Out In The Cold

by Karrakaz

Chapter 1: Mistletoe

Twilight took a deep breath and stepped across the threshold into the inner sanctum of Canterlot Castle. The area was so called because only the Princess herself, and those she favoured were allowed up there. Despite its ostentatious and frankly misleading name, it was little more than a small rooftop garden, which was currently covered by an almost knee-height blanket of cold, white, snow.

She slowly made her way through the white morass, trudging through it like she was on her way to the biggest scolding of her life. That wasn’t the case, of course, that part of her life lay several years behind her. She was a mare now. A princess. And yet, for all of the ways that she had advanced in her studies, and exceeded the expectations of everypony around her, there was nothing like the simple pleasures of celebrating hearth's warming with those she cared about.

Earlier in the day, she’d shared the ‘traditional’ Hearth’s warming breakfast at her parents’ house, and after that she had shown her friends some of the more obscure places in Canterlot (those she knew about at any rate) and now, in the evening, she had been asked by the Princess to join her on the rooftop gardens, like they had done most every year since she had become Celestia’s personal student.

Business as usual, with one major difference: This time, this year, she was going to tell her.

Moving around a particularly detailed statue depicting a horn of plenty, she finally caught sight of her hostess, and crush. Celestia sat on the stone floor near the balcony, looking out over her kingdom. She wore no embellishments other than those that denoted her station, and yet, with all the white surrounding her, looked more breathtakingly beautiful than Twilight had ever seen her.

Twilight stopped herself and shook her head. That wasn’t true. She felt that way about the Princess every time she saw her, and right now, it was an unwelcome feeling. If she allowed it to persist, she would get caught up in it. She’d stammer, and fawn, but fail to do the one thing she had set out to do when she had received the annual summons.

Taking another deep breath, she went over her plan again in her head: Hidden inside of the yellow scarf her mother had insisted she wear was a piece of mistletoe. She would keep it there until the time was right, and then tie it around Celestia’s horn so as to have an excuse to kiss her.

The actual confession would have to follow on from there, and she had all but forgotten the carefully rehearsed lines she had written for just this occasion, but she figured she would burn that bridge when she came to it.

The plan was elegant for its simplicity, and, as far as Twilight was concerned, completely insane. Still, it had worked for Spike, and Cadence, and Fluttershy. With a hundred percent success ratio on all tests observed, she was forced to conclude that there had to be some merit to the method. She’d have to find the right time for it, but according to Rarity, that would become significantly easier if she just “Put a wing around her, and pull her close, darling,” Twilight muttered under her breath in a pale imitation of her friend’s advice.

That too, sounded like insanity. Touching the Princess without her permission. And yet, now that she had gotten this far (within ten feet of Celestia) she was determined to risk it all for a chance at success.

The snow crisped under her hooves, making Celestia look back and favour her with one of those infuriatingly beautiful smiles that only she seemed to possess. “Twilight!” She exclaimed happily. “I’m glad you could make it before I had to set the sun. It’s always so much more beautiful when viewed together, don’t you think?”

Twilight gulped softly and nodded her assent. It didn’t matter what she thought her chances for success were anymore. There was no going back. Hesitating and battling with her trepidation for only the barest of time possible, she set a hoof inside the small, bare, circle that was being kept clear of snow by the Princess’ latent magic.

Celestia hadn’t stopped looking at her, patting the ground next to herself with a hoof. “Come, Twilight. Sit,” she said before turning back to the vast expanse of land that stretched out beyond the balcony.

Twilight took her place without much more hemming and hawing. She chose to focus on the warmth that Celestia radiated and loosened her scarf a little. Being this close to the Princess was like sitting next to a cozy fireplace with a good book: It was pleasantly warm without being overbearing and there was more than enough for her eyes to take in.

“Beautiful isn’t it?” Celestia all but whispered, reverent in her awe for the magnificent white picture that was the land at the foot of Canterlot Mountain.

“Y-yeah...” The scenery was lost on Twilight. She had her eyes on her own gorgeous picture of white, though hers moved, breathed, and smiled. She licked her lips and tried to remember what it was that Rarity had told her. The words were a muddled mess inside her head, yet she remembered the gist of it.

She tore her gaze away from Celestia and tried to act nonchalantly, following Celestia’s gaze while she extended a wing. It hovered behind the Princess’ back for a moment, seemingly without her notice, until Twilight forced herself into action. She wrapped the tip of her wing around the pony she desired, and watched from the corner of her eyes to see how Celestia would react.

There was a momentary look of confusion on the Princess’ face. She looked down at the tip of Twilight’s wing, and then to Twilight herself.

Twilight smiled her best smile up at Celestia, feeling her cheeks burn with embarrassment and hope. To her surprise and delight, Celestia’s smile returned, along with a blush that was much more noticeable on her pristine white cheeks. Without a word, Celestia leaned into the wing hug, nuzzling Twilight’s closest ear with a content murmur.

This was it.

“Princess?” Twilight asked, doing the best she could to suppress the quaver in her voice.

Celestia did not immediately respond, taking her time to nuzzle down to Twilight’s cheek before opening her eyes which looked directly into Twilight’s own. “Hmmm?”

Twilight lit up her horn and pulled her mistletoe out from its hiding place. It was a little squashed, but that didn’t matter. She held it up between them for a moment before using the red ribbon it was attached to, to tie it to the Princess’ horn. “Merry Hearth’s warming,” she breathed, before leaning in and kissing her crush on the lips.

The kiss was everything she had ever dreamed about. Celestia’s lips were warm and soft, molding against her own. With a start, Twilight realised that Celestia was kissing back. Of her own volition! The idea that the Princess would do something like that with her sent her excitement over the top, and when the Princess pressed forward, Twilight’s body followed.

She toppled over onto her back with Celestia following her all the way to the ground, lips locked like they were glued together. On and on it went until Twilight’s lungs began voicing their displeasure with increasing urgency. Finally, reluctantly, did she break the kiss, staring up at the magenta eyes of her Princess Celestia. There was something that was supposed to come after the kiss, she was sure of it. She just couldn’t quite figure out what it was between the endorphins running through her head and her body’s desperate attempts to suck in enough oxygen.

It took three moments longer before the alarm bells started blaring. “Pri... Princess... I... you see...” she began from her compromising position beneath her crush. “I thought this was a good idea since it worked for Spike and Pinkie, and thereasonisthatI’vealwayshadacrushonyouandI—”

That was about as far as she got before Celestia kissed her again, cutting off her sentence and derailing her panicky train of thought. And when that one ended, it was followed up by another one, and another one.

“I’ve always known, you silly pony,” Celestia said between kisses. “I love you too.”

Twilight made a noise that was somewhere between a squee, and a surprised gasp. Or at least she tried to. Most of anything, be it vocal, mental, or otherwise, disappeared into the bliss that was being kissed by the pony she loved, and loved her in turn.

Author's Notes:

Just a little present from me to you people for Christmas, to show that I'm not dead. :twilightsheepish:

The inspiration for this story I mostly got from these two pictures:


It also seems to have garnered an audio version from CaptainBron3y

Happy holidays, and a happy 2016 everyone. :twilightsmile::heart:

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