Just a Sniff of Friendship

by Wintergreen Diaries

Chapter 1: Horn Flu, Tissues, and Sanity Eschewed

“Dear Princess Celestia,

Firstly, I would like to dispel any unsavory rumors you may have caught wind of. Despite what you may have heard, no, I did not “blow up” Rose Luck’s flower shop; I happened to have a rather unfortunate series of accidents while browsing her selection, and I would be grateful if you would dismiss any pending restraining order she may have filed against me. Secondly, please inform my brother that I am not dating, or having any kinds of dealings, business or otherwise, with that pervert of a stallion that works the cherry stall in town. Lastly, I would like to inform you that I am enrolling Spike at the school here in Ponyville, if only so that he can read warning labels. With all that said, I would like to tell you what I learned last week. My lesson started when I came down with a little bit of a cold..."

There are many words in the Equestrian dictionary, and while some may be classier than others, or tote more clout by virtue of nerdy pomp, Twilight found none one morning with which to adequately describe her condition. In fact, it was only by combining two that she found any measure of solace for her troubled mind, though even the phrase “abject misery” seemed to fall a bit short, like the book from her magic’s feeble grip. It wasn’t the inflamed sinuses that bothered Twilight the most, nor the sweating, nor burning in her face or churning of a stomach which couldn’t make up its mind whether it preferred being empty or emptying itself should the former condition be rectified; It was the dimming of her magical prowess that bred her deep chagrin. In short? Horn Flu had taken Twilight by storm, robbing her of all joy, mirth, tissues, ice cream bowls, patience, desire to move, and, by far the worst, her ability to enjoy both literature and magic.

While the other resident of the library may not have been known for his astounding intellect, wading through a sea of tissues covered in a shiny purple goo was somewhat difficult for any mind to dismiss, including Spike’s. The substance, which Twilight had explained to be the physical manifestation of virus-ridden magical dross, not only smelled horrible, but clung to his legs, arms, or anything else it touched. Having been tasked with the care of his sickly friend, Spike set about collecting the five or so ice cream bowls strewn in a circle around the mare, though he found the earthenware to be quite precarious to balance when tiptoeing through the veritable minefield of discarded tissues. After depositing the bowls with the others that cluttered the kitchen sink, the assistant decided that enough was enough. Returning to his charge, he made his offer for the umpteenth time despite the half lidded glare of the mare wrapped in her favorite blanket and peering miserably at every book title she could only half read in her weakened state.

“Twilight?” Spike started, swallowing nervously as she slowly craned her neck around to stare at him. “You really should just take that medicine that Zecora brought by. It’ll help you get better, and...”

“No, Spike!” Twilight interrupted with all the force she could muster. “I’ve told you once, and I’ll tell you again: I don’t need any zebra remedies based on folklore and herbs! I’m sure I know a spell for this, I just... have to concentrate...” Spike heaved a sigh before taking cover a few paces up the stairs as the unicorn attempted to gather her magic into a spell, only to have the glow fade out and her horn shoot a spray of shimmering lavender slime into the air akin to a sneeze, only worse. It wouldn’t have been so bad were it not for the fact that Twilight relied on magic for pretty much everything, and while Applejack could be stubborn, she didn't even come close to Twilight’s denial of her dwindling magic abilities. After two more subsequent releases framed by three days grueling days of cleanup duty, Spike decided it was time to put his foot down and carefully made his way back towards the kitchen, avoiding the shimmering purple sludge now coating the floor. After a few moments shoving spices out of the way, the dragon reached deep into the recesses of the space and withdrew an small, earthenware bottle.

Let’s see, Zecora said Twilight is supposed to get two servings a day, and that was two days ago, but she’s really, really out of it, so... I’ll just give her six servings, and she’ll be fine in no time! Popping the cork from the bottle he’d received from Everfree Forest’s resident herbalist just a few hours after his favorite nerd became symptomatic, Spike took a deep draft and gagged, holding the potion at arms’ length. After peaking back out into the main room to make sure Twilight was distracted and taking a few deep breaths to ward off the lingering nausea, he proceeded to measure out six servings of the vile substance and promptly dump them in with the librarian’s ice cream.

“Huh, there isn’t all that much left now...” Spike mumbled, examining the bottle. “Let’s see... ‘Under no surcoom... surcom...’ ah, forget it.” Confident Twilight could use all the help she could get, blissfully unaware of the explicit instructions that were, to be fair, too difficult for him to read, and proud of himself for concocting such a clever ploy, Spike finished mixing the rest of the bottle into Twilight’s next meal. As the last of the colors blended together, an anguished wail not befitting a grown mare summoned him to assist, so Spike steeled his nerves, marched over to where she lay, shot off a quick prayer to the princesses, and set the trapped treat down in front of Twilight.

Oh, man, she’s looking at it! I’m busted for sure! Twilight took a single tentative whiff before yanking her head back, pausing as a dull throb in the base of her skull intensified, and promptly turned her attention to the dragon nervously wringing his claws, pondering how he should spend the last few seconds of his life. Should I go down screaming? Beg for mercy? Make a break for it? I doubt she could chase me...


“Nnaaah! I’m sorry! I was just...”

“Oh, you’d better be!” Twilight raged, pointing a hoof at her tainted ice cream. “Do you think I’m stupid? What’s the big idea?”

“I j-just...”

“Just nothing! This smells way better than all the rest!” she quipped, weakly clapping her hooves together in the feeblest display of joy Spike had ever witnessed. “I mean, I can smell it! I can actually smell it! Do you know how long it’s been since I could smell, Spike?!?” The dragon’s tension eased a little as her new found fondness bid her nuzzle the bowl with affection not fitting for porcelain, though Spike wasn’t about to stop her; he was amazed she had the capacity to nuzzle at all.

“Three days?” he offered with a hopeful grin. It was truly a feat of skill, the way she could shift from perky grin to life-threatening scowl in less than a second, but it did serve to inform Spike that the correct answer was clearly more properly measured in years.

“Just clean this up,” she muttered darkly. “Three days, I’ve only been sick three days~!” Twilight’s infantile sing-song mockery continued as he took a deep breath and started collecting tissues. “What’s that, Miss Hoof? Spike can’t count? Why, yes, I completely agree! He can really mmph, glmph...” Holding such things against his teacher would have been petty, but he was secretly grateful that she had stuffed her face full of ice cream, and continued to do so until her helping was gone.

Her nausea seemed to be taking a break and after cleaning up most of the mess on the floor, which was sure to be back within an hour or two, Spike discretely excused himself to clean his scales of magical refuse. Twilight idly waved him off before dragging herself over to the bookshelf, whereupon she sat staring with glazed over eyes for five minutes until deciding to pick the book closest to hoof’s reach simply for its ease of access. As was habit for the mare, her first inclination was levitation, which she managed, but only for a moment before her horn “sneezed,” as it were, sending the book to the floor with a dull thud and leaving a dreadful splash on the floorboards.

“Oh, don’t think you won,” she muttered, closing her eyes massaging her temples. “You won’t get the best of me. You may have won a battle, but I, Twilight Sparkle, will win the war!” Her horn chose silent defiance over fierce oration, and with a snort she stubbornly grabbed the book, flipped it open to the beginning, and proceeded to find that reading with double vision was nigh impossible. Blinking multiple times finally remedied the issue, though her grime encrusted eyes were bleary at best, and after muttering a few choice words, for which she was grateful Spike was away, her nose decided it had suffered enough. As her runny snout stirred itself into a frenzy, it culminated into a colossal sneeze, defiling the sacred tome with an untimely spray. Twilight sat mortified, unable to even gauge the damage no doubt done to her beloved book. “Oh, you’ve gone and done it now...”

“Growling, are we? How quaint. What will you do, bite me?” The unexpected, well-spoken voice caused an immediate cessation of her guttural warnings and the prompt inspection of her muzzle which she regarded with justifiable disbelief.

Did it just... no, there’s no possible way! I mean, it doesn’t even have a mouth, so how could my nose be talking to me? There’s got to be an explanation - a logical one. It didn’t take very long for Twilight to reach a conclusion. “I must be going crazy, because it’s just not possible that my nose...”

“I prefer ‘snout,’ actually - tis much more dignified," the voice interjected with a touch of condescension and little sympathy for its flabbergasted host. "Oh, and it would do you well to clean me more often. Have you ever bothered to take a look at your nostrils? It’s shameful how much dust there is, really.”

It’s... not my imagination? Could it be that I, Twilight Sparkle, have moved on to the next stage of pony evolution? A sentient muzzle... What kind of advancement is that?!? And what's with the attitude? It's so grating, so proper, so... wait a moment... There was no way, but given that her nose was talking, she couldn't help but ask. “R-Rarity?”

“Oh yes, I forgot to mention that! I’m not really your nose; I’m a frilly white unicorn in disguise.”

“Don’t you get sarcastic with me!” Twilight snapped before she could catch herself. Upon realizing that she had not only just spoken with her own snout, but also become upset with the housing of her olfactory senses when they responded, the mare clasped a hoof over her eyes and let slip a dejected sigh. Why the hay am I even bothering to reply... This can’t be happening.

“Sarcastic? Now, whatever gave you that notion? Can’t you see my luscious purple mane?" Indulging her insanity just a touch more, Twilight let her hoof slip away to reveal a cream-curdling glare colder than the tallest peak of the Crystal Mountains. Her nose didn't particularly care. "Oh, come now, don’t stare like that. It’s very rude.”

“Okay, I’ve had just about enough of you!" Twilight barked, waving a cautionary hoof at herself. "Be quiet and let me read, or I’ll... I'll...”

“You’ll..." her nose mocked, letting its voice trail off. "Oh, by all means, please continue. I’d just love to hear what it is you have in store for us. I do hope it’s something... special.”

Combustion status: pressure at 27%. This thing better start showing some manners, or I’ll...

“Twilight, as much as that fiendish glare suits your rather homely features, I must ask that you continue to think out loud. It really makes it that much easier to tantalize your vexation.”

Combustion status: pressure at 42%. And what the hay, homely? Homely?!? Oh, may all science, magic, checklists, and friendship have mercy; this nose is going to get it. Just because I am organized, and a bit of a shut in at times, does not give anypony the right to call me homely. Twilight hadn't been in a particularly charitable mood to begin with, but her nose had crossed a line, and she wasn't about to let it slide. “Ok, schnoz, you asked for this.”

“Oh yes, and whatever will you do, hmmm? I thought that I was you, correct?” her nose jeered as the lavender unicorn trudged to the kitchen, sniffing a few times and stopping to rest as she made it to the table, finding the cool of the hard surface to feel quite nice against her fevered brow. “Tsk, Twilight, such frailty. Even a lady has...”

“You’re not a lady, you’re a snobby pair of nostrils who doesn’t know her place!”

“And you are a unicorn of questionable sanity yelling at said nostrils: I daresay I know who has the problem.”

Combustion status: pressure at 65%. “Very well, Snob.”

“Snout, darling. I prefer...”

“I don’t give a griffon’s posterior what you prefer!” Twilight shouted, whipping open the door of the refrigerator and rooting around for the perfect snout torture device. “You’re going to wish you were a griffon’s hindquarters in just a minute here... oh yes, I’ll make sure of that!”

“Do continue. I eagerly await your... what are you doing?” A slowly, rumbling laughter built as Twilight whipped out a bag of carrots and slammed it down on the table.

“Take a good look, schnoz! I think you know what this means!” Twilight yelled triumphantly, holding every confidence that her nose would beg for mercy.

“Hmmm, yes, I suppose I do. It means the body to which I am most unfortunately attached is every bit as frustrated as I’d expect from such an untidy mare with no chance at a stallion.” Her snout had very little time to lament its actions before tears crept into Twilight’s eyes at the sheer cruelty and heartlessness being directed at her from a muzzle she dutifully thrust into her beloved books on a daily basis. It was a treachery too great to be overlooked, and her volatile temperament soon shifted from self-pity to full blown rage.

Combustion status: pressure at 97%. Overload imminent.

“Phew, what did you have in that fridge, anyhow? I’m all for a little stimulation, but you’ll never win anypony’s heart cooking with any of the rubbish contained within that, eh... oh, what is an adequate word to describe a box full of filth and decay... It was then that her snout found that its insolence and pitiless jibes at an ill, unstable mare may have overstepped its bounds with “well-intentioned, constructive criticism.” A snort, rather painful at that, yielded smoke from Celestia only knows where, and within moments, the mare was wrapped in dancing, crimson flames. Minor discomfort and total self-immolation was a small price to pay for the sweet and savory howls of pain and fear with which her snout shrieked in visceral terror.

“Th-this is entirely unacceptable! Twilight, you must stop this at once!” her snout wailed, her cries becoming a sweet serenade to the unicorn's ears. Such a condition was nigh impossible to maintain in such a sickly state, and with a smug look of victory plastered across her face, Twilight decided it was time for the next phase of punishment as the flames died out. Pleasantly surprised as Twilight seemingly turned "reasonable," her nose has just readied a rather harsh reprimand when the mare turned towards the package of carrots, now roasted black, and promptly shoved one as far into her snout as she could manage. “Ouch! What in Celestia’s name... Ahhh! Stop that!”

“Oh, so now you’re going to beg for mercy?” Twilight cackled, cramming in another. “It’s too late now! Muahahaha!”

“You’re already homely, you don’t need to add ‘psychotic sadism’ to your already formidable list of what can, at best, be defined as quirks!”

“Quirks, huh?” Twilight replied in a droll tone, pausing with a hoof in the bag. “And what would you call them at worst, may I ask?”

“Character flaws forever banishing any thoughts of romance from the mind of anypony within a thousand mile radius, if you must know. No, you put that carrot down, Twilight Sparkle! You’re the one who... Agh, you asked me, Twilight! You’ve no right to... aaaaah!” Fury overrode her physical pain, but as she stuffed the tenth carrot into her nose, the skin stretched tight and smarting from painfully forced entries, she joined her nose in sobbing, throwing herself onto her back and wailing dramatically. No longer able to ignore the din rising from the kitchen, Spike hastily dried himself, trotted downstairs, and found Twilight feebly pawing at her snout with a hoof, unable to get a grip on the intrusive vegetables.

“What on- how did you...”

“It doesn’t matter!” Twilight moaned, dragging herself towards the dragon with shaky hooves. “Please, you’ve got to help us!”

“Us? Who is ‘us,’ exactly?”

“My snotty nose and I! Please, Spike, you’ve got to help!”

It’s a good thing I don’t get paid for being your assistant, Twilight, because no amount of bits... His thoughts took a temporary hiatus as he withdrew the first blackened vegetable from his mentor’s snout, covered in copious quantities of pony mucus. "Twilight, this is just gross. How in Equestria did you manage to get half a bag of medium-sized, over-cooked carrots shoved up your nose?” he asked, pulling out a second and a third.

“I... put them there?” Spike paused with the fifth carrot halfway out of her nose, his young mind unable to come up with a single good reason why anypony would possibly find such a notion to be acceptable under any kind of circumstance.

“Twilight, tell your assistant to hurry! He’s making me dreadfully uncomfortable, what with that shaft laying poised halfway in and... oh dear, I’m... it’s going to happen!” Eyes, and the closing of them, is often reflexive: an act of the unconscious mind protecting the body, and at that moment, Spike was glad of it. He heard the gasp, the sudden, sharp intake of breath, and saw the retraction of Twilight’s muzzle from its place just before his eyes snapped themselves shut. His shower was undone in but a moment as a gargantuan sneeze sprayed him full in the face, leaving him drenched and dripping.

On the positive side, he found as he cleared his vision with a claw, Twilight’s nose had been cleared of all invading roots. While Twilight cuddled with her muzzle, he wandered back upstairs and did his best to ignore the trail he left behind, not at all dissimilar to that of a snail. Showering as quickly as he could, the dragon bolted towards the entryway, slammed the door behind him, and took a deep, grateful draft of fresh spring air. It smelled... like sanity.

It’s not fair. How can I be showing sympathy to such a heinous part of my anatomy? Why am I even thinking about this at all? I’m... no, no no no! I’m not going insane! Sane! Sanity! Yes, sweet, sweet rationality... If I ignore it, it’ll just go away, right? Right! Everything will be alright, Twilight Sparkle. “Listen up, snout. You’re my nose. You have no mouth, you have no soul, and you certainly can’t talk, so if I hear one more peep out of you, you’re gonna get worse than carrots up your... my... the nose!”

“You would threaten me further, after you...” her snout started, only to be smacked with all the force a sickly librarian could muster. “Twilight! It is not fitting to strike a lady. Do not do that again, or there shall... be... consequences!” Twilight sat down hard, teetering for a moment before falling to her side where nervous laughter became spine-tingling cackles.

“It’s gone! All my sanities are gone! Whoosh! Right out the window! Into the window! A big, thick window! See, this is me here, and my sanity here! But no, it gets a nice comfy place with pillows and tea!”

“Ugh, I cannot believe this... Twilight Sparkle, get a hold of yourself this instant!” Twilight’s cachinnation took a big hit as her nose, finally exasperated with its operator, unloaded all its misgivings at once. “Do you have any idea how much I put up with? No, I’ll bet you don’t! Every day I long to smell something other than stale air, but instead I spend most all of my time in this filthy library reading some musty tome, trying desperately to fend off mold so aggressive it would put a manticore to shame! Do you think I actually enjoy the scent of books? Huh? Do you? Well, I don’t, Twilight Sparkle! That twisted obsession is yours alone! And then... then you’d hit me, after forcing uncouth penetration with those... those vegetables!?!”

“You... you can’t be my nose!” Twilight cried, horrified that her very own nose would dare utter such blasphemies. “Now I know you’re not really real! No part of my body, no matter how crazy and stuck up, would ever say they disliked books in any way, shape, or form! Go on, get out of here!” she demanded, folding her forelegs across her chest as she sat up and glared pointedly at the end of her nose.

“As much as I would absolutely love to just up and leave such a frumpy shut in, I am quite firmly attached to my bibliophile of a host.”

“Hey, there is nothing wrong with enjoying a good adventure or romance novel!” Twilight defended with concrete conviction.

“Oh, no? I hardly think a book could be anywhere as stimulating as the actual sensation that a stallion would give, though I suppose a steamy novel is likely the best you can manage.” Folded hooves slowly uncrossed as Twilight’s eyes again found themselves full of unwanted moisture as her olfactory aggressor again hit her where it hurt.

“You... really hate me, don’t you?”

“Well, I...”

“You do, don’t even try to deny it!” Twilight cried back, no longer able to focus as her vision swam and her emotions shifted from annoyed to harrowing self-pity. “All you’ve done is tell me I’m not good enough, that I can’t do anything right... I’m sorry I’m no good at talking to stallions! You’re just a nose, you don’t know what it’s like! The way they watch your every move, the way they look at you...” she trailed off, her mind choosing then, of all times, to have a breakthrough in lucidity, bringing to mind every missed opportunity in an arena she hadn’t dared to dabble in: dating. Crushed by a slew of possibly founded insults from her own nose, Twilight took a lesson from Rarity, threw back her head, and wept. Loudly.

"Oh, stop that ungraceful din," her nose commanded in an exasperated tone. It was paid no heed as Twilight continued to babble incoherently about the woes and pitfalls of former flames and failed flirtation, and after a few minutes of silence, her sniffer relented and tried a new approach. “...it seems I may have been a bit harsh in my reprimands. While I do believe you currently fall under the less reputable ‘frumpy,’ category, ‘homely’ may have been a bit strong, so for that, I apologize.” Twilight uncharacteristic sobbing softened as she looked to her snout for direction. “Look, Twilight, I have nothing against a good book, but it’s the same thing every day. I...”

“You really are my nose!” Twilight interjected, cutting her muzzle off mid sentence as her gloom dissipated under the dawning light of elation. “You like books! You like books~! Woohoo!”

“Are you quite through?”

“Oh, sorry,” she replied sheepishly, gently massaging her snout with both hooves.

“Mmm, I must say, that is much better than, say, being treated like Applejack's hooves treat her orchard. Now then... I have a proposition for you. Do me a few favors, and I will leave you alone and...”

“Stop whining?”

“I was NOT whining. Do you wish to hear whining?”

“No, don’t! I’m sorry, you were... it’s just...” Twilight stammered, waving her hooves like it would actually make a difference.

“Hmph. I suppose I shall spare you, then. You should be thanking me, really as...” As delighted as Twilight would have been to give her nose her full attention were she not sicker than Rainbow Dash after downing a full bowl of Pinkie’s punch immediately prior to the cake-eating contest and subsequent hoof race challenge that, admittedly, she hadn’t felt very ashamed of losing, there was something that proved more distracting than nasal prattle. It was something that everypony had experienced, nopony liked, and was really quite unavoidable: it was the tingling prior to a sneeze that never came. “...are you even listening?”

“How am I supposed to pay any attention to a lecture when you’re teasing me with a sneeze?” Twilight shouted back, growing dizzy once more as she tried to focus her bleary eyes on a muzzle most grating. “Just let it come out, already! I promise I’ll do whatever stupid thing you want afterwards!”

“Had you listened to a word I had said, you would already have your answer. I’d like to sneeze, but it’s simply not gratifying without building to a proper climax, and I will not tolerate any attempts to rush; a lady deserves a little pampering, and given that you’ve been so terrible to me, I daresay it’s your turn to put out.”

“You’re making it sound as if sneezing is like having s-”

“If I am not being tickled by rose petals in two minutes, there will be consequences, Miss Sparkle! Now, get me out of this musty library. Now!” Groaning as she forced weakened limbs into cooperation, a mare held hostage by her own snout dragged herself upright, trudged through the mushy carpet, and cracked open the front door with a growl, regarding the encroaching shaft of golden light as she would the sudden arrival of a draconequus playing polka. However, her snout had made it clear that it would stop at nothing to get what it desired, and with one last self-pitying whimper, she stepped out into the morning light.

“Gah! It hurts...” Twilight whinged, shuffling back inside as sun spots danced through her hazy view and her retinas went on strike, likely due to the stabbing pains rushing through her head. Her snout, however, was nothing short of brutal in its goading further exploration, and Twilight was soon coerced into cooperation by her pushy anatomy. Miserable, fatigued, and quite feverish without the help of her teacher’s brutal beating of celestial rays, Twilight found it difficult to share in her muzzle’s elation.

“Clean air! Oh, Twilight, can you smell that? Earthy scents of trodden soil, the fragrance of wild grass and flowers growing by the roadside, and the subtle hint of exotic fruits from that mare’s mane! Isn’t it just simply delightful, Twilight?!?”

“Fascinating,” Twilight replied flatly, coming to a stop not twenty paces from her house. “Can I go home yet?”

“Good heavens, no! I’ve barely just begun my afternoon of stimulation. It’s been too long, and I’m going to enjoy it.”

“You’re heartless,” Twilight pouted, wearily picking up her hooves and beginning once more to stumble down the road. “What’s it going to take to make you let me have some sneeze and quiet, huh?”

“I will not be rushed.” Hearing nothing and thankful that her host was learning her place, Twilight paid her nose, feeling a touch benevolent at her owner’s good behavior, a passing glance as she entered into the market district, where a host of barely discernable scents assailed the wobbly unicorn. “There are but three things that I- oh, are those cherries? Oh, they smell simply divine! Come, bring me closer!”

“Three things?” Twilight immediately asked, brightening a little. Three things? That’s it? I just might be able to-

“Make it four, I must experience those cherries!”

"You said three."

"Please, just a sniff?" Marching over in a way that Shining Armor only wished his new recruits could grasp, Twilight came to a halt directly in front of the most problematic of all shop owners and turned her listless gaze to his produce.

“You gonna buy somethin’, mare?” he asked none-too-politely, sizing up his prey and figuring he could make the mare pay triple the going rate.

“Does it look like I’m carrying any bits?” she snapped back, not even looking up.

“Look, if you ain’t gonna buy, then-”

“You were the one who ordered me to leave the library, so no! I’m not taking them home! Now, hurry up and do... whatever it is you do with smells!” Debauchery had earned the stallion a number of fierce orations, violent hoof-slaps, and even a talk or two from the mayor, but never had he been more confused by a customer than the sickly mare swaying on her hooves as she seemed to slit each and every cherry with the daggers in her eyes. Twilight, however, was unconcerned with this, nor how her verbal exclamations might sound to the growing host of eyes peering back at the hapless stallion who, for once, wasn’t in the wrong.

“Oh, this simply will not do. Twilight, you’re not close enough. Would you be a dear and bend your neck a little closer?”


“I asked nicely, Twilight.”

“I don’t care how nicely you ask, I’m not bending over!” A murmur rippled through the crowd as stares turned to scowls and low mutters accompanied the sad shaking of heads.

“Look, lady, I...” the cherry vendor began, swallowing hard as Mayor Mare’s prior lecture prompted a shudder. His ears fell flat as his hopes of survival dropped dismally low due to the not-all-there mare’s subsequent outburst.

“What do you mean, ‘shove them in?’” Twilight interjected, recoiling and failing to make her eyes focus on her snout. “I don’t care how good they smell, they’re not going in there! I- no! I said no, so stop asking me!” While the vendor disappeared from sight behind the counter, praying to Celestia for mercy and the crazy mare’s swift exit, a certain nose simply refused to be denied, and fed up with her inability to maintain even the slightest control of her faculties, Twilight caved after the little bit about her being a “stubborn, brooding wallflower.”

“You know what? Fine! I don’t care anymore!” Twilight shouted, returning to the counter amidst much glowering.

“Hey, lady, this guy giving you trouble?” a stallion inquired, trotting over ready for a rumble but finding himself soon a victim, same as the shopkeeper.

“You really want me to shove you in? Have it your way!” It had been a slow day, and therefore there were boxes upon boxes of cherries just waiting to be sold, and it was into the crate dominating the center of the table that Twilight violently thrust her muzzle. Now, they weren’t so deep enough that her whole head could sink it, which was a real heart-breaker for the two stallions now caught on the shaft end of awkward. Looking bored, Twilight regarded her muzzle’s final request with a tone of abject boredom.

“...you really want to go deeper, huh?” And there, with her muzzle buried and oblivious to her growing audience, Twilight sat. No longer comfortable with his choice to assist an assuredly unstable mare, the chivalrous stallion come to save the damsel in distress beat a hasty retreat, leaving the cherry vendor to fend for himself. Leaving the shattered remnants of what little dignity he might have called his own strewn about the floor of his stall, the vendor slammed a “Sale! 100% Off!” sign into the produce and fled for his life. Meanwhile, through half-lidded eyes, Twilight reluctantly obeyed her captor’s beck and call.

“Yes, this is wonderful! Bigger drafts! Yes, just like that! Oh, how delightful it feels to be tickled by their smooth, supple skin... Roll me about, would you please?" Accidentally tipping over the box as swung her head to the left, Twilight absentmindedly grabbed for the next crate without remembering that her mental cue cards had been jumbled, and “Telekinesis” had been swapped with “Skunk Spray Deluxe, Ver.3.” After taking a moment to wipe horn snot from her eyes, she found an unviolated box and proceeded to roll her muzzle around the fruit, ignorant of the hundred some odd ponies watching with gaping maws.

“Oh... oh this exhilarating! I cannot remember the last time I’ve smelt something so wonderful... but I tire of these cherries. Thank you, Twilight, that is enough for now.” With a very satisfied sniffer and a subtle growth of the tingling therein, the mare slowly withdrew her head, looked around at the destroyed stand, and turned around to find the newly formed Coalition of Paranormal Mare Activities and Observation waiting for an explanation. Twilight looked at them, then back at the goo-covered stall, and then back to the crowds.

“Free cherries, today. That’s a... a great bargain,” she laughed weakly, continuing her staggering journey through the ponies parting to make way. “Huh, wonder why everypony is so quiet,” she mumbled, glancing back as everypony looked on after her, maintaining their frightened hush. “I suppose it is rare for the cherry guy to be nice, but I guess anypony can be generous, if they feel like it.”

“Quite. Generosity is an admirable trait, and it has not escaped my notice that, while reluctant at times, you did all that I asked. I thank you, Twilight.”

“Hmph,” Twilight grunted, unwilling to give her snout the satisfaction of cooperation. “So, what are these three... whatevers of yours?”

“It is a simple thing, really. You asked what it would take for my silence, and the answer is that there are three more things I wish to have tantalize my senses before the day is done.”

“Just three?” she replied, incredulous.

“That is correct.”

“You’re sure it’s not 3.1415926535...”

“You’re right; one hundred and one sounds much better.”

“You wouldn’t...” Twilight said quietly, unable to keep from sounding as ghastly terrified as she was.

“One hundred and two?”

“You have no heart,” Twilight pouted ruefully, letting her hooves give out and falling to the ground in poof of dust. “Please, just three... I’ll smell anything!”

“Oh, you’re such a dear!” her nose squealed with grating enthusiasm, instantly reverting to a cheerier tone. “I knew you’d come around. Now, first on the list is a nice floral bouquet. I believe a mare by the name of Rose Luck should be able assist?” It was an easy request, and with a limiter set on the number of thankless tasks she’d be sent to complete, Twilight hauled herself upright and started towards the flower shop feeling strangely better. Granted, this was like saying one was only on the verge of spewing as opposed to being actively engaged in tossing one’s cookies, but it was still an improvement, and the thought that maybe, by some bizarre chance, smelling the wonders of the world she regularly overlooked might possibly hold a cure spurred the mare from trudging stumbles to woozy walking, bordering on a tottering trot.

Ponies just didn’t understand. It wasn’t their job to understand, Rose Luck knew, but there was something positively vexing about spending her time carefully growing, pruning, and selecting only the best and most beautiful of flowers to put on display, only to have half of her customers consume them in lieu of a good sandwich. Salads, cakes, and a myriad of other dishes all used her beloved roses, lilacs and lavender or were ground up for use in perfumes and seasonings, and basically every other flower she stocked could be, and had been, mutilated for some kind of everyday task for which something ugly like chamomile or mint leaves would do just fine. Catching the mare in a good mood seemed to be a fifty-fifty chance, but after selling one of her nicest bouquets to a stallion who immediately chowed down upon the delicate petals like an ice-cream cone filled with popcorn, she found herself feeling slightly irked. Having Lily over to help didn’t... well, help, either.

“Where do these ones go, sis?” Lily called out for the umpteenth time, staring blankly at the rows of carefully aligned blossoms.

“With the other ones that look exactly like them, Lily,” Rose Luck replied, managing to keep her voice level as she turned to find the mare staring at the display of daffodils in front of her like fill-in-the-blanks on a trivia sheet pertaining to ancient Canterlot history with the basket of identical buds that she’d set upon the counter acting as the never-to-be-used pencil for such a difficult test. Thanks to Rose’s cliff notes, however, the mare suddenly found the test much easier, and repaid her with an oafish grin.

“Oh, right! Thanks~!” Lily quipped, reaching for the loaded basket, spilling the flowers onto the ground, and casually scooping them into a pile like rubbish to be tossed into the compost pile. Bubbly and prickly just didn’t mix, and wishing to put some distance between herself and that infernal mouth noise known as “humming” of which her sister seemed so fond, Rose Luck grabbed her watering pail and intentioned to move on to a different case when the ring of a bell signalled the entrance of another pony.

Lily can get this one. They’re probably just looking for a snack, anyways. Snorting with exasperation, the mare’s ear twitched as her enthusiastic sibling greeted their potential customer with all the levity of a manifest sugar rush.

“Hey! Welcome to our shop! We sell flowers and stuff!” Lily chortled, tossing aside the basket and prancing over to the lavender unicorn standing just inside the doorway. “Is there anything specific you’re, um... you’re...” Rose led her head fall against the railing with a thunk, being careful not to damage any of her flowers on the way down as Lily branded herself too mentally deficient to engage in basic conversation. Rose wasn’t terribly surprised.

What is she stammering about? Is it really that hard to ask what they’re looking for? Even I can manage that, and I’m more peevish than normal.

“Is something, like, wrong with your face?”

Did she really just say that? Unbelievable... “Lily, you can’t say things like that to customers!” Rose barked, lifting her head and cantering towards the front of the shop.

“But sis~!” Lily whined, “Just look at her! Something’s messed up!”

“Even I never say things like that out loud, and I can be a real... uh...” Slowly coming to a stop a pony length away from the mare standing stock still, Rose was forced to concede that Lily may well have been justified in asking what she had. The mare, who she had heard referred to as “Twilight” but hadn’t had any dealings with personally, was standing in a pollen-induced stupor. Her nostrils flared as she took a deep draft of air, holding it for a few seconds and letting it out slow. The mare then somehow managed convert the scent of her flowers into liquid form and proceed to let it drip from her nose like a beehive overburdened with an excess of honey, but this was just one oddity among the many that sparked entirely relevant questions within a florist’s mind. Specifically, Rose was forced to wonder what the hay Twilight was even doing out of bed and if it was contagious.

Okay... I supposed I can let your indiscretion slide this time, Lily. Dear Celestia, she looks horrible... “Er... welcome to...”

“Do you have flowers?” Twilight blurted out, her wearied voice tinged with undeniable excitement. Denying herself the joy of sarcasm after being asked perhaps the single most infuriating question she ever received, and consequently the most frequent, was slightly beyond Rose Luck’s patience so soon after a wounding sale. In stark contrast to Lily, who had taken shelter behind her sister, Rose shook her head, adopted a warm smile, and laid it on thick.

“No, as you can see, all our displays are empty,” she replied in a pointedly civil tone, sweeping out a hoof and motioning to the myriad of beautiful bouquets. “We do, however, have a rather tasteful display of paper bags in the back. I’m sure you’ll find one that suits your fancy.”

“Excuse me?” Twilight asked, entirely confused.

“Oh! I wasn’t meaning to assume, it’s just... you seem like a nice pony, so I thought you might want something to help make sure you don’t scare any little fillies or colts,” the florist replied, motioning to her face and the mockingly sympathetic expression she wore. Not entirely proud of herself for tearing into a sick mare, Rose let slip a sigh as Twilight audibly ground her teeth, knowing she had likely gone a bit overboard. As she prepared to make reparation, the mare suddenly ceased all activities, standing tensed and motionless with slowly widening eyes, and assuming this to mean the full weight of her insult had sunk in, Rose put the first hoof forward in appeasing her customer.

“Actually, I was mistaken. It just so happens we do have a... few flowers, and... uh...” she trailed off, swallowing nervously as the mare’s horn lit up with a pale glow. “Ma’am? Are you...” Crazy enough to try levitating every flower in the shop at once in rash excitement as she realized she was, in fact, surrounded by bountiful blossoms? Yes, Twilight was. It was bad enough for Rose that some kind of foul smelling lavender goo had suddenly manifested on, and indeed in, her mane and nose, but adding Lily’s frantic screams to the mix was icing upon the icing of the worm-ridden cake that was her day.

“Omigosh, she got it in my hair!” Lily wailed, rearing onto two legs and frantically pawing at her mane. “Get it out, get it out, get it out! Oh, this is so nasty! Why would anypony do this? Why... why mehehehee~?!?” Clearing her eyes with the smear of her hoof, Rose took a moment to stare in disgust at the slop dripping from the tip of her nose and onto the floor before determining within herself that as a Hearth’s Warming Eve gift to herself, she was going to buy her sister a gag.

“Lily, stoppit! It’s bad enough that- hey! Get out of there!” Rose shouted, moving from peeved to livid and passive to frantic as Twilight’s howls of exultation accompanied the defilement of her precious flowers. This mare, whom Rose had heard was responsible for all kinds of anomalies around the town, was using whatever spell had made a royal mess of her mane on all of her flowers while alternately stuffing several of every breed, cross-breed, and criss-cross-breed up her severely inflamed snout. Rose made it two steps forward before being bowled over by a grief stricken Lily and, for her comfort, received a salt water shower from the water jets shooting from her sister’s eyes.

“Rose, isn’t it just horrible?” Lily half-screamed, half-pleaded, searching for sympathy that was simply nonexistent. “We’re both covered in this nasty goop from that rotten unicorn! Oh, what if it doesn’t come out? What if it stains my coat? I don’t want to cut my mane! I’d just look awful with a shaved head! What if...”

“If you’re so concerned, then go take a shower and get... off!” Rose yelled, struggling to pry herself free from the mare firmly latched around her neck. “Lily, I swear, if you don’t let go in the next two seconds, I’ll-”

“Oh, hey! Water can!” Lily quipped, letting go and trotting away as if nothing was wrong. Knowing she had no time to spare if she were to save her shop, Rose pulled herself upright and dashed back to the front, stopping to stare in horror as every display case shimmered in the sunlight and reeked with whatever foul sorcery that mare had seen fit to curse her precious petals. Rushing towards the sound of crazed laughter, Rose Luck rounded the corner and watched in horror as her precious stock was condemned to rot.

“No, please! Not the...” Sploosh! “...roses.” Pink, white, gold: every hue of every rose, from florets to billowing blossoms, was desecrated with a single expulsion of magical snot. A crestfallen mare sank to her haunches as her tormentor continued to linger with her snout inside the case, wiping her snout upon the soft petals and rambling to herself about... something. Rose Luck only vaguely heard, and she didn’t really have the vigor to try and make heads or tails of it.

“Yesyesyesyes! Oh, I know! Isn’t it wonderful? Huh? Well, of course we should do this more often! I wonder if leaving the petals inside the pages of the books would make them smell better? I have to try that! You like that? I’m so happy, I could just... oh look, there’s more!”

Rose Luck blinked once and buried her muzzle in her hooves, cringing as Lily’s wails and scampering hooves signalled her imminent approach in response to her space and cleanliness being violated once more. Her sister’s hoofbeats whooshed past, and the sound of water splashing upon the stone floor returned the distraught mare to a passable calm. A faint dingaling preceded the slam of the door, and peace returned once more to a demolished flower shop.

“Goodness! Can you believe how rude that mare was? I mean, just look! She made a huge mess, and now we have to clean it up!” Rose Luck saw, and shuddered. Every display had been ravaged, rifled, and left a disorderly, glop-strewn wreck, without a single flower unscathed. After completing a circuit to assess the damage, Rose Luck staggered over to a small loveseat, ignored the squelching noise it made as she sat, and slung a foreleg over her eyes.

"I really do have the luck of a rose," the floral mare muttered with a languished sigh. Lily glanced around at her sister’s shop, which appeared to have been used as a stand-in stampeding ground for buffalo courtesy of one psychotic unicorn, and asked for clarification.

"How's that?" Lily asked, tilting her head to the side as her sister peeked out at her with sullen eyes.

"Simple: I always deal with pricks."

"Oh...” Lily murmured, nodding her understanding for a moment before piping up again. “Wait, but... wasn't she a mare? Or was it because she was a unicorn? Huh, sis? Is that it? You do get quite a few unicorns in here. But don’t you sell the most to earth ponies? It’s certainly not pegasi, right? Am I right?" Rose Luck, peeked out, shook her head, and covered her muzzle again, ready for a little silence and a stiff drink.

"...shut up and clean, Lily."

“...and those roses!” Onwards and aimlessly did one unicorn continue to plod, unable to drown out the exultation resounding within her mind. She’d done well, performed above expectation, and her nose wasn’t about to let her faithful host’s efforts go without a little praise. First, though, elation demanded elaboration. “‘Divine’ hardly does them justice, but I cannot think of anything more apt to describe the pleasure of their scent! One could almost call it a celestial experience, and... Twilight, is something the matter?”

“Those mares weren’t very nice to me.” Expecting the ensuing silence and hoping to preempt another lecture, Twilight took as deep a breath as she could, coughed in response, spat out something discolored and unpleasant to her palate, and shuddered as she started again. “I don’t understand how they even stay in business! I mean, that one mare wouldn’t stop screaming! My head hurts enough without Lily shouting about her mane. Why would anypony go to a flower shop to talk about manes? Am I the only sane pony around?”

“I’ll admit their customer service was lacking in the service department...” came her noses reply, and in a pleasantly sympathetic tone. “I’m sorry if the experience was traumatic for you.” Somewhat taken aback by the shift in temperament, Twilight stumbled to a halt, peering at her nose for a time and making her incredibly uncomfortable. “What are you thinking, Twilight?” She had only just begun to raise her hoof when her nose cried out in alarm, expecting another unfairly brutal beating, but such threats were unnecessary as Twilight gently caressed the side of her muzzle, massaging with slow, feebly soft circular motions. “What are you...

“You were being nice, so I thought you deserved a reward,” Twilight answered with mixed emotions, not entirely sure if she was actually grateful to her own captor or if she was just trying to get on her snout’s good side.

“I... er... really?”

“You’re right, being treated like a slave was way better. Please, continue making me miserable.”

“...I cannot tell if you are being serious, Twilight.”

“Me either,” she replied with a sigh, dropping her hoof and continuing on. “I’m a little frustrated that after I walked in and asked those mares so nicely about their flowers, the just mumbled some gibberish about not having any and then flipped out when I picked a few up!”

“They were exceedingly cold for sales ponies. Generally, it pays to act with dignity and respect, but they clearly missed on both marks. Do not worry yourself over them, Twilight Sparkle; they will get their dues, I am certain of it.” Encouraged by soothing words and falling deeper into the comforting warmth of delerium, Twilight perked up considerably as she accepted the reassurance and picked up her pace, the tickling of a sneeze hiding deep within spurring her forward.

“You’re right, I won’t worry about them!” Twilight chortled, ignoring the coughing spasm that nearly knocked her off her hooves. “So, what’s item two?”

“I do believe you recall the health hazard posed by your refrigerator, yes?”

“Ugh, please don’t tell me you want me to find a good compost pile to rub you in,” Twilight replied, nearly hurling on the spot simply for thinking of it. Fortunately, her muzzle had plans very much the opposite.

“Good heavens, Twilight! I first asked you for cherries, then flowers, and they both smelled delightful! Do you really think that I’d turn around and ask you to do something so positively horrid?”


“And here I thought you prized yourself on being a logical thinker...”

“All right, let’s not get too sassy,” Twilight warned, shooting her nostrils a half-hearted glare. “Are you going to tell me where to go or not?”

“Quite. It just so happens that I’ve a love for fine cuisine. Gourmet sandwiches, hoof-made pasta in a zesty marinara, and many other things like these are absolutely to die for, but right now, there is something else I desire even more: sweets. Candy, chocolate, cake: all the things a girl could ever dream of smelling! Do you know of anyplace that could accommodate?” There was only one place in Ponyville where all of the above could be found, and Twilight gave a weak squeal of excitement as she pushed her body harder, managing a decent trot as her tenuous grasp on reality weakened step by step.

It came as no surprise to Twilight that Sugarcube Corner was packed with other ponies. What did strike the mare as unusual was that she found that fact quite agreeable. The merry chatter of the townsfolk formed a pleasant backdrop for the bombardment of delicious scents infusing the air, and entirely unaware of her appearance or the fact that she was now drooling, Twilight cantered over to a table where a mare sat chatting with another, glanced down at the half-eaten jelly donut, and then back at the owner who’d just taken notice of her presence.

“Hey there!” came the enthusiastic greeting from the peppy mare. “Did you need something?”

“Just a sniff?” Twilight replied with a terrible case of pouty lip, a motion which would have carried much more weight if the mare actually knew what the hay Twilight was talking about.

“A sniff of... what, exactly?”

“Your donut.” Perplexed, the mare examined the glazed treat for hidden magical powers or anything else out of the ordinary, decided that it was indeed an average, exceedingly tasty and nutritionally deficient baked good, and turned back to Twilight with a faint hint of a smile.

“Ok, but just a little-” she started, pausing mid-sentence as an eager Twilight mashed her muzzle into the treat and took a deep draft. “...little one.” Wiping a splatter of strawberry jam from her muzzle and glaring half-heartedly at her friend who bust up laughing, the mare couldn’t help but giggle a little herself as Twilight rolled her eyes at the heavenly scent and went back for seconds with a sticky snout.

“Oh, Celestia... it’s so good!” Twilight squealed, snorting a little jelly in her haste and pulling back, wiggling her nose. “Hush, you. You’re the one who was pushing so hard for this, so I don’t want to hear any complaining.” Both mare’s looked at each other in growing confusion as Twilight stared hard at nopony in particular, listening to her snout’s reply.

“I was eager to smell something delicious, Twilight. Being coated in jam isn’t exactly what I had in mind.”

“I’m sure you could be coated in a lot worse,” Twilight shot back, taking one last tentative whiff before blinking a few times and looking back at the two mares respectfully maintaining their silence. “Can you believe how demanding your nose can be? Mine just can’t be satisfied! I stuff her full of cherries, snort a pound of pollen, and now I’m giving her sweets, but she just won’t stop whining! Don’t you just hate it when that happens?”


“Exactly! Sheesh, I tell you... my anatomy is all kinds of strange,” Twilight muttered, nudging the plate back towards the mare before trotting a short distance away and gratefully plopping down into a sitting position. Traipsing around town with limbs that felt like lead was quite taxing for a sickly mare, and she found the brief resting of her hooves quite pleasant. “So,” she started, giving the air an appreciative sniff and delicately wiping her nose, “is there anything specific you’d like to-”

“Hey, Twilight!”

“Oh, no...” the mare groaned, covering her eyes with a hoof and taking a deep breath as vibrations in the floor signalled the bouncing approach of the local party aficionado and purveyor of smiles. Not now, Pinkie. I don’t really feel ready for... for... why does it smell so good all of a sudden? Peeking out from behind her hoof to find Pinkie Pie mimicking the action, Twilight found the strength to manage a feeble smile as Pinkie challenged her to beam. “Hi there, Pinkie. How’re you doing?”

“Pretty much splenderific!” the mare quipped, throwing her hooves wide. “Today’s a super extra special day because just yesterday I put on my thinking cap which had just gotten back from the dry cleaners and I needed a teeny tiny boost coming up with an extra amazing idea for...”


“Uh huh?” Twilight murmured, only able to half-focus on the mare’s enthusiastic but poorly punctuated explanation.

“This mare... she’s your friend?”

“Uh huh...”

“She smells delicious.” This statement was enough to refocus the mare, and leaning slightly forward, Twilight took a whiff that changed everything. While Pinkie Pie may not have noticed that her coat was dusted with dabs of frosting, a healthy dusting of powder sugar, and just a puff of decoration glitter, the ravenous mare eyeing her did. With a cavernous rumble of an empty stomach, Twilight realized that her nose was right. Pinkie Pie’s scent was nothing short of mouth-watering.

“I had originally planned on asking you to indulge the scent of a stallion as well, but why in Equestria would I possibly want the heavy musk of a sweaty coat when this darling creature smells so delightful? Twilight, everything I need is right here. With the fair Princess Celestia as my witness, if I am to smell a pony, I wish it to be her.” Twilight didn’t need to give the notion much thought at all. Stallions were, as her nose had so painfully pointed out earlier, not something she was familiar with, and of all her friends that she could risk sniffing, Pinkie Pie had to be the least likely to get her strange looks.

“And that’s been my morning!” Pinkie Pie concluded, proud of herself for so well describing her treat that Twilight had begun to drool. “Sounds pretty tasty, right? I’m sure Dashie will be super excited with her ‘Congratulation on Getting into the Wonderbolts Academy and Saving your Friends from Certain Death’ cake! You should stick-” Stick her nose closer, so as to better appreciate the fine points of a sugar-crusted pony? Twilight quite agreed, and obliged.

“Ooo, what kind of game is th-” Pinkie started, stopping as a fit of giggles not to be contained burst forth as an invasive muzzle was plunged into her stomach, knocking her onto her back. “Twi, th-that t-tickles!” Squealing with glee, Pinkie Pie kicked her hooves and cried tears of sweet, sweet mirth as Twilight’s sniffer scoured up her chest, down her back, all over her mane and just about everywhere else. Unaware and unconcerned with how her suddenly playful scholar’s behavior could understandably misconstrued, Pinkie Pie’s laughter doubled as a lavender muzzle brushed her flanks and moved towards the tips of her very ticklish hoovesies. With tears streaming down her muzzle and her cheeks flushed a deep crimson bordering on blue, Pinkie Pie gently stayed Twilight’s muzzle with trembling hooves.

“Twilight, I need... need to b-b-breathe!” she wheezed, beaming back at her delightfully spontaneous friend. Having smelled her fill of the Pie, Twilight ceased her assault and managed a sheepish grin while a remnant of her lucidity stood by the wayside shaking its head.

“Sorry, Pinkie... I don’t know what came over me, I just...”

“Sorry? Are you totally loco in the coco?” Pinkie giggled, shifting her hooves around Twilight’s neck and yanking her into a fond embrace. “I never knew how ticklish a nose could be. I can’t believe I never thought of that before! You’re so smart, Twilight!” The mare’s hold relaxed, and Twilight pulled away to try and formulate a logical reason for her actions that didn’t involve revealing her snout’s sudden rise to sentience.

“Pinkie Pie, I... you... smell amazing...” The chortling stopped, and Twilight blushed hard. Where the hay did that come from? That’s not what I meant to say at all!

“Awww... Thanks, Twilight!” Pinkie said in a tone soft for her, touched by a compliment she genuinely found meaningful. “I guess that would make sense, since I’ve been working all morning on that super duper extra top secret recipe for Rainbow Dash that I just told you about. We can share some, if you’d like...”

“Super secret recipe? I’ll bet that it will smell absolutely smashing!” Twilight’s nose squealed, making no efforts to moderate volume or elation. “Oh, please say that we can stay? I mean, I have been given a wonderful treat today, but the way she described it earlier makes it sound like a once in a lifetime opportunity. I promise, this will be my last request. I would be ever so grateful if you would allow us to stay...”

“Well...” Twilight began, sounding unsure. Staying longer meant pushing back her eventual reprieve from non-stop nasal nagging, but if it made the sneeze to come that much better for them both, then it was likely best that she cave. It was fortunate that she reached this conclusion, because if she hadn’t, the secret world of sentient limbs wouldn’t have let her do anything else. Vocabulary failed Twilight as another voice piped up, coming not from her own nose, but Pinkie’s as well.

“You should really stay here, Twilight,” the rosen muzzle offered in an affectionate, soft-spoken tone resembling that of a timid pegasus loved by critters far and wide. “I mean, Pinkie Pie’s been working on this recipe for so, so long, and, well, I know she’d be really happy if you stayed. You know, if you don’t mind, I mean...”

“P-pinkie? D... did your nose just...” Twilight stammered, receiving naught but a cheerful smile devoid of comprehension from the mare staring back with scilliant blue eyes.

“But of course!” her own snout replied in a slightly condescending tone. “You didn’t think I was the only one, did you?” Considering the impossibility of anything that had transpired in the last hour actually having happened, accepting that she wasn’t the only pony with chatty nostrils was a bit much to swallow, and ignoring Twilight’s sudden interest in a wide-eyed staring contest with Pinkie, who was all too willing to accommodate, a lavender muzzle regarded her pink counterpart with all the warmth of a reunion long overdue. “Ignore Twilight, she’s been a bit fussy today. How’ve you been?”

“I’ve been very well, thank you!” the pink nose quipped in demur elation. “Pinkie takes me all over the place, so there’s always something new for me to sniff. Sometimes, she messes up and sticks me somewhere, um... not very nice, but that’s ok, because she spends so much time sniffing lots of good things! She’s just the best friend a nose could have!”

“Oh, you’ve no idea how much I envy you,” the lavender sniffer lamented with a sigh. “You would not believe the absolutely putrid mess that resides within Twilight’s refrigerator! Most all my time is spent dusting to accommodate her fanatical addiction to literature, much less being taken to experience all the wonders the world has to offer a pure bred snout of class like myself.”

“Goodness, that sounds just awful! You poor dear... Um, Pinkie? I think she needs a hug, so, um, could you lean a little closer, please?” With nary a complaint or hint of resistance, a pink muzzle was gently touched to Twilight’s. Overwhelmed, the lavender muzzle indulged in a nice, dramatic cry over the injustice that was a life spent in studying. The feverish heat that had once scorched Twilight’s brow moved into her cheeks as the sweet scent of cupcakes wafted over on Pinkie’s breath, so strong Twilight could almost taste it. It was too enticing for a mare on an empty stomach to resist, and without a second thought Twilight leaned forward to have a taste.

Mmm... maple. Blissfully unaware of the fact that ponies were attempting have their meals in peace, Twilight continued hers without a care in the world, grateful she’d found something tasty that didn’t make her want to vomit. Admittedly, it did occur to her somewhere in the back of her mind that it seemed odd for Pinkie Pie to have gone so quiet and sink to the floor, but it made it easier assess her flavor, so Twilight shrugged it off and merrily continued enjoying her treat. Now entirely ignored by both their hosts, the snouts that had fallen silent again resumed their socialization, though it was Pinkie’s that rightly summed up the situation with so many words.

“Um... oh my.”

“Well, I suppose it is a step in the right direction for her,” Twilight’s muzzle mused in a neutral tone. Being in such a close proximity to Pinkie again plunged the nose into a scent it found delightfully intoxicating, so there was really no reason to complain. “No matter, this will just give us more time to catch up. Just so long as...”

"Yeehaw! Come on, is that all you've got? I expected more outta you!" By this point, hearing another new voice chime in didn’t faze Twilight nearly as much as it should have. After all, her own nose had been yammering all day and prompting her quest to appease the wroth snobbess, and just moments before, Pinkie Pie’s nose had joined in. With a mental shrug and a rather tasty new experience on her hooves, Twilight ignored the fact that her partner’s tongue had just whooped like a cowgirl and launched a vigorous counterattack - all for the purposes of taste, of course!

"All right, that’s it! You wanna do this the hard way? We’ll do this the hard way!" Not even vaguely worried that her own tongue now had a voice as well, Twilight continued enjoying the pleasant taste of a mare full of sugar while their tongues each set out to pin the other in fierce competition: so fierce, in fact, that the snouts found their chat disrupted as one bumped into the other.

"Goodness, they're, um... really going at it, aren't they?"

“You bet! It’s been absolutely ages since I wrestled anything that put up a fight!” a voice brimming with all the confidence and spunk of Equestria’s self-proclaimed greatest flier shot back, laughing enthusiastically.

“Would you two please try to be civil? Rolling all over the place like this is going to get somepony hurt!” Twilight’s nose demanded, only to be promptly ignored by the more rambunctious parts of their hosts’ anatomy.

“Sorry, sugarcube, but we’ve been waitin’ t’ settle this score fer far too long. Hey, come back here!” Pinkie’s tongue shouted with a thick, southern drawl as Twilight pulled away for air, staring down at the mare under her hooves with a starry eyed expression.

“You... taste as amazing as you smell, Pinkie.”

“Twilight, you’re gonna make me blush,” Pinkie giggled, bashfully hiding behind her hooves to hid the energy brimming just below the surface. Her tongue, however, wasn’t about to call it quits so soon, and prodded Twilight’s taster with a cool tone and teasing words.

“Shoot, you ain’t duckin’ out already, are ya?”

“Are you kidding? I’m just planning my attack! Come on, Twilight! Get back in there! I’m gonna teach her a lesson!”

“School bell’s ringin’, sugarcube, and it’s time fer me t’ show you how a real cowgirl wrassles!” Twilight’s muzzle descended once more, and the two were quickly right where they’d left off.

"Oof! You'll pay fer that!"

"Oh yeah? How ya gonna do that, exactly? I've got you pinned!"

"Ah reckon... something like... this!"

"Whoa! Hey, easy!" an educated mare’s tongue yelped, taken by surprise and quite assuredly pinned. That is, at least until the voice of an actual pony caused a rather awkward pull away that couldn’t quite be completed due to the fact that Twilight’s tongue was, quite literally, knotted with Pinkie Pie’s.

“Pinkie Pie!” Mrs. Cake called out, trotting towards the counter from the kitchen, “your special cake should be ready to frost soon! You may want to...” She paused here, finding both mare’s peering back, tongue-tied. “Oh, um... you seem... busy, dearie. Your cake is done, but... I’ll pull it out for you."

“Thunks, Mishish Cahk!” Pinkie called out, glancing away for a moment before turning back to Twilight. “Yur rully gud ksher, Twiwight.”

“Not kushing, jush... tashting!” Twilight corrected, yanking back a little and rolling her eyes as Pinkie’s tongue teased her own.

"Ah’m still waitin’ fer you t’ say ‘uncle,’" Pinkie’s tongue said with smug satisfaction, giving a gentle tug and bringing a lavender muzzle back down for thirds.

“I’m... not... giving... up!” Twilight’s taster shot back, straining to break free of her rival’s hold. While the two continued to sort out their differences, both mare’s relaxed as an incredibly tantalizing aroma pervaded the air, signalling the completion and success of Pinkie Pie’s latest culinary endeavor. An increase in appetite and salivation encouraged the mare’s hunger, but having caught the scent of confectionary perfection, a certain deprived snout sang out in glorious exaltation of Twilight’s choice of friends.

“Oh my stars, is that... is that what Pinkie Pie was working on?” Twilight’s muzzle gasped, sounding short on breath.

“Yes, um, it is,” Pinkie’s nose quipped, sounding pleased as she too enjoyed the fruits of a dedicated mare’s labor. “Do you like it?”

“Like it? Darling, it is, perhaps, the single most splendid scent I’ve ever had the luxury of indulging! Twilight, I can see you’re busy indulging your long-restrained carnal desires, but could you possible breath a little deeper?” It was a simple request, and one that Twilight was only too willing to oblige, though it can’t be said that her reputation didn’t suffer; for some odd reason, taking loud, deep drafts and audibly sighing in response to the visceral pleasure of scented air was in some strange way frowned upon by the other customers. Twilight glanced over as the few remaining ponies quietly excused themselves, and berating herself slightly for getting distracted, she continued her studious appraisal of Pinkie Pie’s taste.

“Ahhh... oh, that is just too much for one nose to take...” a lavender muzzle proclaimed with an elated moan.

“Um, I’m still here, you know, but that’s ok. I like sharing.”

“That’s because you really are a sweetheart, darling. And, if I’m not entirely mistaken, it seems that Pinkie Pie likes to share as much as Twilight does!” Like billowing clouds of invisible smoke, the enticing aroma of culinary perfection suffused the air around the pair, and combined with the satisfying scent of a cordial mare, it wasn’t long before Twilight felt the tingling in her sinuses begin to intensify along with her nose’s ecstasy.

“Ah... Twilight, just a little... a little more!” It was time. After what had felt like hours, Twilight felt her the tingling within her snout shift past the point of no return.

“It’s finally happening...” Twilight moaned as she pulled away, sitting upright and holding her snout in both hooves. “Oh, I’ve waited so long for this! Yes, just... just a little more!”

“Um, Twilight? You ok?” Pinkie Pie offered, unknowingly sending the mare over the edge. With a mixture of Pinkie’s scent swirling together with the heavy fragrance of her own secret recipe, Twilight took a tremendous gasp of air through her nose, and experienced the overwhelming pleasure of a nasal climax.

“It’s... I’m...” Twilight gasped, planting her hooves on Pinkie chest for support as her whole body tensed. It wouldn’t be until some time later that Twilight was alerted to just how inappropriate her actions appeared to those staring with open mouths at the mare having herself a special moment for all to see, but even if she’d known, she wouldn’t have let anypony or anything spoil it. “Ah... ah... ACHOO!”

Never in all Twilight’s years had something as simple as a sneeze ever felt so mind-blowingly wonderful as the cacophonous explosion that rocked the windows of a small town bakery. Pollen, crumbs, and everything else was ejected into the air by one massive release. As Twilight sank exhausted upon Pinkie Pie, who had fortunately dodged much of the spray, she let slip a contented sigh as the strength drained from her limbs. She’d had enough excitement for one day, and the corners of her muzzle turned upwards into a lopsided grin as Pinkie Pie’s tongue had mercy upon her and called it a day.

“Shoot, you done tuckered me out,” a bubbly mare’s tongue laughed, gently tracing a path up the side of Twilight’s cheek. “Fer bein’ new at this, ya sure can put up a fight.”

“Hah!” an exhausted unicorn’s tongue snapped back, trying to maintain an air of superiority despite sounding out of breath, “I always give everything an extra 20%, but it’s sooo totally lame when the biggest challenge I get is a spoonful of peanut butter. I mean, seriously! How am I supposed to get any stronger if that’s the worst I get?”

“Ah’m up fer a rematch anytime, anywhere. You just say the word, an’ it’ll be a throwdown the likes o’ which you’ve never felt!”

“Maybe later, I’m beat!” the egghead’s tongue replied, making a noise akin to a yawn. “Thanks, Twilight. I needed some excitement, but now it’s time for a nap. Later!” Nodding weakly, Twilight nuzzled deeper into some rather soft chest fur as her nose also decided it was time to say farewell.

“Twilight, I... cannot say I’m sorry enough for all those terrible things I said,” her nose said, speaking with fond affection. “You have done me a great service this day, and I shall consider your debt to me hereby paid in full. Get some rest, Twilight Sparkle. Oh, but let’s not wait until I’m at my wits end before doing this all again, shall we? I daresay that your friend certainly doesn’t seem opposed to the idea.”

“Uh huh...”

“Goodbye, Twilight Sparkle. Oh, do take good care of her, would you?”

“I’ll do my very best!” a rosen muzzle replied, nuzzling a lavender cheek. Barely feeling the strength to move, Twilight craned her neck and looked up at Pinkie as a startlingly timid voice tinged with excitement piped up.

“You, um... you win, Twilight. Made me blush...” Pinkie said with a nervous giggle. “It feels like there’s a party cannon in my tummy, shooting out party favors full of butterflies!”

“Is that... good?” Twilight asked, blinking sleepily.

“I sure don’t mind!” Pinkie quipped, touching a playful hoof to the mare’s nose before pulling it back to her chest as her thoughts prompted another volley of party poppers. “You’re, um... really tasty, Twilight...”

“As are you, Pinkie...” the unicorn murmured, reaching upwards for just one last taste before letting her exhaustion take over. “Your cake... smells delicious. I’m sure Rainbow Dash will... will love it.” Heaving a cavernous yawn, Twilight settled in for the night while Pinkie let forth a nervous giggle and slowly circled Twilight in unsure hooves.

“If you’d like, we could share the cake,” Pinkie offered, her bubbly pep replaced by wonder. “I made it as a practice run anyways to make sure the recipe was juuuust right.” A low rumble brought a timid smile to the usually unshakable mare as Twilight chuckled for a few seconds before turning towards Pinkie, looked deeply into her eager, blue eyes, and grinned a little wider. She wouldn’t remember much when she awoke two days later, but she would remember the scent, and taste, of friendship. Content, warm, and plumb tuckered out, Twilight left Pinkie Pie with her parting thanks as she slipped into a fitful slumber.

“Thank you very much for the offer, Pinkie, but... I just ate.”

“In conclusion, I, Twilight Sparkle, have learned a valuable lesson on the importance of friendship, or more specifically, increasing Spike’s reading proficiency by a few grades. The bottle read as follows:

‘You mustn’t, under any circumstance
give more than is due, for there is a chance
that the mind may go terribly awry:
voices in the ears, strange sights in the eyes,’

With a little schooling, maybe next time he won't translate the above as ‘please drop one bottle into eight ounces of ice cream and then bail, leaving your friend to have a delightful afternoon of contemplation and hallucinations.' Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go to Sugarcube Corner and take a taste of Pinkie
conduct a scientific assessment of Pie make out ...sniff some friendship.

Your Frustrated Healthy Student,

Twilight Sparkle”

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