No Nose Knows

by Irrespective

22. - Do You Feel the Love?

“Bean? Where did you go?”

Celestia peered around her room. He had been sleeping so soundly and with such a cute little smile on his face that she simply couldn’t bring herself to wake him when she had gotten up to raise the sun.

But now he wasn’t there.

Celestia’s ears then honed in on some faint singing that was coming from her bathroom, and she quietly snuck her way to the shower. Bean had a catchy nonsense tune echoing off the walls, and he was belting it out without a care in the world.

“Shoop-be-doo! Shoop shoop-be-doo!”

Celestia cringed. Bean was singing at least a full octave above where his voice naturally was, so the song was coming out very harsh, very screechy, and very discordant. It was bad enough that it was making her ears hurt. With a bit of magic to mask her footsteps, she maneuvered in behind her husband, who was in the midst of a vigorous lathering of his mane. She then sat behind him and snaked her arms softly around his barrel.

“Shoop-be doo, Shoop-shoop be wooeeEEK!”

“My dear Bean, you need to drop down an octave,” she breathed into his soapy ear. “You are most definitely not an alto.”

“You need to warn me when you’re going to do stuff like that,” he replied, with a turn and a quick swipe of his eyes to clear the soap from his vision. Since he was up on his rear legs, he was now eye-level to his beloved and he wrapped his own arms around her in one swift motion, and her wings wrapped around him in reply. “But, I must admit, the view just got immensely better.”

“Oh? Is that so?” she tittered.

“Very,” he replied as their noses and then their foreheads touched. “I definitely needed more Celly in here.”

“Mm, it’s a good thing I came then, unless you speak of another Celly.”

“Never.” He shook his head gently. “How could anything under your sun begin to compete with you? It is here where I shall find completeness.”

“I like the way you talk, dear Bean,” she whispered, and her lips began to inch towards his. “Even if your grammar is a bit rough…”

Oh, was this finally going to be it? Celestia could feel the anticipation building as he tilted his head slightly to one side, puckered his lips, and…

…and now she was in the dining room. The dining room?

“Celly, quickly! A crime of the most heinous nature has occurred! I need your immediate assistance!”

“Lulu, you have no idea what you’ve just done, do you?” Celestia replied with a great deal of annoyance and more than a little dripping on the floor.

“Well, you were probably making smoochy faces in the shower with your husband, so I do believe I am helping you get on with your day. Besides, this is a true emergency! A national crisis!”

“All right. Who died?”

“Died? Dear sister, don’t be so morbid.”

Celestia put a hoof to her forehead. “You ran out of corn flakes again, didn’t you?”

“Yes!” Luna pouted and sniffled. “You know how I love my corn flakes!”

“Did you check your emergency stash?”

“Yes, and they are gone as well! I believe they have been pilfered!”

“And your secondary reserve?”

“Is… well, it’s… I mean, it may or may not have been compromised, and…”

With a sigh as deep as one of the craters on Luna’s moon, Celestia teleported a box of corn flakes from Luna’s ‘so super secret it’s almost not a secret anymore’ stash and then shoved it into her chest roughly.

“Huzzah! Dear sister, you have redeemed the day!” Luna cheered, and she hugged the box of cherished flakes tightly.

“Glad I could be of assistance,” she grumbled. “May I go check on my husband now?”

“Oh yes, by all means.” Luna waved a dismissive hoof at her. “Come, Flakey. Breakfast awaits us!”

Celestia then teleported back without further ado, but it was as she feared: Bean was now out of the shower.

“Of all the rotten times to run out of cereal,” she muttered in ominous tones. “Bean? Where are you?”

“I’m in here,” he called out. Celestia followed the sound of his voice out of the shower, then promptly received a towel to the face for her efforts.

A pair of hooves then began rubbing her snout with tender concern, and a delighted smile emerged on an adorably yellow face while the towel moved down the left side of her neck.

“Luna should really let you dry off before she teleports you away,” he offered. “I bet you left a puddle wherever you were.”

“She should also not call me away for trivial matters. It seems a national emergency is now defined by running out of one’s favorite cereal.”

“Really?” he simply asked, and Celestia nodded. “Huh. So can I do that when you don’t make pancakes?”

“Yes,” she replied with a laugh. “I want you to shut down the entire government until you get my pancakes.”

“Will do!” he replied with a quick salute. He then laughed with her as he kept drying her side. “Why didn’t you wake me up today?”

“I just couldn’t. You looked so peaceful and comfortable, I couldn’t bear to disturb you.”

“Okay. That’s a good reason, but please wake me up from now on? I like watching you raise the sun. I can live with a little less sleep if it means more time with you.”

“You flatterer.” She giggled. “I’ll make sure to wake you from now on.”


Bean continued his rub down at a brisk clip, but when he reached her flank he paused and gently touched her cutie mark with his hoof.

“What is it?” she asked.

“Oh, nothing. Just a dumb question.”

“The only dumb question is the one that is not asked.”

“Right. Let me rephrase and say it’s an insensitive question.”

“Bean, just ask,” she gently prodded. “I don’t think it is all that.”

“All right. Do you remember getting your cutie mark?”

She grew thoughtful, and her eyes closed. “I’m afraid I do not. It is one of those things I wish I did remember. I know I had it before I ascended, and I know I was confused by it for a time, but now there is a blank void in my memory where that should be.”

“I suppose after twelve hundred years I could forget how I got mine too.”

“Sadly, any significant event in one’s life can be forgotten, given enough time. I have often thought that memories are a bit like plants: unless they are constantly cared for, they will wither away.”

“I could see that. I’ve never understood how a pony could forget an anniversary, but if a pony isn’t willing to tend to the memory and remember the special nature of it, it just becomes plain, regular and potentially forgotten.”

“Exactly. In the end, we all have to YEOW!”

Bean retreated four or five steps and quickly wound up the towel again as Celestia whirled and glared playfully at him. He had a delighted smirk, and then he began dancing to his left as he held his weapon of welt production at the ready.

“Oh, you are going to pay for that one!” she threatened with a smile and a snort.

She then made a feint forward, but her hoof got in close enough to get caught by the edge of the snapping towel.

“Oh, that is it!”

“Are there any welts left on my rump?” Bean whined.

Celestia quite thoroughly enjoyed checking Baked Bean’s posterior for any wet-towel-induced injuries once again. It had only taken her perhaps thirty seconds to snag the towel from him—with her hooves, not her magic, thank you—and then perhaps a minute more before she caught up to him in the hallway and rained down unholy-yet-pleasantly-plush towel torment upon his backside. While he had given her quite the welt from his surprise attack, he had suffered at least a dozen retribution shots in return.

It was a good thing Celestia also knew how to heal what she had hurt.

“I don’t see anything. You should be fine,” she replied, with a slight snicker. “Does it feel sore at all?”

“No, it feels alright. I think I should be okay.”

“I promise I’ll go easier on you next time. I’d hate to spoil the view back here.”

Bean’s cheeks went as red as a tomato and he tried vainly to cover his whole rear with his tail, but there simply wasn’t enough hair to complete the job.

“Oo, do that again,” she teased. “Your tail frames your rear quite nicely when you do that.”

“Don’t we have some kind of meeting to go to?” he said while trying to keep the squeak out of his voice.

“Alas, we do. We should have something other than corn flakes sent up to eat while we meet with Minister Penny Wise.”

“Okay, don’t tell me.” He wrinkled his snout in thought. “Finances, right?”

“Ministry of Finance, yes. Very good!”

“She’s the only one I remember. I suppose I’ll get them all straight eventually.”

“Wysteria should be very helpful in that regard,” Celestia replied as they started off. “She knows all of the Ministers, their deputies, and a great many lower managers too. If you’re ever unsure, just ask me or her.”

“I don’t envy her position.”

“It takes a special type of pony to handle the sheer amount of information she does, and she is probably the finest Executive Secretary I’ve ever had. I only hope she knows how much I appreciate what she does.”

“I think she does,” he said with a smile.

“You do?”

“Yeah. She’s coming up behind us and heard everything we were talking about.”

“I stand behind every word I said,” Celestia stated emphatically, and Wysteria gave her boss a gigantic smile.

“I only ask you remember all that when my performance review comes up, your highness. But for now, Minister Wise is running just a minute or two late but she is coming. Prince Bean’s desk has been set up and is ready to be used, and Prince Shining wanted me to relay that he and Princess Cadence will be out for most of the day on, quote very urgent matters unquote.”

“Very well, I see that Cadence has developed good instincts with regard to meeting with the Finance section also. I must remember to praise her for that later. I presume Minister Right Angle is still sending one of her deputies to discuss the plans from Baltimare?”

“Let me see...” Wysteria flipped through the pages of her clipboard for a moment “um…yes. Yes, Deputy Plumb Level.”

“Excellent, thank you.”

Wysteria nodded and then trotted off to attend to her other duties. Celestia turned back to Bean, who looked thoughtful.

“Question?” she simply asked.

“More a general statement. I didn’t know you had an office, but it makes sense if I stop and think about it.”

We have an office now,” Celestia replied. “But we won’t be spending a lot of time there. It feels too much like a jail cell, and I find it to be rather confining most of the time.”

“Yeah, I bet that sitting in a little room for hours on end gets old after a few hundred years.”

“Having you with me will be immensely helpful though,” she said while nipping behind his ear quickly.

“You sure I won’t be a distraction instead?” he retorted, and he flicked his tail just enough to brush her flank.

“If that is the case then it’s a good thing the door can be locked.”

Her tail smacked his flank, and she took off with a prance and a laugh while Bean tried to recover.

“I hope I never get used to that,” Bean muttered with a grin.

Bean was bored.

Very bored.

Bored, bored, bored. He was so bored, in fact, that he was wondering if it was possible for a pony to die of boredom. If such a thing could be, then his own life was in grave danger.

So, so bored.

“…this represents a thirty-eight percent increase in the total number of plows purchased, suggesting the reduction in the tariff on Griffonstone had the desired effect. It would be prudent to keep the level as is, and then to urge the manufacturers to increase production by twelve percent by offering incentives and…”

Bean thought backwards for a moment. Minister Wise had simply walked into the room with a quick three-tap knock, plopped in the chair in front of Celestia, and had launched into her prepared proposal on the budget without even so much as a ‘good morning.’

The proposal itself had two problems for Bean: one, Minister Wise was delivering it in the most uninteresting and monotone voice possible and two, she was using every technical term the realm of finances had. Bean had understood about one tenth of what she was saying, the rest of it was pure nonsense and gibberish to him.

Questions were right out too. At the beginning he had asked one or two questions on the parts he had understood, but this then led to her slowly turning her head to face him—a feat that, by appearances, took a titanic amount of willpower, dedication, and physical effort—answering the question as quickly as possible and with an obvious attempt to use very small words so Bean’s tiny brain could handle it, and then snapping her head back to Celestia to continue on with her spiel.

And the mare could probably frighten small children with that glare she had. It was making his orange juice curdle in his cup, that was for sure.

“…with a profit margin of five percent, the annual gains from this nominal expense will be adequate to…”

He wondered how much of what she was saying was real and how much she had just made up by using large and confusing phrases. He then began to think of all the big words he knew, and if he could use them to pass himself off as the Minister of Finance if he tried hard enough.

“…and that concludes my official report, your Highness. I trust that my reforms will be put into swift action.”

“Oh, I’m sure I’ll be reviewing this with my husband, so it may take a bit.”

Wow, emotion! Bean nearly fell over in excitement as Minister Wise’s eyes widened by several millimeters in alarm.

“Your Highness, with all due respect, this budget needs to be enacted as soon as possible to ensure the greatest returns for the Kingdom. There simply isn’t the time for—” her eyes narrowed and moved to the Prince “—him to review it! Please, don’t delay this!”

“Uh huh,” Celestia replied to no pony in particular as she scanned through a few pages of the budget. “Horrible things will destroy Equestria as we know it and reduce it to ashes if the corporate tax rate isn’t adjusted for inflation within the next seven days. Gotcha. My Prince, what did you think about this excise tax on wagon wheels? I’m afraid I got a little lost there.”


“Lady Penny Wise, I’m sorry to disappoint you but I simply cannot authorize this budget until I go over it with Prince Bean. Since your presentation was only to me and did not involve him in any way, I cannot ask him to sign off on this—as he will be required to do, if I may add—until I feel satisfied that he understands what he is signing off on. Now, unless you have something to share with Prince Bean, I’m afraid that we have completed everything that can be done today. Thank you for your time.”

Minister Penny Wise grumbled her way out of the office, and Bean was a bit worried he’d messed something up somehow.

“In case you’re wondering, you didn’t do anything wrong,” Celestia said him with a sneaky sidelong glance. “Lady Wise does this every year. I never just sign off on her budget proposals, but she always thinks I will.”

“That does explain a little bit but I don’t think she likes me very much.”

Celestia let out a long exhale. “She didn’t, and there will be more like her. We can’t really expect everyone to fall in love with you as quickly as I did. There are some who will need more convincing than others.”

“I suppose this is where Shining Armor’s advice comes into play. I need to be myself, even if others don’t like myself right now.”

“Just remember that they will. Once others start to see what I see, they’ll come around.”

“What you see, hmm?” he asked. “And what is it that you see?”

“I see a stallion.” Celestia stood, stepped around her desk, and smiled as she dropped her head down to meet his eyes straight on.  “A stallion who is kind, and interesting, and wants to learn.”

She leaned in and tilted her head as her eyes ran over his lips. “I see a stallion who is sweet, who flatters me, and who dares to love a Princess for what she really is. A stallion who can do many great things, and who will cook many a romantic dinner for me.”

Her heart leapt up into her throat as she leaned in a bit closer and watched his lips begin to move towards hers. “I see a stallion who is winning me over with his devotion, his adaptability, his charms, and his wholesomeness. I see a stallion—” Celestia shuddered at the tickle of his breath across her own lips “—who wants to be mine—”

“Your Highnesses?”

“So close,” Celestia whispered to him in frustration.

“So very close,” he agreed.

“Oh! If this is a bad time, I can tell Deputy Level to wait for a few moments.”

“Nope, send her in,” Celestia replied in annoyance as she sat back and Bean hopped down. “The good feeling is gone now.”

“Sorry!” Wysteria offered. “You should lock the door if you don’t want me to come in unannounced.”

“What a novel idea.”

“So, which is worse, having no attention or having all of the attention?” Celestia asked playfully.

“When you have no idea what they’re talking about, I would say no attention,” Bean replied while they both sat on the throne and waited for Day Court to commence. “I have no idea why Deputy Level thought running over those sewer line upgrades with me was a good idea. You’re the one who knows the project.”

“I think she was simply eager to please,” Celestia replied with a laugh. “She wanted to make a good first impression.”

“Fine way to go about it. At least I know more about sewers now than I ever would have before.”

“There you go.”

“Princess?” Wysteria called out. “We are ready to begin.”

“Very well. Open the doors and let us begin.”

It was done as Celestia said, and Wysteria walked up the red carpet with the first petitioners of the day.

“Harvest Right and Barley Corn, Your Highnesses. Also, Chef Beet wants me to tell you she has a new creation being made for your lunch: miniature cheese calzones. She’s thinking of calling them ‘pizza rolls.’”

Bean tilted his head and gave a thoughtful hum. “A ravioli, but with bread instead of pasta. Interesting. I’ll have to ask her how she did it.”

“They smelled good, for what it’s worth,” Wysteria offered.

“Perhaps it’s a good thing Deputy Level went over her allotted time,” Celestia remarked, but then she turned her attention to the two earth ponies before the throne. “Now then, my little ponies, what can we do for you?”

“…just remember to floss really well next time,” Bean admonished. “You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble if you do.”

“I’ll remember that. Thank you, Your Highness!”

Bean smiled and nodded with his wife, and the now plucky pegasus flapped out of the throne room with a cheerful song. “That was interesting.”

“I did try to warn you.”

“That you did.”

“Who is next, Wysteria?”

“A nice couple from the Crystal Empire, Your Highness.”

“Goodness!” Celestia put a hoof to her mouth in worry. “I hope they didn’t come all this way because Prince Shining and Princess Cadence were unavailable! Please, please! Show them in immediately.”

Wysteria waved to the couple in the hallway, and Bean couldn’t help but chortle when it was, in fact, Prince Shining and Princess Cadence who walked in and bowed before the throne.

“All right you two,” Celestia said in both amusement and wariness. “What’s going on?”

“Oh great Celestia,” Shining began with a grand sweep of his hoof, “whose strength binds our lands together and whose wisdom shines forth across the oceans—”

“Seas, seas!” Cadence whispered and gave her husband a hard elbow in the ribs. “He said seas, not oceans!”

“Right, right,” Shining quickly whispered back, and he cleared his throat. “Whose wisdom shines forth across the seas, we thank fortune and luck that we have been so privileged to be in your presence today.”

Bean was finding it very hard to keep his composure together. A ‘sea’ of suppressed giggles was making a furious push against his tightly closed lips.

“But we have come here today as your humble servants, as two who seek only for the eternal happiness and indescribable joy of our beloved diarch. We wish to offer a present, O beloved Celestia, a simple token of our own undying gratitude for your selfless work in our behalf.”

“If you two brought me a flower I’m going to plant you in the bush you got it from,” Celestia warned.

“No, something even better,” Cadence replied with a massive grin. “We were able to get tickets to the opening night of Hinny of the Hills!”

“You what?!” Celestia shouted gleefully, and she was down to them in one eager bound.

“We may or may not have used our royal position to secure them, but you both will love it! Box seats, a perfect view of the stage, and maybe even a romantic double date dinner to go with it!”

Both Bean and Shining winced, along with all the other male guards in the room, as a squeal of pure delight was unleashed upon the hapless occupants.

“I have been dying to see this!” Celestia made a little ‘squee’ noise while Cadence showed her the tickets. “Thank you! Bean and I will be delighted to come!”

“Good! You do have tomorrow night free, right?”

Celestia glanced over to Wysteria, who nodded. “It’s open, Your Highness. I’ve already scheduled it in for you.”

“Thank you again,” Celestia offered. “This will be fun. Bean! You can wear your new coat, and I know just which dress to wear. This will be such a fun night!”

She then giggled and pranced back up to her assigned seat. The two of them booped noses and laughed, and then Celestia composed herself. “All right. Wysteria, who’s next?”

“A Mister Silver Tongue, Princess.”

“Show him in.”

A blindingly orange pony then strode in, dressed in a tweed jacket that clashed horribly with his coat color and with a mane that was far too slick to be real. Bean was instantly worried about what this mess of a pony could have.

“Good afternoon, Silver Tongue. What do you have for the Court?”

“A business proposition, Your Highness. Something I think you might find to be most interesting.”

He then pulled an old, yellowing newspaper from the pocket of his coat. “Tell me, Prince, does this look familiar?”

Bean’s heart instantly began to hammer wildly, and he swallowed hard. “Yes, it does.”

“Fascinating articles, aren’t they?” Silver went on, with an evil grin spreading over his face. “The Salt Lick Picayune has some top-notch reporters. But, I must say I found this article on page B5 to most revelatory.”

“Bean?” Celestia was looking at her husband in deep worry. “What is all this?”

“Ah, I was wondering if you had told her about this. Princess, I’m afraid your golden knight has a bit of tarnish on his armor. He—”

His mouth kept moving, but a sudden golden shield prevented his words from getting out. It took him a moment to realize this, but then he glared most ferociously at the Princess.

“I don’t want to hear another word from this petitioner for right now,” she said. “Captain Armor, keep him right there until we return.”

“Ma’am!” His salute was crisp and clean, and the shield changed from gold to purple.

Bean was then pretty extra sure he was going to throw up as Celestia turned back to him.

“We need to talk.”