One of my friends is moving to a no-pet apartment, and tried to get me to take her cat. She probably thought I'd be open to it, since I already own one... but she didn't do a very good job selling it. For reference, if you're ever trying to unload pets onto someone, you probably don't want to lead with "The only thing he really does wrong is that he likes to pee on people when they sleep."
...Yeah, I'll stick with my own, doesn't-pee-on-me-whether-I'm-asleep-or-not cat.
Mini-reviews below the break!
2+2=5, by plumander
Zero-ish spoiler summary: Celestia gives young Twilight a piece of paper with a simple equation on it. Twilight tries to make sense of it.
A few thoughts: I was hoping this story would go the "Princess Celestia teaches Twilight that even a wise mentor can be wrong sometimes," but the story went a more Orwellian direction instead. That didn't really work for me, because although the reason for the Dark tag becomes clear at the end, the rest of this short fic is entirely about Twilight trying to accept what Celestia wrote as true... and not, seemingly, from a position of manipulation, but one of adoration and trust. That part's well-written in and of itself, but as a result, this feels pretty slice-of-life until the end. There, it pulls a tonal 180--not in the form of a twist ending, but more a "poor story/mood synergy" manner.
Recommendation: The look at filly!Twi struggling with an unthinkable concept is pretty well-done, feeling very much in character; readers to whom that sounds interesting, and who don't mind bleak (psychologically bleak, that is) endings may want to check this out.
I, Paladin, by InquisitorM
Zero-ish spoiler summary: Luna's guards are more than guards, for they are tasked with a vital duty which no other pony in Equestria can or will do: never take Luna too seriously. It's an important job, and one that Artemis takes seriously... within the context that one can take not taking somepony seriously seriously, anyway.
A few thoughts: This is tagged a sequel to the author's first story, but as long as you're willing to take the premise I just outlined up above as a given, it can be read alone. M mixes serious emotions with ridiculous situations very well, and although this feels a bit like it's setting up a larger work which doesn't exist (the author doesn't have specific plans for more, but has left open the possibility of this being "the first of a series of vignettes"), but as a short character introduction which doesn't just read like a copy-pasted bio, this is a success.
Recommendation: Also, accounting weasels. This story has accounting weasels. Read it if you want to read about accounting weasels, which are the best thing ever, even though they're a one-off joke.
Sorry, but I love the idea. Wait, no, I'm not sorry; accounting weasels are the best thing.
The Bonds of Immortals, by Subsolar Drift
Zero-ish spoiler summary: Now that Twilight is immortal, she and Celestia can get married. Not "married" as mortals mean it--"married" in the original sense of the word.
A few thoughts: This is one of those "excuse for headcanon" stories, to such an extent that I can't even get too worked up about the ethical problems with Twilestia--the story itself is so secondary to establishing where the tradition of marriage comes from, what its original form was, and how a "true" marriage is executed and officiated that that story is hardly worth worrying about. The establishing/forming/officiating is all well-conceived, and I think it would make an excellent setting for a story... but here, the story is instead the setting for it.
Recommendation: If you treat this as a 4000 word blogpost on wedding lore and exploration which happens to have a narrative attached to it (and if reading about how immortal weddings might look interests you in the first place, obviously), this is absolutely worth reading. For Twilestia fans who are willing to pre-provide the emotional setup and context for a wedding, this could also be a good choice. For readers looking for something with a narrative focus or self-contained arc, though, this is more setting/scene than story.