It was raining, pouring even, when Somber Moon looked out from his large, looming window in his room within his mother's castle. He gave a soft sigh. He was always more calm in the nighttime, even more so when rain fell in the moonlight hours. Using his magic, he opened up the beautifully designed stained glass doors that lead out to his hooded balcony. He closed his eyes and took a deep, long breath. Smelling the air, the rain, and feeling the coolness it brought, he almost smiled. In the night, no eyes judged him, saw him as a monster or a traitor. He stretched out his wings, flapping them softly to prepare for flight. With a soft push against the balcony's floor, Somber Moon lifted into the air. He closed his eyes and willed his body forward.
The coolness of the rain calmed him, making his decision for a late night flight all the more worth it. He closed his eyes, and allowed his spirit to guide his wings. Twirling through the rainstorm and not paying attention to where exactly he flew, it was bliss. It wasn't his Father's harsh voice that still echoed in his head, nor his Mother's venom soaked threats towards Equestria. He felt at peace with the world around him. Well, he did. Right up until he opened his eyes and noticed a Lunar Guard mare flying before him. It was too late for him to switch directions or maneuver out of the way. The two of them collided, free falling to the ground, both taken aback, and off balanced. Somber Moon recovered before he hit the ground, but the mare did not. A loud thud was heard, even over the rain falling all around them. "What in Queen Luna's bright moon do you think you are doing?" A loud, feminine hiss sounded from the mare.
Somber Moon blinked at the use of his mother's name, and landed in front of the mess of a mare on the ground. "Excuse me?" Somber Moon responded calmly.
"You heard me! Flipping and flying about, like you are the only pony in the sky." The grumpy, scarred, and light gray bat pony scowled. Starlit Arrow blinked a few times, waiting for her vision to clear before gasping. "O-oh! My....My prince. I...uhhh, well." Her face still remained grumpy, and unamused.
Somber Moon felt a change in her, as he responded. "Don't. It was indeed my fault. I should've been paying more attention." He paused. "Are you injured?" He questioned.
Starlit Arrow snorted. "Hurt? By your pretty self? No, my Prince, I am fine. I am just, say, what are you doing out without an escort? Your mother would have my wings on a wall if she knew. I am on patrol tonight after all." Starlit Arrow gave the young prince a glare. "Sneaking out, eh? Guess even you royals have to sneak out like the rest of us." She sighed. "Well. I doubt you even remember me, but I am Starlit Arrow. Lunar Royal Guard, and a Commander to the Night's Army." She gave a short bow, before sitting down.
Raindrops dripped down her muzzle as she blankly stared at him. Somber Moon shifted hooves awkwardly, unsure of how to take this overly friendly mare. Somber Moon stared at her, wary upon knowing now that she was a bat pony. Was she a spy? "Do you work under Captain Wolfbane then?" He asked, looking down at her.
Starlit Arrow nodded, "Yes, in fact, that scarred stallion was my mentor. Even introduced me to the Queen of the Night. I never expected meeting her and her feeling so..."
Somber Moon cut her off. "Cold?" He asked without looking at her.
Starlit Arrow blinked, but nodded nonetheless. "Yes." Standing up, Starlit Arrow approached the prince. "You alright, kid?" She asked, and Somber Moon heard her voice soften a bit.
"Fine. Why are you getting closer?" He raised an eyebrow, his body becoming stiff.
Starlit Arrow saw this, and stopped. "Oh, well, I wanted a better look at you. I usually see you from afar, never been on actual guard duty for you before. Strange, isn't it? We've been in the same castle for probably years, passing by one another, and yet, this is the first time we've talked."
Somber Moon sighed softly. "Very strange indeed. It must make you feel so small. I mean, not to be rude. The only guard I honestly pay any mind to is Wolfbane." He still hadn't met her golden eyes which gleamed brightly in the dark.
"Oh yeah, ha. Nothing like not being noticed by the royal family to make a mare feel like somepony." She chuckled darkly. "You know, you and I, I would assume, are about the same age, unless you Alicorns don't show your age." She chuckled. "Since you are out already, care for a walk with me?"
Somber Moon tilted his head, "For what purpose?"
Starlit Arrow just laughed, "For the same purpose you left your precious warm castle in the first place, handsome." She turned from him with a wink and began walking.
Somber Moon stood where he landed for a brief moment before curiously following the strangely open and blunt mare.
The pair walked through the castle's garden in silence for awhile, Somber Moon trailing a few paces behind Starlit Arrow. He eventually broke the silence. "Do you not see me as a monster?" His voice filled with a perplexed tone.
Starlit Arrow didn't stop walking, "Should I?" She looked back at the stallion, and he stopped.
"What an odd antic to answer with another question." Somber Moon stated.
Starlit Arrow stopped as well and turned to face him. "Are you a monster?" She asked bluntly. "Am I supposed to cower in fear and run?" She walked even closer, her nose inches from Somber Moon's.
Somber Moon locked eyes and he opened his mouth to speak but stopped. This was the first time he'd encountered a mare who didn't look away when he locked eyes with them. "You intrigue me. Starlit Arrow, was it?"
She rolled her eyes, "Yes, Princey. Keep up with me now." She flashed a fanged smile, "Shall we continue or should I run and hide, Mr. Scary Monster?" She chuckled, turning to begin to walk.
This time though, Somber Moon moved to walk beside her.
Hours seem to fly by and the pair had settled themselves on a bench under an enchanting willow tree. The rain had stopped hours before and Somber Moon was actually smiling. Starlit Arrow paused from her story of how she became a Lunar Guard to admire the prince’s smile. "Wow, I didn't know you could do that, actually."
Somber Moon blinked and looked down at himself then back to her. "What do you speak of?" He questioned and Starlit Arrow snickered.
"Smile. I didn't think it was possible for you to smile, handsome." She gave a coy wink and looked up at the sky become dawn. "We've been at this for hours. I should get back to my post. But," She smiled and leant in, kissing the prince on the cheek softly. "We should definitely 'bump' into one another like this again, Princey." She winked and took off into the dawning sky.
Somber Moon sat there, bewildered at what had just occurred. A small, fleeting smiling appeared as he took off into the sky, heading back to his balcony to take in the night he had just shared with a one of a kind, grumpy yet alluring bat pony mare.