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    Twilight had grown used to sleeping by the Princess’s door.

    Though, sleeping was a rather charitable word considering she mostly just rested with her eyes closed. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d slept properly for more than four hours, but she wasn’t complaining. It was her job, after all, and she’d be damned to let something happen to the Princess because she wanted a few more extra hours of sleep.

    For now, she found herself outside the Princess’s room, speaking to another one of Rarity’s personal guards.

    “And you’re not gonna do anything about it?” Sharp Flower asked, leaning on the wall and blinking at Twilight. She snorted and looked away, toying with the hilt of her sword. “Geez, Twi, you literally have a thing going on with the Princess, and that’s your plan? Keep it hidden forever? Talk about anticlimactic.”

    “I told you, even if we wanted to ‘do more’, we can’t,” Twilight replied, wishing she could wipe away the blush on her face. She sighed and looked down at her armor, brushing away a dirt spot. “I mean, you remember what happened in the Eastern Kingdom…”

    It felt like the entire Unicornia Alliance was in shock when it was revealed Prince Tinderflames had been in a relationship with the Captain of the Royal Eastern Guard. If it had been such a scandal considering the other party was a high-ranking officer, Twilight didn’t want to even begin to think about how it would go if “Princess Rarity” was caught having a relationship with her bodyguard.

    “It’s just like her though, isn’t it?” Flower said with a giggle. “Having the hots for her bodyguard! Imagine the forbidden love; it’d be like right out of those books she’s always reading. Doesn’t it make you want to tell somepony, just for the thrill of it?”

    Twilight frowned. “I told you, and I’m already regretting it.”

    Flower giggled. “Oh, come on, Sparkle. You think you had it hidden, but everypony from the Princess’ personal guard could see it,” she pointed out, before taking out her sword and poking Twilight with the hilt. “So, tell us, Princess Rarity’s Secret Lover, what’re you gonna do if the Princess finds herself somepony else, huh? Or if the king engages her to some fancy-smancy prince? Gonna fight him to the death?

    Twilight giggled. “I think you’re getting a little bit too into this, Flower.”

    There was a truth to her friend’s statement, though.

    Twilight herself would never dream of fighting any of the Princess’s suitors, if she ever had one, which Twilight begrudgingly admitted she hoped the Princess didn’t, but she would kill ponies for Rarity’s protection, if it ever came to it. Maybe that’s why she was often told she was the best bodyguard Equestria had seen. After all, when hopelessly in-love, it was fairly easy to be ready to fight and defend your beloved at whatever cost — even your own life.

    In the distance, the clock tower rang twelve times.

    “Looks like bedtime duty is afoot, Sparkle,” Flower announced.

    Twilight stretched herself, later watching as Flower did the same. Midnight meant the usual shifts started, and though that meant trotting around the hallways for every other guard in the castle, for Twilight it meant quietly slipping into Rarity’s room and keeping watch over her for a few hours. Hopefully, this time, Rarity would actually be asleep instead of having kept herself up for whatever reason.

    “I’m gonna be guarding outside, so I don’t want to hear any funny business going in there, ‘kay?,” Flower said. She glanced at the door and then added with a wink, “Unless I get to hear all about it tomorrow!”

    Twilight’s face flushed as she opened the door and stepped inside the room. “See you in a few hours…”

    The entire room was sunk in darkness, except for the moonlight filtering in through the large window. Rarity always left it open, despite Twilight’s many many many warnings, but in retrospect, Twilight knew the Princess did so because Twilight always closed it for her.

    After closing the door, Twilight made her way to the open window. She looked out into the gardens for a minute, idly thinking to herself about how they would one day all belong to Queen Rarity. Would Twilight still be her bodyguard when that day came? Would she be something less, perhaps? Or would she be something more?

    She took a deep breath of fresh air before lighting up her horn and quietly closing the window. That done, she looked towards the large bed in the distance, relieved to see a bundled up figure on top, apparently fast asleep.

    In fact… It was almost worrying that Rarity had fallen asleep already. The only times she actually went to bed on time were when she’d had her fencing classes, or when her father had forced her to attend a long ceremony.

    Putting her sword down on a couch, Twilight decided she’d rather be safe than sorry, and silently made her way to the bed. Upon reaching her target, she found Equestria’s elder Princess lying completely still in bed, so much so that it was difficult for Twilight to ascertain if she was breathing or not. Flower would have scoffed at Twilight’s concerns, but poisoning was becoming a rather… popular assassination method in neighboring kingdoms and…

    Deciding that worrying about it wasn’t doing any good, Twilight lifted her hoof and… uh… she couldn’t very well reach below the covers and place her hoof on the Princess’s chest, so she decided the only way to do it was by checking her breathing.

    As delicately as she could, Twilight brushed her hoof against Rarity’s lips, just below her nose. She waited for a second, her own breath held, and finally exhaled when in turn she felt Rarity’s breath blowing on her hoof.

    “You know, I was thinking…” Rarity said, her lips brushing against Twilight’s hoof, giving the unicorn enough time to quickly retrieve it.

    “Your Highness! It’s midnight!” Twilight reprimanded. “Why are you awake?”

    Me? Excuse me, Twilight, but you were the one with her hoof pressed against my mouth,” Rarity replied, opening her eyes and fluttering them at the unicorn. “I understand you long for the glamour of royalty, but if you wanted somepony to kiss your hoof, you could have simply asked — or not taken it away so fast.”

    Twilight’s face turned crimson. “I was not—! I was just checking to see if—!” When Rarity’s giggling interrupted her, she rolled her eyes and stalked away. “Nevermind,” she said, biting down a smile at Rarity’s still on-going laughter and making her way towards the window.

    “Well,” Rarity’s voice came, “Aren’t you going to ask me?”

    Twilight looked at her. “Ask what?”

    “What I was thinking, of course,” Rarity replied, sitting up straight in her bed.

    Twilight smiled playfully, looking back to the window again.. “No, I don’t think so, Your Highness. The last time I asked, we stayed up until six in the morning, and then I got scolded by the Captain for falling asleep during breakfast.”

    Rarity harrumphed. “Very well, I’ll simply have to talk to myself, then,” she said, ignoring Twilight’s loud snort. “As I was saying, I was thinking that your sleeping arrangements are simply disgraceful, Twilight. Or whoever is listening.” There was a pause, in which Rarity no doubt was waiting for Twilight to reply. When she didn’t, the Princess continued, “As such, I’ve decided that something must be done about it, effective tonight.”

    Now Twilight looked.

    “What do you mean?” she asked. “My sleeping arrangements are fine.”

    “That’s exactly what somepony whose sleeping arrangements are not fine would say!” Rarity protested. “You barely sleep at all, Twilight! I can’t even fathom how you manage to function each morning.”

    Twilight giggled. “Your Highness, I think it’d be better if you went to bed, and let me worry about my own sleeping schedule.”

    “Twilight, how can you do your job if you’re sleepy?!” Rarity asked, her horn flashing once and lighting up every candle in the room.

    “Your Highness…” Twilight groaned. With a spark of magic, a scroll appeared in front of her. “Look at all the things you have to do tomorrow! You need to stop going to bed so late!”

    “But I’m serious, Twilight! You’re my bodyguard, and you very well can’t be expected to protect me with only three hours of sleep,” Rarity said, getting out of bed and ignoring Twilight’s frustrated stare as she trotted over to her. “What, will you snooze your way to victory?”

    “If I’m going to be sleeping, then who will protect you, Your Highness?” Twilight asked, skeptical.

    “I’m sure that one of the many soldiers my father has wouldn’t object to relieving you of your duties,” Rarity replied. “And, I’m perfectly capable of defending myself, thank you very much. In fact, perhaps I should be your bodyguard for once!”

    You? Be my bodyguard?” Twilight asked, raising her eyebrow. “Well, considering how you spend most of your fencing lessons gossiping with the teacher, if an assassin tries to attack us, the odds of surviving are about thirty percent.” Her innocent smile turned into a smirk. “With all due respect, I’d rather try my chance at snoozing my way to victory.”

    Rarity let out an indignant scoff.

    “Is that so?” she said, trotting closer to the grinning unicorn and shoving a hoof on her chestplate. She levitated Twilight’s helmet off her head and placed it on her own. “Come on, let me put on the rest of your armor, and then we shall see who makes the better guard.”

    Except, rather than do that or reply to the statement, Twilight took a moment to admire Rarity wearing the oversized helmet and staring back at Twilight with an adorable attempt at looking threatening. If Twilight hadn’t spent the last five years of her life learning how to put on a facade in every situation, she probably would have done something silly like sigh or giggle or both.

    “What are you giggling at?” Rarity asked, proving that unfortunately, five years of training didn’t mean Twilight was always perfect at being nonchalant.

    “This armor is heavy, Your Highness,” Twilight pointed out once she’d regained some composure. “Are you sure you could stand it?”

    “I do plenty of exercise!”

    Twilight tilted her head to the side. “Trying on thirty different dresses for an hour doesn’t count as exercise, though,” she replied, grinning when Rarity rolled her eyes.

    “Har har. Your wit slays me, Twilight,” she said, smiling when Twilight used her magic to adjust the helmet on her head. She cleared her throat and continued, “Come on, just picture it! Wouldn’t you want to be princess for once?” Rarity asked, and with a spark of magic, she levitated Twilight’s sword from the couch, ignoring Twilight’s protests when she (delicately) poked a nearby pillow with the tip of the sword. “And I, your courageous bodyguard, would follow you to the very ends of the earth, devoting myself entirely unto the whims of my beloved.”

    “Is that what you think I do?” Twilight asked, raising an eyebrow.

    “Of course!” Rarity exclaimed, giggling foalishly. She lowered the sword back onto the couch and trotted to Twilight, batting her eyelashes when she reached the unicorn. “Isn’t it?”

    Twilight would have loved to reply that no, it wasn’t. She would have loved to say that no, she wasn’t devoted to Rarity out of love, but mere duty. And though this had once been true, now…

    She leaned in, nuzzling the princess, and wishing she were daring enough to kiss her. “Yes…” she begrudgingly admitted, her very own personalized love confession where her true motives went unspoken but not hidden.

    Thankfully, Princess Rarity had no problem in showing unabashed affection, stroking Twilight’s face with a hoof and leaving a sorely needed kiss on her lips. Though that had not been their first kiss, it still felt like it was. Every kiss was as tantalizing, as… prohibited and thrilling as the last, and it helped that it was Rarity who never hesitated in showing Twilight how wanted she was beyond her original duties.

    When the kiss ended, the flushing guard was treated to the very adorable sight of a giggling smitten princess. Rarity’s entire life revolved around being poised, serene, so Twilight herself delighted in knowing it because of her that Rarity would show a louder yet vastly more intimate side of herself.

    Sometimes, Twilight realized that she probably would fight any of Rarity’s potential suitors. Anypony who wanted to be the receiving party of Rarity’s smitten laughter would have to prove to Twilight that they were ready to fight for her — just as Twilight was.

    Suddenly, in the distance, the chimes of the clock tower bell rang once.

    “You need to go to bed,” Twilight pointed out, rolling her eyes when Rarity very dramatically leaned against her and sighed — dramatically.

    “But the night is young!” Rarity protested.

    “And your appointments early,” Twilight replied, taking her helmet and putting it back on. When she finished properly adjusting it, she frowned at the pleading unicorn. “Rarity… I’m serious.”

    Rarity blinked. “I don’t doubt it if you’re using my name!” she exclaimed, only to the lean in and bite down on her lips. “Have I ever told you how distracting it is for my senses when you do that?”

    “That’s why I don’t do it often, Your Highness,” Twilight replied cheekily, for once daring to brush her lips against Rarity’s before using her magic to turn Rarity around towards the bed.

    “Twiiiilight!” Rarity whined as she was being pushed towards the bed, trying to somehow shake off Twilight’s magic grip. “It’s not fair for you to just stand there all night! Why can’t you indulge me and get some proper sleep for one night?” With as much willpower as the magic would allow, she turned around and subjected her lover to the lethal puppy-dog eyes that were scientifically proven to get her everything she wanted. “Pleeeeease, darling?”

    Twilight stopped her magic, staring down Rarity with narrowed eyes.

    “…Alright,” she eventually relented, unable to stop herself from smiling at Rarity’s victorious cheer, and how excitedly the Princess jumped into bed. If only she were this excited to sleep every night… “I’ll lie down for one hour.”

    “One hour?!” Rarity exclaimed, stopping mid-way through getting under the covers. “That’s not sleeping! It’s not even napping! Six hours!”

    “One hour and a half.”

    “Five hours and fifty-five minutes!”

    “Rarity…”

    “Three hours!”

    Twilight rolled her eyes playfully. “Four hours with my armor on.”

    Rarity looked appalled. “With your armor? But… it’s so filthy! And how do you expect me to keep warm when I’ll be hugging that thing?!” she demanded, apparently unphased by Twilight’s sudden flush. When Twilight only frowned in reply, Rarity relented, finally getting under the covers. “Fine, but you’ll have to sleep on top of the covers…”

    Satisfied, Twilight put her helmet down on the nearby couch and made her way to the bed, climbing onto it and collapsing on the covers with a delighted sigh. Rarity’s bed was so soft and comfy; it was like sleeping on a pillow. The pillows, too, were heaven to rest her head on, but then again, nothing about the bed compared to the feeling of Rarity moving over and nuzzling against her despite the covers and armor acting as a pesky barriers.

    “Four hours,” Twilight repeated, turning off the candles with a spark of magic. “Goodnight, Rarity.”

    “Goodnight, Twilight,” the Princess replied, sighing contently afterwards, enough to make Twilight wonder how long the Princess had been wanting to coax Twilight into such an arrangement.

    Twilight closed her eyes, sleep starting to wash over her and coax her into letting go, knowing that Sharp Flower was standing guard outside, and that there was no safer place for Rarity than nestled in-between her forelegs. And Twilight would give her life to make sure it staye—

    “Twilight, did I tell you about the rumor I heard today during my father’s luncheon?”

    “Rarity, for ponyssake…”

    FIN

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    1. Jay-155
      Jun 4, '22 at 12:26 pm

      I doubt Twilight got to enjoy her new sleeping arrangements for long, considering how young the night is. A very feel good story with lots of wonderful bits of fluff!