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A My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanfic
By Friendly Uncle
Warning: The following fanfic contains ponies talking about the facts of life. Proceed with all due caution. This fanfic is intended as parody only and generates no revenue for the author. The author does not in any way claim ownership of My Little Pony or any of its associated characters, which are all the property of Hasbro Inc. Apply topically three times a day while symptoms persist. If symptoms persist for longer than one week or if erection lasts longer than six hours consult a physician. Fluttershy is best pony.
Rarity the unicorn winced as she trotted down the road to the Ponyville market square, peeking over the tops of her sunglasses to see if the sun was still as bright as it had been a few minutes ago. It was, which just reinforced her suspicions that the world was out to get her this morning. If she'd had her way Rarity would still be inside her boutique sewing and waiting on customers, but cats and little sisters make fools of us all, and now she had to buy a new credenza. Not having a credenza didn't actually physically prevent Rarity from sewing in any way, shape, or form, but knowing that she needed one would have been an unacceptable distraction. An "unacceptable distraction" being defined as "anything that is a distraction." Rarity had standards.
She slowed to a walk as she entered the town square, looking around to take in the sights and hopefully spot some discount furniture for sale. What grabbed her attention was a lavender unicorn in the act of browsing a book stall with unnatural interest. The stall's owner was standing back with a slightly glazed look on his face while his wares were examined with the same care and gusto that Rarity would have put into browsing precious gems. Smirking a little at the scene, Rarity sauntered over.
"Hello Twilight, nose buried in books as usual I see."
Twilight Sparkle looked around quickly, then grinned when she caught sight of her friend.
"Hi Rarity! What brings you to the market today?"
"Oh, just replacing some worn out furniture," said Rarity, making a dismissive gesture with her hoof. She paused and leaned in to get a closer look at Twilight's face.
"Are you feeling alright dear?"
"Me? I'm feeling fine!" Twilight answered, flicking some perspiration from her brow. One of her back hooves was tapping slowly up and down while she stood there, almost in a rhythm. Rarity glanced down at it and then back up at Twilight's face, taking a few steps closer.
"You're definitely looking a little flushed darling," she said, "and no offense, but I'd describe the look in your eyes as 'glassy'. How long have you been out in the sun?"
"Not too long," said Twilight, glancing down at the knee-high pile of books she'd collected. "But now that you mention it, I am feeling a little dehydrated. Maybe I should go inside and get something to drink."
"That sounds like a marvelous idea," said Rarity, "I'd offer to join you, but I still have some shopping to do. Why don't I stop by later to check up?"
"I'm sure I'm fine," Twilight chuckled, swaying a little on her hooves, "but I appreciate the thought, and I'd love to have you over if you'd like. Oh," she turned to the bookseller, "I'll take these please, do you have a sack I could use?"
The colt headed around to the back of his stall to get a bag, and Twilight stepped over to his table to count out her bits. As she moved past Rarity, the white unicorn just happened to take in a breath. She immediately started coughing.
"Oh, are you okay?" asked Twilight, glancing behind herself. "Get a little dust?"
"More like a lungful," Rarity half coughed and half laughed, waving her hoof in front of her face. "Oh my goodness darling, I'm so sorry, you should have just told me you were in heat. We don't really bother being embarrassed about that sort of thing around here."
Twilight raised an eyebrow.
"I'm in what now?"
"...oh! I'm sorry, didn't you realize? Oh I know sometimes it can creep up on me like that, I'll spend the whole day wondering why I'm so agitated, and then it just hits me!"
She laughed. Twilight joined in, a little.
"That's... very funny," she said, "but I'm still confused. What's 'in heat'?"
Rarity's expression froze as she stared at her friend. If Equestrian science had developed automobiles, and if the deer native to the region were dumb enough to stand in front of one, then Twilight would have described Rarity's face as resembling that of a deer caught in a pair of headlights. But it hadn't, and the deer weren't, so Twilight settled for adopting a puzzled look and waving her hoof in front of her friend's eyes.
"Rarity? Come on, you're starting to worry me here. What are you talking about?"
"You..." Rarity glanced around to make sure the stallkeeper was still looking for bags, "you've really never heard of heat before? As applied to... ah, mares?"
"No?" Twilight said, eyebrows creased in confusion. "Is that a colloquial expression for something...?"
"...I... don't... think so... You know what? I'm probably wrong. Oh, but you clearly need to get out of the sun! I'll explain later, right now you should get inside and have that drink. Maybe a nice cool shower too, hm?"
"... I am getting a little lathered up," said Twilight, rubbing a spot of foam off one of her flanks. "Are you okay, Rarity? You're acting kind of scared all of a sudden. Did I miss something?"
"Oh, no, I'm... I'm fine," said Rarity, glancing around rapidly, "I just... remembered... that I really should... get to shopping! Yes, now that I think about it I really do have to hurry! I'll see you later darling. Goodbye!"
"Uh... bye?" said Twilight, staring in confusion as Rarity very nearly ran away from her.
"Gosh. Did my deodorant fail or something?"
"Well thanks for your business, and y'all have a wonderful day now y'hear?"
Applejack smiled and hummed contentedly to herself as she counted up the bits she'd just made. Behind her, Big Macintosh rearranged the apples, or whatever it was that he did while she sold them. Frankly, she'd never really bothered to check.
The orange earth pony blinked and looked around. She could have sworn she'd heard something...
She frowned, then leaned forward over her stall. Rarity was crouched down in front of it, looking around as if she were being watched. Applejack raised an eyebrow.
"Rarity? Are you okay?"
"I need your help!"
Applejack's brows furrowed as she looked down at her friend.
"This ain't like the time you told me you needed help, 'cause the worst possible thing that has ever happened, ever... happened. Then when I raced over to your boutique, it turned out all you needed was somepony to try on a dress?"
"Oh no darling, nothing like that," said Rarity, waving a hoof dismissively, "besides, I know that would only work on you once. No, this is a real problem, I think dear Twilight may be in trouble."
"Well why didn't ya say so?" exclaimed Applejack, hopping over her stand and landing next to the unicorn. "Mac! You can watch the stand for a spell while we take care o' this, right?"
Applejack immediately turned to head for the library and stopped stock still, a slight blush rising on her face, as Rarity bit her tail to halt her progress. The unicorn immediately spat the appendage out and put a hoof on Applejack's shoulder.
"Bleah! Wait a moment, I have to explain the situation first! Come to the boutique."
Applejack gave her the most sidelong of looks.
"I'm perfectly serious! I don't want to explain this out here, it would be so embarrassing for the poor thing if somepony were to overhear."
She nodded subtly in Big Mac's direction. Applejack scowled a little, but nodded and followed Rarity as she led the way back to her store.
"And don't make such faces dear!" Rarity commented as she lead the way, "it'll stick like that. I'll throw in a cold drink so you won't feel taken advantage of, how's that? You must be thirsty, after being in the hot sun all day."
"Ah am a mite parched," Applejack admitted, "some cold water would be just the thing."
This statement was immediately followed by a miniature thunder crack and a torrent of rain. Rarity let out a hysterical shriek at the sudden downpour and fled as if her tail was on fire, wailing about her ruined coiffure. Applejack simply let out a deep sigh and let her gaze drift upwards to the small cloud hovering a few ponylengths above her head, and the grinning faces peeking at her over the edge.
"Somepony order some cold water?" Rainbow Dash called down before dissolving into giggles. Pinkie Pie, perched on Dash's back, was already cackling gleefully. Applejack glared at them for a few moments before her expression slowly turned into a dangerous smile. Rainbow Dash stopped laughing.
"What are you grinning about? Finally learned to take a joke?"
"Oh, I'd still probably buck ya black and blue most days," said Applejack with a chuckle, "but y’all got a point, that rain is awful soothin'. That ain't why I'm smilin' though."
"Oh yeah?" giggled Pinkie, "then why are you?"
"Because y'all have neglected to make yer getaway."
"Our wha- ACK!"
The mares let out shrieks of surprise as a floating water trough dumped its contents over them, dissipating the cloud and forcing Rainbow Dash to glide to the ground with Pinkie still laughing on her back. Rarity snorted at them as she lowered the trough back onto the ground.
"Hmph, and it serves you right! Ruffians. Applejack and I have a very important matter to discuss and we don't have time to play with you."
"Hold on now," said Applejack, wringing water out of her mane, "maybe you girls oughta come with us. Rarity here says Twilight's in a spot o' trouble. She was just about to explain what was goin' on when you two decided to be idjits."
"Oh sun and moon don't tell them that," Rarity panicked, "the last thing we need is-"
"Hey!" shouted Rainbow Dash, "what's that supposed to mean!? We're just as much Twilight's friends as you are! Why wouldn't we want to help her?"
"Yeah, we'd go to the ends of Equestria for Twilight!" Pinkie agreed, "What's wrong? Is she sad? I bet I know what would fix that. I'll throw her a par-"
"It's not quite that simple dear," said Rarity as Pinkie Pie mumbled around her hoof, "Oh, but I suppose I might as well tell you, since I know that if I don't you're going to go directly to Twilight herself and make a mess of everything."
"Why you gotta be like that?" said Rainbow Dash, "we just want to help."
"Oh I know dear, but this is a delicate situation that requires delicate handling."
"We can be delicate!" the pegasus countered.
Rarity stared at her. Rainbow held her gaze for an impressive period of time before she cracked and burst out laughing.
"Okay, no, I can't. But that's beside the point! If Twilight's in trouble then we wanna help!"
"And if you don't let us help, then we'll pester you until you do," threatened Pinkie Pie.
Rarity's eyes narrowed.
"Ten seconds!?" Applejack practically yelled as Rarity opened the door to the boutique, letting her, Rainbow, and Pinkie inside. "That was all ya could take!? Land sakes girl, I've seen ya sit on a straight pin fer longer than that!"
"She put her tongue in my ear," Rarity whined, wiping the violated orifice with her hoof, "you try putting up with that."
"Nah," said Rainbow Dash, "that's no problem for AJ. She likes it."
Applejack gave the pegasus a look that, where it capable of doing so, would have not only killed her, but atomized the corpse and wiped out any remaining records of her existence. Dash and the other two ponies with her took a few nervous steps back and suddenly found interesting things in the boutique that they could look at without meeting the orange mare's baleful gaze.
"Oh goodness, I'm so sorry, am I interrupting something?"
The assembled ponies blinked and turned to the source of the new voice. A banana cream-colored pegasus with a pink mane was watching them with a worried expression from atop one of Rarity's ponyquins.
"Fluttershy?" said Rarity, "what are you doing?"
Fluttershy wordlessly climbed down and trotted over to her friends, a carefully neutral expression on her face.
"I'm sorry," she said, "Sweetie Belle let me in. I just wanted to see if you were free to visit and maybe get something to eat this afternoon."
"That sounds lovely," said Rarity, "once we're done here of course. Ah, is Sweetie Belle still here?"
Fluttershy shook her head.
"She went out to play with Apple Bloom and Scootaloo, something about 'Cutie Mark Crusader Demolition Derby Drivers'."
"Well I'm sure they'll be fine. ...but why were you-"
"You know, I've always wanted to try that," said Pinkie Pie, bounding suddenly across the room and hopping on top of the recently vacated ponyquin. "Woohoo! Ride 'em ponygirl!"
"... alright then," said Rainbow Dash, "so you gonna tell us what's going on or not?"
"Oh," said Fluttershy, "what... what's going on?"
"My friends," began Rarity, pacing towards the center of her boutique's showroom, "I have gathered you here because your friend and mine, Twilight Sparkle, is in need of our friendship."
"...but... I came here on my own..."
"For the purposes of this meeting you may consider yourself gathered!" said Rarity, raising one hoof dramatically, "that's beside the point."
"So what is the point?" drawled Applejack, "aside from the one on top of your head?"
Rarity spared Applejack a glare as Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash excitedly discussed how sick of a burn that had been. Fluttershy just looked confused.
"Alright," growled Rarity, "since it seems that none of you are going to let me do this with any kind of decorum, I'll just say it. Twilight is in heat."
The others stared at her. Applejack raised an eyebrow. Fluttershy blushed deeply. Rainbow Dash blinked as her wings gently began to unfurl. Pinkie slowly slid off of the ponyquin and landed on the ground with a bump.
"That's awesome! We should throw her a heat party!"
"Oh dear Celestia in a china shop no we are not throwing a party," said Rarity quickly, "why would you even think about doing that?"
"Why not!?" Pinkie countered as she bounced around the room.
"It's just... it's not really... the sort of thing you... throw parties for..." Fluttershy said very quietly.
"Yeah, you don't wanna advertise that. In case too many stallions catch wind of it," said Rainbow Dash.
Pinkie Pie stopped bouncing and frowned at them in confusion.
"Wait, this isn't about getting Twilight laid?"
"That's up to Twi," Applejack cut in, scowling, "what I want to know is why Rarity thinks this is such a big deal. Heat ain't no thing. Take a cold shower and call it a day."
"Yeah, you're making a cumulonimbus out of a cirrus," agreed Rainbow Dash, "everypony knows how to deal with heat."
"I'm in heat right now!" said Pinkie cheerfully.
"You're not... letting... me... finish," Rarity snarled, "I spoke to Twilight earlier today. She is in heat, and she doesn't know what that means."
This time all four of her friends stared at her in bald shock.
"She... what?" Applejack managed after a few moments, "Doesn't know what... huh? How could she not..."
"She was clearly feeling the symptoms," Rarity explained, "but when I commented on it she didn't know what I was talking about. She literally stood in front of me and said, 'what is heat'. The poor thing is burning up with her own hormones and doesn't even realize why!"
Rarity's horn glimmered and a couch was pulled out of another room for her to faint onto.
"Uh..." Fluttershy frowned a little, "I don't mean to second guess you Rarity, but... are you sure? Maybe she just has a fever."
"Oh I'm positive," Rarity said ruefully, "that's not a smell you mistake for anything else."
"But that's crazy talk," said Applejack, pacing back and forth as she spoke, "how could a pony get to marryin' age without ever learnin' about the birds and the bees? Her folks had to tell her what was goin' on when she got old enough, didn't they?"
"Oh... not necessarily," said Fluttershy.
The other mares turned to her. Fluttershy noticed the scrutiny and hunkered down onto the floor, staring back at them.
"Your parents didn't tell you about heat and sex and foaling and stuff?" asked Pinkie Pie.
"Well... they did... sort of... but they... they were kind of bad at it."
"Oh I know my parents were terribly loathe to broach the subject," said Rarity, "but they still explained it. How bad could Twilight's have been?"
Fluttershy looked at the floor. "Well..."
"So you see dear," said Twilight Sparkle's mother as she turned off the water, "that hot feeling is your wretched little body becoming full with the sin of unnatural lusts, and it's trying to make you do bad things with the colts. That's why we have to resist those terrible urges because otherwise we catch horrible diseases and the princess in her infinite wisdom and judgement sends us to Pony Hell."
"I understand mommy," said little Twilight, pawing at the remains of her closely shorn mane, “I’m very sorry.”
"You should be. Now dry off. When your father gets home he's going to beat the evil out of your hindquarters. ...stop crying!"
"... I don't... really think Twilight's parents... are like that," said Applejack carefully. Pinkie Pie walked over to Fluttershy and wordlessly gave her a big hug. Fluttershy blushed, but didn't object.
"...if you don't mind my asking," said Rarity, "if your parents were no help then how did you find out?"
"Well, Rainbow Dash told me a lot of things that she heard from her friends," said Fluttershy, "but that all turned out to be wrong."
"Hey! I was working with what I had!"
"...and then I learned how to take care of animals, and... well, you can't work with bunnies and not find out how reproduction works."
"You should have seen the look on her face the first time a rabbit humped her leg," cackled Rainbow Dash. Fluttershy gave her a look.
"Well gosh," said Applejack, "Mac and Applebloom and ah grew up pretty much always knowin' how it worked. I mean, we live on a farm, and mah folks explained everything ah couldn't figure out on mah own. But maybe Twilight's parents just didn't tell her?"
"Wait," said Rarity, "Applebloom knows about... the facts of life?"
"Well sure, why wouldn't she?"
"That explains why Sweetie Belle is afraid of Big Macintosh."
"Gonna have to have a talk with that filly."
"In any case," said Rarity, getting up from her couch and tapping her hoof pensively, "something else occurs to me. Even if Twilight's parents didn't tell her about heat, then she would have learned about it in school, surely? After all, she's only studied the most advanced curriculum available in the most prestigious university in Equestria! I learned about it in school here in Ponyville, I'm sure the subject must have come up in Canterlot."
"What, you mean like a sex ed class?" said Rainbow Dash, shuddering, "we had that in Cloudesdale too. How worthless was yours?"
"... um... oh dear..."
"Alright fillies!" said Rarity's gym teacher, a mare that appeared to have been hewn from solid granite, "listen up! You're starting to reach a certain age when colts are going to start noticing you. That's all well and good, but when you go out with those ruffians you make sure that they keep it in their sheathes, alright?"
"Uhm... Miss Choke?" said a young Rarity, raising her hoof, "what does that mean?"
"It means colts have a thing called a tallywhacker," said Miss Choke, "and they're going to try and put it in you. But you don't let 'em! That's for after they've put a ring on your hoof. They might try to do it anyway, and if they do then you're going to give 'em a little something I call 'the Ball Bucker', which I shall now demonstrate for you on my T.A."
"Wait, what?" said Sweaty the assistant gym teacher, "we're doing what now?"
"OH SWEET MERCIFUL CELESTIA MY BALLS!"
"Ahh, walk it off ya pansy," grunted Miss Choke, tossing him an icepack. "Any more questions?"
"Fluttershy?" asked Pinkie Pie, "why are your wings all spread out like that?"
Fluttershy just made a high-pitched squeaking noise and tried to hide under Rarity's couch.
"Okay," said Rainbow Dash, flying in a slow circle around the room, "so Twilight's parents might have been nutcases and really screwed up on telling her about going into heat. I can believe that. After my parents tried to explain sex to me I spent the next few years thinking an erection was something a stallion needed to get at the hospital."
"You thought what?" asked a baffled Applejack.
"I don't have any brothers," Rainbow seethed, "and my mom was really vague. And as for school, yeah, good luck with that. In my class they showed us a film strip about venereal disease, and I think they were trying to convince us that you got syphilis from going to a fly-in movie."
"I remember that one," said Rarity, "the one with the filly that had a sore on her lip? It took me five years to figure out what that was supposed to mean."
"Exactly!" Rainbow dash threw her hooves in the air in exasperation, "but the thing is, I at least knew that I was going into heat when it happened. Twilight's what, at least my age? This can't be her first time! So what happened the first time? And every time after that? Does she just think she gets heatstroke around the same time every year? In her vag!?"
"That's kinda what I thought the first time," said Pinkie Pie, looking unusually thoughtful, "I mean, at first I thought that maybe my bits were on fire, so I tried to put it out with sand! But that was really itchy, so then I used water, and that worked for a little while but then I got all worked up again! So then I decided my bits were being naughty, so I tried to spank them! That... didn't work too well either, but afterwards I found out what did work! And-"
Applejack interrupted Pinkie with a hoof to the snout.
"Okay, Pinks, I think we get it," said Rainbow Dash, "but you did find out eventually, right? Your parents caught you clopping and they told you what was going on?"
"Oh no," said Pinkie as soon as Applejack took her hoof away, "my parents never talked about cloppin' or doin' it or whatever. Sometimes when my sisters and I talked about it they pretended they didn't even know what we were talking about!"
She paused to stroke her chin thoughtfully.
"Honestly, if it wasn't for the whole, 'me existing' thing I'd almost think my parents didn't know what doin' it was. ...sometimes I kind of wonder if I'm adopted."
Pinkie Pie looked crestfallen for a split second, and then her face lit up as she bounced into the air. Fluttershy, in the act of rushing over to give Pinkie a hug, missed and ran into Rainbow Dash instead.
"But it doesn't matter if I'm adopted or not 'cause my parents love me anyway!" Pinkie said as she bounced up and down, "and Granny Pie wasn't anywhere near as shy about talkin' about doin' it as they are! The second time I went into heat I asked her if she knew what was happening, and she explained all about it!"
She paused, jaw slack with horror.
"Oh my gosh! Twilight doesn't have a Granny Pie! She doesn't know anything! We've gotta help her!"
She glanced at Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy, who were still trying to untangle themselves.
"... what are you two doing?"
"Well, gosh," said Applejack, sitting down on the floor with a bump, "what are we supposed to do about this? Are we supposed to go and tell Twilight about colts and fillies and foals? Is this actually a conversation we're all gonna have?"
"I suppose so," said Rarity, "Oh dear, and what should we advise her to do about it?"
"Well," said Pinkie, "tell you what, I'll go get Applejack's brother and-"
"Oh, sorry, I forgot you were right there."
"We're not getting any stallions to 'help' Twilight," said Rarity firmly, "that's for her to deal with herself when she decides she wants to. In the meantime I have some creams and ointments that do the job quite nicely."
"Ointments?" Applejack shook her head. "Nah, that's fer scrapes. She just needs a cold bath is all, that oughta sort her right out."
"Well a cold bath is nice," said Rainbow, finally free of Fluttershy and hovering over the others, "but if we really want her to feel better she's better off just giving the pony in the pink boat a pat on the head."
The others stared at her. Rainbow frowned.
"Never heard that one? It's not hard to figure out, I'm talkin' about cloppin'."
"Eh, that might work for pegasi and unicorns," said Applejack with a shrug, "and no offense meant. But us earth ponies got a bit more stamina, you know what I mean? I let myself get all worked up and I'll be at it all day."
"Yeah," said Pinkie, "one time I was at the marketplace while I was in heat and I found this great big cucumber, and I-"
"Oh please don't finish that sentence," whimpered Rarity.
"What?" squeaked Fluttershy, "why would... what do you do with a cucumber?"
"Substitute stallion," said Rainbow Dash with a grin, elbowing Fluttershy in the side. "I just use clouds myself, you don't need any lube."
"Ah did not need to know any of that," moaned Applejack.
"...but why a cucumber?" Fluttershy said, looking increasingly confused, "that's why they... make... oh goddess I said that out loud..."
"Make what?" asked Rainbow Dash, eyes narrowing, "what do they make?"
Fluttershy tried to hide under Rarity's couch again, but her wings got stuck, and then Rainbow Dash dragged her back out by her tail. She whimpered and quickly assumed the fetal position.
"There's a specialty shop in Cloudesdale!" she nearly wailed, "they make things! For mares!"
"Ooooh," said Pinkie Pie, "those! Oh, I use those too, the cucumber was just an experiment."
She paused and glanced around. Noting that she was surrounded on all sides by friends with slightly horrified looks on their faces, she leaned down to Fluttershy's level.
"Which model do you use?" she stage whispered, "my favorite's the drippy dragon!"
"Oh, that one's too messy for me," said Fluttershy, "I like the bruiser."
Pinkie Pie's eyes widened. "Wow! That's a big one! I'm impressed Fluttershy!"
"... um... thank you?"
Rarity fell over on the couch in a not entirely feigned faint.
"That's enough!" she cried, "that is far more than enough!"
"Ah agree with Rarity," said Applejack, "emphatically."
"Awwwww, come on!" said Rainbow Dash, "we never talk about this stuff! We're bonding!"
"Can't we bond over something else?" Fluttershy whimpered.
"Yeah, this is a bit much," said Applejack, gently patting the frightened pegasus. "I'd like to think you girls can always talk to me about whatever might be on yer minds... but there is some information ah really don't need. How y'all clop is definitely on that list."
"Why?" asked Pinkie Pie.
"Because Applejack is uncomfortable with her own sexuality," said Rainbow Dash.
"I'll show you uncomfortable!"
The other ponies looked on in shock as Applejack tackled Rainbow Dash out of the air and wrestled her to the ground. Rainbow Dash cackled gleefully the entire time.
"Hah! What are you gonna do AJ, teabag me!? You- oh sweet Celestia she is! How does that even- Blaugh! It got in my mouth! Help! Somepony help me!"
"Mommy? Daddy?" said Pinkie Pie, "are you getting a divorce?"
Applejack and Rainbow Dash stopped what they were doing and stared at Pinkie Pie. She smiled at them.
"Ummm... it's getting kind of late," said Fluttershy, "shouldn't we go check on Twilight now?"
"Excellent suggestion!" said Rarity, leaping to her hooves and trotting over to the boutique's door. It opened with a blast of magic from her horn and she quickly shooed the others out.
"Step lively now! The sooner we get to Twilight's and teach her about the facts of life, the sooner we can all go our separate ways and clop or stab ourselves in the eyes or whatever it is we need to do. ...Fluttershy, are you alright?"
"Um... my wings are... caught in the doorway. Can you... um... can you give me a few minutes... please?"
"Take your time."
The five ponies stood outside of the library, frowning at the door. Applejack glanced around at her friends, shrugged, and knocked again.
"Are we sure she's home?" asked Fluttershy.
There was a series of crashing noises and some metallic bangs from inside, followed by a repetitive thumping noise.
"Someone's home," said Rainbow Dash.
Applejack raised her hoof to knock again, but before she got there it flew open to reveal a wide-eyed Twilight Sparkle.
"YES HELLO HOW CAN I- oh, hi girls! What's up!?"
Applejack leaned back a little. Twilight had broken into a smile, but she was visibly sweaty and her mane looked decidedly frazzled. She and Applejack stared at each other for a long moment.
"Can we come in?" prompted Rarity.
"Oh! Yes, please, come on in!"
She moved away from the door and ushered the other ponies inside. The library was even more of a mess than usual, with books piled haphazardly on the floor and pieces of parchment scattered about with no apparent rhyme or reason. Twilight smiled weakly as she cleared them a path.
"Sorry about the mess, Spike's staying with Zecora tonight. I just needed some time to myself, you know? Oh, not that you girls are bothering me or anything! It's great to see you all! Hey, does anypony want a drink? I'll get us some drinks!"
She cantered into the kitchen, leaving the others to look awkwardly at each other in the sudden silence.
"... she's got it bad," said Pinkie Pie.
"Whoof," Rainbow Dash's eye twitched as she tried to breathe through her mouth, "yeah, I can smell."
"Please don't be rude," whispered Fluttershy, "the poor thing, she's going to be so embarrassed."
"Do we have a plan here?" said Applejack, "we didn't really talk about this."
"I don't know about you," said Rarity with a flip of her mane, "but my plan is 'Let Rarity do the talking.'"
"Ah can teabag you too," Applejack snarled.
"Okay!" said Twilight brightly as she came back into the room, levitating a tray full of cups and pitchers, "I've got lemonade, apple juice, grape juice, wheatgrass juice, and here's a bottle of soda I picked up on my last trip to Canterlot. It's passion fruit flavored! I have no idea what that is, but it sounds tasty."
The others exchanged looks.
"So not that I mind, but I thought it was just you coming by Rarity. Did you girls want to do something as a group tonight? I'm up for whatever."
"Ah, actually, we all wanted to talk with you Twilight," Rarity walked over to the purple unicorn and carefully put a forearm over her withers, "I'm a little worried about you. We all are actually."
Twilight looked around at all of her friends in surprise, and then her ears laid back in worry.
"Oh, um, wow. Thanks? What... what are you all worried about?"
"Well, Rarity was telling us about how she ran into ya earlier," said Applejack, "and you seemed a little under the weather..."
"What?" Twilight perked up. "Oh, that! Oh gosh, I'm sorry to worry you all about that, but it's not really anything to get worked up over."
She blushed and chuckled behind her hoof.
"I realized just after Rarity left, I'm ah, kind of going through my estrous cycle at the moment. I'm a little early this year, so it kind of took me by surprise. Heh, that's, ah, actually why Spike's out. Heheheheh. I kind of, uh, had to 'take care of business' there. If you know what I mean."
She grinned at them sheepishly, which quickly melted into a worried expression as everypony stared at her in slack-jawed surprise.
"... what? I'm sorry, was that a little too much information?"
"YOU SAID SHE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THAT WAS!" screamed Rainbow Dash, pointing an accusatory hoof at Rarity.
Twilight's jaw dropped.
"She didn't!" said Rarity defensively, rearing back a little, "I asked her and she said she didn't know what it meant!"
"Wait what? I did what now?"
"Twilight," said Applejack, "when you talked to Rarity earlier today, she asked you if you were in heat. And you told her you didn't know what that meant."
"Yeah!" said Twilight, "because I don't."
"But you just told us all that you were," said Fluttershy, eyebrow raised cutely in confusion.
"No I didn't," said Twilight, "I said I'm in estrus, you guys are talking... about... wait, that's the same thing!?"
The other ponies gaped at her. Except for Pinkie Pie, who fell over and started rolling around on the floor laughing.
"... yeah," said Applejack, massaging her brows with a hoof, "'bein' in heat' means estrus."
"But Rarity said it wasn't a colloquial expression!" Twilight almost shouted.
"It's not!" Rainbow Dash actually shouted, "everypony calls it that!"
"Twilight dear, I'm sorry I confused you," said Rarity, "but really, as far as I am aware that is a very nearly universal turn of phrase. I've never met a pony who didn't know the term."
"Yeah!" said Pinkie Pie, "who taught you about it, anyways?"
"Um, well, I am the personal student of Princess Celestia," said Twilight, with only a hint of smugness.
"You learned about estrus from her?" gasped Fluttershy.
"Well yeah!" said Twilight, "she's the sun princess. She's kind of... responsible for it? The estrous cycle is actually triggered by excess warmth and sunlight. That's why most mares get it in the early summer. So Celestia's... kind of the ideal pony to ask about it."
"Gosh," said Fluttershy.
"I wonder what it would be like to be taught the facts of life by Princess Celestia herself," said Rarity.
Princess Celestia, the god empress of all ponydom, lay sprawled upon the enormous round mattress that she used for a bed. Her golden regalia was placed off to one side, her unblemished alabaster coat practically glowing in the dim firelight, and her great dark eyes glittered as she gazed down lovingly at the young pony nestled in the crook of her powerful foreleg. Sweaty and bedraggled, Twilight Sparkle nonetheless stared up at her teacher as if she was all that existed in the universe, hanging on the white alicorn's every word.
"So you see my faithful student," said Celestia, "though what you're going through may be somewhat disconcerting, it is a perfectly natural and even a beautiful process. Your body is preparing itself to bear new life! You might not be ready for that responsibility just yet, but the fires of estrus within your belly are a sure sign that you've matured properly into a healthy young mare. I'm very proud of you."
"Thank you princess," said Twilight softly, nuzzling her mentor's soft coat. "I just... I just wish it didn't burn so much... I feel... so tight... like I'm going to snap. Isn't there anything I can do?"
"There are ways to ease the tension dear Twilight," said Celestia as she bent her noble head to caress the unicorn's cheek, "some I'll tell you of, and a few you'll discover for yourself. It's certainly not easy, but it is worth it."
"But... is there... is there anything you can do princess?" Twilight's eyes were large and pleading, and she ever so gently grasped Celestia's large hoof between her two small ones. "Please?"
For the first time, Celestia seemed unsure, averting her gaze from Twilight's face.
"I... I should not. That would be inappropriate Twilight. You're so young, and as your teacher, I shouldn't take advantage of you in such a way."
Twilight moaned softly and rubbed Celestia's hoof unconsciously against her chest and stomach, shivering at the sensation.
"Please princess? It... it's alright with me... if it's you..."
Celestia continued to stare at the wall for a long moment, her brow furrowed in thought, before she finally bent her head once more and ever so delicately flicked her tongue against Twilight's horn. She chuckled sensuously as the little unicorn gasped and bucked her hips in response.
"Very well my faithful student. Lie back and prepare your body... your princess will take care of everything..."
"It was not like that," Twilight insisted, cheeks burning.
"Yeah, but can you imagine?" said Rainbow Dash, grinning hugely. Fluttershy was sitting on the floor beside her, mildly concussed from where the rainbow-maned pegasus' wings had flared erect and smacked her in the face.
"Does Princess Celestia go into heat?" asked Pinkie Pie between mouthfuls of popcorn.
"... you know, I don't know," said Twilight, rubbing her chin thoughtfully.
"Well wouldn't she?" asked Rarity, "she may be an alicorn, but she's still physically a pony isn't she? She would have the same... ah, needs."
"Ah always figured she was above that sort of thing," said Applejack, "like she could control what her own body did. Or at least use magic if she didn't just do it naturally."
"The princess never really talks about herself that way," said Twilight, "at least not to me. She definitely eats regular meals, though, and she has a bathroom attached to her quarters, so I would think she has all the same biological functions as any other pony. Going into heat is probably part of that."
"Huh," said Rainbow Dash, "wonder how she deals with it."
"You know, I always thought there must be a reason she had so many handsome stallions parading around the palace in armor. I'm sure they're not just guards."
"What, you assumed she never did that sort of thing Applejack? There are perks to being a princess, you know."
Princess Luna hovered in mid-air just outside of Canterlot's city limits. Beside her floated one of her aides, a golden yellow pegasus pony with a white mane named Festival. Before them thundered the Tears of Epona, the great waterfall that emerged from the caverns beneath Canterlot Castle and plunged thousands of feet to the Equestrian River valley below. Using the Traditional Royal Canterlot Voice was more or less required here, it was the only way to be heard above the crash and boil of millions of gallons of icy cold mountain spring water.
"Thou means to tell me that she does this every year?" asked Luna, a somewhat bemused expression on her face.
"More or less your highness," answered Festival, flapping her wings significantly harder than Luna to maintain the same altitude, "sometimes Princess Celestia chooses more, ah, traditional modes of soothing her estrus, but most of the time she comes here."
Luna quirked an eyebrow in her aide's direction.
"And this is common knowledge?"
"Among the court," said Festival, "I mean, it's not like her majesty comes out of her apartments yelling, 'Hey everypony, I'm in heat! Hold all my calls!' But when she does more or less the same thing at more or less the same time every year we can put two and two together. We try not to bother her when she's in her season, she deserves some privacy."
"Of course," said Luna, nodding in the affirmative. "... will she be very long...?"
"It depends. Once a decade ago I hear she took a whole three days, but more recently it's mostly been a matter of hours. Word has it that Captain Bucephalus has something to do with that. Her majesty is... quite affectionate with him. More so than would be required for a mere commander of the guard."
"I do not appreciate ponies spreading rumors about my sister's private affairs."
"I wouldn't call it a rumor exactly," said Festival hastily, "it's just quite obvious the princess dotes on the captain, and she's the only pony he has a good word to say about. It isn't telling stories as such, just ponies seeing what's in front of them and drawing the obvious conclusions. Really your highness, we all love her majesty dearly and there's not a pony in the court who would judge her for anything in her personal life. If anything we wish she'd let herself be a bit more open about it, but of course we all understand she must have her reasons."
"I imagine so," said Luna ruefully. "Thank thee Festival, thou hast been quite helpful. Thou hast my permission to go and attend to other duties now."
"Yes your highness."
The pegasus flew away towards the castle, and Luna turned back to the waterfall with a small smirk on her face. The waterfall come far enough out from the mountain side that there shouldn't have been any rock outcroppings reaching out far enough to disrupt it, and yet it was clear that there was an object within the falls slightly disturbing the flow of water. The crash and roar of the falls themselves were accompanied by a loud hissing as the water struck the object and on contact threw up a great billowing cloud of steam which was drifting upwards and into the sky in a column that dwarfed the castle itself and shaded the valley far below.
Casting a shield spell about herself to keep the water off, Luna allowed herself to drift closer to the waterfall and the steaming object hovering within it. Her smile growing slightly wider, the princess of the night lit up her horn and sent a telepathic query into the interior of the waterfall.
Art thou alright sister?
Oh, I'm just great, came Celestia's answer, accompanied by a wry mental smirk. You should join me, the water's fine.
I think I will refrain for the moment, returned a chuckling Luna, though when my time comes I will probably quite enjoy it. I was simply wondering where thou hadst got to today, and if there was anything I can do to help?
...well... if you would... go down to the kitchens, and... discreetly... see about having the staff set aside a few large cucumbers...?