Luna stands on her balcony this evening - for the obvious reason, watching the horizon as, with a subtle lift of her wing just a few inches from her side, the moon rises into the night sky. That leaves her staring with her usual mournful expression. She does nothing further visible, but the stars are coming out *fast*.
There's an irregular shape fast approaching the balcony, made of two big lumps and one smaller one. One lump seems equipped with wings. The mystery is quick to be solved when the lights of the stars illuminate Bardigan making a beeline for the balcony, bearing strange and purple cargo. Twilight Sparkle is on his back, who is in turn accompanied by Spike the dragon. It might be past his bedtime, but any meeting with Luna is worth staying up for. The bard fearlessly approaches Luna's quarters directly after a daring swoop, alighting on the balcony railing, using his hooves and outstretched wings to keep an exquisitely calculated balance. "Permission to visit her Highness, your Highness," he says with a rather immodest smile. He knows he just made a good entrance.
Twilight_Sparkle tumbles off Bardigan's back, rather inelegantly; Spike, who has been clinging to the violet unicorn's tail for dear life, is brought along. Twilight rights herself quickly enough; one must try not to look too moronic in front of the princesses. Or really anypony one is trying to impress.
Spike gets to his feet, looking *very* glad to be on solid ground again. Unlike Twilight, he doesn't look windblown, but that's really only due to his lack of mane.
<OOC> Match_Maker licks Spike. <OOC> Spike tastes like love and affection! <OOC> Twilight_Sparkle makes Spike bathe. It makes him more lickable.
Luna chuckles dryly, "And since when does a lovestruck trabadour need, seek, or listen to permission about whether he comes or goes?" The flying arrival is received with calm as if it happens everyday, but when Twilight climbs down Luna takes a step back and away. She bobs her head, still smiling as she greets, "Thou are welcome, Twilight Sparkle, Element of Magic and our personal rescuer in our darkest moment. The playwright has been trying to woo us, yet we think he would bring thee not if he sought kisses. To what do we owe this honor?"
"And since when does a lovestruck troubadour let company stop him from seeking kisses?" Bardigan returns with a grin as he hops down onto the balcony, helping the others up as needed. "To be admired by me, in part," he answers Luna with a roguish toss of his mane. "But there were questions, too. Things left unanswered in our last couple of meetings... about the past," he says, delicately. "Happier times than what you and I discussed before though, I think."
<OOC> Bardigan has to go AFK for about twenty minutes. He'll be back as soon as he can.
Twilight_Sparkle eyerolls a bit, looking back and forth between Bardigan and Luna, reserving her rolliest eyerolls for the bard and a slightly knowing "boys, huh?" smile for Luna, as if Twilight would know anything about that sort of thing. "I think what Bardigan means to say is, he mentioned to me that he was coming here to ask some historical questions, which just happen to overlap with some things I've been meaning to ask you." she glances back at the dragon. "And he's here because...I suppose I didn't want to go all the way back to the library to drop him off."
Spike folds his arms and gives Twilight an irritated look. "I *could* be asleep right now, you know. And I wouldn't even have your snoring to keep me awake." His irritation doesn't last long, though, before he's distracted by wandering around the room, gazing at the expensive furnishings. He grew up in Canterlot and is used to wealth, but this is a level above what he's used to seeing.
Luna chuckles, almost a giggle, brief and light. Smiling higher on one side than the other, she returns Twilight's cynical stare. "Indeed, in at least two thousand years, colts have not changed, nor ever have they matured to stallions." She lets her gaze wander over to pudgy little Spike, and continues airily, "Thy questions are always welcome, as is thy dragon. We have not slain one in many lifetimes of ponies."
Twilight_Sparkle nods. "Well, um...no slaying this one! But I kind of assume that's a given. I need him for things." She turns, and gives Spike's cheek an affectionate nuzzle. From somewhere, she conjures a couple of rather old-looking scrolls. "I've been transcribing some of your letters." She exchanges looks with Bardigan. "And Bardigan's got his own interests here, which I think are more literary. Mostly I think both our questions are about Starswirl.
Bardigan, who for some reason has a pink stand in, nods thoughtfully, the feather on her hat bobbing. "Hmm, yes. Starswirl," she says with gravitas. This doesn't seem... TOO strange, for some reason? It's pretty mundane for a princess and the Element of Magic, granted.
<OOC> Luna says, "HOLY SPUD MONKEYS HE'S STILL HERE" <OOC> Luna says, "...oh. DANG YOU, PINKIE." <OOC> Spike breaks down in giggles. <OOC> Pinkie_Pie is the best. <OOC> Match_Maker says, "I saw that coming." <OOC> Twilight_Sparkle snortgiggles! <OOC> Pinkie_Pie is totally the official understudy, honest! <OOC> Bardigan says, "I'm back!" <OOC> Pinkie_Pie was your understudy, Bardigan, no need to thank her. <OOC> Bardigan says, "What did I miss?" <OOC> Pinkie_Pie was EXTREMELY convincing. <OOC> Luna says, "Assuming you saw Twilight talking about my not shishkabobing Spike, you're caught up!"
"The Bearded," Bardigan clarifies, crossing his hoove proudly at the boy talk. Colts! Can't live with them, can't live without them. Especially this one. "I have to admit, learning that was a surprise even given what I know. It piqued my curiosity. One of Equestria's greatest wizards and heroes..." he trails off, sounding impressed.
Luna snorts with laughter in the middle of Bardigan's trailing off. It is an unusual moment of loss of control, with Luna's cheeks puffing out and eyes bulging as she tries and fails to restrain that laugh. Caught, she smiles gaily, and turns around to walk into the room. "Come, then, the both of thee. To a scholar, no doubt Starswirl is the greatest hero of all. What need thou both to know about him?" Looking back over her shoulder, she tilts her head a bit and asks dryly, "This is about our romance with him, we suspect?"
Twilight_Sparkle follows along. she waves a hoof offhandedly in Bardigan's direction. "I think HIS is, yeah," she says, with affected, and probably affectionate, scorn; joshing about boys with Luna is making her feel good, so she keeps at it at least this much longer. "I haven't shared those letters with him in full, but I'd like your permission to, once I've got them transcribed, which I nearly do. She looks around almost conspiratorially. "MY question is about his magic career. I mean, history records things so superficially, and the more I learn the more I know that the essence of what magic is often isn't in history books."
Spike climbs up on Luna's bed and sits on the edge of it, kicking his stubby legs idly.
Surprise pokes her head out of Luna's mane and looks around. "THIS isn't my house!" she exclaims, before ducking back in again.
"Hey now! I too have an interest in history and chronological order and... other, non-romance-related subjects," Bardigan says, puffing out his chest in an affronted manner. "But romance *does* seem to keep coming up where you two are concerned. I just think the whole thing sounds like a wonderful story." He blinks when he thinks he sees a white blur duck in and out of his vision. Must have been a bird. In Luna's mane. Yes.
Luna nods amicably. "We suspected so much." Turning her head away, she climbs up onto the bed herself, noting in a cheerful tone, "Thou may be disappointed, playwright. If it is a story, it is no star-crossed romance, but a comedy of an infatuated filly and a deeply eccentric colt, then stallion." She swivels around, sitting right next to Spike, her forehooves propped on the edge of the mattress, but her haunches and hind legs sprawling. "However, the stories are intertwined. It should be no surprise that the Princess of Magic and magic's greatest scholar learned much from each other."
Spike looks up at Luna. There was a time when he'd have scurried away already, but now he shows only a trace of uneasiness at being so close to the Princess of the Night. He stops kicking and quietly folds his hands in his lap, trying to be well behaved.
Twilight_Sparkle grins a mischievous look on her face. She looks over at Bardigan, then at Spike; they've both seen this trick. Luna, thus far, only knows it's something Twi is working on, and for which she provided a key piece of magical information. With a flash of magic so dense it can be felt like a wave moving through the air, Twilight sprouts, and spreads, a glorious pair of violet wings.
Bardigan moves to sit down in front of Luna, dropping onto his stomach like a colt at storytime. Which, really, he is. When Twilight gets 'that look' and her horn glows, he smiles. "Twilight has learned a few things herself," he mentions, just before the wings erupt into being, squinting in the face of that burst of powerful magic.
<OOC> Bardigan is now going to run back home. Give him another twenty minutes or so if you will.
Luna raises an eyebrow, eyes drifting over Twilight's wings. Then her eyes turn white, shining from within, and for Twilight at least there's the feel of Luna's magic filling the room al around her, doing nothing, just feeling out the spell. "How long can thou make it last? A truly successful cast is three days - it is difficult indeed to make the wings last longer. Rare is the unicorn who can produce true wings for even seconds, but never did we doubt thy power." She flashes a grin suddenly, and adds, "Without Starswirl, thou could not cast this spell. He first speculated about the different kinds of magic. Without him, unicorns who tried this spell could produce wings, but they were shape without substance, and could do nothing."
Pinkie_Pie takes Bardigan's hat and puts it on, nodding seriously until he gets back.
<OOC> Bardigan says, "Take care of it, Pinkie. He likes to be worn in the evening and taken for walks on Saturdays." <OOC> Pinkie_Pie salutes!
Twilight_Sparkle beams at Luna. She's obviously having to put a lot of her own magic into holding the spell, her whole body tense and coiled like a spring. It's not a stable spellcast; Twilight admits this aloud, noting almost apologetically "I'm not up to three days yet. I haven't even tried to stretch it past an hour, yet, and I don't know exactly how long I can make it happen, but I'm not...THERE yet. I'm in the neighborhood of there. I can practically taste there sometimes. ButI'm not there. Not yet." She gives the wings a dramatic flap, ruffling manes and tails with the breeze. "But you've already begun answering my question! I mean, the magic history books record that Starswirl's theories led to the modern understanding of this spell, but..." She pauses to search her brain; in the process, she loses her magical concentration, and the wings shimmer and seem translucent. Luna's magic, if she tried, could probably pass right through, to the center of the spell. "But there's a unification, isn't there? There's...a sort of deeper spell I've never quite been able to touch, but with a spell like this..."
Spike grins. "You should have seen the first time she tried to fly. It was *hilarious*. She got stuck in a tree and was too tired to teleport back down."
Twilight_Sparkle nudges Spike with a wingtip. "Like you've never slept in a tree."
Pinkigain nods seriously. "Smooching."
Luna chuckles at Spike's comment. Her magic withdraws, and her eyes fades. She turns her head and looks over Spike's out at the moonlight, with a wide and wistful smile. "A unification? Perhaps. Not in a spell, but in understanding. That was his drive, his genius." She lets out a chuckle, and announces, "We SHALL tell thee how we met him. Nearly two thousand years agone, yet it is one of our most vivid memories. It was just past sundown, which was no accident. We had but lifted the moon into the sky, and behind us we hear jingling, and out comes a young unicorn stallion in that... hat." Her smile widens into a grin, more affectionate than sarcastic. Turning her head, she looks Twilight right in the eye now so she can continue jovially, "And he asks us to put the moon back and start over! We thought him mad, but he insisted we had but to do as we did in reverse. We knew we could not cancel moonrise entirely, but we reversed as he asked, and lowered the moon a bit in the sky. Then he had us lift it back up. And back down. So here we were, moon bouncing up and down like a foal's ball, him scratching away furiously upon a tablet, until Celestia comes out and demands to know if we have lost our mind!" Luna really seems to love this story. Her face lights up as she tells it, and when she gets to this part she leans her head back and lets out a long, delighted peal of laughter.
<OOC> Bardigan can now RP uninterrupted. <OOC> Twilight_Sparkle says, "Luna, bring the bard up to speed!" <OOC> Luna says, "What did you see last?" <OOC> Bardigan says, "Luna's first comment on Twilight's wings." <OOC> Luna says, "I officially vote that Pinkie is actually here in the room interjecting herself in the conversation occasionally and no one has noticed because she pretends to be someone else." <OOC> Luna says, "We're current!" <OOC> Twilight_Sparkle says, "Seconded. Possibly she is a lamp." <OOC> Spike says, "Like Odo, but funnier."
Bardigan ruffles his own wings. Smooching is a serious and deep thing, he agreees with himself. The story delights him, too, and he's smiling wide by the time Luna laughs, eyes all atwinkle with that 'what happened next?' question behind them. "Sounds like a consummate scholar... stopping even the heavenly bodies to see how they work." He pats the ground next to him, inviting the space to be filled by Twilight now that the story has started in earnest.
Twilight_Sparkle gives her wings a mighty flap, then lets the spell dissipate, feathers becoming light, light becoming smaller light, then haze, then drifting pleasantly into the night. The unicorn lands gracefully, lightly, beside Bardigan.
Luna's laugh finds its end, and she grins back down at Twilight and Bardigan together. "So, Celestia is stomping out of the palace, inquiring as to our sanity, and this stallion's horn shines, and Celestia... slooows... doooooown." She giggles, after drawling out those words, and gives her head a shake. "No unicorn had such a spell at the time. We are both staring at him with our jaws upon the ground, and he earnestly explains that some of the magics he felt us use raising the moon were time. He tells us that time is not a solid thing, nor an inevitable background phenomenon, but in watching us raise the moon he learned that time is a kind of magic, one that most ponies cannot feel because we are swimming in it all the time, but can be rearranged like any other magic!" She gives her head a shake and uncurls her wings to flap them once, then recurl them, all with a huge, wistfully loving grin on her face. "This foolish seeming colt was smarter than any of us. Where we acted, he understood."
Twilight_Sparkle (steps away for a minute. Likely you won't even know she's gone.)
Spike (gives Pinkie a false horn so she can fill in.)
Bardigan is quiet now, front hooves crossed and rapt with attention. This is what he came here for: the anecdotes and ilttle details, the things that tickled ponies even when ages have gone by and time has dulled all but the most acutely intimate of memories. The cozy feeling makes him relax until he's even resting his head on his hooves, eyes still peering up at the Princess.
( Twilight Sparkle leaaaans in a non-suggestive manner against Bardigan. They're just friends, you know? Her cardboard horn slips lower on her forehead. )
Bardigan's tail flicks towards Twilight's, completely of its own accord. It's simply a little drafty in here, and pony tails must be kept warm.
<OOC> Nightshade says, "Bard and Twi should just go steady already" <OOC> Pinkie_Pie says, "I'd tell them to get a room but they're already in one."
Luna takes a deep, sighing breath. She's finished that little story, but she looks down, and... well, there is Bardigan, giving her the 'Just one more and then I'll go to bed, I promise!' stare. Her smile turns lopsided, up on one side, and she lowers herself down on the mattress so she can bring her head down closer to his level. "After that, he kept showing up. Not just at moon raisings. We would cast some great magic, and hear the jingle, and there Starswirl would be, scribbling away. If we asked him what he was doing, he would describe the spell we had cast in the details of how we twisted the magic." Her face turns up, a frustrated, lost expression passing over it for a moment, and then back down. "We do not know what to say to a pony who lived since Starswirl. Celestia and I, we were self-taught, yanking magic instinctively with our great power, until we had practiced so long we could do tiny things as well - but we never knew how. The great magics of the princesses were miracles. Starswirl turned miracles into spells, devised rules on how they work. Why could a pegasus fly, when a unicorn who laid a winged shape over their own could not? Because there were many magics, and pegasi had their own. Unicorns did not wish to believe it existed, because they could not feel it, but without it their fake wings were just fake."
<OOC> Bardigan says, "The chance for kisses has been doubled!" <OOC> Luna totally thinks Bard and Twi should go steady, but you know, they're semi-adult ponies, and they can make up their own minds.
Spike listens raptly. This is the best bedtime story *ever*. When there's a pause he asks, quietly, "What about dragons? They have their own magic too, right?"
Totally The Real Twilight ponders the best way to accidentally kiss L - er, Bardigan. Hmmmm. She's a genius, there must be something.
<OOC> Nightshade says, "I was unaware that 'semi-adult' was a category your Majesty" <OOC> Luna is TWO FRIGGIN' THOUSAND YEARS OLD. You ponies are lucky she doesn't refer to you all as larvae. <OOC> Nightshade says, "The vast majority of us do not have the opportunity to live quite so long" <OOC> Nightshade says, "And have so many partners" <OOC> Nightshade gets an odd idea <OOC> Bardigan says, ""Celestia, those pony-shaped nematode things are talking to me again. Something about needing 'rule of law,' as if they understand that kind of thing.""
Twilight Sparkle, KISSING GENIUS.
<OOC> Twilight_Sparkle says, "I'm back! Pinkie, what did you make me do?" <OOC> Spike says, "You're just hoping Twilight will distract Bardigan from you. " <OOC> Pinkie_Pie did nothing! She's just a lamp! <OOC> Nightshade says, "Perhaps if Bardigan stops 'playing the field' her efforts would be more successful." <OOC> Pinkie_Pie says, "The field is Bardigan's best instrument." <OOC> Nightshade says, "Apparently!" <OOC> Luna says, "You posing, Bard? I'm losing track!"
Twilight_Sparkle nods. She has begun to look far away from the conversation. One who knows her well--Spike, for instance--will practically be able to hear the wheels turning in her head. "No...you were all right, in a way," she says, slowly, as if saying it and thinking it for the first time simultaneously. "Magic is many little things. But...also, a few large things. But, in the end, it's not just time we're all swimming in. It's all magic. It's..." She searches for a word, then smacks her forehead with a hoof. "I *almost* had it there."
<OOC> Twilight_Sparkle may or may not have a bit of a thing for Bardigan! But she is a very serious young filly. <OOC> Nightshade says, "Enamoured of knowledge first and foremost?"
Bardigan glances back at his own wings, giving one an experimental flap. He did learn how to fly, but he never really knew *why* he flew. It was simply intrinsic to his nature. When Twilight very nearly finds a word but loses it once more, he smiles at her out of the corner of his eyes. "Sometimes there are no words," he reminds her with a little wing-nudge.
<OOC> Bardigan says, "I do not 'play the field.' I am just naturally THAT ATTRACTIVE." <OOC> Bardigan says, "Or at least, that's what my reflection tells me in the morning." <OOC> Bardigan says, "And he's also very handsome, so I think he can be trusted."
Luna grins at Twilight playfully, folding her forelegs over each other. "Evening said the world was a crystal. Every face of the crystal is a different magic. The world can be seen as shaped by time, or distance, or heat, or life, or many others. Seen through one one face, a shadow is but a place where light is not. Seen through another, it is a place where Night pushes against Day, and Day has not completely conquered Night. Seen through a third, a shadow is a spirit, always attached to its owner, hidden or revealed, usually sleeping but capable of awareness. All are true. The world around us is the crystal, not one face. That was how she put together her father's theories. She entitled the scroll 'The Diamond Philosophy', and put her father's name on it - as she did most of her works. We know not if the scroll still exists."
( Luna rustles her wings with a deeply serious expression. "HAST WE MENTIONED WE HAVE MADE IT WITH EVERY STALLION WHO EVER LIVED? WE SHALL TELL THEE THE TALE, AND IT WILT CAUSE THEE TO SAY, 'COOL STORY, BRO'." Belatedly, she realizes Luna has not actually gone anywhere, and quickly fades back onto the sidetable. )
Twilight_Sparkle grins widely at Luna. She looks for a moment like she might start crying, from the emotion of it all, but she doesn't. Having been given enough to feast on, she turns toward Bardigan. "Is there more YOU needed to know from the princess?"
Spike has curled up next to Luna and dozed off. During the pause in the conversation, you can hear his quiet snoring.
The lamp discreetly lowers her lighting so as not to disturb him.
"... That... is the most beautiful thing I've ever heard," Bardigan decides, and even gives a romantic sigh, inadvertantly bumping against Twilight as he sits back up. "I think there will always be more to know," he says, "but one shouldn't ruin it by asking for too much in one night. Not knowing is what spurs you *to* know."
Luna draws her forelegs up under herself, kneeling on them. "So be it. Thou young foals jaunt back to Twilight's, then. Tell a love story of thy own." She winks at Twilight, and uncurls her wing to give it a wave. "Enjoy the Night we have brought thee, and when thou wish to know more of our eccentric love of an eccentric pony, return and we shall regale thee with joy. These are happy memories."
Twilight_Sparkle gets to her feet, and bows. "Good night, then, great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Luna." She winks. "You're kind of old."
Luna gives another snorting little laugh. Though she doesn't move from the bed, her head appears above Twilight's, bending down to lay a phantom kiss above Twilight's horn. "And forty more 'great's atop that. If we are not old, that word has no meaning. Fortunately, if we spread our wings, the pegasi still drool on their hooves."
Spike mumbles in his sleep, "Now I can take you flying, Rarity."
Twilight_Sparkle does not move from where she is either, but whispers to Luna, "I want to be like you when I grow up."
Luna's spectral head fades with the kiss. Whether she heard Twilight's whisper or not, the princess now smiles widely and warmly, and with a nod to Bardigan instructs him, "Take her home, good playwright. Take care of her, for there will be few times in thy life when it is not she taking care of thee."
Bardigan takes off his hat as he bends the knee to the Princess, mostly to hide his own smirk about spreading wings and drooling pegasi. Fortunately, he has much more control over his salivary glands. He stands up again when ordered, spreading his own wings. "Not to worry," he says, flipping his hat back on his head with a flashy grin. "The flight will be so smooth, Spike won't even know how he got from here back to his bed."