Princess Celestia smiled. “It is such a blessing to share your lives in this way, my little ponies. I must express again my deepest gratitude for the indulgence. I know it must seem quite silly, but I assure you, it is anything but.”
“Aw, Princess…” smiled Applejack. “Nothin’ silly about it. You’re a pony too, ain’tcha?”
Twilight choked on her alfalfa crisp, but Princess Celestia only smiled more, the corners of her eyes crinkling up. “And you are a wise pony, dear Applejack. Indeed, that is exactly the point: it is well for me to remember it.”
Dusk’s fading light lingered outside the windows of Sweet Apple Acres as Twilight, Applejack and Princess Celestia settled in for the evening—one of many, for the Princess had taken to visiting constantly, sometimes more than once a week, with every sign of pleasure in their company.
“Happens I wanted to talk to you about somethin’ like that,” said Applejack. “Maybe before our lil’ soiree gets goin’. I’ve spoke with Twilight about it now an’ then.”
“Oh, you mustn’t!” said Twilight, glancing fearfully at the Princess. “Things are settled now!”
“Ah must,” said Applejack. “Don’t you fret, Twi, ain’t no harm in askin’. Now then, Princess… do ya really think it’s good for Princess Luna to be all kept away from ponies?”
Twilight winced, plainly seeing the question as a gaffe. Celestia stared, wide-eyed, and Applejack stared right back, not unsympathetically, but with a certain determination.
“Do you see me as in some way confining her?” asked Celestia. “Or, perhaps, you disagree with the decisions we have made? I would like to understand your feelings more clearly before I answer.”
Applejack pouted. “Aw—I wouldn’t go so far as to say that. I ain’t judgin’ ya, Princess, honest I ain’t. I jes’ got this gut feelin’, know what I mean? And more’n that… seems to me that maybe you’re comin’ here and spendin’ time with us so you can git in touch with your own gut feelin’s?”
She directed a shrewd gaze at the Princess, while Twilight cringed.
“You’ve thought about this quite a bit, haven’t you?” said Princess Celestia.
“Hah! Ah was right!”
At this, Celestia laughed. “Oh, no! It is an endearing thought, this idea that you ponies would bring me to an understanding of the simple things. More than that, it speaks well of you, Applejack, that you strive to understand the needs and motives of others. Please do not pout, I don’t wish to hurt your feelings. But I’ve been in touch with these ‘gut feelings’ you speak of, for thousands of years, my dear little pony.”
Applejack shook off the sulky look more readily than Twilight. “Well then—I’m sure we’re not complainin’, but if it ain’t common sense you’re after, how come you’re visitin’ us so often?”
“Which question do you wish answered?” said Celestia. “The question about why Princess Luna remains confined to her room, or the question about why I am,” and she chuckled, “under-hoof so much lately?”
“Don’t badger Princess Celestia so much, Applejack!” pleaded Twilight.
Applejack didn’t listen. “Both!” she said. “On account of, I care about you both! Oh, hush, Twilight, if she don’t like it she can go hang out in Canterlot like she useta. I honestly want to know. They kinda go together. What if Princess Luna’d been spendin’ time with us? Maybe she wouldn’a gone to th’ bad!”
Twilight gasped, but Applejack was undaunted, watching her Princess attentively.
Celestia nodded, once, and spoke.
“We may never know that, Applejack. Perhaps you are right. I understand your concern for my sister’s well-being: I share it. However, you must understand in turn that it is Luna who remains her own strictest guardian. If it is her jailer you seek, you would have to take it up with her. And she will not see you, or your friends. She feels she has done damage enough.”
Applejack’s eyes widened with dismay, then dropped. “But…”
“Hear me, Applejack,” said Celestia earnestly. “My sister is headstrong, wilful. She seized our Twilight’s marefriend, simply because I disapproved of the union—a judgement I have now recanted, I might add! She sought to claim Twilight’s Trixie for her own, asking nopony’s consent, and she became… entangled…”
The Princess trailed off, with a sharp sidelong glance at Twilight, whose discomfort had only worsened—and when she resumed, it was in crisp, curt words. “Luna has done damage enough. She’s as old as I am, nearly, and she is no fool once she is thinking with brain rather than wings and horn. It may be that you can visit her one day, Applejack, though that is asking a great deal of her…”
“We all done crazy things at times!” protested Applejack. “She’s jes’ better at it on account of all that alicorny goodness, you know what I mean?”
Celestia silenced Applejack with a look. “She has told me more than once of how she felled you with a thought. You and your friends charged her to rescue Trixie. She laid you low, in an enchanted sleep, and allowed your marefriend Rainbow Dash to believe for a few terrible minutes that she had killed you, all in the hopes of nonviolently defeating the lot of you and wiping your memories of the event. She very nearly succeeded, Applejack, but now she cannot sleep nights because she keeps seeing your Rainbow Dash, looking up from where she was clinging to your motionless body, and begging to be reunited with you in death.”
Applejack’s lip quivered, and she looked stunned.
“Please do not force yourself upon my sister,” said Celestia, “before she is ready to see you. Your forgiveness is a beautiful thing. My sister is not permitting herself beautiful things at this time. I assure you, I am not the tyrant here, even of her punishment. I listen to her guilt, and we work toward her redemption. If you wish, I’ll keep you informed of her progress.”
Applejack gulped. “My sakes. Yes. Yes please, let us know if there’s anythin’ we can do to help.”
Celestia’s eyes were sad. “I hope you live to see it. Our minds are fearfully powerful, but the strength of maturity does not easily adopt the flexibility of youth. Luna has more than once acted out and lived to regret it. I would say that she is adamant that she will not offend the world again with misbehavior, and so she exiles herself for your good and her own. Give us time. You know we are not lacking in that.”
Applejack hung her head. “All right.”
“If you like, I can try to ensure that she comes out of it within your lifetime, though that will be more difficult for her. Perhaps that is why she appears to wait. Your children may have better luck with her than you do—or their children, in turn.”
Applejack glanced at Twilight, whose distress was apparent, and nodded. “All righty. And time we changed th’ subject, before Dashie comes home from work and th’ others arrive. Oh! How about this? How come y’all visiting so often? I still can’t quite believe Rarity won’t be with us this time, even if she showed up th’ last three nights you visited…”
Twilight’s eyes widened as she heard the direction the question was turning. “She’s busy! Lot of work to do, you know how it is?”
“That I surely do,” admitted Applejack. “None better. Good thing our Princess is about as rare as a hard-on in a whorehouse these days.” Her eyes bugged out as she realized what she’d just said, and she began to sputter, just as Celestia burst out laughing.
“Applejack!” cried Twilight, but she smirked dreadfully. The distraction was convenient. It saved Twilight from explaining that Rarity’s preoccupation was more to do with caring for a cut across one eye—gained in an intense scene with Trixie and a whip—and planning a certain payback, earned in that scene. A payback long-awaited, a payback that required Twilight’s assistance… and one that would not be best prepared for, through a social evening with Princess Celestia.
Twilight wondered for a moment why she, herself, found it easier to flit from the one world to the other—but then, she had no choice, for she would not seek to avoid Celestia, whatever she planned to do with the rest of her evening.
The Princess was still chuckling as she sought to answer Applejack. “In some ways it’s no change of subject… among other things, I mean that your company soothes me and helps me forget the demands of my life, for a time. Perhaps there is some truth to your notion after all! You ponies can remind me of common pleasures. For instance, your wonderful alfalfa crisps!”
Applejack beamed. “Pinkie’s bringin’ dessert! In fact… yep! Here they come now!”
They looked out the window, to see Pinkie trotting up, balancing a huge cake on her head, her gait astonishingly bouncy despite the task—and, following her, Fluttershy, who walked with solemn, deliberate steps, balancing several bowls on her back and wings.
“Awwww…” said Twilight, charmed.
“Ain’t that jes’ like them?” agreed Applejack. “Pinkie’s got the candy and cake, and Fluttershy’s gone all health-food. Mind you, flower petals ain’t rightly health food, but I’m lookin’ forward to ‘em anyhow… say, looky there! Rainbow’s home!”
In the darkening sky, a blue dot moved. The ponies peered out the window and waved up at her, and outside, Fluttershy and Pinkie became aware of their approaching companion.
“Hey, Dashie!” called Pinkie Pie, while Fluttershy bit her lip in anxiety.
“Coming!” replied the faint voice from high above—and with that, her wings folded, and the round blue dot began to drop.
Fluttershy shrank back, shaking her head, staring up in horror as Dash plummeted toward them. She whimpered, “Oh, no, no…” and then, as Pinkie began to turn toward her, Fluttershy began to scream shrilly.
Applejack bolted towards the door, and had just made it outside when Rainbow hit. Not, as Fluttershy feared, with a physical splat—but in some ways it made nearly as much of a mess.
At a shockingly low altitude, Rainbow Dash’s mighty wings snapped out and roared to life, her teeth gritting with the effort as she blasted away at full thrust, breaking her doomed fall with a frenzy of mad flapping. It blew Applejack’s hat off, and Pinkie struggled to keep her cake balanced. Fluttershy had no such luck. The air filled with a storm of delicious flower petals, and one of Fluttershy’s bowls flipped right over and landed upside down on the ground as she screamed.
Dash’s hooves lightly touched wildly whipping grass, and just like that, it was over—her flapping ceased, her wings folded, and her expression was rueful. “Uh… sorry about that, Fluttershy.”
“Dang, honey!” said Applejack. “You still got it, huh?” She trotted forward and kissed her marefriend, then turned to Fluttershy. “Here, I got that, sorry about th’ other one,” she said, taking the rim of a partly emptied bowl of flower petals in her teeth.
Twilight and Princess Celestia joined them, Twilight’s horn glowing as she replaced Applejack’s hat and relieved Fluttershy of the rest of her burden.
“Well!” said Celestia. “You certainly know how to make an entrance, Rainbow Dash!”
Dash panted. She stretched her wings out, wincing. “Kinda pushed it. I would’ve come in more to the side, Fluttershy, but by the time I saw what you were carrying, it was too late. I didn’t mean to…”
“How dare you?” demanded Fluttershy. “Rainbow Dash! How dare you?”
“Hey! It’s just flower petals! I like them too, but I’ll get you more!” protested Dash.
Fluttershy’s glare was fearsome. “It is not the food that concerns me! You are pregnant!”
Dash stretched her wings out again. “Ya think? Ow! I… ow… noticed.”
“I thought you were sure to crash! Do I have to watch you every minute? To prevent you from doing such things? You are carrying a foal right now, and yet you endanger yourself and the foal with ridiculous showing off! You’re gonna stop it, Rainbow Dash, if I have to sit on you to make you stop it. Maybe it escaped your attention, but my foal and your foal will have important things in common, and I won’t have you risking the safety of what could be the only friend my foal will have!”
This pronouncement led to a singular response—a dropping of jaw common to pegasus, earth pony, unicorn, and even alicorn Princess. Rainbow Dash, on top of that, looked furious. After the shared moment of utter shock, Applejack spoke for all present. “The hell, Fluttershy? That’s crazy talk! Everypony’s gonna love your baby!”
Fluttershy kicked at the dirt with a forehoof, pouting. “I only thought…”
“Yeah, I know what you were thinking,” said Rainbow, “and you need to get over it! Nobody on Weather Patrol is giving me any trouble now, not even Flight Lightning. They all know I’m having an earth pony for my baby and you know what? They don’t even care. And that’s Weather Patrol, Fluttershy! It doesn’t get much more pegasus than Weather Patrol!”
“Well,” said Fluttershy stubbornly, “if I have to get over my worries about my foal being treated like I was, then you have to get over being on Weather Patrol. You have to take maternity leave, Rainbow Dash. You should have done it long ago. I don’t know how you even fly anymore. I haven’t flown for weeks, I’m so big.”
Pinkie Pie chimed in, loyally. “She’s right, Dashie. You can’t act all the same old ways. Not for a little while, anyway!”
Rainbow glared. “Funny you should mention it. I’m sorry about blowing dinner around, but my landings are better than ever! You do realize that if I just sit around, that new wing strength will atrophy? Do you know how much I’m looking forward to ripping a hole in the sky with these new flying abilities and, like, half the wing loading?”
Applejack cleared her throat. “An’ I’m real proud of you for it, darlin’… but you know, there is something in what they say.”
Dash whirled. “Oh, not you too! I expect you to back me up, okay?”
“An’ I do!” protested Applejack. “I ain’t said word one, and ya know it’s my foal too! But… well, din’t it kinda hurt, doin’ that? It looked like that landin’ hurt you.”
“No, of course not,” said Rainbow, glowering and refusing to meet anypony’s eyes.
Applejack wasn’t a total fool. “Um… all righty then! We’ll talk about it some other time. Like, if you ever do have to make a tough landin’, kinda thing. Sound like a plan?”
Rainbow nodded, curtly. Applejack relaxed, confident the matter would be talked over later. Fluttershy hesitated, and then opened her mouth one last time—being not a total fool, but toppling helplessly in that direction simply because she was so certain of her rightness.
“And you’d better listen! What if you’d smashed into the ground, the way you used to crash into Twilight’s house? You might shrug it off, but what would Princess Celestia think if she had to watch the end of your foal’s life?!”
The attempt at unanswerable hyperbole fell strangely flat. Applejack glanced at Twilight, who glanced back at Applejack, and both turned to Princess Celestia, who stared into space with a weary look, before shaking it off.
“Let’s move on to more cheerful topics,” said Celestia. “Thankfully, right now I need not face any such thing. Are those daisy petals, Fluttershy? They look delicious!”
They moved inside, Applejack nuzzling her mate and leading the way, Celestia and Pinkie following. Twilight lingered so she could whisper to Fluttershy, “Don’t say that, you dummy! She’s an alicorn, remember? She already is gonna outlive all of us, don’t remind her like that!”
“Fine,” said Fluttershy, unrepentant. “Come up with another way I can teach Rainbow Dash how to be a suitable mother, then.”
Twilight rolled her eyes. “I guess that depends on how you define ‘suitable’. Let Applejack work on that flying thing, okay? From the looks of it, we’ve about seen the last of that, whether she likes it or not.”
“She could be floating on clouds,” retorted Fluttershy. “Our magic for that intensifies in pregnancy. She could get anywhere she wanted to go as long as she got some cloud under her to support her weight—anypony would do that for her, I could have a tuft of cloud brought here in five minutes if I asked a friendly pegasus for help. She just won’t do it, no matter how much it endangers her.”
“Applejack will handle it, all right? Take it easy on Rainbow, Fluttershy. I know it seems like she’s got no idea what to do, but I’m sure it’ll work out somehow.”
“Twi? Fluttershy?” called Applejack, from the open doorway.
“C’mon,” said Twilight, “enough grumpiness. Let’s have fun together.”
They entered, and soon enough a little fire was casting away the chill of late fall, and dinner was served.
Fluttershy winced and rolled her eyes at the heavy thud.
Applejack and Rainbow Dash had retired to their bedroom, for the wing muscle massages that Dash, over dinner, had admitted she needed. In Sweet Apple Acres fashion, they hadn’t seen a need to get rid of their guests first—the other ponies were trusted to come and go as they pleased and make themselves at home, and so Applejack begged their pardon for her retreat to the bedroom but made no suggestion that they’d have to go, were she not present.
It seemed likely that she and Dash were making themselves at home in the bedroom, too, judging from the thumping. It wasn’t rhythmic, so it could have been wrestling: whatever it was, Fluttershy wore a look of saintly exasperation over it, clearly considering it just one more example of inappropriate behavior for a pregnant mare.
Princess Celestia smiled at her pouting, and gently suggested, “I’m sure it will be okay. I have seen many types of pony mothers, dear. Don’t worry so.”
“Yes, Princess Celestia,” said Fluttershy. “I’m sorry…”
“C’mon, Fluttershy,” said Pinkie, “I wanna get you home! Why should Dashie get all the fun? Are you coming, Twilight? I mean, coming back to town since our hosts have gone to bed. I don’t mean coming home with me and Flutterbutter! Um, though I guess you could if you wanted, if it’s okay with Fluttershy, I don’t want to seem like I’m telling you not to come home with us or anything…”
“I’d like to speak with Twilight, briefly, if I may,” said Princess Celestia, and Twilight’s heart lurched.
Pinkie blinked a couple times. “Okay! Come on, Fluttershy, time is candy!”
Fluttershy objected, “That’s what you say on Nightmare Night! It’s already Neighvember…”
“Time is candy,” insisted Pinkie, “because it’s sweet!” She dropped her gaze bashfully. “When it’s spent with you…”
The butter-yellow pegasus blushed, and the two walked off, gazing sidelong at each other. They didn’t even notice that Twilight’s magic opened the door for them—between the rapt mutual gaze, and the touch of Fluttershy’s wing on Pinkie’s withers, they might have thought the door opened for them from the power of love alone.
The door shut, and Twilight shook herself. “Whoof!”
“Charming, aren’t they?” said Celestia.
“I think it would drive me crazy in a week,” admitted Twilight. “But it seems to work for Fluttershy, so who am I to judge?”
“Ah. Heh…” said Celestia. “Indeed.” She looked away, uncomfortably.
“Okay, what’s up? You needed to speak with me? Princess, don’t be like that, if there’s something that concerns you I do want to hear about it.”
“I wouldn’t say it concerns me,” protested Celestia. “It’s your business and you’ve just reminded me to stay out of it. Might I plead curiosity, nothing more?”
“All right, out with it!” demanded Twilight. “Now you’ve really got to tell me what’s bothering you.”
Celestia hung her head—but peered sideways at Twilight, through narrowed eyes, all the same. “Rarity seems happy these days, spending so much time around you and your Trixie.”
Twilight gulped. “Your point being?”
“Oh, I think being happy is a point to itself, Twilight. However—and please, do not feel you must volunteer all manner of private information in answering—am I wrong in thinking I have seen, upon this very elegant and happy white unicorn… marks?”
Princess Celestia wore a cranky look, though it was impossible to tell whether she was cross with Twilight, or simply with herself. She sighed with vexation. “Must I spell it out? I am an old pony, Twilight. I have seen whip marks before. Moreover, I have seen them in contexts that would not make anypony happy—or perhaps I simply lack the context to understand how that would be!”
Twilight licked her lips. “You say I shouldn’t volunteer private information. What, exactly, are you asking me, Princess?”
Celestia hung her head further. “Only this, Twilight. I care for you. Many ponies do… I see somepony I’m familiar with, who seems to have entered your circle. I don’t know quite what relation she has with you and Trixie, a bond that I’ve come to respect. Rarity has not come between you, has she?”
Twilight’s eyes popped. “No! Oh my goodness no! Nothing like that!”
Celestia’s glance was sharp. “You’re sure?”
“Absolutely! We love Rarity very much. She’s not coming between me and Trixie. I promise you that.”
“I see. Then… Twilight, she seems happy. Are you happy? Is Trixie happy?”
Twilight stared, dumbfounded. Then, a crazy grin began to creep onto her muzzle, a grin of insufferable smugness—and a weight seemed to lift from Princess Celestia, to see it.
“Really!” said Celestia. “Please, don’t feel you must explain. I’m not sure I’d be able to follow the explanation in any event. I take it I’ve just asked one of the most foolish questions ever?”
“That depends on what else you’ve asked,” pointed out Twilight, grinning. “For all I know, you’ve asked Star Swirl the Bearded all sorts of funny things.”
Celestia snorted with laughter. “I did ask him why he thought once wasn’t enough. Poor fellow!”
Twilight knit her brow in perplexity, and then gasped. “You mean…?”
Celestia nodded. “Yes. The amniomorphic spell? Pray don’t tell anypony—but yes, he had personal reasons for developing it. Quite beyond a fondness for eggs! Think about it. I should not be telling you this…”
Twilight bounced on all four hooves. “Oh my gosh! It’s such an important field of research, too! Are you really suggesting that…”
Celestia glanced from side to side, warily, and whispered to Twilight, “Four words. Star Swirl the Diapered…”
Twilight squealed briefly with laughter, blushing red, at once charmed by sharing secrets with her mentor and shocked by the revelations.
“So you see there is nothing new under the Sun,” added Princess Celestia. “Also, I must caution you—Star Swirl was a great researcher, worthy of your and my respect, Twilight. Just as you shall be worthy of the respect of posterity. You caught me out, asking whether I’d asked him funny things! Please, keep this between us. Please? As somepony else whose personal business is not public?”
Twilight sobered. “Of course. I always thought the phylogeny clearly indicated what that field of study turned into—you know, oviparous—but maybe being around Rainbow and Fluttershy reminded both of us that you don’t have to be an egg to be amniotic!”
Princess Celestia giggled, and Twilight joined her. It felt wonderful, sharing jokes about phylogeny, and Twilight wondered if Star Swirl, in turn, had shared laughs with his mentor in a difficult, personal situation where she didn’t entirely approve of everything about him, but loved him all the same.
“So,” said Celestia, “you’re happy, then? You and Trixie? And Rarity, whatever she’s up to, which thank heavens I shall never understand? By that, I mean personal understanding—the other implications will surely become apparent in time and I can’t think of a more supportive set of ponies than you all, when that time comes. I simply mean I am not likely to share her predilections.”
Twilight blinked. “Um. Yes! Yes, we’re very happy! And I want to go on from there to say that I’m so very grateful for your understanding and acceptance. It would be awful to lose you over anything like that. It wouldn’t be worth it.” She hesitated, considering what she’d said. Indeed, she would not be willing to lose the Princess over simple kinkiness. But there had been a time when she’d been ready to do just that—over love, that happened to be intractably bound up with the kinkiness.
Princess Celestia seemed to read her thoughts. “Of course it wouldn’t—and we’ve never been at cross purposes over anything trivial, Twilight. I’m glad we talked. I’ll go home to the palace with my mind more at ease. Even if I resolutely refuse to inquire further! Please forgive me that?”
Twilight reared, and hugged her Princess. “Always! It’s been a wonderful evening, and I should head home too.”
“And sleep?” inquired Celestia, eyebrow raised.
Twilight looked sharply at her mentor. “Yes. Sleep like a good student. What else would I be doing?” A smirk teased the corners of her mouth.
Celestia smirked as well, ruefully. “Ah, Twilight. Have fun! …by which I mean, have a wonderful cozy sleep, full of bunnies and flowers and probably Fluttershy. Promise me you won’t teach her anything too alarming, I fear my mind would snap.”
“Yours and hers!” laughed Twilight, and they headed out the door, Twilight heading for town and Celestia taking to the sky, Canterlot-bound.
Twilight trotted vigorously, feeling a marvellous sense of balance. The early evening had offered companionship that was good for the soul. She hastened her pace, for the late evening offered other companionship, that was good for other things.
She’d allowed the others to believe she was heading for home, but it was Carousel Boutique she headed for. That had been pre-arranged. Rarity insisted, and would not explain why.
As Twilight approached, she saw a gleam of light from within, but the place was mostly dark. She let herself in without trying to turn on the lights, and made her way toward the inner sanctum, Rarity’s bedroom within the shop, normally kept closed and locked against curiosity seekers and stray customers.
This time, the door hung slightly open, and Twilight paused for a moment, preparing herself. Rarity had arranged more than the location. The expectations for Twilight were very clearly stated, and she felt comfortable with them… mostly.
“Starswirl,” breathed Twilight under her breath, practicing. Her safeword was Starswirl. Rarity’s was Consarn—or Apples, in dire emergencies or panic. Trixie had resisted adopting a safeword, and Rarity’d had to be quite cross with her, even refusing to play until Trixie adopted one. Trixie had picked ‘Ursa Major’. Twilight had never heard her use it: Trixie preferred to grovel and abase herself and seemed to have no limits at all to what she’d willingly experience.
Twilight found this hard to understand. She had a more difficult time relinquishing control. Rarity was unpredictable—sometimes wallowing in submission and degradation, and sometimes throwing out sudden and uncompromising objections, in a pattern Twilight had never worked out. Trixie alone seemed to reject the very concept of safeword and seek complete obliteration at the hooves of her Mistress.
However, she had not dealt with submitting to Rarity… until tonight.
“Starswirl, starswirl,” breathed Twilight, before entering the inner sanctum and the scene. She knew in a general sense what was to happen, and was pretty sure she trusted Rarity with it, yet still she felt a niggling sense of panic and uncertainty.
Rarity was counting on that, and Twilight knew it.
She reached out with her magic, pulled the door open, walked into the light, and closed it behind her. Also behind her, she heard the lock engage with a click, locking her in. She hadn’t done that part. Rarity had.
Trixie and Rarity lay on Rarity’s bed, fondling each other. “Trixie still can’t quite believe she is doing this,” said Trixie.
“Regrets, darling?” replied Rarity, with a wicked smile.
“Submitting to both of you? Trixie wonders if there is such a thing as too much of a good thing! Two dommes?”
Twilight caught her breath, for Rarity had shot her a warning look of great ferocity, before turning back to her would-be victim. “Remember, darling. You must say ‘Ursa Major’ to call a halt. You insisted both words must be included, for fear you would inadvertently make sounds resembling ‘Ursa’, and I consented to that. I won’t promise that the scene won’t end should you simply add ‘May’: I think that is close enough to the danger zone. Do you understand? You are to cry out ‘Ursa Major’ to halt the scene.”
Trixie blinked, fear and recalcitrance warring within her expression. “Trixie will not bail out of anything. Trixie has her Mistress here to watch everything you do.”
Rarity just smiled.
Trixie blinked. “W… why is Trixie so frightened, this time?”
“Oh, no,” said Rarity, “you are not frightened, girl.” Her smile didn’t waver. “Not yet.”
“Trixie will not bail out! No matter how intimidating both of you can be! Your domination only makes Trixie more aroused!”
“Good,” said Rarity. “We are all here. Shall we begin?”
Trixie grinned madly. Twilight slowly nodded, biting her lip.
Rarity lifted her chin, commandingly. “Twilight. You will do the honors. Blindfold her.”
The cloth was dense and black. Twilight’s magic made short work of the task. Trixie nuzzled drunkenly against the blindfold as Twilight fastened it, and began rubbing between her own legs with a forehoof.
“Aren’t you going to stop her?” asked Twilight.
“Let her,” said Rarity, unconcerned. She stood, and her own horn glowed, as she selected first a riding crop, and then a whip. “Do you remember the plan?”
“Yes… Mistress,” said Twilight.
Trixie’s ears went back, and she made a little squeak of surprise.
“Lift her!” demanded Rarity, and Twilight’s horn flared into brightness, dragging Trixie up into the air by one rear hoof. Trixie kicked and thrashed, and then hung still, panting, listening, as Rarity continued. “Oh, didn’t I say? We have a special treat for you, girl. I own both of you tonight. Your Mistress… is mine.”
Trixie’s mouth opened, but no sound came out. She closed it, and she dangled passively.
“Good, good,” said Rarity. “Twilight! Prepare the apparatus!”
Twilight focussed her attention, and a block and tackle floated up out of a pile of fabric where it had lain concealed. The roof offered more than one sturdy hook to hang it on, and Twilight rapidly got it ready, fastening it tightly, feeding in rope. Flakes of rust fell down onto Trixie’s inverted posterior as Twilight secured the apparatus, and Twilight brushed them off with a hoof as she lowered Trixie to the bed, fastening the lower pulley block to a sturdy padded cuff, and locking the cuff onto Trixie’s left rear hoof.
Trixie quivered in frantic arousal, oozingly excited, her jaw slack as she struggled to submit further and further to anything the two unicorns could possibly imagine to do to her.
Rarity was holding out another cuff. It was fastened to another rope, just the one rope, but this one was tied to a bedpost.
“If you please! Fasten this one as well, darling.”
Twilight blinked, and began to attach the second cuff to one of Trixie’s limp fore-hooves… and then squeaked, for Rarity’s whip had flicked her rump.
“Wrong! Fasten it to her other rear hoof. Now.”
Twilight gulped, and complied. Trixie was an absolute puddle. From the looks of things, Rarity meant to have her dangling, splayed, in an obscene sort of split, between the powerful block and tackle and the slim rope binding her to the bedpost.
“Use the apparatus!” demanded Rarity.
Twilight drew on the rope, and Trixie shuddered as she was dragged awkwardly into the air. At first she tried to remain totally limp, but her teeth gritted, and then she’d twisted around, her tail flicking as her body was hoisted skyward, and her forehoof flailed, seeking some kind of purchase and finding none.
“Oh, look, she wants another point of support! Twilight, I’ll take that. Take her mane.”
Rarity stepped forward, seizing the end of the rope with her magic, and pulling. Trixie lifted a bit higher, breath hissing through her teeth, and Twilight’s eyes widened. Was this dangerous? The block and tackle creaked horribly with each inch it lifted the hapless Trixie, but it looked awfully sturdy.
“Take her mane, I said! Support her weight, this instant!”
Twilight squeaked, and reached out with her magic, seizing Trixie’s mane and dragging her up, suspending her by a second point. She also extended the lifting field to support Trixie’s body, delivering a caress of assurance, and Rarity saw where the magic had reached…
There was a whistling crack, and Twilight screamed, dropping Trixie for a moment.
Rarity had lashed out with a rod, nailing Twilight on the ass, and Twilight frantically raised Trixie by mane alone, her eyes wild and panicky, her breathing terrified gasps. The pain was incredible—Twilight had not experienced the rod before, only wielded it. Trixie struggled, and then went still again, biting her lip.
“Is she going to be…” managed Twilight.
The rod glided in and touched the welt it had just made, and Twilight emitted a terrified whimper—which caused Trixie’s tail to thrash briefly.
“You will continue to hold onto that mane, while you are punished,” said Rarity in a level, deadly tone. “Just a moment…”
She drew on the rope a little more, and Trixie let out a shuddering cry between gritted teeth as her legs were stretched tight in two different directions. Rarity tied the rope off, and stepped away. Twilight, horrified, imagined the strain on Trixie’s hips. If she let Trixie drop, perhaps very bad things would happen. Of course, Rarity had grilled her ruthlessly on how much she could lift with her magic, how firmly she could support a heavy weight, for reasons which now became apparent. So, technically, Trixie was maybe quite safe provided she kept holding her up by her mane…
Rarity had moved around behind Twilight, who stared back at her with wide, wide eyes. The elegant fashionista seemed to have a number of items handy, that Twilight tried to see.
“Do not drop that pony. You will hold onto that mane and only that mane. Even while I do this.”
Twilight watched, as Rarity began sharpening an enormous knife on a steel. Trixie twitched, as she heard the noise, unable to see what was happening.
Rarity’s horn glowed brighter. She hissed a breath between her teeth—and the rod scraped against the fresh welt on Twilight’s ass, while the enormous knife sliced into… a grapefruit.
Twilight fought back a strangled squeal of pain, staring dumbfounded at Rarity’s shenanigans—and Trixie began shaking all over, hyperventilating.
Rarity’s eyes flashed with devilish glee. “Lick her! Lick that oozing vagina, suck that clitoris!” she demanded. Twilight’s eyes widened with understanding. She had to trust that Rarity would commit only mock mayhem upon her—but Trixie could not know that. With frantic haste, Twilight complied, lunging forward and burying her face against Trixie’s splayed crotch, her tongue extending to pleasure her lover.
Trixie shuddered, her muscles tensing against the suspension that held her. She tried to turn her head towards where Twilight was licking her vulva, but there was another whistling crack and Twilight shrieked.
“Hold her head forward! Don’t drop it! No matter what I do to you!”
Twilight fought back tears—that rod! It hurt so much! She devoted herself to eating Trixie out as if her life depended on it, certain that she was in no real danger, but she was not given a moment to hint at the truth. She heard the dragging of heavy chains, then the creaking of some large mechanism, like a rusted iron girder. Then, Twilight thrashed and shrieked against Trixie’s vagina, for Rarity had dragged a hairbrush lightly across the marks left by that light, whippy rod…
Hearing Twilight’s scream, Trixie began to thrash against her bonds. “B’rrr… urrrs…”
“Hold her safely!” demanded Rarity, in an imperious voice. Twilight lifted Trixie’s head a little higher. Trixie’s tail thrashed, but she didn’t try to speak again—she just hyperventilated, her mouth a rictus of horror and dismay, the word ‘safely’ drawing her back from the edge of bail-out.
“Nibble on her lips! Not the clit, the labia!” commanded Rarity.
As Twilight did, some noisy machine started up, a harsh metallic racket. It sounded small, but geared, with a strange whirring and clanging like whirling knives. As Trixie convulsed at the sound, Twilight felt that hairbrush rasp her injuries again, and though she had half been expecting it, it was too sudden—she bit Trixie sharply, shrieked in pain, and then fought to keep on obediently giving Trixie head while also trying to work out if she’d drawn blood.
Trixie reacted with a series of dreadful screeches, her head trying to thrash off the blindfold and her forelegs frantically kicking the air, but Rarity gave neither pony time to react. “Out ‘f th’ w’y!”
She had the magic bit in her teeth, and her massive stallionhood looked more daunting than ever. Twilight staggered back, still holding up Trixie by the mane, feeling Rarity’s magic join hers in that duty and support Trixie’s frantically writhing body. She saw that Rarity had greased up her phallus with something—butter, probably.
“Wait, did I…”
“I want to see if there’s…”
“Sh’t up!” snarled Rarity, and the rod lifted and swatted Twilight again. She squealed and backed off, watching with wide frightened eyes as Rarity loomed over Trixie—and thrust.
Trixie screamed. So did Twilight. Rarity didn’t let them draw a breath.
“Say y’re my little pony, Tw’light!”
“I… I’m your little pony!” Twilight squealed as Rarity bounced the rod vaguely off her flank, her aim totally spoiled by her distraction. The fat stallionhood slid further into Trixie as she shrieked and spasmed, and Rarity drove it home inch by inch.
“Say y’re my bitch, Tw’light!”
“I’m your bitch Twilight!” said Twilight. Rarity whipped her head around, instantly noticing the touch of sarcasm, but the tone of voice was still panicky and submissive.
“Lick h’r clit, r’ght now!”
Twilight scrambled forward, thrusting her head underneath the two pony bodies in their twisted embrace, and suckled for all she was worth on Trixie’s clitoris as Rarity’s hips thrust once, twice, three times…
Trixie screamed and bucked in her suspended restraints, firing a bolt of unicorngasm violently from her horn as Rarity doubled up and came in her, throbbing and spurting in a hasty, urgent release. As she came, Rarity’s magic flared to life, and untied the rope. She didn’t let Trixie down gently—she loosed her all at once, and the block and tackle screeched as loudly as Trixie as it released her weight in a mad lashing of rope.
Twilight scrambled out from under them, and barely remembered to let go of her grip on Trixie’s mane, and Trixie thudded heavily to the bed, still tied by one rear hoof, Rarity’s spurting cock wrenched from her spasming vagina as she fell.
Triumphantly, Rarity whisked the blindfold off her, and spat the bit onto the bedspread, grinning manically at her prey. Trixie gazed up at her, sobbing, shaking, and moaning “Twilight! Twilight!”
“I’m here! I’m here!” said Twilight, rushing forward and clinging to her.
“Twilight!” sobbed Trixie, clinging to her lover as if she’d pulled her from some disaster zone. “I should have said the words! She hurt you! Oh, Twilight, I’m sorry! I couldn’t decide!”
“Well, duh!” replied Twilight, hugging her shaking, mentally shattered lover. “That fucking rod, how do you stand it? Yow!”
“But… she CUT y…”
Trixie blinked away tears. In front of her face floated a grapefruit, deeply gashed.
“But… whirling knives, carving you up, you screamed…”
Rarity’s magic floated another item before Trixie’s shocked gaze. It was… an eggbeater. The handle twirled, the gears whirred mechanically, the beaters tinged as they rattled against each other. Rarity’s face came into focus behind the eggbeater—smirking, horribly.
“Rarity loves her Mistress. I gave you something special, Trixie. Just for you.”
Trixie gulped. She licked her lips. Tears came to her eyes, but whether they were of joy or grief was hard to tell. Perhaps, for her, they joined and became one, out in some strange mental place where her suffering became her liberation.
“Oh,” she quavered, “fuck you… fuck you SO much…”
Rarity glowed with pleasure, and her face ached from the intensity of that incredible smile.
They supported Trixie, as she could barely walk. She tottered, eyes still in a thousand-yard stare, along the street with Rarity on one side of her and Twilight on the other.
“Ow!” said Twilight. “Hold on. We gotta change sides.”
“What is the matter, Mistress?” said Trixie, dreamily.
“I’ll show you. See?” said Twilight. She trotted out in front of her lover, and showed her flank, with the two big welts from the rod.
Trixie tried to focus, and stared at Twi’s bottom for a moment. Then she snorted. “Silly Mistress. Mistress has done just the same to Trixie. With a rod, too.”
“Oh, yes,” said Rarity. She was still grinning, her teeth gleaming in the moonlight, a rictus of fierce joy that wouldn’t fade. “Intentional. That wasn’t so bad, was it, Twilight dear? But you had to know it, truthfully. If you intend to top my beloved Mistress, you must understand what you do.”
Twilight smirked. “Maybe I understand her a little better. Wow. I thought the top of my head would come off. You play so rough, Rarity, it’s unbelievable…”
“Please, let us not escalate!” said Rarity hastily. “I was pleasing Mistress, nothing more. Mistress is a hard case. You won’t escalate, will you, Mistress? Taking you to the edge is a fearsome thing. Let us entertain you within your comfort zone, knowing your limits far exceed our own. I certainly shan’t even begin to pretend to compare with it.”
They resumed their progress, this time with Twilight on the opposite side. As they walked, Rarity whispered to Trixie, “I’ll just know—when it is my turn, you shall tremble.”
Trixie whispered back, “Trixie yields to her mistress…” and Rarity’s smile shone forth again.
As they approached the library, they saw a waiting figure, pale green in the bright moonlight. She trotted up to meet them.
“I… I’m not sure how to say this. Now that you’re here it seems really stupid. But… Twilight, I still have the bit you gave me. I was wondering… if you girls had room for one more?”
Rarity looked the lovely unicorn mare up and down. Her gleaming smile didn’t waver, and she stepped forward with the confidence of one who’d conquered every challenge fate had thrown her, that night.
“Darling Lyra. I understand completely…”
She walked up to Lyra, gazing into her eyes, and before the beautiful young mare could shy away, Rarity’s horn was gently rubbing hers in a unicorn’s kiss.
“Come back tomorrow and we’ll talk about it. Tonight I feel I can do no wrong, I am a goddess of pleasure and wicked love! You mustn’t take advantage of this mood of mine, I will have to sleep on it. But I am sure that, tomorrow, we can find some way to accomodate you.”
Trixie and Twilight glanced nervously at each other.
“Now run along, darling,” said Rarity—and Lyra trotted away, giddy.
The room was darkened, but Princess Celestia felt certain her sister did not sleep, so she quietly entered anyhow.
“Have you news?” came the quiet voice.
Celestia cleared her throat. “They are well. She… is well. So I hear. I did not see her.”
Silence was the only response. Celestia hesitated, and then added, “Perhaps I presume too much?”
A sniffle, in the darkness. “Nay, sister. Thou presumest all too well.”
“Oh, Luna,” sighed Celestia. “Would that you could face them and ease your distress with the balm of their forgiveness…”
“Nay,” said Luna.
“Or, indeed, cast aside the intensity of the thought that holds you…”
Another sniffle. “Nay, sister.”
“Well, this is neither the letter nor the spirit of your punishment, sister,” said Celestia with asperity. “I grow too used to such things… you torment yourself wilfully. What would you do, were I to simply retire to my chambers, telling you nothing?”
“I would seek you out,” replied Luna. “And ask.”
“And if I told you nothing?”
“Then,” said Princess Luna, “it would be one fewer moment of mercy while I wait for my lost love to die.”
“But, as yet?” came the soft voice in the darkness.
“…they are well,” confirmed Princess Celestia.