• Published 16th Oct 2012
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When you're a ruler of a major country, you don't have much time for yourself.

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In the Flowers

Celestia sighed. She had hoped that she would spend the next week on vacation. After all, it was the first time in months she had no speeches to give, or sessions of the local legislature to manage, or monuments to dedicate, or ships to set sail, or... Well, any of the duties of being the god-princess of a major nation. She had hoped to relax, maybe on a beach, and get away from it all. She had her own problems to think about, after all.

But no. The Griffon Nation just had to decide to get into a trade dispute right as she was packing her towel and umbrella. Well, the guards were packing those things for her, but it was the thought that counted. Either way, instead of flying to the beach, she was flying to the Grand Palace of the Most Honorable and Noble King of the Griffon Nation, who was just as arrogant as his title made him sound. The fact it was a five hour flight didn't help her spirits much.

She sighed, looking down. Her entire life was stupid politics. Corruption, arguments, anger, scandals – You name it, her day-to-day was filled with it. It wasn't very fun, to say the least.

Of course, she could manage – And had managed, for the last few thousand years. But it was starting to get on her nerves a bit. She hadn't taken a vacation in Starswirl knows how long, and now her one chance to do so had been interrupted by a pompous ass who was probably only causing trouble to stroke his ego. She had to admit, she was quite angry.

She had been flying for about three hours now, and was extremely bored. After all, she had decided to take this particular flight solo – Going will her full entourage would no doubt give publicity to the situation, which is the last thing she wanted in the situation. Trade disputes were hard enough without political commentators blaming everybody in sight. Still, as much as she loved flying, having nopony to talk to got to her after a while.

Celestia’s eyes wondered, trying to see anything interesting. She was flying over some sort of meadow, a large green plain coated with flowers. It was exactly like hundreds of others in Equestria. Legend had it that long ago a pony had dedicated their life to making the world more beautiful by planting flowers everywhere, but Celestia knew that it was actually the result of federal beatification projects she had put into place to get Equestria out of an economic slump. While it looked rather nice, it wasn’t anything special or interesting.

Until she saw her.

The pony was white, with an electric blue mane. She was obviously female, judging by her size and the shape of her skull. She was a unicorn, and about as tall as the average pony. Her cutie mark wasn’t discernible from the height Celestia was flying at.

The pony was dancing. There was a record player nearby, playing some sort of music Celestia couldn’t hear. This would have normally been a cause for confusion – Who dances in a field? – But, for some reason, this was different. There was something refreshing about it, some sort of manic energy. She felt it in her very soul.

Celestia glided downwards, being careful to avoid the pony’s line of sight. She landed about a hundred meters away, and sat down. The pony continued to dance, oblivious to her new spectator. Celestia got the feeling that the dancer wouldn’t have cared even if she knew who was watching her. It seemed like she could dance despite anything.

A few minutes later, the unicorn stopped her dance as the music ended. She turned to her left and grinned at something. Celestia was surprised when she heard clapping, and saw another pony stand up, emerging from the tall grass. This one was an Earth pony with a gray coat. The dancer plucked a flower out of the ground with magic and floated it over to her, continuing to grin. The gray-coated pony accepted it shyly, placing it in her mane.

Celestia felt a small ping of emotion. It was like… She actually cared about this random couple, for some reason. Maybe it was the strangeness of the situation, but she suddenly wanted them to succeed.

And there was something else there, too…

Celestia took off, shaking her head while flapping her wings. She needed to think, and flying helped her with that. Maybe it was the thin air that cleared her mind. The fact that she needed to fly to get to the meeting was really only an afterthought.

That other feeling… It was something like envy. Celestia had no time for relationships or romance. She only had time to run her country. It was her duty as Princess, after all. Then again, she hadn’t chosen this life. It was thrust upon her, simply because she happened to an Alicorn. The ponies would follow her no matter what she did, only because she was in a body that signified she was a part of the sun. She would never be able to get away from it all, simply because she was born a certain way in a certain body.

Then again, if she could somehow leave that responsibility…

Then she could be the dancer in the field. Handing a flower to somepony she loved, carefree. The pony that popped up in her vision startled her, but it felt right, somehow. Even though she didn’t see her that often, she always missed her when she had to leave. But if she wasn’t a royal, they could stay together. No more twangs of loss. They could dance in the field, smiling at each other. Lost in the music, in their love. Nothing would be wrong. Everything perfect.

No more meeting, trade disputes, interviews, accusations, corruption. No feelings of selfishness every time she considered something but her country. Just her, her own feelings, her own emotions.

The ability to just, for once, hold somepony and be held by them, with no stress or anger tainting the moment. Hold them in, close, thinking of nothing but the future. That’s all she wanted. Just once.

She was drawn from her thoughts when she saw an extravagant palace on the horizon. No. That wouldn’t happen to her. She had duty to attend to, after all. She shouldn’t have even thought those things in the first place.

Still, in the corner of her mind, there was a desire to leave a flower somewhere where the one she was thinking of would find it… Some token of thoughts-

She shook her head. No. She had to get those thoughts out. That was impossible. She had to settle this trade dispute, than get back to her life. No need to fill her head with impossible fantasies.

Sighing, she knocked on the door of the Palace, waiting for the King’s doorman to answer her.