Exiles

“Luna! Oh, Luna! It’s not going to work, just let me stay with you forever, please?”

Princess Luna blinked at her distressed little unicorn lover, who’d rushed into her bedroom tumultuously. “Calm yourself, Lyra! From whence comes thy dismay?”

“From Ponyville, of course!” wailed Lyra. “Where else? I should never have gone back, ever! I don’t know what you were thinking!”

“In truth I was considering your own well-being, little pony…”

“YOUR little pony,” corrected Lyra petulantly.

“My little pony,” acknowledged Princess Luna wearily. “I am only trying to care for you, and entreat you to try and understand…”

“Yes, treat me!” squeaked Lyra, bounding onto the bed with her like some electric-green gazelle. “Treat me to some more princess loving. I don’t want anything else!”

Luna narrowed her eyes, ruffling her wings and flicking her tail. “WE wish you to have something else. We wish you to have more than just this. It will pall, in time, and it too closely resembles our shame, when we tried to capture a pony for our selfish use.”

“It will not pall!” protested Lyra. “…who even says pall, anyway?”

Luna sighed. “Enough! Do you think it a mere suggestion? Just because you wish to live out my sick fantasy does not make it meet. I tell you this, you shall not lose Ponyville! We forbid it. You shall go back and try again.”

Lyra opened her mouth to speak, and then shut it. She looked shrewdly at her Princess, and thought for a second before replying. Then she climbed back out of bed, stood on the pristine floor of Luna’s bedchamber, and gazed upon her lover and patron seriously, with an air of a pony gathering her wits for a debate.

“How much of this is about me,” she said, “and how much is about the fact that you’ve lost Ponyville yourself?”

“Impudence!”

Lyra rolled her eyes. “That again? How long is it going to take for you to figure out that doesn’t work on me? I’ve stayed here with you for months and you keep talking about Ponyville, about all these stupid townsponies that I can’t see why you care about, as if you want nothing better than to go and be with them again. It’s like you’re sending me there in your place. Which is kind of nice, I feel like an ambassador from you, but it’s not fair to me! I don’t want to be with them at all!”

Luna sagged. “But, Lyra, Ponyville was your home, was it not? I cannot believe you will remain truly happy while abandoning it. It is not the same with me. I committed terrible acts against those who live there. I sought to meddle in their lives, and stole a pony for my own pleasures. I must do penance, and perhaps in a few generations…”

“That’s not good enough!” exclaimed Lyra. “The next time I go into Ponyville, I want you to come with me. You’re punishing yourself for something that doesn’t matter now. You’ve got me, so it doesn’t matter who else you wanted.”

Luna fixed her with a stern gaze. “It matters to some ponies, Lyra.”

“You mean, it matters to Trixie!” said Lyra, and saw the Princess wince. “I’m sorry to say the name, Princess, but you know it’s true. You’re exiling yourself from all of Equestria because of stuff you did to one pony!”

“I am exiling myself because of who I became, while doing it to that one pony,” said Luna somberly.

Lyra confronted her. “Yes, I know, you’ve told me over and over, and it doesn’t make sense! I know you were just trying to do what was right, for yourself and for Twilight and for Princess Celestia and even for Trixie. It’s wrong for you to be punished for that!”

“Even when it is myself passing the judgement?”

“Aha!” said Lyra. “But isn’t it true that the crime you’re punishing yourself for, is passing judgement without permission? You decided stuff all on your own, and then you decided all on your own to punish yourself for it, and you’re still deciding everything all out of your own head.”

Luna looked askance at the triumphant unicorn. “Lyra, my sister Celestia is the one who declared this fate. I am only embracing it as fit for such a reprobate as myself.”

Lyra’s gaze dropped. “Oh. Right.” She thought for a moment, and brightened. “But still—she let you have me. Didn’t she?”

“That is true.”

“She said you needed to love. Didn’t she? And she still doesn’t think I’m a very good pony, but she lets me stay here all the same. Doesn’t she?” said Lyra.

“My sister is solicitous of your well-being,” protested Princess Luna. “Indeed, if you are to attribute the desire to mingle to me, so I may recognize in you a tendency to believe all ponies your enemy! Or, if not strictly your enemy, then unfavorably disposed to you?”

“It’s different,” said Lyra, bridling. “I know they don’t love me. Trixie was mean to me, Celestia wrote unkind things about me in her diary…”

“Her private notes to aid her memory,” said Princess Luna, “which she did not grant you leave to read!”

Lyra shrugged. “It’s still true. You want me to go be with these ponies who care nothing for me, out of some sense of guilt or desire to please. And I don’t want any of that, I just want to be with you. If you never go out, then neither will I. Ha!” She stomped her little hoof.

Princess Luna glowered at her pony lover. “We have ways of compelling obedience…”

Lyra was on fire, prancing around the bedroom flicking her tail and tossing her mane. “And that’s worked out for you so very well, hasn’t it? You know how to break a pony’s mind so she is nothing but your puppet, and hasn’t it made you feel just wonderful about yourself? Looney, don’t even start with that stuff! We’ll talk it out, like we always talk.”

“And talk, and talk,” sighed Princess Luna. “In truth it were fit for another punishment, should I believe my sister capable of it. Cooped up with chattering fluff!”

There were times when Lyra’s swinging moods faltered and tumbled at such a remark, times when the kept unicorn with the burned-away horn had despaired and wailed in dismay, to eventually be comforted by her contrite, regal companion. The long hours had given way to many such times, in the crucible of confinement that taught the prisoners—the one a prisoner of honor, the other a prisoner by choice—about each other. Sometimes Lyra’s ecstacy of attending upon such a magical creature was turned to the blackest misery.

This wasn’t going to be one of those times.

“YOUR fluff,” Lyra corrected sharply. “Just because I am not as clever as an alicorn princess doesn’t mean I can’t think, Looney. I may not understand townsponies, but I understand you! Sometimes you get hurtful when I’m too close to something. You talk about compelling me to go out and visit Ponyville. What good could you possibly think I can do there?”

“We believe the term normally used is, ‘your own good’,” stated Luna.

“Immaterial,” said Lyra. “I have never felt like I belonged in Ponyville. I was always the weird unicorn filly who sits funny and gets too excited about things. For years I turned to Bon Bon and let her become my world, because she seemed to accept me. Hah! Accept my youthful vagina, more like.”

Luna’s eyes narrowed. “You yourself have admitted you are not always easy to live with. This is not to say we regret living with you, dear pony! Only that Bon Bon deserves a certain sympathy for her actions, flawed though they were.”

Lyra frowned. “Yeah, I’ll let you know when I’m ready to believe that. Signs point to ‘never’. Don’t pout! I’m being honest—and you’re still trying to distract me. You want to return to Ponyville yourself. Yes or no?”

“There is no circumstance that would justify that!”

Lyra trotted over to where Luna lay on the vast, ornate bed. “Wrong! You go out on Nightmare Night and appear for the townsponies. I saw you do it.” She hesitated, then added, “That’s when you fell in love with me. You saw me jumping up to see you. You told me about it. Remember?”

Luna was not comforted. “If it becomes our habit to go and fall in love with a mortal pony on Nightmare Night, mayhap we had better cease the practice!”

That struck the radiant green unicorn, where sharper remarks had not. Her eyes filled with tears. “I’m sorry!”

Princess Luna stammered. “But… nay, we are sorry, dear pony, we do not mean to imply that we have the slightest regret, moreover we spoke with unfitting frivolity…”

“No!” squeaked Lyra. “The other thing. You know? And I’m so, so sorry, with all of my heart.”

“Lyra?” said Luna uncertainly. “What thing is this?”

Lyra gulped. “For being mortal—and leaving you, someday. You deserve so much better, and I’ve got to find a way to heal you in the time that I have. Because I love you that much.”

Luna couldn’t speak. She gazed into those swimming golden eyes so full of mad, manic devotion, and made a weak little choking noise—and then found words.

“My darling little pony! Oh thou miraculous, endearing wonder!”

“Please don’t be sad?” said Lyra in a timid voice.

“We shall love you forever! Forever, little one!”

“But it can’t be a sad thing! I can feel the sadness pouring out of you,” protested Lyra, “and I don’t want that for you! How do we get around this part, how can you enjoy your time with me? It’s part of why I don’t want to leave here, ever! How can I go and talk to Ponyville ponies and not spend every second I have by your side?”

Luna controlled herself with a mighty effort. “We do not wish you to lead so confined an existence. You should not live like an exile.”

Lyra blinked. “But I always did, before. Weren’t you listening? I’ve never felt at home anywhere, unless you count Bon Bon…”

“And so you should, we hasten to add! Your brightness is dimmed by resentment and grudge-holding, things you must rise above!”

Lyra shook her head. “You’re changing the subject again. It almost got by me—you can use even my own hurt feelings as a trick. How long have you been practicing that one?”

“Thousands of years,” said Luna, quietly. “What is this subject to which you refer?”

“You, Luna, want to go to Ponyville, so you’re having me go FOR you. And we need to come up with reasons that you get to go on your own. You claimed there is no such reason, and there is: you go on Nightmare Night. Now we will talk about other reasons you might go and enjoy Ponyville.” Lyra fixed the Princess with a stern gaze.

“Enjoy!” snorted Luna, ruffling her wings anxiously. “Do you mean to seek out the very heart of that which I must not do?”

“Princess Celestia never ordered you to be miserable the rest of your life,” argued the little unicorn. “She was angry with you, which you’ve told me all about. She calmed down, and she later gave you ME and she can’t possibly have meant that to hurt you. Do you think Princess Celestia requires you to be miserable right now? Let’s start with right now.”

Princess Luna looked grumpy, flicking her radiant tail until sparkles seethed within it. “No, Lyra. I do not believe my sister requires me to be miserable right now. But while I am carrying out my duties within Ponyville…”

“Would the children, the colts and fillies enjoying Nightmare Night, have more or less fun if you are miserable and not enjoying yourself?” suggested Lyra.

Luna laid her ears back. “This is going to be one of those conversations, is it not? We ask merely for elucidation, and not to evade.”

It didn’t discourage Lyra. “I am only trying to heal you, because I love you so much. I’m sorry if it seems insistent…”

“No, you’re not.”

Lyra didn’t bat an eyelash. Her golden eyes shone with the glorious, obsessive love she nurtured and encouraged within herself for the Princess of the Moon, the ghost that had haunted her dreams until she sought to bring those dreams to her waking hours, and she said, “No, I’m not sorry at all. I believe I CAN heal you and I’m gonna do it. You can’t stop me. The only thing you can do is outwait me. And I admit you can do that, but I believe something else—I believe that when you fell in love with me, that opened a crack I can keep open, and you’re gonna let me lead you to the sunshine where you can be happy.”

Luna’s face was expressionless. “You assume so quickly that I answer to the Sun, just because I defer to my sister? How sure are you that my heart desires this sunlight of which you speak?”

Lyra bent and kissed the top of Luna’s muzzle, looking her in the eyes. “You told me once that you see the light of morning in my eyes, the sunlight through dappled leaves in my coat. Some part of you wants to wake from your night.” She hesitated, looking away, a pang of doubt stabbing her. “Some of the time, anyway. I hope so?”

Luna didn’t speak at first. She looked at Lyra as if from a long way away—or as if at a distant memory, as if already placing Lyra in the company of the countless dead Lulamoon unicorns she’d treasured all those years ago.

Lyra’s lip quivered, the doubt returning, but before she could venture far down that path that ended in tears and the chill of lifeless eternity nipping hungrily at her hooves, her Princess had seen her mood shift, and it was Luna’s eyes now moist with tears.

“Lyra, Lyra! Yes, you speak truth—I long to wake for you, darling. I don’t know why you reach me where so many others have not. I don’t understand it. But I hope so too, I so fervently do hope so.”

She was standing, gathering Lyra’s body into her embrace, enfolding the little unicorn in dark wings. Lyra, enclosed by Night, felt comforted and safe.

She snickered. “You also told me you’d widen my pussy with a crowbar if I didn’t quit pinching at you, so there’s many things you long to do.”

Luna snorted, again. “Thou angelic, daft minx. We spoke in jest, as you are well aware. Oh, Lyra, how did I survive without your peculiar, insufferable charm?”

“Back to the plan,” said Lyra, snuggled in the Princess’s wings. “What would it take to get you out into Ponyville? You know you want to.”

Luna sighed. “Relentless minx. Indefatigable. We grant that there are purposes that permit the curtailing of our exile.”

“Like Nightmare Night? Okay, that’s a start. What if… okay, hear me out. Suppose you were watching from your window in the castle, and you saw a little foal playing on the cliff out by Ghastly Gorge? And that foal toppled and fell off the cliff and only your wings could save her?”

Luna snuggled her pony lover closer. “Then she would have to hope a certain unicorn hadn’t been turning my wings to quivering jelly all the previous night.”

Lyra wriggled deliciously. “I’m serious!”

“So am I,” murmured Princess Luna.

“Answer the question or I’ll bite you,” squeaked Lyra determinedly. Her bright green head poked out of the swaddling of deep blue feathers, wearing an expression of adorable vexation, like a frustrated kitten.

Luna remained resolutely silent. Lyra thought about what she’d said.

“I take it back—answer the question or I WON’T bite you. So there.” She pouted.

Luna gulped, theatrically. “Cruel mistress! We must comply, then. Yes, if a foal was falling off a cliff, we would fly in haste from our prison to rescue the waif. Surely Celestia would grant leave for this. Her stricture was against our misbehavior, and was in no way meant as a permanent penalty. Dear Lyra, it is only three hundred and fifty years. Those of our kind might shrug off a mere three hundred and fifty years and spend it in study and contemplation. We had intended just such pursuits.”

“You don’t sound like you still intend that,” said Lyra.

“We will spend it with you… some of it, anyhow. This time should not be wasted in cloistered meditations. Your life must be lived.”

Lyra snuggled into Luna’s embrace, satisfied. Then, she twisted around, looking up at her beloved. “So, you agree to go out with me and look for heroic things to do and ponies to save from disasters?”

Luna choked, startled. “Mad wretch! We said no such thing!”

“Yeah,” said Lyra, “but you expect me to go out into the world and not stay here with you all the time. And you’ll only come join me if there’s somepony to rescue, otherwise you’ll stay home and mope…”

The Lyra logic was inexorable, and Luna stammered. “I, I, mayhap it appeared that we had conceded something of the sort…”

“You did,” said Lyra stubbornly. “I could just stay with you here, but you don’t want me to live that way. I can see it now, I’ll walk Equestria, ready to send out my Luna-signal. What’s a Luna signal, how will I send out a signal to call you if you’re needed?”

“You could take a quick nap and dream of me?” suggested Princess Luna.

Lyra glared at her, and Luna’s jaw dropped. “You’re serious, aren’t you?”

“Of course I am,” said the little unicorn. “I only want to do what will make you happy, and you so badly want me to go out and lead an exciting life. This would be an exciting life! I shouldn’t stay around Ponyville, though, not enough happens there. Can you magically appear in places far away from here?”

“Your opinion of alicorn magic prowess,” said Luna, “seems excessive, albeit flattering!”

Lyra pouted, snuggling closer. “All right, all right! I’ll stay around Ponyville. Is there a sort of whistle only alicorns can hear?”

“From deities to dogs, yet?” gasped Princess Luna.

“Well, I don’t know! I’ll do whatever you like, I just need to be able to call you in emergencies!”

Luna was frowning, considering this. “Ponyville is scarcely given to emergencies, that is one of its charms. If you promise to stay around Ponyville…”

“I just did, didn’t I?” said Lyra.

“And woe betide you if you solicit my presence for unfitting reasons!” scolded Luna.

“Oooh! You’re okay with it? This is going to be exciting! How do I summon you?”

Luna thought. “Hardly a demanding cantrip. Oxley’s Resonator should suffice. It is not two-way, regrettably, so we will have to trust your judgement, as dire a prospect as that may seem…”

Lyra snuggled into her Princess’s wings, satisfied with her day’s work.

Luna was not wholly satisfied, however. “Darling? Must I remind thee?”

“Huh?”

“Thou hast made… other promises.”

Lyra blinked, and then her eyes flew wide. “Oh!” she squeaked. She bent her head, smiling a wicked little pony smile, and her lips closed on a deep blue feather, and tugged.

Luna shuddered, baring her teeth and letting out a deep groan. The little darling had never been with a pegasus, or any winged pony, and she’d known nothing of specialized erogenous zones.

She’d learned quickly and gleefully.

Luna arched her neck in ecstacy as her little pony munched speculatively on her wing shank, not too hard (though she was capable of alarming jolts when least expected) but not hesitantly. “Uhhhh!”

“You like that? My Princess?”

Luna gulped, her body washed with surges of eager lust for her wicked, adorable lover. She pivoted, shuffling her hindquarters over, coaxing Lyra back onto the bed while still enclosing her in a fluffy embrace—a trembling fluffy embrace, for the unicorn pony was delivering sporadic nibbles and nips to Luna’s powerful, yet sensitive, wings.

There hadn’t been a mortal lover so bold with her person since… ever?

They sprawled, bodies pressed together on the generous expanse of silky bedsheet, and Luna bent her head to nuzzle Lyra’s cheek, knowing the likely response, and there it was—her little unicorn pony nuzzled back, and then with a quivery sigh took to unicorn-kissing in feverish delight, caressingly rubbing her horn against the tower of Luna’s massive alicorn horn.

She had to use her hornbase, however, because even months later, her burned-away horn still had not grown back—and the gesture was filled with heart-stoppingly intense symbolism for Luna, carrying meaning that made her swoon. They’d be so good, for weeks on end, and then inevitably Luna would yield to Lyra’s pleadings, typically on a full moon night around two in the morning—and would arc with her petite lover, unleashing magical orgasm into her, lighting her up from within through a torrent of magical ejaculation that effortlessly overwhelmed Lyra’s gout of horncome and flooded her with the magic she craved.

Lyra had said once that she wished to die that way, when her time came, and Princess Luna understood just what she meant. She knew from her regal sister that such a fate, or worse, was possible. She knew that taking such a climax from a full-grown alicorn was an experience beyond description for any mortal unicorn, a sexual release so powerful as to make all previous experience pale by comparison.

She also knew the dark and illicit secret of the alicorn who permitted herself that luxury—it sucked the magic out of you like some mad, frantic blow-job, irresistibly. She hadn’t talked about that part with Celestia, and knew better than to raise the subject—Celestia would never, ever talk about it. Luna hardly knew what to say, anyhow. It was every bit as intense for her, and that was the secret. Lyra’s body, wracked with ecstacy and illuminated from within by a storm of alicorn magic, seemed to suction her horngasm right out of her with unbearable urgency and sweetness. It left Luna dazed, stunned by the forces that had blasted through her massive horn during their seconds of arcing.

And if it was merely seconds, it’d be another thing—but her little pony was a prodigy, and could horncome for half a minute without stopping, gushing magical orgasm until she was limp and spent beyond all reason. That meant that the channel was open, and during those times, Princess Luna too was helpless to resist. And so, she would be cajoled into arcing with her pleading, magic-addicted lover, and she would cry out, wracked by ecstacy and dumping impossible torrents of magic into Lyra’s thrashing body in a climax beyond anything she’d ever known in a very long life.

And Lyra would be left twitching feebly in boneless bliss, her body literally smoking, and with more and more of her sweet little horn burned away by the unbearable force of Luna’s magic each time. It had no chance to grow back, no matter how carefully Luna tried to guide her diet, sneaking rare herbs into her food that were said to aid horn regrowth. Every time Luna gave in to Lyra’s pleading, every time they did it all the way, Lyra got a little bit closer to her own joyous destruction.

When the last molecules of catalysing unicorn horn burned away, the magic that stuffed Lyra to bursting each time would cease its role of inducing a female unicorn’s ovulation. It would change instantly to raw force, incinerating the hapless mare in a heatless flash of pure energy even while she came, a hammer-blow of final sensation leaving only a hollow shell where the beloved had once been.

One time, Lyra had come so hard and so long on the end of Luna’s horngasm that she’d not only lost more than half the horn she had left, but she’d managed to char half an inch off the tip of Luna’s horn as well. Luna had felt clubbed in the head, drunk, dizzy with the new peak and desperate for more. And Lyra, once she’d regained consciousness and seen what she had done, was the smuggest unicorn in Equestria. Luna had never seen such pride.

She had to get Lyra safely away from her before she burned her darling up entirely.

Luna trembled at the unicorn kisses, her heart leaping at each caressing touch of that brave little stump of a horn against hers. There was something so dizzying about it, like a moth making love to a flame, Lyra’s ravaged horn begging to be the conduit for more orgasmic magic, at any cost. Luna knew that the yearning horn-kisses would go on for some time, and then her little unicorn would turn again to her wings, working her up into a frenzy from which only going all the way would deliver her. At such times, her horn felt like it would burst from the pent-up magical pressure.

And so, Luna reached out with her levitation and hastily seized Lyra’s magic bit from the shelf in the hallway outside, swooping it into the bedroom with them and hovering it before Lyra’s cute little mouth in hopes of switching things to the more earthy mode of penises and vaginas, and away from the heights of horn-yness they tended to gravitate to…

…and Lyra shrieked in alarm and scrabbled awkwardly away across the bed, eyes panicky and wide.

Luna blinked. “Lyra? What’s the matter?”

“I forgot! We need to get rid of that thing, Looney, it’s dangerous!”

“But it’s much less dangerous than the other way!” protested Luna.

“No, I mean Twilight Sparkle’s blew up! Kaboom, Trixie said. That sounds like a very big explosion, to go kaboom! Because it sounds like there’s a rumbling afterwards, which implies bigness, you know? Don’t ask me to put that in my mouth, please! It’s just not safe!”

Luna blinked rapidly, processing this information. “But Lyra, darling! I know these bits from years ago. I assure you, it will not explode for me! It would not dare! We forbid such a kaboom, in fact!”

Lyra peered fearfully at the floating bit. “Can you actually forbid a kaboom?”

Luna drew herself up haughtily. “They are my magic artifacts! There shall be no kaboom here, my Lyra! Now, come here. The royal vagina wishes attention, and penetration.”

Lyra bridled, glancing sidelong at her Princess. “Can… can you test it out for me, first?”

“For you?” said Luna. “Or in you? Does the pony’s vagina also wish attention, then?”

Lyra wriggled, kicking out her legs sensuously, running a forehoof down between them to caress her breasts and tickle her jutting vulva. She squirmed around, and winked at her Princess, while fixing her with an unblinking, smouldering gaze.

“My, my,” breathed Princess Luna, and with an air of ceremony took the bit between her own teeth and grew a thick blue hard-on.

“No p’nching,” she murmured, wriggling up with her belly to Lyra’s trim backside.

“No promises,” crooned her little unicorn lover, her pussy winking frantically.

And as Luna slowly entered, Lyra gasped and shuddered in transports of carnal delight, her juices easing the passage of the bulky alicornhood, and she tried not to pinch though at times she squealed and tensed right up, causing Luna to snort and grit her teeth and swell that erection within her with shocking force. Yet, the intensity of that could only give way to the tender and graceful thrusting so typical of a mare packing a stallion’s penis, a tacit understanding of how it felt to be deeply penetrated, a fluidity and naturalness, a pent-up eroticism that expressed itself not only through the cock but also the clinging embraces of Lyra’s trembling body, the tender hoof stroking her belly and fondling her breasts and kneading her vulva even as the stiffened erection slid deeper below the kneading hoof…

Lyra squealed and shook as she came, her stump of a horn spurting magic in bright splashes against the headboard, and Princess Luna grunted, her body jerking rhythmically as it spurted temporary magical stallion-seed into Lyra’s womb, her mind determinedly trying to work out how many degrees of hue variance there was between the color of her magic cock, and the color of Lyra’s left forehoof.

The distraction and intention to withhold proved enough to prevent her horn from letting go, and she sagged in physical satisfaction, with only a moderate case of blue-horn, feeling absolutely delicious as the stallionhood unloaded a few more leisurely spurts into Lyra, who squeezed dreamily upon it for a few more beautiful seconds and then swooned away in a contented slumber.

Luna allowed her to completely relax, and then placed the bit decorously on the pillow beside her, and the erection withdrew from pony pussy without drama.

Sometimes just feeling good with earth pony parts was its own satisfaction.


“I see your paramour is resting comfortably,” said Princess Celestia, sipping Luna’s best tea.

“Oh, yes,” replied Luna. “We cannot thank you enough, dear sister. To share her life is a continuing delight. By the way, we must ask questions of you, related to one of Lyra’s new ideas.”

“Ah, yes,” said Celestia knowingly. “Lyra ideas. What’s she come up with this time? I’m almost afraid to inquire.”

“Nay, it is we who might be hesitant, sister, for Lyra wishes to play the hero out in the world, with our able assistance. You remember how we sought to coax her from our side?”

Celestia nodded, solemnly. “If you wish her to last, you had better find a way, yes.”

“This is the crux of it, then: Lyra would walk Equestria, or at least Ponyville, bearing what she dubs a ‘Luna-signal’, and seeking trouble and distress. Foals falling from cliffs, attacks of griffins, that sort of thing… It is her belief that dispensation would be granted to us for acts of heroism, and so she agrees to travel from my side as long as she may summon me to hers.”

Celestia blinked. “Goodness! She wishes to be a sort of ‘Mare-Do-Well’?”

“She wishes us to be one, together,” explained Luna. “Provided we are permitted to depart from our prison in service of such good deeds?”

Celestia frowned at her younger sister. “Luna, it is not a prison. It is only three hundred and fifty years, over a year of which has already passed, and I did not call it prison. You are grounded, not imprisoned.”

Luna’s ears drooped. “Which is to say, no?”

Her sister’s brow was knit in thought. “I didn’t say that. Lyra gets some startling ideas, doesn’t she? You do understand that part of your punishment is to consider why you’d done what you’ve done, and learn to behave differently toward the world?”

Luna’s ears perked up. “You mean…?”

Celestia’s expression was grumpy, yet benevolent. “Yes, Luna. You are still grounded, but if your lover wants to gallop around finding lost kittens and stray ponies, and then call on you to help them, I cannot disagree. I think that will be good for you, and it’ll get her away from you for what I fervently hope is long enough that her horn will recover. You two worry me terribly at times. You do not want to use this unicorn up, Luna. Believe me, you will not like the results of losing control with her.”

Luna didn’t dare comment, and then hesitantly said, “Surely I need not fear some things? Bizarre things, happening again? Things we will not speak of, further? It cannot be a common thing, to, to…”

“What is common,” said Celestia sharply, “is to destroy the poor creature in her moment of greatest pleasure! No, I would not expect the… stranger outcomes, Luna. Nevertheless! You love this little pony, so by all means send her out and play Mare-Do-Well with her. Do you anticipate needing costumes? I’m sure Rarity would be thrilled to oblige.”

Luna glanced at Lyra’s limp, sated body, sprawled deliciously on the bed. “Methinks she wears the most flattering one, already…”

Celestia chuckled wearily. “You’re biased. But yes, she’s pretty, and I’m so pleased you’re happy with her, and she with you. Handled with respect, a relationship between unicorn and alicorn can be a beautiful thing.”

“Speaking of which,” said Luna casually, “mayhap you might check on Twilight Sparkle? Something Lyra said concerns us. We are sure it is nothing, but if you would find out whether she is well?”

Princess Celestia blinked. “Certainly. Why?”

“Oh, Lyra said those magic bits explode now. With a kaboom, she says. We do not believe a word of it, but she was very upset. She did not mention whether Twilight was using it at the time, but apparently it was Twilight’s that exploded, so we thought…”

Luna trailed off. Her sister was staring at her, aghast.

“What?” said Princess Celestia.