Sleeping Your Way to the Top

by TGM

Chapter 1: In Which the Top is Gained by the Act of Sleeping

Twilight Sparkle hummed as she carefully lifted up the back of her mane with her magic. She twisted it until it was thin near the middle, then carefully levitated a barrette out of a nearby drawer and applied it to the ponytail. Once the alicorn princess was satisfied, she smiled at herself in the mirror.

“Perfect!” She exclaimed. Now I just have to put the finishing touches on my makeup, and I’ll look at least somewhat acceptable. She carefully lifted the eyeliner and began applying it as she continued humming her song.

Cadence told her not to overdo it with her appearance. However, informal meeting or not, Twilight was a Princess. She felt that she needed to dress herself up, even if it was just a little bit, when going out.

Besides, the last time she’d gone out with Rarity, she’d nearly given the fashionista a heart attack from how ‘informal’ she looked. Twilight didn’t want to say it out loud, but she was at least a little glad that Rarity wasn’t accompanying them tonight. Less pressure to look ‘presentable,’ as Rarity put it.

Once Twilight deemed her appearance decent, she trotted down the stairs toward the front door. She reached for the knob with her magic, and…

...gasped as a good hour’s worth of hard work was blown away in an instant. The doors flew open, a familiar rainbow streak shot into the foyer.

“I came as quick as I could, Twi! What is it this time? Another monster rampaging across Equestria? Has Tirek escaped from Tartarus again? Are the changelings back?” Rainbow Dash suddenly froze mid-air, then twirled to face her friend. “Did Applejack say she was stronger than m—” Rainbow stopped in mid sentence as she finally got a good look at Twilight’s face.

Twilight’s mane was blown straight backwards. Mascara and lipstick stained her coat, making her resemble an oddly spotted dalmatian.

Rainbow blinked. She tried to hold back her laughter, but only lasted a moment before falling to the ground. She rolled around as she clutched at her belly. “T-Twilight! What happened to you?” She lost her voice in another fit of giggles. “D-did Spike try to do your makeup or something?”

Nearby, a mascara and lipstick covered Spike wandered through a nearby doorway. He wore a pair of high hooves and a one-piece dress. He noticed the scene in the room, heard Rainbow’s comment, and slowly backed out again.

Twilight simply gave her friend an exasperated sigh before beginning her march back up the stairs. “No, Spike didn’t do my makeup. I did. You should consider getting some on yourself as well.”

Rainbow Dash finally sat up on the floor again. She gave Twilight an odd look. “Me? Makeup? Did you forget who you’re talking to? Last time I checked, I’m not Rarity.”

“Well at least comb your mane or something. We’re going out.” Twilight shut the door to her bathroom.

“Out?” Rainbow gasped, zipping up the stairs to float just outside of Twilight’s door. “Is it cider season again?!”

“No.” Twilight’s muffled voice came through the door. This was quickly followed by the sound of a spray bottle.

“Are the Wonderbolts performing?!” Rainbow asked hopefully.

“No.” A pleasant aroma wafted from the door.

“Did the map call us somewhere again?” Rainbow ventured.

“No.” The door opened again. Twilight’s mane was sticking out in the back, the front of it combed to the side. “The spa ponies gave me this mane style before, and I thought it looked nice. Do you think it looks nice?” Twilight asked.

Rainbow deadpanned. “Sure, it looks fine I guess.”

Twilight beamed. “Great!” then she began to descend the stairs again.

“Well if Equestria isn’t in danger, there isn’t a friendship problem, and the map didn’t summon us…” Rainbow droned on before landing at the base of the staircase in front of Twilight. “... then where are we going ‘out’ to?”

“My brother and Cadence are in town. We found a local bar that we’re all rather fond of.” Twilight said as she levitated her saddlebags over, then draped them across her back. “I’d go by myself, but it’s always just us when they come to town. I thought it’d be nice to invite my friends, none of you spend nearly enough time with either of them.”

Rainbow groaned. “Why can’t you just ask Spike to come?”

Twilight deadpanned. “It’s a bar. He is a baby dragon. He can’t come with us.”

Rainbow gave Twilight a skeptical look. “We’re talking dragon years. He’s got to be at least two hundred or something, right?”

Twilight frowned. “That’s besides the point, even if he could come I’d still ask you to join us. Please?”

Rainbow crossed her legs, then looked towards a corner of the room. “Iiii, uh, I have a lot of… cloudbusting to do!” She grinned.

Twilight looked unamused. “It’s almost dark out. I looked at Ponyville’s weather schedule myself, you do all your cloud busting on weekday mornings.”

“I have work in the morning.” Rainbow sighed. “It’s a tough job, but somepony’s gotta do it.”

“It’s Friday night.” Twilight pointed to a nearby calendar.

Rainbow groaned again. “Why can’t anyone else come? I got things I need to do!”

“What, like find a nice, fluffy cloud to fall asleep on?” Twilight grinned slyly as Rainbow whistled. “Anyways, Pinkie and the cakes are caught up with a big order for a high-society event in Canterlot. It’s their first out of town request, so they’re very excited and focussed on it. Rarity’s finishing another dress order for Sapphire Shores. Fluttershy is nursing a baby bird back to health, and it’s close to Zap Apple harvesting season for Applejack. They’re busy with preparations.” Twilight walked towards the door, past Rainbow, then turned back to face her. “In other words, you’re the only one who’s available. It means a lot to me, won’t you please come?”

Rainbow gritted her teeth as she tried to think up of something else to keep her busy. When she kept drawing blanks, she sighed. “Fine. but I’m not dressing up all fancy or anything!”

“That’s fine.” Twilight levitated a spray bottle out of her saddlebag and gave it to Rainbow.

“What’s this?” Rainbow asked as she peered at the bottle.

“Perfume.” Twilight opened the door.

“Why do I need this?” Rainbow cocked an eyebrow.

“So you don’t smell like rainwater,” Twilight retorted with a smirk as they ventured off into the night.


“... and so I said, ‘No! That’s not my dog!’” Cadence finished. Twilight and Shining Armor erupted into laughter, while Rainbow Dash simply sipped at her bottle of angry pasture.

After a nudge from Twilight, Rainbow straightened up and let out an unenthusiastic chuckle. “Haha, yeah that’s pretty great.” She took another drink.

Twilight frowned before looking at Cadence and her brother again. “Rainbow Dash is on the weather team here in Ponyville, I’m sure she’s used to a lot of crazy stuff happening around her, right Rainbow?”

Rainbow Dash shrugged. “I suppose so, if you want to call just doing our jobs crazy.”

Cadence, Shining, and Twilight all laughed nervously.

“Sooo,” Twilight tried to change the subject. “Cadence, how is the Crystal Empire? Are things quieting down now that the Equestrian Games are over?”

Cadence giggled. “Hardly. In fact, ponies seem more eager than ever to get my attention.” She sipped her martini. “No sooner had I assigned the ponies to clean up after everyone left more were asking me to sign off for tax laws.” The mare rolled her eyes. “You’d think an entire empire made out of solid crystal wouldn’t have money problems, but I think they worry more about it than the others in Equestria do.”

Twilight smiled. “What about the advisor’s counsel? Any luck there?”

Cadence rolled her eyes. “I honestly haven’t found anypony trustworthy enough quite yet. Most of the nobles who apply are those who seek to use their position of power to get something they want, they don’t care about other ponies’ wants, needs, or desires.” Cadence smiled and looked at Shining. “Not the way you do at least, honey.”

Shining chuckled. “I might be a nice stallion, but definitely not a royal advisor.” He took a sip of his drink. “As for the the other side of things, we’ve had a lot of other ponies from across Equestria moving into the Empire. It’s a little mind-boggling, especially when so many of them are trying to join the guard.” The stallion sighed. “We had to update the training grounds outside the palace for pegasi too.”

Rainbow Dash suddenly sat up, her eyebrow raised. “What’s the deal with that, anyways? How do Pegasi join the guard? Some kind of selection process?”

Shining shook his head. “I don’t believe ponies are ‘born’ into classes, not like some of the nobles would have us believe.” Shining’s ears splayed backwards for just a moment. “Everyone has it in them to succeed. Pegasi are trained on their aerial agility and speed. In the field we use them for rapid counterstrikes, so their ability to strike deep into enemy forces in the blink of an eye is invaluable. Of course, none can do that from day one.” Shining chuckled. “At least, not all of us.” Shining grinned at Rainbow.

Rainbow placed her hooves behind her head. “Yeah, I am pretty awesome, aren’t I?”

Shining pointed a hoof at Rainbow. “That right there. That is what we want to see. Total confidence in your abilities is a key to succeeding in the guard.”

“Careful, Big Brother. Rainbow’s ego might explode with all that praise you’re filling it with.” Twilight giggled.

Rainbow glared at her friend, who only looked away and whistled.

Shining laughed. “Well, either way, it is getting to be a bit much. There’s a whole new mess of management responsibilities that I have to deal with now, not to mention the training for the newbies.” Shining sighed. “It was so much easier when I didn’t have all of this responsibility. Not that I’m regretting it.”

“I’ve been meaning to ask you about that,” Rainbow Dash spoke up, then leaned against the table. “Twilight told me about how you earned the rank of captain. Recruit, to Cadet, to Sergeant, to Captain, all within two years? That’s crazy progression!” Rainbow beamed. “It took Captain Spitfire five years to make it to sergeant, let alone captain. What’s your secret?”

Shining blinked. “Secret? There’s no secret. Just a lot of hard work and study. I guess I was just able to understand some of the concepts easier than the other guards.”

“Oh there’s gotta be something more to it than ‘understanding concepts’ Mr. Prince…” Rainbow Dash narrowed her eyes. “Come to think of it, how long were you a captain before you became a prince? A Month? Six months? A year?” Rainbow Dash steadily leaned in closer.

Shining backed his head away more and more the closer Rainbow got, before eventually gently pushing her back. “A year and a half, actually.” He answered. “And that was just a bonus package. The best thing that ever happened to me was Cadence.”

“Awww, Shiny…” Cadence and Shining gazed at each other before sharing a heartfelt kiss.

Rainbow stuck her tongue out. “Bleagh, kissy kissy goo-goo stuff makes me—” Rainbow suddenly froze in place. She looked between Shining, then Cadence, then back to Shining, then Cadence again. “Wait, wait, wait, wait,” Rainbow waved her hooves about in the air. “You two were dating… Shining jumped up in rank…” Rainbow’s eyes widened. “You slept your way to the top, huh?” She grinned, then waggled her eyebrows suggestively.

Cadence and Shining blushed like mad, while Twilight just facehoofed. “Rainbow, how could you even say such a thing? Shining Armor worked hard to get where he is today!”

“Oh come on Twi,” Rainbow Dash gestured towards the couple. “Your brother went from a recruit to a captain in two years! There had to have been some princessly influence in that time period!”

Shining narrowed his eyes and huffed a little. “I worked my flank off to get where I am. It had nothing to do with ‘sleeping my way to the top’.”

“Right, but surely that had something to do with it, right? I mean, regular recruits don’t just jump that much rank in such a short amount of time.” Rainbow looked between Cadence and Shining Armor.

Shining huffed again, then began to rise up in his seat. “I didn’t even start dating her until aft—” His statement fell short as Cadence nudged him. She gave him a sly grin and shook her head slowly. Shining arched an eyebrow, but willingly sat back down.

“So if Shining Armor can get to be captain of the Royal Guard by sleeping with a princess…” Rainbow Dash stroked her chin thoughtfully. “... then, following that logic, I could become a captain of the Wonderbolts if I slept with a princess, right?” Rainbow grinned and looked between them excitedly.

Cadence shrugged. “Seems possible to me.”

Twilight’s jaw dropped, and she looked over to her sister-in-law. “How can you encourage this line of thinking?!”

“Uh, I have several questions.” Shining spoke up, his face beginning to redden.

“So then the question is, which Princess should it be?” Rainbow thought, and looked around the room before her gaze rested on Twilight. Slowly, a smile creeped across her face.

Twilight frowned. “Rainbow, don’t you dare!”

“Oh, my,” Cadence said.

Shining looked back and forth among the three mares. “Is this really happening right now?”

Rainbow Dash looked away from everypony. She stared at the other side of the room and closed her eyes. “You know, Twilight…”

“Sweet Celestia, this is happening right now…” Shining Armor put his hooves over his eyes. “I can’t watch…”

“I can!” Cadence exclaimed. She leaned forward with a massive grin plastered on her face.

“I have something to tell you, Twilight,” Dash continued. “Ever since you came to Ponyville… You’ve turned my world upside down.”

Twilight facehoofed again. “Oh, no.”

“That first day you talked to me, something changed.” Dash continued to face the far wall, her face hidden from Twilight and the others. “When I first saw you, I felt something stirring within me. Stirring in my… My… Uh…”

“In your bosom?” Cadence suggested.

“Don’t help her!” Twilight snapped. She glared at her sister-in-law and then once again hid her face.

“This isn’t happening… This isn’t happening…” Shining rocked back and forth in his chair. “Too… Awkward…”

“Yes. In my bosom,” Dash said.

“He he,” Cadence chuckled. “She said bosom.”

“Do you have any idea how insincere you sound?” Twilight peeked her face out. She glared at Rainbow with her ears splayed backwards.

Dash whipped her head over to face her friend. Her eyes glistened with moisture, and her lip quivered. “You… You know I’m not good with words, Twilight. I’m trying to tell you how I feel…” She wiped away a single treacherous tear and sniffed loudly. “Please, let me finish.”

“Yeah, Twilight!” Cadence jeered. “Let the mare speak!”

“I’m a little teapot, short and stout. Here is my handle, here is my spout…” Shining recited quietly. By this time, he had buried his face under the tablecloth and was plugging his ears with his hooves.

“I’m going to regret this…” Twilight growled. “Fine. Keep going.”

“Thank you,” Dash said with another sniff. “Twilight… Did you ever wonder why my mane is a rainbow?”

“When I get all steamed up, hear me shout…” Shining said even more loudly.

Cadence clapped her hooves together lightly. “Oh, my.”

Twilight narrowed her eyes. “You better not be going where I think you’re going…”

Rainbow caught Twilight’s eyes and their gazes locked. Magenta eyes met purple, and Dash slowly spoke. “It’s because…”

“Just tip me over and pour me out!” Shining finished emphatically.

“It’s because…”

“The suspense is killing me!” Cadence said gleefully.

“...It’s because rainbows are awesome,” Dash finished. She sobbed loudly.

Twilight blinked twice. “Well, that wasn’t what I was exp—”

“And because I’m a fillyfooler.” Dash added.

“Aaaaaand there it is,” Twilight said sourly. “Can you get any more cliché?”

“If declaring your love for another pony is cliché, then I say, let the entire world be cliché!” Cadence declared as she slammed her hoof on the table.

Shining Armor pressed his hooves onto his ears even tighter. “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream…”

“Twilight, do you know why I crashed into your library so often?” Dash asked. Tears streamed down her face like a river, and her hooves were shaking. “Do you?”

“Because you don’t pay attention to where you’re going?” Twilight asked dryly.

“Well…” Dash said. “Besides that.”

“You stay up all night doing Celestia knows what and nap all day, and that leaves you exhausted, so you have a difficult time controlling yourself?”

“Eh. A little. But besides that!” Dash leaned forward.

Twilight raised her eyebrows. “You haven’t taken your medication in years?”

I don’t need medication!” Dash practically yelled. “And besides that too!”

“Well, is it because—”

“It’s because I love you.” Dash put both hooves on the table.

“Yes! I knew it!” Cadence cheered. She clapped her hooves.

“Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, please let this be a dream…” Shining moaned from beneath the tablecloth.

“Uhhhhhhhh…” Twilight lifted the tablecloth up and joined her brother underneath it.

“Twilight! You can’t hide from love!” With that statement, Cadence used her magic to rip the cloth off the table, revealing the two cowering siblings.

Shining slid down out of his chair and hid beneath the table.

Twilight moaned and sat up. “Rainbow…”

“And… and… and…” Dash covered her mouth with her hooves, her body shaking from the pure, totally un-fake emotion coursing through her body. “And all those times I called you an egghead…”

“Celestia, please just lower the sun into the planet right now…” Twilight muttered. “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.”

“I was just hiding my true feelings,” Dash continued.

“So beautiful….” Cadence covered her mouth with her hooves, her eyes shimmering with joy. “It’s true! Just like how little colts antagonize fillies that they like in school! So cuuuuuute!” she cooed.

Twilight narrowed her eyes at her sister-in-law. “Traitor…” she mumbled under her breath. Cadence only smiled back.

“Ba-ba-ba, ba-banana…” Shining sang from underneath the table.

“I didn’t know what I was feeling for so long, Twilight. I was cruel. Horrible. Meany-pants.” Dash hung her head in shame. “But, I realized… If you were an egghead… I wanted to be your frying pan.”

“What,” Twilight deadpanned.

“Oooh, this is a new one!” Cadence pulled out a pad of paper and a pencil.

Ba-ba-ba, ba-banana.”

“Twilight, if you’re an egg, I wanna get you hot,” Dash declared, somehow keeping a straight face as she spoke. The sincerity dripped from her voice.

“No, no, no…” Twilight covered her ears with her hooves and slammed her eyes shut. “It huuuuurts.”

Cadence roared with laughter. “The unrequited love! How tragic! Where’s the ambiance?!” She searched around the bar, drawing stares from several other ponies.


“That’s not what I meant, but thanks for trying, sweetie,” Cadence said to her husband as she gave him a faithful pat on the head.

Shining didn’t respond at all. He just cowered under the table, shaking in pure terror. “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home…”

“And if you’re a head, not an egg, I still wanna be your frying pan...” Dash practically leaped out of her chair and rushed over to Twilight. She got down on her knees and grasped at Twilight’s hoof. “Because, Twilight…”

“No. No, no, no, no, no…” Twilight muttered rapidly. She turned to face the far wall and—

“No! You have to look at her, Twilight! Can’t you see that she’s opening her heart up to you?” Cadence said. She, too, leapt to her hooves. “You have to respect the moment! Respect it!

“Under the sea, under the sea! Under the sea, under the sea!” Shining’s voice cracked as he sang the off-key lyrics.

“Noooooooo…” Twilight moaned. She took a deep breath and shot Cadence a look of pure venom. The other princess was too busy looking at Rainbow Dash, however, so Twilight turned to look at the pegasus as well.

Rainbow Dash looked pitiful. Tearstains marred her face. Her lip quivered, her eyes shone, and her mane was a mess, and…

“Dash… Did you mess up your mane on purpose?” Twilight asked.

“Twilight! The moment! Respect!” Cadence almost leapt over the table, a wild look in her eyes.

“Take the last train to Clarksville, and I’ll meet you by the station…”

“Twilight… I’d be your frying pan because…”

Twilight groaned.


Cadence practically danced with joy.


Shining kept on singing.

Rainbow Dash smiled so sweetly. “Because I wanna hit that.”

“Celestia dammit!” Twilight swore. She yanked her hoof away from Dash and got up from the table. She paced around the other ponies.

Shining suddenly stood up from the table. “I’d say it’s time for us to go.” His eye gave the slightest twitch as he turned to Cadence. “Wouldn’t you agree, dear?”

“What? No!” Cadence cried. “Just five more minutes! Pleeeeeease?”

Dash’s sobs filled the air. “Twilight! Where are you going?”

Twilight turned back and yelled at her. “To get a bucking drink!”


The Next Morning…


The early morning sunlight filtered through the castle’s magnificent windows. The chirping of birds called out like a heavenly chorus, the sweet autumn scent filled the air with the scent of ripe apples and cool fall days, and Twilight hated all of it.

The princess of friendship held her head in her hooves and moaned. Her heartbeat pounded rhythmically within her skull, and the room would not stop spinning. Twilight didn’t want to open her eyes. It would hurt too much. She didn’t want to pull herself out of bed. She was too sore. All she wanted to do was curl back up next to the other warm body that filled her bed and go right back to slee—

“Wait. What?” Twilight forced her eyes open and immediately regretted it. “Oh sweet Celestia… What have I done?”

Rainbow Dash was lying right next to her. The pegasus’ mane was askew, and she had propped her head up on one of her hooves. She stared into the princess’ eyes, and a massive smile filled her face.

“Hey, beautiful. Sup?” She asked coyly.

“Oh, no. Oh no…” Twilight moaned. “How much did I drink last night…”

“Just enough…” Dash whispered. She moved closer and put a wing around Twilight. The pegasus pulled Twilight to her chest and sighed into her mane. “That. Was. Awesome.”

Twilight froze, shock still. Her eyes narrowed, and she hissed out her words. “Let. Me. Go. Now.”

“Mmmm, that’s not what you said last night…” Dash whispered. She nibbled on Twilight’s ear. “Wanna go again?”

Twilight groaned. “Rainbow Dash. What are you doing?”

“Cuddling! It’s the nice thing to do after everything we did for each other last night… Especially since I’m about to get that promotion and will have to be gone for so long.” Dash sighed dramatically. “But never fear, my princess. I will return to you someday.”

Twilight did not reply.

Dash pulled back slightly and raised an eyebrow. “Speaking of which, when do I get that promotio— Whaaaaaaaaaaa!”

The bedroom’s window shattered as Rainbow was thrown out of the bed and soared through the air, propelled by the sheer magical strength of an alicorn princess. Twilight leapt out of bed, despite her headache, and raced over to the window.

Never!” she shouted after the now-distant Rainbow Dash.

Silence filled the room. Twilight huffed and puffed, but her ears suddenly perked up. It was as if something was speaking to her, but from a great distance. She strained her hearing, and listened. There! Echoing back from over the horizon, she could hear two words…

Worth it!

Author's Notes:

What have we done?

Also, bosoms.

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