It was a cloudy night, and Shadowmoon was so tired. The day he had had just then hadn't been the best. First, he trained so hard that when Nightwing gave him his daily encouraging word, Shadowmoon was so tired that he fell asleep and woke up two hours later. His father was furious but Shadowmoon knew he should be. His sire was risking everything, though already dead, to talk to him. Second, he had tripped and splashed into the pond he had been buried in. A large crocadile had grabbed his wing, and twisted it, making Shadowmoon struggle underwater. Finally, he managed to blast the crocadile with his silver fire. He had watched as the crocadile tried to shake the silver fire off its scaly hide as the fire ate him. The croc struggled, swam round in circles, tried desperately to get the fire off him, but to no avail. The silver fire finally engulfed him, the croc's eyes turned blank, and disppeared in silver smoke. Shadowmoon kicked to the surface, gasping for breath, as his lungs were burning with dreadfull, agonizing longing of that cool, sweet air. He broke the surface and collapsed ashore, wheezing and sputtering and gasping. It was a misty night by now, and he started to doze on the shore, and then abruptedly jolted. He might fall back into the river if he rolled over in his sleep. He thought of the croc and winced. So he moved back to the trees and tried to sleep, but as soon as his eyelids began to get heavy, a voice woke him completely. "Are you Shadowmoon?" Shadowmoon jolted upwards and stared down the pegasus who had spoke. It was a stallion. He was big and brown with a black mane and tail, two hind socks, and orange feathers. "Yes, I am," Shadowmoon snapped at the stallion. "I have a proposal." The stallion said. Shadowmoon snorted at this. "I don't care. Who are you?"
"An enemy of your enemy," the stallion said.
Shadowmoon grinned. "Then you can help me. What is your name?"
The stallion grinned as well. "I was once Star's friend, but no longer. I think you know who I am, Shadowmoon. News of my betrayal when I was a foal to Sun Herd has spread throughout the herds." The stallion leaned in closer, and the truth dawned on Shadowmoon. "I have betrayed Star once, and I am about to do it again." Brackentail grinned.
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Star sucked in his breath. He was about to ask Morningleaf. It was a misty night, and she and Brackentail were talking contently. He walked over to her. "Morningleaf, can I have a word with you? In private?" Brackentail gave him a dirty glare. Morningleaf looked at Brackentail then Star. "Okayy..." she said uneasily. She went with Star into the woods nearby. To Star's amazement, as soon as he and Morningleaf were out of Brackentail's earshot and sight range, he burst into tears. "Oh, Star!" She cried and threw her wings around him. "I missed you so much. Brackentail tortured me with his love. I am so sorry," she said. Star stared at her in amazement, wonder, and horror. "Are you okay?" He asked. "It's Brackentail," Morningleaf sobbed into him. "He's met Shadowmoon, Star. Shadowmoon is Nightwing's assumed deacesed colt! And he has the starfire! And I'm so sorry," she confessed. "He met up with him a year ago, and made a pact with him. He said if I didn't love him and became mates with him instead of you, he'd call Shadowmoon to kill you," she cried freely into his feathers. Star gaped at her, shocked, horrified, an infuriated. How could Brackentail do something like that? Shadowmoon was alive? He had the fire? Questions like these and more swirled inside Star's brain, but he blocked all of them out and decided what to do. He poured out his heart to Morningleaf. "Morningleaf," he started. She looked up, wiped away her tears and dried his wings and chest (where she had cried on him). "I-I need to ask you something," he continued, stammering. No, he thought. Don't be feeble. Be brave and bold. So he relaxed his muscles, thoughhe was infuriated at Brackentail, steadied his voice, and spoke. "I love you, Morningleaf. Not as a milk sister; as a lifelong partner. In the year that our friendship faded away, I realized I love you. Please, Morningleaf," he knelt to the ground and held out his wings to her, bowing his head as he cried. "Will you be mine?" His tears splashed into the ground like rain, and his voice cracked but at the same time was brave and bold and steady. Morningleaf gaped at him. Star gulped silently. What would her answer be?