Let the Sunshine In
The celebration lasted three whole days. Princess Celestia’s birthday celebrations were a time of nationwide festivities, with ponies from all over paying tribute to their Solar monarch. The celebration was particularly enthusiastic in Canterlot, with the streets filled with wellwishers cheering, singing, laughing and dancing.
Watching over the celebrations from the balcony of Canterlot Castle, Celestia waved to the cheering crowds with her usual, motherly smile. Her wings unfurled, her horn aglow, the sunshine bright and dazzling in the clear blue sky, she stood to address the revelling crowds.
“Citizens of Equestria, we have reached the third and final day of our festival, the day of my actual birthday!” Cheers greeted her at the declaration. She moved on with her speech.
“I thank you all for your gifts and your well-wishing as I celebrate my…well…let’s permit me SOME secrets. It’s rude to ask a lady her age, after all!” The crowd laughed at this.
“As we move into our third day, I ask that you keep on enjoying yourselves to the fullest! You all, my dear little ponies, you all make raising the sun each day worth it. Thank you, and party on!”
She left the balcony and trotted into her chambers, hopping onto her bed and flopping across the sheets. Almost as soon as the curtains were drawn and the windows closed, her mask of motherly radiance fell, replaced with a sombre, almost forlorn expression.
“Happy birthday to me…happy birthday to me…” A tear fell, joined by another, and then a small stream of them running down her muzzle. “Why do I bother even remembering each one? How many thousands of years have passed so far? It hardly makes a difference now. Another year gone, another reminder of how much older I am than my little ponies, and how may have gone before, to say nothing of how may I will yet lose.”
She floated over a slice of incredibly perfect birthday cake and bit into it, sniffling slightly.
“It’s not like I can stop caring about them. What kind of ruler wouldn’t care about their subjects?”
“A big old meanie-bo-beanie pants! That’s what!” Came a sudden interruption. Celestia whirled around, ready to call her guards when she suddenly realised she recognised the voice. She was startled by the sudden presence of two big, bright, expressive eyes right in her face.
“Pinkie Pie? How did…Uh, I mean, it’s a pleasure to see you, dear, but what are you doing here?”
“Weeeeeeell…I WAS going to deliver my super-secret-super-special-super-surprise-party especially for you while Twilight was visiting her family, Fluttershy was visiting the animals in the park, Rarity was shopping, Rainbow Dash was at the Wonderbolts Museum and Applejack was selling apples, and I needed to see your room to set everything up for the surprise later, but then I saw you were all frowny-faced so I thought I’d help you smile again!”
Celestia had to admit that Pinkie’s enthusiasm and happiness were rather infectious. Such was the nature of the Element of Laughter. As delighted as she was by the party pony’s antics, however, it didn’t eliminate that growing knot inside her, that font of sadness at the reminder of her age and the mortality of all the ponies she used to know. She looked down at her hooves and shuffled on her bed, and was suddenly joined on the bed by Pinkie Pie, who was looking more concerned than smiling.
“So…you wanna talk about what’s wrong? Can’t make you feel better if I don’t know what’s the matter! Come on! Tell your dear old Auntie Pinkie Pie all about it!”
“Pinkie Pie, I’m many years olde-“
“Come on! You can tell me!” Celestia sighed at Pinkie Pie. The bane of the laws of physics that sat beside her just radiated warmth and happiness in a way few ponies could match, and she let out another sigh.
“Well, my little pony, you have to understand something. I am old. VERY old.”
“You don’t look that old!”
“I’m trying to explain, Pinkie.”
“Oh, right, sorry.”
“Anyway, I am very very very old, thousands of years, if not more. It’s sometimes hard to remember exactly how many. I am immortal, and that means that everypony I ever get to know, I have to lose one day. It never stops hurting, every time I remember somepony who mattered to me.”
“Wow…I never thought about that…you must really miss them, huh?”
“More than you know, dear.”
“Hmm…well…then why do you get to know ponies at all? Why make friends with them?”
“If I did not, life would be unbearably lonely, Pinkie. That and as you correctly pointed out, a ruler who did not care about her subjects is a poor ruler indeed.”
“Well yeah, but I mean why do you make friends? Close ones like Twilight. You can be nice to ponies you look after, but you don’t have to get, like, really SUPER close with them! You treat Twilight like a daughter!”
“That is true. I suppose I hadn’t really thought about it. I would have to say it’s because being friends with somepony is what makes life worth living.”
“Exactly! You need friends to make things fun!”
“But then one day I have to say goodbye, while I just keep on going, and keep on hurting.”
“Well, yeah, losing somepony who is a friend hurts really really bad, but that’s nothing compared to how good it feels being their friend in the first place! You get to do all kinds of cool fun stuff, like pranks, parties, games, eating contests…”
“And when they’re gone…”
“You remember how much fun it was, and you say goodbye, and yeah, you are sad for a while because you were, like, super-awesome friends, but then you make new ones, and be happy again1 Your friends would want you to be happy, so BE happy!”
Celestia considered Pinkie’s words. It seemed so obvious once it was said, but in all her time running the country, it was something that was easy to forget.
“Pinkie…how did you get to be so wise?” Pinkie beamed a huge, ear to ear smile at Celestia.
“I have no idea!” Celestia laughed uproariously, genuinely amused, and feeling much happier.
After several hours of chatting, including may nostalgic remembrances of friends long past, Celestia and Pinkie got up and headed for the kitchen. Celestia grinned at Pinkie’s huge smile – she had told her of the enormous ten layer cake made especially for her, and had every intention of sharing it with her.
“Pinkie…could I ask a favour of you?” Celestia asked.
“Do you think you could come over to Canterlot more often? I could do with some cheering up after particularly trying days, and I’d be delighted to share some cake and pranking time with you more often.”
“Oooh! Sure! A Princess pranking partner! Dashie will be SOOO jealous!” Pinkie grinned a menacing grin at the thought of the pranks she could pull.
“I’m glad, Pinkie. How about this time next week?”
“Okie dokie lokie!”
“I want to thank you, Pinkie. I’ve not enjoyed a birthday for many centuries now, but I think I shall be enjoying them in future thanks to you.” Celestia wrapped a wing around Pinkie and hugged her close, giving her an affectionate nuzzle. “I owe you a great deal.”
“Awww, that’s OK Princess! We all love you so much! We just want you to be happy!”
“Still, this was above and beyond what most ponies would do for somepony else’s happiness.”
“It’s what I do, Princess! Smile smile smile!”
“Pinkie…few have cared for my feelings as much as you have today. I was honoured to call those before my Special Someponies. I wonder if…well…would you care to…be mine?” Celestia asked with a blush on her cheeks. “You could be my official Minister of Parties!”
“Princess, I’d love to!”
“And then we kissed lots!” Pinkie said with a giggle to her audience. “And that’s how I spent the birthday festival!”
“Uh…yeah, I’m not buying it.” Rainbow Dash deadpanned.
“I agree, darling, that story seemed a bit…silly. The romance was rushed and Celestia’s depression seems so unrealistic.” Rarity added.
“I would notice if something was wrong with Celestia like that.” Twilight said matter-of-factly.
Pinkie frowned, before perking back up again. “Eh, whatever!”
As her friends left, Pinkie waved goodbye to each one, before closing the front door of Sugar Cube Corner.
“OK! It’s clear!” A sudden burst of light, and Celestia was stood in the middle of Sugar Cube Corner, her invisibility spell dispelled.
“Hello again dear!” Celestia said with a happy nuzzle.
“Hiya Princess C!” Pinkie kissed Celestia’s muzzle gently with a blush.
“I don’t think that story was totally accurate. We didn’t kiss quite that soon, as I recall. There were more dates, for one.”
“OK, so I couldn’t wait to get to the really good bit! Anyway, more snuggling and kissy time?”
“Lead the way, dear!
And then they kissed. Lots.
And this is why my favourite near-nonexistent ship is CelestiaPie. It’s the way Pinkie can be a breath of fresh air and spontaneity in the immortal alicorn’s life in a way no other pony could ever manage. I was greatly amused by the double twist at the end, how it all seems like a story Pinkie made up and then nope! It’s just one she edited a little for the sake of time. The sentiments shared between Pinkie and Princess Celestia were also lovely, and the ending line is what all shipping stories should end with.