No Nose Knows

by Irrespective

4. - A Truce by Night

“How could you do this to me?!” Celestia roared in fury, with tears streaming down her cheeks in anguish.

“No, wait!” Bean yelled. “Celestia, please! I don’t—”

“Save your excuses, Mister Bean! I see clearly now what is going on!”

“I haven’t done—”


Bean fell back on his haunches, and raised one arm in front of him in a vain attempt to block the absolute terror flying before him.

“N-N-Nightmare Moon?!”

“I have seen into your soul and there is nothing worth redeeming in you!” Nightmare Moon shouted. “Now shall you deal with ME, O Bean, and all the fires of Tartarus!”

Nightmare Moon plunged a hoof into the earth, which burst under the impact and formed a wide and deep trench that continued to expand. Bean began backpedaling as fast as he could, but the fire-breathing trench was faster than he was, and soon it split around him and isolated him inside a large circle. Nightmare Moon cackled with wild and evil abandon as Bean pranced in place, scared for his life and unable to move in any direction.

“You have been weighed, Baked Bean, and have been found wanting.” Celestia’s condemning face appeared in the midst of the flames. “There shall be no mercy for you. It is time to become your namesake!”

“Please, no!” he shouted, with tears streaming down his cheeks. He backpedaled as far as he could until he felt his rump getting roasted, and Nightmare Moon’s laughter became more sadistic and maniacal. This was the end! He’d been a fool, and this was the price he would pay!

“That is enough!”

A beam of magic dissipated Nightmare Moon and silenced her cackle. A following pulse of magic stopped the fires, sealed and fused the rents back together and washed the area with a relaxing aura that smelled of lavender.

However, Bean still feared for his life. Even though he wasn’t quite sure where she was, he prostrated himself and buried his muzzle in the dirt.

Why else would Luna be here? She had to be coming back to finish what she had started at dinner.

“Arise, Baked Bean. You have nothing to fear from me.”

He dared to lift his head slightly. His eyes slowly moved upwards, but then they met the intense cyan irises of Princess Luna.

His face promptly went straight back into the dirt with a whimper.

Luna let out a sad sigh. “It would seem my actions have affected you more that I thought. Please, Baked Bean. I am here to offer you an apology.”

“Y-you are?” he sniffled.

“Yes. Will you rise and speak with me?”

He looked up again, a little faster this time. Again he met Luna’s eyes, but this time he kept looking and found them to be concerned, a bit wounded, and inviting. His hoof reached up to take hers, and Luna smiled for the first time while she helped him up.

Well, at least to Bean for the first time.

“That is better, thank you.”

“Are you really here to apologize?” he asked softly.

“I am. My conduct earlier was unacceptable, and I wish to make whatever amends I need to in order to gain your forgiveness.”

“My forgiveness,” Bean repeated.

“First, let us leave this place,” Luna replied. “Nightmares are hardly the place to discuss such weighty matters.”

He nodded. “What did you have in mind?”

Luna smiled a bit deeper. The world around them wavered and pulsed for a moment, but then it morphed into a rather remarkable sight.

A large lake, bathed in silver moonlight, stood surrounded by a large mountain range that was gently touched and highlighted in soft blues and greys. A waterfall fed the lake from a distant peak, and from where they were, the steady pounding was soothing and sweet. The two of them stood on a small island in the middle of this lake, and Bean noticed the olive green grass beneath his hooves was gentle and maybe a bit ticklish. There was just enough room on this island for the two of them to sit with an arm’s length between them, and the brightly sparkling stars that framed the moon overhead completed the overall feeling of calm.

“This is amazing,” Bean said, as he looked around in awe. “They don’t call you the Dream Weaver for nothing, do they?”

“’Tis but a small thing. This is your dream, so you supplied the imagery. I simply made it appear.”

“I don’t think I’ve ever had a dream this vivid.” He moved to face her again, and sat.

“Not many ponies do.”

“So why did you attack me?” he bluntly asked. There was no point in dragging this conversation out with small talk, so he cut right to the point.

“I do not delude myself into thinking I am anything like my sister,” she replied while settling down onto the soft grass. “Celestia has wisdom, patience, serenity, and the true peace of soul that comes from a life lived humbly and in the service of others. On the other hoof, I obsess over the smallest of trivia, and lose whatever temper I have upon even the slightest provocation. I know of my own faults, and I remind myself daily that if I am not careful I will undo everything that I want and everything that I have accomplished. I do not get a second chance.

“But mastering my own soul has never been easy for me. Even after a thousand years, I still struggle with my inner self at times. At this point, I fully accept that it will be an eternal struggle, and that means that my anger will take over my better judgement, especially when something precious to me is threatened.”

“A threat to Celestia, you mean?” he clarified, and Luna nodded. “But how could I possibly be any sort of a threat?”

“I have lived, breathed, bled, and nearly died with my sister for longer than I can even remember. When I allowed my jealousy to consume me, to guide my actions and surrender my will unto the Nightmare, Celestia could have destroyed me. She pulled back her power so I would only be banished, not obliterated. When I returned, my sister…”

Luna choked back some tears, but one managed to escape and slide down her cheek. “…my sister gave me the chance to be redeemed, to be whole again. She forgave me, instantly, despite my most heinous crimes against her. I received from her the most precious gift she could give, and then I found she had made a world that would give me everything that I had said I could not obtain. The bonds of Sisterhood are deep between us, and she will forevermore have my undying loyalty, just as she has been, and will be forever loyal to me.

“But that means I hold high standards for the one who has given me so much, and you do not measure up, to be frank. You were in a place you should not have been, doing something you ought not to have done, and while I now believe that you touching noses with her was an accident, it still should not have happened. I am not pleased with you, nor am I pleased with the circumstances that force my sister to marry. I am also not pleased with the fact she forgot to repeal that stupid law when that idiotic Duke died, but I suppose I share some fault there for not reminding her. At this point, nothing can be done to undo it, as far as I can tell.

“So you already have my animosity, and while I will work to accept what has happened it will take time. I attacked you because I believed you had ulterior motives, just as I said when I met you. I see now that assumption was wrong, and so I ask for your forgiveness for my actions. If you do not wish to give such, I will understand.”

Bean didn’t reply to her. That was quite the load she’d just dumped on him.

“Perhaps if I offer a truce,” she said after a few moments. “If you can treat my sister in a manner that is appropriate and becoming of a true gentlestallion, then I will make the changes I need to come to accept you. If you behave, so will I. Will that be equitable?”

“I suppose that’s all we can do for now,” he sighed, but then extended a hoof. “Princess Luna, I forgive you. I can understand why you attacked me, and I can’t hold that against you. I would much rather be your friend than your enemy.”

“Then I thank you, and I promise to try to be friends as well,” she replied, and she shook his hoof. “Though don’t expect any miracles. I’ll still probably glare at you for some time to come.”

“I can live with glares. Those aren’t so bad.”

“Fair enough.” Luna then looked around the landscape surrounding them. “You did say you are an aspiring writer, yes?”

“I hope to be, yeah.”

“Take this, then, as a first step in our friendship: this world you have created is far more detailed than most I encounter. The fact that you can dream so means that your mind is broad, open, and creative, and I believe that you will be able to translate this into the printed form, with practice and training. You could be a great writer, if you strive hard enough for it.”

“You really think so?” he asked. Luna laughed a bit at his eagerness.

“I do. And if you can create this, then perhaps there is a very remote chance you could create a meaningful and beautiful relationship with my sister.”

This set his cheeks on fire, and he scuffed a hoof on the ground as he stammered and glanced around awkwardly.

“Thank you,” Bean finally managed to blurt out. “But I’m pretty extra sure somepony will find a loophole to get me out of all of this.”

“If that is the case, then I hope that you and my sister can remain good friends, regardless. She deserves to have good friends.”

She stood, spread her wings, but then glanced backwards over her shoulder.

“You deserve to have good friends too.”

And then she ascended into the dream sky until she was lost to his sight.