All for the Best

by TheTwientist

Chapter 2: Epilogue

Previous Chapter

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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