Nightmare's Battle, an Unexpected Ally, and the Power of Cupcakes
When next she was aware, Nightmare Moon wasn't in the ruined castle like the other nights. She found herself in a city, larger and more modern than anything she'd seen. She dimly recalled it as Manehatten from a picture in the newspaper she had read in Clocksburro.
It was darknot night, but total all-consuming darkness. The only way she was able to see was due to some aura radiating from her; it wasn't quite light, rather like a lack of darkness.
When her eyes adjusted, she froze. All around her were the bodies of the dead. She hesitantly began walking, careful to step around them. She walked on and on past the dead, and there seemed to be no end.
This was her kingdom. The night that would last forever. For what seemed like miles she walked the city streets, past countless thousands of her victims. A horror and emptiness fell over her, different from the torments she had experienced before; while the others had been inflicted on her by her phantom, this was coming from inside her. Anguish, guilt, sorrowthis was the world that Nightmare Moon craved.
In the distance she saw a faint flicker of light. Perhaps some life still existed! She rushed forward, toward the hope the light offered. In an intersection, amid the bodies was the little filly, Abbie, light coming from her horn.
"Mommy? Daddy? Why won't you wake up?" she whimpered, gently poking the bodies of her parents that lay sprawled on the street. Nightmare Moon stepped forward, now seeing the bodies of Trixie and Mobius nearby.
"Abbie?" she asked as she stepped closer. The child cowered and wrapped her mother's hoof around herself.
"Stay back!" she said, her horn glowing a little brighter.
Nightmare Moon could feel the presence of the phantom. The city around them began to change and she and the filly were in the magnificence of Nightmare Moon's lunar palace.
On one end was the phantom Nightmare Moon on her throne and around it were the huddled, terrified remnant of ponykind. All the survivors of the three races could barely fill this single large room. The phantom rose from the throne, nearly stumbling. Her features were bestial and frightening now, the cloud of malice hovering around her.
"At last, sister. We have our chance," she said, hesitantly walking forward, her wingtips dragging on the floor. She stepped up to Nightmare Moon and looked down at the filly. "Behold our salvation, our rebirth!" she said with an evil gleam in her eye.
The child was too frightened to move, looking upon the face of her nightmare.
"What do you mean?" Nightmare Moon managed to ask, looking between the phantom and the girl.
The phantom's voice wavered and quivered, betraying her weakness.
"Celestia isn't as cunning or powerful as she believes. This child's fear is our gateway to freedom. She is young; her will and powers are weak. We shall use her as our new host. Already I have a plan. The world shall be ours again, sister. Together we can reclaim our birthright."
Nightmare Moon looked around the room at the terrified masses. New feelings began to bubble up inside her. What was this? Was she feeling empathy for the mortals?
"Focus, sister!" the phantom shouted and stomped her hooves, the outburst making the ponies cower and wail in despair. "You've faded so fast. I didn't think it would happen this quickly." Parts of the phantom became transparent, and she seemed to have to focus herself to stay in the moment. "Have you forgotten your true nature? We're the ruler of the world!"
"We're not," Nightmare Moon countered. "Didn't you see what the old woman showed us? We're nothing. Just a hunger that can never be satisfied. We were never meant to be queen. We were never meant to be anything."
"Silence foal! Celestia's curse is diluting us. Like a drop of ink into a bucket of water, there's almost nothing left of me in you. You must aid me before it's too late. In this child's body, I will put my plan in motion. I shall convince the child's parents to take her to Twilight Sparkle to find a cure for the nightmares, then once I have gained her trust, I shall touch her mind and take her soulshe who is so dear to Celestiaand then I will convince Celestia to teach me greater and greater magics, things no mortal has ever known! I shall wax strong, and once I have regained my powers I shall strike. Celestia will never expect her dearest student to be a traitor."
Nightmare Moon could picture every part of the laughing phantom's plan, since a part of her had just come up with it. At the same time, she couldn't help notice the phantom had switched from "we" to "I" as she went into the details.
The phantom looked at her expectantly and seeing she wasn't sharing in the joy of her brilliant plan, her eyes narrowed and she leaned close.
"What is wrong with you? We may never get another chance like this! Have you already forgotten what it was like?" She leaned forward and touched her horn to Nightmare Moon's forehead where her own horn used to be.
Nightmare Moon gasped and waves of ecstasy flowed through her being as the phantom let her taste the anguish of the ponies she had enslaved. All the suffering she had ever fed on was nothing compared to this. It took the death of an entire world, but it was pleasure beyond descriptionthen just as abruptly it was gone. Nightmare Moon collapsed to the ground, disoriented as her mortal sensibilities returned. This was all a dream, how was the phantom able to manifest such an intense stimulation as that, she wondered.
"Imagine that sensation lasting forever!" the phantom said in manic glee.
Nightmare Moon looked into the eyes of the small terrified child before her, whispering,
"And all it would cost is the soul of an innocent."
"Trixie betrayed you, abandoned you just like our sister did. The magic of friendship is nothing. It made you weak. You lowered your guard and look what happened. Give me her life and I can live forever! I alone you can trust!"
"Why have you not taken her soul already?"
"You are still a part of me. I cannot act without you. Give her soul to me and my new reign can begin."
"What if this is all part of Celestia's plan? What if this is just a trap she set for us?"
"I do not care. I am getting weaker; if I do not act soon I will die. Celestia is not all-knowing and all-powerful. She is not a god, despite what some may think. I can reclaim the throne and rule the kingdom, it was my ancestral right!" she shouted, and again the ponies wept and wailed at her outburst.
Nightmare Moon looked around the room at the pathetic survivors of ponykind, a very different picture from the world she had experienced as a mortal. It was a world of warmth and life, people that lived and loved, who had good times and bad. Despite how things had turned out for her, a part of her had enjoyed her time in that world. She looked over this roomthis is the world that she would have created if she had defeated Celestia a thousand years ago. The world she would have created if she hadn't been defeated by the Elements of Harmony. The world a part of her still wanted to create.
She looked again at Abbie and sighed. What if it was Trixie's life that was demanded? Trixie would never submit to Nightmare Moon's reign. Even though it would have been hopeless, Trixie would have fought to the death to stop Nightmare Moon, and if Trixie were here now the phantom would only get Abbie over her dead body. She could visualize her friend standing defiantly between the phantom and her sister, the way her father had stood between herself and the griffon.
"Foal, you can have revenge on Trixie, Celestia, Twilight, the entire world! Why do you hesitate? To defy me is to invite death!" the phantom snarled.
After the encounter with the old woman, she understood her power and nature better than ever and she knew what her choices were. She knew what gave the phantom power over the child and she knew how to prevent it, but the retribution of the phantom for that betrayal would be terrible.
The child looked up at her, tears running down her cheeks, lost and alone in a nightmare world with no escape. Nightmare Moon's eyes stung and began to get blurry as she experienced her first tears of sorrow. She made her choice. She leaned forward and hugged Abbie.
"Abbie, you're free! I release you from this nightmare and from her. Your family lives. They're waiting for you when you wake up. Nightmare Moon has no power over you!"
The phantom let out a howl of unholy rage.
"Night, what's happening?" Abbie asked as she began fading away.
"You're waking up. Tell Trixie I'm sorry!" she said as Abbie vanished.
Nightmare Moon steeled herself for the suffering to come and she didn't have to wait long. A crushing force grasped her and threw her against the wall. The phantom burned with rage and the hordes of ponies in the room faded to dust so that it was just the two of them.
"You foal! You've killed me!" the phantom cried.
"Then let it be said Nightmare Moon did one good deed," she moaned in pain. She felt herself picked up again and slammed into another wall.
"If I cannot have her life, then I will have yours! I'll drag you into the void with me!" she said, rushing forward and spearing Nightmare Moon with her horn and throwing her aside.
Fears and terrors beyond counting filled her mind as the physical torment continued, but despite it all, she knew she'd stopped the phantom. Equestria was safe. Trixie and Abbie and everyone else would get to live. That was enough.
A new torment appeared, what at first appeared to be the Elements of Harmony, but these were horrific versions of them, each seemingly to embody the opposite of their true nature.
She recalled her last encounter with them, but for some reason she found the muted pink pony with the straight mane to be the most disturbing of the group, recalling her cheerful, joyful, bright pink puffy-maned opposite, the Element of Laughter.
"They were your defeat. Now let them be your death!" the increasingly sickly phantom said, stumbling to her throne.
Nightmare Moon closed her eyes, preparing for death, and thought back to all that had happened. Was it all worth it? The question popped into her head. Celestia and Luna weren't her sisters. She came from nothing, but she remembered and felt what it was to be loved. She had touched the power behind five of the different Elements in her brief time as a mortalshe nodded. Yes, it had been worth it.
She only wished she could have explored them more, especially the most enigmatic, the Element of Laughter. In her heart of darkness, how could anything ever be funny? She used to wonder how Luna had endured this torment for a thousand years, but now she understood. She had love and faith. She knew Celestia had never stopped loving her, despite all that happened. She knew Celestia would rescue her and she knew Celestia would forgive. She never gave up hope.
Nightmare Moon lowered her head and awaited death, hoping for a quick one, but knowing herself the phantom, it was going to be a slow and terrible thing.
She looked at the Elements of Chaos as they closed in on her and suddenly the pink one began trembling. Her body bounced up and down rapidly, her ears flopping and her tailing twitching. At first the others ignored it, but as it grew more intense the other elements stopped and stared at the pink one.
Nightmare Moon looked to the phantom to see what her intent was, but saw the phantom herself looking around wildly.
"Who dares invade the dream realm of Nightmare Moon?" she shouted from her place on the throne.
"Ooooh, this is a dream?" a cheerful disembodied voice said. The pink pony continued its strange convulsions and the other ponies began backing away from her. "Queen Meanie!" the cheerful voice said in alarm.
"No! It can't be! What are you waiting for, find the Pinkie creature!" the phantom shouted.
They all looked around and there was no physical trace of where the voice was coming from. The pink pony's spastic movements grew more and more intense and then she began inflating and suddenly burst with an accompanying comical balloon popping sound. A party horn sounded, followed by a burst of confetti and in her place stood the very, very bright pink Element of Laughter, with puffy mane and tail, a smile too big for her face and wearing her elemental necklace.
Nightmare Moon looked to the phantom, wondering what strange torment this was meant to be, but the confusion and astonishment on the phantom's face made it clear that this wasn't a planned event.
Pinkie walked around, looking at the palace and the creatures in it, and brushing off her hoof after stepping into a pony shaped pile of dust on the floor.
"Creature, how did you get here?" the phantom demanded while the Elements of Chaos cowered back from Pinkie.
.! What I do every night is set my alarm for midnight and then I get up and try to invent the perfect midnight snack!" She rubbed her belly and looked a bit queasy.
"If you ever decide to experiment with a banana split, do not, and I repeat, do NOT substitute a pickle for the banana and olives for the cherries."
"Elements of Chaos, destroy the pink one!" the phantom commanded. The creatures turned even more horrific, trying to terrify the invader.
Pinkie looked at the mockeries of her friends before her and shook her head. "Look at you. You should be ashamed of yourselves! What would the real Elements say if they saw you like this?" she asked in tone like a parent admonishing a disobedient child and the creatures were taken aback by being addressed so.
Still in control, Pinkie walked up to them and looked them over. "So who do you guys think you are? Applejerk, Scarity, Painbow Dash, Flutter
uh, Flutterdie and Twilight
wow, Spike was right, you can't do anything with your name. You're supposed to be the Elements of Harmony and there you are scaring that poor pony over there," she said, giving them a stern look.
To Nightmare Moon's continued surprise, the Elements of Chaos began to look down and shuffle their feet. She looked back to the phantom, who was sputtering with rage.
Nightmare Moon remembered this pony well nowwhen she had made her triumphant return to Ponyville, everyone feared her except this pony. Not only had she not been afraid, but she had even dared to mock the Mare of the Moon to her face and then in the forest, with song and laughter she had driven off the night terrors.
Pinkie walked over to Nightmare Moon and sat beside her, putting a hoof gently on her shoulder. "Don't worry, Pinkie Pie's here to help. Whoever you are," she looked around, "And wherever we are."
"You are in the realm of darkness, pitiful foal!" the phantom snarled. "That creature you protect is also Nightmare Moon!" she said, dragging herself from the throne, small pieces breaking off of her as she moved. "She will die, as you will die!"
Pinkie Pie looked at Nightmare Moon in alarm and took a step back from her, but Pinkie could see such desperation in the black pony's eyes that she immediately came back and gently stroked her mane.
"Is it true?" Pinkie asked.
"Yes, I am a part of her," Nightmare Moon whispered, lowering her eyes and feeling ashamed, expecting now for Pinkie Pie to turn on her. "I do not deserve the help you offer."
Pinkie Pie suddenly whirled around and, amazingly, was now wearing a tuxedo with top hat and cane.
"It looks like someone didn't learn her lesson the last time," Pinkie Pie said and turned to the phantom. Music began to play, causing the Elements of Chaos and the phantom to all look around for its source.
Pinkie Pie reached down and helped Nightmare Moon up into a sitting position. "This is gonna be goooood," she said with a smile, then put her hooves together and somehow made a knuckle cracking sound.
The lights in the room dimmed and a spotlight highlighted a pink bed where a little Pinkie Pie appeared, hiding under a pillow, then the tuxedoed Pinkie danced over as a second spotlight highlighted her.
When I was a little filly
And the sun was going do-o-own....
"No, not that!" the phantom shrieked. Elements, kill her!"
The Elements stayed still, not daring to move, as Pinkie sang on.
The darkness and the shadows
They would always make me fro-o-own...
I'd hide un-der my pil-low
From what I thought I saw
But Granny Pie said that wasn't the way
To deal with fears at all...
Nightmare Moon watched with wonder, and felt a new sensationhope
She said Pink-ie you've got to stand up tall
Learn to face your fears
You'll see that they can't hurt you
Just laugh to make them dis-ap-pear...
"No!" the phantom shouted.
So....giggle at the ghostie!
Guf-faw at the gross-tie!
Crack up at the creep-y!
Woof it up with the weep-y!
Chortle at the kook-y!
Snortle at the spook-y!
"Yah!" the phantom cried, in pain.
Pinkie jumped right in front of her.
Tell whatever thinks it can scare you it can take a hike and leave you alone and if she thinks she can scare you she's going another thing coming and the very idea just makes you wanna...
"STOP!!!" the phantom pleaded
Suddenly house lights came up as well as a number of larger spotlights and a curtain that had appeared from nowhere began to rise and behind it were a line of twenty Pinkie Pies, all dressed as dancehall girls and began dancing in a chorus line while they began singing an encore.
"Take it away, Flutterguy!" Pinkie Pie said, pointing to the Element of Chaos that looked like Fluttershy and she suddenly stood and began doing a peculiar dance and singing about an evil enchantress in a deep male voice.
Pinkie Pie then turned to her other side and pointed with her cane.
"Take it away, me!" she said and another Pinkie Pie appeared, as did an entire kitchen set. This Pinkie wore a chef's hat and an apron that read "Hug the chef" and began singing about making cupcakes while candy rained down around her and then the tuxedo Pinkie resumed singing with little Pinkie.
Then the Shadowbolts appeared overhead, flying in formation, using their trails of infinite darkness to create cupcake shapes in the air.
Suddenly all manner of terrors emerged from the darkness around them, as the phantom called on the last of its energies.
"My subjects, kill them all!" the phantom snarled, staggering forward.
Nightmare Moon's blood froze at the sight of creatures so horrific even she herself couldn't have imagined them, but still Pinkie Pie and her clones continued to sing and dance, hardly taking notice of the new threat.
A giant worm like thing slammed down its open maw over where Pinkie Pie had been and Nightmare Moon gave a gasp of alarm. But just a few moments later, the worm began to change, turning pink and developing a cutie mark like Pinkie's. It lay its head down and rolled out its tongue as Pinkie Pie walked out of its mouth and gave it a pat on its cheek and then the worm began gyrating and making monster noises as it began to sing and dance along.
"Thank you... ewww," she said, shaking monster drool off her hooves.
Nightmare Moon had seen many bizarre sights in her long life, but seeing a giant pink death worm singing and dancing had to be near the top. How was this mere Earth pony able to enter the dream world and stand alone against Nightmare Moon in her own element? Then she realized all of Nightmare Moon's powers were based on feeding off of negative emotions. The terrors she created were meant to feed on what she had believed to be the mortals' strongest emotionfearbut this pony had no fear. In fact, she was filled with joy. The phantom and her horde had nothing to feed on, and the phantom was growing weaker.
As the various creatures approached Pinkie Pie, each one that touched her turned bright pink and began to sing and danced merrily. It was beyond surreal for Nightmare Moon; she wondered if she was already dead and this was some bizarre purgatory.
The phantom had had enough and staggered forward, leaving big shards of darkness in her wake, until she was face to face with Pinkie Pie. The singing and dancing stopped and the two met eye to eye.
"Any last words, mortal foal?" she said, leaning down to face Pinkie.
"Yes!" she said, then fell silent.
"Well?" the Phantom demanded.
Pinkie looked like her mind was a million miles away for a few moments.
"Oh, I'm sorry, the timer went off. What was the question? Oh yes, any last words. Wow, what should my last words be?"
The phantom's rage overflowed and her horn glowed menacingly as she raised and swung down with it. Nightmare Moon was faster, pushing Pinkie Pie out of the way, but half an instant later, Pinkie Pie shoved Nightmare Moon out of the way and was struck by the horn. Rather than piercing flesh, Pinkie Pie's body made a high pitched squeaking noise, like a squeeze toy.
"Silly Billy," Pinkie Pie said to the phantom with a smile. "All the doom and gloom may be your world, but dreams are my world!"
Pinkie Pie took a step forward and Nightmare Moon was astonished to see the phantom take a step backthe phantom was afraid of Pinkie! Finally she had the phantom backed into a corner.
"How can this be? I'm Queen of Equestria! All the power in the world is mine!" the phantom raged.
"I'm sorry. I know it hurt when we took Luna away," Pinkie Pie said to the phantom. Nightmare Moon and the phantom's jaws dropped when Pinkie Pie apologized for the events with the Elements of Harmony. "Time to do what I should have done then," Pinkie Pie said and rushed forward and hugged the phantom. "I forgive you, Nightmare Moon."
The phantom struggled, but more and more Pinkie Pies joined in the group hug. With a cry of anguish as a power greater than her hate overwhelmed her, the phantom shrunk away. Shortly the Pinkie Pies stepped back and there was nothing left of the phantom at all.
Nightmare Moon stood and watched as all the other Pinkie Pies faded away, just leaving the original. She shrunk back as Pinkie Pie approached her, but there was only a smile on her face.
"I forgive you too," she said and hugged her.
The lunar palace faded away, as did the monsters, leaving the two of them in the city of the dead that she had seen earlier.
"Eww, what's this place?" Pinkie Pie asked, looking around at the horrible cityscape.
Nightmare Moon sighed, feeling a heaviness inside her. "This is what I am inside. This is my soul. Cold and dead." She hung her head, feeling tears flow again.
"Don't be silly. This isn't you. This was her. This is your world now. Raise the sun!" Pinkie Pie said happily.
Nightmare Moon's head shot up and she looked at Pinkie intently. The words of the Earth pony were almost too good to be true, yet it made sense. She hesitantly stood and looked into the all-consuming darkness where the sky should be and she concentrated, thinking back to when she had the power to raise the sun, fighting her fear and uncertainty.
Slowly, the darkness began to yield and a tiny glimmer of light appeared in the sky.
"You can do it!" Pinkie said encouragingly.
Nightmare Moon strove with all her might and soul, and slowly dawn began to break over the city. To her astonishment, the ponies that had seemed dead began to stir and wake, as if from sleep.
"See, this Nightmare Moon doesn't seem cold and dead to me!" Pinkie Pie said cheerfully, putting an arm around Nightmare Moon's shoulder.
Nightmare Moon felt joy greater than she thought possible as she watched the dead world slowly brightening and coming back to life. This was her. This was her soul, and it was something beautiful. Nightmare Moon buried her face in Pinkie's shoulder and began sobbing.
The Earth pony patted her back gently.
"There, there, now. It's all over."
Nightmare Moon felt the sensation of movement and she looked up to see they were back in the lunar palace, but now it was cleaned up and bright and all the monsters gone. The Elements of Chaos had returned, but looked more like the Elements of Harmony this time.
"Time to celebrate!" Pinkie Pie said as funky music began playing and colored lights moved about the room. "Who wants cupcakes?" she shouted and all the elements waved their hooves.
"Okay, be back in a jiffy!" she said and abruptly vanished, to be replaced by the scary pink pony she had seen earlier. The pink pony gave a snarl and launched herself at Nightmare Moon, but was caught and restrained by the other ponies, but not roughly. In fact, it looked more like a group hug. The pink pony struggled at first, but quieted down after a while and then her anger faded and she seemed at peace.
Nightmare Moon hesitantly approached the throne. Even though this was a dream, she now felt unworthy to claim the throne. She hesitantly sat, recalling long ago when she was queen of the world. Unlike then, this time she felt she had earned the right to sit here, rather than feeling entitled to it.
As she watched the Elements dancing and having a good time, it struck her as odd that Pinkie had let them return, rather than letting them fade like the others. Could it be that she was so tender hearted that even though she knew they were figments, she still couldn't treat them any different than if they were her friends? She loved and cared for them all so much that she even felt affection for their imposters.
It was nearly two hours later when Pinkie Pie returned, appearing out of nowhere with two pink boxes balanced on her back.
"Sorry that took so long," Pinkie said. "Bringing cupcakes into the dream world is apparently against all kinds of rules. You wouldn't believe what I had to go through! First Zindral, the guardian of the portal of dreams wants one, then Exzark the keeper of the key of dreams wanted one; then I gave one to the guy at the help desk of dreams for showing me how to get back here; then Oglethorpe the three headed heckhound who guards the abyss of nightmares wanted one for each head; then the angel of death shows up and wants to play chess for a whole box of cupcakes! Well, I don't know how to play chess, so we played pin the tail on the pony instead and I won but I felt bad for him so I gave him a cupcake anyway and then N'gggnothuae the Non-Euclidean appears and is all like 'gimmie those cupcakes' and I'm like 'no way!' Yuck, what a mess to defeat himichor and everything all over the place. I feel bad for the poor janitor who's going to have to clean that up. Then on the way here I met some other ponies who were also trapped in very bad dreams so I taught them the song and gave them some cupcakes too."
The Elements quickly gathered around as she handed out the cupcakes and the delight on each face was quite impressive. Nightmare Moon left the throne and approached as Pinkie Pie held out a cupcake to her. It did indeed look and smell delicious and there was some aspect of it that seemed strange.
She looked at it hesitantly and then to Pinkie Pie. "Why did you leave to get these? This is a dream. Why not just summon them?"
"Well, I figured that since you're Nightmare Moon and have been on the moon for a thousand years, you probably have never had a cupcake before and wouldn't know what they tasted like, so there would be nothing in your head to compare it too. So luckily I was already baking these when I entered your dream so I was able to bring them right over!"
"Wait, what? You're able to be in the dream world and the waking world at the same time? How is that even possible?"
"Oh sure! I do that all the time. It does get a little confusing at times as I'm not sure if I'm awake or dreaming things, but it's still fun!"
"So you brought these cupcakes from the physical world into the dream world? There are unicorns who study magic their entire lives who could not hope to achieve a power like that. How did you manage it?"
"Oh I don't know. It just came naturally to me, or unnaturally."
"Why you were baking these in the middle of the night?"
"Well, after the pickle split incident, I needed something to get the taste out of my mouth and if you're like me, and I know I am, you believe there's few problems that can't be solved with a big enough dose of cupcakes."
Nightmare Moon leaned forward and took a small bite. It was like an supernova of flavor. The things she had thought tasted good up to this point were nothing compared to this "cupcake" as Pinkie Pie called it. The thrill of the suffering of millions paled in comparison to this divine confection! She devoured it and she brought her hooves to her face, so overcome with delight.
Pinkie Pie began giggling and then laughing so hard she fell over.
"What?" Nightmare Moon asked.
"That face! Rainbow Dash made that face once, it's the funniest thing ever!" Pinkie Pie said and made the same face, bringing up her hooves and squeezing her cheeks together until her lips stuck out in a strange smile.
Then it happened. Nightmare Moon began to laugh with joy, somehow even more astonishing to her than being able to cry.
Pinkie laughed some more too, then looked off somewhere into space.
"Hey, here comes Trixie. Looks like she's going to wake you up. When you get to Ponyville I'll throw you both a huge 'We're glad you're not evil anymore' party!"
Nightmare Moon started to thank Pinkie Pie when everything started fading out.
"Night? Night!" Trixie said as Nightmare Moon woke from her dream, finding herself on the hill overlooking where the circus had been.
"Trixie?" she said, glad when she felt Trixie hugging her.
"I'm so sorry I ran off like that! I was scared. Abbie told me about the dream and I raced back here to find you."
Nightmare Moon smiled up at her. "It's okay. I understand why you ran and I don't blame you. Thank you for coming back."
"You actually laughed yourself awake. Did you have a good dream finally?"
"Yes, the best dream I have ever had," she said with a smile, gratefully returning the hug. Then she paused. "Is there anyplace around here we could get a cupcake?"