The Dream Stalker

Princess Luna slips through the dreams of her subjects, helping them conquer their fears and anxieties in any way she can.
But its a thankless task... one that often leaves Luna filled with the old bitterness she once felt before her banishment. The bitterness begins to take hold until, one night, she stumbles upon a pony who dreams exclusively of her... Perhaps her task wasn't as unappreciated as she thought.

https://www.fimfiction.net/story/196944/the-dream-stalker

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3. Night 3: Celestia & Pipsqueak

Princess Luna watched the sun go down over the horizon. With her magic she brought he moon into the sky, lighting up the darkness and allowing the ponies below a peaceful night’s sleep. She sighed, realizing she would need to take to the dreams of her subjects once again… In her heart she hoped she would be more helpful this evening, unlike the past few nights…

Spreading her wings, Luna took to the sky and used her magic to slip into the collective dreamscape of Equestria…

---

Without much effort she touched down into the first dream of the evening. The location of the dream chilled her… it was her old castle. The castle she and Celestia used to live in hundreds of years ago. Luna looked around in awe, lamenting the fact she no longer lived in this castle. “I miss this place,” she whispered to herself.

Suddenly a wall of the castle blew apart. Raw magic blasted through the area, lighting up the corridors of the empty castle. Luna concealed her presence and looked around, hoping to find the pony responsible for the dream. Much to her horror, she saw herself, or rather, Nightmare Moon, up in the sky, laughing manically.

“Lulu!” Celestia called out to the dream Nightmare Moon. “Please, sister! Stop this!”

Luna watched with bated breath. She could remember this event like it was yesterday… her heart was filled with so much bitterness and rage that she couldn’t fight off the presence that had always haunted her. It haunted her to this day.

Celestia jumped into the sky to face Nightmare Moon. Princess Luna laughed ironically to herself. Of course she would enter Celestia’s dreams. Of course.

“Stop this!” Celestia commanded. “Let go of your hatred!”

Easy for you to say, Luna thought. There is nothing for you to feel bitter about…

Nightmare Moon laughed. “You’re a fool, Tia! Once you’re gone I will drown the world in darkness!”

Celestia clashed with Nightmare Moon, both of them struggling to get the advantage. Celestia used her radiance to dispel the shadows and darkness all around her. Nightmare Moon hissed and used her horn to arch a wave of dark magic, striking Celestia and sending her to the ground below.

“You’re dangerous,” Celestia angrily breathed. “To dangerous to be allowed to roam free…”

“Who has given you the right to rule over me, dearest sister? I am just as powerful and just as important!” The dream Nightmare Moon attacked again, but Celestia dodged out of the way.

With her magic, Celestia pulled the elements of harmony from a chest in the back of the castle and used them to empower her own magic. “I will banish you to the moon, Lulu… Don’t force my action. Surrender!”

Nightmare Moon bashed into her, crossing her horn with Celestia’s and laughing. “Never,” Nightmare Moon hissed. “I will never stop!”

“So be it,” Celestia whispered, tapping into the power of the elements. Luna watched from the sidelines as her sister used the magic to banish the dream version of Nightmare Moon to the moon. Luna turned away once her sister was done. Why had Celestia banished her? Couldn’t Celestia have reverted her, like Twilight and her friends when they used the elements of harmony? Why didn’t Celestia do the same thing?

“Now you can never hurt the citizens of Equestria ever again,” Celestia whispered to the moon, tears streaming down her face.

Luna flew out of the dream. She knew why Celestia didn’t revert her back to herself… Celestia was afraid of her. Afraid she would become Nightmare Moon again. Afraid there was nothing she could do to truly save her.

She’s right, Luna thought. I know she’s right… I know I can become Nightmare Moon again, given the right circumstances… Maybe I should have stayed on the moon… banished forever…

Heartbroken and weak with doubt, Luna slid through the dreams of ponies, going through the motions to occupy her mind. Perhaps she would find a dream that distracted her away from her bitterness for a few moments… that’s all she wanted…

---

Luna slowly drifted into a dream set in Ponyville. It was night, a beautiful full moon in the sky, and the streets were empty. Enjoying the light of the moon, Luna looked around for the pony crafting such a quiet and peaceful dream.

“Princess Luna! You came!”

Startled, Luna glanced around and was shocked to see a dream version of herself standing in the middle of town square. Trotting in front of her dream self was a tiny pinto colt, one she had seen before. It was Pipsqueak, the foal that had moved to Ponyville from Trottingham.

“Oh, Princess Luna! I’m so glad you could make it! I’ve wanted to see you for so long!” Pipsqueak ran around the dream Luna with a bright smile and energetic step. Luna was suddenly envious of her dream self, happy that somepony, anypony, was thinking of her.

“I have something I want to show you, Princess Luna! Wait here!”

Pipsqueak ran off toward his house, his smile lighting up the dream around him. Luna took this moment to use her magic to dispel the dream version of herself. Instead, she stepped into the town square and took its place, anxiously awaiting Pipsqeak’s return.

The pinto colt ran back with a piece of paper held tightly in his mouth. He ran to her hooves and placed the paper down in front of her. It was a hoof-drawn picture of Luna flying over Ponyville. Luna smiled. “Did you draw this yourself, Pip?”

“I sure did!” Pipsqueak hugged her hooves. “Thank you, Princess! Thank you for watching over us during the night!”

“You know of that, child? Of my duty as the Princess of the Night?”

“We learned all about it in school,” he informed her lovingly, nuzzling her hooves and curling up next to her. “And Scootaloo told me about the time you saved her from the headless pony! You’re the best princess! Helping us in our dreams!”

“I… I didn’t know you felt that way, dear Pip…”

“Uh-huh!” He suddenly jumped up and took a few steps back. With stiff legs, he stood up tall and held his head high. “When I grow up I’m going to be a Pegasus pony!”

Luna laughed, amused by his childish naivety. “Why would you wish to be a Pegasus pony?”

“So that I can fly to the moon and protect you.”

Again, she laughed. “Protect me from what, child?”

“From the sadness,” Pip quickly replied.

Luna was taken aback, caught off-guard by child’s response. “What did you say?” she whispered.

“From the sadness. I want to protect you from the sadness.” Pip took a seat and frowned. “Our teacher told us that once you were really sad… so sad you became Nightmare Moon and had to go away to the moon for a long time… I don’t want you to be sad, so, I thought… if I protect you then you’ll never be sad again!”

“I… don’t know what to say,” Luna admitted. Nopony had ever said that to her before, not even Celestia…

“Please say yes,” Pip said, jumping back onto his hooves. “I’ll do a good job, I promise! I ran a lemonade stand once and I did a good job then!”

“Pip… I am the Princess of the Night. It is my duty to protect you, not the other way around. You needn’t worry about my happiness.”

“But…” Pip’s voice trailed off. “But who protects you? Watches your dreams?”

“N-no one,” Luna replied with a melancholy laugh.

“Then I’ll be the one!” Pip was excited again, playfully running around Luna’s legs. “I’ll be the Guardian of the Night! The pony that protects the princess!”

Luna took to the sky, needing to distance herself from the child. She landed on the roof of a nearby building and took a deep breath. Pip looked up at her from the ground, a long frown on his face, obviously hurt by her distance. “Aren’t you afraid, Pip? Of Nightmare Moon?”

“Nightmare Moon is scary,” Pip admitted. “But now that I know it’s just you in disguise… I don’t want you to be sad, Princess Luna.”

For the first time in a long time, Luna felt some of her bitterness leave her. She had no idea there were ponies out there that wanted to make sure she was happy. “Pip,” she breathed. “Have you ever flown?”

The pinto foal shook his head. Using her magic, Luna changed Pip’s dream form and made him a tiny Pegasus. He excitedly smiled and spread his wings; one white, one brown. It was a dream, so reality didn’t come into play. He flew like an expert, his skill determined solely by his imagination.

They both took to the sky, flying through the moonlight soaked clouds and dancing through the stars. Pip couldn’t stop laughing, his wings flapping excitedly as he went. Princess Luna flew slow circles around Pip, watching him enjoy himself. In his happiness she remembered why she loved slipping through the dreams of ponies…

“Pip… Thank you.”

“Thank you, princess!” he said between laughs. “This is the best night ever!”

 
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