Of Birds and Bees and Awkward Things

by JoeShogun

Chapter 1

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Ok. It’s been a while, but you are sooooo ready for this, girl. Alright. Checklist:

Celestia, golden princess of the Sun, diarchal ruler of all pony-kind, was nervous. It was a pleasant sort of nervous; that silly kind where you fret over every little thing even though you knew none of it mattered. Perhaps excited would be a better word, but excitement for the princess was usually all about action. There would certainly be one kind of action happening tonight, oh yes, but this was the fun, fluttery-heart variety, not any of that nasty violent nonsense.

Anyway, checklist:

1. Was the room properly furnished for entertainment? Nice couches, stylish wall hangings and art and such? Good conversation pieces, if that should come up? Warm, friendly color scheme? Check!

2. Was the room properly furnished for the other kind of entertainment? Lots of firm, easily reachable pillows in case the height difference required repositioning? Big, spacious bed that had never once been used for sleeping? Stain resistant everything? Check!

3. Refreshments? Terrorizing the night shift is fun and all, but I probably won’t be in the mood to have to sneak off to the kitchen in the middle of the fun, thought Celestia. Therefore, she chewed at the end of her quill and turned a critical eye to the small table full of goodies she had set up. Lots of high-energy foods? Plenty of thirst quenchers? Fruits and honey and other things that had been included for reasons completely unrelated to nutrition? Check!

Celestia began humming tunelessly to herself as she marked off one point after another. Her little smile widened and grew a bit more lascivious with each check. It really had been too long since she’d gotten to use this particular list. What’s it been now? A year and a half almost? You have got to start getting out more, honey. Moving on…

4. Other refreshments? Libations of every imaginable variety, stashed in a knock-resistant bar behind the quite solid billiards table (Like the bed, these structures were mostly used for things other than their intended purpose)? Check! Celestia was partial to wine and sweet liqueurs herself, but everypony was different, so she made sure to have something for everyone.

5. Other fun things? A table full of lotions and oils and several other, less mentionable toys and novelties? That wonderful little book by a Saddle-Arabian ‘friend’ of hers, the one that listed pretty much everything two or more lovers might do with nothing but each other and a bit of creativity? The one with the pictures? Oh my yes. Double check! Sure, she’d tried pretty much everything in the book before, mostly with the author, but what if she got excited and forgot one of her favorites? It would be a terrible disservice to both herself and her soon-to-arrive guest.

She Who Brings the Light squealed a girlish giggle and pranced about her lavishly appointed ‘guest room.’ This is going to be so great! Celestia glanced up to check the ridiculously ancient grandmare clock. Her partner for the evening was known for unerring punctuality, among many, many other things. They had agreed to meet at 6 o’clock. That gives me another, let’s see, er, little hand is over there, um…eleven minutes. Right. Perfect. Plenty of time. As the incarnate force of nature that literally determined the time of day, Celestia found dealing with artificial time-keeping to be a bit tricky. It was never quite accurate. She chose to abide by the clocks anyway; ponies had put so much effort into those devices, it felt rude to tell them they were wrong.

Celestia made one more circuit of the room before returning to her list. Oh, right! Towels! Always good to have a few of those around for when things got pleasantly messy. Celestia skipped, giggling, into the inordinately large bathroom to grab a few, which she placed strategically about the room. She left the door open, just enough to show off the absolutely decadent sauna within. Getting clean together could be just as fun as getting dirty, after all. Looking down at the remainder of her list through irrepressibly smiling eyes, Celestia continued her task.

6. Crown? Check! Over the years, Celestia had found that, when asked the question of “Crown off, or on?” her mates had almost invariably answered “On, please.”

7. Cheesy line prepared for her partner’s arrival? Romantically silly banter was an important part of any date. It put ponies at ease, and set a playful, lighthearted mood. Nervous dates were the worst! Celestia reviewed her planned opening line. Yes, yes that should get a smile, at the very least. Check!

8. One Sexy-as-Tartarus Princess who is totally ready for this?

Celestia looked herself over in a mirror. There were several in the room, mostly focused around the bed. Hmmm. Mane? Looked good, flowing nice and slow. She’d decided to go with her sparkly pink look, what she liked to call her 'off-duty' mane. Her lovers seemed to prefer it that way, said it made her seem more approachable. Check! Tail? Also good. She had it pulled into one of those little bows that tied right up near the rump, keeping the whole thing in the upright position. Very nice. Check! Pretty little baubles of jewelry on her neck and just a bit of make-up, tastefully applied, as dictated by current fashion? Check! That pair of heels that pushed up her back legs and oh-so-nicely emphasized the Royal Plot? Check! Black corset and lacey panties that showed off that alluringly sleek figure? Check! She did a little shake in front of her reflection. Hmm. Should she maybe go with a saddle instead? Lose the underwear? Put on some stockings? Socks, they called them nowadays. Ponies really seemed to be into socks lately...Was it too much? Not enough? Oh, whatever, it was all going to be thrown on the floor soon anyway. Celestia did a gleeful little dance and giggled a sound that could best be described as *squeeeeeee* and then strutted her way to large floor cushion near the door. She lay down upon it, placing herself in such a way as to make certain that anyone entering the room could clearly see exactly what they were getting themselves into. Get it? Getting into? She laughed at her dumb little joke and sighed happily. She didn’t get nearly enough opportunities for innuendo these days.

Double check to number 8!

After one final glance around, she floated over a very tasteful bucket of ice full of very fancy bottles of very expensive chilled champagne and placed it next to her perch. She checked the clock. Only eight minutes now. Silencing the ever-present voice of her inner worrier, Celestia took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and waited.


Twilight Sparkle knew she was supposed to be at home with her parents tonight. The Princess had set up a pegasus chariot just for her and everything. She figured it’d be ok though. How could anypony get mad at her for wanting to study more? See, she had started reading ahead in the book for one of her classes (Metaphysics and You: A Beginners Guide to Things That Should Not Be) and it was really interesting but she got confused about a couple of parts in it and the Princess had said she could always come by and ask her about anything at any time and so she totally wouldn’t mind if Twilight came by to get help right? Right. Sure, Princess Celestia had said something about being busy with something tonight and had even made special arrangements to get her home before sundown, but this stuff was just so neat and Twilight hadn’t been able to put it down and so she missed her ride. Home was boring anyway, and Mom and Dad were no help with homework.

A quick moment of panic struck the student; the chariot team wasn’t still waiting for her was it!? No, no, that’s silly. It had been hours now.


On a landing balcony, far across Canterlot Castle, a team of pegasi was seriously regretting those last cups of coffee.


Besides, Celestia could fix it even if they were. She could fix anything! All Twilight had to do was find her.

She glanced around as she trotted through the halls of the castle. It was really quiet tonight. The only sounds were the click of her hooves on the stone floors and the subtle song of her own magic. The Princess had recommended that she practice her spells whenever possible, and Twilight had taken that to heart. As such, she was carrying her book, notes, and a quill or two via magic, even though she had a perfectly good saddlebag. Twilight could lift almost five things at once now! That was like, amazing for a unicorn her age! Everypony said so.

Twilight approached the enormous doors of the royal throne room. If Princess Celestia was busy, she’d be in here right? This is where business got done, so, according to logic, she must be in here. There weren’t any guards outside, which was kind of strange, but that was fine because Twilight was almost eleven years old now and only babies were scared of being alone in big, echo-y rooms with a bunch of kind-of-creepy statues and stuff. Because things like the Crooked Mare and nuckalevee totally weren’t real. Everypony knew that. Twilight shivered a bit, but only because it was kind of cold in here, then knocked politely on the throne room door. The taps reverberated through the entire hall.

Twilight shifted back and forth while she waited for an answer. Seconds passed. She made occasional quick glances behind her down the long, empty hallway.

More seconds passed, and still no answer. Twilight pressed an ear up against the door. Total silence.


Twilight froze at the sound, eyes going wide. It was behind her. In the long, empty hallway. Probably just a, uh, moth, or something. Right? Right. She turned slowly and saw…nothing. Oh, wait, one of the lamps had gone out. She let out a nervous little laugh. Of course. Lamps went out all the time. Nothing spooky about a lamp spontaneously extinguishing itself at this particular time, when she sitting here, alone, outside this door.

Twilight whipped around and knocked on the door with much more conviction this time.

No answer.

Twilight risked another look back. Still nothing. Not that there would be anything. Because ghosts and stuff aren’t even real. Still staring over her shoulder, Twilight groped blindly with a tendril of magic for the latch Princess Celestia had taught her was in the throne room door and popped it open. She pushed the door open just enough to squeeze her head through and said…

“Uh, sorry for intruding, but, I um…” She stopped when she realized she was speaking to a vacant room. The throne sat unattended. The guards were absent.

“Ok, no problem Twilght. Nothing weird about the royal throne of Canterlot being left completely unguarded. It is kind of late after all. The princess is probably just…” It wasn’t until she heard the echo of her own voice that Twilight realized she was talking to herself. She snapped her mouth shut, struck a brave pose, and finished her thought. Probably just in her room. Or something. Everything is totally normal and nopony was eaten by a grue. Better go check.

Twilight zipped out the door and fled in terror bravely galloped through the corridors of the castle. After an interminably long run, she slid to a halt just outside the Princess’ chambers. Twilight had yet to see a single other pony. Twilight had spent years in this castle, and it had never occurred to her how eerily tomblike quiet this place could be when nopony else was in it. As a completely logical, thoroughly un-frightened student of science and magic, Twilight had to admit that even she was getting a bit concerned about this. No problem though; once she found the Princess, all would be well.

The student stopped to collect herself. She brushed her hair down, took a deep breath, and gave a polite knock.The door creaked open at her first touch. It hadn’t even been latched. It was dark inside.

Twilight certainly did not start to panic. She checked the little collection of scholarly items she was carrying in her magic field. Ok, her magic wasn’t fritzing out. That meant it couldn’t be the Crooked Mare. But it was dark…a grue!

She pushed the door open with agonized trepidation.


No answer. One lamp, dimly shining from the desk on one side of the room, was still lit. Whew, thought Twilight, not a grue then. The room was empty. Well, it was full of stuff, bit of a mess, really. But no Princess. A window was open, leaving the room naked to the night winds. A plate sat upon the nightstand near the huge banister-bed. There was half a sandwich left on it. Twilight crept into the room on the tips of her hooves. A chill breeze blew in through the window.

Oh no! She had read about things like this! Ghost ships! And Roan-Oak island! Ponies just disappeared, leaving stuff like half-cooked meals and running baths, and nopony ever found out what happened to them! The Princess was in trouble! Twilight had to do something. She had to tell the Prin…Oh no! She couldn’t tell the Princess! There was no Princess! Twilight realized she was hyperventilating, and forced herself to stop, breathe slowly, and think.

Ok, it’s a bad situation. How would Daring Do deal with this? That helped. Daring Do wasn’t just an adventurer after all; she was smart, too. She was a detective. Ok, what do we know?

Not much, really. Everybody in the castle was gone, and had been for at least a few hours. Twilight should have been at home, but she had sort of accidentally chosen to stay. So. That made her…the wildcard! The monkey wrench in the villain’s plan. Twilight liked the sound of that.

Ok, what can we do about it? Hrmm. She had a book, a quill, some notes, and saddlebag full of odds and ends…wait! She knew the perfect spell for this!

Twilight rummaged through her bag the earth pony way (opening it with her teeth and stuffing her face in) and pulled out one of her most prized possessions, her own personal little treasure. It was kind of embarrassing, and nobody knew about it, not even the Princess but it was perfect for this situation. Was it destiny, Twilight wondered, that she would just happen to be to only one in the castle who hadn’t disappeared, and one of the few who could make this particular spell work? It must be!

The object Twilight reverently pulled from her bag was a little red bow, tied around a long, shimmering cord. It flowed to and fro with a will all its own, and perpetually glimmered in a rainbow of iridescent color. It was a single ethereal thread, fallen from the mane of the ruler of Equestria. Twilight had found it on the castle grounds outside, during one of the Princess’s mandatory exercise sessions. Twilight secretly hated those, but, as the Princess said “The body is the temple of the mind, and a great mind requires an equally great body.” Twilight had never been entirely sure why she had kept it, or why she hadn’t told anyone. It just made her feel better. Sometimes she got scared at night, out in her big tower, so far away from her parents, and yes, even her stupid jerk-face big brother, and it helped, for some reason. It even smelled like the Princess. Was that weird, to notice that? It was probably weird.

Anyway, none of that mattered. What mattered was that Twilight now had an intimate sympathetic link between herself and Princess Celestia, which meant that she could use Fact Finder’s Flawless Friend Finding Frequency to track her mentor, no matter where she might be. Twilight clapped her hooves in glee; she’d never gotten to actually use this spell before.

Curbing her excitement, Twilight sat on the plush rug in the center of the room and placed the little bundle in front of her. She relaxed her mind, just like she’d been taught. She banished her slightly manic stray thoughts, felt the quiet stirring of the fall breeze, and let the magic flow like liquid silk through her horn to lightly touch the knot of mane before her. She looked for connections. She almost lost her hold; there were just so many! This thread was mystically tied to everything; every object in the room cried out for her attention, like they wanted her to find them. Near at hoof was the bed, a brush, the desk. The shower, and uh, other bathroom fixtures. Twilight tried not to think about that too much, instead letting her fascinating new senses venture further out. She could feel the pull of the throne, the halls of the castle, several statues and paintings. Did the Princess like those more than the others? The bakery in particular seemed to have seen a lot of the Princess lately…

Her breath caught as Twilight wandered further out and realized she could feel the Sun, even now, at night. She could feel the Moon, the stars! The seas and winds! She…not now. Later. Concentrate now.

The junior wizard pulled back, and tried to focus back in on the castle itself, let it tell her its story. Yes, the Princess had gone through here, touched this door, walked upon this carpet. And then…there. She had it!

Twilight opened her eyes, a beatific smile upon her face. The Princess was so amazing! Did she feel all that stuff, all the time? Just…wow! Twilight shook herself free of the clinging, mystical euphoria. She had a job to do. The Princess was in danger! Twilight grabbed her things, stuffed them into her bags and set off at a brisk canter.


It was only a matter of minutes before Twilight arrived. The room was in one of those many wings of the castle that Twilight had never gotten around to exploring. Good thing she was the smartest, most daring student ever, who was definitely prepared to handle any monster or ghost or whatever, or she never would have found it.

The most daring student ever hesitated when she reached the door. It was slightly ajar. Warm light and soft music spilled out into the hall, and it smelled like sweet perfume, but she couldn’t see anything inside. It didn’t seem dangerous. That was probably just what the villain wanted her to think. Should she scream a scary battle cry as she burst in, like Zena, Warrior-Baroness of the Zebra, always did? Or just waltz in casual-like, as if this were all part of her brilliant plan? Should she try to be sneaky and peek in first?

Twilight looked back down the hall she had just walked down. Empty and silent, just like the rest. She shivered.

Padding up to the door as quietly as possible, Twilight raised a hoof.


Celestia opened her eyes as she heard a polite knock on the door, which she had left slightly, invitingly ajar. Aww, she thought. So considerate. Early though. Her date, one Purple Prose, gentlepony extraordinaire, was usually strictly punctual. Not early, not late, but always exactly on time. It was three minutes too soon. No matter, early was all the better! Avidly watching the door, Celestia readied her most sultry of tones. Now! Deploy cheesy line!

“Oh, do come in. My body is soooooo readAAAAUUUUUUGH!!!”

Celestia panicked, leaping several feet through the air before even beginning to consider what she was doing. Most ponies would have simply covered up, or demanded the intruder get out, or something equally reasonable. But then, most ponies don’t have access to world-shaping cosmic might. Given what could have happened, Celestia’s response to the little nub of purple unicorn horn that pushed past her door was actually fairly measured. In her rush to simply be away, the princess forced a ‘blink;’ she bent the entire world around her in such a way that she would end up somewhere, anywhere, that Twilight couldn’t see her. Alas, she failed to specify a particular location, or method, and so the spell tore a few-meter-in-diameter hole in reality around Celestia and then moved the universe so as to drop her in the closest place it could find that would be outside of Twilight’s vision. More or less.

“Princess!” shouted her student, throwing the door aside as she leapt through. “Are you ok!? I was so, uh. I…”

She of the Divine Light fell to floor behind a big, round bed. In the same room she had started in. The bucket of wine, glasses thereof, and a large chunk of the floor came with her. There was a very dignified “Oof!” and good deal of clattering as Sol Invicta hit the ground.

Sweet Fudging Skies Above Gosh Darn it! Celestia ground her hooves into the floor in panicked frustration, shredding the carpet and pulverizing the shattered stone beneath it. Why was Twilight even here!? She was supposed to be at home! She had planned this all out over a week ago!

“Um, P…Princess?” Twilight Sparkle was very confused right now. What was going on here? Why would the Princess scream and disappear like that? And what was she wearing? Maybe she really was in trouble…Twilight quickly scanned the room around her. What she saw did nothing to alleviate her befuddlement.

Celestia attempted to calm herself. Ok. No problem. Just need to think for a second. She had to say something. Some kind of explanation. Something that would keep Twilight from asking questions. Sure. Easy. You’ve bested the impossible before. You’ve built an immortal empire from the primal chaos , defeated Madness itself, bested a dragon in arm wrestling despite not even having hands yourself. You can make this right, you just need a second to think.

Then, enveloping Celestia in a moment of sublime terror unlike any she had felt since the reign of Discord, she heard the thumping of heavier hooves. Another, older voice spoke.

“Mi’Lady!? I heard a scream! I, oh, hello there, Miss Sparkle…”

Celestia thumped her head against the ground, crushing another chunk of very expensive flooring. Why!? Why now!? It was Purple Prose of course, her erstwhile date. Just trying to be helpful, surely, but there could not have been a worse time. She must look ridiculous, trying to hide behind this stupid bed. Her tail, bow and all, was surely sticking up past the mattress, to say nothing of her wings, which had flared in fear and had yet to come back under control. Oh, and the crown, of course. It wasn’t fair. She had planned for this! Everything should have been covered! How had Twilight even found this place!?

Doesn’t matter now. You have to do something.

Princess Celestia, Mistress of the Radiant Dawn, peeked her head up over the edge of a bed that probably, infuriatingly, wasn’t going to be seeing use anytime soon. Her intended guest was looking with some concern back and forth between the half-hidden Princess and her young student. Her unintended guest was less focused, glancing all around the room. Celestia could practically hear the gears in Twilight’s mind, grinding out more and more and more questions about what she was seeing. She sighed. There was nothing for it then. No getting out of it now.

She caught Prose’s eye. She must have looked terrible.

In point of fact, she looked lovely, especially for someone hiding behind a bed and covered in fresh-ground marble dust. Giving Purple Prose a little shrug and an extremely apologetic glance, Celestia turned to Twilight and said…

“Ah, hello Twilight.” That came out well, Celestia thought. Composed. Regal, even. “I wasn’t expecting a visit from you this evening. Prose, can you please give my student and I a moment?” Celestia sighed internally. Several moments. Way too many moments.

Next Chapter: Chapter 2 Estimated time remaining: 26 Minutes
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