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[Closed Starter] Neighagra Falls Inn


PecanPraline
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One of the paradoxical truths of social relationships is that those who can babble on about the most frivolous things, often find themselves silenced when encountering serious ones.  Psmith's own reticence when it came to the deeper emotions was enough to restrain him, never mind Silver's pre-emptive hoof.  He sat back, listening, able to pick up on the unspoken meanings encoded in the words.

 

"My condolences.  For what they're worth."  He spoke, uncharacteristically briefly.

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She noticed the brevity and was actually touched by it. She gave him a smile, and nodded. "They're worth quite a lot to me, Psmith. Thank you." Her expression then changed as she sighed, seeming to lean back a bit. "The inn belonged to my grandmare, and I took it over after she died. I enjoy it, but sometimes I can't help wonder if I just trapped myself there because... maybe my parents will come back to it. Like she said they would. But at this point, I don't know what I would want to do instead..."

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Psmith found his heart touched by how much comfort Silver could take from a few words, and smiled back.  Upon hearing her further explication regarding her parents, he leaned forward.  Practical difficulties always inspired his mouth to run again after an emotional hurdle.  "Well, well!  It is not very complicated to leave a forwarding address, as long as you know where you will be when you're not at the inn.  But that is, as you say, something you are not sure about.  I would advise carving a space out of your calendar with an artist's knife, reserving that sacred space of time for vacation, and travel.  At least then, you will know if the inn is your true home by how much you miss it.  Or, perhaps, if your true home lies elsewhere, you will have a better chance to find it.  Travel, comrade Silver, is the sherbert between the courses of life."

 

Speaking of courses, he polished off his sandwiches, and focused upon his tea.  "So, given your own candid revelations, I suppose it is only fair that I return with mine.  Well, I am the only son and heir of the third Baron Psmith.  And yes, that is the same stallion you saw on the front page of the society papers racing a Manehattan cabpony down Broadway in his hansom.  Bookies gave him 3-to-1 odds on, and he cleaned up quite a bit."  The young unicorn gave a sigh, half of affection, half of exasperation.  "I'm dreadfully fond of the old fellow, don't get me wrong, but he is rather... trying, to live with."

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She listened thoughtfully to his advice, it being something she hadn't considered before. She would have to look in her date book and see when she didn't have any rooms booked. Which wouldn't be very far off, once the Gala was done with. 

After hearing about his father, she pressed a hoof to her mouth to suppress a giggle. "I was quite impressed at how well he did. I don't know much about him, but I know about living with somepony that's trying. I've had my fair share of guests that far over-stayed their welcome. But patience is it's own virtue, right? I'm sure you'll be rewarded for yours."

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Psmith nodded.  "You're right, of course.  Patience!  The angler's breadwinner, the indecisive general's steady friend.  Victory, it is said, belongs to the most persevering; although one must question the merits of the phrase, considering it was said by a general who was ultimately defeated.  Perhaps it was merely a case of him not practicing what he preached.  Very impractical, hypocrisy.  Of little use in love or war, wouldn't you agree?"

 

He finished off this rambling statement, along with his tea, and set down his cup with a yawn.  "Hoo-ahh... Comrade Silver, I must confess, fatigue has caught up with me, and we must soon bid each other good night.  After all, each of us does have necessary tasks before our date with destiny at the Gala, no?"

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"I warned you that this would be late into the evening!" Silver replied with a laugh. She finished the rest of her drink, which she had ended up liking a lot more than she had expected she would, then placed several bits on the table as a tip for their waitress. "But you're right, we do have things to do. For instance, I now need to find a dress." Her expression changed to a slight frown at that thought. She was good at many things, but elaborate sewing was not one of them. Maybe somepony in town? "hmmm...."

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"Quite so."  Psmith pushed himself back from the table, adding a few more bits to the tip pile.  "If you will accept my sartorial recommendations, the newly-opened Canterlot branch of the Carousel Boutique has taken the revolutionary approach of offering quality goods at affordable prices!  They offer rentals for the gala as well, if you lack closet space."  Standing to his hooves, he offered one to Silver to escort her home.  "Until then, this has been a wonderful evening, I must say."

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"Oh, I think I met the owner when she was on her way to Canterlot before. She was doing a lot of advertising in the area. If I remember right, she had some really lovely designs..." Silver accepted his hoof, blushing beneath her bushy mane. "It has been. Thank you so much for inviting me out, Psmith. It was fun to get away from the inn for just a little while."

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"Quite so.  She even does a little work in the stallion line, of which I shall show when the evening arrives."  Psmith smiled to see Silver so happy.  "Little breaks in the daily routine often prove to be what is needed to endure it.  All work and no play makes Comrade Silver a dull pony, and that is a fate hardly worth bearing!  In any case, here we are."  The pair arrived back at the inn's door, Psmith letting Silver's hoof go at last.  "I shall see you again when I come to pick you up for the Gala itself.  Until then, goodnight!"

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"Good night, Psmith. And thank you again. For everything," Silver said, still smiling widely. She shuffled awkwardly for just a moment, fighting with her shyness, before taking a quick step forward to lightly kiss his cheek. She then dashed inside the inn with a quick "Good night!", closing the door behind herself. Her face was bright red, but she let out a sigh. She had had fun, and she had another... Date? with him in less than a week. She trotted off to bed then, thinking over what she would need to do to get ready.

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Slowly bringing a hoof up to where Silver kissed him, Psmith felt the patch of skin and smiled.  "Dear Comrade Silver... whatever happens, at least I promise you a happy evening, come the Gala."  There was no way she could hear him by now, of course, but the promise was sincere nonetheless.  He just hoped she was ready for it all...

 

~***~

 

Come the night itself, Psmith's own preparations were complete: invitation complete with plus one, a dapper suit of velvet with tails and a top hat, and a rose for his date.  There was just one little issue: transportation.  He'd promised a carriage, but the streets were full of them!  With traffic this bad, they'd have a better chance of getting there on time by simply walking.  Oh, but that wouldn't do at all!  No, here the proud son of Baron Psmith would take a page from his father's book and... improvise.

 

Thus, instead of hearing the smooth clippety-clop of hooves paired with the squeakless turning wheels of a carriage, Silver Stream would instead hear the *thump!* of a sandbag land upon the lawn in front of the inn, attached to a rope leading up to a hot-air balloon.  Psmith could be seen leaning out of the basket, waving his hat at those below.  "Did I ever tell you my father had a short-lived career as an airship pirate?  He was the terror of high-society balls; he and his crew would merrily raid the canapes!  Well, let us avail ourselves of his legacy, in so far as we shall sail over the clogged urban congestion, to approach the party on our own terms!"

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Silver Stream was inside when he arrived, one of her guests who was also going to the Gala giving her help with her mane. She heard the strange noise and came outside to investigate, only for her eyes to follow the sandbag upwards to where the balloon was. Her eyes went wide as she marveled at it, and then she burst into laughter. 

"This is incredibly creative!" She said, her tone full of delight. She ran back inside to get her purse, then came out to levitate herself up into the balloon's basket. She was wearing a deep maroon gown, the bodice a halter top design with a wide black belt tied with a ribbon in the back, and a long flowing skirt that grew more sheer as it approached the hem. Her mane was no longer in a ponytail to keep it off her face, but allowed to flow around her neck in long curls, save for the strands that had been pulled back and pinned with a black flower clip. She wore very little makeup, only some eyeliner, but it kept the look simple. She smiled shyly at him. "You look very dapper. I'm impressed, I wasn't sure you could look more handsome than usual."

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Psmith reached out a hoof to guide the levitating Silver into the balloon's basket, leaning over to give the held hoof a kiss before letting it go.  "And I was myself convinced that you could look no more lovely than in your natural habitat and wear, comrade Silver!  Ah, but how Mistress Rarity's genius transforms us all!  There is more than magic in that needle and thread of hers, though kudos must also be extended to our comrade in the cause who assisted you with your mane.  It is simply divine!"

 

He barely paused in his locution as he operated the winch that drew up the sandbag, allowing the balloon to drift off, over the gridlock of carriages towards the palace.  "I wonder how the gardens will look this year; last year was a celebration of all the Princesses, with special attention paid to Luna, as it would be her most prominent appearance at the Gala for over 1,000 years!  The lights were set up to mirror below the stars above, and the reflecting pond was a sky quadrupled in its surface."

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Silver blushed deeper at the kiss and his words. "She really is an amazing designer. I may have to visit her more often. And my mane was the mare in room 5, Bright Beam. A very sweet pony indeed." She watched as he raised the sandbag, impressed with his ability to talk and work at the same time (something she herself had worked hard to do over the years). 

As he talked about the garden, her eyes grew wider. "Do they always have a water feature? The sounds of water, whether rippling or flowing, always make me so happy! It reminds me of the brook I like to nap next to, and it's so very comforting... I think it's very likely I'll spend most of the evening in the garden. I hope that's alright?"

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"Remind me to send Comrade Beam my compliments over the canapes."  Psmith gave Silver one more smile, daring to go so far as to brush her mane with his hoof.  "And the reflecting pond is a perennial of the garden, along with the begonias.  I understand this year will have a rather spectacular fountain making up the centerpiece of the dance floor; no doubt so jilted partners will have a suitably comedic place to deposit their faithless dates.  I do wish that Rarity had been able to avail herself of such a fixture in prior years, as it would have saved the wasteage of an excellent cake.  But if your tastes do not include dancing, I shall refrain myself from such gyrations as society deems proper."

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