A Cake for a Princess (Part 3): The Date

Aug 16th, 2015
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  1. >Three days.
  2. >You'd been staying at the castle for three days, and Celestia has had you bake a cake at least once each day.
  3. >As of right now, you were bringing a freshly baked cake to her.
  4. >Today's was a special treat that you'd never tried before.
  5. >That didn't stop you from succeeding, however.
  6. >You'd written the Cakes each day, receiving their replies not even an hour afterwards.
  7. >Despite your absence, they assured you that they were holding the fort with Pinkie just fine.
  8. >It probably helped that Celestia sent them money with each cake you made for her.
  9. >You told her it wasn't necessary, but she had insisted.
  10. >The kitchen doors creaked as you pushed them open, the sweet aroma of the cake visibly making Celestia lick her lips.
  11. >Once you reach the table, you set the cake down and cut a slice for the princess.
  12. >As usual, once she gets her share, you take yours as well and sit with her.
  13. >The cake, a triple layered neapolitan with white frosting, topped with mango slices and blueberries, was, as you expected, delicious.
  14. >Celestia took a bite, chewing for a moment before swallowing.
  15. >She took a short breath.
  16. >"This is quite the odd combination. The neapolitan already offers a variety of flavors for the cake, but mixed in with the mangoes and blueberries, you get the traditional chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors mixed in with a tart, light sweetness that makes it so you aren't just tasting a plain cake. Oh, and as always, it is wonderful."
  17. >She smiles at you after finishing her critique.
  18. "At the risk of sounding rude, my thanks aren't necessary. This is par for the course for me."
  19. >"Perhaps next I should have you bake me a humble pie?" she teased.
  20. >As you and her finished your shares, you let your mind drift.
  21. >Thinking about it, these past three days of eating your cakes with Celestia and listening to her critiques, you hadn't felt empty like you usually did.
  22. >In fact, as the days progressed, you'd felt...happier.
  23. >Each day, you'd meant to discuss these feelings with her, but you never found the chance to.
  24. >You thought it best to avoid saying something about this at your usual cake tastings, as it would likely make the short alone time you had with her awkward.
  25. >But today was different.
  26. >After missing your chance to talk about this with her, you decided that there was no choice but to do it during your snack session.
  27. >She happily finished her slice, setting the plate and silverware aside for a servant to pick up.
  28. >Don't let her get away.
  29. "Celestia."
  30. >She was about to scoot her chair out, but she stopped to listen to you.
  31. >"Yes?"
  32. >Now that the moment was here, putting what you wanted to say into words proved to be difficult.
  33. >There was much to say.
  34. "I..."
  35. >You thought for a moment.
  36. >Luckily for you, Celestia was considerate enough to let you find the words in silence.
  37. "I wanted to thank you, Princess."
  38. >A good place to start, you'd figured.
  39. >"Thank me?"
  40. "Yes, Princess. You see...I seemed to have a problem before I came here to the castle."
  41. >Celestia leans in towards you to listen further, now hooked.
  42. "I don't know what it was, but no matter what I did, I was gloomy. I never smiled, never felt happy, and never felt motivated to do anything...except when I baked."
  43. >"You're not saying you like being put to work, are you?" she asked with a playful smile.
  44. "Not exactly. I am always happy when I bake, but that was it. Whenever I did something else, I felt down all the time." You paused. "But then you came along."
  45. >Her hooves support her head as they rest on her chin.
  46. >She didn't even notice as the servants came by to take care of her serveware.
  47. "The way you critique my baking. How you allow me to appreciate it as well...somehow, it feels as though you're...how do I put this?"
  48. >"Your only critic?"
  49. "Something like that, yes," you tell her, nodding. "Like you're on the same playing field as me. Everyone else just blindly praises me, but you take it a step further. You describe why you like my food."
  50. >Celestia chuckled. "Critiquing cakes has just been a side hobby of mine, Anonymous. I never thought it'd bring someone out of depression, though."
  51. "It's not just that, though," you continue. "Letting me have some, too. You say your piece, and I find myself thinking the same exact thing with my cakes. Almost as if we're of the same mindset."
  52. >This makes her lift an eyebrow.
  53. >"Perhaps I've met my intellectual equal in terms of baking?"
  54. >She cracks a smile at her own comment.
  55. >"Nonetheless, I'm glad to have been able to help you. It seems help sometimes comes to us in forms we don't expect."
  56. >She gets up from the chair.
  57. >What about the familiar feelings you got, though?
  58. >Before she could leave, you had to ask her about those.
  59. "Wait, princess."
  60. >She stops again, turning to face you.
  61. >"Yes?"
  62. "...there's something else I wanted to say about all this."
  63. >"Go right ahead. I'm listening."
  64. >You take a deep breath before speaking.
  65. "You ever felt like you've done the exact same thing one day as you did another?"
  66. >She contemplates your question for a moment, then slowly nods.
  67. "That's how I've felt every time we've sat down with our cake. I feel like I've done these same things before, just with someone besides you."
  68. >"This is a feeling that persists?"
  69. "Yeah," you inform, "but for some reason, I can't find out why I feel this way. It's almost as if it's some distant memory that I've forgotten."
  70. >She hums as you finish, thinking.
  71. >"Perhaps...perhaps there's some way I can help you, Anonymous."
  72. >Your interest is piqued.
  73. "Do tell."
  74. >"If it's a lost memory you're having trouble with, I may have a spell or two that can help you retrieve it. Maybe then you can find out what it is that's nagging at you."
  75. >You feel your heart skip a beat, as a solution to the mystery plaguing you since reaching Equestria was within reach.
  76. >She notices your excitement, and smiles sadly.
  77. >"Unfortunately, I don't think I'll have time to help you with it today. I'm going to be horrendously busy. I'm sorry, Anonymous."
  78. "It's fine," you tell her as you hold out your hand, "I'd rather you just tell me when you'll be available."
  79. >She magics a schedule in front of her, reading the contents.
  80. >Once she's had a full look, the list disappears.
  81. >"From the looks of it, the next time I'll be free will be Friday. I'm sorry to make you wait so long."
  82. >You shake your head.
  83. "It's okay. That just means we can have more of our sessions without having to worry about it."
  84. >She smiles at you.
  85. >"Very true. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've some royal work to do."
  86. >She exits the dining room to parts unknown.
  87. >You, on the other hand, stay to properly store the cake.
  88. >It'd be terrible to let it go to waste.
  89. >Yet each day, the cake you made the previous day is gone.
  90. >Perhaps Celestia has a bigger sweet tooth then you knew?
  91. >Making it back to the kitchen, you set the cake in a proper container and put it in the fridge.
  92. >Safe until the mysterious cake thief comes to ransack it.
  93. >When you close the door, a familiar mare is seen in the corner of your eye.
  94. >"...Anonymous?"
  95. >She's noticed you, too.
  96. >Looking at her, a familiar green coat greets you.
  97. "Spring Skies?"
  98. >She's no longer dressed in The Golden Unicorn's housekeeping uniform, but rather a castle maid outfit.
  99. >You train her eye on her body for merely a second before speaking.
  100. "I take it from the uniform you work here now?"
  101. >She smiles giddily.
  102. >"Yep! Oh, sorry, that was little loud, wasn't it?"
  103. >She chuckles.
  104. "What happened with The Golden Unicorn, then?"
  105. >"Oh, nothing. I was on my last days there. I'd been accepted here, and let me tell you, that does NOT happen every day."
  106. >She hopped in place happily, a grin on her face.
  107. >These damned, cute ponies.
  108. >"So I guess this means we'll be seeing each other more often, huh?"
  109. "Yep."
  110. >"Great! I kind of wanted to get to know you better anyways, but you left the hotel so fast we couldn't even chat!"
  111. >She was almost as hyper as Pinkie.
  112. >But maybe hyper wasn't the word for it.
  113. >Enthusiastic, maybe?
  114. >"Anyways, I'd love to stick around, but orientation is today and I would HATE to be late for that! See you around!"
  115. >She's out of the kitchen before you can blink.
  116. >What was she doing in here, anyways?
  117. >You shrug, and leave the kitchen yourself, heading to the great beyond that was Canterlot Castle, so as to explore its contents even more.
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