Sisterhooves Social, Princess Edition

by Legal Brief


Chapter 3

That evening found Twilight Sparkle, Rarity and Applejack once again relaxing in the comfort of Twilight’s treehouse, preparations well underway for another sleepover. Slumber 101: All You’ve Ever Wanted To Know But Were Afraid To Ask had been unshelved, consulted and lay open on a reading lectern, sleepover essentials neatly piled on the floor next to it. The three mares rested on a trio of plush red cushions, Twilight and Rarity with curlers in their manes. Applejack had opted instead for a facial, cucumber slices resting on her eyes as she rested her head on her forelegs. After all the excitement of the race, the three had decided it was time to spend some quality time together and catch up as they enjoyed some well earned rest.

Rarity gave Applejack’s side a light nudge. “Applejack, dear, are you sure you won’t let me style your mane? It would be ever so lovely if you just let me have a moment with it. Please?” she asked with a hopeful ring in her voice.

Applejack removed one cucumber slice long enough to open an eye and give Rarity a small glance, before reapplying it, the corners of her mouth rising just slightly. “Nah. Thanks for offering Rares. I really do appreciate tha gesture an’ all, but I just aint into that frou frou mane care stuff. ‘Sides, it’ll just get messed up again tomorrow when I get back to workin’ tha farm.”

Rarity directed a small pout at the apple farmer even if she couldn’t see it. “Well if you’re sure, Applejack. Just let me know if you change your mind.”

“Uh huh, sure thing sugar.” Applejack gave a big yawn and stretched, her back giving several satisfying pops. “Hoowee, I sure am beat after today’s race, girls. Thanks for helping out Twi, and thanks for joinin’ Rares, wouldn’t have been the same without ya.”

Twilight gave an excited clap of her hooves and beamed at her friends. “You girls were amazing! It was so intense from the start. I couldn’t tell who would win at all. I’m so happy I got to see everypony this year. Gosh, we even had the princesses join in.” Twilight levitated over three tea cups filled with a rich blend of camomile tea as she talked, the tantalizing aroma slowly filling the room as the cups neared the mares. “But especially you, Rarity. You were incredible. I know you told me you got second place last year, but wow. You were really impressive out there today.”

Rarity graciously took her teacup from Twilight’s magic with a small nod at her lavender hostess, giving the aromatic tea a generous sniff. Her cheeks colored with just a hint of pink as she stared at her reflection in the amber liquid. “Thank you, dear. It’s just that ever since last year Sweetie Belle has been looking forward to this year’s race. She’s had it marked on her calendar for months. And I couldn’t bear to let her down, so I just had to give it my all.” The alabaster unicorn gave a ghost of a smile as she turned to stare at Applejack, now with the cucumber slices on the floor as she sipped her tea. “And I might have, eh heh, practiced a little, in secret, so as not to let her down. I wanted to at least give her a chance at beating Applebloom if I could, even if it meant donating some extra time and effort.”

Applejack turned to look at her fashionista friend, a genuine smile on her lips. “Well I’ll be, Rarity. That’s mighty kind of ya, and a fair bit more than I expected out of ya, being completely honest. No offense, but going the extra mile when you’d end up dirty just doesn’t seem like somthin’ you’d do lightly.”

Putting down her teacup, Rarity gave a small titter. “Oh, I assure you Applejack, none taken. Why, I’d be surprised myself a year ago.” She shifted her gaze to Twilight, straightening a curler in the lavender mare’s mane before she continued. “It’s just that, after last year’s race, the royal wedding, all these family moments that keep happening, I’ve just come to realize how much my little sister means to me. I’ve realized that I’ve not always been the best big sister I could be, and that from here on out I plan to fix that, even if it involves more dirt, mud, and outdoor activities than I’d prefer.” She once more turned to Applejack with a big smile. “The magic of friendship isn’t only for the friends you make. Your family deserves it as well.”

“I’m so proud of you, Rarity. You sound just like My BBBFF when he talks about my childhood.” Twilight gave a small giggle while her orange guest gave a mirthful snort at the abbreviation. “Having a big brother or sister who really cares about you makes you feel more loved than you can imagine.”

Twilight got up and walked over to a long maple table next to the big south-facing window before picking up two ornate mahogany picture frames with her magic. The first showed her with Princess Celestia upon being accepted into her School for Gifted Unicorns, a huge grin plastered on the filly’s face. The second was a picture of Shining armor embracing a smiling filly Twilight in front of their house on a clear summer day. She walked over to the cushions and levitated the pictures in front of her guests. “The only thing I loved more growing up than being Princess Celestia’s personal protege was being my BBBFF’s little sister.”

After briefly sharing her treasured memories, Twilight trotted back toward her pillow to finish her tea. A loud belch suddenly echoed from the basement before Spike came running in grasping two letters held in his claws. “Twilight! The princesses each just sent you a letter. You want me to read ‘em?”

Twilight took hold of the letters in her magic and levitated them over. “No thanks, Spike. It’s getting late. You can just go to bed. I’ll just send a response in the morning if I need to.”

Spike gave a small wave to Applejack and a much longer one to Rarity, eyes turning into hearts as he did. “Sure thing Twi. I’ll see you tomorrow.” He quickly made his way back downstairs, glad he wasn’t needed for anything and that he could hit the sack.

Twilight’s two guests both got up and walked over to the lavender mare as she unrolled the first scroll, breaking the royal seal of Princess Celestia before reading it aloud.

Dear my most faithful student,

Today, I learned that one is never too old to be taught about the magic of friendship. The magic of friendship does not only exist between the friends you make in your lifetime, but also between the friends you are born with: your family. It was the magic of friendship that gave me my sister back , as you well know. I can never thank you and your friends enough for that, but that won’t stop me from trying.

Friendship can spring up suddenly, fade in an instant, and return when you least expect it. You and your brave friends may have saved my sister from the evils of Nightmare Moon, but merely cleansing her of that did not restore our friendship to what it once was. Today, Lulu had the opportunity to shirk off the chains of formality and decorum that shackle us as princesses. Instead, she acted with the freedom that can only come when addressing family, unburdened by what others might think of her, even if it was just to stuff her face with a pie and call me a ‘fat flank.’ I assure you, my flank is perfectly normal for an alicorn my size. Ever since the race she has been more open, casual, no longer standing on decorum or ceremony when she may be criticized for not acting the part, even if she still breaks into the Royal Canterlot Voice as much as ever. For her renewed trust and sincerity, I am truly grateful. While Amethyst Star and Dinky Doo may have taken the gold, I think Lulu and I are the real winners this day. Sweetie Belle put it best when she said, “Having a sister is just about the bestest thing in the world.”

In friendship,
Princess Celestia

P.S.  Today, I learned that Tia is a fat flank and needs to go on a royal diet. ~Luna

Twilight’s two guests directed a quizzical gaze at the lavender mare. “Uh, sugarcube, did Princess Celestia just write you a friendship report?”

Twilight continued starting at the scroll for several moments before answering. “Well I never thought I’d see the day this happened. But to answer your question Applejack, it sure looks like she did.” She nodded once and her countenance slowly brightened.

After a moment, Twilight gave a beaming smile at Rarity as she hugged the white unicorn. “Isn’t that great Rarity? Both you and Princess Celestia became closer to your little sisters because of the Sisterhooves Social.”

Rarity gave a strong squeeze back before stepping back from her lavender friend. “Indeed, Twilight. I’m ever so glad the Sisterhooves Social could help the princesses’ relationship as much as it did Sweetie Belle’s and mine. A little sisterly bonding can go a long way it seems, even if you are a princess.”

Applejack let out a short whistle. “Well don’t that just beat all. I was mighty glad our little shindig could help ya out Rares, but boy howdy I did not expect it to go as far as to help the princesses. Maybe the Sisterhooves Social is a might more powerful than I’ve been givin’ it credit for.”

“That’s for sure, Applejack. Well, we might as well see what Princess Luna has to say. It looks like it did a lot of good for both her and Princess Celestia.” Twilight levitated the second scroll in front of herself and her two guests, broke Princess Luna’s royal seal, and read it aloud.

Dear Twilight Sparkle,

You have done more than we can list to help us since our return. Not only did you save us from the Nightmare and become our first friend in Ponyville, but now you have helped us reconnect with dearest Tia on a deeper level absent from our relationship for so long. Know that it is our sincerest hope to one day repay you fully for your kindness. It was thanks to your kindness and through your friends’ help that today we arrived in Ponyville to cheers of adoration instead of shouts of fright. Truly, it was today that really proved that Equestria loves both its princesses.

Today’s event may have seemed about simply eating pie, pushing bushels of hay, or jumping mud pits for fun, but we know better. No, the Sisterhooves Social is about the magic of friendship. Not just any friendship, but the friendship of sisters. The kind we are glad to say we know about better than ever. To be able to get lost in the moment, to let your mane down, even to call your sister a fat flank when she gets herself stuck in the door, the magic of friendship is about expressing who you truly are no matter what title you hold and no matter who is watching.

In friendship,
Princess Luna

P.S. Is there any truth to the rumors that Celestia enjoys gorging on cake when nopony is watching?

P.P.S. Don’t answer that! ~Celestia

Twilight Sparkle slowly rolled up the scroll once again before giving Rarity and in turn Applejack a grin that would make Pinkie Pie Proud. “I’m proud of you girls. It really looks like your friendship has made a big difference for Princess Luna.”

Applejack reached up and gave a slow rub to the back of her neck with a forehoof, an embarrassed smile on her face. “Shucks Twi, wernt nothin’. I’m just glad ta see the princesses are as close as sisters should be again. Makes me proud ta say I was a part of that.”

“I agree darling. It’s the least we could do. There really is nothing more important than family and friends. I can’t wait for the next time we get to do something together,” said Rarity as she levitated a pillow over from the stack by the lectern. “Be that as it may,” she began, her smile turning wolfish,“I do believe we have some unfinished business from last time.”

**********

Several weeks later found the princesses of Equestria enjoying the last hours of daylight in the royal gardens, a practice that had become increasingly more common after their bonding during the Sisterhooves Social. A small circular table with a white decorative tablecloth was by their side, covered by a large crimson parasol. Two glasses of mostly empty iced tea sparkled in the sunlight, a half-eaten bowl of assorted fruits on the side opposite the princesses.

Occasionally a soft twang could be heard when a game piece landed. Whoops of delight intermingled with the sounds of tongues clicking in annoyance as the two players traded off turns. The stakes were high and beads of sweat dripped down the competitors’ foreheads as their brows furrowed in concentration. The competition had been fierce, neither side giving nor asking for quarter over the course of the last hour.

Princess Luna turned to face her elder sister, a cocky grin plastered on her face. “Give up now Tia and we shall be merciful. We shall only make you forgo cake for three days instead of a whole week should you concede. We both know you stand no chance.”

Princess Celestia narrowed her eyes. “I don’t think so, little sister. Not with these stakes. I shall have both our desserts for an entire week. Besides, we both know that I will be the victor.”
 
Princess Luna rolled her eyes even as her mouth turned up into a small smile. “Oh please Tia, you think you can best me at the spider-toss?
 
The princess of the sun gave a small snort as she telekinetically picked up her spiders and levitated them over to the ground next to her. “I don’t just think so Lulu, I know so.” Despite the intensity of their conversation, Princess Celestia was beaming on the inside. She didn’t really care about the cake, not that she would have minded extra. The royal chefs had become increasingly stingy with it ever since Princess Luna’s little chat with the kitchen staff.
 
Princess Celestia was so, so proud of her little sister. The midnight blue alicorn occasionally still lapsed into the Royal Canterlot Voice, was still a stickler about table manners, and was still old fashioned at times, but no longer was the little sister inside shackled behind her station. Princess Luna would now openly display her affection toward her big sister even in public, and the two felt closer than ever. What had started out as a simple request in Ponyville on Nightmare Night to drop princess from her name had now blossomed into a real closeness with her subjects and her sister. Both sisters had truly meant what they had said in their letters to Twilight Sparkle. Princess Celestia and Princess Luna felt more than ever that they were now sisters who happened to be princesses, not princesses who happened to be sisters.

The Sisterhooves Social had helped bring many sisters closer over the years, from the lowliest of farm hands to the rulers of Equestria, and in the years to come would bring many more.