Disclaimer: I do not own My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and if anyone thinks otherwise… to the moon with you!
By: GWFan (The not as reluctant to admit, Brony)
Princess Celestia walked quickly down the halls of her castle in Canterlot. She headed directly to the library where she knew she would find what she was looking for. "Luna, there you are," Celestia said cheerfully. "Are you immersed in reading again?" She asked, though she already knew the answer.
"Yes, big sister. I was just finishing the most amazing tale." Luna held up a book entitled, 'The Last Unicorn.' "It starts off sounding so sad, but the ending is just lovely. I kind of wish she could stay with the prince after she changes back into a unicorn, though."
Celestia was familiar with the story. A unicorn, thinking she is the last of her kind, goes on a journey to find other unicorns after hearing about a wicked pony who had supposedly imprisoned them all. She is joined by a bumbling but kind magic stork and an old mare, who become her good friends. It was a story that Luna probably felt she related too since nighttime in the past had often left her feeling she was all alone in the world. Or perhaps she related better to the imprisoned unicorns.
"Luna, do you intend to spend the day reading again?"
Luna blushed. "Well, I really do love reading. It helps me to learn what's been going on in Equestria over the last thousand years." Then she quickly changed the subject. "So sister, are you leaving for Ponyville already?"
"It is still early in the morning. The party is not supposed to be till this evening."
Celestia watched her younger sister as she sifted through some books, apparently looking for her next big read. She had hardly left the castle since returning the day she had ceased to be Nightmare Moon. Whether she was just nervous of meeting other ponies or felt guilty about her previous actions as the dark mare, Luna had always managed to keep herself busy throughout every occasion, even the Grand Galloping Gala that had been held right here in the castle.
"You know Luna, I just remembered something very important I need to attend to. I don't think I'll be able to make it to the party tonight. Why don't you go in my stead?"
Luna dropped the book she was preparing to open. "Me? But everypony is expecting you. I couldn't."
"Nonsense. The citizens of Ponyville are already preparing for the party. It would be a shame for them to put all that effort to waste. Besides, it would do you good to get reacquainted with everyday ponies, instead of the stiff palace guards you always talk to."
At this, Luna smirked. "You don't have anything else you need to do, do you big sister?" She said with a hint of playful accusation.
Celestia giggled, "Even after a thousand years, you still know me well. I'll send a letter to my faithful student immediately with the change in plans."
Luna giggled back. "Well, maybe you're right. I can only learn so much from books. And I really would like to thank your apprentice and her friends again for saving me from myself."
"You have much in common with Twilight. You both spend too much time reading dusty old books." Both of the royal sisters laughed.
Rarity paused in her work when she heard a knock at the door. "Come in! It's open." At the sound of her welcome, Rainbow Dash flew into the room.
"Looks like I'm the first one here, as always," Rainbow said, practically patting herself on the back. "So what's this big news that Twilight's so uptight about?"
Rarity turned back to her sowing as she spoke, "It seems that Princess Celestia has made a slight change in plans to her visit this evening. So Princess Luna is coming instead."
"Luna? That's a surprise. Come to think of it, we haven't even seen Princess Luna since… well, you know."
Rarity nodded, briefly recalling their journey to defeat Nightmare Moon. However, that was over and done with. "So what do you think Rainbow?" Rarity said, stepping away from the project she was working on. "I made this dress just for Princess Luna."
"Hmm." Rainbow floated over to it on her wings. She looked at the dress from every angle, rubbing her chin methodically as if she actually knew something about dressmaking. "It's cool," She finally said.
"Let me guess, it needs to be 20% cooler?" Rarity said, raising an eyebrow.
"Mmmmmmmm, better make it 21% just to be safe," Rainbow answered.
Rarity groaned just as she heard another knock at the door, if not a rather frantic knock.
"Rainbow! Good, you're here already," Twilight blurted as soon as she walked in. "Okay, here's the plan. I need you and Fluttershy to go and gather as many different kinds of flowers as you can." She looked back at Fluttershy who had accompanied her. "As many as you can," She emphasized.
Fluttershy nodded, but Rainbow stared with annoyance. "Flowers? Really? That's my job? I thought you were gonna ask me to put on a kick flank show or something."
"Princess Luna was in the moon for a thousand years. There's nothing but barren rocks up there, so I thought she would love to see all the different kinds of flora that she missed over the years."
"Yeah, but I'm sure she would love to see an awesome show too."
Twilight smirked. "Trust me, I'm sure Pinkie Pie's party will cover all the entertainment we need. Anyway, she, Mr. and Mrs. Cake, and Applejack are teaming up to make all the food. I've already got nearly every pony in Ponyville assigned to teams for various other things so all I really need at this point are the flowers."
Rainbow just gave her a grumpy look. "But that's so boring. I'm sure Fluttershy can handle that by herself."
"I need somepony who can do it fast too. After all, you're the best flyer in Equestria aren't you?"
At this, Rainbow threw out her chest. "Of course I am. And of course I'm not going to leave you hanging. Those flowers won't know what hit them," Rainbow said, finally giving in.
Twilight just rolled her eyes knowingly. "Rarity, you're going to be the first one to greet Princess Luna. Do you think you can handle it?"
"Twilight, just who do you think I am? I've been around enough celebrity type ponies to know how to act around them. Besides, I don't want anypony to see her without my latest dress design. It's to die for."
"Yes, it's nice," Twilight commented, turning back to Fluttershy and Rainbow. "Now make sure you two hurry back. I'll need time to arrange the flowers-"
"Nice?" Rarity interrupted. "That's all? Nice? Is it really that drab?" She looked over the dress, acting as if it was the worst disaster since the dresses she had first shown to Hoity-Toity.
"Oh no, Rarity. It's more than nice. It's-" Fluttershy tried, but Rarity wasn't listening.
"No. You're right. This is all wrong." Rarity went over to a drawer and pulled out a quill, ink, and paper.
"What are you doing now?" Twilight wondered.
"Can I borrow Spike? I want to send a letter to Princess Luna. I need to know her exact measurements if I'm going to make this dress perfect."
"I guess," Twilight answered as Rarity quickly wrote up a letter and pulled out some new fabric. She was going to make the perfect dress if it killed her.
Fluttershy bent down to smell the flower. This one had an even more fragrant smell than the last one she had come across. She delicately picked it up and tossed it in the cart. She and Rainbow Dash had traveled all around Ponyville and currently had found their way to the edge of the Everfree Forest. Though their flower search was going well, Rainbow Dash had started to impatiently hurry things along in the last hour. She was still convinced that Luna would love it if she put on some kind of aerial show.
"I'm telling you Fluttershy, Luna would be totally impressed by the new routine I've been working on," she said excitedly, spinning around in the air as she spoke.
"I'm sure she would Rainbow, but I think we need to find more flowers first. We've only found about thirty different kinds," Fluttershy responded as she bent down to smell another flower.
"That's plenty. Just stop and watch for a second. This one is really going to blow your socks off."
"But I'm not wearing socks," Fluttershy protested.
Rainbow Dash zipped higher into the air and took a brief bow. Then she took off like an arrow. Before she got too far, she performed a back flip and changed directions. Then she barrel rolled upside-down and performed a high speed, upside-down back flip, angling back towards the ground. As she neared the ground, she tried to perform another back flip, but she flipped too far and instead of going back up, came back down towards Fluttershy. Fluttershy ducked and closed her eyes. Realizing she had made a mistake, Rainbow changed her angle and just missed colliding with Fluttershy. Unfortunately, she headed right into the trees of the Everfree Forest and crashed through several branches, making quite a racket.
"Rainbow Dash!" Fluttershy called, galloping into the forest, fearing for her friend. "Rainbow Dash, where are you? Are you okay?"
"I'm over here," Rainbow said, standing up awkwardly. "Like I said, I'm still working on that one. I guess the turns are a little too fast for me to handle yet." Rainbow felt something sticky on her face. It took her a moment to realize that she was covered in tree sap. Probably from crashing through all those trees.
"Oh my gosh!" Fluttershy suddenly gasped. Her eyes went wide and she covered her mouth with her hooves as if trying not to scream.
"What? I'm okay. Really," Rainbow tried to console her, but Fluttershy started pointing at her.
"Rainbow, you… all over you and… you're stepping on…,"
"Huh?" Rainbow looked down at herself and paled. "Oh horse berries." She was covered in more than just tree sap.
"That's it. Just a little more to the left. Perfect!" Twilight said happily. The banner that read, 'Welcome Princess Luna,' was perfectly level and centered between the two trees. Nearly all the preparations were set. The biggest task now was how to arrange the flowers once Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash returned. "I hope they get back soon."
"Don't worry Twilight. Everything is ahead of schedule. There'll be plenty of time to arrange the flowers," Spike comforted her, checking off the banner from the checklist. "You really should relax. You know that nether of the Princesses are as judgmental as you always seem to think."
"I know Spike. Sorry if I sound like a worrywart all the time, but I can't help it. Princess Celestia has been so good to me over the years, that I just can't let anything go wrong with her little sister's welcome. I want to make sure Luna has the best night ever."
Spike grimaced. "Where have I heard that before," He said knowingly.
"Oh please. How could anything go as wrong as it did that night?"
"Um… Twilight?" It was Fluttershy. The flowers had finally arrived.
"Great. You're just in time Fluttershy. Put the flowers…," Twilight looked around. "Where are the flowers?"
"I'm sorry. I left them back near the Everfree Forest. It's just… well… we sort of have a problem."
Twilight froze. The word, problem, struck her like an arrow to the heart. "What kind of problem? And where's Rainbow Dash?"
"That's kind of the problem," Fluttershy said, pointing behind her. Twilight looked. She and Spike both puzzled at what they saw. Rainbow Dash was walking towards them, but she was doing it in slow motion.
"What's up with Rainbow Dash? Is this supposed to be some kind of act?" Spike wondered aloud.
"I wish it was," Fluttershy said softly.
"Oh my gosh," Twilight paled, noticing the substance stuck all over Rainbow's body. "Is that poison joke?"
Indeed it was. The famous prankster flower of the Everfree Forest had stuck itself on Rainbow via the tree sap, and wouldn't come off.
"Hhhhheeeeeeellllllllp!" Rainbow screamed, slowly.
"The poison joke is making her move and talk really slow. And it's stuck to her so I had to pull her back here." Fluttershy indicated the vine that was wrapped around Rainbow's waist. Rainbow continued to walk at a speed of about ½mph.
"I don't believe this," Twilight complained, walking to Rainbow. "We don't need these kinds of problems right now. Rainbow, fly over to the bathhouse. The sisters have the remedy for poison joke from Zecora. Wash all that off and get back to Sugarcube Corner pronto. I want you to be there when Princess Luna arrives." Rainbow slowly saluted. "Spike, I want you to go to Sugarcube Corner and start figuring out how best to arrange the flowers."
"Okay. I guess I can do that. Don't expect any miracles though," Spike said, unsure how to even start flower arranging, especially if he didn't even know what kind of flowers Fluttershy had found.
"Fluttershy, you and I are going to go back to the flower cart and…," Twilight and Fluttershy glanced in the air and noted Dash, slowly flying overhead. From the position she was in, she looked like she was trying to attempt a sonic rainboom, though she wasn't moving much faster than she had a moment ago.
"I'm surprised she can even get in the air at that speed," Fluttershy commented.
"Okaaaay. Change of plans. Fluttershy, you take Rainbow to the bathhouse. I'll just have to bring the flower cart back by myself."
"Okay. We'll hurry back as soon as we can," Fluttershy said, grabbing the vine attached to Rainbow like a leash and pulling her along. It looked as if she was flying Rainbow Dash like a kite, to the casual passerby.
"Please do," Twilight said, worried. Spike was right though. They were ahead of schedule. It was just a minor setback. Everything would work out just fine.
It was already late afternoon but Fluttershy and Dash made their way to the bathhouse rather slowly. They tried to hurry, but avoiding all the ponies busily preparing for Luna's arrival was making the journey difficult, especially if they didn't want anypony to touch Rainbow and the poison joke.
"We're almost there Rainbow. Just hang on a little longer," Fluttershy said. The expression on Rainbow's face showed she had lost all patience with her situation. They were finally near enough to see the bathhouse. It wouldn't be much longer before the whole mess with the poison joke was over with.
As they approached, Fluttershy saw two ponies coming out the door.
"I can't believe how late it is already. We better hurry if we want to get to the party on time," Bonbon said to Lyra.
"We'll get there. But don't you think that would be a great idea?" Lyra asked her, apparently referring to something they had been discussing inside.
"Well it's certainly interesting… oh, if isn't Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy," Bonbon greeted the two ponies. "Don't tell me you're going to try and take a bath this late?"
"Not me exactly, but Rainbow really needs one," Fluttershy explained.
"I don't know if you even can. The twins wanted to close up shop early so they could plan the after party bath, Twilight told them to prepare for the Princess. We were some of the last ponies in there."
"But it's an emergency. Maybe they'll understand."
"Oh hey, what do you two think of this idea?" Lyra suddenly asked. "Have you ever thought of having breakfast as dinner?"
"Um… maybe. I think I had a waffle for dinner once," Fluttershy said, thinking.
"See, there are other ponies who have thought of it," Lyra said to Bonbon, patting her on the back. "And waffles sound like the perfect idea."
"Yes well… say, is something wrong with Rainbow Dash?" Bonbon finally noticed the pale cyan Pegasus flying slowly overhead towards the bathhouse door.
"It's a long story. We really need to get inside and-"
Slam! The door flew open and Ditzy Doo walked out, looking quite refreshed.
"Nice and clean. On to the party." Then she noticed the other ponies standing in front of her. "Hey. What's up?" The three ponies looked quite shocked and afraid.
"Rainbow Dash?" Fluttershy ventured.
"No. Ditzy Doo. Remember?"
"No." Bonbon pointed. "Behind the door."
"Huh?" Ditzy closed the door, revealing a rather flat looking pegasus, stuck to the door. "Hey Rainbow. What's up?"
"Thhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiissssssss ssssuuuuuucccccks," Rainbow uttered with tears slowly forming in her eyes.
"Oh Ditzy," Lyra said, shaking her head. "Well come on girls. Let's get her off the door." She then proceeded to reach for Rainbow Dash.
Fluttershy threw her hooves up in alarm. "Wait. You can't touch her. The flowers-"
"Yuck. She's all sticky," Lyra complained, pulling on Rainbow.
"And we just took a bath," Bonbon whined, looking at the sap on her hooves. "I wanted to look my best for Princess Luna."
"And she's stuck," Ditzy pointed out unnecessarily, also pulling on Rainbow.
"Girls, please wait," Fluttershy cried softly. "She still has the poison joke on-"
Through the efforts of the three ponies, Rainbow abruptly came unstuck. All four ponies fell into a pile on top of Fluttershy.
"Ow," Fluttershy uttered, holding back tears. Then she opened her eyes and paled. "Oh dear." A single petal of poison joke landed softly on her nose.
Twilight panted hard. Pulling the flower cart back to Sugarcube Corner by herself had been quite a task. Not because it had been too heavy, but because the spell she used to speed up the process had forced her to run faster than normal the whole way. She still had to practice control with some of her more difficult spells.
"Spike!" She called tiredly. "I brought the flowers."
"Yeah. Twilight, I really don't know much about flower arranging and I'm still not sure…," Spike started but Twilight dismissed his complaints with a wave of her hoof.
"All right. Just give me a minute and I'll help you."
"You look like you need more than a minute," Spike mused. He followed Twilight as she trudged over to the buffet where Applejack was busily making goodies for all the guests to eat. She had seen Twilight race in with the flowers.
"You look plum tuckered out Twilight. Here, have some apple juice and take a load off for a spell."
"Thanks Applejack," Twilight said, accepting the drink and taking a big sip. "I can't take a break though. I want those flowers set up before Princess Luna arrives."
"Don't worry Twi. Everythin' is workin' out just fine."
Slam! Twilight, Spike, Applejack, and several other ponies in the room, jumped when the door flew open. Lyra stood in the doorway, balanced on her back hooves. She looked around frantically until she spied Applejack and the buffet. She practically flew over, knocking Twilight aside.
"Waffles! Do you have waffles?" She asked.
"Waffles?" Applejack looked at the supplies she had behind the counter and noted three waffle irons that Pinkie Pie had brought out earlier. "I guess I could make up some waffles… Are you all right?"
Lyra was visibly shivering when she reached over the counter and put her hooves on Applejack's shoulders. "Just. Make. Waffles. Now! I can't take it anymore!"
Applejack backed up a little, looking positively spooked at Lyra's strange behavior. "Okay, okay. Calm down Sugar-Cube. I'll fix you up some waffles."
"I'm so sorry. Please hurry." Then Lyra curled up into a tight ball and rocked back and forth, waiting.
"What is going on? What's the matter with her?" Twilight asked with concern. She had never seen Lyra act like that.
"Uh… Twilight?" Spike tapped the lavender unicorn and pointed behind her.
Twilight looked and nearly did a double take. "What the…?" She walked closer to get a better look. "Fluttershy?"
"I'm sorry, but we have another problem," Fluttershy said timidly.
"What happened to you?"
"You look like you belong in a coloring book," Spike commented.
Fluttershy was completely devoid of color. Her coat, mane, eyes, tail, even her cutie mark was pure white. She was little more than an outline in the shape of a porcelain pony.
Twilight turned at the sound of the sneeze. Bonbon was standing there, covered in a heavy coat of dust. Then she spied Dash flying through the door, still covered in sap and poison joke, and still in slow motion.
"Fluttershy, what is going… Huh?" Twilight stopped when she noticed Ditzy Doo standing on her hind legs, her arms crossed calmly behind her back and her eyes focused perfectly on Twilight.
"The fact of the matter is Twilight Sparkle, we have all been subjected to a contretemps that I am afraid I am the cause of," Ditzy said matter-of-factly. "You see, I accidentally smashed Rainbow Dash behind a door earlier this evening. The fact that she was covered in tree sap caused her to become stuck to said door and our attempts; that would be, Fluttershy, Bonbon, Lyra, and myself; our attempts to remove her from said door, consequently caused us to be exposed to the poison joke on her body. As such, the poison joke's ill affects have incurred upon each of us, an unfortunate symptom. Fluttershy is now without color, Lyra has an insatiable craving for waffles, Bonbon's coat has a static charge that attracts dust, and I have become a smug, annoying, know-it-all," she finished sounding rather proud of herself.
Twilight stared, completely stunned by Ditzy's explanation. "Well… why haven't you washed it off yet? They have the remedy at the bathhouse."
"Oh Twilight Sparkle, have you forgotten already? You have nearly every pony in Ponyville working on a specific task in preparation for Princess Luna. The twins at the spa do not have the ingredients for the antidote because they are so busy with your instructions of preparing the perfect after party bath," Ditzy said dismissively.
"What…?" Twilight's left eye twitched nervously. How could her over preparedness overlook the possibility of something like this happening? "Okay, okay." Twilight took a deep breath. "This is hardly a problem. I can still fix it. I can fix this." Twilight looked around and spied Pinkie Pie pouring punch into a bowl. "Pinkie! Come here. Quick, I need you to do something before Princess Luna arrives."
"Princess Luna? But she's already here," Pinkie said calmly.
"W-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-what! She's early? When?"
"A little while ago. She's trying on the dress Rarity made for her."
The dress. Rarity must have asked Luna to come early so she could fit the dress.
"Oh no." Twilight looked around and saw Lyra harassing Applejack for waffles. "Oh no." She looked at Bonbon, specs of dust floating around her everywhere. "Oh no." She looked at Fluttershy who stood out like a ghost. "Oh no." She saw Rainbow Dash who was flying towards her at the speed of a snail. "Oh no! This is wrong! This is all wrong! Pinkie, you have to go and stall Princess Luna before she-"
Abruptly, a trumpet played and Rarity appeared in the backroom doorway, wearing her Gala dress. "Presenting our own, Princess Luna!" She announced. She stepped aside as more trumpets blared and Princess Luna timidly walked in. "Well come on darling. Show everypony how beautiful you look."
Luna blushed a little as she performed a small spin in her new dress. It really was something. It looked a little like Twilight's Gala dress, only with more of a moon theme rather than stars.
"She… she's here…," Twilight squeaked.
"I would say, you are quite screwed," Ditzy said nonchalantly. Twilight glared at Ditzy, who was a vision of perfect serenity.
"This is not a problem. You guys are just going to have to hide."
"Hide? But what about… achoo… what about Lyra? I don't know if we can pry her away from the buffet counter. Achoo."
At the moment, Lyra was hopping in place, waiting impatiently for Applejack to finish the first waffle.
"Then we'll have to keep her busy," Twilight said nervously. "Pinkie Pie, go help Applejack make waffles. Just make sure Lyra doesn't get anywhere near Princess Luna."
"Got it." Pinkie hopped over to the buffet table as Twilight turned to the other two ponies.
"You two go grab Rainbow and- aaaahhhhh…," Twilight felt a cold chill when she saw Dash flying slowly over the Princess who apparently hadn't seen her yet. The thing that made Twilight shudder though was the sight of the petals from the poison joke starting to fall off the larger bulbs stuck to her body. "Why does this have to happen today?"
Twilight's head shot up. "Princess Luna? Hello. Welcome to the party," she said nervously. Luna approached her with a smile on her face.
"I'm so glad you're here. All the ponies of Ponyville are so kind to me. Thank you for setting this all up."
"No problem. None at all. We're so happy to welcome you and uh…," Twilight paused when she noticed a pink flower float down onto Luna's head. They all looked up and noticed many other flowers spreading about the room.
"What beautiful flowers," Luna commented, catching one with her magic and smelling it. "And so fragrant. I really missed flowers when I was on the moon. Don't tell me you did this just for me?"
"Of course we did," Spike suddenly said. "That's exactly what Twilight thought about when she brought all these flowers. Right, Twilight?"
"Right." Twilight searched around the room until her eyes fell on the cart of flowers still sitting in the corner. The door. The door Lyra had flung open earlier was still open. A strong breeze had gusted up outside and was blowing the flowers all over the room.
"I can't thank you enough. This is wonderful." Luna marveled at all the flowers in the air, a smile threatening to overtake her face.
"I'm so glad you like it. So anyway, why don't you go sit down in the seat of honor and I'll be with you in just a minute," Twilight said, nervously scanning the air for any poison joke petals.
Abruptly, Ditzy stepped forward. "I'll escort you Princess Luna. Did you know that there are well over 10,000 different species of flower estimated to exist in the world?"
"Ditzy wait!" Twilight said between clenched teeth, but the pegasus was already well into an explanation about the pollination process of flowers. Sighing, Twilight turned back to Fluttershy and Bonbon. "Look, I'm sorry, but you two are already infected by the poison joke. So I need you to find all the poison joke petals that are floating around here and make sure nopony touches them. Especially Princess Luna. The last thing we need is an outbreak."
"You want us to find flower petals… achoo… in this mess?" Bonbon indicated all the flowers that were already strewn about the room.
"You have to try. Do you know what Princess Celestia would do to us if Luna was subjected to poison joke?"
"No, but I'm sure you have an inflated idea," Spike said, rolling his eyes.
"It will be bad, okay. Just please find the poison joke. And try to be discreet."
Fluttershy and Bonbon looked at each other, one white as snow and the other a living dust bunny.
Twilight sat stiff as a board, vigilantly keeping an eye out for any stray petals of poison joke. Already, two other guests had come into contact with the flower. One of them no longer had the balance to keep upright and wobbled back and forth around the room. Luna was currently watching him, apparently thinking he was some kind of entertainment. She was laughing uproariously as he tried to steady himself and ended up crashing into Fluttershy, who was trying to keep up and escort him out of the room.
"This is the funniest show I've ever seen," Luna said, turning to Twilight. "And just look at everything. I don't even think Canterlot is this clean." Twilight shifted her eyes to Bonbon who was searching about the room for more poison joke petals. She looked even dirtier than she had earlier. "Oh, and the food. I have to thank you for the food. How did you know I like waffles?"
Twilight glanced at the plate of half eaten waffles in front of Luna. She hadn't touched them for the last few moments because she was so busy laughing at the unintentional comedy act of the wobbly earth pony and pure white pegasus in front of her.
"It was just a good guess." Twilight smiled sheepishly. She was just thankful that Luna had mistaken all the mishaps as intentional favors.
"Are you going to eat that?" Lyra abruptly appeared in front of the table. "Waffles!" She snatched the food away and started eating it in the corner.
Twilight froze, not even sure what to say. Luna however held a hoof over her mouth, trying not to giggle. "I guess she likes waffles even more than I do."
"Uh huh." Twilight quietly excused herself and walked away, trying to calm down. "Okay Twilight. Everything is going fine. Just fine. Luna is perfectly happy right now. Everything is fine." Twilight took a deep breath, feeling a bit more relaxed after her self pep talk. Everything was going smoothly. Luna seemed to be enjoying herself and that's all that really mattered. "Just please don't let anything else go wrong." Twilight prayed to the sky.
"Achoo. Twilight? We have another little problem." Bonbon approached her.
Twilight just lowered her head. "Irony hates me right now."
"It's Rainbow Dash. She won't come down from the chandelier. And there's still more petals falling off of her."
Twilight glanced unsurprised towards the ceiling, where Rainbow was sitting angrily on top of the chandelier. Fortunately, she was out of Luna's line of sight. "Well," Twilight said rather calmly, "She only has two flowers left on her, so that won't be a problem for much longer. What's she mad about?"
"I think the fact that she still moves so slow. Plus you did tell her to hide." Bonbon sniffled loudly, apparently trying not to sneeze.
"Tell her I'm sorry and to hide somewhere else. She can't stay up there."
"Did you know that the first pony to ever make a waffle used a split rock that coincidentally held the distinct waffle design?" Ditzy asked Luna.
"I didn't. That's fascinating," Luna said, actually sounding interested.
"And take Ditzy with you. She's been spouting random trivia that I'm not even sure is entirely accurate," Twilight said annoyed.
"Twilight! Twilight, I need to talk to you."
Rarity walked up to her, looking both cross and confused. "Twilight, what is going on around here? Why is Fluttershy all white like that? And what does Rainbow think she's doing on the chandelier? Do you know what would happen if it fell? And…," She turned a confused look on Bonbon. "Darling, didn't you think to take a bath? We're in the prescience of royalty." Bonbon rolled her eyes at the comment.
"It's a long story," Twilight said calmly, having decided that expecting things to go wrong would be better than hoping they didn't, at this point. "The short of it is, there is poison joke in the room."
The cross expression on Rarity's face vanished, replaced almost instantly by worry. "You're joking. Please tell me you're joking."
"Afraid not. If we're lucky, we'll get through the night without somepony spontaneously exploding."
Twilight noticed Ditzy Doo, walking casually towards them on her back hooves.
"Twilight Sparkle, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there are more ponies who have been affected by the poison joke."
Ditzy pointed out an earth pony who had sprouted polka dot feathers all over her body. A pegasus had lost his wings entirely and he was currently weeping over the idea. A unicorn made strange animal sounds every time she tried to open her mouth.
"This just keeps getting better," Twilight said sarcastically.
"Oh no," Rarity worried. "The party will be ruined. What do we do?"
"Calm down everypony. We've been dealing with this all night and so far, Luna hasn't noticed anything wrong. As long as nopony draws any attention to this, I think we'll be safe," Twilight said as confidently as she could muster.
"Look out. Look out," A quiet voice that unmistakably belonged to Fluttershy called out.
The small group looked as the pony who couldn't keep his balance wobbled over and knocked over a punch bowl. As it happened, it splashed right on top of Rarity.
"My dress. My dress! It's ruined!" She fumed.
"Sorry Miss Rarity," the pony apologized, wobbling in the other direction. "I didn't mean to."
Rarity growled, steam visibly rising from the liquid on her face. "It. Is. On."
"Oh oh." The wobbly pony paled.
"Ruin my dress will you?" A dessert from a nearby table suddenly rose in the air.
"Rarity, no!" Twilight screamed. But it was too late. The dessert sailed towards the offending pony. However, it missed thanks to his erratic movement and flew right at Luna. Everypony in the room gasped as it splattered on her face.
"Oops," Rarity said, stunned.
Though Luna looked momentarily shocked, she licked the dessert off her lips. "Hmmm. Apple. I love apples."
"Princess Luna, please let me apologize. I lost myself and-"
"No, let me apologize." Twilight stepped in front of Rarity. "Princess, I'm so sorry."
"No Twilight. That was clearly my fault. I must take the blame for it."
"It's all right. Really," Luna said, wiping the remainder of the dessert off with ease, thanks to her magic.
"But everything has been going so wrong. I just can't…," Twilight paused when she noticed a single blue flower floating down between her and the Princess. Rainbow Dash looked down from the chandelier, clearly spooked that the flower had suddenly come unstuck from her body.
"Is that poison joke?" Luna said in astonishment, lifting the flower closer with her magic.
"Oh my gosh." Twilight wanted to faint. "It was an accident, Princess Luna. We didn't mean for any of this to happen." Twilight closed her eyes expecting some kind of tirade, but instead, Luna laughed. And hard.
"No wonder you ponies were acting so strangely. I thought this was normal behavior. Now I understand." Luna laughed again.
"You're not upset?" Twilight ventured.
"Upset? Why would I be? I haven't laughed this much in… well, in over a thousand years. I love practical jokes."
"Really?" Pinkie Pie suddenly popped up from nowhere. "Ooooooh. I think you and I are going to be great friends."
Luna suppressed a giggle and addressed Twilight. "Yes, I do love practical jokes. That's why I created poison joke in the first place."
"You created poison joke?" Twilight said, her mouth slightly agape.
"Yes. My sister and I used to have a lot of fun with these when we were younger. The palace guards didn't know what to do. I didn't know this flower still existed. I'm so happy. This is the best night ever."
"I… I don't know what to say," Twilight said, feeling as if a great burden had been lifted from her saddle.
"I do," Princess Luna said. Abruptly, the poison joke flew at Twilight and bounced against her chest. "Gotcha."
Twilight felt embarrassed as Rarity, Bonbon, Fluttershy, and all the rest of the ponies laughed at her sudden misfortune. Then she sighed and laughed right along with them.
"I sure hope the twins have a lot of the herbal remedy ready for this," Twilight said after she finished.
Abruptly, Lyra jumped on a nearby table with three waffles floating around her and she shouted, "I love waffles!" Then she fell backwards, landing on the floor as the waffles floated towards her mouth.
"Logically, I suppose I will have to subject myself to the remedy as well, though it will be a shame to let all this latent intelligence go to waste," Ditzy said, nonchalantly.
"Rainbow Dash! Why don't you fly quickly over to the spa and ask the twins to prepare a really big bath," Twilight shouted. Rainbow looked down at her from the chandelier and slowly raised an eyebrow. "Just kidding Rainbow."
The group laughed again and the party was truly on.
Dear Princess Celestia,
I am happy to report that our party for Princess Luna is a grand success. She has found something to talk about with nearly everypony and is enjoying herself more than either of us had hoped. This whole experience has taught me that even the unexpected can be a good thing and can even bring friends closer together.
Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle
Princess Celestia turned the letter over and puzzled when she couldn't find the rest of it. Abruptly, another scroll popped into the room. Celestia unraveled it and was surprised when a blue flower fell out and brushed against her muzzle. The letter simply read,
Gotcha. - From Luna
Celestia examined the blue flower again and smiled. "Poison joke." Then she giggled. "Oh Luna, how long were you waiting to tag me with one of these again?" Celestia sat down, still giggling, waiting for whatever humorous effects the little flower had given her this time.