• Published 17th Jul 2012
  • 3,759 Views, 63 Comments

A Canterlot Morning - GrassAndClouds2



Octavia and Fleur talk about politics

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Epilogue

Fancy Pants smiled when he entered his quarters in the castle. “Hello, dear.”

Fleur’s form rippled into visibility. She was hanging on the ceiling by her hind legs, reading a report. “Hi!” She jumped down, flipping so that she landed on her four hooves. As she trotted over to kiss her coltfriend, she asked, “How was your night?”

“Productive. I think I’m finally starting to nail down Greengrass’s supporters, and – and what are you smiling about?”

Fleur’s eyes twinkled as she slipped behind Fancy Pants and shut the door. “Oh, I was just remembering a certain charity ball a little over a month ago. You know, the one you were going to go in disguise as a pegasus servant to.”

“Yes… what about it?”

“You wouldn’t tell me, when I saw you, why you’d dropped the illusion. But I was just having a delightful chat with one Miss Octavia Philharmonica, over in that little lounge in the eastern tower, and…”

Fancy Pants’s face was bright red. “Oh.”

Fleur giggled. “Didn’t you once tell me that you were so good at illusions that you could fool even the Shadowbolts? But I suppose a cellist is a different thing.”

“Alright, alright.” Fancy Pants smiled, and bowed in defeat. “But let’s be fair. Philharmonica’s hearing is remarkable. I don’t think any pony can get by her.” He chuckled ruefully. “How long did it take her to identify you?”

Fleur’s smile became a big, bright grin.

“… She didn’t, did she,” managed Fancy Pants.

“Don’t be upset, dear. I did learn from the best.” Fleur slipped over to the kitchen area. She was almost skipping with happiness, although more of that was due to Fancy Pants’s return than at her triumph. Well, half of the happiness, at least. “But no, she has no idea who I am.”

“How?” Fancy Pants paused, looking at Fleur walk. “Wait. That’s not how…”

Fleur poured two glasses of wine. When she trotted back to Fancy Pants, the wine hovering before her, it was with more refined and regal motions. “You taught me how to talk, and move, and even walk to fit in with these high society ponies. But I never forgot how I used to be. Octavia can identify ponies by their gait, but I have two – the high-society concert one you taught me, and the street one I used to use. She’s only ever heard me in my role as your empty-headed consort.” Fleur chuckled. “I just used the gait she hadn’t heard before.”

“Ahh.” Fancy Pants stretched and sat down on a couch against one end of the room. “You surpass me once again.”

“Dear, if I didn’t surpass you on occasion, this would be quite a dull relationship.”

They both laughed and snuggled together on the couch. Fancy Pants sighed in contentment. “I’m a little surprised, though. I thought you weren’t going to talk to her for another week or two?”

“I wasn’t, but I felt bad for her.” Fleur’s happy expression vanished. She looked angry. “It’s not right what Greengrass is doing. Half the nobles in the Court will forgive themselves any crime or failing if it’s in the service of wealth or power – and that’s if they see anything wrong with what they do in the first place. Octavia won’t forgive herself anything and blasts herself for even the smallest fault. And then Greengrass convinces her that she’s the most corrupt and least honest among them.”

“He has no scruples,” said Fancy Pants.

“I hate him.” Fleur shook her head. “Taking down other nobles is one thing. Half of them deserve it, and they at least they took the risk knowingly. But involving civilians, the ponies he is supposed to protect, and hurting them so he can manipulate them more easily—“

“I know, dear.” Fancy Pants nuzzled up against her. “I don’t like him either. But we have to be careful. If he thinks that Octavia will betray him and tell his secrets, he won’t think twice about removing her, and he’s so enmeshed in the Court that we might not be able to stop him.”

“She won’t make any sudden moves. It’s not in her personality. And I’ll keep a close eye on her… and him.”

“No, I’m watching Greengrass. He still thinks you’re a vapid fool, so he’d grow suspicious if you seemed to be focusing on him.”

“I don’t mind acting that way usually, but when I see him, and see how that slimy jerk holds me in contempt…” Fleur sighed. “I suppose it’s a good thing there are rules against bucking bad politicians off of Canterlot Tower.”

“There wouldn’t be many left, is the thing,” said Fancy Pants, and they both laughed. “How did you contact Octavia, anyway?”

“She heard me on the outside wall and invited me inside.”

“Did you let her?” Fancy Pants blinked. “Wait. Fleur, the outside wall of a castle tower? In daylight? Are you—“

“Come on, Fancy. I need to keep in shape, right?” Fleur winked. “I might not be breaking into mansions anymore, but I’d go crazy if I didn’t at least keep training.”

“Training is one thing, but on the castle and in the light? If you get arrested, it will be a problem, and--”

“Then I won’t get caught.” She kissed him on the cheek. “And as for whether I let her hear me… you know, I believe I will leave that to your imagination.”

Fancy Pants chuckled. He couldn’t stay displeased at Fleur for very long, and he knew that she was very skilled at not being seen when she didn’t want to be. “I think I can guess the answer.”

“But back to what we’re working on -- what about the Elements?” asked Fleur. “If Greengrass moved tomorrow, would they be able to beat him?”

“I doubt it. I’m worried about Trixie’s political abilities. She beat Octavia, but Octavia’s talents aren’t suited to a political fight. Going up against Greengrass, she’d need help. And Greengrass can offer more to most of the ponies she could use than she can, so she can’t hope to buy or trade for allies.”

“So she needs friends,” said Fleur. “Ponies who will stand by her even if it’s not the most profitable option.”

“More than that, she needs to be a friend. I’ve noticed that Greengrass tried to recruit Lyra and Carrot Top, and has plans for the other three, but none whatsoever for her. He’s going for her allies first. And if she lets him have them… well, then she’ll be truly alone, he’ll be able to get her as well, and even we won’t be able to stop him. Trixie fought for Lyra, but she only had to deal with Octavia, who was a political novice. I’m worried that she might let the others go too easily if the fight is harder. “

“I still think we should tell her. Help her, even.”

“No.” Fancy Pants shook his head. “We can’t do everything for her. Greengrass isn’t the only pony that will try to seize control of the Elements. She needs to learn how to deal with this problem. If we bail her out now, what happens when Corona tries, or another nation, and we can’t save her?” He paused. “Besides. Princess Luna has faith in her. And I trust the princess.”

“As do I.”

“Then we watch, and observe, and bring information to the princess. That’s our job.” Fancy Pants floated over the bottle of wine and refilled their glasses.

“And, where we can, we try to help out the ponies who get caught up in the Court’s schemes.” Fleur looked serious. “And – even if it takes a while – we ensure that the ponies who abuse their position on the Court pay for it.”

“Yes, we do.” Fancy Pants smiled. “That is one of the more enjoyable parts of the job.”

Fleur snuggled up against his side. “By the way, if you want to learn how to walk with a different gait, I’d love to teach you.”

“Teach me?” Fancy Pants pretended to glare. “I taught you everything you know about imitating a Courtier’s walk.”

“Yes, but it wasn’t me whose disguise was broken by a musician with no spycatching training, was it?”

They both laughed.



Back in the tower, Octavia resumed her practicing. She was far behind schedule and would likely have to skip lunch, but that didn’t matter. Going without lunch was far less of a problem than letting her skills slip, however slightly, through neglect.

Actually, she thought, just before she began playing her warm-up piece, That mare might have a point. Just because I failed once doesn’t mean I can’t recover—

No. That kind of thinking leads to lax performances. A musician who forgives herself errors is one step away from tolerating errors, and when that happens, her performances will suffer.

But I’ve made mistakes in performances before, and I practiced harder and overcame them. One mistake doesn’t mean I can never play a piece…

She shook her head. These thoughts were traitorous, and she wouldn’t think them. She had integrity. She would not allow herself to think she was any better than she really was. She was a phenomenal musician, and a failure as a friend. Any other thoughts to contradict those would be lies.

But, try as she might, even as she began to play, she couldn’t quite shake the mare’s words from her mind.

And somehow, she found it a little bit easier to play that warm and happy Grasshopper Sonata than she had a short while ago.

Comments ( 29 )

So that's how Fleur did it. Fancy Pants taught her how to fit in high society with speech, motions, even walking style (like in Shaw's Pygmalion), but she never forgot her roots. Most ponies, when they try to disguise their gait (well, the few who think to) can't mask it very well -- it'd be like trying to disguise your speech; your native vocabulary, accent, and idioms would probably slip in here and there. But Fleur isn't trying to distort her base gait, she actually has two, both of which she's very used to using and which are quite distinct. She just used the one Octy didn't know. (My, Octy will be embarrassed if she ever finds out.)

Boy, Fancy and Fleur really don't like Greengrass, do they? Corruption on the court is one thing, but Greengrass is dragging in innocent civilians. Fleur in particular hates that. (In my personal canon, I like to think that Fleur became a burglar in the first place because of some previous Night Court shenanigan that hurt her and/or her family such that burglary was the only way to make ends meet. And that Fleur's first target was the Noble behind that shenanigan, who suffered a very hard fall).

And hey, Octy might have learned something!

It'll take a while but two things will happen: Octy will forgive herself (as well assee through the lies Greengrass used to manipulate her) and Greengrass will find himself in a dungeon wondering how he got there and what Luna meant about honor, decency and self-sacrifice (none of which he can understand).

good one , it made me remember leliana from dragon age

Overall impressive. Nothing exciting, but a satisfactory wrap-up

There is something, I don't know what, but something bugging me about the interaction between Fancy and Fleur. I really wish I could pin it down. Unfortunately, it's probably going to be another of those things we're I convince myself everything is fine until something or another throws everything into sharp contrast; hope not though as I really hate going off like that. So, a slight word of warning that if you keep writing these two I may end up going off on another little tirade or such, though since I caught the warning signs I'll try to be more observant and vent out what ever it is before it builds to that kind of breaking point.

Still, that's mostly my problem not yours. You just keep writing in whatever way feels best and most natural to you.

920656

Not a bad backstory on Fleur. I'm going to try a hand at expanding it in the Fancy Pants thread I made. Please tell me what you think!

Minor point - Trixie didn't know Lyra for years. She may have been peripherally aware of her, and vice-versa, but for all intents and purposes they probably met only a day or two before going to Ponyville.

Wasn't quite expecting this to go live so suddenly like that.

Oh, and nice choice for the cover, though I probably would have cropped it to remove the tombstone

924248: Fixed. Thanks for the correction.

Admittedly... I want Greengrass' 'final' story to be him to realize just how bucking stupid it is to try and split up the Elements. And nice little Fancy and Fleur, there.

I liked this chapter. It was hopeful and left the reader the reader with possiblities but it didn't have Octavia do a sudden 180 after one pep talk with Fleur. In other words, it was believable. The bit about Fleur having two gaits is also a good way to get around Octavia's abilities.

Also nice to see a bit of Fleur/Fancy Pants. They do honestly make a cute couple. Also nice to see nobles who are actually both good and compitent. Can't wait to see more of them.

946043: Why not be both? :-)
I'm glad you enjoyed it!

946102: Yes, it's nice to see that there's nobles in the Lunaverse that aren't corrupted, greedy schemers. Fancy Pants just wants what's best for everypony. (And that might be, say, Greengrass getting bucked off the court.) (Actually, Fleur might also want him bucked off the tower, but she'll settle for the former.) :-)

I like this version of Fleur. She is so often portrayed as vapid, so it's a nice change to see her otherwise. :ajsmug:

Lunaverse Fleur is best Fleur. Nicely done.

Wait, it was Fleur? ...That actually makes a lot of sense.
Oh, wait, then in Everypony's Night she was Walls... and then she does save Octavia.
FFFUUUUUU SPOILERS
This is why I wanted to keep up with this in the first place. :twilightangry2: I'm getting way too worked up about this, but jlhvddndsjfbkdkafdssdfklnjdafnlodfklzbfkldsb

Finished reading. A good story. :pinkiesmile:

1136016 This.

Damn, I hate politics. It's an extremely difficult battle of wits.

If Fleur de Lis is Catmare...
Does that mean Fancy Pants is Batmane?

I love it! Fancypants and Fleur as Batpony and Catmare, that's wonderful. I love reading interpretations of Fleur along these lines.

The music was well written too.

Heh, you got me! I was sure the mysterious mare was Luna until the moment of reveal. :twilightsmile:

You manage to make written music seem engaging, which is a feat all by itself.

I enjoyed the characterization of Fleur and FancyPants here, a pair of lights in the dark world of the Night Court.

So Fancy Pants is Luna's Royal Internal Affairs Spymaster and Fleur de Les is a (mostly) reformed cat burglar...
Awesome:rainbowdetermined2:

Lots of things to like here. nice to see that the Night Court probably isn't going to be a Planet of Hats is made up universally of a bunch of stuck up, manipulative, evil jerks. I like the Fluer and Fancy Pants here. It was interesting to see the music interwoven into the story, and its something I haven't really seen before. Lots of interesting plot hook have been laid out that I hope to be explored later on.

I was way off on my guess :derpytongue2:
I thought it was Twilight!

I've been reading the series in order. And I haven't seen him [Greengrass] go for CT. What fic was this in? But I like Fluer and Fancy Pants even more in this AU than in FIMVerse.

Comment posted by T1MBUK0N3 deleted Nov 25th, 2014

3756036

That would actually be in the episode Carrot Top Season . It's a few stories further but I suddenly have spotted an inconsistency. Perhaps the writer meant to say that GreenGrass was planning to go for Carrot Top next. :applejackunsure:

5628682

I just realized that I read this one after Carrot top season...so technically I did manage to fix this.


Anyway, a nice, sweet, eppie that lay a lot of the groundwork for the Cadenceverse and an episode a little down the line.

As always, the first chapter at the end

Lovely.
And Fleur is amazing. :pinkiesmile: I like her.

I’ve noticed that Greengrass tried to recruit Lyra and Carrot Top, and has plans for the other three, but none whatsoever for her.

I'm reading through the series list. And either that hasn't happened yet (Your fic is listed #11 and this Webisode under that) or was supposed to be in a fic that wasn't actually made.

6888912

Yeah both Fancy Pants and Fleur are pretty awesome in this AU ^_^.

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