Regarding The Need for Sex Education

by GaPJaxie

Chapter 1: In Which Twilight Makes a Discovery

Ding-a-ling-a-ling chimed the bell above the door of Carousel Boutique. It was a very good ring, clear and energetic, making the whole shop just a little friendlier. Of course, Carousel Boutique always looked friendly in the mornings: clean and bright, intricate yet casual, beautiful and welcoming, and lit by the sun’s early rays.

“Hello!” Rarity’s voice carried clearly from the back of the shop, echoing around the rich purple decorations and off the glittering mirrors. “I’m sorry, but we’re not open yet,” she continued, friendly, though firm. The sound of hooves on wood could then be heard in the front room, at first distant, but rapidly growing closer. Soon, Rarity appeared out of the hall leading from the back, a half-eaten piece of toast and a cup of tea floating on either side of her. “If you could come back in about twenty minutes, I—oh! Twilight!” she exclaimed, tilting her head to one side. “What are you doing here so early?”

“Um... hi, Rarity,” Twilight murmured, so quiet that Rarity had to strain to hear her. Over the last few weeks, the recently coronated Princess of Ponyville had learned to be strong in front of crowds, how to be famous, how to be brash and bold, but now, all signs of that education were gone. Her gaze was on the floor, one foreleg stiffly brushing over the other. Her ears were folded back, her wings hanging limply a few inches from her sides. “Do you have a moment? I need to talk to somepony.”

“Of course, Twilight! You know I always have time for you,” Rarity assured her at once, bounding across the room to her in three quick strides. “Oh, you poor dear, you look positively ragged. Did you sleep at all last night?” Twilight nodded, albeit it weakly. “Is this about your trip to Canterlot yesterday? Did something happen?” Again, Twilight nodded. “Oh, Twilight,” Rarity said, sighing and shaking her head and then finding a smile for Twilight when the sigh was all done. “Everything will be alright. We all knew that you becoming a princess would mean some adjustments for all of us. Come now—let’s go into the back. I can pour you some tea, and you can tell me what’s wrong. Does that sound good?”

“I think I might be pregnant.”

For a moment, neither of them said anything. Twilight slowly lifted her gaze from the floor and sought out Rarity’s eyes. She found the other pony staring at her, her mouth agape, face a blank mask.

Then her teacup hit the floor and shattered, the sound driving Twilight’s stare back to her own hooves.

“Twilight, I...” Rarity said, fumbling for the words. “I didn’t know you were seeing anypony.”

“We wanted to keep it a secret, you know. Private. We didn’t want anypony gossiping about us,” Twilight said. Her throat grew tight as she spoke, and her voice was soon ragged. “I thought it was okay! We weren't doing anything. I mean, we kissed and curled up together and stuff, but I said I wanted to take it slow and that was fine. We didn’t do anything I wasn’t ready for. But after the coronation, I was so happy, and we met up in private and everything seemed so right and we started kissing and I didn’t want to stop and I stayed there all night and I’ve been making visits ever since—” Twilight drew a deep, shaking breath, her whole body wound so tight it was like she was trying to squeeze into a little ball. “And I threw up this morning!”

“Okay,” Rarity said, and a moment later, she added another “okay” for good measure, drawing a deep breath. That was all the indulgence she had time for though, and when she let the breath out, her shocked expression had been replaced by something more sympathetic, strong and supportive. She stepped up to Twilight’s side, putting a leg around her friend’s haunches. “It’s alright, Twilight. Everything is going to be okay,” she said, watching as Twilight’s eyes started to glisten. “You’re not the first mare in history to end up surprised, and you won’t be the last, but you have friends and family to help you through what’s to come, and—and sometimes these things work out for the best,” Rarity said, forcing a smile onto her face, though the strain was visible. “I was a surprise for my parents, and they said that nothing made them happier.”

“I-I know, Rarity,” Twilight whispered. “But, I... I’m not ready.” Twilight sniffled, trying to hold back the tears. “How am I going to tell her?”

“Her?” Rarity asked, leaning around to catch Twilight’s eyes, watching as her friend weakly tilted her head up.

“Princess Celestia,” Twilight squeaked out, her voice like a rusty hinge, and when she squeezed her eyes shut, tears ran down her cheeks.

“Oh, Twilight,” Rarity said, sighing as she levitated a cloth from across the store, using it to brush away her friend’s tears. “Do you really think any of us are going to judge you for this, her most of all? Princess Celestia will understand. She knows you, and you’re hardly the first member of the royal family to end up pregnant out of wedlock.”

“N-no, Rarity. You don’t understand,” Twilight said, letting out a faint whimper before she continued. “Princess Celestia and I... we’ve been seeing each other for years. And now I might be carrying her foal!”

Rarity considered this for a moment.


“I don’t even know what this means!” Twilight said, leaning against her friend. “Will they be a unicorn? An alicorn? Will they be immortal? Am I going to outlive my own children?” she asked, looking to Rarity for some, any support, so weak that a breeze could have blown her away. “Will Princess Celestia expect me to marry her? Forever? I love her, I do, but picking a pony to stay with my whole life, deciding to raise a family with them.... I don’t know what to do, Rarity!” Twilight trailed off, pulling tight against her friend, leaning on Rarity as though she needed it just to stand.

“Let’s go back to the part where you think you’re pregnant with Princess Celestia’s lovechild.”

“And my parents! I should have told them. I could have told them!” Twilight’s voice cracked, and she buried her face into Rarity’s shoulder. “I could have told them. I could have told them that we were together, shown them how sweet she was, made them understand how we really cared for each other.” For a moment, her voice dropped to a whisper, but then she wailed, “But now the first they’ll hear of it is that I got knocked up and they’ll think the Princess is a cradle-robber and they’ll be ashamed to talk about their grandchild!”

“Twilight, I can’t help but feel we skipped a step here.”

“I was just getting used to being a princess, and now that my old life really is over, I—” Twilight said, only for Rarity to lift a firm hoof to her lips, shushing her.

“Twilight, I enjoy good drama as much as the next pony,” Rarity said, her tone firm, “but since this is your life and not a soap opera, might I take a moment to confirm that there has not been some sort of hilarious misunderstanding?”

“I...” Twilight sniffled, but nodded her head. “I guess.”

“You’re telling me that you and Princess Celestia have been secretly in love for years, that you consummated that romance after your coronation, and that you’re now concerned you might be pregnant with her foal. Is that exactly what you’re trying to tell me?” Rarity asked, in crisp, curt tones, and Twilight nodded in response. “Well then. Twilight, I hate to have to ask this. And I mean that. I really do wish I didn’t have to ask. But, just to check, that is, to be completely clear: Equestria is ruled by Princess Celestia and not, say, a somewhat gender-confused Prince?”

“Eww! Rarity, no! Why would you even think that!?” Twilight shouted, sharply drawing away. “I don’t like stallions that way! And two mares can love each other as much as any other couple!”

“Twilight, I’m not—I’m not questioning your romantic devotion.” Rarity tried to calm her friend, raising a hoof in reassurance. “It’s just... the mechanics involved are—I mean. I don’t see how that sort of relationship could result in—”

“The mechanics? That sort?” Twilight pulled further away from Rarity, her wings flaring outwards as she rose up to all four hooves. “Just because we’re both girls doesn't mean we can’t... know each other, that way. And it doesn't make it any less meaningful and... and I expected better of you, Rarity!” Twilight pulled away, trotting sharply towards the exit, shaking her head to force away the tears. “I’m going to Fluttershy’s.”

“Twilight, wait!” Rarity called, but the Princess of Ponyville had already spread her wings, and was out and away.

“I know that nothing is certain yet, but, all the signs are there! Back pain, fatigue, weird cravings, finally nausea this morning,” Twilight murmured, sitting back on Fluttershy’s couch. “I guess I’m... sort of coming to terms with it. This morning, it was like I was in shock. I didn’t know what to do. But now... I’ll have to tell my parents. The Princess. Figure out what happens next.”

“Well, um, yes,” Fluttershy agreed quietly, her wings gently fluffing out against her side as her tail flicked back and forth. Her head was tilted down, but her eyes were up, stiffly keeping her gaze on Twilight. “But um, to check, when you say fatigue—”

“All the time. I don’t know how I didn’t notice it before! Mornings, nights, after flying practice with Rainbow Dash—”

“Right, right, and the cravings? Are you sure it’s not something else?” Fluttershy asked, one eye peeking out as her mane fell over her face.

“No way. They’re too weird for that,” Twilight insisted, shaking her head. “Last night, I woke up hungry in the middle of the night, went downstairs and ate one of Spike’s hay-daisy-peanut-butter-gem-and-tuna sandwiches!”

“Right, see,” Fluttershy said, reaching a hoof up to take Twilight’s shoulder. “You’re an herbivore, and that sandwich contains both meat and um... rocks. So an upset stomach the next morning would make sense.”

“Oh,” Twilight murmured, hanging her head. “You’re sure?”

“I’ve worked with a lot of expecting animals, Twilight. I’m pretty sure,” Fluttershy assured her friend, offering her an encouraging little smile. “I mean really... back pain?” She grinned a little, nudging Twilight’s side.

“That’s it then,” Twilight whispered, sniffling quietly. “I’m going to have a foal.”

Fluttershy thought about that for a little while.

“Twilight, um... you’re the best-educated pony I know,” she finally said, quickly adding, “You’re smart, I mean. Really smart. So I feel a little bit silly having to ask you this question. But um...” She brushed a hoof over the couch, tapping it for a moment as she worked up the nerve to speak. “You do know exactly how mares get pregnant, right?”

“Well, yeah,” Twilight said, looking up at Fluttershy. “When two ponies really love each other in a romantic way, they step off and... you know.” Twilight tapped her forehooves together gently, in a single quiet clap.

“Ah. Right...” Fluttershy said, a blush appearing on her face, her eyes darting between Twilight’s hooves and the floor. “And, you and the Princess?”

Twilight clapped her hooves together, hard and fast, in a thunderous applause.

“Okay, getting the picture!” Fluttershy said, hurriedly blurting out the words and averting her gaze to the floor. The once-faint blush in her cheeks turned red hot, her wings folding in tight against her side. Even after Twilight stopped clapping, her gaze remained fixed on her forehooves and the floor in front of her couch. “I mean, I wasn’t asking if you two were... um.” Her voice dropped to a whisper. “I mean. I mostly meant that. Ah... that is. I wasn’t asking how vigorously you two were...” Finally, Fluttershy trailed off into silence.

A moment later, she squeaked.

“I... I’m sorry,” Twilight murmured, sliding down off the couch and moving towards the door. “I didn’t mean to make this weird. I already discovered that Rarity isn’t... open-minded about this sort of thing. I should—”

“No, Twilight, wait,” Fluttershy said, reaching out to take her friend by the shoulder and guide her back around. “I wasn’t trying to... I mean. It’s a bit awkward, but the way you two were... intimate... cannot possibly result in a foal.”

“No, Fluttershy. I thought that too, but, then I went and looked it up,” Twilight sighed. “Turns out that pudding doesn't have any contraceptive properties at all.”

“And then she looked at me like I was weird or something!” Twilight sniffled, sitting next to Rainbow Dash on one of the many little clouds that floated over Ponyville. “I just want somepony’s help, and my friends keep turning me away.” She had to take a moment to collect herself, shaking her head as though to clear it. “I mean, that’s normal, right?”

“Oh, yeah,” Rainbow quickly agreed. “My marefriends always liked pudding. And I’ve had a lot of them and they were all hot and totally awesome in bed, so, I’d call that a pretty representative sample. The only problem was cleaning it all up after. That’s why I’m single now—less hassle.”

“Oh, Rainbow Dash.” Twilight sighed, shaking her head. “I don’t know what to do. You’ve... been with ponies before. You must have thought about the chance of having a foal at some point, right?”

“Oh yeah! I’ve been with tons of ponies! You know, mares, stallions. I’m pretty much a multi-hued love machine,” Rainbow Dash asserted, loud and brash. “But uh... you know. I wasn’t in love with any of them.”

“I guess that would make it easier,” Twilight whispered, a faint whimper escaping her as she buried her face in her hooves. “I feel so stupid. I knew that foals come from ponies who really love each other. I knew I loved the Princess. Things just got so out of control so fast. I knew it was a bad idea when we started, but everything seemed so wonderful, and the weeks since then... it’s all been so amazing, I couldn't think anything was wrong.”

“Well... yeah, that can happen,” Dash agreed. “I mean, when you’re in the mood, right? No arguing with instinct.”

“Yeah,” Twilight murmured, leaning against her friend. “I’m sorry, Dash. After having Rarity and Fluttershy freak out on me, it’s nice to have a friend I can talk to about this, you know?”

“Well, I mean, I’m not going to get flustered or anything,” Rainbow Dash agreed, with a quick beat of her wings. “This is all pretty old hat to me, so... you know. Get it off your shoulders.”

“I can’t believe that one little moment of weakness is going to completely turn my life upside down,” Twilight said, trailing off for a time as she stared at the world below. “It was right after the celebration. I’d just left you all at the party. Princess Celestia had finished up with the reception upstairs, but I didn’t see her around, so I thought she might have gone back to her study. I know those events can be a little wearing for her, sometimes. She likes to take a moment to catch her breath.” Twilight retold the story in a soft, distant voice, playing with a tuft of cloud.

“She was there when I arrived, exactly like I thought she would be. She didn’t say anything. She didn’t have to—she’d already told me how proud she was of me so many times that day, and always in public,” Twilight said, her eyes unfocused as Equestria drifted below. “That was our first time together since I became an alicorn, and I... we... she smiled at me. And then we were kissing.” Rainbow Dash’s wings fluttered as Twilight went on, her hooves pressing wisps of cloud flat in front of her. “But it wasn’t like the other times, you know? All the other times we kissed, it was warm and gentle and... and it made me feel content. Like it was everything it needed to be, you know?”

“Huh?” Rainbow Dash jumped, her wings flaring out a few inches from her sides. “I mean, yeah! Kissing. I know all about kissing. And that... that sounds like regular kissing alright.” After a moment, she added. “What happened next?”

“It was different that time,” Twilight answered her. “Normally we kiss, curl up. We chat and read, or I lean against her. But that time, that kiss, it didn’t make me feel content. Happy, yes, but... incomplete. I didn’t have everything I needed in the world—I wanted more. I needed more, to be close to her. She... I mean. She’s always respected that I needed time. We never did anything I wasn’t ready for. But when she saw that I was getting interested, she um...” Twilight blushed, letting out a nervous laugh. “She did that thing with my feathers. You know the one.”

“Yes. Well, I mean. All pegasi know about the thing with the feathers,” Rainbow Dash said, quickly. “It’s uh... I’m surprised a unicorn does though. Since it’s such a pegasus thing. Because of the wings.”

“I didn’t until that moment,” Twilight said, a dreamy smile on her face. “I just about melted, of course, and then she took a hold of me and... well.” She chuckled again, more briefly this time, shaking her head. “I’m sure you don’t want to hear the details.”

Rainbow Dash stopped biting her lip, taking a moment to stretch her wings. “Uh, I mean. No. I mean, it’s a little personal. And I wouldn’t normally want to hear about another pony’s business! But you need to get it off your chest, and, uh, I’m there for you Twi.”

“I’m not sure there’s anything to say, or nothing you haven’t heard a hundred times before,” Twilight murmured. “I got so overwhelmed. It was like I was drunk. Wonderfully, blissfully drunk. I don’t even remember what happened at dinner that evening. I was in a daze.”

“It was kind of odd that you proposed a toast to the appetizer,” Rainbow Dash admitted. “We put that down to you being a bit new to the whole royalty thing. But uh, getting back on track. So how did you first notice that she was interested in you? Is there like, some secret sign when somepony wants to ask you out? With you and the Princess, I mean. Not in general. Though general signs too, I guess.”

“It's okay, Rainbow Dash. I know you’re a bit uncomfortable with the idea of me and the Princess being in a relationship,” Twilight said, reaching out to pat Rainbow Dash’s shoulder with a hoof, offering her a weak smile. “And I do understand why. Try to keep in mind, for her, a relationship with a pony three times my age would still be... well. They’d be a bit young for her. I know it’s weird but, she’s always been so supportive of me and... I don’t want this changing how ponies look at her.” Twilight’s grin turned momentarily playful, and she reached out to prod Rainbow’s shoulder. “I know how protective you can get, but not everypony is a heartbreaker like you, you know.”

“Oh, I know! I know all about... it!” Rainbow Dash said, her voice tense. “But, you know. Just to be extra sure the Princess isn’t taking advantage of you, it would really make me more comfortable if you’d describe what it’s like. And how it is you know when a pony is interested in you. So I know you’re on track there.”

“Later, Rainbow Dash,” Twilight said, though her tone was gentle and understanding. “I know it’s weird to think that the princess and I want your blessings, but I do want my friends to approve. I promise, when there’s time, I’ll answer your and everypony else’s questions. Right now though, I need to decide how I feel about... this.” She ran a hoof down her side, leaving it to rest above her belly. “I should talk to Applejack. Raising Apple Bloom was a surprise for her. She’ll know what to do.”

“Yeah! Oh... yeah. She’ll know what to do. You uh... want me to go with you?” Rainbow Dash asked, but Twilight shook her head.

“No thanks. I know you’re trying, Rainbow Dash, and it does help, but you’re not really the settling-down type.” Twilight rose, stretching her wings and starting towards the cloud’s edge. “I’ll be around. Okay?”

“Alright, sure,” Rainbow Dash said, as Twilight leapt off the clouds edge and soared away towards Sweet Apple Acres. “I’ll check in on you later. Make sure you’re alright.” Before long, Twilight was well and away, a purple speck fading into the distance.

Rainbow Dash reached back and ruffled her feathers with a hoof. She frowned.

“I don’t get it.”

“Hey, Applejack!” Twilight called, swooping low over Sweet Apple Acres. It didn’t take her long for her to spot her friend in the distance, and when she did, she landed on a cloud, driving it that way. Part of that was habit gained from practice with Rainbow Dash—a particular oddity Twilight had picked up from her instructor. Mostly though, her flying skills were still less than masterful, and the thought of trying to land between the closely packed apple trees still gave her some hesitation. “Applejack!” she called from the cloud’s edge as she drew closer.

“Ah heard ya the first time, Twi,” Applejack answered, her words heavy and her tone weary. She stood by one of her apple trees, her collection baskets surrounding it, pointedly not looking at the Princess of Ponyville or her cloud. A sharp kick of her rear legs rattled the tree’s trunk, and apples spilled down. “Rarity came by earlier. Told me what’s going on.”

“So you know then,” Twilight said, her hoof traveling back to rest over her belly. “I don’t know what to do, Applejack. This morning I was in a panic, but now I—”

“Okay, Twi?” Applejack sighed, finally, reluctantly, turning up to face Twilight. “Ah enjoy yer little quirks as much as the next pony, but we’re gonna sort this out right now: there is no way, no way that you are pregnant. Mares cannot get other mares pregnant. Ain't happenin’. Don’t work that way. Like may attract like but it don’t have like’s little foals. Tab A does not go into Slot B. Ah don’t think you need to bother with birth control. Am I makin’ this perfectly clear?”

“Oh, so that’s what Rarity told you, is it?” Twilight demanded, her barrel tight, tone wavering and wounded. “I love her, Applejack! Just because she isn’t a stallion doesn't mean our relationship isn’t real! Two mares can love each other and be intimate as much as any other couple!”

“Ah ain’t sayin’ otherwise! Ah just...” Applejack sighed, reaching up to push her hat back over her head, rubbing her mane loose as Twilight started to sniffle. “Twi? Twi, please don’t cry.”

“I’m going through a lot right now, Applejack!” she insisted, voice wavering up and down. “It’s a lot to take in at once and I don’t need my friends telling me my relationship isn’t real!”

“Ah didn’t mean that way, Twi. Ah... look, c’mon down here and sit beside me and let’s talk, okay?” Applejack suggested, sliding down to the grass and patting the spot next to her. “Ah’m sure there’s nothing wrong with you and the Princess bein’ in love. Now, chin up and come on down here.”

After a moment, Twilight sniffled and nodded, a few gentle, hesitant flaps of her wings carrying her down to the grass. Her landing was less than graceful and missed Applejack by a good several yards, but Twilight made the rest of the way on hoof, settling down next to her friend.

“There, that’s better,” Applejack said, giving an encouraging smile. “Now, Twi, Ah hate to ask, but... did yer parents really never explain the birds and the bees to you?”

“Of course they did,” Twilight said, nodding her head. “They said that when two ponies really love each other in a romantic way they go off and... you know. Be together physically. And they told me about birth control and being responsible, and when I was older they explained that sometimes ponies can be physical even if they don’t love each other. I mean, I’d already pretty much figured that out at that point, but it was still funny that they thought they had to explain it.”

“Right, right.” Applejack nodded. “And did they say anything about two mares being together?”

“Not at the time. They were mostly worried that I was getting to that age where I notice colts, but you know, it didn’t take long for them to realize I was mostly noticing fillies. They said it didn’t change a thing though, and you know, I mostly figured it out from there,” Twilight said, nodding. “Oh! And Shining’s magazines really helped. There were some reference books in the library, but I was too embarrassed to—”

“Hold on a second there,” Applejack interjected, holding up a hoof. “These magazines. He didn’t hide them in his drawer or under the mattress by any chance, did he?”

“Under the floorboards, actually!” Twilight chirped, as though pleased by the memory.

“Whoa nelly,” Applejack murmured, raising a hoof to her face. “And uh... what lessons did you gather from those magazines o’ his, precisely?”

‘Well, when two mares really love each other, and one of them owns a riding crop—”

“Twi, Ah...” Applejack raised a hoof to signal she needed a moment, the other still resting over her face. “Okay... Twi. Those were not really intended as a reference guide.”

“Of course not!” Twilight agreed. “They’re clearly periodicals.”

“No. No. Ah mean, think about it,” Applejack said, forcing herself on. “Those sorts of... things, may have pictures and stories that a young colt or a mare like you would find excitin’, but they’re not exactly realistic, are they?”

Twilight thought about that for a moment. “Well, Celestia did look at me funny when I asked her not to tie the cords too tight.”

“Okay, now, see,” Applejack stammered the words out, quick and stiff, “that’s exactly what I’m talking about. That sort of thing jus’ ain’t how relationships really work. Ah bet when you asked Celestia that, she thought it was right strange and unhealthy.”

“Well... she did think I was being pretty silly,” Twilight admitted, with a bashful little smile, and Applejack relaxed in turn. “I mean, she’s so gentle with me, and it was my first time. Of course, the ropes can be as loose as I want.”


“Oh, she never did anything I wasn’t ready for,” Twilight assured her friend. “Though, that first night, we went pretty crazy. Having a pegasus’s agility and an earth pony’s stamina was still brand new to me then—I guess I wanted to push my limits.” Twilight giggled, a little blush appearing on her face as she reached back to brush her flank. “You all must have noticed that I didn’t sit down for a few days after that.”

“Wha—! You—?” Applejack stammered, her mouth falling open. “You told me you had a leg cramp!

“Spike was in the room—I had to be discreet!” Twilight insisted. “I mean, didn’t it strike you as odd that I needed fifty sticks of butter and to borrow your good bridle?”

“Ah thought that butter was for—Wait, you—” Applejack started, eyes going wide. “Ah wore that last week!”

“Oh, relax! I sterilized it after. Besides, all we did with it was—”

“—shocked to discover how many of my friends have such bigoted views about two mares being in love!” Twilight muttered into her hot chocolate, sniffling quietly as Pinkie Pie sat beside her. “You should have heard the things Applejack said. She was so angry she looked like she was going to be ill and kept spitting on the ground and she actually called me a pervert! Now I’m going to have to raise my foal in Canterlot and might lose my friends and... Oh, Pinkie, I’m too young for this!”

“Gosh, Twilight, I had no idea!” Pinkie Pie said, pulling Twilight close against her. “I can’t imagine why Applejack would say those awful things, or Rarity or Fluttershy either! I’m sure it’s a misunderstanding. They’re probably just shocked that you might be a mother soon!”

“I’m going to be a mother,” Twilight repeated back, staring down into the murky brown liquid.

“Don’t let it overwhelm you, Twilight! You gotta take these things one step at time,” Pinkie Pie encouraged her friend, giving Twilight a little squeeze around the shoulders. “I mean, think about your wedding! That’ll be a lot of fun.”

“My wedding?” Twilight asked, tilting her head up to look at Pinkie.

“Well, we’ve gotta get you married before the baby bump starts to show! I mean, duh!” Pinkie Pie insisted, rolling her eyes. “It’s a good thing you figured it out so early. There’s still time for you to look good in a regular wedding dress.”

“What about the Princess?”

“She can wear a dress too! I mean, she could wear a suit if she really wanted, but—”

“No, I mean. I haven't asked her to marry me yet. I’m not even sure I want to marry her yet!” Twilight said, her voice rising in pitch as she started to panic. “What if she says no?”

“Twilight, Twilight, Twilight, you’re such a silly filly!” Pinkie Pie said, emphasizing her words with a cheerful giggle. “Foals come from two ponies who are in love! So obviously, if she got you pregnant, she must be the right pony for you.”

“I guess when you put it that way... but what if she—?”

“Gets cold hooves? Oh, don’t worry. That’s all part of the wedding tradition!” Pinkie Pie explained. “There’s all these rules! Like, the stallion has to be the one to propose—it’s bad luck for a mare to be the one to ask. But if you tell him you’re pregnant and that means you two must be in love, that’s double bad luck! So, traditionally, the mare’s father and maybe a few brothers go and explain to the groom that he absolutely definitely must be in love with you and he proposes! Then they all go play baseball.”


“Sure! That’s what the bats are for. My dad explained it to me,” Pinkie Pie said, nodding firmly. “I think it’s to help them relax.”

“Gosh, I had no idea,” Twilight said, never having been the sort of mare to think overly much about her own wedding. “But I’m not marrying a stallion and I’m not sure my dad knows how to play baseball.”

“It’s okay, Twilight! Ponies are more relaxed about this sort of thing now. Celestia is obviously the stallion in your relationship, so she’ll have to propose to you. Now, what does your dad do to relax?”

“Uh, he reads? Collects books?” Twilight guessed, biting her lip as she reviewed her memories of home. Those didn’t seem like very good options; they were too solitary. “Oh, um. He’ll go out to a bar with the other stallions from work sometimes?”

“That’ll work! So, your dad can tell Celestia that you’re pregnant with her foal, and then he can go drink!”

“I guess that would be okay,” Twilight muttered, thinking things over. “Princess Celestia’s older though. She might not appreciate changes to the original ceremony. Besides, even if I am as much an earth pony as a unicorn now, I’m not sure my parents would like it if I had a traditional earth pony wedding.”

“Well, you could have a traditional pegasus wedding instead,” Pinkie Pie suggested. “Actually, if you go with a really traditional pegasus wedding, you’re supposed to be pregnant!”

“What, really?” Twilight asked, her ears perking up.

“Yeah!” Pinkie said, bright and cheerful. “First, the groom knocks you up, then he burns your parents’ house down and kidnaps you back to Cloudsdale until they learn if your foal has wings or not.”

“Pinkie, that’s horrible!”

“Well, what else is he going to do? Marry a pegasus mare?” Pinkie Pie asked, leaning in close and whispering into Twilight’s ear. “She’ll make him raise the kids and wear an apron and she’ll never cuddle!”

“Raise the kids?” Twilight asked, though it was less a question and more a statement, her gaze going back down into her hot chocolate. “I didn’t even... I was so focused on having a foal, I didn’t even realize. I’m going to have to raise a foal.”

“Well... probably, yeah!” Pinkie agreed. “I wouldn't worry too much about that now though.”

“Because Princess Celestia will help?” Twilight asked, tilting her head up a little, some strength flowing back into her voice at that thought.

“Because you’re part earth pony now! I mean, who ever heard of an earth pony family with only one foal?” Pinkie Pie’s ears shot up, her eyes going wide as a thought occurred to her. “Oh wow, I just thought of something. Does your talent for magic apply to earth pony magic now too? Because if it does, you’re going to be buried in—”

“Uh... hi there, Spike,” Applejack said, lifting her hat off her head and holding it to her chest. She stood before the library with Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy, each of them looking in at the little dragon who now drummed his claws against his scales.

He didn’t answer. Instead, he stared at them.

“So, we came by to see how Twilight was doin’,” Applejack explained, her voice stiff and awkward.

Spike continued to stare, folding his arms in front of him.

“So, not great then,” Rainbow Dash summarized, hovering over Applejack’s head.

“She’s upstairs, crying that all her friends think she’s a pervert and that she doesn't want to be, and I’m quoting her here, ‘mother to a swarm of alicorn foals who will ruin her life, run out of control and then enslave Equestria.’ Thanks for that last one by the way, Rainbow Dash,” Spike said, shooting her a sharp glare.

“All I said was that being able to fly and shoot lasers at the same time seemed really useful.”

“Yeah, well, she doesn't want to talk to any of you,” Spike said with a sharp grumble. “All she wants is to stay upstairs with all her books on time travel and a historical guide to swearing oaths of chastity.”

“You mean ‘Oath of Celibacy!’” Pinkie Pie cheerfully corrected him. “An oath of chastity would still let her be with her spouse, and so probably wouldn’t do a lot to stop Princess Celestia from knocking her up again.”

From upstairs, a loud shout could be heard, followed closely by the sound of shattering glass, a thick tome flying out of the library into the street below. Fluttershy leapt at the sound, but before anypony could speak, Spike raised a claw to signal for silence. He held up three claw tips, lowering them one at a time... three, two, one.

“Spike?” Twilight’s voice called from upstairs, through the broken window, choked and weak. “I think I damaged a book.”

“I saw, Twilight,” Spike called out, back up towards the window. “I can see it from here. It looks fine. I’ll bring it back inside and make sure it’s okay.”

“It’s a really old book, and a classic too,” Twilight said, a loud sniffle audible. “Just because my life is over and I’m going to bring shame on my family and ruin on all of Equestria is no reason to go damaging books.”

“It really looks fine, Twilight. I’ll take it inside and clean it up,” Spike said, listening carefully to the answering silence. “And I’ll bring you more hot chocolate. With marshmallows.”

“Thank you.” Twilight sniffled again, a purple aura surrounding the shards of glass in the street as they pulled themselves back up to the window, knitting themselves into a finished glass pane.

“So, yeah,” Spike said, after a few more moments of silence. “She doesn't want to talk to you.”

“Spike, I do understand how troubling this is for her.” Rarity said, pausing for a moment to gather her thoughts. “I mean, really, we all do! We just think that Twilight might have one or two slight... misconceptions about how being pregnant works.”

“I think Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash might be unclear on that point too,” Fluttershy muttered, her wings flapping faintly, loose against her sides.

“I know where foals come from! I know all about it!” Rainbow Dash snapped, loud and assertive.

“Yeah, well, Ah’m rethinkin’ my previous stand against sex education in schools, let me put it that way,” Applejack muttered, returning her hat to her head. “But... c’mon, Spike. Can’t we jus’ have a quick word?”

“No means no,” Spike answered, letting out a fiery snort.

“Actually, the way Twilight described it to me, I’m pretty sure ‘no’ means ‘Oh yes yes, keep doing that!’” Pinkie Pie chirped, eliciting a grimace of disgust from Rarity and Applejack and a somewhat curious look from Rainbow Dash. Fluttershy squeaked and lowered her head, her left eye hidden behind her hair.

“What Pinkie Pie means to say,” Rarity cut in quickly, before Spike could ask the sort of questions that would destroy his youthful innocence and possibly land them all in jail, “is that Twilight is upset right now, but she’ll still be glad we came and helped her.”

“Yeah! Just because something hurts, doesn't mean it can’t also feel really g—” Pinkie said, before being silenced by Applejack’s hoof.

“Thank you, dear,” Rarity said, with a nod of her head towards Applejack. “Now, Spike, could we please have a moment with her? I promise, we won’t make any trouble and we’ll leave the moment she asks us to.”

“I dunno, Rarity,” Spike said, scratching the back of his head with a claw. “She’s really upset.”

Hesitantly, Fluttershy lifted her muzzle, peeking out from under her mane. “Could we send a letter?”

At the top of the library steps, the door to Twilight’s bedroom opened. She was the first to exit, moving at a steady walk, followed closely by Princess Celestia. The others waited down in the library common room, sitting around, flipping through the books. They all looked up when Twilight and Princess Celestia approached, though none of them said anything as the two alicorns made their way to the bottom of the steps.

Twilight cleared her throat.

“Everypony. I feel a little bit silly now,” she said, pausing for a moment to swallow, her gaze flicking between her friends and the floor. “And I feel I owe you all an apology.”

“Oh, darling!” Rarity said, “Not at all! We all know you—”

Applejack sharply cleared her throat. “No no,” she said. “Ah think we should hear this.”

“Well, um...” Twilight murmured, blushing as her eyes briefly met Applejack’s. “Well, I mean I uh... that is to say, about your bridle and borrowing friends’ things, I certainly shouldn't have... but that’s not the only—” As Twilight started to stammer, Princess Celestia lifted a hoof to her shoulder, giving her a gentle rub, and Twilight fell silent.

“It’s okay, Twilight. Tell them what you learned,” the Princess of the Sun urged, and after a moment, Twilight nodded, drawing a breath to begin.

“Dear Applejack,” she began, “and um... everypony else too.” A blush rose into her features and a nervous smile appeared on her face, but she pressed on. “Today, I learned how, if you’re not careful, your emotions can overpower your judgment. When fear or passion overtakes you, you become blind to the obvious, and say and do things that in retrospect are childish and foolish. Applejack, at the best of times, it’s rude to borrow a friend’s things without considering how they’ll feel about it, and this was not the best of times. I’m very sorry about what happened, and I promise, I’ll find a way to make it up to you. And everypony else, today... I was afraid. And because I never took a moment to stop, take a breath, and really think about what I was doing, I never realized how absurd that fear was. It completely overtook me, and I couldn't hear what you were all trying to tell me. It was easier for me to believe my friends were bigoted and hostile than to admit that I was afraid of nothing at all, and... and I’m sorry. That was wrong of me.”

“Well...” Applejack muttered, pushing her hat back up over her ears. “Ah guess there was no harm done. Ah jus’ want you to be in a healthy relationship, Twi.”

“Oh, um, yes. We talked about that,” Twilight said, laughing awkwardly as she stepped a bit closer to Celestia. “I don’t think that will be a problem in the future.”

“Oh, that’s good,” Fluttershy said, her voice relieved. “Because some of the things you said were a little... um...”

“Yeah,” Twilight said, blushing a bright rose as she looked down at the floor, scratching the back of her head with a hoof. “I um... I would appreciate it if you all would not spread any of that around.”

“Oh, of course not, dear!” Rarity assured Twilight quickly. “But um... I want to double-check something with you, if that’s alright?” she asked, Twilight nodding. “Princess Celestia did fully explain to you that you don’t need to worry about her getting you pregnant? Now or ever. I just want to make sure this misunderstanding is completely resolved.”

“Yes, Rarity,” Twilight said, glancing at the floor and blushing. “That did come up during our conversation. I can’t believe that I didn’t realize... well. I feel completely ridiculous.”

“Oh, don’t worry, Twilight. We all make mistakes,” Rarity said with a relieved little sigh. “Well, now that that’s sorted out, do you two need a little time to ah... discuss more personal matters?”

“No, we talked about that too,” Twilight said, leaning over to nuzzle her head against Princess Celestia’s shoulder, the two sharing a brief and quiet embrace. “In a way, I’m a little disappointed, but it’s for the best. I do think I’ll want to have foals one day, but I’m definitely not ready now, and when that day comes, we can... find a stallion we both respect.”

“Ah think that’s a right healthy way to see things, Twi,” Applejack said, with her own measure of relief. “Glad we can put this behind us.”

“Yeah,” Twilight agreed, and then her ears perked up sharply. “Oh! On that note, how open-minded is Big Mac?”

“Wing thing... wing thing...” Rainbow Dash muttered, ruffling her feathers with a hoof. “I don’t...” After several minutes of decidedly uneventful rustling, she paused, tilting her head to one side curiously. Slowly, she opened her mouth, reaching down towards her wings.

“Aaah!” A very strange cry echoed across the sky, and a few moments later, Rainbow Dash burst out of her home, her flying strangely erratic, working quick and uneven circles. “Okay, okay. Wing thing. I get it now. I get it. Okay. Okay. It’s fine. Just gonna fly around a bit until it passes. Just gonna fly around and find some friends and talk about hoofball.”

“Hey!” she called down to the earth below, angling towards Fluttershy’s cottage. “Hey, Fluttershy? You around? I need to talk about stuff. Also, don’t ask me how I know this but Twilight’s a pervert.”

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