A Chance Meeting of Two Moons

by Evilhumour

Chapter 17: Chapter eleven Luna

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Chapter Eleven - Luna

Solaris was still chuckling to himself when he closed the door to Arty’s, Artemis’s room. He might have four left hooves when it came to dealing with intimate problems like this, but every once in a while he danced flawlessly and everypony was okay at the end.

While he might not be his pink nephew, and while there were not a lot of mares around, he was still fairly adept at cheering up mares in the bedroom.

“Prince Solaris?” Steel Barricade’s voice broke him out of his trance, the captain of his guards staring at him.

Coming out of the room where Luna was sleeping.

Seeing him coming out the room smiling and chuckling.

Oh buck.

“Do not worry, my little pony, nothing happened.” Solaris smiled softly, hoping that she would believe him despite how bad it seemed. She raised an eyebrow at him, which meant she didn’t believe him.

“I merely went to see if Luna had woken up yet, and did my best to comfort her… as she was a bit depressed over some issues.”

“Oh?” The mare raised her other eyebrow, while stepping closer.

“Yes,” he waved a wing, gesturing her to follow. He frowned as he walked away from the doorway, then paused and turned around, walking back past Steel Barricade to poke his head into the doorway again. “Luna, I shall be in the private foyer, okay?”

“Thank thee! Now let us shower in peace!” Luna shouted back, with an annoyed grunt in her voice.

Chuckling again, Solaris closed the door and nearly walked into Barricade. He blinked, then met her frown with his own.

“Allow me to explain, Barri.” He walked past the shocked mare, with her numbly following him. He reserved calling her that nickname for only when things were truly serious; either that centaur breaking out of her chains and escaping from Tartarus or dealing with several reporters that didn’t know Artemis’s privacy was to be respected at all costs. The earth pony did her job well, working with Gleaming Shield to send those ponies packing before they found Arty’s fortress of clothes in his closet.

The times when he had found the blue alicorn curled up tight underneath were always adorable until he remembered why and then it became soul-crushingly sad, a reminder of when he had truly hurt his brother the worst, all those years ago.

And like always, he had lifted his brother out of the clothes pile, tucked him into bed and did his best not to drink himself into a stupor afterwards.

At the very least he didn’t have to lift Arty’s, Artemis’s, bed anymore to get to his brother. It had been difficult to get him back into bed without him waking up on him when Arty, Artemi- oh buck it all! When ARTY was sleeping under there, wrapped up in his blankets.

For a brief moment, Solaris was glad Artemis had stayed away from the medical textbooks, certain that if he had ever stumbled onto the term security blanket, he would automatically believe that Solaris had talked about Artemis’s more private moments, no matter how much Solaris claimed, truthfully, that the term instead came from that wonderful cartoonist Charlie-Horse M. Schulz.

Shaking his head clear of all those thoughts, he sat down in the largest chair and waited for his trusted guard to sit down before setting up a sound muffling spell.

“As I said before, Barri,” she flinched at that, no doubt feeling like a little filly before her father. It was something Solaris was aware of and deeply hated to do to his little ponies, but at times it was necessary. “Luna was very depressed.”

“How so?”

“She was very certain that she was undeserving of any love, and equally certain that she was the reason Artemis and herself found each other…” he waved a hoof in the air, trying to find the right words.

Barricade nodded her head. “I understand what you are saying, Sire.”

“She also believes that she and Arty were the reason why Celestia and I...” he paused again, trying to think of the right words. “Acted as we did.”

“And you don’t believe that?”

“I don’t want to believe it,” he sighed, rubbing a hoof through his beard. “I truly hope there is something between the two, but I do know my brother, and it was very sudden for him to be this taken with Luna.”

He noticed Barricade’s frown deepen for a moment, but he would never let that face work on him on this issue. “That is still far beyond your paygrade, Barri.”

She huffed, rolling her eyes at the Prince. “Sire, I am aware that Prince Artemis has some issues with mares, and I could do my job better if I knew exactly why.”

“Barri…” His own frown deepened, admiring and hating the dedication she put forth to protecting Arty and himself. In her own mind, she could only do her job if she knew her charges inside and out, and for as long as she’d served as Gleaming Shield’s second in command, she had proven that as a fact time after time. She knew a lot of Solaris’s mannerisms and the reasons behind his usual soft goofball approach, she was able to really get through to him and give him solid advice when he needed it the most. She also had done a lot with Artemis, doing a lot of subtle things for his brother to gain his trust over the years and never doing anything to make him doubt her honesty to the lunar alicorn. Tartarus, she was the one that usually that went out to get his socks, as Arty was far too shy to actually go out and buy some himself.

Thus, it had annoyed her to see that Artemis had some sort of issue, and that Solaris refused to ever mention what exactly it was despite her desire to help Artemis being genuine. And she knew better than to ever to bring it up with Artemis himself so she was stuck being unable to help her prince fully.

She huffed again, gritting her teeth. But the issue was dropped for now. “As you were saying, Luna was depressed?”

“Yes,” he said as he picked up his teacup and took a sip. “As I said, she doesn’t believe that she deserves the affection of anypony, and I don’t have the faintest idea why she would think like that.”

There was a pause, and then Barricade coughed. “Sire, maybe it was due to whatever the reason was that she became her own Nightterror Knight?”

That caused Solaris to stop and think. “Maybe…” He tapped his chin. “It didn’t seem she was yearning for respect before, did she?”

Steel Barricade shook her head. “No, she didn’t,” she frowned in thought. “More like a mare that was hurt by another pony, really badly.”

“Yet, I know she hasn’t been with another…” he flicked his gaze at her disapproving eyes. “She admitted it to me in Artemis’s dream realm last night, in a fit of rage.” That caused her to lessen her frown, but only slightly.

“Sire, you told me that Prince Artemis was affected by that parasite because he wanted more respect for his night, correct?”

“Yes…” he nodded his head, wondering where she was going with this.

“Perhaps it was for a different reason for Luna? Maybe she wanted the love from everypony for her night instead of the respect for her night?”

“I do not know, and it would be wrong to ask her.” Solaris tapped his hooves, and sighed. “But I feel you may be right.”

“We can only speculate unless she tells us, Sire,” the earth pony sighed, shaking her head at what must have happened for anypony to be that uncertain about her own self worth. “So what are my orders for Princess Luna?”

As if she needed to ask… “The same as you would for Prince Artemis.” He rolled his eyes, huffing a bit at her silliness. She almost smirked at him, a feat he rarely got to experience with her.

His ears went up suddenly as he heard the lack of water running despite the spells blocking the sounds still being around Arty’s room. It was something he’d picked up during the last thousand years or so, and it was a damn fine talent to hone when he needed to make a quick exit in the morning or when he needed to stop searching around the strange room he woke up in after a night of drinking.

If Arty or Steel Barricade ever learned about the latter, he was certain that the door to the royal wine cellar would be bricked up and made teleportation proof, as well as warnings being made to all the bars, taverns, wine stores, booze stores, clubs, illegal stills and all the rest against serving a light brown maned white pegasus, unicorn or earth pony named Sunny Days.

Faust above, Arty had done it in the past, complaining that he was tired of dragging his fat flanks through the streets and propping him up like a puppet at day court, and he said he was going to make sure it wouldn’t happen again.

Yet it did, time and time again he would get completely inebriated as Arty could not find all his hiding spots and he would get drunk just to annoy his brother. And then he lost his brother and drinking to excess no longer had any appeal to him.

“A-hem.” Luna came into the room, smiling as she came dressed in the lovely outfit that Elusive had made her. “Art we interrupting a private conversation?” She could sense the sound muffling spell, which Solaris hadn’t taken down. Oh bu-

“Of sorts, your highness,” Steel Barricade nodded her head, and moved to stand beside the princess. “Solaris was going over some intimate manners concerning certain nobles that made an unscheduled appearance this afternoon.” Luna had a frown on her a face for a fraction of a second, but then Steel Barricade proved her worth by her next sentence. “I must say, that was a grand way to get rid of that foal Bluebelle.” She let out a laugh, rubbing against Luna’s side. “I am dreading to ask, but is there a male version of her in your world as well?”

“Sadly yes, he does exist.” Luna let out a laugh, shuddering for dramatics. “Yet I have not been able to fully discipline him as I would like to as it would upset the various structures in the government if I were to bring my hoof to his flanks.”

“Ah, it’s true,” Barricade laughed as well, wiping a nonexistent tear away from her face. “There have been times I wished to properly discipline that mare but I am far too needed to lose my job over somepony like her.”

“As I am not sure wherever I would find as good as a pony as you to make sure that the guards are in line.” Solaris let out a small laugh, joining into the conversation.

Luna looked at Barricade. Barricade looked at Luna. They shared a look between mares, one that had deep meaning behind it all.

Ah,” Luna smiled sagely, with Barricade nodding her head in agreement. “I see.” Both of them then giggled.

“What?” Solaris was truly confused by this, wondering why Barricade was actually giggling all of a sudden.

That caused them to only giggle louder, shaking their heads. At him!

“What?” he protested again, only for them to giggle louder again. “Oh, buck this,” he groaned playfully. He had long ago given up on trying to understand mares, it only caused headaches and him to doubt his masculinity when he tried. “I’m not even going to try to understand what is going on.”

“It would be for the best, Solaris.” Luna smiled, nodding her head again.

“Indeed, Sire,” Barricade gave a hidden smile behind her stoic guard face. “Excellent decision, Princess Luna.”

“Thank you, Captain…” Luna’s cheeks reddened for a moment, blushing as she realized she hadn’t learned the other mare’s name.

“Steel Barricade, Princess Luna,” she bowed properly, going the extra distance to use the ancient manner of greeting royalty. “It is a pleasure to finally to be properly introduced.”

“Likewise,” Luna beamed, and then let out a truly adorable yawn. “Oh excuse me, that was a bit un-mare like.” She giggled again, turning her head to the side in embarrassment.

“Oh, that’s simply nonsense,” Barricade chuckled, patting Luna on the shoulder. “I have seen Prince Solaris do far worse, and no one has yet to stop calling him a prince.” She then put on an evil grin. “Despite the many, many, incidents. Like the one time I had to help dislodge a tuba-”

“OI!” Solaris blushed, surprised that Barricade would even mention that!

“Merely explaining the facts to Princess Luna, Sire.” Her face twitched, a smile almost gracing her muzzle.

“And it is a fact that I will be trying in vain to get out of my mind.” Luna laughed, shaking her head again. She blushed as her stomach began to grumble.

“If you will follow me, Princess Luna, I can take you to dining room, where I hear that Barbara the Dragon has decided to make a lovely dinner, and I for one am eager to partake.”

“If she is anything like Spike, then her cuisine will be divine.” Luna had a dreamy smile on her face, one which Solaris was quite used to seeing. He had gained a considerable amount of weight during the years Artemis had been away, and he had barely gotten back to his lesser weight before he took Dusk Shine on as his student.

He then realized that he could always restart his diet on another day, and to Tartarus with it.

Luna looked around a touch of uncertainty before taking what would be her normal seat had she been dining with Celestia, with Solaris sitting by her side. The rest of the male versions of the ponies that once saved her were already there, with Tw-Dusk Shine buried into a book, which if her eyes were correct, was on mechanics of dream realms. The rest of them were talking with each other, with Butter… Butterscotch sitting sadly. Rainbow Blitz, if she remembered right, was patting him on the back as he talked to the farmer, Applejack if she recalled correctly. Elusive and the pink pony were talking to each other over, if she was hearing correctly, the properness of party attire for royal events.

Thinking about Celestia caused a small knot to form in her chest. She knew Artemis might have feelings for her but there was lingering doubt in her mind that he would turn his eyes to Celestia while she was here. And then she felt horrible for thinking like that, ashamed that she thought that low of her own sister. But try as she might, she could not silence that voice in her head that claimed Artemis would no longer care for her if she did not make haste back home.

Hopefully tonight they would receive the answers they needed, and she could find out where she truly stood with Artemis. She closed her eyes for a few moments, to force back the tears from thinking of all that, then smiled at the stallions around her.

“Good evening to you all.” She saw that nearly all of them smiled back at her honestly, with one adorable exception.

Dusk Shine proved to be just as big as a bookworm as Twilight was, still reading the book. She shot a look to Solaris who only rolled his eyes at the scene and held a hoof to his muzzle as he got up from his seat.

For a pony as large as he was, he moved very lightly on his hooves as he walked behind the young prince’s chair.

Coughing softly, he tapped the very startled pony on the shoulder. “Dusk Shine, what did we say about reading at the dining table?”

“Um…” he blushed, trying to hide in the back of his seat. Which proved exactly what Solaris wanted as he lifted the book up in one hoof as he leaned his other on Dusk’s head. “Sorry Pri-Solaris. I was just trying to find something to help Princess Luna and I-”

“Tuttatata,” Solaris placed the book over the alicorn’s mouth, shaking his head. “We do have plans in place, Dusk Shine, although I am pleased to see you took it upon yourself to do some light research on the matter.” He chuckled, his magic encircling the book as it floated away. “In fact, once we are done eating and the such, we will require your assistance later.”


“Yes, Dusk Shine,” Luna smiled gently. “We, that is Artemis and I, realize that while we might be experts on the matter of dream magic, having two ponies whose special talents are magic itself would be a great boon to unraveling the question of why we have switched places.”

“Su-I mean, I will be honoured to assist you Princess Luna,” Dusk stood up tall, bowing his head. It was adorable, truly adorable. “We’ll do anything to help you and Prince Artemis, Princess Luna.”

With short shouts of agreements from the rest of the stallions, Luna turned her attention to the still sad pegasus. “What troubles you, Butterscotch?” She blinked, confused as she’d never seen or heard Fluttershy being this sad.

“Oh, it’s nothing, Princess,” he mumbled, sinking behind his mane. Rainbow Blitz turned his attention to his friend, and pulled him into a light hug. “Just that I can’t find Eris and I’m worried for her.”

“Come on Scotch, I’m sure that she’s fine.” Blitz tapped his friend’s shoulder, rolling his eyes. “I mean, I doubt anypony could try anything with her. And you’ve told me that she’s been acting better, right?”

“Yeah…” he whimpered out, still very unsure of himself. “I wish-”

“You need not worry,” Luna smiled softly, walking over to the stallion. “I saw her earlier today and she seemed in fine spirits,” She placed a hoof on his shoulder, “In fact, if I were willing to wager, she is trying to find a way to make amends with you as she acted improperly before.”

“You’re sure?” He looked up at her, with doubt in his bright eyes. Oh, she could see why he was judged one of the cutest stallions by the mares she’d talked with earlier. The way that the draconequus got angry when they started to talk about his equipment was adorable, with her muttering, ‘My pegasus,’ repeatedly under her breath while squishing a pillow between her claws as she tried not to snap them into other things.

“I am sure of it. In fact, I am certain she would be willing to go to war for you.” Her chuckle was met with the rest of the stallions’ own laughter, some nodding their heads. “She is deeply in love with you, and I am positive that she is trying to find the right way to make amends with Solaris as she knows how much it would mean to you.”

“Heh,” he smiled and blushed, going back to hiding behind his mane. “Thank you, Princess.”

“If we are all settled, my little ponies,” Solaris beamed, dragging all their attention back to the front, “I do believe Barbara is ready to serve us her latest creation.”

With that Luna went back to her seat, smiling at the great meal that was being brought out. This was truly a feast that should last forever.

With a groan and a belly-patting, Solaris walked with Luna to the balcony with the stallions following numbly behind them. It seemed that all of them, save for Luna, had over-ate, with Rainbow Blitz hovering lazily just barely above the ground.

“Sire, I am also going to inform the royal dieters that they will need to be pressed back into service, is there anypony else that I am forgetting?”

Oh yes, Barricade was also there, making a list of all the officials she needed to talk to about restarting his diet. She was enjoying this far too much, and he made a mental note to make very irritating sunbeams for her days off. Having to deal with her afterwards would make it worth it, no matter what she did to get him back.

“Possibly yes, but I am not going to tell you, Steel Barricade,” he gave a light smile at her annoyed frown. “It would be a poor show of your prowess if I did your job for you, and it could very well start a snowball effect where other ponies become reliant on me and that is something nopony would ever want.”

“Indeed, Sire,” she smirked at him, moving to stand in the corner of the balcony before he realized what he said. “I do believe it is time to set the sun, Sire. If you wish me to go fetch the pegasi to aid you as-”

“Thank you, but that will not be necessary, my little pony.” He tried to shoot her a look, but both Luna and Steel Barricade shared another look and giggled, causing him to gulp. “A-as I am more than capable of flying myself upwards,” They giggled again! Why Faust, was that so terrifying! “In the sky.”

They didn’t giggle this time but simply shook their heads, which was even worse somehow! With quivering legs, he quickly flew into the sky and started to push the sun away, setting it on its track on the other side of the world. He landed back down on the balcony with a gentle smile, and nodded his head towards Luna.

With a face filled with determination, Luna flew herself upwards, her horn glowing. Solaris could feel her gripping Arty’s moon, and with a gentle tug, she lifted it upright into the night sky. Frowning for a second, he saw a sudden patch of light into the sky and then another one.

Arty’s manner of bringing forth his night sky always made him think of old battles long past, a distant time when things were more dangerous and there was protection under his brother’s moon. Luna’s, on the other hoof, was dazzling, bringing in bursts of light and life. It made him laugh a bit, feeling lighter than he had in awhile. He was reminded of the days when he and Arty were little foals, and everything was simple and there were no heartaches! By Faust, how could anypony not love her night sky?

“Amazing display, Princess Luna, simply amazing,” Elusive said with a face filled with awe, walking closer to the lunar alicorn mare. “I have not seen anything as divine as that in ages and I-”

He was cut off when Applejack placed his hooves on his shoulders. “Whoa there partner,” he grinned, gently hitting the unicorn on the head with his hat. “Remember that there Princess is spoken for.” He gave a gentle nudge, causing the white tailor to blush horribly.

“I-I-I-” Elusive tried to hide behind his mane, but failed. He blushed even harder when his friends started to laugh, while Luna tried hard not to laugh at the scene. “Sorry, Princess Luna,” he squeaked out, looking at the floor.

“It’s alright, my little pony,” she patted him on the shoulder, shaking her head in amusement. “I understand what you meant, and it was lovely to hear somepony say that about my night.”

“What‽” Elusive reared backwards, with indignation on his face. “How could they not see the beauty and appreciate it?”

There was an awkward silence which Solaris took care of by coughing and stepping next to Luna’s side. “Come Luna, I do believe we should try meeting with my brother, Princess Twilight Sparkle and,” he paused, forcing himself to say the next name. “Princess Celestia.”

“Indeed, Solaris,” Luna yawned, shaking her head. “If you would be so kind to join us, Dusk Shine?”

The solar alicorn responded with a small wink, and his lavender alicorn former student followed them as they made their way to Artemis’s bedroom.

“So how does this work, So-I mean, Princess Luna?” Dusk Shine blushed as the doors closed behind him, almost asking the day alicorn about night magic. “Is it a potion or a spell or-”

“Hush, Dusk Shine,” Solaris placed a hoof over his mouth, smirking. “Allow our guest to speak while I try to think of a way that would be… appropriate to do this.” He gulped inwards, wondering how they would do this as he would need to be very close to Luna and that could cause major trouble if somepony saw them and misunderstood the situation.

“Appro- what do you mean Solaris?” Dusk blinked at the tall pony by his side, with Luna slipping off her regalia and rolling her eyes at him.

“He means that for this potion to work, close proximity is required, and he is afraid that somepony will mistake this as something else.” She settled herself in the middle of the bed, lifting the vial of the potion that he got yesterday for Arty so he could meet the mare laying on the bed. Oh, he never thought he would see the day that a mare would actually be on his brother’s bed like that.

Ah. I see.” Oh, not Dusk Shine too! That was not fair! “So besides drinking the potion, Princess Luna, what will I need to do?” He gently got onto the bed, laying next to Luna with some distance between them.

“Simply concentrate within your own mind and push outwards with your own magic,” Luna said, watching him settle down by her other side, shedding his own regalia. “The potion will put your mind in a state of ease while letting you retain your mental capabilities.”

“Fascinating,” Dusk frowned, concentrating his magic as he pushed out a magical strand. “Like this?”

“Exactly, fair Dusk.” Luna said with some amazement.

Solaris could easily see why. This spell had taken Artemis and himself a long time to perfect and his former student got it on his first try. Solaris quickly focused his own magic strand out, taking a sip of the potion. He briefly noted that there was only enough for tonight before giving it over to Dusk Shine.

“N-now whut, Wrincess Woona?” Dusk Shine yawned loudly, his own magic strand being taken up by Luna’s along with his own, while she was giggling very softly.

“Now we meet our friends, and family.”

And with that, Luna brought them into her dream realm.

Blinking, Solaris found himself in the same dream realm that he was in last night. Looking around, he saw that Luna was already walking over to his little brother with a small smile on her face. Arty was as red as a tomato, and Solaris was instantly convinced that was all true between the two. He made a point to ignore the mare directly across from him, that was something he would need to address later.

Moving his head again, he saw that Dusk Shine was walking towards the middle, where this Twilight Sparkle was heading. Everything became quiet.

Both of them opened their mouths and then they would know the answer.

Author's Notes:

I now support Solarri as does most of my team. I don't know about Ninja as he didn't see it.

Also, Butter's equipment? While it is not the biggest Eris ever saw from Ponykind, that has to included alicorns as well. Great control though


Next Chapter: Chapter twelve Artemis Estimated time remaining: 49 Minutes
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