Freeze Pop stretched out her legs and yawned wide, her head starting to clear as she woke from a long sleep. She was to start a stint on transitional duty tonight, after having been on a daytime detail for the past few weeks. This was a fairly ordinary practice among the Guard: every so often, units were shifted to a new schedule in order to keep them from getting too used to their working hours and hence losing their attentive edge. For Freeze Pop, it had meant a nice lie-in this morning and longer than usual to rest. That was just as well, considering that yesterday she had spent several hours in the company of the black-furred pony she’d met recently. She smiled to herself as the day’s events replayed in her head.
Following her putting on a dazzling display for Blacklight, she’d rather casually banked around and landed on the cloud she’d directed him to spectate from.
“Impressed?” she smiled.
“That... that was... it was...” he had said, searching his mind for fitting words.
“Cool?” the icy-maned pegasus questioned, smirking a bit at her own terrible joke.Her friend remained motionless for a few moments, trying to order his thoughts, and then he leapt up, gesturing wildy and excitedly.
“Oh my GOSH it was AWESOME!” he yelled giddily. “First you were all zoom straight up and I couldn’t even see you any more and then you came straight back down like perfectly vertical and then you were all WOOOO and I was like...! ...ah...” he blurted out all at once, trailing off at the end. There was a moment’s silence, and he cleared his throat.
“I, ah... I babbled a little, didn’t I?” he asked, a bashful note in his voice as he pawed at the cloud under him a bit, averting his gaze.
Freeze had found herself a little speechless for a moment or two, but then a broad grin had spread across her face, and she found herself snickering a bit at her fellow pegasus’s excited outburst.
“Just a little bit, yeah.” Her companion had looked back up at her, at that, a sheepish smile on his face.
“Sorry... it’s just... I guess I was just excited seeing that up close like this. I mean, it was pretty amazing.”
“Well thank you, Blackie.” she replied happily. “I’m glad you appreciated the show.” she added with a stylish flourish of her wings.
“Sure did! ...uhm, so... how did you come up with that, anyway?”
“My Aurora Flare, you mean?”
Blacklight nodded in reply.
“Well, it was actually kinda accidental. It came about when I was training myself to join the Guards. I was doing a lot of endurance flying. Y’know, long haul, high altitude stuff.” Her audience nodded enthusiastically but kept quiet, silently urging her to keep going. “So yeah. I noticed how, higher up, I’d actually get ice forming on my wings. And of course, you know how high speed causes air friction and all. Well, so, I started making use of that if my wings started feeling a bit too chilly, and then one day I thought, hey, why don’t I make something out of it? So then I started practicing, and finally I managed to make myself a pretty neat-looking trick.”
“Just like that, huh?” the dark-coloured pegasus intoned.
“Pretty much. It’s been my one signature manoeuvre ever since. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t rather proud of the fact that I’m probably the only pony I know that can pull it off. Though with that said, I expect if you were to look around the Lands Of Ice a bit, you’d probably find a few more possible candidates.”
“Lands of ice?”
“Yeah.” Freeze Pop nodded. “I was born in the Frozen North, you know. My mum and dad are both from the steppes... it’s probably why I can handle the cold so well.”
“Makes sense.” Blacklight agreed. “As for me, there’s little to tell. Nothing to really stand out, anyway – but that’s pretty much how it’s always been with me. I tend to blend into the background.”
“Yep.” the dark pony replied, shifting his wings to display... well, the mark on his flank was kind of difficult to make out. Freeze tilted her head a bit and squinted her eyes at it.
“Pardon my asking, but what the heck is that?” she questioned. Her companion chuckled a bit at that.
“It’s camouflage.” he answered, a slight sheepish smile on his face accompanying his amusement.
“...oh!” Freeze Pop nodded, then chuckled a little as well. “Well, I feel silly now.” she conceded.
The two of them had stayed up in the air the rest of the day, talking shop and finding out a little bit more about each other. Freeze Pop had found her companion to be somewhat introverted, but nevertheless talkative once she found a topic or two to interest him: then he became somewhat more animated, although not so much as he had been when she had performed her signature trick for him. All too soon, though, the sun had begun its descent below the horizon as the moon then rose skyward.
“Oh gosh, did it get this late already?” Freeze noted, seeing the darkening sky.
“I’m gonna haveta jet, Blackie. Much as I hate to admit it, I’m starting to tire. I’ve been on daytime duty for the past several weeks, which meant getting up not long after the Princess herself.”
“Ah... I see.” her companion had nodded. “Well, um... have a good sleep, I suppose...” he had replied.
“Oh, I will.” she grinned in reply. “I’m changing up shifts tomorrow. That means a nice long lie-in; you can bet your horseshoes I’m gonna take advantage of that!”
Blacklight had laughed at that, nodding. “I hear you. I like a good snooze as well.”
“Don’t we all?” the frosty-maned pegasus replied with a nod and a smile. “Well anyway, it’s been fun. We should hang out again some time soon.”
“Ah? Really?” he asked happily.
“Sure! I dunno when, though. As I said, mid shift from tomorrow onward. But hey, if you’re cool with late nights—or perhaps I should say, early mornings, that’s cool. It can work.”
After a few moments’ careful deliberation, the black pegasus nodded. “I think I can handle that.” he replied.
“Sweet, then I’ll be on the lookout for ya tomorrow some time either before or after work.” Freeze replied with a grin, spreading her wings as she stepped toward the edge of the cloud on which they were sat. “Catch you then!” she added, before leaping off and spreading her wings wide. She caught an updraft and rode it skyward, rolling out of it and then down towards her home.
That had been yesterday. The memory was still fresh in her mind, as she devoured the last of an oatmeal breakfast and saw to making herself look a tad less like she’d spent the night sprawled out in an inelegant fashion as she slept.
Come to think of it, I never did ask him where he’s staying here in the city. she thought to herself in passing as she pulled on her armour. She thought nothing more of it though as she headed up the stairs and to the plaza atop her apartment block, stretching out her wings a bit as she went in preparation for flight.
A run up and a jump later and she was airborne, catching a thermal and soaring skyward. It was as she made her ascent that she caught sight of something familiar sprawled on a cloud below: something black and undeniably pegasus shaped. And as far as she could tell from this height, said pegasus was happily snoozing in the sunshine. A mischievous smile played around the Royal Guard’s lips as she quietly swept down toward the snoozing form of Blacklight, alighting quietly on the cloud. Reaching over with a hoof, she prodded the sleeping pegasus gently in the middle of his back.
The dark-coated pegasus responded by stirring slightly in his sleep... and then rolling over, continuing to doze where he lay. Freeze raised an eyebrow at her acquaintance’s ability to continue sleeping, but decided to press her attack, so to speak.
“Blacklight~!” she called again, tunefully, and a bit closer to him. She was rewarded with him shrugging slightly in his sleep, but still remaining somewhat unresponsive. She narrowed her eyes somewhat, and then a devious smirk spread across her features as she carefully stepped around his sleeping form, and lowered her mouth toward one of his ears.
“Oh Blacklight~?” she said, softly yet firmly, “It’s time to wake up, you lazy thing.”
Blacklight finally came awake, yawning a bit, and blinked a few times as he turned his head, his vision slowly clearing... and thus the first thing it was filled with was the grinning face of a Royal Guard.
“AHHH!” he exclaimed, his eyes snapping wide open as he suddenly became fully awake. He swiftly scrambled to his feet and backed up away from the pegasus before him – and straight off of the cloud he’d been resting upon. He wasn’t exactly sure what happened next, as all he saw was a blur of movement, and then suddenly felt something hard and unyielding catch him out of the air, mid-fall. It took him a few moments for his senses to catch up with his mind – and once they did and he realised where he was, he swiftly rolled off the Royal Guard’s back and unfurled his wings, flapping them to hold himself aloft alongside her.
As for said Guard, she too now hovered there looking slightly stunned as her mind caught up to her body’s conditioned reflex to seeing another pony in peril.
“Ah... uhm... are you OK?” she asked, hesitantly.
“...Freeze?” her friend replied, now having time to notice the characteristic icy blue eyes and mane, and the familiar voice coming from the Guard. “You... you startled me!” he exclaimed in what he hoped was an indignant tone – although truth be told, he was trying to keep himself from showing too much of a blush on his face.
The white pegasus chuckled slightly, an apologetic look on her face.
“Sorry – but you were being insistent on snoozing, and I did say I’d try to catch you some time before or after work, and you said you’d be cool with that.” she replied.
“That’s true, you did...” Blacklight nodded, averting his gaze temporarily as he thought back over the previous day’s events. He shrugged and smiled as he returned his gaze to his companion. “Well, it’s not my fault I’m a deep sleeper!”
“No, I don’t suppose it is.” Freeze conceded with a brief shake of her head and a shrug of her own. “Although it did make for some fun waking you.” she added with a hint of mischief in her tone.
“It did? Uhm, well... I guess that makes it not so bad...” Blacklight replied, a further tinge of red on his muzzle shading it a brighter purple.
“Cool. So, you wanna give me some company on my way?”
“Sure!” the smaller pegasus nodded, grateful for the diversion of topic away from matters that made him a little self-conscious.
“C’mon then!” Freeze replied, turning toward the general direction of the Palace. “I’ll show you a thing or two around the place before I switch over. I think there’s time enough for that.”
With that said, she spread her wings out and angled herself into a long, leisurely glide down toward the palace. A flap of her wings now and then saw to keeping her at a fair altitude, however, and she pulled to a hovering halt a little way away from the grounds themselves. Upon noticing her stopping, Blacklight pulled to a stop as well.
“Why’ve we stopped?” he queried of her.
“Simple enough reason, Blackie.” she replied. “We’re about to enter restricted airspace. It’s fine to enter if you’re with a representative of the palace—like me, for example—but if you’re on your own, you need to be careful not to fly too low over the palace.”
“That’d get me into trouble?”
“Basically yes... you’d likely make the Guards think you were trying to spy on the palace, and they—we, rather—have to take that sort of thing pretty seriously.”
“Right. But as long as you’re watching over me, as it were...?”
“Then it’s OK.” Freeze nodded.
“Got it. Well then... now we’ve gotten that out of the way, are we taking a look around?” Blacklight asked with a small smile.
The two of them proceeded onward with Freeze Pop happily chatting away to her fellow pegasus, the latter of whom seemed content mostly to just listen to her speak about this and that, taking in the sights and sounds presented. She found it difficult to tell if it was simply that he was quiet-natured or just slightly shy, or maybe that he simply had little to say - but whatever the cause for Blacklight’s quietness, she didn’t question it; for the time being deciding that it was most likely still some shyness on his part.
And I can hardly blame him for it. she thought to herself. He ran off the first time he met me, after all. Even if we spent some time hanging out yesterday, I’m still somewhat of an unknown... same goes for him too, actually. If he’d open up a bit more...
She smiled to herself at that as she realised the obvious circular reasoning flaw in her train of thought.
Of course it’s not that simple. It never is.
“Ah, Freeze...?” Blacklight’s voice snapped her out of her internal reflection, and she looked round at him.
“Hmm? Oh! Sorry. I was thinking about something.” she stated matter-of-factly.
“I wondered. You kinda spaced out for a bit there, sort of.”
“It happens, occasionally.” Freeze replied. “Hmm... I think we’ve seen all there is to see – and, looking at the time, I’m gonna haveta go and relieve my colleagues soon. Sorry we couldn’t hang out longer.”
“That’s OK... it was still nice to be with you. Uhm, hanging out, I mean.”
“Yeah, likewise.” nodded Freeze, a smile decorating her face. “Well listen, I’ll need to escort you back to the edge of the restricted area just now. Got any plans later?”
“Can’t say that I do.” the smaller pegasus stated truthfully.
“Sweet. Well then, I’ll catch up with you after I finish today, OK?”
A little while later, Freeze found herself stood as per usual at the doors to the Royal Palace. Although her expression was as focused as ever, her mind was still wandering over assorted thoughts and ideas. Nevertheless, she was quick to respond to her colleague clearing his throat in a conversational manner. She briefly flicked an ear towards him, waiting for the inevitable conversation opener.
“Who’s your friend?”
“He’s a friend.”
“...just a friend?”
“Just a friend.” the icy-maned pegasus replied, her tone as firm as the glaciers she purported herself to be as tough as.
“I see... haven’t seen him before.”
“Well, we only properly met just recently.”
A short silence pervaded.
“...is he that same guy that—”
“So he actually was after—”
“So I’ve heard something interesting...”
“You know that Octavia?”
“But you know of her.”
“I heard some of the kitchen staff chattering a bit about her.”
“That’s hardly anything new.”
“True. But I heard them saying something about seeing her with somepony. Like, some mystery guy.”
“Uh huh.” Freeze replied, admirably keeping any hint of emotion or wariness out of her voice.
“Some of them are thinkin’ it’s gotta be some big-wig from outta town. Though I heard a coupla them saying it’s some guy from Canterlot. ‘course, I bet it won’t be too long before one or the other says something to the papers or such like. You know how those important ponies are with their big announcements.”
“They do like to make a splash, when it isn’t made for them.” Freeze agreed. Although I do hope a splash isn’t made. she thought quietly to herself, frowning ever so slightly.
“The celeb talk irking you a bit, Sarge?”
“Just a little.”
“It’s fine.” Freeze replied. “Gotta pass the time somehow, after all.”
“Yeah. So... what’re you thinking about it, then?”
“I think it’s none of my business.”
“...right.” Her colleague looked suitably abashed at that.
“Sorry.” she continued. “I’ve never had much of an interest in high society.”
“That’s fair enough.” the other pegasus nodded.
“Frankly if it was up to me, I wouldn’t bother reporting it every time one of them bats an eyelid.”
“...yeah. I get that.”
Freeze glanced round at her companion briefly, and then let out a small sigh. “With that said, I think if she has found someone, then, good for her.” she stated.
Little more was said, after that – a fact Freeze was grateful for. Whilst she held little fear of it being a problem, she didn’t want to run the risk of letting on she knew more than she was saying. Thankfully, if her colleague had figured out that this was the case, it didn’t show.
Presently, the sun began to sink towards the horizon. Freeze shook herself out, stretching out her wings.
“Well, I believe that’s finishing time for me.” she said.
“Any plans then?”
“Gonna go meet someone.” she replied shortly.
“Alright. Well, have fun with that.”
So it was that a short while later, Freeze found herself gliding through the cooling evening air. It was a soothing sensation, having been stood around in the hot summer sun for most of the day; the breeze blowing through her fur and feathers was a welcome change.
As her wings carried her away from the palace and through the clouds, she spotted a familiar-looking dark shape sat on one of the fluffy perches overlooking a park. She banked around in a slow dive, and alighted on the opposite end of the cloud – taking its occupant a bit by surprise.
“'evening, Blacklight!” she called cheerily, grinning to herself a bit at how startled he was.
“...oh!” he replied, looking relieved to hear the familiar voice coming from the guard who’d just turned up without warning. “It’s you.” he continued, a small smile forming on his face.
“Were you expecting someone else?” Freeze replied jokingly.
“Well, I wasn’t expecting anyone, so...”
The white pegasus chuckled at that. “Fair enough. Hey, listen, I forgot to ask you before. Where are you staying while you’re here in Canterlot?”
“Where? Well...” Blacklight replied, shuffling his hooves a bit.
“...I don’t... uhm, I haven’t really got anywhere. Uhm, as such.”
“...you’ve been sleepin’ under the stars then, huh?”
“Huh. Well, there are worse places to do that than Canterlot.” Freeze remarked. “Though, if you were planning on hanging around this city, you’ll need something a bit more secure.”
“Uhm, well... I’m not so sure that I’ll be staying here long-term.” Blacklight replied.
“Well, Cape Sunrise is still home for me after all. I still have a roof over my head back there, after all. Though, it’s been nice sleeping in the open here, too.”
“Right, of course.” Freeze nodded, then smiled. “Well anyway, you’ll still be here for a little while longer, right?”
“Well, yeah. It’d be a bit pointless to head home straight away now that I... uhm, now I found you...” the black pegasus replied, his face going a bit purple. Freeze let out a bit of a giggle at that.
“Blackie, you needn’t be so bashful about that. You wouldn’t be the first guy to wanna track down another pony ‘cos they were awesome.”
“I know, I know...” he replied. “I just... well, like I said, I tend to just blend into the background most of the time. I’m... not used to being the centre of somepony else’s attention.” This wasn’t the whole reason behind why he was somewhat abashed at having said such a thing, but he was far from feeling brave enough to state the actual reason.
“Ah, I gotcha.” If Freeze suspected anything at all other than the reasoning she’d voiced, she showed no sign of it.
“How was your day?”
“Boring!” Freeze replied cheerfully. “But to be honest it’s better when nothing out of the ordinary happens. Helps the day go by quicker.”
“I can understand that.”
“Yeah. Honestly the only point of interest today was one of my work mates wittering on about celebrity gossip.”
“Oh?” questioned the dark-coloured pegasus, tilting his head slightly.
“Yeah. Oh heck, don’t tell me you’re into that sorta thing?”
“Well... sort of yes, sort of no...” Blacklight’s answer was met with a quizzical stare from Freeze – a thing that, what with her still being clad in her official uniform, was a little intimidating. “Uhm. What I mean is, I don’t mind hearing about it if it’s interesting, but uh... it’s not something I actively look out for.”
“Was it anything interesting?”
“Only if you care about sticking your nose into other ponies’ business.” Freeze replied with a smirk, though upon noting her friend wincing slightly she relented. “Nah, all he was on about was that some of the kitchen staff’d seen a particular famous musician from around these parts hangin’ out with some guy, so ‘course being the gossips they are, they were prattling on about whether something was cooking. Pardon the pun.”
“Ah, that kinda news.”
“Yep, that kind. Speculation and rumours.”
“Hmph. I prefer the kind that’s actually factual.”
Freeze smiled at that in an approving fashion. “Likewise. I’ve no use for rumours and hearsay. Specially not in my line of work. Ah anyways, enough about that.” she continued, stretching out her wings and folding them again. “You up to much, or is that a silly question?”
“They say there’s no such thing as a silly question.” Blacklight responded, then smiled a little. “All I was up to was hanging around on this cloud.”
“Sweet, then you can hang out with me some more.” Freeze affirmed.
The two of them set off from the cloud, back in the direction of the apartment block Freeze inhabited. A little while later, Freeze emerged back onto the rooftop plaza where she had left Blacklight. She was once more devoid of her armour, her incongruously styled mane sitting up on her head in its usual poofed-up style. A thought struck her as she approached the smaller pegasus.
“You had any dinner, Blackie?”
“Hm? Uh, no, not yet.”
“Wanna stop by Graze?”
“That’s your friend... Sally’s place?”
“That’s the one! My treat.”
Thus, the two alighted soon after at the front door of the little sandwich shop. Blacklight entered first, holding the door for his larger companion – an act which surprised her a little at first, seeing as she was somewhat used to going everywhere on her own, and she was certainly unused to acts of chivalry. Of course, the fact that she was more often than not playing the part of a Royal Guard most places she went likely had something to do with that.
“Evenin’ folks. Welcome to Graze!” called a male voice from the counter. It belonged to a rather robustly-built unicorn, with a strikingly yellow coloured coat and a light brown mane.
“Oh, hi there Mr Sandwich!” Freeze replied happily.
“Well, if it ain’t little ol’ Freezy Pop herself.” the unicorn replied with a fond smile. “An’ Ah see you done brought yersel’ a friend along this evenin’ too, how ‘bout that.” he added, shifting his gaze to the darker-coloured pegasus. “Howdy there son, what’s yer name?”
Blacklight blinked a few times at the unicorn, processing what he’d said. His manner of speech was such that some of the words he said were a little difficult to make out. “Er, It’s Blacklight, sir.” he replied politely.
“Blaycklight, is it?” the older unicorn replied. “Well sir Ah gotta say Ah ain’t never seen yuh ‘round here before. Yuh new in town, son?”
“I am, yes. This is actually my first time in Canterlot.”
“Well Ah do say, Ah hope yer enjoyin’ yerself here in this here town of ours. Ah but anyways, Ah guess yer both wantin’ a bite to eat, huh? Whut can Ah get yuh both?”
“Same as last time?” Freeze questioned her companion, who simply nodded. “Gotcha.” she smiled, proceeding to order her own preferred snack alongside his.
“Okily dokily!” the unicorn replied, his horn lighting up as he got to work. “So, lemme ask yuh a question, if’n yuh don’t mind?” he added, casting his gaze to Blacklight once more as he began to pick up assorted condiments, fillings and breads.
“Whut brings yuh here tuh the capital?”
“Ah, well...” he began, glancing down at his hooves briefly.
“Yuh don’t gotta share if it ain’t none of ma business, son.” the unicorn replied, his tone even and smooth. Looking back up at him, Blacklight noted in the older unicorn’s eyes a keen, steady gaze. It was a searching sort of look, one which was somehow unsettling and yet unobtrusive at the same time. It somehow felt to him that this unicorn already knew exactly why he was here, and he was simply asking out of courtesy.
“...ah. Well... if I’m honest, it’s because of Freeze Pop, there...” he said, his voice trailing off into silence at the end.
“That so?” the sandwich-maker replied, casting a questioning glance at the blue-maned pegasus.
“That’s about the size of it.” she replied with a soft chuckle. “He’s from up round Cape Sunrise. Saw me pulling off the ‘Flare a little while back, took it upon himself to find out who I was as he was impressed. Well, that’s my understanding of it, anyway.”
“Well, ain’t that just dandy!” the unicorn smiled, looking back to the smaller pegasus. “That’s a pretty adventurous thing to do, young’n. Takes a fair bit of guts to just up sticks and chase after somethin’ just like that.”
“Ah, thank you!” Blacklight replied with a small smile. It was pleasing, if not a bit strange, to hear someone apply the term “adventurous” to him, as it was hardly something he’d have considered himself to be.
“Yuh plannin’ on stickin’ around these parts?”
“Well... I’m honestly not sure. Certainly I can’t hang around too long - I’ve nowhere to live here. I’ve a roof over my head back in Cape Sunrise and all... I’ll likely need to head back there before too much longer. I doubt this’ll be my last visit to Canterlot, though!” he added with a smile.
“Well, that’s good to hear. We always like to see new faces ‘round here at Graze.” the unicorn replied. “Oh, do pardon ma manners, Ah never did interduce maself, now did Ah? The name’s Mustard, Mustard Sandwich. Honey and Ah have run this little place for many a year – and Ah understand yuh already met our little darlin’ Sally, yeah?”
Blacklight nodded. “I did, just the other day when Sketchy brought me here, and I met Freezy.” he replied, and then suddenly realised he’d used the unicorn’s nickname for his companion without thinking. However, she didn’t seem to be bothered by it as she raised no objection. Relieved to note that, he continued on. “She seemed pretty nice – and she makes a real good sandwich.”
Mustard nodded enthusiastically at that comment as he put the finishing touches on his customers’ snacks. “That she does, son, that she does. Ah’d say she’s already gettin’ better at it than Honey or I. She’s quite the chef, Ah couldn’t be prouder of her. Oh, that’s eight bits in total fer the two of yuh.” he added, glancing from Blacklight to Freeze and back, waiting to see which of them would foot the bill. A knowing smile crossed his face when Freeze spoke up.
“I got this one, Mr Sandwich.”
“Alrighty, lil’ lady. The two of yuh enjoy yer food, and y’all come back now, yuh hear?” he replied, handing over the sandwiches as Freeze hoofed over the bits.
“I’m sure we will!” Freeze smiled, heading for a vacant table. She was followed closely by Blacklight, who looked at the unicorn behind the counter with a last brief smile and a nod of his head, before turning his attention back to his white pegasus companion as she took a seat.
“I see where your friend Sally gets her attitude from.”
“Hmm?” Freeze questioned briefly as she looked up from her sandwich, then chuckled. “Oh, Honey and Mustard are both like that. Though Honey’s a tad less scary.”
“Oh come on.” Freeze smirked, her eyes narrowing slightly as she looked over at her friend, “I know he used that look of his on you.”
“...alright yeah.” Blacklight conceded. “That... yeah.” He lowered his voice as he leaned forward a bit to ask, “His special talent isn’t mind-reading, is it...?” in a semi-serious tone.
“Ahaha! It’s not, but sometimes I swear it may as well be!” Freeze chuckled. “I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve seen him use that on Sally when she’d misbehaved. Never seen it fail, either. Must be a family secret or somethin’, I’ve no idea.”
Blacklight shrugged. “Well, anyway. You’re on a different shift pattern now?”
“Yep. For the next few weeks they’ve got me working the mid shift. It’s kinda good and kinda bad.”
“Well,” Freeze replied, swallowing a mouthful of sandwich, “it’s a good thing because it means less of the having to get up really early in the morning. I’m not gonna lie, I’m not a morning pony. But, it’s also a bad thing as it means I miss getting to spend a bit of time with either of their Highnesses before or after my shift.”
“Ah, right. Well, it is summer and all, I suppose at best you’d only get to say hi to Princess Celestia, if she was free.”
“Right. That, and if by the end of my day I wasn’t wanting to get home and get my armour off.” Freeze giggled. “It’s not exactly fun standing around in the heat with a load of metal on.”
“Right.” Blacklight nodded. “I expect after that you’d just want to take a shower or something.”
“Darn straight.” the white pegasus nodded, gulping down the last bite of her sandwich.
“Do you talk with them often? The Princesses, I mean.” Blacklight ventured, after a short silence.
“Well, not especially often, but it’s not uncommon. You’d be surprised how approachable they both are.”
“Really? I always thought they were a bit... I don’t know. Aloof?”
“I don’t blame you. A lot of ponies think that, and to some extent they do kinda perpetuate that image. But no, Celestia especially is quite accommodating. I can only think of a very few select occasions she didn’t have the time to talk due to having to tend to other matters.”
“Huh. Well that’s good... I bet you’d hate it if they honestly were as stuck-up as some ponies think.”
“Oh, definitely.” the Guard nodded. “Don’t get me wrong though. I’ve had my share of dealing with the upper crust, the poor things.”
“Yeah. You know, the kinda ponies who believe themselves to be way more important than they really are, and who can’t fathom why everypony else doesn’t treat them as they so clearly deserve.” Freeze replied, making a bit of a face. She chuckled a bit as she continued. “Thankfully for me, I am under no obligation to humour them. Neither are any of the Guards. Most of the ‘elite’ of the city know that, but you still get the odd few that get tremendously upset when we don’t give them the same level of respect as the Princesses. I think they don’t get that our respect is earned, not handed out on a silver platter.”
“That sounds kinda bothersome.” her companion noted with a slight frown.
“Nah, you kidding? It’s downright hilarious when they’re going blue in the face and we’re just standing there oblivious.”
Blacklight thought over that for a moment, and attempted to picture Freeze Pop, stood stony-faced and unmoving, in the face of a very flustered and annoyed pony. After a few moments, he began to see the funny side of it, and he cracked a grin.
“You know... I think I get where you’re coming from.” he chuckled.
“Yeah, and it’s the only way some of ‘em are gonna learn.” the white pegasus nodded, then leaned forward a bit in her seat. “I will admit though, there’ve been occasions I’ve been horribly tempted to borrow a raincloud from the weather team and cause the odd ‘accidental’ localised shower, if you follow my drift.”
Her friend snickered a bit at that. “An ‘accidental’ shower or two, huh?”
“And in Canterlot today, mostly sunny with ‘accidental’ localised showers.” Blacklight intoned, putting on his best rendition of a weather announcer. The white pegasus across from him promptly burst out laughing.
“Haha! Brilliant!” she giggled, clapping her front hooves together.
“I gotta admit, I’ve always wanted to do that myself.” her friend grinned back.
“Hee... well. Maybe some day...” Freeze replied, a devious glimmer in her eyes.
“Maybe some day?”
“Maybe some day we’ll manage it.”
“Yeah. That’d be fun.”
“Time will tell.”
“Time’s an abstract concept. It can’t tell anypony anything.” Blacklight pointed out obtusely. Freeze rolled her eyes and made a pffft sound with her lips.
“You know what I meant, you silly pony.” she replied, shaking her head with a smile.
“I do. Or did, yes.” the black pegasus nodded, mirroring her expression. Their conversation was interrupted, however, by a polite cough from nearby. They both looked round to see Mustard standing there, an easy-going smile on his face.
“Sorry tuh interrupt yuh both, but Ah’m gonna have tuh close up shop. It’s already gettin’ on fer past ten.”
“Wha—really?” Freeze blinked, glancing out the window. Sure enough, the sky was now completely dark, with naught but the stars and moon hung in its deep blue heights.
“Time sure flies when you’re enjoying yourself...” her companion commented.
“Hey, just a sec ago you were saying time is abstract, how does it manage that?” Freeze asked of him, an amused grin on her face.
“You know what I meant, you silly pony.” he replied in a close approximation of her earlier tone.The guard pony laughed at that, then turned her attention back to the shopkeeper, throwing her companion a brief nod as she did so.
“Well, sorry to keep you, Mr Sandwich.” she said politely. “We’ll be on our way – and thanks again for the delicious food.”
“Yeah, thanks!” Blacklight agreed.
“Any time, folks. Y’all have a good evenin’ now!” Mustard replied as he escorted the two to the door of the shop.
As the door shut behind them, Freeze took in a deep breath of cool air.
“What a lovely evening.” she remarked as she let out her breath. She looked up toward the night sky overhead, hung with hundreds of tiny stars and the one bright light of the moon.
“It has been, yeah.” her companion agreed.
“Hm? Oh! Well that too.” Freeze grinned, turning her gaze to the black pegasus beside her.
“Huh? ...oh, you were talking about the weather...”
“Yeah dude, but it applies in the way you meant, too.” she replied with a twinkle in her eyes. “I’ve enjoyed myself hanging out with you tonight.”
“I’m glad to hear it! See you again tomorrow, then?”
“Until tomorrow, then.” Freeze smiled, unfurling her wings and taking to the air. “Seeya then!” she added, turning and flapping her way up and away, towards her home.
Blacklight watched the larger pony go, then took to the air himself. He made his way to one of the larger, more comfortable looking clouds in the area, and settled himself down on it. The air was still warm despite the fact the sun had set, making the cloud a pleasantly warm mattress as he settled into it. It took little time for him to drift off into a pleasant sleep, the day’s events drifting through his mind as he succumbed to rest.