Princess Luna continued to pick her way through the forest, eyes staring at her hooves. Here she was again. Alone at night.
Tired of walking, she laid down on a patch of grass. She listened to the forest, trying to distract herself from... No, don't think of it. Just don't think about it. Luna listened to owls hooting, and sighed as she thought back to her betrayal.
She couldn't handle this on her own. Not again. The last time... Luna shuddered, recalling her horrid transformation. Closing her eyes, she cleared her mind, repeating a short mantra.
"Kundalini.... Kundalini... Kundalini..." The pain and despair of her betrayal slowly faded from her conscious mind. "Kundalini..."
Now, another world formed before her. The mare of the moon drifted further away from mundane reality and set hoof on a blank plateau under a twilight sky. No stars, sun, or moon were overhead, nor a cloud in the sky. Just a dim light, illuminating the gray wastes. Her horn glowed, and a small divan formed for her to rest her astral body on. Settling in, she called.
She called out for her sister, the Princess Celestia.
Trixie paced nervously around the ruins, head turning every which way. She had made a mistake earlier: she asserted authority which did NOT belong to her. So now she was going to be hammered down like a nail that sticks up too high in a horseshoe.
It was just a matter of WHEN the hammer would fall. She sweated just thinking about it. Nightmare Moon had been trapped inside the moon for a thousand years for her crimes, and the rumors of a hell set aside by their ruler for the most evil among them had not gone unnoticed by the magician. Surely there was something she could do...
Sighing, Trixie sat down upon the stones in the outer courtyard, and closed her eyes. She repeated a mantra to sooth her mind.
"Great and Powerful Trixie... Great and Powerful Trixie..." The forest around her, full of menace, faded from view. "Great and Powerful Trixie..." Now, she was in a room. The bedroom she spent her childhood in, watching the beautiful night sky through the window, several books on the bookshelf on the subject of the mystic arts, and a small bed.
However, a few aesthetic changes were made to her memory. For one, the roof was gone, revealing the entirety of the glory of the night sky, which now seemed tinged with fear of its creator. For another, she had two pillows set in front of her for her guests.
"Hello, Trixie." "Hello, Trixie."
She nodded in response to them. "Hello, the Great Trixie. Hello, the Powerful Trixie. I have need of your counsel."
Many rays of light streamed across the empty plain. They struck against a form of glass, filling and illuminating the form until Celestia appeared before her. "I was sleeping, dear Luna, so it took me a while to answer your call." Her current form was like Luna's, reminiscent of their childhood forms. A simple platinum blonde mane hung from her neck as she smiled sleepily at her sister on the astral plane.
"I knew this. But...I have need of your counsel, Sol. It's...my new student."
A puzzled frown wrinkled the brow of the monarch. "Oh? You mean that wandering magician, Trixie? I thought you two hit it off, though I am aware that your form of magic is rather volatile, due to the stronger emotions involved. ...Luna? Are you crying?"
The blue mare nodded, unwilling to hide emotions in this abstract realm. Haltingly, she told her sister what had just happened in the castle.
The Trixie in the blue wizard hat cleared her throat and spoke in a business-like tone, "Trixies, we have a situation. There's a goddess with a grudge against us on the loose, and we. Need. ANSWERS. Talk to me."
The Great Trixie, to her left, wore a blue top hat at a jaunty angle. "Well, we could just spread the story of how we defeated Nightmare Moon with the use of her own magics. By swaying the minds of those pitiful ponies, we could rearrange the nature of reality, yes?"
The Powerful Trixie, next to her, wore no hat, but pince-nez spectacles perched on her nose. "Problem is, since the incident with the Ursa MINOR at Ponyville, our credibility with the mere mortals has been shot to Hell. Not to mention the time needed to spread that story via word of mouth is inadequate. I recommend the Ritual of Ash-Kente, to contact Death. Maybe he has a few pointers...?"
"Bah, the Great Trixie thinks you have NO sense for the dramatic. Contacting a powerful ally like Death itself would be SUCH a deus ex machina.
Trixie placed her hoof upon her face. "Focus, the Great Trixie... We DO need to make sure our exploits are suitably dramatic, but surviving is much more important."
The Powerful Trixie pushed up her spectacles on her snout. "Thank you, Trixie. Perhaps our first course of action should be determining why Luna did not simply smite us when she had the chance. Do you think she has a greater punishment in mind...?"
Celestia's face was filled with a holy rage. "This WILL NOT STAND." Her words echoed as she stood up, her mane blazing, growing tall and terrible. "For her crimes, she will be sent to the Sorrel Hells!"
Luna trembled. "No... No, you should not. I... I enjoyed myself as she forced herself upon me. By all rights, I should be sent to the Hells with her."
Celestia blinked, puzzled. "Sister... That point of view went out of style hundreds of years ago. What happened was NOT your fault." She leaned down to nuzzle her face, calm. "I know that rape often leads to emotional turmoil in the victims, but you must know that you are not at fault."
Luna shook her head, tears running down her cheeks. "But... But I am not a virgin... I have slept with a stallion before, so...so she committed no crime against my chastity, for it was not there!"
Celestia shook her head. "Luna... Rape is not a crime against your virtue, but a crime against YOU. Surely you have learned about the new laws of the land...?"
The mistress of the moon choked back a sob, standing as well. "Well, the old ways were better! You were... You were ALWAYS too soft!!"
The sun's custodian watched her quietly. "...Luna. I know the ancient ways of which you speak. ...there is one rule you are neglecting to mention. To clear your honor from all stain, you were supposed to kill yourself." Her sister looked away, trembling. "...you...you aren't seriously considering it, are you?"
The Powerful Trixie sighed, frustrated, as she stacked the pile of papers in front of her with her horn. "So, we have determined that, right now, she is probably encouraging the Princess Celestia to send us to hell."
The Great Trixie shook her head. "This doesn't make sense for her character, though. I mean, she had her opportunity, and did NOT take it. Surely our world isn't the work of a hack writer?"
Powerful sighed. "Sometimes we are missing part of "the story", as you put it."
Trixie grimaced, head resting on her hoof. "Then, we are missing something about her motivation. She mentioned something before she left, about how her method for magic works. What was it...?"
The Powerful Trixie blinked. "She mentioned that it was founded...on love. One of those group delusions that help bind our reality together, like friendship."
The Great Trixie rolled her eyes. "Such a fancy way to put it... Well, Princess Luna must believe in this love, at the least. And we hurt her feelings terribly, neglecting them entirely. So, why is she not angry at us?"
Trixie sighed, and looked up at the starry sky, hoping to find insight into the mind that put them in place.
A small gray pegasus flew overhead. It was upside down, so they could see the mop of blonde mane dangling down.
All three Trixies stared. "I thought this realm was an abstraction of our mind, the Powerful Trixie."
"It is, Trixie, it IS."
"...I, the Great Trixie, declare that we did NOT see that just now. All in favor?"
Celestia embraced her sister with her neck, starting to cry herself. "I...I know it hurts. You never took a student unless you...you cared deeply for them. But you've got so much to live for..."
Luna sobbed without a sound, her chest hurting. "I have no...no REAL place here. You managed the heavens for a thousand years on your own... No one has ever needed me..."
"Luna...just because you've been hurt... You can heal..."
"...I honestly don't see the point anymore. She...she was special..."
Suddenly, they were interrupted by the strange arrival of a lone pegasus. "Hello. Do you how do?"
Her tears stopped flowing in incredulity. "Sister...this is the landscape of our minds. How in Equestria...?"
"Shussshhh... I know this one. I'll explain how it works later." Sol cleared her throat. "Um, hello there, Bright Eyes. Do you...have mail for me?"
The mailpony tilted her head to the side. "Nooooooo."
"Then...who is it for?"
"For the blue girl in the blue funk!" She reached into her bag and pulled out a square envelope. "Heer yu go!"
She levitated the letter over. "Um... Thank you...Bright Eyes, was it?"
"Yes. They sure are, ain't they?" Smiling, she flapped her wings a few times, then took off.
Luna watched her flap off, then hit something. "...she must have some sort of talent, to hit an object in an infinite plane of emptiness."
There was a knocking at the door to her room. "The Great Trixie thinks this must be another extraneous detail."
"Agreed. So, we hurt the feelings of a goddess, and she doesn't want to squash us like pancakes. Does that sound right, the Powerful Trixie?"
"Those are the facts we have gathered so far, yes. Those being the case, we must have caused some other emotional state in her."
"This is all nonsense. A proper story is about the contest of power between the characters. What does Luna have to gain from not wielding her considerable power?" The knocking at the door grew more insistent.
Trixie sighed, then got up from the bed. "Trixie is going to regret this..." She clamped onto the handle with her teeth, and pulled it open, revealing a Trixie without cloak, without hat, without glasses.
"...who are you?"
The one outside stared down at her hooves, scuffing at the floor with one nervously. "...I am the Loving Trixie."
The envelope was labeled, in exquisite mouthwriting, The Loving Trixie. Luna blinked back her tears. "...I had almost forgotten that all minds...are ultimately linked."
Celestia nuzzled her gently. "If you don't want to see what it says, you don't have to. You can find someone else, someone...who won't hurt you. You have all the time in the world."
Luna smiled weakly. "Sol...I have all the time in the world, yes. But...I want to see what this pony has to say." She tore the envelope open with her teeth, gently, then read it quietly to herself.
"You sent Princess Luna a letter...without asking US?" The Powerful Trixie drew herself up to her full height.
"And such a sappy letter too... Apologizing for our actions, as though WE were in the wrong!" The Great Trixie growled at the quailing figure in the center of the room.
"ENOUGH. As the TRUE Trixie in the room, I wish to hear why she's done this." The Great and the Powerful both backed up, glaring.
The Loving Trixie spoke, quietly and haltingly. "We did her a grievous harm. You may disagree, but we did. And...we did ourself harm. For...you all ignored the fact that...I am here. Trixie didn't want to notice me, but I've been growing inside her. And now...that we had broken her heart... I was afraid we couldn't have her back."
Trixie bit her lip, then nodded. "You
are a part of me. I can see that now." She closed her eyes, then woke up to the ruins of the castle.
Trixie sniffed the air, then pawed at the ground, lowering her head. "The Loving Trixie WILL FIND HER!" She dashed out into the woods, searching for her paramour.
Luna left her trance slowly. Was there any truth to the words in that letter...? Did Trixie, in her heart of hearts...really want HER? Even if she didn't offer her a new source of power, the letter said, she still wanted Luna. The shy Luna, the lonely Luna, the Luna who made those constellations so lovely... She blushed, then noticed the young unicorn timidly standing among the brush.
"...you can come here. I...got your letter."
"Yes." She stood up, putting on a timid smile. "Please...come closer."
Her head low, Trixie approached. She used her teeth to remove her cape, then ditched her hat with a toss of the head.
"What are you doing?"
"...I'm getting into character." She coughed, clearing her throat. "I'm...not used to this role. So, please...Bear with Trixie?" The night-blue unipeg nodded assent.
"...I'm...I can never deserve your forgiveness. I did you a terrible wrong, and by all means, you should shun me for my crimes. ...but...I, I just can't leave you alone. I know I'm not worthy of you... But I want to...to have another chance. ...please?"
Luna didn't say a word. Instead, a soft, pleasant kiss was planted on her forehead. "...the master/student relationship is rather old-fashioned. And it never really fit my style of magic anyway."
"...Trixie. Would you be my...be my fellow-learner? My lover?"
"...I would want nothing more than that."