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The ponies were decked out in their lavish bridlemaid dresses. Everything was in place. The carriages were arriving. Shining Armor was behind the scenes waiting for his bride to arrive. The bridal party in the foyer of the west chapel. The moment was upon them. Princess Cadence’s carriage would be the next to arrive.
The guards led a special guest into the room to speak briefly with the bridlemaids. It was Rainbow Dash’s father, Mr. Dash. He came up to Fluttershy and kissed her, wishing her luck.
Rainbow Dash was aloof. “Hey Dad. What you been up to? Besides robbing the stable.”
Mr. Dash was equally aloof. “Y’know. Working. Paying bills. Not sleeping the days away on clouds. Actually accomplishing my goals. The usual.”
“I’ll have you know I made it into the Wonder Bolts. They just haven’t called me up to serve yet. I’m an important pony in Ponyville. I’m the Element of Loyalty.”
“Oh really, is that why you don’t reply to my letters?”
Rainbow Dash was in too good a mood today to have this same argument again. She bowed to her father. “I will see you at the reception. Thanks for coming.”
Mr. Dash left in a huff. Fluttershy sighed. “That was a lot more calm than the last time. Do you think you’re on the edge of a breakthrough?”
“Meh. I’m just in too good a mood to get into a scuffle with the old pony today. This is going to be awesome.”
Rarity turned to Rainbow. “I agree. After last night was so relaxing. I feel like I have not a care in the world today.”
Twilight looked over her five friends. They all had this deliriously pleasant smirk on their faces, like they were miles away. “What’s with everyone today?”
Pinkie Pie giggled. “What? We had a great time last night. Why not be happy today?”
Twilight scowled. “Well, I’m glad it was good for ONE of us!”
All necks snapped toward Twilight. She realized immediately that she said too much. Pinkie Pie made herself scarce. The others crowded around her, demanding details.
“Oh my gosh, Twi, you capitulated to Pinkie Pie? Are you crazy? How was it?” demanded Rainbow Dash.
“Well, it wasn’t very … good. It sort of stopped halfway into it. It’s like, after we got passed first base, we went to second base, then before we could get to third base, the short stop caught a pop fly and threw it to the third base pony. Then they caught me in a trap, running me from second to third base...”
“What?” demanded Applejack.
No pony knew what Twilight was talking about. She needed a translator.
Twilight whispered something into Fluttershy’s ear. Fluttershy blushed hard then computed a translation for the group. “They were stirring the mayo pretty hard, but when it came time for the big one-less-than-seventy, Pinkie's train had already left the station. Pinkie gave her a got-a business-meeting-in-the-morning and left Twilight up sexy creak without a paddle.”
Applejack smiled. “See, Twilight you could have just said that.”
Twilight steamed. “What?! No! I could not have! What did she even say?”
Rainbow Dash waved Pinkie Pie over. “We’re done talking about you! Come back.”
She bounced over. “Oh. I hope it was all good things.”
“It wasn’t.” said Rainbow Dash.
Pinkie shrugged. “Oh well. You win some you lose some.”
Twilight Sparkle was aghast. “How can you all be so calm? We’re about to parade ourselves in front of the whole kingdom of Equestria and not one of you are nervous? Not even Fluttershy? What were you all doing last night to make youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu... oh my gosh.” The pieces finally started to fit together.
Meanwhile, Shining Armor gazed down from the balcony above the foyer of the chapel. He was inspecting the faces of the bridlemaids very carefully. “Let’s see, looks like I got three--no four out of five. Not bad. I suppose it’s for the best. The fifth was my sister.”
Luna stepped out of the shadows to converse with Shining Armor. “I do not understand. Why do they all get to have intercourse. Am I not the Princess? I should have some naughty fun as well.”
“You had a stripper right there last night. You should have done him.”
Luna gasped. “They do that too?”
“Yes, but you need to pay them extra.”
“What else do I have to spend my bits on? Bat chow and cloaks?” Luna pouted.
Shining Armor gave his friend a reassuring pat on the back. “I’ll keep my ears open. If I find a great stallion to be your boyfriend, I’ll send him your way. Are you sure you won’t be joining us in the ceremony?”
“No, the sunlight is not my friend. Also, I’ll be spending the rest of the day putting the moon back on its proper course.”
“So the bridlemaids have been restored?”
“They will be off their feet for a few days, but they are fine. I also found a strange doughnut pony who had been turned to stone. It bothers me that I don’t know what’s causing it, but we should be good now that we have a supply of antidote.”
“Alright then. I guess I’ll see you after my honeymoon. Good luck.” They shook hooves and parted as friends.
Before Shining Armor could get to the narrow spiral stairs leading down from the balcony, he came across a mare in black. She had her hoof over her face. The sunglasses were no longer enough to hide the tears.
“I guess this is it for us. I’ll be a prince soon, and that means I fall under the jurisdiction of the royal guards.”
“I-It’s been an honor working with you sir.”
He gave her a hug. “Goodbye, Cinnamon Viper.”
The royal carriage was about to arrive. “Where is Spike?”
Spike did indeed step into place at the last second. “I was looking for that alicorn colt, Leon. He said he was in the party, but I don’t see him anywhere?”
“Leon who?” said Twilight.
“Y’know the Princess’s nephew. The colt with the wings and horn? He should be here.”
Twilight Sparkle had a troubled looked on her face. “Spike, wing genes are recessive in alicorns. They would just look like unicorns. There ARE no male alicorns.“
Cadence’s carriage arrived. The procession started and before they knew it, the Elements of Harmony were at the altar and the groomsstallions as well. Cadence walked down the aisle and met her groom, Shining Armor before Princess Celestia. After the organ music cut off, the ruler of Equestria began the proceedings.
“I’d like to thank everyone for attending. Before we begin, I must urge you all to send your prayers to Soarin, whom has somehow re-broken his legs last night in his sleep.
“And now we shall turn to the joining of these two young ponies in the bonds of holy matrimony.”
Before Princess Celestia could continue, a loud roar was heard throughout the chapel. Crash! Bang! Ceiling tiles began to crumble and the crowd began to panic and flee. Princess Cadence began crying uncontrollably, as Shining Armor held her close.
“You haven’t forgotten me have you?” said an unearthly voice from just behind Princess Celestia.
Celestia turned around to see a small pegasus unicorn with a tuxedo. “What? Who are you?”
“I’m an old friend. Just wanted to crash the party”
Celestia cried out in terror. A large flash of light filled the room.
“Quiet!” Twilight Sparkle screamed. The room had stopped shaking. The screams were quieted. Any plaster that was going to fall from the ceiling had already done so. The crowd was now frozen in their tracks looking at the maid of honor.
Twilight looked around the altar for Princess Celestia. She was right behind her the whole time, but something was wrong. Princess Celestia was frozen, like a statue. Even her hair had stopped moving. This was bad.
“Princess?” the purple unicorn then realized she had seen this condition once before. Princess Celestia was in shyshock.
Just then, the silence of the room was broken by a horrible, echoing laugh. A familiar laugh.
“Discord! How did you get free?” demanded the purple unicorn.
“Well, it wasn’t easy.” The draconequus appeared over Princess Celestia’s frozen body. “I had to put myself back together. I had gone all to pieces. It’s not easy being frozen in stone. Then I got to thinking that turnabout is fair play. I saw the light and decided to devote myself evermore to pursuing harmony. And since Princess Celestia trapped me in stone, it’s only fair and harmonious to do the same to her. What’s good for the draconequus is good for the Princess, as the old saying goes.”
“Of course, a simple petrification spell wouldn’t work on good old ‘Tia. She’s got that wavy hair and the like for protection. It did, however, work great on the last bunch of bridlemaids Princess Cadence had selected. That got me thinking. If I could get Princess Celestia embarrassed enough, she would go into shyshock. Same thing right? The question was how to do it. Such a selfless do-gooder would never be embarrassed for herself, but she would get embarrassed for a loved one if her heart was broken. And so here we are, at her ruined wedding.”
Cadence trembled before the monster.
Pinkie Pie snarled. “You monster! We’ll just trap you again with the Elements of Harmony!”
Discord disappeared and reappeared behind her, wearing a hawaiian shirt and holding a suitcase. “Oh, that’s a fantastic plan. Good luck with it. However, I have these non-transferable tickets to the Kingdom of Not -Here, with a two hour stop over in the land of Leaving-you-to-clean-up-the-mess-I’ve-created.”
Disappearing for the last time, Discord left an echo in the hall. “Good luck reviving your Princess! Hahahaha!”
Applejack was spooked. “Is he gone.”
Twilight Sparkle growled. “Of course he’s gone. He’s not going to stand around and let us zap him like last time.” She stomped over to the frozen ruler of Equestria. It was up to her now. As the current leading authority in magic, and the only living pony to cure a case of shyshock, it was up to Twilight Sparkle to save Princess Celestia and the kingdom. She summoned her clipboard and quill. “Alright everyone. We have a national emergency on our hands. We all need to pitch in! Time to get embarrassing!”
After locking the doors and getting rid of the media, or any cameras for that matter, they paraded out numerous acts to try to snap the Princess out of her shyshock. Octavia tried to DJ. Vinyl Scratch tried to play the cello. Twilight and Pinkie Pie did make out, but this time it was to Pinkie Pie’s embarrassment.
“Spike and I are lovers!” Rarity boasted. The room was hushed. “I don’t care what anyone says. I don’t care if he’s a dragon! I love him and he satisfies me like no stallion ever could!” she ran to Spike and began crying into his green spines.
“I’m dating my best friend’s father!” Fluttershy ran to the center of the room. “I knew it was wrong but I did it anyways! He is so handsome and he treats me so well! I’m a horrible friend!”
Rainbow Dash ran out to her. “No! It’s my fault! I should have told you! I was a bad daughter! Fluttershy, don’t cry! Ah, now you got me started!” The two pegasi collapsed onto each other, bawling and spouting apologies.
Those were not the only outbursts, to be sure. Many citizens admitted to infidelity, tax evasion and even cheating at bridge. We won’t go into the things Lyra admitted to.
Cadence admitted to being jealous of Twilight Sparkle's tiara for the Element of Magic.She tried to steal a look at it--tried to stick her horn in the lock. She got stuck in the wall for two hours .
Applejack cringed. “I’m going to have to shave my mane again aren’t I?”
Twilight Sparkle finally snapped, crushing the clipboard to the ground. “I am jealous of my brother! I wanted to get married before him! I wanted this wedding! I wanted it all! It’s not fair that I’ve always been jealous him! He accomplishes whatever he wants and he makes it look so easy! I wanted my studies to be that easy, but they never were! I thought the years of studying and discipline would make me less petty, but I can’t fight my feelings anymore! My brother is awesome and I can’t stand him!”
A ray of light emanated from Princess Celestia’s horn. The light filled the room with a blinding brightness.
Twilight Sparkle looked up to see Princess Celestia emerging from that bright light.
“My dear Twilight Sparkle. I knew you could figure out how to save me.”
“You knew I could embarrass myself worse than anyone in the kingdom?” Twilight was a little flustered, but relieved to have her mentor restored.
“I trusted you to thwart any evils that befall my kingdom, no matter what needed to be done. That’s what trust is.”
Twilight was so flattered that she was ashamed she had said anything snide. She ran up to her Princess and hugged her. Her brother stepped up.
“Thank you. You’ve saved us all. I’m sorry for doubting you.”
Twilight gave him a poke in the ribs, but he returned it with a hug.
The wedding continued without incident. The jubilation at the end of the ceremony was legendary, giving not a care for the dust and cracked walls. Besides Spike catching the garter belt, no more embarrassing moments were had.
Afterward, Cadence threw her bouquet. There was some pretty fierce competition, but somehow Fluttershy caught the bouquet in her teeth. She immediately turned to Mr. Dash and exchanged a longing glance.
Rainbow Dash facehoofed.
Twilight Sparkle rested her hooves on the railing of the mezzanine balcony. High up above the main events of the reception, the mezzanine was a place to escape the normal hubbub of the reception.
“Hey! You’re the savior of the kingdom. What are you doing up here?” Pinkie approached her friend with a nervous smile.
Twilight sighed. “Didn’t you hear my humiliating rant? I’m regretting not dating more.”
More nervous laughter from the pink one. “I guess I don’t count, huh? Worst lover ever!”
Twilight smirked at her. “Best friend ever.” She reached around and gave her a hug.
“So does this mean you’re finally on the prowl for a stallion? What about your studies?”
“I need to stop trying to get a major in every magic subject and just choose one to specialize in. I can’t be a student forever. I need to go find a boyfriend and do other mare things.”
Pinkie gave a pinkie-sized grin. “Well, I met some great stallions on the dance floor. One is tall and he makes great balloon animals. The short one is blonde and really cute. He’s a professional ball player.”
“Sounds like a blast. Let’s hit the dance floor.”
Pinkie Pie grabbed something from inside her dress. “Oh, before we go, just one thing...”
“What is it?”
Rainbow Dash trotted out of the VIP section to her father’s table. “Hey Dad. I just wanted to say I’m sorry for being so stubborn. Can you forgive me.”
“I already have. You really should read those letters. I tell you what, how about you give your old dad a dance?”
“I have to warn you, I can’t dance.” Rainbow chuckled.
“I can’t either. But it’s a father’s right to shuffle back and forth awkwardly with his daughter from time to time, right?”
Princess Celestia sat alone in the grand ballroom. The bartender had closed up shop, but not without bringing the princess a long line of cider shots. She had already eaten the last of the cake. Octavia was putting her cello away when she bowed to her majesty. “We’re going home now. Thank you for this opportunity your highness.”
Celestia wished her well and started to look around to find that she really was alone now. She started to drink her troubles away in the moonlight. The moon seemed unusually close that evening. Then she turned to thinking about how the stress had been affecting her. The muscle aches; The eye strain.The last few days, she felt like she was waking up with bites on her neck every morning.
How could it all have fallen apart like that? She had taken every precaution possible, but the ceremony was still crashed. She was sure that having the Elements of Harmony on display would deter any problems, but it still failed. The real terror that rocked her was the thought of what would have happened if Twilight had not been able to save her in time. Had the student surpassed the master? No, Twilight still had much to learn.
She downed another drink.
It was a good thing Princess Luna had returned to her. Cadence would be occupied for a while-a lifetime in fact- and she needed someone to talk to. With a heavy sigh, she took another drink. If Twilight were just a little older, she would have her move into the palace.
A mare in black with tightly braided red hair meekly stepped up to Celestia. “My Princess, I took the liberty of writing down the ponies who admitted to tax evasion this afternoon. I thought you might want the list.”
Celestia chuckled. “Oh, they were just trying to be helpful. I think I’ll be lenient, given the circumstances.” She inspected the mare’s strong, firm body. She seemed very familiar.
“You’re Cinnamon Viper, aren’t you? Shining Armor’s former bodyguard?”
The mare hung her head. “Yes.”
“I’m so sorry. I guess this wedding has put you out of a job. Come sit next to me. We should share a drink.” The mare in black did as she was told.
“No no. Sit closer. No, closer still. Little more. There.” Cinnamon Viper was puzzled. No pony sat this close to a Princess! Their cutie marks could almost kiss. “You know, Shining Armor sent me a very flattering letter about your skills.”
“Yes. I’ve been thinking. I need a personal assistant. Not just a guard, but someone to stay close to me, someone who can attend to intimate details in my life.” Celestia was serious about Cinnamon. The assistant idea was inspired, but the princess hadn’t had time to address it until now.
Cinnamon was shivering with excitement. “It would be my pleasure, my Princess!”
“Good. Let’s retire to my room where we can discuss... details.”
Cinnamon was awash with a new joy. She grinned and cracked her hooves. She was about to give the pat down of her life.