No Nose Knows

by Irrespective

Chapter 10: 10. - So, Now What?

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“So, I guess we could have annulled the marriage too,” Bean offered in thought.

“That we could,” Celestia replied as they left her drawing room. “But that would have left you with nothing, and I didn’t want that to happen. You have handled everything with a great deal of decorum, and you deserved to have compensation for your trouble.”

Bean didn’t have a reply to that, but he did blush a little.

“Oh ho!” Celestia cackled. “I was wondering if it was possible to bring any color to your cheeks.”

“I blush,” he said weakly. “I’m not used to ponies praising me. I’m also not used to having all this attention.”

“I’ll help you through it,” Celestia offered. “Once our union is more widely known, you’re going to need it.”

“So long as you’re there, I think I’ll survive.”

“Sister!” Luna called out from down the hallway. “Are you done with Mister Bean?”

“Our dilemma has been resolved,” Celestia called back as Luna quickly closed the gap between them.

“All right, I need a straight answer, not this cryptic nonsense. Are you two divorced?”

“No, we—”

“Good. I need your husband.”

“No!” Celestia instantly wrapped a wing over him and pulled him in tight. “He’s mine! Go get your own.”

Luna smacked her forehead with a hoof and groaned. “Not like that! I have the ambassador from Caballo arriving in an hour and I need his cooking skills. Some light refreshments will help ease the tension from your reschedules.”

“That it would. Bean, would you like to entertain your first diplomat?”

“Sure, I’m willing to help,” he said as Celestia’s wing retreated with a line of tingles across his flank. “What do you want me to make?”

“Something more to the elegant side,” Luna replied. “Ambassador Rompe Viento is known for his particular tastes.”

“How about a Popurrí de Vendura?”

“I don’t think I can even pronounce that. What is it?”

“A traditional Caballian dish. It might be a bit heavy, but I think I can cut back here and there to lighten it up.”

“If it will appease the ambassador, then I’m all for it.” Luna motioned down the hallway. “Shall we?”

“Go ahead. I’ve got more than enough work to catch up on while you’re gone,” Celestia offered.

“I don’t doubt that.” Bean chuckled. “Maybe I can help you with it later?”

“I would like that.” Celestia gave him a bright smile. “I’ll save the really boring laws for you.”

“Oh, great,” Bean groaned with a smile, then turned to Luna. “Your kitchen staff isn’t going to be mad that I’m taking over their job, are they?”

“Not at all. No chef has been able to satisfy all of the Ambassador’s demands to date,” Luna replied, as they began walking down the hallway. “You’re the only hope I have at the moment.”

“Are things really that bad between Equestria and Caballo?”

“No, so it will be fine if he doesn’t like what you have made, but it would help.”

“Okay. Let’s go give it a whirl, then.”

“So you decided to stay with my sister,” Luna casually remarked.

“I did,” Bean said with a slow stir of the vegetables in the skillet before him.


“Well, why not? Who wouldn’t want to be married to your sister?”

“Nice try.” She gave him a slight glare, but the corners of her mouth were upturned. “I need a better answer than that.”

“That you do. It’s a bit hard to explain, really. I just felt like there could be something more. I know that I’m just about the most common of commoners you could find in our broad land, and that there’s no reason for either you or your sister to have ever noticed my existence.

“But last night, when we were just talking…” Bean trailed off. There was a pause as he threw some spices in the pan, then began stirring again. “It was nice, I guess. I was talking to two princesses like they were my old friends, and it felt good.

“Just talking to Celly feels good, y’know? I know she has to stay professional and be diplomatic for both her own ponies and visitors, but the little bits that I’ve seen when she’s not being a Princess are… well, they’re wholesome. They’re delightful. This is probably going to sound really dumb, because this all applies to her anyway, but even in private she’s a smart, witty, and thoughtful mare who really does care about others.

“I mean, she’s tried to make my life easier, despite everything that’s happened. She’s trying to make up for her law, and she really wants to do what’s best. I dunno. Maybe I’m just being weird, but when I talk to Celly—not Princess Celestia, but just Celly—I feel like I belong. I’d almost like to say that existential crisis my dad said I was having is solved with her. I kinda feel like… well, like I’ve found myself.”

“What about the other mare you met? Sego Lily, wasn’t it?”

He chuckled. “Yeah. I don’t know how to explain that. She was attractive, and I can’t deny I wasn’t enamored by her. I guess I just fell for that trap where I let my guard down a little and I let her in when I shouldn’t have. If I could go back and do that again I would. I would have just apologized for crashing into her and then been on my way, and just skip getting caught in the depths of a pity party. I guess I need to take that as a lesson in watching my decisions.”

“At least you have learned from it,” Luna replied. “If you are going to remain with my sister, you owe her your complete fidelity.”

“She’ll have it, don’t worry. I mean, who could ever really measure up to your sister?”

“Somepony on stilts, maybe.”

They both chuckled at the mental image. “That’s about the only way. But I’m going to take this seriously. Celestia deserves it.”

“You do too,” said Luna. “You will never have to worry about Celly betraying you, either.”

“I never thought that would be an issue.”

“Celly is still a mare, Bean. She meets with a great many handsome stallions on an almost daily basis, stallions who would turn you green with envy. She will have to watch herself too, but she takes her commitments seriously. If you stay loyal to her, she will stay loyal to you.”

“Just as you stayed loyal to Star Struck?”

“Just as we did, yes.” Luna’s subdued smile made her light up like the moon. “I can tell you it was not easy all the time. As romantic as our beginning was, our relationship needed continual work. The same will be true for you.”

“I don’t mind a little work,” Bean replied as he pulled a saucepan off of another burner and poured the contents over his concoction in the main skillet. “Especially for what the reward is.”

“Is this it, then?”

“Yeah. I hope he likes it. This is something my parents came up with after an overseas trip to Caballo. They said it was inspired from their trip through the countryside.”

“I believe it will be satisfactory,” she replied. “He should be arriving any moment now. We will soon see if you are successful.”

“Princess, I don’t know who made this, but I simply must offer my compliments!” Ambassador Rompe Viento gushed. “This is the most incredible meal I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying!”

“I will be sure to pass your compliments along,” Luna replied with a wink to Bean. “The Chef will be very pleased to hear this.”

“Well, now that I am quite pleasantly full, I believe we can begin negotiations. May I be so bold as to invite you to join us?”

“I have already made arrangements to join you and Minister Penny Wise, Ambassador.”

Fantastico! Will Mister Bean be joining us?”

“I believe he is needed elsewhere, unfortunately.”

“In high demand eh?” The Ambassador bobbed his eyebrows at Bean. “But that is fine. I’m sure we will have an opportunity to talk later.”

“I look forward to it, Ambassador,” Bean replied.

“Just this way, Viento.” Luna motioned with a hoof down one hallway.

Bean stood still until they both had cleared the hallway, and then he let his breath out in relief. That had been slightly nerve wracking, but at least his meal had been received well. But now what? Should he go back to the Archives and study more, or should he try to meet up with Celestia?

“Excuse me, Prince Bean?”

That was definitely going to take some getting used to. He smiled politely as he turned to face Celestia’s secretary. “Yes?”

“Hello, Your Highness. I’m Wysteria Inkwell, and I’m your personal secretary now. It’s nice to make your acquaintance.”

“Likewise,” he replied with a quick shake of her hoof. “But you’re still Celestia’s secretary too, right?”

“Yes, Your Highness. I work for both of you now. You’ll be seeing me around a lot since the Princess believes you’ll be spending most of your time with her over the next few weeks.”

“Oh? Well, I can live with that.” Bean gave a quick nod. “So, what am I supposed to be doing right now?”

Wysteria adjusted her glasses and looked over her clipboard. “Well, the Princess is scheduled to be in Day Court until this evening. I guess you could join her there. She didn’t really say what she wanted you to do right now.”

“I don’t know if I should join her. Wouldn’t I be a disruption?”

“Oh, not at all, Your Highness! There’s a separate staff entrance near the back. I can bring you in there, and you can just sit off to the side until she’s done.”

“No one will notice me there?”

“I would be surprised if they did, Your Highness. Everypony who comes to court is so in awe of Celestia that they don’t bother to look around, and even if they did, we’ll just say you’re an observer. You’ll blend right in.”

“Oh! Well, okay then. I guess I just follow you?”

Wysteria smiled and motioned down a hallway with one hoof. “Right this way, Your Highness.”

Baked Bean liked Day Court.

Granted, he wasn’t the one making the decisions, and he knew that made a huge difference. But Celestia was an obvious expert, and the various petitioners were giving him a good look at what would probably be expected of him later.

His first observation was how many ponies came to the seat of the Two Sisters to beg for money. It seemed nearly half of the visitors wanted funds for any number of reasons: new house, start a business, hard times, et cetera. Celestia was uniform in her decisions. No matter what, the official policy of the Crown was not to distribute funding, no matter how worthy the cause. Business ideas needed to speak to a local banker for a loan (and she gladly named two or three who she personally recommended), and individuals needed to speak to the ponies in the Office of Personal Finance to determine what would be best for their particular case. Bean figured that this was because money distributed by the Crown was taxpayer bits, and that some oversight was needed to ensure the money wasn’t wasted. Even if Celestia did approve the funds, it would have to be accounted for somewhere so it ended up the same anyway.

The next most common request was requests for her to make some kind of legislative change. These she listened to calmly and attentively, no matter how strange they were. There was, for instance, a pair of goats who wished for a ‘National Feta Cheese’ day to be declared, and that made Bean giggle a bit, since he personally disliked Feta. Celestia diplomatically said she’d look into it, and that had worked.

Another asked for an official study into whether or not Cloudsdale’s method of replenishing their water reserves was damaging to the local ecosystems. He looked a bit put out when she told him comprehensive studies had been done every year for the last two hundred and twelve years and no damage had ever been noted. Well, other than a few confused fish that had to be screened out of the water inlets and returned to the donating lake every time the reserves were filled.

He was pretty amazed at how well she handled these requests, and how well she knew what legislation was already in place, but he also realized why she had forgotten about her nose law. With the constant influx of laws, ordinances and the other minutiae that went into running a country, it would be easy to forget a dusty old law that wasn’t doing anything.

The rest of the petitioners he labeled as miscellaneous. Some just wanted to chat with her, some wanted a photograph and/or an autograph, and one old mare asked if Celly could speak at her funeral. Celestia had danced around that one, saying it really depended on her schedule on the day of death.

The absolute best petitioner, however, was the last pony. He was a suave young thing, perhaps the same age as Bean, with a slicked back mane and sparkling white teeth. He sprayed his mouth with what Bean suspected was breath freshener just as he was announced, and he strode confidently into the room with an all-knowing grin.

“Good afternoon, Furious Thunder,” Celestia greeted evenly. “What do you have to present before the Court?”

Thunder cleared his throat with a practiced ease in his motions. “O great Celestia, whose strength binds our lands together and whose wisdom shines forth across the seas, I thank fortune and luck that I have been so privileged to be in your presence today.”

Bean was pretty extra sure he could hear Celestia’s eyes rolling.

“But I have come here today as a humble stallion, one who seeks only for the eternal happiness and indescribable joy of our beloved monarch. I wish to offer a present, O Celestia, a simple token of my own undying gratitude for your selfless work in our behalf.”

“And what present is that?” Celestia asked. Bean caught the note of wariness in her voice and moved up and onto his hooves, but he was also glad to see the Guards in the room tense up and give the great orator their undivided and pointed attention.

“Nothing more than a flower, my lady. A rare and beautiful flower, one that matches your own self.”

Baked Bean was no flower expert by any means, but the flower that the pegasus produced seemed to be nothing more than an ordinary white rose. Though Bean felt highly confused, Celestia’s face remained even and calm. She even let a small smile grace her features.

“What a lovely gesture! Thank you, Mister Thunder. Please, approach and present your gift.”

The guards at the foot of the dais didn’t look very happy about this, but they let him pass. Bean also was a bit concerned, but he figured Celestia knew what she was doing.

Furious Thunder’s posture was confident and sure, looking like a stallion who had just won a large prize and was about to collect it. Bean watched closely as Thunder made the climb quickly and then kneeled before Celestia with the rose held upward in one hoof.

“For my beloved monarch.”

Celestia’s hoof slowly moved out to take the flower.

And Furious Thunder sprung. Before Bean could even react, Thunder had pushed up from his low position quickly, tilted his head up and booped Celestia’s nose.

“Oh! My apologies.” Celestia retreated up and back a step, and Bean caught the mischievous wink from his wife. “I didn’t realize you were going to stand.”

“Oh, no, Your Highness. The fault was mine. I am such. A. Clumsy. Stallion.” Thunder made a great effort at enunciating his words.

“Are you really? You should take some yoga classes, then.” Celestia took the rose in her magic and sniffed it. “Or perhaps some Tai Chi would work better. Or is it Chai tea? I always get those mixed up.”

“I, uh. I’ll look into it.”

“Now, I could be mistaken, but this seems like a rather ordinary rose. What makes it so special?”

“It, um… it’s the first flower I gave to my future bride.”

“Oh! Well, that makes it far too special to give to me.” Celestia pushed the rose back in Thunder’s face. “You should return it immediately.”

“Um, Your Highness?” one of the guards piped up, after clearing his throat.

“Oh! Do you mean me, Mister Thunder?” Celestia put a hoof to her chest in dramatic shock. “Oh dear. You did just boop my nose, didn’t you?”

“I did, yes.” That winning smile was back in full force.

“Oh my, what a dilemma! I did write that law a thousand years ago that says the first stallion to touch my nose with his own has to be my husband.”

“You did, yes.”

“It’s certainly a good thing that law is no longer valid, isn’t it?”

“It is… wait, what?”

Celestia nodded solemnly. “Yes, I’m afraid so. You are not the first stallion to touch my nose. You’re operating under a misconception.”

“Somepony else got you already?” Thunder whispered in disbelief.

Celestia now frowned at him. “Yes, and it’s a good thing, too. What University are you attending right now?”

Bean was trying very hard not to laugh at the now thoroughly routed Furious Thunder.

“The University of Canterlot, Your Highness.” Thunder said.

“And did you read my law for yourself or did you just hear about it?”

“I heard about it from some friends on campus who’d seen it.”

“I see. Did you consider what would really happen if you were the first one?”


“Because it is no easy task to be a prince. You must be calm and collected at all times, never letting you emotions overrun your judgements and decisions. You must handle ponies at their very worst, as well as at their very best. Despite your own opinions and ideas, you must be open and receptive to all ponies, no matter how different they may seem, or how offensive their personality may be.

“You must also make decisions that will be tried and tested for years to come, and if you make an error then you will not only suffer yourself but you will impact the lives of potentially millions. A seemingly small and simple law can completely change the whole of Equestria.”

Bean moved over towards the dias when Celestia motioned for him. He knew all that stuff wasn’t for Thunder, it was for him. Celestia was warning him, he’d be in the hot seat with her in more ways than he knew about.

But that was just it. He’d be with her.

And with that being the case, he believed it could be done. He could be a prince, and have the love of a princess. It would take everything he had, and probably more, but it would doable.

“Mister Thunder, I would like you to meet—” Celestia stalled, looked over to Bean, and smiled “—my husband, Prince Baked Bean. Bean, say hello to Furious Thunder.”

Bean was really grateful that only Celestia, Wysteria, and himself were present for the big announcement, but there was still no shortage of embarrassment on his part.

“H-hi.” Bean stammered.

“Go easy on him, he’s had a rough few days.” Celestia added quickly. “It’s not easy adjusting to being a Prince.”

“How did you boop her first?” Thunder demanded, his face flushed with anger. Celestia’s magic flared, and the young stallion began to float away from Bean, held by the scruff of his neck much like a kitten being picked up by its mother.

“Now, now. Don’t be a sore loser,” Celestia chided. “My advice to you is to forget any of this happened, resume your studies, and look for your special somepony while doing so. You never know when destiny will strike. Now, off you go!”

Thunder yelped when Celestia’s magic swatted him on the bum as she put him down. He then grumbled and fumed his way out of the throne room, with a couple of guards following for good measure. Once he was out of sight, Celestia nodded to Wysteria.

“I believe we shall adjourn Day Court for now.”

“Very well.” Wysteria swung the double doors to the throne room shut with her magic.

“Now then, all of that excitement has worked up my appetite. Bean, what do you suggest we have tonight?”

He smiled. “How about a nice rosemary salad with shredded carrots, but hold the physical assault?”

“That sounds delicious. Shall we?”

“So, I guess we have to make the official announcement now,” Bean said.

“Not necessarily,” Luna replied. “If you are still not comfortable about your position, we can still use one of my favorite stalling tactics.”

Celestia rolled her eyes, but she laughed too. “The Crown can neither confirm nor deny the rumor that has been spread by Furious Thunder. No further comment.”

“Exactly. It is amazing how well that works.”

“No, that doesn’t seem right,” Bean replied. “I would feel like I’m deceiving ponies. Since I decided to stay, we should announce it.”

“The Bean has spoken,” Celestia grandly proclaimed with a chuckle. “Everything will be shut down tomorrow so we’ll make the announcement and have a press conference first thing Monday morning.”

Bean nodded. “I guess this means we should go meet my parents tomorrow.”

“Are you sure you want to?”

“I’m pretty extra sure I don’t want to.” Bean paused while he glared daggers at the floor. “But I don’t think they’d appreciate reading about how their son married Princess Celestia in the morning paper. They did send me off on this little journey, so it’s fair they should know how it ended.”

“I would not say it has ended.” Luna replied. “I think you’re still just beginning. This is just another step along the way.”

“That’s true,” he replied, before taking a bite of salad. “Were your parents still alive when you met Star Struck?”

“You should not talk with your mouth full,” Luna chided. “But they were, yes. It was not easy for them to accept him, but they did in time.”

“They didn’t like him?”

“He was a mouthy, temperamental thing at first. Though he treated me kindly, he would gladly have an argument at anytime and with anypony. He hated backing down, too, so there were frequent ego clashes. Father was ready to turn him into saddlebags more than a few times.”

“Our parents were also slow to adapt,” Celestia added. “The magic of friendship takes longer to work on some, and it was hard for Mother and Father to accept an earth pony as an equal, not to mention the additional hurdle of being worthy of their daughter. But in time, they did. We all worked together on it and he eventually became a beloved son-in-law.”

“Think they’d ever approve of me?” Bean asked.

“Hmm.” Luna tapped her hoof to her chin. “They would not approve of you being an earth pony. They also would frown upon your common status, and your accidental invocation of the law.”

“But then you stayed and took responsibility,” Celestia added. “They would appreciate that, even if they would not admit it.”

“Taking a thrashing from me would probably add to their appreciation of your tenacity.” Luna shook her head and chuckled. “Enduring my teasing would also be endearing.”

“Being an excellent cook is always a good way to gain a pony’s favor,” Celestia offered with a deep smile. “They would be displeased over your day with Sego Lily, but then they would be touched by your remorse over the incident. Being able to tolerate Discord would also impress them.”

“And then you stayed,” Luna concluded. “You had an out, but you did not take it. I think, overall, they would have approved. They would be chiding Celly for writing such a silly law, though.”

“They did when I wrote the thing.” Celestia laughed. “But even they begrudgingly admitted my convoluted solution was better than Iron Hoof.”

“Anything was better than Iron Hoof, Sister. The foal was an idiot.”

“I sense you have a high opinion of him,” Bean quipped.

Luna snorted derisively. “Go through the archives and look into his history. You will quickly see why I detested him. I shed no tears for him when he finally passed.”

“He was rather unpleasant, and that’s being nice,” Celestia added. “It may be a bit shameful but I wasn’t too sad when he passed either. He had very few redeeming qualities.”

“Huh.” Bean took a slow bite as he thought about this information. “So, if I’m the opposite of him I’ll be good.”

“That will be a good start.” Celestia gave Bean a serious look. “But it will only be just that. Everything I said to Furious Thunder will apply to you, and more. You will need to be at your very best, at every moment, and even if everypony around you is not. And worst of all, you will have to contend with a spouse who can be very disagreeable when she is having a bad day, who is pushy and prefers to get her own way, and has stinky wingpits on certain days.” Celestia made a brief sniff of her underwing area and wrinkled up her nose. “She’s not a very pretty pony sometimes, and worst of all, she snores and hogs all the covers in the middle of the night.”

“Oh, well,” Bean huffed. “I don’t think I can tolerate a blanket hog. I don’t know that I can make a relationship work with a pony who has such a fatal flaw.”

“You could just fight back, you realize,” Luna pointed out. “Just poke Celly in the ribs and she will relinquish her hold on whatever she’s stolen. She’ll also snort like a wee little piggy.”

“Luna!” Celestia gasped loudly. “You have just given away my greatest secret! How could you?!”

Luna blew a raspberry at her sister, then pulled Bean in close with one wing. “If you stick with me, Mister Bean, I will teach you all of my sister’s weaknesses. You shall emerge victorious from any tickle war my sister may dare to wage. I will not leave my brother-in-law defenseless.”

“I’m not so sure this is a good idea, but teach me, oh great Lunar Princess.”

“A traitorous alliance! Equestria is doomed!” Celestia shouted with a loud laugh.

Next Chapter: 11. - A Grand Day Out Estimated time remaining: 6 Hours, 52 Minutes
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