No Nose Knows

by Irrespective

6. - The Verdict

To her Most Royal Highness

Princess Celestia
Of The Royal Kingdom of Equestria

On behalf of the Juris Prudis Center of Law at the University of Canterlot, I wish to thank you for your recent submission to our department. This so-called ‘Alicorn Law’ is a literal and figurative treasure, and we greatly value your willingness to share such an historical document with us. Everypony has been beside themselves to have a chance to review this law, and if we could trouble you for a few hours of your time in the near future we would greatly appreciate hearing the history and the context behind it.

As to your request, I have personally reviewed your document, as have all department heads, professors, and a select group of undergraduate students who are at the top of their class. We estimate that, combined, over 300 pony-hours have been devoted to examining the ‘marriage clause,’ and I personally believe that no other legal document has been subjected to as deep and as through a study as this has been.

It is the considered opinion of all involved that, in all respects, this is the most legally binding document, and by extension the most legally binding clause, in recorded history. There are absolutely no caveats, provisions, loopholes, extensions, mitigating factors, errors, or contradictions that we could find that would allow for the marriage clause to be cancelled, modified, or nullified in any way, shape, means, or form.

If there is anything else I or my department can assist you with, please feel free to contact us at anytime.


Amicus Curiae,

Head Dean
Juris Prudis Center of Law
University of Canterlot

* * * *


“Oh! Good morning, Mister Bean!” Celestia said. “I wasn’t expecting you to be awake already. I’m afraid I haven’t had a chance to make the pancakes yet; I just finished raising the sun.”

“That’s okay, I actually wanted to talk to you for a minute, if I may.”

“Of course! What is troubling you?” Celestia asked with deep concern. “Whatever it is, I’m sure I can help.”

“That I don’t doubt. Look, I, uh…”

Celestia said nothing while Bean sorted out his thoughts. After a moment, he added, “I want to apologize to you.”

“For what? You’ve done nothing wrong.”

“I think I have, actually.”

Celestia tilted her head slightly and gave him a curious look.

“I’ve thought a lot about what you said last night, about me being resentful. You were right about all of that. The problem is I should have been less of a self-centered jerk about it.”

“Mister Bean, you have every—”

“No, wait.” He cut her off forcefully. “Just let me say all this first. I haven’t given your thoughts and feelings in all of this the due it deserves. You have been agonizing over what has happened, too. It’s obvious you feel bad, and that your creation has lead us to where we are. I should have been aware of that, and I need to remember you’re hurting as much as I am, and you’re probably just as confused as I am about how to move forward.

“I think, really, that I’ve been coming at this from the wrong viewpoint. This whole time, I’ve pretty much seen you and treated you as Princess Celestia, The Great and Powerful.” He dropped his voice an octave for emphasis, and Celestia giggled a bit at the show. “I’ve spent this whole time expecting you to waltz up at any moment and say: ‘Mister Bean, I found the loophole. You’re good to go,’ and then we part with a laugh and no further thought on the matter. Before last night, I figured you were just mechanically going through the motions until you reached the end.

“But you have a heart, the same as me, and it’s a heart that cares deeply for other ponies. I realized last night that you’ve probably agonized over this ten times more than I have, and have felt ten times worse. It’s not fair for me to have a pity party when you’ve dutifully carried on without crying on my shoulder about it all. So, I’m sorry I didn’t think about your feelings. I’m sorry I’ve been so callous. Can you forgive me?”

“I think I can,” she replied, with a somewhat stern look now. “But on one condition.”

“Name it.”

She leaned in close to his ear. “You tell me what ‘callous’ means,” she whispered.

“Well, it means… wait. What?”

Celestia laughed a bit as she straightened. “Well, if somepony tells me they’re being callous, I want to make sure they know what being callous is!”

“It means I’ve been thick, and unfeeling, and probably unwanted and very much me.”

“You’re not unwanted, Mister Bean. You’ve been a delight to have as a guest, especially compared to some diplomats I’ve met.” She gave him a warm smile as they began walking down the hallway. “As for unfeeling, you’ve been nothing of the sort. Most ponies do see me as the Great and Powerful—” she mimicked his deep voice “—so it’s just how you are. There’s nothing wrong with being yourself.”

“Yeah, but that’s just it. You mentioned how I need to reconcile what I knew with what I know now. I didn’t do that, and I should have.”

“I think you already did.”

The smile that Bean gave Celestia right then could have ignited a star on its own.

“I hope so. But that’s the other part of it: I betrayed you yesterday.”

Celestia shook her head. “Never! All I ever told you was that we needed to marry, nothing more. To me, that does imply that anything done before the marriage shouldn’t matter. As I said, you are not to blame. It was my fault, not yours. Besides, it doesn’t help that I keep mentioning a loophole. It’s just as you said: you were expecting to be released from this law, so you lived life as such. If I do find a way out of this for you, I fully expect you to go find Sego Lily and to ask her out on a formal date. I’ll even hunt her down myself if I have to.”

“And if you don’t find a way out?” he asked, and his face contorted with concern. “What if we really do need to marry?”

Celestia glanced at him out of the corner of her eye and smirked. “We’ll figure that out when the time comes, but for now, we should eat. It is always best to ponder weighty subjects on a full stomach, in my opinion.”

“Breakfast does sound good.” He began walking by her side as they strolled down the hallway.

“If you ask me nicely, I may even put a funny face on your pancakes again.”


“I didn’t do anything!” Bean recoiled and fell back on his haunches.

“Who said you did?” Luna remarked. “And didn’t you do something just then, thus negating your previous statement?”

Bean blinked. “What?”

“I am yanking your chain, Mister Bean. Relax.”

“Oh,” Bean replied in relief while he plopped into a dining room chair. Luna eyed him for a moment, but then scooped up a large bite of corn flakes, shoveled them in her mouth and went back to intently reading the nutritional content label of the cereal box.

“You like corn flakes?” He dared to ask the obvious after a few minutes in hopes of further conversation.

“Helps to regulate my constipation.”

“And I’m done.” Bean leaned back, more than a little grossed out at such a thought. “I just can’t win with you.”

“That all depends on how you keep score.” Luna glanced over to him, and offered a mischievous smile. “And on how you play the game.”


“If you are going to stick around, Mister Bean—and there is a very good chance that you will be here for quite some time—there are two things you must understand about me. The first is that I was the bearer of the Element of Laughter before my banishment.”

Her gaze went distant, and Bean felt a distinct chill as Luna’s demeanor dropped. “Those were the days.

“The second thing is that I am a prankster by nature. If you can learn to roll with my punches, you will be much better off.”

“I see,” Bean quietly replied.

Luna nodded, picked the bowl up with her magic, drained the contents in one massive chug, then stood and grabbed the box with her magic as well. “Do you like soymilk, Mister Bean?”

“I suppose so.”

“Good. I personally recommend it, I have found it helps to prevent bloating and other gastrointestinal issues. Very useful for long-winded dinners and other such formal events.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

Luna smiled, nodded, then left for the kitchen area.

It was just then that Baked Bean heard a humming noise, that quickly became a scatting be-bop mix. He glanced around the room but couldn’t see any ponies.

But then he saw spikes.

Green spikes.

Green spikes and purple scales.

And while no pony is quite sure, it is entirely within the realm of possibility that Baked Bean squealed in delight.

“Oh, hi! You must be Baked Bean. I’m Spike; it’s nice to meet you!”

Baked Bean was up, over, and shaking Spike’s claw faster than a sonic rainboom. “My dear dragon friend, the pleasure is entirely mine.”

“Oh, heh. Wow,” Spike replied, with a bit of embarrassed pride.

“Do you live here at the palace?” Bean asked, with the undertone that he desperately wanted Spike to say yes.

“I used to. I live with Twilight Sparkle in Ponyville now.”

Bean felt crushed for a moment, but then brightened again. “And you’re here to help Twilight Sparkle study Celestia’s law?”

“Yup! I am her number one assistant, after all.”

Luna then casually walked back into the dining hall.

“Wouldyouexcusemeforonemoment?” Bean managed to gasp. Before Spike could respond, Bean zipped across the room and nearly tackled Luna.

“What are you doing?” Luna protested.

“Luna, I know you hate every hair on my miserable hide and would rather turn me in for a profit at the glue factory than talk to me but I need the greatest favor in the history of Equestria. I swear on my own grave that I will never ask you for anything again and you can give me nightmares for the next hundred years if you want.”


“I need you to teleport my notebook and my pencil down from my room.”

He then used the most feared and effective weapon in the history of the world:

Puppy Dog eyes.

“THANK YOU!” He snatched the items out of Luna’s magic grasp. He then skittered back over to Spike—who had a completely dumbfounded look—sat down, ripped his book open, and then turned his whole focus to the young dragon.

“Please forgive my enthusiasm, Mister Spike. It has been a lifelong dream of mine to speak to a living, breathing member of your species. May I be impertinent enough to ask you a few questions?”

“What kind of questions?” he asked warily.

“General information questions. Like this, as an example: do you shed, molt, or lose any of your scales?”

“Well, I do get a little flakey sometimes. I find a loofah helps take care of that.”

Bean began writing furiously. “Are you fireproof?”

Spike scoffed. “Totally! We dragons are completely flame proof!”

“They will be at this for days.” Luna chuckled to herself.

“…well, it depends,” Spike drawled. He was sitting sideways in his chair, with one arm casually resting across the back of it while he used his other claw to emphasize his point by waving it nonchalantly in the air. “You see, it’s all in the mineral content. Emeralds have a distinct smoothness to them, but rubies? Ha! Rubies punch ya right in the mouth! I prefer a nice amethyst myself, though I’m generally not too picky about my gems.”

Bean was scribbling in his notebook with enough speed that there was the concern he’d set it on fire.

“How long do you think they’ll go?” Twilight asked her former teacher.

“We may have to physically pull them apart.” Celestia chuckled a bit. “I would guess Baked Bean has quite a few questions.”

“…the only ones who could dig faster would be Diamond Dogs.” Spike’s voice drifted over in the pause.

“But you find them by smell?” Bean asked.

“Yup! Ain’t no better sniffer than yours truly!”

Both Celestia and Twilight laughed lightly as Bean scrawled furiously again.

“Twilight? I need you to be perfectly frank with me.” Celestia continued, while keeping her gaze on Bean. “Is there any sort of a loophole in my law?”

Twilight looked like she might try to hem or haw for a moment, but then she sighed. “No. As far as I’ve been able to see, there’s no way out of this. You somehow made this water tight. I’m more than happy to go over it with you; perhaps we’ll see something together. But I really and truly think you’ll be forced to marry him.”

There was a long pause between the two Princesses. Both watched as Spike told the story of how he had heroically ‘saved’ Rarity from the Diamond Dogs, and both chuckled when Bean called him out on it.

“Well,” Celestia sighed finally, “I did clear my entire day, after all. Let’s go over it together. When I break the news to my—” Celestia paused for a moment before drawing in a deep breath, “—my husband, I want to be completely sure I am being totally honest with him.”

“There’s no loophole.” Bean repeated slowly.

“No.” Celestia sighed. “I’m sorry.”

Bean stared into his cup of tea, wishing that something considerably more potent than mere leaves was hidden beneath the surface. Then he managed with great concentration to return his cup to the saucer while looking at the ream of paper on the table between them. “I assume you’re completely sure on this?”

“I am. Twilight and I went over every letter in there. We tried contextual errors, contradictions, anarchisms. We debated for an hour on if we could cancel it based on what the definition of ‘is’ is. Nothing worked.

“This stack of papers contains the official replies from every individual and entity I sent my law to for review. All who looked it over are experts in the field of law: judges, professors, attorneys, deans of law schools, and so on. I don’t believe any law has ever had such scrutiny before.”

“And it’s all come back the same,” he replied while his left rear leg began to shake uncontrollably.

“Most are quite amazed at what I managed to produce,” Celestia offered, in what seemed to be a vain attempt to lighten the mood. “And I have over three dozen requests for appointments to discuss the background of it.”

“But I still have to marry you,” Bean repeated, trying not to sound like he was talking about a funeral.

“I realize this is a lot to take in all at once,” Celestia offered. “I’m going to try to make this as easy and as gentle as possible for you, believe me.”

Bean nodded slowly, but it took him a moment to translate the questions in his head into something comprehensible. “So, what’s going to happen now?”

“To make sure we don’t go over the time limit, we’re going to have the actual wedding tomorrow afternoon. However, since there are a lot of details we need to sort out with this, I’m not going to make our marriage public just yet. I’ll have you stay here, inside the palace, until I can determine how to move forward.”

“Well, I can practice my writing I guess,” Bean replied, but his gaze was not on anything in the drawing room.

“Bean?” Celestia gently said, and his eyes returned to her instantly. The great Princess of Equestria gave a low and mournful sigh before she continued. “Above all else, know this: there isn’t a pony alive who feels more remorse for their actions than I do right now for mine. I can only hope that I have not completely ruined your life. I will try to make whatever amends to you that I can.”

“Oh, well…” he stammered. “They say to look on the bright side of things, right? This isn’t so bad. The palace is wonderful, and I bet I can get a lot of studying done in the main library and the archives.”

“You are also free to use what I have here as you wish.”

“But this is your personal stuff. I couldn’t possibly touch it.”

“I insist.”

“All right,” Bean replied. “But there’s that, and the good food, and I can meet dignitaries sometimes I bet.”

“Some of them, yes.”

“And I’ll be married to you: Princess Celestia!” He threw his arms out wide in her direction. “There’s stallions who would chew their leg off just to get a chance to flirt with you. That’s gotta be the best part of all this.

“So yeah.” His arms dropped, and he exhaled slowly. “It could all be worse, I suppose. It’ll take some adjustments, but I, er, we will make this work. For the good of all Ponykind. I mean, I’d hate to be the one who succeeded where Nightmare Moon, Discord, Sombra and Chrysalis failed, right? That would just bite the bark.”

“Bite the bark?”

Bean smiled weakly. “Old saying in my family.”

“I’d like to meet them sometime.”

“No you wouldn’t,” he quickly retorted.

Thankfully, Celestia decided not to press the issue. “Why don’t we both get some rest, mm? It’s late now, we’ve both had a long day, and we have many things to accomplish tomorrow.”

“Yeah! Yeah.” Bean stood, but that rear leg kept shaking. “Should I, uh… should I meet you at sunrise?”

“I think that will be fine. Would you like a different room to stay in? We have nicer ones that are not as drafty.”

“No, that’s okay. I like it now, draft and all. It has a really nice view, and I can watch your sunrise over the mountains without anything blocking the view.”

Some color flared on Celestia’s cheeks, and the corners of her mouth twitched up. “Would you like me to escort you to your room?”

Bean thought for a moment. “No, it’s okay. I think I need some time alone to think about this. No offence.”

“None taken. Please let me know if I can do anything for you.”

“Good night, Celestia.”

“Good night, Bean.”

Baked Bean, the soon-to-be-prince of Equestria, then stood and mechanically left the room.

His head was swimming with questions, concerns, fears and doubts. How was he supposed to be a prince? What would they have him do? Meet with ambassadors? Kiss foals? Make laws? Would they send him off on his own, or would he be with Celestia all the time? Could he still write his story? Would he share a bedroom with Celestia? Would he share a bed with her?! Would Luna ever stop picking on him? What about Princess Cadence, and Prince Shining Armor? Would they hate him? Would Twilight hate him for marrying her mentor?

And the one that scared him the most: would he be doomed to live in a loveless relationship?

So consumed was he with all of this that, although his eyes were forward, he wasn’t paying attention to his walking. His steps were slow, measured, and rattling a bit since that rear leg kept shaking and it made his horseshoe skip and bounce on the floor. He wasn’t even heading in the right direction for his room. He was just going.

He suddenly got jarred back to reality when he rounded a corner and came nose-to-nose with another pony. Both recoiled at the impact, and Bean’s eyes took half a moment of blinking to focus in.

“You again, Mister Bean?” Luna grumped, as she rubbed the end of her nose. “Really, it is bad manners to run into ponies. Could you please make the effort to… watch…”

Her eyes went wide, her irises shrank, and she pulled her hoof away just a hair so she could look at the end of her nose. “What have you done?” she whispered.

“I was... just… oh no!” He gasped, stumbled a step backwards before landing on his rear and then put both front hooves on his own nose. “No! Princess Luna, please…”

“You touched my nose,” she softly said, her eyes planted on him now.


“With your nose!” She gasped and held a hoof to her chest.

“Oh, please no! It was an accident! No! I didn’t mean… I don’t want… I can’t…”

She dropped her hoof, her eyes returned to normal, and she gave a laughing scoff.

“I’m yanking your chain again, Mister Bean.”

She then brushed past the shell-shocked Bean, who was frozen in the same posture.

“But… your nose…”

“The law says the first stallion who touches my nose must wed me,” she called over her shoulder as she strolled casually away. “I have been wed before.”

And Baked Bean managed to summarize all of his thoughts, emotions, and feelings into one fluid movement.

He fainted dead away.