Starlight in a Broken Vessel

by the-pieman

Chapter 45

Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Chapter 45

I realized I was going to let Rarity join me, but had forgotten. Well, I suppose I can make up for it with this stuff. What was it again? Oh yeah. Berry’s Punch. I head off to Carousel Boutique, getting a few friendly waves from various ponies along the way. It’s incredible. A month ago, I couldn’t go anywhere without getting a slightly-scared double take. Now I’m a hero!

I wonder if I’d get some respect in Canterlot if I saved those stuck up, ritzy bores too... Heh, nah. I’m probably not going to get that lucky. Since the drink I’m carrying has an expiration timer and I don’t really need to walk, I decide to speed up. Nothing major, just twice my normal speed. It’ll be a bit tiring, but with the distance I’ve covered already, the worst I’ll get is needing a few deep breaths.

I could cut the distance even shorter by phasing through houses, but I don’t want to cause a ruckus unless it’s an emergency, so I just continue along the path through town. I get up to Rarity’s house-slash-place of business and walk in. Rarity turns to greet me and stops when she sees who it is. “Ah, Anthony, how can I help you today?”

“Actually, I have something to share with you.”

“Oh? How kind of you! I was working on some dresses for an order, but my muse seems to have wandered off. I think I have an hour or two for your company.” She explained, motioning towards a couch for me to sit on. When I did, she joined me, sitting on a large nearby cushion. “So, darling, what is- oh!”

I place the bottle on the table. “This was a gift for my ‘Heroic actions’ earlier. I intended to bring you with me on Twilight’s advice, but it completely slipped my mind.”

“My, my, Ms. Punch parted with one of her precious Berry’s Punches? You certainly did make an impression on her! Oh, I do wish you had brought me along, it’s been so long since I’ve had one of her Mago Slushes, they’re simply divine.” Rarity gushed over the drink, gently levitating it into the air before her. “Ooh, I simply must get out the good shotglasses. Give me one moment, darling.”

“Of course. I expect we still have about an hour and forty minutes before it goes bad. I made quite the effort to get here quickly. Didn’t want this to spoil.”

Rarity nodded in agreement, transporting the travel-bottle with her as she went towards what I assume is her kitchen.

I sat on the couch, twiddling my thumbs for about a minute before I began to wonder what was up. Then, Rarity returned to the room. She hadn’t simply grabbed the shotglasses, she’d also taken the time to apply some makeup and put on a long, dark blue dress. It was a simple one, but I had to wonder why she felt it was necessary.

“I hope you don’t expect the same as some of my fans, Miss Rarity...” I grin. Then I realize she wouldn’t understand my meaning. “I got plenty of letters asking for marriage, among other things. These ponies certainly like me a lot now.” I look at her expectantly.

For a moment, she doesn’t appear to get it, before a crimson blush begins to work its way onto her cheeks. “Those barbarians! Throwing themselves at you like you’re a piece of meat.” She shakes her head unhappily. “So uncouth.”

“Haha. I don’t mind, honestly. After all, it’s not going to happen, so I don’t let it bother me any. But seriously, why all dressed up? You plan on inviting some others as well?”

“Darling, I may be the element of Generosity, but even I can be a little selfish sometimes. And I want to simply snatch these two fine tumblers of sweet panacea and hide in my workshop until I am well and truly soaked... but I am still a lady, and must comport myself as such. Here, take your glass, and we shall enjoy each other’s company. This is a drink to be savored, not merely gulped.” She paused for a moment, looking over my clothes. “Also, I’ll be needing you to remove your clothes later anyways. I have two sets of replacement clothes, since I saw you wear them all the time. I do hope you like them, darling.”

“I’m sure I will, but for now, let us enjoy this drink, and hope that it is the only thing we end up enjoying.” I give a wink. I know she understands I have no interest in her, so I feel comfortable at least making the suggestion.

“That’s alright dear, I’m fine simply basking in this lovely drink’s glow. Besides, I can’t go throwing myself at you; I already have my sights set on another wonderful young gentlecolt, you know.” She smiled encouragingly, as she raised the first glass as if for a toast.

I raise mine as well before taking a sip, grinning. “And who might that be?”

She takes a sip as well, mmm’ing at the flavor. “Now, now, a lady doesn’t simply tell her secrets. She barters them. I’ll spill something if you can spill something of equal value as well.” Her smile is warm, yet smug.

“Hmmmm... let’s see. I have plenty of stories from before I came to Equestria. Unfortunately, I don’t think those would count, as they no longer apply.” I took another sip. Mmm, raspberries, reminds me of home.

“I should think not, dear. I’ve heard over the grapevine that you’ve met with Princess Cadence. I don’t know much about her. How about you... fill some holes for me?” Her quirked eyebrow shows she knew exactly what she said, and fully expects me to get flustered over it. Well, it won’t work! Even now, she’s taking another sip.

“Ah, Miss Rarity, your attempt to undermine my composure will not work today. Although I will oblige. What would you like to know about the Alicorn of Love?” I take another sip, tasting cottage cheese and honey. Still no weird combinations.

“Oh, darling, I’m not trying to undermine anything. Though if I do, please be sure to tell me, I’d love to know.” She paused for a moment and took another sip. “I suppose anything about what she’s like would be nice. I was tricked by a changeling impersonating her once, knowing more would be... well, I suppose that’s a bit of a foolish reason. The changelings were scattered to the winds at the end of the wedding; I doubt many survived. I suppose it’s just curiosity. What do you know of the third Princess?”

“Well, now that changelings have been brought up, I have much more information to offer, later.” I take another sip, and enjoy the sweet flavor of marshmallow. “For one, Cadence finds the life of a princess a bit boring, and sneaks away from her escorts on a regular basis. I met her when she approached me at a cafe. She was wearing an outfit that completely covered every inch of her, save for her horn!” I chuckle at the bit of gossip. Now I know why those girls in High School did it constantly, it’s fun. I take another sip, and this time it’s raw mushrooms. Earthy, but tasty.

Rarity giggles demurely, taking a sip and grimacing slightly. Must’ve hit a flavor she didn’t like. “She sneaks away from her guards? Well, that’s certainly scandalous. Not quite enough for the secret of mine... maybe something else of value?”

I think for a moment, taking another sip. Blueberry. A bit normal, but not bad. “Well, for a princess, she’s probably one of the least formal ponies I’ve met.” I take one more sip before continuing. Kind of buttery, but I don’t really know what it is. “She’s almost as vulgar as I am, no lie. She certainly has a habit of making some rather dirty comments.”

“Oooh, now that’s what I’m talking about. Very juicy, indeed, I think I knead a few of those into more... palatable rumors for later.” Rarity took a sip, her smile even reaching her eyes. “Well, I suppose I should share. You see, I have a wee little bit of a crush on-”

Rarity was suddenly interrupted by a loud crash from the next room over startling us both. From that room, which I assumed was the kitchen, issued forth Sweetie’s voice. “I didn’t do it! I swear, it was already falling when I came in!” Her little voice cracked in alarm, but it was a pretty transparent lie.

Rarity, looking utterly peeved, stormed towards the kitchen, her drink only half-finished. I begin to edge out of the building as I hear Rarity begin to “whisper” angrily to Sweetie Belle. I feel a little bad, but Sweetie’s little voice is certainly rivalling Rarity’s, at least in levels of shrillness. As the two kept arguing, I excused myself. I’ve been around too many arguing pairs of children/adults to really want to be around this pair. They might not be inclined to get violent, but their voices were starting to hurt my ears.

A few minutes of standing outside later, an angry Sweetie Belle flops out of the cat flap on the front door, right next to me. She stomps a couple of times, before looking up at me. Almost instantly, she appears to brighten up. “Anthony! I was just looking for you!”

“Yeah, sure you were. Now be honest, what fell and broke?”

“I didn’t break open the cookie jar, honest!” Sweetie’s eyes were huge and staring, as if to deter my gaze from her question.

“I asked what broke, not who broke it.” I give Sweetie a grin. “Seriously, if you want to be a good liar, you’ll need more practice.”

I kneel down so I’m at eye level with Sweetie. “First lesson, avoid suspiciously specific denial. Pay attention to what is asked and respond calmly. Second, keep eye contact with the person you are lying to. If your gaze shifts or you appear nervous, they’ll know you’re lying. Third, the ‘cute face’ might work now, but in about five years, it’s a dead giveaway that you’re not telling the truth.”

Sweetie pouted at the ground, scuffing a little circle in the dirt, her ears flat back, making her the perfect picture of sad and remorseful. Too perfect an image, in fact, especially when I saw her eyes flick back to me. She almost had me, though, for a moment.

“Lesson four. if you put on an act that involves breaking eye contact, do not, I repeat, do not look back at them, that’s a sign that you want to know their reaction. Another sign of dishonesty. But you are good at this, kid.”

I pick her up in my left arm, cradling her like a bunny. “And whatever you do, don’t tell people how good or bad you are at lying. Admitting you lie is fine, though, everyone lies. Another thing, don’t tell anybody who told you how to be a better liar? Can I trust you to not tell anyone?”

Sweetie nodded happily, and nuzzled my neck. Her short, fluffy fur is almost exactly like rabbit fur; gloriously soft and short.

“So.” I began again. “You said you were looking for me, what did you want with me?”

“I have a surprise for you!” She jumps to the ground, and ran off. “Come on!”

“Oh crap...” I take a few steps and feel slightly dizzy. Woah, guess I had more of that Punch than I thought... But I suppose I should follow after the filly. Even though doing so would probably end bad for me.

So it seems that we are heading to the CMC clubhouse. Along the way, we picked up Scootaloo and Applebloom. They all know what this secret they have for me is, but won’t say.

“Why do I get the feeling I might regret this?”

“Because you’re a scaredy-cat.”

I chuckle, almost stumbling over a rock. “No I’m not, I just don’t trust you any farther than I can throw you!”

“Hmmmm... Ah’ve got a great idea fer somethin’ we can try fer ahr Cutie Marks tuh-morrow!” I facepalm.

“I’m not going any further until you tell me what this surprise is.” I sit down on the ground, arms crossed in defiance. Then the fillies give me a different surprise. The three of them have grabbed my leg and are now dragging me to the clubhouse!

In my slightly inebriated state, I can only think of one thing to say. “Help! I need an adult!”

Scootaloo replies, her wings fluttering like mad as she drags me. “You are an adult.”

“I need a responsible adult!”

“Sorry, fresh out of those.” Next Chapter: Chapter 46 Estimated time remaining: 29 Hours, 15 Minutes

Return to Story Description


Login with