• Published 27th Oct 2011
  • 4,520 Views, 106 Comments

Blue Days - BlackM

Blues is having a bad day. Can the Mane Six make it better?

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The Kindness of Strangers

The Kindness of Strangers


“Sweet Celestia, those prices are high.”

Blues had arrived at the spa Applejack was talking about and was now looking through their pamphlets to see their services and prices. He sat on one of the chairs in the lounge and read the prices as the clerk clacked away on a typewriter. Every now and then, one of the workers at the spa would walk in and whisper something to the clerk, and occasionally give the stallion an odd glance as she walked out. Blues figured since he was a new customer and an odd sight in a place like this, the workers were eyeing him like that. That or they were aware about Blues reputation.

If it was the former, they wouldn’t have to worry about him being here any longer. These prices were way too high for a poor pony like him…

“Twenty four bits for a pedicure? Thirty bits for a mud bath? Where’s the simple baths? Can’t a guy just have a regular bathing in here?” he spoke lowly, but audibly.

“Umm, you’d go bathe at home for a regular bath…” a soft voice spoke to him.

Blues looked up at the sound of the voice. There was no one in the lounge aside from him and the clerk and she was busy typing away on her typewriter. He thought he was the only one in the room, until his peripherals caught a pink colored mane to his left. Shyly peeking through the entrance was a pale yellow coated pony with a long flowing pink mane, eyeing him back with blue eyes that seemed to glisten like she was about to cry. As soon as he laid eyes on her, she retreated a little behind the door, almost afraid of him.

Blues was a little skeptical. There was another mare talking to him and giving him her attention. And it wasn’t just any mare. It was the town’s esteemed veterinarian who owned the cottage near the Everfree Forest.

“Uh…come again?” Blues asked, making sure the pegasus was talking to him.

“Oh, umm,” Fluttershy uttered as she opened the door further and stepped inside, letting ring the bell as it closed, “I heard you complaining about the services of this place…”

“Oh, yeah…” Blues replied, “I just came here looking for a good bath. A fr- acquaintance told me to come here.”

“Is this your first time here?” she asked, “You don’t seem to know how spas work…”

“Ehh…not really…” Blues modestly answered, rubbing a hoof behind his head, “I just came here for a good bath, not some million dollar shower.”

Fluttershy chuckled a little. “This place is really popular among mares. I guess it’d make sense for a colt like you to have no idea on how spas work.”

“Ehehe, yeah,” Blues set aside the pamphlet he was reading. The stallion then decided to change the subject, “You come here often?”

“Oh, not by myself,” she answered, “I actually came here to book a spot for two for a friend of mine. We’re going to have our usual afternoon girl time together.”

“Oh. And, what do girls usually do in a bathtub together?” he asked.

Fluttershy blushed at the question. It was an honest question, but it sounded out of context and she was uncomfortable with the thoughts in her head. One wouldn’t peg her for having a mind dirtier than pure, but growing up around a certain tomboy pegasus made her more aware of the mature aspects of the world, with some unexpected consequences as demonstrated. The benefit of the experience, in a situation like this, was that she knew the stallion would take any answer she would say and turn it into some perverted thought.

Sort of like what she did right now.

“Um…girl stuff…” she answered, shying her head away to peek at the stallion through her bangs, “…confidential…”

Her intentions to prevent such thoughts seemed to have failed, as Blues tried to process the answer to his understanding. Of course, Blues wasn’t really the kind to think of that kind of stuff. Fluttershy assuming he would was a matter of her lack of experience around stallions.

If anypony was having dirty thoughts in this conversation, it was her.

“Uhh…huh,” he said, finally prompting himself to get to the most important question on his mind, “So, what would you recommend?”

“Um, sorry?” Fluttershy replied.

“If I’m going to spend my bits on a good simple bathing,” he picked up the pamphlet he had set aside earlier, “which one should I go with? The herbal tea bath, the mud bath, the…fish bath?”

Blues read the description of the last bath he listed. Whatever it was, it sounded nasty if one was to bathe in fishes.

“Would they be alive or dead?” he asked.

Fluttershy bit her lip seeing the colt go through his deductions of spa baths, which were really poor. Each bath was for specific purposes of cleansing the skin, and each also cost a little over the average pony’s salary. Her mind then thought back to her first question to the stallion; if he wanted a bath, he’d go home for one. Why would he come here for a complex bathing if his home’s shower was good enough?

“Umm, pardon me for asking, but…” she started, “Why do you want to pay for a bath here? Wouldn’t a bath at home suffice?”

Blues blinked at the mare. He never really did give a proper explanation to her question. He didn’t want to; he was still shy about letting others know of his date-that-has-yet-to-be today. Although, he only told one other pony, a certain orange mare to be exact. And here he was with a new resolve to get a good bathing. He may as well try his luck again. He might learn something new about how to appeal to Rarity.

“Well…if you want to know, I actually want to get a good bath here to prepare for a date later today,” he answered lowly, but not low enough for Fluttershy, or the clerk, to miss.

“Oh? I see…” she replied. That would make sense. Any stallion would obviously want a good cleaning in preparation for a date, but not many come to a spa to freshen up. Still, a spa’s just as good as any home bathroom with the right products to use.

Feeling generous, the pegasus walked over to the clerk.

“Uh, ahem,” she spoke low enough to get her attention, “A bath for two please.”

His ears perked up at this.

“Yes, me and him.”

“Uh, what?!”

Fluttershy turned to the blue colt, not sure what his reaction was for. Irises shrunken, pink shading on his cheeks, mouth agape… Oh dear, did he think they were going to bathe together?

“Umm, there’s a tub that divides colts and fillies…” she said, trying to clear his confusion, “they use it for groups of friends and families.”

“Oh…and, that’s our tub…?” he asked, the blush dying on his face.

She nodded, “What were you thinking when I said a bath for two?”

“Uhh…” Blues blush began to grow a shade or two as thoughts raced his mind, “…nothing…”

Fluttershy chuckled a little. At least she wasn’t the only one with thoughts she couldn’t help.

“By the way, I’m Fluttershy.”

“Oh. Uh, Blues.”

“So, who’s the lucky mare?”


Blues sat neck deep in water, relaxing his back against the wooden wall dividing the huge tub. The voice from the other side belonged to Fluttershy, who also sounded like she was leaning against the wall. Apparently, she wanted a conversation with him if she couldn’t bring herself to raise her voice across the waters.

“The pony you’re gonna ask out?” she relayed.

Blues still wasn’t sure if he wanted to speak about Rarity to this pony. Or, more specifically, his attempt to ask her out that failed earlier today. He was still ashamed of how he had chickened out before he could ask the big question, even though she wasn’t even there in person. That was one memory he wanted to avoid until he could try again later today.

“…um, but you don’t have to tell me, if you don’t want to…” the pony behind the wall retracted her question.

Now Blues felt guilty. The pony had gone through the trouble of buying the both of them a bath so that they could make conversation. And she seemed like the very modest kind of mare who wouldn’t do such a thing for a stranger. She was betraying her shy demeanor just so that she could talk to him. The least he could do was give her a conversation to pass the time.

“No, that’s fine,” he answered, “I’ll tattle a little bit.”

Blues sighed, feeling that the mare behind the wall was waiting for him to start.

“Well, she’s a very pretty pony. Very sophisticated, lovely body…” he went on about her features, “basically, she’s the kind of pony any stallion would sacrifice a lot to have her under their arms.”

Blues waited for a response from the filly on the other side of the wall. She was probably thinking about how typical a stallion like him was for wanting to date a mare like that.

“Sounds like one of my friends,” she spoke in a jovial tone, happy at the similarity, “Sophisticated, you said?”

“Yeah. She has this accent that drives colts crazy,” he commented.

“Like she came from some rich family?”

“Yeah, like she should be spending her life in a city full of hoity ponies rather than a low profile village like here.”

“I wouldn’t say low profile,” Fluttershy said, “We’re an hour walk from Canterlot.”

“That’s true,” Blues replied.

Fluttershy couldn’t help but think of her friend Rarity at the description of this mare Blues was talking about. Sophisticated, classy, the eye of every male in the village, if she didn’t know any better, she’d think Blues was going to ask out Rarity. The only thing suppressing that deduction was that book club Rarity was a part of, which was full of hoity ponies like her. She only thought to Rarity because she was the only member of the club she knew personally. For all Fluttershy knew, he could’ve been talking about any one of those mares.

“Well, if she’s anything like the mares in the book club,” she started, “Maybe you should work on your sense of class.”

“Huh? What do you mean?” he asked.

“Sometimes, those mares are rather uptight and keep to themselves in crowds and around stallions,” Fluttershy spoke, thinking about how Rarity wasn’t as hoity as the other classy mares were, but she was defining the group altogether, “They’d only ever want to go out with a colt as classy as them.”

Blues hummed as he thought. Only classy stallions? Blues wasn’t very refined in terms of appearance. No monocle, no fancy hat, no collar cuff, if he had managed to ask for Rarity earlier today, there was a good chance she’d have turned him down anyway because he wasn’t classy.

“Well, I’m not a gentleman by appearance…” he said, splashing the water with his hoof, “The fanciest clothing I’ve ever worn in my life is a tie.”

“Oh, that’s no good…” Fluttershy spoke from her mind, “If you really want to appeal to a classy mare, you need to look fancy.”

“Do you think you can teach me?” Blues asked.

Fluttershy was surprised at the question. She didn’t know the first thing about having class and everything she ever knew about sophisticated lifestyles were from her friend Rarity. Everything she told Blues just now was her impression of a pony like Rarity, and her observant nature helped out with some on the spot deductions concerning one mare’s taste in stallions. That and what she’s heard of Celestia’s nephew from the Grand Galloping Gala. They weren’t pleasant things…

“Oh, sorry. I’m afraid I can’t tell you anything about being classy,” she could hear Blues silent groan from behind the wall, “…but if I were you, I’d do some research.”

“Research?” Blues parroted.

“Yeah. The library near the edge of town would be a good place to do some research.”

“Didn’t the librarian move out of that place years ago?” he asked. Blues may have been out of the loop of things, but an absent librarian was pretty hard to miss.

“Oh, she did, but there’s a new pony working there. She happens to be a friend of mine.”

“Really? That’s convenient,” Blues mused.

“Yes. Her name’s Twilight Sparkle. She spends a lot of her time in there studying magic so she should be there.”

Blues thought to himself as he crossed his arms. Should he go? Would they really have books on how ponies in highly sophisticated cultures act and how to blend in with them? There wasn’t a lot to lose by paying the library a visit, and the librarian happened to be a friend of Fluttershy, the nicest pony he’s ever met. Not to mention, studying up a bit on etiquette would increase his chances of appealing to Rarity and her saying yes. Even if it was a slight increase in his odds of scoring the date, he’d gladly take the chance.

“Alright. I’ll go there after I’m done with this bath,” he said.

“Tell Twilight I sent you there,” Fluttershy said, “You’ll be treated like a house guest. Since, um, that is her house…”

Blues chuckled, “A true librarian, huh? Must really love those books…”

“Yeah, that’s Twilight…” Fluttershy laughed silently.

“By the way, thanks for paying for this bath,” Blues said, “I mean, it must’ve taken a lot out of your wallet, what with those crazy prices.”

“Oh, no. Subscribers get discount prices on this spa’s services. It only cost four bits for this bath…from thirty.”

“…” Blues sat there in silence. What kind of membership did she have?

“…one per pony, you know.”

“Oh, right.” Still didn’t explain the huge reduction.

“Um…I only paid for my half of this bath…” she uttered, afraid to admit the minor tidbit of the bath’s price.

“…of course,” he sighed. Either way, Blues still had to pay out of his wallet.

Today, his wallet was going to feel extra empty.