Chapter Two: A Princess’s Query

There were many lights shining around Luna as she walked. There were street lamps, showing her the way through Canterlot’s well-maintained streets. There were the stars, though their glory didn’t show quite as greatly as they could against the artificial lights. But Luna’s favorite light, of course, was the moon. She greatly preferred its gentle, subdued radiance to the overwhelming power of her sister’s sun, and though she was no longer the envious Nightmare Moon she was still baffled as to why other ponies didn’t.

Luna was walking to Ponyville. Nearly any other pony would have taken the train or a chariot, as by foot the journey to the small farm town would cost the entire night. However, this didn’t deter Luna in the slightest; she had lived so unspeakably long that days passed like seconds to her. A night-long walk was nothing more than a leisurely stroll to her, and if she truly desired to have a long journey she would have taken a leave of several years.

Luna liked solitude, but she was often lonely being one of the only nocturnal ponies in the world. Most of Luna and Celestia’s time together was during dawn and twilight, when the both of them were awake. They made it perfectly clear to their guards, staff, and court that they were not to be disturbed during these times. If it was dusk when their meetings ended, Celestia then set the sun as Luna lifted the moon, then Celestia would rest until the time came for the dawn. If it was daybreak, Luna would likewise set the moon while Celestia lifted the sun, and Luna would then slumber until the daylight was fading.

Occasionally, one or the other would take a day off from her Royal duties to sleep so that she might be able to be awake with her sister. When Luna slept through a night to spend a day with Celestia, they often went out and about Canterlot and the rest of Equestria to participate in the activities of their mortal subjects. They would sometimes go to local festivals and play carnival games (Luna had quite taken to them since Nightmare Night), and other times they would fly over a blooming forest to admire its vibrant colors. When Celestia slept through the day to be awake with Luna, they usually sat together and talked or read. Such times were far more peaceful and quiet.

Though Luna was usually content with this, she sometimes longed for the company of another, simply so she wouldn’t be alone. After all, her free days with Celestia were rather infrequent, and she had no other companions. This was the greatest reason she had taken such an interest in Twilight; she wanted someone else to keep her company in Celestia’s absence, and Twilight seemed by far to be the best candidate.

Luna trotted down the mountain’s face, and then through the field that laid between Canterlot and Ponyville. Here it was far easier to admire the beauty of the world around her; the stars and nebulae and galaxies in the sky were now in full view, and Luna was able to unrestrictedly gaze at them as she traveled beneath the blooming spring flowers of the trees.

In a few hours, Luna arrived at Ponyville. She walked to the village’s clock tower, where she saw that it was nearly four o’clock. About two hours until dawn.

Luna walked around the town for a while. She traveled past the schoolhouse, Fluttershy’s cottage, Sugar Cube Corner, and Sweet Apple Acres before coming back to the clock tower. Four Forty-nine. She then walked to the Golden Oak Library, where she found a nearby bench and sat on it, looking back up at the stars.

* * *

Twilight’s alarm clock rang, and she yawned as she silenced it. She sat up, stretched, then climbed out of bed. She approached Spike’s bed, which was right next to hers. She gently prodded the curled baby dragon through his blanket. “Get up, Spike,” she said.

Spike groggily turned to look at Twilight. The purple Unicorn’s mane was quite messy, though she was quite cheerful and well-rested. “Just five more minutes?” Spike asked weakly, his eyes still half-shut.

“It’s your fault for reading comics until midnight,” Twilight replied. “We need to do our chores. If you get yours done quickly, I’ll let you sleep for another hour afterward.”

Spike nodded. “Alright…”

As Spike dragged himself out of bed, Twilight trotted to her bathroom. After she had combed her mane down, she took a brush and gently smoothed down her fur. Once she looked presentable, she washed her face and dried herself off.

When she exited, she saw that Spike was already dusting the shelves. Twilight smiled at him and said, “Good work, Spike. I’ll make us breakfast, and when you’ve finished you can eat and then go back to sleep.

Spike nodded, still not entirely awake. Twilight busied herself preparing eggs, though she’d scarcely finished one when there was a knock on the door. “Spike,” Twilight said, “get the door, please.”

“Got it,” Spike said, and the purple, green-spined little dragon jogged to the front door and opened it. It was Luna.

Upon seeing her, Spike gasped and fell to his knees. “Your Highness,” he said deferentially.

Twilight turned to them, then gasped and kneeled as well. “Princess Luna!” she cried. “For what occasion are we honored with your presence?”

“Twilight Sparkle,” Luna replied formally, “I have a request to make of you. I would prefer to ask you privately.”

“Of course,” Twilight replied, smiling. She said to Spike, “Can you keep cooking for a second while I talk to Luna?”

“Sure,” Spike replied, and he picked up a spatula and went to their fireplace. As Spike was frying more eggs, Twilight said, “Can we speak outside?”

“Indeed,” Luna replied, so Twilight walked out to her side and closed the door.

“What do you need, Your Highness?” Twilight asked cheerfully.

“Twilight Sparkle,” Luna replied, “I ask that you accompany me to dinner this evening.”

Twilight nodded. “Of course? What for?”

“As the potential beginning of a courtship,” Luna answered simply.

Twilight’s eyes widened. “A… a courtship?” she asked. She stared at Luna for a moment. “You… you mean like a… a date?”

“By ‘date,’ do you mean ‘romantic outing’?” Luna asked.

“Well… yes,” Twilight replied uncertainly.

“Then yes. I wish to court you so that you might consider me as an intimate companion.”

Twilight blinked a few times. She wasn’t quite sure if she believed what was happening; she was being asked on a date, by Princess Luna, in perhaps the most bizarrely nonchalant and frank way possible. “You… want to court… me?” Twilight asked.

“Yes,” Luna replied patiently.

“But… why? I mean… I… I don’t understand…”

“I wished to have a companion, and I decided that you were my best choice. Your beauty and intelligence are great, and you were willing to be my friend when few others were. You have won my interest, and so I wish to pursue a romance with you.”

Twilight was blushing intensely. Never before had someone so simply called her very beautiful, and never before had she imagined that Princess Luna would desire to go out with her.

Twilight nervously chuckled. “I… I’m very flattered, but… I’m honestly very surprised. I’m a bit… unprepared. I might need to… uh… think about it a little…”

Luna nodded. “As you wish. I will return for your answer late this afternoon. In the meantime, I shall rest. Can you point me in the direction of a suitable inn?”

Twilight nodded, and nervously pointed westward and said, “That way is the Serene Pastures inn.”

Luna nodded, and gave her a small smile. “A thousand thanks, fair Twilight,” she said, and she turned and walked off.

After Twilight had watched Luna move out of view, she stood in place for a moment before walking back inside the library.

“So,” Spike said, “What did she need?”

After a pause, Twilight replied, “I’ll tell you later.”

Spike shrugged, then said, “Well, breakfast’s ready.”

Twilight smiled. “Thanks, Spike.”

They ate the fried eggs and some strawberries together, then Twilight said to Spike, “You can go back to sleep. I’ll be out; I’ll tell you when I’m back.”

Spike smiled. “Thanks.” He climbed back up the stairs to his bed, calling down, “Bye, Twilight.”

After Twilight called back, “Bye!” to Spike, she exited the library and trotted to Frappe’s Cafe. She’d agreed to see her friends for lunch there; perhaps they could help her decide what to do.