Friendship and Frequencies

by FallingThunder85

Chapter 27: A Truth Revealed.

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A Truth Revealed:

Nightmare Moon and Bastion walked side by side. Having calmed down from her little show of emotion, Nightmare Moon kept taking the small glances over at Bastion.

*What do I do now?* She thought to herself. She couldn’t take her mind off of what would happen when they eventually got back to Ponyville. *Bastion has been so good to me this whole time. He has comforted me, even though he doesn’t know who I am or if I can be trusted.* Nightmare Moon looked at Bastion, and saw his normal determined expression.

Bastion seemed to notice her looking at him and smiled in her direction.

“Thinking about something, Moonbeam?” Bastion asked, causing Nightmare Moon to snap out of her trance.

“Oh, it’s nothing, I guess that I was just thinking about how strange my circumstance is really.” Nightmare Moon said, trying to get her mind off of what she had been thinking of.

“Tell me about it, the chances of you just so happening to run out into the woods while the Guards are looking for Nightmare Moon. It is a strange coincidence isn’t it?” Bastion said. Nightmare Moon looked at him, trying to see if she could read anything on his face. He didn’t seem to be insinuating that he knew her identity.

“Right, I almost forgot about that.” Nightmare Moon said, trying to act casual. “Do you think that your friends could have found her by now?” She asked.

“I don’t know, she managed to evade us for quite a while before I took you to our base camp. I’d say that she might still be out there.” Bastion said, looking up at the sky. In that moment, he stopped in his tracks. Nightmare Moon looked up and saw what had caused Bastion to stop.

Passing over them, she saw a large group of chariots being pulled by pegasi. They were carrying a lot of supplies, and they were all flying in the same direction that Nightmare Moon and Bastion were heading in.

“Are those the guards who were looking for Nightmare Moon?” Nightmare Moon asked. It sounded weird talking about herself in such a matter.

“It looks like it.” Bastion said, watching the last of the group pass overhead and back toward Ponyville. “I don’t know what is going on though, could something be happening back at the town?” Bastion was seemingly at a loss for words. He shook his head and looked back down at Nightmare Moon.

“I guess we'll just have to see when we get you back home, huh?” Bastion said. Nightmare Moon nodded. Trying to keep the relief off of her face now that the forest was free of Soldiers.

“Maybe, someone in Ponyville saw Nightmare Moon coming back to the town?” Nightmare Moon suggested. Bastion absentmindedly nodded.

“I guess that could be.” Bastion said, trying to keep his voice even. “Anyway, we should get going, no matter what, we still need to get you back to town. I doubt that you want to stay out in the forest much longer.” Bastion said, making sure that he still had his bearings.

“Yeah….” Nightmare Moon said, her voice trailing off. They started walking once more, Nightmare Moon’s thoughts turning back to what she would have to do when they arrived.

*Maybe….* She began thinking to herself. *Maybe I can tell him. At least a little bit, if not everything* Nightmare Moon glanced over at Bastion.

*I guess that it would be worth a shot. If the worst comes to pass, I could try and incapacitate him with magic. I’ve had time to recover by now and I know I just need to keep going straight to reach the town again. I’ve got to be careful with how I handle this.* Nightmare Moon thought, trying to think of how she could explain that she, looking like a small filly, was actually the pony that he was supposed to be taking into custody.

*I’ll wait until we stop for the night.* She thought, nodding her head. *But I guess that I could say something now, just to see if it would be a good idea.*

For a few minutes, Nightmare Moon remained silent. When she felt like the time was right, she stopped moving once again. She unconsciously put one of her hooves up to her forehead, feeling the bandanna that Bastion had tied around her head when they had left the camp. She hoped that things would turn out well.

A few moments passed before Bastion noticed that the pony he was escorting had stopped walking. He looked back and saw Moonbeam fiddling with her bandana. He started to walk back to her, wanting to ask if she was okay. Moonbeam spoke up before Bastion could get a word out though.

“Hey, Bastion,” Nightmare Moon began, trying to bring her courage up to say something to him. Bastion looked at her, motioning for her to continue, but Nightmare Moon just couldn’t bring herself to say anything about herself at this point. She didn’t want to just drop things, she had stopped them for the second time already, she felt that she needed to give Bastion a good reason, so she thought of something else she could talk about.

“Do you know anything about a weird blue flower that does weird things to your body?” Nightmare Moon decided, thinking back to another of her current problems. Bastion looked at her for a second, seemingly very confused. Suddenly understanding spread across his face.

“You must mean poison Joke, nasty stuff. As far as I know it only grows here in the Everfree.” Bastion explained. Nightmare Moon nodded.

“That’s what it’s called?” Nightmare Moon faked surprise, she remembered the two guards who refused to come close to the flowers when she first woke up in her shrunken body.

“Yeah.” Bastion said, cocking his head to one side as he said it. “Why do you ask? Did you run into some without knowing?”

Nightmare Moon looked down at her hooves, feeling a bit embarrassed to be talking about what happened to her.

“Yeah.” Was all that Nightmare Moon said, trying to think of what she would say to satisfy Bastion’s curiosity until they stopped for the night and she could try and explain everything.

“Well, you look healthy enough, what happened to you that makes you say you ran into poison joke?” Bastion asked. Nightmare Moon looked even further down at the ground. She bit her lip a bit before she got the nerve to answer.

“Well, promise you won’t make fun of me or anything after you hear it.” She said, and saw Bastion give her a salute. She took that as confirmation to go forward with what had happened to her.

“Alright,” She said, letting out a small sigh, “The truth is, I’m not a little filly, the poison joke shrunk my body down to this size.” She told him. “I did actually have a fight with a friend, but it wasn’t over school stuff. I just want to go home and apologize to her.” Nightmare Moon said, trying to rush her explanations out, and hoping that Bastion didn’t call her out for being suspicious. However, Bastion didn’t make any noises. Nightmare Moon looked up from the patch of grass she had been observing just a second ago to see Bastion fighting to hold in his laughter.

Unfortunately he couldn’t hold it in very long and soon the sounds of his laughter echoed throughout the trees. Nightmare Moon let out a lone sigh, more relieved that he hadn’t seemed to jumped to the conclusion that she was Nightmare Moon from what she had just shared. It took Bastion a few seconds to recover, and Nightmare Moon saw him wipe a few tears from his eyes.

“That actually makes a lot of sense.” Bastion said, a stray laugh coming and going as he talked. “It didn’t make sense to me how somepony so young could pull off a teleportation spell, the only other pony who I’ve heard of that had managed something like that at such a young age was Twilight Sparkle. Hearing that you’re actually older, it is kind of hilarious considering how you acted around everypony, me included.”

Nightmare Moon couldn’t help the small smile that came to her face as she watched her friend lau-

*Wait, friend?* Nightmare Moon thought to herself, unsure of where the word had come from. *He… He can’t be a friend, I’m not supposed to have any friends.* Nightmare Moon thought, her face falling a bit. *But, he has been there for me, he hasn’t tried to harm me in any way. Maybe… He could be my friend.* She looked at Bastion, who seemed to have notice her mood go downcast once again. *Maybe, if things go well tonight. He deserves to know the whole truth, even if he doesn’t like what that is.*

“Hey, Moonbeam, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings when I laughed, honestly.” She heard Bastion saying. She looked up at him and tried to give him her best smile.

“Don’t worry about it, I knew it was kind of embarrassing when I was going to share it.” Nightmare Moon said, trying to deflect all the worry about her feelings. “So, I guess I should ask, do you know where that Zebra that helped Twilight with her case of poison joke lives? I’ve been stuck like this for what feels like weeks.” She said, talking less like a school aged filly now that she didn’t have to pretend.

“Oh,” Bastion said, pulling the map out of his saddlebag. “I think it should be on here somewhere, we should swing by. I could only imagine the kind of stuff that would happen if you came back to town looking like a filly instead of your regular self.”

“That would be nice.” Nightmare Moon said. She couldn’t help but smile at how fortunate she had been to be discovered by sompony so nice.


As it turned out, Bastion and Nightmare Moon were very close to the Zebra’s house. Bastion had been slightly confused at first to see that she lived so far out into the Everfree, but figured she must have had some reason. Within the next two hours, they were within sight of where the house should be. They came across an large tree that had windows carved out of it.

“Well, I think this is where the map said the Zebra lived.” Bastion said, eyeing the place slightly suspiciously. “It’s a bit different than what I had expected. You still want to do this right now?” He asked Nightmare Moon. Nightmare Moon just nodded.

“I don’t want to look like a filly if I don’t need to, I was hoping that the effects would just wear off after a while, but it hasn’t gotten any better yet.” Nightmare Moon explained, starting to walk up to the crude steps that led to the door. Bastion followed closely behind her.

When Nightmare Moon got to the top step, she raised one of her hooves to knock on the door. As she did, she heard movement. She waited as the sound of footsteps approached the door. And Soon enough, it swung open, revealing the zebra who lived there.

“I was did not expect visitors so soon, tell me child, are you a friend of Applebloom?” The zebra asked. Nightmare Moon thought it was slightly strange that she spoke in rhyme, but decided to ignore it for now.

“Oh, no ma’am, I am actually here because I heard you could help with poison joke.” Nightmare Moon said, hoping that she would be willing to help. The zebra nodded.

“I see, please do come in. A remedy I have within.” The zebra said moving aside to let her guests into the small, single room house.

“A few moments is all I ask. I need some time to prep your bath.” The zebra said once again, walking over to a collection of herbs she had drying on her wall. She picked a few up and started walking over to a very large pot.

“Wait, the cure to poison joke is a bath with some herbs in it?” Nightmare Moon asked, confused, but not opposed to the lack of having to eat anything to cure herself.

The zebra simply nodded, not taking her eyes off of the bubbling cauldron. Seeing that she would not be able to talk with the zebra mare at all, she decided to distract herself by looking around at the strange interior decorations that were scattered about the house.

She looked over at Bastion, who was still standing near the entrance, scratching his leg awkwardly.

When Bastion saw that she was looking at him, he stood up straight, acting like he had never been doing anything else. Nightmare Moon gave a small laugh.

“The bath is ready, please jump in. My herbs and potions will cleanse your skin.” The zebra called over to her. Nightmare Moon jumped a bit. When she recovered, she walked over to the zebra, and allowed herself to be lifted up and into the apparent bathing cauldron. Nightmare Moon instinctively coiled up on herself as she saw the liquid get ever closer to her, her mind screaming that she was going to be cooked and eaten. But, she was surprised to find that the water was not that hot actually, about the perfect temperature for taking a bath.

Nightmare Moon started to relax a bit as she felt the warm bubbly water surround her.

“Take a deep breath, submerg your snout. Otherwise poison joke will not come out.” Said the zebra once again. Her calm, rhyming pattern of speech calming Nightmare Moon enough to follow her instructions. She lowered her head under the water, holding her breath. Once she was completely submerged, she felt her legs begin to grow back to normal size, the rest of her body following soon after.

She felt her legs hit the bottom of the cauldron and she had to take her head out to make room for her body reaching both the front and back of the cauldron. She opened her eyes to look around. The zebra mare looked slightly shocked, but shook it off. When she looked over at Bastion, she couldn’t read his face.

Nightmare Moon looked over at the zebra mare once again. And got out of her cauldron bath. She stepped onto the wood floor and the zebra mare gave her something to dry off with.

“Thank you miss,” Nightmare Moon said, giving a slight bow. “I don’t have any money on me now, but I will come and pay you back for this once I get back to Ponyville.”

“Do not worry about the money. It was payment enough to have some company.” The zebra said, waving off her offer to pay for the ‘treatment’. “To introduce myself, my name is Zecora.” The zebra mare, now identified as Zecora said, extending a hoof out to shake. Nightmare Moon accepted without hesitation.

“My name is Moonbeam. It has been nice meeting you Zecora, but we really should get going. We need to get back to Ponyville.” Nightmare Moon said. Zecora nodded her head, understanding well enough.

“If you see a young filly named Applebloom, Tell her I would not mind her coming to visit some time soon.” Zecora told her.

“I will try to do that.” Nightmare Moon told her, not really thinking as she spoke, she walked over to where Bastion stood. “Are you okay Bastion?” She asked, seeing that Bastion had not moved much since she had emerged from the bath. Bastion shook his head, seeming to come back to reality.

“Yeah, sorry. I was thinking about some stuff, I’m ready to go if you are.” Bastion said. Nightmare Moon turned around, looking at Zecora one last time before she waved goodbye.

Nightmare Moon and Bastion both started walking off into the forest, Bastion remaining quiet for a bit. Nightmare Moon Tried not to worry about it that much. They had walked in silence many times before, so there was likely no reason to worry too much about it.

She kept telling herself this, but at the same time, he hadn’t even reacted when he saw her grow into a full grown mare. Sure she had told him it would happen, but she still thought his lack of reaction was disconcerting. She tried to keep her mind off of that. Soon enough, they would have to stop for the night, and then she could try to reveal herself.

*Why do I feel the need to explain myself to him though? The evil Mare of Darkness shouldn’t care about anyone* Nightmare Moon thought to herself. She wondered for a second what that could mean.

Suddenly, Bastion stopped in his tracks. Nightmare Moon noticed this quickly and moved to stand in front of him.

“Moonbeam,” Bastion began, his voice sounding ominous. Nightmare Moon froze a bit. “The circumstances around you being in the Everfree, the fact that you kept your affliction with poison joke a secret for so long. I will admit, I found it all suspicious.” Bastion said, his eyes not meeting Nightmare Moon’s. Nightmare Moon herself felt she could tell where this was heading but was frozen with fear.

“After everything you’ve told me over the last few days, I think I figured it out.” As he said this, Bastion looked right into Nightmare Moon’s eyes. “You are Nightmare Moon, aren’t you.” He said, not phrasing it as a question.

Nightmare Moon dropped her head, not wanting to see the accusatory look that he was giving her.

“Yes, Bastion.” Nightmare Moon said, sounding like a dog afraid to be punished. “I was going to tell you tonight.” She admitted. She heard Bastion pacing around.

“Well, this is a fine mess. I’ve been leading the fugitive I was ordered to detain back to Ponyville all this time.” The tone in his voice held anger. Nightmare Moon didn’t dare look up though, she didn’t want Bastion to see the tears that were forming in her eyes.

*Monsters don’t cry* She thought to herself, but she couldn’t stop the tears that pooled at her eyes.

“I should have trusted my gut that something was fishy about a filly being that far into the Everfree. I should have listened to my commander.” Bastion kept spitting out things that kept breaking Nightmare Moon’s heart. She just stood there, figuring that this is what she deserved for deceiving someone who had tried to help her. She heard Bastion’s footsteps coming closer, and prepared for whatever came next.

“And the worst part is, I know that if I had listened, I would be putting you in chains right now without letting you explain yourself.”

At this, Nightmare Moon looked up at Bastion, her eyes still wet with tears. Bastion was standing in front of her, not making any moves to hurt her or detain her.

*If he is willing to listen to me, I was planning on telling him anyway.* Nightmare Moon thought. She sat down and started thinking on how best to tell him everything that she had experienced. She nodded to herself, and looked at Bastion, trying to keep the tears from her eyes.

“It all started when Luna and I separated.” Nightmare Moon began. “I had been sustained by her thoughts about me, she thought of me as a negative force, and so I became one. Once I was my own pony, I no longer had her thoughts to sustain me, her negative thoughts about me that seemed to give me purpose were no longer there. Even before you found me, I was unsure of why I was doing what I was, it was the only thing I had known for so long.” Nightmare Moon said, trying to put her existence into perspective, both for herself, and for Bastion.

“Once you came along, and showed me so much kindness, I started to wonder why I was doing these things even more. I tried to tell myself that I was just staying with you because it was convenient, but, I was actually starting to see you as a friend. I wanted to tell you about myself, but I was afraid of how you would react when you found out.” Nightmare Moon explained.

“I see.” Bastion said, his voice not showing any emotion. “So, what are you going to do when we get back to Ponyville?” he asked. This caused Nightmare Moon to look at him in shock.

“Wait, you are still going to take me back to Ponyville? Even though I lied to you about who I was?” Nightmare Moon asked, not sure she believed what she was hearing.

“I am.” Bastion said, “I’ve seen how you act, and I am sure that you are not the same evil mare that threatened Equestria so long ago. Now, tell me what you are going to do when we reach Ponyville.”

Nightmare Moon looked down at her hooves for a second. She didn’t want to fight with anyone anymore, but she doubted that Luna would listen to her if she tried to talk with her.

“I want to patch things up with Luna, but I don’t know if she will want to talk with me, and the soldiers are probably going to be waiting for us. I don’t know what to do.” Nightmare Moon said, wracking her brain for any way to get into town that didn’t involve fighting.

“Maybe if I say I have subdued you we could get you into town without trouble?” Bastion offered.

Nightmare Moon considered that, It could work. But she shook her head.

“No, Luna might assume that I put a control spell on you. It would be best if you did not get yourself involved, I don’t want you to get hurt because of me.” Nightmare Moon told him. “I will think of something by the time that we get to Ponyville. When we get close to the town, you should either hide in the forest until I get things taken care of, or you could join up with the other soldiers.” Nightmare Moon insisted.

“Alright, I don’t like that idea myself, but if you want to go through with it, then I will trust you on this.” Bastion said. He looked up, trying to see any light coming through the canopy of trees above them. “We should set up camp for the night.” Bastion suggested. Nightmare Moon nodded. They started getting things ready for them to sleep for the night.

As they got their camp ready for the night, Nightmare Moon thought of something.

“Hey, Bastion?” She called out, hoping to get his attention.

“Yes Nightma-” He began, but was cut off.

“Please, don’t call me Nightmare Moon,” She began. “I really like being called Moonbeam. I’m not Nightmare Moon anymore.” Moonbeam said, asserting herself. Bastion looked at her, and gave her a small smile.

“As you wish, Moonbeam.”

Author's Notes:

I don't know if the swapping back and forth between character groups every chapter will work after this point. I feel like it will probably get a bit cumbersome. I will try to come to a conclusion by the time the next chapter comes out, but I would enjoy having a bit of input if anyone would be willing to share.

Not gonna lie though, I was not expecting this chapter to go on as long as it did, I was thinking I was going to have this done yesterday, but there was still so much to cover. I could have tried to split it into different chapters, but I don't think that would have been the best Idea.

Also, I am sorry if I butchered Zecora. I didn't know until I started writing her for this chapter that she was even going to be here. I didn't give myself any time to prepare for her rhyming speech pattern. Near the end I just gave up on it as I really just didn't know what to do. There is a reason there is no Zecora tag on this story.

Next Chapter: Telling the Town. Estimated time remaining: 60 Minutes
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