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PrinceBlueblood

Treasure from the Shop District (Skype RP Log)

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Part 1: Where Blueblood Buys a Broach

 

There was something in the very nature of Jewelry that implies something more solid than any other gift.  It was unambiguous and conspicuous in its meaning, at least insofar as affection was concerned.

Hence, to see Prince Blueblood in this particular part of the Canterlot shopping district was cause for the rumor mill to grind.  He didn't seem to be particularly directed, in fact, currently he looked a little lost, looking in the shop windows...

~

Fleur was humming, she had cast some nice pieces, which were cooling, set in a few beauitful purple stones in a necklace, and was now sweeping the floor a bit, seeing the lost looking Prince in the window, she chuckled, moving to tap at the glass gently to get his attention.

"Monsjourrrr You will have a better look einside zhe stoore~"

~

The Prince started, like a dozing bird that had his cage tapped.  "Bah!  Oh, um, Good day, Fleur.  What are doing- do you work here?"  Blueblood was first made familiar with the mare from her modeling career, but he'd heard that she'd chucked it to go back to an earlier job.  Was this it?

~

"Oui Come on in ief you are looking for something! You cannot see zhem proper in  zhe window~" She chuckled, going back to sweeping, she always thought the Prince rather cute

~

He paused to consider the point, but only for a moment.  It was quite clear that he was going to get nowhere just staring into windows.  The shop, of course, had the little bell that announced customers.  "So..."  He wasn't quite sure where to begin, as Fleur was something like an acquaintance.  He was unused to knowing shop-ponies personally.  "Well, I'm looking for something, though I don't know what, really, you know?"

~

"Oui! Eis it for  you? Or for a accquaintance? Or perhaps" She smirked, batting her eyelashes softly "A mare you 'are 'oping to woe?" She teased, though knew what a flirt the other was.

~

Blueblood may have had a reputation for a flirt, though in truth there was some slight exaggeration in it.  And he certainly received flirting with less aplomb than he was said to give it on at least one memorable occasion...  Here, at least, he only gave a slight smile and cleared his throat.  "Well... its not for me."

~

"Well Vhat does  zhis other  being like? Colors? Shapes?" She asked, moving to be behind the display cases, all glittering with a wide variety of jewelery

~

Blueblood looked over the Jewelry with the look of a complete amateur, to whom it all seems the same at first.  "Well... It's hard to say.  They, well, she... I've never seen her in anything... ornamental."

~

"So you would like somezhing a bit more subtle?" Her horn glew, and all the flashy, ornate pieces  had their lids closed to not distract.

~

"Hm, Probably, though I don't know if it's possible to be both large and subtle, when it comes to Jewelry."  Blueblood remarked, eyeing over the pieces.  "She isn't what you would call a 'petite' mare; statuesque is the word I would use."

~

"So you want somezhing to accent her features? Perhaps a necklace?"

~

Yes... That would probably work."  The Prince seemed still not quite sure, but Fleur could tell that he was now thinking more constructively.  "I'm afraid I can only give you her basic colors, I don't know what sort of thing she wears when off duty.  She's a... pale sky, whitish blue in the coat, reddish blonde mane."

~

""HnN Well what are some of her FAVORITE colors? FOr instance, I am of a pale champagne color, and with light pink, but I do so adore a good red gemstone..."

~

Now came the hard questions.  Blueblood's lips pursed as he tried to remember some, any clue, that would help him here.  "Well... you see, I've not ever seen her off duty, so I've not really had a chance to see her preferences.  I'm not even sure if she has any, especially."

~

"Zhen I suggest you get a tad more information before buying something so personal" SHe chuckled "Zhough maybe something small to test zhe waters? Like a Broach?"

~

The Prince let out a huff of air at that.  "Well, that's no easy task, you know, with a bodyguard like mine!  There's never point when I'm around her that she's not on duty, which makes sense, I suppose, but it makes it hard to bring up these sorts of things."  Blueblood paused, realizing he may have raised his voice just a tad.  "Sorry, but yes, I suppose a broach would be best to start."

~

She raised a brow at the raised tone of voice "Zhere is no need to shout at me mousiour.." She muttered, opening a few boxes of broaches, getting one that had a beautifully  shaped sun, with a stone that seemed to EMIT light.. "It would go with her uniform.."

~

"I know, it's just..."  He trailed off, then shrugged at Fleur.  "I have no idea what I'm doing, really."  The Prince had less doubt upon seeing the proffered broach, however.  "My word, that IS impressive.  She'd look marvelous in this... how, how does it do that?

~

"Eit is a special kind of stone, a Diamond Dog sold eit to me recently, it absorbs light and then reflects it out ward, it's simple and magical, perfect for a mare I do zhink"

~

"I should say so!"  He pictured it in his mind, the light from the stone reflecting and making Star's armor shine with it's light.  "You know, I believe I shall buy this.  Thank you!"

~

She giggled "But ofcourse" Already wrapping it up to look like a lovely gift.

~

Purchases among the upper class were rarely a matter of cash payment.  Merchants usually billed the noble House for their commission, and to be fair to the nobs, they rarely defaulted on their commitment.  Taking the package gently with his own magic, Blueblood gave a little bow.  "Until next time, then.  Will you be at the Gala this year?  I'm leaving Canterlot pretty often these days, and that's the next major thing I'll be in town for."

~

She chuckled "I will try my 'ardest to attend , If you are zhere I shall try  even 'arder to  " She winked at him, she was fond of the prince, she was sure they could be dear friends if given the chance.

~

"That is very good to hear.  I look forward to seeing you there.  And perhaps I shall be able to introduce you to Star."  Blueblood was smiling.  It was very much possible that they could be friends.

~

"I would  love to! Oooh you could tell her as an extension of zhe gift you have reserved zhe entire jewelry store just for her browsing pleasure?"

~

Pursing his lips, the Prince had to think if Star was the sort of mare to enjoy browsing the store.  "I... shall, yes.  Will you be there to guide, though?  I think she would appreciate somepony to talk with about this."

~

"Of course! Why else would I offer eit?" She flipped her mane a little bit "I'll help learn her tastes, to make sure you will know for sure~"

~

Blueblood smiled at that.  An ally!  Navigating the roads of actual affection was a new challenge for the Prince, and having somepony help in figuring out how best to shower gifts upon his favored mare was, in its way, a relief.

"Very well then.  Until next time, Au revoir."  And with a bow, he made his exit.

~

"Au Revoir!" She called after him, making a note to her boss with a request for a day to reserve the shop, this should be the start of something wonderful! It was about time BlueBlood got a true relationship, one based on affection at that! She was proud of him!

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Part 2: Where Blueblood gives a brooch

One might think that a Prince would be free to go where he liked, when he liked.  Nothing could be further from the truth; of all the ponies in Equestria, the royals were probably the least free.  Or, at least, they had to fight hard to get free of routine.

 

Thus, when Blueblood proposed a short trip into Canterbridge Valley, offering no reason, his servants got a little suspicious.  Usually, when he wanted to "get away from it all," he went to the coast, not to a landlocked valley.  His new honor guard hadn't been with the household long, but it was likely that Star Crusader was aware enough of his habits to be inquisitive.

If she was, there would have been ample opportunity for her to ask the Prince what was going on, as they took a short train ride down from the mountain city.  First class coach, of course.

~

The large mare sat on the train. Her thoughts processing for a moment on where they were heading. She usually doesn't ask questions... however this small diversion from the prince's usual schedule. Even the tickets made no since for what she thought the prince would be accustom to.And so she finally spoke up.

"Sir, is there an event that you are heading too?" she asked.

~

"Hm?"  Star's question brought him out of his abstraction, though extricating himself took the Prince a few seconds.  "Oh, nothing... official.  There's just... something I wanted to see.  And I would like you to be there when I do."

The train passed into a tunnel momentarily, dimming the car which was now lit only by a small lamp.

~

The mare gave a light nod with the answer, "As you wish, sir" She hummed respectfully. And when the train finally came to a stop. The mare stepped out of the train. Her trained eyes searching the crowd for any possible signs of trouble before finally stepping out of the way for the prince.

~

Canterbridge station was not too busy at this time of day, but there were always students trying to get into the city, or rushing back not to miss lectures.  One of the old Unicorn universities, Blueblood's alma mater in fact, was set in this valley.  The Dreaming Spires, as the buildings were sometimes called, were visible from the platform.

 

Blueblood didn't go in that direction, however.  He set a course as he walked slantways to them, into the valley proper.  Through it flowed the river that had its source at Canterlot Falls, though here it meandered in a more relaxed fashion.  The banks were covered in tall grass, sprouting tiny purple flowers at this time of year.

 

"Hm... I don't remember it looking quite like this.  There were more flowers.  Yellow ones, and blue.  Splashes of red here and there."

~

The mare continued to follow Blueblood. Her eyes wondering around. Partially keeping an eye out, but the glazed over tint showed that she allowed her mind to dull so her senses could take in more of the sight. It was probably obvious that she did not visit this area much, as her eyes hung on every nook and cranny, observing the directions that they head to.

 

But when the prince finally spoke up. The mare's head slowly turned to glance to what he was refering too. And there she saw it. A sea of waving, multi-colored, delicate little plants all warmly waving to the two of them.

 

She visibly fidgeted, as if her mind had came slamming head first into a wall. "The field?" The mare responded in a thoughtful tone. Her gaze locking on the expanse

~

Blueblood was still standing a few feet away from the banks, waiting for Star to "come to earth," as it were.  Going from Java's advice, this was the sort of place she would like.  He hoped, at any rate, that the setting would be appropriate to what he planned to do.

"Yes, though I've always seen it from the river, before.  Was the only bit of water you could get a boat on, at University.  Took a few trips after, last one was with with your brother... huh."  He paused, the thought having apparently just come to him.  "That's when we first met, at least, more than in passing.  I suppose that's what ultimately led you here, in an indirect way, to be my honor guard."

~

The mare slowly stepped forward. Her body seemingly disengaging now that they were out in the open. It'd be hard for anypony to sneak up on them, even if she was barely paying attention. She looked visibly more relaxed as her head tilted down to touch one of the flowers. "Are you implying fate? I had not figured you to believe in set paths."

Her tone seemed to be a bit more of an open humor one.

~

It was clear from his expression that Blueblood had not been so philosophically clear in his thoughts.  "Well, I don't know.  You never can tell, sometimes.  So many big things start from small decisions we don't think much about."

He looked over at Star as she touched the small flower.  "Do you like those?  I think they're called Winterberry."

~

"Winter berry?" The mare mused with a soft hum. Her body eventually lowered it's self completely till she was prone. Her eyes fixated on the object that demanded her gaze. But, she had taken away it's moment of glory to look to the prince. "Yes, well... I like a variety of flowers. Unfortunately, I don't have the memory to remember most of the names... and I can only recall fifty by vague appearances."

~

Even prone, Star's eyes were not very far below Blueblood's own.  It wasn't often that he was able to take all of her in view at once, so he was glad of the opportunity now.

"I can't say I do, either.  Well, actually, I think I could identify a few by scent."  This was mostly because they had been used to infuse soaps and other hygiene products, but he didn't mention that.

Gingerly, he set himself down beside his guard.  Being together in a field was all very well, but he had a specific purpose for bringing her here, and it wasn't going to get any easier from delaying.  "There's... something else I wanted to show you, too."  He said, beginning to pull a small box out of his pocket.  He opened it, shutting his eyes against the sudden blaze of sparkling light.  Apparently, a Sunstone brooch was even more impressive out in the open, than when seen in a shop display.

"Er, sorry, hope I didn't blind you..."

~

The mare's ears perked up when the stallion mentioned something about revealing something to her. Was it possibly something that she needed to investigate in? Perhaps a few bits of things went missing under her watch. Or maybe when she was off duty, there had been suspicious strangers reported?

But... something soon flooded her vision. Causing her expression to quickly shift into a very thin grimace. Her eyes squinted now, having to been force to shift her gaze to alive herself of the nuisance. And finally... her eyes managed to adjust to the sudden glare of light. Her eyes quickly darted back to the source in high alert.. but she quickly gasped at what she saw. Perhaps an unexpected and uncharacteristic reaction from her. Her expression had practically broken from it's stoic nature to a much more clear one. Awe.

Her shock... was two fold. The realization that blueblood had intended to give her a gift had dropped onto her like behamut falling from the sky. And then the fact that what ever it was, was shining like a bright sun.

~

Meanwhile, the Prince was fishing in his pocket for something to dim the light.  All he came up with was a red silk kerchief, more for decoration than function.  It would do, at least, to cover the gem enough to allow the two ponies to see each other.

"Ah, that's better."  He said, blinking the exploding suns out of his vision.  "Don't know if you've heard of this, I only just found out that they existed. Sunstones.  Gems that absorb and re-radiate sunlight.  This one's set in a broach; I thought..."  He coughed, suddenly finding his throat quite dry as he spoke.  "I... well, though you would like it.  It would work very well with your armor; it makes steel and aluminum shine like silver, and bronze like gold."

~

The mare remained speachless, staring down to the stone. The look of awe was fixed to her maw. She heard every word Blueblood spoke. But she had problems trying to process everything at once.

~

Well, he'd certainly impressed her.  At least, he hoped that was what her expression meant.  Star Crusader was normally quite stoic, so any kind of pronounced emotion in her face indicated something profound.  "So... do you like it?"

In the time of her silence, Blueblood had begun to worry.  Maybe she didn't actually like jewelry?  At first sight, she didn't seem the sort of mare to like any of that sort of stuff, but Java had shown him a picture of her in a dress, so there was the possibility there.  Or perhaps her interest was purely geological and intellectual?  He could work with that, he supposed, but the anticipation was killing him!

~

The mare finally came back to reality when she heard the princes voice. She looked up to him for a moment, with a curious gaze, then back down to the stone. A thin smile creased her lips, longer than her usual one in fact. Her head craned forward, brushing by the male's snout.

And then her lips met the prince's cheek. A firm, yet delicate kiss was placed down on his cheek before she finally pulled back. "I... yes. I do adore it.

~

It was but a thin smile, and a gentle kiss, but Blueblood knew Star well enough to know how much that indicated with her.  He himself had shed his nervousness and was now beaming quite openly.  For once, he'd actually gotten something right in dealing with the affection of a mare!

"Great, fantastic!  Ah..."  With a pull of magic, he lifted the brooch from its velvet setting.  "Do you want to see what it's like when you wear it?"

~

The mare eyed the broach for a moment. It certainly looked solid. But, she wasn't quite sure... exactly how to wear it in the first place. Or if such an item was actually meant to be worn. But regardless, she gave a small nod.

"Should I remove the armor first?"

~

Now there was an interesting question.  He had originally intended for her to wear it with the armor, or with anything else she would like.  On the other hand, it was rare that he got a chance to see her without it, so...

"Well, we'll try it without to see how it wears with you, just with you, I mean.  And then we'll see if it goes well with the armor."

~

The mare gave a nod of affirmation, and then slowly rose up to a sitting position. Once again her body towered over the Prince as she now moved her hooves to begin undoing the straps that held the heavy set to her figure.

Once she got one strap undone, the armor began to sag, and slowly roll off of her wing while she worked on the other side. With just two more taps of the hoof, the armor filly fell to the ground. Her wings flared open for a brief moment, streatching away the strain, and then slowly folding close to her form once more.

"Ok. she hummed

~

Pegasi were at their most magnificent when one saw them with flared wings.  Several noble families had them represented upon their crests like that, rampant as the heralds called it.  Blueblood had taken a deep breath at the sight of Star so poised, though it had been brief.

But now, he realized, that a more practical problem presented itself.  This brooch was held on by a pin, not a clip.  Star wasn't currently wearing anything that he could use to attach it, and it would just... be rather too much like him to stab her accidentally right now.  He blinked in a baffled way at the piece of jewelry, before getting an idea.

"Hang on..."  Levitating the sunstone up to her collarbone, he applied a little magical adhesive to the back of it.  "There!  That should hold for now..." He stepped back to view the effect.

It was... well, it was frankly quite breathtaking.  Against the pale blue of her coat, the gem looked like a simulacrum of the sun itself, set into the sky at noonday.  "Magnificent..."  He said, in a low, almost reverent tone.

~

She looked down to herself for a moment. Her chin pressed against her neck. She tried to reangle a bit, though quite awkwardly as... it seemed that a pony's mechanical limits seemed to be very persistant in disallowing her to twist her head in such a manner to get a better view of herself.

But eventually, she gave up on that notion. She rose to her feet, and allowed her eyes to search over her armor for her shield. It, unsurprisingly, was found with speed.

She gave it's edge a kick. It skipped off the ground, and went flipping into the air. Crusader caught the shield, and brought it down into a patch of soft dirt, while carefully avoiding harming both the prince and the flowers.

The shield stood erect, polished side facing her like a standing mirror. And... her expression fell distant once more. This time she was taken back by surprise from how well it fit on her.

Her colors were very similar to a sky, some time after dawn. And here... the glowing sunstone represented the sun in it's morning glory.

"It's... beautiful... I... I can not thank you enough, s-" She cut herself off for a moment. And then edited the end of the sentence, "Blueblood."

~

If Blueblood had a mirror on him, which he usually did, he would have offered it to her along with the brooch.  It was a mark of where his mind was, however, that he'd actually neglected to bring one.  Then again, his thoughts had all day been pretty much the opposite of narcissistic...

In any case, Star was soon able to procure a reflective surface, and see for herself the sight he had seen.  He watched her face closely, gently stepping closer as she saw the effect produced.  By the time she turned to address him again, he was standing right next to her.

"Heh, just knowing... that when it really counts, I can actually do something like this right is gratitude enough..."  Blueblood looked up; from here, he could only about reach the curve of her neck without jumping.  Still, he thought, that was no reason not to kiss her now.  So he did, as far up as he could reach.

~

The mare rose a brow to Blueblood comment. Instead of making light of it, she decided to be a tad bit more open, and clever with her tongue.

"Oh," She began in a light hearted hum. "Well it is a character beyond what other mares seem to be talking about with the cute marshmellow... ah Rarity? But, in fairness... given your 'predicament' it was reasonable that she played the gentlemen."

She noticed the stallion rising up, and decided to step away to prevent him from laying a kiss on her neck. And instead, she met him halfway, with a ginger kiss to the lips.

~

The Prince, to do him credit, at least had the decency to blush at mention of his behavior at the Gala.  Or perhaps it was at unexpectedly being able to kiss Star on the lips.  In any case, to hear her actually express understanding of his psychology at the time... or was that a joke?  He wasn't quite sure.

"Well..."  He said, after pulling away from the kiss.  "I could have handled it better, in any case.  And the apology was delayed too long..."  He sighed.  "Frankly, I wasn't so fine a fellow then as I am now.  Or maybe it's just because you kissed me that I feel over the moon right now."  And here his face broke once again into a somewhat less than dignified smile

~

The mare smiled. "A less practiced smile? Then the emotion and gesture was truthful," The mare lowered herself back down to the ground. Her wing closest to Blueblood soon opened up in a hood like manner. A warm smile being offered to him at the gesture.

~

It was true; quite a good deal of his practiced reserve had been shed for today.  Of course, in Blueblood's case it was less that he practiced stoicism, as that much of his life had very little in the way of real emotional engagement.  Living among phonies and snobs did not encourage free expression or development.

Which was probably why he, a fully grown adult stallion, was as nervous and uncertain as a colt dealing with his first crush.  Because in a way, it sort of was...

He only hesitated a little bit, though, before lying down next to Star, underneath her wing.  "I didn't know if you would like gems as much as flowers. But I suppose they're pretty much the same thing.  Colorful blooms, only one grows underground.  More slowly.  And doesn't die when picked." That sounded better in his head...

~

By the time Blueblood had settled, the mare lowered her wing down. The heafty appendage fully engulfed the stallion's body, leaving only the head to poke out into the world. The appendage was clearly strong, as the muscular structure pulled the stallion closer into her body. A true testament to what it must take to keep her in the air.

"Ah... yes. You chose well. Gems have their beauty, but as everything, is subjective to the opinion of the beholder. I adore flowers more, the beauty, delicate structure, and the endurance is inspiring to me. But a Gem? Less so. But... a Sun stone isn't truly a gem when you compare it to a diamond. Thus, It has a different appeal.

~

Beauty, delicate structure, endurance... perhaps it was vanity, but Blueblood felt that those words could very well apply to himself.  Beauty, of course, he cultivated, and delicacy was a function of his social class.  Endurance, though... that had come later, and as something of a surprise.  You wouldn't think of all that he'd been through in the past few years to look at him.  Of course, who knew what a daisy had to face, either?

In any case, it served as a reason for why a stallion like him had a chance with a mare like Star.  And as he felt the strength of her wing wrap around him, a strange parallel came into his own head, between her and gems.  "Well... I suppose it does, really.  Though honestly, I myself have been drawn towards the unity of toughness and beauty one finds in diamonds; and sunstones as well.  The two qualities spring from one source, the nature of the stone.  It proves there's no diametric opposition between them."

~

The mare raised a brow, with a thin but longer than normal smile, "That is a dwarven mind you have there." The mare was referring to the tenacity of an old civilization, whom had admiration for stone, and strong fortresses.  She then reached out with a hoof to lift a rock.

"But stones like others, eventually fall. Not many forces can destroy stone... but time and subtlety is it's enemy. Given a few years and a mountain could easily be reduced to rubble. It's offspring will never hold to the glory of what it used to be. But plants? Each is their own, each vibrant in their glory. They don't care if they surpass their predecessor.

~

Dwarves were not much in Blueblood's line.  It was more that he was a serious student of beauty.  Most ponies thought that meant he was a superficial judge of looks, and that was perhaps true 50% of the time.  But in reality, there was only so much that superficial effort could do to produce beauty.  And a competent judge could tell the difference between the good looks that came out of years of effort, and the kind that came out of a hundred-bit bottle.

And the kind he was intensely aware of now, as he lay side by side with his guard... definitely the genuine article.  Though, perhaps, a little polish could make it really shine...  "Hm... I would have thought that plants maintain their glory by focusing on their legacy more than themselves.  A daisy may die, but the daisy is always there."

~

"But... is a daisy a chip of another? And does the daisy commune? Perhaps in the way of attracting others to pollinate, but the daisy grows as she pleases in a cruel world."

The mare then glanced off to the field of flowers. "But... that does remind me of a parable that had been passed down my family."

~

"In a way.  I mean, it came from a seed, after all.  It takes it's nature from what came before, whereas a mountain always has to start from scratch. Or something.  Not sure how mountains come about; surely they can't all be volcanoes."  Blueblood frowned; it always bothered him when conversations hit patches of his ignorance, which in truth was much less patchy than his knowledge.  That was one of the multiple reasons he was usually guarded in his conversation.

But... right here, right now, he didn't have to guard himself.  Star wasn't going to laugh or judge him for not knowing geology.  So, he relaxed, curious about the mentioned story.  "Oh?  Do tell."

~

The mare started off by looking off to the sky, her voice opened up. And even without actually changing her tone, the words felt chilling. "Two blind stallions waited at the end of an era, contemplating beauty. They sat atop the world's highest cliff, overlooking the land and seeing nothing."

She closed her eyes as she recited it from memory. "'Can beauty be taken from a buck' the first asked the second.

'It was taken from me,' the second replied. 'For I cannot remember it.' this one was blinded in a foalhood accident. 'I pray to the god beyond each night to restore my sight, so that I may find beauty again.'

'Is beauty something one must see, the?" the first asked.

'Of course. That is its nature. How can you appreciate a work of art without seeing it?'

'I can hear a work of music,' the first said.

'Very well, you can hear some kinds of beauty - but you cannot know full beauty without sight. You can know only a small portion of beauty.'

'A sculpture,' the first said. 'Can I not feel it's curves and slopes, the touch of the chisel that formed common rock into uncommon wonder?'

'I suppose.' said the second, 'that you can know the beauty of a sculpture.'

'And what of the beauty of food? Is it not a work of art when a chef crafts a masterpiece that delights the tastes?'

'I suppose,' said the second, 'that you can know the beauty of a chef's art.'

'And what of the beauty of a woman,' the first said. 'Can I not know her beauty in the softness of her caress, the kindness of her voice, the keeness of her mind as she reads philosophy to me? Can I not know this beauty? Can I not know most kinds of beauty, even without my eyes?'

'very well,' said the second. 'But what if your ears were removed, your hearing taken away? Your tongue taken out, your mouth forced shut, your sense of smell destroyed. And what if your skin were burnd so that you could no longer feel? What if all that remained to you was pain? You could not know beauty then. It can be taken from a stallion."

The mare slowly turned her head to Blueblood. Her eyes open once more, "What do you think?

~

The chill in Star Crusader's voice resonated with a chill in the air; vanguards of the coming October.  That was odd, for Blueblood could not understand why this story was told in such a manner.  He had heard it before, or at least the first part.  It was one of those short stories told over little colts and fillies going to bed, and the moral of the story, at least when his own parents had taught it, was that beauty could be felt through all senses.

But then the story changed; the first stallion kept talking, and his question was not one that had been thought fit for young foals in Blueblood Manor. A shiver, not born of physical cold, shot down the Prince's spine like a cracked whip, leaving him shaking, even under the strong, warm grip of the pegasus mare.

"Ah... Ah..."  He had to take a few deep, choking breaths before he got his voice back.  "S-s-sorry, it's just.... he's right.  The first one, it can.  Beauty, can be taken.  It's not in the... eye, really, but the mind.  If you get in there.... trap him in a nightmare... it can be taken.  It... it was taken.  From me... when I was captured... nightmare night invasion... changelings..."

He swallowed, trying to soothe his dry throat.  He was aware, now, that the mood of the meeting had quite changed, and not really for the better. "Sorry, sorry...I had just... suppressed those memories.  Came back to me, all of a sudden."

~

The mare gave a light nod, pulling the stallion against herself a bit more to sooth him. But she also offered a smile as she now looked back to the field of flowers. Her mind mulling over the other's answer for a moment. But she seemed to openly accept it either way.

"It is fine. The parable is a story that was meant to be open for interpretation. I received the parable when I was just a foal. I did not have an answer for it till a month later. My brother received it around the same age, but he did not answer it till several years later. In a way... it shows who you are.

The mare then lowered her head. "If my ability to perceive beauty was stripped from me. My body forever to be tortured but my mind whole. I'll find beauty in the precious moments it stops. Even if it means a cast into oblivion. I'd rather it not be shown in such a way. But you are presented with kindness... and kindness is always beautiful."

~

If you had to ask why Blueblood had chosen this particular mare to bestow his affections upon, it would be even odds on whether he would be able to articulate it.  It perhaps had to do with the contrast between the recent insanities of his life, and the solidity of her whole person.  A pony could probably use her to moor a boat, and the stallion was certainly glad that Star was able to keep him steady against the winds of his own subconscious.

It took a few minutes for the shaking to pass, and for the calming warmth of her body to soothe his nerves.    Blueblood sighed, willing his tensed muscles to relax as he leaned against her side.  "I... see.  Well, I can't say that I disagree with your sentiment.  A life lived with pain and no beauty... I'm not sure how long your mind would hold whole, though.  Insanity might be an escape as much as death..."

He shook his head.  "I'm getting morbid.  Didn't I come here to get away from things like that, so I could tell you, well, show you... what I felt?"

He had to laugh at that.  "Strange how things turn out."

~

The mare's smile widen as she turned back to the prince once more. "And saying what is on your mind is not a means to show your affection or feelings?" Her smile held a hint of amusement as she lowered her head to place a gentle kiss on the male's snout.

"It takes quite a bit of effort to open a flood gate to the sea of emotions. Just about anything can crop up without the operator realizing it."

~

She had a point; Blueblood was not so candid to most ponies.  You had to be pretty close in his affections to be admitted to see his vulnerabilities, and traumatic memories were pretty big ones.

"I... suppose you're right."  The Prince smiled, stretching up a bit to return the kiss.  "I'm glad, at any rate, you're here.  I had to deal with a triggered recall alone once, and..."  His shudders for a brief time returned.  "Much better to have somepony to open up to, hard as it might be."

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