No Nose Knows

by Irrespective

24. - I Saw The Future

“Bean?” Celestia whispered into Bean’s ear with some trepidation.


“Should I let you sleep longer?”

“Mm, no,” he replied. Celestia gently kissed his nose, and she felt a small measure of relief when he chuckled. “Is it time to raise the sun?”

“Just about, yes. Are you sure you’re okay?” Celestia asked. “You were tossing and turning all night.”

“Really, I am fine. I am a bit tired, perhaps, but I think I can shake that off once I get moving.”

Celestia gave him a critical look. His answer had been given in a more subdued and reserved tone than usual, and he had a contemplative and depressed demeanor across his features. However, Celestia decided to accept his statement at face value, and she said nothing as he trotted along obediently with her to the balcony.

Of course, she could only stay silent for so long. “If I made pancakes, would you like some?”

“I would,” he said, but without his usual eagerness. “But only a couple, I think. I don’t feel very hungry right now.”

“I will make as many or as few as you like,” she replied, and he gave her an attempt at a bigger smile that died out almost as soon as it started.

Bean’s misery clung to Celestia’s heart with a gloom she could not shake off. It was as plain as dawn that he was depressed, but what was the answer to overcoming it? She missed his smiles, the little twitches he did at the tips of his ears when he was holding back a laugh, and most of all, his constant attempts to cook his way into her heart.

“You seem sad today, my love,” she offered.

“I do?” Bean did not turn to her as she wanted, but looked out toward the eastern hills. “I never could hide my emotions from you. I am a little depressed, I guess. I think I just need a little bit of time is all.”

“This is about yesterday, isn’t it?” she asked, and he nodded once.

“You should have known before. You should have heard that part of my past from me first, not Silver Tongue.”

“Is that why you asked Wysteria to do a background check?”

“I want to make sure,” he replied. “No more surprises.”

“I hope you can surprise me a little sometimes,” she offered with a half grin.

That got a small smirk out of him. “Okay, I walked into that one. I always want to be honest with you. This way, there will be no doubt.”

“I see. You didn’t hurt me yesterday, you know. I never asked for a detailed history of your past, so you didn’t deliberately deceive me. I don’t imagine you go around introducing yourself to others with ‘Guess what? I’m a former felon!’”

“That’s an interesting way to break the ice,” he chuckled, and there was a note of mirth in it. “But you’re right. I just… I just feel bad that you found out about my dubious history from a slick tweed jacket, not me.”

“Well, it is past us now,” she replied, and her horn lighted. “And just like how my sunrise comes from the sunset of yesterday, we both get a new day from the previous, one that will be much more enjoyable and filled with each other.”

“And I love that I have that,” he replied with a slightly larger smile. “With you, I’ll be able to get through anything.”

Breakfast was a quiet affair for Bean that morning. Celestia was kind enough to make pancakes for Shining and Cadence as well as for Bean, but his mood was still recovering so he ate little and said less. Their time together was still pleasant, however, and Cadence and Shining were somehow able to read his emotion and give him some personal space, and he appreciated that they didn’t try to push happiness on him. It would return, as it always did, and with Celestia offering her love to him he just needed to soak it in for a bit and then he’d be back to his old self.

After breakfast, Shining and Cadence excused themselves to allow some personal time for Celestia and Bean, and for perhaps some more selfish reasons as well when Bean thought about it. With most of the day now to themselves, Celestia did ask Bean if there was anything he would like to do.

“I don’t know,” he replied in thoughtful tone. “What do you suggest?”

She gave him a warm smile. “Tell me, how is your book coming? Perhaps we can work on that.”

“My book?” he asked. “Really? You want to work on that?”

“I do,” she replied. “What did you have planned for the second chapter?”

“Well, I… uh, I honestly don’t know. That’s where I really need the help, I guess. I come up with a few good scenes, but I can’t connect them together.”

“I see,” she replied with a tilt of her head and a smile. “I do believe I can help you make those connections.”

“You think so?” he asked, with a step in towards her. “And how would you help?”

“I have heard that I have inspired many poems and works of art,” she replied in a deeply seductive tone. Her mane flowed over his own and down his left side, leaving him with a most pleasing technicolor view. “So, by my astounding powers of inference, it stands to reason that I can inspire you as well.”

“I like this line of thought,” he replied softly, but with his eagerness returning in each syllable. “Go on.”

“Of course, proper inspiration takes time.” She brushed up against his neck, moving closer.

“We’ve got time.” He leaned back and began to lift his head. “All the time you want.”

“And then, with you thusly inspired by your beautiful wife—” her lips snuck in closer to his “—you will then write prose that will shake the heavens…”

“Um, Your Highnesses?”

“I’ll turn her into a potted plant,” Celestia threatened in a low and guttural whisper. “Just watch me. She’ll be a nice ficus that we can put on our balcony so she gets plenty of sunlight.”

“I’m sorry to interrupt, ma’am, but Captain Armor needs to speak with Prince Bean immediately,” Sergeant Clover Leaf offered. “There’s been some sort of complication with the reservations.”

“Naturally,” Celestia replied with only a hint of annoyance, and then she let out a sigh so heavy the sun was in danger of being pulled off course. “You better go see what’s going on.”

Bean nodded sadly and followed the good sergeant out of the room, but Celestia watched him—or more specifically, his backside, and that tail!—as he left, and she bit her lower lip.

“Soon, my love. Soon.”

“So everything has been taken care of?” Celestia asked while they walked.

“For now. Let’s try to kiss again; that’ll tell us for sure.”

She giggled at this, and dipped her head down towards him. “Can you kiss and walk at the same time?”

“Probably not,” he replied with a snort of humor. “It would be a shame if I got hurt and we had to cancel tonight. I’m really looking forward to it.”

“You are?” she asked in amusement, and he nodded.

“I’ve said it before: there are stallions who would do almost anything to date you. I am one of them. The more time I spend with you, the happier I am.”

“I can tell.” Celestia draped a wing over him and held her love against her side, relishing the warmth and little embarrassed wriggles he made. “I’m glad I can help you feel better.”

“Me too. Hopefully I can return the favor sometime.”

“There is no doubt in my mind that you will,” she said, with a quick nip of his ear. “And when that time comes, I will be most grateful that it is you who will help me.”

He nipped at her neck with that, and she giggled like a schoolfilly but made no effort to stop him. The two of them continued to share laughs and nips until they reached their drawing room, but Celestia got the final blow in as she bit him on the flank a little harder than she wanted as he entered.

Bean hopped forward and let out a rather undignified squeak of alarm, leaving him blushing furiously again from Celestia’s sneaky assault and his own undignified response. Thankfully, Bean did receive a quick boop as payment for enduring her enjoyable teasing, and the two of them shared a delighted smile.

“So, let’s work on that pesky chapter of yours.” Celestia settled into the cushions, tucked her Love in under her wing, and shuffled his papers in her magic. “I’m afraid I don’t recall where you left off at, so I’ll… I’ll need to…”

One of the most delighted hums in the history of Equestria escaped out of Celestia as Bean began gently stroking her feathers with his nose. Purring immediately followed, and Bean laughed a little as he worked.

“I heard once that one way to beat a mild bout of depression is to go out and do something nice for somepony else. Seems like whoever said that was on to something.” One lone feather popped out of her wing as he rubbed, and he looked it over for a moment before voicing another thought.

“Would you mind if I help preen your wings, my love?”

“I don’t mind one little itty bit,” she sighed in a dreamy bliss. “Preen away.”

“Quick technical question then: how?”

Bean loved hearing Celestia’s small laugh that came before her answer. “Since I don’t fly all that often there shouldn’t be any broken ones. If you do find one just give it a quick tug and it will come right out. It won’t hurt me either, so don’t worry about that. Otherwise, just keep doing what you’re doing.”


Bean worked softly and methodically on her wing, going over each inch and then over the same inch again just to be sure. It was a relaxing affair for both of them: Celestia was obviously in a state of serene peace and quiet enjoyment and Bean found the gentle touch he was using felt oddly like he was bringing himself into a balanced harmony. Once the underside was done, Celestia gently lifted her wing to let him out, but then again relaxed into a blissful bundle of completely relaxed princess as he worked and smoothed the upper feathers.

Bean then went top to bottom on her left wing, and there were several times he wondered if he had put his wife to sleep. The steady pulse of her purr was both tranquil and uplifting, so by the time he was finished his depression had been completely banished. It was a zen unlike anything he’d ever felt before, but it was also one he wanted to keep forever.

Bean then smiled brightly as he moved around to Celestia’s front. She blinked her eyes rapidly for a second to reestablish her connection with reality, then mirrored his smile back to him.

The simple “thank you” she offered held a far deeper and more intimate impact on him than the words had any right to usually have.

“Y’know, I like this view,” he replied, and Celestia giggled a bit as he grabbed his notebook and pencil. “Let’s see. ‘The Princess was lying on her stomach in a relaxed and calm manner.  Her wings were fully extended and resting on the cushions around her, and her legs were tucked in and folded to help her demure look.’”

“Demure?” she asked.

“In the modest and reserved sense. Not a good choice?”

“Take a close look at me and then tell me I’m being demure.”

His heart took a skipping leap, and his breath hitched slightly. He eagerly drank in the smooth and seductive lines of her form, the gentle and yet powerful aura of her grace, and the pure appeal of her elegance.

“Maybe not demure,” he relented. “Coy would be better.”

She purred a little louder and treated him with an alluring tilt of her head. “Coy?”

His head slowly came down towards the magnificence before him. “Coy. But since my vocabulary is lacking, what would you recommend?”

“Kittenish,” she offered, with a tone in her voice that would make a siren jealous of her abilities. “Coquettish in a way. Flirtatious even.”

“That last one I know,” he replied in a soft voice that was heavy with anticipation. “Who would have thought that Princess Celestia could be so flirtatious?”

He drew closer, two pairs of lips began to pucker yet again, but then they both hesitated.

“Three…” Celestia offered.

“Two…” Bean added.

“One…” they said in unison.

Both of them pointed to the door, and on cue, a staccato burst of knocks happened before Wysteria marched through it, her nose in her paperwork.

“I’m not quite sure why the universe is so against us kissing,” Celestia remarked with a huff, and she pulled her wings back in.

“If I figure it out, I’ll let you know.” Bean offered a hoof, and Celestia gladly took it before she stood. “Maybe it will be so epic that every other kiss will be put to shame.”

“I would love to see if that is true,” she replied with a light giggle.

“Your Highnesses,” Wysteria offered with tart terseness. “If I may interject for a few minutes, I need you both to accompany me to the throne room so I can go over the security details of this evening with both of you, Shining, Cadence, and the assigned guards.”

“Is everything alright, Wysteria?” Celestia asked.

“Great! Fine! Never better! Just fine!” she snapped back. “Please follow me.”

Celestia glanced down at Bean as Wysteria turned and began leaving. His look of confusion matched how she felt, and they both shrugged at each other before falling in line behind her.

“…Clover Leaf and Hokey Pokey will maintain their positions here. Once the meal is complete you will be escorted to the secured area of Saddle Park for a standard meet-and-greet, which will end promptly at eight fifteen. You will all then be escorted to the theater where your evening will conclude in what will be, without a doubt, a most lovely and entertaining time.”

That had to be one of the most straightforward and clipped security summaries Celestia had ever heard. One eyebrow was firmly in the ‘up’ category as she regarded her secretary, who was shuffling her papers in her magic and giving a wilting glare to one Corporal Quillpoint, who was posted at the door.

“Provided the Prince doesn’t avoid you the next day,” she muttered with a growl. Her papers tapped on her clipboard, but her eyes remained on the guard, and there was the threat that he would be frozen into a large guardcicle.

The hapless Quillpoint’s ears splayed back with the icy not-looking from the secretary, and despite his efforts to maintain his composure, his face showed a great deal of guilt and remorse. His jaw kept tightening and relaxing, as if he was trying to offer a rebuttal to Wysteria’s remarks but was unable to do so by virtue of his current guard status. While it was clear to most of the ponies in the room that Wysteria’s clipped comments were intended to refer to herself and to him, nopony dared to interject and risk the ire of the mare who had been scorned.

Nopony except one.

“I believe we will skip the why on that one and go straight to how Prince Bean would manage such a feat,” Celestia stated.

“Oh, no. He wouldn’t,” Wysteria replied, seeming to shake herself out the brief slump. “My apologies. This will, undoubtedly, be a wonderful night for you both. Romantic. Magical. Magnetic. It will be fine.” She trailed off, and the papers began to shuffle again.

Celestia could not help but notice the confused glance that Bean and Shining exchanged. She had a sneaking suspicion about what was going on, but it would be best if Wysteria and Quillpoint could work it out for themselves without any Royal nudging. After all, Wysteria had never been this sour or snippy in her years of service, and Quill was a sensible stallion or he would never have become a guard. All she needed to do was wait…

Corporal Quillpoint, after just a brief moment, cleared his throat. “Captain Armor, sir?”

“Yes, Corporal?”

“Permission to speak freely, sir?”

“Granted,” Shining said with a great deal of interest. “What is it?”

“Well, I just wanted to say that Prince Bean and Princess Celestia will enjoy their time together, I’m sure. I mean, everything had been planned out so well that I’m sure it couldn’t be anything but. I bet they will have deep, meaningful conversations and will make a great connection with each other.”

“If that’s true, why would he ignore her afterward?” Wysteria shot back before anypony else could reply. “Why would he be so aloof?”

AlI doubt was removed at that point as to what was really going on, even for Bean. Shining inhaled deeply and prepared himself to take over as Captain.

Thankfully, Cadence stepped in. One petite pink hoof flashed faster than the eye could see until it was resting delicately across Shining Armor’s lips before he could utter the first word. True to his training as a husband and a guard, Shining gave each alicorn a sideways glance, took in the slow head shaking they were both doing, and stayed shut up.

“Maybe… maybe he,” the Corporal glanced down at his hooves in embarrassment “Prince Bean, that is, maybe he would have such a great time that he would think about getting her flowers the next day, and then deliver them by hoof to her office.”

“You were going to get me flowers?” Wysteria asked, all pretenses at third pony references being dropped immediately with her melting heart.

“They need to talk this out,” Bean whispered to Celestia. “Why don’t we step out of the room for a moment?”

“Not on your life.”

Bean glanced up to her just as she glanced down to him, and a small smirk appeared on his face.

“What?” she asked. “This concerns us and our plans for tonight.”

“Well, yeah,” Quillpoint went on, oblivious to the Royal whispering. “But… but then the Prince talked to some of his buddies at the barracks, and they said that would look really… well, really desperate? Needy?”

Bean was completely sure he heard the mares nearest to him gasp at the audacity of the advice. He was also mostly sure that the female guards in the room had gasped as well.

The poor Corporal looked like he’d rather sit on a halberd at that point, but he gave Prince Bean and Prince Armor a desperate look. “I mean, it does, doesn’t it?”

Bean stood a bit taller, and his eyes widened in surprise. It was clear he realized he was on extremely thin ice. He didn’t want to leave a brother hanging, but he wasn’t sure what the appropriate answer should be. Maybe if he faked a heart attack, or a sudden onset of laryngitis…

“Uh… maybe?” he replied half-heartedly and with trepidation. “A little? I mean, maybe you should have brought them to the second date, but not deliver them?”

“Not quite the best answer,” Celestia whispered kindly in his ear. “Corporal Quillpoint, there is nothing desperate about giving a nice mare flowers. It shows us that you enjoyed the time together, and none of us would see it as needy. I’m sure Wysteria—I mean, ‘the Princess’—would greatly appreciate such a kind gesture and would also see it as a sign that ‘Prince Bean’ wanted to meet with her again.”

“Really?” Quillpoint asked. “You? You really would? That wouldn’t be too forward?”

“No!” Wysteria replied with a tear and a smile. She quickly trotted over to the astonished guard and threw one arm around his armored neck. “Not at all! I thought we had something good going, and the flowers would have sealed the deal! I love flowers!”

“Corporal, why don’t you take twenty minutes and go discuss this in private, eh?” Captain Armor said with a smirk. “I think we can survive without you for that long.”

“Yes sir! Thank you sir!” Quillpoint immediately offered, and he laughed a little with Wysteria as they made their way out into the hallway.

There was a bit of laughter from the Princesses with this turn of events, but Bean leaned over to Shining with an urgent question. “So, we’re going to need to get Celly and Cady flowers, aren’t we?”

Shining smiled and put a hoof on Bean’s withers. “No. Bean, my friend, we are blessed with the opportunity to get them flowers.”

Bean nodded slowly as he thought for a moment. “Two dozen, do you think?”

“Bean, you can never have too many flowers. They are a delight for the eyes, a sweet scent for the nose, and a treat for the tongue, and we are talking about princesses here. We need three dozen per wife at a minimum.”

“That was strange,” Bean remarked, as he and his wife walked back into the drawing room.

“Perhaps,” Celestia said with a nod. “But in my experience, love defies normality. It has a way of overwhelming and consuming normal, and then it leaves normal laying in a ditch somewhere wondering what hit it. With Cadence giving them some guidance⁽*⁾ I think Quillpoint and Wysteria will have a very happy relationship.”

⁽*⁾To be honest, keeping Cadence from giving romantic assistance to the castle staff was a constant issue, particularly among the rapidly vanishing species of bachelors.

“I think so too. So, since we’re on the subject and it seems like something that I really should know, what are your favorite flowers?”

“Oh, I don’t know that I have a favorite,” she tittered. “I like all different types. Though, if I had to admit it, I think sunflowers are making a bold move up my list.”

“Oh really?” he laughed, as he sat but she remained standing. “I guess I could see why. Though I have heard some ponies call it a weed.”

“If it isn’t cultivated and properly cared for, perhaps. But if treated kindly, given good soil and lots of sunshine a sunflower can be a very remarkable flower indeed. It just needs a little help, that’s all.”

“Good thing there are excellent gardeners around here,” he replied, and she moved in a bit closer and started to dip her head towards him again. “Some sunflowers might need a bit more attention than others.”

“Ah, but those often turn out to be the most wonderful sunflowers of all. Potential is not defined by how much help one needs.”

“I’m very glad it’s not,” he replied as she inched ever closer. His world was quickly becoming awash in Celestial pastels again and he loved it. “And I’m also very glad that the gardener is such a beautiful one, and that she is kind, and patient—”

His lips again began to move to hers, and his heart hammered wildly in anticipation.

“—and forgiving, and willing to stay with the sunflower through anything…”

“Knock knock!” Shining’s voice came through the door, as he did what he said. Celestia let out a very strong nicker of annoyance while she retreated back, and there was a chance her glare would burn through the door and pierce the interruptor on the other side, nephew or not.

“GAAH!” That was it! Baked Bean reared up, took Celestia’s cheeks in his hooves, pulled her in quickly and planted his lips dead square on hers.

There was a brief moment of shock for the Princess, but that almost instantaneously disappeared as the whole of existence blissfully slid into perfect insignificance. She embraced him, he embraced her, and there wasn’t a thing that could have mattered more at that moment to either of them.

There was no language that could adequately describe what they felt right then, no combination of letters or words or phrases that could give the full impact of their state of being. Time became a distant irrelevance; space nothing more than a fleeting inconvenience. There was a vain attempt by rationality to put a tidy description to the event: euphoria, bliss, contentment, completeness, rapture, exultance, joyfulness, fullness and pure love.

They were all miserable failures. The scope of the moment between the Bean and the Princess was beyond transcendence itself.

When they did finally submit to reality’s rules again, Celestia and her Bean found themselves in the arms of one another, and her wings were wrapped securely and warmly around him. They both giggled, laughed, and then several quick pecks were shared between them as they celebrated this momentous occurrence. It was Celestia who, after a few moments of this, offered her one word summary of what had happened.


Celestia could hardly keep her fillyish laughter in. They’d kissed! They’d kissed! And it was Bean, that delightful stallion, who had made the move!

He was a far better kisser than he let on. Celestia had done well indeed.

Sadly, kisses did not fill the belly, and Celestia had postulated to Bean that Shining had been trying to ask them what they wanted for lunch. It had nearly taken a crowbar to separate the two of them from each other’s lips, but hunger had won out—as it always did—and Celestia had told Bean to work on his book while she went and procured food for them.

However, Celestia heard another giggling noise from somewhere down the hallway, and curiosity set her in motion towards it.

It didn’t take long to find the source. In a small alcove near Luna’s room she found two ponies, two whom she had hoped could reconcile their differences, and she almost burst with happiness when she saw what they were doing.

Corporal Quillpoint was standing close to Wysteria with a easygoing smile, and she was running her hooves up and down his breastplate while gazing into his eyes. Somehow his helmet had ended up on her head, thus breaking the look-alike enchantment and allowing Celestia to see his natural coloring. He had his own set of charms, she supposed, and she could understand why Wysteria was interested in him, but he didn’t come anywhere near the good looks of her Bean.

With a smirk, Celestia cleared her throat loudly and then gave the two of them a playfully stern look as both of them went flush with embarrassment.

Wysteria and Quillpoint by Sipioc

“Well!” Wysteria quickly tried to work her way out of the situation, and she began rubbing her fetlock on his armor. “I’ll let this little violation in your uniform slide this time, but I expect you to be perfect the next time I see you. You’re a Royal Guard, so you should always look the part.”

“Yes, ma’am. A thousand apologies, ma’am. Won’t happen again.”

“Very well,” Wysteria sternly said, and she took a step back and Celestia giggled furiously behind a hoof. “You’re dismissed. Carry on.”

“’I’m afraid I can’t do that, ma’am.”

“What? Why?” she asked him quickly under her breath.

“I need my helmet back.”


Celestia nearly fell over laughing as Wysteria quickly removed and returned Quillpoint’s helmet. Once the enchantment had settled in again he saluted to Celestia, gave a wink and a nod to Wysteria, and then left with a slight spring in his step.

“Well!” Wysteria quickly made sure her collar was straight as her horn lit and retrieved her clipboard. “Let me see. I have your itinerary here, and everything looks acceptable, except I haven’t heard back from the courier on—”

She dared to glance up at the princess, who was giving her a smug smile. “—on the final…uh, final reservations, and… and please don’t fire me.”

“I wouldn’t dare. I can’t find my own tail without you,” Celestia replied in a soft and understanding voice.

“I didn’t mean for that to happen. We were just discussing what Princess Cadence had told us, and then one thing kinda led to the other, and…”

“Is he a good kisser?”

Wysteria found her hooves to be immensely interesting all of a sudden. “Yes?” she squeaked out.

“I am sure you will continue to perform your duties admirably, Wysteria. You are dedicated and loyal, and I will again state that you are the finest secretary I’ve ever had.”

Celestia held up a hoof. “But if you would like to talk about things that are of a more personal nature, I am here for you as well. You are my friend, after all, and as your friend I want to help you if I can.”

Wysteria looked back up at the princess with a sheepish grin. “Do you have any good recommendations for a second date?”

“Walk with me.” Celestia laughed with Wysteria. “I just so happen to know of two or three.”