• Published 5th Nov 2014
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Starcrossed - The Drunken Sailor

Flash, a young poor stallion makes a decision that will change both his life and the life of Princess Celestia's favoured student: Twilight Sparkle

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Chapter 12~ What Happens in Las Pegasus...

Chapter 12~ What Happens in Las Pegasus...

They only had time for three hours of sleep.

Las Pegasus was on the complete opposite side of Equestria, by train it would take almost seven hours to get there. So to arrive by sunrise they had to wake at ten and leave almost immediately, sleepily making their way to the train and getting situated before falling asleep again. Flash only allowed himself an hour long nap before slipping stealthily from his shared bed with Twilight, donned his armour and patrolled dutifully for the majority of the night. After the thief had intruded last night Flash was taking no chances with Twilight's safety, so he only returned to bed when they were an hour away from their location.

Twilight woke him as they were approaching Las Pegasus, it was still dark out so the bright magical lights twinkled like stars against the cloudy night sky. All of them highlighting different casinos, restaurants, bars, and more... Unsavoury places, Flash had mixed feelings about the city. On one hoof one could have tons of innocent fun in the city, on the other Las Pegasus was famous for draining your pockets dry and leaving ponies impoverished on the streets after too many rounds of Caravan or Appaloosa Hold Em, Flash expressed as much to Twilight.

"True and we should both be careful but all those gamblers has brought House Shine a lot of money and power so maybe there's some merit to it?"

"Maybe too rich and too powerful," Flash said. "I feel like it's taking advantage of Ponies, besides I don't trust those Shine Guards. Somehow Lady Star Shine was able to swindle her way into gaining her own personal guard force that isn't trained or even recruited by Canterlot, they're all locals and take their oath to House Shine not Celestia."

"I'm sure she earned it, besides, training and recruiting locally is more efficient than all the guards going through Canterlot first," Twilight said.

"If you say so," Flash said, unconvinced.

The train pulled into the station not soon after, Flash and Twilight stepped off and were immediately greeted by a trio of Shine guards. They're were clad in golden armour but unlike the typical Royal garb their's was patterned with scales, their capes were also gold with a twinkling black star that was House Shine's sigil.

"Your Majesty, your are most welcome," one of the Shine's said as the three of them bowed respectfully. "Lady Star Shine is eagerly awaiting you, please come, we mustn't keep her waiting."

They fell in behind the three Shine Guards as they lead Twilight and Flash through the city, with Flash eyeing the three Shine's with distrust the entire time. The magically lit signs illuminated the wide streets of Las Pegasus, everywhere hundreds of ponies- mostly stallions -were staggering drunk through the streets or running with triumph because of their luck at some gamble. Flash eyed each of them with suspicion and slight disgust, a former thief he was but such sinful behaviour would have gotten you a beating at Fort Snowhawk.

They came onto the main strip of Las Pegasus, it was the widest street so far and the most jam packed of casinos, bars, and even brothels. At the end of the street stood Lady Star Shine's holdfast, a tall marble castle with a high iron gate and several pointed towers, the layout of the hold was strangely familiar but Flash couldn't place it, but Twilight recognized it.

"Is it just me or does it look like the Royal Palace?" Twilight asked.

"Yeah, it does," Flash said, seeing it now. "Only with Shine colours."

They were escorted to the large front double doors where two more Shine Guards opened it for them and they entered the main hall. It was arguably more lavish and impressive than the Castle of the Two Princesses, with polished floors and a high ceiling, there was also an assortment of statues, weapons, books and other ancient looking artifacts on display some of which glowed with magical enchantments.

Lady Star Shine sat on a chair that was very much like Celestia's throne, she was flanked by two unicorn stallions on either side. One dressed like a Shine Guard who was scarred and rough-looking. The other wore a steel breastplate and greaves with a Shine cloak draped over his back and a long broadsword at his hip. Lady Star Shine herself was a young looking unicorn with a golden mane that was styled beautifully and dandelion fur that was brushed to a gloss, her eyes were gold as well and didn't reflect the plastered smile she wore on her face. Star Shine was clad in a intricate gold dress that had the black star of House Shine patterned across it. The three Shine Guards approached and bowed with the middle one speaking up, introducing Twilight and Flash before bowing again and leaving.

"It's an honour to meet you, Lady Star," Twilight said stepping forward.

"The honour is all mine, Your Grace," Lady Star Shine said, rising from her throne. "I hope your trip across Equestria has been enjoyable? The other nobles treated you well?"

"It has been... Interesting," Twilight said lightly. "A few bumps along the way but nothing major."

"I'm glad to hear it, some of the other houses can be simply barbaric, I hear the Green's hunt the animal inhabitants of their forest for sport and the Winter's I hear lie with dogs."

"Well... I have only met Lord Forest out of those two but I'm sure those are just rumours your hearing, My Lady," Twilight said slowly.

"Yes, just harmless gossip, Your Grace," Lady Shine said, suddenly the stallion behind her in the steel breastplate cleared his throat.

"Ah yes, may I also introduce my brother Ser Sun Shine, one of the Knights of Two... Well I suppose he's a knight of three now," Star Shine said, Flash perked up at the mention of the knightly order. Ser Sun Shine looked like Lady Star Shine in many ways, he had the same golden mane and dandelion fur, his eyes were like two bright yellow suns.

"An honour, your majesty," the Knight said with a bow.

"It's a pleasure, sir," Twilight said respectfully.

"Yes, now that's we've exchanged pleasantries won't you break fast with us? I myself am simply famished," Lady Shine said.

"Of course, I would be honoured Lady Star," Twilight said smoothly.

"Do follow," Star Shine said and lead them through a side door. They came through a hallway that lead into the dining room, a long table adorned with a crisp white table cloth awaited them. Once they sat down servants flowed in and placed plates full of fruit, hay, and vegetables in front of them, one filled all their mugs with rich black coffee that was clearly straight from Saddle Arabia.

"So, your majesty," Star Shine said conversationally. "What do you think of my city?"

"Well it's very beautiful, My Lady," Twilight said. "Especially considering your recent incident."

"Ah, you heard heard about that," Star Shine with a slightly strained smile. "What do you know?"

"Only that all of Las Pegasus' treasury was stolen overnight and left the whole city teetering on economic collapse," Twilight said.

"This is true, but there is more to the story," Lady Star said. "In truth the treasury was stolen by a traitor, my bastard older brother Golden Shine."

"Really!" Twilight said in surprise. "I didn't know that."

"No doubt it will be common knowledge soon enough, secrets don't often stay that way for long," Lady Star said solemnly. "He had always been the oddball but he was family, to think he would do such a thing..."

"Where is he now?"

"No doubt fled to Prance, or maybe Saddle Arabia, somewhere out of our reach," Lady Star Shine said. "No matter, he is nothing but a bad memory now, it is all I can do to make sure this city recovers from all this."

"Well I must say you've done an amazing job My Lady," Twilight complemented genuinely.

"Perhaps you'd like to see more of the city? My brother can show you around the key spots but I'm afraid I cannot accompany you as I have business to attend to."

"I understand," Twilight said, rising.

After they finished they said their goodbyes to Lady Star and then followed Ser Sun Shine out of the mansion and out into the bustling streets of Las Pegasus. They were immediately joined by a pair of Shine Guards who parted the way for them as Ser Sun fell back in line next to Twilight.

"It is a great honour to have you here, Your Majesty," the Knight said with a charming smile. "As you know, now the Knights of the Two become Knights of Three, I serve you as well."

"How long have you been a knight Ser Sun?" Twilight asked smiling back.

"Oh four years now," Sun Shine said. "And please, just call me 'Sun'"

"Of course," Twilight said, a slight touch of pink to her cheeks that made Flash grind his teeth but he forced himself to remain silent.

Ser Sun lead them down the main strip, they passed wealthy casinos, restaurants, and other sights. It seemed they were headed for a specific location, they turned a few corners and were lead down another wide street until coming to the steps of a wide-based marble building. Stain glass windows lined the sides and several banners flew from the ramparts.

"Welcome to the Las Pegasus Museum of Art," Sun Shine announced, he then hooked his front leg with Twilight's forcing Flash to swallow an angry growl, instead he just put a sour look on his face as Ser Sun lead Twi into the museum.

"Wow," Twilight gasped as she entered the museum, statues, beautiful paintings, and other works of art lined the walls of the museum. "Look there! That's The Weeping Pegasus! And there is Streets of Trottingham! I've only seen replica drawings!"

"Yes, our collection is only rivalled by the Royal Canterlot Museum of Art but I still think we hold some key pieces," Sun Shine said with a smile, he guided Twilight with a close hoof and Flash followed grumpily behind.

He didn't like Ser Sun Shine, knight or not Flash hated the way he smiled at Twilight, how he touched her and she allowed him to touch her. Flash tried hard to convince himself that Twi was just playing the part, why would a Princess with no romantic partner block the advances of a prestigious Knight of Three? Yes it would rouse suspicion if Twilight did so. Yet it didn't matter, Flash had very suddenly lost all respect for Ser Sun and his entire House.

They perused the art museums for another few hours, it was huge and there was much to see. Twilight didn't seem to get enough of it as she gushed over every piece of art that they passed, Flash on the other hand just grumbled internally but forced himself to play the part of dutiful guard. They had agreed to keep their relationship between them for now, but that didn't mean Flash had to like it.

Sun Shine invited Twilight to lunch and she graciously accepted, the knight led them out of the museum and to a fancy restaurant by the name of The Golden Stallion. The owner personally greeted Twilight and insisted on giving her the seat of honour despite her stating that any table would be fine. A waiter seated Ser Sun and Twilight at the centred table where they were on display for all to see, Flash was made to wait with the Shine Guards; standing by the far wall where they could watch their charges enjoy their meal.

"So, your majesty," Sun Shine began, taking a sip from his wine cup which a waiter had just filled. "What can you tell me about yourself?"

"About myself?" Twilight asked, taking a sip from her own wine without thinking. She hadn't tasted wine before, besides that moment in Manehatten but she really hadn't tasted the wine then so it didn't count. It was tart, fruity, and I'd left a buzz down Twilight's throat as she swallowed, she liked it.

"Yes of course, as I am now a Knight of Three I serve you as well as Princess Celestia and Luna, I would like to know about whom I serve," Sun Shine said with a smile.

"Well, I'm not all that interesting really," Twilight said, taking a bigger gulp of wine.

"Oh I find that hard to believe," Sun said charmingly. "Go on, how about where your from? I know you live in Ponyville now but where were you born?"

"Oh I was born in Canterlot," Twilight said. "My father was Nightlight Sparkle, he was a Knight of Two before he passed on, maybe you knew him?"

"Knew him?" Ser Sun asked incredulously. "Why, he was the one who offered me his position as a Knight! He was a good stallion."

"That he was and what a coincidence that you'd have met him in such a way," Twilight said, drinking more wine.

Flash watched them talk and eat the entire time, growing more and more concerned by the minute. Not by Sun Shine's constant and obvious flirting with Twilight~ Although that still caused an anger hotter than Celestia's spit to settle in his stomach ~No it was the fact that Twilight had already had three cups of wine and was starting a fourth. Flash already knew from Manehatten that Twi couldn't hold her liquor very well, but it wasn't as if he could march down there and cut her off, no he would have to reside to hoping no trouble would come of it.

They finished dinner and Sun Shine lead them out of the restaurant, a slightly tipsy Twilight following closely. They toured the streets of Las Pegasus, Ser Sun pointed out key attractions. Prance Las Pegasus, The Las Pegasus Springs Preserve, and other landmarks. They toured for almost five hours, to a point where the flashing magical lights and constant noise what beginning to give Flash a headache.

The sun was beginning to dip down towards the horizon when they made their way back to the Shine mansion. Twilight at this point had drunk even more wine and had a slight stagger to her step, she giggled and blushed a lot especially when Sun Shine complemented her. It took every ounce of Flash's will not to brutally murder one of the Princesses trusted Knights.

"I must thank you for a wonderful tour, Sun," Twilight said as they were climbing the steps to the mansion. "Las Pegasus is a beautiful city."

"Not as beautiful as you, My Lady," Sun Shine said, picking up her hoof and planting a kiss on it. As he lifted his head again the knight caught Flash's look of pure fury, Sun lowered his mouth to Twilight's ear and spoke just loudly enough so both her and Flash could hear.

"I don't think your guard likes me very much," he said.

Somewhere in Twilight's wine addled brain she remembered her loving guard that had watched her blush and giggle over this knight before her for several hours. With the most casual smile she could muster Twilight stepped away from Sun Shine and towards Flash, turning his angry frown into a small grin of victory.

"Oh, he's just very protective of me," Twilight said. Sun Shine's eyes darted between the two before a knowing look bloomed in them.

"Ah I see," he said. "Apologies, please my sister will want you to join her for dinner, we shouldn't keep her waiting."

When they entered the dining hall Lady Star Shine was already waiting for them, she locked eyes with her brother who gave a small almost imperceptible shake of his head. Star Shine's smile wavered for a moment before she recovered just in time to welcome Twilight and Flash with a beaming expression.

"Welcome back, Your Majesty," she greeted as they sat down, immediately being served plates of finely roasted hay, fruits, and of course more wine. "How did you enjoy the tour?"

"It was wonderful, My Lady," Twilight said. "Your city lives up to its reputation of beauty and prosperity."

"I would hope so, I have worked hard to keep it that way," Star said. There was a pause where everyone ate in silence for a few moments before Lady Star broke it.

"I hope my hospitality has been pleasing to you, Your Grace," she said.

"Oh yes, you've been a most welcoming host," Twilight said, sipping her wine.

"Yes, just know that House Shine is loyal to the Three Princesses and should you ever need an ally I shall definitely be that Pony, in return I hope you'll do the same for me," Lady Star said, watching Twilight's face carefully.

"I would happily help House Shine should it ever need it," Twilight said with a slight slur. "It is my duty as a Princess after all."

They bid Lady Star Shine a good night and headed back to their room, Twilight was very drunk at this point. She staggered and tripped and used Flash for support as he guided her to her room, all the while she spoke huskily into his ear.

"I'm sorry about how I acted today," she said. "With Sun Shine that is, but I can make it up to you tonight."

"Your wings are so soft, I just want to use them as a pillow."

Flash was practically sweating by the time he pushed the door open to Twilights room, he laid her down on the bed and made for a hasty retreat but was halted by Twi's magical grip on his tail.

"And where do you think your going?" She said with a giggle. "Your Princess demand your presence in her bed all night long."

"No," Flash said, biting his lip and pulling against her magic.

"No?!" Twilight repeated.

"Your drunk, I'm not... We're not... Not while your drunk, just go to sleep Twilight, you'll need it for tomorrow."

Twilight pouted for a moment but reluctantly released Flash's tail, she fell back down on the bed and immediately began snoring. Flash took a steadying breath and left the room, he shook his distracted mind clear and made to begin patrolling the halls, trying to think of something, anything, to take his mind off the Alicorn lying in the room.

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