• Member Since 2nd May, 2012
  • offline last seen May 2nd, 2022

Fedora Mask

For Love and Justice.


Twilight Sparkle has always loved Celestia—as a friend, and a mentor, and something else as well. And she finally, finally found the courage to admit those feelings.

Celestia turned her down as gently as she could. That's what she thought, anyway.

But the night is still young—and it's a night for being wrong.

[Rated T for suggestive sexual content. This story takes place between the Season 2 and 3 finales. Additionally, I wasn't able to find the artist who did the cover art, if anyone knows please drop me a line so I can credit them.]

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 232 )
fferror #1 · Feb 11th, 2014 · · 1 ·

This was truly extraordinary. In a one-shot, you've captured more depth of character than many stories ten times this length.

I love the misdirection about what Twilight was truly angry about, from both Luna and Celestia. Twilight's reaction felt entirely justified: it'd be one thing for Celestia to say, personally, that she wasn't in love with Twilight, but when she said can't, she really meant won't, and that was uncalled for. Princess'd was the perfect term for it.

It's rare to see this much depth in Celestia's character, as well as this much realistic vulnerability.

Twilight's rant also managed to feel in-character and very Twilight, primarily because of how much reasoning and logic went into it: she saw right through the facade and decorum, and made Celestia take it to a personal level, where she had no excuses to hide behind. Drunkenness is a bit of a cliche, but you did something interesting and realistic with it. Besides allowing for Twilight's highly fitting rant, it led to the single funniest line for me: "So I made one."

This was not a simple romance, or a contrived one, or by any means a cliched one.

I'm not exaggerating when I say I enjoyed this as much as The Lavender Letter.

Wow, that was really beautiful. Truly outstanding characterization for both Celestia and Twilight, and a rare, but very welcome instance of Celestia being the one most hesitant and clueless about starting a relationship. And, as fferor said before me, Twilight's reaction was both justified and pretty impressive, and her calling Celestia out on her own mistakes was what made this possible.
And, of course, FINALLY more Twilestia. Can't have enough of that.

I am afraid we need more of this, please say thou art doing a sequal

whoever disliked this story will you please kindly go buck yourself.

This pleases me deeply. Twilestia fascinates me forever, for some reason.

Very, very good. The characters were pitch perfect, especially Luna. Beautiful story.

You sir/madam, are feeding my addiction. Thank you for that. I was going crazy without a good Twilestia story!

That was absolutely wonderful. Bravo, sir. Bravo.

*lies twitching on the floor frothing from the mouth with one hand holding a pen over a piece of parchment that reads fluffy over and over and over*

You have written two of my all time favorite twilestia fics, that they are so wildly different from each other tickles me. :twilightsmile:

I want more (like always) but this feels so damn complete.
*Twitching on the floor in over excitement*

This story was so well done and it will certainly be something I come back to when I want to read a favourite.

See, this is why I can't read Celestia shipping. There's just no way I can reconcile Celestia from the show with the Celestia here. I'm not saying one or the other is right or wrong, just that I can't make it fit. Also, I get the feeling that what Twilight was angry about was meant to be a surprise, but I'd already winced at every syllable of Celestia's atrocious rebuttal.

On the upside, this gave me a huge laugh:

Luna frowned. “You have not gone yet.”


I'm not one for TwiLestia.

BUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT I might just read this story. You have already gotten me interested.

3929477 I...find the disconnect not really present.

3929517 Heh...I think this is, what, the fourteenth time I've heard you say something along these lines on a Twilestia?

I had a big dumb grin on my face through out the entire thing. Very nice work here. :twilightsmile:

Well dang, that's more character development for Celestia than she's had in all four seasons and all the fan-fics I've read so far...In one chapter, no less. Bravo.

I loved this story for several reasons.

First off, you managed to write a one-shot shipfic with a conflict. That alone is enough to get me to favorite and follow.

Secondly, I absolutely loved the way you wrote Celestia. She is almost always portrayed as the epitome of perfection, but you didn't go down that path. You wrote her as a regular pony with regular problems, and that says a lot. You really dug deep into her character and gave us a nice look into what makes her tick beneath her cultured exterior. I appreciate that.

Next, you managed to explain why Twilight loves Celestia and vice versa. During the conflict you showed us why the relationship would work. I never liked the ship before now because I'd never seen it explained like this. You've changed that. That's right, world, I'll admit it. I NOW SHIP TWILESTIA!

Lastly, I didn't find a single error with your SPaG. That is mighty impressive.

Have a favorite and a follow. You've definitely earned it. :twilightsmile:

I literally couldn't have said it better. I tried, for thirty minutes. You hit every point perfectly to match my own thoughts. Even the story you mentioned I thought and compared to this one. Freaky and awesome.

Fedora Mask, you've accomplished something that maybe a dozen of the nearly 1400 stories I've read and enjoyed on this website. I am almost literally speechless and I've weitten my fair share of small-chapter sized comments. I enjoy Twilestia, have no doubt. But this story blew me away. I'm definitely going to have to keep am eye on what you write. Followed, thumbed, faved.

Normally, I follow an author when I enjoy 200k words they'd written, or three stories. You're a rare exception now. Ten thousand words and every one of them was awesome.

Brilliantly done, with wonderful characterizations throughout. Bonus points for nervous, scared, panicky Celestia. Thumbs up and gold star for you!

Let's just hope this isn't a prequel to Lessons.


Seems Celestia's mind fell to the great emotionally-inspired typo as well :derpytongue2:
Real cute, though I still find it hard to read Twi~lestia regularly.:unsuresweetie:

I struggle with reviews on stories like this because, honestly, I'm used to offering a constructive critique. All I have for this is praise.

It was a good, sweet story. It was well written. It was entertaining. It fit its tags perfect. And, most importantly, the characters were in character.

I really enjoyed it.:twilightsmile:


Twilight's pupils grew quite small in her eyes as she considered that.


Should be Twilight.

3929691 Apparently you missed the one time I misspelled Twilight's name. Which two other people were so good as to point out.

(No, but actually thanks for the catch guys... in 10k that's not bad though!)

I mean, I'm fairly certain there are some sentence fragments in there, but they're on purpose, and hopefully they read that way.

On a more substantial note, thanks for the thoughtful praise! You hit on basically everything I was trying to do with this fic--finding conflicts that push the characters and reveal things about them (or at least provide good fodder for silly antics) is one of my perpetual goals for my writing. During the almost 2-years when I was working on this fic, I took a class on American film comedy, most of which were in fact romantic comedies (though perhaps not quite how we would define them today), and that had a huge influence on how I approached this fic. I believe Billy Wilder said something like "The plot of any romantic comedy is 'What keeps them apart?'" and that was an invaluable way of looking at this story. Studying how those stories came up with reasons for characters not to get together, and then managed to show that they belonged together anyway (although sometimes they failed to quite pull the latter off) helped me a lot when I was trying to build this fic.

As for characterizing Celestia... I mean, basically you have to invent who she is, or else you're stuck with a character who has a few interesting qualities but not much of an inner life. The genesis of my vision of Celestia here is pretty complicated, actually, but I knew I didn't want her to be the "experienced" or dominant one in this relationship, that her relationship to Twilight as teacher and student would have to reverse a certain amount for them to approach each other on equal footing. Anyway I really wanted to portray a Celestia who, in at least this one way, doesn't have the vast experience and wisdom that she tends to display in the show. There had to be something missing from her life that Twilight would complete, basically.

Anyhoo, I'm rambling a bit (it's funny, the writing of this story was long and complicated and potentially an interesting story, but whenever I try to write it, it comes out kind of a mess... rather like my early efforts at the fic, hah). I'm glad I made a convert of you. All part of my evil plan.

3929121 Heh, thanks for the second read-through Denim. I will actually read your thing now!

And I'm glad my incessant chattering/whining about the fic (which you graciously refer to as "being part of the process") didn't make you sick of it/me. Your comments and encouragements were quite helpful in actually getting things done, so thanks for that too.

Eventually there will be a story where Celestia is both Twilight's mother and lover.

In this fandom, you know it will happen... at least 50 times before 2015. :trollestia:

3928784 Hey, so I appreciate the support and enthusiasm, but please don't get aggressive towards people who didn't like the fic.

The stuff I write isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea, and it doesn't really help to be disrespectful towards people who say as much. Besides, I'd rather hear how much you liked it than that you're angry someone else didn't. :twilightsmile:

3930152 That's actually a really interesting way to approach a shipfic. I've tried my hand (hoof?) at them in the past, but it always ends up becoming "Hey, I'm going to put these characters in a relationship just because I feel like it." Naturally, none of those got published. Next time I take a shot at it, though, I'm definitely going to try that method.

As for Celestia, I find her inexperience adorable. Her insecurity and reluctance make her feelings seem that much more genuine. You certainly did an awesome job of building something from nothing with her character.

I'm glad I made a convert of you. All part of my evil plan.

Because of you, I'm probably going to be doing some serious binge TwiLestia reading later. I mean, who needs a social life anyway?

3929477 Celestia is over 1,000 years old.

You'd think after all that time she'd be used to dealing with filly-style romantic crushes from emotionally-immature ponies.

THAT is the biggest problem I have with Twilestia: Celestia is always portrayed as if she's either not ever dealt with romance before or she's a cougar having a midlife crisis.

The issue is the authors don't try to imagine how thoughts and emotions mellow after over a millenium's worth of experience.

3930182 I am sorry for that it just aggravated me that something of such beauty would get a dislike, It truly portrays the depth and hardships such a relationship would bring and the sheer profundity of their emotions are amazing for starters, it is by far one of the best fictions for Twilestia I have ever read for the fact that you have shown so much personality in just one chapter where many take at least ten-one hundred times the amount of chapters to show. I really loved this piece of art, I wouldn't be surprised if it became fabled on fimfiction, Sorry to put such a discriminating comment but it really frustrated me to see it there but again as you say some things aren't others cup of tea and I should not have put it. Just know I really loved this fiction enough to say I dislike the dislike, keep p the good work, Serra.

3930192 Exactly. Outside of that it was well written, so there's a lot to be said for a fic that I don't downvote. You know I'm not shy to do so :P


3930188 Well if you're interested in any of the films that had a pretty significant impact on me in this process... I mean, anything by Billy Wilder is probably pretty great, but Some Like it Hot and especially The Apartment are both incredible films. Funny, great characters (Jack Lemmon is adorable in both), and yet Wilder almost always has this real sadness to his stuff. Maybe not so much with Some Like it Hot but oh my god The Apartment is such a sad funny movie. You get to this point where it doesn't seem like anything can save these characters, but somehow they save each other, at least enough to keep going.

Interestingly, if you want one where everyone in the class thought he failed to really explain why the characters should actually be together, Sabrina (who is a teenager, but not a witch) was pretty quintessential. Like, it does the "you think the budding romance is a ploy by one character to deceive the other" thing, and never really sells you on the idea that it's become genuine somewhere in the middle. Also very much a story about broken characters finding solace in each other.

The other director I really loved was Cameron Crowe. He's quite different--a very gentle worldview where even the most antagonistic characters have this humanity to them, and everyone really does seem to mean well. My top film of his is Almost Famous, where the love story seems sort of backseat to the story of the main character growing up, but it's a really fun movie anyway (also about Rock & Roll journalism, and the struggle between liking and admiring someone but also seeing how flawed they are as a person). Say Anything is perhaps more interesting from a "what keeps them apart?" perspective, though. Also worth watching because everyone misremembers the boombox-over-the-head scene. In context it's actually like... way more sad than romantic. And if you like Frasier (my favorite traditional sitcom), John Mahoney (Martin) plays the girl's dad, who has a really interesting relationship with her... it's sort of tender and honest and yet with this unnerving, manipulative undertone to it.

We also looked at a bunch of films by Preston Sturges, who is quite funny but his stuff definitely shows its age more (and I mean, Crowe is contemporary-ish and Wilder was working all through the middle of the 20th century, while Sturges was more active in the 40s). His comedy is really zany and manic, and he's also got this tendency to shoehorn in happy endings, like he's deliberately thumbing his nose at the idea of wrapping everything up neatly. Which was very much NOT what I wanted for this fic, heh. He is a favorite of MLP writers M. A. Larson and Amy Keating Rogers, though, and The Lady Eve is just an interesting/important film in general.

...Sorry I haven't had a film conversation in a while, getting a little carried away again. I do highly recommend those directors though. Also because nobody ever knows Almost Famous when I bring it up and it was probably my favorite film from that class.

I do think there's a place for low-conflict or conflictless shipping, but to me it's the sort of thing that has to be kept kind of short. Like it's great to just see cutesy moments between characters who you like seeing together. And visual art sort of gets a free pass there, because unless you're doing a lengthy comic we don't necessary expect art (even short-form comics) to have "stories." But in writing, anything longer than a drabble that's just there to be romantic can start to wear a little thin... one the reasons I don't read a lot of longer fics on this site (apart from the fact that I don't read enough in general) is the sense that most of them don't have a strong central conflict, or that, if they do, they're dragging it out a lot longer than is necessary without pushing the story/characters forward. That... may be a mistaken impression though, and obviously there are exceptions (though uh... I've not really read any long shipfics to test this theory in the first place...).

Also I probably have no business talking about dragging out conflicts when I have 2 unfinished 20k comedy fics that are both like 90% crazy antics... though I like to think that I'm at last developing a sense of how to escalate those antics in a way that keeps things interesting and makes the character progressively desperate. Real adherence to the principle that every scene should affect the direction of the story so that you couldn't cut any of them is... one of the hardest things, I think.

Well, this is one of the sweetest stories I've read in a long time. Your characterisation of Celestia never felt "wrong", and I like what you did with Twilight. Some nifty turns of phrase and jokes to lighten things up, too. Good work! :pinkiehappy:

3930321 Looks like I'll be binge watching as well as binge reading later. Though that's definitely not a bad thing. It's about time I made a serious effort to understanding what goes behind romance. Almost Famous sounds particularly interesting. I always love a good coming of age story.

Though I do enjoy fluffy romance fics, they are always fleeting. Chances are that I'll forget about it the next day, and that's what I want to avoid with my writing. Most authors' goal (or at least mine) is to leave a mark. I want somebody to read what I write and be affected by it. If my story is not short and plotless, then that won't happen.

But then there's the opposite side of the spectrum. A little while ago I read an AppleDash fanfic called A Taste of an Apple over on FF.net (not sure if it's up over here). It piles on the drama and conflict so heavily that I would have to stop reading for days, even weeks at a time. I'm not saying that the drama was unnecessary, but... the author did lay on a little too much. It was well written, but I wouldn't read another one of his stories because I don't want to go through that again. Everything moved way too fast. I didn't have time to crawl to my feet from the last punch to the gut before he swung at me again.

Which brings me to my next point. Being 20K words in and still not yet at the full conflict isn't a bad thing. It's good to feel out the story before diving into it completely.

But then again, I'm not really one to talk. I have serious pacing issues. I get a little bit too excited to start the main story line, so I speed things up so I can get there quicker. I'm working on fixing it, but I never catch myself when I'm in the act, only afterward. It's always a pain to go back and fix everything right when you finish.

This story was everything I hoped it would be. I have no complaints whatsoever.

And now my Twilestia shipping goggles have more bling than ever before!

3930425 Oh, it's not that I don't hit the conflicts pretty quickly in the comedy fics I mentioned, it's that I tend to... over-beat. As in, have too many story beats or moments that aren't entirely necessary to advance the plot/character arcs, but which provide some other moment of humor/coolness/what-have-you. I mean if you strip everything down to its most basic you get a pretty boring story, so it's sort of like the art of writing really tight stuff is figuring out exactly how much you can do with how little of your audience's time. And that doesn't mean hitting them with full-on drama at every possible second, it means stripping down to the exact right BALANCE between high and low moments of tension or comedy or what-have-you for the mood you want. The trick of it is that you need escalation, to get between where you start and where you end up, both in the overall plot and in each scene. It's just sort of a question of how much and where. It's "the minimum you can do to create the precise experience you want," and figuring out what that experience is, and how long it can go before people get bored.

It's why nobody has ever said that writing was easy, heh. (And I mean, tightness isn't everything. It matters more to film and television where every second costs a ton of money and there may be an actual upper limit on how long your story can go. But it's a valid goal for prose, too, like Kurt Vonnegut's writing rule, "Use the time of a complete stranger so they won't feel like it's been wasted.")

But I dunno, I think waiting too long to start the main conflict is a bigger sin than rushing into it. Really what you need to know before you hit main conflict is where the characters are coming from and what the "rules" of the world are. And that can mean easing into things or it can mean starting in the midst of everything and making the audience play catchup.

This is SO AWESOME :rainbowkiss:

I NOW TWILESTIA :twilightblush:x:trollestia:

Some of the lines in this story were so good I had to quote them at people.

She was past having a choice. It was say it, or sit there in uncomfortable silence until she died of shame. Which could take weeks.

Twilight shook her head, as though clearing sleep. “She's just trying to do something nice for us. Besides...” she added, slowly, slyly, “I hear she can be kind of stubborn about the whole lowering the moon thing.”

“Though you know,” Twilight went on. “You're ruining all of my teenage fantasies.”

There were lots of other bits in here that made me giggle as well.

And honestly, I think that's VITALLY important in a pony story. There is a certain level of levity in their world, and it needs to be reflected in pony stories unless you have a very, very good reason not to. Ponies kissing? Yeah, there needs to be levity there.

Oh, also:

Celestia said, backing up reflexively to match Twilight's advice.

That should be Twilight's advance.

A very enjoyable read, with a lot of content of high qulaity. There's a lot that can be learned from this as regards characterization and writing technique, taking the counter-cliche tone of the story and making it work just as well as any played-straight Twiliestia ever did.

Oh man, I absolutely loved this one. Twilight had some of the best lines ever, and the story as a whole was great too. Honestly, I'd say this is probably my favourite one-shot shipfic -- not by unseating a previous one, but by being the first of its length that has really wowed me at all. Most of them are brief, and feel that way, being just some cute story or quick concept idea, but this one really had some depth and meaning to it. And at the same time, as Titanium Dragon points out, it's punctuated with absolutely wonderful lines that add a sense of levity and fun to it. It's just brilliant, great work.

This is my first Twilestia.

You did not disappoint.

Now I can officially say I have respect for all of the Twilight x Princess Ships.

Lordy, lordy... best TwiLestia I've read to date. There's been lots of approaches to how to do this, and there've been some really fantastic ones, but I think your approach of "normalizing" the two of them, writing them like any other couple trying to manage the transition from friendship to love, was an excellent choice.

Also, your name is so much more awesome than "Tuxedo Mask". Fedoras are win.

This is the first time I have commented on a story with TwiLestia. You must be thinking about someone else.

Great story. But I have to agree with Celestia's first reason she couldn't love Twilight. The fact that she has sat through Twilight's life but now is her lover is... well, odd. Think about that for a second. It is like your mom's friend becoming your lover. I cannot imagine how odd that is.

But this story was still good. It was an enjoyable read.

I swear, I've seen that cover art used for a Twilestia story for the third or fourth time now… :applejackconfused:
Anywhores, nicely written story, even if it did feel a bit typical to me. :twilightblush:

“I think I know my own heart, Luna.”
“Sister, if your heart were able, it would sue you for negligence.”


3931251 Well, tell somebody who isn't Bri-sta (or the artist of this piece whose name I still don't know) to draw Twilight being the assertive one/instigator.

Or even tell Bri-sta to do it more than, like, twice.

Seriously I think I looked through like, most or all of the Twilestia tag on derpibooru, it is -not- common.

(I am accepting fanart submissions for this fic...? Or anything I've written? Something with the bar scene would be fun if anyone's taking requests.)

3931207 I could have sworn you said the same thing about The Lavender Letter...and Colloquim..and a few others. Perhaps I am confusing you with someone else. But I can't help but feel like I have heard you saying this statement like five times.

EDIT: Looking back at old Twilestia fics, it was not that you specifically said this often, but that I have heard this said at least twenty five times on at least five different stories. I think I'll just start reading them as a whole as "people aren't always comfortable with the Twilestia ship, but they like to acknowledge the competence of its writers."

3931251 I have to disagree in that it didn't feel like most of them characterization-wise, but agree that it read a lot like your standard Twilestia fic except for the role reversal of Twilight being the certain and Celestia being the uncertain one.

twad #50 · Feb 12th, 2014 · · 1 ·

Celestia being all torn up and confused was nice.

Oh, and that:

“That I should just tell you how I felt... I had a plan. I was going to send you a series of of increasingly suggestive friendship reports. He thought it was too 'subtle.'”

Make it happen, please. Sounds really interesting and funny, especially if we get Celly's POV to go with it.

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