• Published 2nd May 2016
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The Last Impressionist - CrackedInkWell

On the way home one night, Fancy Pants discovers a painting of extraordinary quality being thrown away in the trash in the poorer part of Canterlot. Curious, Fancy discovers a depressed artist who's down on his luck named Acrylic Brush.

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Chapter 20: Somewhere Beyond the Sea

Author's Note:

I admit, I did have to rewrite this chapter, so I'm not exactly sure if this is good or not.

If there was one thing I can name about the sea that I absolutely love about, it would be their sunsets. On the deck of the ocean liner, the four of us: Acrylic, Fleur, Cleo and I are sailing to Neighpon. My bodyguard has been watching us from a lounge chair. My coltfriend is painting away at the last rays of that bright sunset to the West while above us the white steam from the smokestacks leaves a trail.

I’m stroking Celo’s silky fur, watching Acrylic paint a new masterpiece that showed our pet sitting at the railings, her back is turned to look onwards to the pumpkin sunset. Even though I was against it, both he and Fleur convinced me to take her with us in the end. “How are you this evening?” I asked him.

His brush reached down to touch a dab of blush pink, “At the moment, I just have a lot on my mind.”

“Nothing bad I hope?”

He shook his head, “I wouldn’t say that it’s just… well… I’m still nervous.”

“Let me guess, the application?”

“That’s one part,” he said as he quickly brushed the canvas. “Do you really think they’ll accept me? I haven’t set hoof into a high school, so how do you know if they’ll say yes to me?”

“Acrylic dear,” I patted his shoulder, “You’re much more intelligent than you give yourself credit for. Why, I believe by the time we go home, that you’ll be welcomed into Canterlot University with open hooves.”

“You really believe so?”

“Well… no. I know that you will be accepted in. Just you wait.”

He then stopped painting, “And supposed I don’t get in? What would I do with all that money from the auction?”

“Oh now, Acrylic. We’re on holiday; we shouldn’t be worrying about things like that. Let’s just live in the moment.”

“By living in the moment, of course, you mean coming up with ways to flirt with me whenever you get the chance?”

I smirked, “Well, that. And taking advantage of what this ship has to offer.”

“Like what happened at the swimming pool earlier,” we turned to find Fleur walking up to us.

Rolling my eyes, I replied, “Oh come de Les, I can’t blame him for eyeing me while I was getting out of the pool.”

“Not to mention you’re…” Acrylic tailed off, but I could tell by the deepening reddish tint that he was too embarrassed to finish. “You know.”

I chuckled, “Oh come on, and I don’t blame you for it. If anything, I’m still rather flattered.”

“We’re just lucky that there weren’t any foals around,” Fleur giggled, she too gave a blush.

“C-Can we change the subject?” He asked in an adorable embarrassed voice of his.

“Of course,” I said, “What else is on your mind?”

As soon as he resumed painting, he replied, “Do you remember how I seemed a little distant at the auction?” I nodded, “Well, I’ve been thinking about my parents lately – No, scratch that, I’ve been thinking about them a lot now.”

“What exactly in particular?” Fleur inquired.

He sighed as he thought for a moment, “It’s a little hard to explain but, I’m just feeling rather bad what I said to them the last time I’ve seen them. Not only that, but I was at one point their main reason why they were able to have enough to afford to go someplace as far away as Equestria. Now that I have more than enough while knowing that they’re almost dirt poor, is disowning them the right thing to do, even fully knowing that they would have done so with me if they found out that I’m gay?”

I pondered this question carefully, “If you’re asking if you should try to make amends with your parents when you were their main source of financial support, I say that if you feel up to it, go ahead and try.”

“But how? You heard what they’ve said to your face Fancy. They’re nowhere near as enlightened as you or Fleur. They only see anypony like us as perverts. So how can I make amends with them when I know full well that they’ll only end up being dead set against me if they knew the truth?”

“Acrylic,” Fleur said, “Put down your brush for a moment and listen to what I have to say.” He did so, giving the opportunity for Cleo to jump into his hooves. “Look, unless I’m misinterpreting this wrong, are you asking if you’re wondering if you should come out to your parents?”

He looked down at the feline, “Maybe.”

“Okay,” she nodded, “Although I’m not exactly attracted to mares myself, and from what I’ve learned from Fancy, this is a huge decision for you to make. I can only imagine how hard it was to hide your true self from your family in Lightning Falls. Trust me when I say that Fancy had the exact same problem with his father. Did he ever tell you that?”

My coltfriend shrugged; “Only a little, but not much.”

“Until he was twenty-four, his father didn’t know that he was sometimes dating stallions and never told him about it. But-”

I stopped her with a hoof, “I think I can tell it from here.” Then I turned to Acrylic, “The truth is I too didn’t have the guts in telling either mother or father about my sexuality. It was only until by complete accident that they found out. One night, Hoity and I were drinking heavily that we didn’t notice that on the way to my home one of the paparazzi had followed us, taking pictures of us…” I cleared my throat before continuing. “But that’s not important. What was is that the father saw the picture and… he just exploded.”

Acrylic’s ears folded back, “Please don’t tell me that… hurt you?”

“What? Oh no, he didn’t… but he might as well have. As soon as he saw it, he marched over right up to the front steps of the house and confronted me about it. To make a long story short, he disowned me, cut off my allowance completely, leaving me alone to figure out what to do. Not to say that I did pull a few strings and worked myself to the stallion you see today. But for a while… I and father didn’t speak to one another for years.”

“But what changed his mind? After all, I did see him come visit you that one time.”

“You can thank mother for that,” I smiled with nostalgia. “Before she passed away, she was able to convince father in giving me another chance to see past his prejudice to see what I really was – his son. But I do say that while it was uncomfortable, it did lift a heavy burden off of me.”

He looked at me confused, “Huh?”

“I mean that once the truth was out, and yes, while it did take years to get around it, I was finally stopped pretending to be this pony he thought I was. And instead saw me what I really was.”

“Oh,” he nodded, “Fancy, I’ve had seen all the stereotypes of being gay as this lisping, effeminate, fashion obsessed pony that cares for nothing but sex. That was something I was taught back in Lightning Falls, that gay ponies were just weaker stallions. But the truth is, while I’m not exactly those things; I do have feelings towards you. I just wish I could tell my parents that I don’t want to act, I want to be me.”

“Look on the bright side,” Fleur said, “Even if your parents rejected you back, you still have a home in Canterlot, and the most handsome bachelor there is.”

He eventually put Cleo down, “I suppose that I have plenty of time before deciding that. But you’re right Fancy, we should be at least enjoying ourselves. We are on vacation after all.”


It was to the ship’s whistle that I woke up enough for me to take a quick peek. The cabin was still dark with the heavy curtains still cover up the port-side windows. Although from the thin rays of the sun, my internal clock said that it was still too early to be awake.

There’s a knock on my cabin door, “Sir, are you awake?”

Groaning, I use my magic to unlock the door, “Come in.” I heard the door open, not too long after I felt Cleo hopping on the bed and climbing over me. “Good morning Cleo. Good morning Acrylic.”

“I expect you want some coffee, Fancy?”

“You may make it, just as long as you keep the blinds closed and the lights off. I don’t think my eyes are prepared to be open to direct sunlight just yet.”

He chuckled, “Right away,” I heard him trotting towards the mini kitchen while I can feel the cat’s paws on my face.

I gently picked up the feline back onto the floor, “I’m not dead Cleo, go bother Acrylic for a while until my brain functions again.”

“Are you sure this isn’t the first time you’ve traveled outside of Equestria?” my coltfriend asked as he turned on the sink.

“No. I’m just not used to the shift in time zones is all. Although I’m amazed that you don’t sound like a zompony by now, after all, it has to be… what? Around five in the morning?”

“Over here, it’s seven. And no, I’m not tired at all.” I can hear him placing the ground coffee into the machine. “Maybe I’m just so excited to go to an exotic place that I’m not ready to sleep at all.”

“How long have you been up?”

“Cleo woke me up a while ago, so I went up on deck and found out that we’re not too far from Neighpon now. Fancy, you should really have seen the sunrise.”

“Forgive me dear chap, but I’m afraid that I’m a little too lazy to get up at this hour.”

He laughed, “I suppose. Anyway, I’ll have your coffee ready soon.”

Thankfully, he remained quiet as my cup was brewing, and within minutes; the rich smell of coffee forced me to open my eyes to the dim light of the room. Across from the bed, I saw my coltfriend stroking Cleo while the machine dripped away. Pushing the thick blanket off of me, I slumped out onto the floor and went straight towards the liquid of life.

When it was done, Acrylic poured the inky black fluid into a mug before putting in the right amount of cream and sugar into hoof it over to me, “Thank you.” I said before taking my first gulp.

“So when we get to… What was it called again?”

I coughed, “I think it’s called Ichiuma. I think father said it loosely translates as ‘Horse Capital.’”

“But I thought Trotkyo was the capital.”

“Was,” I corrected before downing another fiery gulp. “That changed a long time ago. But you were saying.”

“When we get to Ichiuma, did you say that we’re meeting somepony there?”

“We are indeed. Father told me that he’ll be sending us someone that can act as translator and guide for us when we sail in. Haiku, I believe it was. He’s the same one that had accompanied him while he was here recovering.”

“I see. So what are we going to do while there?”

“From what Father wrote to me, Ichiuma is the perfect introduction to Neighpon since it is the beating cultural heart of the whole country.” I took another slow sip from my mug. “Acrylic, I think you can open the curtains now. But, slowly please.”

He nodded as he went to the windows and carefully let some light in. The cabin was soon flooded in dark pink, but light orange of the rising sun. With my eyes adjusting, I walked over to the window and saw what he was looking at.

“There it is,” Acrylic said, “We’re here.”

“Indeed. This would be an interesting experience. I can only imagine all the masterpieces that are going to come out from this holiday.”

“I think we’ll be there in a couple of hours.” He looked over to me, “Do you want to get dressed now or later?”

Shrugging, I answered, “Perhaps a little later. Once I’m finished with this cup… or five.”

He laughed that infections choral. “I’m in no rush. Is there anything else you need of me?”

“Just my good morning kiss,” I smirked. “Or would you want to wake up Fleur?”

Humming in thought for a moment, my coltfriend kissed me. “Not yet, I think we can let her sleep a little.”

“I concur. Even at this hour, I do admit that this is rather exciting for all of us. A new place, new culture, new ponies all around, and not to mention new food to try – I say that I’m very curious what this little adventure will take us.”

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