A Clash of Lightnings

by Habanc

Chapter 1: What.


Twilight snarled from the edge of her doorway, eying thunderbolts towards the ebony doors down the hall. "LUNA, WHEREVER YOU ARE, I AM GOING TO FIND YOU!"

It wasn't quite up to par with the raw Royal Canterlot Voice, but it came mightily close. Somewhere on the floor below, a royal guard stumbled and fell over. Twelve salad plates broke before Celestia and her griffonic guests. In a nearby retirement homes, a hip gave out. Every bird within seven miles of Canterlot rose into the air and made their way north for the winter, as that suddenly seemed a much more appealing option.

With a leap, Twilight jumped into her teleportation spell, and arriving headfirst into Luna's bedroom doors, summoned up two spells at once. The first was more or less an arcane battering ram. It took the aural locking, biological detection, hellfire absorption, gamma ray burst-diffusing, and arcano-flame-resistant enchantments and sheared through them like a blowtorch through paper. She also destroyed the invincibility and clown-summoning runes for good measure. Secondly, she hardened her skin and jolted her body's magnetic field to give her momentum an extra burst of electromagnetic power.

These magical defenses were ancient and impervious to the time and fates. The ebony wood had been used in the old castle within the Everfree. They could withstand anything this world could throw at them, whether it be gods or demons, natural disaster or paranormal havoc.

But it could not stop one very talented, magical, and above all, very angry Twilight Sparkle.

The twigs gave way and slammed into the walls, the aural reverb alone shaking the chandelier and wood chips flying across the ground. She panted as she prowled over the onyx floors, her wild magical fallout causing the room's arcane candles to flare like geysers of fire.

"That's right, hide." Twilight hissed, stalking between a bookshelf and a desk. She peered under to no avail. "Because when I find you, you're going to be in for a world of punishment."

The problem with Luna's room, however, was that it was large. It had multiple, mini-corridors that were filled with everything from texts and star charts to oil paints and abacuses.

She tore a door from its hinges, letting it drop to the ground with a dainty, horrifying crash. The bathroom was empty.

Cursing aloud to Luna's very stars, Twilight moved to the study with a flash. In a crash and the crumble of drywall, she realized she had misjudged her spell and went right through the wall. Oh well.

But once again, her search yielded no payout. A lone armchair sat dormant beside a cold fireplace. She shook her hair free of bits of plaster, unable to clear the red tint seeping into the edges of her vision.

"We can make this easy, you know." Her voice whispered off the curved walls – thanks to a small spell – piercing into every corner of the room. With another flash of light and a crash, she continued her search for her prey.

The options were slimming, the potential hideouts erased out with each blast of plaster and snap of wood. Her red-hot fury had no potential for simmering, continuously threatening to boil over. At long last, she arrived before Luna's bed.

Of course.

A lump rested beneath the blankets, lying peacefully. Twilight licked her lips. This was all too typical of Luna. She would have to educate her.

"Got you," she growled, tearing away the cotton layers.

Her claim to victory died in her throat as she stared at a pile of puffy white pillows. A note popped into existence atop them.

Twilight snatched it up, almost crushing the poor slip of paper into another universe as she emblazoned the words into her mind.

"To My Cutie Twi,

I'm going to miss that painting of Io you vaporized. What did she ever do you to you?

She certainly didn't sneak into your room and try to cutely wake you up.


P.S. Down here, silly.

As soon as Twilight's eyes peered towards the violet carpet, a light sprinkle of spit covered her face. Luna laid there with her tongue out, blowing raspberries defiantly at her. Before the younger alicorn could muster a thought, much less a response, Luna bolted between her legs and dashed through the window.

There was a slight delay between when the glass shattered to the floor and when the cogs finally unjammed themselves. Twilight howled and unfurled her wings, using one mighty flap to jettison herself through the ruined window and out into the open sky.

Far on the horizon, a blue blip skimmed below the clouds.

Another pulse from her horn and Twilight shattered the sound barrier, hurling her own body weight with telekinesis and strengthening her bone structure and pressure tolerance. The air left in her wake warped and whined, popping into ozone and the smell of eldritch fumes.

Luna looked behind her and rolled her eyes. She giggled and pointed a hoof at Twilight, before shooting off into the early day with her own arcane propulsion.

There was only so much energy Twilight could put into her spells. Their framework was created for what an average magical master could divert. That was simply too bad. With a grunt, she forced more magic in than the spell was designed to hold, the shriek of strained, ensorcelled spell-bonds filling her ears.

With self-righteous fury providing a limitless reservoir of power, Twilight lit up the sunny sky with magenta bolts, snares that hungered for their warm-blooded target. They filled the air like wasps, endlessly conjured from her horn, coming down upon Luna like a death ray.

But the lunar goddess jinxed away at the last moment, bolting to the side with incredible agility. In the midst of her barrel roll, Twilight swore she saw her blow another raspberry.

In the White Tail Woods far below, a patch of forest exploded, bursting into flames.

Twilight latched on to Luna's metaphysical essence, transmitting a warning straight into her conscious: "I am going to make you pay for what you did."

Luna's response was accompanied by a giggle. "'K."


Celestia could do no more. She had tried to make it up to the griffon royal family. She had offered a new meal to be prepared any way they preferred. She tried to give them her own personal masseuses for the day. She promised any luxury they could desire.

She even apologized.

But nooo. They would have none of it. They claimed it was "a mistake," that it was "no big deal." What a bunch of pansies.

She was the usher of the sun, the queen of light and benevolence. She had struck down Glömtalwyrm at the center of the earth, and wrought Val' Nthlehu to his sixteen knees. She tore creation asunder when she felt like it.

When she wanted to be a nice, caring, polite, hospitable, warm, understanding, fair, generous, compassionate, and kind princess, she damn better be able to. But she couldn't. These griffons were a bunch of pushovers, a disgrace to their warrior-blood past. She hoped their stone-beaked ancestors rose from the grave and shamed them into shape.

She hated it when things didn't go her way.

That's why, when Private Hoplite came tearing into the room with urgent news, her day became much, much less enjoyable. At least she would get to yell at somepony.

Excusing herself, Celestia strode from the room and out towards the foyer. Two captains greeted her and informed her of the current crisis. Her eyes narrowed as the conversation rolled along.

As they exited the doors to the garden, Celestia unfurled her wings. The smoke was already rising in the sky, barring the culprits of being seen. That was fine, it didn't matter.

She'd still find them, nopony could doubt that. The sun, high up in the sky, saw everything.


Darius the duck was having a fine day. He ate some watercress with his little duck beak, paddled around the pond with his little duck feet, and humiliated a family of turtles in a bout of insults. Oh yes, life was good for such a duck.

He spied another aquatic avian along the shore, who rested on the ground and preened her wings. It was Penelope. The very image of perfection and beauty! With heavenly grace did she keep herself looking at her best!

Penelope stopped from her grooming, held still for a moment as she stared across the pond, and then hacked out a piece of down.

Darius had been smitten with her for months now, but today he was in a confident mood. Swimming over to her, he arrived on the shore before the duck. Waddling upon the rocks and grass, he quacked at her.

Penelope stopped, and looked up. She quacked in return.

Darius quacked twice more, regaling his deeds of the day. He stepped closer and quacked a third time. Then he entered a dramatic pose, raising his wings as high as they would go, just barely visible above the surrounding ferns.

As he did, an explosion rocked the world behind him, hitting the far side of the pond. Two more lit the background in fire and fury, plumes of orange and red rising high into the sky.

His feathers glowed gold in the newborn light. A halo of orange surrounded him, glinting his beak and webbed feet. No more was he Darius the duck. Nay, he was now Darius, vanquisher of turtles! All hail!


Twilight let out another burst of magic, tearing up the woods below. She grit her teeth and willed her magical form onward, scything through the wind as she chased Luna up and down, pulling tight turns and all sorts of loops and rolls.

Luna, curse the name, giggled and laughed at her as she zipped around. She could not be forgiven for her deeds. For Twilight, vengeance would be hers, justice had to be delivered. All she needed was for that pesky mare to stay still.

A stream of snares missed again, followed by a cloud of smoke and eldritch heat that rose high into the atmosphere.

With a flash, Luna disappeared. Twilight gasped, head on a swivel as she continued to tear through the sky. She looked all around her and below, unable to find the dot of blue among the treetops of green. She hadn't expected this. Teleportation at this high of a velocity was extremely dangerous, only speaking to Luna's unmeasured magical prowess.

"Did I ever tell you how cute and lovely you are?" Luna's voice wandered into her mind, sappy sweet.

"It doesn't change anything," Twilight growled, swooping down low to get a better look at the canopy.

"Aww, come on, don't be like this. I must admit you're very adorable when you're angry, but I think you're even prettier when you're happy."

"It's not going to work, Luna."

"But cutie Twi–"

Twilight felt butterflies rise in her stomach. She secretly adored her pet name, turning beet red the first time Luna mentioned it. But her infatuation currently only flared her mood onward. "No, Luna! Just stop and come out already!"

"But– but I love you. Why can't you just calm down? Humph." Twilight could almost see that annoying, frustrating, absolutely adorable pout. "Don't you love me too?"

"Luna, you're not going to get out of this by playing me like that." She cut her magical propulsion off, slowing herself to peer through the treetops.

"Playing you?" She mocked pain and hurt, or at least Twilight hoped. "I am telling you the plain truth. You are the stars to my moon, the honey to my hive, the lemon-vanilla frosting on my triple-decker, marble and mint cake–"

"That doesn't even make sense," Twilight snorted.

"Oh, right. Well, you can be the wonderful cake, Twilight, because– well, you know, it's rather fitting..."

"Huh? What?" Then realization struck. Twilight flustered, first with embarrassment and a touch of giddy joy, and then with annoyance at being embarrassed and happy. "L–L–Luna! You–! You can't... Don't say that!"

"Why not?" Luna pouted once more. "Is admiring a pretty mare, who just so happens to have a wonderful flank, unacceptable?"

"N-No!" Twilight stammered, barely noticing the treetops moving by slower than before. "It's, it's that I'm angry with you!"

"How does that change anything?" Luna's voice grew gentle. "You're still as beautiful as when I first saw you."

Twilight, smacked across the face with a two-by-four of emotion, could not calm her fluttering heart. A soft "Aww, Luna," escaped her lips, before her concentration and conscious stepped back in. She tried to hold onto the wisps of fury. "I'm– I'm still mad at you, though!"

Luna sighed loudly and gave up. "Fine," she groaned. "I'm by our favorite stargazing spot, if you're wondering."


The midnight mare was waiting for her in the clearing, perched atop the lower boulder they laid upon so many times before. Twilight hit the ground with a tremble that shook the trees around them. She stalked up to her, trying her very best to turn her irises into rings of fire. She readied her hooves.

Luna didn't even bother to defend herself or retreat. She sat still, regarding her with that goofy grin she always wore.

Twilight stepped before her, readying her fearless attack. The dregs of her previous fury were still with her, and with it she was ready to extract her revenge.

Twilight reared up on her hind legs, and began a relentless assault of light slaps, feeble smacks, slightly-forceful pats, and other weak attacks that bounced off of Luna. The older alicorn just grinned.

"How could you!" Twilight cried, continuing her attack. "Luna! Why did you do it!?"

The villain frowned, barely swaying back and forth with each blow. "I wanted to do something nice for you."

"But but but but– but it was my favorite book! It was Pablo Neighruda!"

Luna giggled. "So, my Cutie Twi is a secret, avid admirer of love poems, I see."

"No! Well, yes, but that isn't the point!" She placed her hooves on Luna's shoulders and glared into her pupils. "You bent the spine."

Twilight unwavering, raising-the-dead leer seemed to have worked the trick. Luna looked away in shame."I know," she muttered, her voice growing serious. "I saw you begin to wake, just as I was beginning to read. I wanted to be there for you, to be the first thing you saw... I– I guess I placed the book down by it's pages and forgot where it was. I promise I didn't mean to step on it."

"But..." Twilight moped, "I loved that book. I've had it since, well, forever."

"I know. I am terribly sorry." She tried to look up at her. "Please, don't be mad at me anymore."

Twilight pouted, but nevertheless slumped against Luna, who fell onto her back, leaving the two to rest and cuddle upon the short, wide boulder as they had so many months ago. "Fiiiine," Twilight mumbled into Luna's chest.

Luna kissed the top of her head. "Thank you."

Twilight turned her head up to look at her. "Why did you have to run away, though? I wouldn't have been as mad if you didn't teleport out of the room."

Indigo ears pressed flat against Luna's head. "I got scared..." she whimpered. "And you know me, when I get scared, I begin to act..."


"Yes," Luna nodded. "I was afraid of what you'd say to me or do to me. I know shouldn't have been, but I couldn't help it."

Twilight inched forward and nuzzled her under the chin. "Aww, Lulu..." She giggled. "I promise, it would've been only a few spankings."

It was Luna's turn to fluster. "Can– can we just go back to that part?" she wondered with a murmur.

"Perhaps, you silly pony." Twilight booped her on the nose with another giggle. "Although I–"

"Enjoying yourselves?"

Luna propped herself up and Twilight whirled around. Celestia was standing before them, the harsh rays of the sun searing from her eyes. She was not amused.

"Did you enjoy setting half the forest ablaze?" Did you have fun sending the White Tail Woods' ecosystem into disarray? Was it nice to concern half of Canterlot by filling the sky with smoke and flurries of magic?"

Twilight cringed, and Luna had at least the decency to look ashamed.

"How does it feel to know you've disrupted ponies' lives? An elderly mare is in the hospital, and she missed her midday programming. Even worse, you ruined our meeting with the Griffon Royal Family. Every last salad plate shattered, all because of you two."

The heat was rising on Celestia's face. "And you know what?! They did not let me apologize!" she roared. "They did not let me the better pony! They disgraced me and my reputation in front of my own guard! My sterling record of hospitality is now ruined because of you two!"

Twilight looked to Luna, utterly confused. Luna whispered a quick message in her ear.

"I can never be able to hold a dinner party between diplomats again! Do you know what you have done?!" Celestia waved her hooves about. "Diplomacy will fall! Equestria will be devoured by its neighbors! Chrysalis will return and use me as her personal french maid!"

"Wait, what?–"

"–I'll tell you later."

Celestia was oblivious to their sidelong conversation. "It's all your fault! You two have ruined me!" Her eye twitched. "Nobody within the international community will respect me anymore! I'm a fake, a sham! I... I... I'm useless."

She sunk to the floor.

Luna rolled her eyes. "Come now, sister, Twilight and I will take you home. Let's get you some hot tea and a bath, that'll make you feel better."


Luna closed the door with a sigh. "There, she's all taken care of."

Twilight sat on the edge of the bed, patting the spot next to her. "Good. Now, come here, we have some... unfinished business, if I remember."

Luna blushed but nodded all the same. "We do," she affirmed with a grin. However, Twilight gave her a look as she walked right on past her. Arriving at the nightstand, she picked up a bent, hardcover book, flipping through the pages.

Sitting down at the chair beside the bed, she cleared her throat and read:

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way than this:

where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Author's Notes:

The poem in this story is the original work of Pablo Neruda, Sonnet XVII. It is not of my own.

He's simply brilliant, hands down one of the best love poets I've found. If you haven't read some of his work, I highly recommend you do, either in his original native spanish prose or any of the translated versions.

However, this is a case of me not sticking to my original plan and letting my pen take things in a very different direction. But, eh, I posted it anyway, as the fun, 36-hour, spur-of-the-moment project this was. Enjoy!

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