Celestia's smile widened upon hearing those words. She kept staring deep within her former student's eyes bringing her hoof up to brush it along Twilight's cheek. The mare leaned into the touch and closed her eyes while letting out a quivering sigh. The Princess's voice was full of warmth as she replied.
"Of course, I will, Twilight. I thought you’d never ask."
The younger Princess leapt forward and buried her face into Celestia's soft chest, her legs coming up to hold herself tight to the solar mare. Celestia's warmth tingled across her body, taking hold deep within her core, and making her want to never let go.
Twilight never expected to get this far, in all honesty. She expected to be rejected and simply slink off, tail between her legs to try and forget this ever happened. She didn't know what she would have preferred now; what with the expectations that were only now hitting her.
'I'm actually going to date Celestia!'
Yet, her nerves all fell away the moment Celestia's leg wrapped around her, holding her tight. She could feel the Alicorn's heartbeat, smell her natural scent, and suddenly everything felt right. There were no nerves, no overthinking anything; just two ponies that liked each other.
"Twilight?" Celestia whispered, pulling away way too early for Twilight's liking.
"Yes?" she replied, chewing on her bottom lip. She knew she was acting like a school filly with her first crush, but she didn't care. This was her moment.
"Would you like to, maybe, stay here tonight?"
That was the very first time that she had seen her Princess actually uncertain. Even when facing insurmountable odds, she commanded an aura of authority, but now, she looked remarkably mortal. Twilight could see the worry overtaking Celestia's face, which quickly faded as soon as Twilight nodded.
"I think I’d like that, Princess."
It was as if a total change overcame the Princess. Her magic closed the curtains, smothered the fire and pulled back the covers on her bed. She pulled herself up and paced around, making sure that the door was locked one more time, then gestured to the bed.
"I must warn you," she started, glancing around as if anypony could find out the darkest secret she has. "I kind of snore a little..."
Twilight stared at the mare for a second before letting out a giggle, that turned into a loud laugh. "Is that it?!" she laughed, holding a hoof over her mouth upon seeing Celestia's worried expression. "Sorry, sorry. I just didn't expect that."
"Twilight, please. It's not something I'm proud of," Celestia whispered, still glancing about. The unbreakable Celestia worried about something as small as snoring.
Calming herself down, Twilight held a hoof to her chest and smiled. "I'm sorry," she began, rising up. "Thank you for trusting me enough to tell me."
Celestia's smile returned, only briefly though as she closed the gap once more to nuzzle against Twilight's neck. "Come now, Twilight. It's getting late and I would like to enjoy our first night with you."
Those words. Those indescribably addictive words. Twilight, in that second, knew she had made the right choice in asking Celestia out. She knew there wasn't any double meaning tagged along with them; they were exactly as Celestia said them.
The Princess pulled away after nuzzling a little deeper and audibly inhaling Twilight's scent, then made her way over to the bed and climbing on. In a matter of seconds, Twilight had teleported onto the bed and knew exactly where her place would be. Without any shadow of a doubt, she'd be the small spoon.
Golden magic pulled the covers up and over them as Twilight nudged her way into Celestia's legs, taking her rightful place. With a chuckle, strong legs wrapped around Twilight once again, causing her to shiver with delight as she was pulled back against Celestia's body, warmth flooding her being.
Within a second, Celestia's chamber was plunged into darkness.
Without anything to focus on, Twilight's attention shifted to Celestia's muzzle that was nuzzling deep into her mane, those hooves that seemed insistent on tingling across her body and her growing heartbeat that quickened with every passing second.
"Calm yourself, Twilight. We're just cuddling," Celestia whispered, one of her hooves pressing over Twilight's heart.
"I," she began, breathing deeply and hoping her voice wouldn't crack. "I know..."
The Princess hummed as she levitated Twilight around to face her. "Twilight. This is simply nothing more than enjoying each other's presence. It's been so long since I've had the pleasure of sharing my bed with any pony..."
Twilight stared at Celestia as she trailed off. Even in the dim light of her chamber, she could see the slight redness that betrayed Celestia's normally calm and collected exterior.
"I know, Pri- Celestia," Twilight started, letting out a sigh. "It's just, I've never shared a bed with somepony that I, you know, like. It feels like I'm dreaming, and I never want to wake up."
The Princess's warm, loving smile returned, and she leaned down and kissed her nose, giggling. "Be careful, Twilight, you're making this old mare feel very young again," she joked, her smile turning into a playful grin.
Twilight leaned in and slid against Celestia, cuddling up to her as she happily sighed. "I think I'll take that risk."
It wasn’t long before Twilight felt herself falling asleep, a true happiness flowing through her very being.
It had been several minutes since Twilight had woke up, still in Celestia's room. Unfortunately for her, the Princess had left for Day Court and left her all alone on the empty bed. Laying there, she pulled in a pillow and hugged it tight against herself, muzzle buried deep as she inhaled the Princess's scent, a deep blush adorned over her face.
She rolled around the bed, letting out a long-winded squeal of happiness once it actually sunk in for a second, better time: Celestia said yes.
A part of her did note that she was lying, by omission, but that was quickly pushed away as Twilight levitated the covers back over herself once again, eager to keep herself warm.
Unfortunately for Twilight, her mind just wouldn't settle down, forcing her to remember that she had left the younger Princesses back at the town and her portal was still active in her own room. She knew that she would have to go back in time again and even if she wouldn't technically have gone anywhere, at least from everypony else's perspective, it still left a bad taste in her mouth.
Letting out a groan, Twilight pulled the covers off of herself and slid out of the bed. It was going to be a long day for her, and it was better to force herself into action; she didn’t want Celestia to come back and see how lazy she could actually be.
The first thing on the menu would be to head down to Ponyville and gather her friends so that she would tell them about her training.
Touching down just outside of Ponyville after the short flight, Twilight furled her wings and looked about for at least one of her friends. Standing on top of a nearby hill, she could see the entire town and it was the epitome of calm that Twilight had come to expect, at least when she wasn’t the one to break it.
Something quickly caught her eye; a pink blur that raced around the streets. Twilight watched as it sped from one of her friend’s houses to the next, even Rainbow Dash’s, with ease. Suddenly it dawned on her that only one pony could really do that: Pinkie Pie.
Her eyes widened when she watched the pink blur race straight at her and one raised magical shield later, Pinkie was sat on the ground, staring up at the Princess, her snoot having been thoroughly booped against it.
"I knew you would come back, Twilight!" Pinkie squeaked, bouncing back up onto her hooves as if nothing had happened. "My tail was a-twitching and my ear flip-flopped around two, no," she paused, frowning deeply in thought, "three times!"
Twilight could only stand there and smile at her friend, even as the feeling of wanting to research her Pinkie Sense bubbled up from deep within.
"It's lovely to see you too, Pinkie. I somehow, assume you know why I'm here?" she asked, preparing herself.
"Yuppers!" Pinkie chirped, nodded.
She turned, gestured for Twilight to follow, then began to bounce down the road. "My right hoof tingled and my right rump ringled! Wait, is that even a word?" Shaking her head, she chortled and shrugged. "Oh well, it is now!"
Sighing, Twilight nodded along. "Pinkie..."
"Oh, right! Your going away party!"
Twilight's eyes widened. "I already asked for no parties, Pinkie. I just wanted something quiet with just the girls and Spike."
Pinkie pouted and began walking normally. "Okay, Princess meanie-pants," she muttered, hair beginning to deflate. "No party it is."
Letting out a groan, Twilight said, "Fine!" Receiving a squeal of happiness, she caught Pinkie in a magical aura and narrowed her eyes. '"It can be a party, but just the girls and Spike."
"Okie-dokie-lokie!" Pinkie replied, saluting her right through the aura.
Letting the mare go, Twilight sighed and followed Pinkie into town and towards Sugarcube Corner.
Twilight felt like she had been transported all the way back to the first day that she had arrived in Ponyville. A light breeze past through the town as well as a rainbow trail that landed in a plume of dust, revealing that Rainbow Dash had landed.
"It's about time you showed up, slowpoke!" Dash teased, grinning while she moved to meet Twilight.
Twilight rolled her eyes and leaned in to nuzzle her friend affectionately. "A Princess arrives no sooner or later than is needed," she stated, smirking. "Besides, where would the fun be in turning up on time."
"Oh? So, the egghead can learn after all!"
"I picked up a thing or two," she giggled, beginning to enter Sugarcube Corner.
As expected with Pinkie, she had cleared out the bottom floor of the bakery and set up a delicious array of foods that seemed almost too perfect for six ponies and a dragon. Off to the side sat Applejack and Fluttershy, holding hooves as they whispered to each other, sharing a special moment.
The rest of the bakery wasn't particularly changed, only a fresh coat of paint and a brand-new wooden floor signified the passage of time.
Twilight wandered up to Pinkie, who was setting out some drinks and gently placed her hoof on the mare's shoulder. "Hey, Pinkie," she whispered, letting the mare finish.
"What's up, Twi-Twi?" she replied, eyes wide.
"Thank you," Twilight said, leaning in and hugging her. "I don't say it enough but thank you."
Pinkie, for once, seemed taken aback. "Twilight," she mumbled after Twilight pulled back. "Stop, you'll make me blush," she giggled, waving a hoof. "You don't have to say that. Having you here is thanks en-"
"No, Pinkie. I mean it," Twilight interrupted, lowering her voice. "I'm going away for a while with Luna and I," she sighed, "I realised that I don't thank you enough."
Pinkie scuffed her hoof on the wooden floorboards, before hugging the Princess. After a second, she pulled back and composed herself. "Alright, enough serious stuff! Time for a party!" she shouted, bouncing around Twilight and over to Applejack and Fluttershy.
"Where's Rar-" Twilight began, getting interrupted by Rarity trotting in. "Oh, there she is."
"Good morning, darlings!" Rarity sang, looking wide awake and cheerful. She quickly moved to Dash's side and kissed her on the cheek. "So, Pinkie. What's the occasion?"
"You didn't tell them?" Twilight asked, looking over to Pinkie.
"Well, I didn't want to upset them!" she answered, bouncing upstairs and fetching several cushions for her friends to sit on.
Twilight let out a sigh and rubbed her temple, feeling a headache begin to form. She knew Pinkie had her friend's best interests at heart, but this was now more painful than it had to be.
By now the rest of her friends had sat down in a small pile, each one waiting for Twilight to begin when the door opened, and Spike walked in.
"Spike!" Twilight called out, smiling warmly as she climbed to her hooves and rushed over to give him a hug.
"It's good to see you too, Twilight," he laughed, hugging her back. "How's my fave librarian?"
"Oh, you know, surviving," she giggled, waving a hoof. "I'm glad you could make it, there's some things which you need to know."
"I wouldn't miss this for anything, but Pinkie wouldn't tell me what it's about."
"Yeah, she wouldn't tell any of us!" Dash called out.
Twilight held Spike's claw in her magic and led him over to his own cushion next to her own. "Get comfy, this will probably take a bit," she warned, receiving a worried look back. "It's not world ending," she assured, before pausing, "well, in theory anyway."
Spike glanced around at the other five ponies, only to see them glance away. "What happened, Twi?" he asked, placing a claw on her hoof.
With a deep breath, Twilight began to recount the adventure she had been on so far, once again sparing the details for Fluttershy. She might not have stated what happened, but the look in her eyes conveyed everything to Spike. When she had finished, Spike slid his cushion around and wrapped his arms around the mare, holding her tight.
"Why?" he whispered, claws dragging along her neck, his voice wavering.
Twilight chuckled and nuzzled him back, a loving smile on her face. "You know why; I'm a silly pony."
Pulling back, Spike frowned and shook his head. "Even for you, Twilight. You nearly died, Twice!"
"What if you didn't come back? We wouldn't have known; the Princesses wouldn't have known!"
Twilight looked down as the room became deathly silent. She could feel her stomach churn with guilt for inadvertently putting Spike and her friends through all of this. The other ponies in the room wouldn't have thought to call her out on her stupidity as much as Spike; something she knew she sorely needed. “I’m sorry. I wasn't thinking. You know how I get."
"Yeah, I do know," he grumbled, crossing his arms and narrowing his eyes. "But, at least you're back. Thank you for telling me, finally."
Wincing at that blow, the Princess finally looked up to see Spike's hardened expression change into a rather forced smile.
"I doubt that's the reason every pony is called here, right?" he asked, unable to look at the Princess.
"Nope!" Pinkie giggled, breaking the awkwardness. "This is Twilight's going away party!"
Twilight groaned and levitated a cup of Cuke over to herself to take a long sip while every pony's eyes flicked onto her. "Pinkie's right," she said, looking around.
The effect was immediate. A barrage of questions was fired at her from every pony and dragon in the room, causing her to roll her eyes. Slamming her hoof down, she shouted, "One at a time!" Every pony went silent, looking shocked that Twilight would do such a thing.
"Thank you," she sighed, rubbing her temple. She'd most definitely get a migraine now. "Dash, ask your question."
Dash frowned at her friend, clearly worried but hiding it behind a layer of annoyance. "What do you mean going away party? You're not going back in time again, are you?"
Twilight shook her head. "No, not yet. I will have to go back at some point as I'm a double agent now." Upon seeing Dash's, and most of the pony's confused looks, she tapped her chin in thought. "Alright, think of it like this. Every pony here experiences the flow of time linearly as you’re all single agents."
"I guess," Dash replied. "So, you don't experience it like us?"
"I do, but in two different places. I experience time here, as well as in the past. Although, not simultaneously as that would drive me mad. Whichever time-zone I'm not currently in, doesn’t flow forwards for me. It's complicated, but if I go back now, you wouldn't even notice that I'd have left."
"I think I get it. It means that you can go back anytime you want?"
"In simpler terms, yes."
Dash fell back, let out a groan and let her wings splay out. "Couldn't you have just said that!"
Rarity giggled and rubbed Rainbow's stomach. "If she did that, you'd never learn anything," she teased, grinning.
"So, if you're not goin’ back in time, where are you goin’?" Applejack asked, holding a leg around Fluttershy. "an' if Pinkie's holdin' a party, how long are you going for?"
Twilight turned to her friend, wings ruffling uncomfortably. "So, uh, I asked Celestia for more responsibility as a Princess and she agreed to let me take over Day Court a few times a week to help her out."
"Wow, that's good, right? You won't be too busy?"
"Oh, of course not. I was left doing overflow paperwork that the Princesses couldn't get to in time! I was an underpaid clerk rather than a Princess," Twilight laughed. "I don't know how Celestia did it on her own for a thousand years. I was drained after my first day!"
"I'm sure she got used to it after a while," Fluttershy finally spoke up.
"Yeah. I'm sure she had some sort of system to make it easy for herself. Though, she seemed to rather enjoy my suffering."
A small pause left the room silent as Twilight relaxed once again.
"Did you ask her out?" Fluttershy asked, peeking out from under her mane, her eyes sparkling.
"Well..." Twilight began, trailing off for dramatic effect. "I did!"
Fluttershy gasped and let out a squee as she held onto Applejack. "How was it? Where did you do it? What was her answer?!" she bombarded, a wide grin on her face. The mare turned to Applejack and sighed, leaning against her. "So romantic!"
Twilight processed what her friend had just asked, then chuckled and ran a hoof through her own mane, playing with it nervously
"Well," she mumbled, looking around at her friends. "She said yes."
The effect was immediate at everyone in the room gasped and looked around, grins appearing.
"Then we, uh," Twilight continued, her cheeks darkening as she tried to think of how to word it. "We cuddled, in bed."
"How was it?" Dash asked, sliding her wing around Rarity.
Twilight giggled and covered her face with a hoof. "She's warm..."
"Aw!" Fluttershy bit her lip and nuzzled up to Applejack. "Where are you going for the date?" she asked, fluttering her wings with happiness.
"I, uh, don't really know. Celestia's always been so caring, yet so distant," Twilight replied, sighing. "Maybe she'd like to be taken out? A dinner?"
The rest of the group took a second to think, each one looking rather unsure.
Spike place a claw on Twilight's shoulder and smiled reassuringly. "You know how you felt when you were freaking out about being seen as a Princess and not as you?" he asked, to which Twilight nodded. "She looks like that when she thinks no pony’s watching. I think she doesn't really want to be seen as a Princess."
Twilight listened, realisation dawning on her. "Spike, you're a genius!" she gasped, leaning in and nuzzling close, receiving a laugh in return. "I can take her out to a movie and disguise us for the night. It'll only last until we sleep, but she'll be seen as a regular pony!"
Rarity grinned and nodded. "I know of a perfect projector theatre in Manehatten, darling. It'll be divine for you two!" she said. "I believe that they just set up a brand-new projection screen downtown."
"I think she'd love that! I know that she hasn't had a day off in decades at least. Even her social events are planned."
"That must be horrible," Pinkie mumbled, a frown on her face. "Not having a day off in so long. I'm sure she'll absolutely love you for taking her out and treating her right!"
The rest of the group nodded.
"Anyway, that was a tangent," Twilight giggled. "You'll have to send me the name of the theatre when you get the chance, Rarity."
The mare nodded. "Of course."
"Now, as for why I'm leaving," she said, sighing. "I also asked Luna if I could take some of her Night Courts per week. She said I could, but it came with a catch."
"Are you going on a date with her as well?!" Pinkie asked, vibrating with excitement as she prepared to pull the tab on a party popper.
Twilight, Rarity and Dash winced away at the perceived pop, but found Pinkie holding it steady.
"No! I haven't even asked her out yet," Twilight replied. "The catch was that I need to be trained for it.
"The Night Court is run differently to Celestia's Day Court. While the Day Court deals with our citizens questions and needs, the Night Court deals with their security... Mainly from, well, creatures that attack Equestria."
"Like monsters and stuff?" Applejack asked, tilting her head in confusion.
"And stuff, yes. The Elements can't be everywhere, so Luna oversees a number of guards who are specifically trained to deal with creatures on the frontier, like Ursas, Hydras and Manticores."
"Is that what you're training to do? Fight animals?" Fluttershy spoke up, a conflicted look on her face.
Twilight looked down. "Yes, but thanks to you, I know that the creatures only attack because of a reason. I wouldn't want to hurt any, but ponies could get hurt if I don't. It'll be a last resort, I promise."
"Really?" she whispered, holding onto Applejack.
"Really, Fluttershy. No hurting them unless there's really no other way."
"I gotta admit. I've always wondered what you'd look like all, you know, toned," Dash chuckled, gesturing to her, despite the tiny blush forming.
"Dash!" Rarity gasped.
"What? It's not like you haven't either. I've seen those sketches you keep locked away!"
"Wait, what?" Twilight muttered, flicking her eyes between a laughing Dash and a furiously blushing Rarity.
"I don't keep them locked away. They are reference material!" she hissed, turning to Twilight. "Reference material. That's all it is."
Nodding slowly, Twilight fought to keep her own cheeks from warming up, before looking at the others. "You'll all visit me, right?"
"Of course, we will," Pinkie assured, placing a hoof on Twilight's, before giggling and popping the party popper. “Now let’s party!”
Several hours and many party games later, Twilight stood on the first floor balcony, looking out at the sleepy town. The sun was close to drifting below the horizon, bathing the world in a fiery twilight.
The sound of the door lock unlatching alerted Twilight to somepony joining her and she glanced back, only to see Starlight exiting out.
"Hey, Twi," the mare greeted, giving a tired smile. "Sorry I couldn't make it earlier. I was up last night working and only just woke up."
Twilight pulled away from the side and moved over to her friend as Starlight continued, "The girls filled me in."
"Oh, uh," Twilight muttered, grimacing at the inevitable chastising that Starlight would give her.
"Are there any side effects?" Starlight asked, looking Twilight over. "Any temporal distortions appearing? Gaps in memory?"
"Wait, aren't you going to shout at me for doing something so reckless?"
"What? Oh," Star muttered, shaking her head. "Well, yeah. What you did was the most stupid thing I think you've ever done!" she chided, watching Twilight's avoid her gaze. "But," she continued, a smile appearing, "we should at least document it. No pony, that we know of, has gone that far back, let alone interacted with established events."
Twilight pulled away and shook her head, leaning on the side of the balcony. "I, I guess so. I've been a little busy since I arrived back."
Sighing, Twilight let her wings droop down as she stared at the setting sun.
"Twilight?" Starlight wearily asked, standing beside her. "I know that look. I used to use it a lot, remember."
"Last time, the map stopped any changes to the timeline from actually occurring," Twilight stated, turning to look at Starlight, leaving it hanging.
It didn't take long before Starlight looked down, conflict evident. "Dear Celestia," she whispered, pulling away from her friend.
"Starlight! I didn't mean to... I-" Twilight said, sighing and moving off the balcony once more.
"J-Just some guards. At least, that's all I thi-."
"Just some guards?" Starlight interrupted, turning back to face her. "How could you say that?! Did you forget what you said to me? How if even one friendship dies..."
"The result could be disastrous," Twilight replied, closing her eyes and lowering her head in shame. "I didn't know, or I was too focused on what I wanted and didn't care."
"I suspect a bit of everything."
Twilight winced at those words, finding her guilt flare up. "How do I stop it from happening again? What if it's some pony I know? What if it's you?!" she asked, looking scared.
"Twilight! Calm down and take a breath!" Starlight ordered, shaking the mare. "Let's think about this. You always come back to the same time you left, right?"
Twilight nodded, her mane slightly frazzled as she tried to control her breathing.
"I'm sure that Starswirl had thought about this very thing. I'll try and see if he'll come visit and help me weave a ritual or something to see what changes were made. Unfortunately what has been done cannot be fixed without further damage to the timeline, but I'm sure further damage could be mitigated somehow."
With a deep sigh, Twilight finally worked up the courage to look back to Starlight. "Thank you," she whispered, feeling like she had failed her friend.
"I'm only doing it because you're an amazing friend, Twilight. But, you are going to have to take me with you at some point!"
Twilight's eyes widened as she shook her head.
"I'm joking!" Starlight laughed, slapping Twilight's shoulder with a hoof. "If we can't even laugh about world ending time-travel with a friend, who can we joke about it with!"
Twilight let out a groan and rubbed the bridge of her muzzle.
"Anyway, don't you have a hot date with Celestia to prepare for?" Star asked, grinning, before nudging Twilight towards the door that led back into Sugarcube Corner.
"Yes- ah, fine! I'll just say bye to the girls, then head back."
The next day, Twilight rubbed her tired eyes and stepped out into the evening breeze of Canterlot Palace’s garden, flaring her wings. The soft wind blew through her feathers, eliciting a sigh from the Princess as she made her way over to the edge that overlooked the valley, and Ponyville, below. Gazing down, Twilight couldn’t help but smile as she watched the train wind around the mountain before it sped off towards Ponyville, travelling through the nearly endless fields.
Her eyes kept on the train for a few more seconds as it passed behind some trees, then flicked up towards Celestia’s setting sun. It wouldn’t be long now before Day Court finished and she could see her Princess.
Closing her eyes, Twilight focused on the wind racing through her primaries and felt her pre-date nerves fade away. She had done the hard part of asking Celestia out. Hell, they had even cuddled, then snuggled in bed.
Since arriving back from Pinkie’s ‘going away party’ the night before, Twilight had made sure to find a private room in the castle, in her own section, to perform a long-range teleport spell. Of course, she had set it to a couple of blocks away from the projection theatre that she and Celestia would have their date, using a strand of her own hair as a catalyst. No sneaking around this time.
Of course, she had woven in a disguise spell alongside the teleport to allow Celestia some peace from being a Princess, even if it was for one night. She wasn’t sure what disguise it would create for them, but she knew they wouldn’t be an Alicorn, just due to the nature of the spell.
But no matter how hard she tried to calm down, she couldn’t find peace. Be it from worrying about Celestia’s reaction to the date location, to whether Celestia would even like the Projector Theatre. Hell, Twilight’s mind flooded with images of Celestia rejecting her from realising she was boring!
Closing her wings, Twilight let out a groan and leaned against the railing, her wings drooping down to touch the grass.
“You shouldn’t slouch, it’s bad for your back,” an angelic voice spoke from behind the mare, causing her to open her eyes and quickly turn back.
“Celestia!” she gasped, spinning and running up to the Alicorn which was just exiting the castle. “I’m so glad you made it! I was so worried that you had been caught up by some annoying noble, or an emergency came up!”
Celestia giggled and raised a hoof to brush along Twilight’s cheek but paused once she realised her golden horse-boot was still on. Sliding it off, caressed her Twilight’s cheek, giving her a loving smile. “Discord himself wouldn’t be able to keep me from you, Twilight.”
Twilight felt her heart flutter from hearing ‘Tia say those divine words; her smile widening even more.
“I, uh,” she muttered, before holding a hoof to her chest and taking a slow, deep breath. “Celestia, I’m taking you on a date!” she announced, her expression turning determined.
The mare blinked, before raising a brow. It didn’t take long until a playful smirk appeared. “Oh? Pray tell, where would you believe you are taking me, my dear sparkle?” she asked, leaning down.
Inhaling quickly to keep her quivering voice under control, Twilight grinned. “There’s a lovely Projection Theatre in Manehatten that I’m taking you to.”
The mare knew that this sort of thing worked well enough in books, mostly those which Rarity had accidently left in her bedroom for her to find. But converting it from the page to real life was more stressful than even Twilight would like to admit.
Celestia kept her eyes on Twilight as she leaned back up, her playful smirk still there. “It’s not often I see such a forceful side from you...” she trailed off, thinking. “It’s very attractive, my Sparkle,” Celestia purred, biting her bottom lip.
The effect was immediately apparent, as Twilight’s cheeks turned crimson and her gaze dropped to the floor, unsure what to say. Her heart thumped loudly in her chest and she barely controlled her wings as they fluffed up.
Seemingly happy with herself, Celestia moved over and wrapped a wing around the spluttering mare and pulled her back inside the castle and towards her chambers.
“So, how are we getting there? A chariot to Manehattan would take hours,” ‘Tia asked, glancing down to make sure Twilight hadn’t passed out from sheer embarrassment.
Slowly, Twilight’s higher brain-functions returned, and she could actually think once again. She couldn’t believe Celestia had said those things, yet part of her was slightly happy she did. Celestia was still a mare, even if she was over two thousand years old. She knew she’d need to brace herself for more.
“Um,” she began, licking her lips. “I set up a teleport ritual in a spare room on my third of the castle.” Looking up, she smiled and finished with, “there’s also something extra I added to it, for you.”
Celestia returned that with a quizzical look but nodded anyway. “Always prepared I see. I should have expected that from you. Please, lead the way.”
Twilight giggled and led Celestia through the castle, stealing glances up at the taller mare every so often. Every time she looked at the Princess, her heart felt like it would leap out of her chest at the sheer thought of spending eternity with the Princess.
Ending up outside of the door, she gripped the handle with her magic and pushed the door open, revealing a complex web-like chalk outline laid out across the smooth floor. In the centre of the chalk outline, suspended several hooves off the floor, was a single glowing strand of Twilight’s hair. Around the outside of the outline, instead of the regular three rune-filled circles, Twilight had drawn an additional three, signifying an extra spell to be cast when activated.
Celestia entered the empty room slowly, her eyes scanning over the runes and the intricate web of chalk. Stopping just in front of the chalk, she realised what each set of runes were and turned back to Twilight quickly, her smile widening.
“I thought you would like an actual night off,” Twilight said, moving forwards to brush up along Celestia’s side, sighing. “No pony will know it’s us. We can just go on a date, like everypony else.”
Celestia’s smile faded as she stared down at the mare, in thought. Twilight slowly began to worry that she had said something wrong, her ears folding down. Just as she was going to take a step back, Celestia leaned down and nuzzled her, sighing.
“My Sparkle...” she whispered, brushing her muzzle through Twilight’s mane, inhaling her scent. “This is so thoughtful.”
Twilight chewed her bottom lip, giggled, then closed her eyes. “No ponies bowing or grovelling. Just us two having a date.”
“That sounds divine, Twilight,” Celestia cooed, rubbing a hoof across the mare’s chest. Quickly, she levitated her regalia off and placed it off to the side of the ritual chalk, before reluctantly pulled away, yet keeping her hoof rubbing through the mare’s chest fluff.
Twilight charged her horn then placed it against the chalk, allowing her magic to flow in, activating the spell and tearing a hole through space-time. The tear widened enough for the pair to pass through, showing the darkened streets of Manehattan on the other side.
Celestia pulled away from Twilight and neared the portal. It was quiet, but the sound of the hustle and bustle of the city could be heard from within.
“You have done an amazing job with this, Twilight,” Celestia praised, her eyes evaluating the runes. “I’m impressed.”
Twilight’s eyes widened at the sheer praise, before she waved a hoof. “Shall we go? I don’t think the theatre would wait for either of us.” she mumbled, blushing.
Nodding, Celestia pressed a hoof to the portal and watched as her slender, white limb sparkled and shrunk down, a pink hoof on the other side. Taking a breath, she pushed through the tear and turned around to look over at Twilight, but found nothing but a brick wall, the portal not visible.
Twilight, on the other hoof, stood there staring at Celestia’s new, pink, pegasus form. Her mane, and tail, had lost their ethereal nature with her mane cascading around her neck in long, silver curls. Her entire body was covered in a finely brushed coat of pink fur, with irregular blots of white appearing across her flank and rump. Her cutie-mark had stayed the same, with the addition of sunglasses across the front.
She quickly passed through, causing Celestia to let out a soft gasp when the mare appeared out of nowhere.
Twilight blinked away the stars forming in her eyes and noticed the horn still attached to her forehead, before breathing a sigh. She examined her own body and found that her fur had been dyed a light orange, reminding her of Applejack. Her mane, and tail, had shortened, more akin to Rainbow Dash, but only keeping the purple colouring, and losing the pink streak. Turning back to her flank, the starburst had been replaced with a crescent moon, light filtering out from around the edges.
‘Of course, why would it be anything else,’ Twilight inwardly groaned, before turning her attention to Celestia. “Uh, you look good,” she said, rubbing her neck with a hoof.
Celestia stretched her wings out and sighed. “It’s been such a long time since I was this size. It’s refreshing!”
“Well, it’ll only last until we sleep, so savour it for tonight,” Twilight advised, giggling and brushing up against the Princess. “We should go though. Wouldn’t want anypony to find two mares in an alley,” she joked, making her way to the entrance, then glancing back, a smirk on her face. “The theatre is only a block away.”
Celestia rushed to catch up to Twilight, then gasped as she found herself looking around at the incredible structures, her eyes sparkling.
“I would have thought you’d have come to Manehatten before?” Twilight asked, raising a brow at the mare’s expression, then gently used her magic to pull Celestia in her direction.
“I have, at its founding,” Celestia answered, sighing. “It’s grown so much. How long have I wasted simply sitting on that throne?”
“It’s not a waste when you’re keeping, you know, the entire country running.”
“I know. But I don’t get to experience it.”
“You’re experiencing it now,” Twilight laughed, nudging the princess. “I have a lot of hair to keep doing this spell. Anytime you want a day off, we can hop anywhere you want.”
Celestia opened her wing and pulled Twilight close against her as they slid around the ponies, being squeezed together now and again, until they popped out in front of the theatre.
Looking at the time, Twilight grinned and pulled Celestia up to the ticket booth. “Two tickets for Mare in Manehatten, please!” She asked, her horn lighting up and summoning several bits onto the counter.
The Stallion within glanced over with a tired expression, then pressed down on a ticket machine next to him and tore off two. He passed it through the booth’s slot, then raised a brow at Celestia’s wide-eyed amazement. “Theatre two, it’s about to start,” he mumbled, kicking his legs up and opened his magazine.
Twilight decided to ignore the stallion and pull Celestia into the building, giggling as she kept gazing about. “I would have expected you to have seen a projection or two?” she asked, looking around for theatre two.
“They brought one to the castle to let me watch something or other, so I never really had the same experience as any normal pony,” Celestia explained, her attention back on Twilight. “What’s this one about?”
“Oh, it’s about a mare that travels to Manehatten to find work, only to fall in love with a wealthy stallion. It’s a romantic comedy!” Twilight said, grinning as she held herself against Celestia. “I haven’t seen it though, only reviews in the papers.”
The pair quickly found the correct screening and entered the darkened room. The movie had been out for at least a month by this point, so only a couple of other pairs of ponies joined them in the room.
Twilight led Celestia up the shallow stairs and found a pair of seats which were almost dead centre and sat down, before Twilight snuggled up tight against her mare’s side.
Almost instantly, Celestia’s wing wrapped around the younger Alicorn and held her, before she nuzzled deep against Twilight’s neck, humming. “Twi-“ she whispered, her hoof moving over onto Twilight’s own.
“Hm?” Twilight replied, using her magic to brush Celestia’s mane back.
Celestia stopped for a second, pulling away. “Just enjoying myself,” she giggled, a light flush appearing across her cheeks. “It’s been so long since that I had forgotten what being properly wanted felt like.”
Twilight stared into Celestia’s eyes as the projector behind them started up, painting the wall in front of them. The title screen appeared, flickering in and out of focus until ‘Mare in Manehatten’ flickered on.
“How long?” Twilight whispered, her hoof brushing along Celestia’s cheek. As much as it hurt, she already knew the answer. Yet, she needed to hear it from the mare herself.
“I-“ Celestia began, averting her eyes downwards. “Two thousand years.”
Twilight didn’t know what to say. The Princess had taken no others for so, so long that she couldn’t imagine what the mare was feeling.
Finally moving her eyes back up, Celestia chuckled and leaned in, to kiss Twilight on her nose. “Then you come along and reignite this old mare’s sun,” she giggled, earning a ‘shh’ from another pair across the room.
The two of them giggled and turned to the movie, Twilight leaning against the older Princess while the movie played, and Celestia nuzzling her throughout and barely paying attention to the movie.
Every so often, Twilight giggled when she felt Celestia nipping, or licking affectionately at her neck. “Ah- stop,” she playfully whispered, cheeks practically lighting up at the feeling.
“I want to remember every inch of you, my dear light,” Celestia purred, eyes roaming the mare’s body.
Twilight wasn’t sure if she had misheard the Princess, but quickly forgot when a hoof rubbed across her chest and Celestia’s lips kissed her neck.
“Shall we get out of here?” Twilight asked, her voice barely above a whisper.
“I thought you’d never ask.”
With that, the pair pulled themselves away from the seats and stumbled out of the theatre, their manners having faded, being replaced with their thoughts of just being alone together.
Walking through the bustling streets of Manehatten, Twilight subtly led Celestia over towards the park in the centre of the city. Entering, they laid down under a cherry blossom, Twilight gazing up into the night’s sky as Celestia doted on her with nips and kisses.
“What’s on your mind, my sparkle?” Celestia whispered as a gentle wind blew over them and forced the blossoms scatter around them.
Twilight held her gaze at the moon and let out a low sigh. “I don’t want to leave you for so long.”
Celestia pulled away, folded her wings against her back, then moved around to stand in front of Twilight. That smile that could melt any frozen heart spread across her face as she reached out and caressed a cheek.
“Seven months is nothing, my moon.”
Twilight’s eyes widened, her heart thumped harder than ever and tears threatened to fall down her cheeks. Bringing a shaking hoof up to hold Celestia’s own, Twilight kissed the mare’s bare hoof and clenched her eyes shut.
“H-“ she choked up, lip quivering. “How long have you known?”
“Since the very first day I saw you at your exam.”
“I’m so sor-“
“Don’t, Twilight,” Celestia sighed, leaning in and holding the mare against her chest, letting her cling tight. “Don’t you dare say sorry for helping us.”
“But you were alone. I just left…”
Celestia leaned Twilight back, seeing the fur on her face matted with tears. “And yet you came back, my moon.”
Closing her eyes, Twilight took a deep breath, questions forming too fast for the mare too keep up with. “’Tia,” she whispered, opening her eyes and staring deep into the mare’s. “What happened back then? You and Luna have your celestial bodies, so surely we won?”
The Princess winced and looked away, breaking contact. “Luna and I cannot say. It would make you do things differently when you go back again.”
Twilight blinked, then pulled back, deep in thought. “But we do win, or nothing would be here,” she muttered, her frown deepening. “But there must be some reason I don’t stay with you back then. It’s not like I wouldn’t be able to, right?”
“Twilight,” Celestia asked, placing a hoof on her back, “please. I can’t say anything, or it won’t happen.”
“Why? Why can’t you share something?!”
“Because you told me not to!” Celestia huffed, stomping the ground. “The past- uh, future you. She said that it had taken her a long time to get things just right.”
“Me?” Twilight muttered, looking on in disbelief. “What does she, or I mean?” she groaned, stomping her hooves against the grass. “I hate working out time-travel!”
The smile returned to Celestia’s face upon seeing her adorable marefriend. “Look, Twilight. You’ll have to go back after your training,” she stated, moving next to her. “Luna doesn’t know that you’ve gone back that first time. She just thinks you’re still researching some artefacts.”
Twilight’s eyes widened once again as she realised that she had kind of forgotten about Luna during the whole excitement. Glancing at Celestia, her cheeks darkened considerably as she asked, “Do, uh, I, you know…?”
Raising a brow, the Princess returned the question with a look that suggested to finish.
The younger Alicorn inwardly groaned and continued. “Do I,” she mumbled, sighing. “Woo you two?”
Celestia giggled and rolled her eyes. “Oh my, Twilight. I didn’t imagine you’d be thinking of that so early,” she teased, winking, causing Twilight to squeak in embarrassment. “But, yes, eventually. Did you ever wonder why Luna teased you so? She took the time without you so much harder than I did.”
Twilight thought she couldn’t feel any worse than she did, but that definitely didn’t help. “I’ll have to make it up to her sometime.”
“You best do,” Celestia agreed, nodding. “and no, she won’t tell you anything either, even if you begged.”
Letting out a playful groan, Twilight shook her head. “Alright. I guess I’ll take the long way around and figure it out the hard way.” Turning back to Celestia, her smile began to reappear as her horn glowed softly and the disguises began to flake off their bodies, joining the cherry blossoms fluttering around them.
“I don’t care if they see, ‘Tia,” she interrupted, taking a step closer. “You’ve waited for so long. Let me make it up to you.”
Twilight leaned up as she caressed Celestia’s cheek with her hoof. Within a second, Twilight was pressing her lips upon Celestia’s, eyes fluttering closed while she melted against the larger mare.
She could feel Celestia’s heart thumping wildly, warmth flowing off of her and knew that she wanted to spend the rest of eternity with her love, willing to give up anything for even a chance.