I was checking over my folders while starting Chapter 16 and I found this passage I had cut from Chapter 14. It's deleted for a reason, but I thought some people might get a kick out of it anyway. Mostly because it contains more Bob and everyone seems to love him. This never made it to the editing table so you are forewarned about the many typos it abounds with.
I was surprised we weren’t attracting more attention, but it looked like we’d planned the route well. Galloping had proven difficult to say the least so I’d changed the pace to a trot. Even then the short Royal Guard following me was having a hard time. We stopped for a second so I could check our whereabouts when my companion spoke in an incongruously feminine voice. “Please tell me we’re almost done. I don’t believe I can hold this spell another minute.”
I glanced back and forth, but there was nopony around to hear one of Celestia’s guards talk like an aristocratic woman. Of course, for all I knew that wasn’t an uncommon occurrence, but there’s no sense taking chances. “Let’s duck into the alley, then you can let it drop.”
“Thank Celestia,” she said with more sincerity than a preacher in church. The next alley was small and shadowed, but it contained little of the nastier garbage that I would have been expected in Chicago. The only litter I saw in the tight passage was some old posters and an empty cup.
The moment we were out of sight the illusion began to dissolve, replacing a pair of royal guards with Rarity and me. As the final touch the ‘spear’ Rarity had been carrying faded into my familiar staff. The white unicorn looked more than a little disheveled, but she had just run half a mile wearing armor and enough padding to make it fit. Which given the girth of that unicorn had meant most of Twilight’s sheets and her bedspread. Luckily I had fit my guard’s suit better, but my coat and various tools had made things hot for me as well.
We both stripped off the heavy armor then tied all of it into bundles with the sheets. I shoved them into the nearest trashcan, hoping that nopony got curious about the clanking noise they were making. Rarity was examining herself with obvious distaste and asked me fervently, “We are going to get a chance to freshen up at Bon-bon’s, aren’t we?”
I resisted the urge to roll my eyes. “I’m sure we’ll have time for you to fix yourself up.”
Rarity gave a skeptical glance but let the matter drop. “You go ahead then. I’ll wait fifteen minutes before following. Their house is only a block away, correct?”
I frowned. “Why wait?”
Rarity stared at me for a second before she realized I wasn’t kidding. Upon seeing that I wasn’t picking up on whatever it was, she cleared her throat and explained. “Because if we exited together then anypony who saw us would see a mare and stallion sneaking out of a very private alleyway, looking very disheveled and worn out. It would appear that we had been engaged in a heart-to-heart. If you understand my meaning.”
I almost, almost, told her I still didn’t get it, but Bob started chuckling and that give me a big enough hint. Sorry for being slow, but that was not the first thing that came to mind when I think about ponies. Especially not where it would involve me. I felt my cheeks start heating up and I coughed awkwardly, for lack anything to say. Unfortunately Bob wasn’t so constrained.
“I don’t think your heart would be the body part getting worn out. Not if you’re doing it right,” he ended with a leer that transcended both his immobile features and the black bag covering them. I began kneading one of my temples hoping to stave off the inevitable headache.
“Ugh,” Rarity complained. “Must you make everything so vulgar?”
“Sorry,” he replied without an ounce of sincerity or regret. “But it’s hard not to around a pony as beautiful as you. All of your friends are hot, but you’re still the best.”
The unexpected compliment rocked the seamstress back on her heels, and raised my level of discomfort at least two notches. I took a sidelong glance out of the alleyway, but there was a group of ponies passing by. I needed to wait until they were gone.
“Thank you,” Rarity offered cautiously. “That’s kind of you, but I’d have to disagree. Fluttershy was model after all and if Applejack actually cared about her appearance I couldn’t compare.”
Bob let out a short bark of laughter. “Yeah right. Sure, Fluttershy is cute and Applejack looks like she’d be a hellcat in bed, but you’ve got elegance, a charisma that neither of them can match. I bet you’ve got stallions at your beck and call anywhere you go.”
Rarity smiled at that. Not a huge smile, or even a warm one, but it still made my jaw drop like an anvil. She rolled her eyes indulgently, and waved a hoof in a little ‘go on’ gesture. “I don’t know about ‘beck and call’ but, yes, gentlecolts do notice when I enter the room.”
“Then, consider me another fan. I−”
The street was finally clear and you couldn’t have paid me to stick around any longer. I tried to move casually but doubted that anypony’s normal walking pace was that fast. I had timed my movement well. There was nopony near me on the street, which was good since Bob was still running his mouth.
“Really, sahib?” He said in a sotto whisper. “I was finally getting somewhere and you just had to drag me away. Just because you don’t have an open mind−”
“Shut up.” I hissed. “We’re in public and you’re insane if you think a couple of compliments would make her do more than tolerate you.” Bob went through some petulant muttering, but he kept it low enough that even I could barely hear it. I almost missed his typical condescension and arrogance compared to single track his mind had been on since we arrived. Still, I’d rather him with me, than worry about what kind of trouble he could get into on his own. He was loyal to whoever owned the skull and in his eyes possession was ten-tenths of the law. The thought of the Order getting their hands on some of his knowledge made me shudder.
In no time flat I arrived at the back door of Bon-bon and Lyra’s house. I had my staff out and ready, just in case. I didn’t think candy-maker had turned on me, but like the man said ‘trust everybody, but cut the cards’.
This door had an eye slit too, but the amber orbs on the other side barely gave me a glance before throwing the door open. “Hurry up and get in here.” Lyra hissed.