No Nose Knows

by Irrespective

Chapter 7: 7. - The Feeling is Nuptial

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This was it.

Bean took another long, deep breath while he walked out of his room and into the hallway. In a few short hours, he would be walking down the aisle with Princess Celestia, Princess of Just About Everything Under the Sun, and he would formally take her as his lawfully wedded wife.

The mere thought of that was enough to keep his lungs from drawing air in the proper fashion.

This had to be the most insane thing to ever happen to any pony in the history of Ever. He, Baked Bean, a nopony from a small town and worth no more than a wooden bit, was going to be the husband of Princess Celestia.

He swallowed hard, and he felt his left rear leg pulling the most fantastic version of the tango that had ever been witnessed. He had to get his mind off of what was going to happen or Celestia’s problem would be resolved by his timely demise via a massive heart attack.

Bean sucked in a long breath, and he forced his thoughts into what he had learned last night. Now that the dreaded panic of having to marry two princesses had been silenced, he found he was both surprised and not surprised that Luna had been married at some point. While he had never heard of her husband before, he could understand why he didn’t know. For most of his life, Princess Luna herself had been nothing more than a boogymare that had been used to scare him into being a better cook with extremely limited success. Most ponies were still learning about their lunar diarch, and it would still be many years before Luna’s full history could be understood properly. In this light, he’d be surprised if anypony besides Celestia knew of Luna’s husband.

Although, thinking of her did make him wonder how he had gotten back to his room last night. The last thing he remembered was her stunt in the hallway, and unless he had somehow walked back while unconscious, he should still be there. The obvious answer was that either Celestia or Luna had relocated him, but he would ask Celestia all the same about it.

“Mister Bean?”

“Princess?” Bean replied while he turned, but the next words came out before he could think about them. “You look horrible.”

“I’m not at my best at the moment, I do have to admit,” Celestia replied with a glance over her own disheveled coat and frizzed-out tail. “I will be more presentable before our wedding, I assure you.”

Bean’s trembling leg threatened to rip clean away from his body. “Oh, you l-look fine, Your Highness. You can come like that if you like.”

“You are a horrible liar,” Celestia retorted with a hint of a smile. “But I appreciate the compliment. Were you able to get any rest last night?”

Bean shook his head. “Not very much, no. An hour at most, if it was all added up together.”

“I thought so,” Celestia replied, and they both began moving down the hallway. “I apologize again for all of this, Mister Bean. I spent most of last night in one final effort to remove you from this fate, but I’m afraid there is nothing.”

“You tried, though. That means a lot to me. I suppose we’ll make this work, somehow.”

“We will indeed,” Celestia replied with a note of deep conviction. “In fact, I would like to speak to you about some of the details regarding your new position.”

Bean forced himself to laugh and to smile, although he was afraid his smile was more of a baring of teeth rather than any expression of feigned pleasure. “There’s a lot of new hire paperwork I have to fill out, isn’t there?”

Celestia glanced down at him, and the smile they shared gave Bean a small trickle of relief. “There is that, and we will need to fill out the tax exemption paperwork for you as well.”

“I think I can handle that part of it, at least. Paperwork was one of the rare things I could do well at home.”

“We’ll take care of it later, then. Right now, I believe a good breakfast would help both of us recover from the evening.”

Breakfast. Breakfast always came after waking up, and the familiarity of that repetition helped to calm Bean’s nerves a bit more. “I would like that, but I don’t know that I’m all that hungry.”

“I believe I will have Chef Beet provide us with some oatmeal, then. You will forgive me for not cooking, I hope.”

“Even the best of chefs need a break every now and then. Oatmeal will be fine.”


“And you awoke in your room?” Celestia asked.

“I did. I don’t know how I got back there, though,” Bean replied.

“I was unaware that you had even passed out,” said Celestia with a deep frown. “Lulu should have told me.”

“Maybe she felt bad over her stunt afterward?”

“Perhaps. Luna has always been something of a trickster, so it is possible she thought she was pulling a harmless prank.”

“Was she really married before?” Bean blurted. “I mean, forgive me for being doubtful, but it’s the first I’ve ever heard about it.”

“I would imagine you are one of the first ponies she has brought into her confidence since her return. She was married, yes, but I believe this conversation would be best continued with her in attendance. She will be able to correct any of my erroneous memories regarding their marriage.”

“I’ll ask her later, then.”

Celestia nodded. “Now, let us discuss your future here. I am willing to guess that you would be rather upset if I simply confined you to your room.”

“That would be a rather dismal fate, yes,” he replied.

“The idea does not sit well with me, either. Since it is my law and my actions that have now locked you within this gilded cage, I am willing to make whatever accommodations I can to make your stay as tolerable as possible. You will have free access to any part of the palace you wish to visit, and I will supply a guard detail for you if you care to roam outside these walls, or even beyond Canterlot. This may even prove to be an advantage for your career. You could safely travel across Equestria and refine your writing skills in the process. The Crown will cover any expenses you incur, without question.”

Bean thought this over while he finished his bite of oatmeal. “I think you’re being a bit too generous again, Princess. I’d hate to run up the national debt just so I can wander around.”

“The expense is trivial. My offer remains. Perhaps I should be asking you what you would like.”

Bean considered the idea for another few moments. “I’m not really sure, Princess. I don’t really like the idea of just sitting around, doing nothing. I’ve been a worker my whole life, and I still want to be useful, helpful even. Maybe I’m being presumptuous, but perhaps there’s something I can help you with.”

Bean couldn’t quite be sure, but it seemed like Celestia’s mane flowed just a bit faster for a moment with that statement. She did seem happier for sure, and Bean felt another small round of calm flow over him as she responded.

“I may be able to find something for you to help me with. I will need to verify a few details first, however.”

“That’s fine. Maybe while you do that, I can use a little vacation time to learn the layout of the palace and of Canterlot. Is it a use it or lose it type of thing?”

Celestia’s grin turned into a full smile. “I believe I can let you roll over any unused vacation hours.”

“Oh good. That’s better than what I got back home.”

Celestia started to say something, but she was interrupted by the entrance of Celestia’s secretary. The young mare wasted no time in crossing over to the Princess, and she whispered something in a low but urgent tone.

“Really, she is?” Celestia asked once the whispers ended, and the secretary nodded. “Oh dear. Mister Bean, I do apologize but it seems that there the Ambassador from Prance needs to speak with me. This may take some time, so please enjoy the rest of your breakfast, and if you don’t mind, I’d like to send one of our tailors up to take your measurements. If we are to be wed, we should look our best, and I believe a nice suit can be procured for you in short order.”

“That’s fine. I don’t plan on going anywhere.”

Celestia nodded. “Until this afternoon, then.”

This afternoon came far too quickly for Baked Bean’s liking. He had spent most of the time by sitting under the blankets on his bed and breathing deeply, in the vain hope that this would somehow stop time and prevent the inevitable from happening.

At noon, a tailor had knocked on the door and provided a custom-fit suit, along with a short note from the Princess. In it, Celestia explained that she would call for him at five minutes to three, and the ceremony would be held in an unused office to lessen the impact to the operations of the palace. Once the ceremony was complete, they would immediately leave, and Bean would again have time to himself until Celestia called him for dinner.

Or threw him out a window, he dryly thought. This was definitely not what he had expected in a wedding. There was not even cake on the schedule.

“Well, Baked, this is a fine mess you’re in, isn’t it?” he asked the frazzled pony in the mirror. The unfortunate wretch did not answer, which left Bean holding both ends of the conversation. “What do you have to say for yourself, eh? Nothing? Yeah. I don’t know what I could say at this point. You’re going to be a prince, and married to a princess.”

That rear leg seemed quite content to keep dancing by itself.

“How am I going to do this?” he whispered, and he peered closely at his reflection. There were no answers in the glass, sadly, just his own worried, confused and anguished face. Whatever came at this point, he was pretty well on his own.

And that just bit the bark.

He nearly jumped out of his own skin when there was a knock on the door. After a moment to try to compose himself, he opened the door, and found his bride-to-be standing before him. The sight did not help his anxiety, because Celestia looked just as frazzled and concerned as that poor yellow stallion back in his mirror. They were going to make a truly remarkable couple, in the worst possible fashion.

But he had to admit her wedding gown looked beautiful. It was a soft yellow, nearly the same as his own coat, with magenta trim along the edges and seams. It folded on itself in a crinkle pattern across her chest, leaving her wings fully exposed and able to be used in case she wanted to fly away from the oncoming disaster.

“Are you ready, Mister Bean?” came the question he was dreading.

“As ready as I can be,” he replied. That rear leg started to go one direction as the rest of him went the other way with her.

There was an awkward silence in the hallway as they moved, as neither was really sure what to say to the other. Bean opened his mouth once or twice to try to say something nice about her dress, but the capacity to speak seemed to leave as soon as he’d try, so then he’d shut his mouth again.

This was going quite well.

At roughly the halfway point, Celestia cleared her throat and looked down at Bean. “You look nice, Mister Bean. Does the suit fit?”

“I believe so, yes.”

“Have you eaten anything since breakfast?”

“I have not.”

“I will arrange for something a bit more substantial tonight, then. You must be hungry.”

“Thank you, but I don’t know if I’ll be eating at all tonight.”

Baked Bean quite honestly felt more dead than alive at that moment, and he drew in a slow, stuttering breath. His stomach was churning itself into a tangled knot of unease, his chest felt heavy, and he could see that the natural yellow of his coat was bleaching out.

He then glanced up to his imminent wife, and he felt a wave of disgust accompany his relief that Celestia looked just as harrowed as he felt. Her mane was limping along in small waves, her eyes looked a bit sunken, and the fine lines that had appeared at the corners of her face made her look far too old. He felt absolutely putrid and revolted at what he’d done to the Princess.

“Perhaps something light, then,” she gently offered.

“Perhaps,” Bean echoed.

Nothing more was said as they finished the walk to the office. Inside, they found Spike —who gave them both an awkward wave— and Discord, who was dressed in a garishly orange tuxedo and matching top hat. His amusement and enjoyment of the moment was obvious because he had his mouth literally clamped shut in a tight smile and his shoulders kept jerking up and down, like he was trying to suppress his laughter.

“Where is Luna?” Celestia asked.

“She said she had to use the little filly’s room and she dragged Twilight in there with her.” Spike rolled his eyes. “It’s like they can’t use the bathroom alone.”

A rhythmic tapping noise caught everyone’s attention, and Baked Bean’s rear leg began to tap dance him away. He briefly considered offering the suggestion to simply wait five minutes so his heart would probably seize up and solve everybody’s problems.

But then something came over him, something warm, and soft, and downy. It flowed over him, starting at his withers and moving down, and as it went he felt all of his fears, anxieties and concerns gently fade into nothingness.

He glanced over his left shoulder when the comforting feeling gave him a small hug-like squeeze, and he found that Celestia had slowly draped her right wing over him. Looking up, he became momentarily lost in the gaze of two sparkling magenta eyes, filled with both concern for him and a sincere wish for him to be at ease.

A soft smile spread across both of their faces. They shared a soft boop of mutual nose-touching.

And that left rear leg finally stopped shaking.

Luna strode grandly into the room with Twilight meekly following behind. “All right! Sister, I think I need to increase my corn flake intake but I am good to go now. Let us get this little mess settled already.”

In the wake of Luna’s grand pronouncement, Twilight Sparkle slunk into her seat with a look of defeated resignation, most probably due to her inability to dictate every action Bean would be doing during the ceremony.

Maintaining her proud stride, Luna moved behind a simple rostrum at the front of the room with a few sheets of notes floating behind in her magic. She mumbled to herself as she sorted them for a moment, then cleared her throat and looked up at the motley crew before her.

“Dearly beloved,” she began, but then she gave a sour glare to Discord. “And not-really-liked draconequus who is here because we have not figured out how to block his chaos magic yet—”

“She’s talking about me. I’m so flattered,” Discord whispered to Spike, with a nudge and a wink.

“—we are gathered here on this fantastically fabulous Friday to join this earth stallion and this Alicorn princess together in the bonds of matrimony because my forgetful sister did not listen to me, the younger, more beautiful, and more beloved Princess of the Night and she forgot to repeal her own silly law.”

“Luna.” Celestia growled much like a large dog would.

“What? You did!” Luna protested. “Now don’t interrupt; you made me lose my place. Let me see.” Her papers floated up closer to her, and shuffled again as she squinted at them.

“Mawwiage, that blwwesed awangement—no, wait, maybe I was here—that dweam within a dweam… oh, I can’t do it. Let’s just skip ahead, shall we?”

The papers shuffled again, Celestia gave off another low growl, and Discord tucked his lips into an inner pocket of his tuxedo coat, which promptly began giving out a muffled set of hysterical chuckles.

“All right, here we go,” Luna finally announced. “Baked Bean, do you take this Princess to be your lawfully wedded wife, even though you really don’t have a say in the matter?”

“I guess I do.”

“Smart move. Celestia, Princess of the Sun, do you take this stallion to be your lawfully wedded husband since you got all nosey with him?”

“Loving every moment of this, aren’t you?” Celestia darkly replied, and Luna nodded vigorously and with a huge smile. “Yes. I do.”

“Good, ‘cause that ball of hot air you have up there is heavy, and I always break out in hives when I have to move it around. I do not want to be responsible for it. And so, by the legal, lawful, and very legitimate power and authority that I hold as a Princess of Equestria, I do hereby declare you to be hitched, joined, connected, and/or married, and that you are now husband and wife. You may kiss if you are so inclined; I am going to bed.”

And with that, Luna tossed her papers in the air and left the room. Behind her, the floating papers formed into a beautiful bouquet and darted in Twilight Sparkle’s direction, making her duck, scream, then dodge as they corrected course and headed for her again. Putting on a burst of speed, she vanished out the door with the bouquet close behind, calling out in a tiny voice, “Catch me! Catch me!

Meanwhile the completely innocent Discord grabbed Baked Bean’s hoof and began shaking it furiously as he smiled maniacally. “Well, ol’ Bean, congrats. You finally managed to snag Equestria’s most eligible mare. I knew you had it in you. Oh, and the residents of Discordland send their thanks as well. They estimate you’ve generated enough chaos to keep them powered up for the next ten years!”

“Uh, you’re welcome?”

“And Celestia!” He put a clenched fist to his quivering lip. “You know, I had… I had always kinda hoped that, well, that one day we might have made it work between us. Oh, I know I’m a draconequus and you’re a princess, and we were mortal enemies for a time, but there was always… always that little part of me, that… that…”

He turned his head and loudly blew his nose into a large, polka-dotted handkerchief. “I’m sorry, I thought I was ready for this…”

“Are you quite done?” she asked flatly.

“Wait, just a little bit more,” he replied, with an earnest, eager look. He then cleared his throat and resumed his anguished expression. “I just hope you remember the time we spent together fondly. Like that time I stole your tail? That was one of the best moments of my life, it really was. And then when you turned me to stone for a thousand years? That was… well, it wasn’t the best time for me—come to think of it, it was actually a low point, being stuck like that for so long, gave me one wicked crick in my neck—but, the point is we had good times, somewhere, and I hope you come to appreciate them as you start your new life with Bean-o here.

“And now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I’m afraid I have to leave. I really would like to stay for the reception, and I mean that truly, but there’s going to be a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Discordland to celebrate the construction of the new high-speed snail line, and duty calls. You know how it goes, being a ruler and everything. Don’t worry, though, I’ll come back for a visit as soon as I can. Until then, ciao!”

He then snapped his fingers and disappeared in a flash.

“Do you ever get used to that?” Bean asked Twilight, who was looking back over her shoulder as if the bouquet that had been chasing her was lurking in hiding somewhere for a second attack.

“Eventually, or so I’m told.” She rolled her eyes. “But Spike and I need to get going too. I was due back in Ponyville yesterday and I bet my friends are starting to worry. You should come visit when you have the time; I’d love to introduce you to everyone.”

“I’d like that,” Bean replied as he bumped hooves with her. He smiled a bit deeper when Spike shook his hoof.

“Congrats, I guess. Hey, if you think of any more questions, just have Celestia send them to me. I’m happy to help you understand more about dragons anytime.”

“I’ll do that.”

“Bean, perhaps you should accompany Twilight to the train station,” Celestia remarked while her wing hesitantly retreated from across Bean’s shoulders, where it had rested comfortably through the whole ceremony. “Don’t you still have some personal effects at the Shoe and Nail to collect?”

“Yeah, I do,” Bean replied. “Guess I live here now, huh?”

“I’d love to have you walk me to the train station, Bean,” Twilight offered. “If you want to, that is.”

“I think some sunlight and fresh air would do me good,” Bean replied. “Provided you feel safe around me.”


“Noses,” he simply said, as he tapped his own quickly. “First stallion? Unmarried Alicorn?”

“Oh!” She laughed. “Yeah, about that…”

“So you’re safe?” Bean asked as they wove through the crowd in the train station.

“With the way the law is worded, it only applied to the Alicorns then in existence. Any future Alicorns are not included, so I don’t have to worry about accidental boops.”

“Gee, that’s very thoughtful,” Bean remarked with some irritation.

“Hey, I understand how difficult this is,” Twilight stated in a resolute voice. “And I won’t say how lucky you actually are. I’m sure you’ve heard it all already. But I can say, unequivocally, that you are with one of the finest mares there is. My time as Celestia’s student was about as up-close and personal as it gets. Those years were among the best times in my life, and I wouldn’t have such a high opinion of her if she wasn’t everything ponies say she is. She’ll be kind to you, and she’ll take care of you. Give it enough time, and I think you’ll appreciate being with her too.”

“Thanks,” he replied warmly, but with a frustrated huff. “All of this is a huge adjustment for me, but you’re right. This could be a great thing.”

“Just remember she’s a pony too. I’m sure you feel intimidated, but you and her are not as far apart as you think you are.”

Bean didn’t say anything, but he did ponder Twilight’s words deeply, to the point where he nearly walked into a light pole.

“Well, this is it!” Spike announced. “Track twenty nine is just over there, and it looks like the train is waiting!”

“So, I guess I’ll see you later?” Bean asked.

“Count on it,” Twilight confirmed happily. “Just remember one thing for me, will you?

“What’s that?”

“If you’re going to take your relationship with Princess Celestia seriously, start by being her friend. She could really use one right now.”

“I think I can remember that. Thank you again for all of your help, Princess.”

“Just call me Twilight. All of my true friends do.”

Bean’s smile was nearly as wide as a train car, and he waved goodbye to Twilight and Spike until they had boarded their train. He then sighed deeply, and sat down on a nearby bench to catch his breath.

Baked Bean, the Prince of Equestria, who was sitting in the Grand Station of Equestria.

The commoner who was husband to a princess, and who was about to undertake the most unknown, unsure, and most fear-inducing ride of his life.

He smiled at the memory of Celestia’s soft feathers covering his shoulder in a gentle embrace. Perhaps Twilight was right.

As vast as the gap was between his station and hers, perhaps there was a chance it could be bridged. It was just going to take an extremely large bridge. Probably a toll bridge, with him out of bits.

All it would take was a leap of faith.

Next Chapter: 8. - The Talk Estimated time remaining: 7 Hours, 47 Minutes
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