Shattered Light.

5 Years Ago.




Night Light folded the graduation robe slowly, laying it upon the dorm bed. He set the mortar board atop it, sighing in relief. It was over. He had done it, graduated. He wasn't one for ceremony, so many ponies watching, but the pagentry of it all had helped. Wearing the long robes and hat, he could try to make himself feel like somepony else. Sly had opted out, he already had some job offer away from Cloudsdale, and had jumped at the chance to leave, saying he still had too many bad memories in Cloudsdale. Night frowned. At times, he thought he understand that, but...

"So this is where you've been hiding, eh Nighty?" A white Pegasus stepped into the room without knocking. She stuck out her tongue, "It's kinda boring."

Night sighed, "It's just... well... Sly's already gone. Now I'm packing... of course it's boring now, Spring."

She trotted over to hug her brother, pulling back when Night failed to respond terribly enthusiastically. "What? Can't hug your sister? Too cool? It was that Sly jerk, wasn't it?"

Night shook his head, at last slumping down, "No, not... not Sly. Just... thinking."

Spring giggled, "That's dangerous." She flopped up onto Night's bed, "Watcha thinking about?"

"Just... the future... what now? Where do I go?"

She poked at Night's flank, pointing at his cutie mark, "Probably something weathery, you doof. And then you come home, just like always."

Night frowned, moving to sit on the bed next to Spring. "Yeah... just like always. But... what if I didn't?" He looks away from her, lowering his head to look to the corner of the room. "What if, I moved away. There's this job..."

Spring laughed, "Well D'uh, Nighty. You gotta move away." She rose from the bed and pushed him playfully, "You can't stick around forever. You'll start to wear out your welcome."

"I... yeah. I know... I just hoped... I don't know... that I..." He trailed off as Spring laughed.

"Just another mouth to feed? Sun just had another Foal, and then Mint's newborn, Mom's gonna be so focused on her new grandfoals, who's even gonna miss you right?"

Night's jaw dropped for a single second before he clamped it shut and stopped talking all together. He dared not even look at Spring, but in that moment something in his mind set into place. He looked down at the floor, the revelation pushing itself to the fore. They didn't need him. They wouldn't miss him.

Spring raised an eyebrow at Night's silence. "Hey... you okay?"

Night barely looking up, "Um... yeah. Yeah, I'm..." He sighed. "Fine."

Spring tilted her head a bit before letting his tone slide. She jumped from the bed, flapping her wings to land down on all fours, "Whatever Nighty! Well, I just wanted to say congratulations! Guess I'll see you back at home!" Night remained silent. Spring pushed her brother, waving a hoof in front of his eyes, "Hey! Night? You still in there?"

He blinked, slowly he smiled blankly at his sister, "Um... yeah. B-bye Spring."

Spring stood up and flew over to the door, turning to stare for a moment, unsure of herself, "Um, yeah... right. Bye."

Night simply nodded, "Yeah. Good... Good bye."

Spring waited a moment in the door trying to see what she'd missed, but at last shrugged it off, shaking her head as she closed the door behind her.

Night turned back as the door closed, punctuated by the final click of the latch, a noise that echoed in the now mostly empty room. Night sighed one more time, at last stepping off the bed to finish his packing. He sorted his graduation robe into the case, going through his meager possessions, trying his best to ignore the fact that he was crying.




Night Light stepped into the Ponyville Town Hall, glancing about nervously. He looked down at the paperwork he'd received, and found the office number for the local Weather Bureau. He walked towards the back, skirting around a few small groups of ponies, avoiding them. As he reached the office, he knocked tenatively, looking about nervously as he awaited a response. After what felt like forever, a light-hearted voice called out, "It's open, you don't gotta knock."

Night raised his hoof again, pushing open the door. Lying back behind the desk was a light blue Pegasus with a multi-hued mane. Her hooves propped up on the desk, her head resting upon a pillowy cloud. "So hey there, what do you want?"

Night blinked, "Oh um... sorry, I... I thought this was the um... weather office?"

"It sure is! Sorry, Zephyr's out of the office, so he left me in charge, naturally. I'm," she flapped up from her prone position, posing just a little, "Rainbow Dash."

"Oh um... okay? Hello Rainbow Dash." Night stared a moment too long as Dash's face fell, "So um... I have this application-"

Dash interrupted, "What're ya? New in town?" she posed triumphantly once again, "I'm Rainbow. Dash."

"Actually um... yeah, I am new in town." He pulled out his paperwork, holding it forward. "I wanted to apply to the Night shift position."

Dash frowned, dropping back down. "Oh. Well, fine, whatever. You're hired."

"Um... okay? That's it?"

Dash sighed, sitting forward, "Yep! I mean, okay, fine. Give me the application." Dash pulled the form away from Night and crammed it into a drawer, "Andddd now you're hired! So what's your name anyway?"

Night frowned, "Well... it's Night..." He stopped. The moment seemed to slow to a crawl. His eyes darted as he tried to think, his life, his family. This was the moment. To face his choice, to leave them all behind, or to go crying home. To step out on his own and let them live their own lives without him. To stop being a burden.

His frown deepened, and so did his resolve. Spring's words still echoed in his mind, 'Just another mouth to feed, Who's even gonna miss you right?' Rainbow Dash tilted her head, "Hey um... you okay there Night?"

Night looked up, meeting Dash's worried gaze. "Flurry." He breathed out a sigh, one filled with both relief and a heavy regret, "It's Night Flurry."