The Royal Suggestion Box

by CategoricalGrant

Chapter 1: Royal Customer Satisfaction

Princess Celestia cleared her throat. Regally, she began to make a grand announcement from her throne. “Thank you all for coming out at the end of your shift.”

“Or, at the beginning of it,” Princess Luna tacked on with a small smile, seated on her own throne next to her sister and eyeing the yawning pack of night guards and castle servants about to start their work for the night.

Princess Celestia continued, her voice carrying through the massive throne room hall such that it seemed to boom. “As you all know, we have had suggestion boxes placed around the castle for you all to make suggestions about how we go about our jobs, and how we can improve the experience of all castle employees. After all, you are all so important to us.” Celestia shook her light-yellow box with her sparkly magical aura, causing the sounds of scraping paper to emanate from the container. “And it sounds like you all took the opportunity to make plenty of suggestions!”

Luna wiggled on her throne. “Oh, I’m so excited!” she said, eyeing her own indigo-colored box with anticipation. “I love constructive criticism; it is the most efficient form of complaining!”

“Let’s get started,” Princess Celestia said warmly, opening the lid of her box to reveal dozens of little paper slips. “Luna and I will take turns, and personally respond to suggestion so that all your concerns will be addressed.” Using her magic, she lifted a slip out of the box and unfolded it, her eyes scanning it closely. A broad smile took over her muzzle, and she let out a joyous laugh. “This one says, ‘Princess Celestia, could you stop being so beautiful? It’s making the rest of us feel bad!’” Gasping with happiness, she clasped the note close to her chest and looked out over at the castle maids. “Did one of you write this? It’s so sweet!”

Princess Luna could no longer contain her excitement. “Me next!” she cried, stuffing a hoof into the box. Her tongue stuck out of her mouth in concentration as she nabbed out a single slip and opened it. “Princess Luna, please stop smacking us guards on the rear after you give us new orders…It makes me feel uncomfortable and borders…on...harassment,” she announced, her voice slowing and growing quieter as she read the note aloud. “I...I apologize,” she said, clearing hthroat. “I was told that such a gesture was a show of camaraderie and wanted to make the guards feel equal; I-I will refrain from such gestures in the future.”

Princess Celestia opened her next note. “’I really enjoy the weekly hug day you have for the guards; can we have hugs more often?’” Celestia giggled. “Well, it is a very time-consuming practice, but…I suppose I could increase the frequency to maybe…three times a week?”

Hushed gasps resounded through the room, followed by some excited chittering amongst the guards.

Princess Celestia grinned and raised an eyebrow. “Does that sound acceptable to everypony?”

Some excited cheers rang out as the day guards stomped their hooves in excitement.

“Alright, settle down everypony,” Celestia sing-songed. “It’s Luna’s turn again.”

Princess Luna somewhat hesitantly lifted another slip out of her box. “This one says…’Please stop skulking around the castle alone at night, it’s spooky’.” Luna stuck out her lower lip in a pout. “It is not ‘spooky’ to enjoy night walks!”

“Luna,” Celestia began to nag, “we had this discussion. It’s important that we take the suggestion boxes seriously.”

“Hmph,” the Princess of the Night snorted in reply. “Very well, we shall conduct our night walks outside in the garden from now on.” Her eyes scanned the crowd of assembled ponies sharply, as if searching for a culprit.

Celestia had already pulled out her next suggestion. “’Can you implement a cost-of-living adjusted yearly raise?’ Why of course I can! I thought we already had such a thing- all of your salaries will be inflation-adjusted starting today, and you will also have an additional 2% raise as a means of formal apology from me.”

Again, the group cheered loudly, stomping their hooves in applause. This time, a few began chanting Celestia’s name.

The cacophony made Luna grimace, and she picked out a suggestion to hold in a futile attempt to distract herself from the piercing noise. When the furor died down, she attempted to open the note with her magic, but felt it slip away from the paper. Trying again, she noticed that the folded slip seemed to be adhered to itself. A third burst of magic ripped the note halfway open.

“What does it say, Lulu?” Celestia asked, tilting her head to look at her sister. The nickname caused a few chuckles amongst the assembled day guards.

“Nothing!” Luna cried, balling up the note and throwing it at the far wall with her magic. “It’s just a piece of gum!” The note sailed through the air and impacted the far wall with a demure, unsatisfying thit.

“Take another one then,” Celestia cooed, smiling. “I’m sure somepony was confused and thought it was a trash can.”

“I’ll show you a trash can,” Luna muttered, crossing her hooves to her chest as she selected another slip with her magic. “Trash can my flank… ’Could you please remove the rodent from the castle? It is not sanitary to have him indoors.’

Immediately, two dozen night guards could be heard gasping in horror before silence fell over the chamber like a blanket. Those who worked under Luna knew exactly who ‘the rodent’ was.

Princess Luna seemed to observe the note coldly for a few moments before folding it and placing it gently on the arm of her throne. Turning her head back to the assembled workers, she cleared her throat. “Who wrote that suggestion?”

The all-encompassing silence resumed once more.

It lasted for perhaps half a minute before Luna broke. “I DEMAND TO KNOW!” she cried, her wings shooting out aggressively and her eyes darting around the room wildly. “WHO DARE HATH THE AUDACITY TO WRITE SUCH LIBEL ABOUT MY DEAR TIBERIUS!?”

“Luna,” Celestia interjected nervously. “C-calm down. I’m sure that whoever this pony was, they had no intention of-“

“THE PERPETRATOR WILL BE PUNISHED SWIFTLY AND SEVERELY!” she bellowed, completely ignoring her older sister’s attempt at mediation. “IT SHALL COME LIKE THUNDER! TIBERIUS IS A MARSUPIAL, NOT A RODENT, AND HIS LIFE IS EASILY WORTH THAT OF TEN, NO…ONE HUNDRED PONIES! BEGONE WITH THIS DEFAMATORY PILE OF EPISTLES!” lowering her horn, Luna unleashed a blazing inferno of fire magic, incinerating the remaining notes in the box.

The stunned crowd looked on in abject fear as Luna took in deep, heaving breaths. Half a minute later, Luna looked up, blushing profusely and obviously very upset. “I’m going to my room. This was stupid.”

Slowly, Luna walked down the stairs in front of her throne, crossed through the sea of quivering guards and servants, opened the ornate golden doors, and left the room.

Then, she reentered the chamber, walked back to her throne, kicked over the charred remnants of her suggestion box disdainfully, and left in much the same manner as before.

“Luna?” Princess Celestia called softly from the hallway. “Are you okay?”

“No!” Luna shouted from the other side of the door. “Go away!”

Gently, Celestia opened the door to her sister’s chambers with a hoof. “Come on, Lulu. I have something that might make you feel better.”

Luna was lying completely prone on her elaborate, dark bed, her face completely engulfed in a pillow. The loyal possum Tiberius was curled up tightly at his master’s side.

“Luna, I know how it must feel to-“

“Oh really, do you?” Luna replied, turning her head to scowl at Celestia with bleary, tear-stained eyes. “I’m sure you are harshly criticized by your employees while they fawn over your prettier, more social sister all the time!” Her spitting retort completed, Luna collapsed back into the pillow, kicking her back legs into the bed childishly. She screamed into the pillow, which projected a muffled sound across the room.

“Well, I…” Celestia let out a deep sigh. “…That’s what I’m here about. I did something bad, Luna. I got jealous and…well…” Using her magical aura, Celestia floated out a mass of crumpled pink and red slips of paper from the hallway and placed them next to Luna on the bed.

Luna let out another groan before lifting her head off the pillow. “What are these?” She used her magic to unfold one of them. “Are these…pink butts?”

Celestia shook her head solemnly. “Luna, they’re hearts.”

“Oh, like they give out on Hearts and Hooves day now. I much preferred the older tradition, when chivalrous knights would bring us the hearts of their fallen enemies as a show of fealty to us and the realm.”

Celestia pursed her lips and furrowed her brow deeply. “Luna, I know you were gone a long time, but that…never happened. Ever...I did something bad. All of those notes were in your suggestion box, and I removed them because I felt jealous.”

“What? I don’t understand.”

“Just read one, and you will.”

Luna unfurled one of the trashed notes, and read it slowly. As her eyes slid down the slip of frilly, bright red paper, they grew in size and began to shimmer in curiosity. When she finished, she looked up at Celestia.

“And another, if you have to.”

Luna read another note, and yet another. A smile grew on her lips to match her sparkling eyes. “I…I have secret admirers!?”

Celestia sighed and nodded softly. “Yes, and quite a few of them, it seems. I’m so sorry that I-“

Luna leapt up from her bed, startling Tiberius. After sucking in a large breath, she let out a piercingly loud feminine squeal and began stomping her hooves in an expression of unfathomable glee.

Celestia cringed, her ears falling flat against her head.

“I…I…I have secret admirers!” Luna sang, giggling like a young filly. “Oh my, do you think they’re strapping young guards?”

Celestia forced a smile. “Most probably, yes.”

Gasping again, Luna scurried past her sister and out the door, turning to the guard standing at his post outside of her chambers. Grinning madly, she stepped very close to him. “You there! Loyal protector! Would you like a kiss?”

The guard blinked a few times. “I…er…I…For real?”

“Yes of course!” Luna cried, nodding emphatically.

“Yes!” The guard responded with almost as much enthusiasm. “I-I mean, if it’s ok-“

Luna pressed her lips firmly to his, cutting him off mid-sentence. Wrapping a hoof around the guard’s neck, she deepened the kiss, causing her ‘loyal protector’ to melt under the result.

Slowly pulling away, she looked into the guard’s eyes with a deep red blush across her cheeks and smiled. “You must be one of my secret admirers!”

“I…I…” he stammered back.

“Don’t worry!” she soothed, pulling him close again and giving him a kiss on the cheek. “Your secret is safe with me! Thank you for the note!”

The guard was reduced to heavy breathing and incoherent babbling as Luna turned away from him.

Celestia had witnessed the spectacle and seemed rather taken aback. “Sister, I’m not sure this is the wisest course of-“

“Celestia, I’m so happy!” Luna cooed. “I’m going to go flirt with the others now! Ahhh!” With her final happy cry, Luna took off skipping down the hallway, blowing kisses to any passing guard patrols.

Celestia sighed and let her head droop down slightly. “At least Luna is happy.”

The Princess of the Sun trudged slowly across the length of the castle toward her bedchambers. She paused for one moment to look out a plate glass window at the full moon illuminating the central Equestrian valley, but merely shook her head forcefully and continued on her walk towards her room and a well-deserved rest.

Finally approaching her room, she spied a guard on duty outside. A hopeful twinkle in her eye, she approached him with a broad smile. “Hello there, dear!”

“Good evening, your highness.”

“Tell me, would you perhaps like a kiss?” she asked hopefully, a warm smile across her face.

The guard scrunched up his muzzle. “Uh, no thank you, Princess. I am so happy you decided to increase your amount of hug days though…how about a warm hug?”

Celestia frowned, huffing and walking past the guard into her chambers without responding to his request. When the doors closed behind her, she let out her last sigh of the night.

“Always the bridesmaid…never the waifu.”

Author's Notes:

Hope you enjoyed this silly story! Just to remind everypony, I'm currently running a Fanfiction contest focused on cuddling- you can find the rules HERE.

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