to love you; I could give up everything else. I feel you are still hurt, if to free you I need to surrender something, I will."
"It doesn't matter to me if my time is extended or cut short, as long as I can spend it loving you. Spending it at your side? Even better."
"I'd rather be banished than live like a coward, abandoning you. I am already here." She cried on my shoulder a bit after I said that, it hurt all the way to my right side but I said nothing, glad at her touch, at her smell.
" I noticed in time that the painkillers were making me stupid again. "-r sister, Celestia
" Smooth save. "
Doesn't approve of me, I prefer to be punished for my insolence than desist. I passed the point of no return, I can't surrender." Of course Luna approved of me; she kissed me and said she loved me!
It was now that my mind finally remembered the princess of the sun, even if I had thought of it before. I no longer cared. "I am willing to give up my freedom for you."
"I only wish to know how you feel, I wish you to take me in your hooves and guide me through your night, nothing more." It is said that in love, this kind of love, neither one leads, they both obey; even then, I was willing to obey her and follow her everywhere. She is my princess, my ruler.
We stayed like that for a while, she was smiling. She was happy, I was making her happy. "I can't wait to tell my parents, Lulu."
And then I notice what I did a moment ago. "Oh Luna! Oh Lulu! I-I didn't notice- I'm so embarrassed!"
"What happened?" She asked, eyeing me strangely as I turned red as a beet. If that kept happening, I feared that my face would stay like that forever.
Next time, I'm gonna ask the doctors to sedate me less. My mouth keeps moving on its own, spouting words without control. Sure, I felt and meant every single one, but I couldn't believe I was being that bold.
"I-I think I just asked you to ma- to ma- I think I just proposed to you in as much a roundabout way I could manage." Her eyes opened at my words, widened as they sunk in and she turned pink when she thought about it. She held a hoof to her mouth, keeping it closed.
I kind of began to panic. "P-please, don't- you can't tell Celestia that I-"
"What is it that she can't tell me?" My head whips to the right so hard it hurt. My blood ran cold. Celestia was standing at the door. My fatigue came back, more powerful than before.
"Sister!" Said Luna.
I realized, after all this time, that Lulu had been spending each night of the last week outside the castle. "T-the partying, it was all my idea! She didn't-"
She glared at me and I shivered, it had been a pretty transparent lie. Earth! Open your maws and swallow me whole!
"I ask again, what can't she tell me? That you want her at your side?"
"No, not like that." I whimpered. I turned to Luna, taking in her sight. I closed my eyes, nuzzling her. "I just want her to be happy, no matter what she decides to do. Even if she chooses another instead of me."
"Then what? That you love her so much you are willing to dedicate your life to her? Even sacrifice it, for her?"
"Yes." I squeaked out just like Fluttershy, lowering my head
but answered without shadow of doubt or dishonesty.
I turned to face Celestia, I began to shake and even Luna couldn't get me to stop. "So if you want to banish me, or throw me in a dungeon, or banish me and throw me in a dungeon in the place you banished me to
"Or even e-e-e
" I opened my eyes, looking at hers; my voice was breaking but I was not going to let fear overtake me! I confessed to Luna, no-one else is an obstacle anymore! "Or even e-e-execute me for my insolence, I await your judgment."
Celestia walked towards me, I shut my eyes, I wasn't strong enough to resist after all. I still didn't turn my head though. I held my breath.
I felt her breath, hot against my skin. Maybe she was going to stab her horn into my chest and pierce my heart? Or bite my head off right there and then?
She whispered into my ears, tickling them. "And just why would I punish love that strong?" It is then that the burning air against my face felt like a spring breeze, a soft caress from a beam of the sun.
"T-Twilight Sparkle is d-deathly afraid of upsetting you." I said, then I heard her laugh and Luna joined her sister; that moment was beautiful, two very elegant laughs together.
I open my eyes, incredulous. She straightens herself. "Your master told me about your magnificent window and your lovely statue, way before Twilight told me she promised she would keep it a secret." She dismissed my previous fears, and managed to make me feel silly for thinking that.
Definitely, next time, I will prefer to brave the pain (or pass out from it) to becoming an anesthetized idiot.
Now, the princess used her gold-shod hoof to wipe away the remnants of water on my face, she nuzzled me and gave my eye a soft peck. I was ecstatic, ashamed and surprised, all at the same time. "Could you make more of them for us?"
"Naturally." Was the only thing I could answer her. I pat my hoof on the bed, searching for Luna without turning away.
"Lulu also told me of your stories, Twilight did as well, but she didn't say she personally knew who wrote them." She leaned forward again. "Thank you." She whispered.
"My p-pleasure." I said. Finally feeling Luna's touch, I smile broadly.
"Let me tell you a secret, something that Luna is too shy to admit." I perked my ears at the idea; I wasn't sure if I wanted to wait until Luna told me herself or hear it right now.
"Cilly! Tia! You can't- Celly!" She leaned onto the bed and I yelped, more in surprise than pain but Luna still withdrew in guilt.
The sun princess whispered into my ears yet again. "The reason she went to that nightclub was to look for companionship. I recommended it to her."
It felt so good I wanted to keep smiling forever. I turned to my love, eyes half-lidded, and said. "Well, did you fin-?"
I found myself silenced by her lips; I closed my eyes and just melted at the touch of her hoofs cupping my face.
Then I felt something pressing at my teeth. My eyes shot wide open. Celestia is not only ruler of Equestria, but her sister! And in front of her- and she- and I-
And Lulu tilted her head, sending electricity along my medicated body, making my spine tingle.
You know what? To hell with it. I made up my mind. I decided I was going to get an engagement ring one way or another, even if I had to make it myself. I will then propose formally. I had the very dramatic idea of doing so during the Winter Solstice, after she raised the moon in front of everypony, rest of the world be damned
but I don't think I could wait that long.
I had but one sovereign in the entire world; the entire world in one queen.
I closed my eyes, eased my jaw, gently stroked her cheeks and pressed my head forward.