• Published 26th Jan 2014
  • 2,709 Views, 73 Comments

Based on a True Story - Shrinky Frod

When Princess Twilight started dating both Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy, she knew there were going to be some hiccups along the way. But she was ready for them! Until she ran into Hearts and Hooves Day.

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This Date is Going to be Perfect!

Princess Twilight took a deep breath, inhaling the scent of the roses that she’d selected for the evening. She grinned as she set the delicate crystal vase holding them off to the side, for when she returned after the movie.

Dinner and a movie… on Hearts and Hooves Day… with my own Very Special Someponies! Twilight let out a most unprincess-like squeal of joy, bouncing up and down on the tips of her hooves. The guards outside her door at the castle smiled privately to themselves; for all her rank, privilege, and power, she was still the same Twilight Sparkle they'd known growing up as a filly under Celestia’s wings. No matter how much she’d protested that she was perfectly happy with her books, they’d always known she needed real friends.

And now, more-than-friends.

The two snow-white pegasus guards drew themselves up to attention as they heard voices approaching from down the hall. Well… voice, to be honest, though it wasn’t any flaw in their hearing that kept them from hearing the other side of the conversation.

“…I’m saying is that Twi doesn’t have to go to all this trouble!” The brash, slightly raspy voice said, rounding a corner in the middle of a sentence. It was Rainbow Dash, dressed in her Gala best, and not looking at her most comfortable that way to be honest. Her companion, Fluttershy, followed a moment later, unheard by anypony but the one she was talking to. One of the two guards glanced over at them, and raised an appreciative eyebrow at the sleek, nature-themed dress Fluttershy was wearing, before he remembered who she was and looked forward at the wall again.

His partner chuckled before striking a steel-shod hoof against the cobblestones.

“Princess Twilight Sparkle, the Ladies Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy are here to see you,” he announced, receiving another delighted squeal from inside in response.

“Oh my… I don’t think I’ve heard her like that since she asked you out!” Fluttershy smiled gently as she and Rainbow stepped up to the door.

“I don’t know about you, but I think I could stand to hear her squeal like that more often,” Rainbow whispered to Fluttershy quietly. The yellow mare’s cheeks turned a bright orange as she hid behind her long pink mane. To their credit, the guards gave no sign of hearing Rainbow’s remark, merely inclining their heads to the two mares.

Inside the room, Twilight was working through her breathing exercises.

Breathe in… breathe out… breathe in… breathe out. They’re going to love it tonight. I have reservations at the most romantic restaurant in Canterlot, Rainbow Dash is going to love the premier of Daring Do and the Crystal Empire, I’m not going to spend the whole movie complaining about the historical and archaeological inaccuracies, Fluttershy is going to adore going through the Royal Night Garden, then we’ll come back up here and… and… and….

A tuft of Twilight’s mane popped out of place as her eyes widened. Her pupils narrowed, her imagination running wild at the very thought of the close of the evening, something they’d all been looking forward to for months, even if Fluttershy wouldn’t admit it. Then Equestria’s newest Princess heard a knock at the door. She started towards it, but caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror and gasped, hurriedly working on taming her mane again.

Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out, in, out, in, out, in… hoookay, Twilight Sparkle, get it together! You do not need to be getting ahead of yourself like that! Stick to the plan, and everything… is going… to be… fine!

Twilight took one last deep breath, and then grinned broadly as she opened the door with her magic, revealing her marefriends on the other side.

“Wow, Twi, you look great!” Rainbow whistled as she looked the lavender mare up and down. Twilight blushed, stepping forward to give Rainbow a light nuzzle.

“Flatterer,” she giggled, turning to kiss Fluttershy’s cheek gently. “I can’t look better than the two of you always do! Come on, we’re getting dinner at La Romanetique, and that’s just the start!”

“Hey, I might be about the speed, but we don’t have to hurry that much!” Rainbow grinned, reaching up with a wing to turn Twilight’s face back towards her and claim a lingering kiss. Twilight murmured something dreamily into Rainbow’s mouth, but whatever the words were must not have been important. Or at least less important than a long-delayed opportunity to make out with Rainbow!

“Ahem,” one of the guards coughed politely. “Your majesty, if the lines at La Romanetique are as long as normal, you may wish to depart shortly.”

“Reservations,” Twilight murmured, briefly breaking her kiss to do so. “Reservations!” She gasped, eyes flying wide open as she remembered. “Come on, girls, we’re running late!” Twilight ran through to the balcony of her room and took flight, followed swiftly by Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy.

The guard who had reminded them of their appointment closed the door to Twilight’s quarters with an affectionate smile. He looked over at his partner slyly, noting the blush beneath bright white fur.

“Want to take a coffee break and take care of that?” He asked with a smirk.

“I think it’d be better if I didn’t move,” the slightly younger guard observed, his blush brightening.

“Go get us some coffee, Stout. If you’re quick about it, I’ll help you take care of things after our shift,” the older one winked. He chuckled to himself at the clatter of armor as Private Stout Heart took off, looking forward to when their relief arrived for the night.

Meanwhile, the three marefriends touched down a few blocks from the restaurant, pausing to smooth out their dresses and manes from the flight.

“I’m surprised you were able to get reservations for tonight, Twilight,” Fluttershy observed as they started to trot down the street to their destination, where the line was already visible. “La Romanetique is very exclusive, from what Photo Finish told me when we did a shoot there.”

“Come on, Fluttershy,” Rainbow scoffed. “A Princess, the best flyer in Equestria, and a former supermodel? Oh, and we’ve saved Equestria at least four or five times by now. It’s not like they’re dropping their standards for us.”

“Well, I know, but Twilight doesn’t like using her rank, and their reservations are usually so full,” Fluttershy explained quietly. “Just look at how many ponies are already here waiting!”

“Well, for you two, I’m willing to let rank have a few privileges.” Twilight blushed faintly as they walked up to the maitre’d at the door, bypassing the long line of ponies who’d decided to wait for one of the few tables that weren’t already taken.

“Princess Twilight Sparkle and guests,” she said politely to the elderly grey earth pony stallion. His salt-and-pepper mane was slicked back in a fashion that had been out of style since Shining Armor had been born, but his tuxedo was immaculately kept, and the dress shirt on his flank marked him as especially suited for his officious task. He smiled as he looked at the three mares, checking his list and ticking Twilight’s name off of it.

“Of course,” he said politely, inclining his head towards them. “If you will come in, we have a table waiting for you and your dates. I assume they are arriving separately?”

The short fur on the back of all three mares’ necks rose, though for different reasons.

For Rainbow, it was the sort of feeling she had when wrangling thunderstorms, shortly before a bolt of lightning would come shooting her way.

For Fluttershy, it was the delicate sensibilities of a would-be mother hen watching her beloved chicks and knowing that, somewhere, timberwolves were lurking nearby, waiting to pounce.

For Twilight, it was the result of all her self-control and restraint being forced into high gear in an effort not to slap the maitre’d in front of hundreds of witnesses. Instead, she spread her wings and laid one over the back of each of her marefriends.

“These are my dates, Mister…?”

Fluttershy fidgeted despite Twilight’s public display of affectionate protection, looking around at the ponies who were staring at the three of them. Even Rainbow Dash, normally thriving in the spotlight, was beginning to feel a little uncomfortable with where she saw this going. She could feel the tension in Twilight’s wing, the micro-tremors that were part of an instinctive fight-or-flight response even Twilight probably didn’t realize she had yet.

“Stuffed Shirt, your Majesty. Your reservation says that you have reserved three tables for two,” he observed archly. Twilight folded her wings in against her sides again, frowning at the new information.

“Then the pony who took my information was wrong. I said a table for three. Now, if you will show us the way?”

“That will be quite impossible, your Majesty.” Everypony watching gasped at Stuffed Shirt’s casual, yet polite, refusal of the royal request. “La Romanetique serves only couples on Hearts and Hooves Day. We are not open to large groups.”

Twilight’s left eye twitched, and Rainbow could hear her jaw clenching, teeth grinding together.

“Large groups? Excuse me, but three is hardly a large group, particularly when you were expecting six.” Twilight’s horn glowed as she plucked the list of reservations out of Stuffed Shirts’ hooves. Her voice was entirely too cheerful as she glanced over it. “You’ve already set aside three tables for us. Simply bring out a third chair for one, and give the other two to some of these lovely couples here that weren’t able to get reservations.”

Stuffed Shirt leaned forward, taking the list in his teeth and patiently pulling it back to his podium.

“Your Majesty,” he said slowly, evenly, like a calculus teacher explaining addition to a particularly slow student. “La Romanetique only serves couples on Hearts and Hooves Day. This is a long-standing rule of the restaurant, which everypony of the class La Romanetique typically serves understands. Of course, given your recent ascension to your position, such misunderstandings are forgivable.”

Now Rainbow was bristling along with Twilight, and the sky blue mare took a half-step forward.

“Do you have any idea who you’re talking to, buster?” She demanded.

“The Princess Twilight Sparkle and her marefriends,” Stuffed Shirt replied evenly. “I am being quite patient, in respect of the Princess’ rank and youth. However, I am not going to contravene a rule established before my lifetime simply to satisfy royal whim. If only two of you wish to come in, that would be just fine.”

“Hey, no feathers off my wings,” Rainbow snorted dismissively. “Don’t worry about it, Twi, you and Fluttershy go have a good time, I’ll go grab some hay fries from a good restaurant and wait for you outside.” She started to turn around and open her wings, but Twilight’s wing on her back again stopped her.

“No,” the young Princess ordered with a too-wide smile. “No, Dash, I am not going to play favorites. And I am not going to let some relic from the Dark Ages discount my relationship because of an arbitrary rule that doesn’t even make sense! We’ll take the Princess Dining Room,” she said cheerfully, beaming at Stuffed Shirt proudly, maybe even just a hint smugly.

“I’m sorry, it’s already been taken,” the maitre’d countered. Twilight’s right eye twitched this time.

“That room has been reserved not just for royalty, but for the Princesses themselves, since your restaurant opened,” she pointed out flatly. “The only reason I didn’t reserve it in the first place is because I don’t especially like throwing my rank around.”

“And yet, you expect me to break yet another rule established since La Romanetique opened on account of your rank,” Stuffed Shirt observed.

“No, I expect you to break that rule because it is arbitrary, discriminatory, and stupid!” Twilight retorted through a stiff smile, failing to notice the five pegasus-drawn carriages approaching through the darkness. “I know that the Celestial Sisters are occupied with a royal dinner of their own, so I fail to see who could have –“

“Twiley!” Shining Armor called out cheerfully, waving from the window of the lead carriage as it landed.

“Shining Armor?” Twilight looked over at her big brother, completely shocked out of her diatribe. Stuffed Shirt rolled his eyes and ushered through two of the increasingly impatient couples at the start of the line while she was distracted.

“Surprised to see you here!” Shining Armor stepped out of the carriage, pausing to help Cadance out while the Royal Guards who were hauling the carriages stepped around to help the crystal pony nobles inside out and onto the cobblestones. “I thought La Romanetique only served couples tonight, not triads!”

“We do, Sir Shining Armor,” Stuffed Shirt pointed out. “Party of twenty two, for the Princess Dining Chambers?”

“That’s us,” Cadance smiled.

“Don’t do large groups on Hearts and Hooves Day, huh?” Twilight asked dryly.

“All couples, your Majesty,” Stuffed Shirt countered, motioning for the entourage to continue through. “The Royal Couple and the married heads of the ten leading families of the Crystal Empire. It is not merely a matter of maximizing seating, but also a matter for the kitchen, since our special menu for the evening is comprised of dishes specifically designed for two.” He looked around, trying to identify the source of a sudden sound. “Was that a ‘sproing?’”

“Come on, Twilight, let’s find somewhere else to eat,” Fluttershy said softly, surreptitiously reaching up to straighten her marefriend’s mane. “It was a lovely thought, but –“

“No!” Twilight snapped, shooting a glare at Fluttershy that sent the former model cowering behind her mane. Turning back to Stuffed Shirt, Twilight stepped up to him, standing up on the edge of the podium to look him directly in the eyes.

“You do realize that I could have this place shut down until next Hearts and Hooves Day with health inspections if I wanted to, right?” She whispered harshly, not wanting anypony else to hear her. Part of her brain was screaming that she was stepping out of line, but the rest of it was busy smothering that part to death with a pillow cased in righteous indignation and filled with checklists that would never be finished if The Plan wasn’t allowed to be completed as conceived.

“Your Majesty,” Stuffed Shirt replied evenly, not backing away so much as an inch, “La Romanetique has been one of Canterlot’s leading restaurants for centuries. I have personally been at its doors every night it has been open, keeping its rules, for longer than you have been alive, let alone been a Princess. It has weathered, and I along with it, disasters both natural and arcane, from rockslides to rogue tornados to Changeling invasions to Discord himself arriving earlier in the evening and asking for a table for two for himself and a handsome young ram. La Romanetique is not merely a restaurant, it is part of the foundation of Canterlot itself, and I the guardian at its gates.

“If you think for one second that I am about to let you force your way through those gates with baseless threats that you have no intention of actually following through with, knowing that even if you did it would be your reputation left in tatters, not La Romanetique’s, then you are not only sadly mistaken, but shaming your crown with the very suggestion. Now, if you wish to come back as a couple, we shall save a table for you. However, otherwise, I suggest that you leave before you make even more of a mule out of yourself.

“No offense,” he added, turning to look at the pair at the front of the line.

“None taken,” the two well-dressed hybrids responded evenly, entering the restaurant at his indication.

“Come on Twilight,” Rainbow sighed. “It’s not worth it. We’ve got the whole royal kitchen to ourselves, remember?”

“This. Isn’t. Over.” Twilight growled through clenched teeth, turning to walk away with Rainbow and Fluttershy.

“They always say that,” Stuffed Shirt observed. “And yet, the rules remain unchanged.”

Author's Note:

This, actually, concludes the part that is based on a true story.

A poly friend of mine was trying to get reservations, in Dallas, for herself, her husband, and her mate. Well, as it turned out, all the restaurants were only taking couples, so as to cram in as many Valentine's Day couples as possible and to simplify their menus. So they ended up buying steaks and having their Valentine's Day at home.

Sadly... Twilight can't cook. So, what can she do instead...?

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