Princess Luna walked through the garden at the back of the castle. It was something she often did since her return from exile. She had gotten so used to being alone. She wasn't used to dealing with other ponies. Not to mention, after 1000 years, there were so many more ponies than there had been. There were new towns, and cities—sometimes Luna even got lost in the castle. Everything was new, like Luna was a newborn foal.
In this garden, Luna could be alone, and the world outside faded away. It was almost like being back on the moon. Well, except that it was prettier and smelled nicer, and there were sounds of birds, and, if she wanted, her sister was usually right inside the castle.
There was a sudden rustle in the bushes nearby. It wasn't unusual for squirrels or rabbits or other small critters to to run around the garden. Still, Luna's head looked to the right, in the direction of the sound.
"Hello?" she tentatively called.
No one, not even her sister, ever came to the garden. The only ponies who were ever in the garden other than Luna were the caretakers, and when Luna showed up they always made themselves scarce. Luna had never spoken with any of them.
She moved toward the bushes, which hadn't made another sound or movement. She parted them with her hooves, and let out a small surprised scream, stepping back. The other pony had been lying on the ground trying to hide, but she quickly stood up when she was discovered.
Luna came and parted the bushes again. The other pony, a pure black Pegasus with a silvery mane, stood for a moment. Then she quickly bowed down.
"Your majesty! I-I'm sorry." The pony stammered.
Your majesty? That as a strange thing to be called, Luna thought. She wasn't sure what to do. Here was a strange pony, in her garden. Had she been spying on her?
She used her best authoritative voice when she spoke, looking down at the filly. "What are you doing here?"
"I'm sorry! I was trespassing, I know." The pony quivered slightly.
"That still doesn't explain what you were doing here!"
"I just—I was admiring the garden. I like it. I—" she paused and gulped. "Nopony ever came here before you came back."
So, she wasn't spying...so she said.
It was then that Luna noticed that the Pegasus was still bowing. "Oh, you can get up now!"
She stood, nearly as tall as Luna. Lying on the ground, Luna had thought she was a filly. Now she could see that she was a young mare.
"Why is it you were in the garden?" Luna puffed out her chest slightly, trying to seem more superior and authoritative.
"I...I like to come her. It's quiet. And alone." The mare looked at the ground as if she was ashamed.
Luna was taken aback. She herself came here to be alone, in a quiet place, away from other ponies. Other ponies had friends, and lives, and real jobs. Right now, Luna had nothing. Well, she had a large castle and a plethora of guards and a lonely garden, but nothing that gave meaning to life.
Luna's train of thought was broken when the black pony cleared her throat. She'd been staring at the black pony, who looked up at Luna as things went awkwardly silent.
"You should leave." Luna said firmly.
The black Pegasus' eyes went wide. "Leave? Shouldn't—aren't I to be punished?"
Luna hadn't even thought of the fact that she had the authority to punish other ponies. It wasn't like Equestria had a high crime rate, so never before had she had to give out a "punishment."
"Well, uh, just don't let it happen again." Luna's voice lacked authority this time, having been caught off-guard.
"Al-Alright then." The Pegasus slowly walked to the far end of the garden, and Luna followed a short way behind her. When she reached the back wall, her wings flapped and she left the ground. She paused at the top of the wall, standing on it, and stretched out her wings to glide off.
"Wait!" Luna called, taking a couple steps closer to the wall. She saw the Pegasus wobble on top of the wall, and then get her balance. Her head turned back to look at Luna.
"Will you come back?" What compelled Luna to ask, she wasn't sure, but she knew that for some reason, she needed this mare.
"What do you mean, your majesty?" The strange black pegasus asked, wobbling slightly on the wall again as a gust of wind blew from behind her.
Luna yelled back up at her. "Will you come back to the garden and see me?"
"Tomorrow, at the same time."
"If that is your wish, your majesty." The Pegasus turned and prepared to leave once again.
Luna turned as well, to go back inside, but turned back to speak once more. "It's Luna, if you please."
The Pegasus turned her head around once more. "If that is your wish, Princess Luna."
The black Pegasus jumped off the wall, gliding beyond Luna's view. Then she saw her rise into the sky, flapping her wings. The Pegasus made a U-turn and headed in the other direction, toward Ponyville would be. Luna watched her fly overhead, and mumbled to herself, "I meant just plain Luna."