Luna strode into the garden once again. She wasn't sure what type of pony this black Pegasus was. When it came to meetings, some pony's were early, while others were late, while some arrived almost exactly on time. Then there were those that arrived at different times to every occasion, and you just never knew what time they were going to show up.
Luna had thought of having a tea party, but she remembered that Pegasi didn't have horns, so her guest wouldn't have any way to hold her cup to drink. Luna wasn't sure how Pegasi and Earth ponies did things with just hooves. So she had scratched the tea idea. Besides, not everypony liked tea.
She hadn't told the Pegasus exactly where to meet. The plan had been so rushed yesterday. Princess Luna realized that she hadn't even gotten the mare's name. She was so stupid!
The Summer Sun Celebration had also celebrated her return...and defeat. Everypony knew that she was back, but many still did not trust her. They had good reason not to.
Luna turned suddenly in surprise as the grass rustled behind her. The black Pegasus stood there, her wings still stretched out from landing. She closed them hastily when Luna turned.
Luna composed herself quickly. "Hello there."
"Hi." said the Pegasus quietly. She lowered her head under Luna's gaze.
There was a short silence.
"Is there a specific reason you called me here?" the Pegasus said, raising her head and trying to be more confident.
Luna visibly swallowed. "I thought we could just talk."
"What about?" said the Pegasus, taking a step toward Luna. Luna nearly backed up, but stopped herself. She didn't need to be intimidated by anypony. She was Nightmare Moon! No. Nightmare Moon was gone. Luna was Luna. She was no longer Nightmare Moon.
The Pegasus took another step toward Luna. "Are you okay?" she asked.
Luna had been looking past the Pegasus, staring off at nothing.
"It's nothing. I'm fine. It's nothing." Luna shook her head, trying to get rid of the image of Nightmare Moon.
"What did you want to talk about?" the Pegasus asked again.
Luna looked sheepish. "Well...first off, I never got your name."
"I'm ShadowMist." she ducked her head shyly.
"Why don't we take a walk?" Luna turned and took a couple steps, then turned back. "You like the garden, don't you?" Luna was still scrounging for something to do. Something that normal ponies liked to do, that wouldn't be too forward or awkward or whatever.
"Yes, of course. I" ShadowMist stopped herself.
"Yes?" Luna pressed her to finish.
"I already told you yesterday. I used to come here a lot." ShadowMist scuffed at the ground with a hoof.
"Well, come along then, if you like it so much." said Luna, turning away again and starting to walk. ShadowMist followed, quickly coming up beside Luna.
They walked in silence until they came to the fountain in the center of the garden. Atop it was sculpted Celestia and Luna, in a yin-yang pose. Both spit water out of their mouths into the fountain below.
Luna sat beside it, and ShadowMist came and sat next to her. She looked away from the princess, out across the garden. In the silence, ShadowMist felt rude looking away, and turned back to Luna. She was staring at the ground, but looked up and met ShadowMist's eyes.
"So, where is it that you live?" Luna said suddenly.
"I'm just from Ponyville." ShadowMist said modestly.
Luna looked surprised. "Ponyville? Isn't that a little far to travel just to see a garden?"
"Well...I suppose so." ShadowMist mused.
"What makes this garden different from one closer to your home?"
"This one is quieter. There aren't any other ponies here. It's...more lonely."
Luna tried to hide her confusion. "Why would you want to be lonely? Don't you have friends?"
ShadowMist lightly cleared her throat before she spoke. "Not really, no. I don't get along well with other ponies?"
"Why is that?"
ShadowMist paused as she considered her words. "It's in my name. I am merely a shadow in the eyes of other ponies."