• 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 Rainbow After the Storm

The Rainbow After the Storm

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It had been an hour after the fire and Blues was by himself in the park. He sat under a lone tree with the books by his side, including the burnt one, and his precious saxophone on his other side. He had been reading more of the books as he relaxed under the tree’s shade to pass time, and to make up for time lost from the chaos. It’d be odd to consider going back to calmly reading after escaping from your house on fire, but Blues wasn’t one to dwell on a misfortune like this. Sure, he wasn’t able to return to his house until repairs were made, and his apartment was the only part of the building damaged from the fire, but at least he was alive and well, along with his sax.

The stallion sighed as he closed the book, not really finished but not feeling like finishing it either. He had to stop reading and relax his mind. He lost his house in a fire from a lightning bolt that struck from out of nowhere. That was a pretty big loss compared to past misfortunes. He needed to think about where to stay, how to replace what he lost in that fire, as well as working overtime to pay all of it off. He was still calm about his losses, apathetic even, but he knew what costs were at hand from that fire. He just couldn’t help but feel glummer than ever now since here he was, under a tree with a burned book for proof of his escapade, and the only thing he really had worth saving was his sax, which made him realize what little he possessions of value he had.

Oh well. Blues thought it was better to complain about his woes through music rather than through words.

Now, Blues’ cutie mark weren’t of musical notes for no reason. As they displayed what his greatest talent is, it wouldn’t do the stallion justice to say what he was about to perform was a testament to his ability.

The stallion opened the case and took out the saxophone, letting it glimmer in the sunlight for a bit. Pushing aside the box, he let his sax rest on the ground as he brought the mouthpiece to his lips. Hooves on the keys, he licked his lips and started playing.

And what melodious sounds they were.

The sounds that played from his instrument were humble tunes yet sharp enough to pierce all sound nearby. It was a characteristic of the saxophone, the way its sounds played in your ears, but the way Blues played the instrument made you anxious of what keys he was going to play next. Shifting notes while maintaining his tempo, the noise his saxophone made wasn’t just the tunes of a woodwind instrument anymore. The sound of the saxophone, the music it made, it made you feel sympathetic for those less fortunate than you, but his beats were uplifting, hopeful. They told you that there was always a bright side to things, a silver lining in every cloud, a hidden happiness in every sadness. It wasn’t just music you were hearing anymore, it was a story of sad times, how there was light at the end of the tunnel, how after every storm there was only sunshine waiting for you. The sounds were so full of spirit, Blues’ spirit, they defined the pony who was playing it in a way that only his music could. Granted, it was similar but not like the genre of the same name, but one wouldn’t care. It was his own style. It was the music of Blues, the pony who could play a saxophone.

The only bad part about his music was when it would end.

The stallion inhaled deeply as he parted from the mouthpiece, having finished exercising the woes out of his system. He looked around the area to see no pony in the vicinity. What a shame. He thought that performance was rather exceptional, one of the best he’s ever done if he were to say so. Oh well. The music was more for him than for others. At least he had the privacy to work up a solo.

Or so he thought.

“Hey, that was pretty good.”

Blues looked behind him in search of the voice, a little tired that this was the third time it has happened today. No pony was there behind the tree he was sitting under and he was sure they weren’t hiding from him if the owner of that voice was making itself known. A quiet rustle of leaves above, however, revealed to Blues the mystery mare as he looked up.

“Hey there. Name’s Rainbow Dash,” the pegasus introduced herself as she hopped down from the branch, “I mean, of course you’d know my name, right?”

“Err, yeah I do,” Blues replied uneasily. This couldn’t be happening again. This was the fourth mare he’s attracted the attention of who also happens to be in Rarity’s group of friends.

“What’s yours? I don’t think I’ve seen you around,” she asked.

“Uh, Blues,” he answered. Just play it cool, he thought, he didn’t have anything else to lose anyway.

“Blues? Fitting name,” the rainbow maned pegasus freely sat on the spot where she stood, “You play a really mean sex.”

“Uh. What?” Blues asked, a blush creeping on his face.

“That’s what they call it, right? A sex phone?” she repeated, placing a hoof on her chin, “Though, I don’t get why they’d call it that. Sounds more like something you’d buy at one of those erotic stores. I always thought they were like walkie talkies, you know?”

“…” Blues stared at the mare with a strange face, unable to believe how badly the pegasus could misperceive the instrument. Feeling like defending his music maker of choice, Blues spoke. “No no. It’s called a SAXaphone,” he said, stressing the vital syllables of the word, “invented by Adolpon Sax. SAX, you know? Not that…other thing you called it.”

Dash gave an epiphanic “Ohhhhh,” at Blues’ explanation, “that makes sense. I’ve been calling it a sex phone all this time. No one’s corrected me though.”

Blues chuckled nervously at her. His first impression of the renowned Rainbow Dash wasn’t a very good one in terms of education and naivety, but her notoriety in athleticism more than made up for whatever respect one had for her. That and Blues was cautious not to say the wrong thing. The wrath of a mare was something you couldn’t retaliate against unless you were a mare yourself.

“Well, now you know, right?” Blues asked.

“Sure do. Hey, can I hear some more?” Dash asked as she stood from her spot.

“Uhh, why do you want to?” he sheepishly asked.

“Well, because you play really well, duh! I know good music when I hear it, even though all I listen to is rock and roll,” the pegasus rocketed into the sky without warning as she finished, leaving Blues sitting there by himself. The rainbow pony came back into view toting a small cloud, and let it float a short distance from the tree. She then reclined on it in a relaxed position and continued, “And for me to like something different means it’s gotta be good. So come on! Play some more!”

Blues groaned reluctantly, unsure if he should do this mare a personal concert. He still needed more time to read his books and prepare for that date later today. He couldn’t be wasting it serenading a mare; he was hoping he could do that to the mare he actually liked. On the other hand, the normally inconsiderate Rainbow Dash commented on his solo and wanted to hear more from him. Perhaps he could do an encore for an honored fan.

Blues licked his lips again and started playing another tune, this time one recited from memory rather than a manifestation of inspiration. It was a slow tempo, calming and relaxing, yet able to maintain your attention the way the sax permeated the noise around. It was his usual gig he would play at the bar when no requests came around, so very often he took the liberty of altering the beats to one that fancied him. He had done this so many times he’s never played the original sheet in such a long time. Of course he still had it, though. It, and the rest of the music sheets he’s ever written, was also in the saxophone case hidden under the casing.

As he slowed to an end, the pegasus sat up from her cloud and looked down.

“That was nice,” she said.

“Thank you. It’s nothing special, though,” Blues modestly replied.

“Can you play more then?” Dash asked, “I want to hear some of your more exciting tunes. Like, maybe something upbeat or something I can dance to?”

Blues reeled back from the request. He didn’t feel like playing again and he didn’t have the energy to play any dance beats. Not to mention, he still needed to finish reading his books. He was only halfway into the third book up until he had stopped to play some of his saxophone.

“Err, not right now…” he said, trying to talk a reasonable no, “I have some reading I’ve been meaning to do all day…”

“Reading? Tch, alright,” the pegasus said as she fully stood up and stretched, “You’re like my friend Twilight. She’d choose reading over any fun activity if there was a book on it.”

Blues chuckled, “Uh, heheh, I can see why. I mean, I got these books from her and she seemed like quite a shut in.”

“What exactly does a saxophonian need to read anyway?” she asked.

“Uhh, it’s ‘saxophonist’.”

“Saxophony, yeah,” Blues uttered a silent growl, “What are you reading anyway?”

Dash jumped down from her cloud and landed close to one stray book as she intended. A smile cracked on her lips as she donned a sassy face.

“'So you were invited to a fancy party?' eh?” the mare quoted, “It figures some pony who plays a sax as good as you would be invited to some regal, classy dinner or something like that.”

Blues bashfully rubbed the back of his head in response. It wasn’t the exact reason he was reading these books, but if it spared him from relaying the entire incident from that morning, he’d take it.

“Uhh, yeah let’s go with that.”

Dash walked over to one book that was in noticeably bad condition. She noticed the cover was singed on its side and it had a faint smell of smoke around it. Without permission, she picked it up and opened it, revealing the massacre that was the charred pages of a book that barely survived a fire.

“Holy horse apples, what happened to this one?” she asked as she blew into it, letting fly some charred paper, “Twilight would never let you leave with a ruined book like this.”

Blues sighed melancholically, “My house was on fire. I couldn’t save that book.”

Dash looked at Blues in more surprise than a normal pony should be, “A fire? How?”

The stallion shrugged as he decided to put away his saxophone, “Beats me. By dumb luck, my house had been struck by lightning from out of nowhere. I barely made it out alive.”

“Oh…” the mare said depressingly as she looked back at the book in remorse.

Blues locked the case of his saxophone and set it aside, feeling like reading again and finishing his book. Hopefully he didn’t lose the page…

“I’m sorry.”

Blues turned to the pegasus in confusion.

“Uh, what?”

Dash wasn’t looking at the stallion. She had her eyes closed, facing the charred remains of the book.

“I’m sorry…for…setting your house on fire.”

“…”

Blues took a moment to process the mare’s apology. But what really confused him was how and why.

“Wait, what? What did you do?”

Dash sighed and looked to the stallion, “Just bear with me, but…I’m the one who made that lightning bolt.”

The stallion looked at the pegasus in disbelief. He still couldn’t understand why the rainbow pony would do such a thing, or how for that matter.

“But…how? I mean, the fireponies said a pegasi couldn’t make a lightning bolt that big what with what little clouds there were in the sky,” Blues said.

“Yeah, they were right,” Dash explained as she set the book down, “It actually happened because of a new trick I was trying out.”

“A new trick? One that made lightning out of nothing?” Blues asked.

“Not really. You see…” Dash took off from the ground and hovered near the cloud she was just laying on, “I take one harmless cloud and I start flying around it.”

The pegasus spun around the cloud to demonstrate, causing the cloud to rotate along with her. Blues felt uneasy about being in close proximity of the trick that was supposed to create a lightning bolt as violent as the one that burned his house down.

Rainbow Dash stopped and resumed hovering near the cloud, leaving it to rotate on its own from the momentum. “Then I spin around it in a different direction,” she said as she demonstrated by circulating the cloud in a different angle. She stopped again, leaving the cloud a whirling mesh of fluff moving in two different directions, “I repeat this until the cloud is completely smushed up and folding in on itself and stuff.”

The pegasus proceeded with her demonstration, leaving a trail of rainbow ribbons wrapped around the cloud reminiscent of an atom. Blues was in awe at the practice but at the same time scared for his life, anticipating when the supposed lightning bolt was supposed to happen. However, excitement enticed him more than fear as he was eager to know what was supposed to happen next.

The pegasus flew out of the loops, a little dizzy, and hovered near the unidentifiable mess that was a cloud, “Now the cloud is charged with energy. Well, it would be but I had to slow things down so that I could show you,” Blues nodded slowly, “This is where I shoot into the center of the cloud…”

The pegasus zoomed away from the cloud and turned back in a sharp arc, aiming right for the cloud maelstrom. The cloud then suddenly exploded, letting fly a wave of charged mist everywhere. She arched upwards from the wave and back down to the ground, landing with a slightly electrified trail waving behind her.

“…and let off a huge electrical discharge for all to see. I call it ‘The Atomic Bolt Wave!’” she exclaimed happily, waving her arms up in enthusiasm.

“…wow. I would’ve loved to see that,” Blues said.

“Heh, thanks,” Dash replied, returning to a penitent mood, “But…I screwed it up. I accidently shot a lightning bolt through it and I saw it hit your house.”

“Ohhh, it was an accident?” the blue stallion asked.

“Yeah. But, I didn’t see the fire, just a black spot on the building,” Dash looked away and rubbed the back of her head, “I fled before anypony could see me, though. That was wrong of me…”

Blues huffed a sigh. He didn’t see any reason to be mad at her, not like he ever had a reason to hold a grudge. After all, she was sorry and it was an accident, and at least she came clean about it. Although, had it not been for him playing his sax, she wouldn’t have ever come clean on her own. She may have never done it at all. Regardless, she was worthy of forgiveness, according to Blues.

“It’s okay. You’re forgiven,” the stallion said.

Dash looked at the colt in surprise, astounded that she wasn’t getting any punishment for her actions.

“What? You’re letting me off the hook just like that?” she asked, “No reporting to the authorities or anything? I don’t get it. You lost your house because of me.”

“Eh, at least I’m not gonna have to repair it,” he replied with a shrug, “The landlord has that covered. I just have to worry about some furniture to buy again, some of it wasn’t even mine. And believe me, it could’ve been worse.”

Dash couldn’t believe how easily this stallion was taking it. Had it been her, she’d have been less forgiving and more violent if she was facing a pony responsible for such catastrophe. He seemed really lax and collected over this tragedy of his. Maybe it was a trait of saxophonists? That would explain a lot about the famous players she’s heard about.

“…well, ok. If you insist…” the pegasus looked down at the book near her as she thought about how his loss was her fault. There had to be something she could do to make it up to him…

“Hey, while you’re here,” Blues asked, feeling that the pegasus would be leaving soon, “Do you know any place where they sell fancy clothing?”

“Hm?” Dash perked up at the question.

“I, uh, lost some of my clothes in the fire, but I need formal attire for this…uh, fancy dinner I’m going to tonight,” he lied through his teeth, “Do you know any place where they might sell just what I need?”

Dash placed a hoof on her chin and thought hard about such a place. The one store that sold such clothing would be at Rarity’s boutique, but even though it was an easy service, free if she played her cards right, it would take a while to make under all of her orders for Hoity Toity.

However, she had an alternate idea of where she might find some clothes like that.

“Stay right there,” the pegasus said before taking off at breathtaking speeds.

Blues watched as the pegasus disappeared into the sky. Maybe she was checking the store’s location for his reference? Either way, Blues was relieved to know that he wouldn’t have to look hard for the store. Confident in how his day was going to turn out, Blues returned facing the book and resumed reading where he left off.

It had been a few minutes since the pony flew off, and, after some skimming and page flipping, Rainbow Dash returned with a box in her hand containing some unknown contents. To Blues surprise, the pegasus had an overly pleased look on her face as she descended. She pushed the box forward with a leg, signifying that the box belonged to him now.

“There you go. All the clothes you need for that fancy party,” she said smugly.

Blues, skeptical, stood up and walked over to the box. With an affirmative nod from Dash, Blues opened the box and gasped at the contents. A red ribbon top hat, a monocle, and a collar cuff with a folded suit underneath it were displayed in front of him.

“Where did you get this stuff from?” he asked.

“I got it from a friend,” she answered, “Let’s just say we made a deal and leave it at that.”

Blues was bewildered. Here was another mare doing him a grand favor, saving him bits from being spent at some fancy clothing store, at the expense of nothing? It was all too good to be true, but he couldn’t say he didn’t enjoy it anymore. In fact, it had been nice receiving random favors from ponies he had never met, and the concept of good will and honest intentions were the kind of things he wasn’t used to. By now, Blues had learned to go with it and just accept these kinds of gifts, as they wouldn’t take no for an answer. And besides, not paying for anything was a nice bonus too.

“I…thank you, Rainbow Dash…” Blues said as he closed the box.

“Don’t mention it,” Dash said, “…no seriously. Don’t mention it. I have to talk to some journalists later today and they can take this the wrong way.”

“Oh. Uhh, okay…” Blues said confused. Curiosity got the better of him as he decided to ask, “What exactly did you do?”

Dash thought for a moment if she should tell the stallion what had really happened.


“Caesar! Hey! Haven’t seen you since the Gala.”

“Hm? Oh no…”

“Yeah yeah, I know. You’re not exactly happy to see me, aren’t you?”

“Sigh. Yes, I am very discomforted by your presence here. Let’s pray none of those photographers are about this time.”

“Yeah, I’m actually here to talk about that.”

“Let me guess, another exhilarating article about how the infamous Caesar the Third was not able to control his hormones at the sight of a rainbow adorned pegasus mare?”

“Wow, you’re taking it hard. I haven’t heard anything like that over in Ponyville.”

“Well of course. No pony from that suburban village was there when you decided to knock me into the air and catch me on your back in a suggestive position.”

“Hey, I got desperate, okay?”

“Desperate? And I thought Fetlocker mares were easy courting.”

“Hey, watch it! I’m actually here to help clear your reputation.”

“How? By going up to them and telling them what really happened?”

“Well, yeah. Kinda. But I need you to do something for me in return.”

“I don’t like where this is going, but if I must…”

“I need to borrow your hat.”

“My hat?”

“And your eye glass thing too. You know what? I need the complete set.”

“You want my clothes?”

“Your fanciest ones.”

“My finest attire?! For what reason?”

“Stuff. Just give me your clothes, and I’ll clear your name.”

“Even if I do give you all of my attire, I can’t stand the chance that they’ll be lost or stolen or, even worse, ruined. Just why do you specifically need my wardrobe?”

“Can’t say. Too complicated. I burned a guy’s house down, blah blah blah. Now give me your clothes!”

“You set fire to a stallion’s house?! You’re worth more trouble than you look.”

“I get that a lot. Now, enough stalling! Either give me your clothes or live with the rumor that you are Touchy McGrabby Hooves.”

“But that’s not a rumor.”

“Oh…I can make it one.”

“Ack! Fine! I’ll hand over my attire, but you need to clear my name to them, alright?”

“Sure, whatever. Just hurry with the clothes.”

“Can you make sure that they don’t get ruined for whatever schemes you may have?”

“Can’t make any promises. Sorry.”


Ultimately, the pegasus decided it was better confidential and safer to be vague about it.

“Like I said. We made a deal. A really quiet one,” she smiled smugly, “Oh, and uh, try to keep those clothes from getting too dirty, ok? They’re ‘rentals’.”

“Uh, sure. I can do that,” the stallion agreed.

Dash breathed a sigh of relief as she looked back down to the book that had been burnt. She knew damaged books were punishable by fees, which was how Twilight made an income, and boy, did they cost a lot. She knew the ruined book was her fault and the stallion had to return that book sooner or later. Feeling generous today, Rainbow Dash closed the book and looked at the stallion.

“Hey. Do you mind if I pay for this?” she asked, earning another shocked look from the stallion, “I mean, it was my fault that this book got burned, and it’s better if I told Twilight what happened. I’m her friend, after all.”

Blues thought about it logically and knew the mare was right. At least he wouldn’t have to pay for something that wasn’t his fault, and the mare was being a good sport about it. Not only that, without a home anymore, he didn’t have anywhere else to store the books safely. He might as well return them now.

“Well, sure. I’d appreciate that,” the stallion said as the mare smiled, “Uh, if it’s not too much to ask, can you return these other books as well?”

Dash nodded approvingly, “Of course! You can count on me. Are you done with those books as well?”

Blues looked to the book he was reading, then to the books in a pile to his left. Most of what he was reading had been repeated in the previous books, which made him skim through pages for information he hadn’t already known. He actually skipped the book Higher Living: The Merits of Investments since the contents page listed almost everything he already learned about from the previous books. The stallion decided he had learned enough and that he should start preparing for his date with Rarity as soon as he could.

“Ehh, sure. I have to get ready for that da-…dinner,” he said as he closed his book and stood up.

“Where are you gonna get ready, by the way? Your house was burned down,” the pegasus asked.

Blues hummed in thought. She was right. No home, no private place to freshen up. Although, all he needed was some privacy, a mirror, and some water. But where would he get all that?

“I can always go to the lake near here,” he suggested.

Satisfied with the answer, Dash chuckled, “Heheh, alright then. I’m sure that’ll be some story to tell your fellow dinner ponies.”

“Eheheh, yeah…” the stallion chuckled nervously.

The pegasus took the book from him and set it in a pile among the rest. She placed the charred book on top and picked up the stack from below.

“I’ll just carry these back to the library now. It’ll be quite a story for me too, because Twilight’s going to flip out when she sees this…” Dash said as she stared at the ruined book before her.

Blues chuckled nervously, “Err, yeah. Hopefully she doesn’t faint.

Dash cracked up a little at this, “Ha! Imagine that. Well! See ya later!”

Before Blues could say farewell, the rainbow pegasus had already flown off in the direction of the library. Blues sighed contentedly as he picked up his saxophone case. The lake wasn’t too far from his location and not many ponies hung around the lake unless it was summer. There, he’d have peace and quiet as he dressed and prepared himself for the date.

He looked down at his saxophone and wondered where he was going to store it for today. Come to think of it, without a home, he was going to need a place to sleep at until the apartment was repaired. Blues didn’t have many friends to ask them for a place to stay, and he wouldn’t bring himself to ask the mares from earlier; that’d be too awkward.

“Guess I’ll pay ol’ Caramel a visit, then,” Blues said as he placed the case in his mouth to free his hoof for walking.

Today was going rather well for him, Blues would admit. Well, aside from the fire, but otherwise he was feeling good about today. Perhaps his bad luck was finally turning around, at least he hoped it was. He would need it to successfully ask out the most beautiful mare in all of Ponyville. Not to mention, getting acquainted with her circle of friends had been a refreshing experience, particularly the one with Pinkie Pie, the notorious party mare; how she could always stay so happy was beyond him.

No matter. He was confident it was uphill from here. Even if Rarity still denied his offer…well, that wasn’t a possibility, a very small one at least. After all, he had learned everything to impress her through her friends, a convenient benefit from meeting them. He was thankful that he never revealed the intention to her friends, another fortunate coincidence from meeting them. Had they discovered he was benefitting from their conversations and the knowledge he was obtaining from them, they’d have dejected him completely, and he’d feel terrible about it. It was ridiculous to believe that, but Blues wouldn’t take his chances. It was easier on his conscious as he thought about it. And he did not regret it.

“Alright Rarity,” Blues said to himself, “Time to meet the classiest stallion you’ve ever seen.”