Luna stood upon the balcony on the top story of the royal palace, with the gentle night breeze blowing through her mane. She gazed out at the quiet city that lay spread before her, with only the occasional lamp lit in the windows of the houses and apartment. There was a time when that would have upset—would have enraged her. To see all of the ponies sleeping through her night.
But that was a very long time ago. Now, all she felt was a sense of calm peace and contentment.
Her kingdom was safe, and her subjects were taking a much-deserved rest. All was well. All was right.
Not turning her head, Luna began speaking to her evening companion. “I missed her, you know. I was awake during … during the time I was away. And even as much as I hated her, as I resented her, I still missed her. I missed her more than I have words to tell.” She paused and bit her lip. “Did she … did she miss …”
A stern cough cut her off.
“Yes. Yes, of course. That is a silly thought.” Luna gave a prim nod. “Of course she missed me, too. I did not doubt it for a moment.”
Another cough, one that somehow sounded skeptical.
The alicorn grinned. “Perhaps … perhaps a bit of doubt. Just a touch.” She glanced up, at the wide expanse of dark night sky. “How was she, during my absence? I have tried to ask her but … well. You are well aware of how she can be.”
Her companion chuckled at that.
“She simply smiles that mysterious smile of hers,” Luna complained, without any true ire. She rolled her eyes. “You are the only I can ask about this matter. So please, my old friend, tell me. How has she truly been these last thousand years?”
There came a soft sigh in reply, and Luna turned her head. She was met by a pair of eyes that usually sparkled with laughter and mischief but now were dimmed with sadness and with pain.
Frowning, Luna lowered her eyes. “I was afraid of that. I am … I am sorry.”
The breeze continued to blow, light and cool, and the silence draped over the pair on the palace balcony like a heavy blanket. Luna listened to the sound of the pennants atop the castle spires as they flapped in the wind, and her thoughts raced faster than a beam of moonlight. Thoughts of all the memories she’d been robbed of, all the moments they’d never shared, of all the times that she should have been there and was not …
She felt warmth, reassuring and cozy, like heat from a campfire in the depths of winter. Even though she knew full well the source, still she lifted her head. She smiled as she was embraced by a pair of strong wings, and she leaned into the warmth.
“Thank you,” murmured Luna, “for being there for her when I could not.”
In reply she received an affectionate nudge and a mildly chastising chitter.
With a light laugh, the princess added, “And thank you, Philomeena, for being there for me, as well.” She raised an eyebrow, though the smile remained upon her lips. “But do not think for a moment, my old friend, that I do not know that it was you who helped her with last week’s prank.”
Philomeena squawked in flimsy protest.
“My revenge will come soon, I assure you.” Luna’s eyes twinkled merrily. “And my revenge, when it does come? It will be swift, and it will be merciless.”
Hehe. This is really well done, and it hits just the right balance between funny and cute and very sad. I adore that Luna confides in Philomeena - who could, after all, quite easily have been around before her banishment - and takes her advice, and sees her as a real friend. It’s very clever and I can believe it easily - at the same time, the thought that Luna was awake, during those long years, and how painful it must have been not just for her but for Celestia…that hits hard. Awesome work, DB.