Warnings and Disclaimers:
Characters in this work are property of their respective owners, I do not own any of them, and do not intend to make any sort of profit off of this work.
This My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanfiction involves shipping. If you don't know what that means, please go read up on it at http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Shipping before reading.
If you are made uncomfortable by ANY form of romance between ANY two intelligent beings, this fanfiction may not be to your liking. Continue only with caution.
And now, on with the show:
The summer night was warm and clear, and the night draped Ponyville in a blanket of darkness and quiet. A gentle breeze stirred Twilight Sparkle's mane; it was warm, and brought the scent of green and growing things from the farms and wildland. The lights in the houses had long since gone dark, but Twilight had not noticed them winking out, one by one. From the balcony of her home, she gazed upward, taking in the beauty of the stars. Her mind wandered in a waking dream, lost in trivial thoughts, soon forgotten. With Spike away on royal business, there was no snoring to break her from her starlight reverie, and so she had spent the last few hours lost in the beauty of the night sky.
The new moon hung high over ponyville that night, and Twilight's eyes tracked its slow arc. She stood transfixed as ever so slowly, stars were eclipsed by the black disk, and other stars reappeared in its wake. For the first time since the Summer Sun Celebration, the moon was new, and Twilight took the opportunity to stargaze. She was glad that she had; moonless night took her breath away. Something Twilight couldn't place had changed, some detail on the border of imperceptibility, but it was enough to make what she had seen so many times before seem somehow wondrous. Twilight was so engrossed in the beauty of the spectacle that it took her a long time to see that there was a second dark gap in the stars on that particular night.
Soon after noticing the object, Twilight recognized the shape as the silhouette of a pegasus, hovering effortlessly. Though she had no idea what reason a pegasus would have to be flying at that late hour, her curiosity compelled her to investigate.
"Hello?" Twilight called out, and to her own ears the sound was almost deafening when compared to the serene silence that had preceded it. The other pony, however, seemed unperturbed, and floated gracefully down to a silent landing on Twilight's balcony. The darkness had long since robbed Twilight's eyes of differentiation between colors, and on that moonless night she could discern few details of the newcomer's appearance. Twilight could see little more than a strange glint in the other pony's eyes, though she could not guess what the look suggested.
"Twilight Sparkle..." The other pony said quietly, almost whispering. Her gentle voice seemed familiar to Twilight, but she couldn't immediately place it. But then, Twilight saw that what she had thought was a pegasus had a unicorn's horn. The only pony other than her mentor that she had seen with both wings and a horn was...
"Luna? Is that you? What were you doing up there? What are you doing here in Ponyville?" Twilight babbled in confusion, one eyebrow raised questioningly. The situation seemed surreal to her, she would never have expected a visit from Luna, not so soon after seeing her leave for her new life in Canterlot just weeks before.
Luna turned her head to look up at the moon and spoke softly, "What was I doing up there? I was watching the beauty of the night. Some things are at their most alluring in the starlight."
"Oh..." Twilight replied slowly, turning to look at the moon again, "Yeah. I know what you mean. The moon is more beautiful tonight than I've ever seen it."
Luna smiled, her voice beaming with delight, "Thank you." Twilight looked at Luna in confusion, wondering why what she said warranted thanks, and Luna giggled softly, "I guess that look means you don't know that I'm back in charge of the movements of the moon. It's good that my sister trusts me again. I could never move the sun, but my sister was never as talented as I was when it came to the movements of the moon. I think that it's because she has never learned that the night doesn't have to be beautiful in spite of its darkness; it can be beautiful because of its darkness."
And for a time, Twilight considered that in silence, as the two ponies watched the slow movement of the moon.
Presently, she spoke up, "Luna? What was it like being the Mare in the Moon?"
Luna closed her eyes and sighed, "I don't remember much of it, thankfully. A thousand year haze of jealousy and hate. I was another person then. Now, when I think back, all I remember are regrets. I only had a few years of harmony with my sister before I became jealous of her popularity . The thousand years I could have had with her haunt me, but I'm not burdened with the memory of them. I don't know how I could cope if I were."
And then the night was silent again. Twilight tried to think of words of comfort, but none came to her. The moment passed. Still, Twilight's curiosity could not remain silent for long.
"So why did you come to Ponyville tonight?"
Luna smiled, "Three reasons. First, I came to thank you. When you and your friends defeated Nightmare Moon, you saved me from myself. You gave me another chance at freedom and life, another chance to treat my sister with love instead of resentment. You were my redemption, and I can never repay you for that."
The sentiment struck Twilight dumb, and she scrambled to respond, "Well... I mean, thanks, but I just did what anypony would have done."
"No. Not anypony. Only you could have done it. Only you had the magic and the spark. You're not just somepony who happened to help me. You're more than that to me. Which brings me to the second reason I came here tonight. I want to ask you if you can forgive me for how I treated you and your friends, for the monster that I was. Can you forgive me?"
The night was silent for a time, and Twilight looked up at the moon again. A few stars disappeared behind it, and a few more appeared where it had been. "Yes. I can forgive you. I don't know why, exactly, but I feel like no one who could cause something as beautiful as this night can be evil at their core. As long as you've learned from your mistake, I can forgive you."
Luna whispered, "Thank you," as tears welled up in her eyes. The night was dry when she spoke again, "And the third reason I came to your house is because," She paused for a moment, "Because even with my sister and the ponies in Canterlot, I'm lonely."
Twilight looked back at Luna, "So you need friends from Ponyville? Do you want to be my friend?"
Luna shook her head, "I have friends already. That's not the kind of loneliness I'm talking about Twilight."
"Oh," Twilight tilted her head in confusion, wondering about what Luna had meant by that. Then, it struck her, and her eyes widened, "Oh! You're looking for a male pony in Ponyville? Heh, I don't know too many, but I'm sure Rarity or Pinkie Pie could point you in the right direction, if you wanted."
Luna was silent for a moment. She looked away from Twilight, toward the wood beneath her hooves. When she answered, her voice took on a strange tone, twisted with self-deprecating humor, "I have always been a pony that takes the path less traveled. My sister prefers daytime, loves the sun over the moon, and enjoys the company, form, and romance of males. We are opposites in many ways, she and I."
"Oh," replied Twilight, puzzled. Then she caught the meaning, "Oh! So you like..."
Twilight would have said 'female ponies', but another realization stopped her train of thought dead. The strange attentiveness in Luna's eyes when she looked at Twilight had been puzzling, but now Twilight saw it for what it was: desire. Shocked by the development, the unicorn ended her thought with little more than a squeaked, "...me?"
"Yes, you Twilight," the warmth of genuine feeling was obvious in Luna's words. Silence hung between the two ponies for a few seconds, and Luna gushed nervously, "I'm sorry if you're offended but it's just that you're so beautiful, and when you fought me you were so brave and determined and smart. You knew just what to say and you were such a hero," Luna's speech increased in tempo, the words running together as thoughts all tumbled forth at once, "And you love the night, you really appreciate it for what it is! We creatures of the night are fewer than those of the day, and my work is shown to fewer ponies than that of my sister, but it would be worth working to make every night's beauty perfect if the only creature in Equestria to see it is you, because you really see the moon and the stars for the unique beauty that they have, and I really hope I'm not weirding you out and I know you're probably into male ponies and please don't be offended and if you are I'm sorry beca-"
At this point, Twilight completely derailed Luna's speech and train of thought with the simple act of leaning forward and kissing her quite thoroughly. A few moments later, the two separated, and Luna said the only thing left on her thoroughly scrambled mind.
Twilight's mouth twisted in a wry smile, "Well put. But I'm not offended. And I don't prefer male ponies. I didn't think I liked any ponies until a couple weeks ago, and in a way, I have you to thank for that. Plus, you were so cute babbling there, I just couldn't help myself. So you don't have to be lonely like that anymore, Luna. We can enjoy the night together."
And so Luna and Twilight spent that night together, like they would spend many nights after, enjoying the darkness and the silence, the moon and the stars, and each other's company.