Shall we discuss Celestia agonizing over Rarity
Scooching Away Five Inches
whenever the princess was near her?
If anypony had no issues at all, it was Princess Celestia, Shepherd of the Day, Paraclete Between Earth and the Eternal Fire, Everburning Flame, Mother of Sparks, Lady of Molten Brass, Flame-kissed Viceroy of the Heavens, and the Crucible of Truth.
Or, rather, her ponies couldn’t know she had issues. Can you imagine what would happen if they knew? They’d panic, or worse! There would be rioting in the streets and calls of the world coming to an end.
Or maybe it would all be perfectly fine, and Rarity’s theatrical influence was simply rubbing off on the ruler.
Regardless, as it turned out, she was having an issue that had to do all with the unicorn. This was a nuisance for two reasons: one, Celestia loathed having any sort of issue between her and her beloved, and two, Rarity was usually the one she went to when she had issues—which was an issue when Rarity was the issue.
So she went to her second-best option.
Seated inside Luna’s Goth-Cave—a pitch black room where no sunlight was allowed entry and illuminated entirely by black candles—Celestia confided in her sister about her woes.
“Tia,” Luna said blearily, unused to being woken up at noon. “You’re being ridiculous.”
“I am not, Lulu. It has happened every single time I’ve been near her.”
“Every time? You’re certain?”
“As certain as the sunlight this dreary room could use!” She stood and paced in circles, ignoring Luna’s newfound scowl mostly because she was right. “Every time I’ve sat next to her, our coats brushing—”
“Unnecessary detail to tell me.”
“—She waits a moment and then inches away from me! Every time! And certainly, we’ve been too tired by the events this week to be intimate—”
“Very unnecessary detail.”
“But she won’t even allow me innocent affections!” She turned to Luna, beseeching. “You can’t tell me it’s not concerning!”
Though it was clear the younger princess wanted to roll her eyes, she simply sighed. “I admit that’s… strange.” She mulled on it for a minute before asking: “Perhaps your odor is repelling her. Have you bathed lately?”
“Of course I have!” Celestia exclaimed, indignant. She had half a mind to ask her sister the same because the smell of the room was not encouraging, but she graciously refrained. “It’s something else!” She sat down and gathered the courage to voice her fear. “What if she doesn’t find me attractive anymore?”
“Impossible,” Luna replied, immediately.
“Impossible? How do you know?”
Luna faltered, suddenly uncomfortable. “I… Because of my dream duties. I am not at liberty to discuss, but…” She cleared her throat. “Believe me, Rarity finds you more than pleasant to look at.”
As nice and reassuring as that was to hear, that still didn’t explain anything.
“If I may,” Luna continued, “why haven’t you asked her?”
“I have! I’ve asked her if we’re all well, and she says we are every time. And I can’t just accuse her of avoiding my touch.”
“Why not? Simply ask her.”
Celestia rolled her eyes so far she could see the back of her head. “Luna, I can’t just do that. What if it’s a false accusation? We’ve only been together for a few months, I don’t want to ruin it over something like this.”
“Maybe you are just imagining it,” suggested Luna.
“I am not!”
“How long has this been going for?”
“…A few days,” Celestia admitted. “It started sometime this week between all the diplomatic visits we’ve had.”
“Mmm. Is it possible this week has made her realize she is not fit for this life? Royal duties and meetings and such?”
“Nonsense,” Celestia said with a snort. “We spoke about that before getting into a relationship, and more than that, Rarity is more social than even I am. It has to be something else.”
Luna mulled it over again. “Very well. Those dignitaries from the West are next, aren’t they? For that breakfast event tomorrow morning.”
“Then I will attend as well and observe Rarity’s behavior with you. Maybe I can see something you’re not.”
“Really?” Celestia asked with no small amount of shock. “You’d do that? Even though the breakfast is at seven in the morning?”
Luna blanched. “I suppose so. If this will stop you from waking me at noon, I will do what must be done.”
“Oh, Luna! Thank you!” Celestia said, standing up to nuzzle her sister. “You’re so perceptive; I’m sure you’ll find out what’s wrong.”
“I will try,” Luna replied, smiling despite herself. “It’s not in my best interest you break up, after all. I’d have to sacrifice my sleeping to console you.”
Celestia giggled. “It would be your honor, surely.”
“Ah. Yes. Let’s go with that.”
The sweltering hot sun shone over Canterlot Castle gardens, a dozen or so dignitaries strolling about and conversing amongst themselves about something they probably thought important but actually wasn’t. This was often the case with dignitaries, Celestia knew, which is why she felt comfortable not paying attention to any of them.
Instead, her attention was focused entirely on Rarity.
The unicorn, dressed in a ravishing dress she’d made herself with three layers of the finest silk she had available, was busy talking with Fancy Pants, as she often did whenever he was around.
She really was stunning, Celestia thought to herself, her heart swelling. This was the first time she was participating in the May social events as Celestia’s partner, so she’d gone through the trouble of making a different, intricate dress for every event.
She easily outshone everypony else, including the sun itself.
As if she could tell Celestia was thinking of her, Rarity briefly turned her gaze and their eyes met across the garden. Though Celestia offered an affectionate smile, Rarity decided to go a more forward route, blowing the alicorn a discreet kiss.
After a quick look around and making sure nopony was watching—not because she cared, but because it made Rarity laugh for Celestia to do some theatrics—she caught the kiss and tucked it in her dress pocket. When she looked back, she was exceedingly pleased to see Rarity giggling smittenly.
“Well, dear sister,” Luna’s voice came, hoarse and groggy as ever, “after that display, I think I have my answer and will retire to bed.”
Celestia rolled her eyes.
“Luna, that means nothing,” she insisted. “We need to wait until we’re seated next to each other. Then is when you need to pay attention.”
“And when will that be?”
Celestia shrugged. “Not for a while. She’s busy speaking to everypony, so we probably won’t have a chance to sit until breakfast is ready in about an hour.”
“Ah,” said Luna, only to then step forward and bellow, “Rarity! A word, please!”
Celestia wanted to murder her. She wouldn’t, but she wanted to.
Rarity excused herself from her conversation and made her way toward the two princesses.
“Is something the matter?” she asked upon arriving.
“No,” Luna replied, nonchalantly. “There are simply some matters I must discuss with you two.”
“…Now?” Rarity asked, glancing at the rubber-necking dignitaries.
“Luna, really,” Celestia interjected, thoroughly embarrassed. “I’m sure it can wa—”
“Now is perfect,” Luna interrupted, smiling broadly at Rarity and gesturing to the ground. “Sit, please.”
Rarity’s eyes dropped to the grass. “…Sit down? Here? Ah. Er.” She cleared her throat, smiling politely. “I’m fine standing.”
Luna stared at her.
Rarity stared back.
Celestia wished she could send herself to the moon.
“Very well, then,” Luna said. Her horn sparked with magic and a pillow appeared next to the unicorn. “There. That should protect your dress from the freshly-watered but now dry and clean grass. Sit.”
“Luna,” Celestia hissed, mortified.
“It’s alright, my Sun,” Rarity said, good-naturedly. She fluttered her eyelashes at Luna. “I appreciate that Luna understands my needs.”
That said, she delicately sat down on the pillow and looked at Luna attentively. Celestia followed suit, if a little begrudgingly, and sat next to her beloved, ensuring there was dress-to-coat contact.
“What did you need to tell us?” Rarity prompted.
“Yes,” Luna said. “About that.”
Rarity smiled. “Mhm?”
“Luna,” Celestia said, ever so lovingly, “if you’ve forgotten, it must not be that important?”
“It is,” Luna replied. “I admit it is a difficult topic to broach, which is why I am being careful with my words and—”
And then, it happened.
Before her very eyes, Rarity delicately inched away from Celestia, and more damningly so, placed her hoof in such a way Celestia couldn’t inch closer if she tried.
Celestia’s eyes met Luna’s.
See?! they said. I told you! I was not imagining it!
Yes, I see, Tia, Luna’s eyes replied. Stop staring at me like a madcow.
“Actually,” Luna said suddenly, clearing her throat. “I just remembered I have something to attend to.”
“You do?” Rarity asked, in a tone of voice much less surprised and startled than Celestia’s “You do?!”
“Yes,” Luna replied, cool and collected, “I’m famished.”
“I believe food will be served soon?” Rarity said helpfully, glancing at Celestia. “Won’t it?”
“I require pre-breakfast food.”
Rarity frowned. “…Pre-breakfast food?”
“Yes. I’m always starving. It’s a condition I’ve had since I was a filly.”
Rarity’s confusion turned to concern, which was great because she was too busy being worried to notice Celestia wanting to fling herself to the sun. “Always?”
“Always.” She bowed her head. “In any case, if you’ll excuse me, I will see you at breakfast.”
And with that, she turned around and trotted off into the distance.
“…Well! That certainly was a thing that just happened,” Rarity said after a moment.
“It. Certainly. Was!” Celestia said, trying to remember she loved her little sister who was—badly—doing her a favor. She looked at Rarity and offered an apologetic smile. “Forgive her. Her mind is not quite all there this early in the morning.”
Rarity laughed. “I see!” She glanced back towards Fancy Pants and Fleur. “If that’s the case, I should go back to my conversation.” She now looked at Celestia and delighted her with a loving smile. “Before I go, is there anything you need, dearest?”
Celestia smiled. “No, I think I’m fine. Though I might go check up on Luna so she doesn’t eat everypony’s breakfast…”
After a quick kiss goodbye, the princess leisurely walked off, and only until she was far away enough did her walk become a trot, landing her inside the castle where Luna was waiting.
“Ah, sister,” said the princess, “there you are.”
“Pre-breakfast?” Celestia hissed.
Luna seemed unfazed. “Yes,” she said, and then continued as if that settled the matter. “In any case, I see what you mean regarding Rarity.”
“And?” Celestia pressed. “What do you think?”
Luna was quiet for a moment, her brow as deep as Celestia’s growing anxiety. Eventually, she spoke:
“My conclusion,” she said, gravely, “is that this is ridiculous.”
“Sister,” Luna replied, though not with irritation but… almost concern. Irritated concern. “Rarity is loving to you. If she did not love you, she would not be with you. Do you not trust her?”
“Of course I trust her,” Celestia replied, indignant. “I would not be dating her if I didn’t.”
“Then what is the problem? The real one.” Luna pressed. “Somepony moving away a few inches from you is such an insignificant event that there has to be something else going on for you to be—” She gestured to her sister. “This.”
Celestia stomped her hoof. “Don’t treat me like that, Luna.”
“Like what, dear sister?”
“Like I’m one of those nightmares you fix every night,” she said, bristling and angry and irritated.
“I’m not helping you because it’s my job, Celestia,” Luna replied, cooly. “I’m here because I love you, and you know I do because you’d not have asked for my help otherwise.” Her look turned pointed. “What’s wrong? Why is this—”
“It’s respectful,” Celestia blurted out, the words surprising her as much as they did Luna.
Luna blinked. “…Respectful?” She paused. “So, your marefriend respecting you is… bad. I see.”
“Not like that, Luna! She is treating me respectfully! That’s what it feels like. I don’t want her to respect me like that!”
Luna stared at her. Celestia stared back.
“…Is this perhaps something that could be alleviated in the bedro—”
“Stop,” Celestia hissed, which to her credit, Luna seemed happy to do. Celestia looked around, making sure they were alone, and then continued, “She is treating me like how everypony treats me, which is like The Princess.”
“Aaaaah. Now I understand.”
“I dated her because she was the only pony to not treat me that way. I was interested because of that!” she rambled on. “And now this is our first series of political events together, and she’s… putting space between us?! How am I not expected to be concerned when all I’ve ever had are ponies making sure I know they think we are not the same? What if dating has changed the one thing I treasured about her?”
“That could be the case,” Luna said, her words carefully selected. “It may also not be, but the reality of our situation is anypony we chose to love may fall prey to that.”
That was awful, Celestia thought, but it was true, wasn’t it?
Her voice fell to whisper. “Is this why you’ve not dated since your return?”
“Oh, no,” Luna replied, nonchalantly. “I just haven’t found anyone both worthy and tolerant of my sleeping patterns.”
“Perhaps we should switch duties,” Celestia mused, only half-jokingly.
“I would first banish myself to the moon than have to deal with the idiots you deal with on a daily basis.” She smiled when her sister did, and continued, “Perhaps instead you should address this with her, Celestia. Sooner rather than later, before it becomes a problem you cannot fix anymore.”
“You’re right,” Celestia conceded, as frightening as the prospect of confronting Rarity was.
Funny, wasn’t it? She’d have no problems getting into a verbal confrontation with thirty pompous nobles at once, and yet the idea of being vulnerable with a single unicorn was panic-inducing.
“I’ll speak with her tonight.”
“I’m positively exhausted,” said Rarity later that night, dragging herself onto their bed after a long makeup removal session and an even longer shower. She snuggled under the covers, her face peeking out. “Hopefully this means I’ll sleep well!”
“It has been quite a day, yes,” Celestia agreed pleasantly, going over her speech for the tenth time that hour as she carefully put away her regalia. She glanced at Rarity. “Going to bed then?”
“I should hope so,” Rarity said. “Which you ought to consider as well, dearest. You look…” She drifted off.
“I look what?” Celestia prompted.
“Stressed, I suppose,” Rarity said eventually.
The princess smiled wrily, looking back to her regalia. “That’s not entirely untrue.”
“Well then!” Rarity exclaimed, lifting the sheets next to her and patting the bed. “Come now. A princess needs her rest if she’s to deal with more cucumber sandwiches for a week!”
“Alright, alright,” Celestia said, making her way to the bed, sliding under the covers and facing Rarity, still trying to piece out what to say.
If Rarity knew something was wrong beyond thinking Celestia was stressed, she did not show it. Instead, she scooched over to give Celestia a kiss on the nose and then retreated back to her side of the bed, her horn flickering with magic as she turned off the lights.
“Oh!” Celestia exclaimed. That was quick. “Goodnight.”
She paused for a moment, weighing her options before deciding to scooch over and innocently wrap her forelegs around Rarity. The small amount of apprehension she felt waned when Rarity hummed happily, snuggling into the embrace.
Okay, Celestia thought, she still likes affection, at least.
Maybe it really was nothing at all, she told herself, enjoying the embrace for about two minutes right up until Rarity delicately scooched away.
So Celestia scooched towards her.
Another two minutes passed, and Rarity scooched toward the edge of the bed. Again.
So Celestia, again, scooched towards the unicorn, and so on and so forth until Rarity was practically about to fall off the bed if she scooched even further.
“Enough,” Celestia finally said, sitting up on the bed, her face filled with apprehension.
Rarity turned around, startled. “Darling? Whatever’s the matter?”
“Whatever’s the matter?” Celestia repeated, trying her best to be patient. “ I am concerned, Rarity. I can’t help but feel you are uninterested in having any type of physical contact with me.”
“What?!” Rarity exclaimed, aghast. She sat up on the bed. “That’s entirely untrue!”
“Rarity…” Celestia gestured to the bed. “You are so opposed to cuddling with me tonight, you are practically two inches away from falling off the bed.”
Rarity turned to look, her indignation turning into guilt at seeing that was indeed true.
“Oh! Oh dear, I… Err.. I hadn’t noticed…”
“And not just that,” Celestia continued, taking the plunge, hoping beyond hope that this all really was some silly coincidence that meant nothing, “but every single time we’ve sat together in the past week, you’ve firmly moved away from me like you don’t want to even touch me.”
But, unfortunately, Celestia’s fears were not calmed. In fact, they only grew and grew when Rarity turned to her, her face colored with guilt.
“…Ah,” she said, carefully, guiltily, “you noticed that?”
Celestia’s face turned whiter than it already was.
Oh. So she hadn’t been crazy. That was something, wasn’t it?
“I see,” Celestia said and nothing more. She licked her lips, trying really hard to find what to say but coming up empty.
“Darling,” Rarity said, her cheeks as red as a tomato, “please, I can explain.”
“Explain then,” Celestia said, her voice level. “Because all I’ve felt for the past week is that you’ve been treating me like Princess Celestia and not your significant other.”
“Celestia! I would never,” Rarity immediately said, and to her credit, her outrage felt very real.
“No?” Celestia asked. “Then what’s the problem?”
Rarity’s outrage melted, replaced instead with the same red-faced guilt. “I… Well…” At Celestia’s growing intense stare, Rarity covered her face with her hooves. “I’m… It’s embarrassing to admit.”
“…Embarrassing?” Celestia asked, slightly confused.
“Yes. Stars, I…” Rarity looked back to her, trying to compose herself and failing. “Darling, dearest. I… I feel so silly. I… I don’t even know how to… How shall I say this?” She took a breath and reached over to hold Celestia’s hoof, her lips twisting into a painfully mortified smile. “Darling dearest, you are literally too hot.”
Celestia stared at her.
Rarity stared back.
Celestia spoke: “…Come again?”
Rarity licked her lips. “I… I was very eager to wear my best outfits for these events since I’ve been working on some new designs for the next season, but they have quite a few layers, and I… I underestimated not just how hot the weather would be, but… I also forgot I was dating the incarnation of the Sun herself.”
“So,” Rarity continued, smiling lovingly, “though my heart melts at the sight of you, the reason I’ve been avoiding physically touching you is to avoid having my body also melt.”
“I see,” Celestia said, experiencing a range of emotions from relief, to embarrassment, to amusement, to annoyance at how smug Luna would be if she found out about this. “Well! I confess I’m very embarrassed now, as well.”
“That makes two of us!”
There was a slight pause before Celestia spoke again, her brow furrowing: “But… why have you been avoiding me at night?” she asked, carefully. “You don’t wear dresses to bed.”
“I don’t but after an entire day of having almost six heat strokes, I don’t want to be too warm in bed.”
Celestia tilted her head. “Why didn’t you ask I put a fan in the room?” she inquired, only for Rarity’s eyes to widen like saucers. Celestia couldn’t help a laugh. “Rarity, my dear, did you forget fans exist?”
Rarity looked away, mortified. “Perhaps.”
Celestia’s gentle laughter became full-on giggling as she nuzzled her beloved.
“I have a proposal,” she said, “why don’t I fetch us a fan so we can cuddle tonight, and we both pretend this entire conversation never happened?”
“Yes,” Rarity said immediately, joining in the giggling despite her still-flushed face. “That sounds lovely.”