• Published 10th Dec 2013
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My Family and Other Equestrians - Blade Star

A HiE fic with a twist. Our protagonist is not alone. How does one approach being in Equestria, when their family is along for the ride?

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Chapter 40 -The Reception - Part 2

Alright Bladey, don’t panic, I thought to myself. It’s just the Princess of the Night and one of the ponies you admire the most asking you to dance with her. Nothing to worry about at all. My mind offered a rebuttal in the form of a very loud scream. It was one thing to dance with Rarity, it was quite another to dance with the pony who for half the time was the highest authority in Equestria. Once upon a time, I might have begun to crush on Luna, but not now though, for two key reasons, the most prominent being that she was way out of my league.

Still, the princess stood before me, smiling slightly and offering a hoof. I was hardly in a position to refuse. But I did fear that I would say or do something wonderfully embarrassing.

“But of course, Princess,” I replied, bowing slightly. “Ah would be honoured.” And with that, I led her onto the dance floor, my heart pounding so loudly, I could hear it in my ears. Luna suddenly peeled off however toward the orchestra. Using her most basic of magical abilities, she summoned several sheets of paper and handed them to the various performers. I saw Octavia look over them, she seemed intrigued by what she saw. The group then nodded to the princess and took their places. As she returned, Luna anticipated my question.

“I was merely handing the musicians a new piece I would like to hear played live,” she said, as she took her place. This would be an unusual experience. I couldn’t recall a time when the female partner was so much taller than her companion. I had to raise my head slightly to look her in the eye. And with that, the music began.

I would recognise that tune anywhere; Moonlight Serenade. A beautiful slow piece ideal for a dance like this. My mind, and inner brony for that matter, was still reeling from being asked to dance in the first place. I did the only thing I could think of at the time to distract myself; turn on the faux charm.

“Dropping the Royal ‘We’ and the Royal Canterlot Voice at a public event? Ah must say your highness, ah’m impressed.” Right, well done, I figured I now had about three seconds of life left. Much to my surprise, the usually stoic Luna sniggered.

“As am I. I did not expect a common farmhand such as yourself to be such a good dancer.” Did I just get burned? “Besides, I have been in this new world for a few years now, Blade Star. You didn’t think that I would forever continue to cling to ancient and outdated traditions did you?”

“Touché,” I replied. “Still, Ah’m glad you could attend, Princess.” Luna rolled her eyes slightly and smiled.

“Blade Star, how many times must I tell you? Call me Luna.” I had been hoping that she wouldn’t say that. I was already dancing with her in a most intimate fashion and our conversation was becoming increasingly informal. I had expected that she would maintain a certain decorum at this event.

We continued to dance and twirl as the steady music continued. I was actually starting to enjoy myself. I foalishly looked into her eyes. Those same beautiful cyan eyes. My god, I was turning into a bloody romantic, and after just one dance.

“Ah’m not overstepping my bounds am Ah then?” I asked Luna, I was also praying that Celestia couldn’t see this. Luna shook her head.

“Of course not. I requested you to dance with me, which you accepted. I don’t see why you should see yourself as overstepping the mark. We are dancing at a formal event, I am hardly making some foalish romantic overture.” Oh thank Celestia, I thought. I liked Luna, but as a friend, perhaps even a mentor of sorts. Briefly I had somehow got it into my head that I was in some trashy HiE romance nonsense. “Though I do like you, Blade Star.” Before I could complain more internally, the song ended as we both bowed briefly to each other.

“Thank you, Luna. Ah enjoyed that very much,” I said as we released each other.

“As did I young Blade Star. Perhaps we will partake in such activities again?” I nodded politely. And with that, the princess went to meet up with her sister who had indeed been watching the whole time. To my alarm, Luna instantly began whispering in the white alicorn’s ear.

I looked around for Rarity. I figured we would have one more dance and then think about heading back to the hotel. This plan lasted right up until the moment I spotted my alabaster companion.

She was standing a ways off from the dance floor, a glass of something in her magic. Directly opposite her, standing uncomfortably close to her, as could be seen by her expression, was the second greatest insult to Equestrian royalty; Blueblood. I immediately began to head over to them.

Very quickly I came up with a simple and effective plan to counter this unfavourable situation. Step one: go to Blueblood. Step two: punch Blueblood really hard in the middle of the face. Step three: demand a dual. Step four: win duel and go on with my day. Bear in mind this plan was devised by an extremely angry inner brony that hated Blueblood with a passion. So, yeah, not one of my better ideas.

Luckily for me though, I did not have sufficient time to put my brilliant plan into effect. The look on Rarity’s face turned from disgust to pure, blind rage. Then, in a move I have not seen before or since, she reared up and punched Blueblood right on the nose. Instantly the assembled crowd gasped in surprise. I was even more shocked when I saw Blueblood briefly stagger, before fluttering his eyelids and passing out on the deck. In one punch Rarity had knocked him out cold. Didn’t see that coming. I quickly cantered up to Rarity.

“Rarity, are you alright?!” I asked alarmed, I still had no idea what that foal had done to provoke her so. She was still shaking her right hoof from the punch.

“I’m fine Blade Star,” she replied, her tone still heavily laced with acid. “It’s a pity I can’t say the same for the sorry ass over there though.” She gestured to Blueblood.

In spite of my dislike for the spoilt prince, I went over to check on him, since no one else seemed to be willing. Putting a hoof to his neck I felt a steady pulse. Rarity had landed her punch on his mouth. The poor bugger was already getting a fat lip and was bleeding profusely. I opened one of his eyes, it reacted to the light well enough. In spite of the force behind the punch, the prince seemed uninjured; glass jaw I suppose.

I considered calling for a couple corpsponies, there were plenty of Royal Guard around after all, but since there was no obvious serious injuries, I decided to go for simple approach. I began by tapping Blueblood’s cheek with a hoof.

“Alright sir, come on, up you get.” The unicorn stirred, groaning profusely, and far more than necessary if you want my opinion. “It’s alright, you’re not hurt that bad. Come on, get up,” I encouraged. He opened his eyes, he quickly took notice of me trying to help him up.

“Get off me you stupid oaf!” he complained loudly. Well, I guess Blueblood hasn’t changed much. I continued to help him to his hooves “I said get off! You’ll ruin my suit, this costs more than you make in a year, I guarantee it!” He obviously hadn’t yet looked down at himself. The blood from, well most of his face, had trickled down onto his, frankly vile, suit. He quickly clocked this and let out a scream that I would have expected to come from a filly.

“My suit, you evil mare!” He pointed at Rarity. “First you act in such an uncivilised manner at the Gala and now you dare strike me for mere conversation!” I looked to Rarity, who was a barely contained maelstrom of unending female fury.

“You are the one who had the nerve to insult me,” she countered angrily, “And I have never been so disgusted with a pony’s comments about anypony in all my life. So take that you ruffian!” She glared triumphantly at the prince. By now, the situation was attracting quite a crowd. I picked out Fancy Pants amongst them.

“Fancy Pants!” I called, “Do me a favour please and take Prince Blueblood here outside while ah try and sort this out.” The unicorn nodded and placed a hoof on Blueblood’s shoulder before leading him out. I turned to Rarity, placing a hoof on her shoulder.

“Now, Rarity, slowly, tell me what just happened.”

And so Rarity told me of the events that culminated in her striking a royal prince. It had started innocently enough. She had already anticipated that she would run into him and had done her best to prepare herself for the encounter. Given the events of their last meeting and parting, she had no desire to see neither hide nor hair of him, never mind speak to him. However, whilst I had been away with Luna, he and a group of his fellows had approached her. She had done her best to be civil, greeting him with at least feigned politeness. Blueblood however was anything but civil and opened with the question ‘why are you here?’. Now, bear in mind Rarity was wearing one of her own label dresses and was widely known as a talented designer, so this first volley came as a shock to her. When she replied that she was here as a designer, Blueblood had attempted to sully her name, suggesting that she merely sewed rags together and called them dresses, and that were not good enough for the likes of Canterlot.

In all honesty, I would have punched him at that point and not necessarily in the face.

Rarity naturally took offence at such a remark and demanded that he apologise. Typically, Blueblood’s ego got in the way of that one and he refused to do so, amazingly citing her as the offending party for making her dresses in the first place. It was then, that he went over the edge. He suggested to Rarity that she ought to consider making designs for, let’s say places of little repute, and that perhaps she might look good in one. At that point she had lost it, reared up on her hind legs and taken a swing at him.

“Ah’m surprised you kept your temper for so long, Rarity,” I said as she finished her tale, “Ah’d have punched the sorry idiot much sooner. And ah always liked to think I could keep a cool head.” Rarity sighed in resignation.

“There’s just no way anypony can reason with that imbecile,” she replied. “No matter what, he is in the right and it’s not his fault.” At this point my mind reminded me of my original plan. Technically, I had a case here, Blueblood had insulted a lady under my care, which made the offense far more serious, and had refused to apologise. All I would need was a second and I could go ahead and settle matters the way gentlecolts ought to. Luckily saner heads prevailed, I had never fought a duel, and the practice of true duelling was probably just as illegal as it was on Earth.

However, I was not the only one who sought to tear Blueblood a new one, for Princess Luna had seen everything that had transpired and evidently heard Rarity’s account. This became apparent when she dipped into the Royal Canterlot Voice.

“PRINCE BLUEBLOOD!” she bellowed, “THOU SHALT COME BEFORE US NOW!” Just to be sure, she cast her horn alight and levitated the, evidently magically weak, prince from his position outside the door with Fancy Pants, to a position directly in front of her. The last time I had seen that look on her face, she had been declaring that there could only be one Princess of Equestria. Blueblood simply cowered, somehow maintaining control of his bowels.

“Oh, err, hello Aunt Luna,” he said in a small voice. Luna quickly cut him off.

“THOU SHALT BE SILENT!” Again we all did our best to endure and keep our ears covered. “THOU DISHONOUR THINESELF AND THE ROYAL FAMILY AS A WHOLE, SUCH BEHAVIOUR TOWARD A MARE IS UNFORGIVABLE!” I was hoping that the next sentence would include the word ‘moon’. “WE SHALL DEPRIVE THEE OF AN ENTIRE MONTHS ALLOWENCE FOR THIS!” Okay, this was now starting to look like a case of all bark and no bite.

However, from the look on Blueblood’s face, you would have thought that Luna had donned the black cap. He looked crestfallen and resigned, though some defiance still burned.

“But, but, how will I be able to afford all the clothes I need. I cannot live without my allowance.” Before Luna could issue another deafening rebuttal, I led Rarity out onto the balcony; she needed the air, and an opportunity to clear her head.

We stepped out into the cool, calm night, both of us glad to be away from the hustle and bustle of the reception and the still ranting and shouting Luna. It was completely dark by now of course. It had to be getting on for eleven o’clock at this point. Rarity simply leaned on the balcony railings and exhaled. Again, it had not been the night she had been hoping for. I still had half a mind to go and join Luna and beat the tar out of Blueblood, it alarms me greatly that that colt in a stallion’s body is actually fifth in the line of succession. Rarity looked like she just wanted to go back to the hotel, she looked broken.

I wasn’t going to have that. No, just for once, Rarity was going to have fond memories of Canterlot, visiting there with friends and meeting many interesting and friendly ponies. I contemplated how I would achieve this, that’s when I heard the orchestra start up again, perhaps in an attempt to salvage the mood. We both stood alone on the balcony, and I had promised to be her hoof candy for the evening, I could indulge one of her fantasies. I walked up to her as she continued to look sadly out over Canterlot.

“Miss Rarity,” I said as the music increased in volume, “May ah have this dance?” She looked over to me half-heartedly. Very quickly though, she realised I was serious and burst into smiles.

“Thank you, Mr. Star,” she replied quietly, “I’d like that very much.”

And with that, we began to dance. It was by no means a romantic thing on my end, sometimes a mare just needs somepony to be there for her, to make it all okay again. I was more like a father consoling his daughter than anything else. If nothing else, I could have a good go at it. We continued to dance alone in the moonlight; Rarity was evidently enjoying the faux romantic nature of the gesture. She seemed to regain the gleam in her eye that had vanished after her encounter with Blueblood.

“Thank you for this, darling,” she said as we swayed to the steady rhythm of the waltz.

“Well, Ah am your ‘plus one’ after all,” I replied. “Wouldn’t be right to leave a lady alone and upset on a balcony now would it.” She smiled happily at my comment.

“Well, if this is your idea of simply playing a part, I’m certain your special somepony will enjoy the genuine article.” My face took on a look of confusion as I raised a hoof to allow Rarity to twirl.

“Special somepony?” I asked, “Since when have ah had a special somepony?” Rarity tittered.

“Oh darling, please. There’s no need to keep quiet about it. You and Applejack would make a wonderful couple.” At that point I kind of lost my footing, and Rarity collapsed on to me, suddenly ending the dance.

“Applejack?!” I exclaimed, “Rarity what in the name of all things oats and apples are you on about?” As Rarity righted herself, her expression changed. At first, she smiled as if it was all just a joke, but as her eyes met with mine, they became more serious. I could see the cogs turning in her head as she tried to process what was before her. Finally, she briefly closed her eyes, before looking me in the eye and placing a hoof on my shoulder.

“What I do now, I do as a friend.” And with that, she smacked me across the face. “Idiot!” There was a slight pause in my response as I rubbed my now reddened cheek.

“Not so sure ah deserved that,” I said crossly. Again, the look on Rarity’s face was one of confusion.

“Darling, please tell me you have spotted that she likes you.” My mind instantly flew to that kiss, and how broken up she had been when she thought I was leaving for good and the number of strange remarks I had got from other ponies, and my family. At the time I’d simply written them off as us being close friends, but now. Everything clicked into place.

“Oh boy,” I muttered, running a hoof through my mane. “This ain’t good.”

Author's Note:

Proofread by Sidetrack.

And thus, the inevitable happens.

I'm already in need of more new pony. So, like, fav, comment and wait for 2015, or possibly this winter.

Behind the Scenes: Due to a case of epic author incompetence, almost all the dialogue grammar had to be redone after it came back from proofreading. At this point Sidetrack needs a medal.

Up next, more on the subject of love. See you next Friday.

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