All for the Best

by TheTwientist

First published

Sometimes it's impossible to hold onto the things we love.

We can't always hold onto the things we care about. Sometimes we just have to let go, no matter how hard it is. This is the story of a mysterious package delivered many years ago- one which had a destiny greater than anyone ever imagined.

Chapter 1

It was a cold, dark night in Cloudsdale. The wind was not blowing very hard, but the strongest gusts were still enough to cut through a pony's hide, straight down to the bone. It was the kind of night that nopony should have been out in.

But it would have to do, because there was no other option.

There was nopony in sight - unless you counted the Mare in the Moon, who stared out over all Equestria and had done so for nigh on a thousand years. The thought that she might be up there watching them was not a very comforting one.

The two pegasi drifted slowly over their high-altitude hometown. They knew that it had to be done, but they were still filled with dread, trying to put off the inevitable for as long as possible.

The town seemed more beautiful in the moonlight. The clouds have strange reflective qualities that refract the moonlight, giving them a ghostly, etheral quality. The effect was not well known by non-pegasi, which was just the way they wanted it.

It was all so lovely, in a bleak sort of way. It made the two still more reluctant to keep going, as if they hadn't been already.

But at last their destination drew near. It was a large two-story building, but with a rather heavy look to it, by Cloudsdale standards. By rights it could have been much taller and airier, but buildings of this type all seemed to be gloomy, no matter where they were.

A solitary light shone through the window in one of the first-story rooms, but it was far from the front door, where the two pegasi alighted.

"We're here," said the first, a male. The words had a deafening finality to them. The moonlight revealed his scarlet mane and lithe but muscular frame. His legs, which were still a bit too long in proportion to his body, betrayed his age; he was certainly too old to be a colt, but wasn't quite a full-grown stallion yet.

His companion trotted slowly up next to him. It was smaller, with the delicate lines of a mare. Her eyes were red from crying, and her purple mane was dishevelled. She was just as young as the stallion. Standing beside him, she leaned her head against his neck and sniffled.

"It's the only way," he said, but his voice cracked slightly. The treacherous moonlight betrayed the glint of a tear in his eye.

The mare sniffed and nodded. Standing up as tall as she could, she reached her head back and retrieved her package.

It was strapped to her back like a saddlebag, but what she bore was much more fragile. She nuzzled the small, warm bundle. Gently, she grasped the edge with her mouth and lifted it.

Bringing it back around, she trotted slowly towards the door. The stallion followed her. The door seemed just as imposing as the rest of the building. It was a gaping maw, ready to scoop up anything in its reach.

But the cloud beneath it was soft. The mare focused at the doorstep. It was cushy, and it wouldn't be too cold. It would do. It would have to do. She concentrated hard on it, pushing all thoughts out of her mind.

She was only a few feet away when she felt the bundle begin to shake and rustle. She tried to ignore it.

A small squeak came from wthin the cloth. That was enough to break what little composure the mare retained.

"She's waking up!" the mare whispered urgently through the cloth. The stallion stopped abruptly and stood beside her.

The mare gently lowered the bundle to the ground. Pulling away the cloth, she gazed at the bundle's contents.

The filly shook its head and blinked its eyes, surveying its new surroundings. This cold, dark place was far different from the soft, warm home that it had known for all of its brief life. It squeaked in confusion, straining to lift its head and peer around.

It was young, extremely young. Its head had the typical non-proportionality of fillies a few weeks old, and its wings were less than useless for flying. Its fur was so insubstantial that it wouldn't have kept a mouse warm. Its mane, longer than the norm, just made it look even more delicate. It was completely and utterly defenseless.

Most fillies' visions aren't very good in the daylight, let alone the night. Its eyes widened as it searched in vain for somepony, anypony, to provide comfort in this strange place. A tear blossomed in its eye. Its front legs flailed at nothing, and its long mane flopped over its eyes.

The mare's heart practically broke. She leaned in close, nudging the filly's mane away. "Shhhhh," she whispered. "It's okay, Mommy's here." She nuzzled it gently.

The filly took several moments to process what it saw, but soon the panic in the filly's eyes was washed away as it saw its mother leaning over it. It squeaked once more, this time in relief, and reached its front legs out, trying to grab her mother's face.

The stallion leaned in close, checking to see that the filly was alright. He tried his best to keep his eyes emotionless as he gazed at the tiny thing.

"She's . . . shivering," he said quietly, almost afraid to let himself hear the words. Indeed, the filly, without her protective blanket, was feeling the effects of the wind. She shook uncontrollably, pulling its wings in close in an effort to keep warm and reaching for the protection of her mother.

The mare sat down and scooped the filly into her forelimbs. She cradled her child like all mothers have since the beginning of Equestria, hugging it close, trying to keep it warm.

Gradually it stopped shaking, and cuddled up against the warmth of its mother's hide, gazing into her eyes with the purest of affection. This was its world, warmth against her fur and the protective cradle of her mother's body. This was the only truly safe place anywhere for it.

The mare looked at the stallion. She spoke no words, but her eyes said all.

"We should . . . try to get her back to sleep," said the stallion, averting his gaze.

The mare looked down at the filly, which was still looking up at her with its big, dark eyes.

"Shhh . . ." she murmured.

"Hush now, quiet now,
it's time to lay your sleepy head.
Hush now, quiet now,
it's time to go to bed."

There was more to the song, she knew, but she hadn't heard it in years, so she just kept repeating the same verse. The filly blinked its eyes, staring at her with complete trust. It fluttered its tiny wings and gave a great squeaky yawn, before its eyes closed and its head drooped.

The mare continued singing, quieter, for a bit longer, then gently lowered the filly back onto her blanket and bundled it up. It slumbered on, undisturbed by the motion.

"We can't do this," said the mare.

"Do what?" asked the stallion.

"Give her up. We can't. I can't, at least."

The stallion sat down beside her. "We have to. I don't like it any more than you do, but it's what we have to do."

"We could keep it!" insisted the mare, tears glistening in her eyes. "We can take it back, and raise it."

"No we can't!" said the stallion. "Our parents are furious as is! Just think what they'll do if we decide to keep it! Besides, neither of us has a job, and I'm in the middle of flight school. There's no way we could raise it. This is a good place. The mare who runs it is a kind pony. It will be fine."

"She," snarled the mare. "She, not it! This is a filly! Our filly! We can't toss it aside like some piece of garbage."

"We have to do this," said the stallion obstinately, looking the mare straight in the eyes.

"I'm not putting this filly on that doorstep," said the mare. "You want it done so badly, you do it yourself."

The stallion looked at the ground. A single tear ran down his face. Then he picked up the bundle with his daughter inside it, trotted over to the doorstep, and gently deposited it on the ground.

The mare, shocked, said nothing for quite a while.

At last she got up and walked up next to the stallion, who was still staring at the bundle.

"I hate you," she spat through tears.

"Me too," said the stallion mournfully, putting one leg over her shoulders as she broke down sobbing.

After several minutes, the mare wiped her eyes and looked around. The filly had not been disturbed by their argument, and was still sleeping peacefully.

"We should go," said the mare quietly. "Dawn's not far off."

The stallion nodded imperceptibly. He bent down and kissed the filly on her forehead, murmuring, "Goodbye, little one."

The mare followed suit. She looked down at her daughter, small, defenseless, and delicate. Unable to protect herself. Completely dependent on just two ponies.

Who were now abandoning her.

"It's the best for everyone this way," called the stallion.

The mare knew, in her heart of hearts, that he was right. But that didn't make it any easier.

She gently stroked the filly's mane. "I love you so much," she whispered.

The filly stretched and made a single sound.

"Mmmaaammaa." A gentle sigh, barely even a word.

The mare smiled just a tiny bit. She stood up to leave, but as she did so, she was struck by an idea. But how could she do it? She had no pen, no parchment, not even ink! She glanced down at the cloud beneath her hooves. It would have to do.

She scratched out some markings into the ground. The cloud was surprisingly pliable, and she managed to complete her task fairly quickly. She stepped back to judge her work. It was crude, but certainly legible. And nigh-impossible to miss.

"Farewell, my darling," she said, and trotted off to join the stallion. They looked at each other, then took off back into the night.

The mare allowed herself one last look back at the orphanage. The bundle with a filly in it was just a beige dot, but even from a distance, she could still make out the word.


Author's Note: This is an example of what happens when I try too hard to be dramatic. It's completely different from my oher fic. I just wanted to make people sad about a cute little filly. Yeah.

So what do you think?


There's not much to do when you're trapped inside the moon, and even less to do when your evil alter-ego is completely in control of your body and constantly plotting revenge. Luna could only look out onto the world and watch.

And watch she did.

Over the course of a thousand years, Luna observed all she could from her prison. Nightmare Moon probably would have raged at the fact that ponies still loved the day more than the night, except for the fact that she was always thinking up new and creative ways to kill Celestia.

But nonetheless, Luna watched. Just because there were less ponies didn't mean there were no ponies. She saw plenty of astronomers, gazing up at the night sky with their telescopes, making calculations. Naturalists walked through the wild places, looking for nocturnal wildlife. Young ponies who were in love sat on a hill and watched the stars.

But Luna also saw less savory exploits. Equestria has always been a peaceful place, but it was never without its flaws. Luna saw countless robberies and even the occasional murder (although these were very rare). She saw affairs, hundreds of them, some of whuch were discovered, but many of which were never found out.

And she saw, one night, about twenty years ago, a stallion and a mare leave their daughter at an orphanage. This was something she didn't see very often, and, truth be told, it was difficult to watch. Luna tried to keep an eye on the abandoned filly, but she rarely went out in the nighttime, and Luna eventually lost track of her.

And then, of course, Nightmare Moon broke free, taking Luna, who was riding along in the back of her mind, with her. In the resulting kerfuffle, what with imprisoning the sun, all that magical deception, and eventual defeat by those meddling kids, those many years of pony-watching started to slip away. The difficulty of her return to society and the need to resume administrative duties didn't help.

So it was not until a year later, when Luna went to Ponyville's Nightmare Night, that she finally encountered the Element of Kindness with the help Twilight Sparkle. And, as Luna departed from the town that night, the little gears in her head ground away, and they finally came to the obvious conclusion: That was the abandoned filly!

With very little else to do in the daytime (and a much lesser need for sleep than most ponies), Luna spent some time investigating. The Canterlot Archives could be immensely informative, if you knew where to look. Most written documents end up there eventually. After a good deal of searching, from the deed of a Ponyville house, to a report card from flight school, to some forms from an orphanage, Luna traced the history of that filly.

But what was needed next was required a leap of faith. Luna trawled through as many Cloudsdale birth certificates as she could find. At last she found what she was looking for; a pegasus filly, unnamed, born about a day before she was dropped off, to Sky Soar, 17, and Hailstorm, 16.

Sky Soar had been a budding athlete with the potential for a great career. He performed well through half of Flight School, but he started to decline from "great" to "mediocre". With no chance of getting any spots in a race or a flying team, he took a job as a weather pony, but was accidentally struck by a storm cloud and knocked unconcious fity thousand feet in the air. (That made Luna wince a bit.)

Hailstorm eventually became a writer of some kind, although not a very popular one. She had written three books, all of them tragedies which never had a second printing run. Apparently she bought a small cloud home a ways out of Cloudsdale and became a hermit. She had died about three years ago of a curable illness that she had refused to seek treatment for.

Neither of them had survived long enough to witness their daughter become famous. Neither had ever even seen their daughter again, as far as she could tell.

And that was that. Luna had traced the story of the filly. She had figured everything out. But it didn't seem to be enough.

Luna had barely withdrawn her hoof from the door when it swung open. It took Fluttershy, who was no doubt expecting a shorter pony, a few moments to look Luna square in the face. Her eyes widened and her mouth opened before she swiftly shut it. Luna sighed.

"Gr- Hi," she said as quietly as she could. Her mannerisms were gradually improving -or at least she thought so.

"He- hello, your majesty," Fluttershy stammered out. "What- what are you doing h-h-here?"

"I merely wanted to- visit," said Luna. "Is this a convenient time?"

Fluttershy gulped and nodded slowly.

"May I come in?" Luna asked.

Fluttershy looked around, desperately seeking something to occupy her, but eventually gave up. "Sure," she murmured. "I'll put on the tea."

Luna ducked through the doorway and surveyed the small house. There were animals everywhere- too many to count, and she seemed to notice new ones every time she looked. Narrowly missing a rabbit, which glared angrily at her, she pulled out a stool and sat down at a small table. Fluttershy bustled about, occasionally snatches glances of the moon-demon-turned-princess, but nervously looked away a few seconds later.

"So- ah- how are things at Canterlot?" the pegasus asked quietly.

"Well, it's not perfect, but we're faring well enough. Not too many annoying bureaucrats this week," she said, smiling. Fluttershy also smiled, a little bit. Luna wondered if trying to engage in conversation with perhaps the shyest pony in Equestria was wise.

They exchanged a few more meaningless pleasantries for a few minutes, with both of them becoming steadily more uncomfortable. Luna was just telling Fluttershy about the Royal Gardens while she poured them tea and figited uncomfortably.

"-the monkey was fealing rather ill, I'm not sure how much so, I never saw it, but apparently Celestia got him fixed up alright," Luna finished. Fluttershy grinned, trying very hard to maintain eye contact with the princess.

Luna tried to hide her disapointment. She wasn't getting anywhere with this - although, she pondered, where was she going? Was she trying to make sure she was right? She had to be, almost certainly. Then why was she here?

"Fluttershy - thou, er, you grew up in Cloudsdale, is that right?"

Fluttershy nodded. "Although I didn't really, um, enjoy it very much," she said quietly.

Luna cocked her head in mock ignorance. "Why not?'

"Well, um, I was never really a very good flyer, and I didn't really have any friends at the orphanage . . ."

Aha! Luna thought, trying to maintain her expression of confusion. "You lived in an orphanage?"

"Yes," said Fluttershy. "I never knew my parents- the director said I'd been dropped off when I was just a newborn baby. I do wish I had known them, though. I guess I'd like to know why they abandoned me."

Luna opened her mouth, but surpisingly, Fluttershy kept talking.

"But then, if I hadn't been in the orphanage I wouldn't have met Rainbow Dash, and fallen down here, and gotten my cutie mark . . ." she gave a rueful smile, which looked painfully at odds with her fragile demeanor. "I guess-"

She sighed. "I guess it was all for the best."

And Luna thought about the mare in front of her, and of the filly she'd seen all those years ago. Should she tell her about her family? That she was unwanted, the product of two stupid teenagers? That her parents were dead and gone, that she'd never know them? It would do nothing except cause heartache and pain, but then, didn't Fluttershy have a right to the truth? Didn't she have a right to know who the ponies were that had knowingly sentenced her to a painful childhood of jeers and bullying? Didn't she-

Fluttershy studied the Princess with surprise, for she seemed to have gone catatonic. "Um . . . your majesty?"

And then Luna reached across the table, grabbed Fluttershy, and gave her a hug. Fluttershy let out a squeak, but she realized that there was no malice meant, and she let Luna hold her. They stayed like that for some time; Luna said nothing, and Fluttershy certainly wasn't going to break the silence.

At last, Luna set Fluttershy back down. "I'm sorry," she said, staring at the floor, "I should not have done that."

Fluttershy was clearly mystified; Luna realized that it was probably best to keep it that way.

"I- I must go." Luna got to her feet and headed for the door, pausing only to avoid stepping on a mouse. She reached the door, yanked it open magically, and turned her head back to the yellow pegasus.

"I know what it's like to have never known your parents," she blurted out, then trotted away.

This chapter is very different in style and tone from the last one. I call it an epilogue because the main story doesn't need it; this is just an addendum. View this as an extention of the main plot.

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