• Published 5th Mar 2020
  • 8,103 Views, 66 Comments

Expecting Expectations - ROBCakeran53



Celestia wakes up with a minor hangover. The castle has no running water. Her fiance is a human named Mark. Life's grand!

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2: Pranks Too Far Gone

“...And lastly, Canterlot Castle’s yearly coffee fund will be decreased another five percent, which equates to roughly one thousand five hundred seventeen cups annually, whose estimated cost hits right around twelve hundred bits. It was voted on and passed by a margin over fifty-one percent, and therefore, once signed by two Equestrian princesses, shall take effect.

“This decrease in funding helps compensate for the extra fifteen percent added to the Emergency Sugar Fund for bakers all throughout Equestria. With more and more creatures not native to our lands visiting, we’ve seen an increase of consumption of sweets unprecedented, save for when the Element of Laughter, one Pinkie Pie, plans a party at a count of, or exceeding, three hundred and fourteen guests(*).”

Celestia looked up at the crowd of ponies, and a shocking sight beheld her.

Every. Single. Pony. Was looking at her, attentive, ears only on her, and listening. Not one pony was sleeping, loitering, or trying to help themselves to their fifth free coffee and donut.

It had been nearly an hour of droning on and on about stuff that most ponies didn’t care about, but she felt, deep down, that someone did, and that was enough for her to continue this tradition. In the last century, it had begun to wane and die off, with newspapers reaching across the globe easier, and wonderful inventions like the telegraph and radio allowing news to travel much faster than any pegasus courier(1).

The palace scribe sat in his lone seat, writing down every word Celestia said. That scroll would then be copied and sent to every paper in Canterlot, so the news media could pick out what they wanted. However, with so many of them actually here, right now, she feared the scribe might be wasting his time.

Letting out a tired sigh, Celestia rubbed her eyes, cleared her throat, and then continued down the list, having given up reading ahead for the sake of getting today done and over with.

“And that is it for the official news around Equestria. Now, I would like to change over to more personal matters involving myself, and my home.”

Celestia raised a brow as she read aloud, and couldn’t help but notice ponies all over beginning to finally draw their quills and pencils, sitting up, and if she thought they were listening closely before, now they were like one mass of eyeballs staring at her, waiting.

“As many of you know, the wedding between me and Prince-Consort Mark is slated for nine months and fifteen days from now, and we couldn’t be more than happier with the outpouring of positive missives, cards, and such kind words at our good news.”

Ponies all moved to the edge of their seats.

“And before I open up to any questions for the next fifteen minutes, I have some additional happy news for us both. Prince-Consort Mark and I are expecting, and we’re both overjoyed with the eventual arrival of our… our foal?”

Princess Celestia blinked. She read the bottom of the scroll again. She blinked again, looked at the scroll again. Re-read it over in her head another time. Then she looked out to the wave of ponies, all wide eyes, open mouths, and still breaths, much like her own.

“I’m pregnant?”

Then all Tartarus broke loose.

----------

Royal Guard Hank marched towards the throne room with purpose. After his altercation with the maid Ensemble, and making sure Miss Raven was seen to her quarters for rest, he headed back to his charge. While he knew he was technically AWOL from his princess, he also knew the princess was a big mare and could handle herself for a short while without him. She’d have had him make sure Raven was taken care of, and Ensemble… well, he didn’t know what to do with her biting his neck and flagging her tail.

His father had given him sage advice when dealing with mares in heat. So when she approached, he got on the squirming mare’s back, shot a load into her rump, and left her on the medical bed, tongue hanging out, eyes rolled back, and a pleasant smile on her face.

The horse tranquilizer would wear off in a few hours, and the thestral would be just fine, and back to doing maid things.

Nearing the massive double doors, an odd sensation pricked at the back of his neck, like something was amiss. It was quiet, nopony from inside the throne room could be heard, save for the loud, muffled voice of Princess Celestia herself. And as he reached for the handle, a curious thing happened.

It pushed back with resistance, but the crack opened just far enough for him to hear two words.

“I’m pregnant?”

The throne room doors were redesigned roughly three hundred years ago to be opened both inward and outward in case of an emergency(2). All at once, the resistance Hank felt on pushing the doors turned into an outward force, and deep down, he knew he should have stuck with Prince-Consort Mark. Surely Composite wasn’t sustaining these cranial injuries like he had taken, and was about to once again.

A mass of ponies shot out, easily a hundred, all running for the front of the castle where the telegraph machines and telephones were located(3) for the media to report out with their news and headlines.

Hank, now sporting a bloody nose, was sent sliding along the freshly polished marble floor on his flanks, all the way back to whence he came – Hank let out a long, tired sigh – back to the Infirmary.

----------

Princess Celestia was assaulted. Hundreds of ponies had fled the room, while the rest all stood, waving hooves, shouting, anything to get her attention, flooding her with questions.

“So it is true?”
“Is Mark the true sire?”
“When did you know?”
“Aren’t all the guards but your children, sired by the nobility?”
“Are we to expect a new hybrid species between hyoo-man and pony?”

Stricken with shock at her own words, Celestia studied the scroll again in its entirety, making sure she hadn’t missed something.

Each time it came back the same: She just told the entirety of Canterlot – neigh, Equestria, that she was pregnant.

But she wasn’t. Of anypony, she’d be the first to know.

Celestia poked her own barrel. She didn’t feel pregnant. It had been centuries since she’d last had a foal, and four hundred years later, the Blueblood family was still a pain in her flank.

Looking back up at the mass of ponies, she noticed her guards had finally begun to react after her announcement, and began herding the news ponies out of the throne room, but they were relentless.

“Princess, we should go.”

Celestia jumped at whom the muffled voice had come from. She looked down at Royal Guard Hank, the stallion now had a tissue stuffed in both nostrils, slightly red with blood.

“Hank? What happened?”

“Mob of ponies. Congratulations. We need to go, now.

With a nod, Celestia quickly followed her guard, and waiting for them were a half dozen more, all armed with spears and fully armored(4). Hank hadn’t wasted time, instead going where he knew he was needed right away.

Suddenly, from a door, Raven stepped out, mane bunless and missing her usual attire, however a clipboard floated along in her magic with her usual professional grace as she went down a list.

“How I see it, we have about thirty minutes before ponies begin storming the castle, an hour before we find Consort Mark, five hours before the Crystal Kingdom explodes in a literal wave of love with the news, and eleven months to prepare for a massive spike in birth rates(5).”

Celestia raised a brow. “I’m glad to see you back in action, my little pony.”

“Thank you, Your Highness. Glad to be back to 100%.”

Hank coughed.

“Okay, 95%.”

Celestia’s magic flared, tying Raven’s mane back into a bun. She grabbed a spoon from a passing service mare’s cart, and placed it into the bun.

“Now 100%!” Raven stomped hard, power walking to keep up with the guards.

“So what is our plan?”

“Damage control,” Raven announced. The herd of ponies rounded a corner, where a pegasus reporter was waiting with a camera.

A guard took him to the ground with a shatter of his flash bulb.

“They’re getting gutsy. We need to find Prince-Consort Mark and shake tail to your study, then maybe we can figure out how to control everypony.”

Celestia shook her head. “I just don’t understand, what has gotten into everypony?”

“Well, everypony wants to celebrate for the upcoming foal, and since you’re marrying another species, it is a big deal.”

Celestia stopped in her tracks. “But I’m not pregnant.”

Raven froze. Hank stopped, and with a signal all of the guards made a protective circle around them.

“I’m sorry? Princess, you just announced—"

“I was reading the scroll Kibitz gave me.” A scroll floated up to Raven in a golden glow. “I was going to have you read over it to double check for me, but you were… indisposed.”

“Oh.” Raven’s cheeks flushed. “Right.”

Celestia placed her hoof under the unicorn’s chin, picking it up to look at her. “Rest assured, my little pony, it is not your fault. We just need to host a conference again and fix all of this.”

“Fix it? Princess, with all due respect, that’s nigh impossible. We’re better off going with it and actually getting you pregnant.”

This time, even Hank looked at the mare with a raised brow.

“And saying that out loud, I realize the glaring flaws, which just enforces my point!”

With a sigh, Celestia looked to her guard. “Hank, do you have any clue where my future husband would be?”

There was a sudden explosion that shook the castle.

One of the pegasus guards flew up to look out a high window, then returned. “It came from the gardens, Your Highness.”

“I have a good feeling of where,” said Hank, and they moved.

----------

Prince-Consort Mark lifted off his goggles, a thin layer of black soot covering the entirety of his front, save for over his eyes.

He then turned to the ponies before him, clapping his hands together in one loud smack, sending puffs of soot around. “So you can see, with a 11:1 twist in the barrel, the improved shell design, and a pointed round instead of a cannonball, the projectiles can travel twice, almost three times the distance, and with greater accuracy.”

A few of the nobles clopped their hooves on the ground, while most simply fretted over the soot that had blown back onto their fine clothes.

“So, by all of these demonstrations below, my proposed military plan would help prevent another incident like that of the Storm King’s attack. I’m more than confident in the abilities of these weapons, armor, and skills implemented into the armed services.

“Does anypony have any questions?”

Most everypony gave small shakes of their heads; however, Mark noticed one stallion wasn’t paying any attention to him, instead focused on a small portable radio with a single headphone in his right ear.

“Sir?” Mark waved at the stallion.

He barely registered the human, blinking as his eyes grew in size.

“Hi, yes, hello. I’m sure that hoofball game is oh so more important than national security, but I’m really hoping you—"

“It’s true!” he suddenly shouted, then looked to Mark, his eyes the size of saucers, and then pointed. “You’ve sired!”

All at once, the rest of the noble ponies let out gasps, murmurs, and even a couple of cigars were forced into Mark’s open mouth.

“I’ve what?” he asked, letting the cigars fall from his mouth.

“They just announced it over the airwaves, and it’s hitting the afternoon editions of the Canterlot Times! Princess Celestia is pregnant!”

“She’s what?”

Suddenly, Royal Guard Composite appeared, landing hastily at Mark’s side, his helmet missing, in its place a wrapped bandage that somepony had written on with lipstick: “Get well soon <3”.

“Prince Mark, your presence is requested immediately in Her Majesty’s private study.”

“What?” Mark asked again.

“Posthaste, sir. There is... a...”

A large shadow overcast the group, Composite going quiet as the nobles all looked up with shocked faces, slowly backpedaling. A few even began to run, although they lacked the capacity for any real speed.

Mark and Composite tentatively looked behind them, and up into the sky.

Thousands, maybe even tens of thousands, of pegasi were heading for them, waving banners, cheering, shouting in jubilation, pushing clouds with beds on them(6) and blocking out the sun as one massive blob.

“What. The. Fuck.” Mark breathed out.

“By golly, Mark. I’d heard stories about this, but in all my years I never thought I’d get to experience it!”

Mark and Composite looked to the last remaining noble, Fancy Pants, as he dusted off one of the forgotten cigars and lit it.

“Truly this will be an interesting next twenty-four hours, wouldn’t you say?” He then began laughing, slowly walking away.

“The Hell you so happy about?” Mark called out.

“My boy, you’ve sired a foal! My wife and I will be quite busy the next day celebrating.”

And with that, he skipped away.

“Composite.”

“Yes, Prince Mark?”

“What the ever loving fuck is wrong with you ponies?”

Composite let out a tired sigh, rubbing his still-sore head. “I don’t know, sir.”

“I mean, I stink, really bad.”

“I didn’t want to say anything out loud, sir.”

“And I’m here, trying to help save Equestria from the next disaster, and what do I get?”

Both looked up at the cloud of pegasi, many of which were already getting busy on their cloud beds.

Mark continued, still looking up. “A bunch of horny-ass ponies humping away above my head, my home, my future wife. We should probably get an umbrella.”

“Doubtful, sir. More than likely they won’t wish to spill a drop.”

Mark looked back down to Composite. “Dude, that’s fucked up. True, but fucked up. I’m still not taking any chances, so let’s get the fuck out of here.”

“Agreed. I think I just saw my parents up there, and I’m in no mood to see the conception of my future sibling.”

----------

“Your Highness? Miss Raven? We’ve located Prince-Consort Mark. He and his escort are on their way here now.”

“Thank you, Hank,” Celesita said with a sigh, sitting on a lounge sofa, an untouched slice of cake at her side.

Hank nodded, and returned to his guard duty at the entrance door just outside.

Raven cleared her throat. “Well that’s good. Fifty-four minutes, we shaved six off my estimate.”

“Yes, but the news spread much faster than you thought.”

“Also true.” Raven looked out the window at the cloud-covered sky. “I’m just glad I live in the palace. I don’t think I have a large enough umbrella for a walk outside.”

Princess Celestia groaned, rubbing her face with her hooves. “I cannot believe this. How dumb of me.”

“Technically, Princess, we could blame Kibitz for this…”

“What!? No, I’d never do such a thing to a good friend.”

Raven exhaled. “I suppose so.”

“This was my error. Had I been paying closer attention, I could have prevented this.”

Rubbing a hoof along her leg, Raven let out a small cough. “Princess? I know what you said, but are you sure there isn’t a small, slight, possibility that—"

“No, my little pony, there is not. Mark and I have… explored that route(7) in the past, and it was not to our liking.”

“Alright, so would you like me to draft up a formal letter? Send it out to all the news outlets of the mistake?”

Before she could answer, the door opened, Hank allowing Mark to enter.

“Celly!”

“Mark!”

The two rushed together, hugging, and sharing a passionate kiss. Pulling away, Mark shook his head with a silly grin.

“What in the Hell did you do this time, you silly big horse?”

“I announced in my weekly press conference that I was pregnant, even though I’m not.”

“Ah, so all of this?” Mark waved his hands around.

Another sigh, and Celestia walked back to her lounge to sit. “Yes, this is usually what happens when a princess comes to bear a foal.”

“I don’t remember Candy’s foal being this crazy.”

“Their only saving grace was where they were, in the Crystal Kingdom. A hard place to navigate to, and you can’t really do much up above without being frozen to death.”

“Ah, so no massive orgy cloud parties.”

Celestia snorted with a laugh. “No, no massive orgy cloud parties.”

“Alright.” Mark crossed his arms. “So what do we do now? Hunker down until they’ve all exhausted themselves?”

“That could take quite some time, I’m afraid,” Raven spoke up. “This year’s heat season has hit many ponies early, much of our castle staff is out, and I’m afraid… well…”

The princess continued. “A good number of my guards have sacrificed themselves in order to help calm some of the more… rowdy ones.”

Mark whistled. “Wow, what absolute mad lads. Remind me to buy, like, a thousand cigars for our brave boys in gold(8).”

“I need to hold an emergency press conference and fix this error.”

“I dunno, Celly. Me and Composite had to beat off a lot of reporters to get here.”

Raven raised a brow. Celestia grinned. Mark blinked, then frowned.

“Ooh fuck off you two, you know damn well what I meant.”

“Princess, do you really think holding another conference would change anything at this point?”

“Honestly? My last foal’s conception announcement was a lot more organized than this one; lots of planning had gone into it. I’d picked out a willing sire, and we had all the paperwork in order. It took almost a week for my little ponies to return to normal, and that was outside the heat season.”

“So what you’re saying is, this is a double whammy.” Mark rubbed his face. “I don’t believe this. What else could go wrong?”

Their door suddenly burst open, Composite shoving Hank inside and slamming the door behind him. Brow raised, Celestia noticed something odd about the stallion. He was…

“Hank? Are you… what is this?”

The two mares and one human walked closer to Hank, whose muzzle was twitching, fighting the urge to show any outward emotion.

“Is he happy? Sad?” Raven asked.

“I think he’s trying to be happy. Look how his upper lip keeps trembling,” Celestia added.

“No. I’ve seen this before,” said Mark. “He’s scared shitless.”

Hank nodded his head, eyes still focused ahead. “Ensemble woke up early from the tranquilizer I gave her. She’s coming for me. She heard of your pregnancy, Your Highness.”

Celestia walked closer, wrapping a wing around the motionless guard. “Oh, my poor little Hank. No, I’m so sorry to say I’m not, in fact, pregnant. This was one big misunderstanding.”

“Yes, Your Highness, I know this. Ensemble does not. I am not the lover type, I struggle to show outward emotion, I’m aware of that. I cannot find love or happiness.”

“Oh, Hank…” Celestia hugged tighter.

“That’s a crock of shit, man.”

Everypony looked to Mark.

“What? It is. Dude, if the chick wasn’t into you, do you think she’d be fighting through a thicket of horny ponies to find just you? Dude, I say go for it. Be a man.”

“But I must stay here and protect Her Highness. I cannot abandon my post.”

“Dude, if you haven’t looked outside, we’re literally surrounded by humping ponies for miles. This is a literal sex siege. We’re stuck in here, we’re not going anywhere.”

“Hank?” Princess Celestia asked. “Do you not find Miss Ensemble attractive?”

“Yes, of course she is. I’m just not—"

Celestia placed her hoof on the tip of his muzzle. “Hush, you. Do not let what you think of yourself determine what others may think of you. Just look at my future husband, after all.”

Mark winked. “Yeah! Wait, I feel like that’s an insult.”

“A lost alien, a lonely princess in her castle,” Celestia continued.

“You had literally thousands of stallions to fuck at any time, I don’t really consider that— OOF!”

Mark rubbed his stomach, Raven’s hoof still raised as she glared at the human.

“I know I poke fun at you, and maybe I’m wrong in doing so, but you are a stunning, masculine stallion, and I’ve seen ponies admire you for being you.”

“No, Your Highness, I’ve never taken anything you say to me as an insult. It’s just true.” Then he blinked. “You say, ponies… find me attractive?”

Celestia smiled, nodding. “Yes, even you, my tough exterior guard Hank, are very attractive.”

There was a sudden commotion from outside the door.

“Your Highness… what should I do? I’ve not… been successful with this sort of thing.”

“Just be you, Hank. Do as you always do.”

Hank looked down to the floor, eyes moving as his brain worked, and then focused back to everyone in the room.

“Thank you, Your Highness.”

Removing himself from Celestia’s wings, Hank marched with his usual strong stride and opened the door.

Ensemble was standing there, hoof raised as she was about to knock, one of her rear hooves holding Composite to the ground.

“Miss Ensemble, I find it flattering you wish to have coitus with me, but I do not find enjoyment in the idea of a quick romp and done. If you’d like, I’d be willing to take you out to dinner tonight, after 2100 hours, if you’d be so willing.”

The maid blinked, lowered her hoof, and her eyes slowly grew, tears spilling out the sides.

“A… date? Really? You’d like to take me out on a date?”

Hank, still-faced, simply nodded. “Yes, ma’am, if you’re willing.”

Ensemble made to jump and hug, but paused, and instead backed off and nodded. “Yes, I think… no, I definitely will, be up for that. After you unloaded that shot into my rump earlier—"

“Wait, he did what?” Mark asked.

“—it gave me time to think about what I really wanted. And you’re right, I don’t just want to get fucked senseless, tied to my bed, bound and gagged as you ravish my very being.”

“Seriously what the actual fuck,” again Mark said, and was ignored.

“I want a partner, somepony strong, and who looks past my flaws and wants to just be with me.”

“I must admit, Miss Ensemble, I’m… rather new to this, but I’m willing to try, for you. You’re a very stunning mare, and I’d be honored.”

Ensemble smiled, and gave Hank a small peck on the cheek. “I’ll meet you outside the castle gates at 2130, sharp.”

“That is a date, ma’am.”

Ensemble turned around, giving Hank’s face a light pat with her tail, and casually walked away, a slight sway to her flanks.

Royal Guard Hank closed the door and turned back to everyone in the room, his usual bland expression having returned.

“Thank you, Your Highness. Miss Raven, Prince-Consort Mark.”

Hank then took his leave, closing the door with a gentle click.

Celestia beamed. “By my mother, he actually did it.”

“So, are we gonna just skip over the fact Ensemble sounds like a sexual deviant?”

“Mark, you’re a sexual deviant,” Celestia chided.

“Well yeah, I’m human, I’m allowed to be.”

With a roll of her eyes, Celestia returned to her aide. “Raven, the one thing I don’t understand is how did all of this even start? These rumors of my apparent pregnancy?”

“An article in the Canterlot Times. It was a middle-section story, mixed in with most of the gossip columns that nopony really cared about, but this one was special. It stated they’d had an exclusive interview with both parties involved.”

“What? I never spoke to anypony about such a thing. Mark?”

Mark shook his head. “I don’t recall.”

Raven’s magic sprang to life, attempting to lift a water pitcher, and faltered. “Oh drats, this darn headache. I knew I should have stopped after that fifth drink last night.”

Mark froze, and then whispered, “Miranda.”

“I’m sorry?” Celestia asked.

Mark slapped his forehead. “Oh my God, Celestia.”

“Pick only one, dear, and pick wisely.”

“No, we’re both idiots! The party last night!”

“What of it?”

Mark grabbed the sides of Celestia’s head, pressing his forehead to hers, avoiding her horn.

“We got totally shit faced!”

Celestia’s eyes went wide. “You don’t think we—"

The door opened once more, this time Kibitz marching in. “I do think so, yes.”

“Kibitz!” the engaged couple shouted, Mark pointing an accusing finger at the unicorn.

Kibitz looked questioningly, and Mark shyly pulled back his hand.

The older stallion continued. “Yes, I hadn’t realized it at the time, but there was some odd gossip going around at the party about your… situation. What I didn’t know until about half an hour ago, however, was you two were pulling another one of your elaborate pranks, and then you forgot you were pulling a prank.”

“Oh no,” Mark said.

“Oh yes,” Kibitz pressed on, “you both did this to yourselves, and I’m sorry to say that while I feel guilty for playing a part in all of this, it is your just desserts for your actions.”

“So wait, Kibitz, how did you find this out?”

He stepped aside, and two earth ponies, one short and stout, the other tall and skinny, walked in.

“Mario! Luigi!” Where are your hats?”

The two sighed, the shorter one speaking first. “Prince-Consort, those are-a notta our-a names.”

“Yes, and those-a hats were-a too silly! We can’t-a be proper plumbers if they’re-a constantly in tha way!”

Mark slapped his knee. “See what I mean? I fucking love these guys. What’s up, you two?”

“We’ve-a finished your-a request!”

“Si!”

Mark blinked. Everypony looked at him. “Request?” Raven asked.

“Plumbers?” Celestia asked.

Mark slapped his forehead. “Mama mia, I thought that was just a dream.”

“Mark… what did you do?”

“Oh, Vostra Altezza! You should-a see it! It’s-a beautiful! Bellisima!”

“Sì! Our finest work-a yetta!”

“Sprigati! Come-a quickly! We must-a show you!”

The two earth ponies took off down the hall, and quickly behind them Mark and Celestia followed, Hank, Composite, Raven, and Kibitz giving chase as well.

The group passed several rooms, the sounds of moans, grunts, and other lewd acts echoing down the halls as they ran by, but they wouldn’t be swayed from following the plumbers

Then they arrived at a massive, single door.

Panting, Mark looked up, and asked, “Isn’t this my old room?”

“Si!” the short pony said, then opened the door.

Everypony looked inside, and all let out “ooh”s and “aah”s.

The spacious room had been turned into one large jacuzzi tub, the warm, steamy water bubbling about. The walls were lined with towels and a few changing stalls.

“Holy shit, you Italian bastards actually did it!”

“Wait, is this why the water’s been out all day?” Celestia asked.

“Si! Took-a us all day, but we-a did it!”

Several ponies let out laughs, and Mark stood proud.

“Wow, my first modification(9) to the castle! I originally wanted a bowling alley, but Hell, a giant-ass jacuzzi that can fit twenty?”

“Yes, just what this castle needed.” Celestia rolled her eyes.

“Well, everypony, I got only one thing to say.” Mark turned to look Celestia over, grinning madly.

“What? What’s with that look?” Mark stepped forward, grabbing the large pony, and fought to pick her up. “Mark!? Unhand me, what are you doing!?”

Charging ahead, Mark threw his fiancee into the water with a massive splash.

“You stink, ya big silly horse!” Mark laughed.

Celestia surfaced, spitting water out.

“So, how’s it feel?”

Celestia showed a predatory grin. “You tell me.”

Mark felt a bump from behind, and fell into the water with a splash. He surfaced, spitting and sputtering. “Holy shit, what was that?”

Laughing, Celestia splashed water at him, and the man returned the favor. Then the two looked at the doorway, everypony else smiling at them.

Mark grinned. “What the Hell do you think you’re all doing? Get in here!”

Immediately, they began shaking their heads and backing away, excuses forming in their throats.

“Si! Si! You must-a all try it!”

The two plumber ponies pushed the group, two royal aides and two Royal Guards, all the way to the water’s edge. With a flare of golden magic, one final push was all it took to shove the four ponies into the water.

“Look at us all! No more stinky ponies!” Mark laughed.

Only Celestia and Marked seemed to find any joy in the situation. Everypony else, save Hank, frowned about the sudden warm bath. The stoic guard simply closed his eyes and lowered himself so only his nose and up showed above the water’s surface, where nopony could see his smile. He had a date, after all.

----------

Princess Luna jolted awake, a wave of magic hitting her full on. Quickly jumping out of bed, she made ready for an impending attack, wards springing to life as she sought her armor.

Then she paused, rolling her shoulders and checking herself over.

She was all… crystalline. This was a familiar feeling, that of love. Lots of it, in fact, that could only come from one place.

Forgetting about her armor, she rushed out of her room, ignoring the lack of her usual thestral guards at her door.

The halls were quiet, the night still, and the clock told her it was nearing midnight. This, while not unusual, was all wrong. She should have been woken up hours ago. The more she traveled, the more oddities were apparent.

The castle was practically empty, save for abandoned hoof carts and the scattering of Royal Guard armor.

“Have we been attacked?” she asked aloud, then heard something from a door.

Stealthily, she snuck up and creaked the door open.

She pulled back, wide eyes and nostrils flaring. The room stunk of sex. Heavy musk and sweat, and so she closed the door.

“How odd.”

The next few doors she checked were all the same, and she realized quickly that some of the ponies were her sister’s guard.

“How odd, indeed. We’ve not seen the castle like this since… oh. Oh!”

Luna’s grin went from ear to ear, and quickly she took off down the halls, back to the residential wing.

She ran for her sister’s room; along the way she kicked aside some discarded wet towels, clothes, and her sister’s regalia. Charging, her magic turned the handle as she threw her shoulder into the doors, opening them with a crash..

“Sister! Sister! The Crystal Empire hath activated! Oh joyous of days indeed!”

Celestia’s head shot up from under the blanket, and atop her, Mark’s head looked up too.

“Holy crap your timing is horrible, Moon Butt!” Mark groaned.

“Yes, Lulu, what is the matter with you?”

“Forgive mine intrusion of thy coitus, but the Crystal Empire! Look!” Luna waved her hoof in the air.

Mark looked down to Celestia, and she looked at herself.

“Oh, would you look at that.”

“Did I do that?” Mark asked.

“Doubtful. As talented as you are, this isn’t your work.” Celestia shook her head.

“How dare thou, Sister! Of course this is of his doing! The paper this morn was correct, thy are with child! Why else would the castle be full of the smells of strong stallion musk and winking mares! I dare suspect the skies are full of the clouds of ecstasy, and I missed it all!

“And now the Crystal Kingdom, the news reaching them and Princess Mi Amore and her Prince! We shall have many new ponies in eleven months’ time!”

“Luna, I’m not pregnant.”

“What? How dare thou suggest such things. Of course thou art.”

“No, seriously, she’s not.”

Luna’s ears went down. “W-what? Art thou… are you sure? But… the paper…”

“It was a prank that went too far, Lulu.”

“So, what is with all the celebration? The bountiful ponies who’ve made coitus in order to show their love and adoration?”

“A mistake, sadly,” Celestia continued.

“Oh. So… no small niece or nephew to spoil?”

“I’m afraid not.”

“Surely not from lack of trying, anyway,” Mark added with a chuckle.

“Is that so?” Luna grinned, her horn starting to glow. “Perhaps We have a suggestion.”

“Wait, Lulu! No, don’t—!”

A bolt of magic struck Mark, and in a blink of the eye, the human was replaced with a large, masculine alicorn of black coat, deep red mane and tail, and his horn fractured.

“Oh no…” Celestia smacked her face.

“Oh hello~” Luna purred, eyelids going low as her tail began wagging(10).

“Oh Hell naw,” Alicorn Mark shouted. “Change me back! Change me back!”

Author's Note:

(*) This number is based upon the annual census of the population of Ponyville, plus 2.5% for visitors who aren’t in the know, but dragged into the fray as collateral. While this number has gone up since the marriage of Big Macintosh Apple and Sugar Belle, Pinkie loved an unusual reference to the number, and begged it stay that way for longer. In order to keep sanity in check, Twilight decided it was the most rational(*a) way to do it.

(*a) Pinkie pointed out it was, in fact, quite irrational. Princess Twilight’s last correspondence over the matter was simply to leave it alone.

(1) Rainbow Dash tried to contest this once, however she eventually concluded that “it wasn't worth the effort” and said it was a draw. Everypony wisely let it go and agreed with her.

(2) Such as fires, sieges, or when the nobles needed to flee upon Celestia’s insistence of donating to charities.

(3) It was also, once upon a time, the only place in the palace that allowed smoking, and had an in-house bar. After an incident involving a thestral guard and an overweight unicorn nearly burned down the room, Celestia moved both the bar and smoking privileges into the Great Room(3a).

(3a) There wasn’t really anything great in the Great Room. It was just a lounge for the nobility to sit about, drink, and scheme all kinds of ideas on how to better themselves. WIth any luck, Celestia hoped the next Canterlot Palace fire would start there, for nothing of value would be lost.

(4) A guard on normal rounds of the castle would simply wear their helm and breastplate. Upon an incident occurring, a number of guards were always on call in the armory to don their full gear and replace the under-armored guards while they too suited up.

(5) It was a little-known fact that, while rare, ponies tended to get into the mood when a royal announced they were with foal. It was usually a sign of good luck for prosperous families, believing that since a princess only tends to have a foal every several centuries, then Luna’s stars must be in special alignment to promote fertility and foals bound for greatness.

(6) As previously mentioned, some ponies even believe conception closer to the palace helped the odds.

(7) The only sure way for it to work was to turn Mark into a pony, and when an attempt was made with disastrous results, they both agreed they’d save it for an absolute last-ditch effort(7a).

(7a) Such as if there were no orphans ever, no stud willing to sire in his place, no lost or undiscovered magic to change his sperm to be compatible, or actually get Hank to smile.

(8) While not very strong, gold was a very common commodity, a fact that still puzzled Mark. It was good for imbuing spells, runes, and looked hella flashy.

(9) Whenever a new member of the royal family joins, or comes of age, they’re allowed one free modification of Canterlot Castle, anything they want. Primary examples: Princess Celestia got the massive public library. Princess Luna got her dungeons, fully loaded and staffed with a skeleton crew. Princess Cadence got the private tower suite, which was now open to guests of the crown.

(10) Luna was into the dark and edgy. Who could blame her?