Azure Days – Chapter 12 [Draft]

“Trixie Lulamoon! If you don’t get in here and clean this bathroom I am going to set your cape on fire!” I shouted at the top of my lungs.

My bathroom was wrecked. There was water on the floor, the counter, the wall and— “How did you get water on the ceiling!”

There were silver mane hairs everywhere. Makeup, everywhere! Everything EVERYWHERE!

Trixie burst through the door. “Do not dare set Trixie’s cape on fire! She just bought it with the meager bits she has slaved for this last month. I… I mean, she will clean this all up! Sunny day should go,” she said, setting her hooves on my rump and pushing me out.

“I need to shower!” I shrieked, my voice starting to go hoarse.

“Sunny Day should shower at work in her fancy Royal Guard work castle place. Trixie will clean the bathroom and do all of her chores on her chore board. Just stop yelling, please.”

I planted my forehooves, making it difficult for her to push me. “Did you just say please?”

She blinked and looked around. “No?”

“Yes, yes you did,” I replied.

“Trixie did not!”

I turned and patted her on the cheek. “Good girl. Now, why did you wreck the bathroom in the first place?”

The pale blue mare tipped her nose up. “Dolly has allowed Trixie to perform during prime time tonight. She got overly excited.”

My composure started to return and I set a hoof on her chest. “Trixie, that’s great. I’m sorry I yelled. Please clean up the bathroom and do your chores. I’ll see you at the show tonight.”

Trixie gasped and shook her head. “No! Sunny Day must not come!”

“Why not!” I asked, feeling hurt.

Trixie twiddled her hooves. “It might not go well. Trixie does not want you to see her fail.”

“Why would you fail?”

“Trixie always fails when she gets a big opportunity,” she muttered.

Is this what it was going to be like raising foals? If I wasn’t careful I’d be late for work and that wasn’t acceptable. At the same time Trixie was my friend. My annoying but hot but I couldn’t touch her friend.

“Now you listen to me. You’ve been practicing the same show for about a month now during the regular hours. I’ve seen it. It’s a good set. If you stick to that it will go great,” I explained.

“But this is a prime spot. Shouldn’t Trixie take it to the next level?” She asked.

“Not yet! Dolly and I put you in those time slots so you could practice. Do what you know and then once that goes well you can ramp it up. One step at a time. Alright?”

Trixie nodded. “Alright. Trixie will do as you instruct.”

“Good. I will be at the show. I need to go to work. Clean up this mess and head to work early. I’m sure Dolly could use some help and she might have advice for you,” I instructed.

“Trixie will!” She replied with a little attitude.

I ignored it. I had to. It was time to get to work and a little sass from Trixie was better than normal. And, if the bathroom wasn’t clean when I got home, I’d have the joy of using my largest heat bolt to obliterate her cape.

On my trek through the city I was amazed at how many royal wedding banners and advertisements there were. It had only been announced a week ago and ponies were already latching on. Cadence had been right. Poor filly.

It was also a stressful time to be a member of the palace guard. Due to all the overeager ponies coming to glimpse a peak we’d had to start scheduling extra shifts. Thank goodness the wedding would be over in three months or so. A year of this would have been miserable.

When I arrived at the main gates there was a crowd of ponies with cameras taking pictures of anything and everything. It took some effort but I pushed my way through to the gate guards. I showed them my pass and they let me through.

“What a mess,” I muttered once I was in the locker room.

After a quick shower and a lot longer doing my mane, it was time to head up to the wall. Once there I went into the office.

Lieutenant Ginger Snap was grumbling below his breath as he worked on his daily log.

“Hey Snap, how is it?” I asked.

He grunted, shook his head, and then shoved the log over at me.

I pulled it over and started reading through it. Seven contacts with pegasi tourists. “Seven? That has to be a record!” I muttered.

“Uh huh. Your problem now,” Snap said before getting up and limping out.

“Alright, thanks, love you too!” I called after him before slumping down into the chair and starting my paperwork.

After about a half hour Ice Blossom poked her head in. “Morning boss! Any minute until Silent Knight starts his march. You best hurry!”

I waved her off with a hoof. “Can’t today, we’ve got too much going on. Be sure you focus less on stallions and more on the wall today.”

Ice Blossom snorted. She then replied, “Yes ma’am. I hope this wedding is over soon. I want to go back to looking at guys together.”

“A few more months and we’re back. For now, let’s just be the professionals we are, alright?” I replied.

“Yes, ma’am. No worries. I’ll pass the word around not to look at rumps,” Ice Blossom said before ducking out.

There was a knock at the door, breaking my concentration. “What!”

Radiant Orchid pulled the door open and eased up against the frame. “My, my, my. Has something gotten under your skin, Lieutenant?” she asked with a smug little smile.

“No. I am just a little put out. I’ve got a mare living with me that is a pain in my rump and all of these tourists are making work crazy. I heard that you have fillies, how do you not just throw them out into the street?” I asked.

“Well, for starters, my fillies are actual fillies. If I were to turn them out in the street that would likely result in my arrest or, at least, my husband being extremely angry. With that said, fillies are a challenge, especially my girls. They’re both like me. My poor husband has to leave the house every so often just to hide out,” she said with a chuckle.

“Yeah? Poor fella. How’d you two meet anyway?” I asked.

“He parked his wagon in an illegal zone so I ticketed him. He gave me the saddest look I’d ever seen and there was just something about him,” she said with a happy sigh.

“So you let him off?”

Orchid’s nose scrunched, and her eyes narrowed. “Are you kidding me? No! I wrote him that ticket and another one for trying to bribe me with that pitiful look. Then I asked him out on a date.”

“Whoa, cold blooded!” I said with a laugh.

“Duty is duty. Plus, I had to set expectations. I’m not the kind of gal that wants a stallion to run her life. I wanted to run his! Anyway, I’m sure you’ll do fine. Or you can just kick the mare out. She’s probably an adult and one of your bed buddies,” Orchid explained.

“She is an adult, but not currently a bed buddy. I’m trying to help her straighten her life out but she’s kind of a rump. We’ll see how that goes. Anyway, what’s up pink stuff?” I asked.

“There she is. The boss wants to have tea. After your shift, of course.”

I nodded. “Sure, I’ll be there, but I do have to leave at a reasonable time. My little girl has her first big time show tonight.”

Orchid’s brow arched. “Pole dancing?”

“No! She’s an illusionist,” I replied, laughing.

“What, does she make your tongue dis— no, you know what, you’re rubbing off on me too much. I’ll tell Princess Celestia that you said yes but you’re limited on time. Where’s the show? Maybe I’ll drop by.” Orchid said.

“Mare Contraire. You’re certainly welcome. This is her first prime time performance and she’s really nervous,” I explained.

Orchid’s head tilted. “Do you just expect I’ll know where that is?”

“What, young Orchid never tried a little filly on filly?” I asked, leaning back. She was right of course. The Mare contraire wasn’t a Canterlot landmark or anything. It was a quiet place that kept a low profile.

“I’m still young Orchid, for the record, and no. Mares don’t do it for me. I want a big dumb stallion. Give me directions if you want me to show up.”

I pulled out a blank contact report and wrote down the address and some directions from the palace. “What about a smart stallion?” I asked as I offered the paper in my magic.

Orchid grabbed it and stuck it in her bag. “Nope, I prefer the dumb ones. See you later,” she said before turning around and leaving.

“I didn’t dismiss you! I’m a lieutenant, you’re not!” I shouted after her. She was already gone though so I just settled back in the chair and continued to do my paperwork.

There was a lot more to do when we were actually getting contacts. Even if they were little, innocent contacts. Every single one had to be documented fully. We had to issue the pony a paper notice. Most of the time it was just a warning. Occasionally it was a citation.

Lieutenant Snap’s night shift had dealt with seven contacts. What would my shift be like? Ten? Twenty? It was going to be a crazy day.

I wrapped up the turnover log and went out to patrol the wall. On the opposite side there were tons of ponies in the streets looking up at the castle. There were reporters, tourists, and curious passersby.

Ice Blossom had her forehooves up on the battlement with her head pitched over the side.

“Sergeant, something down there?” I asked when I came over.

“Uh… yes ma’am. I believe there are two stallions cosplaying as Shining Armor, kissing,” she replied without looking up at me.

When had discipline gotten so lax. I’d figure that out later though, this was something I wanted to see.

Sure enough, there were two stallions down below kissing in what appeared to be a fake wedding. We weren’t talking a chaste kiss either. They were going at it pretty heavy.

“Hot, right?” Ice Blossom asked.

“Yes, but get back to work! You’re supposed to be watching out not down,” I ordered before pulling my head back and trotting on. It was lucky I’d done so too, Vice Colonel Glamour was coming my way.

“Something of interest to report, Lieutenant?” She asked as we closed the distance between us.

“Lieutenant Snap reports seven contacts last shift. None yet this shift. There appears to be a fictional wedding going on at the base of the wall,” I reported sharply.

“Fictional wedding?” She asked, eyebrow arched.

“Yes, ma’am. They appear to be acting out their version of the wedding,” I explained.

The vice colonel shook her head. “Very well. We’ll leave that to the patrol units. Keep your guards sharp today. I imagine we’re going to have quite the morning.”

“Yes ma’am,” I repeated before standing aside as she went by. If she was out checking on everypony I was going to do the same.

First, I checked the whole length of wall section I was responsible for. While I was doing that, I ducked into each tower to make sure the guards inside were keeping their eyes on the windows. I even ordered the net throwers to be uncovered.

Once I’d done that, I headed down to the gift shop. It was in chaos as every tour for the next six months was sold out. The whole place was filled with ponies and the store manager was doing her best to keep the crowds in check.

“I’ll order some extra guards to come help,” I shouted at her.

She waved at me and wiggled her hooves as if to beg for just that.

I had already had to place a guard at the china cabinet. That is where the Cadence and Shining Armor commemorative dining sets had be set up. They were the hottest item in town and even normally nice ponies were being a bit pushy about getting some.

Why did the words commemorative, rare, limited time, and collectable turn ponies into whack jobs? I turned around quickly to walk out and bumped into a silver mare and her blue filly.

“Terribly sorry, ma’am, miss,” I said before hurrying around them and out the door.

They called something after me but there was no time for a discussion. I’d apologized and now I had to figure out a way to get some ponies down to help without thinning out my wall too much.

“Ice blossom,” I called as I reached the top of the steps.

“Yes, ma’am!” She replied, bouncing to attention.

“Take one pony from each tower and go take command of the gift shop. It is turning into a real nightmare down there. I want to see lines and order, understood?” I explained firmly. There was no room for playing around.

“On it, lieutenant,” she replied before rushing off to do what I’d asked.

Now I was down a sergeant and almost a full squad. I’d have to patrol but I also needed to fill out the log about what I’d done. “Log then walk,” I muttered as I hurried back to the office and got to work.

I hadn’t been going for two minutes before there was a knock on the door.

“Come in!” I called.

A large bouquet of yellow begonias, orange chrysanthemums, and baby’s breath came floating through the door with one of my guards behind it.

“What in Equestria is this?” I asked.

The guard shrugged. “Delivery for you ma’am. Gate guards brought it up and I’m bringing it to you.” He settled it on the desk.

“Dismissed,” I muttered, waving him off and looking at the flowers. On most days I’d have been thrilled. This was a huge display of affection. The question was, from who?

“I don’t have time for this,” I said to no pony. When had I started talking to myself?

I went back to my log but the flowers were just too hard to ignore. Somepony had gone to a lot of trouble to try and match my coat and mane. A minute wouldn’t hurt. I pulled the card off.

Sunny These last few weeks together have been wonderful. I’ve enjoyed spending more time with you. Consider these a token of my affection and an invitation for us to take the next step. Yours, Soarin

Oh. Oh, this was not good timing. Soarin knew I didn’t take next steps, right? We’d talked about this! We’d talked about it a lot! I wasn’t trying to play around with his feelings. We got together, had some fun, and then did our own thing.

I’d been doing my own thing while we’d been doing our thing. Was he not? No, he knew me! I didn’t have time for this!

I tossed the card onto the desk and trotted out to go on patrol again. Why did everypony want to rush into serious relationships. That was for older ponies like Radiant Orchid.

“Stop, stop there!” I heard somepony shouting. When I turned around a pegasus with a camera was hovering over the wall snapping pictures. My guards were responding as expected.

I turned and slowly cruised my way towards them. It was best to let my guards do their job. My interference wouldn’t add in value and may make it seem like I didn’t have faith in them.

“Sir, please land here,” the guard ordered and the pegasus did so.

“I just wanted to get a picture,” he said.

“We understand but we can’t have ponies flying over the walls as they see fit. Please go to the front gate and sign up for one of the tours if you want to get unobstructed pictures. They are adding new, photo only tours to the list and those aren’t sold out,” the guard explained politely.

He was doing a good job, I’d have to make a note of that.

“Really? Okay, sorry to cause trouble!”

“We all make mistakes. Now there is no citation for this, but I do have to give you a written warning and log it, so please don’t do this again.”

They didn’t need me for this, so I turned around and went back to patrolling. We’d log the contact and move on with life. No big deal.

My guards were good at what they did and I was a decent commander. When I reached the end of the wall, I stopped and peered down at the gift shop.

Ice Blossom had whipped everypony into shape. She had three lines going in, two coming out, and had found rope dividers. She was a cut up but, like me, when it was time to work, it was time to work. We might just make it through this day after all.

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