All the stress that piled up from what had transpired earlier that evening began to make itself present as a fatigued Rarity lethargically climbed up the pristine white staircase that lead to her suite. Her muscles were sore from dancing, her eyelids heavy, longing for the comforting euphoria of sleep, and a strong headache was encompassing her entire skull; a pulsating sensation behind her eyeballs, a tight stiffness in the back of her neck, and a rippling pain on the crown of her head.
It came as a relief when the staircase made its final turn and the large wooden bedroom doors came into view. With a flash of deep purple and white, she teleported herself into her room, saving herself from trotting up thirty or forty more steps.
Opalescence voiced her irritation from the corner of the room, where Rarity saw she was next to an empty food bowl.
"Oh, Opal," Rarity cooed, levitating a bag of food over to the bowl. "I'm incredibly sorry for how late I am. The party went on longer than I thought it would."
Her white feline pet only grumbled under her breath, eating her food as soon as it was served. The mare slowly strolled over to her bed, removing her chapeau and putting on the end table. Her eyes glanced down at the waste basket beside it that held the design for what was supposed to really be Twilight's dress, examining all the pencil strokes and elegant curlicues she drew. It made her feel guilty again; she had gotten so carried away with everything in Canterlot that it turned what could have been a marvelous creation into something dull and drab. But she had cleared everything up with her lavender pal, and, to her relief, she was forgiven and all was water under the bridge now. After all, her studious friend really couldn't care less about her appearance. So, without further hesitation, she collapsed on top of the soft blankets and rested her head on the plush pillows.
She would be lying if she said she wasn't going to miss Canterlot. The grand Capitol of Equestria truly seemed like her home, her niche, the place she should be living in. All of the sophistication, the fashion, the glamour, the high-class lifestyle—it all complemented her personality to a tee. Everything there was perfect.
If there was thing she would change about it all, however, it would be most of the ponies attitude. Most of them spoke with at least a hint of narcissism. It would easily and quickly get on her nerves, but Rarity went out of her way to make sure she didn't mention anything. And if they were not interested in you, or what you had to say, they would stand aloof and continue to talk with other ponies around them.
As always, though, there were exceptions. Pish Posh and Swan Dive were both very amiable. Tutti Frutti was a real gentlestallion as well. Even Upper Crust wasn't so terrible, although her spouse Jet Set was another story. One particular exception, however, captivated Rarity from the very beginning--Fancypants
A soft sigh was released. Fancypants was everything Rarity wanted in a stallion. He was kind, sweet, charming, and very refined. Unlike most of the high-class ponies, he wasn't snobby or snooty. Even after he found out that she was just a small town filly, he never made a disparaging comment or remark. In her eyes, he was absolutely wonderful, not to mention stunning piece of eye candy. His gorgeous blue mane and tail went so well with his snow white coat, identical to her own. And his horn; what a large one it was! Rarity often wondered if it had any correlation with something else about him.
Suddenly, she noticed a dampness in between her hind legs, making the sheet on the bed become slightly moist. Her face began to flush with embarrassment, despite the fact that she was in the private confines of her suite with no one but Opal. The night had been tiring and made her feel fatigued, and she would normally never partake in an activity so lurid and crude. Tonight, however, she was feeling different. It was her final vacation night in the grandest city in all the land. Not to mention, she could use some relief from all the stress. A small, coy little smirk curled on Rarity's lips.
Buck it. Why not?
~//~ ~||~ ~\\~
Right around the moment Rarity was making herself comfortable in bed, time stood still for Fancypants. His mind was completely empty and deserted of all thoughts while his feelings were ambivalent. He was not sure whether to be furious and enraged or broken and depressed. Eventually, the two emotions merged together and became a swirling and curling concoction. However, none of those emotions displayed themselves, but, rather, kept themselves hidden behind his stolid, well constructed facade.
A gentle breeze flew in from the slightly open window. So his thunderstruck stupor started fading away bit by bit, bringing him back into reality. It wasn't long afterward that more shock was thrown at him, though.
"Jet Set," he uttered. His tone of voice made it difficult to decipher whether it was a question or just an obvious statement.
A look of fear and guilt made its way onto Jet Set's muzzle, which he unsuccessfully tried to hide. Swallowing hard, he hastily spoke to the white stallion at the bedroom threshold.
"Fancypants, why hello! I, um, I didn't know, umm...You see, I was just, erm..."
He was unable to put together a full sentence; the rest of his comment ended up becoming a bunch of incoherent babbling spat out in apprehension. Fleur de Lis, who looked a little less worried, cleared her throat and picked up on where Jet Set had left off.
"I wasn't expecting you to be home so early," she stated, being more composed and collected than her stuttering companion.
Fancypants disregarded his fiancée's words, his attention focused on Jet Set. He wanted to levitate the stallion with his magic and defenestrate him out the bedroom window with a burning passion, but he took deep breaths and kept his cool.
"Jet Set," he began, speaking softly. "...Jet Set...You're married..."
All efforts of hiding his penitence and fear were abandoned when Fancypants made that remark. Fleur de Lis was just about ready to break down as well, but she continued to wear her calm masquerade.
"Listen honey, I'm so—"
"Don't call me honey." Fancypants firmly interrupted. Fleur de Lis gulped in fear.
"Fancypants, please," Jet Set begged. "I know I've done wrong, but please, whatever you do, don't tell Upper Crust; my life would be ruined if she were to find out about this, and-"
"Maybe you should have thought about that in the first place," Fancypants berated, still keeping his volume in check and his anger under control.
"I know, I understand completely," Jet Set replied nervously. "But I'll do anything to have you keep this a secret, give you whatever you want! Bits, possessions, whatever!"
"And please don't be mad at me," Fleur de Lis beseeched. "Like Jet Set said, I'll give you—WE'LL give you anything. If it makes you feel any better, and if Jet Set isn't opposed to it, I don't mind letting you...You know...Join us."
She gave a sheepish grin and waited for the response.
But that was it for him. Fancypants had dealt with more than enough. He didn't want to associate with his perfidious lover in any way, shape, or form anymore. His head slowly lowered, the big, oblong horn pointing at the two.
"...Buck off..." he whispered. With that came silence; Fancypants would not have known if the two kept the plethora of apologies going, though, for he immediately turned around and galloped out of the room, slamming the bedroom door with his magic.
He stopped in his tracks as he was escaping when he passed a framed photo of him and his cheating fiancée, pausing to stare at it. They were standing in front of a large fountain--one that resides in a popular plaza in Canterlot--and they had the hugest smiles on their faces. Fleur de Lis was striking a coy, supermodel-like pose. Her lissome body arched up over Fancypants, forehooves on his back with her chin resting on them. He remembered when this was taken; right after he had proposed to her.
With a silent but furious scowl, he impetuously used his magic to pick up and whip the framed photograph across the living room. CRACK! It made impact with the wall next to the bedroom door, causing both a startled squeak from inside the room and a decent sized crater. Shattered glass flew about as the frame fell to the floor and broke into pieces.
With that, he opened the front door, and went back to fleeing the building. As he trotted to the elevator, his hoof pounded the down arrow. The silence in the halls made his action reverberate loudly, along with everything else he did. His heavy breathing seemed to have an abnormally high volume because of the quiet. He knew it was late and that he was making quite a ruckus, but that was the least of his problems at the moment.
His left fore-hoof began tapping the carpeted floor lightly out of impatience and annoyance.
Tap tap tap tap tap tap—
The elevator doors finally opened up, which elicited a sigh from Fancypants as he furiously sauntered in, pounding the ground floor button. Then, without hesitation, he plopped onto his haunches and buried his face his hooves.
The slow elevator took half a minute to go from the top floor to the ground level, yet so many thoughts flowed and surged through the stallion's mind within that amount of time. He wanted this mess to all turn out to be a very realistic dream.
The one thing that made this situation worse, Fancypants soon realized, was that he was on his own; he had no one to confide in. Sure he was admired by plenty of ponies, but he never felt a close relationship with anypony. And though it is true that he was, in colloquial vernacular, a "mare magnet", none of his previous mistresses other than Fleur de Lis were ever genuinely interested in him. In fact, nopony was ever really genuinely interested in him; every conversation at every soirée was filled with mindless, superficial, and palaver blabber. The only pony who really took a deep interest in him was...
Before he knew it, a light ding signaled that he had reached the bottom. So he got back up on all fours, his legs inexplicably feeling fatigued and languid. At the moment, however, his mind was too apathetic, and his soul too nihilistic to care.
The doors opened themselves, and they revealed a young adult pony couple giggling and laughing. The stallion—ultramarine coat with a tangerine mane and tail with a quill as a cutie mark—had heavy eyes and was swaying vertiginously. The mare—phlox coat with an almost identical mane of lush plum, her cutie mark being a strawberry and a bunch of grapes—had her hoof wrapped around the other, chuckling uncontrollably in a tiny, giddy voice.
Despite the fact that they were heavily inebriated, their laughter subsided momentarily when they saw Fancypants trotting out wearing a discreet yet strong look of anger and sadness.
Their eyes pierced Fancypants, but he brushed them off and continued to walk lifelessly. Soon enough, the couple began their little giggling fit once again, having a little difficulty with which button to push.
Their slap-happy laughter was infectious; it began to ring about inside of Fancypants' mind even after the elevator door had closed. They were probably having the night of their lives, living with reckless, youthful abandon. And here was Fancypants, who felt the lowest he had felt in a very long while; and though he wasn't very old, he certainly was past his prime.
He strolled outside into the damp night air. It was drizzling slightly, microscopic drops of precipitation landing on Fancypants' body. It was the least of his worries, though; his main concern at that moment was where his life was leading him, as well as critically analyzing the one he currently had and finding out if it was truly what he wanted. If he wasn't going through a mid-life crisis earlier this evening, he definitely began to feel one about to began, thanks to this disappointing and heartbreaking discovery.
So he slowly walked on down the dimly lit boulevard, ready for a long and lonely night ahead of him.
~//~ ~||~ ~\\~
Rarity and Princess Celestia helped the poor teenage bell colt with all of the white mare's luggage, but even with the help, the gray pony had a bunch to haul down. It were times like these where he wished he paid more attention in magic class so he could just levitate heavy items instead of having his back go through harsh pain.
Thankfully for him, they finally reached the ground outside the hotel lobby (to ensure Celestia's privacy), and Rarity grabbed all of the items he and the princess were carrying with her magic. So with a bow to the ruler of Equestria, he sprinted his way back to the hotel lobby.
Rarity looked up at the princess and smiled. "I cannot thank you enough for this, Princess Celestia. It meant so much to me!"
"It was nothing, my little pony. You're always welcome anytime here in Canterlot. Have a safe trip back to Ponyville now." she replied, her smooth matriarch tone of voice soothing Rarity. Before she could object to her statement of what she had done for her was "nothing", Celestia teleported out of view, leaving her standing on the sidewalk by herself.
It was raining a little bit, and her hooves were killing her from all the walking down the stairs, so she hailed a cab to pick her up and leave her at the train station. It turned out that it wasn't that far away from where she had stayed at, but she didn't dwell on that too much. She just bought her train ticket and proceeded to wait for her ride.
She set her bags down on a concrete bench that sat in the shade. This got Opalescence irritated as she started to shake and jostle about inside her pet carrier.
"Oh, Opal, sorry you've been cooped up in there for this whole time." apologized Rarity, opening the pet carrier to let her cat out and stretch. Opalescence hissed at her, and went on over to the other side of the bench. Soon, however, she leapt out of sight behind a wall, chasing after something.
Rarity stood up and ran around the corner in shock. "Opal, come back here right now! I said—"
Opalescence continued running after what Rarity found out to be a squirrel, but that wasn't what caused her to stop. A few yards ahead of her, the large body of a stallion, who was lying unconsciously on the ground only moments earlier, stirred up from a deep slumber as a result of Opal running over him. He wore a black suit, but that was all; the rest of his white body and blue mane and tail was visible to her, along with the cutie mark of three small crowns studded with a purple diamond on each.
Rarity knew immediately who it was, but was so perplexed and curious that she didn't think what she was seeing was real. So she swallowed gently, and uttered out a single question.