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Insomnia (/moon/day oneshot)

By ReggieSomething
Created: 18th December 2020 02:15:50 AM

  1. Synopsis: Struggling with insomnia and depression, Anonymous goes for a late night walk through Ponyville to clear his mind. While out, (best Princess) Luna comes to his aid.
  2.  
  3. Prompt: >>36144780 How would Luna react to an anon with insomnia?
  4.  
  5. >Tick.
  6. >Tick. Tick. Tick.
  7. >For some, a mechanical analog clock would be a welcome instrument in their home's orchestra of appliance-generated white noise.
  8. >But not for you.
  9. >You lay in bed staring intently at the ceiling, trying your best to tune out your clock's steady cadence.
  10. >As an insomniac, that noise is the auditory equivalent of a paper cut.
  11. >You try to ignore the urge to glance over at your time-tracking metronome, but your resolve is crumbling.
  12. >You won't look at it. You won't.
  13. >1:25 AM
  14. >God damn it.
  15. >Have you really been staring at the ceiling for almost three hours?
  16. >The hands on the moon-lit dial suggest you have.
  17. >What to do?
  18. >It's doubtful you'll find the optimal pillow-sheet-blanket-body position combination that will enable you to drift off anytime soon, so up you get.
  19. >Not that being comfortable would help ease the anxiety that's kept your heart beating slightly faster than usual.
  20. >Come to think of it, physical comfort is rarely a panacea for emotional turmoil, if ever.
  21. >Alcohol had rapidly lost its effectiveness on you this past month, but that didn't stop you from spending your spare bits on Sweet Apple Acres Hard Cider
  22. >Applejack did.
  23. >"Ah'm sorry, sugarcube, but ah think ya need to cut back," she had said with concern etched on her face. "Whatever's been eatin' atcha won't be fixed with this, as good as it may make ya feel when ya drink it."
  24. >Just because you couldn't refute the Element of Honesty's claim didn't mean you had to accept it.
  25. 'Maybe Zecora could brew something to keep my mind off things,' you think while you slip on your jacket.
  26. >Crossing the threshold and exiting the front door of your modest Ponyville home, you're immediately stopped in your tracks by the splendor of Luna's night.
  27. >Even now, eighteen months removed from your sudden arrival in Equestria, something as simple as the night sky is enough to leave you standing still, mouth-agape, overcome with amazement.
  28. >All of the familiar Ponyville landmarks pass by, unnoticed by you during your absent-minded march to nowhere.
  29. >Late autumn nights in the region are typically accompanied by bitter cold breezes, and tonight is no exception.
  30. >You focus on the cold air, becoming acutely aware of the spots that your jacket is not protecting.
  31. >Should've brought a hat, scarf, and gloves.
  32. >Hindsight.
  33. >It's suddenly darker than it was before.
  34. >You slow your gait and look skywards, noticing the moon's pale glow is intermittently interrupted by eerie-looking branches.
  35. >A new chill overtakes you, but not from the wind.
  36. >The classic spine-chill, born of the realization that you're somewhere that you shouldn't be, and that you're being watched.
  37. >A pair of glowing green eyes survey you from a scant fifteen meters away.
  38. >The bio luminescent eyes are joined by another pair, then another, and another.
  39. >By the time a fifth set of eyes has come into your field of view, the unmistakable sound of Timberwolf growls greet your ears.
  40. >With slow, deliberate backwards steps you retreat.
  41. >The eyes follow you, but maintain their distance. For now.
  42. >Something isn't right... you don't remember passing through this small clearing.
  43. >The sets of eyes spread out and take positions along the clearing's perimeter.
  44. >Was getting lost in the Everfree and surrounded by Timberwolves part of your master plan?
  45. >The growls grow louder and the wolves slowly step forward, exposing themselves in the full moon's glow.
  46. >The distance between predators and prey decreases as the former becomes more bold.
  47. >Fifteen meters.
  48. >There's no escape.
  49. >Twelve meters.
  50. >Your fear is giving way to an emotion that's far more disturbing.
  51. >Ten meters.
  52. >Regret.
  53. >Why did it take a life-and-death scenario to grant you clarity?
  54. >Too bad you won't get the chance to benefit from your new revelations.
  55. >God, their breath is terrible.
  56. >The alpha crouches in preparation to attack, and you mimic its posture, fists balled as tightly as you can squeeze them.
  57. >You will not go gently into this night.
  58. >These literal faggots will have to earn this meal.
  59. >The alpha leaps at you.
  60. >You're unable to move, but not due to fear.
  61. >A blue aura surrounds you, preventing you from moving forward.
  62. >It happens too quickly for you to process in real time.
  63. >A column of blue energy erupts from the heavens, burning a circular path around you in the blink of an eye.
  64. >You are released, and quickly whip your head around, taking stock of the scene before you.
  65. >What was once a pack of Timberwolves is now five smoldering piles of ash, positioned around you in a perfect pentagon.
  66. >"Greetings, and a pleasant night to you, Anonymous." a voice calls out from above.
  67. >Looking once again towards the heavens, you are this time greeted with the silhouette of a large winged pony.
  68. >Princess Luna descends and touches down onto the scorched earth with the grace befitting of, well, a princess.
  69. >"Some say fate is a cruel mistress, but tonight, I'd argue she acted with benevolence. Wouldn't you agree that it was quite fortuitous that I just happened to be taking a trip to my former home?"
  70. >You bow your head and kneel in reverence to your savior, this breathtaking blue beauty.
  71. >As she responds with a curtsy, your mind races, searching for something profound to say.
  72. "Yeah, y-you too."
  73. >Oh, for fuck's sake. Really, dude?
  74. >A meaty slap from your palm impacting your face joins Luna's giggling, breaking the silence.
  75. >Blue feathers reach under your chin and gently coax your head up.
  76. >There is no malice in the enormous teal eyes that stare into your own, only kindness, empathy, and understanding.
  77. >"Come, Anon. It would be a shame to spend such a glorious night alone."
  78. >Luna holds out a hoof, shod in lavender-colored metal slippers.
  79. >With your fingers wrapped around her pastern, palm cupping her fetlock, Luna pulls you to your feet.
  80. >Her coat is so silky-smooth; nigh otherworldly so.
  81. >All of your willpower is exhausted as you force yourself to let go. For whatever reason, this simple physical contact is more comforting than any pony hug you've ever received.
  82. >She leads you out of the clearing and you follow close by her side.
  83. >For a few minutes, you walk in silence. You don't know what to say, and she seems content to listen to the rhythm of your combined hoof and foot steps.
  84. >Upon crossing the boundaries of the Everfree, she turns to you and speaks.
  85. >"You've been sleeping poorly for several nights."
  86. >You stop, giving her a curious glance.
  87. >"Surely Twilight Sparkle has educated you on the duties of the diarchs, yes?"
  88. "Yes, Your Highness... I'm just surprised that you knew."
  89. >"There's no need for formalities tonight. Call me Luna. Tell me, why are you surprised?"
  90. >You scratch your head and try to formulate an intelligent response.
  91. "I guess I'm surprised that you, co-ruler of Equestria, would be aware of my sleeping habits. I'm nobody."
  92. >The princess turns her body to face you directly. "That is not true at all. Why must you put yourself down so?"
  93. "It's just how I've been feeling. My friends are the Elements of Harmony, heroes of Equestria! I'm just an alien that helps out on an apple farm."
  94. >"There's more to your self-esteem issues than mere feelings of inadequacy. Do you happen to remember your dreams?"
  95. "Rarely." you reply, shaking your head.
  96. >"They are rife with feelings of regret."
  97. >Her statement elicits a short, soft gasp from you, prompting her to continue.
  98. >"I've seen glimpses of your past life, before Equestria. It is with these memories that your regret is most prevalent. However, and more concerning, you are feeling more regretful about your new life here with every passing day."
  99. "I realized that right before you saved me."
  100. >"There's nothing quite like an unexpected brush with death to put your life into proper perspective."
  101. >She turns to face down the path and extends her right wing, gently pushing on your lower back.
  102. >You comply with her unspoken command and set off once more.
  103. >Luna leads you to a park at the edge of town. She guides you to a bench and you both sit.
  104. >The breeze has returned. Its relentless bite, coupled with sitting on the cold bench makes you shiver.
  105. >Your discomfort does not go unnoticed by the alicorn, who scoots sideways until her body touches yours. She wraps a massive wing around you and pulls you tightly against her.
  106. >Luna's body radiates a surprising amount of heat, and it seems to spread to every part of you. Her wing is the perfect feathery blanket.
  107. >Satisfied that you were comfortable, she speaks again.
  108. >"You mentioned you had a moment of clarity prior to my intervention. Please elaborate."
  109. >If there was ever a time and place to confront your demons, it would be here, in the comforting embrace of a pony demigoddess.
  110. >Deep breath. Hold. Forceful exhalation.
  111. "My life back on Earth was completely unremarkable." you begin. "I had a handful of friends and worked a series of unfulfilling jobs. Over time, I drifted away from my friends. They all eventually found their places in life, getting well-paying jobs, starting families, and so on. And there I was, spinning my wheels, left behind."
  112. >You pause and look down at Luna, who nods, signaling you to continue.
  113. "I had tried to make changes in the past and failed, so I resigned myself to simply coast through life, alone and forgotten. And then, one day, I ended up here."
  114. >"What did you think after learning that there was no way to return to your home?"
  115. "Honestly? I was excited. I mean, I felt bad for my family, that they wouldn't ever find out what happened to me. But I was mostly excited and hopeful for the future. I was given a second chance at life, a completely blank slate."
  116. >"Then what changed? What caused your hope to diminish?"
  117. >A bitter laugh escapes from you.
  118. "That's just it... nothing changed. I mean, I didn't change. I was still the same man I was on Earth. At first, I dismissed things, chalking up my nagging anxiety to the fact that I was still adapting to my new reality. The Elements were really good to me, and they still are, but... how do I put this? If they're not rushing off to save Equestria, they're leading their own successful, personal lives-"
  119. >"And once again, you feel as you did in your past life, being left behind. A rudderless ship at sea." Luna finishes for you.
  120. >You pause to consider her poignant metaphor.
  121. "Exactly." you reply with a sigh. "I don't know what to do. I don't have a special talent like your ponies. I wish my purpose in life were that cut-and-dried. I wish I knew what my purpose for being here was! Why was I sent here? Why me? I wish I could do something special, BE someone worthwhile, like my friends are. Instead, I feel like I'm doomed to remain in perpetual arrested development."
  122. >The moonlit park is becoming blurry. You try to blink away your tears, but the effort is futile.
  123. "I regret that I squandered the opportunities I had on Earth, even if I was always destined to end up here. But more than that, I regret that I'm still the same man I was on Earth. I regret that I've let myself fall into the same old habits. It sounds so stupid, but I think a part of me believed that simply existing here would solve my problems."
  124. >"It's surprisingly easy to let yourself become consumed by your insecurities, to make yourself believe in things that aren't true." Luna replies softly. "I know better than most."
  125. >You dry your eyes and look at the princess. She turns and raises her head to meet your gaze.
  126. >"Anonymous. I understand what you're feeling. I know what it's like to be eclipsed by others who shine more brightly, to feel inadequate, to feel like there's no point in trying anymore."
  127. >Luna retracts her wing and pulls away from you, but places her front hooves on your shoulders.
  128. >"When I tried to reintegrate myself into Equestrian society, I found it was incredibly difficult to escape the shadow of my past. In those early days, I often felt hopeless, that it was pointless for me to try to win the love and adoration of my subjects. Nevertheless, I succeeded."
  129. "How?"
  130. >"I never gave up. Sure, I had the support of my sister, Twilight Sparkle, and the rest of the Elements. However, it was me, and me alone, who fought through and ultimately overcame my struggles."
  131. >She raises her right hoof and gently strokes your hair.
  132. >"I understand your regrets, but am here to tell to to not resign yourself to the same outcome that you did in your past life. There is greatness in you, Anonymous! I can see it in you as clearly as you can see the moon in the night sky. It is up to you to see it in yourself."
  133. "But I don't know where to begin..." you start to reply.
  134. >"It doesn't matter!" Luna interrupts. "As long as you draw breath, you have an opportunity to discover your purpose and realize your potential."
  135. "How?"
  136. >"Do you have hopes for your life here in Equestria? Goals you would like to achieve? Dreams you wish to see fulfilled?"
  137. "Of course I do."
  138. >"Then go forth with an earnest heart and be unrelenting in your pursuit of them."
  139. >Luna grips your shoulders tightly with her hooves. She delivers her words with passion.
  140. >"You will fail, Anonymous! You will fail much more than you succeed. But in failure, you will learn and grow stronger! How we react to failure shows our true character. Success born from perseverance in the face of struggle and repeated failures is among the sweetest tastes one can experience."
  141. >The princess removes her hooves from your shoulders and studies your expression.
  142. >"Your past doesn't have to define your future. You define your future with the choices you make in the present." Luna says softly.
  143. >Your head is buzzing with a myriad of thoughts and emotions.
  144. >The Princess of the Night seems to sense this. She pulls you close with her forelegs and wraps her wings around you.
  145. >"Shhhhh" she whispers. "Let everything go for now. Hold me close. Be present in this moment with me."
  146. >You slip your arms under her forelegs and wrap them around her barrel. She's so warm.
  147. >Focusing on Luna's warm embrace, her strong steady heartbeat, the rhythm of her breath, you feel your anxiety melt away.
  148. >There is no cold wind, no hard park bench, no overwhelming feelings of regret.
  149. >In this moment, there is only you and Luna.
  150. >You try to remain focused on the present, but your head is getting so heavy.
  151. >Luna rubs a hoof in small circular motions on your back as she holds you.
  152. >"Everything will be fine. You will make it so. Shhhhhhh..."
  153. >You don't realize that your head is resting against her neck, above her withers.
  154. >Sleep finally takes you. Your arms release their grip around the princess and slide down her barrel.
  155. >Luna's horn glows and your body is enveloped in her blue aura.
  156. >She uses her telekinesis to raise you off the bench.
  157. >The alicorn hops off the bench and onto all four hooves before draping you gently on her back.
  158. >You're heavy, but your weight is nothing that her alicorn strength can't handle. She's a big mare.
  159. [spoiler]nope, not going to say it[/spoiler]
  160. >Luna makes her way from the park to your house, her magical aura simultaneously keeping you warm and stable on her back.
  161.  
  162. ...
  163.  
  164. >Celestia's warm sun shines in your face, stirring you from sleep.
  165. >You yawn and stretch, feeling more refreshed than you have in weeks.
  166. >Confusion grips you once you discover that you're fully clothed in bed.
  167. >Shuffling to your bathroom, you struggle to recall what you did last night.
  168. >You were in the Everfree… there were Timberwolves…
  169. >Luna. She saved you.
  170. >Memories of the previous night flood into your mind as you navigate to your sink and begin to splash cold water over your face.
  171. >Your eyes now closed, you reach out and grab a towel and dry yourself off.
  172. >Upon opening your eyes, you spot a note taped to the mirror.
  173. >Silver ink adorns the thick blue parchment. You pull it off the mirror and inspect it.
  174.  
  175. >Anonymous,
  176.  
  177. >Thank you for your company last night, and for opening up to me.
  178. >Though our paths may rarely cross, know that I am with you in your heart, and you are in mine.
  179. >You will someday have the life you've always dreamed of, for you will have made it so. I believe in you!
  180. >NEVER give up on yourself.
  181.  
  182. >Luna
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