• Published 1st Jun 2017
  • 6,256 Views, 312 Comments

A Princess, a Magician, and an Exile Walk Into a Bar - Sporktacles



Sunset, Trixie and Luna meet in a bar for drinks every week.

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Clothes

“So tell me, what is the human world like?”

Sunset sipped her cider thoughtfully while watching Luna sample her second drink. “Fast. As in, like Manehattan on caffeine. Their technology is way ahead of ours, and they use it mostly to speed up their way of life. And then they complain whenever they have to wait for anything.”

Luna licked the traces of ale from her lips, savoring the flavor. She smiled to herself in satisfaction before turning her attention back to Sunset. “What a colorful image that description brings to mind. I am surprised Twilight has not already managed to reproduce any of their inventions.”

Sunset shook her head. “It’s a lot harder than that. Human society is dependent on this black oil they dig out of the ground, which we don’t have much of. And physics doesn't work the same way in their dimension, either. It's like everything there is so much less… bouncy and stretchy.”

“A pity. It sounds as if that would make their world so much more dangerous.”

“It does. But gosh, the stuff humans make is just… crazy. When I first went through the mirror years ago, I was completely overwhelmed. Carriages that pull themselves. Big flat slabs of glass that work like movie-projector screens, getting those movies sent straight to their homes through metal cables. Little messenger boxes that can send a letter to anyone else who has one. It was like I suddenly jumped two hundred years ahead in the future.”

Luna chuckled. “I think I can understand how that feels.”

Sunset facehoofed. “Sorry. There I go, putting my hoof in my mouth again.”

“It is all right, Sunset. As I said, I sympathize. In truth, I too had a great deal of difficulty adjusting to a new world. Though the changes, I feel, have been largely for the better.”

“Really? What’s the best change?”

Without hesitation, Luna replied, “Flush privies.”

Sunset blinked. “A toilet flush?”

“Indeed.”

“Of all the incredible inventions of the past thousand years – including steam engines, movie projectors, and hot air balloons – you think the greatest is a commode that pours water on itself?”

Luna looked Sunset directly in the eye, suddenly very serious. “Sunset, I was and am a Princess of Equestria. I have magical power beyond that of normal unicorns and servants to cater to my every whim, should I so demand. And all that counted for naught against the embarrassment of having to hoof my chamber-pot to a maid every day.”

“I guess when you put it that way…” Sunset looked down at her cider. “Let’s change the subject. This is honestly the wrong topic while we’re having drinks. What about the biggest change you’ve experienced, then?”

Luna tapped her chin. “So many changes there have been. But perhaps… well, the first change that I truly noticed was possibly also the second-most shocking revelation I had in the modern day. And that… is the amazing lack of hindwear.”

“Hindwear? You mean, like, skirts?”

Luna nodded. “Historians might be intrigued to discover that at the moment Nightmare Moon appeared in Ponyville and declared her ascendency, the one thought going through her head was, ‘Why is nopony in this room wearing pants?’”

“Uh… but weren’t you naked, too? I mean there’s books depicting both Nightmare Moon and Celestia without clothes even a thousand years ago.”

“Ah. An explanation is in order, I believe. You see, Sunset, before my exile, nudity was largely an earth pony convenience, since getting dressed is difficult without magic or wings.” Luna absent-mindedly took another draught from her glass. “Though, the warriors under Commander Hurricane did occasionally go to war without hindwear as an intimidation tactic. I believe modern pegasi still retain some remnants of that in their culture.”

“So… unicorns were the only ones who constantly wore clothing?”

“Yes. It is not so surprising, is it? It was one of the ways by which the nobles of old could easily display their wealth, since clothing was expensive – sewing machines having not yet been invented. In fact, it may amuse you to know that at one time, Canterlot was the center of clothing fashion in Equestria, not Manehattan.”

Sunset snorted. “I guess nobles never change. Is that why you didn’t follow those fashions?”

“Very much so. As I mentioned, Equestrian culture very often followed the whims of its princesses. To show the nation that all ponies were important to us, we chose to dress as the earth ponies did – we still wear symbolic ceremonial collars even though we of course do not pull ploughs. All in an effort to persuade ponies towards egalitarian nudity. To our surprise however, we encountered stiff resistance.”

“I can imagine.”

“With respect, dear Sunset, I do not believe you do. You see, at the time, the seamstresses of Canterlot city fell beneath a monopoly of a particularly greedy noble named Bossy Pants. Since promoting public nudity would have severely undermined her wealth, she rallied lingering tribist sentiments in aid of persuading unicorns to reject nudity and embrace ever more garish and complicated attire. It was a protracted and hard-fought battle of public opinion lasting decades, one that had yet to be concluded even at the time of my exile.”

Sunset frowned incredulously. “Wait, so one of Equestria’s longest political conflicts was to free ponykind from the tyranny of pants?”

Silence.

“You say that as if it was not of immense importance.”

Sunset rolled her eyes. “You do realize that I have to wear clothes every day as a human.”

Luna raised an eyebrow. “I frankly do not. Of all the stories you and Twilight have brought of the human world, the fact that they wear clothes is not among them.”

“Right, sorry,” said Sunset. “Humans don’t grow coats, so they wear clothes at all times to keep warm – even in summer.”

“I see. I am surprised this was never mentioned, considering that amongst the first things one would notice about somepony is whether they are naked.”

“Like I said, once you see their technology, you tend to forget everything else. Anyway, back to the subject – I presume Bossy Pants eventually lost that battle.”

“Verily, it was Celestia who was at a disadvantage for the most part,” said Luna, with a smug grin. “Bossy Pants had vast wealth, the advantage of tradition, and far more to lose. But time, as always, was on my sister’s side. Eventually, a new generation of unicorns grew up to rebel against their parents, and it was they whom she won over in the end. I met Bossy’s descendant recently; I find Fancy Pants far more agreeable than his ancestor, even though the Pants family name seems so much less apt, in consideration of the fact that he apparently never wears any.”

“Huh.” Sunset took a swig of cider. “I guess if it went the other way, ponies today would be just like humans – wearing clothes all the time.”

“Fie on that! Nudity is a blessing that should not be so carelessly discarded!” Luna raised a hoof skyward, gesturing wildly. “Naked we were born into this world, and naked we should be as we live in it! Free, as we were meant to be, from the prisons of fabric! It is our privilege – nay, our right to remain unshackled by the bonds of cotton and wool! To feel the breeze caress our nethers as we proclaim our glory to all the world! Ponies everywhere should unite, I say, to reject the oppression of clothing and never don them again!”

***

Rarity dropped her needle, her work late into the night interrupted by momentary distraction. “What the– that’s odd. I feel a great disturbance… as if millions of potential fabulous outfits cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced...”

***

“You just hate getting dressed up for formal occasions, don’t you,” said Sunset flatly.

“Well… yes,” said Luna. “I consented, just once, to make an exception during Twilight’s coronation. ‘Twas a most uncomfortable ordeal of an evening. I mean the clothing of course, not the coronation. But that is beside the point! There are such practical benefits to nudity as well. No fumbling with garments to use the washroom. No having to deal with the irritating brush of fabric against one’s coat. And it makes flirting so much more straightforward!”

“Sure, I guess if you’re not used to– wait, what was that last one again?”

“Flirting, Sunset. Is it not earth pony custom, to point one’s posterior in the direction of a prospective paramour and flick one’s tail far and quickly enough so that they might catch just the briefest glimpse of one's–”

“Woah woah woah. Okay, look,” said Sunset very quickly. “Maybe it was the case a thousand years ago, but it hasn’t been done for centuries. Earth Ponies these days flirt just like everypony else.”

Luna sat up quickly.

“Surely you jest.”

“I’m totally serious. Flashing your pretzels at other ponies on purpose is considered really rude. Possibly even sexual harassment.”

“Oh.” Luna blushed. “I suppose, then, that there is a guardspony to whom I owe a sincere apology.”

Their booth settled into an awkward quiet.

“Okay, time to change the subject again,” said Sunset. “What was the, um… the first?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“You said that that was the second most shocking revelation you had since returning from banishment. What was the first?”

“Ah, that,” said Luna.

The energy quickly drained from her face, and her shoulders slumped. She glanced out the window into the night sky, letting out a long sigh as she did so. “It was discovering that almost everypony I once cared about is long dead.”

“Oh.”

Luna raised her ale to her lips and finished the entire glass. “I am still visiting their graves one by one to apologize for my selfishness of a thousand years ago.”

Without another word, Sunset stood up, walked around the table, and pulled Luna into a hug.

They sat there in quiet until the bar closed.

Author's Note:

"LOOK UPON MY VULVA, YE GREAT AND POWERFUL, AND DESPAIR!"