• Published 2nd Jul 2020
  • 8,191 Views, 843 Comments

Short Hand - Andrew Joshua Talon



The myriad misadventures of a plucky human in Equestria.

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Cuddles

I didn't dislike meeting Princess Celestia for tea after our monthly defense meetings. Quite the contrary: She was wonderful. She was funny, she was kind, intelligent, wise... And so genuine.

That said, she did have a tendency to probe in... Rather sensitive areas. Especially when we were alone in her private study.

"So tell me, how are things... Going with Twilight?" She asked, smiling at me over her tea cup. I sat back in my own chair.

I winced a bit.

"Uh... Going?" I replied. "How do you mean?"

Celestia's smile became a bit coy.

"I believe you know what I mean," she said gently. I coughed.

"Ah... Well, we're dating," I said. "You know, socializing. A little at a time with everyone-everypony. One at a time."

Celestia nodded.

"Taking things slow," she said, "that's good."

"Yeah," I said.

I paused for a moment.

"I could always get to work mounting them right now, if you'd like," I said, looking her right in the eyes.

Celestia stared back, and laughed. Again, that deep belly laugh I had never heard her make with anyone else. It was loud and definitely not princess-like at all. Which is why I really liked it. It made me feel special.

"Well, I'm not sure you could get to that stage with them on your own," she replied, when she'd gotten control of herself, "you're barely able to crack jokes with me!"

"I dunno, I thought that was progress," I muttered, feeling a bit hurt. Celestia wrapped a wing around me, and I leaned in against her. She was warm, naturally. She always was.

"It is," she said, "you are much less guarded. It is a good change. But you are still too used to living in a shell."

"Says the princess of the most powerful nation on this planet," I mumbled. Celestia nuzzled me.

"Who is cuddling you," she reminded me. "Yet you are still uncomfortable."

"Not that uncomfortable," I grumbled. I nuzzled her back. "I mean, what are you doing? Negging me?"

"Negging?" Celestia asked.

"You know, insulting me to lower my self esteem so I do what you want?" I asked. Celestia laughed.

"Is having a princess of this world cuddling you lowering your self esteem?" She asked.

I shrugged, and nuzzled a bit closer.

"No," I said.

"So relax," Celestia murmured. "We are here. In this moment. Be here... With me, all right?"

I sighed. I tried to relax. I let go. All those endless, constant worries, I let go. I was wrapped up in the wings of the most powerful being on the planet. What did I have to worry about? What did I have to fear? What did I need to plan for?

I just... Tried to be. Kept my eyes shut. Listened to her heartbeat. Felt her warmth.

It was nice.

"I have to ask," I said, at last, "what do you get out of this?"

"Hm? What do you mean, what do I get out of this?" She asked. "I get to cuddle with someone who needs it... And I get to be myself."

She nuzzled the top of my head. It made sense, I suppose. She had been just as lonely as Luna for that thousand years: Having to be the strong one for her country. For her people. Ponies. Whatever.

And I suppose I was one of the only people who she could be herself with. Who the hell was I going to tell?

"You're doing it again," Celestia murmured. "You're worrying. Overthinking everything. Like the universe is on your shoulders."

"I guess you would know," I said dryly. Celestia laughed softly, I wrapped an arm around her neck, pulling her closer to me. I nuzzled her back.

She relaxed against me, letting out a soft sigh.

"Just be," she said, "it's the only way to survive the weight on you. Just be... Or be crushed."

"All right," I said gently. "I'll defer to the expert. But... I hope you're cuddling with your sister like this, too."

Celestia laughed.

"But of course!" She said, "poor dear needs it. Would you like to join us some time?"

I sighed and looked up at the ceiling.

"And you wonder why I can't relax," I deadpanned.

She just laughed and kept cuddling me. I wasn't going to tell her to stop.

Author's Note:

A bit short but I thought you'd like it.