No Nose Knows

by Irrespective

Chapter 13: 13. - Meet the Press

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“You are a filthy yellow traitor, and I hate you. Did you know that? I would throw you into the fire and laugh as you burned if I did not have to promptly get another just like you who would be twice as aggravating.”

Bean glared at his pencil in righteous fury for a moment before chewing on the end of it in frustration. He then ripped a page out of his notebook, crumpled it, and threw it over his shoulder.

Traitors, all of them. First the paper, now the pencil. They were in league against him.
Bean grumbled as he tried to think. He had been awakened by his own shivering just before dawn, despite being bundled up in three blankets, and even now he still felt cold.

Cold, and lonely. That was adding to his problems, and to his frustration. He felt like he should know why he was this way, but he couldn’t quite make the connection. His best guess was that it had something to do with what had happened with his parents, but that didn’t seem to totally explain everything.

If there was a wrong side of the bed, he’d definitely gotten up on it.

Part of the worry was over what he would say at the press conference. He was sure he’d need to say something, he really couldn’t fathom a reason why he wouldn’t. But what? Should he say how proud he was? How nervous? Should he try to make jokes, or just give a straight delivery? It was so maddening that he was beginning to get a headache.

The floor was littered with his previous attempts at a speech, and now he was going to need a new notebook. If he didn’t get this figured out soon, he was going to make a lot of lumberjacks happy.

A knock at his door interrupted his thoughts. What time was it? It wasn’t that long after daybreak, so it couldn’t be time for the press conference already. That was at noon, and he’d be surprised if it was any later than eight at the moment. He slowly stood and groaned as his joints protested the movement, shrugged off the blankets, and then dragged his hooves over to the door.

He instantly forgot all his woes when he found Celestia on the other side.

“Good morning, Bean! Are you feeling all right? I grew worried when you didn’t come down for breakfast, especially given how our evening out ended. How are you feeling?”

Bean chuckled at her eager concern. “I’m fine, really. I actually feel a lot better now.”

Celestia gave him a smile that warmed him down to his tail. “Wonderful! I’m glad to hear that.”

“Would you like to come in?” he asked, but then he groaned and gently smacked his forehead with a hoof. “That was dumb. This is your castle, and you’re the Princess. It’s not like I can tell you where you can and can’t go.”

“This is your room, though, and I should respect that. I would like to come in if you will permit me.”

“You’re always welcome to come in.” He smiled, and he stepped back and out of the way. Celestia glanced around at the mess he’d made as she entered, and then clicked her tongue.

“You should really let housekeeping come in and do their job, you know.”

“Oh, yeah.” He rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment with a small chuckle. “This actually was all from this morning. I got cold, and I’ve been trying to come up with something to say to the press today.”

“May I look?”

“Yeah. I don’t think you can fix them, though.”

“Well, I have written a couple of speeches over the years, so perhaps I can offer a suggestion or two.” They both laughed as she picked up two of the crumpled papers with her magic and flattened them out. “Hmm, let me see. ‘Friends, Nobles, Countryfolk! Lend me your ears. No, no; illegible scribbling.’ Not very inspiring, is it?”

“Not so much,” he agreed with a small smile.

“’Today thus represents a moment of hope. We in Equestria stand ready to cooperate scribble scribble.’ That one wasn’t too bad, why did you reject it?”

“I dunno. It felt more like I was telling some foreign power to tear down a wall or something like that.”

“May I keep this?” she asked, and then she tucked it under a wing when Bean nodded. “Bean, if you don’t want to say anything you don’t have to. I can do all the talking. But from personal experience, you should always try to write your speeches from here.”

She then gently tapped his chest, right where his heart was.


“Yes. That is where your true feelings on this matter reside, so that is where you should pull your text from. It works a lot better than logic and cold facts do.”

“All right. I’ll try that.”

“You should also come eat. No pony works very well on an empty stomach.”

“I suppose I should. Did you make pancakes again?”

“Not today.” She giggled as they left the room together. “I let the staff handle it, given the hectic nature of everything.”

“Oh.” He paused for a moment, but then added, “but there’s always tomorrow, right?”

“I’ll make a double batch just for you.” She giggled more and booped him quickly, and he felt a pleasant warmth in his cheeks while he thanked her.

The rest of the short walk was spent reviewing the details of the day: after the press conference there would be a luncheon with a few of the various ministers and department heads, then some time in the afternoon to help Celestia get some work caught up before having an informal dinner that evening with more ministers and nobility. In reality, the dinner was more of a meet-and-greet, mingle and mix affair, and nopony was expecting him to remember who everypony was or what their job entailed.

“Really, it’s not anything to worry about,” Celestia concluded. “Think of it like a very relaxed and informal Grand Galloping Gala.”

“Uh…what is that?”

“It’s a ball I throw every year to celebrate the founding of Canterlot. You missed it this year, but I think we can get you in as my plus one next year.”

“I would certainly hope I’ll be your date,” he quipped, and they both laughed while stopping in front of the kitchen doors.

“There’s one other thing I need to tell you. I’ve invited a few ponies to have breakfast with us. I hope you don’t mind.”

“No, that’s ok. Who did you invite?”

Celestia pushed open the door in reply, and Bean’s eyes grew wide. The dining hall was full of…


…of the most important ponies in the whole of Equestria.

Bean swallowed hard. All six Element Bearers of Harmony were standing around the table, laughing with one another over something humorous. Princess Luna was off to his right, chatting lightly with Princess Cadence, and Prince Shining Armor was standing near the door. Shining was the first to notice them, and he smiled widely when he locked eyes with his new counterpart.

“Baked Bean?” he asked.

Bean extended an only-slightly-shaking hoof. “That’s me.”

Shining completely sidestepped the offered hoof and instead wrapped Bean up in a gigantic hug. “You have no idea how happy I am to meet you!”

To say Bean was confused was an understatement on the level of saying the sun is hot. He simply sat there until Shining released him, and then he wondered what in Equestria he had done to get a ruler of the Crystal Empire to smile like a mad mare.

“It’s nice to meet you too, I guess.”

“This is gonna be great! Tell me, do you follow buckball at all?”

Bean leaned back a bit. “Buckball?”

“Yeah. I’m trying to get a team started in the Crystal Empire. I’ve been showing some potential recruits the ins and outs and I was trying to take them to a game in Baltimare.”

“What, to a Broncos game? Are you nuts?!”


“When was the last time they got to a divisional game?”

“Well, ten, twelve, fifteen… no…”

“Thirty-eight years ago.”

Both stallions stared in surprised wonder at Celestia, who continued on as if she gave Buckball commentary on a regular basis.

“Bean is right; they’re not known as the Bad Luck Broncos for nothing,” Celestia added. “Now, if you really want a good model you should try the Las Pegasus Thunder or the Cloudsdale Manticores.”

“No, no,” Bean said. “The Thunder just lost Morning Glory, remember? I’d take the Tidal Waves any day. They’ve got the balance and the speed.”

“You know about buckball?” Shining asked Celestia, still clearly in shock.

“Why wouldn’t I?” She chuckled. “I met with the Thunder here after their world championship game not that long ago. The Crown can’t really show a preference, but I have to admit, I always did secretly root for the Solar Flares.”

“All right, you three can geek out later.” Cadence gave her husband a playful shove to move him out of the way. “Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, at your service.”

She then bowed to him, but Bean remembered his manners and gave a deeper bow back. “It is an honor to meet you, Princess.”

“Oh, please. Just Cadence will be more than adequate. May I call you Bean?”

“That’s fine.” He laughed. “Should I be worried about the Princess of Love is here?”

“You should be worried if I stay,” she replied with a grin. “You’re safe for now.”

“Twilight? Would you like to introduce your friends?” Celestia asked.

“I’d love to!” Twilight replied. “You know me, of course. Spike stayed in Ponyville; he said he wasn’t interested in standing around in a press conference all day.”

“Can’t say I blame him.”

Twilight chuckled with him. “Anyway, this is Rainbow Dash, the Element of Loyalty.”

“Nice to meetcha, Bean.” Rainbow said, and she shared a quick hoofbump with him.


“This is Applejack, the Element of Honesty.”

“Howdy! Real pleasure to meet ya.”

“Pinkie Pie, the Element of Laughter.”

A blast of streamers and confetti exploded out of Pinkie’s mane, and Bean suddenly found himself wrapped up in a giant pink hug.

“This is so great!” Pinkie shouted. “I’ve got all sorts of cupcakes and pies for you to try when you come to Ponyville and we can compare recipes and bake all kinds of yummy treats and talk about whether a cherrychanga will ever be a reality. We’re going to have the bestest ‘New Prince in Equestria’ party since the one I threw for Shining Armor!”

“And you still need to help me plan the official wedding party,” Celestia added.

Pinkie Pie froze. Her eyes went wide, her mouth went into a small o shape, and a high-pitched squeal slowly started to emerge and grow in intensity.

“I’ll defuse Pinkie.” Cadence quickly said while snagging Pinkie and pulling her aside.

“This is Fluttershy, the Element of—”


Twilight laughed with Fluttershy. “I don’t think Pinkie is going to sleep for the next week now. Fluttershy is the Element of Kindness.”

“It’s very nice to meet you!” Fluttershy said quietly but with a grin. “Discord told me all about you at our last tea date. He really likes you, you know.”

“That’s a good thing, right?”

“Oh, yes. He even said he wanted to have you come over and have tea with us. You’ve made quite the impression on him.”

“Well, that’s nice of him. I’ll say thank you the next time I see him.”

Fluttershy smiled more. “I know you’re going to be a wonderful prince. I look forward to working with you.”

“Me too.” Bean smiled back.

“And last but not least is Rarity, the Element of Generosity,” Twilight concluded.

Rarity, who was wearing a pair of fashionable bifocals and had a tape measure around her neck, stepped forward and bowed. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, darling, now hold still.”

“What are you—”

The tape measure sprang forward like a striking snake, leaping and wrapping around every part of his body⁽*⁾ from inseam and barrel width to hat size and fetlock thickness. Rarity quickly wrote all of these measurements down in a thin, small notebook, and then bowed to Celestia.
(*) Not there. You perverts. Behave.

“I shall get to work on your request as soon as I get home, Princess. I think I know just the thing.”

“Thing?” Bean glanced between his wife and Rarity. “There’s a thing?”

“Never you mind, darling. It’s between me and the Princess.”

“Great. There’s a conspiracy against me already.”

“Only a small one, nothing to worry about.” Celestia giggled, as Luna now approached him.

“Hail, fair stallion. I do not believe we have been formally or properly introduced. I am Luna, Princess of the Moon and sister of Celestia. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

“It is, indeed, a pleasure to make my acquaintance.” Bean replied grandly, while sticking his nose in the air slightly. “But it is also a pleasure to meet you formally as well.”

“Watch it, buster. You’re still on my short list.”

The two then broke into laughter, much to the relief of everypony who wasn’t aware of their unique relationship.

“Well, now that we’ve all met Bean, let us commence with breakfast, shall we?” Celestia announced.

Everypony sat at the table, with Celestia at one end and Luna at the other. Bean sat on Celestia’s right, and Shining next to him. The kitchen staff then appeared and swiftly delivered a plate to everypony, and Bean was interested to see that a breakfast burrito had been prepared, but the folded loaf before him had to be as thick as his arm. With the hope that he could actually eat the whole thing, he picked up his fork and dug in.

That proved to be a horrible mistake. The perpetual issue of too much salt manifested itself quickly, and he wondered if the kitchen staff had gotten wind of his complaints because now there was also enough pepper inside the lump to make him nearly sneeze. Anything resembling taste was thus promptly bucked into next week, and Bean really began to curse his upbringing since it appeared that everypony else was quite enjoying the meal.

He then tried picking around the edges, hoping that maybe only one side was ruined but it was for naught—the whole of it had been uniformly corrupted, leaving him with unsalted toast and unsalted juice. Maybe he could declare himself as his personal chef. He’d stand half a chance of getting something to eat then.

Depression was not long in coming for the new prince. The last twenty four hours had been a string of compounding misery, so it wasn’t very hard for the thoughts of inadequacy and inferiority to move in and begin their destructive work. There sat The Elements of Harmony, six mares who had repeatedly saved Ponykind from destruction, and from the worst of the worst one could imagine. There sat the Prince and Princess of The Crystal Empire, who had saved both Canterlot and the Crystal Empire and who had rapidly and literally brought the crystal ponies out of the dark ages and into near full integration with the rest of the world. Then there was Luna and Celestia, who were in a league all of their own. One only needed to say ‘The Two Sisters’ to have a respectfully awed hush come over any group.

And then there was Baked Bean: a bumbling bumpkin whose claim to fame was standing in a flower patch and forcing a Princess to get married because he was too uneducated to figure out what an adjective was, let alone how to use one. He was so far beneath the caliber of those assembled that it was really a mockery for him to even be in the same city as them. They were the true heroes of Equestria.

He was an imposter of the highest order. A mannulus non grata.

Maybe he should sign those divorce papers after all. What right did he have to drag Celestia down? He wasn’t even totally sure he loved her. He just wanted to see if he could love her, by his own admission. There was nothing he could truly offer her, other than a repeated complaint of too much salt.

This was not his place. She should not be burdened with him.

“So, Bean!” Shining leaned over. “Can I ask you something a bit personal?”


Shining leaned over a bit closer. “Do you feel so totally overwhelmed by everything that your soul feels like it’s being ripped apart by timberwolves?” he whispered.

That was a fair allegory. Analogy. Was it an analogy? Bean nodded slightly, and Shining had a knowing twinkle in his eye.

“I know how you feel. When I proposed and Cady said yes, I suddenly realized what I’d gotten myself into. I spent the rest of that day trying to calm myself down. I had the gall to ask the Princess of Love to marry me! What monkey had broken out of the zoo in my head and pushed the button to have me ask that? Why had she said yes, instead of kicking me over the edge of Canterlot?”

“But you’re the Captain of the Guard, and one of the strongest shield wielders that has ever been. I would think it’s pretty obvious.”

“Love and War aren’t exactly two things that go together.”

“I heard that,” Celestia grumbled.

“Private conversation, ma’am,” he replied, and Celestia stuck her tongue out at him briefly before turning back to her quiet conversation with Cadence.

“Anyway,” said Shining Armor, “the closer we got to the wedding the more overwhelmed I felt. I was just some dumb soldier, how could I be anywhere near her level, or be a prince for that matter? It got so bad that I couldn’t sleep at night sometimes.”

“So, how’d you come to terms with it?”

“I still haven’t. Well, not fully anyway. But that kiss that Cady and I shared, the one that banished the changelings? That moment gave me an epiphany. It really didn’t matter that I was inadequate or unprepared. What mattered was that I loved her, and that she loved me. Everything else would sort out somehow, and it would actually be easier to deal with because I had a companion now, an equal. If our love could survive the changelings, it could survive anything.

“Now, I know it’s different for you. If Auntie Celestia had bonked my nose, I’m pretty sure I would have simply keeled over and died on the spot. All of this has got to be so strange, so crushing really. The only way I can think of to relate is to take what I felt and then crank it up to eleven.”

“That’s not too far off.” Bean chuckled a little.

“Well, just know I’m here if you need an ear. When we got the letter from Celestia telling us what had happened, I was elated, and you can ask Cady if you don’t believe me.”

“But why? I’m sure I only made things more complicated for you.”

“Numbers. Up until now there’s been four princesses but only one prince. I have reinforcements now, a fellow male ruler to talk to now. Don’t get me wrong, Cady is a dream to talk with, and very understanding and supportive. But there’s just some things a stallion needs to talk to another stallion about, y’know? Sure, I can talk to the guards and my advisors, but they can only do so much since they’re not in my position. With another prince, I have sompony to throw ideas off of, to talk stallion stuff over with. You and I are in the same sinking boat, and we can help each other bail as needed.”

Bean felt a little surge of happiness fighting against his depression. “You really think I can help you?”

“You already have. You steered me away from the Broncos.”

“Why in the name of my wife did you think they were a good team to watch?” Bean chuckled.

Shining leaned even closer and glanced around to make sure no one was listening. “I wanted to show them how bad a team could be, and then tell them how much better they were.”

“Are your ponies any good?”

“Ehhh,” Shining replied with all the sincerity of a poor tipper. “They’re a work in progress. But they are better than the Broncos.”

“Are you any good at Buckball?”

“Ehhh.” He shrugged, and then laughed. “I played some J.V. in high school but not much after that.”

“Well, that’s better than me.” Bean laughed.

“At least you follow it.” Shining laughed with him. “Oh! Auntie Celestia?”


“Can I give him the thing now?” Shining eagerly asked, and Celestia smiled deeply.

“I believe now would be a most opportune time.”

“Everyone, can I have your attention!” Shining called, and the scattered conversations died out. “Thank you. Cady, do you want to do the honors?”

“I would be honored. Prince Bean, would you please come over here?”

He stood and walked around the table. Cadence also stood, and she produced a thin square box from under one wing.

“Prince Baked Bean, on behalf of the ponies of the Crystal Empire, it is my honor and joy to officially congratulate your marriage to Princess Celestia. As a token of goodwill and to honor the occasion, I am most pleased to present to you this gift on the behalf of the Crystal Empire.”

Bean’s eyes grew wide as the box was opened. Seated on a cushion of white velvet was an intricate crystal, carved and cut in the shape of Celestia’s cutie mark and at roughly half the size, with a thin band of gold attached through an eyelet on the top. It had been fashioned out of a beautiful translucent yellow crystal, and it caught the natural light in such a way that it seemed to almost catch fire as it passed through.

“Prince Bean, please accept this gift as a token of the Crystal Empire’s loyalty to the Throne of Equestria, the throne that you now share with Celestia. May your union be long and happy, and may you find fortune in all of your endeavors.”

Everypony in the room stomped and cheered as Cadence’s magic lifted the crystal out and then over Bean’s bowed head. It came to rest right above his heart, and he smiled brightly as he looked at it, then at the well-wishers in the dining hall with him.

This was a horrible way to keep a bad mood alive, and he loved it.

* * * *

Bean had come to the conclusion that he hated press conferences.

Granted, he hadn’t done anything yet, but the waiting and anticipation was killing him.
It had started long before Celestia had stepped up to the podium, of course, but now it was coming to a head.

Celestia, ever one for punctuality, had promptly started at noon with a quick greeting for the assembled members of the press before she launched into her prepared remarks.

Her speech was a straightforward and simple explanation of what had happened. This had yielded a new tidbit for him. Celestia really hadn’t seen him in the sunflowers, but she had thought she had heard something, so she had stuck her nose in to see if she could figure out what was there. She had been expecting to find a mouse or chipmunk, not a stallion, and from there Bean knew the rest. Celestia then spent a rather lengthy amount of time explaining her law and why she had written it, and then she explained that she and Bean had wed to prevent her removal as Princess.

She obviously chose her words carefully when she explained that this news had not been shared immediately due to both the option of divorce and the need to work out the details to keep Bean around. There were nods of agreement from the journalists when Celestia told them about the joint agreement that now was an appropriate time to inform the rest of Equestria.

Bean was glad that all of the Elements were present, as well as the Princesses. He could feel their support, and it was giving him the strength he needed to keep from passing out. He had his notes ready to go, and he was going to try to just read them straight and be done.

He had also determined that, from here on out, Celestia would be the public speaker. He wasn’t cut out for this.

“…and now, Prince Baked Bean has a few thoughts he’d like to share. After that I will take a few questions. Bean?”

Bean inhaled heavily. This was it.

His left rear leg was shaking slightly as he stepped up to the podium. There was a furious round of flashes, and Bean looked quickly down at his notes to keep from being blinded.

He let out the breath he’d just taken in, and then he drew in a new one.

“Good afternoon, everypony.” He flatly began reading. “I am Baked Bean, from the c-city of S-salt Lick. It’s a pleasure to be here before you today.”

Well, this bit the bark. The words on the page were doubling up and blurring on him. Bean closed his eyes and took a long, deep breath in. He then opened his eyes again, and he looked at his Celestial Crystal.

Speak from the heart, Bean.

He wasn’t sure if he had heard Celestia’s voice in his head or just his own approximation of it, but it didn’t matter. He crumpled his notes up into a ball and tossed them over his shoulder.

“Those aren’t helping,” he stated, and he heard Celestia grunt slightly, which he hoped was a good sign. “All right. Fillies and Gentlecolts, hello. One week ago today I was a common nopony on a train bound for Canterlot. I had never before visited here, and I really didn’t have much reason to come, other than to see if I could find some inspiration for a book I wanted to write. I had no idea what I’d find here, nor that I would soon find myself caught up in the events that have led me to this point now.

“When I left home, I was looking for something. I didn’t know what it was; all I knew was that my life up to that point was not what I wanted. I was trying to find my own little place in the world, and my purpose within it. I was adrift, lost in a sea of confusion and doubt.

“One week ago tomorrow, I made the choice to visit the Royal gardens in the hopes of finding a muse. I stuck myself in a patch of sunflowers in the hopes of finding one, and…”

He paused, and smiled.

“…and I did. I really don’t know if what has happened is just one huge coincidence, but I feel like it’s more than that. To me, this feels more like destiny or fate, and the feeling has only grown as I have come to know Celestia better.

“On my first night here, Celestia and I had a private talk, and she was kind enough to read a little bit of my writing. As she did so, and as I watched and listened to her, I felt like I was home, really Home, for the first time in my life. There was a spark that ignited a small flame of love then, and it’s only grown stronger from there.

“My friends, I will be the first to tell you I am inadequate to be your Prince. I can come up with several dozen reasons why I am unworthy. I’m as common as common gets, and I have no real qualifications for leadership.

“But I know that what I share with Celestia is special, and it completes me.” He smiled, and turned to look at her. She was smiling brightly, but had tears in the corners of her eyes. “And what is special to her is special to me. This is something I don’t want to lose.

“And so,” as he turned back to the press, “all I can say right now is that I’ll try. I’ll stumble, I’ll fall, and I will humbly ask for your patience and understanding. But I want to help my—” he smiled deeply with the thought “—wife to bring about a greater and more glorious Equestria. Please know, my friends, that although I am a prince by marriage, I will not be able to call myself such until I have earned it. I will do all that I can to serve you, to make your lives better. And hopefully, someday, I will even be able to bring to you a portion of the happiness that I have found for myself here. Thank you.”

Bean then simply stepped away from the podium and moved over to the nearly-crying Celestia. Luna looked extremely pleased, for her part, and Cadence had one hoof to her chest and an ‘Awww!’ look on her face, so he probably had said something right. But what he wanted, more than anything, came as his wife dipped her head down and they gently booped noses.

“You did good,” she whispered to him.

“Thanks. Can I go somewhere and faint now?”

“Holdin’ up all right there, Prince Bean?”

“I think so,” he replied with a smile for Applejack. “Though I was under the impression that this was an informal gathering.”

“Well, it probably was, but then Twilight made the mistake of sayin’ the P-word within earshot of Pinkie Pie.”

“PARTY!” Pinkie Pie yelled from across the ballroom.

Bean laughed a little with the outburst, but he also took a moment to fully appreciate all of Pinkie’s hard work. Yellow streamers hung from the ceiling and snaked in between white balloons of various sizes, the potted plants had gained some tasteful trimmings and yellow lights, and even the buffet table seemed to be extra festive and ready to party.

“How did she do all this so fast?” Bean asked Applejack after a few moments.

“Well, it is her thing, and she has that party cannon of hers. You give that mare ten minutes with that thing and she’ll whip out a shindig outta nothin’.”

“If this is what she can do with no advanced notice, then I’m interested to see what the party in Ponyville will be like.”

“It’ll be so super-fantastic that you’ll be telling all your grandfoals about it!” Pinkie replied, as she suddenly appeared out of nowhere and hugged Bean with one arm. “I’ve got all sorts of yummy Bean treats planned, as well as Bean Games and a ‘Round with the Prince’ that will be a blast!”

“Round with the Prince?” Bean asked, but Pinkie suddenly looked up and to her left, and then squinted in concentration.

“Hold that thought. Punch Emergency!”

There was a streak of pink, and she was gone. Bean looked back at Applejack, who was chuckling slightly.

“Pinkie is Pinke. Ya get used to her antics over time. Don’t worry, ah can tell ya from personal experience that Pinkie has never thrown a bad party. You’ll have fun, and the folks in Ponyville will love havin’ the chance to meet ya.”

“I hope so. That’s one of the things that really makes me nervous right now.”

“You’re worried that ponies won’t like ya?”

“I’m worried they won’t accept me.”

“Ah hear ya there. Ah worried about the same thing once ah found out about bein’ the Element of Honesty.”

“You did?”

“Oh yeah. More ah learned about what the Elements were and who had used ‘em in the past, the more ah thought ah wasn’t right for the job. Ah’m just a farmer, not some kinda heroine that saves Equestria. An Element Bearer should be somepony strong, committed, and knows just what to do at any time. Ah couldn’t be all that, all ah knew how to do was buck apples outta trees.”

“So how did you get used to it?”

“Well, I gotta admit, freeing Princess Luna from Nightmare Moon was a durned good start. Otherwise, there’ve been two things that have really helped. One, ah had to have faith in my friends. If Twilight said ah was Honesty, then ah was Honesty, hooves down. Ah had to trust that my friends would help me out, show me the ropes, and if’n I ever found myself in a barrel of pickles, they’d be right there with me.

“Second thing was to trust myself. Sure, ah didn’t have experience in monster wranglin’ or purgin’ evil nightmares outta princesses, but somehow ah have used what ah do know to get the work done. Just bein’ myself was enough, despite what ah thought otherwise.

“Ah reckon it’s gonna be like that for you too. Probably not my place to say what you should or shouldn’t do, but just bein’ yourself will solve a whole heap of trouble in the long run. Honesty, even with yourself, is always the best policy. Just do your best, that’s all anypony can ask. You do that, things’ll work out. Shoot, you’ve got Princess Celestia for support. Don’t get much better than that.”

Bean glanced down at his crystal, then up to Celestia. She was chatting lightly with a pony from the press, and he smiled a bit more.

“No, I don’t suppose it does. Thanks.”

“Anytime, sugar cube. Now how about we go get ourselves an apple fritter? Ah made ‘em fresh this mornin’, and ah’ve heard you’re somethin’ of a food critic.”

“So long as it wasn’t made here, I’m sure it’ll be delightful.”


“Your Highness, I simply have to settle one point in private,” Fleur de Lis said with a gentle toss of her exquisite mane. “What can you possibly see in a commoner?”

“Baked Bean!” Applejack shouted, and all eyes in the room turned to watch as the Element of Honesty began to swat the Prince with her hat while chasing him around the buffet table. “You no account, butter hatin’, no-taste snob!”

“What?!” he shouted back while he both ran and laughed. “I made one measly little suggestion!”

“And that sense of taste of yours needs to learn some manners! Get back here so ah can knock that ridiculous notion out of your head!”

Celestia did not restrain the natural smile that swelled up from her heart when she turned back to the stunned young unicorn. “Miss de Lis, I see everything in him.”

Author's Notes:

No offense to any fans of any team(s) with a Bronco for a mascot. :twilightsmile:

Next Chapter: 14. - State of Bean Estimated time remaining: 5 Hours, 53 Minutes
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