“Seriously, Star, how much will be be here?” Nidra, princess of the night, asked her friend and fellow princess, Starburst. “Frankly, I’m getting tired of hiding my wings with this spell…”
“Nidra, don’t be such a crybaby.” Starburst chided the batpony alicorn princess. “You know Auntie Celestia and mom asked us to go to Sweet Apple Acres and go find some apple pies from Del. And he is…”
“Scared of bats, I know.” Nidra sighed. “That doesn’t explain why can’t we ask Api or Applejack for them.”
“First, Api is a child. And she isn’t allowed to make apple pies after the incident with Pixel and T.” Strburst said. “Second, Applejack and the
other Apples are working on the farm on Appleoosa, from what mom told me, so they left Del to take care of Apple Acres.”
“And why can’t we go to Appleoosa instead?” Nidra asked, a bit annoyed.
“Would you go rather there and ‘mix with the common ponies’?”
Nidra felt silent for a while, while they arrived to Sweet Apple Acres. Then, at the main entry, she talked. “Star. You know why I do that. I don’t want to be a regent, like mom or my aunt…”
“Yeah, me neither. That’s part of why I’m following dad’s and uncle Shiny’ steps.” Starburst said, putting her favorite ribbon on her head. “But enough about that, we’re here.”
“Really?” Nidra asked, a bit surprised. She lifted her head, and, in fact, they were in front of the Apples’ home. “I guess talking with you helped passing the time.”
“Yeah, I guess it’s true.” The Pegasus said, knocking at the door. After a few seconds, a little white head with brown dots appeared. “Hi, Api. How are you?”
“Oh, howdy, Star! Ah’m fine, thanks! Del’s on tha barn, workin’ on tha’ pies!” Api said, a bit nerviously. “Well, ah liked ta see ya, toodles!”
She turned around, just to be stopped by a pair of big orange wings. “Api… What did you do this time?” Starburst asked.
“Who, me? Well, ah say, ah didn’ do nothin’-”
Just then, a loud crash was heard inside of the house, startling Nidra, and almost making her lose control of the spell she used. Star did the same, just less noticeable.
“What was that?!” The bat-pony princess asked.
“N-Nothin’! It was… A cat! Yes, a cat!” Api said, sweating a little.
“A cat? That didn’t sound like a cat!”
“Well, it was! An’ if ya excuse me, ah have somethin’ ta do, toodles!”
Without waiting for the two princesses to answer, Api closed the door, just as a green glow appeared behind her.
Starburst and Nidra stood there for a while, until Star sighed. “I’ll go see what’s she doing. Applejack would never forgive me if something happens to Api. You go ahead and retrieve those pies.”
“What?! You want to leave me alone with Mister ‘I’m scared of bats, so I’m scared of you’?” Nidra asked, a bit angry at Star.
“If you keep using the spell, he won’t say anything. And he’s a good boy, you should talk to him about that.”
“Well, Gala may be Big Mac’s father, but Del gained his shyness from him.” Starburst said. “Now, go. You may not like what is behind this door.”
Nidra wondered about what would scare her so much, but decided not to know. “Alright. I’ll come back as soon as I have the pies, ok?”
“Alright. Good luck with Del.”
“And good luck with… Whatever you’ll do.” Nidra said, and trotted to the barn. When she was a few meters away, she heard a few crashes, and shouts coming from the house.
“Ah told ya, ah don’ need help!”
“I thought Applejack told you you weren’t allowed to use tree sap anymore! Do you know how much will it take to take this sap from my wings?!”
“But mom did it every day!”
“Yeah, but not with a boat!”
Without wanting to know anymore, Nidra dispelled the spell, and flew to the barn.
When the Batpony princess arrived, she reapplied the spell, and entered. Inside, Del was cooking something, and didn’t notice Nidra entering, until she coughed to get his attention.
“Oh, princess! What do Ah owe ya this visit?” He asked.
“I’m here for the pies auntie asked for.” Nidra answered.
“They’re almos’ ready. Ya an jus’ wait a mighty?”
Nidra scowled a bit; She didn’t want to stay with him for too long. “Alright. I guess I can grace with my presence for a bit more.”
Del rolled his eyes. “Sure, princess.” Nidra winced at the word, as the Apple started working with the last pie he needed to do.
A few seconds passed, and Nidra was getting bored. She wanted to do something, but she didn’t want to show her real side to someone so close to her mother. Well, close as ‘His mother is friend of my mother and aunt’ can be. She just stood there, in an uncomfortable silence, where the only thing that was heard was Del humming a little song.
After a while, Del noticed that Nidra was uncomfortable, and decided to brak the ice. “So, how’re ya, princess?”
“O- Oh? Me? I’m alright, thank you for your concern, peasant.” Nidra said, trying to sound as snobby as nothing else.
Del noticed that she was lying. “Are ya sure? Ya sound like ya have somethin’ in yer mind.”
“What? No, I…” Nidra sighed. She had to talk with someone right now, and neither Starburst nor Illusion were there. “Ok, I have something. But you have to Pinkie Promise me that you won’t tell anypony, anydragon or anyhybrid about this, ok?”
“Cross mah heart an’ hope ta fly, stick a cupcake in mah eye.” Del made the motions of the Promise, and Nidra sighed.
“Well… You see… I’m not-”
“Not really a snobbish princess?” Del interrupted. When Nidra stood tthere, shocked by he Apple’s answer, he answered. “Ah think ma gave me more than tha life. So, how are ya really?”
“W-Well… I’m…” That was something she didn’t think that much. Who was the real she? She was a bit spoiled, true, but… What was she?
She thought of what Claire and Starburst told she was, the times she talked with them. “I guess I’m kind-hearted, and not too snobbish. Really, that is a façade for hen I need to do ‘Princess Duties’.” She said, saying the last words in air-quotes. “I just want to be free, and not having these… ‘Princess Duties.’ Is not my line of work, like mom’s. But, because I’m the daughter of a princess, they expect me to follow my mother and be a good princess. I think that’s how Illusion and Star feel.”
“Ah see.” Del heard her, not judging. After all, who was he to judge? He was one of the first Apples (The other being his cousin, Red June) that was getting out of Apple-related places, so he sometimes felt a lot of pressure from others, just for being an Apple. Not that much like Nidra, he guessed, but it was something. “An’ why don’ ya talk with yer mom about this?”
“I guess is because she also expects the same things from me. I love her, but seriously…”
Del thought about it for a second. Then, he spoke. “Ya gota stop bein’ cared an’ talk wit’ her from the heart.” At Nidra’s look, he explained. “Look, Ah can only guess what is goin’ on yer life an’ yer head. But if ya don’ tell yer mom ‘bout this, ya will feel mighty bad. Maybe breaking apart from yer family, an’ Ah’m sure ye don’ wanna see that happ’ning, right?”
“I… No. Not really. I love my mom.”
“Then tell ‘er how ya feel. Maybe it can help, maybe it won’t an’ she knows. But it will make ya feel better.” Del finally said. Nidra looked at him, while she thought of that.
“Thanks… Thanks for talking with me.” She finally said. “I needed this.”
“But if somepony or somehybrid knows about this, heads will roll, ok?”
“E-eeyup!!” Del gulped, then turned to the oven where the last pie was finishing baking. “O-Oh, look at that! Tha’ last pie’s ready!!”
“Oh, yeah? Let me see…” Nidra said, looking at the baked goods. They looked and smelled good. “Yes, they look good… And smell really good. Now-”
Suddenly, a big explosion was heard from the house, followed by an orange Pegasus with big wings flying from the shockwave, crying “AAAAAPIIIII!!!!”
Del and Nidra looked at the skyrocketing Starburst, before the Earth Pony talked. “So… Api?”
“It looks like.”
“I don’t know, and frankly don’t want to know.”
“… Ok, Ah’ll go see what happ’ned. Back home.” Del said. Without waiting for an answer, he parted to the Apple house.
“… Well, he’s out, so I guess I’ll go find Star flying.” Nidra declared, dispelling the spell, and tking the pies with her magic…
Just when Del returned to retrieve an old axe that was in an old box that said “In case of CMC”.
“Oh, just say it.” Nidra said, a bit angry.
Del nodded, and screamed at the top of his lungs.
Then, he ran away, as Nidra took flight. ‘You owe me a big one, Star. And you too, auntie.’