• Published 28th Jun 2012
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A New Hero - Alex The Lone Wolf



What if there was another pony who joined the pony gang? (Look at longer description...)

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Sweet and Elite

Episode 35 – Sweet and Elite

I suddenly jolted awake. That's right… Twilight's birthday is this weekend… Hm… I wonder what I'm going to get her… I sat up from bed and continued thinking. I looked at my shelf and noticed the good luck charm Twilight had made for me a while back. I have to get her something very thoughtful…

My ears poked up when I heard a light tap at my front door. I stood up and walked down stairs to see who it was. When I opened the door, my eyes widened when I saw her.

"Princess Celestia!" I bowed, but she placed a hoof on my shoulder.

"You don't need to be so afraid, remember?" She released one of her heart-warming smiles.

"Oh…yeah…" I stood up, feeling slightly embarrassed. "It's just that I haven't seen you in a while, you know?"

She chuckled lightly. "You're right…and that's why I came over here to invite you to the Canterlot castle for a visit."

My eyes widened once again. "Really?"

"Yes. I've wanted to hear how you've been, especially after you've grown such a beautiful smile on your face."

Her comment caused me to release a light smile. "Oh…well… that sounds great. Um… Do you mind if I bring Fluttershy?"

"Not at all. Let's go talk to her."

I continued smiling and nodded. Before leaving, I grabbed a saddlebag with several bits inside and walked out.

I knocked on the door when we arrived at her cottage. When she opened the door, she immediately greeted me with a hug and kiss, but widened her eyes at the sight of Princess Celestia.

"Princess Celestia!" Fluttershy bowed.

"Hello, Fluttershy." She smiled.

"I was wondering if you wanted to come with me to Canterlot castle for a visit." I told Fluttershy as she stood up.

"That sounds wonderful, but I think Angel's getting sick. I want to stay, just to make sure he's alright."

"Oh, okay. I understand. I hope Angel gets better. I'll see you then for Twilight's birthday, alright?"

She nodded. "Mm-hm." She kissed me once more. "I'll see you later."

I smiled and waved.

She released a smile as well and lightly closed the door.

I turned to face Princess Celestia. "Well… I guess it's just me then."

"You can bring her another time." Princess Celestia assured. "Hop on. I'll take you there myself."

"Really?" I responded with a surprised tone. "That sounds a little…disrespectful. I mean, you are a Princess."

She slightly chuckled. "Come now, Alex. Our relationship is much more than of two strangers. I know we don't see each other much because of royal business, as I've said before, but I can feel we're pretty close."

"Yeah…I know what you mean…" I slightly looked away, feeling some sadness.

"So, yes or no?" She asked, playfully.

I shook my head to be rid of the negative thoughts and smiled. "Sure." I hopped on.

She glanced back at me and smiled. "Hold on tight."

"Okay…" I wrapped my forelegs around her neck and she suddenly lifted off and began flying.

I had a great view of the environment and scenery as Princess Celestia flew me to Canterlot. She finally landed near the castle and looked back to me. "Are you alright, Alex?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. Thanks." I hopped down and looked at her.

She began taking me to where she usually stayed as we walked and talked.

"Do you have anything in mind for a gift to give to Twilight?" Princess Celestia asked me.

"Hm…" I thought. "Not really… I know she's really into books and things like that…but that seems too easy. I want to get her something that requires a lot of thought. You know… a thoughtful gift. Maybe I can find her one here? This is her hometown after all."

We entered her room and continued our conversation as we sat down.

"Well, that's already thoughtful for you to begin thinking like that, Alex. I'm sure you'll find the perfect gift. If you'd like any help, I'll try my best to help you, but it's up to you to find the most thoughtful gift she'll love."

I nodded. "I understand, Princess."

She returned a warm smile but suddenly a letter appeared before her. She grabbed it with her magic and began reading it. "Dear Princess Celestia…My dear friend Rarity will be going to Canterlot for a visit. She needs to gather some things for her shop and I was wondering if you could do me a favor. Could you, perhaps, accommodate her to Canterlot? I would really appreciate it! Please respond as soon as possible! Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle." She placed the scroll away and thought. "Hm… seems like your friend Rarity is coming as well…" She looked over to her desk and pulled out an empty scroll. She grabbed a quill and dipped it in ink, beginning to write a response. "Dear Twilight Sparkle, my faithful student. I'll be glad to accommodate your friend! In fact, I'll give her a suite in the castle. I'm sure she'd love that. Sincerely, Princess Celestia." She sent the letter and looked at me. "I guess we better go meet your friend." She stood up and led me out of the room. She faced one of the guards that were outside her room. "Would you please go find a young pony named Rarity and tell her to meet me at the suite?"

"Of course, Princess." The guard responded and began heading out.

Princess Celestia turned to me. "Come on, Alex. We'll go meet her at the suite."

"Alright."

Princess Celestia walked me to the almost highest tower in the castle. I probably would have gotten lost if she wasn't with me.

"After I show your friend to her room, I'll let you get started on your journey to finding Twilight's gift. We can catch up later." Princess Celestia told me.

I released a smile. "Thank you, Princess."

Soon after, Rarity walked up the steps with Opal by her side and a poor Porter trailing behind her with all her luggage… Knowing Rarity, it must be really heavy… When she reached us, she noticed me and grew surprised. "Oh, Alex! What ever are you doing here?"

"Princess Celestia invited me to visit, and I'm going to be searching for a gift for Twilight." I responded.

"That's really thoughtful of you." She smiled and looked at Princess Celestia. "One of your royal guards pointed me up here?"

"Yes." The Princess began. "How would you like to stay here?" She pointed towards the door and escorted her in.

As I walked behind them, Rarity grew an immediate surprised face with widened eyes, throwing a gasp in as well. "Here? I get to stay here?" Her voice echoed through the large room presented before her. The room contained a large magnificent bed, looking almost like the one Rarity has in her home, a vanity mirror, and some other furniture for her needs.

"Twilight Sparkle said you were coming to Canterlot for a visit, and asked if I might accommodate you." Princess Celestia replied.

Opal began getting comfortable as she patted her paws delightfully on the bed. "Thank you so much, Princess." Rarity announced as she continued to observe the room.

"You're very welcome."

"No, really." Rarity rushed over to her. "This is so nice of you."

"It's nothing, really."

"Oh, but it isn't nothing, it's everything! I, I just don't know what to say but thank you, thank you!" She quickly bowed down and kissed Princess Celestia's hoof. "Thank you!" She kissed her hoof again. "Thank you!" As she kissed her hoof yet again, Princess Celestia began looking at me very awkwardly and slightly uncomfortable. I could only shrug as Rarity continued to bombard the Princess's hoof with kisses. "You are very we—

"Thank you!" Rarity exclaimed, cutting off her sentence.

Finally when the Porter had managed to climb up all the stairs with her luggage, he presented himself by the door, panting. "Your luggage, mademoiselle?" His legs began shaking with all the weight.

"Here, let me help you." I walked towards the entire luggage on his back and grabbed a few.

"I'll leave you to get settled." Princess Celestia announced as she began walking out of the room. She looked at me and smiled. "I'll see you later. Just come by my room when you have the time."

I nodded as I placed the bags I was carrying near the bed.

Princess Celestia walked past the Porter. He somehow managed to bow. "Your highness."

She looked back at Rarity. "Enjoy your stay."

"Thank you!" Rarity called out one last time as Princess Celestia left.

"Where would you like me to put these?" The Porter asked.

I was about to help him with more of the luggage, but his legs gave up and he fell towards the floor. One of the boxes from the luggage rolled over to Rarity and stopped below her hooves. Nonetheless, she smiled. "That's perfect."

The Porter groaned and sighed. He managed to pull himself out of the wreck and walk over to Rarity. "Is there anything else you need?"

"No, I'm fine."

"Okay, then… I'll be on my way." He answered, looking disoriented as he wobbled down the stairs outside.

Once Rarity and I were alone, she closed the doors and began trotting to her luggage to begin unpacking.

"Do you really need that much stuff, Rarity?" I asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Why, of course! These are just a few of the most absolute necessities I had to bring."

"I see…" I responded as I remembered the same scene with Sweetie Belle not too long ago.

"So you said you were going to look for a gift for Twilight?" Rarity asked as she opened one of the bags and pulled out many dresses and hats.

"Yeah… I want to get her something thoughtful though. A book seems…too easy…"

"I understand." She continued to unpack until she suddenly raised her head. "Why don't you come with me for a stroll around Canterlot? You can look for her gift meanwhile."

I formed a light smile. "Sure. That sounds nice."

"Fantastic, we can head off in just a moment."

"Alright."

After waiting for her to finally finish unpacking, she began looking through her wardrobe for what to wear. I sighed quietly and stared tiredly as she continued fuzz over her huge selection. "Hm… what should I wear Opal?" Opal returned a meow and continued licking herself. "Your right… I wouldn't want to get that sort of impression…" After spending some more time watching Rarity choose, she finally pulled out a pink hat with a gem on the midsection. "This should be fine!" She placed it on her and turned around to face me. "Ready, Alex?"

For a while… "Yeah." I answered, standing up.

"Splendid!" She began walking out. "Come along, Opal!"

Opal jumped off from the bed and began walking with her in the usual way she walked. I sighed and followed them.

After walking past ponies that were literally walking head over backwards, I couldn't help but try to hold in a laugh as I saw their ridiculous poses. However, the same thing was occurring with the other hoof as well. As I walked by Rarity, I noticed ponies seemed to be slightly offended or shocked to see that I wasn't wearing anything but my saddlebag. I just rolled my eyes at them and continued walking. Rarity and I stopped at a café. Opal had received a bowl of milk as Rarity and I waited.

"Alex, do you know what I love about Canterlot?" The waiter walked over to our table and brought us two cups of something hot. The waiter noticed my appearance and slightly scoffed, causing me to look back with annoyance as he left. Rarity took a sip from her cup and released a moan of pleasure. "Ahh. Everything!" I looked at my cup and took a sip. After tasting, I slightly pulled away and looked at it with a distasteful look. "I may have been born in Ponyville, but I am a Canterlot pony at heart." Rarity took another sip.

"I can see why you love this place… but I'm starting to find it dreadful. All these "Canterlot" ponies are all too uptight about everything. It's beginning to annoy me…"

"Oh, I'm sure it's not that bad." Rarity continued to sip from her cup. "Now, I know Opal and I are here to pick up some fabrics for the shop, but Twilight was such a dear to get me that suite at the castle I simply must make her something to express my gratitude." Rarity began thinking as she placed a hoof on her chin, but she saw another uptight pony with a scrunched nose wearing a dress, just like every other female. "Hmm... ooh! An outfit for her birthday party this weekend! Perfect! Don't you just love it here, Alex?"

I returned narrowed eyes.

To prove my point, a couple of ponies walked up to the table and faced Rarity as she sipped her drink some more, completely ignoring me. When she saw these ponies and their upright heads, she quickly placed her cup back on the plate and released a nervous grin. However, she still had some foam from the cup and quickly wiped it off.

"Please excuse our interruption." The male with glasses began speaking with the most snooty accent I've ever heard before. It was so ridiculous, that it made me want to laugh again. "I'm Jet Set and this is my wife Upper Crust. We saw you from across the cafe and just had to find out...

"...Where did you get that simply marvelous chapeau?" His wife finished, creating overly dramatic gestures for every word she spoke.

Their speech was highly annoying, but entertaining at the same time.

"Oh, this old thing? Oh, it's just something I—

"Rarity!" We heard as a drop of water splashed on her hat. We turned our attention to see a window washer above us. "Hey Rarity!" However, his movements broke him from his harness and caused him to fall towards us while still hanging on one rope. "Whoo! It's me, Hayseed Turnip Truck!" His presence caused the two ponies to back away, frightened, as the ponies in the background stared at us. "We met at the big hoedown in Ponyville last month?"

Rarity returned a nervous grin. "Oh, yes, of course... how are you?"

"Good! Real good!" The rope snapped and he fell down.

"Hmm..." The two ponies expressed in a disgusted manner. "You're from... Ponyville?"

"Well, yeah, yes, but—

"She sure is! She's a real big-time fancy pants dressmaker there! Probably made that real purty thing she's got on her head!"

The mare looked over at her husband. "I thought it looked a little country."

"I told you it wasn't something you could get here in Canterlot, dear."

"What? Is Ponyville not 'good enough' for your tastes?" I finally spoke, fed up with their attitude.

They looked at each other and shared a highly irritating laugh. "Ponyville is just one of the most uncouth places in Equestria!" The wife responded.

"Such as yourself." The husband directed at me.

I felt myself heat up and slammed my hooves on the table, standing up, ready to explode in anger. "Oh really? Ponyville's pretty much the only sane place I've ever been in. You two are just the stereotypical representation of Canterlot ponies. You two sound like you have a speech impediment with all the arrogant talking and laughing you do! And what's up with the way you walk? Did you receive a sport injury or something? Oh, that's right. You don't play sports because you think that's too 'uncouth'. YOUR obnoxious behavior should be considered uncouth because you're so judgmental on appearances and bad mannered! Why don't you just tick off before I get started on your absurd tastes for spending your money!"

"Well, I never!" The wife responded. "Hmph!" They both expressed and began walking off in their usual manner.

Afterwards, I placed my hooves on the ground and began storming out of the café. I walked for a moment with an angry expression on my face until Rarity came by my side. "Alex, where are you going?" She asked.

"I just need to cool off… Don't worry about me." I answered and continued walking.

I continued walking through town with no direction in mind until I finally sighed and headed towards the castle.

I was too angry to search for Twilight's gift, so I decided to talk to the Princess, hopefully being rid of this anger. When I walked up to the door of her room, the couple of guards were on each side there.

"I'm here to talk to the Princess…"

They both looked at each other and back at me, nodding. They must have recognized me from earlier. I walked through the doors to see her lying on the floor, reading something. She noticed me walk in after the doors closed behind me. "Hello there, Alex." She noticed the expression on my face. "Is something the matter?"

I plopped down on the floor in front of her and sighed heavily. "How do you handle the ponies here in Canterlot, Princess? Their snooty behavior is so aggravating!"

She patted me on the shoulder with her hoof. "I understand how you feel Alex. I don't quite have the same tastes as they do…but…" She shrugged. "It's who they are…" I remained silent. "What's wrong? Did something happen between you and them?"

"Yeah… there was this couple of ponies being so rude because Rarity and I were from Ponyville. Eventually, they took it too far and I just…got so angry."

"I'm sorry to hear that… Would it make you feel better if I banished them and threw them in a dungeon?"

I widened my eyes at her comment. "What?"

She chuckled and waved her hoof. "I'm just kidding."

"Oh…" Her joke managed to make me chuckle slightly and smile.

After, I began telling her how I've been feeling lately. I even told her how I was the "Mysterious Mare Do Well", which she laughed at the thought of ponies thinking of me as a mare.

"I'm glad you've been doing great lately, Alex."

"Yeah… I just hope Rarity is doing alright right now. She takes fashion seriously and I'm sure she didn't let that comment pass by.

Princess Celestia continued her warm smile. "I should let you get back to your gift hunting. It truly has been wonderful having you here."

"Thanks, Princess Celestia. It's been great being here. …I really should thank you for everything you've done. I'm not sure if I'd be in this position if you had never found me when I was little."

"You've turned out to be such an amazing pony, Alex. I'm glad I found you."

I smiled and nodded. "I'll see you later, Princess."

She nodded as well. I walked out of the room, feeling the complete opposite than how I had first came in.

Still having my saddlebag with the bits inside for Twilight's gift, I walked around town, trying to think and look for the best one I could find. Hmm… let's see… I began thinking as I walked. Maybe I can get her something like a book…just not a plain one… something that deals with literacy and our friendship… I was interrupted when I had suddenly bumped into somepony.

"Oh, sorry about that." I heard his voice speak.

I looked to see who it was to find out it was a pony slightly bigger than I was. His eyes were of a Moderate cerulean. His mane was long and consisted of the colors Moderate sapphire blue,
Moderate cerulean, and Dark phthalo blue. His coat was white like Rarity's and he had a horn planted on his head. I noticed his cutie mark consisted of a blue shield with a pink-purple six pointed star in the middle, which also had three light blue stars above the shield. Somehow… his appearance seemed…familiar…but I had never seen him before…

"It's okay…" I replied and noticed something else about him. "Hey, why aren't you like the rest of the ponies here? Snooty?"

He chuckled. "Come on, not all Canterlot ponies are like that."

I shrugged and smiled lightly. "I guess… Well sorry for bumping into you. I have to go find a gift for a friend."

"No problem. See ya."

After that, he continued walking. I took another glance at him, having a strange feeling as if I somehow know him… I shook it off and resumed walking around for the gift. Maybe I could get her a scrapbook dealing with all of us? Hm… I just don't know… Twilight's never really asked or wished for anything. I guess that's why I can't really think of a good thoughtful gift. I know a book will make her happy… but… I sighed.

I took a seat on a nearby bench and thought some more. Alright… she loves checklists, so it can be something that will be useful with her organizing. She loves books, so maybe it can be something to read as well? You know… maybe I can just get her a planner, a best-selling book, and a scrapbook? Hm…that sounds nice…

I stood up from the bench and headed towards a nearby store to see what my options would be. I looked around the store and found rarely anypony inside. Looking inside the store, I found out why. Most of Canterlot consisted of uptight people who desired everything to be formal and perfect, but the shop wasn't like that. It was laidback and casual. I walked around and found the aisle with the notebooks and such. After sorting through some planners, I found one that she might like. When it was opened, there was a little strap to the left side of the planner. It looked to be used for holding quills. The rest of the planner had pages that of course were used for planning things. I closed the planner and grabbed it with my teeth. I'm pretty sure Twilight will like this.

I looked around the store a little more and found a scrapbook with pages for pictures already in it. Hm… which one would fit her personality more? After some searching, I grabbed a scrapbook that would require her to use her organizing skills to place the pictures, which would also be fun for her.

When I walked to the front counter of the store, my eyes slipped into a cardboard cutout of an adventurous looking pony. I analyzed the text and saw Daring Doo and the Swamp Shallows. Hm… I think I've seen Twilight having these books before. Maybe she doesn't have this one yet? It looks like it just recently came out… I shrugged mentally and grabbed it, adding it to my collection of gifts.

After I purchased them, I placed them in my saddlebag and began walking back to the castle. I hope Twilight will love these… I tried to be as thoughtful as possible… I should wrap them when I get back. Maybe Rarity has something I can wrap them in?

When I arrived at her suite, I knocked on her door. She opened it and was delighted to see me. "Oh, Alex! Are you alright now?"

I smiled to assure her. "Yeah, I'm fine. I've been talking with the Princess."

She returned a smile as well. "Well, that's wonderful. Come in." I walked inside as Rarity closed the door behind me. "Oh, did you find a gift for Twilight?"

"…Actually, I got her several. I wanted to be as thoughtful as possible but… I don't know." I responded.

"Let me see what you got her." I opened my saddlebag and pulled out the scrapbook, planner, and the new Daring Doo book. "You don't need to be worried. Twilight will love these!"

"Are you sure?"

"Mm-hm! You know how she is, Alex. That's being thoughtful. If somepony wasn't thoughtful, then they'd get anything they could find at the last second. Do you understand?"

I felt better when I heard that. "Yeah… thanks Rarity."

"You're very welcome." She began pulling out a jewelry box and opened it after, sorting through the jewels inside.

"Are you going somewhere?" I asked.

"Why, yes. I made many new friends while you were cooling off. I was invited to art gallery opening this evening, a charity auction tomorrow morning, and a dinner party tomorrow night." She paused and looked at me. "Alex, you should come with me!"

"Rarity… you know I'm not comfortable with those kind of ponies, remember?"

"Trust me! It'll be fine! I just need the support of a best friend because I'm trying to win over their approval."

"Approval…?"

"Please, Alex! Please, please, please!" She was practically begging at my hooves.

"Alright, alright. Fine." I finally surrendered. "But it's because you're my friend, alright?"

"Thank you!" She quickly hugged me and returned to her preparing.

"How am I going to make it to the other events tomorrow?" I questioned.

"What do you mean?" She looked back at me.

"Well, I don't have a place to stay in Canterlot."

"You can stay here!" She ran to the bed, grabbed two pillows from the many that were on the bed, and placed them on the couch in the room. Next, she opened the wardrobe and grabbed some covers, placing them on the couch as well. "Tada!"

I sighed, but not in frustration or anger. "You really want my support, don't you?"

"It would really help…"

I shrugged, bringing my hooves in the air and slapping them down. "Alright. Like I said, because you're my friend." She released a grin and continued trying on different necklaces and jewelry. "Were you going to attend that art gallery opening right now?"

"Actually, no. I'm going out to find something to wear at the art gallery."

"But… don't you…?" I tried explaining, gesturing towards the suitcases that she packed with many things to wear, which she most likely won't wear at all during this trip.

"Hm?" She questioned as she continued going through her jewelry box.

"Never mind…" I gave up and began looking around. I spotted the dress form which Rarity was using to make Twilight's dress. "What about Twilight's dress for her birthday?"

"Of course," Rarity nodded, looking at me. "…finishing Twilight's dress in time for her birthday party is still my top priority, but I can't possibly disappoint the Canterlot elite by rejecting their invitations now, can I?" She tossed the tiara she pulled out onto the air and lightly placed it on her head with her magic, presenting herself glowingly after. After placing on her mascara, she began singing.

"I'll be the toast of the town, the girl on the go." She brushed her mane and sprayed hairspray after as she trotted to the door, powdering herself as well.

"I'm the type of pony everypony, everypony should know." She messed with Opal's fur.

"I'll be the one to watch, the girl in the flow

I'm the type of pony everypony, everypony should know." She glanced back at me before leaving. I remained in the room, waiting for Rarity to come back.

When she returned, she was wearing, what appeared to be, a French-styled outfit. She almost looked different, but nonetheless, she was styled for fashion and beautiful, as always.

Arriving at the art gallery, Rarity began observing one of the interesting paintings as many ponies stood behind her awaiting her approval, especially the one next to her wearing glasses. I couldn't help but notice Photo Finish there as well… I wonder if she even remembered Rarity.

"Becoming as popular as popular can be…" After observing the painting for a moment, Rarity turned her head and nodded with a grin. Despite the very confused faces the ponies behind her contained, they nodded their heads in agreement after, causing the pony with glasses to sign in relief.

"Making my mark, making my mark in high society." As I analyzed the other ponies nodding their heads in agreement after Rarity, I figured where this was going…

Next morning, we attended the charity action as Rarity wore, yet, another dress. The auctioneer tapped his gavel twice and presented an old vase, containing a pony on it. It seemed to be a little of Greek…

"I'm the belle of the ball, the star of the show, yeah." When Rarity, observed this vase, she raised her hand in confidence, and soon after, all the ponies in the auction house raised theirs, causing the auctioneer to drop his jaw and gavel in shock.

"I'm the type of pony everypony, everypony should know."

We then attended that dinner party as Rarity wore a different dress. I also noticed how the ponies were much nicer to me and seemed to mind that I wasn't dressed properly, but I knew it wasn't actually how they felt. They were just being that way because I was with Rarity, and apparently she was popular."See how they hang on every word that I speak." Rarity continued as we sat by a table when the waiters brought two plates of food.

"My approving glance is what they all seek

"I'm the crème de la crème, not just another Jane Doe." Rarity analyzed each plate and eventually turned her head away in disgust to one of them and grabbed a piece from the other one, immediately causing all of the others to pick the same piece as well.

"I'm the type of pony everypony should know."

Rarity had even managed to squeeze in even more events, drastically cutting in her time to prepare Twilight's dress.

"At home, at the opera, on a fancy yacht

Becoming the talk, the talk of all of Canterlot

I'm the crème de la crème, not just another Jane Doe, yeah

I'm the type of pony everypony, everypony should know."

Finally, we arrived back at the suite. As Rarity opened the doors and walked in, I had hardly realized that she acquired so many things from the events we participated in.

"Because I'm the type of pony

Yes, I'm the type of pony." Opal had persistently tapped her paw on the design, but Rarity walked past it, seeming to not pay attention.

"Yes, I'm the type of pony everypony should know." Rarity placed another piece of cloth on the dress form and was about to add more things, but she placed her head on it in exhaustion, causing the new piece she added to fall off and land on the floor.

Soon after, she didn't move and eventually fell asleep. I sighed and walked towards her. She really wore herself out in attending all those things… I lightly carried her to her bed and gently placed her on there, covering her with the blankets after. Before closing the doors, I took a look at the dress for Twilight. It wasn't the kind of dress Rarity was planning… but it seemed complete. It was plain and I wasn't sure if Twilight would like it…but…you never know…

I walked over to the opened doors and closed them. Afterwards, I headed to the couch and planted myself on there, resting my head on the pillows and covering myself with the blankets. I was tired as well, since I followed Rarity to all of her events to show my support. Oh well… at least Twilight's birthday is tomorrow. I can wrap her gifts in the morning…

When I awoke, I heard Rarity packing her things. I sat up and looked around. She noticed me as she continued packing.

"Good Morning, Alex. We'll be leaving soon, so you should probably get your things ready." Rarity announced.

"Oh…" I looked at my saddlebag that was on the table across me. "I don't really have anything to pack… But I was wondering if you had something I could wrap Twilight's gifts with."

"Of course!" She pulled out some wrapping paper that looked smooth as ribbons. She brought it over to me and I caught it with my hooves.

"Thanks." I placed it on the couch and walked over to the table to grab my saddle bag. After, I returned to the couch and opened the bag, bringing out Twilight's gifts.

I spent the time it took for Rarity to finish packing her things to carefully warp each present neatly. After, I placed them carefully back in my saddle bag and looked over to Rarity. She had brought the Porter back in and began placing her things for him to carry. I could see him struggling as his legs shook violently as last time. Rarity placed the last item and looked around. "Oh, I hope I haven't forgotten anything."

"Me... too..." The Porter managed to reply with.

"We'd better get going." Rarity announced as she dragged Opal out of bed and placed her in a cage that Rarity carried. "Let's go, Alex."

"Alright." I placed the saddlebag on my back and began walking towards the door.

"I must get back to Ponyville with enough time to finish Twilight's ensem—

Rarity was interrupted when the letterbox was opened and a letter flew in. "For me?" Rarity picked up the letter and opened it using her magic. She read it as the Porter slowly moved one leg at a time. "Dearest Rarity, your presence is requested at the Canterlot garden party this afternoon... Yours, Jet Set and Upper Crust!" She gasped and suddenly began speaking excitedly. "The Canterlot garden party! Why, next to the Galloping Gala that is the premier event in Canterlot!" She released a loud squeal.

I raised an eyebrow. "But if you go, you'll miss Twilight's birthday party."

"But if I don't go, my new reputation in Canterlot as a Very Important Pony might be ruined! I might never be invited to another high society event again!" She began deciding which one to choose. "Friend's birthday... Very Important Pony." She sucked her face as she was in conflict with those two events. Come on, Rarity… Twilight's your friend… After releasing a wince, she finally decided. "It's just too important." For a moment there, I felt relieved as I thought she was talking about Twilight's birthday. She brought a scroll and quill out and began writing, taking a deep breath first. "My dear Twilight, I am afraid I won't be able to make it to your birthday party tomorrow, because..." I immediately felt slightly angry because she had chosen the garden party instead… "…because poor Opal is quite ill, and she is in no condition to make the long journey back to Ponyville!" Rarity created a dramatic tone. "I do hope you understand. Your friend, Rarity."

"I suppose this means you don't need me to bring down your bags?" The Porter asked.

"No." Her answer caused the Porter to sigh in relief. "But, I will need some help unpacking them." This answer caused him to fall to the ground and allow all the bags to tumble down.

After she unpacked everything, I lay on the couch waiting for her, still unhappy about her choice. She trotted out of the bathroom, wearing a yellow sundress as flowers were planted on her tail. "What do you think? Too much?" She asked me. I looked at her from over the couch and returned upset narrowed eyes. "You're right. Too little." She grabbed a hat that completed the dress and wore it.

I jumped up from the couch and began walking towards the door. "Fine, go to your garden party. But I'm going back home to make it to Twilight's birthday party."

"I'm terribly sorry, Alex."

"Whatever…just…have a nice party or whatever…"

"Ah, garden party, here I come!"

We both walked towards the door and opened it to see a very shocking surprise, figuratively and literally.

"Surprise!" All of the girls exclaimed beyond the door, causing Rarity to gasp and pass out.

We all looked at each other in silence.

"…what just happened?" Twilight asked.

I shrugged. "I guess she must have been really surprised to see you all." I responded, looking at the unconscious Rarity from the corner of my eyes.

Twilight turned her attention to me. "How was your stay at the castle?"

"It was…fun…" I replied, a bit uneasily. "Anyway, Happy Birthday, Twilight."

"Thanks!" She closed her eyes and smiled.

Fluttershy walked up to me and hugged me. "It felt different not seeing you for a few days…"

I lightly smiled and patted her back. "Yeah… It felt the same way here…"

Pinkie Pie walked up to Rarity and began giggling. "Did you see how surprised she was? Swoosh! And right before she hit the ground, shoom, she— Pinkie Pie's comment was cut off when we all saw her starting to open her eyes. "Hi again!"

Rarity stood up from the ground and looked at the girls with a puzzled expression on her face. "What are you— how did you— Why are you—

"Listen to her. She's so excited to see us she can hardly talk." Applejack stated.

"What I mean to say is, what are you all doing here?" Rarity questioned.

"When I got your letter saying you were stuck in Canterlot, I asked Pinkie Pie if it wouldn't be too much trouble to move my birthday party here, so you wouldn't have to miss it!"

"Balloons are super easy to pack." Pinkie Pie grabbed a suitcase and opened it. Many balloons were released and deflated as they flew outside. One of them flew towards Rarity's gem in her sundress and she only watched as it deflated and fell towards the ground.

"Wow... first you get me a suite at Canterlot castle and now this. I don't know what to say, Twilight."

Rainbow Dash instantly flew up to Rarity's face. "How about you start by saying what you're doing in that fancy getup?"

"This? Uh." Rarity tried to answer as the girls looked at her with tilted heads. "Well I- I always put on something a little fancy when Opal's feeling under the weather... Cheers her right up." She ended with a nervous laugh.

I shook my head in disappointment.

"Oh, poor Opal, where is the sick darling?" Fluttershy asked, wanting to go inside and check up on her, but Rarity stopped her by placing a hoof in front of her.

"Oh, uhh, she's... hold on a minute." She slammed the door shut.

"Huh?" The girls released in unison.

We waited for several seconds, even exchanging looks. I could see that the girls were surprised of Rarity's behavior. I knew I could have told them…but it wouldn't be right…

Rarity opened her door. "She's resting on the bed."

Fluttershy immediately dashed in. She flew over to Opal who looked as if she was drenched in water. Nonetheless, Fluttershy didn't seem to notice this and grabbed her from the bed as she held her up. "Poor baby. She looks awful." She growled at Rarity, who flinched after.

The girls had walked in and looked around. Twilight spotted the dress form which Rarity was preparing her dress…but she had never continued working on it ever since. "Is... that my dress?"

"Yes." Rarity responded with some slight nervousness.

"It's so... simple." Rarity returned nervous appearances as Twilight continued to comment on it. "So practical. So… me! It's the perfect dress for my birthday party! I love it!" Twilight exclaimed and hugged Rarity.

Rarity released a true sigh of relief. "You don't know how glad I am to hear you say that." She looked over to the design she was actually supposed to make and threw it away with her tail.

You got lucky…

Ready to celebrate Twilight's birthday, she led us through the castle in her new dress.

"When I told the Princess that I was moving the party to Canterlot, she was kind enough to offer us the Canterlot castle ballroom!" She opened the doors to reveal the same area where all that chaotic destruction occurred in the Grand Galloping Gala. However, it was fixed up and now filled with party items.

"Isn't it fancy pants?" Pinkie Pie asked.

"Fancypants? Where?" She hid behind me. I looked at her with confused eyes. She noticed every other pony stare at her oddly and stood back up. "Ahh, I mean, where did you find the time to put up all these decorations? Haha."

"Oh, I never leave home without my party cannon." She pulled out a cannon and blew the fuse, immediately causing an explosion of streamers, confetti, and the ability to instantly decorate a table in a second. "Tada!"

Rarity noticed the confetti land on her dress and sent an irritated look back at Pinkie Pie.

"I thought about having my birthday outside, but they're having another party on the castle grounds today." Twilight stated as she walked over to the window to look outside.

I walked alongside Rarity to see what she was talking about and noticed a fancy party outside, including those two uptight ponies from the café incident. That must have been the garden party… I narrowed my eyes in slight annoyance.

Pinkie Pie slowly slipped between us and poked her head out, observing the party. "Let's party!"

Immediately after, swing music played loudly.

We began by throwing Twilight up in the air and catching her, repeating the process several times. The music had somehow pumped my blood, making me feel energetic and happy. This was practically the first party which I truly began to enjoy.

Next, we all had stood around the cake. Twilight continued cutting slices for us as Pinkie Pie happily munched on her slice. Fluttershy was doing the same as Twilight gave a slice to Applejack, who began to eat it as well. Fluttershy looked so cute and adorable doing that. Suddenly, there was an interruption when Fluttershy's face was unexpectedly pummeled with cake. The same thing happened with Applejack. I quickly looked to see who the suspect was. I spotted Rainbow Dash laughing out loud as she pointed her hoof full of cake at them.

I grew angry… but the kind of competitive and friendly angry. I grew a smirk and grabbed a slice of cake, having the others join me. We all looked at Rainbow Dash, shutting up her laughter and causing her to grin nervously at us. We all pelted her with cake, causing it to fly everywhere and land on us too. Despite the cake fight, we all laughed at what just happened and how we looked.

Next, we created a line in a sort of "follow the leader" way, just as the girls had during Pinkie's party. Twilight was in front, Pinkie Pie was behind her, Fluttershy was behind Pinkie, I was behind Fluttershy, Applejack was behind me, Rainbow Dash was behind Applejack, and Rarity was behind Rainbow. We held our hooves on to each other and followed the movements of the leader: Twilight.

As we continued to do this, I felt so much exhilaration flowing through me. So this is what it felt like to party and have fun? I can't believe I've missed this in my entire life! What matters now is that I'm doing it with all my friends.

After the line, we hung up piñatas of different things. Each of us were blindfolded and held sticks with our teeth. When the time was right, we immediately began swinging wildly, hoping to break open one of them. I felt my weapon clash through something solid and heard a rain of sweets drop towards the floor. I removed my blindfold and dropped the stick. There was a pile of candy sitting right there to be eaten. I smiled brightly as I noticed the girls break their piñatas soon after.

We used the candy to dip them in a bowl full of chocolate. Twilight dipped a slice of apple, Rainbow Dash dipped a strawberry, I dipped a piece of cake, and Pinkie Pie contained a lollypop, but dipped her whole face in the chocolate instead. I saw Rarity walk by as I began eating the piece of cake and Pinkie Pie removed her face from the bowl, smiling brightly. I noticed Rarity bring something odd towards the bowl as she looked back. It was a piece of food… fancy food… She dipped it in the chocolate and brought it to her face, all while looking outside at the party. She began chewing it, but immediately spat it out and groaned in disgust. We all returned odd expressions at her. Pinkie Pie contained a more worried expression as her face was still covered in chocolate. Rainbow Dash had raised an eyebrow, almost looking in suspicion. Twilight slightly narrowed her eyes as if she was asking Rarity if she was okay. I, however, had narrowed eyes, slightly irritated. Rarity could only return a nervous grin and pointed past us, causing the girls to look back, but I didn't fall for it. I saw her rush towards the other party and sighed. Nonetheless, I shook my head and continued to enjoy the party.

Rarity returned when we were dancing. Twilight was dancing by Rainbow Dash. I was with Fluttershy, but I heard Rarity comment as soon as she rushed in. "I really should go check on Opal..." She rushed out immediately after.

She returned again when Twilight was still dancing and blowing a party kazoo at the same time. She spoke in a hushed tone, but I still managed to hear her. "I need to use the little fillies' room!"

When she returned yet again, she looked highly exhausted. "I... have to go to do the... thing with the... stuff... you know...?" She trailed off and rushed tiredly to the other party.

When she was with us once more, we noticed her with a croquet mallet in her mouth.

"Uh, what's with the croquet mallet?" Rainbow Dash asked as she held a pink party balloon in her hooves.

"What croquet mallet?" Rarity questioned in a muffled tone as a drop of sweat fell from her face.

"Duh, the one in your mouth!" Rainbow Dash pointed out, causing the music to cease and all the girls to return surprised expressions.

Rarity looked at her mouth to see a croquet mallet indeed. She instantly dropped it and laughed nervously. "Ooh, that croquet mallet. I- well I, you know, the truth is... the truth is..."

"Were you at that other party in the garden?" Twilight asked in a shocked tone.

"I, I..."

"Rarity, I'm surprised at you!"

"Twilight let me explain!" Rarity dove to Twilight's hooves. "I—

"I hadn't realized you were such a savvy businesspony!"

"You must understand! I—

"All of those ponies look so posh. And with the Grand Galloping Gala coming up, I bet you could totally get some of them to buy your dresses. Very smart!" Twilight praised.

"Woo, wwwhy yes, I-I didn't want you to think I was being rude, so that's exactly the reason I didn't tell you. The one and only reason." A nervous laughter followed. I narrowed my eyes again but let it slide. I didn't want any other problems occurring after.

"Oh, well you didn't have to do that. You should totally go over there and mingle!" Twilight allowed.

"Twilight, you really are the best friend a pony could ever ask for." She hugged her in relief. "I don't know why I ever thought you wouldn't understand."

"Understand what?" Twilight questioned.

"Nothing." She instantly replied. "See you all later!" She began galloping out the door, but Rainbow Dash stopped her.

"Hey, wait up! We're your friends! I'm sure they won't mind if we check out the party too!" That can't be good for Rarity… Maybe I should stop them… "C'mon you guys! Let's show them how to party Ponyville style!" Then again, I guess we could mess around with those snooty ponies that insulted Ponyville. I smiled and joined the girls with their trotting towards the garden party. Pinkie Pie trailed behind with her huge party cannon as Rarity stayed behind, shocked.

As the girls began to introduce their style of partying, I decided to stay in the garden and watch. I smiled, wanting to laugh as they formed the pony line once again. Pinkie Pie was in the lead, blowing her party cannon as Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, and Twilight were behind in order. I chuckled at the sight of Twilight carrying the record player on her shoulder.

Next, Rainbow Dash joined the croquet game as the other snooty ponies look at her irritably. For once, I actually allowed and approved of her recklessness as she pulled back the croquet mallet, frightening the ponies. She then swung the croquet mallet so fiercely that she spun wildly. Instead of hitting the ball, the mallet flew from her, causing the other ponies to dive to the floor. The mallet had flew and struck another pony's wig while she was talking to another one. The male noticed how she was actually bald and slipped away from her.

On the tree nearby, a triplet of ponies was being bombarded with bird feed. I looked up to see Fluttershy holding the bird feed on her hooves and even her hair. She attracted many birds, causing them to eat the feed, which made it fall on the ponies below her.

Pinkie Pie moved on to the desert table just as one of the ponies was eating a cupcake with a slice of apple on top. Pinkie immediately began chugging the cake with her whole face, causing the pony to look back at her. She gulped loudly and smiled at the pony as her head was covered in cake. The pony returned an irritated look and walked away. Pinkie Pie pulled her head back in confusion.

I spotted Applejack pulling out roots with her hooves already covered with mud. "How come y'all aren't doing any gardening? This is a garden party, isn't it?" The ponies backed away in horror that was mostly conveyed by disgust.

Twilight was dancing wildly as well, causing the other ponies to back away.

I was watching by a table as Rarity was by me, drinking a glass of punch.

"Can you believe what that pony is wearing?" The same male pony from the café announced to Rarity.

"It's just so plain." His wife finished.

Rarity laughed nervously. "Yeah."

I glared at her with irritated narrowed eyes, which she spotted seconds after.

I could tell Twilight was really having a great time. She was partying hard as she continued to dance with a scrunched nose and a stuck out tongue until another fancy pony walked up to her. "Excuse me, might I ask where you got your ensemble?" He had used his monocle to analyze Twilight's dress.

"Why yes, yes you may." Twilight responded happily. "A very, very close friend of mine from Ponyville made it for me."

Rarity watched as she was drinking more punch, but suddenly spat it out when she heard Twilight's sentence. She walked over to the two as the two ponies from the café were drenched in punch. I smiled at their appearance and joined Rarity.

"Ponyville?" He asked in a sort of lifeless tone. "You don't say?"

Not this again…

"I do say. Her name is—

"Fancypants!" Rarity exclaimed, cutting off Twilight. "Come with me! I'd like to show you this, er, thing, that's over there. On the other side of the room."

"In a moment, my dear." He held his hoof up. "This lovely filly from Ponyville was just about to tell me who made her charming dress."

Hm… well he seems better mannered than the rest of these ponies… I noticed how they gathered around us.

"That dress? Oh come now, who cares, it's just a plain old—

"Oh don't be so modest. This dress you made is beautiful!"Twilight's response caused all the other ponies to return a loud and immediate gasp as they dropped the things they were carrying. The ponies surrounding us only stared in shock. The rest of the girls had joined Twilight and me. "We all think so!"

"You know these ponies?" Fancypants asked Rarity. As Rarity bit her lower lips in nervousness, she observed the other ponies chattering behind her. She looked back at us, causing Twilight and the others to switch their grins in reverse. I furrowed my eyebrows and saw her turn away. Come on Rarity… you know better… She walked towards the "sophisticated" ponies and opened her eyes.

"Yes. Yes, I do know them." She answered in a bold tone. "They may not be as sophisticated as some of you Canterlot ponies, but they are my best friends." She looked back at us with a smiled. "And they are without a doubt the most important ponies I know." I eased my eyebrows and smiled, just as the other girls did.

"Important ponies? These ruffians?" Jet Set questioned, mockingly.

"Don't make me laugh!" His wife added, and the both of them began laughing arrogantly.

Just as I was about to say something in a burst of anger once again, Fancypants took a good look at us and returned his attention towards the two. "I, for one, find them charmingly rustic." His comment caused them to shut their laughter and ponies behind them to gasp. Yeah…not so funny now, is it?

He walked towards Twilight. "And I think the dress you made for your friend is lovely. Mmhm, I dare say every mare in Canterlot will be wanting one."

The wife immediately popped up near Rarity. "Oh, I'd like to place my order right now."

"I think you should get two. Hm?" The husband joined.

Their behavior of always wanting to always conform to the crowd caused me to shake my head.

"Er, yes, now then. How about you introduce me to your friends?"

"With pleasure!"

Rarity did introduce us to him. I found out that he's actually a pretty nice guy. He's not like any of the other usual "Canterlot Ponies". Sure, he acts in a sophisticated way and such, but he's not so uptight like the others. He thought of us as "charming", and he was really well mannered. I definitely don't mind sophisticated, in fact, I think I have some sophistication with my vocabulary, but I just don't like the ones that are uptight about everything. Why do you want somepony to change just because you don't like what they do? They shouldn't change just to be a part of the group, otherwise, in the end, they'll be unhappy and unsatisfied…

After the party, the girls began to prepare to leave. I told them that I would meet up with them after I got my saddlebag from Rarity's suite. When I arrived at her suite, I heard her writing a letter to Princess Celestia.

"Dear Princess Celestia, I wanted to tell you about the important lesson I learned during my visit." Rarity began.

Princess Celestia had appeared out of nowhere and walked towards her. "Now that I would like to hear."

Rarity was surprised by her presence, but turned around to began walking around the room. "I learned that no matter where you go in life, you should never forget that you are the product of your home and your friends. And that is something always to be proud of, no matter what."

"And…" I added, causing them to turn their attention to me in slight surprise. "You should never turn away from your true friends. Otherwise, you'll just end up with regrets and disappointment."

Princess Celestia smiled and closed her eyes. "Hm, a very valuable lesson to have learned."

"Mm-hm." Rarity agreed. I walked over to the table to grab my saddlebag. "Are you leaving with the others tonight?" She asked me.

"Yeah. I figured I could go home. You still need to pack up though." I smiled.

She chuckled. "Yes… I'm going to do it in the morning."

I nodded. "I'll see you tomorrow when you come back then."

"Right. Goodnight, Alex."

"Night." I walked out of the suite and observed the sky outside.

Princess Celestia joined me after. "Did you enjoy your stay here?"

"Mmm…" I thought. "Yeah…" I added a smile after. "It was fun, especially the party."

"I'm glad to hear that. Did you find the gifts for Twilight?"

"Yeah." I motioned towards my saddlebag. "They're right here. I think I'll give them to her before I head off to bed."

Princess Celestia smiled warmly and looked up at the night sky. "Sometimes I wonder about you, Alex…"

"What do you mean?" I asked, losing my smile and raising an eyebrow in concern.

"You're just… a life changer to everypony. You seem to relate to every one of your friends. It's amazing."

"Oh…" I answered, regaining my light smile. "Thanks, Princess… I'm glad."

She nodded and looked at me. "I should let you go so you can earn some rest."

"Alright… Thanks for letting me stay her Princess."

"It's been my pleasure." She hugged me for a moment and then looked at me. "Come back soon, okay?"

I continued releasing my smile. "I'll try."

She looked at me for a moment, not saying anything but just smile. "Goodnight, Alex."

"Goodnight, Princess Celestia."

After, I returned to the girls that were waiting for me. From there, we returned back to Ponyville.

Sharing goodbyes, I departed with Fluttershy towards her cottage.

"I was really glad when you were at the party…" Fluttershy commented as we walked.

"Really? Why?" I asked.

"Because I saw you. You were having so much fun… It really made me happy."

I returned a light smile and looked at her. "Thanks… It was the first time I ever enjoyed a party, and it felt amazing. I can't believe that's what I've been missing my whole life. But it wouldn't have been the same if you all weren't there."

She stopped for a moment, causing me to stop as well, and she embraced me for a while, causing me to smile and wrap my forelegs around her.

Once we were almost at her door, I continued talking with Fluttershy. "Is Angel feeling better?"

"Yes. He seems to be doing much better now." I opened the door and saw Angel with his crossed front feet as he stood up and looked at us annoyingly. "Angel, what are you doing up so late?" He tapped his foot and pointed to something inside the cottage. "Oh… looks like some bunny wants me to put him to sleep." She smiled and giggled a little. "Go on. I'll catch up with you in a second." He returned a brief glare and hopped inside. Fluttershy walked inside and faced me. "I'll see you tomorrow then."

"Right." I pushed my head forward and kissed her softly but passionately. "Goodnight, Fluttershy."

"Goodnight, Alex." She smiled, blushing slightly and walking inside.

I closed her door and began walking back towards town.

I remembered to drop off the gifts at Twilight's, so I walked to the library and knocked on the door.

She opened it and was slightly surprised to see me. "Oh, hey, Alex. What brings you here?"

"Can I come inside?" I asked.

"Sure." She opened the door and allowed me inside. "Is something wrong?"

"Not at all." I answered and opened my saddlebag, grabbing the gifts and placing them in front of her. "Here."

She stared at the gifts in shock. "…Are these for me...?"

"Of course." I answered with a smile. "It's your birthday, remember?"

"I don't know what to say…"

"Just open them."

She nodded and did so. "A planner, a scrapbook, and the new Daring Doo book that just came out…?" She commented as she stared at them. I felt a little worried that she might have not liked them, but I shook it off and replaced it with a confidence that she would. She placed them on the table nearby and faced. "They're amazing! I love them!"

I sighed in relief. "That's good to hear."

"…Thank you…" She hugged me for a moment and pulled back.

"It's for a close friend. I wanted to be thoughtful."

"You're always thoughtful to us, Alex…"

I smiled and looked away in slight embarrassment. "Thanks…"

"You know…" Twilight began. "You really remind me of him so much…"

I grew concerned at her comment and wanted to ask who she was talking about, but I felt as if it might be too personal. I don't want her to feel bad when she should be going to sleep anyway.

I smiled lightly. "Well, I should let you get to sleep. You were really energetic during the party. You must be worn out."

She blushed and looked back. "Heheh, yeah…"

I walked towards the door and looked back. "Goodnight, Twilight."

"Goodnight." She smiled brightly.

I smiled and nodded. I left her home after and headed towards mine.

Placing my saddlebag on the counter and laying myself on the bed, I thought about today. I really had so much fun at the party, and I still couldn't believe I missed that before, such as when it was Pinkie Pie's birthday. I smiled at the thought of the party. It really was such a burst of adrenaline… I've never felt so energetic than today for a party. I sighed happily and closed my eyes, placing the covers over me. I hope I get to have that much fun again very soon.

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