Princess Celestia, ruler of Equestria and shepard of the sun itself, watched from her throne as Canterlot's pegasai moved dozens clouds into position for today's rainstorm. A recent drought in the more arid areas of her domain had required her to postpone half a dozen small showers in Canterlot and divert them to save the crops in the region.
Now that the worst was over, however, the Canterlot weather teams had decided to schedule a large downpour for today. Officially it was to make up for the missed storms and to 'rebalance' things but the actual reason is that one of her advisors noticed the flowers in Celestia's garden had begun to wilt and panicked.
While she prefered it if her subjects didn't make such a fuss over her she certainly didn't mind the sudden change. Due to the storm several of her appointments for the day had to be posponed. As eager as she was to meet with her subjects whenever they needed her, it had been many years since she could take a half-day and she was looking forward to it. She already knew just what she wanted to do and anxiously waited for her last meeting to end.
She listened patiently as the delegation from Manehatten finished their presentation and told them she would review their requests and give them an answer as soon as possible. Satisfied, the trio of earth ponies bowed and excused themselves. As they departed, Celestia glanced out the window again and saw that the weather teams had finished arranging the storm clouds.
"Looks like they're about to start." Celestia half-whispered to herself before looking to her guards. "Argento, Scarto..." The two armored unicorns snapped to attention. "Is there anypony else waiting to see me?"
Argento took a quick look at the appointment book and shook his head. "Looks like that's all for today your highness. Shall I close the court for the day?"
"Yes, please do. Thank you both for another job well-"
Celestia was cut off as the throne room's door was pushed open and one of her pegasus guards rushed towards her.
"You're majesty. Miss Rainbow Dash just arrived, she says she has an important message for you from Twilight Sparkle. Shall I show her in?"
"From Twilight?" Celestia raised an eyebrow at this. Usually Twilight's messages were sent directly to her via Spike. Why would she send Rainbow Dash all this way instead? "Please send her in right away."
The guard bowed and quickly returned to the foyer while Celestia continued to ponder what was going on. Seconds later, Rainbow Dash came running through the door towards her. She came to a screeching halt at the bottom the small staircase in front of the throne and panted for air, clearly exhausted.
Very worried at this point, Celestia leapt from her throne and moved to her side. "Rainbow Dash are you alright? What happened?"
"I'm...I'm okay..." Rainbow continued panting, trying to catch her breath. "I just flew...all the way....from Ponyville." She finally took a deep breath and reached into her saddle bag, producing a sealed scroll. "Twilight asked me to bring this to you. Spike's got a cold and can't breathe any fire so she asked me to fly it here as fast as I could."
"I see. Well done my little pony." Celestia smiled at the cyan pegasus and used her magic to open the scroll.
"Thanks-Umm, I mean thank you, your majesty." Rainbow sighed and sat down on the floor. "I hope it's not bad news. Twilight seemed pretty frantic when she asked me. I've been running all over the place all day and the last thing I need is-"
"Oh dear." Celestia said, in a slightly weary tone and shook her head.
"What's the matter?" Rainbow asked curiously. In response, the princess lowered the letter so she could read it...
"Dear Princess Celestia
I am writing this to inform you that Spike has come down with a slight cold and will be unable to send any messages to you until he recovers. Fluttershy says he'll be better in a couple of days but suggested he rest for at least a week. Please do not worry as I will be saving any freindship reports my friends and I write and send them along to you as soon as he's better. Hope all is well.
Your faithful student
Rainbow Dash blinked as she finished reading, going over it again to make sure she had read it correctly. When it finally sank in...
"Are...you...KIDDING ME!?" Rainbow bellowed, stamping her hooves on the floor. Argento and Scarto started to react but Celestia motioned for them to stop as Rainbow started pacing in front of her.
"She sent me all the way here for that!? I can't believe her! In fact, I can't believe this entire stupid DAY! It's just been one stupid thing after another, ending with that stupid egghead making me bring her stupid letter to her stupid teacher! When I get back there I'm gonna-"
Rainbow raised her hoof to make her point when she realized what she had just said. Her face paled visibly as she shrank down to the floor and gulped, looking up at the princess. "Umm...I-I'm really sorry your princess-ness. I just...I didn't mean..."
"Not another word Rainbow Dash." Celestia said in an even, patient tone. The pegasus whimpered softly as the princess turned to her guards. "Gentlecolts, you are excused for the day. Hurry home before the rain starts."
"Thank you your highness." The two guards spoke in synch and trotted past Rainbow Dash, giving her a pair of pittying looks as they left the room.
Celestia looked down at Rainbow like a parent would a misbehaving foal, considering her options. After a minute or so of silence she turned towards the side door. "Come with me, we'll discuss this further in my chambers."
"B-But I..." Rainbow trailed off as the princess looked back at her and she quickly fell in step behind the alicorn without another word.
The two made their way through the castle's empty hallway, neither making a sound, until they came to a pair of large double doors blocking the way. Celestia's horn glowed as she opened them and stepped inside, Rainbow following her closely. As the princess set about lighting a few candles Rainbow took a quick look around. The princess' bedchamber was just as extravagant as Rainbow imagined. The walls were decorated with bright springtime colors with the ceiling painted to mimic the sky, complete with a bright yellow sun in the middle.
There was a large fireplace, the mantle of which held several decorative knicknaks and statuettes, a full sized gold-rimmed mirror, a work desk covered with stacks of papers and scrolls and a large wardrobe, despite the fact she had never seen the princess wear anything aside from her crown and jewelry.
Finally her eyes fell of the massive four-poster bed, which took up almost a third of the room. The auroura colored curtains were drawn so she couldn't see much else but just the sight of it reminded her how worn out she was. Almost all at once she felt her fatigue from the day she had hit full force and she nearly passed out on the spot.
"I must say you surprised me back there." Celestia said in a bemused tone as she magically removed her crown and necklace, placing them gingerly on her desk. "Twilight's letters mentioned you had a bit of a temper but I always thought she was exaggerating. I certianly wasn't expecting an outburst like that in my throne room. Having one of those days are we?"
Rainbow nodded, blushing as the princess removed her golden slippers. "I-I guess. But...but I know I shouldn't have gone off like that, especially in front of you. I'm sure you've had plenty of rough days. Way worse than mine. You've gotta help ponies coming in with serious problems all the time, not to mention national disasters and stuff. So hearing me whine like a little filly must have been kinda...unbearable." She whimpered and closed her eyes, shaking in fright. "S-So if you wanna have me locked in the stocks, thrown in the dungeon or even b-basished I'll totally-"
"Rainbow Dash, please calm down. I'm not angry with you." Celestia interrupted her, chuckling softly. "And I definitely don't plan on banishing you. Yes, during my time on the throne I've had my fair share of bad days, some of which still haunt me." She sighed and looked up at the ceiling for a moment before smiling at Rainbow again.
"However, that doesn't mean your problems are any less valid. No matter what your problems are, the worst thing anypony can do is dismiss them as trivial or unimortant. Everypony has bad days. Days where they feel like everything is going wrong no matter what they do. They can be a overwhelming, even painful. Sometimes they just need sompony to listen and vent to before the stress makes them sick. Now, that being said..." Celestia sat down beside Rainbow and gave her a little wink. "Why don't you, go ahead and let it all out? I think you'll feel alot better if you do."
Rainbow let out a sigh, having relaxed quite a bit, and began. "A-Alright. Well, first I had to cover for Blossomforth when she cashed in a vacation day. Not really a big deal since it was just an extra shift but then Applejack needed some help getting her carts to the market. I skipped my noonday nap for that. When we got to town Pinkie asked me to help her watch the Cakes' twins, mainly so she had someone to keep up with Pound Cake, that little guy can really move. After the Cakes got back I was about to go home and relax when Rarity shanghaied me into trying on her new line of prissy outfits for a client. Finally, after standing perfectly still for almost an hour, I walked out the door only for Twilight to run up to me all panicked and asked me to fly here at top speed with a, quote; 'vitally important message' about how she can't send you any messages for a while!"
As she finished Rainbow was panting heavily and a few tears had formed in here eyes. She sniffed and wiped them away before finished. "I-I know it must sound lame to somepony as super-important as you but I just haven't stopped all day and-" She cut herself off when Celestia suddenly drapped her wing over her.
The alicorn gently pulled Rainbow closer to her body and nuzzled her. "Rainbow Dash, I don't think you give me enough credit. From the sound of things you've run yourself ragged all day to help your friends without any rest or asking anything in return. That's hardly 'lame' in my opinion. You truly are the Element of Loyalty."
"Heh, t-thanks." Rainbow Dash blushed, at both the praise and from the nuzzling, and laid her head against the princess's leg, trying her best not to cry.
"Now then, I think I know just what you need." Celestia said as she rose to her feet, gently lifting Rainbow Dash as well. "I'm sure you noticed as you flew in but we're about to have a nice spring storm."
Rainbow nodded, noticing a bit of thunder rumbling outside. "Yeah. Looks like a doozy too. I was hoping to be on my way home before it started but...well you know."
"I do indeed." Celestia chuckled and used her magic to open the curtains on her bed. "I was planning to take a nice long nap until the storm was over. Since you're going to be stuck here I was thinking..." She trailed off and let the pegasus figure the rest out
"W-Wait a minute..." Rainbow gaspsed as she realized what she was offering. "Y-You mean...I can take a-a nap in your bed!? With you!? T-That's like a royal nap isn't it!? You...you really mean it!? I-I mean..." She cleared her thoat and calmed herself. "Are...are you sure that's okay? I-I don't wanna intrude. You're royalty after all."
The princess gave a little laugh and climbed up onto her mattress. "It'll be our little secret. Besides after everything you and your friends have done, the least I can do is offer you a place to sleep after a hard day. However, if you'd prefer your own bed I suppose I could arrange for-Ooh!" She yelped as Rainbow, well, dashed onto the bed smiling ear to ear.
"No no no, I'm good! That just sounds so..." She was cut off by a sudden yawn, her body reminding her how tired she was. She blushed and settled down on the soft mattress, her ear twitching a little as the first few raindrops hit the roof. "Guess the storms starting."
Celestia nodded and used her magic to extinguish the candles. "Ooh, just one more thing." Blushing a little she aimed her horn towards her wardrobe and pulled it open. She smiled and levitated a large blanket, half pink and half blue, out of it. Before Rainbow could ask about it, the princess's magic gently wrapped the blanket around her and tucked it underneath her. "There we go, nice and snug."
Rainbow blushed again at Celestia's motherly tone but couldn't really complain. The blanket was almost as soft as a cloud and very warm. "Wow...t-thanks your highness."
"It's my pleasure Rainbow." She replied, fluffing the pillows with her magic. "It's my old security blanket. Before Luna's return it helped me get though a quite a few rough patches."
Rainbow's eyes went wide upon hearing this, overwhelmed by the gesture. "I...I don't know what to say. I-" Once again Rainbow was interrupted as Celestia slipped a pillow under her head and gave her forehead a little kiss.
"Think nothing of it my little pony." Celestia closed the curtains around the bed and levitated the beadspread over the both of them. Letting out a soft yawn, the princess curled up next to the pegasus and sighed. "Have a good rest Rainbow Dash. Sweet dreams."
Rainbow yawned as well and snuggled up closer to the sun princess. "You too...t-thanks again...your high...ness..." Rainbow closed her eyes and just listened to the wind howl, the rain clatter against the castle walls and the princess' steady heartbeat.
Celestia smiled and laid her head down on her pillow. Being very careful not to disturb her, she gently sliped her hoof around Rainbow's middle and pulled her just a little closer to her.
One was the ruler of Equestria, she who brings the dawn each day and watches over her beloved subjects. The other was captain of the Ponyville weather team and one of the Bearers of the Elements of Harmony. At this moment, however, they were just two ponys, drifting off into a peaceful slumber in a warm embrace.