Sparkling Eyes, by Brainstorm
The horizon was just beginning to wash orange and red as the sun descended from the sky. It had been a peaceful day in Ponyville.
Actually, if one were to ask the residents of the small town, it had been far more peaceful than usual. It was almost as if a bundle of chaos and energy had left the town, leaving normal ponyfolk to go about their day in peace.
Or, as the case may be, that bundle of chaos and energy had merely taken a trip to Manehattan for the day.
Twilight brightened up as the first few rooftops of Ponyville came into view. “Look Pinkie, we’re home! I can even see Sugarcube Corner from here!” She turned and grinned at her companion. “How did you like the trip?”
Pinkie Pie laughed and skipped ahead on the dirt road. “Oh my gosh, Twilight!” she giggled, “That was the most superriffic surprise day out that anyone has ever done for me! And it’s not even my birthday; that’s not for another eighty-three days!”
Twilight smiled back, watching as Pinkie bounced in place with happiness. “I’m glad you liked it,” the unicorn said shyly. “I mean, I knew you liked baking, but it took a little digging to figure out that you might also like to see other kinds of delicious food too.” Eagerly, she added, “I have to admit, seeing Apple Cora making food in the flesh was much more exciting than I thought it would be!”
Pinkie squeaked and bounced even higher than she usually did. “I know, right!?” she squeaked happily. “I’ve always liked watching Iron Hoof competitions on T.V., but watching it in real life was even more exciting and awesome than I could even imagine!” The party pony pranced in place, much like when Rarity squealed over her Canterlot gossip rags. “Oooh, this was an amazing day! I can’t even begin to pay you back for this!”
Twilight laughed and shook her head. “You don’t have to pay me back, Pinkie, I just wanted to do something nice for you!”
"Nooooo nonononono no!" Pinkie shook her head so rapidly it made the unicorn’s eyes spin. "I can’t just let you walk away after doing something so fantabulistically amazing as this for lil’ ol’ me!" She giggled and began to hop away. "After all, it’s not every day that the Princess of the Night herself does something nice for me!"
Pinkie continued to hop forward, humming some tuneless melody to herself, but after a moment stopped and turned to look at the purple unicorn, a smile still plastered on her face. “Twilight? What’s wrong?” she asked innocently.
Twilight smiled slowly, muscles almost creaking to fix the expression in place. “Um, nothing’s wrong, Pinkie,” she said carefully. “Um, what did you just say?”
"I said, ‘Twilight? What’s wrong-‘"
"No, not that, Pinkie." Twilight sighed. "Before that."
“‘Something so fantabulistically amazing’?”
Twilight groaned. “After that, Pinkie.”
Pinkie grinned lopsidedly. ” ‘Lil’ ol’ me’?”
The unicorn sighed, but smiled back with a resigned expression. “Okay, now you’re just fooling around. When did you figure it out?”
Pinkie hopped back and landed on all fours, crouching low to the ground. The party pony grinned widely up at her friend. “My neck twinged!” she said proudly.
Twilight gave Pinkie an incredulous look. “Excuse me?”
Pinkie giggled and straightened up. “Oh, that’s right, you never learned about my Pinkie Sense!” she exclaimed, more for her own benefit. “Well, when my neck twinges, that means that Twilight is too busy studying to hang out with anypony today!” She raised her mane in demonstration, and sure enough, the muscles on the back of her neck seemed to be contracting at random intervals.
The purple unicorn cringed. “Doesn’t that… hurt?” she asked, stepping back and watching as Pinkie let her mane fall back down.
"It’s a little uncomfortable," Pinkie admitted, "but not nearly as bad as when my knees knock together, then my nose itches, and my ears pop!" She leaned in and stage-whispered, "That means that a very powerful pony nearby is in disguise."
Twilight looked bemused. “So these… assorted bodily movements… predict the future?”
Pinkie giggled. “Sorry, it was already pretty hectic trying to explain this to the real Twilight, so let’s just say I usually know more than I’m letting on, Princess Luna.”
A shimmering blue mist filled with stars surged up from the ground, wrapping itself around Twilight completely before parting to reveal an indigo face, still wearing the same bemused expression. The young alicorn stepped forward out of her disguise, the mist flowing backwards over her back and hinny and becoming her mane and tail once more.
Luna shook herself all over, and gave the party pony an embarassed smile. “We had hoped that disguising ourself as Twilight Sparkle would be more believable than any of your other friends, and knew that eventually the ruse would be unveiled, but it is still a little shocking to have been discovered so soon. We commend you, Pinkie Pie, for having seen through our deception so easily.”
"Aw, just call me Pinkie, Your Highness!" Pinkie grinned unabashedly. "All my friends call me Pinkie."
After a moment’s hesitation, Luna grinned back. “…And we are honored to count ourself among your allies. But, we are curious: why did you not speak sooner, upon realizing it was not truly Twilight Sparkle in your presence?”
Pinkie tilted her head to one side. “Well, I could ask the same to you, Miss Disguise-y-Pants! (“Disguise-y-Pants?…” Luna murmured to herself.)” Pinkie tilted her head to the other side, twisting all the way around until she was grinning at the alicorn upside-down. “Why did YOU disguise yourself in the first place?”
Luna rolled her eyes. “Oh, we do not know… Maybe because we are royalty, and even just a casual visit in our usual form would be a cause for mass hysteria or fanfare?”
Luna shrugged her wings. “We are not as well versed in such matters as yourself, but we imagine that such a commotion would have made the event a great deal less…” She paused, and hesitantly added, “…Fun.”
Pinkie snickered. “Yeah, that sounds about right.” She bounced in place cheerfully. “My turn! My turn!” She spun around and crouched low to the ground again, this time with a sneaky look in her eyes. “I didn’t rat you out when I figured out who you were because secrets are very, very important!”
Her eyes snapped open again as she grinned broadly up at the princess of the night. “Plus, you know, I figured you had a good reason for being in disguise!” She giggled. “Looks like I was right!”
Luna giggled as well, and looked down on the pink pony with fondness.
"You know, Pinkie," she said, "You actually remind us… me… of my sister."
Pinkie’s eyes bulged, and she planted her flank on the ground with an absurdly loud squeaking noise. “I remind you of Princess Celestia!?”
Luna smiled serenely. “Yes, you do.” She looked towards the horizon, where the sun was just beginning to sink beyond view. “…Would you like to hear a story, Pinkie?”
Pinkie nodded slowly, eyes still wide.
"Long ago, when we were young," Luna intoned, "my sister and I discovered the Elements of Harmony. You know a little of the tale: we sealed away Discord with its power, in order to end his reign of chaos. Later, Celestia would seal me away as well, to prevent me from plummeting Equestria into an era of eternal night.
"What many ponies do NOT know, however, is the origin of the Elements themselves." Luna paused, taking in a deep breath of the evening air. "The Elements were created as representation of the power wielded by us Alicorns.
"My power over the night and the celestial bodies gave rise to the Element of Generosity, for lending light and beauty to what might’ve been simply pure darkness. The restfulness of darkness created the Element of Honesty, because nopony is able to be anypony but themselves when they are asleep. And finally, the mystery of things that happen under the cover of shadows became the Element of Magic.
"Celestia, of course, was responsible for the remaining three. The gentle warmth of the sun that all ponies needed would become the Element of Kindness. The light that shone for a hardworking Equestria all throughout the day would be the foundation for the Element of Loyalty."
Pinkie stared at Luna. The alicorn smiled up into the sky, tiny dots of brilliant white beginning to shine through the darkening navy-blue expanse.
"Her joy," concluded the princess, "And the joy that the days brought to ponies everywhere, would give birth to the Element of Laughter." Luna smiled serenely at the party pony, her eyes bright with memories of her youth.
"The laughter and happiness you bring to this town, Pinkie… That you strive to bring to everypony every day… We truly appreciate what you do… what you have done." The princess bowed low before the astonished pony. "Thank you."
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Comment by Kyronea:
Now THAT’S how you do a touching story. Excellently written and executed. I love how Luna took Pinkie in disguise on a whole trip, and it was only at the end of the trip that Pinkie revealed she knew all along. Really quite a lovely way to take the prompt, I say. I’m also impressed by how you managed to do almost 1600 words in 30 minutes. You’ve got lightning fast fingers.