• Published 18th Jun 2012
  • 18,440 Views, 451 Comments

The Blueblood Chronicles - Rune Soldier Dan



Blueblood just wants to be left alone. prince-chasing mares and high society have other plans.

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Chapter 5: Of Love and Panic

Dear Diary,

Okay, I think I might have a crush on Ditzy.

Sorta. A little.

Am I in love? Maybe. I don’t know what love feels like, so I don’t know if this qualifies. All I know is that I keep thinking about her and want to see her, even though I don’t know what I’d say or do.

But the implications are making my head spin.

The commitment of getting, well, COMMITTED, is daunting enough. I’ve never had a fillyfriend and don’t know how it works at all. The trust, the constantly having to think about what another feels, planning your day around another…and if Rarity is to be believed, a child on top of everything! Schooling, worrying about their future, nurturing, awkward jealousy, trying to be a good fa…fath…yeah, I can’t write it.

Ditzy’s, shall we say, ‘impulsive…’

Okay, she doesn’t seem terribly bright. Does admitting that make me a bad pony? Will she drive me crazy? What if she just up and vanishes one day? What if I can’t even have a decent conversation with her?

She’d hate it in Canterlot! Those preening elitists will tear her apart. She’ll be easy prey! She’ll cry every day. She seems so happy, how will that stand up to the sneering nobles? She’s not even a unicorn!

What if I came to her instead? Live the life of a commoner, move to Ponyville. Classic children’s book stuff. But everything I know is Canterlot royalty. I wouldn’t know how to work an honest job, I have no skills…I’d just be a bum showing up at her doorstep. I wouldn’t be able to provide for a family, and I’d be abandoning my responsibilities to the E.E.

…What if she rejects me?

She wouldn’t right? I’m a perfect catch! I’m rich and…

Well, rich. I’ve spent most of my adult life cultivating an antagonistic personality. Can I be nice if I tried? How can I make myself more attractive?

What about marriage? Would a big, fancy Royal Wedding just give others a chance to laugh at her? They can laugh at me all they want, but I don’t want anypony laughing at her! At least, not where she can hear…

Did I just say “marriage?” The ultimate Game Over. Nothing but getting old and fat afterwards. Where would we spend our years? Would she come here and hate it, or would I go there and hate it?

I’m about to explode! I have no idea how to handle this!

Now wait a minute…Aunt Celly. She’ll know what to do.

Yours,

Blueblood

------

“Blueblood…Blueblood!” Celestia stamped her hoof on the floor, trying to interrupt his panicked tirade.

It wasn’t successful: The alabaster unicorn rambled on, much the same as he had the past few minutes. “…But what about the wedding itself? Sweet Celestia, how can it be done? We could do it unicorn style, but she might hate it. And she doesn’t even have a horn for me to put the ring on! And we can’t do it pegasus style because I can’t fly! Even if there was a spell, I get airsick really easily and that’d put a damper on things. If I vomited she might think I hate her and-“

Princess Celestia sighed and channeled a little magic into her horn. She wasn’t feeling like pulling a prank right now, but at this rate her nephew was just going to give himself a heart attack.

Blueblood didn’t notice her horn glow, but he sure noticed when his voice suddenly went mute. He stopped in confusion, blinked, then glared daggers at her.

Oh, very funny.” He mouthed.

“I didn’t do it to be funny,” Celestia said gently, giving him a quiet, motherly smile. “I did it so I could get a word in edgewise.”

Blueblood shrugged, still clearly upset. Celestia sighed again and continued. “Nephew…pardon the expression, but don’t you think you’re putting the cart before the horse? You’ve barely spoken with this mare and you’re already thinking about marriage. Dreaming of marrying a fine pony is wonderful, but you’ve let your cynicism turn it into a nightmare.”

The prince mouthed something.

Celestia leaned in close. “What was that?”

Blueblood tilted his head and arched an eyebrow, frowning pensively. He tapped the floor slowly with his hoof…

“Oh right, sorry.” Blushing a little at the slip, Celestia flicked her horn to restore his voice.

“I saaaaaaid ‘isn’t it responsible to think about the future?’”

“Blueblood, you’re barely twenty!” She giggled, putting a hoof to her mouth. “There’s such a thing as being too responsible, especially for a stallion your age. Life is about getting out there! Taking chances! Finding love! Making mistakes!”

“But if this is love…”

He hesitated a moment and finished, head downcast. “Then a mistake will hurt the one I love.”

“Oh, Blueblood.” Celestia trod over and leaned down, sliding her horn past his face to bring their foreheads together.

“That’s something you have to accept. Anytime you let another pony into your heart, there will be pain. Even if you make no mistakes – and you will – you will still hurt and be hurt. She’s already in your heart, Blueblood. Whether it’s true love I cannot say, but you already care for her, and your worry is hurting you. It’s hurting me too, Blueblood, because I’ve let you into my heart as well. Seeing you so scared, so uncertain…I wish I could take that all away from you.”

Blueblood’s eyes widened as he heard the sadness in her voice. Ruling since the birth of Equestria…over so many centuries, how many ponies had Princess Celestia let into her heart? How many times had she been hurt? Every time she would care for another, she would feel their pain, feel their sorrow, and one day watch them die.

And yet here she was after being hurt so many times, being hurt again by some silly prince’s silly worries.

“So…” he asked, breathless. “Why do we let ourselves love?”

“Because it brings us joy as well,” she murmured in his ear. “Because life is too long and too lonely without loving others. For me most of all, but also for you. You’ve got to take this chance, Blueblood.”

He took a deep breath and sighed, deflated. Celestia frowned as he drew back away from her.

“I can’t,” Blueblood said with a slow shake of his head. “She’ll be miserable with me, and that’ll make me miserable. Better for me to be miserable by myself than to share it.”

Princess Celestia drew a quick breath and exhaled sharply. If her despondent nephew was going to let doubt defeat love so easily, she’d have to resort to drastic measures. His eyes still lowered, Blueblood missed the fierce gleam that came to her eye.

“You must go, Blueblood,” she said sternly.

“I told you, I can’t!”

“There’s one more reason why…”

Blueblood shivered, feeling the temperature in the room drop a notch. He brought his head up to see Celestia still smiling beatifically at him. But there was…something about that smile.

“Remember that time…” she asked softly. “Remember that time when you were a little colt? You put on my crown and a little pink dress and ran around the room shouting, ‘I’m a pretty princess!’”

The prince turned crimson at the memory. He blinked in confusion and shook his head. “I, uh, I really don’t see…”

“I took pictures,” she announced, much louder than her usual voice. “And if you don’t go to Ponyville to talk to this mare, I’ll show them to all your friends.”

Blueblood blinked again, and the look of confusion was replaced by shock. “WHAT?!! What in the BLUE BLAZING BUCK ARE YOU THINKING?!!”

“Language, language,” she tutted. “What I’m thinking is that my nephew needs to come out of his shell. And…maybe he needs a little nudge to help him along.”

“WELL,” he shouted, standing up on his hind hooves and pointing a foreleg at her. This was the first time he’d ever sparred with his aunt, and some part of him relished the coming duel. “The joke’s on you, I don’t have any friends!”

She matched his posture, standing up in a ridiculous bipedal fashion. “Fancy Pants,” she said evenly, pointing a hoof right back at him.

Strong riposte, but also a predictable one. Blueblood smirked as he verbally parried. “I played ‘princess’ with him all the time when we were colts. Not only does he already know, but he was a ‘princess’ himself more than once!”

“Clever.” Celestia drew her head back and continued the assault. “Noble Heart.”

“He’s not a friend, Auntie,” Blueblood sniffed. “Just some pony who runs a bad charity auction. I go there because I feel sorry for him.”

“Fleur De Lis.”

“Pul-LEEZ, Aunt Celly. She’s just Fancy’s Pants’ foreleg candy, and not a bright one at that.”

“Helperton and Star Gazer.” Celestia smiled, raising the stakes.

That knocked Blueblood off balance both figurative and literally – he stumbled a bit on his hind hooves before snapping back to a four-legged position. “What? How do you know about them?”

“I was the one who let them into the Gala two years ago.” The challenge went out of Celestia’s voice, and she lowered herself gently to the floor. “Afterwards, they wrote a letter thanking me for it. They told me all about the wonderful stallion they met who made the bits flow into the orphanages, the free kitchens, and the homeless shelters.”

“That was you, Blueblood,” she pointed at him as if he hadn’t already known. “We’ve corresponded since, and both of them consider you a dear friend.”

The white unicorn shook his head, still trying to wrap his brain around the fact that Celly knew all along. Okay, it wasn’t THAT surprising, but…“Why didn’t you tell me you had a hoof in it? Would’ve saved me a lot of bad excuses and sneaking around.”

“Because you could do it without me.”

Celestia looked at him with…pride. “You did fine. You did wonderful, and you did it all on your own. Would you have worked so hard if the Great Sun-Goddess Celestia (tm) swooped in and fixed everything? You would’ve been happy for a moment, then back to feeling useless and bored. You may have felt like I manipulated you. You may have even felt intimidated: ‘Oh, Aunt Celly’s here, I might as well stop trying. She can do everything better anyway.’”

“Here, now, YOU are the hero of the downtrodden. YOU did it, not your aunt propping you up in the background. If you had known of my involvement – even minor as it was – you would have given up far too soon.”

“So why tell me now?” Blueblood asked. Despite his best efforts, his heart warmed at her words. She had praised him before, but this was different. He always had her love, this he knew. But he never thought he had her respect.

“At this point, you know full well what you’ve done by yourself.” She smiled benignly at him, all thoughts of blackmail by the wayside. “You know that you can do things, that you can take chances with other ponies and succeed. Now do it again. Go to Ponyville and see where love takes you. You may be surprised by how happy it can make a pony.”

Blueblood took a deep breath…and nodded, giving a small, nervous smile. “Yeah…okay.” He swallowed and turned to leave.

“Ask Cadence if you need help!” Celestia called after him. “Remember, love is her specialty.”

Cadence?

Blueblood snorted loudly. “Her? I wouldn’t ask her about the color pink. Besides, I can do this by myself.”

“Of course,” she smiled demurely and even bowed a little as he strode out, head held high. Had he been paying a little more attention, he may have noticed that she shut the door behind him a little too quickly.

No sooner had her nephew gone than Princess Celestia seized a pen and parchment with unusual zest.

Her smile grew a little wider as she wrote. She even hummed to herself a little, adding a final comment in a singsong voice.

“’By yourself’…but with just a lit~tle bit of help.”

------

My Faithful Student, Twilight Sparkle,

I write to ask a favor of you and the wonderful friends you have made. A young noble of Canterlot has fallen in love with one of the residents of Ponyville. He will be headed to your town shortly. He has a good heart, but lacks experience in dealing with other ponies. I’d like you and your friends to

Celestia paused a long moment, staring at the incomplete sentence on the paper.

“Do what?” she mused aloud. “Set him up on a date? Make sure things go right?”

“…Prove that he really does need his Aunt Celly for everything, after all.” She sighed and shook her head.

She loved Blueblood. She’d loved many others over the course of her long life, but that didn’t make him any less dear to her. She wanted him to succeed. She wanted him to return to Canterlot with a mare in his hooves, and carry her right to the palace for a big royal wedding with a lot of smiles and cake. And with one little letter, she could lay the groundwork to make it as easy as pie.

But Blueblood would know. He was naïve, but he was smart. A horde of ponies greeting him with open arms, complete with a romantic setup for him and his special somepony? Twilight and her friends would take to it with their usual enthusiasm, and Blueblood would see Celestia’s hoofprints all over the project. He’d know she was just arranging things for him. He’d resent it, or worse, he’d settle back and let her do everything.

Celestia’s horn flickered gold, and the half-finished letter was ripped in half.

“It’s on you, nephew.” She looked out the window, into the distance. She wanted so much to make everything perfect…but this was the right decision.

------

Dear Diary,

Ponyville.

Farmers. Dirt. Crazy – and I do mean CRAZY – mares.

And…Derpy. Or Ditzy. Still gotta ask Rarity which one’s her real name.

I wasn’t being rhetorical there. I’m going to Carousel Boutique to ask Rarity her advice.

Now if you’ve been paying attention (which you haven’t: you’re an inanimate diary), you know that Rarity isn’t really on my list of “Ponies I Like.” She is, however, the only one here who knows me as something other than a royal pain in the flank. She’s good at dealing with ponies and may have some insights that could help me. She seems to approve of my seeing Ditzy.

Rarity also knows me better than most BECAUSE SHE READ MY DIARY, the little snoop! But I’ll call it even if this works out. At least it’ll save me the trouble of explaining.

I don’t really want to bring Rarity onboard, but I don’t have a choice. The thing is…I have no idea where Ditzy lives.

------

A high-pitched voice squealed over his shoulder. “Why don’t you just ask for directions?”

Blueblood gave a start and snapped his diary shut – right on the nose of the pink pony who had snuck up behind him and leaned over his writing.

“Ow~heehee!” She giggled and sat back, scratching the back of her chaotic pink mane. “Wow, good reflexes, Mister! You got me.”

Blueblood studiously ignored her and motioned for the check. A pleasant lunch at an outdoor café, ruined by…whatever the heck this thing was.

“SoooooooWhy don’t you just ask for directions?” She bounced right back to her hooves and wagged her tail enthusiastically.

Wagged her tail? Blueblood arched an eyebrow and put on his best ‘you are mud beneath my hooves’ frown. “Stallions don’t ask for directions.”

The logic was perfectly sound in his mind, but the pink thing kept babbling as if he hadn’t said a word. “You can ask me, I know where Derpy’s house is! Ask me! Ask me! Ask me!”

Blueblood groaned, hiding his diary in his saddlebag. “Get away from me, you crack-addicted sin against Celestia.”

He actually winced a little. That was mean, even for him, and this mare was just being overly-friendly. Maybe she didn’t deserve it. Maybe he’d feel a little bad when she stopped in shock and cried…

…Which she didn’t; she just kept right on going. “I know where everypony’s house is, because I know where all of my friends live, and everypony in town is my friend!”

She gave a loud gasp of surprise, giving Blueblood a scare before she resumed. “Oh are you new in town? I love, love, love, (and once more in caps) LOVE meeting new friends! We’ll have to have a welcome party for you! My name’s Pinkie Pie! What’s your name?”

Blueblood’s eyebrow twitched with enough force to send a spasm through the rest of his body. Clenched teeth grated out his response. “My name’s Dick GoBuckYourself.”

The message wasn’t received: the pink earth pony began going on about the details for her new friend Dick’s welcome party. Blueblood waited miserably to be brought his check, head in his hooves. He glanced up wearily as her babbling continued…

And there, sitting at the next table down, was Rarity. She was looking at him with that smirk ponies get when they know you’re suffering and they’re enjoying every minute of it.

The bitch.

She came to his rescue, though she strutted over slowly, taking her sweet time. “Pinkie, Darling,” she said. Somehow she had power over the pink monster: Pinkie shut up immediately and looked at her.

“This is my…good friend,” she began. Taking the hint, Blueblood gave Pinkie a wide, ‘we’re-totally-not-lying’ grin. “He’s just here…visiting. And looking up an old acquaintance.”

Blueblood nodded eagerly. Pinkie retreated a step, glancing between the two. “Oh…okay.”

Maybe it was payback for earlier, but it seemed Rarity couldn’t resist a quiet dig. “And we’re definitely going to get him something to wear! Can you believe that tacky tie he’s wearing? Goodness, who dressed you this morning, Darling?”

Blueblood’s smile widened so large it got painful. He cast a sidelong glance to Rarity, accepting the challenge. When it came to passive-aggressive insults, she didn’t know who she was messing with.

“Oh come now, my dear,” he said, maintaining a veneer of politeness. “If I was looking for fashion tips, I would go to a Canterlot fashion store. There’s certainly no good fashion shops in Ponyville.”

Rarity twitched and her smile dropped to a challenging sneer. “It. Is. On!” she whispered harshly before raising her voice to convey false cheer. “Of course, Darling. We all know you came to Ponyville for one reason. And I must say, your child is looking more like you every day!”

Blueblood countered without a missed beat. “Speaking of kids, your father came to me. He knows about all the MULES you’ve dated, and wants you to know that he loves you no matter what choices you make in life.”

“And speaking of choices,” Rarity huffed, no slouch herself. “Your child has been looking a little skinny. Are you behind on the alimony payments again?”

“Alimony…?” Pinkie’s eyes widened, recalling what she had read in his journal. “And you were looking for Derpy…are you Dinky’s father?”

He didn’t even hear her. All attention was on Rarity. In the back of his mind, Blueblood was impressed: Rarity was pretty good at insult fighting. But he had one big advantage on her. He was vicious.

He drew himself up and thrust his nose into the air. “Speaking of children, you’re looking a little FAT. Are you pregnant?”

To much, he realized an instant before her hoof connected with his jaw, sending him sprawling to the ground.

------

“You started it,” Blueblood grumbled, holding the ice to the side of his head.

Like a pissed-off sister, Rarity had roughly escorted him back to her home and retrieved an ice bag. She was bringing over two cups of tea, looking more resigned than angry.

She rolled her eyes at the comment and sighed. “Oh, what am I going to do with you?”

“Uh, throw me out?” Blueblood accepted his tea and shrugged. “Nothing’s owed between us, Rarity. You don’t even know why I’m in Ponyville.”

“Derpy,” she said with a slight smile.

At this point, he didn’t even bat an eyebrow. “Okay, maybe you do know. But that’s none of your business, so I can be out of your mane and on my way.”

“Looking like that?” She glanced him over, vague look of disgust on her face. “You look like a Canterlot noble.”

“There’s a reason for that,” Blueblood noted, deadpan.

“Have you thought about what she’ll think of it?” Rarity pressed, and honestly no, he hadn’t. “Derpy’s a shy little sweetheart, do you think she’ll be happy if you show up dressed in an outfit she could never afford? And your personality!”

Blueblood groaned – she raised a good point about the suit, but this was silly. “You’ve read my diary. You know I just act like a flankhole to push away gold diggers.”

“Darling, you ARE a flankhole,” she said without a hint of humor, like a mother giving stern advice. “Was Pinkie being a gold digger when you called her a sin against Celestia? It’s just a part of your personality. When you get annoyed or nervous, you assert yourself with insults. But you can’t do that with Derpy, she’s too sensitive. What, are you going to give witty commentary when she makes a mess or says something silly?”

“NO!” he shouted, waving a hoof wildly in front of his face. “I wouldn’t do something like that with her!”

He glanced down, biting a lip. “Uh, at least not intentionally.”

Rarity smiled patiently. “Exactly, Dear. It’s when you’re not paying attention that your smart mouth will get you in trouble. And the only way to stop it is to train yourself in how to deal with a lady: Things you must do or not do, say or not say.”

“And I…” with a flourish, Rarity perched a pair of glasses on her face. “Am the perfect one to teach you.”

“Uh-huh.” Blueblood was less-than-impressed. “Didn’t we just get done fighting? Aren’t we – you know – not each other’s favorite ponies? Why do you want to help me?”

Rarity cocked her head to the side and let loose with a girly giggle. “Well, what can I say? I’m a sucker for love stories.”

Her smile got a little more sedate, and a little kinder. “And if there’s any pony in Ponyville who deserves Prince Charming…it’s dear Derpy.”

“Prince Charming’s already married,” Blueblood said with a wry smile. “Go figure.”

“You’ll have to do, then.” Rarity shrugged and gave a wry smile of her own. “It’ll take a little work, though. We’ll get started right now: Lesson one, never, ever, ever call a girl fat.”

“But what if she is fat?”

Lots of work,” Rarity corrected herself. She facehoofed, and started again. “Right, Lesson zero…”