Quiet Sunsets 1 (AiE, Celestia)

Oct 22nd, 2013
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  1. >You heard of this holiday
  2. >Heck you lived through Valentines Day enough back on Earth, it's the same thing
  3. >Hearts and Hooves Day
  4. >You already expected to spend it mostly alone
  5. >For the first time it didn't bother you much
  6. >You were a castle guard and one of the few who didn't complain about working on that day
  7. >You didn't have a special some-anything, why steal the day from someone who did?
  8. >So you stood watch, spear in hand
  9. >Seeing the ponies be loving to each other and downright adorable
  10. >It was a welcome distraction from the empty room you were headed back to
  11. >And come on they're colorful ponies being cute, you had to smile
  12. >You sneak a peak at a clock tower
  13. >Almost time for the guard change
  14. >Thank god, your legs are killing you and you're starving
  15. >The bells begin to ring and your replacement shows up
  16. >He has an envelope in his mouth with a heart sticker for a seal
  17. >"Letter for you"
  18. >He says as the letter falls from his mouth to the ground
  19. "I....didn't know you felt that way, Stonehoof"
  20. >He snorts and gives you a dirty look
  21. >"Not from me, dolt. But I am not to say from who"
  22. "Why not?"
  23. >He takes his position, rights his spear and goes silent
  24. >You won't get a word from him for awhile
  25. >You chuckle and take the note, tearing it open
  26. >Well....this is unexpected....
  27. >It was a very elegant love note
  28. >It went into great detail about how much they were pining for you, how they watch you at your post everyday and hope you happen to glance their way, etc etc
  29. >It even got a little..intimate regarding how you looked in your custom uniform
  30. >Whomever wrote it neglected to leave a name
  31. >Just that if you wished to have a special somepony this Hearts and Hooves...
  32. >To meet them on the west observation balcony after your shift
  33. >You flipped the paper over, looking for any more information but there was nothing else
  34. >You're more curious than anything else, trying to deduce who might have done this
  35. >The handwriting was far too neat to be anything but a unicorn
  36. >Sadly, that doesn't narrow things down much in Canterlot....
  37. >There were some aides you ran into on a more regular basis
  38. >None of them seemed all that impressed with you
  39. >The tailor was a nice mare but she was pretty old....and joked far too much during your uniform fitting to feel this strongly
  40. >It very well could be a prank, between that serpent thing coming to the palace and the guards messing with each other from time to time...
  41. >You fold the letter and tuck it into your pocket
  42. >You have two more rotations to think about it.
  43. >Right now you were starving, and you only had a half hour to take care of that
  44. >You eat and go back to standing watch
  45. >The rest of the day goes by pretty uneventfully
  46. >You get to watch more ponies be romantic in the square, all the while contemplating who gave you that note
  47. >By the time your last shift ends, you're pretty convinced it's a prank
  48. >Stonehoof would have never brought a letter to you from any mare, even one of the higher ranking nobles
  49. >In fact, especially from them, he sooner would have eaten it
  50. >The bells chime as the sun sets, the day coming to an end
  51. >Your replacement arrives, you turn over your post and consider going straight home
  52. >You really didn't feel like getting a pie to the face or a bucket of water dumped on your head
  53. >But then again, it might end with you getting the heck out of here and having a few cold ones with those guys
  54. >They were the closest things you had to friends, after all, they weren't trying to be mean
  55. >Just playful before dragging you kicking and screaming to the pub
  56. >Shrugging, you make your way to the west balcony
  57. >Still in your uniform, you see some ponies there
  58. >All of them are couples, ooo-ing and ahh-ing at the city at night
  59. >You smile and enjoy the view yourself, while looking around for any unicorns who might be alone
  60. >Or any off duty guard ponies trying to hide a grin
  61. >You find neither and sit down on a bench
  62. >Maybe this wasn't a prank and the pony got cold fee....hooves?
  63. >You lean back on the bench
  64. >The sun had set a few minutes ago, but the sky was still painted with pink and purple
  65. >The moon slowly shining through
  66. >You inhale the crisp night air and relax
  67. >If anything, whoever wrote that note gave you an excuse to enjoy the scenery
  68. >You owe them for that
  69. >You hear the faint sound of hooves on marble, and out of the corner of your eye you see ponies look surprised and begin to bow
  70. >That could only mean one of three ponies was making their way to the balcony
  71. >You try to gauge who from just the hoofsteps
  72. >Not Luna, she didn't walk that slow
  73. >Not Cadence either, she was a lot heavier on her hooves
  74. >That only left....
  75. >You quickly stand and turn around
  76. >A few feet from the bench, Princess Celestia is trotting slowly toward the balcony ledge
  77. >She sees you and smiles, her warm, pleasant features causing you to smile back
  78. >You begin to kneel but she shakes her head
  79. >"No need for that, Anon, I know you've had a long day."
  80. "Thank you, Princess Celestia"
  81. >You still respectfully lower your head and take a few steps back, offering the bench if she wanted it
  82. >She continues to the railing, looking over the city.
  83. >It is coming alive with lights as the sky darkens to night
  84. >With her standing before it, its quiet beautiful
  85. >"What brings you here by yourself, Anon?"
  86. >She asks, her tone in no way mocking or snide considering the day, but a genuine question
  87. >You decide to join her at the railing, looking over the city
  88. >The view is breathtaking, and you wonder why you never came here before
  89. "I was supposed to meet someone, but they never showed up"
  90. >"Oh?"
  91. >She looks to you, still smiling warmly, but with a hint of concern in her eyes
  92. >You chuckle a little and would have stopped right there
  93. >But something about her presence makes you keep talking
  94. "I got this note this afternoon. It was from some secret admirer who wanted me to meet them here. They haven't shown up yet. Starting to think they're not going to"
  95. >You leave out that you think this was a joke and the only reason you don't have a pie on your head is because the Princess is next to you
  96. >"But if you don't know whom they are, how would you know they didn't show up?"
  97. >She makes a good point but, as you look around the balcony another time...
  98. "All the ponies here are couples, your Majesty."
  99. >She looks herself, then turns her attention back to the city
  100. >Her hair is blowing in its usual fashion, matching the colors of the sky from a moment ago
  101. >Her white coat and regalia shining brightly against the night
  102. >And as always, she smilied, as if the sun was still bathing her in a warm light
  103. >You can't believe it, but up till that moment, you never noticed how magnificent she was
  104. >"I believe you're right, Anon. We're the only ones here by ourselves this evening"
  105. >She doesn't turn to face you, but continues to look toward the city below
  106. >You follow her gaze down to the town square
  107. >It's hard to make out but there were two ponies under a lamppost
  108. >They were hugging or kissing or something like that, you were too far away to tell
  109. >For the first time that day you actually feel a little lonely
  110. "She probably changed her mind...or maybe some stallion asked her out before she could get here."
  111. >You force a chuckle and look back to the night sky
  112. >She could have very well been that mare down by the lamppost, for all you know
  113. >Wouldn't that have been a coincidence
  114. >"Perhaps she did, but may I offer a different explaination, Anon?"
  115. >You nod, turning back to the Princess of the Sun
  116. >She is still watching the couple down below
  117. >"Perhaps she has not felt this way for a very long time and is slightly worried about opening her heart again?"
  118. >You rub your chin
  119. >It was a slightly more comforting theory, you'll give her that
  120. >But before you could reply, Celestia continued
  121. >"And maybe when she arrived, she realized she wasn't quite ready yet. That she needed more time to work up the courage to follow through with her feelings"
  122. >Hard to argue with that
  123. "Yea....I guess you're right. Wish I knew who it was though."
  124. >"With luck, she saw you here, waiting, and knows she can approach you when she's ready. That you're not the type to ignore someone who has feelings for you"
  125. >Celestia finally turns back to you
  126. >Her eyes are shining in the moonlight
  127. >For a moment, loneliness, thoughts of home, and every other negative feeling you had that day melted away
  128. >Her gaze, her demeanor, her smile, they warmed your heart like her sun warmed the earth
  129. >This wasn't the first time she comforted you
  130. >Your first night in Equestria, she had insisted on talking to you throughout the night, never once leaving you alone
  131. >It was a great help, you remember how much you thanked her when it dawned on you how important that was for you
  132. >No small surprise you wanted to join her guard when it came time to make a living for yourself
  133. >How far you've come since
  134. >And here you were, talking to her about something so trivial by comparison
  135. >She had the same peaceful expression as that night, as if your problems now were just as important
  136. >The world seemed so quiet, as if it was just the two of you
  137. >You and the Princess, enjoying a cute fantasy about this mystery mare
  138. >It was almost ridiculous to imagine she'd entertain so much of this
  139. >But this must have been a welcome break for her too, from all the royal duties and other responsibilities she has day to day
  140. >Just to hear a very simple problem
  141. >One with a simple, reassuring answer
  142. "Thank you, Princess Celestia. I feel a lot better now."
  143. >She nods and continues to smile at you
  144. >But before long she turns back to the castle
  145. >"I must take my leave now, Anon. It has been a pleasure taking to you"
  146. >You nod and say the same
  147. >She begins to trot back to the entrance
  148. >You watch her go, chuckling quietly as the small crowd of ponies she drew parts like a colorful sea
  149. >But before she gets far, she stops and turns back to you
  150. >"Anon?"
  151. "Yes, Princess Celestia?"
  152. >You tilt your head slightly
  153. >You swear her normal calm, composed demeanor is different
  154. >Its very subtle but
  155. >While she's still standing tall and majestic as always
  156. >Her eyes are slightly averted from yours
  157. >And she always makes eye contact when she speaks
  158. >"Perhaps tomorrow, if you care to meet me here again, we might chat about something more amiable"
  159. >You smile, slightly flattered she would ask you to meet her again
  160. >But at least the circumstances will be a little more enjoyable
  161. "Of course, Princess."
  162. >Her eyes meet yours again, restoring her usual poise
  163. >"Till tomorrow then, have a pleasant evening, Anon"
  164. "You too, Princess Celestia"
  165. >You see that warm smile of hers one final time before she returns to the castle
  166. >As she walks away, she exhales, as if she was holding her breath
  168. Part 2 -
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