On a grassy knoll bathed in the warm breeze of a springtime night sat a regal blue alicorn. Countless twinkling stars were mirrored in her flowing mane as she lifted her eyes towards a full moon - her full moon. The intensity of its light shone starkly down on the ruler, undimmed in the cloudless midnight sky. Many nights she reveled in this, her one responsibility and greatest feat, yet tonight its unrelenting brightness left her feeling alone, isolated, and perhaps diminished, somehow smaller than her imposing royal stature would suggest.
She spoke aloud to no pony in particular, her words coming in slow and measured paces, as if the wind itself would carry her words aloft to their celestial destination. “Why have I come here? To lament, to regret? I suppose that is almost all I have left. You were my aide and comfort, my reason for existence. Indeed, without you I had no purpose on this glorious world. You were and are my greatest creation, and yet I never held you in my own hooves until I was forced to embrace you. Is that my destiny, then? That I can know joy only after I’ve harmed those I once held dear?”
Luna pointed an accusing hoof toward her Moon then stamped it to the ground, the dull boom echoing off the hillside like a peal of thunder, and it resounded in her voice, now mighty with anger and accusation as great indigo wings unfurled and she stood to her full and terrible height. “What were you when I needed you? A thousand winters I lay suffering, aching for warmth, begging the heavens for something, anything to hold me, to whisper even once ‘I forgive you’, and what did I receive for my contrition? Silence! All my begging, all my pleading, and you rewarded me with nothingness!”
Ringing echoes carried across the windswept hill. The Night Princess paused as they died away before she continued in harsh whispers, sitting once more in the cool grasses, her shoulders drooping a little. “And that is what I deserved. I begged forgiveness but I had not yet earned it. I pleaded for comfort but had done, could do, nothing to merit it. And so you, my creation, were to me what was necessary for you to be: cold, hard, and silent. At the end of my exile, I understood why: this was as much a punishment to you as it was for me. I was not myself, and the pony you imprisoned was overcome with rage and hate. Perhaps that is why you could be no comfort to me - even if you had, I would not have accepted it. To do so would have meant suppressing my bile and enmity, and those foul humors kept me sustained for the eon of my banishment.”
“I failed so many times under your gaze.” She slumped to the ground, wings tucked tightly around her and head held low, no longer able to face the harsh moonlight which threatened to interrogate her and lay bare her secrets. “I failed you before I was so rightly sent away, keeping secret the resentment that ate away at my soul and allowed the Nightmare to rule me. I should have looked to you as my rock, my clarity, and instead I looked away and inflicted horrors on those around me.” Her words now were barely audible, hidden behind unrestrained tears which wet muzzle and grass alike. “Did I raise you only to shine your light on my lies? Am I still a failure? Will you take me back?”
The weight of tears and time overtook her and she collapsed on her side, her great wails piercing the still night. A thousand and one years of regret seemed to pour out at once, her body shaking and heaving with repeated sobs. Over and over she whispered, “Please take me back… Please take me back…”, each repetition quieter and more pained than the last.
Minutes passed, perhaps hours, before she realized that her head lay not on the cool earth of the verdant hilltop but on something warm-furred, something solid yet whose steady heartbeat and hushed breathing brought her a gentle peace. Her tears slowed and she soon lay still, a lavender hoof gently stroking her tear-glistened and star-filled mane. Without looking up she gave a great, defeated, heaving sigh and said, “Why do I miss it, Twilight? Why do I miss a prison of featureless stone and seas of dust?”
Twilight Sparkle lay in the grass and continued stroking Luna’s mane with the same gentle motions she’d made again and again since hearing a familiar and troubled voice carried on the wind. She answered with care and quiet tenderness, “It was where you belonged, Luna. You dreamed the Moon, you sculpted it, you raised it, and when you needed it - some part of you, anyway - it was there for you. Everyone calls it a prison, because that’s the legend we inherited. For a thousand years, though, for you,” and she lay her arm around Luna and held her close, “it was home.”
Oh, this hurts to read. It’s wonderfully done, and beautifully written - you can feel Luna’s hurt. And it’s worse, because she doesn’t really understand why it hurts her. Her lament to the moon is very touching, and her sorrow feels really real. Even if the moon was a prison, it was her’s for a thousand years - no way she wouldn’t think of it, and miss it. I also like the dynamic with Twilight, here. Awesome stuff, all around.