• Published 22nd Apr 2019
  • 4,025 Views, 327 Comments

The Virgin Princess - GaPJaxie

Twilight is the happy, cheerful, delightfully nerdy Princess of Friendship. And she will be forever. After all, it's not like she's getting any older.

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Chapter 1

Twilight always got nervous during interviews.

It didn’t matter how many of them she did or how many went well. No matter how friendly the press or how thorough her training, the thought of being in front of reporters made her heart flutter. Self-consciousness could be difficult for her. It made her pace, and preen her wings when they were already neat.

But she had a system. A checklist. She could remember to go through the checklist, and if everything on the list was in good order, she would feel good as well.

Item 1: Interview Questions

  1. Have you reviewed the interview questions in advance?
  2. Is the censor there? Do they think the questions are fair?
  3. Have you written cliff notes on how to answer each one? One paragraph or less so you don’t have to check your notes in the middle.

Twilight checked over her notes, and confirmed that every question was there. She had a summary answer for each one. And she knew the censor. His name was Black Out, and he was friends with the reporter. More than friends, Twilight suspected.

They kissed a lot, that is. Which was good. When the censor and the reporter were friendly, the result was always better. Twilight marked Item 1 as complete, and felt a little better.

Item 2: Personal Appearance

  1. Are there going to be cameras and/or a live audience at this event? (If no, skip Item 2 and proceed directly to Appendix 1: Optional Questions, Section 3)
  2. Have the royal designer ponies approved everything you’re wearing? (Saddle bags, jewelry, crown, etc)
  3. Is your mane brushed to the makeup ponies' satisfaction?
  4. Did you make sure your eyeshadow is on straight?

And so it went. Item 2 got all the way to J before Twilight marked it as done. It made her feel better, just as checking off Items 3, 4, 5, and 6 made her feel better. The last item, Item 7, was the shortest of them all.

Item 7: Emotional Support

  1. Is a good friend or family member there in case you need the help?

Twilight had both. Light Step and Double Time were both attending -- sitting together across the room with their hooves intertwined. Twilight smiled and waved, and Light smiled and waved back. Double looked at the floor. She wasn’t the waving type.

By the time the interview started, Twilight was something approaching calm.

“And,” a camera pony raised a leg. “Go.” The reels of film inside the cameras started to turn, the soft chopping of the sprockets filled the air, and Twilight smiled at the reporter.

“Your highness,” the reporter said, bowing low to the floor. His name was Op Ed. “Welcome to my program. It’s a pleasure to have you here tonight.”

“Mr. Ed,” Twilight bowed her head a fraction of an inch. Enough to be respectful, without implying an equivalence between them. “The pleasure is all mine. I’m quite the fan of your work.”

They exchanged pleasantries. Op asked how Twilight was doing, about her most recent friendship adventure, and about her decision to dye the tips of her wings like all the young pegasi were doing these days. She asked him about his show, his family, and about the new sitcom he was developing.

There was one small snag, when he asked about the war and Twilight said it was “terrible.” But Black Out stepped in and paused the cameras, they briefed her, and recorded it again with Twilight saying: “It’s terrible what Queen Amaryllis is doing to our crystal pony friends.” So no harm came of it.

After the opening was done, Op got to the meat of the interview. Shifting seamlessly from an anecdote about his son, he asked: “So, if I wanted to marry him up in the world, are you available? I promise, he’s very eligible.”

“Oh, I don’t know.” Twilight blushed, but her notes said she was supposed to blush at that question. “How old is he?”

“How old are you?” And there was it.

“I’m sixteen. Can’t you tell?” Twilight flashed her wings with the colored tips to the cameras, and both she and Op Ed smiled. “But no, seriously, I’m thirty-eight. I just don’t always act it.”

“So tell me, how does that work?” He folded one hoof over the other, leaning forward on his desk. “Because ponies have so many questions.”

“Oh, trust me, I know.” Twilight sighed and rolled her eyes. “You know, I once had a pony walk up to me on the street, stare at my head and go, ‘so you can’t ever grow up?’ And I pause and say, I guess, why are you asking? And they go ‘so that’s basically a magical lobotomy, right?’”

Op Ed snorted his coffee. Twilight laughed, and they both riffed on the joke for a second. “And no! No. Of course not.” She pressed her hoof to her chest. “My mind is probably sharper than yours -- no offense. I learn, I grow, I assimilate new information. And I make new friends. But, biologically, developmentally, I’m this age forever.”

“I’m sure our viewers would love to hear an example.”

“Sure, here’s an easy one — coffee.” Twilight lifted a hoof. “When I ascended and became an alicorn, I was iffy about coffee. I didn’t know if it was for me. I was more of a tea sort of mare. Tried it later, turns out, I love coffee. It’s amazing.”

“I heard Ponyville has a Starbucks now.”

“Don’t start that joke again.” She flicked a hoof his way. “But every morning when I wake up I still feel uncertain about coffee. Because that was my emotional state then, and so that’s my state for good. I remember that I like coffee, I remember how coffee tastes, but somehow…” She drew the word out. “I don’t know! I’m a little nervous.”

“Well, that sounds like a mild inconvenience if ever I heard one.” He flashed the camera a winning smile. “And how do you deal with it?”

“I have a system. It’s very simple. I put a sticky note on the coffee machine that says, ‘you like coffee.’ I see it every morning and remember, oh right! So I do.”

The conversation between them paused for a half a second. Twilight’s smile turned stiff. “It can be a little bit of a pain, but it’s a small price to pay for life eternal.”

Twilight flew home from Canterlot under her own power. She didn’t feel like taking the train, and it had been a little while since she got to stretch her wings. She landed on the castle balcony, and carefully nudged open the door to the bedroom. It was dark by the time she arrived, and the thin shaft of moonlight from the door cast long shadows in the unlit interior.

Her horn glowed, and the lamps came alight.

Every single object in her bedroom was covered in at least three sticky notes. Some were carpeted, floor to ceiling. The pegboard on the wall had so many items hung on it that it threatened to fall from its mount.

Twilight grimaced. “Maybe this new system isn’t working out so well.” She took in a deep breath. “Spike!”

No creature answered her. The castle was empty.

“Right.” Twilight let out a slow breath. “Spike’s gone now. Okay, that’s fine. I need to get a new assistant. I’ll just…”

She pulled a sticky note from a pad, and with flawless penmanship wrote: Need a new assistant. Hire a replacement for Spike.

She looked around the room, scanned its nooks and crevices, and found a place on her nightstand that didn’t have any paper yet. “I’ll put it here so I don’t forget.”