The Grand Hayburger Dilemma

PKAnon Oct 21st, 2019 84 Never
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  1. >The grumble of your stomach rings out across the grand hall, slicing through the silence like a hot knife through butter.
  2. >You are Anon, one of many royal advisors that have seats in Equestria’s political setting.
  3. >However, your job in particular is quite set apart from the mundane day-to-day drag that most other advisors have to deal with.
  4. >Rather than attend meeting after meeting, file mountains of paperwork, and bicker nonstop about how the two sisters should treat certain problems, you defer directly to the two of them yourself.
  5. >Being completely honest with yourself, you have no idea why you were given the title of royal confidant.
  6. >You consider yourself an above-average advisor, sure, but when the princesses of the sun and moon themselves handed you the promotion, you had so many questions.
  7. >There were others who had leagues more experience than you, not to mention they had even been your teachers at some point during your apprenticeship.
  8. >All of your questions had been met with a single response from the elder sister.
  9. >“Times are strange now, Anon. Equestria could use a fresh set of eyes, wouldn’t you agree?”
  10. >It was roughly a year ago that you were sworn in.
  11. >Three months ago since you and Celestia had begun discreetly courting.
  12. >And here you are now, sat beside her as her day court concluded, her own stomach mimicking yours in a cacophonous symphony of hunger.
  13. >As the last few ponies walk out of the giant hall doors, you turn to her, watching her almost motherly composure fade as the last mare left the building.
  14. >What remains is a tired, overworked, and slightly worried mare.
  15. >Hungry, as well, if that grumbling meant anything.
  16. “Well, that went a lot smoother than expected,” you muse.
  17. >A sigh escapes her lips as she leans over in her chair, propping herself up on the armrest to get at least somewhat comfortable after a rather arduous day.
  18. >”It certainly could’ve gone better,” she replies, resting her eyes for a brief moment before reopening them, her gaze directed at you. “This storm is sending everypony into nothing short of a frenzy.”
  19. >You take a second to ponder a possible course of action regarding the rogue weather headed for Canterlot.
  20. “Are the weather control ponies absolutely certain they can’t at least alter the course of the storm? I know it’s non magical in nature, but it can’t hurt to try,” you say, ever confident in the Pegasi.
  21. >“The last report we got from them indicates that they’re attempting to alter the weather around it and see if that changes anything,” she says from memory almost mechanically. “If not, we’ll just have to deal with this as it passes.”
  22. >She stands and begins to walk toward the back end of the hall, and you follow suit. You assume she’s heading to the dining hall for some chow.
  23. >“What’s the countdown looking like now?” She inquires, her eyes facing forward as she strides into one of the back halls.
  24. >You keep pace beside her as you pull a scroll out of your messenger’s tote and unfurl it.
  25. “Roughly fifteen hours until it hits Ponyville, and an extra thirty minutes until it starts to affect Canterlot, Your Highness,” you recite as you reroll the parchment and place it back in the bag.
  26. >You watch her suddenly glance in various directions, her ears shifting and moving, trying to pick up any noise that your human ears might not have heard.
  27. >She abruptly stops walking and turns to you, encasing you in an embrace as she props herself up on her hind legs. You return it eagerly.
  28. >“I’ve had my fill of royal titles today,” she almost coos into your ear.  
  29. >You chuckle to yourself, petting her withers and slender back as she sinks into you.
  30. “Of course, Tia,” you reply, happy to be intimate with your mare again. “But why did you check to see if we were alone? This is a restricted access hall, and anyone that CAN come back here already knows about us.”
  31. >She retracts from the hug, a slightly annoyed look on her face as she looks over in the direction that you both came from.
  32. > “The Canterlot Chronicle’s poparazzi team can be particularly sneaky,” she says, most likely remembering one of the times they caught something they weren’t necessarily supposed to.
  33. >“We wouldn’t want to risk a premature announcement of our courtship, would we now?” she teases, enveloping your hand in her gentle yellow aura before bringing it to her lips and giving the top of it a quick kiss.
  34. “I don’t knoooooow,” you joke, a shit eating grin spreading across your face. “Scandals can be exciting, you know.”
  35. >She giggles, batting the air with her hoof in your direction as an infectious smile takes over her features.
  36. >”Oh, hush, you,” she jests, coming down from her giggle fit as you both continue walking down the hall. “I think you’d much prefer a calm, formal reveal over an overzealous headline and some blurry photo.”
  37. >You can’t argue with that. The whole “forbidden love” storyline was overplayed anyways.
  38. >The brief silence is once again broken by Celestia’s stomach crying out for sustenance.
  39. >A slight blush spreads across her face as she tentatively rubs her belly.
  40. >“Goodness,” she says with a slight strain in her voice. “I’m absolutely starving.”
  41. >You reflect on the awful decision, made earlier in the day, to skip lunch in order to tend to more ponies in day court, on account of the storm being so close.
  42. >Absentmindedly, your hand goes to your stomach as well. You can feel the overwhelming hunger growing by the minute.
  43. “I’m feeling about the same,” you reply in kind. “How does the dining hall sound?”
  44. >She ponders for a moment, grimacing slightly before meeting your gaze with hers.
  45. > “As much as I love the food we have here at the castle,” she begins, “I’ve been craving takeout ever since that one stallion came in with a hayburger in his mouth.”
  46. >You vaguely remember the disgruntled stallion voicing his concerns with a mouth full of hayburger.
  47. >Must’ve been a nonstop day for him.
  48. >As much as you’d rather play it safe in case the storm speeds up, some fast food sounds fantastic right now.
  49. >Besides, you’re feeling a bit adventurous today. Being cooped up in the castle does that.
  50. “...that doesn’t sound like a bad idea,” you reply.
  51. >However, the reality of the situation dawns on you.
  52. “I don’t think many restaurants will be open though, if any at all,” you reluctantly admit.
  53. >This doesn’t seem to dissuade her, and you can see determination start to form in her expression.
  54. >“There has to be at least one or two open,” she says, trying to inspire hope within the two of you. “Surely one of the chain restaurants are still open.”
  55. >Your mouth begins to salivate at the thought of one of the ramen joints possibly being open.
  56. >You suddenly don’t need a whole lot of convincing to go find out what’s open.
  57. “Wanna walk around Canterlot and hunt for some food?” you propose.
  58. >She props her head up on a hoof and procures her best “I’m pretending to think very hard about this” face, eliciting a chuckle from you. Before long, she looks at you with a resolute smile.
  59. >“You read my mind, dear,” she says, shuffling closer to you to nuzzle your arm.
  60. >You stroke her neck gingerly for a few seconds before she pulls away and begins trotting into an adjacent hall.
  61. >“Let me grab something from my quarters and we can leave, alright, sunshine?” she called back to you.
  62. “Sounds like a plan,” you reply, beginning to follow her before she suddenly stops you with her magic.
  63. >Confused, you throw an inquisitive look her way.
  64. >She’s looking back at you with an excited smile.
  65. >”Meet me at the castle gates,” she says with an enthusiasm that isn’t lost on you. “I have a surprise for you!”
  66. >That’s all she says before she disappears into the hallway, and all you can hear for a few seconds is the clinking of her golden shoes against the marble floor before it disappears entirely.
  67. >You shake your head as you wonder what she could have in store for you, a smile finding its way onto your face.
  69. >Eventually, you find yourself at the front gates.
  70. >There are a couple of guards on station, but other than that, it’s unusually barren outside.
  71. >It’s incredibly cloudy, drowning out the evening’s usual golden hour with what looked like a canvas painted gray.
  72. >As such, everything takes on a dull appearance, and you’re left feeling a bit dull yourself.
  73. >Before long, though, the dull feeling dissipates as you hear trotting behind you.
  74. >Oddly enough, from what you can hear, it’s bare hooves. Celestia must’ve decided that today would be a regalia-less kind of day.
  75. >You already know what she looks like without her regalia, though, so it must not be that.
  76. >You turn around, expecting something different about your beloved princess.
  77. >You do not expect a completely ordinary pegasus trotting toward you, bright blonde bangs bobbing with each step.
  78. >Her maroon eyes lock onto yours the moment you turn around, her lips curling into a smile.
  79. >You’ve never seen her before; if you had, you wouldn’t have forgotten her. Of all the ponies you’ve met, she seems the most set apart for some reason. Her mane and tail are braided in certain areas, and what looks like either a feather or dyed hair is curved around her left ear.
  80. >You can’t see her cutie mark very clearly yet, but there’s very clearly a mask of some sort over something.
  81. >The centerpiece of her appearance is an intricate necklace that seems to tie every other fashion choice together.
  82. >You give her a quick and polite grin before turning around, continuing to wait for your princess.
  83. >It’s only 6:30, so you have plenty of time to-
  84. >“What do you think? Subtle, right?”
  85. >You turn around to find the mystery mare standing unusually close, looking up at you from waist height.
  86. >Her maroon eyes feel like they’re peering right into you. There’s an odd sense of familiarity about it, but you genuinely don’t know her, so you brush it off.
  87. “What do you mean..?” you ask, trying to be polite.
  88. >She chuckles, covering her grin with a hoof.
  89. >”I’m guessing it’s working?” she asks, a smug look on her face.
  90. >You are so confused.
  91. “I don’t mean to be rude,” you begin, eager to either end the conversation or get to the bottom of things. “But who are you?”
  92. >You’re met with laughter, which frustrates you ever so slightly. Your hunger might be having an influence on you.
  93. >“Anon, it’s me,” she says once her laughter ends.
  94. >...yeah, okay.
  95. “Who’s ‘me’?” you inquire, discomfort slightly present in your voice.
  96. >“Celestia, dear,” she says, not missing a single beat.
  97. >You’re convinced that this mare might have a few screws loose.
  98. “Call me crazy,” you begin, mentally checking out from the conversation. “But you’re definitely not the princess.”
  99. >You turn back to the horizon and sit down, facing the sprawling township of Canterlot that lay before you.
  100. >“I wouldn’t say crazy,” she muses. “Misinformed fits the situation better.”
  101. >Channeling all of the patience you can muster, you humor the mare by giving her an opportunity to elaborate.
  102. “If I really am misinformed,” you begin, careful to remain neutral in tone. “Then prove it. What’s something only the princess would know about me?”
  103. >You hear her giggle confidently behind you as she begins walking up to your side, taking a seat next to you.
  104. >“Oh, my, where do I even begin?” she says giddily.
  105. >You brace yourself for a cavalcade of false claims, a nearly invisible grin tugging at the corners of your lips.
  106. >“There’s the time you pranked the castle chefs with Luna by putting their seasonings in different bottles than they were supposed to be in,” she begins, remaining confident.
  107. >She’s right, but the kitchens and dining hall aren’t restricted access areas. She could easily be a dignitary pony or officiate of some sort simply passing by as you and the moon princess conducted mischief.
  108. “Go on,” you say, encouraging her to dig deeper.
  109. >“Let’s see…” she ponders aloud, propping her chin up with a hoof. “There’s the time you confessed your feelings to me in the Canterlot Archives…”
  110. >The Canterlot Archives ARE restricted access. How does she-
  111. > “You apologized for not choosing someplace more scenic, but I thought it was incredibly sweet, choosing where we spent so much time together when you first arrived here.”
  112. >...there’s no way anyone could’ve known that you even revealed your feelings in the first place. You made sure the archives were empty.
  113. >Could a member of the Canterlot Chronicle have gotten an angle through one of the windows? Maybe a pegasus just happened to catch the right angle, and-
  114. >“More recently, I discovered that you’re actually quite ticklish, particularly when I blow raspberries on your neck,” she jests, seemingly taking pleasure in your intense blush.
  115. >“And if you still aren’t convinced,” she begins, leaning in to whisper into your ear.
  116. > “We made love three nights ago in my quarters. You gave me four orgasms in the span of half an hour, and by the end of it, you painted my withers a… creamier shade of white than they usually are.”
  117. >Yep.
  118. >It’s Tia.
  119. >You suppress the raging erection that she just gave you to the best of your abilities as you turn to face her, her smugness at maximum capacity.
  120. “Tia, how…?” you manage to choke out, in disbelief at the daunting physical change your sunflower has undertaken.
  121. >She lifts her necklace with a hoof, your gaze being drawn to it.
  122. >“The necklace I’m wearing contains old changeling magic from hundreds of years ago,” she explains, looking the accessory up and down. “From time to time, I’ll use it to turn into the pegasus you see now and listen to what people think of my sister and I’s governing.”
  123. >It may be odd to you, but it does make sense. The most honest opinions of someone tend to come out when the person in question isn’t around.
  124. “Makes sense to me,” you say, still slightly jarred by her new appearance. “Why use it now, though?”
  125. >“I don’t want to make my little ponies feel like they have to stick around to serve us if they’re just beginning to close down their shops,” she begins, a sincere tone in her voice. “Their safety comes before a simple meal, wouldn’t you say?”
  126. >You nod, unwilling to risk safety for some junk food, no matter how delectable it may be.
  127. “I agree completely,” you vocalize as she rests her head on your shoulder for a brief moment.
  128. >Quickly, you run through a mental checklist to make sure you had everything with you; wallet, bits, identification… everything was there. You’re good to go.
  129. >You turn once more to your princess-in-disguise, whose eyes have become half-lidded as she sunk further into your side, gazing off into the glum horizon.
  130. “Ready to go food hunting?” you ask, smiling jovially.
  131. >She looks up at you with wide eyes and an even wider smile.
  132. >“Let’s hope there’s a pizza shop open!” she exclaims while still holding that almost motherly air about her.
  133. >The two of you stand up and begin your walk into Canterlot, determined to end your hunger with the most artery-clogging food you can find.
  135. >...
  136. >Roughly an hour later, you sit down on a bench outside a closed ramen shop, a defeated look on your face as your ass slides halfway off the seat and you slouch forward to fit the bench’s curve with your back.
  137. >Your marefriend joins you, climbing onto the bench with a sigh and laying down by your side.
  138. >Canterlot is a lot larger than you had previously thought. You covered nearly all of it in your tirade to find some grub, wholly unsuccessful in your sweep.
  139. >Your stomach grumbles as you think of all of the chains that were closed because of the storm.
  140. >Red Owl Pizza, Hayburger King, Mane St. Ramen…
  141. >It’s too heartbreaking to think about.
  142. >Feeling discouraged, you unconsciously begin petting Tia, who begins to hum contentedly to herself. Even in these grave times, she lulls you into a state of bliss with just her voice.
  143. >“We only have two streets left to search,” she says breathily, her determination having waned from earlier.
  144. >You can hear a few passing ponies behind you, their conversations blending into the ambient noise of the unusually quiet town.
  145. “Are there any takeout joints on either of them?” you ask, your voice deflated from its previously uplifted tone.
  146. >She shifts beside you, throwing her front hooves over your leg.
  147. > “There’s a Pizza Shack on one,” she begins. “The other one has a bubble tea shop that’s popular in Manehattan and just opened a location here. They don’t have much to eat other than snacks, but their drinks are phenomenal.”
  148. >You wouldn’t mind some tea right about now. Luna’s really opened your eyes to the versatility of tea in the years that you’ve known her.
  149. >The heart of the mission remains with food, however, and even the mere possibility of tasting pizza after a fruitless search leaves you salivating far more than normal.
  150. “I’m willing to place my bets on pizza first,” you concede, eyes trained on the path you need to take to reach the street.
  151. >Tia follows your gaze, gently resting her head on your abdomen.
  152. >A pang of guilt hits you as you realize that, on top of juggling her royal duties all day with no break, you took her on a fruitless journey for food when you could’ve had some right away.
  153. “I’m sorry for dragging you on this pointless escapade,” you begin apologizing. “I’ll make it up to you later when we get home.”
  154. >She looks up at you from under your arm, a radiant grin pointed your way.
  155. >“You’re making it up to me right now, dear,” she cooes, “I’m just happy to be here with you after today.”
  156. >Though you still feel innately bad for it, her affirmation eases your mind for the most part.
  157. >You suppose there’s no reason to delay your search any further.
  158. >You’ve come all this way, so you might as well see it through to the end, right?
  159. “If you say so, honey,” you reply, steeling your resolve. “Let’s see if this was all worth it, eh?”
  160. >You both stand from the bench, vigor renewed, even if just for a short while.
  161. >Departing, you two make your way toward the nearest street on the list, your heart ever hopeful that the restaurant will be open.
  162. >It takes the two of you a few minutes to reach it, but you eventually arrive at one end of the street, your anxiety to see whether or not it was open fueling your already massive hunger.
  163. >As you come to a stop in the middle of the cobblestone street, you survey the buildings. Each one of them, save for the few that have second floor apartments, is totally dark on the inside, a compliment to the imposing gray sky that faded into even darker clouds on the horizon.
  164. >Your spirit wavers, and you can feel Tia’s mimicking your own.
  165. >...until you spot it.
  166. >There, at the very end of the street, a shop had its lights on.
  167. >A shop with a decoration of a staple Manehattan dish on its storefront.
  168. >A pizza shop.
  169. >An audible gasp escapes both of you nearly simultaneously.
  170. “Tia-”
  171. >“Anon-”
  172. >You both call out to each other out of sheer joy, not even looking each other’s way.
  173. >She starts full-on galloping toward the establishment, and you try to keep pace beside her, but your biped form can’t quite catch the alicorn-turned-pegasus.
  174. >Within a matter of seconds, you’ve reached the front of the joint and begin to eagerly look inside.
  175. >Thankfully, there’s only two other ponies in the place, and one of them is already sat down to eat.
  176. >You don’t recognize the one that’s already sitting, but you’ve had the chance to work with the one ordering her food on several occasions.
  177. >You hold the door for Tia, who smiles up at you while you do.
  178. >“What a gentlecolt you are,” she muses as she hastily walks in.
  179. >You follow suit, eager to dine and converse with your mare and your good friend.
  180. >Stepping into the building, you’re immediately hit with the smell of garlic, pizza sauce, and cheese.
  181. >Any other day, you wouldn’t have paid it any mind; it’s just pizza, after all.
  182. >However, the simple fact that you haven’t eaten anything since breakfast is enough to have the scent drive you nearly mad.
  183. >Add the events of the past hour on top of that, and you’re about ready to devour everything you see.
  184. >You restrain yourself for the moment, though, because the music they have playing over the ambience is… odd, to say the least.
  185. >You’re not sure why, but you feel like you’re in an elevator.
  186. >Brushing the oddity off, you and Tia enter the line, eager to order.
  187. >You take this opportunity to greet your coworker, seeing as she had just finished ordering and still hadn’t turned and seen you.
  188. “Fancy seeing you here, Bon Bon,” you say aloud, opting to use her cover name like she usually preferred.
  189. >She turns around, eyes alert until her gaze rests on you, which causes her to loosen up a bit
  190. >“Oh, hey, Anon!” she answered, procuring a smile upon seeing you. “Nice to see you again. What brings you here? And please, just Bonnie is fine.”
  191. >She doesn’t notice Tia right away, more than likely because she’s disguised, but you assume Tia’s enjoying simply sitting back and letting someone else be the spotlight.
  192. “Neither of us have eaten since breakfast, and we had a real hankering for fast food,” you explain, reflecting on the day. “We’ve been looking for somewhere that’s open for a little over an hour now and by some miracle we found this place.”
  193. >“Yeah,” she begins, a sigh escaping from her mouth. “I’m in the same boat. All I had for lunch was leftover macaroons from yesterday’s batch. I had to leave the store for a while to stock back up.”
  194. >She makes her shop’s candy in-store, so she must’ve been called to action today.
  195. >You wonder what for as she finally notices Tia, who’s sticking to your side pretty closely.
  196. >“Nice to meet you! I’m Bon Bon,” she says, eager to meet a new face.
  197. >“Solar Flare,” Tia replies in kind without skipping a beat. “I’ve heard your sweets shoppe in Ponyville is second to none, you know.”
  198. >That’s all it takes for a conversation to break out between the two of them.
  199. >You listen for a bit until the cashier comes out from behind the counter, an obligatory smile on his face.
  200. >You feel bad that he’s working this close to the impact of the storm, even if there aren’t many customers.
  201. >“What can I get for ya today, sir?” he inquires, his mood as synthetic as can be.
  202. >You have both of your orders memorized, so you recite them off to the stallion, eager to finally eat.
  203. >“Comin’ right up,” he says. “Should be about five minutes.”
  204. >Damn. The speed they work at here reminds you of Lil’ Caesars back on Earth.
  205. >Even though it gave you indigestion every now and then, it was some damn good cheap pizza.
  206. >You hope this place shares the same qualities.
  207. >Turning back to your party, you pick back up on their conversation.
  208. >“So, how did you come to meet Anon?” Tia, or ‘Solar Flare’, inquires.
  209. >Bonnie takes a brief second to organize her thoughts before replying.
  210. > “He’s one of my best customers, actually,” she begins, reminiscing on when you only knew her through her candy shop. “Just sorta stopped by one day for some sweets with Pinkie Pie. I’ll admit, he scared the wits out of me at first, but I grew used to him really quickly. Ever since then, he stops by at least once every couple of days.”
  211. >She leaves out the part where you learned about her primary job upon becoming the royal confidant, and the fact that you work together on a semi-frequent basis, advising her top secret division on how to best deal with certain threats.
  212. >She IS a secret agent, after all. Gotta live a double life, you know?
  213. >“How about you?” Bonnie asks back, listening intently to Tia.
  214. >Tia already has her response ready, needing no time at all to reply.
  215. >“Oh! Well, I’m one of the new apprentices in the advisor department in the castle, and I’m studying under Anon. He’s quite the gentlecolt, we became fast friends.”
  216. >She looks at you knowingly. Your real origin story with Tia went much differently, but that’s a story for another time.
  217. >Not one for awkward silence, you carry the conversation forward.
  218. “She’s a quick learner and a phenomenal friend,” you say, tooting her horn a bit. “Today was busy for the both of us, so I figured I’d treat us both to dinner, you know?”
  219. >Bonnie chuckles, casting a warm grin your way.
  220. >“You’re a stand-up stallion, Anon,” she compliments. “Never change.”
  221. “Likewise,” you reply. “Except for the stallion part.”
  222. >The three of you laugh gingerly, barely noticing the cashier coming back out with three pizza boxes.
  223. >Huh. Everyone’s came out at the same time, it seems.
  224. >“Order up!” the stallion says, barely hanging onto his cheerful disposition.
  225. >The three of you walk up and pay the measly fee for each of your meals.
  226. >You cover for Celestia, despite her objections.
  227. >Sitting down at a table, you all dig in, conversing over dinner as time steadily passes.
  228. >Before long, you all leave together, and you say your farewells to Bonnie, who heads back to Ponyville to hunker down for the storm.
  229. >The night walk back to the castle is serene, with virtually no ponies out on account of it being almost ten at night.
  230. >For the majority of it, Tia is pressed up against you, occasionally singing about how wonderful the night went.
  231. >You always were confused about how ponies could always sing spontaneously about anything, but it was never unwelcomed, especially now.
  232. >The walk passes in what seems like the blink of an eye, much to your dismay.
  233. >You’re at the door to her quarters now, and once more, her ears shift and flip around as she glances to and fro to check if anyone is around.
  234. >Suddenly, her horn and her necklace glow uncomfortably bright, causing you to shield your eyes with your arm.
  235. >When the light finally dissipates, you lower your arm once more to see the princess you’ve come to adore in the past few months.
  236. >She stares at you adoringly before sauntering towards you and planting her smooth, tender lips onto yours.
  237. >You can feel her warm breath leaving her nostrils and cascading off of your face as she snakes a hoof around your waist, pulling you closer.
  238. >You wrap your arm around her neck to hold her close as well. Her fur feels unbelievably soft against the skin of your arm, almost like a cloud.
  239. >This lasts for a while before she breaks it off, both of your faces flushed.
  240. >“Thank you for tonight, sunshine,” she says dreamily. “I had a wonderful time.”
  241. “So did I,” you reply, totally smitten by her. “We should do this again sometime.”
  242. >She looks down, shuffling slightly, crossing one leg over the other.
  243. >“You know…” she begins, timid all of a sudden. “You don’t have to leave.”
  244. >Your surprise is tangible. Even the few times you’ve bedded her, you’ve never stayed the night in her quarters.
  245. >“I would love some company for when the storm hits, you know.”
  246. >She looks back up at you, almost expectantly, with half-lidded eyes and a tired grin on her face.
  247. >It’s contagious, and it spreads to you immediately.
  248. “Then you’ve got me, Tia.”
  249. >Her grin gets even wider, and she walks into her room, holding the door open for you to come in after her.
  250. >You oblige, ready for a night of cuddles and whatever else may come.
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