Lunch went smoothly, and Luna's praise that she'd have to recommend this place to others had left the host with a nervous happiness. She gave a long yawn, and Nova matched it from his nest on Luna's head. Fluttershy had started back towards the shops, but paused for the princess.
"My apologies, again." Luna said, in all sincerity. "I'll be pulling an all-dayer at this rate, with my night ahead of me!"
"No, no, if I go back to the palace before the sun has set I know my sister will find time to ask me what's wrong, why didn't I enjoy myself... she tries so hard, but I wish she wouldn't sound so much like mother used to." Luna ended with a huff. "Though to be honest I've spent more time amongst ponies today than... well, for significantly more than a thousand years, I'll tell you. I wasn't expecting this bustle, it's enough to wear on one's patience."
"But, what if we went back to Ponyville? It's so much quieter there, and, couldn't you explore there?" Fluttershy offered. Luna paused, and pawed idly at the ground as she considered this.
"I suppose that would be an interesting excursion all of its own." she admitted. "But... I wouldn't want to cut your day short Fluttershy."
"It's, it's no problem..."
"You're too kind you know." Luna replied, quieting herself to Fluttershy's level. "Besides, I don't mean to imply I haven't been enjoying myself."
"W-well... what if we just explored Ponyville? I mean, I could be a guide like..." she ended in a mumble. Luna mulled this over, and gave a nod.
"It certainly can't hurt, now can it? Besides, I'd say today has been a success." she looked around, a smile spreading across her face. She had been in stores, she had interacted with ponies in a way that hadn't involved terror and threats! She owned a kitten and several fashionable socks, but even all that couldn't explain the giddiness she felt thinking over the day.
"Do you mind if I transport us again?" Luna said as she tried to clear her head. "It'll just take a moment."
Fluttershy nodded and shuffled close to her, very close. It gave Luna pause, but she pushed her concerns aside and began to focus. Fluttershy swallowed and stayed calm as the world around them faded. They reappeared in front of Ponyville's library without trouble.
Luna blinked her eyes open, not expecting anypony to be around. Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash were staring at the alicorn princess, who had along with Fluttershy apparently appeared between them and the tree. Twilight had her saddlebags on.
"Oh, p-pardon me Twilight Sparkle." Luna said quickly, trying to still her nerves.
"Princess Luna." Twilight gave a deep nod, not even a bow. She blinked.
"Huh - oh!" Luna shuffled as if she could hide her hooves. She saw Rainbow Dash put a hoof to her mouth. Luna definitely didn't feel like royalty with those eyes on her.
"I, your friend Fluttershy aided with me with a trip to Canterlot, you see, and-"
"Fluttershy?" Twilight asked. Dash had walked around and was poking at Fluttershy's hooves, making the yellow pegasus draw back.
"Didn't I ask Fluttershy to-"
"Oh, yes, that's my fault. I came looking to see if you'd be willing to help me find my way around Canterlot, you see-"
"Oh, yes. Princess Celestia's favor." Twilight responded. Luna tried not to frown at Twilight's wording.
"So... rather than reschedule, you... took my house sitter instead, Princess?" Twilight asked, sounding slightly too formal. She looked up. "And bought a cat."
"Well... I..." Luna's tongue felt dry and stiff. Twilight sighed.
"Well, unless you have any other requests?" Twilight asked. Luna shook her head stiffly.
"Good day then." Twilight walked around her and into the library. Dash kept chortling and followed Twilight away. Luna sat down right there in the road.
"Princess?" Fluttershy asked. Luna was staring at her socked hooves.
"She doesn't like me." Luna said, her voice cracking.
"I think she's just tired. She seemed tired."
"I should've known better. I'm an intrusion. I was a foal to ever think she would..." Luna bit her lip.
"Princess? Princess Luna? Do, do you want to talk about it?"
"I think I want to go home." Luna replied, her tight throat making her voice higher-pitched.
"Would, would you be willing to go to my home instead?" Fluttershy offered. Luna nodded, wiping her eye. Fluttershy guided her out of town, and Luna didn't really care for any of the looks she got. Her head swam; all Twilight had done was think logically, point out a distinct lack of sense in the situation. Luna began to curse herself on the inside. She had insisted time and time again that she was the logic-minded sister; that emotion did not get the better of her any more often than it did anypony else. Yet time and time again.... she wouldn't get along with Twilight, the superior scientist. That much was clear to her now.
"P-princess? Are you okay?" Fluttershy led her to a nice, spacious cottage surrounded by simply cultivated gardens. Birds flew to and fro out of open windows, and a rabbit watched them approach. Luna hadn't even paid attention to the last few minutes of their journey. There Fluttershy went again, looking so worried over Luna. Yet Luna couldn't place her in the same category as Celly. Fluttershy's worry wasn't about Luna. It was for her. That revelation allowed Luna to begin to collect herself out of her misery.
"I'll be fine. This is your house?" Luna asked. Fluttershy nodded.
"I take care of all the critters in the forests around here. They come and go as they please." she said as Luna followed her inside. The rabbit that had been watching them hopped off the windowsill, but Luna was surprised that instead of a warm welcome, the bunny seemed intent on glaring at them both. He made a gesture suspiciously like pointing at a watch.
"Angel, please, not now." Fluttershy said. Luna blinked, and felt Nova stir. The bunny made the gesture again and tapped his foot.
"Angel please..." Fluttershy said earnestly. That was when Nova let out a surprisingly loud yowl for such a small kitten. He hopped from Luna's head onto her back and, from her back to the ground. Angel's eyes widened, and despite being bigger than the kitten, he quivered, turned around, and ran for it.
"Nova, no!" Luna tried to stop her kitten. Fluttershy held out a hoof gently to her shoulder.
"Angel will be fine, see?" she pointed, and Luna saw that the rabbit had hopped up out of reach on an end table. He glared at Nova, who was leaping playfully up at him. He then glared at the two ponies before springing from the end table towards the banister of a staircase, and then up out of view. Luna gave a sigh of relief. Nova gave up on the rabbit, and Fluttershy approached him carefully. She had gotten a small ball of fluff from somewhere while Luna had been watching him. As soon as she dropped it in front of the kitten he was off, pouncing on it and batting it away. Fluttershy gave Luna a gentle smile that Luna found herself returning before she even thought about it.
"Would you like any tea?" Fluttershy offered
"No thank you, we did just have lunch."
"Thank you all the same, Fluttershy. You really are a good friend." Luna sat down, removing her saddlebags and placing them by the door. She gave a sigh and traced one hoof around the ground "I suppose I should tell you why I was sniffling like a little filly back there, shouldn't I?"
"It's okay, I think I understand."
"Mmm-hmm." Fluttershy nodded.
"I... I guess it's pretty obvious. I mean, you don't blame me, do you?"
"No, not at all."
"Thanks. I think Celly - erm, I think Celestia knows, but naturally I can't very well talk to her about it?"
"Oh, of course."
"I don't know what she thinks of it either. You think she'd have more interest when her little sister has a crush on her only student!" she heard Fluttershy squeak, and when she looked up, the pegasus's eyes were filling her head.
"I-I don't think I understood after all."
"O-oh." the blood drained from Luna's face. She worked her lips for a moment, trying to find enough saliva to speak.
"I-I have a crush on Twilight Sparkle. Just a little."
"Well..." Luna pawed at the ground briefly. "It's just... she saved me! Even Celestia couldn't manage to get through to me. When you all purged me of... that thing..." Luna paused involuntarily as she shivered. "I felt each one of you, felt some part of your souls. Each one was beautiful in its own right, but what I remember the most was her open heart, welcoming me, telling me even I had a place..."
Fluttershy nodded. "Even that first day, I already felt like I was Twilight's friend."
"But that's all she was offering me, wasn't it? Friendship. And I've probably screwed that up too..." Luna's whole body seemed to slump, making the alicorn appear smaller than she was. Fluttershy slowly drew up beside her and sat down right next to her. She lowered her head until she forced her way into Luna's field of vision. Her teal eyes reminded Luna of stained glass, filtering through them the light of the day, or in Fluttershy's case, some inner light Luna was only now noticing.
"You could... she was just tired."
"She was upset. That I had called on this to begin with. You heard her. She was doing this for Celestia. She only cared about my sister!" Luna closed her eyes. A hoof wiped the tears forming at her eyes, but it wasn't her own. Luna opened her eyes and saw Fluttershy's hoof just in front of her.
"Socks make everything better." she said quietly, bringing Luna's attention to her tear rolling down the smooth green fabric of Fluttershy's sock, refusing to stain the magically enhanced cloth. She kept her hoof still in front of Luna's face, and Luna found herself mindlessly studying the lines of the fabric, the way the leaves were just a darker, thicker fabric, and how snugly the whole thing wrapped around Fluttershy's hoof, tinted slightly by her yellow coat beneath. Luna brought her own hoof up and grabbed hold of Fluttershy's, pressing it against her face to feel the smoothness of fabric, seeing no other way to do so given the socks on her own feet. Fluttershy kept still until Luna finally let go.
"Don't be." Fluttershy said. "Princess?"
"It's... it's not because it's the day."
"You said you were only having a good time because you came during the day. It... It wasn't that."
"You're a lot like her." Fluttershy replied. "You have an open heart. I, I feel like you're my friend already. I could never, with Princess Celestia... I could never feel like I was so important to her."
"Really?" Luna paused, searching for something else to say, something to ask the mare in front of her. But while she searched for her words, Fluttershy filled the silence for her.
"I, I'd be willing to help if you want... with Twilight."
"You mean...?" Luna couldn't believe it, but Fluttershy nodded. Luna didn't even register her body's movement until her arms were around the pegasus, squeezing until her chest was tight against Fluttershy's. The other mare squeeked but stayed still, relaxing after a moment, judging by the feel of her breath against Luna's neck.
"Thank you Fluttershy. You are a true friend." Luna said. That was when Fluttershy finally moved. Luna hadn't even realized her friend was tense, but Fluttershy relaxed in her grip and returned her hug, resting her head on Luna's shoulder. Luna's head seemed to be buzzing, and the emotion that overcame her being was all through her body, from the tingle in her hooves to the swelling in her chest. But aside from all else, Luna felt comfort in Fluttershy's embrace. At that moment she felt that that was all she needed, all she could ask for.
She realized she had held on to Fluttershy for probably a few minutes past comfortable for the other mare, and awkwardly let go of her. She felt the blush spread across her cheeks as she saw Fluttershy's face again. There wasn't a trace of fear or worry in her gaze, and it was the first pony who Luna felt didn't hold an iota of either. Even her sister was clearly worried about her, even Twilight Sparkle had been apprehensive. What Fluttershy gazed at her with was something entirely novel to the night princess. Luna thought back to Fluttershy's offer, and the idea seemed suddenly off to her.
"Thank you, but no thank you. If I want a relationship with her, it is only fair I try to be her friend, which I haven't been today. Besides, it's, it's just a silly crush. I barely know her. And I really ought to get to know the rest of the elements while I'm at it." Luna realized she was yammering, and stopped herself before she made a complete foal of herself for the umpteenth time.
Fluttershy nodded silently, and then her eyes lit up. "We should see Rarity!"
Luna flinched. "The one I made watch Twilight's home all morning?"
"Oh... it's just, she's so good with clothing, and oh-so fashionable... I thought you would..."
"I'm sure we could see her another time, maybe once this incident isn't so fresh on everypony's mind." Luna said, looking to the ceiling. "Thank you Fluttershy, but I promise, I am happy enough now, I think. Though we should see about getting you some more socks." she looked down and smiled. Fluttershy giggled.
"Well, I do own a few other pieces..."
"Oh yes. Would you like to see?"
"I, I would, thank you." Luna replied. She paused to check on Nova.
"My home is kitten safe." Fluttershy assured her. "And puppy safe, bunny safe, turtle safe..." she smiled, and Luna chuckled, realizing this was as close to a joke as Fluttershy got. It was endearing, somehow. Fluttershy turned around and led her upstairs, into her bedroom. She opened a large wooden wardrobe, and Luna's eyes couldn't help but widen.
"A few things?" she asked dryly, giving Fluttershy a wry smile. Fluttershy looked away, but had a small grin about her that suggested playfulness. The wardrobe was filled with dresses, scarves and hats.
"A few things. This one is one of my favorites." she pulled down a green dress adorned with blue and white flowers. Little green slippers were tied carefully to the hanger.
"Haha, green really is your color." Luna said brightly. "It matches you perfectly!"
"Rarity made it for me, to wear to the gala."
"Ahh, you must have turned so many heads, hmm?" Luna's quip had its intended effect as Fluttershy's face turned as pink as her mane.
"I, I don't really..." she ended in a mutter too quiet to make out."It didn't go well." she added, at least loud enough for Luna to understand.
"Well, Celly- I mean... oh, blast it all. Celly-" she saw Fluttershy stifle a giggle and gave her a look. "Celly told me it had been such fun."
"I... I didn't have a good time. Not until the very end at least. Princess?"
"Were, were you at the gala?"
Luna cringed. "No... No, I refused to go. Celestia had kept a lot of traditions the same, but I didn't know anypony and I spent the night...erm, well, in my room."
"Oh, and she tried so hard to convince me to go." Luna held a hoof to her forehead. "I must have looked like such a child. I need to act my age."
"H-how are you supposed to act when you're a thousand years old?"
"Well over a thousand, thank you. I don't know... regal, proper, benevolent...." as she listed off traits, she was surprised to see Fluttershy appeared, of all things, troubled.
"Yes?" Luna asked.
"..." whatever Fluttershy said, it was beyond Luna.
"Could you try that again?"
"But I like you like this." Fluttershy squeaked, shutting her eyes tight. Luna began to respond, but realized she was drawing a blank.
"I... um... thank you." she settled on eventually. Both of them stared around the room, not looking at one another. Luna's eyes drifted back to the wardrobe.
"Could I, um, could I see some more?"
"Oh! Oh, Of course, here, Rarity didn't like how this turned out but it makes great winter wear..." the tension broken, they got back to rummaging through Fluttershy's things. In addition to numerous dresses, the gentle pegasus had accessories to spare as well, and Luna found herself trying on a giant pair of red-rimmed sunglasses out of curiosity.
"Whatever do you own these for?" she asked with a laugh. Fluttershy's giggles told her she looked as ridiculous as she felt.
"I tried to make a disguise for when I was modelling."
"You? You modelled?"
"Um... a little. I thought it was what Rarity wanted me to do. I had to disguise myself just to get away from everypony."
"Why ever would you want that?" Luna frowned. "You must have had the adoration of hundreds!"
"I guess, I guess so..." Fluttershy flinched. "I just like it better spending time with my friends, and, and I couldn't. I couldn't get any peace, and everypony was so loud..."
Luna nodded solemnly, thinking this over carefully. "I hadn't thought of it like that, but I understand, I think. I think this is the best day I've had in... well, a long while." she laughed and shook her head. "Anyway, these are precious, Fluttershy. I can only imagine how adorable you'd look in them." the words left Luna's mouth before she could catch them and silence them. They hung there in the air, suppressing all further conversation. Luna continued to stare at the clothes, waiting for something to happen.
"Y-yes?" This was it. She could imagine what Fluttershy was about to say next. Please get out. Please leave, please don't come back.
"They look cuter on you." Fluttershy's voice was quiet and smooth, almost melodic. Luna's cheeks burned bright red, and her wings twitched in temptation.
"Oh, look at the time! I need to feed all the critters." Fluttershy turned to the door, but paused and looked back to Luna. "Would, um, you like to join me, Princess?"
"Oh, well... yes, thank you. That sounds lovely." Luna said, trying to keep some measure of her composure. She followed Fluttershy out of her room and downstairs. They found Nova curled up under the sofa, and Fluttershy assured Luna that they could feed him once everyone else was done. The pegasus stopped by a closet and retrieved a simple set of sadlebags that she filled with different types of feed and a few other supplies. Luna kept her curiosity to herself as she followed Fluttershy outside. The pegasus began to hum to herself as she trotted away from her house, and while Luna couldn't place the melody, it sounded familiar, and it was well sung enough that she didn't want to interrupt Fluttershy to ask. Luna realized that Fluttershy wasn't kidding when she said she took care of the animals around; there were easily a dozen dens visible at a single glance, likely more, along with the multitude of birds and other tree-dwellers. As Fluttershy approached one such den a family of badgers came out, looking positively pleased to see her. Fluttershy got out some seeds and a small amount of fruit. Luna watched as Fluttershy fed them, finding herself smiling at the display as Fluttershy carefully nudged the fruit into the badgers' paws. An open heart, she thought to herself. That was what she had claimed had drawn her to Twilight. So how had she not noticed the big heart of this sweet pony until now?
As Luna contemplated this, a baby badger trudged up to her, curious about her and clearly not afraid of ponies like most animals would be. Luna found herself stepping back, trying to disinterest the little creature. It continued towards her however, and Luna gave in and allowed it to sniff her. Then it bit lightly at her hoof.
"H-hey!" Luna pulled her leg back, but the badger had found purchase on her sock. She tugged at it, but the thing just growled and tugged back. Before she knew it the sock slipped straight off her hoof. Triumphant, the baby badger rushed towards its den.
"Hey, give that back!" Luna called. Fluttershy looked up and saw Luna sticking her head down the badger hole. She began to back up, and her head emerged with the sock in her teeth. On the other end of the sock was the baby badger, growling and digging in his little paws. Luna was winning ground, but given that the badger was clinging tight to the end of her sock, how much progress she was actually making was unclear.
"Little one, please let go, oh dear." Fluttershy trotted over. After a few moments of coaxing the baby badger was convinced to release his prize. Luna took the sock out of her mouth and looked it over.
"I should have made them stretch proof too. I think it's fine, the saliva is at least running straight off." she held it away from herself telekinetically.
"Hmm? What for?" Luna asked. "It's fine, anyway, see?" the glow of her horn shimmered, and the sock was completely dry. She slipped it back on and stomped her hooves.
"Right as rain!" she said, bringing a smile to Fluttershy's face. "I'll watch out for inquisitive critters from now on, sorry."
Fluttershy nodded, and got back to work. Luna followed carefully as Fluttershy fed several birds, some squirrels, rabbits and even a couple beavers. By the time they were finished, the sun was setting. Fluttershy found Luna gazing at it, directly at it, apparently not at all bothered by the stunning light.
"Celly will be expecting me back soon." she said.
"O-oh. You have to go raise the moon, right?"
"Well, it's not like I have to be in Canterlot specifically for that, but still."
"Could, could you, um... stay for dinner?"
Luna paused. "Heh, it is my usual breakfast time. Thank you, Fluttershy, that'd be wonderful. You're too kind." This time, saying those words earned her a delighted smile, Fluttershy's happiness clear in her eyes. Another pony who wore her emotions openly, for good or ill, Luna realized. A pony who understood her.
Dinner was simple but enjoyable, and while neither of them spoke much, Luna managed to convince Fluttershy to speak a little about herself. How she came to Ponyville (Luna was skeptical about the sonic rainboom, but apparently there had been other witnesses), her job with the town as its pest control (vital for a farming town), and her friends. Luna found herself enraptured by Fluttershy's tales; everything seemed to turn into an adventure when the six of them got involved, and Fluttershy admitted that through all the fear, she was glad for the things that brought them all together and brought out their hidden strengths. The sun fell as they ate, and Luna could feel the onset of her domain.
"I cannot express enough how thankful I am, Fluttershy." Luna said as her host cleared away the remnants of their meal. Nova had been fed and was active again, so the two ponies lay on the floor and helped him play with a couple of stuffed mice.
"I'm so glad, Princess." Fluttershy replied.
Luna smiled and began to gather her things, bringing over her saddlebags and making sure everything was in order. She stood up and grabbed Nova, deciding to put the kitten on her back this time. She paused, and then dove in to hug Fluttershy again, squeezing the pegasus tight for just a hoofful of seconds.
"Good bye then, Fluttershy."
"Come back any time." the pegasus offered. Luna lit up.
"I'll take you up on that." she replied, her tone bright and half-joking as she released Fluttershy. From her perspective, the world around her began to dim. From Fluttershy's perspective the alicorn princess became translucent, her already dark colors turning her into a shade, and then a mere shadow, until all Fluttershy could make out was a slight blue tinge to the couch behind Luna. And then not even that. Fluttershy turned away and began to hum to herself. She began up the stairs, intending to put away the dresses she and Luna had gotten out. She was halfway up when she heard a call.
"Lulu, come back!" the call was accompanied by uproarious laughter. Luna fumed as she headed for her bedroom, socks muffling what should have been angry stomps. She had gone straight for her sister, ready to delight and amaze her with her fast friendship to Fluttershy, along with her day out. Her mind had been positively brimming with things to say. How gentle a soul Fluttershy was, how polite she managed to be without adopting the stiff formality most did around them. How understanding she had been... how eager Luna felt to return to her already...
But no! Her sister had been staring from the moment they met, and since they were alone she had openly allowed herself an ever-widening smirk as Luna had tried to recount her day. Luna hadn't even gotten to the clothing shop before she had to ask her sister what was going on. Celestia must have been trying to hold her laughter back, because when Luna insisted her socks were perfectly fine and regal her sister had broken down. Luna was probably the only pony in at least a thousand years to see the princess of the sun roll around on the floor, clutching her sides.
"Lulu, come now." her sister was suddenly above her, dancing around in the skies. Luna hated when she did that. Celestia landed in front of her, blocking her path.
"I was just.." Celestia brushed her nose in a bad attempt to hide her smirk. "No, tell me again. Your socks are darling, you look... you look...." she ducked and shook her head. Luna stomped her hooves and turned around.
"We'll have to get you a scarf." Celestia said, in front of Luna again. "How do you feel about hats?"
"You're impossible!" Luna told her, taking to the skies. She bumped into Celestia, who was laying on nothingness above her, ignoring gravity.
"You're adorable." her sister replied. Luna screamed wordlessly in frustration, and winked out of existence. There was only one Celestia again, and she took a deep breath.
"You can't end it like that, you silly pony." she said to nobody, before trotting away, looking as serene and knowing as always.
"Fluttershy?" the pegasus turned around, wide eyed, as Luna was in her living room again.
"Princess?" Fluttershy stared as Luna was blushing so hard it was visible straight through her coat, nearly beaming pink. The alicorn squirmed a few seconds before explaining herself.
"I may have forgotten my socks before approaching Celly." Luna admitted, splaying her legs slightly to emphasize her point. "Benevolent ruler aside, sis can be cruel." she saw a look of shock come across Fluttershy's face as she turned back down the steps.
"No, no." Luna nearly tripped over her tongue to explain. "I just mean she teased. And when Celly teases...ahh. If it's not too much trouble, could I just stay here for a little longer? Hopefully she'll be off to bed soon. I can deal with her later."
"That's fine, Princess."
"Thank you. Right, um... I need to raise the moon. I'll just be outside." Luna said, getting up and heading for the back door. Fluttershy nodded and watched her go. After a moment's pause, the pegasus followed after Luna.
The princess was already in a trance, sitting atop a small rise in the land, not really even a hill, Nova at her side. Fluttershy paused and stared at her. At first she thought it was an effect of the deepening shadow, but on closer inspection she realized that she just couldn't make out where Luna ended and the night sky began. She could still tell there was a pony there, yet trying to follow the outline of Luna always led her astray. She could see parts of the night through Luna, a night not yet in the sky. Twinkling stars were visible through Luna's mane and coat, which mixed deep purple with pure black. Her outline became distinct again only as a silver glow enveloped her, somehow imparting on Fluttershy the feeling that the source of the light was actually very, very far away. She glanced up and realized that the moon was rising, and it was the pale moonlight that she saw enveloping Luna. Once the moon was over the horizon, she saw Luna lower her head and then stumble but catch herself. Fluttershy rushed forward as Luna pulled herself up.
"Don't worry." Luna said before Fluttershy reached her. "I lost a lot of my power when... when Nightmare Moon was defeated. I'm getting it back, however." Fluttershy trotted over and sat down beside Luna, her eyes forward, looking to the rising moon.
"You don't like the darkness, right?" Luna asked. She didn't sound quite the same as before. Her voice seemed to glide across the evening air, wrapping around Fluttershy's head and giving the impression the alicorn was everywhere at once even though she sat right there. Fluttershy kept her eyes on the moon.
"I didn't use to." she said. "Princess?"
Fluttershy swallowed and nodded. "L-Luna?"
"Would, would you like..." Fluttershy closed her eyes, gathering herself. When she next spoke, it was both with calmness and confidence. "You don't have to leave... I mean, r-right away."
Luna paused, and glanced over at Fluttershy, who's gentle gaze was still focused on the moon. Luna's mind went back to the touch of Fluttershy's socks against her cheeks.
"There is one thing I have learned since returning." Luna responded quietly. "The day, my sister's day, is opportune for activity and celebration of life and friendship. Perfect for cavorting with friends and exploring the world. But my night?" she saw Fluttershy turn to her. She raised a hoof and brushed gently against Fluttershy's cheek. The pegasus leaned in at Luna's touch, closing her eyes and nuzzling against the soft fabric-coated hoof.
"My nights?" Luna repeated softly. She saw Fluttershy's wings twitch open as the pegasus turned to her. She felt Fluttershy's socks again; briefly up at her shoulders, then around her body. She realized her own hooves had gone around Fluttershy's torso.
"My nights are for something quite different..." she whispered, her breath mixing with Fluttershy's.
Celestia looked out over the balcony, staring up at the moon in the sky. Her normal gentle smile was replaced by one much warmer, more personal.
"And you didn't want to go out." she chuckled at the moon. "The night is yours, sister, enjoy it. When you get back we'll discuss your 'experiments'. And maybe your day out while we're at it." she turned away from her balcony and headed inside, leaving the night and its secrets to the ponies enjoying them.