You wince at the first rays of morning light. It takes you a moment, but slowly, you return to the world of wakefulness, feeling particularly well-rested. You close your arms around the warm pillow next to you and stretch, groaning slightly. You open your eyes, and immediately find that your pillow is purple. And a horse.
You squeeze your eyes shut briefly, and then open them again. In your grip, Twilight Sparkle stirs slightly, pressing the top of her muzzle into your chest. You grimace in confusion. “Twilight...Twilight!”
Twilight winces in response.
You remove your arms from around her. “Twilight. What are you doing in my bed?”
Twilight lifts her head up from your pillow to look at you. Her eyes are bleary, which is apparent even through her squinting. She also suffers from a tumultuous case of bedhead, her mane sticking almost straight up on the side she had been laying on. “Whr...Whaa?”
“Why are you in my bed?” you repeat.
Twilight rubs her eyes with a hoof, before taking a look at your surroundings. “I’m not in your b…”
You tilt your head to the side as Twilight takes in the confines of the room she had graciously provided for you in her Ponyville castle. Concerned about her health, you anxiously hum quietly to yourself. “A...are you okay? Were you drinking last night, or something?”
“What? N-no, no! Nothing like that,” she excuses, finally scooting away from you to the other side of the bed. “I...I don’t know why I’m here. Maybe this is one of Rainbow Dash’s pranks?”
You purse your lips, taking on a skeptical expression. “I’m not sure about that. Do you sleepwalk?”
Twilight shakes her head. “That’s crazy talk. I don’t sleepwalk!” Sighing, she hops out of the bed and rubs one of her temples with a hoof. “I really don’t know what happened. S-sorry.”
“It’s okay,” you reassure her. “I just want to make sure you’re alright.”
“I am!” she responds. “Y-you’ll keep this on the down low, right? As a Princess I’m not supposed to be...you know, waking up in my guests’ beds.”
“Okay!” she nods, her affect brightening considerably. “I’ll, uh, see you at breakfast, then?”
You feel your heart racing, and your muscles relaxed, in the first signs of another good night’s sleep. Stretching as best as you can in your current position, which is not far, you sigh and open your eyes.
Purple and pink strands of mane hair block out portions of your vision, keeping most of the sunlight filtering into the room from reaching your eyes. As you continue to awaken, your brain begins to process more sensory input and you begin piecing together the scenario in the room. You can feel a pair of forehooves wrapped around your neck, two legs intertwined with yours, and a warm, fluffy body pressing down against yours. In your sleep, it appears you had wrapped your arms around the pony’s midsection, as well.
And, oddly enough, there was a...wet sensation on your chest.
“What the...Twilight!” you call, slapping her gently on the shoulder. “Twilight!”
She startles from her sleep, her horn brushing against the side of your head as she jumps slightly. “Hmmmwha?”
“You’re in my bed again,” you deadpan.
“No!” she cries, sitting up on her haunches but still pinning your legs to the bed. She whips her head around. “No, no, not again!”
“How does this keep happening, Twilight? What’s going on?”
“S-somepony must be putting a magical spell on my bed, t-that’s teleporting me here!” Twilight declares with great conviction. “It’s the only explanation!”
“I think you’re probably sleepwalking,” you comment, doing your best to sit up. “Ugh...I think you drooled on me,” you comment, wiping your chest with a corner of sheet.
“Sorry, okay!? I don’t know what’s going on!” she seethes in stress, beginning to blush in embarrassment.
“It’s alright, Twilight.” You hold up your hands to calm her. “I’m sorry to make you feel embarrassed. We’ll figure this out, okay?”
“We’re going to ask for some help,” you say, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. “Don’t worry, I know just who to ask! She’s very discreet…”
“Sleepwalking, eh? Fascinating,” Starlight says, rubbing her chin.
“It’s not sleepwalking,” Twilight groans. “We just need help figuring out why I keep waking up with him.”
“I might need to bring in Sunburst for this,” Starlight adds, trotting over to the desk in the corner of her room.
“No!” Twilight cries, shooting a beam out of her horn and disintegrating the desk.
“Twilight!” Starlight screeches. “That was a Hoofkea desk!”
“Bill me for the fifteen bits,” Twilight says. “Anyway, don’t you dare think about telling anypony else about this!”
“Alright, alright,” Starlight reluctantly agrees. “Let’s try a video study. I’ll set up some crystal cameras, and we’ll see what happens after you go to bed.”
“How does that sound, Twilight?” you ask.
She frowns deeply. “I’m not sure I like being filmed while sleeping, but I guess we don’t have many other choices.”
“Hey, sleepyheads, get up!”
A pillow impacts the side of your face, causing you to pull your body inward. This motion also has the effect of pulling the pony you are spooning closer against you.
Twilight sighs happily in your grasp, until another pillow flies and impacts her face. “Ahhh!”
“I have the tape,” Starlight claims, waving a crystal box back and forth in her magic. “Bad news, Twilight- you’re a sleepwalker!”
“No...It can’t be!” Twilight cries, squirming out of your grasp. “It’s impossible!”
“You hopped right up about an hour and a half into the night, waltzed right into this room, and cuddled up with him,” she responds. “You walked right past Spike in the hallway and greeted him, too.”
Not bothering to get up, Twilight collapses on her side again in despair, her tail flicking against your legs. “Great. Just great. What am I going to do now!?”
“Well,” Starlight muses, covering her mouth with a hoof for just a moment as she thinks. “Perhaps I can try putting a magical lock on your door? It would keep you from leaving the room while sleepwalking.”
“I guess we can try that,” Twilight says. “Anything’s worth a shot, at this point.”
The next morning, you wake up well rested, and stretch. The sun is shining through the windows, and you don’t notice a pony in bed with you. You yawn. “Hey, alright. It worked.”
You sit up. Or, rather, try to. You’re yanked back down to the mattress by the purple hooves wrapped around your midsection.
“Oh. Never mind.”
“Good morning, sleepyheads.”
You glance down past the foot of your bed to find Starlight sitting in a chair, her back hooves crossed comfortably. She takes a long sip out of a mug.
You scrunch your face up. “How long have you been sitting there?”
“Oh, just an hour or so,” Starlight comments.
“Why didn’t you wake us up?” As you ask this question, Twilight begins to stir, gently nuzzling the back of your neck.
“I thought you two looked cute! And comfortable. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind giving this sleep-walk-cuddling a try, at some point.”
“Awwhhhhh,” Twilight groans into your back. “It happened again!?” Her hooves tighten around you in...frustration, perhaps?
“You sound disappointed,” you tease. “I thought you liked waking up before breakfast with me as your cuddle buddy?”
“Wh-what!?” Twilight’s hooves release you. “N-no, it’s not that!”
“Ouch,” you say, sitting up. “No need to be so emphatic about it, Twilight. I’m not heartless.”
“That’s not what I mean!”
“So you do like it?” Starlight asks, looking for clarification.
“Ugh!” Twilight groans, flustered and obviously frustrated at her situation. “It’s not that either! I’m totally...neutral about cuddling you! It’s just that I don’t want to be known as a crazy pony that runs around climbing into creatures’ beds!”
“Hey, it’s the smartest ponies that end up being the eccentrics,” you remind Twilight, reaching out with a finger to boop her muzzle.
“Don’t do that,” she orders, furrowing her brow and making the most adorable angry face you’ve ever seen. “Starlight, how did I get in here?”
“Get this: you jumped off your balcony and flew over here! Color me impressed,” she informs her, her eyes sparkling with curiosity.
“Hmm,” you muse, rubbing your chin. “So maybe we magically lock my balcony door, too?”
“Sounds great,” Starlight agrees. “Unfortunately, it won't work. I foresaw this possibility and magically locked your balcony doors, too. When Twilight couldn’t open them, she just teleported in here, approached your bed, and began her somnolescent canoodling.”
“It’s not impressive! It’s insane! How am I doing this!?” Twilight begins shaking in frustration. With another grunt, she magically heaves the covers over onto you and trots out the door. “I’m going to the library! There has to be something in a book that can help me out!”
Starlight lights up her horn and helps you to untangle yourself from the comforter and sheets. “Hey, can you keep a secret?” she asks you.
You narrow your eyes. “Oh, no, Starlight...Is this all your doing?”
She blows a raspberry at you. “No, I wish. I think it’s hilarious...I broke Twilight’s rule and wrote her brother.” With a flash of magic, she teleports a letter into her grasp. “Turns out, get this, Twilight does have a history of sleepwalking. She always refused to recognize it as a foal, but it happened all the time. Whenever she wanted something- books, desserts, you name it- she’d somehow find a way to get them in the night, and never had any memory of it. Eventually, Shining Armor, Cadance, and her parents just gave up and let her have the things she wanted before bed.”
“So...Twilight is sleep walking to cuddle with me because…” you can hardly bring yourself to mouth the words. “She wants to cuddle with me?”
“That’s what the clinical history would suggest,” Starlight tells you with a kind smile. “Maybe she enjoys spending time with you so much that she’s overcoming her social inhibitions only while sleeping. Maybe you make her feel safe. Whatever the reason, I’d conjecture she’s enjoying this a little more than she’s telling you.” She stands up from her chair and stretches, cracking her back. “Plus, she’s always blushing when you’re holding her. I think it’s sweet.”
You furrow your brow, lost in your thoughts about the whole set-up. You think you know what you have to do, but you also don’t want to make a butt of yourself in front of your friend. The fact that your friend is your host and a princess isn’t helping matters. “...You sure about all this, Starlight?”
She shrugs. “What do I know? It’s not like I’m a counselor or anything.”
You knock at the door to Twilight’s chambers.
“Just a second!” A magical blast rocks the door’s foundations, almost blowing them out towards you. “Come in!”
Eyeing the smoking double doors curiously, you slowly press them open. “Hi, Twilight.”
“Oh, it’s you. Come in, quickly!” she commands. She immediately turns her attention back to several open books on her table. “I want to let you know I’m pulling out all the stops tonight! I’m quadruple-locking all of my chambers exits with four different, synergistic spells, and I’m going to get Starlight to help me set up a containment shield around my bed.”
“I, uh, I see.” You feel your heartbeat speed up as you take a step forward. “Can, uh, I make a suggestion about preventing your sleepwalking?”
She turns to you, ears perked up. “Yes! Of course, I’d love to hear your feedback.” She smiles warmly at you, her eyes flicking quickly toward the ground. “You’ve been so understanding about all this and...well, anyway, I always want to hear advice from my good friends!”
Your heart is practically beating out of your chest at this point, but her words give you some confidence. “Well...what if I just, kinda...stayed here with you?”
A single eyebrow falls on Twilight’s face. “What do you mean?”
“Well, if we share a bed...maybe you won’t go sleepwalk over to mine?”
She purses her lips. “I...I guess...I don’t know if…”
“Starlight thinks that your sleepwalking is caused by a desire to spend more time with me,” you inform Twilight, scratching the back of your head. “So, if I’m here with you, maybe you won’t sleepwalk at all?”
Twilight’s muzzle scrunches up. “It doesn’t seem like a very permanent solution…” the tips of her ears and her cheeks begin to take on a dusty blush. “But...maybe it’s worth a try, just to see. Y-you’re...okay with it?”
“It was my idea,” you admit. “I want to help you figure things out, since I know how much this is bothering you. It might help me sleep better to not worry about you, you know, breaking into my room, too.”
Twilight chuckles nervously, the blush on her face deepening into a crimson haze. “Well, I suppose we should try it, then.” She zaps the door with a magical bolt. “J-just to be safe. I don’t want anypony walking in and getting confused.”
Twilight closes her books and trots over to her bed, hopping on top. She nods to you, signifying that it’s okay for you to join her, before wriggling under her royal purple sheets.
You fidget under the covers on the other side of the bed, making sure to give Twilight her space.
“So...I guess we’ll see if this works?” she asks quietly, her voice wavering slightly.
“I guess so.”
Twilight flicks the light off with a quick glow of her horn, leaving the room only sparsely illuminated under the light of the moon. You feel her fidget softly under the sheets.
“Uh huh?” she asks. “Do you need to use the bathroom? I can unlock the doors for you.”
“N-no, no, nothing like that,” you inform her. “I was just thinking...y-you said that you were neutral about cuddling with me, right?”
There is a brief silence for a moment, and you can feel the sheets move slightly as she fidgets again. “Y-yeah, that’s right.”
“Okay, good. S-so you won’t be mad if I do this?” Rolling on your side, you wrap your arms around Twilight’s neck and pull her gently against you.
Twilight freezes for just a moment, and then wraps one foreleg around your neck, pulling herself against you. Closing the distance allows her to snake another foreleg around your chest, and one hind leg in between yours. She squeezes you tightly, and you can practically feel the pent-up stress and desire flow out of her.
Leaning down, you nuzzle her mane and run your hand across her downy wings. Under the moonlight, you can see her smiling widely. Little pools of water at the corner of her eyes reflect the scant moonlight in the room.
“Thank you,” she whispers into your chest, giving you a tight squeeze. “Thank you so much.”
You turn a little to nuzzle her ear and whisper to her. “You’re welcome. Good night, Twilight.”
Starlight was vaguely aware of the fact she was almost awake. The morning sun was almost penetrating into her brain, but not yet; primarily, she could feel the sensation that she had gotten an amazing night’s sleep. It might have been the best sleep she’d ever had, and she felt no desire to move.
She groaned, pulling her limbs toward her. She was aware of a smooth, warm object pressed against her barrel. “Faivmorminnus,” she muttered.
Starlight jerked into consciousness. “Wh-what!?”
“What are you doing in my basket?” Spike asked, his reptilian eyes overwhelmed with confusion.
Starlight slowly uncurled her legs from around Spike and sat up inside the rather tight confines of his room's sleeping basket. She looked around at the various comic book posters and male room accoutrements, before scrunching up her muzzle.
“Ah, jeez…” Spike sat up as well, rubbing his head. “Are you a sleepwalker, like Twilight was growing up?”
Starlight’s eyes flickered back and forth shiftily. “Uh...Yeah, that’s it. I’m a...sleepwalker…”