A/N:

Hi everyone! This is just a quick one shot I did based on the recent ep "No Second Prances" trying to explain why Celestia might have looked so frustrated during Twilight's dinner party (seriously, I've never seen facial expressions on her like that before lol). Anyway I hope you all enjoy it, and please review if you can ^_^ Thanks!

Princess Celestia, and the Terrible, Horrible…but Still Slightly Good, Actually Not So Bad Dinner


"Mmm…"

In a flash of golden magic, Princess Celestia appeared at the entrance to her castle at this twilight hour…and she did so with a distinctly annoyed sigh.

But as she approached the two guards standing before the entrance, she managed a gentle smile and was met with a quick salute in return.

"Your highness!" both guards said at once as they used their magic to open the castle doors for her.

"Thank you." Celestia nodded to them and then passed by. As doors closed behind her though, her smile dropped and she sighed in annoyance once more. She would have to pass through at least six more guarded posts complete with polite nods and royal salutes and 'your highnesses' and 'thank yous' before she reached her study and could finally be alone with her fatigue and her annoyance. If the time had been midday (or perhaps even just before sunset…which was when Twilight had promised her the dinner in Ponyville would be over by), she would have just teleported directly to her study. But since no one had seen her in hours and night had fallen, Celestia had to do the staff and guards the courtesy of officially checking in so that they wouldn't worry about their princess of the day.

Fortunately, it only took her twenty minutes to finally pass by the last set of guards, upon which she entered her study, stepped inside, closed her the door behind her, and then collapsed onto her sofa with a distinct frown, her eyes closed. She let out another frustrated sigh. "I don't know what was worse—the two hours of watching Twilight awkwardly talk about cutlery…the one hour alone with those two ponies and Cranky trying to explain to him about my hair…or the forty-five minutes of solid apologizing Twilight made herself and Starlight do when they finally got back to the castle." She shoved her face into a throw pillow.

Suddenly there was a poof of magic.

And then the one voice Celestia could safely say she was in no mood to hear this evening met her ears.

"Hmm..." a certain being of chaos and disharmony chuckled, "…my 'Celestia is annoyed' senses are tingling!" Discord landed before the sun princess and clapped his hands together. "Oh, and look at you—in rare form, grim Celestia. You're positively irritated! What did this? I need to know in case I want to employ its effects for the future!"

Celestia raised her head. She didn't say anything, she just narrowed her eyes at him.

With a snap of his tail, a camera appeared in Discord's hands, which he used to quickly snap a picture of her face before making the device disappear. His grin grew while Celestia just blinked a few times as a result of the flash. "Whatever bothered you really must be something special to get that kind of face from you, princess. Were there sunspots today? Did you fail to make any new friends? Was there no cake for dessert? Did your hair stop flowing? What?" He tapped his fingers together, his look practically giddy.

Celestia let out a deep breath and simply looked at him with a glare the likes of which he had never seen before. "I am very tired, Discord," she replied in a steady, low tone. "And I am not in the mood. The door is to your right." She used a shot of magic to make the door open so suddenly that the heavy wood of the frame banged hard against her study wall.

Discord looked back at her with wide eyes at first. But then he just sighed and rolled his eyes with a pout. "Yikes, you go from amusingly annoyed to boringly threatening far too quickly. I'll need to call in a professional on overly dramatic princesses. Luna!" He snapped, and suddenly the moon princess (rather wide eyed) appeared in the room. "Luna, Celestia's broken or something. She's being no fun at all. I mean, here I go and make the effort to sense whenever she's annoyed and I take time out of my busy night to come here to make her have some fun despite all of her grimness like the good friend I am, but I get nothing out of her I can work with." He held his head high. "Fix her. I'll come back later when it's over." And then without another word the chaos master snapped himself away in a burst of light and magic.

Luna just blinked a couple of times, looked to the spot he had disappeared from and then looked to her sister. "Celestia, what is going on? I was just preparing to make my nightly patrol over the Everfree Forest, and now Discord has brought me here. What does he mean you're 'broken'?"

Celestia's glare lightened, but her face was still constricted into a pout and light scowl. "He means that he is an obnoxious creature who should find better things to do with his time than using his ability to sense magical imbalances to keep tabs on my emotional states for his own amusement."

"I heard that!" Discord's disembodied voice announced.

"Hmmmrrr!" Celestia let out a sigh almost like a growl and turned so that she was facing the back of the sofa. She let out a breath. "I'm fine, Luna. Just tired. You can go back to the Everfree Forest."

"I most certainly will not." Luna approached the sofa with a frown and an eyebrow raised. "Sister, I have never seen you in such a dark mood before. What happened? I thought you were going to have a nice dinner with Twilight and her new pupil this evening…"

"Please don't remind me…" Celestia's tone lost its angry edge, but her words finished with a sigh of exhaustion.

Luna blinked. "Did something happen?"

Celestia remained still for a moment. And then with a deep breath the sun princess finally turned around and explained everything: Twilight insisting upon throwing tonight's dinner to show off Starlight's progress (even though Celestia had assured her it was an unnecessary gesture…and even though Celestia had also done her best to imply that fitting the evening into her schedule on short notice was going to be difficult), showing up to a dining room with overly meticulous dinnerware and Twilight and no Starlight or Starlight's friend, Twilight spending forever making excuses and drawling on with small talk, then Twilight bringing two ponies and Cranky Doodle Donkey over and trying to force them all to socialize, then Twilight actually abandoning the dinner party to find Starlight while Celestia had remained behind trying to engage with her three odd companions, no food being served at all this entire time, mind you, and then Twilight and Starlight and Trixie coming back to the castle and all but groveling apologies to her.

"I had to lower the sun tonight on an empty stomach—do you know how exhausted I am?" she finally finished before collapsing her head against the throw pillow again, still pouting. "Luna, you couldn't handle some morning duties for me and then clear my schedule tomorrow, could you? I think I need a day to myself."

"Sister…" Luna moved closer, still frowning, "of course I can do those things, but for the moment I am still very worried about you." She shrugged. "So the meal didn't go as planned—neither did our tea party with Twilight the other week when Spike was summoned by the dragons. These things happen. And it sounds like Starlight learned a valuable lesson about friendship and like Trixie learned a valuable lesson about forgiveness and like Twilight learned a valuable lesson about teaching. And Twilight did her best for her first royal dinner party, I'm sure. And if you're still hungry, the kitchen staff will be more than happy to make you a plate. Why are you so angry, Celestia?"

"I am not angry…" Celestia replied in a stiff voice, her eyes narrowed and looking down.

"Oh, you are fuming worse than that time when we were young princesses and I took the last slice of our coronation cake without you knowing." The moon princess smiled a little.

"I am perfectly calm," Celestia tried to reply in a level tone that came out rather strained.

"You are perfectly close to blasting a sunbeam straight through a brick wall, Nightmare Sun." Luna looked her sister right in the eye. "Now tell me what's wrong?"

"I…" Celestia blinked a couple of times. "It's…" She scowled again.

"…Unless of course you really are so very cross with your former faithful student for wasting your time—in which case I think you should be off yelling at Twilight instead of Discord and I," Luna added.

"No!" Celestia blinked. "Twilight…"

"If you don't want to yell at her though, perhaps I should instead…" Luna almost smiled a little.

Celestia shook her head though. "No!"

"Then tell me what's bothering you, sister, now." Luna's tone remained gentle despite the command.

Celestia took a breath and shut her eyes tight. "Twilight doesn't need me anymore, all right?!"

"What?" Luna blinked.

Celestia let out a deep breath and opened her eyes. "She tried to have you and I over last week for tea but then went off without us to help Spike. And she tried to have me over today, but she didn't need to: I didn't contribute at all to the lesson she learned or the lesson her pupil learned, and even if the dinner had gone as planned I wouldn't have had anything to do but sit and watch Twilight fulfilling her duties. I was just there tonight, doing nothing. She doesn't need me anymore." The sun princess blushed and looked down.

Luna's eyes went wide. Then her gaze softened. She put a hoof on Celestia's shoulder.

Celestia just sighed deeply. "That sounds just as immature as I think it does, doesn't it?"

"Well…" Luna tried to smile, "it sounds a little unusual for you, Celestia, but also understandable."

Celestia shook her head though. "She's a grown pony, she's a princess, I sent her to Ponyville so she could learn to handle things on her own without me, and now not only can she take care of herself but she can take care of a pupil too. And meanwhile I'm talking like I wish I'd made her stay my faithful little student forever. I'm acting angry at her for succeeding. And it's not fair, Luna."

"Sister…" Luna took away her hoof and smiled gently, "your last couple of visits with her have just been a little difficult for you to process. You've been forced to see first hoof how capable she is, and how time or counsel with either one of us is more of a luxury for her now than a necessity now. It's a great change."

"I felt like I didn't matter at all sitting there waiting for her to come back with Starlight." Celestia looked to her sister. "She didn't even think to ask me to help find her."

"That's because you were a guest in her home and she felt she had already troubled you enough by having her meal be tardy. You know that, Celestia." Luna smiled.

"And Starlight clearly doesn't see me as a source of any help for herself." Celestia pouted. "She just looks to Twilight for guidance—Twilight's the princess she follows."

Luna nodded. "Twilight helped her find peace within herself and the potential for the magic of friendship. Starlight admires Twilight as I admire you, big sister—as someone with wonderful advice who never judges past mistakes and helps guide me to a better place in my life without even trying."

Celestia blushed lightly and smiled. But then she frowned once more, something in her gaze far away looking. "…Twilight doesn't even write me letters anymore."

Luna blinked and frowned as well.

Celestia lowered her head to the sofa throw pillow. "It makes me wonder if she really did just view the letters she used to send me as homework. To me, they were more than that though—they were a conversation between friends."

Luna considered, then spoke again. "Twilight is very busy trying to understand her place as a princess, and I'm sure the only reason she doesn't write is that she thinks you're busy too, and of course because she wants to appear capable of handling her duties as a princess on her own." Celestia's gaze moved up a little, and Luna went on, her eyes lowering to meet Celestia's. "Sister, you know as well as I do that the duties of being a princess never come perfectly naturally to anypony: even you and I still have doubts about some of our decisions and feel uncertainty on occasion when we act. But we pretend to be calm and confident for the sake of reassuring our subjects. And I'm sure Twilight wants to reassure you in the same way by handling situations herself and not coming to you for help. She feels a strong sense of duty now that she's a princess, and she wants to emulate the pony whom she has seen handle that duty the best: her wise mentor. You." Luna pointed at her with her hoof.

Celestia's features bore a light blush now, and she raised her head again. She smiled a little. "So…you think it matters to her that I see she's a capable leader. And you think she's just trying to make me proud and to respect my duties by taking on so much herself and not coming to me anymore?"

"Sister," Luna leaned closer, and her smile grew, "that is the entire reason she invited you over to see Starlight's progress, and you know it: she wants you to be proud of her as a princess just as much as you were proud of her as a student." She sighed and pulled back again. "It must have been quite difficult for her having her plans go so awry. I hope you didn't express too much annoyance, sister, or she might need time before she feels up to inviting you back any time soon."

Celestia frowned. "Twilight's very astute. I didn't say anything about how I was feeling, but I didn't try to hide it: I'm sure she could tell I wasn't happy. I'll send her a letter assuring her everything's all right and telling her I think Starlight's turning out wonderfully." Then she sighed and smiled slightly. "I suppose Twilight's independence and getting ignored at dinner aren't my only problems though. Maybe all of these changes lately are just starting to make me feel a little…dated…even a little old…and a little forgotten by everypony now that you've had your miraculous return, and Cadance is running an empire and being a mother, and Twilight is bonding the land in friendship." She sighed, though her smile remained. "And I'm just Celestia…I raise the sun and do paperwork." She shook her head to herself.

Luna couldn't help laughing. "Oh come now, sister, we both still have plenty of experiences and wisdom to offer Equestria, we are both still devastatingly beautiful and strikingly youthful-looking for our ages, and you know that no matter what happens or how many new princesses there are, our subjects and our friends shall always need us." Her smile grew. "And you know that you in particular do far more than raise the sun and do paperwork. Without you, neither myself nor Cadance nor Twilight would be where we are today. Nor would Equestria itself for that matter." She winked.

Celestia laughed softly. "Luna…thank you, little sister." She yawned, and then used her magic to make a chocolate cake appear floating in the air between them (along with two empty plates). "Would you stay with me for a little while and maybe share some cake? I admire you as well, Luna—it's comforting to have you near me."

Luna blushed lightly and nodded. "I'd like that very much, Celestia. I have a few moments to spare still, and—"

And then in a burst of magic, who should reappear but a certain chaos master.

"Oh, woe is me!" He sighed dramatically and threw himself onto a cotton candy cloud he suddenly made appear in the air. "You would not believe the outrage, the lack of consideration, the irony—I'm wounded!"

Celestia let out a deep sigh and collapsed her head onto the arm of the sofa. "Luna, please? I can't handle him right now."

Luna sighed but nodded with a smile. "As princess of the night, it is my duty anyway to see to him at this hour." She looked to Discord. "Discord, what's the problem?"

"Well, it's about time somebody asked!" Discord sat up, arms crossed over his chest. "I go all the way to Ponyville to bother Twilight while Celestia's cooling her hooves, I'm all set to act out one of my foolproof plans for expressing my friendship toward her through chaotic shenanigans, and what do I find?"

Luna's look became dry. "I don't know, Discord—what?"

"That somepony has already beaten me to the punch!" The chaos master held his head high. "I was planning to befriend Starlight, much to Twilight's annoyance at her little pupil making nice with a former ne'er-do-well: one day of my suspicious looks and cheeky doubletalk, and that friendship princess would have had a permanent eye twitch. But now I find that some other pony—Trixie what's-her-name—did it first!" He sighed and scowled. "There's only one explanation…"

"And pray, what is that, Discord?" Luna's look was still dry.

Discord scowled at her with determination…but then pouted and announced, "Twilight doesn't need me anymore!" He flung himself forward on his cloud. "And I mean she really doesn't need me, not like how Celestia with her fragile ego convinced herself that Twilight didn't need her. If Twilight's got that reformed little villainous around all the time now, where's the room for me? How can I possibly keep up fresh routines of chaos when all of my jokes and gags could easily become passé in a snap just like what happened tonight with my plan to befriend Starlight?" He snapped his fingers to make a checkerboard hanky appear, which he blew into with a trumpet sound and then snapped away again. "Twilight doesn't even need me to tease her with advanced magic! Starlight's doing it now!" He sighed and then looked down and added in a forlorn mumble, "Maybe no one needs me except Fluttershy. Sometimes I disappear for weeks at a time, and no one even says anything. And Fluttershy almost replaced me with Tree Hugger that one time—what if it happens again…?"

The pony sisters blinked and looked to each other but then smiled. Celestia turned toward Discord. "Discord, you know Twilight still needs you for learning about the place of chaos in friendship: Starlight will never replace you when it comes to that. And so what if one of your pranks didn't work out: you'll just have to be creative and come up with something even better to challenge her. And Discord, really, acting insecure about your magic and your friendship with the girls?" She almost laughed. "You know your friends love you no matter where you are. And Starlight might be very talented at magic, but you're the master of chaos. Remember, you almost took over Equestria with your power alone, but Starlight needed the help of Starswirl's spell. I doubt anypony could overshadow Twilight's awareness of everything you're capable of, Discord—especially not after she saw that potential future with you taking over Equestria and chasing around Luna and I on a unicycle."

"Indeed," Luna added, unable to help a smile picking up on one side of her mouth.

Discord sighed, his look a little dull. "So what you're saying is, despite my annoyance, it's not okay to make Trixie and Starlight disappear 'mysteriously' forever and move in to Twilight's castle and proclaim myself her new permanent live-in student?"

The pony sisters smiled more.

"Don't you think you're better than that, Discord?" Celestia raised an eyebrow.

Discord rolled his eyes and threw himself back onto his cloud. "Oh, I suppose…though it still annoyed me getting shown-up like that when I got to her castle. Ugh, sometimes being reformed is so boring." He glanced to the sisters again and then blinked. "Is that cake?"

Luna sighed as she used her magic to start cutting a slice. "No, Discord, tis a salad."

"Very funny." He snapped away his cloud and flew close. "Does eating cake and giving me sage advice mean Celestia's all fixed now?" His eyes lit up, and he glanced to the sun princess with a smirk.

Celestia laughed softly as Luna's magic placed a slice before her. "Yes, I do feel better now. And thank you, Discord, for helping me. If you hadn't brought Luna to me, I probably would have just stayed alone feeling bad all night. You're a very good friend."

"Oh, I'm good at everything." The chaos master held out his claw and admired it casually. "And besides, you're boring when you shift from grim to grumpy. I just did what I had to do to bring the amusement back into our relationship. Thank Luna—she's the one who did the work."

Luna smiled more as she set a slice of cake before herself now. "Only because you were so thoughtful, Discord."

Discord rolled his eyes. "Meanwhile, can we get back to my problems? And also can I get some—oh!" Discord blinked as a slice of cake appeared on a plate with a fork before him, glowing with the golden aura of Celestia's magic.

The sun princess smiled up at him. "Of course you can have cake, Discord. And your problem is what again exactly? That you're upset Starlight's bothering Twilight instead of you?"

"It's the principle of the thing." He ate a bite of cake. "Even if my friends do love me, and even if I am more powerful than Starlight, I'm the one who's supposed to push Twilight to the limit about how much she'll tolerate for the sake of the magic of friendship. When someone else does it, it ruffles my whole schedule of friendly chaos. Next thing you know, Fluttershy will want our fun tea parties to be on Wednesdays instead of Tuesdays, and Rainbow Dash won't hate when I make her house be made out of cotton candy clouds instead of regular ones, and Applejack will actually like when I turn half the apples in her orchard into oranges." He smirked a little. "Speaking oranges, you two ladies should have been there that weekend Twilight locked herself up in her castle with her books and I ended up hanging out with the girls. Oh, we made so many inside jokes—one was about peanut butter and oranges. You see—"

Celestia cleared her throat. "I've heard about that weekend and the jokes, Discord, from Twilight." She smiled. "And they make about as much sense to me as they did to her since I wasn't there."

He smirked. "Well, anyway, the most delicious part was bugging Twilight afterwards with the fact that I was able to become more friendly with the girls all on my own without her." Discord sighed and ate another bite of cake. "But now that my 'use Starlight to bother Twilight' plan is a wash, I'll have to come up with something else to keep Twilight on the toes of her hooves, and I'll have to do it soon. Otherwise I'll get backed up in my plans to bother the girls and you two. And then—" He blinked and then smirked. "Hmm…now that's an idea."

Celestia let out a deep sigh (though she still smiled). "Well, I have cake and some of my patience is back—all right, Discord, what's your idea?"

"Nothing." Discord took another bite of cake with an innocent smile.

Luna sighed. "Discord…"

"Oh, okay, you twisted my arm." A gleeful grin came to the chaos master's face. "I've decided that I'll bother Twilight by not bothering her…because I'm going to be bothering a couple of familiar princesses extra instead—you two! That should get to her—waiting for me to strike and then realizing my attentions are elsewhere." He rubbed his hands together almost menacingly. "It'll make her worry about if she's showing me enough friendship, worry about if she's on the same princess level as you two, worry about if I'm lulling her into a false sense of security—all the biggies!" Discord chuckled heartily and then swallowed the rest of the cake (and his plate and fork) in one bite. "Anyway, ladies, hate to eat and dash, but I'm exhausted and I have chaotic plans to make. Luna, I'll see you tomorrow night for shenanigans." He gave a stretch and a yawn. "And Celestia, I'll pop by tomorrow to bother you for the day shift. So I hope you're still up to 'dealing with me' then, because you'll need to be." He winked at her.

Celestia's smile picked up on one side. "You know, you could just go to Twilight and ask to spend time with her as a friend instead of going through all of these ruses, Discord."

"Pfft," he waved her off, "and where would the fun in that be?" Discord laughed. "Goodnight, pony sisters! Thanks for giving me such a marvelous idea!" And then he snapped his tail and disappeared in a burst of light.

Luna sighed as he left. "Are you really sure we had to reform him, sister? Things were so much more peaceful with him as a statue."

"True." Celestia smiled more. "But we also missed out on quite a few good jokes. And he did lead Twilight to opening the harmony chest. And he seems happy."

"Yes, well…at least he's trying to be friends with everypony in his own special way." Luna smiled more and ate another bite of cake.

Celestia nodded and then used her magic to make a scroll and quill appear. She started to write. "And speaking of friends, before I get too tired I should address that letter to Twilight right now…. I can send it after sunrise, and I'm sure she'll be happy to wake up to it." She continued writing.

Luna waited patiently until her sister finished and then set the rolled up scroll on her desk, then she smiled more. "May I ask what you said to her?"

Celestia smiled. "I just thanked her for her effort tonight and assured her that I'm sure she's doing wonderfully with teaching Starlight, but that if she really would like me to meet her student, an invitation is always open for them to come here…and to bring Trixie if they'd like. And I advised her not to be too hard on herself if Starlight doesn't figure things out 'perfectly' right away by reminding her of a certain former student who once sent Ponyville into a crazed love madness over an old stuffed doll all because she was terrified of being tardy with a homework assignment."

Luna smirked. "Was that the time you commanded her to 'meet you in the library'?"

"Yes, and believe me, it's hard to say that statement and make it sound serious." Celestia held back a chuckle.

Luna laughed softly. "So perhaps it's for the best she has her own student now—this way Twilight is learning just as much as Starlight every day. And perhaps Discord will pick up some good habits if he hangs around them too. I'm glad you're writing to Twilight about tonight, Celestia. I think it will help her feel much better about herself as a princess and a teacher and as your friend as well."

Celestia looked down at her cake sheepishly. "I think so too. But…Luna? Do me a favor and just make sure she's doesn't have any nightmares tonight about me 'stripping her of her title' or anything." She shook her head, and her eyes came up again. "When she was little and would fall asleep in my study, sometimes she'd start sniffling and mumbling in her sleep about me expelling her for getting an A- instead of an A+. She worries herself a lot." She frowned slightly.

Luna only smiled though. "She worries that the pony she admires most won't admire her as well. You see, you are still needed by her, Celestia: it's just more for moral support now. And yes, of course I will check on her sister." Luna stood as she finished the final bite of her cake and made her plate disappear. "In fact, I should get back to my duties now. I'm already falling behind schedule unfortunately, especially after having to deal with another appearance from Discord just now. And who knows if he might make any more tonight."

Celestia nodded. "Of course, sister. Thank you for talking with me and for cheering me up, and of course for sharing cake with me."

Luna nodded. "I am just glad to see you happy and in spirits again, sister. I'll see you again at dawn."

"Have a good night, Luna." Celestia smiled.

"Sweet dreams, Celestia." Luna smiled in return and then teleported away.

Alone, Celestia finished her cake slice and sent what was left of the full cake back to the kitchen. Then she made a blanket appear and the lights go dim upon which she closed her eyes with a peaceful smile and settled in on her sofa. The sun princess let herself sleep in her study for the night surrounded by her favorite books and of course by her memories of bringing up Twilight as her faithful student.


Meanwhile, in the land of dreams…

Twilight was having an anxiety dream about hosting a dinner that would have put Fluttershy's dreams about awkward social situations to shame.

She kept going through the motions of the awkward, drawn out, practically painful dinner party, and then panicking at the end just as Celestia would stand up with a scowl and open her mouth to proclaim something against her, and then suddenly Starlight's time travel spell scroll would appear and Twilight would quickly use it to go back to the beginning of the night and try to make things better, but she would just end up reliving the awkward dinner over again with Starlight not showing up and the ice sculpture melting and trying to force small talk about silverware and making Celestia mingle with random ponies who didn't even know why they were there and herself feeling like a failure, and then Celestia would finally rise up once more, and then the time travel spell would appear again, and then…

"Oh Twilight Sparkle, really—it was just a bad dinner party. And ponies say I'm too dramatic."

Twilight blinked just as she had been about to enact the spell and looked around. "Princess…Luna?" She raised an eyebrow at the disembodied voice.

With a light roll of thunder, some blue clouds appeared overhead, and the Princess Luna came into view with a soft smile.

Twilight blinked a few times, and then the spell all of the pony guests and the silverware and Princess Celestia faded away, leaving her in the empty dining room of her castle.

Luna sighed as she used her magic to pull up a chair by Twilight, her smile growing. "Still, it is not my place to judge your nightmares. This dinner must have meant very much to you. But please do not worry yourself so much, Twilight Sparkle: everypony has an off night, even princesses. I assure you, my sister and I are just glad to see that you care so much for your new student." Her gaze grew warm. "By the way, you are dreaming, Twilight."

Twilight's eyes went a little wide. But then she sighed and looked down, and her ears fell a little. "I know princess Celestia didn't say anything about being mad, and I know Starlight promised she wouldn't leave me alone like that again without telling me. But still…if I was a better teacher, Starlight wouldn't have not shown up in the first place." She closed her eyes. "I tried to control who her friends were—what kind of friendship princess does that?"

"You are just starting out, Twilight—you'll improve as you learn from your mistakes," Luna replied. "And for what it's worth, I think you are an excellent princess of friendship. After all, after Celestia, you became my first friend following my return." Her gaze warmed.

Twilight's ears came back up and she opened her eyes though she still looked down. "It's not just being a good teacher that I'm worried about though, or giving Starlight the best example of the magic of friendship. I just…I wanted to show Princess Celestia that I could be just like her."

Luna nodded. "What do you mean?"

Twilight's eyes came up. "Princess Celestia is always so confident and poised and she's so good at running meetings and classes and events like dinners. And I wanted to show her that I've grown up enough to be able to do all of that too. I wanted to show her that I've got my big role as a princess down, but now I can also do all of those little things that go into being someone ponies look up to, that I could run a castle. But I failed." She sighed, blushing a little. "I felt like a little filly sitting there trying to make that dinner work tonight."

"Twilight," the moon princess came closer and put a hoof on her shoulder, "First of all, do not compare yourself to Celestia or to anypony." Her smile fell. "You and I both know that is a mistake. Right?"

Twilight looked to her and frowned a little more, then nodded.

Luna sighed, her smile returning. "And second, believe me, Twilight, she sees you as a very capable princess. You are not a child to her anymore. And you don't have to invite her over for formal events to show that you're trying to be a princess in every way." Luna's smile grew. "In fact, you don't have to invite her to anything—sometimes you could just write to her to say hello, Twilight. You could even just talk about each other's days."

Twilight blinked a couple of times though and shook her head. "Princess Celestia doesn't have time for that though. It was one thing when I would write to her about my friendship lessons—that was homework. But I can't take up her time just to say hello."

Luna lowered her head to let her warm gaze meet Twilight's. "Celestia always has time for her friends, Twilight. I know she let you learn about friendship on your own for the most part, but I believe she made that particular lesson very clear to you from the start—when she told you to stop studying and find time for friends, remember?"

Twilight's eyes were wide for a moment but then finally a small smile came to her features. She nodded. "I'll try writing to her tomorrow morning." Then she came forward and put a hoof around Princess Luna's neck in a hug. "Thanks, Princess Luna."

Luna blinked but then smiled completely. "You're welcome, Twilight Sparkle." She hugged her in return.

Finally the two mares separated.

Luna smiled. "Well, I must go now, Twilight, but try to have more pleasant dreams. And also, er…if you are up to another dinner party anytime soon, please consider inviting Discord." She smiled sheepishly. "Celestia and I saw him earlier, and I think he's a bit jealous of Starlight being your newest reformed villain friend. A little attention thrown his way might save us both a lot of chaos from him."

Twilight laughed and nodded. "I'll talk to him, princess. And who knows—Starlight hit it off so well with Trixie, she might actually get along with Discord."

"I hope so." Luna laughed and nodded as well. Then she flew up and backwards into the sudden swirling blueness above. "Farewell, Twilight Sparkle, and I hope we can see each other again soon."

"Bye, Princess Luna!" Twilight waved with a smile and watched until Princess Luna disappeared.

Her dream around her started to shimmer.


Twilight opened her eyes, awake now. She was in her room with a warm fire glowing and a stack of books on her nightstand as well as a few scattered over her bed. She smiled and then looked to an open volume lying on the blanket near her pillow and began the pleasant task of reading herself back to sleep.


Just before dawn, Luna sat upon a cloud above the Canterlot castle, her eyes closed and a content smile on her face. She let out a peaceful sigh into the quiet, cool night air.

Then with a burst of magic, a 'friend' appeared beside her. "So…I guess Twilight couldn't sleep at some point tonight, because I got a late letter from her asking me over for dinner soon to meet Starlight. I suspect this was your doing."

Luna opened her eyes, her smile growing. "I merely suggested she not let one failed dinner party get her down. And I reminded her of your friendship." She looked to the chaos master who was now floating beside her. "Regardless, I suppose this means that you won't need to bother Celestia and I to make Twilight jealous."

Discord just grinned. "Oh no, not at all—I'll just bother all three of you at once. Much more fun for me." He chuckled.

"Of course, Discord." Luna rolled her eyes. "And we shall be prepared for your antics."

"I'll try to live up to your expectations, oh ambitious Luna." He winked.

Luna sighed and smiled more. "I have no doubt."

Discord nodded and held up his fingers to snap when Luna held up a hoof. "Discord?"

He paused. "Yes?"

"Thank you again for bringing me to Celestia tonight." She looked to his eyes.

Discord quickly rolled his eyes away. "Again, no need to thank me. Just getting her back to her optimistic self so I could knock her down to grim again." He shrugged with a big grin. "Take care, Luna. And do stop reading so much mushy friendship into my selfish actions." He waved and then snapped his tail to disappear.

Luna just watched him ago with a shake of her head. She closed her eyes to enjoy the peace of the night for one more moment as she took a deep breath in and out of the cool air. But then finally she sighed with a yawn and opened her eyes again. "Tis time for dawn. Oh well, at least I had a few minutes of peacefulness this evening even if Discord did interrupt me. Still, it will be nice to see Celestia again for the sunrise: I'm sure a good night's rest and our talk have done wonders for her." Luna nodded to herself and then spread her wings and took off toward the castle for moonset.

A night princess's work was never done.


A/N:

Luna is best princess ^_^

Lol, but seriously, thanks for reading and I hope you all enjoyed it! Take care! And I'll be updating MCNE soon!

~Azure129