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~Princess Luna

Post in forum #1905 - An ongoing MLP Roleplay Thread, Rated PG-13.

Tradewind blinked and ducked his head, using a wing to cover his face as he wiped the moisture from his eyes on the feathers. He looked up to Luna, nodding. “O-of course. I promise.”

The Princess nodded in satisfaction, and then it felt like Tradewind had been dumped in ice water that went right through his skin. Jindalee shifted, then made a somehow dignified leap from his perch on Tradewind’s head to a bar stool. From there he gave Smog a critical inspection. The dragon…half-dragon…had an unfathomable expression. Something like resigned sorrow. Tradewind watched as a fat tear rolled down the pink creature’s cheek. Smog was still crying. Tradewind blinked as tears welled up in his own eyes again. Every creature in the Den stared at Smog, unmoving. Nopony seemed to quite dare. Tradewind decided he would break the spell.

It had just never been in him to really hold a grudge. That especially went after a sincere speaking of those magic words: I’m sorry. A dark little voice snarled a refusal inside him but he had its number now. Luna had shown him the truth. That darkness inside him was the voice of his fear. It only had the power he gave it. It couldn’t control him unless he let it. He refused to let it. Slowly stepping forward, he passed Jindalee with a nod and then rounded the far end of the bar. His wing knocked against it, making him wince. Coming face-to-face with Smog, he stopped. Smog had only been a midget for a dragon. He had been bigger than a pony. Even as a dragon-pony, Smog was big. Bigger than his sister, for sure. The only reason they were face-to-face was because Smog’s head drooped. If Smog noticed him, he didn’t show it: staring straight through the grey pegasus with another fat tear rolling down his other cheek.

Tradewind stared back. Smog’s left eye was just like the right. Regenerated. The scars still crossed his face. He wondered if Luna had left them on purpose. Tradewind slowly lifted his right fore-hoof. Smog’s slight twitch surprised him beyond what he had prepared for, and he froze. The moment was electric, like landing on a storm-cloud just itching to let off a bolt. It passed as Smog didn’t bite his head off. It must have been a flinch. The pegasus exhaled and slowly moved his hoof forward again, resting it against Smog’s scarred cheek. Satisfied that he wasn’t about to be vaporized by ravening dragonfire, Tradewind sat on his haunches and lifted his other fore-hoof to Smog’s other cheek. He slowly brought the dragon-pony’s head forward. And down a little more. He made as if to headbutt Smog between the eyes, but in slow motion and without malice. Their foreheads eventually touched. Smog felt as much like a sun-baked rock as Moon Pie did. The little heart-shaped scar on Tradewind’s forehead prickled. Without thinking, barely aware of it, Tradewind made a little noise in the back of his throat. It was a soothing noise. Strange to hear from a pony, though his mother had often made it when he was young and upset.

Smog gave a stifled little sob, almost the noise of a pony dealing with food headed down the wrong tube. Tradewind knew, in a flash of absolute clarity, what that sound meant. Smog might know how to do all kinds of things but it seemed clear he didn’t have the first clue how to go about crying. The tension in the room was suffocating until Jindalee gleefully smashed it to splinters. He gave a snort that would have done justice to a minotaur and started laughing. He laughed so hard he fell over backwards off the bar-stool. It was a high tittering laugh, a raucous someone’s-been-at-the-fermented-nectar giggle that just went on and on. Luna caught him before he face-planted on the black cloud floor and lifted him, still upside-down. A purple bubble winked around the sugar glider and muffled his convulsions of hilarity to something heard at the far end of a long tin tube.

Tradewind held Smog’s head for perhaps forever, both of them silently leaking tears. Smog eventually seemed to wonder if something was expected of him. He whispered: “I’m sorry.”

There was only one possible response. Tradewind closed his eyes in sync with Smog. There was only one thing he could say. He took a precious moment to make absolutely sure he wouldn’t be speaking a lie. Not that he wouldn’t have said it anyway. It was the only kind thing to say. But Tradewind doubted it would help to say it to Smog if he didn’t mean it. Smog had a reputation for spotting liars. Happily, a quick rummage though his heart turned up a massive majority vote in favor.

“I forgive you.”