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High Society Stylin' with Country Profilin' (Sweet Apple Acres. Open; PM for Invite)

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Valen had grown by leaps and bounds in the short time that he had been interned at Sweet Apple Acres. Taken under the caring hooves of his relatives for a short spell, the physicality and emotional intensity that he experienced on a daily basis in this rustic envirtonment had taken it's pleasurable toll. He hadn't buffed up or become an expert in the workings of the farm, but he had lost some of his rounded corners and the chickens no longer chased him around. Well, that was a lie. They did and the Apples still thought he was playing and having fun: if nothing else, they were a positive bunch. Perhaps a bit mental but certain mental illnesses were probably good to have when you lived in such a small town. Or maybe he was the one with an illness if he couldn't trust as easy or openly as they. He had grown.

But that didn't mean he was in control. Quite the opposite, in fact. Valen had felt control slip swiftly at first and ever since it had vanished slowly and agonizingly away. Back home he was used to being in control; he knew how the city operated and how he could in turn operate on it to produce the greatest of results. But here he was a fish out of water and this fish needed a distraction that could rip his attention from the lack of control around him. And few things could distract Valen so well as a wonderful dress, and fewer numbers of ponies could claim to live up to his standards. As fate would have it, the famous Rarity lived in Ponyville and through some good fortune he had made a good order. A few days had passed and he had returned and though she had made a simple mistake on his order(one that was to be corrected that very night, which was but an hour ago), that had oddly become a secondary concern.

He didn't know how or why, but Sweetie Belle had been completely insistent that he was to ask her out to a fancy dance party. He had only briefly seen the filly before and hadn't spoken to her before, which put him at a sizable disadvantage in the discussion. He had eventually asked her out to a fancy dance party, which pleased her greatly. He had always tried to make other ponies happy and indeed should have chocked that up to a success. Plus, hey, she was a cutie. There were only a few nagging problems, the least of which was that he had no idea what fancy party she was speaking about. He had asked her out to a party that, as much as he was concerned, didn't exist. He had regretted his decision soon afterwards but he doubted that anypony had the intestinal fortitude to say no to her.

So, after he had arrived back at Sweet Apple Acres and put away his suit and dress(ably snuck by the Apples, he believed) and had dinner, he sat on the porch and considered his options. They were slim; they were none, honestly. The time frame was too short as Sweetie was expecting a party tomorrow. Saturday. Thankfully, the most carefree day for the Apple family. Why-

-Valen stood up on the porch and gasped. A solution! He shot back through the house which was by now growing a bit dark as the family went through their final nightly games and rituals before turning in. No Applejack in the main room. No Applejack in the kitchen. Valen ran up the stairs and found her door and at a full gallop-

-knock knock knock, three light and polite knocks.

[colour=#0033cc]"Applejack, may I enter?"[/colour]

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[colour=#000000]Applejack had some free time to herself. It is a little know fact, even between her closest friends, that Applejack actually had her own studies. Not near as much in the books as the purple unicorn at the library, but enough to make people wonder what other kinds of stuff she does in her private time. The farm had been prosperous over the years, even though it seemed like a bumpy ride. The income was good, the lifestyle was healthy, and the experience was breathe-taking. However, Applejack could not run this farm entirely on reputation and good looks. Although, she was flattered every time somepony would make such a suggestion.

She had farmer's almanacs, agricultural reference guides and a farming directory which consisted of names and addresses of all the ponies she did business with. Some of them were other Apple ponies, running their own orchards. She would need to contact them every so often in case they needed to trade supplies. She also had names of very important clients, like farmer's market in Hoofington, the Orange-Apple exchange in Manehatten, and of course, the Royal Palace in Canterlot, just to name a few. Weekly, if not daily letters were sent from the orange mare in order to keep up relationships. It was probably the most important part of the job, and Applejack normally did it alone, in her bedroom, in her realm of fruity concentration.

With her occasional reading glasses resting on her snout and a large wooden writing utensil wedged between her teeth, Applejack continued her letters, writing regards to her favorite customers, and making gestures of kindness to would-be clients. Unfortunately for Valen, the three knocks on the door pushed the door open, as the door was not latched. Applejack rarely kept the door latched, in case of an emergency, and her privacy from her family was not such a concern. Anypony could barge in, as long as Applejack was not deep in apple meditation or having an intimate moment with a special somepony, in which case hasn't even begun to brew as a possibility in the near future.[/colour]

[colour=#0000ff]"Applejack, may I enter?"[/colour]

[colour=#000000]Applejack scribbled on her page as Valen startled her a little. Fortunately, she had only gotten to her first word on the new page she was writing on. She dropped her utensil and she gave a blank stare at Valen, but then followed it was an open-mouthed smile. [/colour][colour=#ff0000]"Sure, Sprout, come on in! Need somethin'?"[/colour][colour=#000000] Applejack walked over to her bed and sat her haunches on its side. She patted to area next to her on the side of the bed to indicate Valen to sit with her. [/colour][colour=#ff0000]"Are you still havin' those nightmares about the giant worm incident?"[/colour]

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It had come as something of a surprise to see the same mare who looked so built for the work of a farm stare over some papers, especially as her reading glasses slung silently on her snout. It made sense, of course, that Applejack would be in charge of the farm's relations. Valen doubted Granny Smith had the capacity for it and while he had little inkling as to Big Mac's intelligence, he wasn't willing to bet on that massive, mobile muscle of a stallion being used for paperwork. She was likely too modest to ever claim such, but Applejack was the heart of the farm's operations and had to pass off as the brain as well. Still, seeing her with a stack of books taller than she was, reading glasses perched on her snout like some Canterlot accountant on her good day was such a rather different view of her than he had previously that the colt could hardly contain a little giggle. She offered him a place to sit and he took it quickly.

[colour=#0033cc]"Ahhh, well, I still am having nightmares about...that day...but that's not what I wanted to talk about," [/colour]He began, making himself comfortable on her bed. The sheets were heavier, for a bigger pony who had more needs. The crib he had in her room- an unfortunate place for him, but better than the hay bale Apple Bloom had suggested as he more willing to accept a blow to his psyche than he was to his already beaten body- had a thin comforter. When the chill set in, the bonechilling cold laughed it's way through the thin cover and his equally thin coat until he felt like a terribly displeased popsicle. It had been this beyond anything else that reminded Valen of his encounter with the giant, pony eating worms and how it had felt being digested by one. He had expected acid or something hot; No. Cold. So, so cold. And the same chill that ran down his spine as he was spat outside of the forest was unequaled by the Ponyville air, but even the barest sensation had reduced him to little more than a quivering ball of horrible sensation. Every thought and feeling that night, when a storm blew through and sent every hair of his body snapped to attention, was consumed by the same giant worm that had done so physically. Applejack had been forced to comfort him that night, and the next, and to some extent the night that followed. It was odd that on those nights, Applejack's soothing tone made her feel maternal, and sleeping not far from her in the manner he was(as embarrassing as it still made him feel) gave him a level of comfort as well.

But still, thinking about that moment before the giant maw closed down on him and Miss Rarity sent a snapping sensation of anxiety, sweat starting to darken the brow and his tail swishing of no conscious accord. He rubbed his two front hooves together, then ran one along his neck for comfort. He sighed, composed himself, then decided to go about the panicked business of the night.

[colour=#0033cc]"Ahhh, no. Nothing like that, Applejack. It's about a filly."[/colour]

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[colour=#000000]Applejack's heart and eyes lit up as the slightly nervous Valen spoke his honesty in his emotion, something about a girl? Applejack spoke with excitement, as she would assume the topic of conversation from here on. [/colour][colour=#ff0000] "Oh! You have a little crush on a little fillyfriend!? That's great! Does she like you back? You know, you don't have to to try very hard to impress her, all you gotta do is just be yourself!"[/colour][colour=#000000] Applejack rested a hoof around Valen's neck. For some odd reason, she had no problem talking with Valen about his feelings, despite how personal they could be. Some times Big Mac would be more of a council than Applejack would be for a colt and his feelings. But Applejack knew her cousin Valen well enough, and was even more satisfied with his openness with her. [/colour][colour=#ff0000] "It's normal for a colt your age to start having feelings and thoughts about fillies. So don't feel bad. It's important to direct these feelings and urges in the right way, though. Have you had any strange dreams?"[/colour][colour=#000000] Applejack rubbed her neck. [/colour][colour=#ff0000]"Other than the worm nightmares, heh."[/colour]

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Valen should have known better than to have let the topic of discussion peter out and allow his overexcitable cousin take it her own way. It was endearing in a fashion that she was so excited to talk to him about some sort of crush, supposing that the young Orange had any sort of game or moves. He didn't have a game, sort of like the only colt at gym practice who didn't want the hoofball and didn't want to be involved. Valen, unlike that strange colt, didn't have some aversion to the game. He just had no game. Literally, his idea of hitting on a filly was talking to her about shoes. Applejack could teach Valen all sorts of things in the realm of love, mostly because Valen knew nothing about anything even remotely aligned with such matters.

That explained his current situation, where a filly he hardly knew was talking about a party he didn't know anything about as if he was supposed to take her. And to make matters worse, he had said yes for some Celestia forsaken reason. It had mostly been due to some strange emotional intimidation that he couldn't quite place and discordance internally as he was trying to fight off the dual shocks of not getting what he ordered and trying not to reveal what he had ordered in front of the very filly who was kind of sort of very much so hitting on him except that she thought it was all pre-planned but it wasn't which made the whole scenario even worse sweet Celestia Valen was way above his head when was the next train home coming AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH-

Vaen gave a series of small, bursting, nervous laughs as his cheeks blushed out wildly as Applejack continued, not even registering a few of her more outlandish statements as he choked on the intensity of not wanting to let that filly down. She seemed to act like they were together and Applejack seemed to approve of the idea. Who was he to dissuade any of them of the notion until his obligation had been fulfilled.

[colour=#0033cc]"Uhh, y-yes. Her name is Sweetie Belle- I'm sure you know her. And, uhh, I am very, very sure she likes me back. She- well, she asked me out. Except that technically, I asked her out a few days ago,"[/colour] the lies began in earnest,[colour=#0033cc] "I had asked her out but had scuttled off after Rarity took my order for a suit, you see, thinking she wouldn't ever say yes. Well, I went back earlier today and- uhh, she said yes, but I guess in the fog of-"[/colour] he took a deep breath, playing the part well,[colour=#0033cc]"-err, love, I sorta said I was going to throw a fancy dance party here at Sweet Apple Acres."[/colour]

The statement hung high.

[colour=#0033cc]"So, as you can see, I made a mess of things and I need your help. In order to direct my passionate feelings the right way, I need a fancy dance party. But I can't make one myself. So..." [/colour]

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[colour=#000000]Applejack half-squeed as it was revealed that Sweetie Belle was the filly involved. Applejack always thought she was a doll and would get the colts running right away. And even for Valen, a colt who seemed a little less stallion-like among his peers, seemed to have the jeers for this filly. Applejack's eyes lit up as she listened to Valen's explanation. For somepony who had a pretty girl's heart on a string, he sure did sound under-enthused. [/colour][colour=#ff0000]What was the big deal? Asked on a date? Ok. She asked you? Ok? Promised a party at where!?[/colour][colour=#000000] [/colour][colour=#ff0000]"You did what!"[/colour][colour=#000000] Applejack shouted, but then lowered her voice. [/colour][colour=#ff0000]"Oh, sorry, uh, continue."[/colour]

[colour=#000000]Valen needed help. He needed Applejack to help him throw a fancy party on the farm. Well, Applejack was confident in her barn enough to know that space wouldn't be a problem. She would just need some time to plan it. [/colour][colour=#ff0000] "Ok, no big deal. I can help ya throw down a formal hootenanny, no problem!"[/colour][colour=#000000] Applejack shoved herself of the bed and started walking Valen towards her bedroom door. [/colour][colour=#ff0000]"So when is this party? Like, next month?"[/colour]

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If only he had any idea why the party he was supposed to invite her to had to be tomorrow night. If it was anything other than then, he would have something better to say. It would also have made more sense if he was telling the truth, but he was a lying pony at this time. She had set the date before he knew that he was going to be the one to take her out on said date. Were all fillies as adorably manipulative and decisive as she? Valen didn't know but until he had more contact with that section of grand ponydom, he would assume the answer was an emphatic yes. And just like her, he doubted few knew that they were doing it! Uggh, the things a gentlecolt did to ensure he wasn't the cause of another pony's sadness, even if it was brought on through no fault of his own. Oh well.

She was happy enough, all things considered as they approached her door. Probably a bit too excited about the possibility of her cousin and another filly showing some high emotions regarding one another. But the only high emotion he was expecting was panic when she disovered the true date of the party, which all things considered he didn't doubt was the worst possible answer.

[colour=#0033cc]"Well, that's really kind of you, Applejack!" [/colour]He said, giving her a sweet half hug. Fillies weren't the only ones who could manipulate emotions.

[colour=#0033cc]"And the date, which I know won't be a problem considering how skilled you are, is...tomorrow night," [/colour]he chuckled nervously, rubbing his neck as he thought up a nice lie, [colour=#0033cc]"I was so overcome with such love that I just blurted it out!"[/colour]

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[colour=#ff0000]"Tomorrah Night!?"[/colour][colour=#000000] Applejack gasped a Valen foalishly delivered the urgent understanding. He sure was being honest with her. Applejack took a few heavy breathes before reaching a calm habit and smiled back down at Valen. [/colour][colour=#ff0000]"Don't you worry about a thing, Valen. By tomorrow night, we'll have the best party a filly like Sweetie Belle could ask for. It'll be the most stupendous, most fancy...[/colour]

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The next day...

[colour=#ff0000]...most headache-givin' party there is!"[/colour] [colour=#000000]Applejack scampered around the kitchen, trying to mix up the right ingredients for what she understood to be fancy punch. She had never made a batch quite like this before. It would have been much easier for Applejack to just grab a barrel of apple cider from the cellar, but that wouldn't be fancy enough. Applejack couldn't make her usual apple fritters for the party. Or the dumplings, or her famous caramel apples. Nope. She would have to cast those aside. She had learned from the gala in Canterlot that fancy ponies don't 'touch common carnival fare'.

Rarity was in the kitchen with Applejack, watching her run around. She would know more about this 'fancy' business, had Applejack take the time to stop and ask her. Although it wouldn't matter much, as Applejack was always confident in herself to be able to entertain guests, cook tasty treats, and be a party success, no matter the type of pony that walks into the event.

Applejack was busy creating one of her line of hors d'oeuvres, which was called apple chutney. She had learned this recipe during one of her visits to Canterlot, but had never the reason to make it, until now. Essentially, it was just applesauce and cream cheese spread on a cracker, but following the right steps made it fancier than normal pony food. Applejack, according to instructions, was taking apple skins and shredding them onto the crackers. She couldn't think for the life of anypony why someone would want that, but by Celestia, it was fancy.

Applejack looked up at the clock.[/colour] [colour=#ff0000]"Snikes! It's almost time!"[/colour] [colour=#000000]Applejack took her apron off and begged Rarity.[/colour] [colour=#ff0000]"Rarity, could you look at the party cake, I think it's almost done!"[/colour]

[colour=#000000]Applejack ran up the stairs up to her bedroom, where Valen was getting dressed. Valen had told Applejack that he would take care of his own outfit. All the time spent with Rarity, she figured he would already have more than two hooves in on an idea of what he was to wear to a fancy party. She just hadn't seen him yet. She walked in. [/colour] [colour=#ff0000]"Valen, you ready? Your 'fancy' party is almost here!"[/colour]

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All things considered, Valen felt extremely intelligent. Very lucky. Intelligent because he was able to formulate a scenario as quickly as he had which had set events into motion that would make everypony happy, he was sure. Now that a real party was actually happening, was a real thing and not just some imagined monster that hung around his neck like an evil medal of ill intent, he could feel the excitement coming on. It may have been a nervous, infectious excitement but under the circumstances any excitement was a welcome addition to the normality of farm life. There was a party to be had and a filly on his foreleg, even if he didn't really know her and was still at a loss for why he had been chosen when there were four dozen better colts within eyesight at all times. Valen felt slightly smug that he had been chosen, but was even more pleased with how when all was said and done he'd be able to return home to Manehattan without having been the cause of somepony's sad feelings.

Of course, he had his great cousin Applejack and equally formidable friend Rarity. Without Applejack's can-do attitude and unimitatible friendliness, not to mention her hard-working attitude, the party would never had had a single prayer. Not for the first time, Valen was pleased to have the mare in his family tree and was once more utterly shocked by how quickly and efficiently the job had been done. Of course, this was a fancy dance party and while Applejack had a plethora of skills, so much so that in any normal situation Valen was sure his nigh-legendary cousin could handle it swiftly, she would never claim to be a pony given to anything fancy. Her rustic charm and country spirit conflicted rather flagrantly with the ideals of the night's party, which was where Miss Rarity came in. A mare of stupendous fashion knowledge who exuded an air of class and charm that invaded her surroundings like the unstoppable army that she must have known was under her control, she had the knowledge and sensibilities to aid Applejack. Together, they had pulled something grand out of the thin air.

Valen hadn't been much help and had earlier in the day retreated to his- Applejack's- room to see to it that his form was ready for tonight's function. He wasn't like his parents who seemed to exist on thrive on the parties and desires of the upper class, but he had lived the life long enough to have a cache of knowledge on the matter and had packed with him more than enough to accomplish the task. He had taken not one, but two baths- the first to clean thoroughly and the second to allow specially scented water soap to leak casually throughout his coat. Nothing overpowering, mind you, but a subtle freshness that expertly annihilated any normal body odor. His mane and tail had been cleaned, combed, styled, his undersides washed, and light cologne tossed about with expertise. Eyebrows not curled- he almost did so as part of a routine for the manner of dress that he preferred, but was not on the table tonight- but light makeup was applied anyway. It was common form for those in Manehattan and it brought out the colour of his pelt.

Then he put his suit on, which was both a wonderful display and somewhat disappointing He had asked for a dress- Miss Rarity had been kind enough to make one for him anyway- and instead got a suit. It was slightly garish for a country town, but in all reality it fit the planned party well. It had been a suit counterpart of Sapphire Shores' brilliant, if somewhat subtle compared to her normal show dress, dress on the red carpet. It fit well, snug and not loose in any sense while maintaining comfort, the colours complimentary and pleasing when matched with his coat. He chanced a look in the mirror- Yes, he looked quite fetching!

He was inspecting his outstretched foreleg as he started putting on his finest Mareiposa shoes when Applejack came in, telling him the party was ready.

[colour=#0033cc]"Ahh, that's fantastic news!"[/colour] He replied giddily, finishing the shoes.

[colour=#0033cc]"How do I look?" [/colour]He didn't strike a pose, but did make sure to let his cousin see his good side.

[colour=#0033cc]"I can't wait to get the party started. Sweetie Belle will have such a fun time!"[/colour]

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Rarity smiled to herself as she watched her dear friend Applejack run around madly trying to put together a "fancy" party for young Valen and Sweetie. It was a delightful scene really. Had Rarity been tasked to put together a classy party on as such short notice as Applejack had, she'd have probably already collapsed under the weight of the stress into a writhing ball of inarticulate sobs by now. As this was the farm ponies burden, she could instead remain calm and admire her friend's tenacity and unstoppable drive to do right by her young cousin.

Oh, and she was more than eager to help of course, for AJ, for Valen and for Sweetie. If AJ wanted her there as an authority on all things fancy as she put together her fancy party, Rarity was more than happy to play the part. She had already given the mare some very solid advice and recommendations on what hors d'oeuvres to serve as well as helping some with the decor. She really did want this party to go just fabulously for all of them. For that, she was eager to help anyway she could.


[colour=#FF0000]"Rarity, could you look at the party cake, I think it's almost done!"[/colour]

[colour=#663399]"At once, darling!"[/colour] Rarity replied with a nod, sauntering toward the oven. [colour=#663399]"That chutney looks too fabulous to resist, by the way! I can't wait to try it later!" [/colour]Rarity added cheerfully as she opened the door to check the cake.

[colour=#663399]"Ah, yes. This looks done!"[/colour] she called back as she grabbed the cake with her magic. [colour=#663399]"I'm taking it out now," [/colour]she said as she did so. It really was perfectly baked.

Applejack was an exceptional cook and baker really. Of their group, probably only Pinkie was more exceptional. Rarity could admit at least that she had her somewhat outclassed in making good tasting food and today was proving she could do food that looked nice as well. It was impressive. All the same, decorating was something Rarity still considered a specialty.

[colour=#663399]"It smells just simply scrumptious! Did you want me to help you decorate it?"[/colour] she said as she eyed the fondant they had prepared for it, ready to go to work.


[colour=#0033CC]"Ahh, that's fantastic news! [/colour][colour=#0033CC]How do I look? [/colour][colour=#0033CC]I can't wait to get the party started. Sweetie Belle will have such a fun time!"[/colour]

It was about then that Valen came down, responding to AJ's call that the party was reaching its completion. Rarity grinned as she saw him. He was of course wearing the loud, vibrant gold satin suit Rarity had made for him when they had first met. It had been the result of a communication error, but Rarity had to admit it did look good on the colt. Sure, it would be showy even by Canterlot--no, even by Las Pegasus--standards, but on a young colt, and especially one like Valen, it looked charming. He may have preferred dresses, but he looked quite nice.

[colour=#663399]"You look just fabulous, Valen dear!"[/colour] Rarity declared boldly. [colour=#663399]"I have no doubt that you will set my sweet sister's young hear aflutter!"[/colour]

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[colour=#000000]As Valen asked Applejack on her opinion of his appearance, they started walking out of the bedroom and down the stairs. Applejack could see the luster of his suit, a brilliant golden colour, that seemed to make him look pretty swell, along with the shine that also came from his rump. [/colour][colour=#ff0000] "You look so handsome!"[/colour][colour=#000000] Applejack leaned over about to ruffle Valen's mane, but then thought better of it. Certainly today would not be a day to do that. Too bad, too. Applejack was on a streak, and that 145 day stint of messing with Valen's mane was finally broken. The colt lucked out this time.

Applejack inhaled enough to get a presence of Valen's perfumes in her senses. [/colour][colour=#ff0000]"Woa, heh. You smell like the bottom of of a bucket full of flowers!"[/colour][colour=#000000] Applejack nudged Valen as she complimented him on his stunning formal appearance. The colt sure did clean up good, but he also seemed very nervous. [/colour][colour=#ff0000]"I bet Sweetie will love the way you look. You got nothin' to worry about. In fact, I'd be more worried about her bein' nervous around such a handsome gentlecolt." [/colour][colour=#000000] Applejack winked as they trotted down the steps. [/colour][colour=#ff0000]"But don't you worry, I'll make sure everything about this shindig will be perfect, from head to hoof!" [/colour][colour=#000000] Just then, Applejack missed her footing on the second to last step, causing her to stumble, and roll herself at the bottom of the steps. She picked herself up slowly and giggled a little at the embarrassment of falling.

Applejack looked over at Rarity. [/colour][colour=#ff0000] "That cake looks amazing! Yeah, Rarity, you can go ahead and decorate it. Remember, Valen said he was going for the tray-do-mongo look, or somthin'. I can't remember, it was somethin' fancy. And remember to put the cake in that decorative display tray I borrowed from Mrs. Cake."[/colour]

[colour=#000000]Applejack looked around room. There was a lot already done, but a lot that needed to be completed. Applejack grabbed one of the crackers with apple chutney on it with her hoof. She swung it in Valen's face, with the apple toppings on it sliding around as she turned. [/colour][colour=#ff0000] "Try it, Valen. Does it meet your expectations?"[/colour][colour=#000000] As Applejack held the cracker, she started talking about other things. [/colour][colour=#ff0000]"I already have the croquet wickets set up for a few relaxing rounds of hittin' a ball through a hoop in the grass. I couldn't find any balls though that would fit the rules well, but apples seem to work fine. Is that OK?"[/colour][colour=#000000] Applejack tapped her chin as she tried to go through the entire evening in her head. [/colour][colour=#ff0000] "Oh! And the decorations are all set up in the barn. Rarity helped me with those, so she can give you specifics on what she did, and her inspiration and all."[/colour]

[colour=#000000]Applejack walked over to the kitchen counter and started kneading some new dough for tart-making. [/colour][colour=#ff0000]"Is there anything we're missing, Sprout?"[/colour]

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The words from both the most lovely and fashion-minded Rarity and his kind and loving cousin Applejack emboldened him once more, fortifying his confidence to the point that for the first time in a while he had the feeling that he was in control to some extent. When it come to how he looked and what Sweetie would think, obviously Rarity's encouragement mattered a trite more than Applejack's and it helped him feel as if this crazy situation would come together well for everypony involved. Applejack assurances made him believe that the party itself was set-up for success, meaning that this somewhat forced on him situation would not really come down on top of him. Rarity may have been the queen of fashion, but when it came to practical concerns and making sure things were actually functional, nopony he had ever met were nearly as qualified to speak. Between those two, Valen was happy to believe that the whole event was prepared and ready for the participants. The foals.

[colour=#0033cc]"I'll try my best to do so, Miss Rarity,"[/colour] Valen didn't know what that part about Sweetie's heart meant, but he assumed it had something to do with fun. He had plans for that. Applejack helped a bit as well in that regard. Buckets of flowers were wonderful smelling he figured, but seeing as buckets of flowers didn't really exist in Manehattan and he had gone with Fields Forever cologne. He assumed they smelled close. She certainly knew how to layer on the wonderful compliments, though again he didn't seem to understand all this hub bub about Sweetie being nervous.

[colour=#0033cc]"Thank you, Applejack,"[/colour] He replied as she brought forth a treat. It looked delicious and it tasted just as it looked- not overwhelming like normal country fair, but well-tamed with a certain lightness and grace. He listened to her go on about some of the events and decided that apples would work just fine; small, pulpy fruit being hit with mallets were always free of consequence. In any matter, there was a country charm to this fancy party, something he hoped that would at worst be accepted.

[colour=#0033cc]"It all looks smashing, Applejack. You and Rarity have done a fantastic job! The treats are to die for and the games should be...entertaining!"[/colour] He chuckled as he finished swallowing, regaining his form and taking a deep breath.

[colour=#0033cc]"Well, the time approaches and I believe I have a filly to escort. I wouldn't doubt for a second that some partygoers will show up soon,"[/colour] He finished, starting to trot away before stopping and thinking. He looked down and saw a few flowers jutting out of the ground. He had forgot the powerful allure of actual flowers in his haste of smelling like them. He pulled a nice pink dahlia and affixed it to his mane aside his ears for safekeeping.

[colour=#0033cc]"I'll return soon, madames,"[/colour] he said, his voice taking on a certain air of grace that he knew passed well in a fancy party type environment. His whole life was a production in a sense, an act, so it didn't harm him to add onto it. With a strangled sigh, Valen gamely trotted off of the farm and into town. It was rather quiet as the moon started it's slow pull up into the sky to take it's dictatorship of the night, the light rays it would soon offer in replace of the dying crosses of sunlight. It was the perfect temperature as well; the heat wasn't pressing on him and making the evening's clothes untenable, nor was it so cold that he felt the need to gallop and work up a sweat.

It was going to be a perfect evening.

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[colour=#FF0000]"That cake looks amazing! Yeah, Rarity, you can go ahead and decorate it. Remember, Valen said he was going for the tray-do-mongo look, or somthin'. I can't remember, it was somethin' fancy. And remember to put the cake in that decorative display tray I borrowed from Mrs. Cake."[/colour]

Rarity stared at Applejack curiously for a good half minute. What in all Equestria had her quaint farmhoof friend just butchered beyond beyond recognition? Tray-do-mongo? Just what was she talking about? She said it was fancy, did she mean to say it was actually something derived from the Fancy tongue? If so, the "tray-do" part was probably "trés du", but..."mongo"? Rarity was puzzled. Did she mean mango? Did Valen want a mango cake? Wouldn't that be a kind of odd thing for a member of the Orange family to want? No that probably wasn't it... "Du monde" maybe? "Trés du monde", which from the rudimentary Fancy Rarity had learned through her job and its various circles, translated out to "very of the world" or in other words, exceedingly worldly or cultured.

After slowly working out her answer to the earth pony's unintentional riddle, Rarity sighed. All she knew now was that the cake needed to be exquisitely chic and sophisticated, which she could have concluded on her own prior. That little instance did one thing though, it created an oh so small seed of doubt in her that Applejack was going to be a good host for this evening. For a classy party, communication, presentation, these things were paramount. These things just really weren't Applejack though. Rarity had thought it wouldn't matter at first, but a want to make things perfect always nagged at her in these situations. Though good intentioned and reliable at a number of things there was a very distinct possibility that Applejack might at some point become an obstacle in the way of the evening's success.

Then again maybe she was wrong. So far things were on well enough. She wanted to have faith in her friend's ability to run this kind of party. She nodded and smiled back at the earth pony. [colour=#663399]"Ah... but of course, darling. I'll have this cake looking simple exquisite!"[/colour] she said remaining cheerful.

She tried to keep her smile going as she started to layer on the fondant, passively listening to the two as they spoke. She winced painfully as Applejack turned to the intended entertainment. Her description of croquet was hardly encouraging. It was an artful game, with a long history among the nobility--there was far more to it than just hitting a ball--or an apple, as it were--through a hoop in the grass. Or at least Rarity assumed there was from the way it attracted esteemed gentlecolts. Her own familiarity was rudimentary at best... All the same, if they were going to do this they had to do it right. AJ was a delight, but it was looking increasingly like she was hardly in the position to lead this undertaking. Rarity dreaded the thought of either Sweetie or Valen getting the wrong impression in regards to a high society soirée.

[colour=#663399]"That sounds... just lovely, Applejack dear,"[/colour] Rarity said stiffly before glancing to Valen as he prepared to leave. [colour=#663399]"Don't worry about anything, Valen! I'll do everything I possibly can to ensure that this evening unfolds flawlessly!"[/colour] she called out before continuing to work on the cake.

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[colour=#ff0000]"Um, yeah, whatever. Listen, Rarity, you're the one with all the fancy talk dictions in your head, so I'll leave that stuff to you. You remember how scared I was when Apple Bloom got that fancy talkin' cutie mark. I'm afraid I can't be of much help in that department."[/colour]

[colour=#000000]Applejack waved a temporary farewell to her little cousin and then retreated back into the kitchen. Out of one of the kitchen drawers, she started pulling out cake decorating supplies, which consisted of everything one would need to decorate a cake. A few edging knifes, several different shapes of decoration templates, some frosting tubes. A second trip to the drawer, Applejack would dump in Rarity's direction some extra supplies, including trick birthday candles, party balloons, tiny pinwheels and umbrellas, and edible confetti. [/colour][colour=#ff0000]"Yup, use all these to your heart's desire, Rarity. I think if you used the trick candles, the kids could make a game of it, dontcha think?"[/colour][colour=#000000] Applejack spoke with her words that Rarity had the freedom to decorate the way she felt it needed decorating, but with the way Applejack was presenting the supplies, it seemed she would be offended if some of these extra items were not used.

After a quick ignorant smile at Rarity, Applejack walked over to the stove, in which her famous slow brewed and heated applesauce was simmering. She took a wooden spoon, dipped it in the batch, and brought it up to her lips for a taste. [/colour][colour=#ff0000]"Consarnit, its not perfect, it needs more fancy." [/colour][colour=#000000] Applejack rubbed her chin in thought, but before long came to a realization. [/colour][colour=#ff0000] "Ah know! I'll just add some of this hot sauce to it. Hot sauce is good for kickin' parties up a notch, right?" [/colour][colour=#000000] Without council, Applejack dumped an entire bottle of hot sauce into the vat of applesauce. The size of the vat, large enough to serve several ponies, was an indecision of itself. Applejack wasn't sure how many would show up, but was prepared to feed all of Ponyville if need be. [/colour][colour=#ff0000] "So, Rarity, who's all comin' to this shindig?"[/colour]

Applejack.pngMadden.pngGranola_Gracie.pngArrow_Plain.pngMiracle.pngRemington.pngSugar_Rush-1.pngCoconut_Lime.png

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Speaking of who was attending, Magnum was on his way to this little party, with his little filly by his side! He was serving as part of her escort for the day, it seems, but he didn't plan to stay for the festivities. [colour=#0000cd]"Don't worry kiddo, yer old man won't stick around and embarrass ya!"[/colour] he assured Sweetie Belle, a bright smile on his face. If only Rarity could be afforded that treatment. Though he did enjoy spending as much time as he could with Rarity. It was hard to bond with daughters, you know?

Magnum himself tried to dress appropriately for this, though the last time he had worn anything fancy was... Well, he was fairly sure it was his wedding! Or... Was it the last time Glory and he went out to eat...? Either way, he was dressed in a nice blue polo. He even left his straw hat at home, his hair combed back. He wanted to make a good impression for his daughter! If her date was half as fancy as she said he was, then he didn't want to frighten him off from Sweetie Belle by not being fancy himself!

[colour=#0000cd]"My little Sweetie Belle is goin' to a fancy party! I'm excited for ya, pumpkin! I'm sure yer gonna have all sortsa fun! And you gotta be sure t'tell yer ma and I all aboot it!"[/colour]
He wasn't sure if there would be pictures or not. Besides, he was sure Glory was the picture nut. Regardless of who's doing it was, they had about half a dozen photoalbums packed full of pictures, as if the proud parents had wanted to catalog every step! [colour=#0000cd]"And yer date sounds nice too! What didja say his name was again, Sweetpea?"[/colour]

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Like most small towns, Ponyville had almost no secrets. If anything major was underway, it was only a short amount of time before the whole town was buzzing with the news of it. This went double for parties, as the presence of a certain excitable mare had ensured that no matter on how short a notice, if a party was on, it would be well-attended.

So it was that one Wordsworth Psmith heard about the fancy party, in a roundabout manner, while staying in a lodging-house on his way to school in Manehattan. As the colt was a native to Canterlot, with a family very heavily involved in high society, such soirees were his social bread-and-butter. True, the venue was a little unusual, but the colt supposed that a country estate would serve as well as anything in this place.

"[colour=#996699]It is a most fortuitous thing,[/colour]" he said to no one in particular as he changed into evening dress, "[colour=#996699]That my stopover should coincide with the social season in this town. Well, well, such is life, a series of endless coincidences, so that a true philosopher should take it as it comes.[/colour]" His tone would have been merely stuffy in a grown stallion, but in a schoolcolt, it seemed almost like a parody of the Upper Class. The only thing that distinguished Psmith from a lampooner was that he was like this all the time, even, demonstrably, when nopony was looking.

He took a look at himself in the mirror before heading out. The lavender unicorn was conventional in his dress sense, white shirtfront, black tie and jacket, leaving visible the word bubble that comprised his cutie mark. The cut on the clothes was as flawless as the best Canterlot tailor could make, giving him the sharp look of the well-dressed colt-about-town. "[colour=#996699]Satisfactory, distinctly satisfactory. We shall not disgrace the family name. And now, as the finishing touch...[/colour]" He levitated a silk top hat from a box on his bed, placing as carefully as any royal crown upon his head, completing the look. With a final nod at the mirror, he stepped out into the hallway, to encounter his hostess, giving him a puzzled look.

[colour=#008000]"Who were you talking to in there?"[/colour]

Without missing a beat, Psmith called back over his shoulder, "[colour=#996699]A most fascinating conversationalist, comrade![/colour]" And off he went to the party.

It wasn't a long walk from the station boarding-house to Sweet Apple acres, and the evening air was interlaced with a balmy breeze that would make for a delightful outdoor evening. On the way, he came across Magnum escorting Sweetie Belle and, overhearing that they were on the way to the same party, caught them up

[colour=#996699]"I say, is the gathering one with an open invitation? I had heard so, but it would terrible if I had gone all this way simply to crash it. Why, the cry would go round the garden circuit, 'Psmith is no Gentlecolt! He descends suddenly upon the hors d'ourves like a plague of parasprites, upsets careful table arrangements, and does not know an invitation from a picture postcard!' I should hate to make myself a social pariah, especially after dressing up for the evening.[/colour]"

​He addressed the stallion conversationally, as one who had seen the other at several such occasions before. The colt may have been a dandy, and certainly was a chatterbox, but not a snob.

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Sweetie Belle pranced along beside her father, quivering with anticipatory energies. She was going to a fancy party! A fancy party that a colt had asked her out to! This was her first date! Oh, how exciting! How romantic! She hardly even knew Valen Orange - just had seen him around Sweet Apple Acres a few times ... it'd been a great surprise that he'd been the one who had wanted to ask her out! But she didn't mind, he was a nice colt! And eminantly stylish! Oh, she was looking forward to this so much! What should she do if he tried to kiss her? Even worse, what should she do if he DIDN'T try to kiss her?

Well, she at least would look magnifique for the event! Rarity had finished her dress earlier, and it was gorgeous! Sweetie felt SO grown-up and stylish in it... silver skirts draped over her flank, with little green ribbons curled along the hem, shining brightly in any light. It would go perfectly with Valen's suit! They were the same colour as his eyes, and offset her mane and tail perfectly! And with the soft silver fabric draped around her shoulders, the little green blossoms of flowers tucked into her mane ... where had Rarity *ever* found green flowers? They were lovely!

[colour=#800080]"Oh, Papa!"[/colour] Sweetie giggled, [colour=#800080]"You couldn't embarass me! You're so wonderful!"[/colour] She gave him a happy little hug, though careful, ever-so-careful, not to rumple her dress in the process. [colour=#800080] "I'll tell you all about it! Valen's a really nice colt, one of Apple Bloom's orange cousins from Manehattan! He's a very right and proper type, cause he's got a fancy family!"[/colour]

But further comments upon Valen's character - or lack of comment, considering how little she knew him - were interrupted when another fancily dressed young colt showed up. And he started talking like Rarity! How exciting! Time to practice! [colour=#800080] "Oh! Of course!"[/colour] she cried merrily, even though the colt was addressing Magnum. [colour=#800080] "Well, my own attendance is assured through personal invitation, by my date for the evening, but as I know the family in question, I know that such as they would be apalled that any individual might feel unwelcome at their country home! [/colour][colour=#daa520] 'By mah word,'[/colour][colour=#800080]"[/colour] she caroled, mixing the Apple drawl with a fancy lilt to make Applejack and Apple Bbloom sound more like a southern belles than the rough-and-tumble cowmares that they were. [colour=#800080]"She would say. [/colour][colour=#ff8c00]'a young colt of class was in town, and yet had not felt welcome enough to attend my soiree? Ah do declare! What a disaster! Ah'm quite ashamedly put out!'[/colour][colour=#800080]"[/colour] Sweetie let out a soft little giggle. [colour=#800080] "So if you by any measure wish to spare a lady some measure of discomfort, by all means, attend us as we make our way to the evening's entertainments!"[/colour]
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Valen allowed himself to feel the first butterflies of the night- well, maybe that was a lie but it was the first time he felt it as hard as he was. Perhaps it was the silence of the town as night enveloped it, leaving him to his ill-organized thoughts and apprehensions It was an odd feeling to be sure: He was confident in almost every factor outside of himself, which was often the one thing he could count on. But those butterflies didn't cease and he trotted about the town en route to Sweetie Belle's house, thought flooding him in the silence. Would the parents approve? He hoped so. He tended to get along well with the adults, often more so than fillies and colts his age. It was likely due to his more upright upbringing, but that did leave him a little worried. Would the parents like him? Would Sweetie like him? Did he care if she liked him or if he made a fool of himself, or both? Many questions, fewer answers.

Luckily, he didn't have far too long to run these thoughts through his head. As he rounded the corner in a hill in town, he took a gander back towards Sweet Apple Acres when his eyes locked onto a small group approaching the front. It took him a moment to squint his eyes effectively enough to see who was there, and even then it did little to help. One pony he didn't know for sure as well as another stallion whom he thought he had seen in some way before, but couldn't place. However, Sweetie Belle's energetic bouncing and voice cracking could be seen and heard far and wide. If he could say nothing else- and truth be told he had little to tell besides knowing who she was, that she was adorable, and she was energetic- he could say you couldn't miss her. Valen didn't tarry as he switched gears and started a nice canter towards the group, who seemed to be stopped and well engaged.

It didn't take too long for him to catch up and by then he could make out who the last stallion was. The way she interacted with him finally rocked the memories of pictures seen with Miss Rarity: Magnum, the father. Good, it made sense- she hadn't been home like he was expecting, so obviously the father was escorting her. At least he didn't have to worry about getting kidnapped by griffons or some such. Valen would probably have tried to defend Sweetie Belle but he'd have the capability of a worm. The distance closed, so much so that Valen straightened out his back, attached a wide(if nervous) smile and took a deep breath. Keep calm and pony on, young stallion, keep calm and pony on-

[colour=#0033cc]"Hello, ma-"[/colour] He started.

But he didn't see that tiny bump in the road and he tripped haphazardly over it, all four hooves clacking against one another with great hilarity Only great luck helped him achieve his hoofing as he started falling, sending him a few trots forward toward the group. When he regained his hoofing completely, he was right next to Sweetie Belle. Almost too close. He breathed heavy for a second as his eyes started looking around, blushing wildly due to embarrassment After a few awkward moments he straightened himself up regally.

[colour=#0033cc]"Uhh, hello mademoiselle! I am here to see you to the soire at Sweet Apple Acres so you may have the time of your life," [/colour]he started, remembering at least the first portion of his rehearsed lines. The second part died with the stumble. Thankfully, he had a backup. Thank you, nature!

[colour=#0033cc]"Oh, I also got you a flower,"[/colour] Valen whispered jubilantly as he reached a hoof and gently pulled the pink dahlia out of his hair. He then brushed her mane delicately off of her ear- careful, extra careful, not to mess with her simply stunning mane and also careful to not be distracted by the dress that was to die for- and placed the flower there before allowing the mane to counterattack and hold it in place. He then pulled back and admired the works.

[colour=#0033cc]"Looks great on you, mademoiselle,"[/colour] He said with as much gentlecolty gentlecoltiness as he could muster, his eyes wandering nervously once more until he turned with authority to Magnum. The flower could buy a few seconds.

[colour=#0033cc]"A pleasure to meet you, sir. My name is Valen Orange, and I have heard a good number of great things about you. You have raised two wonderful young mares," [/colour]He gave a small formal bow. Was he doing this right? He hoped so.

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(Sorry for the very late reply; I wasn't sure if others were supposed to post before me)

It brought evident relief to Psmith that his attendance would not be considered gauche, if Sweetie Belle was to be believed. The lavender colt certainly had no reason to doubt her assurances, and replied to them with a graceful bow. "[colour=#996699]A gentlecolt of honor could hardly refuse the opportunity, certainly. Ah, but I am neglecting my manners, I have not introduced myself. I am Wordsworth Psmith, called Psmith for the sake of wit's soul, spelled P-S-M-I-T-H. The preliminary P is silent-[/colour]"

He had been about to expand upon the subject when he saw that the group was arriving at their destination. Another colt was trotting out to meet the group, dressed in a well-cut but flashy suit. Psmith, used to more conservative fashions in his home city, wasn't quite sure what to make of it.

Valen himself, of course, was not bothering with any colt's opinion. His attention seemed to be focused upon the filly of the group, with a little spared for her father. Psmith chimed in, "[colour=#996699]Indeed, comrade, if the graceful filly you have escorted here is a fair sample of the goods, we may stamp them of the highest quality. Proclaim it from the market square, no family's offspring can compare[/colour]." He tapped his chin, half-remembering the song he was quoting. "[colour=#996699]There is a refrain to the verse, but I cannot now recall it. However, there you are.[/colour]"

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[colour=#FF0000]"Um, yeah, whatever. Listen, Rarity, you're the one with all the fancy talk dictions in your head, so I'll leave that stuff to you. You remember how scared I was when Apple Bloom got that fancy talkin' cutie mark. I'm afraid I can't be of much help in that department."[/colour]

Rarity just smiled at these words from her friend and gave a soft sigh. [colour=#663399]"And I will, darling, you needn't worry a second!"[/colour] she beamed with confidence. The more AJ divested duties to her the better in all likelihood. She would be sure to be able to do good by both AJ and Valen if she put the work into it. [colour=#663399]"I'll help you make this soirée something even the most discriminating of Canterlotians wouldn't think to scoff at, just you wait and see!"[/colour]

[colour=#FF0000]"Yup, use all these to your heart's desire, Rarity. I think if you used the trick candles, the kids could make a game of it, dontcha think?"[/colour][colour=#000000] [/colour]

It was then that AJ came back to her with a box full of things and these words. Rarity stared at the contents first in disgust and then in outright wonder, her head slowly tilting on its side. She stared at the contents for almost a full half minute in stunned silence before her brain started to work again. When is did she shook her head furiously.

[colour=#663399]"Oh, no, no... this is... this is all wrong," [/colour]she started quietly with a nervous laugh. It had been exceedingly obvious from the start that Applejack wouldn't know fancy if it slapped her right in the face but this... this was worse than she could have ever imagined. If it had been Pinkie Pie bringing confetti and pinwheels to a fancy party that would be one thing--Pinkie Pie seemed to bring confetti and pinwheels everywhere--Applejack wasn't Pinkie Pie though, and this was just wrong. She turned to see if AJ was even paying her fear and distress any mind.

[colour=#000000] [/colour][colour=#FF0000]"Consarnit, its not perfect, it needs more fancy. [/colour][colour=#FF0000]Ah know! I'll just add some of this hot sauce to it. Hot sauce is good for kickin' parties up a notch, right?" [/colour]

What she saw occur next would have been enough to make the less committed pony throw in the proverbial towel. Rarity considered it briefly. Maybe the foals wouldn't really know any better? Sure, Valen was very sharp... but... er... no, he'd totally know! Ugh... Rarity hung her head and gave a long sigh. She had really just seen AJ dump a whole bunch of hot sauce into her applesauce, hadn't she? She didn't even know what to say at this point. Her earlier cool had completely evaporated and now she was starting to panic. Maybe if she waited until AJ wasn't looking she'd be able to slip something in the applesauce to balance out the flavours. She hoped so at least as she doubted it would be very friendly in its current state.

[colour=#000000] [/colour][colour=#FF0000]"So, Rarity, who's all comin' to this shindig?[/colour]

At this question Rarity gave a sinking laugh and looked at her hooves. "Hopefully not many..." she said under her breath. All indications were starting to point to this being an unmitigated disaster. She surely hoped as few ponies were forced to endure it as possible.

[colour=#663399]"I..er... mean, I'm not really sure," [/colour]she started in a more audible voice. [colour=#663399]"I never saw any guest list..."[/colour]

She looked back down. At least the cake was still looking good. That was important. With a little touches of icing for flourish and decoration, it would look first rate. Parties weren't judged only by the cake though, and considering all she had promised to both AJ and Valen... she had a lot more to worry about. Sighing, she kicked the box of things AJ had given to her away silently and began to search for things she could actually use, nice tablecloths, large candles... anything to create a real ambience. The prognosis may not have been great, but she still had to do all she could... even if it cost her some sanity.

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Well this was quite peculiar; the Apple family was going to host a dance party on their farm? And a formal one on such short notices too, no less? Filthy Rich knew the family well enough to understand that this was an extremely uncharacteristic move on their part. If there were any ponies out there who exemplified unfanciness, it would be the Apples.

But perhaps because of this fundamental disconnect, Filthy Rich was more eager to go to this formal occasion more than usual. Contrary to being one of the richer residents of Ponyville, Mr. Rich himself didn’t really care too much for such gatherings. Indeed, those ponies who knew him well knew him to be a stallion of more down-to-earth tastes. He didn’t despise formal events of course, but he didn’t relish them in the way that his upper-class brethren did in Canterlot and Manehatten.

In any event, Filthy was more than happy to attend the dance at Sweet Apple Acres. In the meantime, he finally dug up his custom-made tuxedo made by Rarity, one of the most talented clothing designers in all of Equestria. It was quite bare-bones compared to typical Canterlot evening wear, but all that mattered was that Filthy’s wife thought he looked extraordinarily handsome in it. And since this party was taking place on a farm, Filthy assumed that his tux would be more than appropriate anyway.

When the night of the party came around, Filthy made it to the apple orchard on-time. In fact, he was the first guest to arrive it looked like; a few of the others behind him seem to have stopped for a moment. And so the stallion was able to behold Applejack and Rarity scrambling to finish their preparations within the barn. He didn't really mind this state of affairs however; anypony with common sense could guess that a party only announced yesterday wouldn't have time to be completely ready yet. Clearing his throat to let the mares know of his presence, Filthy Rich politely declared; [colour=#8b4513]“How do you two do, Miss Rarity and Miss Applejack? Since nopony else is here yet, can I be of any assistance?”[/colour]

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[colour=#000000]Applejack rolled her eyes. Rarity sure knew how to pick her words. Everything always had to be really complicated, and anything Applejack would insist was always too simple for the purposes of whatever it is she was imagining. Luckily, Applejack wanted her to imagine. At least for now, until everything seems to have started and the get together with Valen and his date is exceptionally tricked out. Applejack not only struggled with the idea that fancy parties were limited to their amount of real fun, but also in the fact that these ponies were trying to act older than they were, and she wasn't sure how far the little ones were wanting to go with it. According to Rarity's attitude and eligant use of verbs and adjectives, it seemed that they were going for a 5 star resort, with all the fancy fancies. Applejack gagged at the thought.

And she was wrong. Everything Applejack did was wrong. 'No, Applejack, the ribbon has to be blue. No, Applejack, you're decorating the cake wrong. No, Applejack, this not an apple farm.' Sometimes, Applejack understood Rarity's notion of knowing better than her on these things. But sometimes, she felt as if Rarity would just insist that she knew better than her about anything. And Applejack could only stand that kind of ignorance for so long before she would have to say something back that she might regret later.

And so she withheld. After asking who was to show up, Rarity seemed to shrug, and not know anything about a guest list. [/colour][colour=#ff0000] "What? Well what kind of a party would this be without a list of people to show up."[/colour][colour=#000000] Applejack popped her head up and spoke carefully. [/colour][colour=#ff0000]"You don't think they invited everyone in Ponyville do ya?"[/colour][colour=#000000] Applejack stared at Rarity for a moment, but then giggled. [/colour][colour=#ff0000] "Naw, they wouldn't do that."[/colour]

[colour=#000000]Filthy walked in. After after no small talk, nor an understand of the situation, he asked if he could help prepare for the party that no one has showed up to yet. [/colour][colour=#ff0000]"Wha- what are you doin' here!?"[/colour]

Applejack.pngMadden.pngGranola_Gracie.pngArrow_Plain.pngMiracle.pngRemington.pngSugar_Rush-1.pngCoconut_Lime.png

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Magnum was meeting all sorts of fancy ponies! Sweetie Belle sure had a way with words and making friends! In fact, he could see it now! At the top of the most prominent guest lists, chatting with the elite, going to luxurious parties. So long as she didn't forget about dear ol' mum and dad, he would be thrilled to see his little filly in the lap of luxury. [colour=#0000ff]"Well mighty fine t'meetcha, Mister Psmith!"[/colour] With a silent P, of course [colour=#0000ff]"I'm Magnum, Sweetie Belle's father! Unfortunately her mum can't be here at the moment, but perhaps she'll be able to meet us later on! Won't that be summin'?"[/colour] He was going to do his very best to behave. No outrageous antics. It just wouldn't do to embarrass one of his daughters!

That would be entirely out of character.

But he had never been one to act like a fancy-pants, so he hoped being respectful and grounded was enough.
But then Valen, Sweetie Belle's date, had come to greet them when they reached the party at last! My, he was dressed well. Certainly a piece of his other daughter's work! Such a proper greeting! While he wasn't sure how he felt about his daughter being referred to as 'a sample of the goods', he had to say the paid compliments did make him a bit prideful, a big smile on the stallion's face as he returned Mister Orange's greeting with gusto. [colour=#0000ff]"Pleasure t'meetcha Valen! Lil' Sweetie Belle here's been very excited for this here party. You seem like a nice young colt, so I'm sure you'dd show 'er a super time, eh?"[/colour]

And with that he'd hold out his hoof. No place for bowing here, real men shake hooves! Of course, if Valen was brave enough to take it, he better be ready for the shake of his life. Magnum forgot his own strength at times. Comes with being an old hoofball star. Never made pro, but he still saw himself as a star anyway.


[OOC: Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay late on this post. Apologies!]

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It was a rare pony that had the courtesy and sense to pronounce Psmith's name right on the first go. By doing so, Magnum had cemented a solid place in the colt's esteem, fancy manners or no. [colour=#996699]"Indeed, I had just been thinking, 'The evening promises much, but only one thing remains to set it among the list of perfect nights. Shall your fine mare, leader and progenitor of ladies, grace this gathering with her presence?' If you will permit understatement, we say: the prospect pleases." [/colour]The unicorn's compliments were overblown, but not without a degree of sincerity.

As Valen emerged, Psmith fixed him with a gaze through his eyeglass. The suit was a trifle flashy for his taste's, but the cut of the fabric was impeccable, and he had at least hold of decent manners. [colour=#996699]*Yes, not a bad sort at all; definitely worth cultivation.* [/colour]Aloud, he said, "[colour=#996699]Well then comrade, lead on, lead on! Let us not by delay waste any effort of our hostess.[/colour]" His own household had hosted many such soirees, with his mother standing in as a grand hostess, yet the concept of 'fashionable lateness' had always peeved her.

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Sweetie Belle couldn't help but let out a little expression of eagerness, her skirts swishing with her rear end's excited wriggle. If she had been a puppy, her tail would have been wagging with excitement! She grinned so very, very hugely as Valen settled the flower into her mane. This night couldn't possibly go wrong! [colour=#800080] "By all means!"[/colour] she said, stepping up alongside her date Valen. [colour=#800080] "Let us off!"[/colour] She was delighted at how handsome he looked! The shiny fabric was so wonderfully ... shiny! And went so wonderfully with her own dress! It was like the inside of her cutie mark crusader capes! [colour=#800080]"I say, Valen, you look every bit as debonair and dashing as I expected! Absolutely gorgeous!"[/colour]

As they progressed down the country road, she made sure to walk slowly and carefully, as Rarity had insisted she practice for faaaaar too long, to keep the dust from lifting up and coating her brand-new gown, and to keep her skirts from dragging in the dirt. It wouldn't do to arrive looking all dirty! But all she wanted to do was race ahead to get there all the faster!

[colour=#800080]"I cannot wait to see what magnificent delights are in store for this lovely night!"[/colour] she proclaimed. [colour=#800080]"The hostess has promised that this would no doubt be a ..."[/colour] She paused, seeking the right words... 'fancy party' was too common. After all, when you were fancy, all parties were fancy! [colour=#800080] "A gathering of an unprecedented nature! And she has hosted quite a few! This is sure to be the best night ever!"[/colour]

The words resonated in her mind, making her think of lyrics... and then of music... and of course, with Sweetie Belle, thoughts of music became music sung, starting off very slow, very thoughtful, very wistful.

[colour=#800080]o/` o/` o/` o/` o/`
Darkness falls ...
moon rises ...
And the stars come out ...
to grace the earth ...
o/` o/` o/` o/` o/` [/colour]

Sweetie's hoof swept the path before them.

[colour=#800080]o/` o/` o/` o/` o/`
Little stars, walking the road before them,
Little stars, seeking their deeees-tin-y,
Little stars, seeking nothing more than a good time,
All gather at the evening's party!
o/` o/` o/` o/` o/` [/colour]

She pranced merrily, her voice lifting energetically, with a handsome colt on either side of her.

[colour=#800080]o/` o/` o/` o/` o/`
Grace this night! I feel so special! A grown-up gal! A beautiful mare!
Grace this night! I'll be the belle of the ball! Dancing with the colts who stare!
Grace this night! I've been looking forward ... to this night! I'm sure to go far!
Grace this night! Because I've always known! That I'm going ... to be a staaaaaaaar!
o/` o/` o/` o/` o/` [/colour]

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