• Published 31st Jul 2013
  • 832 Views, 57 Comments

The Way You Lie - ThaStrangr



When Blueblood arrives at her cottage, Fluttershy offers to help the prince with his romantic issues. But what are the stallion's true intentions?

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Watch Me Burn

"Miss Fluttershy. I must say you are even more elegant than I was made to believe." Spoke the enticing voice of Prince Blueblood. Fluttershy's face grew to a noticeable shade of crimson.

"Oh, why, th-th-thank you, y-your m-m-majesty." Fluttershy was more nervous than when she faced the dragon. She attempted to bow, as customary when faced with royalty, but the prince stopped her.

"Please, now, that isn't necessary."

"O-okay. What can I do for you, your majesty?"

"Blueblood, please. And I actually came for several reasons. Where do I begin? Well, first off, you are an element of harmony, and therefore practically royalty yourself. I believed it was time for us to meet properly. Also, when I saw your work with Photo Finish, I thought you were the most beautiful mare I had ever seen." At this, Fluttershy's entire coat had at last managed to convert to the shade of Big Mac.

"I..uhm...well...hmmmm..." Fluttershy was at a complete loss for words. As though reading her mind, Blueblood spoke out.

"Perhaps we could discuss this inside?"

"Oh, umm, of course. Please, come in."

He slowly walked by her, sending her a curt nod as a thank you. When he was at the center of the living area, he looked around, noting all of the creatures she cared for, both big and small. Fluttershy closed the door behind him and followed him toward the couch.

"You can sit down... if you would like." She was still considerably nervous having to entertain a guest; not to mention nobility. Blueblood smiled and sat on her small sofa.

"Thank you. Now, where were we?" The prince asked. Noticing how Fluttershy avoided looking him in the eye, and shuffled her hooves nervously, he remembered. "Ah, yes. It's late. I'm certain you're soon to retire, so I'll just cut to the chase. Miss Fluttershy, would you care to join me for dinner tomorrow evening?" He placed one hoof on his chest and bowed respectfully as he spoke. Fluttershy expected to have a new hole in her floor, considering how fast and hard her jaw had struck it. She shook her head in an attempt to clear her thoughts. This action was completely in vain.

"I'm not certain," was what she intended to say, but it came out as, "Ah-mneh-sa-tiyon." Blueblood raised a brow, himself befuddled. Fluttershy finally managed to straighten herself out. She cleared her throat.

"I'm sorry. I said I'm not certain that I should." She gave a genuinely sorry smile, which was immediately shot down by his disappointed look. "Well, it's just, I know what happened between you and Rarity at the Gala. I don't think she'd want me to. She's my best friend."

"Are you referring to that purple-maned unicorn?" He asked.

"Yes," Fluttershy responded.

"The one that began clinging to me with absolutely no warning and followed me around?"

"Y-Yes?"

"One of the thirty-plus mares that have chased after me knowing nothing about me simply because I was royalty?"

"Yes..." Fluttershy sighed.

"I'm not saying my behavior that night was justified. I was just tired of being manipulated. I know I reacted harshly. I intend to apologize during my stay in Ponyville."

"Oh, you'll be staying in Ponyville?" Fluttershy asked, intrigued. The prince nodded solemnly.

"Indeed. I've been meaning to take a vacation, and Twilight Sparkle has spoken very highly of this little town in her letters."

"I didn't realize you and Twilight were close."

"Yes. After Auntie Celestia noticed her magical ability, she took Twilight in as her pupil. Twilight was raised in the Canterlot castle from that point on. We grew up together. We were practically family." Blueblood smiled as countless memories flooded his mind.

"Why hasn't Twilight ever mentioned any of this?" Fluttershy questioned. A look of shame crossed Blueblood's face.

"Every family has that one member everypony else in the family is too ashamed to claim. I wasn't the best pony in my younger years. I made a lot of mistakes, did some bad things. She probably doesn't like thinking of that." Fluttershy suddenly felt very sorry for the poor stallion in front of her. She began to reconsider his question. Fluttershy had to admit, he was very attractive. Ever since he had arrived at her home, he'd been a true gentle-colt. And she could understand why he would have reacted the way he did to Rarity's advances. She smiled.

"Yes," she said, almost enthusiastically. He looked up at her.

"Beg pardon?" He had a quizzical expression glued to his face. She giggled slightly.

"Yes. To dinner. After some thought, I realized it was foalish to allow your history with Rarity to determine my opinion of you. I can find out what type of pony you are for myself," she stated, plainly and to the point. His mouth grew into the largest grin she'd seen on anypony (aside from Pinkie) as he bowed lower, nearly melting into the floor. He took her hoof in his and kissed it.

"Thank you, miss Fluttershy. Thank you. I promise, I will make sure you do not regret giving me this opportunity. Say, tomorrow, approximately seven?" Fluttershy was flattered by his enthusiasm.

"Sounds wonderful. Where will we go?" He chuckled and winked at her as he began walking toward the door.

"Ah, ah. That is a surprise."

"How will I know what to wear?" She regarded him with curiosity. If they were going somewhere classy, she would want appropriate attire.

"You needn't wear anything," he responded. After re-assessing his statement, he face-hoofed. "Let me rephrase that." Fluttershy giggled.

"Don't worry, I understand," she spoke, slightly awkward now.

"Okay. I'll pick you up at approximately four."

"Four? Why so early?"

"There's a fantastic restaurant in Canterlot I think you would enjoy. And I eat there often, so we won't need to worry about being hassled."

"That sounds perfect." Fluttershy hated being in the public eye. Having so many ponies looking at you was not a pleasurable experience for such a timid pony, which was one of the reasons she gave up on her modeling career.

Blueblood turned and noticed the sun had almost completely sunken below the horizon. He decided he had taken enough of his host's time.

"Well, the sun has almost set," he said, "I should be going now." He bowed once more, and turned back toward town. Fluttershy closed the door softly and began trotting upstairs. Halfway across her living room floor, she could no longer contain herself. She let out a filly-ish squeal she didn't know she was holding in. Not only was she going on her first date, she was going on her first date with a prince. She couldn't wait to tell Rainbow and Twilight and Rari-.

Rarity. She definitely wouldn't take this news too kindly. Fluttershy would need to think about how to tell her. Fluttershy yawned. She decided she could figure that out in the morning, as she wasn't good to do anything without sleep. She trotted up the stairs, pounced on her bed, and wrapped herself in the covers, her thoughts aiming towards tomorrow as she drifted away to dreamland.

__________________________________________________________________________

Fluttershy stretched as her eyes adjusted to the light encompassing her room. She began going through the events of the previous night in her head, and a content smile crossed her face. It dissipated an instant later, when another little detail entered her mind.

"Rarity," she sighed. This was going to be tough, Fluttershy knew. Rarity was, admittedly, Fluttershy's best friend. That were together all the time, even having a day set aside every week to spend together at the spa. They liked many of the same things, both taking an interest in fashion.

Fluttershy wasn't sure how exactly to tell Rarity about Blueblood. But she knew she needed to. Ponyville was a very small town, after all. Word traveled quickly. She was certain that either somepony saw Blueblood enter her house, or would at least see them together that night. She didn't want Rarity to hear from anypony else, it would only make things worse. She decided to just walk over to Rarity's that minute and just have it out. She got up, fed her many animals, and walked through the door.

__________________________________________________________________________

Fluttershy knocked quietly on the door. She shuffled her hooves nervously on the doorstep. After a moment, she realized her friend probably hadn't heard her, so she knocked again, slightly louder this time.

"Coming," sang a voice from inside the building. A few seconds later, the door was pulled open. Rarity looked over her guest with concern.

"Fluttershy," she said, "whatever is the matter, dear?" The yellow pegasus rubbed the back of her neck.

"Good morning, Rarity," she began with a slightly forced smile, "Could I come in for a bit? There's something I need to talk to you about."

"Well, of course, darling. Please, do come in." Rarity stepped to the side to give her friend room to enter. Fluttershy smiled to her as she entered. She walked over to Rarity's couch and sat down. Rarity herself closed the door and sat down next to Fluttershy.

"Would you care for some tea? I have a new flavor in. Just imported from Prance." Fluttershy shook her head in response.

"No, thank you." Rarity was blind-sided by this. Fluttershy never refused tea from her. Something must have been troubling her terribly.

"Oh, alright," Rarity spoke, "Well, then, what is it you need to discuss with me?" Fluttershy took a deep breath.

"Rarity, do you remember Prince Blueblood?" She looked at Rarity from the corner of her eye. She was feigning being nauseated.

"Ugh! That so-called "Prince Charming"? I don't think I'll ever forget that name. Why do you ask?" That was a bit less pleasant than Fluttershy had anticipated.

"Well, he kind-of stopped by my home last night." Rarity's mouth fell to the floor.

"He WHAT?!" She screamed so loud, Fluttershy could have sworn she'd heard a window shatter. "Now he's attempting to hurt my best friend?! I will not stand for this! I'm going to ride into Canterlot and kick that bruiser in his smug, pretentious muzzle!" She began to stand up, but Fluttershy grabbed her, gently pulling her back down.

"Rarity please," she said in a soothing tone, "You'll just get yourself thrown in a dungeon. Besides, it wasn't like that. He came to... Well..." Fluttershy took a deep breath and faced the floor. "He invited me to dinner, Rarity." She looked up to the mare next to her. Rarity was staring back with her jaw ajar.

"He... asked you out?" Rarity said in disbelief. Fluttershy nodded. Rarity's expression did not change as she asked another question.

"And you said?" Fluttershy looked deep in her friend's eyes.

"Please don't hate me." She felt her eyes beginning to moisten. She knew how melodramatic Rarity could be, and she didn't want to lose her closest friend.

"I... I'm not sure what to say to this," Rarity responded, "Why did you say yes?"

"Well, he was being so sweet and he said I was beautiful and..." Fluttershy began sobbing slightly, "Please don't hate me." Rarity finally noticed just how distraught her dear friend actually was. She pulled the shy pegasus into a tight embrace.

"Fluttershy," she began in a slightly more relaxed tone, "there is nothing you or anypony else could say or do to ever make me hate you. You're my family. I love you." She began slowly rubbing Fluttershy's back in an attempt to calm her. "I don't want you to ever prevent yourself from speaking your mind to me out of such fear. I'll always be here for you, no matter what." Rarity pulled away and wiped tears from the weeping pegasus' eyes.

"I'm sorry, Rarity," Fluttershy said with a sniff, "I was just so worried you wouldn't want to speak to me after I told you about Blueblood."

"I'm sorry for how I reacted. I should support any decision you make. But, you do remember how he treated me at the Gala, don't you?" Rarity asked with concern. Fluttershy fiddled with her hooves.

"Um, Rarity. What did you know about Blueblood before the Gala?" Rarity was slightly blind-sided by this question.

"What exactly do you mean, dear?"

"Well, did you know what activities he enjoyed?"

"Well, no, I don't think I did."

"What kind of music he preferred?"

"No."

"What types of books he read?"

"... No."

"I can't imagine how he must have felt, being pursued by so many mares as a simple trophy. I'm not excusing his behavior, I know he over-reacted. It's just, I understand why he did it." Rarity appeared to be contemplating what the pony next to her had said. Eventually, she sighed.

"You're right, Fluttershy," she said, "I didn't know Blueblood that night. I was after his title, not his love. Perhaps he is a gentlecolt and I just wasn't able to see it. I suppose I owe him an apology. Next time we're in Canterlot."

"Well," Fluttershy stated, "He actually intended to apologize to you while he was in town. You could go to his hotel." Rarity raised a brow

"He's staying in Ponyville?" Rarity questioned the yellow pony seated beside her, who replied with a simple nod.

"He's been wanting to take a vacation for some time apparently. I'm sure royal business can get quite stressful."

Rarity smiled lightly. "Then I shall pay him a visit once we have concluded our business." Fluttershy glanced over to the wall clock, noting it's time at approximately 11:00.

"Okay, "she said, "We still have five hours before the date. Plenty of time between." Rarity gasped.

"Only five hours?!" she exclaimed as her horn ignited and her magical grip began engulfing her beauty supplies. "Oh, nonononono. Apologies will have to wait for later. We need to start getting you ready this instant." She began running one of her twenty mane brushes through Fluttershy's mane magically as she walked toward her closet, searching for the perfect gown for the evening.

"Ummm, Rarity?" Fluttershy attempted to acquire her friend's lost attention, but her quiet demeanor stepped in the way. She spoke again, slightly louder this time. The unicorn across the room had this time noticed that her guest had been speaking.

"Sorry, darling. I was a tad pre-occupied. I still need to find the right dress for you."

"Rarity, I appreciate that you want to help, but this isn't necessary. It's going to be a casual evening. He said I didn't need to wear anything fancy." Rarity let out a stunned gasp as though Fluttershy had just slapped her. She walked back to her model and threw a foreleg over her shoulders.

"Why is it the date was arranged to be so early?" Rarity questioned as she stared at the other with a serious expression. Fluttershy sighed, as she was sure the fashionista knew the answer.

"He's taking me to Canterlot," she spoke with a groan. "But he told me it wasn't necessary to formalize."

Rarity let out a light-hearted chuckle at such a ridiculous notion. She released her hostage and trotted back toward the over-sized closet abound with many a different variety of dress.

"Darling, please. This is Canterlot we're talking about." Rarity pulled out one of her finer Honeydew pieces. She used her magic to hold the gown aloft, and mimicked dancing with it. "You must be graceful. Elegant." She trotted over to her friend and held the dress next to her. When the designer felt confident that the dress was complimenting to coat and mane color, she began to gently curl Fluttershy's lashes.

"All eyes will be on you, dear." She had a content smile on her face as she considered the night in her mind. One pony, however, was not so excited.

"No," Fluttershy managed to squeak out, "Nonono. No eyes. I'd like to keep myself eye-free, please." She began feeling squeamish at the thought of dozens of ponies surrounding her, watching her, judging her.

"I know it sounds rather unnerving at the moment, Fluttershy," as she attempted to comfort the shy pony, she brushed a hoof tenderly through her mane, "but trust me. Once those Canterlot ponies gaze upon you with sheer admiration and awe in their eyes, you will warm up to the idea." Fluttershy groaned, realizing she was essentially speaking to a walking boulder. As Fluttershy began imagining the scene in her head, she this time didn't focus on the many ponies surrounding her, nor the music playing, nor the food on her plate. Her attention was wholly dedicated to the charming stallion seated across the table, smiling a dashing smile as he placed his hoof on hers.

And she smiled.

___________________________________________________________________________

"Perfect!" Rarity screamed triumphantly as she applied the finishing touches to her masterpiece. She looked up and down, admiring her work, noting every exquisite detail. She dragged a mirror over to the center of the room, and Fluttershy gazed into it. She was pleasantly surprised. Though Fluttershy had specifically requested Rarity not give her a makeover, she was glad that she did. Fluttershy wasn't one to recognize her own beauty, but in that moment even she found herself simply stunning. She turned and threw her hooves around the gifted designer.

"Rarity," she exclaimed with utter glee, "Thank you. It's amazing."

"It was nothing, dear," replied the unicorn, waving her compliment off, "This beauty has always been in you. I simply helped bring it out." A small hint of red found it's way to Fluttershy's cheeks as Rarity turned to check her clock.

"Ah, finished with thirty minutes to spare. We need to get you home straight away." Fluttershy looked at the clock, noting that there was actually about forty-five minutes left before the date.

"But Rarity," the yellow mare said with a raised brow, "we still have a good forty-five minutes before Blueblood picks me up."

"We need to cross the whole of Ponyville to reach your cottage, and if we move too quickly your mane may ruffle. Plus, a true gentle-colt arrives early, and we don't want to keep the prince waiting, now do we?"

Fluttershy didn't want to be late for the date that had already been scheduled. She began to stand, but Rarity urged her back down. When her flank was back on the floor, Rarity lifted her hooves and placed a type of pad on each. Fluttershy raised one to her face and eyed it for a moment.

"What is this for?" she asked, still regarding the pad.

"Dear, these are designed to protect your hooves from the dirt," the fashionista stated matter-of-factually, "You don't want those freshly shined hooves sullied by soil. And done. Let's go."

The two stood and practically glided through the door of the boutique. At least, Rarity did. Fluttershy was a tad more hesitant, as she knew this new look would attract some attention. Rarity turned to see her friend still frozen in the doorway, eyes dashing back and forth nervously. Rarity always found these habits cute. She wore a heartfelt smile as she trotted back to the petrified pegasus, and began pushing her into the street. Fluttershy had her eyes tightly locked at the moment, so she could just pretend the other ponies weren't there. She began feeling a minor pressure on one of her forelegs, and heard Rarity whispering her name. She opened her eyes to see her friend's smiling face staring back at her.

Rarity's tone was soft and reassuring, as though she were speaking to a frightened young filly.

"Dear, open your eyes. There's something you may want to see." Fluttershy was hesitant, but she trusted Rarity, and knew she was only acting in her best interests. Slowly, cautiously, Fluttershy looked away from her friend, toward the surrounding area. Ponies were staring at her. But not the uncomfortable, judgmental kind of stare. These stares were filled with awe and wonder. Fluttershy actually began to feel a bit better. A familiar cyan pegasus trotted up next to Rarity, unable to see the third pony in the group.

"Wow, Rarity. You sure are getting some looks today," Rainbow Dash illustrated her compliment by pointing at all of the surrounding stallions. Rarity chuckled.

"They're not looking at me, darling," As she spoke, Rarity gestured to her other side. When Rainbow glanced around her, her jaw fell and her mind went utterly blank, causing her to trip over a rock. Though it wasn't until her face had connected with the ground that she realized what had happened.

"Ponyfeathers!" she swore. The other two mares walking turned back to her. Rarity let out a light chuckle as Fluttershy slowly began retreating behind her mane. Rainbow dashed to her hooves and looked around nonchalantly. She wouldn't allow her pride to be bruised by a simple rock.

"I didn't fall. I was... admiring this grass. Yeah, that's it! It's just so nice and...grassy. On an unrelated note, 'Shy! You look pretty..." Rainbow saw Rarity's smug expression and realized she was gushing. She cleared her throat and regained her composure.

"Uhhh... awesome. You look pretty awesome." Despite her 'correction', Rarity's smirk had not dissipated. In fact, it seemed to grow. Rainbow glared at her, which caused her to giggle satisfactorily. Fluttershy didn't notice any of this, still stricken by the fact that she just caused her oldest friend to face-plant into the ground. She wondered if she really did look that good, and how the prince would react to it.

"Thank you, Rainbow. Rarity gave me a makeover for tonight." Rainbow shot a quizzical expression at her.

"Really? What's the occasion?" She looked between the two of them. Fluttershy seemed lost in thought. Rarity looked a bit too enthusiastic to share the news. Rainbow Dash completely ignored the white unicorn's excitement and attempted to fish the information from the yellow pegasus next to her.

"'Shy?" Her words fell on deaf ears. Fluttershy was in deep contemplation with a content smile gracing her lips. Rainbow groaned.

"Rarity." She huffed. The unicorn leaped with joy, finally breaking the yellow pony from her stupor.

"Fluttershy has a date tonight!' Rarity practically squealed it out. Her smile hadn't fallen as she gracefully landed back on the soft ground. It took a moment for Rainbow's mind to discern the information it had just been given.

"Wait, what?" She rubbed her ear to ensure it wasn't blocked by something, and that she had truly heard what she had just heard. "Did you just say Fluttershy has a date? FLUTTERSHY, Fluttershy?" She looked over to the aforementioned pegasus, who appeared rather hurt by her friend's words. Rainbow didn't mean to sound so blunt. It's just that, as long as she had known Fluttershy, she had never once seen her in a relationship.

"Sorry, Fluttershy. I didn't mean anything by it." Fluttershy plastered a shining grin over her features.

"Oh, it's okay Rainbow. I know what you meant." Rainbow wiped a hoof across her forehead.

"So, who's the lucky stallion?"

"Ummm... Prince Blueblood." A loud thud could be heard as, for a second time, technicolor mane met brown dirt. Fluttershy let out a small squeak at the sudden noise.

"You bagged a prince?!" Rainbow Dash shouted as she 'dashed' to the side of the timid mare.

"I wanna know EVERYTHING! Don't skimp on the deets!" The white mare giggled like a little school filly at this particularly uncharacteristic display, though she attempted to contain herself as she knew she would never again actually observe an instance of Rainbow Dash gossiping. Fluttershy began recalling the details of the prince's short but productive visit. The two mares walking along side her listened closely and patiently as their destination, a small cottage at the edge of the city, came into view.

__________________________________________________________________________

They watched the clock in almost total silence. The confidence Fluttershy had ushered earlier that day had been utterly depleted, and her small form shook with every breath she took. Just a few more minutes and- She heard something. The sound of flapping wings. All of her thoughts melted into oblivion and she suddenly felt short on breath. She fanned herself with a hoof.

"Do you girls find it hot in here? It feels hot in here." Rarity trotted over toward her and gently rested one of her hooves on her shoulder.

"Darling. I understand you're nervous, but you need to calm yourself. If you're so stressed through the evening, you'll receive no joy from it." Fluttershy responded with a subtle nod and inhaled as much air as she could before releasing. A knock sounded on the door. It was a confident, reassuring knock. Fluttershy calmly, against her anxiety, began a weak pace toward the sound, taking one final moment to fortify her will before placing her hoof on the knob and gently pulled the wooden barrier to.

Fluttershy was slightly confused. On the steps of her cottage stood, not the prince, but an entirely different stallion she had never met. The pony at the door smiled at her confused expression.

"Ah, I see this disguise has had the desired effect." With a quick flash of his horn, he was replaced by the elegant form of Prince Blueblood. Fluttershy blinked away the light emanated by the spell.

"Disguise?" She feared for a moment that the prince didn't want to be seen with her. His calm and caring smile quickly relieved her of such thoughts.

"Well, you see, I noticed how very nervous you were last night. I assumed it was a symptom of being in the presence of royalty, until I remembered how much time you've spent with auntie Celestia. So I began to check around your small town. I discovered that you are the shy pony. So, I fashioned this disguise to avoid any public attention over the course of our evening." After speaking, he looked over her. "Though, you may find more difficulty in that regard than I would." Fluttershy's face felt warm and changed to a familiar pinkish hue.

The prince chuckled and looked beyond the object of his attention to her guests. His eyes locked on a hint of white and he requested permission to enter. Walking toward the back of the room, he knelt down in front of the unicorn.

"Miss Rarity. I wish to extend my sincerest apologies for my behavior on the night of the Gala. It was despicable and completely unjustifiable."

"No, your majesty," Rarity responded with a respectful bow of her own, "I completely understand your reaction to my advances. I simply pursued you for your royalty, and it was deplorable. I apologize." The two rose from their leaning positions and shook hooves with satisfied grins. The prince turned to acknowledge the third mare, a cyan blue pegasus he had not met prior to this evening. He extended a hoof casually to her.

"Prince Blueblood," he spoke, "Charmed to make your acquaintance. And you are?" Rainbow slapped on a smug expression and bumped her hoof against his. Blueblood withdrew his hoof and eyed it awkwardly.

"I'm surprised you haven't heard of me. Rainbow "Danger" Dash. Fastest flier in Equestria." Rarity connected a hoof to her face.

"As you can probably imagine, she's not known for subtlety. Sorry." Blueblood chuckled into his hoof.

"Nonsense. I admire her enthusiasm. Actually... I think I have heard of you. The Best Young Fliers Competition, correct? You created that beautiful rainbow." He turned to Rarity. "Weren't you there, too?" Rarity cast her eyes toward the ground.

"Perhaps we could change the subject?" She continued to scold herself for her selfish and despicable behavior on that day. Blueblood flinched at her reaction.

"Oh, dear. I've hit a sore spot. I am sorry." Rarity looked up with a forced smile, waving off his apology. Clearing his throat, Blueblood bowed to the two mares before him and began slow trot back to the front door.

"As much of a pleasure as it was to officially meet the pair of you, we really must be on our way if we wish to make our reservation." His horn was engulfed by a bronze aura as he quickly donned his disguise.

Fluttershy pondered something. "I thought we wouldn't need to worry about being bothered."

"Well, we shouldn't. But one can never be too careful. And I'm certain you would like to avoid such major public attention." Fluttershy thanked him internally for his consideration. "Are you set to depart, Fluttershy?"

Fluttershy nodded and waved to her friends on the opposite edge of the room, who returned the gesture. Albeit, a tad over-enthusiastically. With not a word more, Blueblood opened the door- chivalrously holding it for his company to pass first- and the pair trotted side-by-side toward the train station, boarding the familiar old freight to the neighboring city of Canterlot.

____________________________________________________________________________

They had been walking for a good few minutes, discussing anything that would pop into their minds. His duties as prince, her work with the animals, general city life, et cetera. For a moment, Fluttershy had forgotten what she was even in Canterlot for. That is, until Blueblood pointed out their destination. A single-level building, colored teal with lime-green canopies. Fluttershy did respect the look of the place, and assumed it was considerably high-class. Her assumption was confirmed when she saw the interior. Murals covered the walls, chandeliers hung from the ceiling, a rather large fountain was positioned in the center of the room. It positively screamed high society. Fluttershy had to admit, she was slightly intimidated by this scene.

Blueblood walked toward the reservation desk. It was inhabited by a brown unicorn stallion in a black waistcoat. He looked down to the new faces quizzically.

"Good evening. Do you have a reservation?"

"Last time I was here, oh two weeks ago, you said I didn't need an invitation, Nova." Nova leaned in and squinted his eyes.

"Prince Blueblood?" Blueblood smirked at his friend's reaction.

"Apologies for the ruse. My date is shy and I'm just trying to keep the other ponies' eyes from us." Nova looked to the date and his jaw smacked the table.

"I think you may have needed a little more work on that." Fluttershy rubbed one of her forelegs awkwardly, nervously smiling away. "Cute."

"Hey, Nova. Remember, she's my date. You can look, but you'd best not touch." Nova chuckled.

"I won't make any promises." The stallions bumped hooves and Nova began leading the couple to a vacant table. Blueblood was glad he decided to disguise himself, as many of the ponies in the restaurant he had never seen before. When he had seated them, Nova had a question on his mind that was eating away at him.

"I'm sorry ma'am. But have we met? I'm certain I've seen you before."

"Ummm... well... I did some modeling work for Photo Finish some time ago."

"Oh, yes now I remember. A pleasure to make your acquaintance."

"Please, the pleasure is mine."

"So structured. Quite the mare you've found, Blueblood."

"Isn't she, though?" The stallions smiled back to Fluttershy, who was crumbling under all of this praise. She wasn't accustomed to such treatment.

"Where did you meet her?"

"Ponyville." Nova raised his brows. He hadn't expected Blueblood to spend time in a such a small, quiet town.

"Ponyville. I've never been but I hear it's lovely. Tell me, dear, have you spoken with the Bearers of the Elements of Harmony? I would love to meet one of them." Fluttershy fiddled with her mane.

"Ummm... actually..." Blueblood smiled gently at her modest apprehension.

"As a matter of fact, she is one of the Element Bearers." Nova gasped and knelt in respect.

"It is truly an honor."

"Oh really, that isn't necessary."

"Of course it is, ma'am. You and your friends have, on several occasions, saved the entire kingdom, and have received nothing in return. I will at least show you the reverence you so deserve." Nova rose with a childish grin. "She's a former model and Element Bearer. And she looks like that. Good luck with your quiet date." He sat down menus for the two and walked to his desk.

__________________________________________________________________________

That was perhaps the best meal Fluttershy had ever eaten. And it was only the appetizer. Though, she felt she should have conserved it a time longer. It seemed to be the only thing that was distracting her from the horde of eyes staring her down.

Suddenly, several of the ponies began moving closer to their table, clutching magazines, pictures and so on. Fluttershy's anxiety was reaching a peak and her breaths came with difficulty. Blueblood looked around to see the swarm bearing down on them. Or, more accurately, on her.

The ponies all began chatting her up, requesting autographs or aiming to take pictures with her. She couldn't think straight. Her mind fogged and her legs were weak. Blueblood would not allow them to traumatize the poor young mare.

His horn ignited, temporarily blinding all nearby life. When they could see again, sitting in the original stallion's place was Prince Blueblood's actual form. His mane was slightly frizzed by the spell and he wasn't wearing his typical jacket. Many normal ponies would easily overlook these inconsistencies. But these were the Canterlot elite he was surrounded by. Such an appearance could be considered quite the gossip.

As he anticipated, all of the ponies darted from her and huddled around him, cameras flashing to and fro. He looked to his date with a wink. She mouthed a simple "thank you" as she watched the mound of ponies converging on him. One or two ponies remained by Fluttershy, but she paid them no mind. All she could think about was the fact that he had taken on that storm with a smile... for her.