No Nose Knows

by Irrespective

16. - Check This Out

Luna, Princess of the Moon and Stars, grumbled to herself as she forced her hooves down the hallway and towards the kitchen.

Those Cutie Mark Crusaders were going to be the end of her, but she did have to give them points for originality. Somehow, those adorably destructive fillies had given all of Ponyville a nightmare about marshmallows stacked into a bipedal form, dressed up in a sailor’s uniform, and throwing rubber tires at everypony.

The word vexing was being used quite a bit as her fatigued brain contemplated this.

Luna decided that the how and why didn’t really matter. What did matter was a quick bite to eat to calm her stomach, and then sleep. Dealing with the Tantabus wouldn’t be nearly so vexing.

It was a strange word if one really thought about it.

The dining room doors were sticking again, so Luna opted for the direct approach of simply forcing her way inside. She mustered enormous amounts of willpower to bridge the vast gap between her and a basket of fruit, and without looking, she selected one from the pile and bit into it.

Pineapple. A worthy fruit foe, but its reinforced hide was helpless before Luna’s sheer jaw power and sparkling white enamel.

Plus it got the lingering taste of burnt marshmallow out of her mouth.

She then looked up, and she let out a startled gasp. “Bean? Are you all right?”

The new prince looked absolutely horrible. His coat was matted in places and his mane looked like he had tried to eat a lightning bolt, but the most concerning thing was his eyes. They were bloodshot, sunken, and hollow, focused in on nothing but an invisible abyss of horror. He didn’t acknowledge her in any form, but Luna was fairly certain about what had happened to bake the Bean.

“Celestia snores?” she offered.

Bean slowly nodded. “Celestia snores.” He paused, and swallowed hard. “Loudly.”

“Ah, a dose of reality for the newlywed.” Luna chuckled. “You shall get used to it over time, do not worry.”

“You do?” he asked, with a bit more desperation in his voice then he intended.

“Of course. It only took Star Struck about fifteen years to get used to my snoring.” Luna considered her memories with a smile.

“Years?” he whimpered.

“Yes. Certes you can hold out that long, correct?”

“You snore too?”

Baked Bean wasn’t quite all there this morning, it seemed. “All alicorns do, even if they deny it. I think it has something to do with the wing/horn combination personally.”

Bean nodded slowly. “All alicorns snore…”

“A little like a tuba and a bagpipe quartet,” admitted Luna.

“Bean?” Celestia called while she entered the room. “Are you in here?”

“Yes and no,” called out Luna in return. It was intriguing to see Celestia wandering the castle hallways without her regalia on. Usually her silly sister would sleep in it, though that always had seemed rather uncomfortable to the Lunar Diarch.

“Are you alright, Bean?” Celestia followed up as she trotted over to where he was.

“Yeah, I think I’m okay. I just didn’t sleep well.”

“Oh dear,” Celestia gasped a bit as she reached over and booped him. “Another nightmare?”

“No, not that. You… well… you, um…”

She put a hoof to her mouth. “I was snoring, wasn’t I?”

“Loudly,” Luna added.

“Oh my. This hasn’t been a problem before. Lulu, wasn’t there a spell you used to stop your snoring?”

“Yes, but I don’t recall how it went. I’m sure a little searching in the Archives will turn it up.”

“Fifteen years?” Bean asked Luna with an annoyed glare.

Luna shrugged. “Years, minutes. It all blends together after long enough.”

“Your mane is a mess.” Celestia stated the obvious, and she moved to be directly behind him. “Hold still.”

“What are you—” Bean started to ask, but then his eyes rolled back in his head and he sighed in happiness as Celestia began nipping and tugging at his mane with her teeth. Luna simply rolled her eyes at the display and took another large bite out of her pineapple, relishing her victory over the rugged fruit.

“There!” Celestia announced after a minute or so. “Not the best, but it looks better that what it did.”

Bean did look better, and his eyes were back to normal when he opened them and turned to look at his wife.

“Thank you. That was just what I needed.”

She smiled and booped him again. “You’re welcome. I’ll make sure to find that anti-snoring spell too.”

“I hope so.” He chuckled.

“Luna, would you care to have breakfast with us?”

“I will have to decline your fair offer today, Sister. I am in need of rest more than breakfast at the moment.”

“Oh,” Celestia flatly replied. “Well, perhaps tomorrow.”

“Perhaps. Good day to you both.”

And with that, Luna departed with the remains of her pineapple.


“I did rather hope she would stay. I always enjoy having breakfast with her,” Celestia remarked as she sat down next to Bean.

“Well, she did look pretty rough. There were probably a lot of nightmares last night.”

“That could be, and if so I hope she gets the rest she deserves,” Celestia replied thoughtfully. “In any case, the day is young and there is much to be accomplished. Are you still planning on touring Canterlot with your family?”

“Yeah, so I should probably go talk to them and get that worked out.”

“I never did introduce you to your assigned guards, did I?”

“Not yet.”

“As soon as we finish breakfast we will do so. Sergeants Hokey Pokey and Clover Leaf will be happy to serve and protect you.”

“I guess you won’t be able to go out with me and the family for the tour, huh?”

“I do wish I could, but I am still far behind in my work. Thankfully, I think two days of focused effort should get things caught up. I also have my class to teach today.”

“That’s right, I forgot about that. Do you have any Twilight level students you’re working with?”

Celestia laughed. “No, but that actually makes life easier. Twilight was a joy to teach but she was so brilliant and so advanced that I struggled to keep ahead of her in certain areas of study. There are times I think she taught me just as much as I taught her.”

“That makes sense.”

“Now then, I would like to have breakfast with your family and our niece and nephew. Why don’t we go get cleaned up?”

Bean then ran his hooves through his mane a few times. “Okay, I’m good.”

“Oh, no, no. If you are going to be a proper Prince you must at at least use a comb.” She contemplated Bean’s suddenly awake expression with the mischievous sense of humor that he seemed to enjoy so much. “Perhaps even... the brush,” she added in a low, husky voice.

“Not the brush!” exclaimed Bean before popping to his hooves and making a run for the hallway. “Nooo!” he called out as he ran. “Help! I’m too ruggedly handsome to be brushed!”

Celestia laughed out loud while taking off after him. “Brushy, brushy!” she called, laughing even harder as he galloped through the hallways.

Baked Bean smiled to himself while he finished chewing his bite of breakfast. Chef Beet had provided a most pleasant breakfast of biscuits and rutabaga gravy for him and his family, and the conversations that floated between his parents and their employees centered mostly on how to replicate the dish. He had felt a twinge of sadness when Celestia had excused herself to go attend to her duties when breakfast ran longer than expected, but he also knew it could not be helped.

Since his family had left home in a panic without even properly closing the Zuerst, he understood why they needed to go back soon. That did not mean he liked it, an opinion shared by Sip, Shake and Bake. Grumps was true to his namesake and just grumbled about everything in general, but Bean knew the grizzled old cook never liked being far from home, even if his employer’s son was now his Prince.

Eventually, everypony settled on touring the palace and the grounds, heading to the flower patch where Bean had met his wife, and then catching an afternoon train home. Cadance and Shining agreed to go with the Bean horde on the tour, and Shining left slightly early to check on their security detail.

A few minutes later, Shining reappeared and waved Bean out into the hallway. “Bean, this is Sergeant Hokey Pokey and Sergeant Clover Leaf.” He pointed to each in turn, and they saluted as he did so. “These two will be with you anytime you go outside the palace. They both have exceptional marks and several commendations, and they’re honored to be your security.”

“Are you really?” he asked Hokey Pokey.

“Yes sir! No higher honor than to guard the Bean who is having an existential crisis, Sir.”

“Oh, so that was you in the hallway that day?”

“It was, sir.”

“And you, Clover Leaf?”

“Pleasure to be attached to you, sir,” came the surprisingly female voice.

“You’re a mare?”

“I am?” Clover turned to Hokey Pokey and gave him an accusatory look. “Why didn’t you tell me, Hokey?”

“I wasn’t totally sure myself,” he replied. “I’ve lost track of how many stallions you’ve drunk under the table.”

“The Royal Guard is about even in the male to female ratio.” Shining explained while Clover preened with pride. “Would you like to know how to tell the difference?”

“That would be nice.”

“It’s all in the ears,” Shining said conspiratorially. “Male ears are slightly more pointed than females.”

“They are?” he asked, as he looked closely at Hokey’s ears. “I don’t see it.”

“Right at the tips, Sir,” Pokey offered, turning one ear in his direction.

“What, right there? I don’t see it. You’re not messing with me, right?”

“Shiny is being serious,” Cadence answered as she and everypony else came out into the hallway. “You’ll get it, don’t worry.”

“You’ll forgive me if I get you two mixed up?” Bean asked the guards.

“Not a problem at all, sir,” Clover replied with a quick laugh. “We get it all the time.”

“Well, shall we?” Cadence asked, as she gestured with a hoof down a hallway.

“…and this is it: The Sunflower Patch of Destiny.”

There was a bit of silence for a moment as everypony contemplated the fateful spot, but then Sip piped up with a question. “Dude, did you really not see the sign and the fence?”

“Those weren’t there when I was here.” Bean looked at the new ‘Please Stay On The Path’ signs and short iron fences. “I wouldn’t have shoved myself in there otherwise.”

“Well, I can see how the Princess didn’t see you,” Garbanzo stated as he took a step closer to the patch. “These are pretty thick. You were just standing next to them, you say?”

“Not exactly. I was standing all the way in them with my nose up to try and catch a muse.” Bean let out a snort of amusement. “I guess I did. If I hadn’t been doing that, Celestia would have missed.”

“She could have missed anyway, or bumped into your butt,” Sip pointed out. “Just a few inches in any direction and she wouldn’t have got you. That was quite the lucky shot, Beanmister.”

“I didn’t think of that.” Bean rubbed his own nose. “That’s kinda funny.”

“It’s all history now, right?” Garbanzo added. “Nothing else to do but move forward.”

“Very true.”

“Baked, dear, could you show us the statues?” Lima asked. “I’ve heard quite a bit about one birdbath from Needle Point, and I would like to see what all the fuss is about.”

“Yeah, they’re just over there if I remember right.” Bean motioned down a pathway. “Shouldn’t be too hard to find.”

The entourage began moving again except for Garbanzo. He remained stationary, peering into the sunflowers as if he was expecting something to jump out of them. Bean noticed he hadn’t moved after taking a few steps, and he moved back as Cadance led the group onward and began talking about the birdbath in question.

“Dad? You ok?”

“Hm? Oh, yeah. I’m fine.” His father lifted his head up and took a long, deep breath of the garden’s fresh air. “Just lost in thought, Bean Buddy.”

“Wanna talk about it?”

“I don’t know where to begin.” Garbanzo sighed. “I’m just trying to get my head around all of this. My son leaves home, comes to Canterlot, and ends up marrying a princess. It’s the plot to the world’s dumbest story, and yet it’s real. Oh, no offense.”

“None taken. It is a pretty wild tale.”

“I just…” he stalled. “I guess I was wrong about things, and it’s hard to swallow.”


“I thought for sure this writing thing was just a phase, a moment of questioning. Even when you were a teeny-tiny Bean, I was sure you were going to be a chef, just like all Beans have been. I had grand plans for you, grand plans. You were going to take the Zuerst farther than I could even dream of with your skills. I agonized over the lessons we gave you when you were a colt, debated and triple-guessed myself. Would this really be useful for my Bean Buddy to learn? Would it make him the most respected name in cooking that ever was? Could he…”

There was a long and thoughtful pause.

“Would he carry on the family dream for me?” Garbanzo said softly. “It hurts to think that all that time, all that effort, and I was pushing you in the wrong direction. I was so sure of your destiny that I totally missed it. It sounds selfish, but now all my dreams have been defeated too. I wanted… bah. Me. I. Mine. That’s where I went wrong. Me, me, me. I didn’t pay attention to you. I was so set on having you share the dream that I squashed yours. You gave me the warning signs, you tried to tell me. I should have realized it was the end when you went running with those tofu blocks in your ears. No, I had to keep pushing, keep forcing. So long as I was getting what I wanted, who cared what else happened? My Bean Buddy would come around, I just had to be right. There was no way I could be wrong. I was so in denial that I even refused to believe a Princess was in front of me. It was all just an act. He’d come around.”

Bean put an arm over his father’s withers, and he stared into the flower patch with him. “Look, I don’t know what to say about your dreams. In all those years, the one thing that hurt the most was that I was letting you down. I really did want to be that great chef you had envisioned. I actually kinda hoped that once I got established as a writer that I could write a cookbook and put all the family recipes in it, share it with the world.

“But I know one thing, Dad, above all else: you did good with me. Maybe some of your efforts were misguided, but overall you were – and still are – a fantastic father. You taught me things that have been more help than I probably even realized, and all that training didn’t go to waste. I’ve already used some of your wisdom and your lessons, and I’m sure I’ll be using a lot more as time goes on. The only way I’ll be able to hack it as a prince is because you taught me foundational skills to use. Maybe I won’t be a world-renowned chef, but I know that when people look back at the odd reign of Prince Baked Bean they’ll see a strong family behind him, a father and a mother who really did care and look after him.”

Garbanzo turned a little and gave his son a soft smile. “Thanks, son.”

“Dreams don’t always need to die, Dad. Sometimes they just need a little adjustment.”

“Heh.” Garbanzo chuckled. “I guess so. You’re going to be a household name one way or another.”

“Don’t remind me,” Bean said while suppressing a snort of laughter.

“We should catch up before your mother starts to worry.”

“She already is, I bet.”

They both chuckled at this. “Yeah. You do realize she’s going to keep pestering you for grandfoals until you actually provide one, right?”

“I said don’t remind me.” Bean laughed. “One bridge at a time.”

Celestia paused for a quick moment to ensure she had written everything she needed to on the classroom chalkboard, and then she turned back to her students. “All right, everypony! I trust you all have your petri dishes ready?”

“Yes, Princess,” Celestia’s class droned.

“Good. Now, I want you all to take a cotton swab, and…”

“Princess?” a little filly interrupted.

“Yes, Wintergreen?”

“You look different today.”

“I do?” Celestia asked, and she glanced back at her tail while surreptitiously checking her teeth for leftovers from breakfast with her tongue. “I don’t recall changing anything in my appearance.”

“Yeah. You look like you’re brighter.”

“Brighter?” she giggled. “You know I don’t produce light, right?”

“I know, but you do. You look brighter, and happier too. Your smile looks nicer than it usually does.”

A colt in the back then piped up. “That’s because Princess Celestia has a special somepony, An’ they got married and everything!”

“That is true, but I think you could have found a better way to make that statement, Granite.”

There was a sudden explosion of questions from the young and eager learners, but Celestia had no chance at hearing them all. She did manage to hear “I heard you’ve been kissing in the hallways,” “I heard Prince Bean stole your tiara and you had to chase him down and get it back,” and “Did you really plant him in the ground and then harvest him?”

“My dear little ponies!” Celestia laughed. “Where in Equestria did you come up with these questions?”

“Did you really get married, Princess?”

“Yes, Wintergreen. I did,” she replied with a warm smile. “I wrote a law many, many years ago that made me get married, but it took a long time for me to find the one who I was meant for.”

“Do you love Prince Bean?” Granite asked. “My Mom said you just married him ‘cause you had to, and that you’re gonna kick him outta the palace once you figure out how to get rid of him.”

“Granite, you may tell your mother that your teacher, Princess Celestia, unequivocally loves Prince Bean. To the best of my knowledge, he is not going anywhere. He plans on staying, and I plan on keeping him.”

“Does he love you?” Granite replied.

“He does, but he’s a bit shy about it,” she replied. “Sometimes a special somepony needs a little extra time and that’s okay. He isn’t used to Canterlot, or being a royal. He’s also still getting used to me.”

“Getting used to you?” another filly asked.

“Yes, Marble. He doesn’t know me as well as you all do. He still has a lot to learn, and I have a lot to learn about him.” Celestia then had a delightful thought enter her head, and she gave her students a sly smile. “What if I make you this offer: if you all do well on this week’s test I will have him come visit. Then, you can ask him all the questions you want. Does that sound fair?”

“Yeah!” the class erupted.

“Good! Now, before our bacteria goes bad, let’s get back to the lesson. Everyone get a cotton swab…”

Bean took a moment to glance at the train that was waiting on track twenty-nine, and he sighed while turning back to his family and friends. “Well, this is it, I suppose.”

“Thanks for the tour, Beanmister. We’ll do this again sometime,” Sip offered, and they hoofbumped quickly. “Don’t be a stranger, eh?”

“Wouldn’t dream of it.”

Sip smiled and then stepped aside for Grumps.

“I’m telling ya, that Princess of yours is practicing some strange voodoo. You keep an eye on her for me, all right?”

“I can do that, Grumps. You take care of yourself. Don’t get too happy, you have a reputation to uphold.”

“Don’t worry about that, Prince,” he retorted, but with a small smile. Shake and Bake were next, and the twins looked rather sad.

“Think you can get us her autograph?” Shake asked.

“I think I can, yeah.”

“Yours too?” Bake asked.

“Well, if you think it’s worth something.”

“It will be. You take care of yourself, all right?”

“I will. You keep your brother in line in exchange.”

“No promises there.”

All three laughed, and then they moved aside to let Garbanzo and Lima have their moment.

“I wish you could come with us.” Lima sadly remarked. “But I understand why you can’t. You’ll brush your teeth, right?”

“I don’t think Celly will let me forget.”

“And I still want grandfoals. Don’t wait too long on that.”

“I’ll see what I can do.”

“You should make her some of your grandma’s fudge. I bet she’d really like that. Or maybe that sponge cake, or a nice rhubarb pie, or…”

“Mom, you’re rambling.”

“I know.” She put a tender hoof on his cheek and sighed. “My little Bean grew up too fast, and then he went and turned into a prince. Oh, I’m gonna miss you honey.”

“Hey, you’re welcome to visit anytime, and Celly and I will drop in on occasion I’m sure. This isn’t the end, it’s just a change.”

“And it’s for the best.” She replied as they hugged. “Just be safe, ok? I don’t want you getting hurt by some villain like Discord.”

“Funny you should mention him. Do you remember when the ceiling laughed and made a joke about one big Bean pun?”

“That was him?” she asked, and Bean nodded. “Well, you tell him to behave or he’ll have to deal with me.”

“I will. Between you and Fluttershy he’ll be too scared to misbehave.”

“Good. Write often, will you? I want to hear all about what you’re doing.”

“I will.”

Lima then fought back tears as she let Garbanzo in. The father and son hugged quickly, and then Garbanzo sighed. “I always thought I’d have to tell you to treat your special somepony like a princess, but I guess that’s a bit moot.”

“It’s still good advice.”

“It almost is. For you, I think it’s more appropriate to say make sure you treat her like she’s your wife.”

“How could I not?”

“Because she’s the Princess. Celestia doesn’t need another worshipper; she’s got a whole country of those. What she needs is a companion, a helper. She needs someone to be her friend. She probably hasn’t had many of those. Treat her as an equal, and you’ll be all right.”

Bean nodded thoughtfully. “Thanks. I’ll try to.”

Garbanzo then leaned in a bit. “Also try rubbing between her wings. Pegasi love that.”


“And if you’re really trying to turn her on, just—”

“Gah! Dad!” Bean shouted.

“What? I want grandfoals too!”

“I am not hearing this! I’m not!” Bean covered his ears with his hooves for a moment, but then he laughed with the group.

Garbanzo then nodded firmly. “You’ll do good. You’re a good Bean.”

“Just like the Beans before me.”

Sergeant Clover Leaf then cleared her throat. “Excuse me, sirs, but we need to have you leave now in order to catch your train.”

“I hate goodbye.” Garbanzo and Lima hugged Bean together. “So we’ll see you around instead, all right?”

“We will. Have a safe trip, Duke and Duchess Bean.”

“Duchess.” Lima repeated, as they broke apart. “Sounds like something that would have cream of mushroom in it.”

They all chuckled at this, and then a final round of goodbyes were shared by everyone. Bean then solemnly watched as Sgt. Leaf escorted his friends and family away, but he made sure to wave as they left.

He then let out his breath slowly. It was only one in the afternoon, so Celestia would still be busy doing whatever it was that she was doing. Shining and Cadence had left the group a short while ago to meet with a trade minister, so he was on his own until dinner.

He played with the crystal around his neck for a moment while he thought about what to do. He probably wasn’t needed anywhere, so he could probably go do more research for his story. He did have to admit he was eager to get some of his ideas down and then see what Celly thought of them.

He hoped she would like it.

And with that resolute thought, he started off for the Archives.

“He’s just over there, your Highness.”

“Thank you.”

Celestia stealthily crept up on Bean. He was totally engrossed in writing, and he had several books scattered around him on the table. Though she was curious as to what he was doing, she was going to have a little fun first.

Her approach went unnoticed, and she smiled as she softly blew on his right ear. It flicked at the irritation, but he didn’t react otherwise.

She blew on his left ear next, and for a bit longer. This time he reached up and scratched but still he kept writing.

She then nipped his ear. He gasped slightly, but then he smiled broadly when he turned and found her there.

“Am I ever glad that you’re the one that did that,” he remarked. “I was going to have a panic attack for a moment there.”

“I suppose that’s a good thing. Did your parents leave already?”

“Yeah, they needed to get back to check on the restaurant. They left just after lunch.”

“Oh.” She pouted. “I was hoping to say goodbye as well. I guess we’ll just have to go visit them again sometime soon.”

“I’m sure they’d love that.”

“What is all this?”

“Research. I’m trying to get my story started.”

“Really?” She asked with some excitement, and he nodded. “Do you have enough to share yet? I would like to see what you’ve got.”

“I don’t really have a plot yet. Most of this is the facts and details of the world, and the general outline. You are welcome to read what I’ve got so far, though.”

Celestia quickly and eagerly moved to the other side of the library table and smiled deeply as Bean handed her his notebook. It appeared he had started a new one, and he already had a dozen or so pages filled in.

“Let me see.  No title yet, but that’s fine. I honestly think a title should wait until you’ve finished the story. Ah. ‘Premise: A unicorn with extraordinary power manages to open a hole in the universe during a science experiment and through it he discovers a new world. Once there, he finds a strange group of bipedal creatures who have something like claws instead of forehooves and flattened faces, kinda like a monkey’s.’ I’m going to deduct five points for using ‘kinda’.”

“It’s a rough draft.” He defended.

“Mm. ‘The Unicorn (Calm Breeze) finds himself inexplicably attracted to the females of this world, especially the ones who are virtuous and honest, forthright and pure. Using his magic, he makes it his mission to help these creatures resolve various dilemmas and difficulties. It ain’t gonna be’…ah! You little sneak!”

Bean tried to keep his chortling in but he failed miserably at it. Celestia tried to give him a sour look but it was obvious she was amused with the joke too.

“I’m sorry, I just had to!” he managed to say after a moment. “The opportunity was there, I had to take it!”

“Oh really,” she flatly replied. “Minus a million points for that one. I should have seen that coming.”

“I’ll take that part out. But what do you think?”

“It’s an interesting concept. Would Calm Breeze be able to enter and leave this world at will?”

“I’m thinking that somehow the magic portal opens when he’s needed there.”

“And he remains a unicorn while there? His form doesn’t change to match the creatures around him?”

“No, he stays the same. I think that will be one of the challenges he faces: he’s so different from anything they have on that world that the antagonists want to capture him. He wants to help but he has to stay safe.”

“Does the portal just open in mid-air, or is it tied to something like a doorway or…” she hesitated only slightly, “…or a mirror?”

“A mirror? Huh. I think it just appears. Seems a bit cumbersome to have to go through a mirror every time.”

“Interesting. Why don’t we get something to eat and then we’ll keep going over this?”

“That sounds good,” he replied, and they both stood.

“…but watch your tense. If you start out in past tense you need to keep it that way. You flipped it to present tense right here.”

“Oh, okay.”

He erased the offending words, then tried again through a yawn. Celestia watched him working under her wing, and she smiled. He had attacked this project with enthusiasm, and had drafted out most of the first chapter already. It was certainly an ambitious story, but he had the momentum to complete it, provided he received support and encouragement.

She was more than happy to provide both, but then she frowned. He had stopped writing and was chewing on his pencil, and that made the hairs of her neck stand on end. “Stop that.”

“Huh? Stop what?”

“You are chewing on your pencil.”

“I am?” he asked, as he chewed on it in thought.

“Yes! You’re doing it right now! Look at this poor thing!” Her magic quickly snagged the helpless instrument of writing away and she held it in front of Bean.

“Oh. I didn’t even realize it.”

“It’s a very bad habit. I don’t tolerate it with my students and I certainly won’t let you do it.”

“What’s so bad about it?”

“The wood can splinter and injure your mouth for one thing. The graphite isn’t healthy for you for a second thing.”

“Just those two things?”

“It’s gross,” she finished, with her nose in the air slightly.

“Ha!” Bean nosed the wing draped over his shoulder. “I seem to remember somepony telling me how she spits all over her feathers.”

“That’s different!” protested Celestia. “I don’t chew on them.”

He smiled from his comfortable spot beneath her warm wings. “Right,” he said with a yawn. “Totally different.”

“It is.” She looked at his mangled pencil while continuing, “I preen to keep my feathers neat, presentable and air worthy. I don’t just idly chew on them when I’m thinking. Chewing on a pencil serves no purpose. You don’t write any better, it’s bad for your teeth and gums, and don’t even get me started on how bad the dyes in the outer shell are for you. If you must chew on something when you think you should use a piece of gum. That way you can fight cavities and have fresh breath. Does that make sense?”

Having made her point with the most perfect of arguments, Celestia looked down at Bean.

He was sleeping beneath her ‘spit-covered’ wings. She could not even be irritated because of how happy he looked, and how that same look lit a fire of joy in her chest.

“This isn’t over,” she threatened, as her magic levitated the pencil and notebook to be tucked away for later, although after a moment’s thought, she put the splintered pencil in the trash and conjured him a new one. “I’ll be waiting for you.” She kissed him on the nose. “You sneak.”

Celestia then casually snagged the dragonfire scroll that popped in out of nowhere and opened it. Though it was a bit strange for Twilight to take so long to reply to one of her letters, Celestia was reasonably sure that her protege had been engaged in other endeavors and had simply forgotten to write.

Dear Princess Celestia,

It’s me, Spike. Twilight has been busy helping everypony in town get ready for Prince Bean’s visit tomorrow, so she totally forgot to reply to your letter.

Celestia smirked as she envisioned Spike secretly writing that admittance, even though Twilight had probably asked him not to.

She says tomorrow is fine and that he may come whenever he’s ready, but she also ‘respectfully’ asks that you give her an arrival time.  From what I’ve heard around town and from what I’ve seen, Prince Bean should feel very welcome when he gets here.

Anyway, have a good night and we’ll see you tomorrow!

Celestia felt a glow of joy fill her entire chest with this news. A trip to Ponyville would be a wonderful and early self-esteem boost for her Bean, and if something horrible should happen to her, he would know who to call on for help.

And if Pinkie Pie’s last ‘New Prince in Equestria’ party was any indication, Bean had a riotously fun event ahead of him.

She then simply placed the scroll on the table and yawned. She could understand why Bean had fallen asleep, because it had been a long day for her too. Just as she began to settle in next to her beloved Bean, though, she remembered something rather important. Her horn flared and produced a golden orb in front of her that was about the size of a golf ball, and with no joy whatsoever, she then ate said ball. A disgusted face from the bitter taste of it immediately followed, and she quickly levitated a nearby glass of water to herself.

“The things I do for love,” she muttered after draining the glass. “Though I suppose one little anti-snoring spell isn’t too much to ask. We should both sleep well tonight.”

She then sighed happily as she laid her head down next to Bean. He grunted a bit and shuffled a little, but then he gave a matching sigh of contentment as well.

“Goodnight, my Bean,” she whispered. “Sleep well.”

And with that final happy thought, the Prince and Princess drifted into deep and snore-free slumber together.