• Published 9th Aug 2014
  • 20,333 Views, 914 Comments

All Butlers are Gentlemen, But... - Pen Mightier

I'm a Butler. My friends call me Butler. Looking after m'lady can be...challenging, but rewarding. Lately the job's become harder, with m'lady's sister back from the moon. So I decided to hire some help.

  • ...

Interlude 1 - A Gentlemanly Blanket Statement

Author's Note:

Hello again, all! I'm glad to report that Dumbgamer and I are currently working on editing the next 3 chapters. While we work on ironing out a few kinks, here's a little something for you all.

This little interlude takes place a while back before the events of chapter 1.

I hope you all enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

A good while before maids and trains came into my life...

It was with a cold sweat and a burning red blush that Luna woke up in bed that particular twilight. She quickly curled up into a protectively little ball, magically drawing her blanket around her like a turtle shell. "Who goes there? Thou who watcheth Us from the shadows with such lasciviously desirous eyes, come hither and face Us like a pony!" She demanded, ears twitching nervously under her blanket. She peered out from beneath her covers at her royal bedroom. The television set and her super nintendo console stood impassive in one corner. Pieces of what was once a radio lay scattered across her coffee table. A tall, handsome gentleman stood at her balcony, peering up at the moon through an ornate brass telescope. Her fireplace sat empty, though the air was already warm enough to do without it. And her collection of potted night lilies and moon roses stood vigilant by her window sill. There was no sign of the sinister interloper who had so brazenly bothered her slumber. And yet she knew somepony was watching her closely, and with such....such dark wicked intentions no less! She could feel the tingling over every inch of her skin as its stalking gaze swept across her broad....

"Butler! Enough conversing with thyself, especially with thy wayward narrative. Thy princess commands it! Now, we say!" She snapped, pointing a hoof at me.

"Now now, it is unbecoming to be jealous of whomsoever I converse with." I chided goodnaturedly from the relative safety of her room's private balcony. "But if you insist, I have other means to occupy my abundant attentions." I said without peeling my eye from the considerably endowed telescope I had aimed at the moon that was then just hovering at the cusp of the horizon, waiting patiently for Luna's guidance. "I shall be with you shortly, Luna, once I have very thoroughly lavished my excess attentions upon every deep canyon and budding peak upon yonder moon." I slowly swept the telescope across the moon's exquisite surface, earning me a sudden gasp from the pony princess in the bed behind me. I could practically feel the ticklishness radiate off my lunar goddess as I slowly and deliberately took in every intimate detail of that lofty celestial body.

"A-ah! Butler! Stop this tomfoolery at once-...AHAH!" Luna cried, her ticklishness getting the better of her. Her sensitivity was the stuff of obscure legend, now a closely and jealously guarded secret. If secrets had a secret nation, this would be one of its state secrets. "T'is only 6 o'clock! Tia may go raise yon moon in Our stead! Our sleep shall be doubled, so thy princess decrees!" She buried herself under her blanket once more, curling up like the world's fluffiest armadillo.

"Except my responsibilities are to the state and the natural order of Equestria itself." I replied, simply. There is some truth in that. The rising of the moon, the ebb and flow of the life-giving tide, the love-filled serenades and rampant debauchery to be made by moonlight, and, most importantly, the moon not crashing into the sun, all relies upon my most winning personality. "Now, where is that dial...?" I wondered out loud.

"Thou....thou wouldn't dare!" She balked. "Thy bluff hath been called!"

"Dare to do what, precisely?" I asked, innocently. I turned the magnification dial on the telescope, bringing more intimate details into sharp focus.

"Ahah! Nay! Butler, not so close!" The fluffy ball on the bed squeaked, squirming most exquisitely.

"As you wish, my princess." I nodded, obediently turning the dial back. "Oh, the dial is stuck..." I frowned as a satisfying click told me the dial was jammed right where I had quite lamentably neglected to oil it for oh so long. "One moment, Luna." I said, turning the magnification dial forwards and backwards repeatedly in a valiant effort to loosen the dial.

"AH! AAAAH!" The blanket-ball on the bed squeaked as it received the astronomical equivalent of a barrage of raspberries to the belly. "Pray, Butler, stay thyself! Stay, We say! Ahah! Ahahahah!" She pleaded, desperately. "We're up! We're up, We say!"

"Very good, my princess." I unstuck the dial with practiced ease and clasped the lens cover over the telescope. I noticed my princess relax quite visibly at that. I ran a fond finger over an engraved plate upon the telescope. It was inscribed in ancient Equestrian, dating all the way back to the unification days. 'So you may always keep her company, old friend', it read.

I heard a thump from behind me. I turned to find the bundled up blanket on the floor. Quite inexplicably, it rolled across the carpeted floor away towards the bedroom door. The bundle gave a little yelp as it hit the door frame. It quickly reversed before adjusting its aim for the door. This time it succeeded in making its escape out of the bedroom and into the corridor outside.

Silence fell, punctuated only by a few tutting crickets. I couldn't help but agree with them. This was indeed awkward.

"Hmm, sheet." Was my eloquent contribution as I leapt into action, skidding out into the hall close on the runaway blanket's heels. But this was no ordinary blanket. It was an alicorn blanket. Sensing my approach, it somehow sped up, turning into a veritable speed demon. It was all I could do to keep up with my rapid gentlemanly strides as I chased it across the royal apartments.

The runaway blanket made a loud screeching noise as it rounded a corner, leaving burn-marks in the antechamber carpets before smashing out the double doors into the royal apartments.

An entire gallery of royal guards slowly turned their heads to peer at me and the blanket curiously.

"Just....airing the blankets." I said offhandedly, settling into a more sedate pace behind the blanket as it rolled on down the gallery. "Did you just get a hooficure, Silver Striker? Very nice." I said, casually, earning myself a smile and a thank you from one of the stallions. Most of the guards have long since gotten used to 'that queer human's oddities' to even balk at a mere runaway blanket. I understand it is still tradition amongst them to prank the new recruits by assigning them to 'guard that carnivorous monster the princesses keep as a pet'.

The blanket somehow sensed the corner to the next corridor approaching as it sped up. I broke into a power-walk as I aimed to cut it off. But no, it eluded me once more as it somehow skilfully skid around the corner without losing an inch of speed. I leapt into yet another sprint after it, drifting most elegantly around the corner, determined not to be outrun by the likes of the laundry.

A familiar form came into view as we sped down the corridor. "Oh, Butler, just the chap!" The mismatched form of a certain draconequus asked from where he lounged idly in a bowl of fruit. "Care to join me for a night cap?" Discord asked, holding a bauble-tipped night cap out to catch some of his signature chocolate rain pouring out of a papaya.

While nothing would gladden my heart more than to see the lord of chaos bowled over by a blanket, I was not quite merciless enough to abandon him to the whims of an alicorn blanket. "Watch yourself! Runaway blanket!" I warned.

"You know you could just as easily say 'no'. Runaway blanket indeed." He huffed, indignantly. Then he noticed the blanket roll past him. "Great Scot! They come at last!" He cried, before turning to his night cap. "What did they put in this?" He asked the chocolate milk within. "Whatever it is, I need more."

We thankfully left Discord behind as we rounded into my lady's open air observation deck, the Solaria. The blanket only picked up speed as it zoomed straight for the edge of the Solaria's pegasus landing platform, aiming for a 10 floor straight drop into the gardens below.

"No!" I grit my teeth as I leapt for the blanket just as it cleared the edge. I caught the hem with the tip of my gloved hand. But instead of anchoring the runaway blanket, I only added extra baggage; Me. I found myself dragged after it as together we flew clear of the edge and out into the crisp night air.

Fierce headwind rushed by as together we fell to our doom. As I considered my impending end I could not help but worry that I have yet to put away they key to the refrigerator in the royal treasury. That my mortality should get in the way of my lady's diet, oh the shame.

But like all my expectations, even my ruminations upon my doom were quickly dashed. I felt a sudden lurch. My stomach almost eluded me as we suddenly ascended. I looked up and found the blanket unravelled, now wound securely over a certain midnight-blue alicorn's withers. I dangled beneath her at the blanket's mercy like a butler flying a glider, the most adorable glider ever.

We leveled out into a serene cruise above the royal gardens. With a gentle tip of one wing my princess banked southwards towards the magnificent sprawling city hugging the mountain beneath the palace. The gentle night breeze ruffled her lustrous mane as she aimed a smug smile down at me. "Hahah! A successful egress! Thy princess declares victory! How many points doth We receive?!" Luna declared, triumphantly.

I could only give her a sigh and a smile in reply. "How about all the hay-toast you can eat for breakfast?" I offered.

"Hay toast?!" She gasped in mock horror. "When We are half-way to good, honest commoner fare down at yonder peddler of ring-shaped floury goodness?" She demanded, pointing a hoof down at Donut Joe's donut eatery.

"Well, I'm not sure..." I began, before I was cut off by an upside down face, big watery eyes peering deep into my own. Quivering lips promised naught but whiny pouty doom should I dare suggest breakfast be even remotely ring-less.

"Butleeeer." She whined, "Come now! It will be like old times. You, me, the world! Together we can escape the palace, escape into the night, and...." She suddenly stopped herself, a dark look taking over her. "Apologies. Please forget We said anything." She muttered, her tone suddenly desultory and lost. We slowly banked away from the city, making to return to the palace.

"Actually, Luna..." I broke the awkward silence, "I have gift vouchers for two dozen donuts that Ms. Moonlight Sonata gave me the other day." I began.

"Why didn't thou revealest this sooner?!" Luna demanded, making a turn so sharp I felt the blood escape my head. "All thy donuts are belong to Us!" She declared excitedly as we headed straight for the donuts.

"The vouchers are only applicable after moonrise." I added, innocently.

"Butler, if thou wishes to stand by thy princess' side, thou must exercise the utmost alacrity in these matters." Luna sighed, swinging her horn at the horizon. With little effort she coaxed her celestial charge into the sky. It quickly rose over the shadow of the mountain, casting its silver glow all across the sprawling city below.

"Alacrity indeed, my lady." I agreed, solemnly, satisfied that the moon was now, indeed, up and rising.

"Verily, art thou satisfied with thy moonings?" Luna asked.

"Once I retrieve my telescope, perhaps." I said with a chuckle.

Much to my surprise, I didn't get a comeback immediately. For me to stump Luna's wit? I might as well find Twilight with an overdue book.

"You don't need that anymore." Luna finally said, the Canterlot edge to her voice shed, her tone suddenly mild and soft. "I'm right here." She gazed up at her moon, a strange determined glint in her eyes. "And I won't leave again. Ever."

"I know." I replied. "Because I would never let you, even if I must stash all the donuts in the world in the bowels of Canterlot Palace to lure you back."

"Do not tempt Us, Butler." Luna chuckled.

"Never, Luna." I gave her an innocent smile. "Oh, I hear Donut Joe is doing an 'All-You-Can-Sprinkle' night..." Before I could finish, I felt my heart leap into my throat as Luna practically dive-bombed the donut eatery with me in tow.

To her credit, even in her sugar-rush, she still had the presence of mind to drop me off first before going in for a landing. I landed neatly on my feet before the diner, quickly smoothing out my jacket where the draft had gotten to it. Powerful alicorn wings beat the air around me as my glider settled into a perfect four-point landing just beside me.

The entire street was, conveniently, empty. Well, save the four night guards, two at each end, who were there entirely by coincidence. They were also conveniently equipped with nice tight ear muffs and sworn to stare the other way.

"Wouldst thou accompany Us?" Luna asked me, practically bouncing on eager hooves.

"Please go on ahead, Luna." I opened the door to the diner for her. "I must take a moment to water my rose." I gestured at the rose gracing my jacket pocket.

"Do not cry if thou findest no sugary goodness left for thyself." Luna warned as she quickly leapt inside.

I watched her disappear behind the door before reaching to the rose and turning one of the petals halfway clockwise with a satisfying click. "Bat-face, this is Gentleman. Mooncheeks has entered the ring. I repeat, Mooncheeks has entered the ring." I said to the rose.

"This is Bat-Time-Story. Do get my codename right." My rose monotoned back at me, its voice crackly and distant. "And 'Gentleman'? Really, Bats?"

"Never mind that, Sona." I sighed, shaking my head. "Did you clear the diner?"

"You are asking me, Moonlight Sonata, night guard lieutenant, whether or not I have cleared a single diner?" The voice managed to scoff and deadpan at the same time. "Oh, by the way, Mooncheeks has just made contact with Sunflanks."

"Tia?! What art thou doing here?!" Luna's voice sailed out from within the eatery.

"I could ask you the same, Lulu sister. But alas, my mouth is full." The muffled voice of my lady replied.

"So I heard." I replied to the rose. "Mission success."

"Hoof Us yon ring-shaped pastry! Hoof it, We say!" Luna demanded.

"Well, almost." I winced. "We had better do something." I said to the rose.

There was a moment of thoughtful silence on the Rose's part. "I am not getting involved in that." It finally said. My support was quick to abandon me to my fate. "Peace be with you, Bats."

"Peace indeed." I sighed, taking a deep breath before stepping through the door. "For princess and country."