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She has always been so stunning, my dear Fleur. Her quiet, polite demeanor and loyal attributes have made her my best yet. Her appearance has always managed to get some jealous stallions to double-take our arrival in the streets... Oh, age has not been kind to me, and I dread to think of when it will hit her. Alas, nothing lasts forever, I suppose.

((Critique is welcomed, encouraged, and taken to heart.

Special thanks to Bronymaster for editing and prereading!

Featured on EQD on 5/15/12

Read AzhureMist's sequel here!))

First Published
8th May 2012
Last Modified
8th May 2012
#1 · 133w, 2d ago · · ·

I'm... not sure what to say.

I mean, I know I should like it. It's what I've been wanting to see for a long time, a good Fleur and Fancy fic. As far as that goes, it's perfect. Well, sort of, but let me get there.

On the other hand... the ennui, the fatigue, the creeping age destroys any potential happiness and enjoyment and leaves it hollow, dry and discomforting. Like thinking you're biting into a delicious treat only to get a rush of stale air and a mouthful of ash. The hints through the story seem to indicate a wasting disease like cancer (or consumption, to make a good 19th century reference) or just inertia leading to fading away. And no kids... well, ok, that I can see. The high class, ironically those most able to care for young, tend not to like them.

I confess, I enjoyed it, from an artistic standpoint. There were no errors that jumped out, and everything seemed perfectly paced and plotted. And as it was a pair I desired, their actively carnal relationship with flashes of love that seemed somewhat genuine making it all the better, it was very nice indeed. But reading it was like swimming though a river of sadness and fatigue. It was like being J. Alfred Prufrock.

#2 · 133w, 2d ago · · ·

Mr. Pants.

Dear Celestia that is hilarious.

Take all of my likes :rainbowkiss:

#3 · 133w, 2d ago · · ·

I'll read this soon... *clicks*

One thing, though, stuck at me immediately... "Oh, age has not been kind to me, and I dread to think of when it will hit her."

Boo! Women seem (at least to me) to often be like fine wine that just get better and better as time goes on. It's not like whether Fleur tells me she's 23, 32, 41, or 50 would make the slightest difference to me.

#4 · 133w, 2d ago · · ·

Bulimic Fleur makes me sad :fluttercry: FP's concern for her throughout is very touching, making it all the more sad that he seems to be missing the signs.

#5 · 133w, 1d ago · · ·

>>561766

In truth, I've never seen any real happiness in the relationship between these two apart from carnal lust. In the actual show, Fancy just seems to ignore Fleur while she lavishes affection on him. When she says her one line, he even looks annoyed. I wanted to give off the impression that, while he does objectify her, he doesn't seem to really mean any ill will towards her.

Still, I'm glad I was able to make a little impact with it.  It's not the most cheery story, but at the same time, it's not the most sad either. Unlike many husbands of the 19th century, at least Fancy actually seems to care about Fleur, even if it is on a more physical level.

>>561851

Mr. Pants is a Fancypants.

Teehee :rainbowkiss:

>>561959

Ha! Glad someone noticed that. My own opinion of aging is the same as yours actually. Why should we dread the inevitable, after all? Fancy, on the other hoof...

>>562006

Thanks, though it might be something other than bulimia. Pregnancy, a substance addiction... whatever you want to think, really.  

#6 · 133w, 1d ago · · ·

It's certainly well-written, but it is melancholy (not my thing but that's taste).

Most of the time, I just wanted to scream to Mr. Pants. "If you really love her that much, than just marry her for goodness' sake!" and "If you don't love her, then seriously why not!" and "Pay more attention to her! Don't treat her like an accouterment!"

The lack of kids also feels... I guess it adds to that overall tone. Gotta say that Mr. Pants is being very foolish if he's going to let this gem slip out of his hooves.

*thumbs up*

#7 · 133w, 13h ago · · ·

>>565598

Fancy himself just seems like an oblivious sort of fellow. He isn't exactly self-centered or egotistical, yet he seems to unconsciously put himself first rather than those he loves. Of course, I'd blame that on the methods that he was likely raised off on. He isn't really a 'bad' guy, but he is, as you said, foolish. Even if we hardly see much of him even in the episode he's featured in; I find him to be a really fascinating character to analyze, if only from his interactions with Fleur.

Thanks for the comment. :pinkiehappy: Hopefully I'll learn how to write happy material instead of downer stuff like this.

#8 · 133w, 12h ago · · ·

>>568651

Oh, I totally agree. Being foolish is not the same thing as being cruel or bad. In fact, Fancy Pants seems to me like a pony that would pick up a pony getting beaten on the street, or help out a homeless pony, etc. But he's too self-involved (not the same thing as self-centered).

In part this is my background talking (kid from a single mother adopted into a loving step-family), but I just think that if you really and truly love someone / somepony, then you should marry them. And why not think about having kids or, maybe better yet, taking in kids from difficult circumstances?

Also, this is well-done. You should be happy that you wrote it. :twilightsmile:

#9 · 133w, 8h ago · · ·

>>569122

Oh, indeed. Fancy himself was the one who taught us a lesson by the end of "Sweet and Elite" in the first place. Just because someone is a rich, successful businessman doesn't make them shallow. He probably would help out the homeless... if he was approached by them.

I couldn't agree more, though it's a shame that the excessively wealthy sometimes take a different standpoint for all the wrong reasons. One of my best friends has parents that are near identical to Fancy and Fleur, save for the fact that they're married. Apart from his education; he's been ignored a good bit of his life. It makes me wonder what would happen if Fleur's mysterious illness was really the beginning stages of a pregnancy....

Anywho! Thank you so so so much for your compliments. It really does mean a lot to me, especially when I have so much more planned for the duration of summer. :rainbowkiss:

#10 · 132w, 1d ago · · ·

Yes. A fic that involves best pony Fancypants.

I shall read this at some point.

#11 · 132w, 1d ago · · ·

I like. Very sweet, using both the sadness and beauty of age. Good job. Take my favorite.

#12 · 132w, 1d ago · · ·

I feel like it's building up to something that I completely missed.  It's well-written, but I was very surprised it's complete.  I don't understand the sad tag.  I was expecting some kind of drama, confrontation, lingering looks, or sad, silent sighs inward expressing perpetuity of the quiet.  

As it stands, it seems more of a slice-of-life fic.  I really don't get what's so sad.  

#13 · 132w, 1d ago · · ·

Oh...  they're not married, and Fleur wishes he would propose?  That's sad, but it wasn't obvious.  

#14 · 132w, 1d ago · · ·

>>596297

In all honesty I wasn't sure what would be a proper tag for this... It was meant to be left open for the reader to make his or own interpretation. I was going for a more disheartening mood than a 'sad' one, though perhaps I wasn't as successful as I would have hoped in trying to grasp some form of subtlety.

Thank you so much for letting me know your thoughts. Be assured that I'll keep them in mind as I continue with my projects. :pinkiesmile:

#15 · 132w, 1d ago · · ·

I'm calling Fleur got replaced with a Changeling. :pinkiehappy:

#16 · 132w, 1d ago · · ·

The thing that really strikes me about this story is how the two of them are constantly preoccupied with their set of rules. Maybe it's from being set in their ways or the aristocracy of their lifestyles, but every little thing they do revolves around their established social conventions. Especially Fleur. Even the way she flirts at this point seems to be based on some guidelines she has on how to act or even on how to manipulate Fancy Pants.

But the most striking thing to me is is the exchange at the end. It's perhaps the least subtle thing in the story, but the most profound. Fancy genuinely loves Fleur, but again, she acts as though she's just obligated to do what she does.

#17 · 132w, 1d ago · · ·

Very sad, which I guess is your intent, but very well-written.  If I may point out a couple of minor proofreading errors I spotted:

"her smooth arms" - ponies don't really have arms, so maybe you could change arms to forelegs?

Also in the part about the restaurant there are a couple of instances where you use the contraction "there's" which is the contraction for "there is" which is not appropriate at that particular instance since it is a plural being described.  So therefore you should replace there's with there are unless you are describing a singular noun.  Otherwise, very well written.  I hope you don't take offense to my proofreading, it's just kind of the thing that I am good at.:derpytongue2:

#18 · 132w, 1d ago · · ·

>>596490

No, no. Please do! Thanks for pointing that out to me. I'll take quick editing sweep and correct all of that. :pinkiehappy:

#19 · 132w, 1d ago · · ·

>>596313 You're missing the signs that he kind of holds on to her as arm candy and he's just waiting for the day when her beauty fades so that he can toss her aside, meanwhile she is willing to do anything for him which includes maintaining her looks and behaving in public as he sees fit.  She shows the obvious signs that she has an eating disorder and this is again for the sake of maintaining her good looks for him.  I happen to find that very sad....  :fluttershysad:

#21 · 132w, 1d ago · · ·

I love how you did this in an unreliable first person narrative. Really makes the reader think about what happens. Though I have to say, the ending was a bit abrupt. Though if your goal was to have it left open, you have completed that marvelously. Leaves one to think of the future consequences.

#22 · 132w, 1d ago · · ·

>>562379  Aging is inevitable.  But degeneration, that we already can be staved off for a very long time!  I find aging not a thing to be feared, but it is rather aggravating, a hindrance, a limitation.  i do not tolerate its interference in my plans... :pinkiecrazy:

Anyhow, Fleur certainly does seem to be pretty much a vapid creature in the show.  I take her as much an Anna Nichole Smith, a gold-digger who'd primary talents involve getting into the wills of rich old stallions.

In fact, I wouldn't mind seeing a tale or two of her in a more sinister role, that of devious black widow, a conniving schemer; something akin to several of the roles Bette Davis was famous for.

Ooooo... a story in which she cons and murders her kindly philanthropist lover-then-husband Fancypants!  Yes, I shall make Fleur hated by bronies everywhere for her wicked ways!  Lord Discord will be pleased!  (Alondro is an agent of chaos!)

#23 · 132w, 1d ago · · ·

Fleur definately has a mixture of bulimia and anorexia, as shown by how she went through the day. She ate and drank nothing at the coffee shop and seemed almost reluctant to eat her dinner. Then, of course, is her trip to the bathroom directly after finishing and wiping her mouth hinting at having thrown it up. She does seem to do this out of her love for Fancy, trying to keep beutiful for him as she mentioned how she would do anything for him. It does have quite a sad undertone to it, but I Ike's it. You portrayed the characters well, in my oppinion.

#24 · 132w, 1d ago · · ·

This wasn't what I was expecting, and that's not a bad thing. There's no obvious conflict or dissatisfaction, which also means no room for growth or improvement. Both parties seem locked into their roles, living day by day in a kind of mechanical happiness, and neither shows any willingness nor desire for change. Are they happy? I don't know. But they'll live together in this fashion in all probability for the rest of their lives, and maybe, for them, that's enough.

#25 · 132w, 1d ago · · ·

>>596524

I never really got the impression that he was just using her.  

Fancy Pants might not yet be in it for the long haul like Fleur has decided she wants, but I put that up to that men generally tend to be really reluctant to commit.  It might be cultural or whatever, but it's true.  That's what I saw, and that might develop into more long-term feelings.  The real sadness from this comes to me in the failure to communicate and how that festers.  There was not enough showing festering to make the 'festering' part clear, though the 'failure to communicate' part was beautifully and subtly done.  

You were aiming for subtle, and you hit it right on for the first part.  The other half of the message, "what this can lead to", or "this isn't going to turn out well for Fleur's happiness in the long run", which make the lack of communication tragic, could have used another hint or two.  Sorry if I seem super-critical.  

#26 · 132w, 1d ago · · ·

>>597162

No; I want criticism like this. :pinkiesmile:

I suppose I can pin it all up on me wanting to retain as much subtlety as I could until the last part. I wasn't really focusing on the lack of communication so much as I was focusing on how Fancy seems to be obliviously objectifying Fleur, even if he says that he genuinely loves her. He isn't a 'bad' individual, just one that was raised on all the wrong principles in a aristocracy. Fleur is possibly the only other pony who has, by his perspective, shown him actual affection. It's something that I think someone of his status would crave, no matter how artificial.

And Fleur? She is the one that's using him. She knows what makes Fancy tic. She knows how to sexually pleasure him and use her connection to him to her advantage. For such a long period of her life she was put into a secondary role next to Fancy, and that role could only be maintained by emotional manipulation and keeping herself attractive. I do think that she cares about Fancy on a more intrinsic, emotional level, but it's overshadowed by her need to perform an obligation as a consort.

I'm actually surprised that everyone who has so far commented hasn't caught site of the numerous references that are made to foals, which could be attributed to the beginnings of a pregnancy... but I suppose that bulimia could also be a plausible outcome.

In short; this was meant to be a character reflection piece. I didn't want to be obvious, but perhaps I might go back and try to find someway to give another hint. Like I said though; the communication issues weren't my main focus, but they probably should have been.

#27 · 132w, 1d ago · · ·

Well, that was refreshingly......

I'm not entirely sure what.  'Twas not dark, nor was it overly nostalgic.  It had a certain sense of sadness due to the passage of time, but it wasn't depressing.  I guess what I'm trying to say is, well played sir.  Well played indeed.:eeyup:

#29 · 132w, 1d ago · · ·

The story was quite enjoyable in how it portrayed Fancy. Its nice to see what authors will do with a character that doesn't have much of a background in the show. It left me with a strange feeling to finish off this story not quite sad because it seems that since Fancy does care for Fleur their relationship might lead to more than just what it already is. Though  because off the hinting at some kind of problem that Fleur might be dealing with my optimistic side can't escape the possibility of more problems to come. I know you said it could be pregnancy, but the way the situation went down really only set my head in the direction of bulimia.

#30 · 132w, 1d ago · · ·

I guessed Pregnancy.. I didn't see the Bulimia thing until after. I just have to say, I loved this..but I didn't. It's a feel piece and I don't know how I should feel about it..

Overall though, I read it twice so your obviously doing something right! Keep up the good work.

#31 · 132w, 1d ago · · ·

That was.... good. I can't explain why, but I really liked this.

#32 · 132w, 22h ago · · ·

This sounds like a depressing story, but I can handle these and probably enjoy this one.

#33 · 132w, 21h ago · · ·

I like this story. It's a small thing, but very refined, not unlike the two featured in this tale.

Of course, since this is a first person story from Fancy Pants' point of view, I couldn't help but read it in a sophisticated English accent. It's like the cherry on top! I would recommend re-reading it out loud in this dialect for the effect. It's well worth it. :pinkiesmile:

Also note the distinct lack of thumbs down. That's surely a testament to the mastery of what you've written.

#34 · 132w, 20h ago · · ·

>>601009

I would have loved to have done a dramatic reading of this, but honestly; my voice is way too high and feminine to really emulate Fancy's undiluted swag. :ajsleepy:

I'm shocked that I haven't gotten a thumbs down yet, actually. I wonder how long I can keep this streak. :rainbowderp:

#35 · 132w, 20h ago · · ·

>>601101 Ha ha ha! Chin up! Someone's bound to do it now that the idea's out there! Hell if I get enough free time I might have to give it a go myself!

In all honesty, this story doesn't deserve a thumbs down. I'd be appalled if someone thought so poorly of this [strike]story[/strike] masterpiece.

#36 · 132w, 18h ago · · ·

Cleverly written. The sense of ennui is heavy throughout the entire story, and there is one thing in particular that I really enjoyed (I even ran a text search to make sure)...

Until the very last scene, there is not one mention of "love".

Fancy Pants says it exactly once - though you have to wonder exactly how sincere he is - and what's even more interesting is that Fleur never returns the sentiment. Absolutely brilliant.

I am left with one question though... the beginning of the story indicates that Fancy Pants is reminiscing about this day for some reason. Is there some clue that I'm missing out on that makes this particular day so significant to him?

#37 · 132w, 18h ago · · ·

>>601371

I can honestly tell you that the lack of that word was unintentional, but I'm glad that people can make their own interpretations from it. :twilightblush:

It's hard to say what he finds important about it. Perhaps he's just savoring the few days that his life has some sense of repetitive normalcy, those days being Sundays. They're likely more precious to him due to the fact that he can spend more intimate time with Fleur, and that alone shows that his affection may be more genuine than one might assume. It's one day out of a handful that are likely near identical to it, and he might even be blending in significant details from other Sundays so that it all combines into one, cohesive memory.  

#38 · 132w, 17h ago · · ·

>>601432 No, see, what you're supposed to do is pretend like that was your plan the whole time. That way people will still think you're awesome. :twilightsmile:

#39 · 132w, 16h ago · · ·

Only one thing that makes me wonder. Foie gras is not really what I would think of as pony food. Do they have facilities where geese are overfed to feed carnivorous upper class ponies, or is it actually a faux foie gras made from truffles?

#40 · 132w, 16h ago · · ·

>>601708

I'd imagine faux. I think it's a bit like how they eat dandelion sandwiches and the like. I just did a quick google search for 'fancy french salads' and that came up with the main ingredient being truffles, so I thought that it would fit well enough.

Since there's ponyfied dishes in the show. I thought it would fly okay.

#41 · 132w, 5h ago · · ·

I love it. It's an interesting and somber look at Fancy Pants's day to day life as he lives his late years in consistent luxury. He's not the emotionally philosophical type to brood over his aging dilemma, or over Fleur's, but he accepts it at face value and continues on with it . . . or at least he's content with it. And it's nice to see how he feels over his coexistence with Fleur. Who, though maintains her stance as his partner, still stays with him(considering his falling business ventures and his already aged form).

I felt there could have been a bit more closure, what with how he side steps thoughts of aging but continues to be aware of it and brings it up often. Nevertheless I enjoyed the story's gloomy but mellow atmosphere. And no errors that I could find too.

#42 · 131w, 6d ago · · ·

Glad I could finally get round to reading this!

Though I'm not a usual reader of sad-fics, (so I don't exactly know what I'm talking about) I enjoyed how the element of sadness was almost implicit. Of course, there are references to it, but nothing like, 'we're all going to die, sad face, Fleur has massive problems'. It's a quiet suffering, which makes me sound sadistic when I say that I liked that. :pinkiecrazy:

That Granny Smith part was quite a shock, up until then I didn't realise it was that far in the future, then again, presently, she is old. :fluttercry:

For once, the relationship they share really interested me- it seems almost cannon, if it were aloud to be so dark and realistic.

Also, just having a Fancypants fic was brilliant. He does not get enough love. Besides this, the only other I've read with him (and Fleur) is 'Letters From Canterlot', which you should totally read if you haven't already. :raritywink:

I'll definitely be stealing that subtle suffering element for a future fic! :twistnerd:

Anyway, congrats on the EQD-ness and brilliant story! :heart: All my likes, watches and faves. Which unfortunately is only one. :unsuresweetie:

#43 · 131w, 6d ago · · ·

>>607921

I feel the same way with sadifcs. Most of the time they're usually just how you described, so I've never went out of my way to read them :fluttershbad:

Well, Granny's special talent is being old, pretty much :trollestia: But! It's weird, because I do have that one "Letters" story in my 'to-read' list (which is up to like, 30 or something... wow). It's a little odd since there's so few Fancy/Fleur stories out there... you'd think that Fleur's constant fondling would warrant at least a few clopfics considering how much swag that Fancy has. :ajsleepy: It's a shame, really.

Thank you for all your favs and watches and congrats! I promise that I'll continue on earning them for the rest of the stuff that I'm working on. :pinkiehappy:

#44 · 131w, 5d ago · · ·

Both the story itself as well as the comments where very thought provoking. A story open to a lot of interpretation, doubly so with the subtly of well... everything.

One think I pick up more then anything though is that well... I know the story is meant to be open ended and the ending up to interpretation... but it still feels... unfinished.

#45 · 131w, 2d ago · · ·

>>601720

Then call it truffle salad in French if you want it fancy, you are not allowed to use foie gras as you please.

#46 · 131w, 1d ago · · ·

>>630313

Nope. This story doesn't take place in our own world, therefore I can argue that words can hold a separate meaning. I know it may seem petty, but a certain atmosphere is achieved when Fancy requests for a distinct French dish rather than one that holds an English title. It establishes a certain class that needs to be upheld, a stereotypical atmosphere that needs to be parodied through my underlying objectification argument.

I am not using the term in a derogatory fashion. If it would make you feel better, then I can go and find a substitute dish, but really, the food is not what this story is about. This story about Fancypants and Fleur, not what they ordered for dinner. The fact that you're the only one arguing about this just shows how pointless the matter really is.

Again, no disrespect to you or to anyone of French descent was intended. Just sit back and enjoy the story. I think I'm allowed to have one lapse of ignorance compared to the amount of work that I put into this piece. Now; if this story was about the food, you'd have a sufficient argument. But it's not. You're arguing about one (unintentional) incorrect mentioning of a salad.

I just... honestly man, does that give you the grounds to dislike this? If it would make you feel better, then give me a French name for a truffle salad and I'll edit it. :ajsleepy:

#47 · 131w, 1d ago · · ·

>>631081

I'm not French, I'm a chef and misuse of food is a pet peeve, as is ignorance in general. if something is wrong or illogical, the author will be told, as a few around here know all too well. Anyway, truffle salad would be salade de truffe so you could either use that or punch it into Google to find a recipe you like.

The downrank is just because I didn't like the story, nothing personal. Back in the old star days I'd be a 2.5, if that makes you feel better; based on skill and artisrty, you get high marks, but I just don't like the plot.

#48 · 131w, 1d ago · · ·

>>632048

In all honestly; I did do additional research on the dish beforehand when I looked it up. I must have looked at the wrong sources considering that it said that the truffles were the primary ingredient (either that or I was a lazy bastard and didn't read the whole excerpt).

Oh, really? Dislike all you want, then, if it's for a legit reason like that. I'll admit that I'm pretty cynical with trolling and the like from some rather awful past experiences. It's not that I don't like that little red sliver of bad marks; I just don't like it when people don't offer a reason/advice for improvements in the comments.

Also; I apologize for giving you any backlash. I probably shouldn't have written my rebuttal when I was a particularly bad mood to begin with. :ajsleepy: Nothing personal against you, man.

#49 · 131w, 1d ago · · ·

>>632134

From one short temper to another, no biggie. I have no idea what you were reading though, maybe the salad had truffles in it, but foie gras is fattened goose or duck liver and truffles are a subterranean fungus, not remotely alike except for price.

#50 · 130w, 6d ago · · ·

>> GingerNutGin

Thanks for the reply. I really liked this story and enjoyed how you depicted the characters.

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