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Fanfic / A Moon and World Apart

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A Moon and World Apart by Evilhumour and his beta-reader/co-author Anon e Mouse Jr. is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic, and the first in the Worlds-verse, a part of the greater "Powers-That-Be" multiverse of fics. It was first published on April 15, 2021, on FIMFiction, Spacebattles Forum, Fanfiction dot net and Archive of Our Own. It was completed June 29, 2021, with a promise of a sequel. That sequel, A Moon and World Together, was subsequently posted on FIMFiction, Fanfiction dot net and Archive of Our Own on July 8, 2021. Following chapter 4, Anon e Mouse Jr. ceased to be co-writer for the story.

Luna and Celestia's fight took a rather different turn from in most universes. Instead of assuming a corrupted form, Luna took those who supported her and left for the moon, where she and her followers still live a thousand years later in a nation of their own. But sooner or later, worlds must collide, and when the ponies of the moon meet the ponies of Equestria, the sisters' conflict won't be so easy to resolve.

Now, it's up to Twilight Sparkle of the Lunar Republic, Sunset Shimmer of Equestria, and their newfound friends from both nations to help see a peaceful reunion between the two sides.

This story contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Early Appearance: The story starts at about the same time as the series, but some characters from later on appear much earlier.
    • Sunset Shimmer is one of the main characters from the beginning, rather than only being introduced after the events of season 3.
    • Blueblood (first referenced in episode 3 and debuting in episode 26), Cadance, Shining Armor (the latter 2 introduced in season 2's finale), Twilight's mom (cameoing very late in season 1 via flashback) and Neighsay (as a Director rather than a Chancellor, but still the same character who debuted in season 8) all appear before Celestia sends her student to Ponyville.
    • Chapter 5 establishes that the Cutie Mark Crusaders have already come together as a group, instead of about halfway through the first season.
    • Sunset Shimmer is shown to have adopted her leopard gecko Ray while she's still living in Canterlot, years before his debut at approximately the same time as season seven.
    • Chapter 10 introduces Sassy Saddles, years before her canon debut in season 5.
    • Chapter 11 includes a discussion on Zecora, who debuted in episode 9, and makes a description-only mention of Zesty Gourmand, who debuted in season 6.
    • Chapter 14 introduces Braeburn, whose canon debut was late in season 1.
    • Chapter 20 introduces Lightning Dust and Rolling Thunder, long before their canon debuts in seasons 3 and 9.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Twilight Sparkle is still a nice girl in this version, but she's also more aware of friendship and emotions from the start, compared to her canon self who felt they were unimportant.
  • Adopted into Royalty: Cadance, who was born a pegasus and ascended to alicornhood, after which she was adopted by Princess Celestia as her niece (and Luna's by extension).
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: In chapter 4, Sunset recalls a party she'd attended where a thestral indulged in this, uttering the phrase "Hold my beer and watch this" before demonstrating his ability to use sonar and proving that with it, he could avoid any obstacle in his path without ever once opening his eyes in the process. Said demonstration also ended with a desperate need to repair Celestia's study and bribing her phoenix not to rat on them.
  • Alternate Universe: Alternate dimensions exist, and Luna and Celestia spent some time observing and learning from them, seeing their futures and recognizing key patterns. This has played a part in their own actions as they try to avert or prepare for certain events. Some of it's been successful; for instance, after seeing what happened to so many of her Others, this Luna actually talked things out with their Lord of Nightmares, allowing her to avoid becoming Nightmare Moon.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Vinyl's parents, Canter Rhythm and Arpeggio Chorus. Within minutes of meeting Octavia (who has known Vinyl all of two days at this point), they start talking about her and Vinyl's future kids and suggesting they not get intimate on the couch while everypony else is out of the room. Vinyl's horribly embarrassed by their words, and promptly apologizes to Octavia for it.
  • Artificial Limbs: Chapter 26 sees Rainbow Dash getting offered, and accepting, a replacement mechanical wing after she finds out she lost one while saving lives during the terrorist attack on the Orion.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: In chapter 24, Twilight and Shining Armor teleport out of her apartment and into one of the other domes together. Seconds later, Sunset Shimmer teleports after them, having traced the initial teleport and followed it; when she explains this, Twilight is quite impressed.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Cadance is very protective of Sunset, and when she finds out that Sunset is one of the two possibilities for leading the group that will be needed to re-confine Discord after he escapes, she is very unhappy with Celestia for potentially putting Sunset in danger.
  • Big Damn Heroes: After two chapters of fighting, Flash Sentry and Nightingale's respective troops are getting worn down and the enemy just keeps coming... when backup arrives in the form of all the members of the Equestrian parliament, helping to hold the line until Princess Celestia is finally freed of her chains and can officially end the battle.
  • Big Eater: Celestia, at least when it comes to cake — as Luna informs Cadance in chapter 28, Celestia once dove into an Olympic-size swimming pool full of cake and devoured it all.
  • Blatant Lies: In chapter 12, after making a spectacle of herself as she returns from the moon, Luna says that "this is supposed to be a celebration for my sister after all and I wouldn't dream of overshadowing her." Celestia can barely restrain herself from calling her out on it.
  • Caustic Critic: A food critic of this type is mentioned in chapter 11, whose motto is effectively "The blander, the better". Word of God is that it's actually Zesty Gourmand from season 6.
  • Cross-Cultural Kerfluffle: As in canon, this is described in chapter 11 as one of the reasons the citizens of Ponyville are scared of Zecora — her pawing at the ground was taken as a sign of aggression, when it was really her way of looking for water. Sunset, who's more familiar with zebra behavior, explains this as soon as she's told about it, leaving Applejack and co. feeling rather embarrassed over the misunderstanding.
  • Delivery Stork: Jokingly referenced by Pinkie in chapter 5, when she pops up in front of a very startled Sunset, resulting in the following exchange:
    Sunset Shimmer: "Where'd you even come from?"
    Pinkie Pie (giggling): "Mom and Dad always said the stork brought me," "But Granny Pie set me straight on that."
  • Entitled Bastard:
    • Discussed in chapter fifteen, when Director Honey Spice dismisses the idea of entitlement based on bloodlines or social position with disgust.
    • Blueblood is a full-on example, stating in chapter 27 that as Nobles, he and his allies deserve to be the ones controlling the "traitors" and their advances, simply because of their ranks as nobles. Celestia disagrees though.
  • False Flag Operation: When the Lunar Republic's Orion project is sabotaged, Director Neighsay attempts to make it look like the Equestrians were responsible, therefore ruining any hope of the two nations reconciling and triggering a war between them.
  • Family Theme Naming: As in canon, most Apple family members have their names derived from a variety of apple.
    • Rose Splendour, Braeburn's mother, has a name derived from two apple cultivars — Pacific Rose, and its ancestor Splendour/Splendor — from New Zealand, the same place where the Braeburn cultivar originated. Likewise, his father Dougherty is named for an Australian apple, whose Red variety (developed in New Zealand) is an ancestor of the Splendour.
  • Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: Back in the days before the Longest Night, many ponies were offended by the existence of the night and the fact that others preferred it over the day, and harassed them over it until Luna had finally had enough and took her followers to the moon. When talking to Twilight in the first chapter, she says they still feel the same way, even a thousand years later.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: In chapter 5, Pinkie offers Sunset a tabasco cupcake. Sunset not only accepts it happily, she's glad to be breathing fire after eating it.
  • Foreshadowing: Vinyl's explanation of their medical system, including how artificial limbs and other parts won't be forced on a pony, prove prophetic when Rainbow Dash sacrifices a wing while saving ponies' lives during the terrorist attack on the Orion, and is offered a prosthetic replacement afterward.
  • Friend of Masked Self: Variant in that it's a friend who's in on the secret making the claim — in chapter 11, when Twilight, Sunset and their new friends meet Princess Cadance in her public disguise of "Love Hearts", Sunset says that "Love here and my old foalsitter Cadance are real close". Cadance reveals her true identity to all of them just two chapters later.
  • Gaydar: In chapter 9, Sunset is able to figure out that Onyx Plate is gay without being explicitly told. He's quite surprised when he realizes it.
  • Godzilla Threshold: While Celestia and Luna have their differences, there is one thing that can keep them from fighting: the threat of Discord breaking loose if they do so too close to his statue.
  • Gravity Master: In chapter 26, Cadance makes use of a spell that increases a target's personal gravity, making them feel too heavy to move, against a group of attacking ponies.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Shining Armor issues one of these to Sunset when she confesses she's falling for Twilight, telling her that "I have a shovel," ... "And if you break my baby sister's heart... I know how to use it." Then he reassures her that he knows Sunset won't be doing anything to warrant such an action, because he can tell she's crazy for Twilight and has no desire to do anything to risk hurting her.
  • I Have No Son!:
    • In chapter 5, it's mentioned that the Apple family disowned one of their own after that pony was discovered to be part of the "avengers" hate group. The rest of the clan won't even mention their name.
    • Variant in chapter 27. After discovering he was behind the storming of Canterlot Castle and the attack on her personally, Celestia disowns Blueblood, declaring angrily that "You are no nephew of mine!"
  • Internal Reveal: In chapter 21, Celestia admits some of the truth about the Elements of Harmony and who she believes to be their next wielders to Cadance.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In chapter 28, when Moondancer and Sunset have their private talk, Moondancer affirms to Sunset that Twilight's happiness is what matters most to her, and if she's chosen Sunset as her love interest while seeing Moondancer as a sister, Moondancer will accept that. It helps her that Sunset feels the same way, recognizing how Moondancer is important to Twilight and not only accepting their closeness but wanting to be friends with Moondancer too.
  • Kicked Upstairs: Variant in the Lunar Republic; if a pony is too apathetic to stick with any kind of real work long enough, they're given a position where they can't do any harm — usually as extras in visual entertainment, where all they have to do is stand around looking busy.
  • King Incognito: Cadance uses a disguise to hide her horn in public, letting her go out as "Love Hearts", a pegasus; she meets Shining Armor for the first time in this form, and he doesn't find out her true identity until they get back to the castle.
  • Klatchian Coffee: In chapter 20, Pinkie gets rather hyper for a little while after one of the moon ponies gives her chocolate-covered coffee beans, and by Rainbow Dash's reaction, this is not the first time it's happened.
  • Landslide Election: The Directors of the Lunar Republic are elected, with candidates having to be confirmed as qualified for the position to be allowed to run. Nopony has ever tried to run against Luna for the Head Director/Director of State position, and as she explains to her sister in chapter 28, this means that even when she does the minimum amount of work for her campaign or outright doesn't try to run at all, she always wins in a landslide or gets the job back by default.
  • Long-Lost Relative: In chapter 14, when a small group of Equestrians visit the Lunar Republic, it's revealed that Steady Notes, Director of Recordkeeping, is leading a project to reunite their ponies with their family members back in Equestria, which will lead to several cases of this. Applejack in particular is startled to learn there are Apple Clan members on the moon, and thrilled to meet them, starting with Braeburn, the cousin she never knew.
  • Mage Tower: Discussed in chapter 22, when Sunset explains the origins of unicorns' preference for heights — it makes it harder for others to sneak up on them and distract them while they're studying the workings of the universe.
  • Magic Mirror: Chapter 10 reveals that another Power (who's identified in chapter 20 as Milky Way, the Lady of Space) snuck a matched set into Celestia and Luna's respective quarters, allowing them to communicate through them. However, while they've made calls on them, neither has ever responded to the other's words when they get a call.
  • Malicious Slander: When Luna hears that rumors are spreading that the visiting Equestrians were responsible for the Orion's destruction, it doesn't take her long to find out that Neighsay was behind it as part of his False Flag Operation to frame them.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Inverted in chapter 7. Rarity initially mistakes Onyx Plate for straight when she first meets him and starts flirting with him, and then apologizes to Twilight for flirting with her "husband" when Onyx informs her he's married. It's not until Twilight gently explains otherwise that Rarity realizes the extent of her error and is mortified, thinking she must have offended him horribly.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Sunset has to drink an entire cup just to have the energy to make it the rest of the way to the breakfast table in the morning, as seen in chapter 11.
  • Mythology Gag: In chapter 18, Celestia briefly remembers seeing a particularly nasty villain named Cosmos appear in some of the dimensions she viewed. Cosmos was the main villain in her self-titled arc of the IDW comic series.
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: In chapter 11, when Spike's dragged Sunset out of bed and says he warned her, Twilight thinks to herself that "Sunset's response was low enough that Twilight couldn't quite hear it, and very likely unprintable".
  • Noodle Incident: Some of the alternate worlds that Celestia and Luna viewed and recall in passing can be seen as this, such as worlds where Nightmare Moon or other villains were more vicious, or one where the local Celestia took a different tactic in handling Sunset.
  • Not a Morning Person: Sunset hates waking up early, and as seen in chapter 11, Spike has to literally drag her out of bed when she's being particularly stubborn about it.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Rarity has a bad case of this in chapter 7, when she first starts flirting with (unbeknownst to her) a married stallion, then (after being informed of his marital status) wrongly assumes the mare with him is his wife. Then she gets really mortified at her actions when she finds out he's actually gay. To her credit, she does apologize to both he and Twilight for the misunderstanding and any offense she may have caused as soon as she can.
  • Passing the Torch: As first revealed in chapter 20, and elaborated on later, Luna is planning on giving up her Roles as Lady of Night and Dreams in the near future, having made special arrangements with Trojan, the Lord of Nightmares, to take the lesser position of Adjunct to Dreams and Nightmares. And she wants Celestia to do the same thing, stepping down as Lady of Day and accompanying her in becoming an Adjunct of Dreams and Nightmares before they leave Equuis's solar system together with her people.
  • The Peter Principle: In chapter 15, Luna expresses a desire to avert this, stating that Twilight could easily win election to Director of the Science Department, but also that she'd be wasted in such a bureaucratic position, being far more suited to the hooves-on work that she enjoys.
  • Platonic Declaration of Love: In chapter 22, when Twilight finally takes some time to visit with Moondancer again, she confesses that she sees and loves Moondancer like a big sister. Moondancer, whose feelings had been slightly less platonic and was showing signs of jealousy towards Twilight's new bond with Sunset, is a bit taken aback, but ultimately accepts it and reassures Twilight that they're still friends.
  • Playing with Fire: It's established early on that Sunset has a natural talent with fire-based magic, to the point where she was able to invent a spell that could boil the alcohol right out of a target's body and sober them up in an instant without hurting said target in the process. It's later revealed this same talent is what let her hatch Spike's egg; dragons' eggs need a great deal of external heat to hatch, and she was able to generate that heat all on her own.
  • Pro Bono Barter: While the Lunar Republic operates mostly on a standard barter system (they work and receive what they need, with public services like the police and medical care not requiring any particular payment — the citizens get it automatically in return for the regular work they do), individuals can also build up personal credit via trading favors, or donate their time and skill in advance, to be called in later.
  • Rage-Breaking Point: Throughout the story, since Luna and Celestia's reunion, Cadance has been doing her best to mediate between them, and ensure that Equestria and the Lunar Republic can make a peaceful alliance. But in chapter 21, when alarms start going off on the moon and Celestia decides to confiscate a letter aimed at Cadance herself, refusing to let Luna see it when the latter thinks it might be related to the alerts going off, Cadance finally blows her stack and starts angrily yelling at them in the Royal Canterlot Voice (noted as the first time she's used it since Celestia taught her how, outside of practice), especially Celestia for trying to keep her mail away from her.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • After Sunset accidentally causes a panic when she sends a letter back home and triggers the Lunar Republic's magic-detectors because of the sheer power of the spell as a result, Shining Armor quickly takes charge of the situation. While his fellow security officers tried to have Sunset arrested on the spot and wanted to take she and Spike into custody, Shining is far more understanding, calmly but firmly questioning she and Spike on the spot, confirming that they're telling the truth, and letting them off with a warning not to do that again until they can recalibrate the sensors to account for it.
    • Captain Flash Sentry of the Royal Guard is also reasonable after a near-clash in the Royal Palace that had the guards on both sides pointing weapons at their counterparts, calmly and privately talking things out with his opposite number afterward and confirming what he already suspected (that they were just doing their jobs and reacting with how their training said they should), and having a friendly discussion on their duties in general.
  • Related in the Adaptation:
    • In this version, Sunset and Spike are effectively adopted siblings after she hatched his egg.
    • Octavia Melody and Fiddly Twang (the mare who plays the fiddle during the Nightmare Night celebrations in Luna Eclipsed and at the Apple family reunion in Apple Family Reunion) are maternal first cousins in this setting. In canon, there's no confirmed connection between them.
    • Chapter 16 reveals another of Octavia's cousins is Sugarcoat, whose human self first appeared in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Friendship Games. Canon has no confirmed ties between them.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: Apparently, Luna's tried to step back from her Head Director job more than once, but nopony would ever try to run and fill the spot in her place (a Director of the Lunar Republic is an elected position, with only those who were confirmed to be qualified for the job being allowed to run — and nopony has ever felt they were better qualified to serve as Director of State in her place), so it reverted back to her every time. And due to the restrictions in the laws, she can't just change them to make it easier for her to step down. Luna later essentially gives Celestia an ultimatum, demanding she give up her position as ruler of Equestria (and Lady of Day) and let somepony else take over, not telling Celestia at the time that she already has a new position in mind for her. When they finally get the chance to sit down and talk about it peacefully later on (and Luna does finally tell her about said new position), Celestia admits that she can't do that — after Luna left, the other nobles forced through a law preventing any Prince or Princess from abandoning their duties in such a manner, effectively making abdication illegal, so as to ensure they wouldn't lose their only other alicorn.
  • The Reveal: Chapter 26 reveals, through internal thoughts, that Moondancer is a Power — the Lady of Self-Centeredness. As readers of other works in this multiverse would know, this makes her one of the sub-Powers of Disharmony, and the Opposite of the Lord or Lady of Generosity.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Princess Cadance has dedicated herself to countering the effects of those who would spread fear and hatred of others simply for their beliefs, and spreading an understanding of those persecuted instead, so as to undermine said "avengers"' mentality and reduce their influence; she also helps reconnect those who live further away with the rest of their nation.
  • Screw Yourself: In chapter 18, Celestia recalls one alternate reality she saw where two of her Others, one human and one equine, became a couple on the human side of the mirror and raised the equine Sunset Shimmer together after her equine self and Sunset chose to stay there.
  • Second Love: In chapter 21, in talk with Director Onyx Plate, Guard Captain Flash Sentry reveals that his father died when he was young, and his mother has been quite happily married to her second spouse, his stepmother, for several years.
  • Shoot the Bullet: Variant in chapter 26, when a rope is coming their way to be wrapped around the neck of an ally, but Nightingale uses her rifle to shoot it before it can even hit its target.
  • Sleek High Rise Apartment: Twilight lives in one (courtesy of Luna arranging it when she was old enough), which is actually in one of the oldest buildings in the dome (it's where their leaders lived and worked out of during the early years), though it's been renovated over the centuries. She has the entire top floor to herself, consisting of a five-bedroom suite where she lives and a second suite that was converted into her private workshop.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Discussed in chapter 18, when Celestia and Luna inform Cadance that one of the reasons Discord is still around rather than having been destroyed is that if he's gone, there's a risk that something even worse could take his place.
  • Spraying Drink from Nose: Referenced by the narration in chapter 18, when it says that "Had Luna been drinking, she probably would have snorted it out through her nose." after Celestia reminds her of one of the alternate universes they'd observed where two of Celestia herself were a couple.
  • Storming the Castle: Chapter 25 has an army of rebellious police officers, led by their captain, attempting to storm Canterlot Castle, overthrow the Royal Guard's Captain Flash Sentry, and "rescue Princess Celestia from the corruptive magic of those accursed traitors from the moon", even to the point of attacking Celestia herself when she arrives and orders them to stand down. Flash, joined by Lunarian sergeant Nightingale, responds by leading his guards in fighting back.
  • Straight Gay: Onyx Plate, who is quite happily married to another stallion, but shows no gay stereotypes in his behavior, to the point where Rarity thinks he is straight until Twilight corrects her.
  • Sucks at Dancing: In chapter 19, Twilight admits this to be the case for her, just as in show canon. Moondancer (who is not this trope) apparently tried to teach her, but as Twilight says, "it didn't go so well". And according to her, Luna's even worse. Sunset, meanwhile, says that Celestia is the same, and not even the nobles will try to suck up to her by complimenting it.
  • Suddenly Shouting: Cadance in chapter 21, when she finally loses her temper at Celestia over the latter trying to claim a letter directed at Cadance herself.
  • Taking You with Me: Chapter 25 reveals that Flash's predecessor as Captain of the Royal Guards, Captain Hackpole, died at the hooves of some pony who wanted to do this to he and the other Guards, setting the building they were in on fire. They succeeded with Captain Hackpole, when he and the criminal died in the blaze after he'd made sure everypony else got out.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: A variant of type 4 (miraculous cure) happened to Vinyl Scratch in the past. Chapter 2 shows that she has an implant in her neck, which is related to her voice; chapter 13 reveals she was born without vocal cords, and that as soon as she was old enough to learn how to write, one of the first things she did with that ability was ask for a way to speak. Her parents promptly took her to the doctors and, after making sure she was fully informed, had an artificial voice box installed that substituted for the missing vocal cords. She admits it isn't perfect, but it does what she needs it to.
  • Unrelated in the Adaptation: In canon, Spike was effectively adopted as a member of Twilight's family. Here, he was hatched by Sunset instead and has no familial ties to Twilight as a result.
  • Worth It: After being told that her actions have likely permanently cost her any chance at joining the Wonderbolts, since she's lost one wing and a mechanical replacement would count as an unfair advantage, Rainbow Dash says it was worth it if it meant saving lives.