August 31, 2013
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“What is it this time?”
Celestia looked up eagerly at my arrival, as if she had been awaiting me. Following her purplish gaze, I corrected myself--she’d been awaiting my brother.
“Thor! Loki!” she sobbed, tears flying from her eyes. My brother’s empathy was written all over his face, as he ran to embrace the grief-stricken alicorn. If I felt anything I didn’t show it; I had learned long ago that emotion was information, and information was power. I allowed my face to fall slightly, but nothing more. Holding her head in his rusty-colored front hooves, Thor looked her in the eye with his own blue gaze. I knew his intensity would only make matters worse, but nopony ever turned an eye to me, so I kept my mouth shut. Most of the time I wanted it that way--lately I was having my doubts.
“Calm yourself, Princess of the Sun,” he ordered gruffly. I couldn’t stifle an eyeroll. Typical, stupid, insensitive Thor. “What is amiss?”
“My sister,” she gasped, eyes brimming with tears. My ears pricked and my wings flexed. Luna and I...we understood each other, could relate to one another the way we simply couldn’t to others. I’d thought of this as another housecall to Celestia’s paranoia--apparently I was wrong. Was Luna okay?
“She won’t lower the moon,” began the princess when she got her crying under control. “She just stands up on that cloud, shouting down at us that the day shall not rise again as long as she is enshadowed by it. I don’t know what she means.”
“The Equestrians need their sun,” proclaimed Thor, straightening from his crouch. I recognized that dangerous spark in his eye--he was going to take entirely the wrong approach. “We must lower the moon ourselves.”
Raising his powerful wings, he galloped a stride to the balcony, springing up over the guardrail--
“Hold!” I cried. He halted, his tail held back by my icy blue alicorn magic. I pulled him down to earth, drawing a venomous glare from my brother. Scrambling up from the spread-eagle I had pulled him into, he whirled on me.
“Explain yourself, brother!” he spat, golden bangs falling over his face. I tried to look taller, narrowing my luminescent green eyes and meeting his gaze. This took more guts than one would think.
“You’re being too brash again,” I soothed, my voice and wording calmer than I felt. “Taking the day by force will only make matters worse. Yes, it will solve things temporarily, but what of Luna? Will her reasons for keeping the moon aloft in the first place simply vanish?”
Thor opened his mouth, closed it again--I had stumped him, as expected. I withheld a smirk with the recalling that this was serious business, the fact that Luna could be counting on me. I walked toward the balcony my brother had attempted to take off from, turning back at the rail to look back on the other two alicorns.
“I shall negotiate with her,” I volunteered, sounding more confident than I had intended. “See if I can get her to lower the moon without force.”
“Why must you cower behind words, Loki?” taunted Thor, frustrated at my apparent pacifism. “I can bring the sun back! Why must you doubt me?”
“Words are more powerful than physical prowess, brother dear,” I replied icily, unfurling my wings. “Because they can do more than hurt.”

I turn from the edge of the cloud at the familiar voice, scarcely daring to believe it. But there he is, the God of Mischief in all his glory--one of the few ponies I can call a friend. He seems slightly older than the last time I saw him, more gaunt; though I suppose that was to be expected. He hadn’t graced my presence in years, though I suppose that is fault of our own situations. When we were younger, he’d visited more often, with or without his outspoken brother. Nowadays I presume he’s more preoccupied with Asgardian business, just as I am busy with my duties as a princess. His minty green coat is softened to a silvery-blue in the moonlight, his midnight-black mane shimmering. His eyes hold none of the spite that they do when he faces his brother or anypony else--instead there is something gentler, but something more sad.
“Loki?” I breathe, my eyes widening. Another upbeat of his wings and he is above the level of my cloud, touching down with a hoof and landing smoothly. He nods solemnly, stepping towards me. I shrink in shame a little, concerned that my plight would seem ridiculous to an Asgardian alicorn. But it appears that I am saved my explanation.
“You refuse to lower the moon?” he asks quietly. I nod, turning away from him and sitting on the edge of the cloud. My head hangs and my eyes are squinted shut in sorrow.
“How can I if I will only be shunned all the same when I do?” I demand bitterly. “The ponies of Equestria pine for their precious daylight. They need such obvious lumination to see, yet when it is present they cannot see me. So I decreed no more, and shut my ears to the cries of those below. If they should not see, I should not hear.”
I lift my head in defiance, my eyes snapping open. When I do, I find that Loki is sitting beside me on the cloudshore, watching me with those sad eyes. I’m a bit taken aback that he is listening so intently--I thought myself below him, and I am sure the feeling is mutual. Or is it?
“They want you to lower the moon for the day,” he informed evenly, his gaze dropping from mine. “Celestia and Thor, I mean. I was sent up here to talk you into it.”
My wings clench, and I am tense, as if waiting to pounce on something. Trembling with rage, I manage to speak in a level tone.
“This frustrates me,” I growl out between clenched teeth.
“I know, Luna, and I’m sorry,” he apologizes, the sincerity unfalsified. I’m not sure how I can tell whether the God of Mischief is lying or not, but that’s not the point. “You’ve every right to call a boycott, and we’ve no reason to--”
“It’s not that!” I burst finally, springing to my hooves. I even startle Loki a little bit at my outrage. “It’s not you! It’s them! You are a god, same as your brother! So why do you never receive the same respect? You and I, we deserve to be loved and cherished like our siblings! It’s just so--Rrngh!”
I rear up, the anger within me at a boiling point.

I realized then that Luna’s rage was more potent than Celestia had estimated.
Rising on her hind legs, dark energy streamed from her eyes just as the tears did. The evil inside her bubbled around her form, billowing smoke of pent-up bitterness trying to obscure her beautiful blue figure. If it completely surrounded her, it would overcome the Luna I knew and loved and turn her into something else. Even if she was right in her qualms, I couldn’t let that happen.
“Luna!” I called desperately, charging and tackling her.
The evil crackled as I broke through it, prickling my skin and pulling what goodness that was left from my soul. I recognized the dark analogy of my life and Luna’s, two powers eclipsed by one who claimed they loved them, realized only when they worked up trouble. What would it take for us to be appreciated? Why weren’t we loved in the first place? How could they be so blind!?

When I open my eyes, Loki is standing over me. The starlight seems too bright, causing me to squint until my eyes can adjust. My Asgardian friend looks haggard, his face more sunken than I remember it being a few moments ago. He’s breathing heavily, as am I.
“Loki?” I ask carefully. Coloring slightly, he sidesteps, and I roll onto my hooves.
“You...something happened to you,” Loki gasped. “You were changing. I’d never seen anything like it. I--”
“I worried you,” I observe before I can stop myself. My clarity warrants him to drop his farce completely. Suddenly I can see it all. In his liquid eyes, his anguished face, his suddenly frail-looking build. He is so delicate, so much deeper and more important than anyone but I could see. Yet he finds the capacity to pour what remaining emotion he has into that gaze, that beautiful gaze he unrelentingly fixes me with.
He nods.
“Loki, you saved me,” I stammer, unable to hold back my tears. They stream freely down my face, evidence of our turmoil written in saltwater on a cerulean canvas. Loki swallows, looking away.
“Oh, Luna,” he chokes, his miserability bleeding through. I walk up to him, putting my head on his shoulder. Putting his hoof around my neck to hold me closer, he begins to cry.

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