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dragonofruin

Time for a Fun Trip [Closed]

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A florist was never, terribly busy when tending to a host of various flowers, running a shop during its open hours. Beyond a few ponies coming in to buy some bouquets, either to liven up their homes or to touch the heart of somepony special, there wasn't a whole lot of traffic. It could almost be boring, if Rose didn't find ways to pass the time when it was quiet. It wasn't too bad- she liked her solitude, for the most part. And her roses, which weren't as easy to take care of as some ponies might think- they were picky, fickle things. The soil and sunlight and how much water they received had to be just right.

 

She loved them, nonetheless.

 

Rose idled around her shop on this lovely spring day, when flowers bloomed in plenty. It was a time when the land roused itself after a long, cold sleep, and she had to admit that whenever she was outside or standing by one of her large display windows in the warmth of the sunlight, that she felt alive again too. Not that she would ever admit to her inner feelings around any customers that came in- with them, she merely exchanged idle gossip to discover if there were any changes in the usual goings-on around Canterlot. It entertained her well enough.

 

After another, cursory sweep around her shop, Rose settled behind her counter again with a sigh, her rear legs loosely crossed one over the other and an elbow propped up on the counter's shiny surface, her eyes watching the door.

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Spring. The time of the world being re-born was held in high regard by Grey. The nature blossoming back to life was something that this traveler loved to observe. He might have not truly knew about every detail how things were happening, but he did certainly enjoy it. After all, there aren't much things that are better then spending a night under the stars, surrounded by a blossoming field of flowers, grass and animals.

 

The grey stallion leisurely made his way down the Canterlot streets, his hooves slowly guiding him through the buildings as those sharp eyes wondered around, taking in what was around them. Grey much preferred the wilderness to any city, but even he had to admit that Canterlot architecture was something to admire. His thoughts were already far into the future, thinking where should he go next after this pleasant stay he had in Canterlot. He didn't usually do that, preferring to just go forward without much thinking, but during times like this, when there were just so many great options, giving it a good thought was a wiser choice.

 

Suddenly the stallion stopped dead in his tracks as his eyes landed on a familiar flower shop. It has been a while since he came into this place, but he still remembered it well. A small smile appeared on his face as he remembered the nice conversation he had there. Suddenly an idea popped into his head. And so Grey took a step forward before hesitating for a second. Maybe she is busy? Maybe he shouldn't interfere? A bit of a mental fight quickly went through his brain before he inhaled deeply and now, decided continued on his way there.

 

With a gentle yet confident motion the doors opened wide before the grey traveler. His eyes ventured quickly around the display, taking in all those flowers. Not much changed, it seemed. "Good morning." Grey exclaimed in his typical, slightly raspy yet warm voice. It was only a second until he started to walk towards the counter and the mare behind it. He, himself changed a bit. His previously messy mane looked like actually a bit of care went into grooming it this morning and his coat seemed to be slightly brighter then last time. "Remember me?" He asked with a hopeful tone in his voices as she stood in front of the counter, his eyes focused on the mare.

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The soft, familiar ding of the bell above the door drew Rose's wandering attention to a sharp focus upon the next pony to walk through the front door. She regretted to admit to herself it took her a few seconds to fully recognize exactly who she was looking at, and she was aided by the fact that his coat was grey. Rose wished it was the fact that he was a little more well groomed, as her cursory glance showed her, than the last time she saw him that was behind her brief lapse of memory in recognizing him, but alas. Her red-painted lips spread in a smile and Rose deigned to pull herself off of her stool, moving around her counter to greet the stallion instead of letting it remain as a small barrier between them.

 

"Grey!" Rose greeted with some warmth in her voice. "I do remember you. My, it's been a while, and you appear to have cleaned yourself up somewhat." A slim eyebrow rose as her eyes swept, up and down, over his overall appearance. "What brings you back to my shop so soon? Another bouquet, perhaps, or did you simply wish to drop in to see me?" she asked with a tilt of her head, causing her fall of deep, red mane to more fully frame one side of her face; it was still kept loose, for the most part. Rose rarely did much with her mane, nor had to, when she lived a sedentary life that was peaceful enough in Canterlot.

 

"I can't even remember when it was that I last saw you. Sometime in autumn, probably? Before winter?" The mare straightened and shrugged, indicating that she didn't have a clue. It didn't matter much, anyway. She was.. surprisingly glad to see him around again.

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Such a nice welcoming took Grey off guard. Warmth in Rose's voice and smile on her lips as well as her coming forth towards him maybe were small gestures, but they gave Grey   some joy on the inside. She did remember him... Not many ponies did, especially after a couple of months. After all, he didn't stand out much in the crowd... Well, at least not usually. Here, in Canterlot he was quite different then the nobility, but once he groomed and showered he looked... okey-ish.

At Rose's remark on his appearance, Grey chuckled and nodded his head up and down "Indeed, I did. I may not spend so much time in the cities, but I would be damned if I didn't take care of myself at least periodically." He said and looked down at his coat. This lighter tone suit him well... Or at least he thought so.

"Well, I guess you can say it was the latter" The stallion admitted with a friendly smile on his face. "I just happened to be passing by and thought that maybe I could come in for a bit of chat" It truly was nice to sometimes just chat with somepony, but this time it wasn't the only reason he stopped by.

"Aye. Just before winter. I came by to buy some flowers... My mother loved them, by the way. She put them right in front of the entrance for everypony to see." His expression was a warm one as he looked back to the day he brought those flowers home. It really was a good idea to spend some money on this bouquet. 

Grey took another look around the shop, stopping at some flowers sitting to The side "I see you still have your hooves full..." A bit of hesitation could be heard is his Voice as he spoke. Well. Here goes nothing.

"I assume you don't have a Free weekend or so,  right?" Grey's went back to Rose, as he waited for her response. It probably wasn't going to work, but well... It was worth a shot..

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Rose made a skeptical hmph in her throat and eyed him as if she didn't believe him, as if he could've cleaned himself up a bit before he'd stepped into her shop the first time. Her reaction wasn't in seriousness, but in jest, evident by the small smile playing around one side of her mouth.

 

"I'm glad you thought of me and actually came to visit. I wasn't entirely expecting you to return again, after what I'd learned about you: a stallion who can't stay in one place for too long. If I recall saying.. I think I can understand why." Rose shrugged. The smile that'd been hinted at grew wider. His mother loved her flowers? The pegasus had to remind herself: why wouldn't she? Her flowers were grown with love and care, and skill of course. Surely there wouldn't be a single pony who wouldn't love her flowers.

 

Still, the news brought Rose a happiness she scarcely dared show beyond her smile and a brightening of her eyes.

 

The mare looked around her shop, giving it a once over with her gaze as Grey commented on it. Rose supposed she did have her hooves full - sometimes. It wasn't too bad, outside of a routine that could get boring sometimes, if Rose dared to admit it to herself. Catching the hesitation, the noblemare looked curiously back at Grey, a prim eyebrow arching.

 

"A free weekend? Well.. I suppose.. I do believe I know somepony who I can pay to watch my shop if I ever need to get out for a while. Why? Is there something on your mind?"

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Upon hearing the hmpf coming from the mare, Grey immediately replied, without skipping a beat "Hey. I know it doesn't seem like it, but I actually take care of myself...sometimes" Heavy hint of playfulness could be heard in his voice as he spoke. It wasn't hard to see what kind of attitude Grey had towards taking care of ones apparel and he knew that and was fine with it, so no offence was taken.

Rose, saying she was glad made Grey feel warmer on the inside, even though it wasn't anything special. Well, even the smallest gestures count after all. "Why wouldn't I return? The chat we had was one of the best I had in quite a while" Grey followed her remark on who he is with a nod "True.  I don't stick to many places for too long, but I usually come back soon to those that I enjoyed. After all, there isn't that much left to explore..." The stallion's eyebrow raised a bit when the mare mentioned seeing why he travels to much. It got him wondering what she had on her mind. "Hm?.. What's your bet?" He asked with the same, playful tone.

Seeing her brighten up made Grey smile as well. Again. Small gesture, but it meant a lot to this middle-aged traveler.

Wait. She had some free time? Well, those were some good news, but still there was a more important questions to answer. "Oh. Well... I have to admit, I did have a bit of an idea." Gray started, a hint of surprise mixed into his tone. How should he phrase this? "You see... When you travel alone the biggest downside is that you don't have anyone to share this experience with, so... I was thinking that MAYBE you could take a bit of a break from work and MAYBE go on a bit of a trip. "Well, there were probably better ways to put it, but it got the message through. "Nothing long, or far! Just a day or two!" Grey added quickly before going silent, his eyes focused on the mare once again, waiting for her to reply. It might have been a weird request, since they barely knew each other, but well, Grey didn't really have many options here, in Canterlot, plus he thought that Rose could use a bit of a break

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More of her amusement could be visible, sparkling in her eyes, after Grey's retort. It was a gentle teasing she didn't think she'd be able to get away with with other ponies in this city, especially any of her regular visitors. They'd take offense if she so much as implied something, even as a joke. A reason why that she liked Grey's laid back personality. "It's good that you enjoyed our talk, and my shop then. Otherwise, I don't think I'd have seen you here again."

 

She wasn't sure what sort of answer to give in regards to his question and merely remained quiet, patiently waiting to hear the question that Grey appeared so hesitant in asking her, and when he finally did, her ears perked up in interest. A trip? Either for the weekend or.. any two days she deigned to give him for it. Rose's face clouded over with thought, green eyes staring past the stallion's head as she considered it. It wasn't too heavy a decision for her - she hadn't been lying when she said she knew somepony who could watch the place for that long, or longer if the need arose.

 

Rose eventually came back to the here and now and nodded, focusing on Grey again. "I think it sounds lovely. I could do to break away from my routines every so often. However, all I know is that it'll be a trip. What else could you tell me about it? Like what's our destination, and what will your plans be?" she asked curiously, inclining her head. She obviously didn't think Grey would lead her astray, let alone anywhere too dangerous - she could fly, but she wasn't the least bit equipped for fighting or defending herself in any manner beyond her wits.

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Waiting for her to reply felt like an eternity. Grey never had his way with words, but he definitely wasn't shy or awkward, yet there was this feeling he couldn't shake off that he wasn't doing something right. And so, Grey stayed in that state of unsurety  until Rose stopped thinking. Alright here comes the answer.

She agreed... Even though Grey was hoping for it, he was still a little surprised. After all it was a rarity that somepony of the higher class would come with him to the pub, left alone on a trip. Especially after what state he was when Rose saw him for the first time. All dirty and messy.

Oh, right! Where were they supposed to go? "Right! Well. As you probably already know, I am not the one for planning..." Gray chuckled a bit and scratched the back od his head with hoof "But! I had a couple of ideas that you might want to try out" He added quickly

"So, the first one would be a bit away, since we would go there on hoof and would probably take a bit longer then two days." His head went from side to side as he did  the quick assesment of time "Probably around three or four days. I was thinking of a camping trip to White Tail Forest. You see, most ponies prefer to go there during fall, but I think it truly shines during Spring! Everything blossoms and it just feels so fresh! Also, there is plenty of flowers" A single eyebrow was raised a couple of timea in a playful fashion as he mentioned The flowers "Buuut if you would prefer something shorter, there are also plenty of unnamed forests closer to Canterlot, which we could set as our target" A camping trip was something Grey was quite fond of, even after doing it hundreds times. It just never bored him.

After a short pause, the second option was presented.  "And if you would like something more civilized and with a bit more running water, we could take the train to one of the major cities and go sight-seeing there. I was thinking of Manehattan, or Fillyfelphia. Rarely do I visit those two, so there would still be something for both of us to discover"  Truth was that Grey went there only on occasion. Those cities were full of ponies and sparkling with life almost all the time, even during the night. And he did enjoy that, but not all the time. After all how many nights can a pony spend in the clubs, pubs or parties. Grey may have enjoyed it years ago, but now, peace and quiet were greatly appealing to him most of the time.

"And if neither of those suit you, I am open to suggestions! I have visited many, many places, so I am fine with almost anything. If you have any preferences or maybe a dream place you would want to visit, I will be happy to oblige." A warm smile appeared on Grey's face. He truly could go anywhere, but deep inside he hoped for something on a bit cheaper side. He may have gotten some coins during his stay here, but it wasn't that much. Plus he needed to save some for later.

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A couple of ideas. Rose heard them out, briefly raising her eyebrow at the one that was longer than just 'a couple of days'. It still sounded pleasant, however. A camping trip! Rose had never gone out camping before. She'd never had any reason to, no friends to camp with, and roughing it as a highborn such as herself sounded less than ideal.. Bugs, dirt, no baths or comfortable beds to sleep in.. Rose suppressed a shudder.

 

It didn't escape her notice that Grey was certainly trying to hook her with the comment about all the flowers that would be blooming at this time of year. It caught her interest, too. Maybe it would be nice to go camping. Quaint, too, to see the wilderness with her own eyes instead of through pictures in books and magazines that she sometimes hoofed through whenever she was idling at home or in her store. Whitetail Forest was appealing, more so than the other small, 'unnamed' forests closer to home- and of course the possibilities of simply visiting Manehatten or Fillydelphia instead were equally as tempting.

 

Oh, so many choices!

 

"I.. can't say if I have any of my own ideas, or 'dream places' to visit.. Your ideas, on the other hoof, are certainly appealing and I have no idea which place I'd like to visit for the weekend." Rose replied, visibly torn. Manehatten was a place she'd never been before, a city she'd heard many positive details about, and it would supply all of her creature comforts she had here in Canterlot, if a little more with the service ponies received at hotels. Yet Whitetail Wood..

 

Something about it called her. Something entirely new.

 

"Even though it'd be for a few days longer.. maybe Whitetail Wood wouldn't be a bad stop.."

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Hard choice, huh? Usually if something like this occurred, Grey would simply go to both places, but well... This time they only had so much time they can spend with Rose having to leave the shop behind. Buuut maybe sometime later... "Hey. It's not like you'll never get another chance at going somewhere. So just choose the first thing that seems a bit appealing. " Grey tapped his chest, right above his heart "Use your heart, not your mind, however cheesy that sounds." A slight chuckle escaped Grey's mouth after that. Cheesy texts were his specialty.

Whitetail woods seem appealing? Uff! This was Both more enjoyable and waaay cheaper option for Grey, so it was truly like a stone fell from his heart. "Alright! Whitetail woods it is!" He said nodding quickly and started to tap his chin "Have you ever went camping? If not, we will need to get you some things first...." Grey's eyes rolled a bit up as he started to list needed items for the trip in his head "Well. First and foremost you need some sacks. Any that have at least a bit of volume would do for a couple days... Then, you will need a tent and ..." He stopped and shook his Head from side to side "Ah, forget it. Let's just go, do the shopping and I will help you out to choose those things" Grey wasn't truly someone who usually enjoyed shopping, but passing his experience with what to take and also maybe getting something new to himself seemed A BIT appealing.

"Also, when should we set off? Could you do... two days from now? It would give us enough Time to prepare and for me to plan the trip a bit more in detail" Again, something that Grey did rarely, but he would be demned if he got them lost on Rose's first camping. Just... no. Not gonna happen! He will be prepared!

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Whitetail Woods it was, then! The idea of it, of camping, was becoming an exciting one even if Rose knew she'd find distaste in certain aspects of camping. She'd have to bite down on the need to bring unnecessary belongings, like dresses or.. makeup.. There was no need to keep up one's appearance out in the woods, beyond standard bathing and grooming. It'd be hard for her to endure, but she'd endure it nonetheless if just to pursue what it was she found so exciting about this prospect.

 

A prim eyebrow rose again and she quietly chuckled, the noise muffled behind her smiling lips. "Do I look like the kind of mare who has ever gone out camping?" she asked, her tone making it clear that she wasn't trying to be snippy with him- only playful. As playful as somepony as restrained as her could be.

 

Bags, tent.. it sounded as if there was more to the list before Grey decided to simply help her instead. It sounded like a good idea to her, being that he was the more experienced pony between them when it came to camping and having just the right supplies to do so.

 

"I do believe two days from now shall work well enough. It'll give me time to pack what I'll need, and speak with my friend so that they'll know when to tend to my shop. And give them the keys of course.." There was much she'd have to do to prepare, and two days was enough to do so, Rose was confident of that. "So shall we do a little.. shopping, then?"

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No. She did not look like someone who has been out camping before, but it was wroth a shot. After all, looks did decieve and Grey could be a living example of that. "No, no. You defneitly don't look like someone who has been out camping a lot. You look too beutiful and tidy." Grey winked playfuly before chuckling once again. A bit of flattery never hurt anyone and what he said was true, so...

Hearing Rose saying that two days were enough, The stallion nodded in agreement "Two days from now it is. Also, send whoever will work for you my regards. They will need to work extra becouse of my crazy ideas." He chuckled once again at his own joke. Maybe a bit pathetic, but hey! Who cares. Not him.

"Aye. The sooner we start The sooner we finish..." Grey confidently turned around and took a couple of stpes forward before stopping dead in his tracks, his Head slowly turning to Rose "I.. I don't assume you know any shops like that, do you?" He said with an embarassed smirk "I haven't been here for a long time and haven't brought anything camping ralated for even longer" The last Time he bought anything like that here was... 10 years ago? Something like that... Well. A Long time ago and he promptly had no idea where they could go.

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The compliment, and the wink that came with it, came as a surprise to Rose, who hadn't been expecting either of them out of Grey. It'd completely caught her off guard and she flustered, averting her eyes and her pastel pink cheeks darkening in hue in a faint blush. It wasn't often she received many, genuine compliments from ponies she felt to be truly honest. Most rich Canterlot ponies tended to freely give compliments and praise without meaning, if just to be considered in the good graces of another, well known pony.

 

"Well, thank you," Rose managed to say, stepping around Grey to head towards the door. She hardly looked over after he'd stopped, brought to a halt by his realization. "I do believe I do. Such stores aren't among the higher end shops, but some of the more generic stories have such things. Especially whenever ponies in Canterlot might be planning for something and need traveling supplies, even if it is sometimes seen more as a novelty than anything with some of the nobility here."

 

The pegasus stepped out the door and held it open for Grey with a wing, patiently waiting for whenever the stallion would get himself moving again. If her body language was anything to go by, it would be clear that Rose was going to take the lead. She likely knew Canterlot better than him.

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Grey by no means expected such a reaction from Rose. What he expected was a roll of her eyes and a witty comeback, so it caught him off guard as well that she seemed to be genuinely flustered with his compliment and even seemed to blush... How should he react to that? Truth be told, he rarely was placed in such a situation, so he did lack the experience to quickly make the right decision. Just a 'you're welcome' would be basic... too basic, right? Plus, he felt slightly bad for throwing her under a wall with his compliment like that... "Sorry?" Was the word that escaped his mouth. Well... That was one, totally not awkward way of responding to that. Good job, Grey. You should be proud.

Hearing that she knew a place that could have what they needed, Grey sighed a sigh of relief. It would be awful to have to wander around looking for it and bother bystanders for Celestia knows how long. "Uf... Great. You are saving us a lot of Time here..." and with a quick couple of steps Grey Has found himself outside once again. "So, Rose. Lead the way" Grey did a slight, comical bow, waiting for her to take the lead. It wasn't anything overdramatic that would get everyone's attention, but it was a.. Gesture. It was kind of funny how Grey seemed to get more and more relaxed with his behavior around this mare, something that was usually going the other way when dealing with Canterlot folk.

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Rose didn't have to be certain that she'd seen some flicker of confusion across Grey's face after her reaction, not after it showed in the questioning apology he managed to utter. She gave him a small smile as he passed by, trying to express in some way that it was fine. It might be best if she kept that mask over her emotions before she broke him again, or caused any other problems. Inhaling, Rose pulled that air of general indifference back over herself as she turned away from him, flipping the sign on her shop's door to the 'Out for Lunch' one before she closed it- at least so any potential visitors knew it was closed- and locked it with the key that hung around her neck on a chain.

 

Rose tucked it back behind her collar and started off with a sweep of her long, red tail, leading the way. "Indeed I shall," she replied with a small smirk, glancing back at Grey. She'd caught the dramatic little bow he'd performed for her and she found it somewhat amusing.

 

Facing ahead, the mare navigated the clean streets of Canterlot, seeking out the stores she remembered seeing before. It wouldn't be too difficult for her to find them, and for them to get what they needed.

 

 

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The shopping by itself wasn't that bad. Once they got to the shop itself, Grey took the lead, maneuvering around alleys, shelves and racks, hoping to find some useful things at best prices. And weirdly enough, he seemed to enjoy it, a visible smile present on his face thoughtout their whole stay in the shop. After all, this visit took about an hour. An hour of gathering specific object, looking for others and constant explaining from Grey. A glimmer of excitement could be seen in his eye as he passed his knowledge onto Rose. It was quite obvious he didn't get the chance to do such things very often. Either that or he reeeally enjoyed teaching.

Sometime through, those two needed to go back for Rose's sacks since there wasn't any other way of holding it all together. In the end, they bought:
-A tent
-Foldable camping lamp
-Bug repellent
-Mosquito Net
-A torch
-A canteen with cutlery
-A sleeping bag
-A mat for sleeping
-Waterproof tarp

That would be all she needed, Grey thought. He should have the rest in his sacks...

Once those two stepped out of the shop Grey looked for a couple of seconds at the almost full sacks, with the tent strapped onto them. He had something like an expression of proudness on his face as his sight looked over what they got. At First he thought of helping The mare, but well... It wasn't that heavy, since the clothes and supplies were still outside and she needed to get used to The weight...

"Thanks for today. It was fun talking and shopping with shopping with you. I really enjoyed that." He said with a smile on his face, his expression visibly happy. "If you have any questions right now, I'll be glad to answer."

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There was a lot to learn about camping. Rose wasn't sure if she'd ever be able to remember it at all, or ever get a sense or skill for it. And there was a lot to buy, too. It wasn't unexpected, the supplies they had to hunt down all around this small area of Canterlot, it was just.. a lot. It didn't put a dent in her purse, however. As a mare from a noble family, if an overseas one, she'd already been well off even before founding her business.

 

The bags she'd had to get and fill with their newfound supplies were heavy on her back, and she hadn't known much strenuous labor in her life. It wasn't too bad, or so she initially thought before reminding herself that it'd only be so long before it all really started to weigh on her and tire her out. So far, so good. Even then, she was tempted to hoof some of it off to Grey to carry instead- something she had to refrain from doing. Rose was no fool. She knew that treating a potential friend like Grey like her personal servant would be a terrible thing to do, no matter how new or far along their relationship was.

 

Rose offered the stallion a smile when he spoke to her and she shrugged one shoulder the best she could despite the weight on her back. "Shopping is always a pleasure for me, albeit a bit of a guilty one. I'm glad you could enjoy it too~." She quieted at the open invitation to ask questions and searched her mind for any that she might have. So far.. she didn't think she did. Camping seemed to be pretty clear cut. Although..

 

"Where should we meet up when we're to leave? At the train station at a certain time in the day?"

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Grey had a moment of silent relief, seeing that Rose didn't cringe so much seeing some of the prices that put were on some of the items here, in Canterlot. Grey tried to get it as cheep as possible, but it was the capital so it was obvious the prices were... Not really fully fair and the overall price for their shopping spree was more then Grey expected. Well... Good thing Rose had that kind of money.

The smile on the mare's face once again proved to release Grey of some worry. After all he was taking her on a trip and her enjoyment was his top priority, no matter what. "Glad to hear that! I only wish we could have gotten better prices, but oh well. It is Canterlot after all" A slight shrug was added by the stallion at the end.

Hearing her question Grey nodded a bit. "Aye. Around morning... Let's say... 8 or 9 AM, whichever suits you better. That way we get some extra time" Truth was that at first, Grey wanted to go there by hoof, buut, well, it would take much longer and it was supposed to be a fun trip, not a painful march.

"Do you have any other questions?" Grey asked after a bit and started to turn towards The side

If nothing came up, he would give Her a warm smile "Once again, thanks for today and see you in two days" is what he would say before giving her another comical bow and walking off to prepare his own stuff

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Rose shifted on her hooves, trying to adjust to the weight of her bags. "Indeed it is. They do good work here in Canterlot, and for a reason." She allowed herself to let a small smile slip.

 

"I think nine will work. I'll at least be ready to leave the house before then. Beyond that particular question, I don't have anymore for the time being. I'm sure I'll have some later when we get to our actual trip." She was sure to have a lot of questions, whether Grey had tried to explain how camping worked or not- there had to be more. Like how to set up a tent or how to get a fire started, or.. whatever else there might be. She didn't know what she'd have to ask or what the question will end up being about.

 

"Farewell, until then, Grey." Rose offered him that small smile again and watched him go, taking some amusement out of the over the top bow he'd given her. Feeling the weight now that she no longer had his company as a distraction, the pegasus slowly started off down the street to make her way back home. As much as she wanted to rush to get these bags off of her back as soon as possible, she couldn't rush herself- Rose at least knew that she'd only tire herself out more then, and walking the streets of Canterlot a sweaty, unkempt mess would be unbecoming of a lady like herself.

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The two days went by rather quickly for Grey. He did end up going back to the shop once or twice to buy a couple of small things he could've sworn he had, but well... he didn't. Luckily now, after constantly checking if he had everything he needed, if he bought the ticket and if he remembered the way they will go, he thought he was ready. Now, all left to do was to take the last shower, put on his saddlebags and leave for the trip.
 

Grey was an early-riser and didn't need to rush, so he just casually strolled through the Canterlot, admiring the buildings once again... Ah, the Canterlot architecture. Once he got to the station, he sat down on one of the benches and let his saddlebags rest next to him, on the ground. And weirdly enough, right now he was probably in the best state Rose could ever see him in. Definitely clean coat, nicely brushed mane and tail... Well, this was the last opportunity to get himself in check so better do it, right?

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Over the two days that they'd allotted themselves to prepare, Rose struggled to keep herself from bringing anything unnecessary, like makeup, or dresses.. She knew she wasn't going to need anything more than her brushes, some soaps, and the supplies she'd purchased from the shops. All she really had to do was sort through it all and pack it properly in her bags. The tent was already bound, so she had no need to bother with it..

 

Eventually she did have everything she needed packed, along with a towel or two just in case she needed them.. and sunglasses.. and maybe a couple of hairbands just to keep her mane out of the way..

 

Rose was eventually satisfied and showered the night before, so that when morning came and her belongings were gathered, she strode to the train station, clean and freshly groomed. She came without a dress on, deciding that she wouldn't risk dirtying or accidentally tearing any of them out in the woods. The most she might have brought with her, as a last minute decision, was a simple white shawl in one of her bags. But her form was clearer, slim and graceful.

 

The noblemare would arrive sometime after Grey had and a pony like himself was easy to find among the more colorful coats of the crowd, and Rose was again impressed to see Grey had actually put some effort into grooming himself and looking far more taken care of. She would offer him a small smile as she approached, still struggling a little under the weight of her bags though she tried not to show it. "Good morning, Grey."

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Grey was just sitting there when he noticed the mare approaching. He immediately stood up and smiled warmly towards her as she came closer "Hello, Rose!" He said with his cheerful voice, his eyes quickly going towards her saddlebags, eyeing them well. She seemed to have packed everything, judging by how big they were. "I see you came ready! Are the saddlebags comfortable? Did you get everything?" He started asking, really hoping everything was alright. A lot of time has passed since he had a trip like this with someone and wanted to make it as enjoyable as possible.

"So. We have about 10 minutes before the train arrives. The travel on the train will take a bit... Once, there it will take us good 2 hours to get to the camping site..." Grey looked up, into the sky and started calculating things in his head for a couple of seconds "We should be there around the afternoon." He spoke up after the calculations were done "Once there, we will set camp, light the bon..." He stopped mid-sentence and chuckled a bit "I am speaking too much, ain't I?" A slight sigh escaped his lips "Sorry about that. It's just that I haven't been on a trip like this one for quite some time and I don't want to... You know, ruin it"  

 

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Her faint smile widened slightly and Rose came to a halt near where Grey had been sitting and seated herself as primly as she could despite the weight of the bags on her back. "I think I have everything. It was just the matter of sorting it, and finding what other small things I needed to bring with me. Not too much, though. I do have a bit of sense to be practical considering this is a trip out to the woods and not to some event in a city."

 

A look crossed her face. Around the afternoon? Well.. it didn't sound too bad, considering how early it was. It was better than if they'd ended up there in the evening instead. It would just be a couple of hours on the train, time they could no doubt spend talking or watching the countryside fly by- it'd definitely give her a chance to see more of Equestria up close rather than from the marble railings at the edges of Canterlot's tiers.

 

"Talking too much? No, of course not." Rose made a dismissive gesture with her hoof. "You sound excited about such a trip, and I can't really blame you." Her only problem was having to find something to talk about. Grey certainly had plenty to share as an adventurer, but she didn't, not if he wanted to hear about how to take care of and grow flowers. Psh. Anypony who wasn't passionate about growing plants would, and even if they weren't, it still might get a little boring to focus on for long. Gossip didn't seem to be Grey's thing either, though it wouldn't hurt to share some of the chatter that flitted across social circles in Canterlot. Later, maybe.

 

"You're not going to ruin anything. So you were saying something about a.. bonfire, I think?"

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So she was ready. Great! Well... Better to ask, maybe? Just to be sure... "You have the tent? Sleeping bag? Utensils? Coats? Spare clothing?" Grey started asking, his eyes rolled up as he was remembering what was needed. Maybe he was a bit too paranoid about taking everything. Many times he, himself has forgotten something yet everything turned out just fine, so nothing bad should happen now either, even if it won't be PERFECT, right?

The fact that she didn't mind his rambling made Grey sigh in relief internally once again. Hmpf... He kept doing that a lot recently. Maybe he really was too paranoid "Well. I cannot say I am not excited. It was.... what... a good couple of years since I traveled with someone like that. It's great fun to show someone something I know so well" Grey let a slight chuckle escape his mouth. He ain't going to ruin anything... good.

"Ah, right! The bonfire. Well, after that it'll be mostly up to you. If you will feel like it, we might go to a lake or river. There is plenty that is really beautiful, especially during the night. And if I remember correctly, the nights should be quite bright these days, so everything should be visible nicely without any torches or lamps" Grey did his research, and maybe he wasn't the best at it, but he was positive that it was done correctly "The next day, if you will feel a bit brave, I actually have a little surprise. Although I warn you, it is quite unusual and well.." He chuckled nervously "I ain't gonna lie, might be a bit dangerous. Buuuut, I have done it countless times and it was fine, so no need to worry"

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An eyebrow rose. "I do have all of it. Including a few articles of clothing. Simple clothing, of course. As vain as I am, I would never put any of my dresses or finer clothes at risk for something as rustic as camping." She sniffed, mock offended, and she revealed a small smile afterward to show Grey that she was playing, to an extent. She still meant what she said. "I brought everything we bought for me, along with a few additions I felt I would need. It's all here in my bags. There's no need to worry about me."

 

"I'm sure it must be, if you spend all of your time traveling on your own and without a companion you can talk to. I can't say I'll be able to put any of this information to use too often, but I'm sure it will be of use if I manage to learn and remember anything." Rose quieted and tilted her head, her ears alert. A bonfire, and a visit to a 'lake or a river', as Grey put it. It might be nice, to see the way the moonlight and stars reflected off of the water in the dark of night.. She could only imagine it in her head. Black waters reflecting glints of silver light off of its rippling surface.

 

Rose couldn't wait to see for herself, if it might be as pretty as it sounded.

 

"Dangerous?" she echoed. "Well.. I'll have to find out what this surprise is first before I can really agree to doing anything dangerous. Even if you've come out of it unscathed."

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