• Published 13th Jun 2014
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Bachelorette Bon-ding - Distaff Pope



Everypony has secrets. For instance, Octavia's friend Bon-Bon is a secret agent, and she needs Octavia to keep a few secrets of her own. Oh, and save Equestria. Nothing too big.

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The Invitation

“You want me to do what?” I asked, looking incredulously at Bon-Bon. We were sitting out in one of Ponyville’s many parks and up until a few minutes ago, I had expected our evening to follow the trajectory of our other weekly visits, with the two of us having a lovely dinner together and discussing our weeks while Lyra and Vinyl did… whatever the two of them did when they got together. Based on the amount of beer bottles I had to clean up whenever they had their get together sessions at my house, I could safely hazard a guess.

“It’s… a simple request, and I don’t want to force you into anything,” Bon-Bon said, taking a sip of her wine.

I laughed. “No, it’s…” I rubbed my forehead. “I’m sorry, I am having a hard time believing that you are a spy.”

“I’m not a spy,” she said, frowning. “I serve as an agent of stability for Princess Celestia when she needs my services. Most of the time, I am a confectioner.”

“But- But- But-” I stammered ineffectually, trying to make sense of the words. “You seem like a normal pony. I would never have… I would have never thought you were a spy.”

“Agent of stability,” she corrected, before nodding her head. “And yes, most of Celestia’s more… covert agents try not to make a habit of broadcasting the fact. It generally meets with less than positive results.”

“Fair enough,” I said meekly, “but what about… How do- What do you need me for?”

She rolled her eyes. “Were you even listening when I told you that a minute ago?”

“Actually, no. My brain stopped processing new information around the same time you told me you were a covert agent for Celestia, which I’m still not quite sold on by the way. Just… why you? Your special talent is making candy.”

“Well yes, but there are only a few ponies who have actual espionage related cutie marks, and they don’t do field work. Most of us have a special talent that can be used for spycraft, and I had another ability that the crown found particularly useful.”

This was insane, wasn’t it? Not for the first time since the conversation started, I tried to recall if I had forgotten to take any of my meds in the last few days. “Before we get to how you can use candy-making for spying–”

“Ensuring the stability of the realm,” she said, correcting me.

“Yes, that. My main question is, what is this other ability you have?” This whole conversation was still completely insane, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if I woke up in the middle of it, but spending half a year in Ponyville had taught me to accept the lurking insanity of this town.

“Right,” she said. “Octavia, how often do you think of me when compared to Lyra?”

“Substantially less, I suppose, but that is only because you seem so normal in comparison.”

She sighed and put down her glass of wine. “I suppose it’s time I told you a little secret. I’m not noticeable. Not really. Most of the time ponies just look right past me. One time, I sat in a restaurant for over two hours before anypony realized I was there. I’ve been that way my whole life, and a long time ago, I went to the best doctors in Canterlot to try to find out just what was wrong with me. They didn’t find anything, but my file was noticed by Princess Celestia, and she thought my special skill could be used for the benefit of the crown. Two weeks later, I was in Mareocco framing a noble for adultery to ruin their political career.”

“Alright,” I said, finally processing her entire story. “ I have known you for some time now, and assuming all this is true, which I have a hard time believing, how come I have never had any trouble recalling you?”

“Oh, it’s gotten a lot better since I met Lyra. I like to think that she is noticeable enough for the two of us.”

“Is that why the two of you are…” I trailed off, not willing to finish the sentence and possibly offend my friend. More distressingly, I somehow I found myself believing her story for some unknown reason. I contend my time in Ponyville has affected my ability to think reasonably and led to me actually accepting this ludicrous story at face value.

“Not really,” Bon-Bon said, “although I suppose… Lyra noticed me, she saw me immediately, was friendly with me, and never seemed to look past me.” She smiled. “When she looks at me, I feel like the most important mare in the room.”

“Okay,” I said, rubbing my forehead. “For some reason, I find myself inclined to believe your story, although I am a bit incredulous about… What are the limits to your ability? Do ponies forget you exist if they go long enough without seeing you?”

“Kind of,” she said, “although that only happens if we don’t see each other for several years. Most of the time, ponies just don’t notice me until I do something particularly obvious, like introduce myself to them, and even then it might take a couple of attempts on my part. It makes infiltrating a noble’s manor incredibly easy. But around Lyra I am just like everypony else, because ponies remember Lyra and when I’m with her, they remember me.”

“I’m assuming you haven’t told her about this… rather odd ability of yours?”

Bon-Bon shook her head. “If I explain that, I might have to explain my other job to her, and that’s a state secret.”

“Which makes it all the more baffling that you are explaining all of this to me.”

“That’s because I need your help. Somepony has broken into the Royal Archives and stolen several dozen valuable documents. We know who was behind the break-in and we know who his employer is-”

“And you’re not just arresting them because?” I asked, unsure of my role in this operation or why they needed a particularly complex operation at all. If they knew who was responsible then why not just arrest them?

“We aren’t sure what the end goal is, or even if Lord Valiant is the pony who planned the operation. For all we know, he is just another middleman.”

I pinched the bridge of my nose. “Lord Valiant? As in the same Lord Valiant who designed the airship?”

She nodded. “After his gift to the Princess was made available to the public, he was understandably bitter, and now that several decades have passed, it seems he has decided that treason would be the best revenge. Our analysts have indicated that he is too cowardly to make any sort of overt action on his own, and somebody must have flipped him. We want to find out who.”

“You still haven’t mentioned what you want me to do,” I said. “And also, you are being rather forthcoming about what I have to assume are state secrets.”

“I am,” she said, nodding her head, “but that’s only because I value our friendship and believe you will keep my secrets for me, and more importantly, it’s because I know that you’d rather not mention this to anypony else because then they might think you were crazy.” Damn, she had me there.

“Alright,” I said. “Not that I’m agreeing to help you, but I can hear out your request.”

“The pony who stole the documents, Turn Coat, is a classical-music aficionado, and there have been several rumors linking him intimately to classical musicians. Considering that he is an earth pony, we have reason to believe he is a fan of yours.”

“Please don’t tell me you’re going to suggest what I think you are?” I asked.

“Well,” she said, slowly smiling at me, “have you ever heard of a honeypot?”

***

Several days later we were in a private train compartment heading to Canterlot. And I was trying to figure out just how she had convinced me to help her out. I suppose it helped when she said I wouldn’t actually have to sleep with Turn Coat, but the idea that I was going to be spending what we had told Vinyl was my bachelorette party performing a covert operation made me deeply uncomfortable. Almost as uncomfortable as the fact that I had decided to just go along with her insane plan that involved me seducing (but not sleeping with) a traitor to Equestria.

“You know your role in the operation?” Bon-Bon whispered as our train rounded a curve and the city of Canterlot came into view. “The handoff is going to happen after Lord Valiant’s soiree tonight, and we need you to intercept Turn Coat by then. We’ve pulled some strings, and you will be playing at the bar of his hotel this evening. Our surveillance agents usually report him there between 8:00 and 11:00. The soiree ends tonight at tw-”

“I know,” I said. “You’ve reminded me of the plan more than enough the last two days, and you know I’ve practically memorized all those folders you gave me. Something that wasn’t easy to do considering the amount of time I have to spend teaching and running the academy, while also making sure that nopony else ever finds out what we’re about to do.”

“The crown appreciates your discretion,” she said, nodding.

“I’m not doing it for the crown. I’m doing it so ponies don’t think I’m crazy.” I paused and thought of the several bottles of pills in my bag and my history of mental… episodes. “Or at least, crazier.”

“Also,” I continued, “you never did say just why you picked me for this job, as opposed to your fiancée. If Turn Coat is such a fan of classical music, Lyra should work as well as I.”

“Well, yes, but…” Bon-Bon frowned. “I love the way she looks at me. There’s no expectation or betrayal in that look, and I’m afraid that if I do tell her the truth she will never forgive me.”

The look in Bon-Bon’s eye at that moment, I want to say it was funny, but that is far too glib. Instead, I suppose it would be more accurate to say it was unexpected. For the six months I had known her, I had always thought of her as being the stable one, and in some ways, a mentor I could look up to. Then there had been the recent revelation that she was just as crazy as the rest of Ponyville, but up until that moment, it had never occurred to me that she might struggle with her relationship like everypony else. Up until that moment I had assumed her life must be, if not perfect, then free from the worry and doubt that had plagued me on occasion. It was both refreshing and disheartening simultaneously.

“It’s alright,” I said. “Although I do think you should tell Lyra; she adores you, and I don’t think you telling her you’re a spy-”

“Agent of stability.”

“Yes, that. I don’t think telling her you are an agent of stability will really upset her too much. Especially if you can sweeten the proverbial pot with some information about humans.”

“Well,” she said, tapping her chin, “Lyra already knows about the portal’s general location and when it’s next slated to open, but I suppose I could provide the exact details of its location and arrange for us to get past the guards.”

I rubbed my forehead. “I… I was just joking. I didn’t think there were any actual state secrets regarding humans.”

She looked up at me and smiled, her voice and expression taking on a slightly mechanical tone. “Oh, there aren’t. At all. Obviously, thinking humans existed would be… silly.”

“Bon-Bon,” I said, frowning at the mare, “for a spy-”

“Agent of stability.”

“Yes, that. For an agent of stability, you seem to have a hard time lying.”

Bon-Bon shook her head. “Sorry, Lyra was so sure she had found this ancient magical portal to Humanland, or whatever it’s actually called, and I thought it might be smart if I checked the archives to make sure it wasn’t dangerous, and it turns out that there are humans and that the Equestrian government has a portal to their lands. I was as shocked as you are.”

My stream of thought turned into an all-encompassing white noise as I struggled to understand just what was said. A process that was greatly complicated by the fact that my thoughts had suddenly turned into soothing ocean noises.

“Octavia,” Bon-Bon said, “are you alright? I can understand your shock, but you’ve been on complete lockdown for several minutes.”

In the great empty sea that was my mind, I was slowly able to pull a word up from its depths. “Yes.”

Her brow wrinkled in worry. “So you are fine then?”

“Yes.”

“Alright,” she said, “can you say something other than ‘yes’ for me?”

“Yes.”

She sighed. “I suppose I walked into that one. Octavia, say something other than ‘yes’.”

More words surfaced in the vast emptiness. Slowly but surely, I scooped them up and managed to cobble together a functional sentence. “Humans. Real. What?” A mostly functional sentence.



“I can’t drink,” I said. “Not without having a particularly negative reaction to my medications.”

“Right,” she said, recalling the disaster aboard the Valiant. “Well then, I can drink the fact that humans are real away and you can just chalk it up to your medication acting strange.”

“Actually, I am going to pretend the entirety of this incident was some sort of medication-induced fever dream. I feel it’s best for my sanity and well being.”

“Fair enough,” she said, “But before you do that, let’s just go over the plan one last time. You seduce Turn Coat, go up to his room, give him one of the breath mints I prepared for the incident, wait for them to knock him out, and replace the files he stole with the forgeries we put in your cello case. After that, put on the disguise we have in your room, and meet Lord Valiant. We will apprehend Turn Coat, and I will be busy planting several incriminating and scandalous objects in Lord Valiant’s estate. Got it?”

I smiled reassuringly at her. “Bon-Bon, you’ve planned this out so well, I don’t think anything could go wrong.”

Author's Note:

So, let's say you read the first chapter and thought it wasn't living up to all the fuss I made about it. That's very true. I tried to contain all the dark to the next chapter. Of note, the idea that Bon-Bon was a spy was kind of the impetus for this story and back in it's original conception it was supposed to be a light comedy. This chapter is the closest to that original idea, but it didn't come through unscathed in my attempt to tone down the comedy, because a bunch of funny jokes wouldn't jive well with what happens next.

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