I awoke early in the morning and stretched my forelegs out in front of me. Rubbing my eyes I sat up and yawned while stretching my wings before I hopped out of bed. I trotted through to my bathroom and quickly brushed my mane and teeth then trotted out into the hall to see if Matt and Twilight were up yet. There was some hoofsteps emanating from behind Matt’s door, so I walked over and knocked gently on the firm wood. I was called in and I entered to see Matt sitting on the floor while Twilight unwrapped the bandage from his head, and you would never have been able to see that he had taken a tumble a couple of days ago. He turned to face me with a smile on his face and I could tell that he was as excited as I was for today. I had been waiting for this day ever since Matt had informed me that we were going to the Grand Galloping Gala in Canterlot. Although the Gala wasn’t until tomorrow evening, we were heading across tonight so we wouldn’t be tired for the evening and also to check into a hotel for the two nights.
The three of us made our way down to the kitchen to make ourselves some breakfast and the discussion was mainly based on the Gala, and our plans for after we arrived in Canterlot. Twilight still needed to go back to the library and pick up Spike and her dress, so we would meet her at the train station, where I would also be meeting Rainbow for the journey. We all sat around the breakfast table with a selection of muffins, apples and other assorted food to give us the required energy for the days travel. The train we were all boarding left Ponyville train station at 12 o’clock and the journey took about 3 hours or so. I couldn’t wait to get there and the excitement brewing inside of me was at risk of causing me to hop on the spot. Breakfast was finished soon enough and Twilight announced her departure to us and Matt walked her to the door. I decided to head upstairs and pack my kilt for tomorrow night, and that would also give them time alone to say goodbye properly, even though it was only until later today.
I carefully folded the shirt and kilt before neatly tucking them into one of the pockets of Matt’s saddlebags. I really needed to get my own set of saddlebags at some point, and taking a mental note of that I slipped my toothbrush in beside the clothes and fastened the clasp. I was ready to go now but it was still far too early to be heading out, not to mention Matt hadn’t packed his things. I found myself getting far too excited, so to calm down I trotted my way into the kitchen and poured myself a small measure of Applejack Daniels to ease my nerves.
“Bit early to be hitting the drink is it not?” Matt asked from the sitting room as he began to make his way towards the staircase.
“Not if you’re Scottish and can handle your whiskey like I can” I shouted back at him before taking a sip and savouring the sweet taste. A new edition of the newspaper had arrived through our letterbox so I decided to give it a browse while I enjoyed my drink. Nothing really sprung out as interesting, but I read a couple of articles about some amateur musicians that had played locally within the past week and the reviews on a couple of them seemed rather good. I vowed to go to a couple of their shows next time they were in town and I placed the newspaper down as Matt trotted down the stairs carrying his saddlebags. I offered to carry them seeing as he had hurt himself recently and he seemed more than willing to let me take that weight for him. They weren’t exactly heavy but it was a slight burden on me, but it would be worth it.
We left the house at around eleven to begin our walk to the train station, and to stop and pick up some juice and food for the train journey. The walk was pleasant as we chatted idly towards Ponyville marketplace which was bustling with life by this time of day. We slowly worked our way through the crowds and stopped at a couple of stalls to buy some apples and other snacks. We picked up a small bottle of juice each and after packing all the provisions into the saddlebags we began the walk to the train station.
The walk was brief and as we arrived there was a small queue at the ticket booth, so we joined the line and patiently waited and before long it was our turn. We managed to purchase our tickets and make our way to the platform see an old fashioned steam locomotive. It was a beautiful piece of engineering much like a Steam engine from the early 1900’s back on earth, it gleamed in the sunshine. Matt and I were so caught up in admiring the train that we almost didn’t notice the two mares calling our names and waving from the other end of the platform. We happily trotted over and I greeted Rainbowdash with a hug and as usual I gave her a small kiss as well. Matt greeted Twilight in much the same way, and before long we were discussing where to sit on the train.
“Well we were thinking we could take a booth in the back of the train, that way we can all sit together” Twilight said happily and we all agreed that it was the best idea so we could spend some more time together. The conductor then began calling everypony on board for Canterlot and being a gentlecolt I carried Rainbow’s bag onto the train for her and she blushed slightly as we found an empty booth to sit in. We were soon joined by Matt and Twilight who sat opposite us and we began chatting excitedly about the sights that Matt and I wanted to see, and also getting some dinner out on the town in Canterlot seemed like a good plan for the four of us. As the journey began to set in properly, Matt and Twilight had started to read while sitting close to each other, and Rainbow and I started to quietly discuss how similar they sat while they were reading. Matt obviously hearing a small excerpt of our conversation shot a slight look at Twilight, then at himself, before adjusting his position slightly.
“So Twilight!” I said trying my best to start up a conversation “Where is good to eat in Canterlot?” Her ears immediately perked up and she closed the book she was reading to turn and face me.
“Well if you are only in the mood for something along the lines of a snack you could always go to Joe’s donut shop, but if you would prefer an actual meal Fancy Pants owns a restaurant, which is more expensive, but serves amazing food.” She replied obviously searching her brain for anywhere else that we could go to later.
“What would you prefer?” I asked Rainbow and Matt, who until now hadn’t been paying much attention.
“I wouldn’t mind either to be honest, just as long as I get a decent meal I’ll be happy” Matt replied keeping one eye on his book, and Rainbow felt the same, so we were back at square one. I sighed and turned to look out the window. Ponyville was now a small silhouette on the horizon, and Canterlot was drawing ever closer. Taking a sip of juice I was wishing I had brought a book to read but it was too late to get hung up on my boredom. I decided to seek some comfort from the mare sitting next to me and I attempted to be sly as I edged my way closer to her. She picked up on what I was trying to do reasonably quickly, and she confidently slid herself over beside me and sat forward a little so I could wrap my foreleg around her. Not so slyly, she then gave my side a slap with her wing playfully and, slightly amused by the game she was trying to start, I light-heartedly tapped her side with my wing. This continued to escalate over the next short while before a full blown wing war broke out between us, but I knew there was no way I could win, what with the wingpower advantage she had over me, but she liked to win so I would let her have the satisfaction this time. Eventually the playful fight was brought to an end by a synchronised look from Matt and Twilight which made me feel slightly childish, but I was having fun so I didn’t care.
“I won” Rainbow whispered into my ear, teasingly, like a child who was trying to hide a secret from her parents.
“Only this time” I whispered back, with a mockingly challenging tone and we both let out a small giggle before we curled up together on the seat. As the train steadily plodded along the tracks towards Canterlot, the city which had appeared so small from back in Ponyville, was beginning to appear larger and larger with each passing moment.
Before long we began to pass through the series of tunnels leading up the mountain to the city of Canterlot, and the realism of the situation soon hit me and I began to grow excited again. Rainbow seemed to be getting a little bit impatient with the train ride, and she was impatiently adjusting her position then re-adjusting, and I could tell she just wanted to stretch her wings and legs a little more than had been manageable in the small, but not cramped compartment of the train. However, soon enough the train exited the final tunnel and began its approach into Canterlot train station. I felt the excitement brewing greater and greater as we passed some grand looking, almost marble coloured towers topped with pointed, magenta roofs. Most of the buildings we passed were built to the same styling, with the exceptions of a few, mostly cafes and other businesses. The streets were bustling with life, much more than the simple streets of Ponyville where quite a few of the roads were just simple dirt. All the streets here were paved and shone brightly in the sunlight.
“You look like a simple country colt who’s never been to the big city before” Rainbowdash mockingly said from beside me, obviously having seen the amazement in my eyes, and the truth was, I was just a simple country pony. I had never visited a proper bustling city before, and all of this hustle was kind of intimidating for someone who had spent most of their life in a village of less than two thousand people.
“Yeah I guess it’s just been a while since I visited a city” I replied after a long pause, mostly because I was still in awe at the beauty of this city. There didn’t seem to be one run-down building, or dodgy looking pony to be seen, but then again with a city that had large stallions patrolling around at all hours of the day, clad in armour, I wouldn’t want to be a criminal in a place like this either. In what seemed like no time at all, the train pulled into the station which was much larger than the one in Ponyville, Mostly marble and sandstone, with multiple platforms with trains departing to all ends of Equestria. I quickly strapped the saddlebags on, with a little help from Rainbow as the train pulled into its final stop. With a boyfriend who was as uncoordinated as me I found myself wondering how I had even managed to convince such a well-polished, and altogether perfectly coordinated mare to even consider dating me. I pushed these thoughts out of my head as the train stopped with a slight jolt and we all made our way out into, the now quite cramped, centre aisle of the train.
Eventually we managed to squeeze our way through the crowds onto the platform and I immediately got separated from the group in a clumsy moment of misdirection. I sighed and began to search for Rainbow, Matt or Twilight anywhere, but after a moments searching they found me rather quickly. As we exited the train station, I was having to bear with a relentless mocking from Matt and Rainbow for getting lost as soon as I stepped foot in Canterlot, and some jokes were made about needing to put me on a leash, but in my usual timid way, I gritted my teeth and simply blushed slightly before we made a move to the hotel. It was only a couple of blocks away but the walk seemed to take forever. Working your way past large groups of ponies every few minutes was beginning to get a little tiresome, and trying to not get lost was even harder. I had only turned a few corners since arriving and I already felt like I was in over my head. Rainbow managed to keep me on track though as she knew her way around these streets now from multiple visits and she stayed close to me at all times, to avoid me embarrassing myself further.
After what seemed like almost an hour of walking we finally arrived at the hotel. It was a bright building just like any of the others I had seen so far. It was a tall building, maybe about three of four floors high, with large golden lettering on the front spelling out “The Cloudsdalian Inn.” Upon entering the foyer it was apparent that it was one of the more upmarket hotels in Canterlot, with everything in white, sparkling marble once again. In the centre of the room sat a round fountain with a statue of a Pegasus spitting out water on a small podium. Some classical music was playing quietly in the background and it suited the atmosphere perfectly. On one side of the room there was a fireplace with some comfortable looking sofas and chairs gathered around, and on the other side, was a bar that looked stocked to the brim with all kinds of fancy wines and ales. I would have to enquire about their whiskey selection later that night.
We walked up to the reception desk and were immediately greeted by a young Pegasus colt, with a blonde mane and a sandy coloured coat. Rainbow and I decided to share a room to keep costs down to a minimum, and Matt and Twilight obviously saw the sense in that as well so we checked ourselves into two double rooms which, quite coincidentally, were right next door to each other. After one of the ponies wearing a red waistcoat with gold trimmings, and a matching hat, took our bags we made our way into a slightly cramped, but nicely decorated elevator. Our destination was on the third floor and we were soon shown to our rooms by the young colt, who placed our bags on our beds. I thanked him for the help and slipped him a few bits for carrying our bags. I had done his job in a hotel before and it wasn’t easy getting by on the wages they got, so it was always a little boost during the day to receive a tip or two.
The room was stunning to say the least. A four poster bed was located in the centre of the far wall, with a fireplace that was ready to be lit. The bed sheets were a fine cotton and were extremely soft to the touch, and the mattress was even softer than any I had experienced before, which caused you to sink into it when you lay down. At the other side of the room there was a large wooden wardrobe with a full length mirror built into the doors, and to the right there was a mini bar, which I hoped was complimentary. A small radio was located on a dressing table beside the large glass doors which allowed light into the room and lit up the soft cream carpet, and a balcony with a small table and chairs was a nice comfort to have in a place as sunny as it was here. Matt and Twilight’s room was pretty much identical to ours, down to the finest detail, and I was impressed with the quality of the service and accommodation that we had somehow acquired.
Rainbow and I decided that an afternoon nap would be a great idea after travelling for such a long time and Twilight and Matt said that they were going out so she could show Matt some of the sights of Canterlot, and Rainbow and I had both had a good laugh at the fact that she had tourist pamphlets protruding from her saddlebags. After Matt had given me my kilt to hang up in the wardrobe, they departed and Rainbow and I were left alone in our room. I quickly hopped onto the bed and Rainbow wasted no time in joining me. We lay together for some time, I couldn’t say how long it was until we both finally fell asleep but it seemed like an eternity.
When we awoke I gave Rainbow a small smile and we embraced even tighter than we had when we were sleeping and I decided it was now or never to get some feelings off my chest.
“Rainbow, can I speak to you about something quickly?” I asked with a slight crack in my voice from sheer nerves. My heart felt like it was beating so hard it was beginning to crawl up my throat.
“Yeah sure what do you want to talk about?” She replied coolly, while brushing my messy mane back and looking me in the eyes with a soft expression that told me this was probably the right time to say this.
“Well over the past while we have been seeing each other, I have been having these, feelings, towards you that are getting stronger every single time I see you” I trailed off a little to judge her reaction to this statement and she seemed rather unaffected by it, apart from her eyes becoming a little softer and she had stopped toying with my mane, so I continued, “I just feel like, I don’t know, I feel stupid for saying this but, I think I’m falling for you” I bit my lip slightly nervously awaiting a response. There was quite a long pause but her eyes stayed soft and she began toying with my mane again before she pulled me in and gave me a long and tender kiss.
“You’re the first colt who’s ever said those words to me,” She said with her eyes tearing up slightly “And I’m glad it was you to say them, I feel the same way, I’ve just been struggling with how to tell you.” She looked away obviously ashamed that she had let a tear trickle down her face and I gently wiped it away with my hoof and gave her a comforting smile before we embraced and shared a passionate kiss once more. We were interrupted by a knock at the door and I trotted over to answer while Rainbow sat on the bed and frantically wiped her eyes trying to get rid of the tears. I answered the door and Matt greeted me with a slightly awkward look. I questioned him about the look he was giving me and he simply pointed to my wings which were bolt upright and Rainbows were much the same. I bashfully tried to retract them back into my sides but to no avail. Ignoring the rather awkward situation I asked Matt what was up and he replied saying that him and Twilight were heading out to dinner if we cared to join them, but he quickly added that we didn’t have to. I asked him to give us ten minutes and we would meet them in the foyer to find a café or restaurant.
Rainbow was still sat on the edge of the bed, rubbing her eyes and laughing slightly at how bad she must look right now. I trotted over and reassured her that she looked great and ran a hoof through her mane, before planting a kiss on her forehead. I quickly brushed my mane and Rainbow did the same and we decided that we just wanted something light for dinner and we departed to the foyer to meet with Twilight and Matt before we set out into the city. We were greeted with an awkward, embarrassed look from Matt, but Twilight was a lot more cheery giving us a large smile and greeting us before we walked out into the now dark streets. Gas streetlamps lit up the bright streets and even for night time it was still busy out. Making our way through the streets towards a small café that Twilight recommended, we chatted about Matt’s sightseeing and I expressed some interest in seeing the Museum of Ancient Equestrian Culture. Rainbow mocked me slightly for being boring enough to go to a museum, but as always I took it on the chin and had a laugh at my own expense.
We arrived at the café shortly afterwards and it was a quaint little place, tucked neatly into a side street leading off of the main road through Canterlot. As we entered we were greeted by a young unicorn wearing an apron with the café’s logo stitched into the front and we were quickly seated to a table for four. The café was small but very cheery and smelled of delicious food, the walls were white and decorated with paintings of flowers and meadows which brought so many colours to the room. The waitress handed out menus to us all before taking our drinks order and then she trotted away to prepare our beverages while we browsed the menu. There was not a large selection to choose from but everything looked appetising. Before very long the waitress returned with our drinks levitating on a tray beside her, and as she served them we all decided on what we would have to eat. I settled for a hayburger and chips, Rainbow took a lighter option and went for the dandelion sandwich, Twilight ordered the same and Matt ordered some chips with a lettuce and tomato sandwich on the side.
We started to chat as the waitress hovered around, cleaning various tables and making sure everything was alright for us, and after quite a short wait she returned with our food, which all looked delicious. I took my first bite of a hayburger and it tasted nothing like a hamburger, but oddly tasted just as enjoyable. I happily sat and ate as everyone discussed tomorrow night cheerfully and it was almost like we had all known each other for years as we sat talking, laughing and just hanging out. This life was perfect for me. No problems whatsoever, no personal life worries for me and especially no professional worries. As long as I was surrounded by great ponies like this, I would be set. Everyone seemed to enjoy the food, and we tipped the waitress before we left for the great service and we slowly walked our way back to the hotel. I made the decision to have a couple of drinks at the bar and Rainbow joined me. Matt and Twilight however decided to get an early night so we bid them goodnight and they departed.
After I discovered some rather nice whiskey at the bar I settled myself down on a chair opposite Rainbow who had ordered some form of multi-coloured cocktail. We sat over a few drinks and had a pleasant chat, watching the world go by and managing to come up with some observational humour based on the snobby looking ponies that passed by every now and then. It was beginning to get slightly late and the whiskeys I had consumed seemed to be having some effect on me as my speech was slightly slurred now and Rainbow seemed to be getting to the same point, so we decided to call it a night. We half-drunkenly shuffled our way to the elevator and as soon as the doors closed she immediately embraced me and pulled me in for a passionate kiss. I was slightly shocked by this behaviour but I was too tipsy to put a stop to it, and we shortly arrived at our floor, getting some odd looks from a couple of ponies that had been waiting for the elevator. We rather bashfully made our way past the group of ponies and made our way to our room where I promptly collapsed onto the bed shortly followed by Rainbow.
We embraced once more, only this time we simply nuzzled each other, enjoying the feeling of warmth that spread through my body at the points where our bodies touched.
“So, what were you saying earlier before we were interrupted?” She said lying back slightly, but still close enough to stay within my forelegs.
“I was saying that I was falling for an amazing mare that I had met in a small pub in Ponyville by the name of Rainbowdash.” I replied slightly slurring my words and moving myself closer to nuzzle her neck a little.
“Oh yeah I remember now. You’re really sweet, you know that?” She replied nuzzling me back slightly and I couldn’t help a smile from spreading across my face at that moment.
“Well it’s true. I think you are truly an amazing mare and I’m glad that we got together like this.” I gave her a smile and she returned it before leaning in and kissing me once more. I felt like electricity was coursing through my veins at that moment. Every sense seemed heightened, and I could not have wanted a more perfect moment.
“You know I actually think I’m falling for you too, and I have been rather afraid to admit that until today, but it feels right so I feel comfortable telling you that.” She pressed her head to my chest and I was sure she would be able to hear my heart pounding to escape from my ribcage. I wrapped my forelegs around her tightly and not long after I heard her lightly snoring, and I felt liberated to have told her after such a short time, that I was indeed falling for this beautiful, intelligent mare that lay so peacefully in my embrace, and after giving her a quick kiss on the head I too felt sleep take me and before long I would be waking for another perfect day.
Waking the next morning I yawned deeply and laid eyes on the sleeping mare beside me. Her multi-coloured mane was a mess and most of it was strewn across her face, her eyes were closed, and her mouth was curled up into a slight smile which looked absolutely adorable. I almost wanted this moment to last forever but as with all great moments, they are fleeting and she began to stir and slowly her eyes opened. She took a moment to focus on my face and all I could do at that moment was smile as she shuffled over to close the gap that had formed between us as we slept. I let out a satisfied sigh as she curled her head into my chest, and I laid my head on top of hers, giving her a small nuzzle in the process. The only word to describe the moment was bliss. Complete and utter bliss, and no matter how long we lay in each other’s company like this, the more surreal it seemed, but the electricity flowing through my veins was showing no sign of letting up. She slowly tilted her head up towards me and I leant down to give her a tender peck on the lips before giving her a final squeeze and getting up to begin the big day. I walked through to the bathroom attached to the room and it wasn’t the largest but it was very bright and nicely decorated. A large mirror surrounded by lights occupied one of the walls while along the end of the room there was a large bathtub, easily big enough for two ponies to fit in comfortably and it was then that I noticed that it also doubled up as a Jacuzzi.
I slowly ran a brush through my tangled mane, and it was a bit of a struggle but with some mild persuasion I managed to wrestle it under control. A slight knock on the door sounded out quickly after I had finished, and I heard that Matt and Twilight had entered the room, with Twilight making a comment about how we hadn’t bothered to make the bed. I wandered back through into the bedroom and greeted Matt and Twilight, who was now busy magically making the bed for us. I suggested breakfast before Twilight then tried to organize anything else in the room and everyone agreed and we made our way down to the hotel’s restaurant, and laid eyes on a long buffet table laid with almost anything you could ever want for breakfast. Different types of cereal and juice lined the left side and further down were some hotplates stocked high with hay-bacon strips and fresh morning rolls, some warmed muffins also had a place on the hot plate and I spied my breakfast immediately when I saw a pile of blueberry muffins.
Grabbing a plate each, we all stood in awe at the feast laid out on the table in front of us and I decided that I would have a hay-bacon roll and a blueberry muffin. I quickly spotted a free table with four seats and made my way over to claim it before somepony else did. I took a seat and Matt was next to join me with a bowl of what looked like cornflakes and a glass of orange juice. The mares soon joined us and Twilight had opted for a healthy bowl of fruit salad and cream, and Rainbow had chosen an apple and some form of pastry that I couldn’t quite identify. Although it was quite late in the morning to be eating breakfast, the waiters didn’t seem impatient for us to leave even though we were the last table still eating, but before long our hunger was satisfied and we decided what to do for the day. I decided to do a little shopping nearby for some after Gala drinks and Matt said he would accompany me after he had learned the immediate area yesterday and Rainbow and Twilight were meeting up with their other friends later to get ready for the gala.
After leaving the table we parted ways and Matt and I wandered out into the busy street to find some shops. After around twenty minutes of walking we found a liquor store where I managed to find another bottle of Applejack Daniels. It was a bit more expensive than back in Ponyville but I loved it, so I purchased the bottle and we wandered around the streets aimlessly for a while before I stumbled upon a small florist and I had the sudden urge to make a random romantic gesture towards Rainbow. I entered the shop, sheepishly followed by Matt and I purchased a single rose to pin to her dress, even if Rarity wasn’t too keen on that idea. I was careful to remove the thorns and after jagging myself a couple of times in the process, I had eventually managed to remove them all, I placed it carefully in the bag beside the bottle of alcohol and we began to walk back to the hotel. We had been aimlessly wandering and chatting for at least an hour and a half now and it was early afternoon so we planned to get back to the rooms and take a bath then have a couple of drinks while we got ready. The girls had asked to use Matt and Twilight’s room to get ready, so Matt and I would spend the rest of the time hanging out in mine and Rainbow’s room before getting ourselves ready for the night out.
We arrived back at the hotel at roughly two o’clock and made our way up to the room. Matt knocked on his room’s door and it was answered by a flustered looking Rarity who handed him his tux and then we both made our way into my room. With it still being relatively early in the afternoon, we decided to take it easy and relax before we had to make ourselves presentable. The gala began at six and we wanted to be there on time, but colts took a lot less time than mares to get ready, so we still had plenty of time. I decided to have a bath before it got any later so I had nothing to do before putting on my kilt and heading out for the night. I began to fill the tub with hot water and Matt had turned on the Radio to the local Canterlot station, which today was buzzing with news of the Grand Galloping Gala and everything revolving around that. They were playing a selection of songs to get everypony in the mood for a good party and I found myself being sucked again into the fantastic music that the musicians of Equestria were able to produce.
After a short while of soaking in the tub and making sure my mane and tail were clean, I dried myself off on the soft, white towels that the hotel provided and trotted merrily back through to the room where Matt was drinking a wheat beer that he had ordered on Room Service. I joined him with a small glass of whiskey and we sat and discussed our hopes and plans for the evening, before he too decided that he needed a bath and departed into the bathroom. I pulled the large glass doors open and took a deep breath, before I took a seat on the garden furniture that was placed on our balcony. I was having a great day with the anticipation of the Gala beginning to well up inside me once more. I enjoyed my whiskey in the sun and before long I was joined by Matt, with his mane still slightly wet, he sat beside me with his beer and the chat picked up again, only this time the topic was our dates for tonight. Matt admitted he had been extremely nervous in asking Twilight to the Gala and I admitted that I had been the same way with asking Rainbow.
Unfortunately though, the cheerful conversation didn’t last long, as the long forgotten subject of the portal gun was brought up. Matt was concerned about having been away from his family so long, and I eased his worries by saying that we had plenty of time to think up an excuse before we got back. Matt and I had both fallen on the conclusion that things in this universe happened for a reason, and that us getting stranded in this distant and magical place, had in fact been no mere coincidence. The only problem we were having was what were we here for? I couldn’t begin to imagine what event would have to take place before we were able to go back but hey, we could be stranded somewhere a lot worse.
Time was pressing on now and we decided it was the best time to get dressed. I awkwardly managed to slide the shirt over my head, and one again wrestled with it for around five minutes trying to fit my wings through the holes. After that battle was over I slid the kilt on and proceeded to try and tuck my shirt in, which with hooves is a much more difficult task than it first seemed. Matt, however, was having a seemingly very easy time getting himself dressed using his magic to do almost everything for him. I admired myself in the mirror, making sure everything was perfect; although I’m sure Rarity would find something to fuss over with both of us. My mane was still slightly messy, so I quickly ran a brush over it, but it didn’t seem to make much of a difference. Maybe ponies would appreciate the rugged Scotsman look, but I would have to wait to get an answer. Matt proceeded to brush his mane and teeth, and I had to say, he cleaned up good.
After I pointed out that his bowtie was slightly askew, we made our way down to the foyer with plenty of time to spare before we would find a taxi and head to the palace. I ignored the funny looks I was getting from other ponies that walked by, and once we arrived in the foyer, it became apparent that our dates were still not ready. I suggested another pre-drink and Matt said he wouldn’t turn one down, nerves were obviously getting to him a little, so I suggested some Scotch courage. I made my way to the bar and ordered two whiskeys while Matt found us a table to sit at, and I promptly returned with the drinks. Taking the first sip, I noted that we had been served some of the finer whiskey that was behind the bar, one of the top shelf bottles if I wasn’t mistaken, which tasted a lot different to the Applejack Daniels. Matt was letting his nerves show a little, and even though I was feeling nervous as well, I tried my best just to get him to relax. He was almost constantly looking over his shoulder towards the elevator and sighing when he turned back around.
“Nervous?” I asked him, already knowing the answer and he gave me a quick nod while taking another sip of his whiskey, before inhaling sharply.
“Yeah, is it really that obvious?” He replied with an ever so slightly panicked tone to his voice. I reached over the table and placed a hoof on his shoulder.
“You’ll do fine” I reassured him before continuing, “Twilight seems to really like you, and she agreed to be your date for the Gala, so what do you have to worry about?” I tried to give him a smile that would put his worries at ease but he still had a slightly worried expression to his face.
“I just hope everything will go well tonight, I don’t want to make a fool of myself in front of the Canterlot elite.” He glanced down before sipping from his drink once more. I thought for a moment before replying with a mischievous grin plastered across my face.
“Well I could always just get really drunk again, if that would help?” He couldn’t help but laugh at that comment and I laughed along with him.
“We’ll see how the night goes and if I make a fool of myself, I’ll give you the signal” He smiled at me and I began to laugh again. We toasted to the night and finished our drinks, seemingly with perfect timing as the elevator arrived at the foyer with the first three of our date’s group. Pinkie Pie hopped from the elevator closely followed by Rarity and Applejack chatting away with smiles across their faces. We stood as if on cue, and we greeted Rarity and Applejack, before I introduced myself to Pinkie Pie. As I predicted Rarity had found something to fuss over, my shirt was slightly ruffled where I had tucked it in and she quickly corrected it, before turning to look at Matt and straightening his bowtie. I took a moment to inspect what the three were wearing, and the dresses were very similar to the ones worn at the Gala in season one, but they were a little different. Pinkie’s dress was, once again, pink, and decorated with balloons, candy and streamers. Rarity was wearing a darker pink dress that looked extremely fancy, jewels shimmered from all angles, and she had a headdress to match, with a few peacock feathers to finish the look. Applejack was wearing an orange ensemble, with a few apples dotted around and some very swanky looking country boots to match the whole style.
With a second ping from the elevator, Matt’s nervous demeanour returned, and our dates made themselves visible, walking towards us. Rainbow looked absolutely stunning and I was at a loss for words. Her mane was neatly styled into ponytail at the back, with her fringe still visibly wild at the front with a lily neatly to one side of her parting. Her dress was, as expected, rainbow coloured, it flowed from her shoulders down to the floor behind her back hoofs, her tail only just visible from underneath the gown and on the front of her body was the image of her cutie mark. Matt was equally stunned by his date; she was dressed in a deep blue gown, decorated with multiple stars with shimmering glitter trails behind them. In her mane was a purple hairband with glitter generously spread over its entirety. Fluttershy was the final pony I laid eyes on as she was standing towards the back of the group looking rather daunted. She was dressed mostly in light green, with yellow hems in her dress. Some darker green leaves and several flowers were spread over the flowing end of the gown; her mane was curled slightly but still reasonably straight at the same time.
I could do nothing but stare as Rainbow walked up to me and gave me a warm smile. Taking a few, reasonably shocked steps forward I gave her a peck on the cheek.
“You look, wow, you look beautiful” I said to her rather bashfully, and awarding me with an “aww” from Pinkie Pie before Rarity gave her a quick nudge. Rainbow responded by blushing and giving me a small peck on the cheek.
“I still can’t believe you’re actually going to wear a dress.” She said back, not too flattered by the compliment to stop her from making a joke, but then again, she probably knew she looked amazing. I quickly laughed and remembered about the rose that I had tucked into my kilt. I produced it from my waistband and she blushed once more as I attached it to her dress, warranting a worried look from Rarity. Matt still stood there in shock and Twilight stood awkwardly, before I gave him a small kick to remind him that he should be speaking by now. He laughed nervously and complimented Twilight on her dress, and how she looked so she seemed to lighten up pretty quickly. Shortly afterwards we were on our way and as I began looking for a taxi I heard a voice from behind me.
“Oh no you don’t!” I turned to see Rarity looking at me, “We, are in Canterlot, we, are travelling in style.” A large horse drawn carriage arrived which was about the length of a limousine. I was stunned by the elegant gold and royal red carriage that was parked in front of us. Soon we all began to climb in and it was extremely roomy inside. We had a few drinks of the local Canterlot Champagne as the carriage made its way up the busy road towards the Palace where the gala was being held in the Grand Hall. Pulling into the long driveway through the garden was incredible, the flora was beautiful and the hedges and trees that surrounded the gardens were well trimmed, full and green. A fountain marked the end of the driveway as it circled around and back the way we came. Fireworks exploded above the roof of the palace, filling the sky with colour as we exited the carriage.
The Palace was huge, made entirely of white marble, with magenta roofs on the white towers that stood above all else in Canterlot. A wrought iron gate stood as the entrance to the palace grounds and as we walked through we were greeted by a pair of large stallions wearing the armour of the royal guard. We showed our tickets and were allowed to pass, I was still in awe at the size of the palace. Rainbow walked alongside me as we ascended to stairs to the great wooden doors that stood open to all the guests of the evening, and as we made our way inside I exchanged a quick smile with Rainbow. I had the feeling that this was going to be a night I would never forget.