Of all the nights that would have been amazing to experience alone together, that evening in the castle ranked pretty high on the list. However, this wasn’t possible, as a second bed in their room had been provided for Scootaloo, and Rainbow Dash and Storm both stared at it dejectedly for a moment before heaving a sigh in unison. Scootaloo ignored it and trotted over to the bed on the left, hopping up and bouncing on it like a trampoline.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Rainbow Dash said with a playful grin. Storm listened to the squeaking of the springs and shot her a sly smile.
“I have a fair idea. Come on!” he replied, and together they all began bouncing on the beds, hopping from one the next and acting like total foals, enjoying every second of it. A knock on the door sounded, but it was ignored until Quakehoof walked in, took the scene at a glance, and walked away with a chuckle. After a time they ceased their exercise in immaturity and bade Scootaloo head to bed, as the moon was nearly centered over the castle.
“Storm, I’m not sleepy. I don’t want to go to bed yet!” she said stubbornly. He thought for a moment, weighing the risk of a lecture from his parents and a growing idea in the back of his mind. Scootaloo watched as a devious grin spread across his face, and she suddenly found herself extremely excited.
“Ok, Scootaloo, Rainbow Dash, let’s have some fun with the castle ponies. But if you breathe a word about this to mom or dad, you’re gonna get it. Deal?”
“Deal!” she squealed, and Storm immediately shushed her, drawing a hoof to his lips and motioning the two to follow him.
“Storm, what are you up to?”
“Mischief, what else? Besides, I hear a certain mare I know happens to like a good prank or two.”
“I knew there was a reason I loved you. So what’s the plan?”
“I don’t know that I have much of one yet, but I think we should try to get Luna in on it.”
“Uh, I don’t know that that is such a good idea. She doesn’t share our humor, Storm.”
“That’s because she’s likely never tried it! Come on, I want to at least try. You with me?”
“Score one stupid point for a useless question! Come on, their rooms are this way.” She led them up a few flights of stairs and down a long corridor, taking a left towards a door emblazoned with a crescent moon. Storm and Rainbow Dash gave each other the nod, and after a few knocks Luna greeted them amiably.
“Oh, hello you three. How fare thee?”
“Quite well, your Highness. Do you have some free time?”
“Oh do I! Catching up on one thousand years of history is exhausting, and any distraction is quite welcome. Besides, I doubt I shall catch a lecture from my sister if I am passing time in your company,” she said, shooting a mock scowl at the door across the way. “What wouldst thou have me do, Storm? Are we to play a game?”
“Of sorts,” he replied, grinning.
“Luna, I know you’ve recovered from my cupcake prank, but I really didn’t mean any harm. I was just wondering, have you ever pulled a joke on anypony before?” Rainbow Dash inquired. Luna adopted a thoughtful expression before shaking her head.
“I know not, there are many memories to sift through, but I do not think such behavior is befitting of royalty.”
“Oh come on, Luna! Please?” Scootaloo begged, wrapping herself around the princess’ hoof and staring up at her with wide eyes.
“All right, but only for a little while. I do not want to cause too much trouble, lest we wake Discord.” Scootaloo immediately released her and jumped onto Dash’s back.
“I bet he would know a good prank or two,” Rainbow Dash chuckled, half serious. Luna’s serious expression made it clear she didn’t share the sentiment.
“Rainbow Dash, do not even think about it. Now come, mischief awaits.”
“Captain, your drink, sir,” the guard said, levitating the glass to his superior.
“Thank you, private. You are dismissed.” He swirled the contents for a moment before downing the glass in one go, before suddenly realizing that his requested cider had been laced with a copious quantity of wasabi. As his throat and sinus’ caught fire, he heard laughter explode from down the hall, and the normally calm and controlled leader galloped over to immediately apprehend the culprits.
“Who would dare to...” he started shouting before coming face to face with Luna, who immediately adopted a serious expression.
“Captain, it is not proper for you to raise your voice at me unless it is requested. Please, return to your post, if you would.” He immediately bowed and did as instructed, thankful that he hadn’t accidentally offended her, and the four mischief makers trotted out of earshot before falling apart all over again.
“See, Luna? It’s fun!” Rainbow Dash managed as she struggled for air.
“Dash, you gotta teach me too!” Scootaloo exclaimed, struggling to her feet.
“You are indeed correct, this is most enjoyable. Come, I have another idea!” Luna cried, racing off towards the kitchens with the other three in hot pursuit. They watched with curiosity as she sifted through the cupboards, carelessly tossing aside the bottles that she didn’t need and giving a snicker of glee as she found that which she sought. She then proceeded to dump the entire bottle into the canister of ground coffee that was to be prepared the next morning before turning and showing the bottle to her cohorts.
“Ground Ghost Pepper? I’ve never even heard of that, but it sounds painful,” Rainbow Dash giggled.
“It is one of the spiciest of all the peppers in Equestria. Verily, the morning guard are in for quite a surprise!” she said as she laughed maniacally. Around this time Storm and Rainbow Dash got the feeling that things were going to go too far.
“Should we stop her?” Storm whispered out of the side of his mouth.
“Nah, with Luna on our side, we can afford to go a little overboard,” she muttered with a wink, giving him a quick kiss and trotting over to Luna who was making little effort to restrain herself. Luna’s face grew skeptical for a moment before she grinned fiendishly, casting an eye on Storm who was quite visibly disturbed.
“Come on, Storm. Let’s retire to our room for the evening. Scootaloo needs her sleep.”
“Rainbow Dash, what are you planning?”
“Oh, you’ll see.” Scootaloo was too tired by this time to offer an argument, heaving a huge yawn as Rainbow Dash tucked her in. Climbing into the other bed, she motioned Storm over and they lay there together for a few minutes in silence. The door to the room slowly opened, and Storm watched wordlessly as Luna walked over and created a small barrier around Scootaloo.
“Uh, Princess? What is that?”
“Tis simply a sound barrier so we won’t disturb the sleeping filly, have no fear. Now,” she whispered as she turned towards Storm with desirous eyes, “I have need of your services, Storm. You too, Rainbow Dash.”
“You got it, Princess.” Storm’s jaw dropped as Luna raised her voice loud enough for his parents to hear the next room over.
“Storm Blitz, long has it been I have met a stallion of your caliber. Please, give yourself to me this night!” she cried, jumping onto the bed and wrapping the hapless Storm in her arms.
“Rainbow Dash, help!” he begged, and she sauntered over and joined the princess, looking at him with desirous eyes before raising her voice to match Luna’s.
Quakehoof and Flying Grace both woke at Luna’s initial shout, but didn’t comprehend the words. They lay blinking groggily a moment before Rainbow Dash’s voice made their ears shoot straight up, staring blankly in shock as the voices came through the wall.
“Hey, hooves off, Luna! Storm is mine!”
“Nay, let us share! Is that not a more mature solution?” Luna shot back.
“What the buck is going on?” Storm shouted, completely beside himself with fear and an utter lack of comprehension.
“I believe this generation refers to it as a threesome, is that not correct?”
“That’s right, Luna. I hope you’re up to the task, Storm.”
“Are you bucking kidding me?!?” Another creak.
“Are they really...” Grace said softly, shaking her head in disbelief. While she wouldn’t put it past Storm to try something like that even with his sister present, she couldn’t imagine him in a threesome, and with Luna no less. A rather large moan sounded from the room, causing the parents to blush.
“Oh, Storm, now the fun has tripled!” Luna wailed. The creaking increased regularity and Quakehoof covered his face with a hoof.
“Luna, your wings are so soft!” Rainbow Dash cried, following after with a sudden, sharp gasp. Quakehoof jumped out of bed and barreled through the door. Luna and Rainbow Dash ceased jumping on the bed and fell over laughing as Storm lay paralyzed on the bed, not having been warned that the whole thing was a setup and very seriously thinking that Rainbow Dash had lost it.
“I do not approve of this,” Quakehoof muttered before returning to bed, slamming the door behind him. The hilarity of the situation suddenly struck Storm and he soon found himself every bit as breathless as the two mares on the floor, tears streaming from their eyes. That is, until he looked over and noticed that Scootaloo had woken at some point and watched the whole thing, but without any sound to know it was a joke. Luna looked quite worried as she walked over to the filly, who seemed to be screaming with all her might and covering her eyes. They all plugged their ears as the barrier went down and Scootaloo’s screams shook the room as the filly tore into her parents room to escape the nightmare.
“Ok, Luna, we should probably call it a night.”
“Oh, but Rainbow Dash, I haven’t had this much fun since the last Nightmare Night! Please, join me for one more?” How could they refuse?
“Captain, the moon, it’s... it’s...” the guard stammered, blushing deeply and pointing towards the window. His superior gave an exasperated snort as he approached, looking up at the sky and suddenly found his powers of speech nonexistent. It was truly a full moon, the lunar body having taken the shape of Celestia’s flanks high in the sky for all Equestria to see.
“How the hay am I supposed to explain that to her Highness? Celestia, please, have mercy,” he whispered to himself, sprinting towards her chambers and swallowing his fear. He knocked hesitantly and Celestia call him in, waiting patiently to hear his report.
“Um...” he faltered, his usually gruff tone cast aside as he wracked his scattered brain to find the best possible way to break the news. “Have you taken a look at the moon tonight?”
“An odd question to hear from you, Captain. No, I have not, though I imagine it’s quite beautiful.”
“Yes, it is,” he replied automatically before slapping a hoof over his eyes. “Your Highness, you should probably take a look.”
“If you insist, why don’t you join me?” she replied cheerfully, standing and making her way to the balcony.
“Because I’m looking at it,” he whispered, swallowing hard and catching up to her. She threw back the curtains and closed her eyes as the window let in a cool breeze, coming to a stop and looking up into the sky.
“My goodness, that looks just like my cuti...” She froze mid sentence, her eyes growing wide as she did a quick comparison between herself and the moon.
The trio of pranksters had just pried themselves off the floor when Celestia’s deafening bellow shook the castle, awakening everypony like a shot of adrenaline to the heart.
“LUNA! I HAVE WORDS FOR YOU!” Suddenly, Luna’s royal Canterlot seemed tame in comparison to when Celestia used it. Luna stood her ground as Celestia flew into the room, staring her down. “Any particular reason my flank is on the moon?”
“Tis the most fair. Art thou not proud, dear sister?”
“FIX IT!” she screamed, slamming a hoof to the ground.
“Temper, temper, Celestia. There are guests present,” Luna replied with a giggle, closing her eyes and returning the moon to its usual form. Celestia suddenly noticed the quaking forms of Rainbow Dash and Storm, who were locked in each other’s embrace and fearing the worst.
“Luna... was this part of your trying to make friends?”
“Indeed, I’m sorry if I have angered you, sister. I may have gotten carried away, but it was quite fun, these pranks.” Celestia thought for a moment before relieving everypony with a warming smile.
“I am pleased to see you making friends, Luna. However, I have two things I have to say. One, if I ever find any part of my anatomy superimposed upon any celestial body ever again, you can expect an extremely severe reprisal, are we clear on that?” Luna gave a meek nod as Celestia continued. “Secondly, if you’re going to get into mischief, then you simply must invite me,” she said, laughing softly and easing the anxiety that had been building. “Come, everypony, I need your help. I wish to add my own touch of humor to the night’s activities.”
Spike never appreciated being woken by incoming messages, doubly so for larger objects such as the packaged that escaped his mouth in a green burst of flames. It wasn’t very large, but the scroll tied to the top caught his attention. He read the message quickly before dashing downstairs and waking Twilight in a panic. She groaned as she came to, waking Cerulean accidentally with a misplaced hoof.
“Spike, what’s this about? It’s late.”
“I know, but you just got a message from Celestia, and it’s urgent!” Twilight grabbed the letter and brought it to her eyes, reading aloud so Cerulean could hear.
“To my Faithful Student Twilight Sparkle,
What is contained within this package is of dire importance to the fate of Equestria. You must gather all the ponies listed below before its opening and use. Your prompt reply is expected.
“Cerulean, I hate to ask you to do this, but...”
“Don’t worry, I’m on it. Spike, you run into town and wake Rarity and Pinkie Pie, I’ll grab Applejack, Big Mac, Cloudburn, and Fluttershy.” They nodded and set off, the urgency of the task driving them to great efforts. The ponies all readily complied as they were informed of Celestia’s warnings, and within the space of fifteen minutes they had gathered at the library. They held their breath as Twilight opened the package to reveal an unmarked videotape.
“I cannot believe I was woken from my beauty rest for such a prank. The very nerve!” Rarity huffed, preparing to leave before Twilight slammed the door in front of her, levitating the princess’ letter in front of her.
“I’m not making this up, Rarity! Look, you can see for yourself. Whatever is on this tape is extremely important. I can only assume that Rainbow Dash knows what’s on it already, since she’s in Canterlot. Cerulean, can you grab the television from downstairs and bring set it up on the main floor?” He nodded and everypony filed downstairs. It took a few moments for to get the thing up and running, and tensions ran high as he set the tape in the machine and hit play.
The room-wide silence only magnified the pulsing beats of the music that blasted from the screen. Every jaw hung agape as they beheld the Solar Princess performing the most provocative dancing anypony there had ever seen or heard of, complete with a pole which she made excessive use of when she wasn’t swinging her flanks around. Everypony as a bright red by the time the video finished, more so for the two stallions who were unable to avoid arousal at the sight. Cerulean had been sitting with his legs spread and Twilight laying against back his chest, and he cringed as he noticed what he had hoped she wouldn’t.
“Cerulean, please tell me that’s not what I think it is...”
“Please don’t kill me, it’s not my fault,” he whispered, drawing her closer in an attempt to hide it, though his horn was glowing faintly for all to see. Fortunately, Rarity was the only one who noticed and she, being a lady, determined it better to say nothing and let him preserve his dignity. She also wanted to leave in one piece, something that couldn’t be guaranteed should Twilight lose her temper.
“How...” Applejack started, falling silent a moment before continuing. “How in Celestia’s name is this of the utmost importance t’ the fate of Equestria? Has our princess gone an’ lost her bloomin’ mind?” she ranted. “Big Macintosh, can you believe...” the started as she turned to find her brother’s face deeply flushed. “Wha... you too? I’ll flay ya alive fer lookin’ at Celestia like that!”
“My goodness, Big Macintosh, you are aptly named,” Cloudburn tittered, blushing harder as the hapless stallion backed away from his sister who he honestly believed had every intention of making good on her word.
“Big Mac, you may want to run now,” Cerulean called out as Applejack turned on her tame brother. Taking him at his word, the embarrassed stallion took off out the door with Applejack in hot pursuit, her usually tame vocabulary infiltrated by words sailors would be afraid to use.
“I must say, that rather changes my view of our beloved Princess. I, for one, am horrified that she would dare to stoop to such activities.”
“What’s wrong with dancing? It’s a lot of fun, you should try it Rarity! I bet Twilight could...” she started before she found her mouth magically sealed shut as Rarity cast withering gaze at Twilight.
“Any idea what she’s talking about, Twilight?”
“I, um, have a letter to write. We’ll discuss that at another time, Rarity. Cerulean, help me upstairs please.” He didn’t move and she gave a sigh, whispering out of the corner of her mouth. “Still?”
“It reminded me the other video you made, so excuse me! Fine, I’ll take one for the team, climb on,” he muttered, carrying her upstairs as Rarity gave a snort and left. Pinkie Pie strolled back to Sugarcube Corner and while nopony was looking, Fluttershy popped out the tape and quietly flew back to her cottage. Peace returned to the library as Twilight wrote out her response to the object of “dire importance.”
“Dear Princess Celestia,
What the hay? Did somepony slip you something? I cannot imagine that you would willingly cause a small panic and make me and my friends watch something like that together. Do you know how embarrassing that was? And I fear for Big Macintosh’s life when Applejack catches up to him. Princess, why did you send me this?
Your Confused Student,
“Spike, can you send... Spike?” Twilight started, expecting him to be nearby but finding him nowhere in sight. Come to think of it, since the video viewing neither Twilight nor Cerulean had seen the baby dragon.
“Twilight? I think he’s been scarred for life,” Cerulean said with a worried chuckle, levitating the petrified Spike up from the floor where he hadn’t moved since the video began and setting him on the bed next to Twilight, his mouth still open and not visibly breathing. Cerulean reached over and froze a few of his spines, the sudden cold jump starting his mind and letting a colossal yell rip from his lungs. Twilight shoved a hoof in his mouth while he calmed down, and she slowly withdrew and wiped her hoof on the bed.
“Spike, send this letter to Celestia and then get some rest, ok?” He did as instructed and wandered upstairs in a daze. As he left, Twilight turned back to Cerulean who had climbed in next to her, not looking the least bit tired. “You still haven’t calmed down? Do you really think of Celestia like that?” she said, shooting him a wry look.
“I was... remembering our stay in Canterlot, actually.” Twilight soon found herself similarly awake, though being eight months into her pregnancy, she felt little energy for anything other than her daily functions. “Don’t worry, that wasn’t a leading statement. Try to get some sleep, Twilight. You both need your rest,” he said with a smile, kissing her gently and drawing back to give her space.
“I’m not that tired. Besides,” she whispered with a giggle, “you’re still glowing. I think I can help.”
Celestia opened the letter and called Luna over, who was snickering even before Celestia’s smile faded.
“Luna?” she said slowly turning.
“Yes, dear sister?”
“Did I not ask you to send the tape solely to Twilight Sparkle?”
“Oh, is that what you said? I could have sworn thou bid me tell her she should gather her closest friends for a viewing. Silly me!” Celestia was forced to smile, and soon the sisters’ laughter again filled the halls, waking Storm and Rainbow Dash.
“I think Twilight got her royal gift,” Storm whispered as he started to shake with restrained laughter. Dash just smiled, pounding hooves with him quietly before snuggling closer and eagerly anticipating their return home after such an eventful night.