• Published 3rd Feb 2012
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Dames of the Tea Table - Gabriel LaVedier

Luna: Princess, Goddess, Hostess

  • ...

A Night At The Club

Of The
Tea Table

By Gabriel LaVedier

A Night At The Club

Connie flopped down on the bed in her cell, smiling brightly. Her mane hung down, loosed from the usual puffy ringlets for the night. She was still unbelievably happy, even though her engagement had been several days ago. She was engaged... to Prince Blueblood. She had never anticipated such a thing, never imagined it could be so. But it was. And it was glorious.

Even so engaged she still lived in her maid's cell and still performed her duties as she ever had. Her future great-aunts-in-law had, singly and as a unit, offered her grace and favor, for the period or her engagement. She had declined, and furthermore reiterated her position that she would remain a maid and perform her duties. She had to smile as she remembered seeing Blueblood's reaction to the idea.

“But... but dearest...” Blueblood said, scratching at his mane. “You're... engaged to me. You're practically a princess. It may not be much of a position in the temporal sense but the status and title carries a great deal of weight. Why would you continue to work on as you had?”

“There are several reasons,” Connie replied, snuggling against her confused fiance. “First of all, I made a promise when I came to work here. That I had come to work. I have kept it and will keep it until things change in a far more formal way. Secondly, I happen to enjoy my work. It's hard but fulfilling and all my friends are still working as well. I can keep up with them and do something I enjoy greatly. Lastly, and most importantly, you liked me when I was still nothing more formal that a simple scullery maid. I wouldn't want to change your impression of me so quickly.”

Blueblood rubbed his chin a little bit. “Like to work?” he asked. “What a strange idea. But it's yours, so I like it.”

Connie pulled Blueblood into a bone-bending hug and gave a braying laugh. “You'll come to understand in time. It just takes a little time...”

A curt, firm knock brought Connie out of the memory and turned her attention aside. She wasn't expecting company. “Fireclay, is that you?” No answer came. “Rose Quartz?” Nothing. “Come on, this isn't funny.” Connie opened her door with a sour look on her face.

Behind the door stood three figures. All three of them wore dark cloaks with hoods pulled up over their heads. Their faces were entirely obscured through some kind of strange and unnatural darkness. Magic flashed and set up a field that trapped Connie's sudden scream, which ended abruptly as a wave of blackness washed over her body and she lost awareness of everything around her.

Her awareness returned some short time later, in some sense. She was still in the dark but it was a natural darkness, and none of her other senses were interrupted. Light appeared in front of her, illuminating the three robed figures, though still not revealing their faces. “Wh-who are you? What is this? Don't make me break out my donkey strength on you!” Connie shouted, dropping into a fighting stance. “I'm engaged and I'm gonna get married! No creepy shadows are gonna stop me!”

“Hold!” The central figure shouted with a powerful voice. “Stay thine hoof and cool thy spleen! Thou hast no need for such ire. Behold thy surrounding!” The light in the room rose to show off what it was. The room was rather large, looking like two rooms with pushed-back walls. In the center there was a large tea table, set for four, with a steaming teapot and plate of sweets. There was also a bowling lane, a dartboard, a pool table and a silent jukebox. A door at the back of the room looked to lead to a kitchen. “And thy comp'ny.” The figures swept back their hoods, the magical darkness dropping from their faces to show Princess Luna, Lime Sherbert and Fleur de Lis.

“Princess Luna? Lime? And... wait... a fashion model I hear about a lot... Fleur de Lis,” Connie said, looking between the three figures. “What is this?”

“Welcome and well met, mine impending niece,” Luna said, nodding her head while Fleur and Lime bowed. “Dread naught, this be a time of great rejoicing and grand import.”

“This... might take a bit of explanation but I promise this will be an amazing thing. Trust me,” Lime said, giving Connie a wink.

“Particulars shall be given in fullness of time. But suffice that thou knowest that thou shalt be inducted unto this most august, occult organization. The fourth of our number, member in good standing of The Dames of the Tea Table!” Princess Luna shouted, her voice echoing around the room.

“It's a lot of dishing about husbands, or similar, chatting about things, playing games and talking about stallion flesh. Don't think it's the kind of secret society that rules the world. We have her majesty here; having this for that would be redundant,” Lime said with a laugh.

“We can get into any concert we want, see any movie, meet any celebrity and get a discount at any restaurant,” Fleur added with a laugh. “We could have Lipizzanerdale Dancers in here if we wanted but why bother? We apparently have more meat at home than a griffin veldt-hunter.”

“Well, I know I do. Seriously, I feel like I need climbing gear. The Griffin High King wishes his aerie was up that far,” Lime said with a huge laugh.

“O-oh... wow. That... that happened,” Connie said with a blush. “And I thought Fireclay was bad...”

Luna shook her head and smiled beatifically to Connie. “Aye, aye... 'tis parry and ripost betwixt these bawds o' mine. Sport o' tongue and hammer and tongs to see which may be rightly termed Dame Sauce. Verily, 'tis shocking. And it be too great an outrage shall I call that they be made mild in thy presence.”

“That's perfectly fine, your majesty. If that's the way it is here then I'll learn to deal with it. I just hope that being a bit retiring doesn't make me seem out of place. I mean, I really want to talk about the things here but it sounds like the subject here is length. Where is the love for girth? What about being able to plug up a mine shaft while reaching the lode at the bottom? And the boulders at the entrance! Can't forget that,” Connie said, with a mild tone and coy look, a naughty smile dancing on her lips.

The other three mares looked at Connie in stunned silence for a moment before breaking out into applause, stomping the floor and cheering. “Well spoken, mine impending niece! Thou hast in thee wit and tongue sharp as rapiers and quick as they be! Truly shalt thou be in good standing among us!” Luna shouted.

“Wow... like you said I expect that out of Fireclay but not you. Seriously. Never knew you had it in you,” Lime said with a grin.

“I am stunned, impressed and concerned. Dame Lime... we may have competition. This does not bode well,” Fleur said, with a broad grin.

“Then we try harder. Like what we scream when it's time for the finale,” Lime said with a laugh.

“Have done, have done, well do all of thee speak such ribaldry. But now there be more pressing matters, as our vegetables with bed,” Luna said, with a loud laugh.

“What matters, you majesty?” Connie asked, growing more serious.

Luna produced a sheet of parchment and passed it along to Connie. The flowing script looked to be of song lyrics, with some notations. “Ere we convene this gathering we each in turn sing this tune. As thou may note, there be space that thou shalt place vegetable or fruit of thy choosing that make stand in mockery of thy dear one's cod,” Luna explained.

“And she means 'mockery' in the older sense of 'copy' or 'imitation.' A reasonable facsimile. And by 'cod' she means... I think that one you can figure out,” Lime added, with a wink.

“Oh yes. I can figure it out...” Connie said. She looked over the paper and blushed a bit. “Don't I have to take an oath or give a drop of blood or steal some clothing or something?”

“This is a sorority, in the sisterhood sense, but we're not like the ones in less classy universities,” Fleur noted. “No matter what that little pegasus thought we were doing. Try to help somepony and they think the worst...”

“Shall I dub thee, once thou hast sung. We must hear from thine own lips of thy devotion, and of thy liberality. If thou woudst not speak freely among we, thy close confidants, then hast thou not the spirit we need for this gathering,” Luna said, with a grave tone.

Connie took on a determined look and read over the paper again. “I'm a donkey. I don't back down. I'll do it. I'm a little tone-deaf but I'll do it.” She cleared her throat, looked over the words again and sang, “I have got a daikon, what need have I for more, for more, what need have I for more? For I gobble, gobble, gobble my daikon, what need have I for more?”

Hearty cheers followed, as well as broad smiles. “Well, well... a daikon. Nice choice. Now, does that refer to color only, or to size as well?” Fleur asked with a cheeky grin.

Connie gave Fleur a smug smile and a wink as she answered, “Both.”

Another round of cheers followed, along with laughter. “Yes, well, as you will hear, my stand-in in butternut.”

“Zucchini,” Lime confessed with holding up a hoof.

“And I proclaim the pride of mine secret love as mocked by aubergine. But let that pass. Thy questions shall not be answered in full but know that thy future great-aunt doth keep a most loyal bed-presser of kind and mild nature. Speculate with thy fellow Dames, as I know they have done i'the past. But now...” Luna cleared her throat and lifted a teapot, which she softly touched to Connie's forehead. “I dub thee Dame Connie, to serve as title until thou has taken thy place as Princess, and do welcome thee as member in good standing of this, the Dames of the Tea Table.”

Fleur and Lime applauded politely, Lime using her magic to pass over one of the hooded robes. “It seems strange, I know, but it adds something. You don't need to keep it on while using anything in the room. But they're very comfortable. It's quality material that breathes, and flows and is nice and soft.”

Connie looked the robe over then slipped it on, keeping the hood back. “Oh! Oh wow... I'm not in the habit of wearing much but my uniform but... this is nice! It's even better than all that fancy stuff Blueblood gets me.”

“Fancy clothes are not your friends,” Fleur said sagely. “There's an old adage in the business, 'You can look good or you can be comfortable, you can't do both.' Though some come closer to comfortable than others. Carousel Boutique originals aren't so bad.”

Luna rapped on the table with the teapot. “I do call this assembly to order. Let us engage ourselves with due pomp and propriety as we have in times past.” She passed the teapot to Fleur and smiled. “By my reck, it be thy turn.”

“Indeed, your majesty. Is it the usual blend?” Fleur asked, pouring the tea into the cups that had been set out.

“Aye, 'tis so. Forgive mine over-reliance 'pon the brew, but it be to my taste, and soothes me so. I may provide other blends and it be to thy liking that it should be,” Luna said.

“No, no, I was just wondering. It's rather grown on me. Sweet, aromatic, and the apple undertones are scrumptious,” Fleur said. She lifted the plate of various sweets and held them out. “Anyone for treats?”

“Just a cookie,” Lime said, levitating over one. On further consideration she levitated three more and innocently sipped at her tea.

“Aye. Do I desire the hot tarts filled with apple jelly. They make mock of some thing of great familiarity,” Luna said, releasing a titanic, room-rattling laugh enhanced by the Royal Canterlot Voice.

Connie shook her head and rubbed her ears after the huge expression of mirth, picking out a few squares of fudge and a flaky mille-feuille. “I used to get pieces of this in the kitchen after parties. Now Blueblood can't wait to present me with some new treat. There are a lot of perks to this 'engagement' thing, other than getting to be with Blueblood.”

“Oh yes, speaking of engagements I've been holding this one in reserve for a while just so I could get some extra mileage out of the formal declaration...” Fleur used her magic to levitate a ring out of her robe, white gold studded with diamonds. She slipped it onto her horn and posed. “He finally did it! He finally, finally did it! I'm not just his plus-one! Now it's going to be him plus me, permanently!”

“Huzzah! This is good fortune indeed, Dame Fleur! At long last the pain that sent thee to mine suit chamber hath found cessation and thou shalt have thy love as thou hast desired!” Luna cried.

“It's about time,” Lime said with a laugh, while clapping her hooves. “You'd think he'd be a little quicker on that.”

“No, he takes his time. Sometimes it's good. Other times, not so much,” Fleur said, laughing lightly. “So, Dame Connie, you and I are in the same boat.

“I wish I knew you better. I'm happy for you but not as happy as I could be. Who is it, anyhow? I've been a bit too busy seeing me in the tabloids to notice other celebrities,” Connie confessed with a blush.

“I understand completely. It's Fancy Pants. For the longest time we were coltfriend and marefriend, in a loose but loyal sense, who went to social functions together and had eye-crossing sex with great frequency. I wanted more but never got it, so I asked her majesty what to do. Then... this happened,” Fleur said, indicating the room. “We'll fill you in on the finer points of this group later. But... suffice to say, I'm so thrilled! I'm getting married!”

“I know your excitement! This is a weird night. So weird. But great!” Connie said quickly. “Don't get me wrong. Weird is good. Blueblood was unbelievably weird at first. That turned out fantastic. So as strange as this is, this is one wonderful night.”

“Aye, 'tis so. Th' strange and unusual often be more than they seem. While some may hold no charm there be much in th' unexpected and novel,” Luna said, nibbling on one of her tarts.

Lime tapped softly on the table. “I formally propose something for the consideration of all. I hereby propose a double-bachelorette party for our soon-to-be-weds. Who will second this notion?”

Fleur's hoof hot up eagerly. “Second! That sounds like a fantastic idea!”

“Hold, Dame Lime...” Luna said, looking puzzled. “A party for these impending nuptials seem good sooth, aye. Yet why doest thou call it party for dames that have not banners of their own and fight 'neath that of another? Shouldst thou be included in that comp'ny then; thou are dame bachelorette as well. If ever on field of contest thou wouldst be 'neath the banner of this order, not of thine own line.”

Everyone took a moment to think of Luna's words, but Lime got it faster than the rest, having been with Luna longer. “Your majesty, the word has changed. Now bachelorette, or bachelor, is the term for one unmarried, though they are old enough to be married.”

“Then why hold such a fete? Would not a bachelorette's party be celebration of being unwedded?” Luna inquired.

“It's a modern tradition that celebrates the end of singlehood and impending marriage. One last celebration as an unmarried mare,” Lime noted.

“I don't know...” Connie said, hesitantly. “I promised Fireclay and Rose Quartz and the others that we'd have a bachelorette party at the palace. They're my friends. You know that, Lime.”

“Dame Lime,” Lime said, before nodding. “And I know, Dame Connie. But still, it's a fun idea...”

“I promised the same thing,” Fleur noted. “I was actually also going to double with Platinum Shine, since I'm one of the few ovarian enough to stand by her after she got engaged to a Diamond Dog. But this would be good as well. Why not have two? More fun, more celebration, different crowds and experiences. Special in their own ways.”

Connie rubbed her chin lightly. “I guess your right, Fle- Dame Fleur. It would be nice to get a few celebrations in, with different folks. I know what the other maids will do. I'm not sure what will happen here. And can I crash your other one? If you want ovarian fortitude, you call a donkey.”

“A future princess getting involved? Platinum would love it,” Fleur said with a smile.

“In truth, I am at a loss,” Luna said. “Time and again I do find that I have not concordance with his new age in which I reside. I do enjoy it, and there is much pleasure, but customs have arisen which I know not. Verily, have I the worse fortune. E'en in mine own time I had not contact with the betrothed. The only wedded ones I saw were they who sought the bonding of blood. Many a mule, hippogriff and zony helped I form, but never did I meet them before that moment.”

“This has to happen, then,” Lime said with a resolute tone and a solid thump of the table. “There's so much to be gained in the endeavor. A double-party for two deserving ladies, a new bit of fun and learning for you, your majesty, and as for me, well... I can fake being single and have and chance to enjoy that!”

“I think we've pretty much decided this has to happen,” Connie said. “All that's left is to figure out what kind of party. I don't think just sitting in here would work, though it's close enough. I mean...” She looked around the room and whistled. “It's a mare cave in here. This is probably better than the room the other maids were going to decorate up for me.”

“Not that this wouldn't be a good place, but I feel like going out for it. Maybe to a club again. This time there will be no bar brawls,” Fleur said, blushing as Connie gave her an odd look. “I'll tell the story later.”

“Perhaps an even of spirited and ribald entertainment at the theater. My private box be of good size for entertaining. 'Tis of comparison to my sister's and thou didst find it of great enjoyment, didst thou not, Dame Connie?” Luna asked.

“It was very comfortable your highness. Had a lot of good stuff in there too,” Connie said.

“Maybe a trip. We could draw funds and go to Chateau LaRoulette again. Gamble, sample salt and alcohol and go to another completely ridiculous play,” Lime suggested, getting another look from Connie. “There's a lot of stories. Don't worry, you'll get up to speed fast.”

“Sounds like I have some catching up to do...” Connie said, falling into a contemplative silence. She absentmindedly stroked the material of her robe, and looked around at the others. Something clicked in her head, and a dark blush spread slowly across her features.

One by one the others noticed the deep blush and wide eyes on Connie, Lime piping up with, “Okay, that look demands an explanation. Where did you think would make a good location?”

“Well, uh, I just suddenly thought...” Connie stammered for a moment and blushed deeper. “Well, why not a... dress club? I know, completely cliché for ladies out on the town, not original at all. But it's got all the action and excitement we could want for a bachelorette party.”

“Aye!” Luna shouted suddenly. “My future great-niece doth speak good sooth. This do I know indeed, for have there ever been they that dress for delight of others. Aye, dressing be of interest when one most loved be tiring their selves with great skill...” Her focus wavered and she got lost in thought.

Bad Apple ran a brush through his long, shimmering black mane. Unlike most days he had not slicked it with pomade. It was allowed to flow, wild and free, blowing beautifully in every breath of a breeze. He stood, caramel body bare to the world and the hungry eyes of Luna. “Mm, I think... I should wear something special...” he said with a smooth tone.

“Aye, aye, wear what you will, so long as it be most... involved,” Luna breathed, licking her lips just slightly.

Bad Apple first took up fine silver wires and wove them in his mane, creating the appearance of waves in the sea of obsidian. He set a few pieces of jewelry along the wires, silver settings holding polished jet. His mane properly done he turned to his tail, similarly twisting silver threads through it and settling more pieces of jewelry. To that he added a set of jingling silver bells. He finished by tying a colorful, broad silk ribbon under his tail, swaying his tail to set the ribbon to flowing and the bells to ringing. “Nice, isn't it?”

“Front or rear you do appear so fine, my love,” Luna said breathily.

Bad Apple took up a caparison, all in dark purple cloth with lighter patches of dark blue with pieces of black. On the center of each side was a bright crescent moon embroidered in silver thread. He slipped a saddle on over the caparison, largely of bare, polished ebony construction, the cloth portions dark purple satin with silver hardware and embellishments. He pulled the girth slowly over his stomach and ran it through the cinch on the other side, slowly pulling it tight to secure the saddle on his body. He lifted up a dark purple crupper and slowly stroked it across his toned rear, under the swaying ribbon. “This crupper is so smooth and comfortable. Would you like to see me cinch this on good and secure, my dear?”

“Aye... please do secure the saddle well,” Luna groaned softly.

The crupper settled securely along Bad Apple's hindquarters, pulled up good and taut against the firm cheeks of his rear. He attached one side to the saddle, then secured the other with a deft flick of his hooves. “Secure... but should I be armored for you? I am your black knight-errant. Maybe a few pieces of armor for you...”

Luna bit her lip as she smiled. Her eyes were bright as a blush burned on her cheeks. “A-aye, mine adored black knight-errant! Do continue...”

“As you want,” Bad Apple said, winking and blowing a kiss to Luna. He pulled up a silver poitrel, polished to mirrored perfection. A network of swirling lines and geometric figures had been etched into the surface, black glass enameled into the grooves, while in the center was a molded crescent moon set with diamonds. He pressed the armor against his chest and secured it to his upper body with decorative silver-colored bands.

Further armor came up, in similar style, silver, with black enamel lines and pressed crescent moons. Each piece was shown off, lovingly rubbed against Bad Apple's body where it would be placed and then attached. The pisane on his neck, cuisses on his thighs, greaves on all four legs, polains on the knees and finally sabatons on his hooves.

He struck a pose, head held up proudly, body turned slightly to show as much as possible. He looked like some fantastic combination of noble dandy and grand knight. “Does that please you, my love? I could undress quickly and do it again...”

Luna shivered as her eyes hungrily gobbled up the fully-dressed form, tracing every clothed or armored curve, everything that she had seen being covered. “Aye...” she sighed. “Aye, mine adored one. Divest your self and tire yourself again...”

The other ladies in the room watched Luna with some embarrassment, and a bit of humor as she stared into space, licked her lips and gave a somewhat-perverse smile. Lime coughed softly, which seemed to be just enough to bring Luna back to her senses. She looked at the trio and cleared her own throat. “Do forgive mine intemp'rate fugue.”

Fleur lifted a toast with her teacup and smiled. “No need to ask for forgiveness. I think we all fantasized about our darlings. I know I was picturing Fancy. I lingered on his sliding on his ascot and slowly tying it off. So slowly...”

“I think that the idea is brilliant and accept it!” Lime said suddenly.

“Dame Lime is right. I vote for it. It should make for a great time,” Fleur said.

“And I, too, vote for this course. Dame Connie, thy proposal hath been carried without argument,” Luna said.

“Woo! I feel so... accomplished! Getting a plan like this approved feels like a victory. Maybe we should get up some physical challenges,” Connie said cheerily.

“Let us not engage in rugby nor the joust lest we may be certain we have liberty to travel to the field,” Luna said, getting an odd look from Connie. “Shall I inform thee anon. But mine impending niece doth speak good sooth. Come, let us continue this gathering in frivolity, with music and games. Dame Connie, thy taste in music must needs be known, that it may be added to the music box. Until then... let us be frivolous!”

- - -

A short time later all the various aspects of the plan for a secret double-bachelorette-party had been completed. Funds had been secretly drawn on the usual account for miscellaneous activities and toilet articles, with the usual strange and uncomfortable look from the palace accountant. All other things were arranged under various aliases.

The ladies had freed themselves from responsibilities through various means. Fleur had told Fancy she would be unavailable that evening due to a palace confab; Luna waved off all duties and suits save for raising the moon by fiat; Lime told her husband she was going to be hanging out with the Princess, as usual; Connie told Blueblood that Princess Luna wanted to get to know her.

On the night they all met in the Dames' room, which had been loaded with racks of various fancy dresses, though all of them with muted styles. “Oh my... it's like... it's like those places that Blueblood keeps taking me to try and buy me fancy new things. It's cute that he thinks I'll like it,” Connie said with a soft laugh.

“Aye, he hath a most fond imagination, but 'tis mild and innocent. He doth think of naught but thy glory and pleasure. 'Tis most pleasing that he be thus,” Luna said, running a hoof over the attire. “This be the lot from which we may tire ourselves for this endeavor.”

“As before, all of this was bought on consignment. We'll wear some of them once and then give it all back. As before they'll probably label it as 'As worn in the palace' and raise the price a bit. Everyone wins,” Lime noted.

“We must be well disguised. There was not sufficient security in the journey to tavern and faire. In journey to the Chateau we did well to be cloaked in glamour. Dread naught, my niece. This magic doth not cause pain, 'tis little more than cloak of magic, like as Changelings, though on the surface alone. I may change my form most completely, though for thee only color and mark,” Luna said.

“I... what?” Connie asked, turning to Lime and Fleur.

“She means, we've been out before and were almost identified. Or, I should say, I was identified but thankfully by someone who was a friend. We've also been disguised before and will do that now. She can change her whole body, but for us can only change color and Cutie Mark,” Fleur explained.

“Ah. Clever. And proper. Some ponies may say that 'all donkeys look alike' but it's just a joke. They can easily tell us apart. And with my picture in every magazine I'm a bit conspicuous,” Connie said with a nod.

“Aye, 'tis so. Thus, stand, that ye all may be made properly,” Luna said. The three ladies lined up in front of Luna and stood calmly. Luna lit up her horn and washed all three of them in a purple-toned aura of magic that grew brighter and brighter, hiding their bodies. It broke with a flash and revealed the new bodies for the trio.

Fleur had attained more of a pinkish tone, a light rose color taking the place of her normally white coat, while a darker pink took the place of her mane and tail color. Lime had changed fruits, in a sense, her coat turning a bright, showy yellow, while her mane and tail were more of a muted sunny tone. Connie had turned entirely melanistic, by and large, her coat entirely black save for the spots that had been cream, which were more of a dark gray, and the black of her mane and tail tuft, which were brownish in color.

“Behold thy selves and see thee in thy glamour. Taketh thou new names that ye shall be wholly disguised in eye and ear,” Luna said, levitating over a mirror.

The three admired themselves in the mirror. Lime and Fleur were looking at their new marks, Fleur having gotten a trio of flowers in the color of her prior mark, while Lime had a lemon on her flank in place of the lime. Connie was just marveling at the change and her new hue. “Oh wow... I wouldn't even recognize me even with a magazine in front of me...”

“It's an interesting experience, that's for sure. Now for names... I think the standard. Dame Lemon for me,” Lime said.

“And Dame Flores for me. I like the way it rolls off the tongue,” Fleur said, bouncing her hair lightly.

“Umm... I don't really have experience making up names like this. I never had to use an alias for any reason,” Connie noted.

“And it please thee, mine impending niece, may I choose thine appellation?” Luna asked.

“Please, please do that. I have no idea, other than the blindingly obvious like Jet or Onyx or Obsidian or other Diamond Dog names,” Connie said.

“Nay, thou needest a name occult and sub rosa. Thy ears changed not, and thou hast seeming as rabbit. Lapine. Ah! Lapis! Dame Lapis. Dame Lapis Lazuli should full name be needed,” Luna said.

“Huh. I still ended up with a Diamond Dog name but one less on-the-snout. I like it,” Connie said, admiring herself in the mirror.

Luna took up position in front of the mirror, her horn glowing brightly. A sparkling wave enveloped her form, flashing slightly as it moved. It compacted her body slightly, changing her color to a pale pink, her mane and tail turning into a powder-blue tone, the mane settling into fluffy ringlets that fell around her face. Even her Cutie Mark altered, becoming a dark crescent moon beside a shepherd's cook. “And thus, behold ye, Lady Cynthia La Sombra. 'Tis not poor choice, the word was well known afore, the cruel tyrant did pervert a fine name.”

“Well now, let's go ahead and get dressed. It's all muted stuff, nothing too flashy or crazy but just right for where we're going. I made certain we were going to a really class establishment. It's only right for a bachelorette party, especially a double,” Lime said as she used her magic to flip through the racks.

Connie flipped through the clothes, quite unsure about everything. “I don't know what styles are fashionable, or what goes with my... me...” She said, looking lost.

“The wonderful trade secret of being rich and powerful is, you decide what's fashionable. There's no logic to it. You decide, every sycophantic suck-up copies it, and all the folks under them copy them because they think it's the new look,” Fleur said with a laugh. She picked out a red dress in a dark rose tone, with a texture that looked like the silky smoothness of a rose petal. The bell portion of the dress had folds and tucks that looked very like the head of a rose, while the portion above the waist was wrapped in green straps resembling rose stems, with flat protrusions along the bands suggesting thorns.

“And even if no one knows who we actually are, it's clear we're the upper levels. So you can look how you want,” Lime added, flipping through the racks. She pulled down a black and white checked dress, which was long and slinky, with a narrow bell and slits along the side that at the right angle could give views of her belly.

“I have concord with thee, Dame Connie. Little do I know of such things, for mine own styles be of a grander stripe, older and more august. I do chose only that which doth please me in some manner, yet know not if it be suited to mine image. But Dame Fleur doth speak good sooth. These scraping pickthanks would speak well of sailcloth and rags were they pitched on with hay fork to the body of a powerful pony,” Luna said with a shake of her head. She chose a simple cornflower sheath, but added a reddish, frilly corset.

“You know, I still don't know what to wear but I'll bet I can get away with most anything,” Connie said, looking through a few more selections. She finally settled on a black and white dress, one that was short, with puffy shoulders, short sleeves and an apron-like design to the front that recalled her maid attire.

“You really can. But in this case, that one really suits you,” Fleur said, having pulled her attire on.

The other three dressed swiftly, admiring themselves in the mirror. Luna's horn glowed dimly and she motioned to her sides. “Dames, to me. Now shall we convey ourselves to our conveyance, if my meaning be taken.”

“I thought we were going by carriage,” Connie said, looking to Fleur and Lime.

“We are. If I understand we're going to teleport to the carriage. That way no one will see us coming from the palace. Another way of hiding who we are,” Lime explained, as she trotted to Luna's side.

Once the others had gathered around Luna's horn flashed out brightly, wrapping the quartet with a field of dark purple magic, that collapsed in on itself and popped out of existence, leaving the spot empty. The field reappeared outside the palace on a quiet, dark, empty street.

“That was an experience,” Connie said, blinking and looking around.

“It feels the same no matter how far you go. She can get us all the way to Ponyville and back,” Lime noted. “But you finally heard both of those stories.”

“I still can't believe you repeatedly grabbed a filly to give her makeovers. At least she and her fillyfriend got together,” Connie said.

“Aye. Do we err most greatly when we err in service of good sans thought. But let that pass, my Dames. Come, our conveyance awaiteth our coming,” Luna said, leading the ladies around a corner.

Around the corner they found a very unique thing. Rather than a standard carriage pulled by the drivers they found a stretched aubergine-shaped electrothaumatic carriage with a single door in the back. Up front was a single small-breed green Diamond Dog female in a chauffeur’s cap. “A motor-driven carriage. Now that is class,” Fleur said with a nod.

“And the carriage shape was... specially chosen from a selection of vegetable and fruit shapes the company had available. I do hope it is to your liking, your majesty,” Lime said, with a saucy wink.

Luna let out a loud and robust laugh as she approached the vehicle. “Aye, aye, Dame Sauce. Thou hast thy ways... 'tis a grand jest! Come then, let us enter. 'Twill be th' only time when I shall enter aubergine and not th' reverse.”

As the women approached the Dog hopped out of the front, approaching the rear door. “Here for four ladies. Who is Dame Lemon? Have orders from them.”

“That would be I. I arranged this machine for the transport of Lady Cynthia La Sombra and retinue. This is her excellence and we are her companions. You have your destination?” Lime asked.

“Oh yes! Know way to go and can get there fast. But not too fast. Constables not like when vegetable goes fast,” the Dog said with a smile. She opened the door and bowed. “Come into carriage and we go.”

The four women piled into the back of the thing and looked around as the door closed. The inside of the aubergine-shaped carriage was decorated with stained hardwood, with cushy carpet in a purple tone, which continued over the soft seats. There was a single long one along the back, and several more along the sides by the windows. At the front there was a long window to show the driver as she got back behind the controls.

“This thing is great. It's even better than the carriage I had for my date,” Connie said. She then quickly looked nervous and gave a smile to Lime and Luna. “N-not that I mean to insult a royal carriage or your husband as guard and driver but this is... unique!”

“Calm thyself, 'tis no insult. We do maintain many traditional things in the palace. There be no issue with them and they need no change. But perhaps in future we may add to our store. We do keep airships now, why shall we not have these electrothaumatic devices as well?” Luna asked.

“I'll make a note of that and see about requisitioning an official carriage of similar type... with less 'suggestive' construction,” Lime said, stifling a giggle at the end.

“We go now?” The driver asked from the front.

“Aye, wagoner, hie thee onward to the location,” Luna cried from the back.

“Her excellence wants you to drive, and make all legal haste to get there,” Lime said quickly.

“Yes, pony ma'am,” The Dog barked happily, pressing the stones to activate the engine and get it driving the wheels. She pulled out onto the main street of the high terrace and used the main coach roads through the second down into the third. She pulled the aubergine into a carriage lot located in front of a very lovely building.

It recalled the clean, classic lines of the first terrace, with pillars and arches. The stone was not the white of the other buildings, but had been carefully dyed red, with a mosaic that spelled out the name of the business, highlighted by the powerful lights shining on it. 'Le Portal Rouge.' The dim sounds of thumping bass came from within, while a few ponies chattered softly as they stood in line. The door to the place, painted a darker red than the rest of the building, was guarded by an enormous red Dig Dog and a dark brown donkey jack.

The Dog chauffeur hopped out of the carriage and opened the door for the ladies, bowing as they exited. “Will wait here for you, ladies.”

Luna dropped a hundred-bit coin into the palm of the Dog. “Thank thee, kind servitor. A small gratuity for the cost of thy time. Thou shalt waste this precious night awaiting our return and must thou be recompensed for this tragic loss.”

“O-oh! Should work for funny-talking mares more!” The Dog squealed, dropping the coin into a pocket on her vest and then scrambling back to the front of the carriage.

“Your generosity is boundless, your majesty, and quite delightful to watch,” Lime commented as the four strode towards the line.

“Liberality be part and parcel with mine inner self, and they that serve that we may rest must needs be recompensed with all open-hoovedness, lest we be some lowly Randomoid,” Luna said grandly.

“That's a big line...” Connie said with some trepidation.

“Attitude, Dame Connie, attitude,” Fleur said, standing tall and proud. “Look like you should be there and you get right in.”

“You never went out with some of the other palace maids, but the uniform was enough to get us past lines. In outfits like these we're even better placed,” Lime noted.

“I've been a humble jenny all my life. I'm new to being a step away from a princess,” Connie said.

“And I'm from a low terrace. I got picked at random to be Princess Luna's maid. Just follow my lead. Trust me,” Lime said, lifting her head and looking very sure of herself. Connie copied the motion, but kept her ears back and down, sure something bad would happen.

The four moved past the line, Luna at the head, Lime just to her right, Fleur and Connie behind. They reached the head of the line and were confronted by the large bouncers at the door. “Not cut in line. Not polite,” The big Dig Dog wurfed.

“Arrangements were made in advance. You will see her excellence Lady Cynthia La Sombra and her three compatriots. Pre-paid and reserved,” Lime said confidently while Luna stood, imperious.

The donkey looked over a list and nodded to his fellow employee. “They're on the list and on time. They reserved in advance. We can let them in.”

The Dog pulled open the door with a smile creasing his jowly face. “Please enjoy show. Thank you for coming.”

The thumping bass barely heard outside washed over the four women as they strolled into the darkened club. Unlike the outside the inside was less classic. The place was indirectly lit by weak bulbs, occasional strobes and a few color-changing spotlights that swung around. The furnishings were more modern metal and glass, with small tables arrayed near the door, set with cushions and a few low stools. To the right there was a long bar, topped with clear plastic to show off glowing gems that provided a wonderful under-lighting. At the back of the room was a broad stage, with a catwalk extending forward from the middle. Four smaller stages, sized for a single performer, were placed amidst the tables, two on each side of the catwalk.

Luna laughed softly and pointed to the catwalk coming off the stage. “The catwalk doth not have the same meaning as it once did. In past times cat-walk was how the slatterns announced their 'wares', as 'twere. 'Twas a dark time when the prostitute was not a respectable mare.”

“Hard to imagine,” Fleur said. “But then again, no. It's still possible to be an ignoble prostitute. Base reasons cheapen the act. Like nobles who marry for money and status.”

“To speak of nobles...” Luna said, motioning discreetly towards one of the single performer stages. On the stage was a burly male Diamond Dog of the medium breed. His blue-toned coat was partially covered by a silk vest, which shimmered as he twirled and gyrated during the process of putting it on. He was dancing, seemingly, for a single patron, an older, slender unicorn mare who had a noble cast about her. She hid her yellow coat behind a drab gray dress and tried to hide her orange mane under a floppy hat. She held up a loin cloth and a kind of undergarment in a trembling magical aura.

“You majesty, is that...?” Lime started to ask.

“Aye, 'tis she. It doth seem the idle words were quick, and that over-puffed becco she doth call husband indeed be a mad ox, when he thinkest he be a mere golden calf. Omnia bene. Turnest thou away, my Dames. Let the Lady sport with her chosen in peace. In time she will choose that others may look,” Luna said, directing the other three to a table on the other side of the catwalk from the happening.

The lights at the main part of the stage went up, and an announcer's voice cut through the pounding bass rhythms. “Welcome, all, to Le Portal Rouge! You've seen the small-stage performers, you liked how they looked climbing into their clothes, now it's time for the headliners! And we have got a real treat for you tonight! Our first two performers come from distant lands to entice, excite and delight you all! So let us begin. First, the grand and inimitable Fionn mac Brennan O'Wedgetail!”

The crowd let out a cheer and stomping applause as the curtain in the back released a fine specimen of wedgetail griffin. His body was well-muscled, his lion coat shaggy and eagle's feathers ruffled and puffy, as could be the case with wedgetail griffins. He strutted along up the catwalk caught in the glare of several spotlights. He carried a bundle with him, and moved along to music played on bagpipes that replaced the electronic music that had been playing.

Once he reached the head of the catwalk he threw down the bundle and struck a grand pose. “Well! I certainly cain't go see the High King lookin' like this! Best ta get m'self ready...” He shouted to the crowd, his accent thick and voice rich. A few bits flew onto the stage as he reached into the bundle and pulled out a pair of blue hose. His talons were careful with the thin material, and he pulled each one languidly up his lion legs, never breaking the material and not puncturing the toes as he got them properly situated.

He shod himself next, with hard deer-leather shoes. He was slow about inserting his toes into the shoes, making sure he crossed the laces carefully and secured them onto his hose-covered lion paws in the traditional manner. His talons traced slowly up his dressed legs, more bits clattering onto the stage and more than a few lusty female voices crying out from the audience.

The next item out of the bundle was met with a loud chorus of cheers and whistles, as well as stomping applause. It was a kilt, in blue and green tartan, which was held up for all to see. Fionn looked it over and gave a sly grin. “That's quite a sporran. Hope the High King doesn't mind that I like to have a big one on me,” he said with a suggestive laugh. A small shower of bits fell on him and the stage as he pulled the skirt up his muscular legs, shaking his rump slowly, as though it was actually difficult to pull the material up.

“Oh, your majesty... I'm not sure if I should keep watching or not,” Connie said aside to Luna, watching as Fleur and Lime threw bits onto the stage. “I don't want to have unreal expectations when I ask Blueblood to slip on that cute tuxedo front and bow tie of his.”

“Dread naught, dear near-niece. This be but harmless expression of art,” Luna said, comfortingly stroking a hoof along Connie's mane. “They be naught more than terpsichorean artiste or thespian. We do watch them as they make a two-hour traffic of the stage, yet we turn our hooves home and are well satisfied with what we find, if my many meanings be known.” She dropped a wink at Connie and laughed.

Connie tried to hold in a chuckle but ended up snorting and giving a low bray as she failed. “I take your meanings, your majesty. I suppose it couldn't hurt to watch. Maybe I can suggest things to him.”

“Aye, aye, thou speakest good sooth. From art may thou takest means that thy life be brighter and greater. Surely mine nephew would not chafe at suggestions to make him please thee more. He hath hardly other thought in his mind than thy pleasure, as thou hast mind for his,” Luna said with a nod.

“It's true... guess I really should be paying attention,” Connie said, turning back to the catwalk.

The performance was all but over. After securing on his kilt, a dirk on one thigh, and wrapping long, scarf-like folds of tartan cloth on his upper body Fionn suavely slid a Tam o' Shanter onto his head and struck a pose, to the delight of the audience. “Now that is how a tercel dresses for the High King.” He turned on his shod heel, and marched smartly down the catwalk, singing to himself in time with the pipe music. “Hark when the night is falling, Hark, hear the pipes are calling, loudly and proudly calling, down thro' the glen...”

The stage light faded as the electronic music rose up again, only to be muted by the announcer's voice. “Well now! How was that? Get you good and charged up? I'll bet you want some more, am I right?” The question was answered by raucous cheers and stomping applause. “That's what I thought! Now for the next dose of dressing from a far-away land, we have for you Mbepin Kaptara!”

The stage lights went down and the spotlights went back up, shining on the body of a slender zebra stallion. His stripes were thin and plentiful, and his mane was in the mohawk style but long, and less bristly than most. He wore a small pair of spectacles and looked young enough to be a college student. He was carrying a collection of grass items on his back and strolled casually down the catwalk to Veldt drums and stringed instruments.

“There's still plenty of time to get to the party,” Mbepin said with a toss of his head and a sultry look at the appreciative crowd. “And I have the perfect outfit for a celebration...” He dropped the collection of items by rearing up and giving a few slow kicks of his front legs, showing off his long, smooth form.

“Somezebra's working his way through the Royal Canterlot University,” Lime noted with a grin and a toss of a bit. “Chemistry, or mathematics?” She asked across to Fleur.

“I don't know. The spectacles could be either yet he could be a non-scientific student. The Royal Canterlot University has more than just science classes. Maybe linguistics or literature,” Fleur responded, tossing her own bit.

Mbepin first wrapped plaited grass bands around his neck, securing them on with gold clasps until he had created a grass neck covering that extended all the way from shoulders to jawline, with a gold clasp line down one side. He pulled out four small rings of gold hung with dried grass that made a soft sound as they were moved. All four were opened by a catch and placed onto his ankles, the grass hanging down to cover his hooves.

He next held up what looked like a thin belt of grass. A red cloth hung from it, buttoned at two places with a semi-circular gap below it. The other end of the red cloth had buttons on it as well, which matched small buttonholes on that end. He reared up again and settled his chest against the pole at the end of the catwalk, amid cheers, whistles and stomping applause from the audience.

He dropped the garment on the ground and stepped into the ring slowly, making sure to swing his hips with each step. His body slowly dropped, one leg hooked around the pole for stability while his other reached down. His rear legs bent ever so slowly, until he could reach the ring and pull it up. His tail flicked a few times before sliding through the opening in the cloth under the ring.

He came back up, just as slowly, rubbing his chest against the pole while pulling the other end of the cloth up. He pulled it firm and tight against his crotch and up through the top of the ring. The very end of the cloth was folded over and buttoned in place, leaving him dressed in the tight-fitting cloth. “A bit snug. I think I need to see my tailor,” he said with a wink.

“One may wonder how the sartorially skilled maintain composure, being as they must tire and fit all manner of being all day long. It must take strong constitutions,” Luna huffed, flipping a few bits onto the stage.

“Trust me, your majesty. I work with tailors and seamstresses and all classes of designers. They get used to seeing folk dressing. They wouldn't come here, it would be like work. Now I just wear the outfits, I don't make and fit them so I can still enjoy seeing a stallion buttoning on a cloth,” Fleur said, whistling and cheering while tossing another bit up.

“I'm... from here in Canterlot. And I'm not really worldly, practicality has always been my thing. Do zebras actually wear something like that or is that just something the club invented? I don't want to look ignorant by cheering for something fake,” Connie said, much more sedately throwing a bit onto the stage.

“Aye, Dame Connie, 'tis true tiring of the veldtfolk. As I and my sister must keep peace 'twixt Griffin Kingdom and Grand Veldt it must needs be we know of traditions and common custom. Books that I have seen since my return show that, as 'twas more than a thousand years ago, such costuming remaineth in fashion. It be de rigeur 'mongst the traditional-minded and they who wish to be seen as wealthy or proper. Much as some ponies favor older cuts of clothing and listen to music made in or made in mock of earlier ages, zebras feel the same,” Luna explained.

“I just watch documentaries,” Fleur added. “They really do a lot of amazing fashion things with grass and gold.”

“I watch documentaries too, but I actually once asked Doctor Twilight Velvet about it. She's from the veldt,” Lime said.

Connie threw out a few more bits and gave an appreciative bray. “Then I think he deserves some cheers for all that dressing!”

Mbepin was nearly done with his attire. He had added a grass skirt over the secured loincloth, and several circlets made of stacked grass rings secured together with gold bands. He finished his attire off with a red cloth draped over his back, which hung down to just the level of his stomach on both sides. “And now, to head out to that party. They're all going to just love this outfit.” He slowly swayed and strutted his way down the catwalk to the sounds of the drums and strings, while the crowd continued to whistle and stomp and cheer for the performance.

“Whew! This was more than special,” Fleur said, slumping down on her cushion. “Two dressings from two exotic males. An amazing bachelorette party to say the least.”

“It's so many new experiences, all at once!” Connie cried out, giving a happy bray. “I can hardly wait to see what's next.”

“According to what I heard when I booked the night there's a special Colt Cuddler performance,” Lime said with a pop of her brows. “Two stallions, in love, dressing each other while they kiss and nuzzle. No word on what kind but it should be very alluring.”

“Aye, to see two so free and so in love, 'twould be greatly moving. Each kiss rich in meaning, each caress a testament to desire and adoration... and they placed clothing on, piece by piece that each may delight the other. It would near be improper to observe,” Luna said with a certain dreaminess. She winked and added, “Near...”

“Now, as you know, we open our stage to eager amateurs,” the announce said, causing the crowd to go silent. “If some stallion or other male wishes to try their luck at dressing, we're eager to oblige, especially if they have a good reason. We've seen proposals done in the middle of a performance, requests for a coffee date, and just plain making love stronger. That's what this is. These two fellows have been together for a while, and it's their anniversary!” The crowd cheered and stomped.

“So heartening that this crush of wights should be high-minded and accepting of the Colt-Cuddlers,” Luna said with a proud nod.

“I know, it's great! And an anniversary performance. Oh! I almost forget, I need to get my uncles a card, it's theirs... sometime. I got busy and I forgot to check the calendar,” Lime noted, tapping a hoof on the table.

“And not just any stallions! These are very special stallions! They come direct from Canterlot Palace!” The announcer cried, to further stomping applause.

“Canterlot Pa- wait... it... it can't be today...” Lime stammered, looking shocked and fearful. “It can't...”

“What can't?” Fleur asked, looking concerned.

“Two very handsome, and very loving, royal guards,” The announcer teased, earning a louder and lustier cheer.

“Oh... oh my...” Connie said, looking between the stage and Lime. “Oh it's... it's not possible...”

“Please give a big, loud Le Portal Rouge welcome to our happy anniversary couple, Cavalier Golden Stare and Miles Scutum Rosy Cranberry!” The Announcer shouted, as the curtain at the back parted.

The two indicated guards stepped out onto the stage, looking as they usually did, though sans armor. Golden had his usual confident, upright look, standing all and proud. His muscular body flexed grandly and his wings slowly opened to display his impressive span. His trademark golden eyes stared all around the room, but couldn't see much with the spotlights shining directly on him. Rosy was in his usual form, hunkered down slightly and standing right behind Golden. His dark blush had taken over both cheeks and threatened to overwhelm his neck and forehead. His slight figure hid the guard-trained muscles he had, making him resemble a twiggy model or graceful dancer. Still, he spread his wings out as well, to show the delicate preening and careful grooming of the feathers. Both of them shared the same mane-style, a close, tight buzzing of their guard-standard blue manes.

The two had golden armor on their backs, and marched slowly up the catwalk to the sound of a guard march played on drums and pipes, as well as the cheers of the audience. One reaching the front Golden turned to regard Rosy, his hard look growing soft. He leaned in to kiss the smaller stallion on the lips, and caress his cheek with a hoof. “Come on... let's get dressed for morning duty...”

Lime had been silent as her uncles were revealed by the parting curtain, save for a squeak of shock. Her eyes had been wide and a hoof over her mouth as they flexed, trembled and displayed their wings for all to see. She had started trembling when they trotted up the catwalk, the armor glinting in the spotlights with some significance. But when Golden spoke, her mind finally shattered, and she unleashed a soul-shaking, mind-tearing, ear-piercing wail of, “NO!”

The other three at the table couldn't help their reaction. They had sympathy, but the situation was simply too much. They all started to laugh uproariously as Golden and Rosy stared in stunned disbelief, and a dawning recognition of the incognito ladies. Security arrived in short order, but the quartet was already up and rushing for the door, Luna remembering to throw medium-value bits back at Golden and Rosy with a cry of, “And many happy more, ye grand guardians of a grand edifice! May ye ever be happy in the bosom of each others' love and adoration and may ye never want for any thing!”

The four spilled out of the door, practically stumbling over one another as they squeezed through the entrance. They fought their way past the line of folks still waiting to get in and made a mad dash for the aubergine vehicle waiting for them.

The Dog chauffeur seemed occupied with a book of some kind, and barely noticed their sudden arrival. She yelped and fumbled the book, trying to get control of it and get out of the machine at the same time. “Did not see! Just one moment, will open door!”

“Have done, wagoner! Concern thyself not with formalities and airs but activate the conveyance and bear us away to our origin with all due and legal haste!” Luna called out with a laughing tone and commanding wave of a hoof.

“Yes, kind pony lady! Going now,” The Dog cried, readjusting herself in her seat and putting her book, revealed to be a Harlequine Crossup novel, back into the glove compartment from whence it had come. She activated the engine, ground the gears just a bit and got the aubergine underway.

Luna, Fleur and Connie continued to laugh, while Lime blushed deeply and continued to shudder as she remembered what she had almost just seen. “I hope I can still get hot watching my husband dress. I so don't want to end up picturing my uncles while Dark is strutting his stuff and strapping on his barding.”

“I think everyone sees a family member doing something they feel might intrude on their future life,” Fleur said. “It passes.”

“Aye, 'tis so. Though mine own family be much reduced in scope from most it still doth include some ponies. Aside from witnessing sister donning her formal raiment, I did witness thy future husband applying his tuxedo front. 'Twas not mine intent,” Luna said to Connie.

“Don't worry, he's a bit sloppy about where he dresses, surprisingly enough. He's so fastidious about everything else, yet he dresses in the open, leaves most of his dishes just sitting around, and sometimes forgets to shut the bathroom door. It's not so bad when he's showering. That's... nice. But other times...” Connie trailed off with a laughing shiver.

“All partners have foibles. That's why we have each other,” Fleur noted sagely.

“Partners...” Luna whispered, growing suddenly serious. Her head dipped down slowly, false mane falling down over her eyes. “Indeed... have we all partners, and much sport do we make of thus. But thou, Dame Fleur, and thou, Dame Connie, shall ye trot the aisles and wed thy betrothed. Soon shall it be, all my dames shall we wed. The lights will be doused and the music box silences, and shall the teakettle ne'er again whistle 'mid our bawdy lines...”

The laughter and smiles all dropped from the faces of the other three ladies. “You majesty...” Lime said softly.

“Don't worry. This is all so new, and I missed out on some amazingly crazy things! Even being married I would never dare miss a thing. Even if it's just you and me, I'll be there!” Connie said, placing a reassuring hoof on Luna's own.

“And it won't just be the two of you,” Fleur asserted with a nod. “I will be happy, being wed to Fancy, but I still love all that this group did for me when I held out no hope for that. No friends in the upper class were ever this fun and frivolous. I'll be right there with you, having a good time.”

“I've been married this whole time. If you manage your romance times, arrange your schedule and make a personally executive decision to have fun with friends it's possible to do all the crazy, ridiculous things we do, even with a husband at home that wants to get intimate,” Lime noted.

“We'll be Dames forever, and separated never,” Connie said, ears lifting in happiness. “Hey, that's a good line. Let's print that on a plaque or something, hang it up in the room.”

Luna lifted her head up, a smile crossing her face, though tears still danced on the edges of her eyes. “Aye. Aye! Thou speakest good sooth indeed, mine impending niece. Change doth come and leave as the wheel turns. Let that pass. Let all sorrow pass and let us keep our order pure. In frivolity, bawdery, sorority and perpetuity!” Her horn glowed brightly, summoning a tray with a steaming teapot, four teacups, a bowl of sugar, a pot of honey and small container of milk. She lifted the teapot with her own hooves and poured out tea for everyone. “Let us partake, and pledge our fidelity to this august association.”

Lime and Fleur lifted their cups with magic, while Connie took hers up with a hoof. They toasted Luna, who returned the gesture, all of them taking a long, slow sip while the aubergine carriage drove on into the Canterlotian night.

Comments ( 24 )

flopped don

1st sentence - fix it quick!

“Just a cookie,” Like said,


I'm one of the few ovarian enough to stand by her

If she's ovarian then I'm testicular, I guess. :moustache:

Oh, wait. That was on purpose. Boy, do I feel like an aubergine! :facehoof:


I've never tried to fix anything on my phone. I wonder if I can. Thanks for the fixes.

And yes. If you see "The Long-Eared Temptress" I establish that since there is a female slant "ovarian fortitude" is a thing.

Well my phone refuses to edit, but who knows? Yours might.

flopped don. flopped down.

"Like to work?” He asked. Either drop 'he asked' as you've already established it's Blueblood or at least drop the capital on the 'h'.

Fleur, you did kidnap Scoots and then perform all sorts of unnecessary make-over tortures on her, I think she's allowed to have the wrong idea.

Like said, Lime said, Took you long enough, Fancypants.

loving rubbed. lovingly rubbed.

cant. can't.

I have no idea who the noble lady in the club was.

H pulled. He pulled.

making her to. making sure to?

opening int the. opening in the.

tailor,” He said. tailor,” he said.

Luna huffed, flipped a few bits onto the stage. I think you're missing a few words there.

Poor Lime, that's not something anyone needs to see.

While I'm sad that this is the end of the full focus on this most august institution, I'm glad for some more proper content. Not that your other stuff can't be great but I prefer this 'verse.


It won't edit easily, as there's no search feature. But I can do some. Next week is the full editing pass.

The noblewoman is a weird reference to my old "Things English Renaissance Luna is no longer allowed to do" list. Most is obsolete, especially the Blueblood one, and some were never "headcanon compliant." But the one about a stuffy noblestallion being cuckolded now gets the headcanon stamp of approval.

And thus one of my favorite things comes to a grand end.

Still, nice to see Connie added to the group. I will say that for my favorite scenes, it's a split between the kidnapping of Scootaloo and the joust match.

May all four enjoy their servings of vegetables.


There were a lot of good moments, but indeed, the multiple kidnappings of Scootaloo to make her over has to top the list.


You know what else we need? One more bonus chapter of The Grand Mystic Royal Order of the Nobles of the Brotherhood of the Mustache.


Oh, I have them queued up for their own stories.

Finally, I get around to reading this update!:twilightsheepish: Good times all around, plus that's two more weddings to look forward to!


Thank you for reading and I'm glad you enjoyed! And yes, two weddings though I'll only show one. Connie gets more focus in another story in the works.

Like the previous commenter, I just now got around to finishing this. I loved Connie's story, and seeing her again was fun.


Glad you liked it! Connie's story will continue with her wedding planning. A commoner of modest means marrying a noble of nearly unlimited resources. She has to deal with the expense of a noble wedding while not being of the mindset to spend crazy amounts of money.


Tell me about it. I was waiting for a battle of the soliloquies and I got... a standard action movie.

I based the descriptions off of the Del Mar Fair here in San Diego. I used t go every year. My favorite parts were te mineral and gem pavilion and the "as seen on TV and otherwise" tent.

I understand what you're saying, and would add character interactions if I could. Maybe as a blog.

Fancy and Fleur get their resolution in "My Fair Fair."



Midwesterners, specifically Minnesotans, North Dakotans, and actually, South Manitobans and South Albertans.

I read a story where a mare was said to have "ovaries of steel".

I loved this utterly! I almost fell out when Lime screamed "NO!" And I cried with Luna feeling alone. I know the feeling.

Is there a story of how Lime became Luna's maid and confidante?

No, it's just an establishment. It's practically divine at this point. Her presence is almost required, like Inari with a fox.

So, in other words, Lime was chosen to be Luna's maid when she returned and, like a lot of domestic servants, became friends with her employer. No need for a backstory.

Largely. It also falls into the category of "You imagine this better than I can write it." Everyone has their own idea, and that makes it more amusing or engaging. She came to do a job and got so much more in the process.

Like Calvin's "Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooey", and the "Noodle Incident". Best left to the imagination. Brilliant!

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