"So, your name?" Hoity asked, loudly and professionally, like the sort who just wanted this whole business to be over with.
Silence reigned, save for the dull scratching of a quill's tip against parchment. The noise echoed within the vast confines of the office, needling against the stallion's ears as he peeked up from his respective papers.
The unicorn that sat across from his wide desk raised a groomed eyebrow, his dainty lips twisted into an annoyed frown."Is that a joke?" he scoffed.
Hoity raised an eyebrow and blindly set his quill to the side, nearly knocking over the brass-ware inkwell in the process. "No, Mister Blueblood, it's an interview," he duly replied, reaching up to brush away a bothersome lock of snowy white hair. "It's a mandatory procedure in this business, nothing more."
He kept his face relatively low, his pointed chin turned more to his scruffy desktop than to the alabaster stallion that was lounging across from him, his broad shoulders bunched up as he slid down the length of his chair, like a little child.
"More like a waste of time, Mister Toity."
Hoity cringed inwardly, though kept himself stoic. He was in his kingdom, his own little niche, Many a troublesome pony had met him within these very walls, and he had always managed to keep his own rump out of the hot seat. Potential models had a way with trying to be manipulative, whether by using their crisp features or a purr of the tongue.
However, the stallion in front of him was none of those things. He was relaxed, slumped in his cherry wood chair as if it were an extension of himself. His pale, flossy mane carelessly hung over his eyes, giving him a slightly disheveled look. His lips were pursed, betraying boredom, quite unlike any other potential model that he had interviewed.
The cobalt stallion wordlessly picked up his quill and set the end to the parchment. "You entered my office wanting an interview, Mister Blueblood, and an interview is what you're going to get," he muttered curtly.
Blueblood rolled his eyes and turned his face away, waving a hoof in capitulation. "Prince Blueblood," he answered.
"Good." Hoity looked back down to his papers, reaching up his hoof to tap up his tinted glasses that had begun to sidle down the bridge of his snout. "Now then, what brings you here?”
“Ah! Recreation, of course!” the unicorn exclaimed, though not without the hint of a nervous chuckle. “I’ve always fancied myself to be a good model, certainly much better than any of those greased up ruffians you see on the runway nowadays.”
Hoity glanced back at Blueblood, scrutinizing him with a trained eye. Frankly, the stallion was about average at best, below even considering the field that he was so keen on hopping into. Slim, but very obviously out of shape. Any stallion who wanted to enter the industry needed at least a little muscle, not soft, roundish features.
If Blueblood had been in any lower position, then Hoity would have already gotten him shoved out of his little office-palace. But, as always, one had to be careful in dealing with the snobbish royal family brigade. Aristocrats had a way with lawsuits when things didn’t go their way.
Sighing, the Earth pony scribbled down a few choice words onto his parchment, namely some that wouldn’t have been fit for speaking. “You realize that you’re applying for a job, aren’t you?” he asked cautiously.
“Father always told me that it isn’t a ‘job’ if you’re having fun, Mister Toity,” Blueblood retorted, leaning forward as if eager to share some great source of wisdom. “You like doing... whatever it is that you do, right?”
Hoity kept himself cool, despite the distinct twitch that his tail that had started to develop. “Well, regardless, you answered the question.” He paused to reach over and dip the tip of his quill in the brass inkwell, tapping it lightly against the bulbous rim as he gathered his thoughts. “Do you have any prior experience?”
The unicorn placed the flat of his hoof against his chin. “Hm, well, I once had to pose for a good half day to get my portrait done. Does that count?” His horn burst into a soft yellow, its droning pulse echoing as he levitated a random unused quill from the oaken desk. He drew it towards him and rotated it about. “I think that’s it, but more than enough, right?”
Hoity bit down on his lower lip. If anything he and Photo went out of their way to avoid hiring amateurs, especially the cocky ones.
Still, it could have been worse. Blueblood could have been absolutely hideous, the kind of pony that no fashion design could really save. At least he carried a certain poise about his soft affinity, something that could be molded in his hooves, or at least polished.
There was, at least, some potential.
With that in mind, Hoity went back to his notes and crossed out some of his more callous phrases. “I suppose that might let you scrape along by,” he finally answered. “Still, I have to warn you that this isn’t really a game...”
“Oh, I know that.” Blueblood huffed, the tip of his nose scrunching up in distaste. “Really, Father just thought that it’d be, ah. wise to start on a career path.” He twirled the quill around in his magical grasp, bringing up the sharp end to scratch his chin.
Hoity had to resist smirking at that little gem of a comment. It was near glaringly obvious that the posh unicorn had been cut off from his daddy’s money, or at least had to ration what little that he had been given. “Good choice, then, Mister Blueblood,” he mumbled flatly, careful to hide away any trace of glee. "I'm sure you'll do well with me and Photo working on you."
"I should hope so!" Blueblood levitated the quill back to the desk, setting it down with a gentle 'clink'. "You and your sister are quite possibly some of the only successful Earth ponies in this silly city. Believe me, I would know," he rattled off.
"Our race has nothing to do with our success in the industry, Mister Blueblood," Hoity stated bluntly. He swiveled around in his little chair and reached out a hoof to open a drawer filled with rolled up scrolls. "Me and Photo have been doing this brother-sister duo for years now..."
Blueblood held out a well-polished hoof to silence the other stallion. "No, it's just that ponies here like the exotic, and you and Miss Finish are exotic." He slid back his chair to stand up, it's pointed legs squeaking loudly on the waxed marble. "Exotic in that you're handicapped, in a society entirely run by mana, how is a duo of hornless ponies to thrive?"
Hoity said nothing. The tip of his quill was hovering over the thick mustard parchment, though his eyes were locked to the snowy white aristocrat, flat and unreadable. With a quick gesture he readjusted his glasses.
"Hard work, Mister Toity!" Blueblood exclaimed "That's what you Earth ponies are good at! Unicorns, though... I suppose even I can admit that we tend to be a little fickle, fleeting in our interests and hobbies." He face took on a blank, dreamy look, his eyes clouding before he snapped his head back up. "Oh, I'm rambling again. Aren't I silly?" he laughed softly, bringing a hoof to his mouth in an girlish manner.
Hoity raised an eyebrow, unmoved. "Hm. Well. Either way, your evaluation appointment... We'll need to see you by the end of the week to take some measurements. Photo will have to take some experimental shots too... see what lighting works best with your pelt color and all that" He turned to his wrinkled parchment. "How does the day after tomorrow work for you?"
"Oh, you can't get me in earlier?" Blueblood pursed his lips in childish annoyance. "Well, fine. I suppose I can live with that. Afternoon?"
"Two PM, if you want to be exact," Hoity murmured over his papers, his hooves shuffling about to find the one with his schedule. "Expect to stay until late evening." He smiled to himself upon finding the right sheet, and promptly dipped his quill to pencil in the time in the one empty slot that was left. "There. All done."
"Good!" Blueblood turned around and cantered towards the office door, his long tail billowing behind him. As his golden aura grasped at the brass knob, he turned towards the stallion a final time. "I have a habit of being fashionably late, just so you know. No need to slap me on the hoof on the first day, yes?"
And with that, he promptly opened the door and slammed it behind him, without even bothering to wait for a reply.
Hoity sat in silence, jaw slightly unhinged. How dare he! The royal family had always been pompous, but to see one so blatant about their job security nearly brought bile to the stallion's mouth. He had no choice but to deal with Blueblood's inherently 'fickle' nature. It was either that or lose the position that he had so carefully grown in Canterlot's elite.
He still held the quill in his hoof, but it was shaking. The ink on the sharp tip bled into the parchment, melting into a large, unsightly blemish.
"'I can admit that we tend to be a little fickle', pah!" Hoity threw down the ravaged feather and turned to his schedule paper, floating above all the others in a sea of unorganized flotsam. He picked it up and brought it close to his muzzle, his eyes racing over every little detail of what his life was to be for the week.
Having organization made him calmer, at least by a little. The crisp, smooth sensation of paper being held tightly in his hooves and illegible scribbles of appointments did well in giving him a sense of pace, a sense of orderly existence.
With a soft sigh, he let his gaze wander down to the time slots for the next day. Most of them were empty, save for a two hour outing in the morning.
"Breakfast with Fancy and Fleur at The Dancing Hooves again?" he murmured to himself, a little grin tugging his lips. "That should help..."
Basking in the company of friends usually did.