• Published 28th Aug 2020
  • 5,139 Views, 246 Comments

At Your Service - DanishDash



Taking care of a whole kingdom can be hard, teaching/learning how to act in the modern times is harder. Keeping up with Twilight is tiring, dealing with their nephew is worse. Thank Faust for their new butler.

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Chapter 5: Lunch Routine

With breakfast served, and the brunch for Blueblood started, Dapper made his way back up to princess Luna's apartment. He needed to make sure she had everything she needed before he moved on.

Strangely enough this was one of the more enjoyable duties. Luna could act like a moody princess at times, other times she would act like they were thousand years back in time in the way she spoke. No matter the case she would always bring something interesting to the table for him to decode.

There were times when it was pretty clear what she needed, she just didn't want to ask even though it was his job. Dapper couldn't help but find the princess of the night quite adorable when she wanted to request something but did not have the courage.

Like before he trotted up to the door of Luna's apartment, he knocked and only a few seconds later she called.

"Enter."

Dapper did so, moving in silently as to not break his lady's concentration. Like most mornings before bed she was doing some sort of game, when she had trouble sleeping she would often find something to tire her mind. This morning it looked like she was trying out Solitaire.

Dapper could see she was focusing, wanting to beat it, if she didn't she would have trouble sleeping. As he walked past her table towards the windows he got a look at the cards. Her eyes were almost glaring at the cards before her, it seemed she was stuck. As Dapper went to close the curtains he whispered, "red ten on Jack."

Luna's ears twitched and she looked up. "What was that?"

With the curtains closed Dapper made his way to her side. "If her highness permits it, I was only saying you could put the ten on the Jack."

Luna snorted. "Foolish, that doesn't do anything."

"On the contrary, because then Jack goes to the Queen."

Luna looked it over, then huffed. "That is obvious of course!"

"Indeed so ma'am." Dapper said, hiding a small smile as he went to a group of other windows to close those curtains as well.

As Luna continued to lay the cards she stole a few glances at her butler. So much about him was still a mystery, like why didn't he have a cutie mark? What happened to his wing? Where did he learn everything he knew?? He was pretty smart, and he managed to call attention to Celestia's growing flanks without being banished to the sun, that took some guts, and she respected that.

Then she saw something, it was small, but it was there. He winced, it was barely for a second, but it was there. Was he in pain? Luna looked to his wing, it was giving a single twitch. She had no idea what happened to him, Celestia had not mentioned it either. Of course as the princesses they could simply ask for his medical record, but that seemed to be an invasion of privacy.

"How is your game coming along?" He suddenly asked, bringing her out of her thoughts.

"Oh, uhm.." She looked to the cards, then sighed. "We declare defeat, this time.." She could see Dapper getting ready with advice, but she held up a hoof. "I rather figure it out myself. If I don't beat it, then I won't get much rest."

Dapper shrugged. "There are ways to solve that problem."

Luna sighed, she had heard that one before. "Speak. Many have given me advice on how to get me, the princess of the night ,to fall asleep, they have all been useless, so what's your advice."

"A massage."

Luna looked to him, her eyes in a mix of shock and disbelief. She had heard all kinds of advice, music, books, glass of warm milk, or even some sort of bath with whipped cream, whatever that was about. Never had anypony suggested a massage, most ponies would be afraid of suggesting something that intimate with a princess.

It wasn't sexual of course, but still most ponies would be afraid of the mere suggesting of such a thing with a royal such as Luna or Faust forbid her sister. But Dapper simply stood there with a straight face, credit for sure, but even so she doubted it would work.

"I will have to think about it." Luna replied, not really opposed to the idea itself, who knows, it could work. "But maybe for today you could humor me." He raised an eyebrow, waiting for her to explain. Luna looked at the cards again, using her magic to gather them into a neat deck. "You're a mystery to me Dapper. It's like you're not really here."

"Ma'am?"

Dapper was not sure how to take that, she didn't blame him, it was an odd statement. "Its like you're standing outside all the time, observing us. Like a pony who's watching a theater performance. There must be something else, you must have been a foal at one time, gone to school, had a life."

"Oh yes," Dapper confirmed. "Sadly one could say. I've made my fair share of mistakes, but I've taken care to learn from them."

Luna turned her head slightly and looked at him. "So who are you really?"

He inclined his head. "A humble servant to the crown."

The answer didn't please Luna, she snorted and stood up. "A nice deflection. Do not assume just because I'm royalty that I'm stupid." She trotted to her bed, using her magic to lift the covers as she got in. "You're wing, there's a story behind it, isn't there?"

For the first time since he had arrived, Luna saw him flinch. She had made a dent in his armor of calm, but he quickly repaired it with a simple smile. "There's a story behind everything your majesty.. Mine is long, and would surely not interest you."

Luna raised an eyebrow. "I'll be the judge of that."

Dapper looked at his princess for a few seconds, then let out a defeated sigh. "Quite. Then is there anything you would like to ask me?"

Luna thought about it for a moment, then shrugged. "Give me time to think about it, I want my question to be a good one."

Dapper nodded. "Very good ma'am. Is there anything else?"

"No, that will be all."

He inclined his head yet again. "Then I will take my leave. Sleep well your majesty."

"Thank you, Dapper Dash."

He left his lady to rest for the day, remaining calm as he got into the hallway. Though as soon as he closed the door behind him he let out a small sigh. "Buck.." He mumbled, moving his wing a little. The pain was getting worse, which meant it was time for another pill.

If not for the guards he would have swallowed one here, so instead he trotted down the hall, knowing where he could take one without being seen. He moved down the hallway and slipped through a glass door that led to one of the many balconies of the palace.

Nopony was out here as he had expected and so it gave him the chance to deal with his pain. Luna had seen something, she had noticed something, and it worried him. Had it just been about how his wing looked, or had she noticed the pain? He could not say, nor would he risk asking her.

He got the bottle out, three pills left...

Dapper needed to stop the pain now, so he decided to do what he knew he was not supposed to. He took two instead of just one. When he swallowed he took a moment to let the pills do their work, already he felt some relief. "Ahhh..." He placed the bottle within his pocket and leaned his body against the pillar.

One pill left, it would not get him through the entire day, but it would keep him pain free for at least the hardest parts of the day. First he needed to get Blueblood his brunch, then oversee some cleaning before joining his lady Celestia at day court. Then it was time for lunch and later afternoon tea, dinner, and then seeing Celestia to bed and take care of whatever Luna might need before he would finally be free!

Dapper knew full well that if he asked Celestia she would in all likelihood grant him leave to go see his doctor. He also knew however if he did tell her she would worry, and thus snoop around, even unintentionally. Dapper didn't want to lie to her either, if he did and she found out he would be finished. He hadn't lied about his wing, he just hadn't told her or Luna about his pain medication. It was a thin line to walk on, but he considered it a matter of privacy and not wanting them to worry about him more than they needed to.

He let out a sigh, taking out the pocket watch and checked the time. It was almost 9 AM, which meant it was time to get the brunch and wake up sir Blueblood. What an honor, what an honor indeed.

It didn't take long for Dapper to go to the kitchen, pick up the tray and then make his way to the guest wing. The apartment there was reserved for special guests of the princesses, such as ambassadors, close friends or family. Blueblood of course wanted the biggest apartment of them all, but that didn't really exist, they were all exactly the same.

Coming up to the door he knocked, although knowing Blueblood was in all likelihood still sleeping. Dapper opened the door only to be met with a still darkened room. The apartment itself was clean enough, nothing major out of order, a few pieces of clothing here and there from a late night arrival home was all.

Dapper placed the tray on a small table, then went to the big windows and drew the curtains, making the sun's light light up the room like a wave of color. "Argh!" Blueblood woke, but did not get up, instead he pulled the cover over his head and moaned. "Noooo, not yet.."

"Forgive me sir, but the hour is upon us, and it is time for sir to get up. A beautiful day lies ahead of you." Dapper said as he went to the tray and took it to the bed.

Blueblood sighed and sat up. "What's the time."

"9 AM, as usual sir."

Blueblood groaned, but let Dapper place the tray in front of him. "Couldn't you have let me sleep in?"

Dapper started to pick up the clothes on the floor. "Late night sir?"

"Yes, I played cards for quite a while."

"Oh?" Dapper raised an eyebrow.

"Relax Dapper, I didn't bet anything important. Only a few bits, that's all."

"Very good sir. For a moment I was afraid we needed to have another discussion about your circumstances." Dapper said in a polite enough way, but Blueblood knew well enough what this butler held over him. "Will you require the morning paper?"

The stallion snorted. "I hardly think there's anything interesting in the paper for me to be concerned about."

Dapper shrugged. "Maybe there is something interesting, I myself find the latest scores of hoofball teams to be most gratifying. It would seem my home team are moving up the ranks."

He rolled his eyes. "Well bully for you. I still do not need the paper. You can go."

Dapper inclined his head. "Very well sir. Enjoy your breakfast." And with mercy granted from the spoiled nephew of his ladies Dapper could finally leave and get some real work done.

"Dapper." A mare's voice called.

He stopped, turned and saw none other than, "Frost Heart, what can I do for you?"

The mare trotted up to him and they both started to move down the hall. "I wanted to let you know that the cleaning is going according to schedule. I also want you to remind the princess we need her approval of several things before the gala."

Dapper nodded thoughtfully. "This will be my first gala, I will be relying on you a lot." There was still plenty of time before the gala itself, Autumn and Winter had to before the gala in Spring, but Dapper knew all too well an event such as this required months of planning and preparations.

The maid giggled slightly. "Of course you will, don't you worry. I have been here for five galas, and like always it will be the picture of perfection."

"Glad to hear it." Dapper said, though something still seemed off. Celestia was so ready to invite her student's friends, which seemed unlike his lady. Normally she would be pretty strict when it came to certain hard lessons, this would have been an excellent lesson for her student to learn that you cannot always get things the way you want it. Life involves hard choices, that includes not always being able to make everypony happy.

Of course maybe he was thinking too much about it, it could be exactly as Celestia had said. Twilight had made friends, something she apparently had a hard time of doing before, if he had understood the staff of the palace correctly. It could be her way of simply being supportive of her student, and at the end of the day it was not his place to judge, despite him having done so when it came to his lady's diet..... And flanks.....

"Well if you have the cleaning under control I shall depart for the throne room." Dapper said, happy he did not have to check up on all that right now. Normally he wouldn't mind doing so, but he wanted to move as little as possible for now, and day court was the perfect place for him to stand around and do nothing for several hours.

"Very well Mr Dash, I shall see you later."

Dapper inclined his head and trotted off one way and Frost the other. It didn't take Dapper long to get to the throne room, the guards recognized him of course and let him enter a side door, that way he would not be disturbing the business of the court.

Like always there were a lot of ponies to see the princess, Dapper already figured he would need to get Celestia something to drink soon enough. Making his way alongside the walls he found his usual place which was near the throne. Near enough for her to see him, but not near enough to draw attention from any of the petitioners.

As Dapper expected Celestia was masterfully in control of the room. He knew Celestia well enough to know she took her day court seriously, but also at times found it extremely tiring. She was happy whenever she could make a real difference in a pony's life, but whenever a noble trotted into the room it was most likely something serious. There were exceptions to that rule of course, lord Fancy Pants was one such exception. Normally when he came by to consult the princess it was about a legitimate issue or proposal, which was why her eyes seemed to focus just a bit more when he came by.

Celestia was a master when it came to controlling herself, she knew how to look at almost every given situation. It may seem silly for some, but the way she smiled could make or break an image or a deal. It was the small details she mastered, a skill Luna still struggled with. As their butler, Dapper had quickly learned how to read them, not deeply, but enough to know their needs when he served them.

For the next two hours Dapper stood and waited for his lady to either finish or to give him an order, nothing happened, so when it was time the day court closed. It was Dapper's cue to go and make sure lunch was ready, so after making sure Celestia had nothing to ask him he went down to the kitchen and oversaw the preparations.

Like at breakfast he made sure the trays were perfect, and no cakes made their way onto the trays. They trotted upstairs, set the table, and once again just on schedule Dapper opened the door letting in the princess of the sun. Luna was not with her, which did not surprise him. So far Luna had only been asleep about 5 hours, so they were likely not to see her before afternoon tea.

As she sat down and looked over the options of food, Dapper trotted over and poured her some water. "Miss Heart asked me to inform her highness of her approval of certain decorations and preparations for the gala."

Celestia let out a tired sigh. "She knows what she's doing, you may inform her that I have faith in her judgement."

Dapper inclined his head. "Very good ma'am."

There was no way around it, Celestia had a VERY busy schedule, meetings upon meetings upon meetings. Dapper was present at almost all of them to take care of Celestia's needs and of course the needs of whoever she was meeting with. Luna was still getting used to the age they were living in, so Celestia did her best to get Luna into the meetings little by little so she didn't get overwhelmed. Until she was ready to fully take part Celestia insisted on taking most of the obligations herself.

It could make her job very lonely, still, she had her sister and her student. Life could be a bit dull at times, but things were generally peaceful, and it was at times like this Celestia could relax in peace and enjoy a nice quiet lunch without any worry.

Letting out a sigh she munched happily on a small sandwich. "Mmm, just what I needed.." She said, looking to Dapper. "I know better than to ask you my faithful Dapper, but are you sure you won't have a bite?"

Dapper chuckled. "Like always ma'am I would need to decline your most kind offer."

"I know." Celestia giggled. This had become a sort of game. Always she would offer him to join her, and because he saw himself as a butler and only a butler he would decline. "You should know you have done very well so far. I'm very pleased with your work, so too is Luna, though she may not say it."

"I'm glad you're pleased." Dapper said with a small bow.

"But," Celestia then continued. "Don't you have family?"

Dapper almost signed, but like Celestia he was very good at controlling himself. "I do, but like me they have busy schedules. We see each other from time to time, but it is not a huge loss for us."

Celestia frowned slightly. There wasn't much she could say, if he and his family were okay with how things were, then there wasn't really anything for her to say. "Don't be afraid to ask for a day off if you need to see them."

"Do not worry ma'am, I know."

Leaning forward a bit, Celestia scanned the table with her eyes, looking for something specific. When she didn't find it she visibly frowned. "Dapper, where is my cake..?"

Dapper sighed, yet another game he was quite used to by now. "If I may remind her highness, it is not yet tea time."

She looked at him, her eyes going stern. "If I may remind YOU, that I am your princess Mr Dash."

Dapper held his ground. "I am very much aware of that fact, but as your butler it is my job to also look after you and your sister to the best of my ability."

"Are you saying I'm getting fat?" She asked in a warning tone.

"I would not dream of it ma'am."

"Good, so if you would be so good to bring me some ca-"

"I am however saying the diameter of her highness's cutie mark seemed to have grown." Dapper interrupted.

Celestia blushed, then made a pouting face as she looked away. It was almost comical how the divine princess of the sun could turn into a little filly when it came to her sweets. Still, Dapper had to admit it was an adorable trait of hers, something he found entertaining, though a bit frustrating at times.

Celestia sighed. "Fine, but at tea time I expect you to bring some-" POOF! A scroll appeared in front of Celestia, she quickly grabbed it with her magic and unfolded it. "Ah!" Her eyes lit up. "A letter from Twilight."

Dear princess Celestia,

I am happy to report that the dragon has departed our fair country and that it was my good friend Fluttershy who convinced him to go. This adventure has taught me to never lose faith in your friends. They can be an amazing source of strength and can help you overcome even your greatest fears.

Always your faithful student,
Twilight Sparkle.

P.S. I realize I forgot to write and inform you about the dragon in the first place, this was a great miscalculation on my part and I apologize. Still everything worked out and I learned a valuable lesson.

Dapper did not know what the letter said, but he could tell by Celestia's expression that she was feeling a lot of things right now. He knew very well what that meant, and as expected Celestia put down the letter.

"Dapper.."

"I'll get you some cake," he replied with a sigh.

"Thank you Dapper."

Author's Note:

That covers lunch, next up is dinner! :moustache:

And I know in the show Twilight informed Celestia about the dragon, but I just call BS in this story. If the dragon was really a big threat Celestia would probably have gotten her cake heavy ass in gear and lend a hoof. :rainbowlaugh:

So this is my spin on that, but don't worry. Twilight is not insane in my story, just thought it be fun to explain why Celestia didn't help with something that could effect all of Equestria. :trollestia: