Image Photshoped by Pen Stroke
Vector Celestia by Crisx3
Vector Luna by goldenmercurydragon
A Drop of Moonshine
Edited and Preread by
Batty Gloom, Nightsong, Kim Fluttershy Dykas, Varanus, Vimbert, Filler
Written before Season 2 of MLP FiM
Luna may be out of character
With a flick of her horn, Celestia opened the door to her private chambers. After slipping inside, the sun princess collapsed onto the comfortable pile of cushions that occupied the floor. She lifted a hoof to her face, rubbing her nose for a moment before nudging at her crown, letting it slide off and roll a few inches away while she rested her eyes.
It had been a mind numbing day, and Celestia found herself, once again, wishing she could just slip away from her duties as princess and do something fun, perhaps go visit her student Twilight. Go to Ponyville, bring Philomena along; the phoenix would be more than eager to see the yellow pegasus, Fluttershy, and it would be wonderful to just get away.
Celestia had no such luck. She had been putting off several meetings, and today was the day it all came crashing down. Tax meetings, court rulings, city disputes: all things that should have been handled by ponies far lower in the government hierarchy. The issues, however, had managed to work their way up the chain of command, and once they reached her, she had to deal with them.
Groaning, Celestia turned over on the pile of cushions as she tried to get more comfortable. She magically removed her large necklace and shoes, tossing them into a pile with her crown as she contemplated falling asleep right there. Yet, before this thought could properly form, the door to the her room opened and an equally exhausted moon princess strode inside.
“What just happened, Tia?” Luna moaned, the moon princess collapsing on the floor beside Celestia.
“Long day, Sister?” Celestia asked, the sun princess shifting so she was lying upright.
“Yes,” whined Luna. “Since when did Equestrian law get so complicated? Bylaws, loopholes, contracts; I just spent the last hour trying to settle a dispute about who owns an orange tree. An orange tree, Tia.”
“Pony society has become more advanced, thus it takes a more sophisticated system of laws to ensure everypony is treated fairly,” Celestia answered before heaving a heavy sigh. “Though, I’ll admit I too, at times, find much of it unnecessary, and it does not help that when I make a decision on a matter, it becomes precedence. I can recount a number of occasions when one of my previous rulings was brought up and the ponies expected me to do the exact same thing, even if the situation at hoof was significantly different.”
Luna groaned, getting back to her hooves and moving across the room until she reached Celestia’s writing desk and rummaged through its drawers.
“What are you looking for?” Celestia asked as she sat up straight.
“We’ve both had a long day, and I know you like to hide a bottle in your writing desk,” Luna replied.
“I’m sorry, Luna, but there hasn’t been any alcohol in Equestria for almost one thousand years.”
The moon princess looked at Celestia with disbelief. “You’re kidding... You’re kidding, right?”
“It was just after I banished you. I... didn’t take what I had done well. I tried to find comfort in my wine, and what started off as a single glass in the evenings turned into a drunken stupor each night. Admittedly, I was drunk so often that I was hardly able to rule the kingdom. Some of the advisers saw this and decided that I needed to sober up. They made many plans to that effect, but I managed to outwit them time and again.
“So, eventually, the kingdom as a whole stopped making alcohol, thinking their princess couldn’t get drunk if there isn’t anything to drink.”
“Celestia...” Luna trailed off, concern in her voice.
“Do not worry about me, Sister. I’ve come to terms with what I’ve done. More importantly, I have you back. Besides, you know how I get when I get drunk. It’s better this way.”
“Maybe, but a thousand years is a long time to be sober, Sister. I mean, you look as exhausted as I am, and this probably isn’t the first time you’ve had a long day.”
Celestia chuckled, thinking back over the years. “Over a thousand years... yes, there have been some days far worse than this, but the court advisers from a thousand years ago were right. Can’t get drunk if there isn’t anything to drink, and I’ve never been very good at cooking magic.”
A thin smile slowly spread on Luna’s face. “True, Sister, you’ve never been a good cook, but if you recall I had a special talent for making a very unique liquid.”
“No, Luna,” Celestia said firmly, but her protests fell on deaf ears. Luna moved to the small window of Celestia’s private chambers and pulled back the curtains. There was a gentle nip to the air outside, and the days had been getting shorter: signs of winter’s fast approach. Luna had raised the moon just before finding her way to Celestia’s room, and now the pale white orb was floating just above the horizon.
As Luna shut her eyes, her horn began to glow. For a moment, it seemed like nothing was happening, but slowly, trails of pale moonbeams began to gather as the moon focused its light on the younger princess. The trails grew thicker and started to bend as Luna began swishing her horn from side to side, forming a sideways figure eight in the air. The moonlight continued to gather and swirl with the horn, condensing first into a mist and then into a stream of glistening, clear liquid.
When she had gathered a significant amount of the liquid, Luna turned away from the window and scanned the room. She caught sight of a few empty glasses that had been used as decoration on a shelf. Levitating those glasses, Luna used her magic to clear away lingering bits of dust before pouring the liquid inside.
“Luna, no!” Celestia ordered again, even as the moon princess strode over with the now-filled glasses floating behind her.
“Come on, Tia, just a little something to take the edge off,” Luna tempted, offering one of the glasses.
Celestia huffed, shifting her gaze from Luna to the liquid being held out to her. It was the moon princess’s pure moonshine. Before the Nightmare Moon incident, the alcoholic drink was legendary. It was a rare gift the sister would hand out to those who did a great service to the royal court. Many ponies even tried to replicate the unique drink, with very little success.
Common Moonshine would get you just as drunk as the real thing, but it just wasn’t the same as Luna’s. When ponies made the drink, it was a form of whiskey. It was harsh, burned on the way down, and had to be drunk in a quick swig, since it would buck a pony in the taste buds within moments of being consumed.
Luna’s Moonshine, however, went down cool and smooth. It was like drinking chilled, liquid silk. The flavor was wonderful, but half of the experience was how it tickled the tongue and caressed the throat. It was something that, even after a thousand years, Celestia could remember quite clearly.
It was those memories that made Luna’s offer so very tempting.
Celestia just stared at the glass for a few seconds, trying to find the will to deny it. She hadn’t had a drink in nearly a millennium, and there was no point in starting now. She had fallen off the wagon after she banished Luna, though thankfully very few records of that time remained in Equestria's history books. She hadn’t even thought about having a drink in centuries.
Yet... Luna was right. A single drink would certainly take the edge off the long day.
Luna wasn’t helping, either; she smiled invitingly as she held the glass close to Celestia’s face. The drink’s alluring aroma wafted into Celestia’s nose, and for a moment she took in a deep breath. The smell brought back memories. Celestia licked her lips as she recalled the last time she had enjoyed the almost divine liquid. She could almost taste it. Three of the five senses, taste, sight, and smell, conspired against Celestia, tempting her.
It proved to be more than enough.
“One glass,” Celestia finally said, calling on her on magic as she took the drink from Luna.
“Just one,” Luna assured. The younger sister then floated her glass forward, clinking it against Celestia’s in a toast before taking her first long sip. Celestia soon followed, lifting the glass to her lips and letting just a small trickle of the liquid into her mouth. A tiny sip, but one that sent a shiver down Celestia’s spine.
It was far better than she remembered, a thousand years of life having dulled her memory of Luna’s Moonshine. That one sip, however, reintroduced Celestia to the wonders of the liquid. It was cold without adding ice, like the pleasant chill of a late summer night. It was as clear as crystal, yet had a distinctive shimmer. The taste: it was a paradox. So delicious and yet, like water, after the liquid left one’s tongue there was no way to place the flavor. It was completely unique, unlike anything else Celestia had ever tasted, and she had eaten and drunk a lot of different things over a millennium of being princess.
When Celestia had recovered from her mild stupor, she noticed Luna was wearing a wide grin. Celestia returned the smile, holding out her glass. The pair clinked the glasses together again before they took their second sip of the rare drink.
Yes, one glass couldn’t hurt.
Luna snorted in laughter, her speech ever so slightly slurred. “Really? Is that really why ponies say that Blueblood is your nephew?” The two princesses, over the course of an hour, not only finished their first glasses of moonshine, but proceeded to have a few more.
Celestia joined in Luna’s giggling, nodding her head and swaying a little bit. While Luna looked pretty much the same when she was drunk, Celestia had a tendency to get a bit red in the face. There was a blush on the sun princess’s cheeks, a light tint beneath her pearly white coat that signified that she was somewhere between being tipsy and properly drunk.
“Yes,” Celestia said before tipping back and finishing off her most recent glass of Moonshine. “I mean, anypony could figure out that we’re not really related as long as they had half a brain and bothered to ask the right questions.”
At that, Celestia held out her glass, and Luna quickly took the hint. With a few waves of her horn, Luna had conjured another round of moonshine, refilling both glasses. The pair, again, clinked their drinks together before taking their first sips of the fresh moonshine. It was at this point that a small pop reached their ears, and when the two alicorns lowered their glasses, they saw that a scroll had appeared in the air between them.
“What’s that?” Luna asked.
“It’s... um,” Celestia began, needing to stare at the scroll a moment. “Oh, it’s one of Twilight’s friendship reports.”
“What does it say?”
“I don’t know,” Celestia replied, taking another sip from her glass.
“Well, why don’t you read it and find out?”
Celestia turned her eyes on Luna, her inebriated mind needing to connect the fact that reading the scroll would tell her what it said. Celestia then laughed a little at her own brain lapse while she used a touch of magic to unfurl the scroll.
“Dear Princess Celestia,” the sun princess began reading. “Today, I learned a very valuable lesson in friendship. When you’ve had a long day or are in a bad mood, it’s important to remember that your friends are there to support you. It is also important to remember that they may be having just as bad of a day, and that they may also need... blah blah blah blah.”
Having lost interest in the report, Celestia tossed it over her shoulder and took another swig from her glass. “Twilight is a wonderful student, but she’s so long-winded sometimes. Once, she sent me a five page friendship report. You know what it said? It said... I don’t remember right now, but it was long.... long and wordy.”
“Have you told her to make the reports shorter?” Luna asked, her words slightly slurred.
Celestia snorted and shook her head. “No, that would be like telling that friend of hers... oh, what was her name? Binkie Bie? Yes, it would be like telling Binkie Bie not to throw parties.”
Luna giggled. “Sister, I think you mean Pinkie Pie.”
“What did I say?” Celestia asked, cocking her head to one side.
Celestia snorted, then broke down in a fit of laughter. “Binkie Bie! What kind of name is ‘Binkie Bie?!’”
Luna joined in the laughter. “I don’t know, but you know what I do think?”
“I think you should tell Twilight to make her friendship reports shorter. You should tell her right now, before we forget.”
“No,” Celestia replied, waving her sister off. “We couldn’t do that right now.”
“Sure we could; we could fly over to Ponyville right now,” Luna argued. “Besides, you always like to go visit your student.”
“No, it’s too late.”
“Nah, it’s early, and you’re always telling me she stays up into the late hours of the night,” Luna argued, sneaking a quick swig of her drink. “We should go see her right now.”
Celestia mulled the thought over for a time, taking a drink from her glass before finally smiling. “All right, sure, why not? Let’s go see her.” The sun princess then got to her hooves, swaying a moment as she was struck with a momentary alcohol-induced dizziness. Still, after giving her head a shake, she turned, striding towards the nearby window.
“Aren’t we going to go to the balcony?” Luna asked, watching as Celestia put a hoof on the window sill.
“I don’t want to walk all the way to the balcony. Besides, I can fit through the window,” Celestia answered before starting to climb through. It was true; on more than one occasion, she had used the window to sneak out of her chambers when she wanted some time to herself and could disappear for a while without causing too much chaos.
An inebriated Celestia, however, soon found herself stuck at her hips, unable to coordinate her back legs and wings to get herself through the window.
“What’s the matter, Tia? Did your wide hips get stuck?” Luna teased. “Maybe you should consider skipping dessert after dinner.”
“I am not fat!” Celestia called back at her sister. “Now quit standing there and help me.”
With a resounding shove of levitation magic, Celestia was out the window. Luna followed her a few moments later, having far less trouble with the window frame thanks to her smaller body. The pair hovered and bobbed in the air for a time, getting their bearings before they soared off in the direction of Ponyville, their flight path anything but straight.
“Good night, my number one assistant,” Twilight said gently, having just tucked Spike into bed. It had been a long day, but, as usual, Twilight found herself wanting to sneak in a bit more reading before she went to bed herself. Walking as quietly as possible, the unicorn made her way down the library’s main floor, approaching her writing desk where a particular book was set open, waiting. Twilight smiled as her eyes quickly found her place on the page, continuing to read where she had left off.
The occupation of rock farming was further improved upon the development of rotation cycles. By moving larger stones to different locations, or even turning them over, the gemstones being nurtured inside can be encouraged to grow not only larger, but also into specific shapes. Plumbob cuts, for example, can be produced if a stone is flipped vertically regularly during the gemstone’s gestation.
More complex gemstone patterns that can be grown naturally require more complex rotation cycles, these cycles being first written down and tested by one...
Twilight jumped a foot in the air, her heart skipping a beat as she looked up at her window. It sounded like somepony had thrown a rock, or maybe a boulder, and the glass was visibly cracked from whatever had hit it.
Breathing shakily, Twilight took a moment to recover from being scared half to death. Still, before the unicorn could even begin to investigate what had happened, a figure stood up on the far side of the window, wobbling a bit as some blades of grass clung to her white coat and pastel rainbow mane.
“Pr... Princess Celestia?” Twilight asked, confused why she saw her mentor on the other side of her window. The sun princess, however, didn’t even seem to register the fact Twilight was staring at her. She was looking in the other direction, waving a hoof in the air. A few moments later, a night-purple figure soared down from the sky, on a visible collision course with the window.
Twilight just barely reacted in time, her horn glowing as she undid the window’s latch and threw it open. Princess Luna careened through the opening a moment later, tumbling through the air and crashing into one of the library’s bookshelves. The moon princess was buried in the avalanche of books, but poked her head out a few moments later, no worse for wear.
“Oh my gosh, are you okay?” Twilight asked, quickly rushing over. The moon princess, however, waved Twilight off and pulled herself out from the pile of books.
“I’m fine, Twilight,” Luna answered, giggling. “Though you like you just saw a ghost.”
“No, Twilight probably saw a snake. She hates snakes.”
Twilight turned, hearing Celestia’s voice, though there was a strange slur to her words. The sun princess was in the process of climbing through the open window, smiling stupidly as she hung halfway through the frame.
“Why didn’t you come in the door?”
“The door isn’t open. Besides, Luna came in through the window, and I’m just as thin as she is,” Celestia answered before putting her hooves on Twilight’s writing desk. The sun princess then began to strain herself, grunting as she tried to pull squeeze her flanks through the library window, which had a narrower frame than the window back at Canterlot.
“Princess Celestia, don’t! You can’t fit-”
“I told you,” Celestia snapped as she struggled, “if Luna can fit so... can... I!” With a final grunt Celestia’s hips slipped through the frame, the resulting momentum causing her to somersault forward and land flat on her back. Still, despite landing hard on the library’s wooden floor, Celestia wore a broad, triumphant smile as she pointed a hoof at Twilight.
“Told you I could.”
Twilight, however, did not share the princess’s grin. The purple unicorn had moved over beside her teacher, looking quite worried. “Princess, are you okay? You’re acting very strange.”
“Oh yeah? Well, Twilight, you’re... you’re purple,” Celestia countered.
Twilight cocked her head to one side in confusion. “What does that have to do with anything?”
“I... don’t know,” Celestia admitted, the alicorn turning over and getting back to her hooves, though it took a couple tries. “I just know you’re purple.”
Luna snickered, holding a hoof to her mouth. Celestia heard the restrained laughter, and glared her younger sister down, though she too was smiling. “And just what’s so funny, Sister?”
“Tia, I think you’re drunk,” Luna pointed out.
“Well, what do you expect when we stopped three times on the way here so you could make more moonshine?" Celestia argued before she gave Luna a questioning look. "Why... why did you make us stop three times, anyway?”
“Well, I was thirsty," Luna answered with a shrug before pointing a hoof at Celestia, "and we would have only stopped once if you didn’t keep drinking the moonshine I was making for myself.”
“Well, I was thirsty too, and I’m bigger than you. I need more.”
“So you’re saying you’re fat.”
“I’m not fat!” Celestia snapped before dropping to her flank, sitting there as she placed a hoof on her stomach. “But I am hungry. Twilight, have you got anything to eat?”
“Eat... I need to take you to the hospital,” Twilight argued in a panic. “You’re... you’re delusional, sick or something.”
“We aren’t sick, Twilight. Tia’s just drunk,” Luna corrected, the moon princess stumbling over beside the unicorn.
“You’re just a drunk as I am, Luna,” Celestia noted.
“Drunk?” Twilight echoed as she looked back forth between the two princesses.
“It means we’ve had too much to drink,” Luna said as she began to meander about the library, as if looking for something, though her answer only confused Twilight more.
“You mean like you drank too much water?” Twilight asked, her confusion only growing. “I’ve never seen anypony act like this from drinking too much water.”
Luna was overcome by a fit of giggles. “Tia! She thinks we got this way by drinking water!”
“Now be nice, Luna. It’s not Twilight’s fault she doesn’t know,” Celestia replied, reaching out a leg and hooking it around Twilight, drawing her student in close. “My poor, ignorant student doesn’t even know what moonshine is.”
“I am not ignorant!” Twilight whined, pulling away from Celestia. “And I do know what moonshine is. It’s another word for moonlight.”
“Oh Twilight, that what just what Luna’s Moonshine starts out as,” Celestia explained as she patted Twilight on the head like she was a little filly, “but it’s okay; I doubt anypony knows what real moonshine is, except me and Luna.”
“All this talk of moonshine is making me thirsty,” Luna commented. “You think I should make some more, Tia?”
“Yes!” Celestia answered, like the suggestion was the greatest idea she had ever heard. “You make more while Twilight gets us something to eat.”
“Okay... I’m going to go do that,” Twilight said, putting on a forced smile as she pulled herself away from Celestia. “You two just stay here and don’t. Go. Anywhere. I’ll be right back with some sandwiches.”
The princesses, however, were no longer listening. Luna was using her magic to make some liquid manifest from the moon light shining in the window. At the same time, Celestia had grabbed a few stray cups from Twilight’s writing desk, cleaning them out with a rag she had manifested out of thin air.
While the princesses were distracted for a moment, Twilight quickly did a number of things. First, she skimmed the library for a encyclopedia and a few other books, gathering them up and taking them with her into the kitchen. She then raided the kitchen, grabbing any food she could find. Finally, while the unicorn prepared sandwiches with her magic, she began to do some very quick research.
The first few clues Twilight found were in the encyclopedia, definitions for some of the things the alicorns had said.
- Moonshine -
1. (Astronomy) another word for moonlight
2. foalish talk or thought
3. (Equestria History / Food and Beverage) an alcoholic beverage. See Luna’s Moonshine and/or Common Moonshine
- Luna’s Moonshine -
1. an alcoholic beverage prepared by Princess Luna of Equestria. Distilled and purified moonlight.
- Common Moonshine -
1. an alcoholic beverage prepared by common ponies attempting to reproduce the flavor, texture, and alcoholic content of Luna’s Moonshine.
* Knowledge of how to produce Common Moonshine stricken from all public records in accordance with the Dry Equestria Act. *
With those definitions, Twilight was able to flip to key parts of some of the other books she had grabbed. She honestly wanted to know more about what was going on, but didn’t feel it was a good idea to leave the princesses alone for too long. Thus, Twilight only read enough to ensure she had a general understanding of the situation.
Celestia and Luna had consumed a liquid called moonshine and that it was causing them to act strangely. According to the books, being drunk meant a pony tended to have their inhibitions lowered, and that the effects would wear off in time if the princesses stopped drinking.
Armed with knowledge and sandwiches, Twilight walked back out into the main library to handle the situation. “Okay, here’s some food and...” The words died in Twilight’s mouth as she looked around the room frantically while Luna trotted up to her, grabbed a sandwich, and took a big, hungry bite.
“Where’s Princess Celestia?”
“I don’t know,” Luna mumbled through her full mouth.
“No... no no no no no no no!” Twilight panicked. “She can’t just be gone, not with the way she’s acting! She has to have gone somewhere. Did she say anything about where she was going?”
Luna didn’t answer at first, chewing on her sandwich as Twilight stared at her. It took a few moments for the moon princess to realize the question was directed at her, and when she did she giggled at herself. “Oh, she complained you were taking too long with the food... and then... uh...”
“Come on, Princess Luna, what did she say?” Twilight pressed.
“Then she said something about apples,” Luna concluded before taking another bite from her sandwich. “Oh, these are really good, but kind of dry.”
The moon princess lifted one of the nearby cups, intending to take another drink only for Twilight to slap it away with a hoof. “Hey!” Luna complained.
“You’ve had enough of... whatever that stuff is,” Twilight scolded. “I have to go get Princess Celestia, and while I'm gone, I need you to stay right here. And don’t drink any more moonshine.”
“What else am I supposed to drink?”
Twilight grunted in frustration, galloping back into the kitchen and returning a few moments later with several glass bottles of apple juice.
“Here, drink this.”
“But I don’t like apple juice,” Luna whined.
“Well it’s either that or water, but no more moonshine.”
Luna huffed, but seemed to accept Twilight’s orders as she angrily chomped down on her sandwich. Despite this, Twilight wasn’t about to trust the alicorn to not drink anymore. Galloping upstairs, the unicorn grabbed Spike out of bed and carried him downstairs, plopping him down in the middle of the floor.
“Hey, what’s the big-” Spike tried to protest, only to stop when he saw the panicked look on Twilight’s face. “Whoa, what’s wrong?”
“I don’t know, but I need you to keep an eye on her,” Twilight said hurriedly, pointing a hoof over at Princess Luna.
“What for, and what is Princess Luna doing here anyway?” Spike asked, still half asleep.
“Spike, just please keep an eye on her and make sure she behaves herself,” Twilight pleaded as she began to trot quickly towards the door.
“Okay, but what are you going to be doing?”
“I’m going to be searching for Princess Celestia.”
“Why? Has something happened to her?” Spike asked, starting to share Twilight’s panic.
“Yes! I mean, no! I mean... look, I don’t know what is going on, I just know I have to go find Celestia and you have to make sure Princess Luna doesn’t go anywhere.”
Spike opened his mouth to ask for more details, but Twilight already felt she had given Princess Celestia too much of a lead. Not wanting to waste another moment, Twilight shouted a quick “I’ll explain it later,” to Spike before bolting out the library door.
BARK... BARK BARK... BARK BARK BARK
Applejack grunted, lifting her head from her pillow. The farm mare glanced at the clock, grimacing as she took notice of the late hour. She considered going back to sleep, but Winona didn’t make a habit out of barking unless she had something to bark at. Knowing she had to at least go and see what was going on, Applejack climbed out of bed.
“Winona, what in Equestria are you barkin’ at?” Applejack called out a few moments later, sticking her head out of the house’s front door. Winona was out by the barn, her barks directed at the large, sliding doors. This wouldn’t have worried Applejack very much, except she saw lights on inside the barn that should have been turned off.
“Somepony in there, Winona?” Applejack asked after she had galloped over. Winona happily greeted her master, but quickly returned to glaring at the door. It was all the answer Applejack needed. The farm mare gritted her teeth as she moved up to the door and began pounding her hoof against it. “Whoever is in there, come on out. You’re trespassin’ on Apple family property.”
“Well then, I hereby requisition this property for the royal throne. Now it’s mah property, and you’re the one trespassin’,” one voice called out, her words slurred and thick with a mocking accent.
“SHHHHH! Quiet!” a second voice snapped. They were both voices Applejack recognized, but she couldn't remember which pony the first voice belonged to. The second voice, however, she knew quite well.
“Twilight? Is that you in there?”
The door to the barn cracked open, Twilight sticking her head out with a big forced grin. “Oh, hey Applejack. What, uh... what are you doing here?”
“Twi, this here is mah farm; if anypony has right to be here at this hour, I’d suspect it’d be me.”
“Oh, of course, that makes perfect sense,” Twilight agreed with a weak laugh.
“Good. Now, ya mind tellin’ me what the hay you’re doin’ here?”
“Oh... just... uh... I was just...” Twilight paused, glancing around anxiously. Her horn then began to glow, the unicorn grabbing up a nearby apple and levitating up beside her head. “I was just getting an apple.”
“You came all the way out here, at this hour of the night... to get an apple?” Applejack summarized, cocking an eyebrow in confusion.
“Oh, yes,” Twilight replied before biting down into the apple, continuing to speak as she chewed. “I just had to have one of your Red Delicious apples, and there weren’t any back at the library.”
“That must have been some hankering, but you weren’t trying to steal the apple, were ya?”
Twilight swallowed the bite of fruit in her mouth.“Oh, no no no! I wouldn’t steal an apple from you, Applejack! I was just going to leave some bits and a note.”
“Well, I guess if I can trust anypony to pay her tab it’d be you, Twilight. Still, who’s in there with ya?”
“That’s right, I’m nopony!~” the second voice called out again, singing the words.
“Sure sounds like somepony’s in there,” Applejack said, craning her neck to try and see inside the barn, only for Twilight to shift her own head to block her line of sight.
“Oh no, I’m just... uh... practicing some ventriloquism magic.”
“Ventrila- what now?”
“Ventriloquism, throwing my voice. I can use magic make it sound like some other pony is talking without moving my lips.”
“So... you came to mah farm to get an apple and practice throwin’ your voice?”
“No, I was practicing my ventriloquism when I got hungry for an apple, and decided to keep practicing while I came and got one.”
“Well... personally, Sugarcube, I think y’all have been hitting the books too hard, because you ain’t making a lick of sense. Still, I guess you ain’t doin’ no harm. You can have as many apples as you like, just make sure to give me enough bits at the market tomorrow.”
“Thanks, Applejack, and I’ll be sure to bring the bits first thing in the morning.”
“Yea,” giggled the second voice, “thanks Applejack.” It then mockingly continued, “Ya’ll come back now, ya hear?”
“Heh heh...” Twilight force laughed before glancing down at her bare hoof. “Wow, would you look at the time. You should really get back to bed, Applejack. You have to wake up early in the morning.”
“I reckon I do...” Applejack replied as she turned to leave. She still wasn’t sure what was going on, but was too tired to care. She walked back to the house with Winona following at her side.
“Just don’t be eatin’ too many of mah apples, Twilight,” Applejack called as she reached the farmhouse.
“Okay, and good night!” Twilight shouted back, waving a hoof. She then waited, watching as lights went out throughout the farmhouse until Applejack’s bedroom window went dark.Twilight then promptly shut the barn door and rested her forehead against the wood.
“She has funny accent, I reckon.”
Twilight turned, glowering across the room. Princess Celestia was sprawled out on top of several baskets full of apples. It had been an hour since the alicorn had disappeared from the library, and after searching half of Sweet Apple Acres, Twilight found the princess in the barn after following a trail of partially eaten apples.
She didn’t know how Celestia had gotten into the barn without waking up Winona, because the moment Twilight tried to open the door the dog was awake and barking. It was a small miracle Twilight was able to convince Applejack to go back inside, but that still left her with her original problem: Celestia.
The princess had gone through probably a bushel of apples, having eaten only a few of them down to their cores. The rest she tossed onto a steadily growing pile after taking only one or two bites, wasting the rest of the fruit. Twilight would have to be sure she cleaned up the wasted apples before Applejack saw them; otherwise she would be in very hot water with the farm mare.
“Princess, you shouldn’t be making fun of Applejack, and you should really stop eating those apples,” Twilight lectured as she took a few steps towards the princess.
“I’m the princess, and you... you can’t tell me what do to,” Celestia slurred before tossing her partially eaten apple at Twilight. The apple bounced harmlessly off Twilight’s head, but it was still enough to draw a fresh wave of giggles from Celestia before the alicorn used her magic to pick another from one from a nearby baskets.
“But Princess Celestia-” Twilight attempted to argue, only to get hit with another apple square in the nose.
“No, I’m the princess and you... you have to do what I say and I say,” Celestia fell silent at this, looking away from Twilight and up at the rafters of the barn, as if contemplating some great thought. “And I say... I’m not hungry any more. I’m thirsty. Do you have any moonshine on you?”
“No, I don’t have any of that stuff,” Twilight snapped, pointing an accusing hoof at the princess, “and I can’t for the life of me understand why you would drink anything that makes you like... like... like this!”
“Well, why don’t you try ruling a kingdom then,” Celestia countered as she picked herself up off the baskets of apples, staggering but managing to stay on her hooves. “You don’t know half of the things I have to deal with. You just get to stay here and play with your friends, but I’ve got meetings and speeches and proclamations and court and... and a lot of other stuff.
“Luna’s moonshine... it lets me forget about all that. Let’s me just forget about all of it.” Celestia’s smile began to fade at this, the princess growing sullen. “It... lets me forget what I did to Luna. Lets me forget how I failed her.”
Twilight tensed, her hooves rooted to the ground as she watched Celestia’s mood swung to the opposite end of the emotional spectrum.The princess, who had been contently eating apples and mocking Applejack, now sat down in the center of barn and looked like she was on the verge of tears.
“I failed her,” the princess continued, staring at the floor and her hooves, “I should have been able to stop her... stop her from becoming Nightmare Moon, but I failed her. I’m a horrible big sister... and a horrible princess. If I... if I had done my job right none of that would have happened.
“It was all my... fault, and Luna... she hates me,” Celestia concluded, and for a long time after, neither of the ponies said anything. Twilight didn’t know what she could say to the princess, and honestly wanted to just sneak out. It seemed like Princess Celestia need a bit of time to herself.
Twilight knew, however, that she couldn’t leave the sun princess alone. After gathering herself as best as she could, Twilight moved over beside the white alicorn and very cautiously used a hoof to pat the princess’s shoulder.
“There, there,” Twilight said, trying to comfort her mentor though she was unable to hide the awkward tremor in her voice. “I’m sure Princess Luna doesn’t hate you.”
“You... you think so?” Celestia slurred, looking at Twilight.
“Of course. I mean... uh... if she hated you then... um... she wouldn’t have... um... she wouldn’t have made moonshine for you.”
Celestia perked up, smiling a little. “I guess that makes sense.” She then licked her lips, the mention of moonshine bringing her back to a previous train of thought. “Hey, I’m thirsty. You... you think Luna has made more moonshine? Because I could use another drink.”
Twilight face-hoofed in aggravation, but then let herself smile as an idea formed in her head. She had finally figured out a way to get Celestia to go back to the library, and she was going to use it.
“Of course, I’m sure she’s made gallons more,” Twilight lied, walking over to the barn doors as she used a hoof to hold them open. “Why don’t we go back to the library and get some?”
Celestia nodded, standing up and stumbling towards the door. When she got beside Twilight, the white alicorn swayed her hips and bumped them against the unicorn, giggling.
“You’re a good student, Twilight, but you need to loosen up.”
“Right now, you’re loose enough for the two of us,” Twilight whispered under her breath. Still, she had gotten a small triumph. Princess Celestia was now on her way back to the library, and she was sure there wouldn’t be any more moonshine. She had told Luna not to make any more and the moon princess seemed to be more cooperative. Celestia would not be happy about the deception, but Twilight would deal with that if it became an issue.
“My Little Pony~, My Little Pony~... My Little Pony~, My Little Pony~”
Twilight walked with her head lowered and ears pressed flat against her head, trying to block out Princess Celestia’s obsessive singing. The alicorn had decided, through some strange train of thought, to sing an old foalhood nursery rhyme, but she had apparently forgotten most of the song. She was currently entertaining herself by singing the first few lines over and over again.
Twilight endured the singing until the pair started getting close to town, where Celestia’s singing was sure to draw attention. At that point, Twilight stopped and waited the princess to get board of her own voice, so they could continue through town without walking up everypony. Thankfully, it wasn’t long before the alicorn’s singing began to die, Celestia content to hum the tune she had been belting out for several minutes.
“You done?” Twilight asked, her patience utterly spent for the evening.
“Done with what?” Princess Celestia asked, as if she hadn’t been doing anything the least bit annoying.
“Nothing; let’s just get back to the library. Princess Luna and Spike are waiting,” Twilight grumbled, taking a step forward.
“Luna... Luuunnnnaaa...” Celestia mused, her eyes drifting up to the sky as she and Twilight resumed walking. “You know, my sister does such an amazing job with the night sky.”
“Yes, she does,” Twilight answered, not really paying attention to what Celestia was saying.
“I could never really get the stars right. She makes them sparkle and glint and twinkle and... well, she makes them do a lot of things, stuff I could never get them to do. I can understand why she got mad at the ponies who slept through her night. She put too much work into it for it to be ignored.”
“I don’t thank her enough either, and I should,” Celestia slurred, her mood once again shifting to a more sorrowful state. “Since she got back, ruling the kingdom has gotten easier. She’s been taking some of the workload off me when she’s awake during the day, and I... don’t thank her enough.”
“Well, maybe you can get her flowers or something,” Twilight answered flatly, rolling her eyes.
“Flowers... yes, Luna loves flowers,” Celestia cheered. At that point the princess fell quiet, and for a moment Twilight thought she had a reprieve from the constant chatter. Then, when the silence lasted a little too long, the unicorn’s ears began to swivel around.
She couldn’t hear any hoofsteps beside her own.
Spinning around on the spot, Twilight panicked as she realized Celestia had disappeared again. Thankfully, the white alicorn was still nearby. Princess Celestia had run off the path, managing an impressive speed despite the strange stupor that had taken hold of her mind. She was several hundred yards away, on the edge of the Everfree Forest, head bent down as worked to gather several bright blue flowers into a bouquet.
Bright blue flowers that Twilight recognized all too well.
“No, Princess, get out of those!” the unicorn shouted, breaking into a gallop. The sun princess was standing in a patch of Poison Joke. Celestia, however, didn’t seem to notice or care, holding three of the strange flowers her mouth by the stems as she watched Twilight sprint towards her.
“What’s the matter?” Celestia mumbled out.
“That’s Poison Joke, and you need to get out of there!” Twilight ordered as she slid to a stop just a foot away from the plants, not wanting to get exposed to the flowers unless she had to.
A expression of confusion formed on Celestia's face. “Why?”
“Because they’re poisonous; they’ll play a joke on you,” Twilight warned. “And spit those out!”
Celestia’s lips turned down in a disapproving frown. “No. I’m the princess and you can’t tell me what to do.”
“Princess Celestia, please, just spit out the flowers.”
Twilight began to get aggravated herself, but did not dare go into the Poison Joke to get Princess Celestia for herself. One encounter with the plant was enough. “I'm not kidding, you need to spit those flowers out and-”
Twilight's rant died, the unicorn only able to look on in horror as Celestia, in some misguided rebellion, began to chew on the Poison Joke flowers she had been holding in her mouth. She chewed and swallowed the blue blossoms before sticking her tongue out triumphantly at the purple unicorn.
Celestia, however, then shivered, gagged, and put a hoof to her mouth.
“Are you okay?” Twilight asked, lifting a hoof as she prepared to go into the flowers to help the princess, even if meant she’d have a floppy horn again. The sun princess, however, began to sputter and wipe her tongue with her hoof.
“Uhg... it tastes like moldy hay!” Celestia gagged. “I need something to wash it down.”
Twilight breathed a sigh of relief, thankful that ingesting the Poison Joke flower wasn’t immediately lethal. But hearing that Celestia needed something to wash out the taste of the plant gave Twilight an opportunity to refocus Celestia’s mind. “Well, let’s get back to the library. Remember, we were going to get more moonshine.”
Celestia smiled, the thought of moonshine once again getting her to follow behind Twilight willingly. She had utterly forgotten she was going to get flowers for Luna, but that was for the best. As they got back on the road, Twilight made a mental note to herself: at the first opportunity, she needed to look in Super Naturals and see just what would happen if one ate a Poison Joke flower.
“Finally, we’re back,” Twilight breathed with a sigh of relief as she and Princess Celestia walked up to the library’s front door. It had been a long night, but everything was under control now. The princess was back at the library, and as long as there wasn’t anymore moonshine, the two princesses would eventually start acting like their old selves.
Twilight opened the library door and stepped inside while Celestia took a moment to lean against the door frame. At first glance, Twilight believed Spike had been able to keep Luna under control. The library was still in one piece, but then she noticed there were lots of cups and glasses scattered around the floor and stacked on her writing desk.
Twilight also noticed Princess Luna was sitting next to the window she and Celestia had arrived through, her horn glowing. She was swaying her head back and forth, clear liquid swirling in front of her. Luna was making more moonshine, and currently working to fill a tall glass that was sitting next to her.
“What are you doing!?” Twilight shouted, bolting to the moon princess’s side.
“Making moonshine,” Luna answered, her words a little less slurred than Twilight remembered, a sign that the moon princess was also coming back from the effects of the strange liquid.
“But I told you not to!”
“You told me not to drink anymore. You didn’t say I couldn’t make anymore.”
“Where did you even get all these cups?” Twilight asked, only to hear the kitchen door open. She turned back, seeing Spike coming out carrying a large metal pot.
“Spike!? What are you doing?! You’re enabling her!”
“Sorry, Twilight, but I couldn’t stop her,” Spike answered as he set down the pot. “She asked me for a glass, and I told her no, but she just started making that stuff and letting pour on the floor. What was I supposed to do?”
“I... I don’t know,” Twilight admitted, the defeat and exhaustion heavy in her voice.
“What is wrong with them anyway? I mean, Princess Luna has been crazy and rambling like Pinkie Pie ever since you left.”
“It’s something about that stuff Princess Luna’s been making, the moonshine. When they drink it they start acting... well...”
“Stupid,” Spike pointed out flatly.
Twilight couldn’t outright agree, but she didn’t argue with Spike’s choice of words either. “We’ll be okay, though. As long as we stop them from drinking any more, the effects will wear off.”
The baby dragon was pointing over Twilight shoulder, and when the unicorn looked her mouth dropped open in disbelief. While she had been talking to Spike, Celestia had managed to stumble over beside the writing desk and had already downed one of the larger glasses of moonshine.
It didn’t stop there either. Luna, seeing her elder sister swigging back the liquid, grabbed up one of the glasses for herself. She chugged the whole thing in a few short moments as Princess Celestia watched and cheered her on before grabbing another glass and doing the same.
“What do we do now?” Spike asked as the pair of princesses drank.
Twilight groaned, rubbing the bridge of her nose with a hoof. “I don’t know. I guess all we can do is keep them here until they get tired and fall asleep. That and we need to shut the blinds, so that Princess Luna can’t make anymore of that moonshine. Also, help me throw out as much of this moonshine as we can before they drink any more.”
Celestia’s mouth tasted like a grimy garbage can filled with rotten apples and her head pounded like it was being struck by a team of stallions with sledge hammers. Her whole body felt heavy, she needed to use the bathroom, and overall, she felt miserable.
Yep, she was hungover.
Celestia groaned, struggling to open her eyes through the sheer amount of dried, caked-on gunk that had formed on them. When she was finally able to get her eyelids to open, the alicorn was met with an unexpected sight. The last things she could clearly remember was drinking with Luna back at the castle. She had just received a letter from Twilight Sparkle, and then... well, the rest was a soupy mixture of fragmented memories and the taste of apples.
Yet she found herself not in Canterlot, but instead lying on the floor of what looked to be a library. It was a place that looked vaguely familiar, but at the moment Celestia’s headache was too severe for her to think clearly. What she did know was that she needed to make use of the bathroom.
Getting to her hooves, Celestia felt a wave of nausea roll over her, but she managed to keep the contents of her stomach where it belonged. She looked around lazily. Around where she had been laying were several empty glasses and cups. She also saw Luna, the moon princess lying a few feet away, asleep with her head resting on a book and a trail of drool from her mouth.
Celestia would have probably kept sleeping just like Luna, but her internal clock told her it was time to raise the sun. Thankfully, it wasn’t something she actually needed to be outside to do. Her splitting headache made it difficult to concentrate, but Celestia reached her magic out all the same. The sun and moon traded places in the sky just as they should have, even though it made Celestia’s headache that much worse.
“Curse you, Luna... curse you and your Moonshine...” Celestia grumbled before beginning her search for the bathroom. After checking the library’s lower level Celestia was forced to creep upstairs, nosing open the door to the second floor silently. Twilight and Spike were still fast asleep, but Celestia was able to see the bathroom. Tip-hoofing across the room, she made every effort not to wake her student as she slipped into the bathroom and shut the door.
It wasn’t exactly a space built for a full grown alicorn, but Celestia had been forced to deal with such cramped quarters before. With a flick of her horn Celestia lit the candles in the bathroom and began to consider how she would maneuver in the tight space. It was during this hangover-slowed contemplation that she noticed something out of the corner of her eye. Turning, Celestia’s gaze fell on the bathroom mirror. Her reflection stared back: a reflection that made her freeze up as her pupils constricted to tiny dots.
Twilight groggily woke up, blinking away her blurred vision. Out her bedroom window, she could see that it had been about an hour since sunrise, and it was a sight that made the unicorn curse quietly. She didn’t want to be awake, she wanted to be asleep, and she proceeded to cover her head with a pillow as she tried to resume her slumber.
Yet Twilight soon realized it was not the light of dawn that had woken her, but the sound of running water. Sitting up in her bed, Twilight turned her head in the direction of the noise. The sound was coming from the bathroom, and, if she had to guess, it sounded like somepony was filling the bathtub.
Curiosity getting the better of her, Twilight pulled herself out of bed and strode across the room, using a hoof to very quietly knock on the bathroom door. “Hello? Who’s in there?”
“Oh, it’s just me,” a voice replied hurriedly as the bathtub water was shut off.
“Princess, why are you taking a bath?”
“Twilight, certainly you don’t think I’d go without bathing in the morning?” Princess Celestia defended, her words no longer slurred like they were the night before.
“No, but my bathtub is small, even for me. Wouldn’t you rather take a bath at the bathhouse, or in Canterlot?”
“No, no, I’m quite happy in here!” Celestia assured, though her words lacked conviction.
“Okay,” Twilight said, shrugging a bit as she turned away from the door, intending to go back to sleep. “If you need anything-”
“Actually, Twilight,” the princess called out from the far side of the door. “Can you tell me what happened last night? The last thing I remember clearly was receiving a letter from you in Canterlot when my sister and I were drinking.”
“Well, I don’t know what happened between then and when you arrived here, but... sometime last night you two crashed into the window above my writing desk,” Twilight began before she recounted the events of the previous evening for Celestia. She went through it all, ending her report with how both princesses had finally passed out in the very early hours of the morning.
“Oh, Twilight, I am so sorry you had to put up with us when we were like that.”
“It’s okay,” Twilight halfheartedly assured her, “but I’d rather not have to go through all that again.”
“I promise, Twilight, neither Luna nor I are going to be drinking again anytime soon, for I have been reminded this morning just how horrible my hangovers are. I assure you, it will be another millennium before I touch Luna’s moonshine again.”
“Hangover?” Twilight echoed, once again confronted with a word she did not understand.
“To put it simply, Twilight, a hangover is my body punishing me for what I did last evening. But do not fret, I’ll feel better in a few hours... once this headache finally goes away.”
“Well, that’s good to hear,” Twilight said, smiling as it seemed Princess Celestia was back to her old self.
“Yes, I’m sure it is. Now, Twilight, you mentioned I got into some Poison Joke last night.”
Twilight laughed a little. “Yes, you wanted to pick Princess Luna a bouquet and when I told you to stop you proceeded to eat the flowers.”
“I recall from one of your friendship reports that you’ve had an encounter with this particular flower. What were its effects again?”
“It’s kind of like poison oak, but instead of making you break out in a rash it plays a joke on you, like when it made Applejack as small as an apple,” Twilight replied, moving closer to the bathroom door as her curiosity grew. “Though, according to Super Naturals, the effects are far worse when you eat the plant.”
Celestia groaned. “I feared as much. Twilight, I need you to please prepare the cure. I'm afraid I can not risk going outside... looking like this."
Twilight grinned a little, trying to silently undo the bathroom door lock with her magic. Celestia, however, had heard the click, and began to panic. “No, Twilight! You can’t-”
“Sorry, Princess, but after what you put me through last night I want to see,” Twilight countered, poking her head in the door. Within moments, she was struggling to contain her laughter. The Poison Joke had really done a number on the sun princess.
Celestia’s white coat was now a very bright, pastel pink while her wings were a strange, equally bright, clashing teal color. Her mane no longer flowed with magic, but instead hung limply, with wide hairs that almost made it look like Celestia was wearing a wig.
It was an appearance that was only compounded by the fact Celestia was sitting in Twilight's bathtub, which was far too small for the alicorn. There were brushes and soaps about; Celestia obviously intended to try and scrub the garish pink color out of her coat. To top it all off, she was blushing, using her wings to try and hide her joked appearance. In all, Celestia looked like she was a cheap knockoff of her normal regal self.
Twilight was on the verge of tears trying to hold back her laughter. She knew it was no fun being afflicted with Poison Joke, but now that the shoe was on the other hoof, she just couldn't help herself. “Wow... you look... great!” Twilight lied.
“I do not need to be patronized, Twilight Sparkle,” Celestia countered, obviously embarrassed to be seen in such a state. “What I need is the cure.”
“Okay, I’m sorry Princess, I’ll go to Zecora’s right now and get the ingredients I need,” Twilight assured, slipping back out the bathroom door. “You just stay here, I’ll be back soon.”
Celestia breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank you, Twilight.”
“Sure thing, Princess Pinkestia,” the unicorn teased before quickly retreating, trying to escape the consequences her joke had incurred.
From inside the bathroom, Celestia glared at the bathroom door after Twilight had left, the “Pinkestia” comment lingering in the air. Still, while the sun princess didn’t like the fact that she was being teased, she could not fault Twilight. She was the one that had been stupid enough to get drunk, and she was just lucky Twilight was there to keep things from getting out of hoof.
Yes, being afflicted with Poison Joke was an inconvenience, but it was nothing compared to some of the other things she had done when drunk in the past. She had danced in a public fountain, crashed a wedding party, and done a number of other things that had, thankfully, been forgotten with the passing of the centuries.
Yes, being turned pink was assuredly not the worst thing that had happened to her when she was drunk. Still, it would be the last thing. Even if Luna could make moonshine, a one night bender had reminded Celestia why it was better that she was sober.
“Never again,” Celestia said to herself as she turned on the bathtub faucets, continuing to fill the tub even though she could just barely sit down in it. “I’m never going to touch Luna’s Moonshine ever again.”
Still, as Celestia began to consider the thought of going sober again, she glanced at the bathroom mirror and her reflection, which had scared her half to death earlier in the morning. Now, she couldn’t keep herself from smiling. She did really look silly, and now that Twilight was off to get the cure, Celestia found herself able to appreciate the humor.
While she didn’t remember most of it, Celestia could tell from Twilight's account that she had fun in her drunk stupor. It was arguably more fun than she had enjoyed in a long time. The evening had also served its purpose, letting both her and Luna unwind from their royal duties.
“Well... maybe it wouldn’t hurt to have one or two glasses every once in a while,” Celestia mused as the hot water from the faucets began to fill the room with steam. She began to swirl her horn through the mist, recalling how Luna distilled the moonlight as she hummed a very old drinking song from back in the days when most ponies knew what alcohol was.
A single drop of moonshine
That’s all it really takes
To make a pony stronger
And drive away the aches
A single drop of moonshine
We couldn’t ask for more
Laughter fills our hearts
As long as there’s some to pour
A single drop of moonshine
Distilled from pale moonlight
I’d wash the royal flank
to drink it every night
Yes, a single drop of moonshine
It’s taste is world renowned
So lift up your glass, take a drink
And let’s order another round
Celestia laughed to herself, remembering more than one occasion when she had sung and slurred those very lyrics. Yes, while she wouldn’t get as drunk as she had the night before, there wasn’t any harm in having a few drinks with Luna once in a while.
Maybe she could even convince Twilight to try a glass. Celestia had probably scared her student away from the alcohol after the previous evening, but she couldn’t deny she was just a tad curious how Twilight would behave when a little tipsy.
“Yes,” Celestia said to herself, smiling devilishly as she began to sing. “A single drop of moonshine, it’s taste is world renowned. So lift up your glass, take a drink, and let’s order another round.”
Questions, Comments, Concerns?
My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic © Hasbro
I do not own the intellectual properties this fan-fiction is based on.