"I know I've said this multiple times already, but I can't leave tonight without letting you know one more time how absolutely thankful I am for this dress you made me!"
"Oh darling," Rarity retorted. "You're most certainly welcome, but it really is no--UMF!"
The rest of Rarity's comment was interrupted by a tight embrace from her lavender unicorn friend Twilight Sparkle. Though she was caught off guard, the sentiment was soon returned as she wrapped her hooves around her friend as well.
"Oooh, group hug! Count me in!"
The high-pitched, enthusiastic voice was soon followed by more pressure on Rarity's back; her spontaneous and hyperactive friend Pinkie Pie was now clinging onto her and Twilight. The voices of three other ponies were heard not long afterward.
"Don't chy'all forget about me now!" Applejack hollered.
"Make room for Rainbow!" Rainbow Dash commanded.
"Oh, can I join in?" Fluttershy asked demurely.
Pretty soon all six friends were bundled up together in a tight hug as they simultaneously gave a sigh of joy and love. It was a brief moment, but it felt much longer than it was to all of them. Pretty soon, however, they all untangled themselves and got situated once again. Rarity stood in the ballroom doorway and waved goodbye to all of them.
"I'll see you all tomorrow!" called Rarity. "Hope you get back home safe!"
Her friends replied with various kinds of answers, mostly just more thanks and hopes that she has fun on her last night in Canterlot. The big entrance doors began to slowly close on themselves; soon, with a gentle click, they closed themselves completely. Rarity turned around and gazed at the messy ballroom that was littered with balloons, streamers, confetti, and even a little bit of cake was splotched on the floors. Her mind was reeling with the events that had happened earlier, as well as how she had behaved and the decisions she made earlier. She chastised herself for not telling Twilight the truth in the first place instead of having to explain the whole ordeal afterward. It certainly would have made things easier to handle in the long run.
Rarity looked outside the windows at the fancy garden. The night had quickly drawn to a close and now there were only a few ponies left sauntering about the place, making small talk with each other.
It felt like a long time had passed since the whole incident with her friends disrupting the party occurred. It was still easy for Rarity to recall what had happened, most of which had involved a certain white stallion, whose actions continued to leave her mystified.
~//~ ~||~ ~\\~
"I, for one, find them charmingly rustic."
Jet Set and Upper Crust's eyes went wide as their haughty laughter abruptly dimmed at the sound of Fancypants' unexpected remark; it was coupled with the sound of a collective gasp of surprise that came from the group of party guests, including Rarity, the most surprised of them all.
"And I think the dress you made for your friend is lovely," Fancypants commented. A worried and dumbfounded look formed on Rarity's face, but was soon replaced by one of relief and happiness as the white stallion quickly continued his statement. "Mmm-hmm, I daresay every mare in Canterlot will be wanting one."
"Oh, I'd like to place my order right NOW!" Upper Crust demanded, shoving her head into Rarity's personal space.
Her spouse Jet Set was quick to mimic her. "I think you should get two, hmm!" With a look of annoyance, Rarity swiftly moved out of where she stood, letting the couple's heads knock into each other.
"Er, yes, now then," uttered Fancypants as Rarity trotted next to him. "How about you introduce me to your friends?"
Rarity beamed. "With pleasure."
Fancypants lightly chuckled at the mare's joyful mood. Rarity’s head immediately turned as she tried to hide the faint amaranth color that began to appear on her face.
All of the party guests slowly went back to what they were all doing before the scene that had just taken place, trying to act as if nothing had happened. The band took to their instruments and began to serenade the party with calming classical music once again, ponies attempted to rekindle conversations that had been interrupted, and a group of partygoers went back to their game of croquet.
"Hmm," Fancypants mumbled. He turned toward the five ponies who stood out like a sore hoof, then surveyed his surroundings. "Perhaps it would be best if I were to make my acquaintance with you ladies someplace a bit more personal."
The five ponies and Rarity glanced around to see that they were right in the middle of the garden, where everypony could observe them.
"I absolutely agree," Rarity stated. "Let's see, why don't we go over to that--"
"I say, what is it that is going on inside the Canterlot ballroom?"
Rarity stood flustered. "Well, um, that was for my dear friend Twilight Sparkle, you see, because it's her birthday--"
"Oh, well that sounds like a much more exciting soirée than this one."
"You're telling me," Pinkie Pie said. "Everypony here is soooooo boring!"
With that statement, Rarity's friends began to talk simultaneously, their sentences becoming jumbled and mixed up with one another. Fancypants laughed silently to himself, and the white mare sighed in contentment; she could tell that it would be a great evening after all.
~//~ ~||~ ~\\~
The fact that an important and high-class stallion stepped in and, not necessarily defended, but supported her friends who, in the eyes of all the ponies at the garden party, were merely peasants, common folk ponies with nothing of value boggled her mind. It was one of the most gentlecoltly acts she had witnessed and experienced in quite some time.
The sound of laughter pushed Rarity out of her stupor.
"Oh Rarity, your friends are simply wonderful!" Fancypants remarked as he sauntered over towards the white mare. Rarity turned and faced the white stallion.
"Yes indeed," she responded. "They may not be the most...elegant ponies ever, but I am still incredibly thankful for them."
"Yes," Fancypants uttered. "I can only imagine..."
Rarity took note of the stallion's slightly despondent tone of voice as it faded away. She gave a curious glance at him; he was levitating a glass of punch and was gently sipping from it. The mare found that his facial features, albeit subtly, looked despondent as well.
"Pardon me if I'm being intrusive, Fancypants," Rarity began. "But you look somewhat down. Is there anything wrong?"
Fancypants snapped out of his trance, and faced his questioner. "Oh, it's nothing..."
Rarity stared at him, unconvinced that he was telling the truth. "Are you sure?"
Fancypants gave an extended sigh and looked down at his hooves. "I may have party guests that I mingle with...but I can't say that I have any real platonic relationship with anypony."
"Oh," Rarity mumbled.
"Other than Fleur de Lis, I don't really interact with anypony on a more...shall I say 'intimate' level."
"My fiancée. The mare I was with when you bumped into me a week or so ago."
Rarity blushed and lowered her head slightly. "Oh, right. Once again, I'd like to apologize for-"
"Ha, nonono, you don't have to apologize, it's quite alright. Like I said, you're most certainly a pony worth bumping into. And now that I've gotten to know you better, that statement is much truer than before."
Rarity's faint blush was getting more difficult to hide; as a result, she turned away once again and shifted her head so that her mane shrouded a portion of her face. "Gee, Fancypants, you're such a flatterer."
Fancypants chortled lightly. "I've been told that on numerous occasions. I suppose it comes naturally."
The white mare felt the heat in her cheeks begin to die down, so she lifted up her head once more and regained a more natural pose.
"I have a question to ask, Rarity." Fancypants said unexpectedly.
"Oh," Rarity replied, confused. "And what would that be?"
Fancypants paused briefly before he asked his question. "Why didn't you just tell me you were from Ponyville in the first place?"
Rarity froze up as an awkward and uncomfortable tension filled up the air. Seconds went by, but they made the uncomfortable silence unbearable. Once again, she mentally punished herself for not being truthful in the first place.
"...I'm sorry," Rarity murmured.
"It's okay, I understand," Fancypants muttered in response. "I acted the same way when I first met Fleur de Lis. It's easier to lie when you want to make a good impression than it is to be honest."
His words did little to comfort or reassure Rarity, so she simply gave a soft sigh. The silence grew, but this time there was no uncomfortable sensation. It was a nice and relaxing emptiness that lasted for approximately half a minute; of course it felt like half an hour to the both of them.
A question suddenly popped into Rarity's head, though. She cleared her throat, and spoke gently.
"How come I haven't seen her since I first met you?"
"She's not really one for parties or get-togethers," Fancypants replied. "She also likes having alone time every now and then. I'm happy she's a tolerating mare, though, since I'm the complete opposite. So, she basically lets me roam around whenever I want, telling me that she didn't mind just staying home and reading a book or something."
"I see." Rarity whispered.
"Speaking of Fleur," Fancypants started. "It's getting awfully late, and, even though she doesn't mind me staying out later than most, I begin to miss her enormously after a while. I hope you don't mind."
"Of course not, darling," Rarity assured Fancypants, giving him a smile. "I completely understand. I should be heading back to my suite as well anyway. Got to get up early and make my way back to good ol' Ponyville."
Fancypants tried to hide the disappointment he was feeling, but a little still managed to appear on his facial expression, which Rarity noticed. "Well then," Fancypants said, putting on a somewhat stilted smile, "I had an absolutely marvelous evening tonight, Rarity. I hope to see you here in Canterlot someday soon again."
A faint blue light began to shine around the doors as she used her magic to open them up and depart the building. "As do I," the mare replied, trotting out of the room. "Goodbye, Fancypants!"
The stallion inexplicably hesitated to get his response out, but soon raised his hoof and began to wave at the exiting pony ahead. "So long, miss Rarity!"
Creaking noises echoed about the ballroom as the big doors slowly began to shut. Within a few moments, they were closed, and Rarity was out of sight. Fancypants just stood where he was, feeling melancholic. When he felt something on his cheek, he lifted up his hoof and rubbed it to see what it was.
It was a teardrop.
~//~ ~||~ ~\\~
Gazing up, he hoped he could catch a glimpse of Princess Luna's beautiful night; much to his dismay, however, all the lights from the various high-rises and lamp posts prevented him from seeing anything. A slow and solemn sigh was exhaled, and he continued to amble down the street. At this point, all he was concerned about was getting back to his place and falling asleep with his fiancée. He had left the party soon after Rarity did and listlessly walked home for five hours—or so it seemed. In actuality, it was only around fifteen minutes or so.
Luckily he didn't need to wait much longer; he realized that he had made it to his apartment. He levitated his keys, unlocked the entrance door, and walked in and up the flight of stairs all in a rather perfunctory manner. His room was on the top level, level six, but he liked to exercise every now and then. He wanted to stay in shape for his fiancée, who would frequently tell him that she wanted him to become thinner.
If there was one thing Fancypants had learned during his lifetime, it was that time moved awfully slowly when you're in a depressed mood. The way he was feeling at the moment reminded him of when he was a very young colt. Growing up on a beet farm outside of Foaledo, Ohayo, life had been incredibly boring. On top of that, he had been an only child and never had anypony to play with, and all he had for entertainment were different novels and books. While reading prolifically helped nurture and feed his intelligence, it certainly wasn't a ton of fun all the time.
He began to reminisce about the times when he would flip through pages of atlases, maps, and reference books, where he first discovered that there was more than just dull, rural life. All the colorful pictures of big cities such as Manehattan, Los Dressageles, Chicacolt, Boronco, and Canterlot dazzled him extremely. There was nothing that he wanted more when he was a child than to go to one of those bustling cities.
His dreams would come true, albeit in a very bittersweet way. After a carriage accident, Fancypants had moved to Canterlot with his aunt and uncle. It was everything he had hoped for; bright lights, active environment, high-class luxuries, and many more. After his grievance over the death of his parents was done, he was pretty much beaming with joy every day.
This could be why he had an infatuation with Rarity, because of the similarities in feelings. He could empathize with pretending to be fancy and proper when you're really from an unknown town. Either way, he wasn't sure why he had such strong feelings towards a mare that he had met only a week ago. Still didn't take away from the fact that he couldn't get her out of his mind.
He finally reached the front door of his room, which he realized was slightly open. Though he found this to be odd, he brushed it off, thinking that Fleur de Lis had just forgotten. With his nose, he pushed the door open slowly and walked across the threshold. Not surprisingly, all the lights were off and everything was quiet. So quiet that he was able to hear his fiancée talking in the master bedroom.
"...won't be back for a while, so don't fret."
Fancypants lightly trotted over to the bedroom door, thinking that she may just be talking in her sleep.
"If you say so."
Fancypants froze. That was certainly not his fiancée's sweet voice. No, it sounded masculine. He began to panic slightly as he broke out into a gallop and crashed through the door.
Fleur de Lis shrieked, then shook her head in disbelief. "FANCYPANTS?!"
He wasn't paying attention, though; he just stared at the stallion that had his hoof wrapped around Fleur's waist.