Automated wordcount: 57149
This was file was automatically generated by a google docs scraper, intended for use with e-reading devices. If you wish to have this removed from this list, email ra.llan.pcl+complaints @

To Be a Better Stallion

A “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” fan fiction

Written by Autumn Wind

Chapter The First - The Paragon of Fools


 Chapter 2 →


How... quaint. I would have expected a lady of her charm to reside in a village with far more... grandeur.

Ponyville’s market was rather crowded today, and many ponies were up and about. Stallions and mares everywhere held shop, proudly offering their wares to everypony out shopping. Younger colts and fillies bounded across the market place, galloping to meet their friends. To the left, three flower fillies were discussing thorny roses with a unicorn whose flank bore a safety pin. To the right, a turquoise unicorn mare and her earth pony companion were pondering the wares of a famous apple stand. Rushing across the sky with a bag of letters, a blond-maned grey pegasus sped to her next delivery. Her eyes carefully watched the scenery ahead and to her left, respectively.

However, of all the ponies strolling around the market, none attracted as much attention as the young unicorn stallion strolling down the main street. He kept up a brisk trot, visibly relishing the swooning looks of the young mares whose attention his dashing looks attracted. His coat shone under the noon sun, a dazzling white as pure as diamond. He bore a long, golden mane, which was finely groomed and fluttered with the purest of elegance as he trotted. Piercing through those golden waves, his ivory horn stood proudly towards the sky. Its remarkable length did nothing to humble his regal appearance. He had chosen to dress simply today, bearing only a simple yet elegant bowtie of a most poignant burgundy and a pair of light silk saddlebags. The magnificent Prince Blueblood had come to town on personal business.

Despite the multiple fillies observing him with curiosity and interest, his attention was directed to a single point: Carousel Boutique. He could have recognized it out of a hundred other stores. Between the lacy curtains, the elegant arabesques, the diamond motifs and those most lovely silhouettes, there was no doubt that this was the boutique he had been looking for. Prince Blueblood’s favorite fashion magazine had had only the greatest of praises for Rarity’s first attempts at dabbling in colts’ tuxedoes.

Oh, Rarity, wonderful Rarity. How marvelous it is to find you at last! I have so long awaited the day where I would see your beautiful eyes anew, and finally, it has come!

Our first date at the Gala wasn’t the epitome of perfection, I’ll concede. You were not ready to face the hardships of accompanying an aristocrat such as I, and you made a few mistakes, but nothing unforgivable.

The attack of that monstrous mountain of cake provoked you into losing control of your frustrations, I can presume. You obviously said words you did not mean. Noticing one’s failures to hold up to certain standards can be so disconcerting, I know. After all, why would you blame me, who was so kind as to accompany you through the gala all night, making sure you would not have to mingle with the lesser ponies? Curse that blasted cake! At the sight of all that icing everywhere, I passed out, and you were forced to leave before I came back to myself.

But Rarity, oh beautiful Rarity, I have sought you out once more, and now nothing will stop us. By now you have surely researched the protocol of high society courtship, and you await me every day, for you know that my lovestruck heart will lead me to you!

Prince Blueblood could already imagine the scene. She would open the door, their eyes would meet. He would present her with a lovely bouquet. They would hesitate for a moment, and then a kiss would unite them forever, allowing them to resume what they had failed to achieve a month ago. That was the only way things could go. After all, he was the most desirable stallion in all of Canterlot, and she was such a marvelous mare.

At the gala, oh, fair lady,

Your fierce beauty caught my eye!

In an instant you stole my heart, at the gala~

Oh what a thrill, when our hooves touched,

and how wonderful your smile.

So many dreams it inspired,

That night at the gala~


The indigo door slammed shut with a resounding crash, leaving the beleaguered stallion to blankly stutter the remainder of his planned speech.

“-and so I have come to offer you a second chance.”

For several minutes, Blueblood hesitated. Such a fierce refusal was a very uncommon experience for him. The noble daughters of his family’s friends were usually head over hooves for him. What was he supposed to do now? He thought for a moment.

She slammed the door in the middle of my sentence! How rude! This... can’t be the mare who struck my heart at the Gala, can it? Surely she must have made a mistake and confused me for one of her more... unruly neighbors.

With a deep breath, he adjusted his bowtie and straightened his mane, before knocking a second time. This time, the door did not open. He saw her form pass in front of the elegantly frosted window and linger for a moment before disappearing into the boutique. Moments later, a light creak was heard.

Prince Blueblood’s eyes lowered towards the ground, from where the sound had emanated. A small pet door swung on its hinges. Blueblood observed in confusion. A speck of white caught his left eye, and his head turned.

Hmm... What a most immaculate pet she has. This is a mare who knows elegance to its finest details. Look at that finely brushed coat, and that wonderful little gem studded collar. That ribbon on her head is a very nice touch. Look at that little tail, swishing to and fro. Who’s a nice kitty? Who is? Ooo! Would you look at that? She’s smiling at me. My, Lady Rarity has done some very good work polishing these claws... and look at these fangs...

Suddenly, in a burst of white, there was no more elegance. There was only agony.


After several minutes of panicked galloping and an unwanted but necessary plunge into the first body of water he could find, Blueblood had finally been relieved of the monstrous plague of claws and fangs that had taken to assaulting his flanks. Hissing with the fury of a thousand tigers, Opalescence had run back into town. Letting loose a sigh from deep within the confines of his heart, the ravaged unicorn called forth a brush from his saddlebag and took to fixing the terrible damage the feline and the plunge had inflicted on his wonderful grooming.

She has... rejected me? How is this possible?

As far as he could remember, no mare had ever refused his company before, had they? Prince Blueblood sifted through his memories for a moment, remembering the other fillies who had loved him. Had he ever been rejected?

His first love had been a pegasus filly by the name of Amethyst, the daughter of Baron Emerald Heart. She had sought him out when the two of them were very young, neither of them having yet earned their cutie marks. They had shared some happy days, but his mother had forbidden him from seeing her again. Supposedly, Amethyst was not truly invested in their family’s well-being, and would only dampen their honor. He had wished to oppose, but he knew that if he had, mother would have given him the spanking of a lifetime and confined him to his bedroom for at least a week.

There had been more fillies like her. They had sought him out, or their families had suggested arranged marriages, but in the end it had always been him who had had to end the relations. His mother had never approved of the mares he had found interest in, and the idea of confronting the matriarch of his family was simply not something he could consider. Aristocratic families such as his had strong honor codes, and there was no going against them without attracting much negative attention to oneself.

However, for all his failed romances, he had to come to a conclusion: he had never been rejected before. The experience was entirely alien to him, a feeling the likes of which he had never had to face before, a deep sorrow, tearing at his heart.

Oh, woe is me! What is a stallion to do! Love is but a cruel mistress, setting my heart ablaze for a mare who will not even look at me. Whatever shall I do! Oh, fate, I beg of thee, give me a chance to soothe my bleeding soul! Give me hope!


Sweet Apple Acres had been a loud nest of chaos all day, thanks to Apple Bloom and her friends trying every single farm task they could possibly think of, from “Cutie Mark Crusader Pig Feeders, YAY!” all the way to “Cutie Mark Crusader Field Ploughers, YAY!” Applejack had been working her tail off all day doing damage control, from reeling the escaped pig back in to replanting the carrots and potatoes that had been prematurely uprooted.

Finally, after several hours of frolicking to and fro and making a nuisance of themselves, the three fillies had headed to Apple Bloom’s bedroom for a sleepover. Applejack had wished them all good night and tasked her brother with checking on the fillies now and then, to make sure they didn’t get into any more shenanigans for the day. She needed some rest, and she knew the best way to find it.

Night had fallen just recently, and Luna’s moon was waking up in the sky, bathing the outskirts of Ponyville in a quiet glow. There was hardly a sound to break the silence, only the singing of a single cricket and the quiet babbling of a placid stream. Applejack was out on the quiet path to Fluttershy’s cottage, figuring her pegasus friend wouldn’t be too busy at this time of the evening and would appreciate an impromptu friendly visit. After all, by now, most of the animals had gone to sleep.

After a few minutes of trotting, a white figure attracted her attention in the distance. Applejack took a few more steps to get a better look, trying to identify the mysterious pony. It was a young white unicorn stallion, just a little older than her. He was slumped over by the riverside, just looking at his own reflection. His stature was quite large; he looked to be almost as tall as Big Macintosh, if a lot thinner. His grooming could have easily rivaled that of Rarity, Applejack thought to herself. Perhaps he was a visitor from Manehattan or Canterlot.

Then, as she approached just a few steps more, she spotted his cutie mark. That eight-branched compass star, she knew she had seen it somewhere before. Where had she met this colt before? Her mind went on a wild rodeo, trying to stick a name and history on that silhouette. He was a city pony, that much was sure. Perhaps she had met him at school in Manehattan. That would have been rather unlikely. After all, that was so long ago, she wouldn’t have recognized one of her classmates this easily. Had she seen him at the gala?

The realization struck her. Of course! It was all clear now. Rarity had come to her apple stand with this noblecolt during the Gala. He had been one of only two ponies to try her pastries during the whole night, and he had had the rudeness to spit it back out. She remembered offering them the pastries on the house when he had made it clear that he expected Rarity to pay. Most of all, she remembered Rarity coming to cry on her shoulder that night, when she had no longer been able to hide her sadness at the miserable failure that her date had wound up being. That last part, Applejack couldn’t forgive. She didn’t know why Blueblood had come to Ponyville or why he was just out there sitting by the river, but she knew she had a few choice words to tell him. She sped up into a gallop, her hooves thundering as she approached him furiously.

“Blueblood! I’ve got a piece of my mind for you! I don’t know what kinda stuck-up upbringing you got as a foal, but back in my neck of the woods, stallions learn to treat a lady with respect! You really went and upset my friend Rarity there at the Gala, and I won’t stand for that. You’re gonna get back to Rarity’s this instant and present her with some well deserved apo... lo... well I sure wasn’t expectin’ that.”

Applejack had figured Blueblood would get mad at her. She’d figured maybe one of his guards was hiding and would get the drop on her. She was ready for that. She’d expected him to lash right back at her, to call her a country bumpkin with no manners, or perhaps to simply throw some vicious invectives out before vanishing into the night. She was ready for that too. She was also ready for him to completely ignore her.

However, never in a million years could she have predicted the reaction she got from Blueblood.

The unicorn had turned to face Applejack, with the most pitiful face she had ever seen. He kept his eyes down to the ground, refusing to look at her directly. His normally pristine cheeks were drenched with bitter tears. His ears hung limply on either side of his head. Applejack hadn’t seen such a miserable face since her little sister’s when the filly had expressed sadness at Twilight Sparkle not staying for the family brunch.

Blueblood hesitated for a moment. Doubts were running through his mind at full gallop. Rarity had been the first mare to ever call him out on his behavior. However, Rarity had also been the first mare he had been involved with who was not herself part of Equestria’s aristocracy. A painful sob escaped him.

“Is... is that really how I come off? Rude and stuck-up?”

Applejack didn’t need to pause; the answer was immediate to her. She’d seen some of his antics firsthoof at the gala, and she had heard many tales of his misbehavior from Rarity. She gave an awkward chuckle.

“Yep. That’s exactly it. Clear as day.”

Prince Blueblood blubbered for a moment, seeking a rebuttal to a perceived slight. To his great disappointment, nothing came of it; by now, he was fully aware of his behavior. Between Rarity’s words finally striking home and the farmer mare’s strongly-worded criticism, even the most oblivious of colts would have had no choice but to recognize his faults. Blueblood stuttered a few times before finally giving in to the hysterics.

“But... but... when I... Oh, who am I kidding? I’m hopeless. Prince Blueblood, the tragic foal. What is the purpose of a noblecolt who has known only perfection all his life? What is the fate of a pony who knows not hardship or pain when one cruel day they opt to wage war on his soul?”

As he spoke, Blueblood slowly rose back onto his feet, gradually rising higher and higher on his hind legs. His front hooves where quivering and flailing about in synchronism with his dramatic ranting.

“Oh, Equestria! This poor colt begs you, give me hope! My mind is but the destroyed ruins of the dreams of a city of gold! Just now, I find myself a mere shadow of the stallion I sought to be! Incapable of being a paragon, I have instead become a fool!”

Blueblood had reached an almost vertical posture, his forelegs pointing straight at the sky.  His voice had erupted into a booming call, bellowing his fear and pain at the heavens. Applejack stared at him, flabbergasted. She was reminded of Rarity, but never had she expected such a display from a noble such as Blueblood. She observed silently, knowing from experience that it was pointless to interrupt him.

“Celestia! Oh, great aunt in the sky! Please show me the way! I am wandering blind! Is this the end of this poor forsaken foal? I beseech thee, oh Princess! Give me a sign! How, oh, how can I redeem myself?”

The world swirled around the hysterical colt for a moment as the impracticality of his posture caught up to him. Ponies were not meant to stand on their hind legs for such a long time. Blueblood stumbled backwards, falling onto his back with a heavy thump. In a daze, he opened his eyes a moment later. Stern green eyes were looking down on him, showing amusement and concern in equal parts.

“Uh-huh. You okay there, sugarcube?”

Blueblood rolled over, back onto his legs. His coat was dirty and his mane was disheveled, and somewhere along the way, he had lost his bowtie. His head hung low, and he gave a deep sigh.

“I’ve... seen better days.”

Applejack hesitated for a moment. She’d heard some pretty awful things about Blueblood from Rarity, but right now, he looked like he could really use some help. After a moment of reflection, she decided it wouldn’t be right to just leave him there, and that she might as well take the plunge.

“How ‘bout you follow me back into town and we’ll see what we can do for your troubles. It’s getting pretty late out here.”

Applejack pondered for a moment.

“I reckon my brother’ll know what to do with you.”


To Be Continued


Coming up next in To Be a Better Stallion

“Oh, what did I get myself into? All I asked for was an elegant mare, and I wind up honor bound to my own loony emotional self.” ~Prince Blueblood


“Rarity, I’m not askin’ you to trust him. I’m askin’ you to trust me. I know you don’t think there’s any hope for him, and I’ll admit I have my doubts too. But... somehow, I can’t shake the feelin’ somethin’ good might come out of this.” ~Applejack

“Oh my gosh! You’re... Prince Blueblood!” ~Diamond Tiara

“You’re, like, even more handsome than in the magazines!” ~Silver Spoon

“Imsorrymotherpleasedontspankme!” ~Prince Blueblood


 Chapter 2 →


I’d like to thank the bronies at #EquestrianStudy who helped make this chapter a possibility with their suggestions, proofreading, reviews and critique, particularly you, Aqua Bolt, Draco Dei, Ekevoo, Eights, Foolonthehillz, MaverickVox, Miyajima, MoronSonOfBoron, Sagebrush and Skytower.

A special shout out goes to my favorite brony pals, Cheechos and Aurora Dawn, who were great help with inspiration and helping me figure things out.

Another special shout out to Present Perfect who gave this fic the rough shakedown of odds and ends it needed.

All comments and criticism are welcome, either through comments wherever you’ve read this fic, or through email at [email protected]. I ask in particular: What do you think of Prince Blueblood’s characterization here?

Please do not distribute this fic without my express permission, though I will gladly give permission for this fic to appear on most of any fan fiction sites if I am asked politely.

Thanks for reading!


Disclaimer: This is a work of fan made fiction, based on the animated show “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” I do not own, nor lay any claim to My Little Pony or any related intellectual property.

This work was made entirely for entertainment value and as a tribute to the amazing work of the Friendship is Magic production team. It is not, and will never be, distributed for profit.

To Be a Better Stallion

A “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” fan fiction

Written by Autumn Wind

Chapter The Second - Dreams of a Dreamy Colt


← Chapter 1         Chapter 3 →


Room 36 of the “Coltfort Inn”, Ponyville’s premier and only luxury hotel, was dark and quiet. A beam of moonlight shone through the large window, bathing the room in a soothing glow. In the king-sized bed, Prince Blueblood slept comfortably, oblivious to the crazy days he was about to live. His face displayed an innocent, almost foalish smile.


The crisp autumn leaves crunched under the young colt’s hooves as he galloped cheerfully amongst the trees. The forest extended for miles on every side, never breaking from the same pattern. The trees were tall and their tops converged into a wide roof of entwined branches. Golden leaves adorned the summits, blotting out most of the sunlight, leaving the ground a patchwork of glimmering sunbeams. The quiet gurgling of a small stream and the occasional bird song provided a soothing musical ambiance. The land was welcoming and comforting, it was calling out to the foal; “Come, let’s go play!”

Today, the young Prince Blueblood was on an adventure! It didn’t matter what mother thought, he could do what he wanted today. He was going to have fun! The forest rang with the pure laughter of a young colt free from worry, free to be himself without the oppression of public opinion.

He frolicked from place to place, chasing small animals, snacking on wild berries, trying to climb up trees, being distracted by fluttering butterflies, failing to climb up trees, splashing around in the stream, plunging into piles of fallen leaves, spooking away birds, failing some more at climbing up trees, and overall just being a rambunctious little colt having a wild time without a care in the world.

After an eternity, however, fatigue caught up with the young prince. Even the most refined, priciest candy in all of Equestria could only ever fuel so much playtime.

However, as he settled down for a moment and slowed his pace to a trot, Blueblood realized that while he had been having fun, things had changed in the woods. The sunlight had dimmed. The treetops were now much closer, giving the forest a claustrophobic feel. The birds were no longer chirping and the stream had been silenced. The whispers of the wind in the leaves had turned to hushed voices, hissing their disapproval.

“Has this colt not been taught manners?” “How improper.” “Tss... such misconduct.” “Colts should be seen, not heard.” “How bothersome.” “This colt is lacking in discipline.”

Then, without any warning, the commanding voice of a distinguished matron boomed through the wild, freezing him in place.

“Prince Blueblood of Canterlot! What did I tell you about running off on your own!”



Blueblood shot awake in a panic, shouting almost incoherently. His eyes stayed shut tight, wincing in apprehension. He nervously awaited the far too familiar pain to his flank, only for a mix of confusion and relief to gradually wash over him when his expectations failed to be fulfilled.

Slowly, he realized what had transpired. That dream again. As he laid his head back on the pillow, he soon became aware of a strange fact. Though his mother’s voice had gone away, the hushed noises of the crowd still echoed. This peculiar phenomenon left him baffled for a moment, until he realized that the voices had become more muffled, that the words were completely gone. Only the general hustle and bustle of the average noise of ponies talking remained.

His confusion melted into a frown. Blueblood stepped down to the floor on the left side of his bed like he did every morning. The noise kept going. Knowing he would be facing the same window he did every morning, he brought his hoof to bang against the wall.

“Keep it down in the gardens! Some ponies are trying to sleep here!”

His eyes shot open when his hoof hit canvas where a window’s glass should have been. The sight of a sunlit orchard just inches away from his face greeted him. Startled, he stumbled back and crashed onto the mattress.

He wasn’t in his room. Where there should have been a window, there was a painting. Gradually, it all came back to him as the torpor of his rough awakening ebbed away.

He was in the small town of Ponyville, having elected to stay the night in the fanciest hotel the area had to offer. He was to meet a mysterious farmer by the name of Big Macintosh, supposedly a stallion well-versed in humility and chivalry. He had promised to change, to become better, for himself and for Rarity.

The thought scared him. Did he really need to change? He had been happy up to now, hadn’t he? There were hundreds of mares out there who would have given everything for his affections. It wasn’t too late to quit and go home, forget about what had happened and return to his decadent life of luxury.

The thought taunted him. He could still get out of it all. Did he want to?

Blueblood got off the mattress for the second time this morning. He mulled over the problem endlessly, walking around the bed and into the larger part of the luxury bedroom. The various options rushed through his head.

If he left, he’d be home by early afternoon, and he’d be free to recover from his emotions in his private quarters with a glass of his favorite grape nectar before joining with his usual horn fencing club for some good exercise. Then, perhaps he would head to a nice little soirée, enjoy some society time, and try to forget anything unusual had happened at the gala. However, he would forever wonder what could have been.

If he did go along, he’d probably have to endure countless ordeals and confront himself. He would have to make the largest effort of his life and rise above who he was. It was very likely that he would come out somepony entirely different. He might forever regret his choice, or perhaps his life would be better for it in the end.

This was a rare occasion for him. He was facing a difficult, meaningful decision. This wasn’t an issue across which his gigantic fortune could carry him. What should he choose? What should he do?

He sat down at the small writing desk that the room offered, rifling through his belongings in search of an answer. A scrap of paper stashed away in his wallet caught his attention; a magazine clipping.

“Cufflink’s Discovery of the Week” was his favorite colt’s fashion column, one which he read religiously. Cufflink, a black-maned white pegasus, was known as one of the greatest experts in colts’ and stallions’ clothing in all of Equestria, and his suggestions and tips were considered priceless amongst the male noblesse of Canterlot.

This particular clipping, however, had a special meaning to Prince Blueblood. His eyes ventured along the first line of the article. Four words stood out most of all. “Carousel Boutique”, “Ponyville” and “Rarity”. A small picture of the beautiful unicorn decorated the text with elegance. Blueblood’s heart fluttered at the sight, but the reality of the situation soon brought him back to earth. She hated him. He had no chance with her if he couldn’t change himself. She was not interested in the ways of the noblesse.

A piece of parchment was stapled to the article. Though he knew the words to the exact letter, having written them in the evening before going to bed, he read the note once more. His immaculate hornwriting decorated the paper, every letter perfected into a flourish, every word carefully polished. He had been taught to write well, and the memories of a ruler painfully rapping against his horn with every mistake were a permanent influence.

“On this day of... I, Prince Blueblood the... swear on my honor and... shall follow my quest for self-improvement... greater destiny...  pride of my family... struck down by lightning... Oh, are you serious?”

Putting the note and the article down, Prince Blueblood sighed. Knowing he would probably have given up when faced with difficulties, he had locked himself into a contract with his own honor. If he gave up now, he would never be able to forgive himself for breaking such a pact.

“Sometimes, I’m a little too cunning for my own good.”

This wasn’t just about himself, though. He had also made a promise to that farm girl, and he’d be damned if he broke his word, no matter who he had given it to. That was one lesson from his childhood he had taken to heart. An honorable colt never breaks his word. He remembered her exact words from the last evening.

“Now look here,” she had said, “If I’m goin’ to saddle my brother with helpin’ you, I need to make sure you’re not going to waste his time or mine. I have no means to tell whether or not you’re lyin’ about wantin’ to improve, but I want you to give me your word that you’re plannin’ to go along with this, no matter what.”

Blueblood sighed at the memory. Obviously, he’d agreed without even giving things a moment of thought. Emotions had always made him irrational.

“Oh, what did I get myself into? All I asked for was an elegant mare, and I wind up honor bound to my own loony emotional self.”


“Oh, what did I get myself into? All I asked for was a gentlecolt and I wind up with a delusional stalker.”

Rarity sighed, redirecting her attention to carefully sewing yet another tuxedo sleeve. It was hard work, sewing suit after suit, but it would all be worth it when her line became famous all across Equestria. Soon, her spotlight would shine even brighter. The fabulous Cufflink, famous columnist of “Colts’ Fashion Monthly”, had ranted and raved about her “Gentlecolt of Ponyville” line.

With Sweetie Belle at school and Opalescence having her grooming redone by Fluttershy after a particularly messy plunge into the Ponyville stream, it was her best chance at getting a lot of work done.

Still, she couldn’t get the worries out of her head. What kind of loony did that Blueblood have to be to seek her all the way to Ponyville after the rejection she’d given him at the gala? Was he going to come by again? What was she to do?

A knock at the door startled Rarity out of her thoughts. She shook off the worries, feeling it important to be at her best for whomever might be visiting. She trotted to the window, adjusting her mane on the way, and called out in a singsong voice.


She peeked out through the yellow lace curtains of the boutique’s window, expecting that annoying colt again. A pleasant feeling of relief washed over her when she saw that her guest was another pony entirely.

“Applejack! How nice of you to visit! Just give me a moment, I’ll have this door open in no time!”

With a series of clattering noises, Rarity undid a half dozen latches and locks, motioning for the very confused Applejack to come in. The farmer mare took great care in wiping her hooves on the doormat before entering, fully aware of how protective Rarity was of her boutique’s imported carpet. Memories of Rarity’s warnings still rung clearly in her ears. “Careful now, this rug is an expensive import, directly from the far Humplands of Camelia!”

“What’s with all the locks, Rarity? Musta been the first time I’ve seen this door locked in years. Somepony givin’ you trouble?”

Rarity stopped in her tracks. How would Applejack react if she knew? She’d probably think it was silly of her to lock herself in because of Blueblood. As she shut the door behind Applejack, an idea flashed in her head. Shuddering at the disgusting memories going through her mind, she offered an innocent grin, attempting to hide the truth.

“Ah! It’s those... those revolting Diamond Dogs. I heard they were looking for me, something about finding more... rubies! Yes, that’s right, more rubies. So... I... of course decided that I would... hide in here and keep my door locked.”

Applejack shot the unicorn a stare of disbelief.

“Rarity, don’t take me for a foal. You know as well as I do that them varmints wouldn’t get within a hundred hooves of you even if Princess Celestia told them to. This all wouldn’t have anythin’ to do with that Prince Blueblood fella, would it?”

Rarity’s grin melted into a disappointed frown. Of course, the Element of Honesty would catch her in such a bald-faced lie.

“Oh... I guess there isn’t much point in hiding things from you now, is there? Yes, it’s all about him... Wait, how ever did you figure it out?”

“Well, it’s a pretty long story, actually, an’-”

Rarity motioned for the farmer mare to follow her, leading her to the comfortable little tea salon that was set up in the corner of Carousel Boutique.

“What do you say I take a moment to make us some tea, and you tell me all about it?”


“Okay, so let me get the story straight, Applejack. You’re telling me that you found Prince Blueblood on the edge of the stream near Fluttershy’s home.”


“And today, he will be meeting with your brother, about learning to be a true humble gentlecolt.”


“All for my attention.”

“Well, I don’t know about that part, but it sure sounds that way.”

Rarity blinked in confusion for a few moments. She stuttered for a moment, before a wave of frustration came over her. She stood up from the sofa she had been occupying, turning away from Applejack, clearly disapproving.

“Darling, of all ponies, I thought you would be the last one to fall for his lies. He’s a snake, a rotten apple! He’s only showing good graces for his own profit! That colt is faker than Photo Finish’s accent!”

Applejack was not going to just sit there and let Rarity call her gullible. Worked up by the sudden conflict, she stood up and shouted back.

“Now look here, missy! I know a liar when I see one, and that Blueblood fella there was definitely not lyin’. He was bawlin’ his eyes out like a foal, cryin’ your name to the skies! Most pitiful thing I ever laid eyes on! Now you’re tryin’ to tell me he’s lyin’! Some Element of Generosity you are!”

“Crying... my name?”

Rarity’s bravado collapsed at the mention of Prince Blueblood’s heartbreak. The farmer mare had omitted this part from the original story, somehow believing that her story would go over better for it. Her legs shaking under her, she stumbled back into her sofa, seeming slightly disoriented from the emotion.

“Nothin’ less. Kinda overdramatic if you ask me, but still, that’s the truth. Now look. He wants to get better. He promised. I agreed to get Big Macintosh to help him, but only if you agreed. This whole story has you and him at the middle of it, and I’d rather not have anythin’ goin’ on that you disapprove of. So, I’m askin’ you. Would you allow him to stay around Ponyville and try to improve himself like he says?”

Rarity bit her lower lip, hesitating. Just a moment ago, she would have liked nothing more than to see him ran out of town. However, Applejack’s honest words had left her curious. Could there be more to Prince Blueblood than the royal pain she had endured at the Gala? No. She didn’t want to believe it. He did look elegant in that bowtie, though. His mane was well combed, too. Oh! He also has those... mmm... well toned flanks. No, no, no! What am I thinking? Truly, she had never seen anything positive about him. Still, her curiosity was piqued. What would happen if he stayed? Was there any hope for good to come out of this? She regained her composure. This was not the time to show weakness.

“I don’t know, Applejack. After what I’ve seen of him, I really don’t trust him. He’s up to something. I’m sure of it. He’s planning something nefarious.”

Applejack sighed. She’d expected Rarity to be reticent. She knew her friend to often be harsh in her judgment. Furthermore, the prince had looked so pitiful, so genuinely distraught. She couldn’t just let things end here. Somehow, she felt there was potential for good to come out of his stay in Ponyville. She couldn’t help but ask one last time.

“Rarity, I’m not askin’ you to trust him. I’m askin’ you to trust me. I know you don’t think there’s any hope for him, and I’ll admit I have my doubts too. But... somehow, I can’t shake the feelin’ somethin’ good might come out of this. Now, if you’re really sure you don’t want to give him a chance to improve, I’ll be tellin’ him he’s got to go. But, before that, I’m askin’ one last time. Will you, yes or no, give Blueblood a chance to improve himself?

Having lost her composure again at the heartfelt speech, Rarity gave Applejack a pleading look. She didn’t want to answer the question. She tried to edge her way out of it. Applejack was having none of it. She countered Rarity’s teary gaze with a determined look of her own. They were at a standoff for several seconds, until Applejack decided some bargaining was in order.

“I swear he won’t be comin’ around here until you say he can come around here. Not if I can help it.”

Rarity blinked a few times, remaining silent. Her bottom lip quivered, and her eyes began to well up.

“Pinkie Pie swear?”

Applejack didn’t even need a second of thought.

“Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye.”

There was another long pause. Rarity felt her heart pulsing in her chest. She knew the decision she was about to make would probably make the next few days a lot more dramatic, if not the next few years. Finally, with a small sniffle, she resigned herself to destiny. Perhaps, just perhaps, fairy tales could come true.

“Then... he can stay. I’ll give him a chance.”

Applejack edged close to the unicorn, draping a foreleg over her shoulder and drawing her into a hug. The decision had been very difficult, that much was clear. Rarity’s eyes were glistening with tears, and she had fallen silent. A tight hug brought the friends together, giving the unicorn a warm, quiet moment to recover from the torrent of emotions that had just washed over her.

“That’s mighty noble of you, Rarity. Mighty noble.”


Prince Blueblood walked out of "La Rose Dorée", better known to some as "the priciest restaurant in all of Ponyville." It was quite a relief to have found such a place and to know that culinary excellence did exist in such a minuscule town.

At least I’ve secured proper lodging and food. Maybe this won’t be quite as hard as I expected. My, Chef Cordon Bleu can certainly be proud of his crêpes.

Pondering whether or not he had been excessively generous with his tip, Blueblood set out towards the farm he had been pointed to. The way was clear and simple, and he certainly wouldn’t have any trouble making it there quickly. However, just as he was about to engage on the short way out of Ponyville, the voice of a young filly caught his ears.

“Don’t you think this new necklace goes, like, perfectly with my tia- Whoa! Look! Silver Spoon! Isn’t that...”

A pair of shrill, excited squeals rang out, quickly followed by the clattering of two sets of hooves against pavement. He turned, surprised, and saw two young fillies galloping over to him.

“Oh my gosh! You’re... Prince Blueblood!”

The pink earth pony filly had almost screamed in excitement. An elegant ornate tiara sat proudly on her head, much like a similar one marked her flank. Most likely, the item of jewelry had been crafted to match. She was almost jumping in place with excitement. Her painstakingly brushed purple and white mane bobbed as she hopped from her front to her rear hooves in excitement.

“You’re, like, even more, like, totally handsome than in the magazines!”

The second filly, a grey earth pony with an ash-colored braided mane, swayed from side to side, on the verge of fainting. A deep red blush washed over her face as her spoon-marked flanks swayed from side to side. She was completely lost in the moment. The two of them squealed in excitement almost twice as much as they spoke.

Prince Blueblood was fully aware of his reputation. He had quite often made a scene of himself in the various high class salons of Canterlot. This, along with his status, had quickly made him a noted celebrity of the gossip rags. The general population only saw him as more of a vapid noble for it, but now and then a mare or filly would latch on to his presence with amazement. However, these two young damsels were by far the most excited he had ever seen. Standing proudly and flashing them a winning smile, he decided to play along.

“Prince Blueblood? Why yes, that is me. Who do I have the honor of meeting?”

The two fillies almost fell on top of one another in awe. He had just spoken to them. The amazing, elegant, handsome, dreamy, most wonderful Prince Blueblood of Canterlot had spoken to them. Oh, the others would be so jealous of them. Of the two, Diamond Tiara was the first to regain enough composure to talk.

“Um... um... like... my name is D-D-Diamond Tiara and... this is, like, my friend Silver Spoon. And... um... um...”

The grey filly finally managed to get back onto her legs, having spent most of the last minute leaning on her friend for support.

“We’re absolutely, like, totally your biggest fans!”

Almost in synchronicity, the two young fillies reached into their school saddlebags. In an instant, Diamond Tiara was thrusting two sheets of colorful stationary at him, and Silverspoon almost poked him with the tip of a silver-plated fountain pen.

“Can we please have your autograph, Prince Blueblood?”

With a beaming smile, Blueblood’s horn lit up and levitated the paper and pen from the fillies’ grasp. With a few elegant swoops, both pieces of paper now bore perfect inscriptions:

To my greatest fan, Diamond Tiara.      ~Prince Blueblood

To my greatest fan, Silver Spoon.      ~Prince Blueblood

As the papers were set down into their hooves, the two fillies tried to stutter a few words of thanks. In their awe, however, they failed even that. All they could manage was to swoon and collapse onto one another. Chuckling to himself, Blueblood simply levitated the pen back into Silver Spoon’s saddle bag before walking away. The market place was plenty busy today, and somepony would obviously pick up the two fillies. That is, without causing them to faint a second time. Glad to have made this little stop, Blueblood set out on the road to Sweet Apple Acres, where his fate awaited him. He trotted with a spring in his step and a smile on his face, displaying renewed confidence.

Perhaps this stay in Ponyville won’t be so awful after all.


To Be Continued


Coming up next in To Be a Better Stallion

That crazy party filly, the rainbow pegasus, Princess Celestia’s personal student, and now that highfalutin’ noble. I swear, Applejack, you have a knack for running into the strangest ponies.

 ~Big Macintosh


“W-what is this travesty! It’s… an ocean of dirt! Oh, the horror! It’s a cornucopia of filth! The Promised Land of all that is unclean!  The El Dorado of mud and stains!  Why must this world make a mockery of me?”

~Prince Blueblood

“Why, I never! You ruffian! Show some respect!”

~Prince Blueblood

“Like you would know anything about respect! Jerk!”

~Rainbow Dash


← Chapter 1         Chapter 3 →


I’d like to thank the bronies at #EquestrianStudy who helped make this chapter a possibility with their suggestions, proofreading, reviews and critique, most particularly Aqua Bolt, DJMidli, Draco Dei, Ekevoo, Eights, Foolonthehillz, Lysis, MaverickVox, Miyajima, Retsamoreh, Skytower and Taggerung.

A special shout out goes to my favorite brony pals, Cheechos and Aurora Dawn, who were great help with inspiration and helping me figure things out.

Another special shout out to Present Perfect who gave this fic the rough shakedown of odds and ends it needed.

All comments and criticism are welcome, either through comments wherever you’ve read this fic, or through email at [email protected]. I ask in particular: What do you think of Prince Blueblood’s characterization here?

Please do not distribute this fic without my express permission, though I will gladly give permission for this fic to appear on most of any fan fiction sites if I am asked politely.

Thanks for reading!


Disclaimer: This is a work of fan made fiction, based on the animated show “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” I do not own, nor lay any claim to My Little Pony or any related intellectual property.

This work was made entirely for entertainment value and as a tribute to the amazing work of the Friendship is Magic production team. It is not, and will never be, distributed for profit.

To Be a Better Stallion

A “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” fan fiction

Written by Autumn Wind

Chapter The Third - He Wears a Mask


← Chapter 2         Chapter 4 →


Atop the tallest hill in all of Sweet Apple Acres stood Risky Roots, the most adventurous tree on the farm, and the only one to have the courage to grow in such an odd place. Through the years, the young sapling had been a pioneer: innovating, standing strong, and making an example of itself. Its chosen place was an odd one for sure, but Risky was sticking to its choice. Its growth had proven it fully capable of making its ambitions come true.

Today, the apple tree was in the company of a kindred soul. In its shade, Big Macintosh stood proudly, looming over his little kingdom. A long time ago, his ancestor, Cortland Apple, had purchased this land with the ambition of making it one of the largest and most prosperous orchards in all of Equestria. A dozen generations later, that dream had long been fulfilled. The passion had been passed down from parents to children generation after generation, and there was no end in sight to this wonderful dream.

Ma and pa sure did good work on this farm back when they were around, just like Grandpa and Granny Smith before them. Applejack’s doing great in following pa’s legacy, and I’m willin’ to bet little Apple Bloom will be the one to finally return the barn to its former glory when she grows up.

Of course, he was no pushover himself, balancing equal parts backbreaking labor and organized bookkeeping to keep the farm standing. Today, Granny Smith hadn’t much left in her except to live peacefully through her days, sharing words of wisdom and delicious recipes with family and friends alike. However, Big Macintosh knew just how major her contributions had been to the farm. Back when she had been a younger and more energetic mare, Granny Smith had been the brains of the operation. It was thanks to her that Sweet Apple Acres had become a well-known name and that several towns in Equestria regularly purchased large amounts of their produce, allowing them to greatly expand the farm’s potential.

As her successor in the farm’s management, Big Macintosh had a plan of his own: He would make Sweet Apple Acres the first orchard to ever sell apples to lands outside of Equestria. She had taught him well in the ways of business, and he would make her proud.

Big Macintosh smiled peacefully. There was nothing quite like spring at the orchard. Much like a choir singing out in one voice, the trees offered a perfect harmony of flowers, giving the gift of a flood of bright colors and sweet scents to any willing spectator.

The stallion was pulled out of his contemplation by a speck of bright white in the distance, which was soon revealed to be a white unicorn stallion walking down the path leading to the farm from Ponyville.

That crazy party filly, the rainbow pegasus, Princess Celestia’s personal student, and now that highfalutin’ noble. I swear, Applejack, you have a knack for running into the strangest ponies.

As he set out towards the farm’s main entrance to greet the incoming guest, Big Macintosh thought about the next few days, wondering just how things would work. He had agreed to help Prince Blueblood, of course, knowing that the colt was genuinely seeking to change. The Apple family was always open to strangers in need.

That being said, he also had to think about the farm. It was planting season, and it was very important for the work to get done as soon as possible. The pegasus weather report had warned of a series of spring showers in the afternoon culminating into an overnight rainstorm. He’d need to wrap up work earlier today if he didn’t want to get stuck working under the weather.

A sudden flash of inspiration brought these two ideas together, causing an amused smile to manifest on Big Macintosh’s face. This was going to be hilarious.


Prince Blueblood observed the farm from a distance as he approached. Over the hilly terrain, he could only see the leafy crowns of the flower-clad trees as he approached, and the scenery was magnificent and colorful, a noble sight indeed.

So, these are the famed Sweet Apple Acres I have heard about. This certainly seems like a nice place. The flowers are a nice touch.

However, as he closed the distance separating him from a clearer view of the orchard, Blueblood lost control of his jaw as he stared in shock. All over the orchard was loose earth. More loose earth than he had ever laid eyes on. He had expected that the paths between the trees would have been paved with stone tiles or other materials of the sort, or at least, at the bare minimum, gravel. Apparently, even that much had been denied. Coming to a sudden stop, Blueblood gasped in horror.

“W-what is this travesty! It’s… an ocean of dirt! Oh, the horror! It’s a cornucopia of filth! The Promised Land of all that is unclean! The El Dorado of mud and stains! Why must this world make a mockery of me?

Dirt. So much dirt. More dirt than the eye could see. More dirt than he ever could have imagined. A heavenly roof of flowers over a horrible pit of dirt. Prince Blueblood found himself shaking in place, nervous at the idea of having to set hoof in that place. How would he ever keep his coat clean in such a place? Maybe it wasn’t too late to turn tail and flee...

No, no. I can’t back out now. I have my honor. Prince Blueblood does not back down in the face of adversity... or dirt.

Prince Blueblood swallowed nervously. He focused for a moment, and his horn shimmered brightly, a bright white aura lighting the farm’s wooden gate and pushing it open. The unicorn set down the path to the main barn, an evident pained expression on his face. He could feel himself getting dirtier by the second as his steps kicked up small puffs of dust.

“Hello? Is anypony home?”

The sound of a second pair of hooves began echoing in the distance. They were heavy steps for sure, no doubt made by a stallion of a remarkable stature. A deep, calm voice echoed out from the distance, and a few moments later, a large red stallion, clad in a work collar and absentmindedly chewing on a sprig of hay came into view.

“Eeyup, I’ll be right over. Sorry to keep you waiting.”

So this is Big Macintosh? He certainly lives up to his name.

Try as he may, Blueblood couldn’t remember ever meeting anypony so large, except for himself and Princess Celestia. Of course, she was a goddess, and he himself was, if by far, one of her royal descendants. But, what could make a farmer grow so tall, let alone that muscular? Blueblood was left puzzled.

“I take it you’re Prince Blueblood?”

So, Applejack had indeed mentioned his coming to her brother. That made things far simpler.

“Why, yes, that would be I. And to whom do I have the pleasure of speaking?”

Blueblood made an effort to be polite. After all, he was in need of help, and the red farmer was his best chance.

“Name’s Big Macintosh. Ain’t every day we get nobility visiting ‘round these parts. Welcome to Sweet Apple Acres.”

Macintosh respectfully offered a hoofshake. The noblecolt, used to bowing from a distance, was startled and nervously stumbled back. He carefully eyed the extended hoof, noticing a dab of mud on the tip of the farmer’s hoof.

Oh... the sacrifices I make for proper protocol.

Shakily, Blueblood returned the favor, only to have his breath cut short by the sheer strength Macintosh had put into the gesture.

Surprised by his guest’s panicked reaction, the red stallion quickly pulled his hoof back, watching with slight confusion as the royal stood stunned, his still-outstretched hoof twitching in pain.

“I reckon I might have overdone it a little there. Mighty sorry.”

Blueblood paused for a moment, slowly lowering his sore hoof back to the ground. He inhaled deeply and exhaled slowly, mentally counting to ten before answering.

Stay polite, Blueblood. He may not be the cleanest or most distinguished pony you’ve met, but at least he’s making a good effort to be polite, and you need his help. It would be a terrible thing to start off on awful terms.

“Oh, that’s... quite alright. Please be careful not to do it again, that being said. I doubt my hoof can take such a battering a second time. Now then, I assume your sister has already explained most of the situation to you?”

“Eeyup. Thought about it for a while. We’ve been having some troubles on the farm as well. ‘Reckon I have an idea that could work out for both of us.”

Big Macintosh motioned towards the large farmhouse up on the hill ahead.

“How ‘bout we move inside so we can discuss this more comfortably?” 

Blueblood paused for a moment, puzzled.

Troubles on the farm? What does that have to do with me? I don’t like where this is going. I really, really don’t like where this is going.


“I really don’t like where this has gone.

In the middle of a bare field of packed dirt, Blueblood struggled to pull an old plough, grunting with every step at the exhausting effort. He was, to say the least, very glad that few ponies would ever see him like this. The paparazzi would have a field day with his current wardrobe. A set of strong rubber galoshes guarded his hooves from any offending dirt, while a brown wool poncho draped over his back and a hat woven from straw protected his precious coat and mane. It would be a shame if he were to get dirty from a wayward cloud of dust, and a tragedy if he were to catch heatstroke from the glaring sun.

“So, Macintosh. Please remind me why I agreed to this, again? I must admit that such hoof labor isn’t a very common part of my daily regimen.”

Next to the unicorn, Macintosh was having a very hard time not laughing. He could remember a few times where Applejack’s friend Rarity, a unicorn known for her cleanliness and fear of dirt, had given the farm a hand, but even she hadn’t gone to such extreme measures to keep herself clean. In contrast, Blueblood’s borrowed attire looked utterly ridiculous. He had to turn away for a moment to mask his amusement at Blueblood’s carefully-chosen words. Not a very common part indeed. Blueblood had clearly never done a minute of manual labor in his entire life.

“It’s simple, really: You wanted to develop some humility and courtesy, and the farm needed some extra help for planting season. Oh, and you said that kind of work might be good to ‘keep one’s flanks and calves well toned.’”

Blueblood swallowed his pride, giving the plough another solid pull. His shoulders were sore and his legs protested the heavy effort. Yet, if this ordeal was to help him, he would do it. His honor was at stake, after all. At first, he had thought that the farmer was asking for him to work as a repayment for the teaching. It was only logical. After all one’s time is a precious commodity. However, Big Macintosh’s stubborn refusal to accept any amount of bits instead, even an unusually large sum, had given Blueblood some insight on the true reason for this arrangement. He would learn far more from a few days on the farm than from any kind of teaching.

“If, last week, somepony had told me I would be working on a farm today, I would have laughed and called them out of their mind. Yet, here I am. Ah, the things one does for love.”

With a chuckle, Big Macintosh paused his ploughing for a moment and turned to answer.

“So that’s what your wanting to improve yourself’s all about? Sis hadn’t mentioned that. Who’s the lucky filly?”

A swarm of butterflies fluttered to Blueblood’s stomach.

“I believe you might know her, she lives in this town. Her name is Rarity.”

Big Macintosh almost choked on his ever-present sprig.

Wait, wait. Rarity? Rarity of Carousel Boutique? Hoo wee, you’ve sure got your work cut out for you.

Blueblood shot the farmer a puzzled glance.

“What ever do you mean?”

“Y’see, Rarity might look that way, but she’s not one of those high class noblemares lookin’ to rut their way into a big fortune. She works hard, probably even harder’n me. She does everything carefully, from working her boutique to taking care of her little sister. Sorry t’say, but I’m not sure you really stand a chance.”

A smirk traced itself on Blueblood’s face. Macintosh’s words had left him far from discouraged. Rather, his desires were bolstered, reinforced. No longer a simple conquest, she was now a challenge with a priceless reward at its end. His pride and his heart were now working in tandem.

He had his chances. She’d sought him out at the Gala, after all. Surely there must have been something about him that attracted her. He’d have to find out what and build from there. Hesitating for a moment, the unicorn figured he may as well let Macintosh be aware of the finer points of the story.

“Well, it’s... kind of a strange story actually. You see...”

The two workers settled down for a break as Blueblood recounted the entire timeline of events, from the gala to the feline assault.

“Hah, reckon maybe you’ll stand a chance if you play your cards right. Looks like y’do fine when it comes to manners, and you’ve got the same obsession with staying clean. Reckon that should earn you some points with her.”

Blueblood was standing proudly, eating up the praise with great gusto. Macintosh’s next comment, however, deflated his ego entirely.

“Though, you keep up that haughty act, and she’ll never even give you the time of day.”

“But then, what should I do? This is what I’ve known all my life. We nobles are supposed to be a cut above other ponies; that’s what my mother always told me. How can I simply bow to her? What would my family think?”

“You’re getting this all wrong. This ain’t about anyone submitting to anyone. That’s not love. Love ain’t about joining someone’s family or getting part of their fortune or I don’t know what else.”

Macintosh spoke with an energy that ran contrary to his usual stoicism. Soon, he was punctuating his words with energetic gestures.

“Take your case, for example. Rarity’s no gemdigger. Well, she does dig for gems, but that’s to put them on dresses. She ain’t what you’d normally call a gemdigger. If she accepts you at one point, it won’t be for your wheelbarrows of bits or your fancy shmancy titles. It’ll be because you’ve treated her well, and made her feel like she matters to you. You need to make that real clear in your head right now, or you ain’t gonna get anywhere.” Blueblood nodded in comprehension, displaying an air of silent awe.

“Love’s about caring for someone and wanting to make them happy. S’about doing things, not because they profit you, but because you care for the ponies around you. It’s that simple, really.”

The farmer’s words carried strong conviction and emotion, wisdom and experience. Blueblood hesitated for a moment, awed by the speech that had just been delivered.

“That goes against everything I’ve been taught, Macintosh. I... don’t know what to make of it. Are you sure of what you’re saying?”


“I’d... like to try what you said, doing things just to make others happy. You make it sound so fulfilling. But, it’s so strange. I don’t think I’ve done something like that before.”

A smirk traced itself on Macintosh’s face.

“Really? Never? I find that hard to believe. When’s the last time someone smiled at you?”

“Hm, this morning, I think. Why do you ask?”

“What made them smile?”

“It’s a pretty funny story, actually. These two fillies asked for my autograph. They pretty much fainted in excitement when I gave it to them.”

“How did that make you feel?”

“... I guess I felt happy that they were so full of joy, but what does that have to do with-”

Blueblood stood there for a moment, confused and blinking, as the realization dawned on him.

“Oh... Oh! I see.”

Macintosh hadn’t lost his smirk.

“Told you.”

“But where do I go from there? What should I do?”

“It’s simple, really, if you ask me. Stick around town for a while; make an effort to be nice to everypony. I reckon it’ll be an effort at first, but it’ll get easier as you go.”

“Ah! Yes, as George Oatwell so eloquently wrote, ‘He wears a mask and his muzzle grows to fit it.’ I understand!”

Macintosh didn’t feel the need to answer. He’d heard of George Oatwell before, but the reference was lost on him. He contented himself with rising back up on his legs and resuming his labor. Seeing Blueblood having trouble once more with the heavy tool, he had mercy on the noble.

“Y’know what? I think you’ve got enough revelations to digest for today. Why don’t you go mull it over wherever you feel like it and come back tomorrow morning?

Blueblood eagerly nodded, relieved to get out of doing any more backbreaking labor for the day. Politely bowing to Big Macintosh, he headed back to town, packing up the protective vestments for the next day. His legs wobbled with every step, and his head was spinning. As he walked, he looked over his coat and mane. They weren’t quite filthy, but they were certainly in need of a good cleaning.

Oh, the things I do...


Blueblood was walking down the main street of Ponyville, headed to “La Rose Dorée” for his evening meal, having taken a moment to stop by his hotel room and clean himself up. He was certainly taking a liking to the establishment. Distinguished and elegant, the restaurant was considered the pinnacle of haute cuisine in Ponyville. It was also recognized for its exorbitant prices and very small size, though it was clearly turning a sufficient profit from the occasional ponies seeking a gastronomical experience.

Although his body was exhausted, his morale was going strong. He’d managed to keep up with the work, and realised that he did stand a chance of redeeming himself.

The second of what would be a long series of spring showers soon began falling. Fortunately, Prince Blueblood was prepared. Though he had left the hideous poncho at his hotel room, he had had the presence of mind to bring along his fashionable navy canvas cloak.

Hm... what should I try tonight? I must say the truffle quiche sounds very appetizing, but perhaps the orchid fricassée would be-

A loud and cacophonic voice screeched through the sky.


A blur of cyan shot down from the sky, hurtling towards Blueblood, who froze in a panic, dumbfounded at seeing everypony scamper away. Unlike the locals, the visiting noble had no idea what to expect from such a shout.

A resonating thump, a blur of colors, a painful collision, and a very cold splash later, a dazed Blueblood lay confused in a puddle of rain water while a cyan pegasus mare lay on the ground next to him, dizzy from her great plunge.

Blueblood slowly came back to his senses, shakily standing up onto all four legs. He quickly ran a mental check of his body, making sure he wasn’t feeling pain. Fortunately, the collision hadn’t left him injured. Unfortunately, it had left him cold and dripping wet. Looking around him, he soon spotted the perpetrator of his assault. He had heard of her before, that rainbow mare. She was Rainbow Dash, weather captain of Ponyville, victor of this year’s edition of the Cloudsdale Young Flier Competition, and aspirant to the Wonderbolts. She had come much more quickly to her senses, and was now staring at him with a look of amusement.

If the fury that overtook Blueblood at that instant had been any more extreme, the sheer heat of it would have done an amazing job of drying his drenched mane. Flicking a dripping lock of golden mane away from his vision, he took a fierce step towards Rainbow Dash.

“Does my destroyed grooming amuse you so? You insane foal! You could have killed me! You disgrace of the skies! You public menace! If this were Canterlot, I would have you locked up in an instant! Do you know who I am?”

The pegasus rose up to her feet, her own anger boiling up. She flapped her wings a few times to make sure they were fine, before leaving them wide open in anger. In turn, she took a step towards Blueblood, fiercely looking him straight in the eyes.

Yeah, I know who you are! You’re that stuck-up colt who upset Rarity at the Gala! Forget about getting any apologies from me after that!”

“Why, I never! You ruffian! Show some respect!”

“Like you would know anything about respect! Jerk!”

Rainbow Dash lowered herself to the water’s level, and fiercely flapped her wings, drenching the prince with a torrent of cold water. With a panicked yelp, Prince Blueblood attempted to shield himself with his forelegs, but only succeeded in losing his balance and falling over into the puddle with a resounding splash. Struggling to stand up, he slammed his right forehoof against the pavement with a resounding clop.

“Jerk? How dare you! You flew like a madmare, crashed into me at breakneck speeds, almost left me injured and utterly annihilated my careful grooming! Now you refuse to apologize, and I’m the jerk?”

“Yeah, you’re the jerk, jerk! When somepony tries moves as awesome as mine, accidents are always bound to happen! I shouted to make sure nopony would get hurt, and you didn’t even try to move! If you weren’t such an oblivious upstart, none of this would have ever happened!”

“What? Surely, you must be mocking me! You dare accuse me of-”


The pegasus and the unicorn were interrupted by a shout and a thunder of hooves as Applejack came to a stop near them, pushing them apart. Rainbow Dash smirked at her rival, convinced the farmer would take her side against the rude stallion.

“I’m really disappointed in the two of you! Rainbow Dash! You should be ashamed of yourself for shouting like that! Blueblood, for all that talk about wantin’ to improve, you’re pretty quick to be shoutin’ and insultin’.”

The pegasus’s grin dropped instantly, while the prince was left even more fuming.

“He’s the one who should be ashamed! He didn’t even move when I warned everypony!”

Applejack gave a disbelieving stare as her only answer, refusing to treat Rainbow Dash’s desperate excuses as anything but what they were.

“Dash, what has Mayor Mare been tellin’ you ‘bout practicing your crazy tricks over Ponyville?”

“Fiiiine. I guess I should have been more careful. Still, he didn’t have any right to be snapping at me like that!”

“There, you’re right. Still, that doesn’t excuse-”

Rainbow Dash turned to Blueblood and stuck her tongue out at him defiantly.

“Ha! I was right! I’m getting out of here, all this shouting is too much work, and I’ve got some rain clouds to deal with. See you later Applejack!”

With a powerful flap of her wings, Rainbow Dash took off, leaving Blueblood and Applejack behind. Applejack simply rolled her eyes.

“That filly, I swear. I’ll catch up with her later.”

Prince Blueblood chuckled and displayed a smug smile.

“Looks like she realised who really was in the wrong after all.”

In a flash, the earth pony turned to face Blueblood, piercing him with the most horrible of glares from under the rim of her cowfilly hat.

“Now look here. You said you wanted to learn to become nicer, right?”

Blueblood rolled his eyes.

No, you simpleton, I wanted to become a three-layer buttercream-and-lily sponge cake. Of course I wanted to become nicer, I’m not hanging around this mudhole of a town for no reason.

Swallowing the thought back, he gave an irritated sigh.

“Yes, yes I did.”

“Yep you said that. Next thing I know, you’re getting in a fight with one of my friends. That’s mighty impressive. I thought you’d last at least a full day.”

“It is only normal that I be affronted, that crazy mare you call a friend almost caused my untimely death.”

“Don’t you untimely me! That mare’s crashed into about everypony in this here town, and she’s never injured anyone.”

As she spoke, Applejack slowly moved closer and closer to the prince, speaking louder and louder.

“Accidents happen, and if you think being nice just means being nice when it’s convenient for you, you’re so far off the track you’d need that compass on your flank just to get back! Sometimes, you have to go farther and be nice even if it’s a heap of trouble for you.”

Applejack brought her face very close to his, staring him straight in the eyes with a frown that could have scared the leaves off an apple tree. Prince Blueblood stumbled back and stuttered.

But... But...”

“Don’t bother, I don’t need to hear it. You just take some time to think about it, and my brother and I’ll see you tomorrow on the farm.”

Without a word, Applejack trotted away, ignoring the Prince’s self-righteous pleas. Shocked at the turn of events, Blueblood simply stood there, not entirely managing to process the scene that had unfolded. His body was burning with irritation, his muscles were sore from the work, and his legs were feeling cold and wet. In retrospect, perhaps stepping out of that puddle should have been his first course of action.

With a resigned sigh, the unicorn trotted back to his hotel room for a second bath and grooming.


An hour later, Prince Blueblood was out on the streets again. Princess Luna had long ago heaved the moon into the sky and decorated the darkness with a generous sprinkling of bright stars, shining for all to admire despite the cloudy cover. The main street of Ponyville was dimly lit by a series of lampposts, giving the town a quiet and relaxed mood. The pavement sparkled in the moonlight, slick with rainwater.

 The songbirds had gone to sleep, having passed the work of creating a musical ambiance on to their nightly counterparts, the crickets.

The royal unicorn was troubled. For a moment, everything had appeared so easy. Yet, it had only taken one chance encounter for everything to crumble.

What is it I’m supposed to do, then? I should be nice, of course, but I can’t just let everyone trample over me! Where’s the balance? What should I-

His train of thought was interrupted when his stomach gave a rumbling noise the likes of which he had rarely heard. Having had to redo his grooming, he was running quite late for his usual dinner time. Perhaps he would do better to find a simpler meal than his usual five-star fare.

Suddenly, the sweetest of smells, the perfume of fresh dough and sugar, caught his nostrils. Of course, in a small town such as this one, a visitor was more likely to find regular pastries than the sort of fine delicacies Blueblood was used to, but at this point, he didn’t care. He just wanted something tasty.

The building soon came into view. It was a rather large shop, brightly colored and decorated to look as though it had been garnished and frosted like a giant gingerbread house. An enormous cupcake crowned its roof. Blueblood shuddered at the memory of his last encounter with a pastry that large.

Still enchanted by the smell, the prince pushed the door open. The interior of the boutique matched the outside perfectly, with candy stripes and fixtures of falsified chocolate adorning every nook and cranny. A joyful chime accompanied his entrance, as a middle-aged earth pony mare came into view. Her colorful display of a blue coat and a rose-colored mane could only try to rival the sweetness of her tone.

“Welcome to Sugar Cube Corner, where life is always sweet! How may I help you today?”

Prince Blueblood politely returned her smile.

“Thank you very much, madam. If it’s no problem, I’d like to browse for a moment. I’m not quite sure yet what strikes my fancy.”

“Oh, of course, no problem. Would you like some green tea while you look? It’s only one bit for a cup.”

“Ah, that sounds exquisite, thank you very much.”

Prince Blueblood focused for a moment and levitated a single golden coin over to the counter. Ms. Cake carefully grabbed the coin out of the air and left it in the cash register, then busied herself with getting a fresh cup of tea ready.

Blueblood glanced over the display of fresh pastries, eyeing the common fare with slight disdain. This was all too ordinary. He slowly scanned across the display, but nothing struck his fancy. Finally, the display’s lighting shone to him like the most beautiful ray of morning sun, as his eyes set on a particularly interesting morsel.

"Oooo!" Blueblood exulted. "Are those chocolate éclairs I see before me?"

Ms. Cake came back, setting a piping hot cup of tea onto the counter.

“Why, yes it is. I see you have an eye for fine pastry. They’re quite the trouble to make, but they’re worth every ounce of effort. Would you like one?”

A hoofful of golden coins hovered over to Ms. Cake, stopping a comfortable distance in front of her for her to seize.

“That would be wonderful, thank you very much.”

With a polite bow, Prince Blueblood levitated the tea and pastry over to a small coffee table in a quiet corner of the boutique and sat down on one of the very comfortable cushions that had been provided for the Corner’s prized customers.

Unlike what he had expected from such a small town bakery, the pastry was exquisite, and the tea rich in flavor. He quickly made his way through a third of the pastry at the behest of his growling stomach, before reminding himself of his manners.

Soon, as he was approaching the end of his snack, the tinkling of the door chimes could be heard. Two ponies walked in. In the lead, an excited unicorn filly almost bounced into the bakery. Following behind her was a pegasus mare, an empty pair of mailbags resting on her back.

The filly had a purplish-gray coat and a light blond mane, and her tiny horn sparkled in the light. A large smile livened up her face. She was simply glowing with joy. The mare’s coat was completely gray, and her mane matched that of the filly. Most likely, the two of them were mother and daughter. As she stooped to look over the displayed wares, one of her eyes slowly lost focus and drifted off, resting its gaze somewhere on the ceiling. Prince Blueblood paid little attention to that fact. He had met other ponies suffering from a lazy eye before, one of whom was in fact his prized butler. Such a purely physical trait didn’t even register in his judgement, because, really, what could Ditzy Doo do about it? Unlike a bad choice of manecut or clothing, a lazy eye was something one was born with, not something one could change.

“Hi Mrs. Cake!”

“H-hello, Mrs. Cake. H-how are you today?”

Prince Blueblood couldn’t help but notice the slight stuttering. Surely, some common cause was at the root of the mare’s lazy eye and speech issues. Prince Blueblood judged it better not to pry.

“Ditzy and Dinky Doo, how nice to see you two tonight! I’m very well, thank you. Shall I get you your usual?”

The two gray ponies nodded in unison, and Mrs. Cake set herself to work, soon producing a tray holding a pair of blueberry muffins, a small mug of coffee, and a large glass of milk.

“That’ll be eight bits, please.”

Ditzy nodded, and set down her mailbag, opening the zipper on one of the smaller pouches, and digging inside. Quickly, her smile turned into a confused frown, as she frantically began tearing through every compartment of the bags.

“Mommy, is something wrong?”

Ditzy was silent for a moment.

“I t-think I left my money at home.”


The filly’s excited smile soon turning into a sorrowful grimace. Her mother looked completely ashamed at the consequences of her distraction, her head hanging low. Mrs. Cake was just about to speak up when a voice made itself known from a corner of the shop.

“Ahem, if I may...”

The tinkling of coins on glass resounded for a moment, and it took a few seconds for the mares and the filly to comprehend what had happened. Prince Blueblood put away his satchel with a smile on his face.

The glowing smiles and thanks that the duo soon offered made everything clear to him. The words that had left him confused slowly came into order and harmony.

“If you think being nice just means being nice when it’s convenient for you, you’re so far off the track you’d need that compass on your flank just to get back. Sometimes, you have to go farther and be nice even if it’s a heap of trouble for you.”

“Stick around town for a while; make an effort to be nice to everypony. I reckon it’ll be an effort at first, but it’ll get easier as you go.”

Having finished his snack, Prince Blueblood bowed to Mrs. Cake and stepped out of the boutique, taking a moment to smile back to the filly and her mother.

“Now, Dinky, w-what do we say to the nice stallion?”

“Thank you, mister!”

Blueblood owned many gems, and several priceless pieces of art lined the halls of his luxury home in Canterlot. However, none of them, no matter how precious, could possibly ever contend with the smile the young unicorn gave him.


That night, Blueblood slept peacefully, remembering the gleaming smiles of the two ponies he had helped. He felt reinvigorated, confident. He could do this. Improvement was in reach. He was unstoppable.


To Be Continued


Coming up next in To Be a Better Stallion

“How preposterous! How ridiculous, how outrageous, how... utterly absurd! Confound all of this mud!”

~Prince Blueblood

“Together we are...”

~Apple Bloom

“The Cutie Mark Crusaders!”

~Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo

“It all started when I was but a young colt...”

~Prince Blueblood


← Chapter 2         Chapter 4 →


I’d like to thank the bronies at #EquestrianStudy who helped make this chapter a possibility with their suggestions, proofreading, reviews and critique, most particularly DJMidli, Eights, Ekevoo, Foolonthehillz, Present Perfect, Sagebrush, MaverickVox and ZAquanimus.

A special shout out goes to my favorite brony pals, Cheechos and Aurora Dawn, who were great help with inspiration and helping me figure things out.

Another special shout out to Present Perfect who gave this fic the rough shakedown of odds and ends it needed.

All comments and criticism are welcome, either through comments wherever you’ve read this fic, or through email at [email protected]. I ask in particular: What do you think of Prince Blueblood’s characterization here?

Please do not distribute this fic without my express permission, though I will gladly give permission for this fic to appear on most of any fan fiction sites if I am asked politely.

Thanks for reading!


Disclaimer: This is a work of fan made fiction, based on the animated show “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” I do not own, nor lay any claim to My Little Pony or any related intellectual property.

This work was made entirely for entertainment value and as a tribute to the amazing work of the Friendship is Magic production team. It is not, and will never be, distributed for profit.

To Be a Better Stallion

A “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” fan fiction

Written by Autumn Wind

Chapter The Fourth - To Look Back at One’s Hoofprints


← Chapter 3         Chapter 5 →


The loud crowing of a rooster awoke Big Macintosh. He stood up from his large bed and stretched, slowly doing away with the sleepiness that ran through his limbs. A smile on his face, he descended the stairs that led to and from the upper floor. The wooden stairway greeted him with a familiar series of creaks. The house was very quiet. Unsurprisingly, he was the first to wake up.

The Apple Family’s home was humble but comfortable, built of rustic wood and perseverance. It was decorated simply, but offered a warm welcome. The stallion nudged a few windows wide open, feeling the crisp morning air slowly flow through the house. He took a deep breath. Oak and apples; he could never tire of that smell.

As usual, he checked on his grandmother. She was sleeping peacefully. Although the elderly mare was in good health for her age, her grandson couldn’t help but be worried. Every morning, he was relieved that nothing had happened during the night.

 With that brief moment of worry set aside, Big Macintosh headed to the kitchen to get breakfast ready. A few minutes later, the smell of warm oatmeal and apples wafted through the house, and the sound of hooves against hardwood could be heard resonating.

“Mornin’, big bro,” Applejack called out from the top of the stairs as she left the room she shared with the youngest of the Apple siblings. She took a deep, eager sniff of the delicious scent. “Apple and cinnamon oatmeal. Ain’t nothin’ quite like it.”

“Eeyup. Apple Bloom awake yet?” Big Macintosh asked as he ladled up a generous portion of the warm breakfast for his sister.

“Yep. I tried to get her up, but you know how she is. ‘Five more minutes.’

“You’re sportin’ some serious bedmane there, sis.”

 With a chuckle, Applejack swiped the bowl from his hooves and grabbed a spoon on her way to the table. She sat down at her usual place and gulped down a heaping spoonful.

 “Impeccable cookin’ as usual. So, think Blueblood will be coming again today?”

Big Macintosh served himself a generous portion before joining her.

“Hah, ain’t got a clue. He was along with it yesterday, but who knows what’ll happen. I’ve got a little something planned for him if he comes.”

“Huh. And what might that be?”

A smile traced itself on Macintosh’s face.

“You’ll find out soon enough.”

The quick taps of small hooves against hardwood echoed through the house, and a young filly’s voice could be heard.

“Mornin’ big bro! Mornin’ big sis!”

Apple Bloom all but galloped down the stairs, drawing a little ire from Applejack.

“Apple Bloom, what did I tell you about runnin’ and shoutin’ in the morning?”

The filly skidded to a stop, suddenly looking downtrodden.

“You said I should be careful not to wake grandma. I’m sorry for forgetting.”

She was quickly cheered up by a hoof on her shoulder and a smile from her sister.

“It’s okay Apple Bloom, I know how excited you get when you’re going to see your friends. C’mon, breakfast’s waitin’ for you.

Big Macintosh chuckled as he served a third bowl of oatmeal.

“I know another filly who was the same at your age. Ain’t that right, Applejack?”

As the two sisters shared a giggle, Applejack led her sister back to the table where a steaming bowl of oatmeal awaited the filly. With the three siblings finally gathered at the table, Big Macintosh turned his attention to Apple Bloom.

“Say, Apple Bloom, are you Crusaders still gathering them cutie mark stories? I think I’ve got a pony you three might be interested in meetin’...”


Blueblood hummed to himself as he happily cantered towards Sweet Apple Acres. Carrying his borrowed work clothes and some hygiene supplies in his saddlebags, Blueblood took great care to avoid the many puddles that littered the pavement.

Big Macintosh had requested that the royal turn up early that day. At first, Prince Blueblood had been rather averse to the idea of rising early. However, yesterday’s encounter at the bakery had proven Macintosh’s advice to be wise and fruitful.

Two familiar voices caught his attention in the distance, and a pair of familiar fillies came rushing by.

“Hurry up, Diamond Tiara! Otherwise we’ll be late and Ms. Manners will shout at us!”

“You hurry up! I’m already going as fast as I can! Whose stupid idea was it to schedule etiquette class on Saturday morning, anyway?”

“Hey look! It’s Prince Blueblood!”

The two fillies ran by him, not pausing their gallop. If their teacher was anything like the matronly mare that had taught him at Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns, the threat of detention hovering over their heads was likely the driving force behind their hooves.

“Hi, Prince Blueblood!”, their two voices rang in unison.

“Hello, girls! Don’t be late now! Oh no! Wait! Watch ou-”

There was a massive splash as the two schoolgirls ran straight into an enormous puddle. In unison, the two of them whined.

“Aww... no!”

“What do we do now, Diamond Tiara? Miss Manners will go crazy if we show up like this!”

Those poor fillies... It’d be a shame for them to arrive so soaked and dirty to their etiquette classes. What are they going to do now?

When his eyes met his own reflection in a nearby puddle, Prince Blueblood rolled his eyes at his own train of thought.

Right. Unicorn. Experienced in grooming. No problem.

He approached the two fillies, floating a brush and a towel out of his saddlebags.

“Need a helping hoof, girls?”

Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon answered with a shameful nod. Fortunately, neither of them had been wearing a dress or other elaborate clothing, so getting the two of them back to proper appearances would be a cinch. A few seconds and a quick whirl of magic later, their coats and manes were as clean and dry as ever.

With thanks and a pair of grateful smiles, the two fillies vanished in the distance, giggling between themselves at their good luck.

Congratulating himself on a job well done, Prince Blueblood quickened his pace. It would be unseemly of him to be late, after all.


Well on his way to Sweet Apple Acres, Prince Blueblood had traded his usual relaxed walk for a more eager trot. Of course, he still abhorred the work, and he was monstrously sore in some areas. However, Big Macintosh’s teachings having been as fruitful as his orchard, Blueblood couldn’t help but be curious to find out more.

He was invincible. He had his work clothes to protect him from the dirt, his morale was still heightened from helping the distinguished fillies, and the smell of the blooming trees was invigorating. He would get to the farm, work like an honest pony and become the stallion he should have always been. Nothing could stop him. Nothing at all.

Nothing except the sight that awaited him when he got a clear view of the orchard. Mud. So much mud. Entire acres of mud. Filthy Mud Acres, they should have called the place.

“How preposterous! How ridiculous, how outrageous, how... utterly absurd! Confound all of this mud!”

The bulk of his frustration having been vented, Prince Blueblood let out a discouraged sigh, before resuming the fateful walk to his muddy nightmare.

At the gate to Sweet Apple Acres, he found Big Macintosh waiting for him.

“Hey, Blueblood. Glad you came back. Was wonderin’ if you’d show up.”

Swallowing his nervousness, Prince Blueblood stood firm. He was here to learn, after all. Hopefully, he’d be able to get more good advice that would pay off like yesterday’s.

“I... wouldn’t miss it for anything.”

The embellishment was obvious, but Big Macintosh took it in stride. Turning back towards the farmhouse, he motioned for Blueblood to follow him.

“By the way, there’s a couple ponies here who would like to meet you.”

“Oh? Who might they be?

A strange buzzing noise could be heard in the distance, and three young voices pulverized the silence into submission.


Before Blueblood could even open his mouth to complain about the excessive loudness and shouting, a small wagon drifted to a stop in front of him, spraying his legs with gravel and dirt. Startled, he stumbled back.

Would these fillies be careful? That is not acceptable conduct for children.

They were all approximately the same age, three cheerful schoolfillies. Each of them was clad in a roughly sewn cape of red and gold fabric. The shape of a golden pony rearing up on a blue shield background was proudly displayed, though its meaning was unknown to him.

The first was a young white unicorn with a bright smile and emerald green eyes. Her elegant pink and purple mane displayed a certain knowledge of grooming. She slowly disembarked from the wagon, her legs a little wobbly. The abrupt stop had almost sent her tumbling over the stop of the wagon. Of the three, she definitely was the most presentable.

“Scootaloo, think you could try to stop a little softer next time? You almost sent me flying into the mud. Aren’t you supposed to be the pegasus here?”

Blueblood’s attention turned to the second filly. She was an orange pegasus with a violet mane, rough and unkempt, in a rather coltish cut. Had her wings really been making all that noise? Clearly, she would be a very strong flier one day. However, she very much could have benefitted from better grooming. It was unseemly for a girl her age to take so little care of her appearance. She reminded him of the pegasus he had had a run-in with the previous day- brash and overconfident.

“Sorry, Sweetie Belle. Didn’t mean to scare you, just got carried away.”

The third filly giggled.

“Oh, don’t be such a scaredy cat, Sweetie Belle, that was so much fun!”

Her accent was a dead ringer for Big Macintosh’s. This could only be the Apple Bloom that the farmer had mentioned yesterday. For a farmer filly, she looked well-groomed. Her red mane and her yellow coat were brushed with great care and the large pink bow that adorned her head certainly suited her well. In a single leap, she hopped out of the wagon and landed between her friends.

“I am not a scaredy cat! I just don’t want to get hurt!”

Sweetie Belle gave her friend an indignant glare. Blueblood fully empathized. He’d seen her almost tumble out of the cart, and indeed, she could have gotten hurt.

Big Macintosh stepped past the beleaguered Prince Blueblood, giving the fillies an admonishing glance.

“You three should really be careful with that thing, otherwise you might wind up hurtin’ yourselves... or somepony else.”

Okay, at least I guess they’re in good hooves for their misbehavior. Wear a mask, Blueblood. Wear a mask. They’re just fillies; you were a rambunctious colt too.

Prince Blueblood forced his anger back, and did his best to smile in spite of his annoyance.

“So, who might these three mystery damsels be?”

Pridefully, Apple Bloom seized her chance.

“I’m Apple Bloom, this is Sweetie Belle-”


“-and this is Scootaloo.”

“The one and only!”

“Together we are...” the three fillies shouted in harmony as they assumed dramatic poses. Clearly, this was an act they were familliar with. “The Cutie Mark Crusaders!”

Noting the prince’s apparent confusion, Big Macintosh was quick to explain the fillies’ goal and their predilection for adventuring and for the gathering of Cutie Mark stories. Noticing that the Crusaders were distracted by the approach of a friendly Winona, the farmer seized the moment to whisper some very important words.

“Sweetie Belle’s Rarity’s little sister. Thought you’d like to know.”

Taking a mental note to ensure he would make a good impression on his love interest’s sister, Prince Blueblood couldn’t help but smile at the fillies’ enthusiasm about their quest. Despite their unruliness, there was something somewhat endearing about their antics. He recalled himself, as a young colt, having had great difficulties obtaining his Cutie Mark, due to the very... sheltering nature of his mother.

“Your quest is a very noble one, Cutie Mark Crusaders. I am told that you wish to seek my help? How may this unicorn be of use?”

The foals stood still for a moment, giving him a confused look as his words slowly registered. From what information they had recieved about Prince Blueblood, they had not expected him to be so interested in helping.

“You talk funny,” Scootaloo noted, to Big Macintosh’s great amusement. Blueblood stood surprised for a moment, irritated. Struggling to not drop an unkind word, Blueblood slowly paced through his mind.

Wear a mask, Blueblood. Wear a mask. She’s not used to meeting people of your stature, and your manner of speaking caught her by surprise, it’s all.

“Scootaloo! That’s not a very nice thing to say,” Sweetie Belle noted. “Sorry, Prince Blueblood. Scootaloo can be kind of silly sometimes.”

“It’s...” Prince Blueblood paused for a moment, taking a deep breath. “... quite alright. Now then, if we may return to the subject at hoof...”

With one of her hooves still occupied with petting the family dog, Apple Bloom snapped to attention, finally asking the question that had been tantalizing the Cutie Mark Crusaders since that morning.

“Well, actually, Prince Blueblood, we were kind of wonderin’ how you got your Cutie Mark. We’ve been askin’ lots of ponies, but we’ve never had a chance to ask a noble before. Big Macintosh told us we might learn somethin’ from it.”

The farmer lapsed into a look of surprise. Clearly, he hadn’t expected that his little set up would make itself so apparent. Prince Blueblood simply laughed. Though the little pegasus had gotten rather strongly on his nerves, he couldn’t help but enjoy the attention.

Also, the longer he could stay away from all that mud, the better.

“So, you’re the one who put them up to this, Macintosh? Is this supposed to be a hidden lesson for me?”

“Hah,” the farmer chuckled, “just figured you and them both might learn somethin’ from reflectin’ on a story. It’s like Granny always told me: if you don’t stop to look at your hoofprints now and then, you’ll never know if you’re really goin’ straight.”

“Wise words, Macintosh. Wise words indeed. Now then, perhaps we should move to somewhere more comfortable. I’m afraid this isn’t the shortest of stories...”


Moments later, five ponies and a dog had gathered back at the living room of the old farmhouse. By now, Applejack was out working the fields. They were soon joined by an elderly mare, whom Big Macintosh was quick to introduce as Granny Smith. She offered a warm smile but few words, and was content with only receiving the same from the prince.

The room fell silent, with only the fireplace’s crackling and the birds chirping melodiously outsided to break the silence.

“Now then, as we were saying. It all started when I was but a young colt...”


Three blank-flanked foals cheerfully galloped through the woodland preserves of Canterlot Ridge, basking in their stolen freedom. Every now and then, some adventure would tickle their fancy and they would flee from the stuffiness of Canterlot’s high-class life for a few hours.

Their cheerful laughter livened up the quiet forest, and soon, animals were partaking in their joy. The birds chirped along with them, and the occasional rabbit or squirrel poked its head out of a burrow or a hollow tree to say hi.

Leading the pack was the young Prince Blueblood, his long golden mane and tail waving in the wind behind him. For once, he got to exit the house without his mother saddling him with unnecessary amounts of accessories, and he was enjoying the glory of freedom, and his joy was clearly reflected in his sky-blue eyes. His first growth spurt had been rather kind to him, and he galloped in elegant yet powerful bursts.

To his left, a pegasus filly of the deepest violet kept up with him with a peculiar mix of elegance and recklessness, her fluttering wings occasionally carrying her for short bursts of low flight before her legs resumed their course. She was in the process of learning to fly, and enjoying every minute of it. Her unruly red mane, no longer held tight in a constricting braid, blazed behind her. She wanted to reach their destinations before her companions, that much was obvious in her deep green eyes. Much like Blueblood, she was entering adolescent age, and her own growth had been rather kind as well.

Lady Amethyst was, first and foremost, his closest confidante. They had met, two years ago, at a social function held by Blueblood’s mother, and the two had soon become fast friends, perhaps more. Far from being opposed to their relationship, their parents had began not so secretly holding plans of arranged marriage. Amethyst’s family stood to gain the presence of a true descendant of Princess Celestia, and Blueblood’s mother had reasoned that such a marriage would reflect well on her own family.

At the Prince’s right, a second colt stood; a young earth pony by the name of Apricot. Unlike his two companions, he was no noblecolt. Apricot was the son of a gardener who worked for various rich homeowners across Canterlot, one of which was Blueblood’s mother. The duchess simply loathed the young commoner, who she felt would be a terrible influence upon her son, but Blueblood refused to heed her threats. Apricot was a loyal friend, and most of all, entertaining. Used to being told to sit quietly and not bother the aristocrats, he cherished these moments of play, expending amounts of energy that even his companions often had trouble matching, despite their more advanced development. Apricot was a late bloomer, and though he shared the same age as his two friends, he looked much younger.

He kept up with Blueblood’s gallop and Amethyst’s bursts of flight through some impressive leaps of his own, bounding like a gazelle more than running. His short green mane bounced wildly as he hopped, alternately rising to the sky, wildly waving in the wind and coming to crash against his neck. His peach coat was a blur and his large hazel eyes frenetically shifted from point to point, taking in all the marvels of the forest. Although he had often visited Canterlot Ridge, its marvels never ceased to amaze him.

In their stampede, they didn’t hear the rustling of the fallen leaves some distance away, nor the steps of paws and claws that soon followed.

Soon, they broke to a halt when they reached their destination: the Trickle. A rather strong misnomer, the Trickle was a famous spot amongst the more rambunctious foals of the city. There, a small waterfall dove from the summit of Mount Canterlot, splashing into a moderately shallow basin before trickling off through a steam and down the rest of the mountain side. If you asked almost any foal in the city, they would tell you it was an awesome swimming spot that their parents were unaware of. If you asked almost any parent, it was a nostalgic area that they let their foals enjoy much as they had in their youth.

As the three of them were preparing to take the first dive, they were interrupted by the sound of steps in the fallen leaves. A defiant male voice rang out.

“Well, well, well,  what do we have here? I spy with my little eye three foals with more money than common sense.”

Blueblood looked up at the stranger, a young gryphon, probably one or two years older than them. His coloration was similar to that of any other gryphon, brown with white feathers, and his claws were just as threatening. Red markings decorated his menacing eyes and the tips of his short fringe. He stood tall,  his piercing stare greedily locked on to the small pile of discarded accessories some hooves away from the edge of the water; three satchels of bits, Blueblood’s silver watch, Amethyst’s bejeweled bracelet and her golden earrings.

Immediately standing at attention, Blueblood and Amethyst faced the gryphon, while the less confident Apricot took place behind them, somewhat nervous. Blueblood quickly sized up the situation. The bandit might have been somewhat larger than them, but they had strength in numbers. The gryphon’s claws looked somewhat soft and stubby and one of them was broken. He was far from being an adult. He would have strength over them, but he most likely was a brutish, sloppy fighter. Amethyst herself was quite fast, and if Apricot’s work on the peach tree Blueblood’s mother had in the backyard was anything to judge by, the young colt could buck up with the best of their age. As for Prince Blueblood, his mother had ensured that he had the means to defend himself. He was without rival in his horn fencing classes. That gryphon had no idea what he was getting into.

Amethyst was the first to speak up, taking a step forward and flaring her wings for added impact:

“You think you’re all that with your claws and beak, but you don’t scare us!”

Blueblood soon worked up the courage to join in her jeering, himself taking a step, his horn glinting in the sunlight.

“Go back to your badlands, gryphon! This is no place for the likes of you!”

Somewhat hesitant, Apricot took a clue from his friends’ bravado, soon standing tall and holding himself ready.

“Hah. You foals think you’re so brave, huh?”

Without any warning, the gryphon suddenly lunged forward, aiming his right talon straight at the young unicorn colt. A straight-up attack, somewhat sloppy; they were being taken lightly. Thanks to a reflex forged from two years of intensive horn fencing classes, Prince Blueblood parried the strike with the tip of his horn, knocking away the claws, only to be knocked aside himself by a brutal kick.

“Nice try there, loser!”

Wincing in pain, Blueblood rose back to his hooves, somewhat dazed, taking in the scene. The gryphon had effortlessly knocked Amethyst out of her attempted diving charge, and was now advancing menacingly towards Apricot, a terrible gleam in his eyes.

“What about you? Are you going to pick a fight with me too? Hah! You’re so tiny! You couldn’t hit a tree if I threw you at it!”

“Y- you don’t scare me, you big meanie!”

Slowly moving back as the avian walked towards him, Apricot glanced around with fear in his eyes, looking for an escape path. To his assailant’s right, he noticed Blueblood whispering a few words to Amethyst, before charging back towards the bandit.

Taking off to the left, Amethyst taunted the gryphon, nodding for Apricot to move right.

“Hey! Feathers for brains! I bet you can’t catch me!”

The violet filly flew straight by her foe, slapping him behind the head with her wing as she sped by. He took a wild swipe at her but missed entirely due to her speed and his own clumsiness. Standing up at last, Blueblood scraped his hoof against the ground and charged at him, aiming his horn straight for the gryphon’s ribs.

“Hah! Obvious distraction, and even more obvious charge! You foals are useless!”

The bandit stood up on his hindlegs, lifting his claws high, ready to bring them down on the unicorn foal, expecting to counter the ridiculous attack. Expecting.

Shouting over the thunder of his hooves, Blueblood called out to his friend.

“Apricot! Buck him!”

“What? Oh! Okay! Heeee-yah!”

Startled, the gryphon didn’t know how to react and nearly toppled over when a pair of hooves struck him right in the rear. It became obvious that Apricot had slipped out of his mind. He could barely keep from tumbling forwards, but soon managed to catch himself, still on his hind legs.

“Hah! Can’t knock me down so easily!”

He had spoken too soon, forgetting Blueblood’s charge in his surprise. The unicorn foal dove into his legs at the last second, knocking him off balance and flipping him onto his stomach. He landed with a thundering crash.

“Pony Pile!”

The filly, seeing the scene develop, noticed the perfect opportunity and threw herself on the gryphon’s back, pinning his wings. Blueblood and Apricot saw the occasion, both tossing themselves at him. The combined weight of three young ponies was too much for the thief, and he could do no more than thrash about, trying to free himself.

Over his indignant shouts, the foals began discussing, pondering their curious situation. They couldn’t just get off him, he’d attack again.

“Okay, everypony. Get ready. On my signal, Amethyst, grab the jewelry, and we’ll all run back to town. Ready?”




The foals dashed off in a conjoined effort, the sheer force of their taking off knocking the wind out of the gryphon. He tried to run after them, but his larger bulk and his body suited more for flight than ground made him unable to catch up with them. He could only pitifully watch his prey vanish in the distance and grumble at the precious objects he had come so close to swiping for himself.


“Hahaha! Did you two see the look on his face when Blueblood knocked him off his paws? That was hilarious!” Amethyst was laying on her back, struggling for breath through waves of laughter.

“I can’t believe I managed to buck him like that! It’s all thanks to you guys!”

“That was fantastic, you two! That kick he gave me... really hurt though. I hope it didn’t leave a mark on my...”

Blueblood couldn’t help but squeal cheerfully when he realised that their adventure had indeed left a mark on his flank. However, far from a bruise, it was an entirely different kind of mark; a Cutie Mark.


“... and on that day, I finally knew who I was meant to be. You see, this mark is the sigil of the Blueblood Family. I have been told that my father bore it, as did his father before him, and his father before him, and so on, ever since my great great great... well you get the point… great grandfather first earned his Cutie Mark. The compass stands for leading others in the right direction, leading the way through example.”

“What a terrific story! That was really something else! I especially liked the part where you and your friends beat the gryphon all like ‘Whoosh!’ and ‘Bang!’ and ‘Pow!’. I met a gryphon once, she was pretty much like the one you described. Well except she was a girl and she has purple feathers, but then red, purple, what’s the difference really? Oh, and...”

Blueblood could only stare, dumbstruck, at the new pony that had suddenly appeared in his perception. Lost in his recounting, he had missed the entrance of two new ponies in the room. The first one was Applejack, the farmer mare whom he clearly remembered, but the other one was unknown to him. She was of a shocking pink color, bearing an unruly frizzled mane of gigantic proportions, and an absurd tail to match it. The prince stuttered for a moment, attempting to comprehend what was happening, as the mare oozed words and onomatopoeias from every point of her existence.

“Pinkie Pie, I think you’re weirdin’ out our guest here.”

Applejack prodded her friend in the ribs with her elbow to reinforce her hinting.

“Oh! Sorry,” Pinkie giggled. “I get so excited when I meet new ponies, and even more so when I hear stories like this one.” She paused for a moment, blinking twice, before a realisation struck her. “Oh! A new pony! Of course! This calls for a party!”

Noting Blueblood suddenly looked like a rabbit staring at the lantern of a speeding carriage, Applejack reeled her friend in.

“Pinkie, I really don’t think that’s a good idea right now. Plus, you promised me you’d help with getting the barn cleaned up.”

“Oh! You’re right! I’d never break a promise to you... or to anyone else, really! Okie dokie lokie, let’s go!”

Silently thanking Celestia that she wouldn’t have to deal with Pinkie in yet another party craze, Applejack led Pinkie Pie outside, where they disappeared into the large barn.

Blueblood didn’t know how to react but stare, mouth agape. Despite the unusual happenings, everyone else was unfazed.

“What... was all this madness about?”

Big Macintosh chuckled, rising from the sofa he had been occupying.

“That’s Pinkie Pie, one of Applejack’s friends. Don’t try to understand. Trust me, it’s better that way.”

There was an awkward, confused pause.

“What a strange pony.”

“That was such an awesome story! You guys really defeated a gryphon? Wow!”

Scootaloo now looked at the prince admiringly, in sheer contrast to the indifferent attitude she had given him earlier. The other two fillies were quick to agree.

“Of course! A pony leadin’ Cutie Mark! Maybe we could get one?”

Applebloom was ready to dash for the door, but Sweetie Belle was hesitant.

“Well... how would we get one like that? I mean, fighting a bandit would be dangerous. Where would we even find a bandit in the first place?”

Blueblood gave them a charitable, if somewhat forced smile. It would reflect badly on him if any of them were to be injured in some reckless attempt at getting their Cutie Marks like he’d gotten his.

“Now, now, girls, don’t you go rushing into anything reckless. We only had to fight him off because there was no other option for us, and I would definitely have gotten my Cutie Mark one way or another.”

Big Macintosh was quick to agree.

“Apple Bloom, don’t I catch you doin’ anything dangerous like that. I’m sure you’ll be able to figure out plenty of other ways to find that Cutie Mark, if it’s what yours turns out to be.”

Apple Bloom gave her brother a disappointed yet resigned look.

“Aw... fine. C’mon, crusaders! We’ve got some crusading to do!”

With a united shout, the fillies ran off, prompting a gentle and amused smile from the elderly pony.


Prince Blueblood rolled his eyes, his annoyance being somewhat of a source of amusement to Big Macintosh, who couldn’t suppress a smirk.

“Always so loud, aren they?”

“Eeyup. Just means they liked your story, though. Thanks for humorin’ the foals; lotsa ponies just try to ignore ‘em.”

“Ignore those three? That sounds like a pretty difficult task, now that you mention it.”

“You’re a witty one, Blueblood, y’know that? C’mon, we’ve got some work to do.”


Okay, Blueblood, you can do this. You went through the same yesterday, and you turned out fine, if somewhat sore. Today shouldn’t be any wor- right. Mud.

The horrific memories came back. The spring showers. The storm. The mud. So much mud. They’d have to work in the mud. It wasn’t something the boots and poncho could protect him against. He felt his legs shaking under him.

“So... What shall we be working on today? Ploughing another field? Planting some manner of vegetable?”

“Actually, I was thinking we’d go and help my sister and her friend with puttin’ some order back  in the barn.”

The prince blinked twice, as his mind gradually wrapped itself around the news. When he caught on, Prince Blueblood burst into cheerful laughter, leaving his host baffled.

“By the sky and the sun! By the moon and the stars! There is justice in this world after all!”


To Be Continued


Coming up next in To Be a Better Stallion

“What exactly does it mean to you, leadin’ ponies?”

~Big Macintosh

Prince Blueblood stared blankly at the young pink mare, locked in a state of shocked incomprehension.

“But... you... I... what? Oh... you thought... Huh?”

Dear Lady Amethyst...

~Prince Blueblood


← Chapter 3         Chapter 5 →


I’d like to thank the bronies at #EquestrianStudy who helped make this chapter a possibility with their suggestions, proofreading, reviews and critique, most particularly DJMidli, Foolonthehillz, Starlancer, Tenaris and vonBoomslang.

A special shout out goes to my favorite brony pals, Cheechos and Aurora Dawn, who were great help with inspiration and helping me figure things out.

Another special shout out to Present Perfect who gave this fic the rough shakedown of odds and ends it needed.

All comments and criticism are welcome, either through comments wherever you’ve read this fic, or through email at [email protected]. I ask in particular: What do you think of Prince Blueblood’s characterization here?

Please do not distribute this fic without my express permission, though I will gladly give permission for this fic to appear on most of any fan fiction sites if I am asked politely.

Thanks for reading!


Disclaimer: This is a work of fan made fiction, based on the animated show “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” I do not own, nor lay any claim to My Little Pony or any related intellectual property.

This work was made entirely for entertainment value and as a tribute to the amazing work of the Friendship is Magic production team. It is not, and will never be, distributed for profit.

To Be a Better Stallion

A “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” fan fiction

Written by Autumn Wind

Chapter The Fifth - The Turning Point


← Chapter 4         Chapter 6 →


“I cannot say it enough; I am so thankful that you two agreed to join me today. Much as I told you earlier, I’ve been simply beside myself about Prince Blueblood being in Ponyville... Oh, this stress is doing my poor, poor body a serious number!”

Rarity had invited Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy to join her for an afternoon treatment at the spa. Thanks to the fashionista’s influence as a frequent customer, they had been able to secure a quiet jacuzzi bath all for themselves.

The air was warm and comforting as they entered the dimly-lit room. The twirling and bubbling water had been infused with jasmine, leaving the room perfumed with its enthralling smell. The walls of the small bathing area were decorated with an ornate ceramic mosaic depicting a field of colorful flowers. The air was almost dripping with humidity, yet it offered a comforting embrace of warmth instead of a sweltering, strangling heat. All in all, it was a fortress of relaxation and rest, a barrier against the stresses of the outside world.

“I should be the one thanking you, Rarity. I could never afford this place by myself.”

Though Twilight Sparkle did receive a salary for her caretaking of the Ponyville library, she was by no means rich; not to mention that most of her leisure budget tended to go up in dragon flames and teleport straight to mail-order bookstores all over Equestria. While Celestia had often offered to fund her studies, Twilight had vehemently refused every time.

Fluttershy nodded in agreement as she slowly climbed into the upraised bath. She gave a contented sigh, feeling the warm water envelop her.

“Twilight’s right. Thank you, Rarity.”

As the two unicorns sat down, Fluttershy paused for a moment, closing her eyes and frowning in deep thought.

“What did you want to talk to us about? I mean, um, I know you mentioned Prince Blueblood being in town, but what about him?”

Rarity was silent for a moment, letting the warm bath wash and massage all of her problems  away.  She chewed on her words for a moment. Her answer had to be perfect.

“That is exactly what I’ve been wondering, darling. What about him? A stallion in town, on a personal quest to better himself, all for my sake... I can’t make heads or tails of this. I don’t know how to feel. Should I be flattered or scared? Should I give him a chance? What if he turns out to be the same lout I saw at the gala? On the other hoof, what if he becomes the Prince Charming I’ve dreamed of for so long? What is a lady to do?

I can’t just leave him in hesitation, can I? With everything he’s been doing in my name, what would I be if I tried to ignore the whole thing?  I agreed to let Applejack’s brother help him out, which, I guess, is pretty generous of me, but at some point, I’ll have to get involved... isn’t it so?

“Oh, girls, I don’t know what to do with myself anymore. Just look at me. I’m the one who’s supposed to be turning heads, and then this royal colt comes into town, and leaves mine spinning with questions! This is Discord all over again!”

Rarity dramatically slumped against the edge of the bath, visibly tired from her sudden outburst. There was a pause, as Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy processed Rarity’s barrage of doubts and questions.

Twilight Sparkle was quick to notice Fluttershy biting her lower lip and sinking down to the bottom of her muzzle. At least she still looked like she was managing to relax, as evidenced by her wings floating limply in the water.

The violet unicorn sighed and adjusted her position, lowering herself further into the water and leaning back against the side of the jacuzzi. She gave a soft sigh.

“That’s... an awful lot of questions, Rarity. Let’s just take this logically, one thing at a time. Trying to answer five questions at once is like trying to read five books at once: It just doesn’t work.”

Twilight hesitated for a moment, noticing the awkward glances she was receiving.

“Trust me, I’ve tried.”

Rarity settled down, taking a deep breath. She let herself sink down to her neck, basking in the feeling of the warm water against her coat.

“You’re all too right, Twilight. I must admit this is all leaving me terribly, terribly shaken. I’ve had colts pine after me before, of course, but I do believe this is the first time one has gone to such lengths. Usually, they just present me with a bouquet of tulips and leave it at that, as though a lady’s heart could be bought with nothing but a fancy snack. Blueblood’s case, however, is different. I simply don’t know what to make of all this dedication...”

Suddenly, a spark seemed to shoot through Rarity’s eyes.

“’Of course! Why didn’t I think of this before. Both of you, please tell me, what do you think of this whole story?“

Fluttershy perked up from her relaxed state, offering Rarity a reassuring smile.

“Well... I think, maybe, that it’s good that he’s trying to improve for you. I don’t think it’s really all that odd that he’d come here from Canterlot if he likes you, but on the other hoof, I see why it could bother you. I mean, not that you’d consider yourself too good for him, but, you know, after what he did at the Grand Galloping Gala, it would be understandable if you didn’t want to see him again.”

Twillight was quick to follow suit.

“I haven’t really had much in the way of colts’ affections, so it’s kind of hard for me to judge. That being said, if I remember correctly, the Filly’s Folio of Fantastic Flirtation would probably tell you that Prince Blueblood’s sudden resolve reflects positively on him, but also that you should make sure it isn’t something he’s doing dishonestly just to impress you. If you ask me, the best course of action would be to observe the events and get a clearer idea of what’s going on before you take a decision. I’ve got to admit, I’m still kind of surprised at how badly he turned out since the last time I ran into him.”

The other two mares gaped at Twilight, surprised. Rarity was quick to press into Twilight’s last statement, dramatically flailing a hoof in the air.

“When you last ran into him? You’ve run into him before, and you didn’t warn me about him? Twilight! How could you do this to me?”

Twilight recoiled in surprise, pressing herself against the edge of the tub.

“Rarity! Calm down! I couldn’t have known you’d run into him! Back then, he was nothing like the... jerk you encountered. He was well-behaved, educated, and mostly quiet in class, if a little too eager to look good in front of the teacher. We even did some assignments together, and everything went fine.”

“But... why didn’t you tell me about him earlier? I’ve been trying to learn more about him for days!”

The heater paused for a moment, as Twilight’s annoyance was all the water needed to maintain its temperature.

I tried to tell you! I’ve been trying to tell you since he first came to town and you started worrying about him! You wouldn’t listen! You were too busy being dramatic!”

Rarity became even paler than her usual white as she suddenly remembered Twilight’s words about Prince Blueblood over the last two days. Her voice became mellow again, and she settled back down.

Twilight, darling! I do believe I owe you some apologies here. I... certainly hope you’ll be able to forgive my passing moment of unladylike acrimony.”

Still somewhat surprised by her friend’s outburst, Twilight slowly settled back down  and elbowed Fluttershy, who had taken to hiding her head behind her wings. The frightened pegasus slowly bloomed back into a state of relaxation, listening to the conversation. She had nothing to add.

Placing a hoof on the distraught diva’s shoulder, Twilight Sparkle gave a reassuring nod.

“It’s alright, Rarity, I know this whole ordeal is pretty trying for you. I accept your apologies.”

Bringing a hoof to her chin, Rarity pondered the earlier advice for a moment.

“Thank you very much, Twilight... Where were we... Ah, yes! I must admit there is much merit to the ‘wait and see’ approach. It would allow me to have a better idea of what to expect from him, as well as give me some time to relax without worrying about all of this. Might I be able to count on you two and the others to let me know if you hear or see anything about him?”

The other two mares nodded in answer, appeasing Rarity’s concerns. Almost immediately, her pupils shrank and she suppressed a gasp.

“But, what if he loses interest? Oh, no, no, no, that wouldn’t be good at all. What if he believes I’m not paying attention to what he’s doing and he just goes home to Canterlot? Then, I’ll never know what could have been! I’ll forever wonder if, perhaps, he could have become the pony I had first thought him to be! The mere thought of it is horrifying!”

Unfazed by the dramatic unicorn’s outburst, Twilight gave an encouraging smile.

“You could always go and talk to him. That would let him know you’re at least interested.”

Rarity’s jaw dropped in horror, as she almost threw herself at Twilight.

“No, no, no, no, a thousand times no! That would be so awkward, so uncomfortable. I am not ready to see him, and he is not ready to see me. After all, he still has much to learn about dealing with a mare such as I, and I must admit I am rather uncomfortable with the prospect of reliving that fateful evening. An encounter at this point in time simply will not do!”

Softly, Fluttershy displaced Rarity’s hooves from a panicked Twilight’s shoulders.

“Um... Rarity? Maybe you could just leave a note at his hotel room? Then, you wouldn’t have to face him, but you could still let him know about your feelings. I mean... if that’s what you want.”

Sparkling with interest, Rarity gave an elated smile.

“That is a positively brilliant idea, my dear Fluttershy! I’ll write the note tonight, and have it delivered to him tomorrow! Oh, what would I ever do without you?”

Fluttershy blushed at the compliment.

“Oh... it was nothing special really... I only had the idea because...”

Fluttershy dissolved into incomprehensible mumbling, much to Rarity’s disapproval.


The pegasus spoke no louder, slowly sinking under the surface. Twilight raised an eyebrow in curiosity, motioning upwards.

“Fluttershy? I think you’ll have to speak up.”

Her muzzle now entirely submerged, a few small bubbles were Fluttershy’s only answer.

The two unicorns awkwardly stared for a moment at the cowering pegasus, until finally she surfaced for air. As her lungs refilled, she couldn’t hold back the words.


There was a pregnant pause as the revelation sunk in. Twilight Sparkle’s muzzle soon cracked into a mischievous grin while Rarity appeared to marvel at the situation.

“Fluttershy’s in love! I’m so happy for you!”

“Darling, I beg you, you must tell me all about him! Or is it a her?”

Fluttershy slowly backed herself against the wall of the tub, as the two curious mares slowly edged toward her.


Blueblood and Big Macintosh walked into the barn. It was quite large for a storage area, offering a ground floor and a low-ceiling attic. Despite the large windows, it was somewhat dark and dusty, and it had fallen into disarray over the winter. Tools and equipment were strewn about without a care for order. Most likely, orderliness had fallen to the sidelines during the long rush of the applebucking season.

 The door had been propped open in order to let some fresh air in. Immediately, two young mares poked their heads out from the second floor, looking down at them. One bore a cowfilly’s hat, while the other was graced with a fuchsia mane that seemed to defy the laws of physics and magic alike.

“Hey, big bro, hey Blueblood. You two came to give us a hoof?”

Big Macintosh cracked a smile, nodding towards the disheveled colt clad in the borrowed set of poncho, straw hat and galoshes.

“Eeyup. I didn’t have it in me to bring this here prince into the muddy fields.”

Prince Blueblood snapped out of his dirt-induced torpor.

“I could have handled it!”

While the pink pony retained her eternal grin, oblivious to the Prince’s denial, both farmers gave him a disbelieving stare.

“... Okay. I couldn’t have.”

Pinkie Pie hopped the guard rail of the second floor and landed near Blueblood, using her curly tail as a bouncy landing cushion. The prince could only stare, dumbstruck as she draped a foreleg over his shoulders and flashed him a big smile.

“You silly stallie! Nopony here’s gonna laugh at you because you can’t handle some mud. Everypony has their weaknesses! I mean, I always eat way too much sugar, Applejack is the stubbornest Stubborn von Stubbornpants I know, and Big Macintosh still sleeps with-”

“Pinkie! That ain’t the kind of thing you mention in public!”

“Heehee! Sorry, Applejack. Was that supposed to be a secret?”

Big Macintosh gave a relieved sigh.

Prince Blueblood slipped out of Pinkie’s grasp, somewhat startled at the physical contact. He took a deep breath and let it go slowly and calmly.

What is wrong with this mare? Was she raised by rocks? Okay, no matter, no matter. She was only being overly friendly. Keep calm, Blueblood. Keep. Calm.

Unfazed by the madness that was Pinkie Pie, Big Macintosh motioned for Blueblood to follow him.

“Looks like these two fillies have the top floor under wraps, so what do you say we get started on the ground level?”

Blueblood gave the barn a close inspection. It had spent the entire winter closed, and had become the home to a large colony of spiders. Indeed, cobwebs hung from the ceiling and the tools. The Prince shuddered at the sight. Still, thinking back to the ocean of filth that Big Macintosh had called a field, he figured the situation could have been worse.

“I guess so. However... I believe a little magic is called for, here.”

Before Macintosh could react, Blueblood focused deeply.

Let’s see... How did this spell work again? Ah, yes!

Bright teal light enveloped the prince’s horn, causing the inside of the dimly-lit barn to glow similarly. Soon, the cobwebs gathered together in a single ball, which casually floated out of the window.

“Okay, ready.”

Big Macintosh shrugged at the display. He would have discouraged the use of magic for the actual work, but he figured he’d be able to get more cooperation out of the prince if the latter didn’t constantly panic at the sticky touch of cobwebs in his coat.

“Okay then. Mind giving me a hoof with these apple baskets? I’ll go get the cart.”

Prince Blueblood nodded and grabbed a basket with his mouth. He was somewhat bothered by having to handle objects with his mouth rather than his magic, but if Big Macintosh believed it to be important, then he was bound to go along with it. He was still under oath, after all.

For a few hours, the four ponies labored on getting the barn cleared up, making sure the tools were in working order, and putting everything back in its rightful place.

After a while, the work seemed to become mechanical. Grab a tool, bring it to the workshop, clean it, sharpen it if need be, bring it back. Once they had settled into a rhythm, the two stallions began talking. At first, only of general things, like Blueblood’s evening the previous day, his encounter with Rainbow Dash and his gift to the Doo family. Soon, however, Big Macintosh asked a question that left Blueblood somewhat surprised.

“Say, Blueblood, your story from earlier’s been makin’ me wonder...”


“What exactly does it mean to you, leadin’ ponies?”

Prince Blueblood put down the rake he had been dragging to its proper place. He showed a cringe of confusion.

“What ever do you mean, Big Macintosh?”

Stepping away from the whetstone he had been using to sharpen a pair of shears, Big Macintosh turned towards Blueblood.

“Well, y’see, you told the foals your special talent was about leadin’ ponies, right?”

Prince Blueblood gave an approving mumble around the handle of the rake as he set it down with a pair of shovels and a hoe.

“I haven’t been seeing you do much of anything that resembles leadin’. I mean, that magazine article led you to Rarity, Rarity’s cat led you to the river, Applejack led you to me, I led you to startin’ to get better... well, you get the idea. You seem like you’re more of a follower than a leader, if you ask me.”

Blueblood frowned sourly, his hoof slamming thunderously against the barn’s wooden floor.

“What? That’s preposterous! There is more to leading than simply directing people around oneself. One leads by example, by standing tall and showing a proud, noble allure. One leads by being a beacon of light in the darkness of mediocrity. Most of all, one leads by being proper and chivalrous.”

Big Macintosh kept his composure, unfazed by the prince’s display of indignation.

“Eeyup. Wonder what Rarity would say to that.”

Prince Blueblood stood still for a moment, processing Macintosh’s simple answer. With a gulp, his bravado seemed to melt down in an instant.

“I... see your point. I’ll need to do some thinking on that, I believe.”

Big Macintosh nodded, giving a smile of support.

“I’m not meanin’ to tell you what your special talent’s about, but it does sound like- Blueblood! Watch out!”

“Huh? Whoa!”

By now, Blueblood was going through the motions mechanically. He backed out of the barn, a shovel held in his mouth. Distracted, he tripped on a stack of firewood. The assembled ponies could only watch in horror as the logs came crashing down, grazing the prince’s leg but fortunately otherwise missing him.

The Prince dropped the shovel and fell to the ground, the sharp pain in his leg attracting his attention almost immediately.

Blood. A trickle, a stream, a river, a torrent even, colored his fur all of glistening crimson. He was bleeding. Bleeding his own blood. Sharp pain coursed through his leg, causing him to wince, cringe and recoil. Tears of shock soon formed in his eyes. He couldn’t look away. If he looked away, his massive injury would only get worse; he just knew it. He could hear distant echoes, ghostly voices vying for his attention, and yet, they sailed through his mind without finding port.

He saw only his red blood on his white coat. The pure fluid of life on a pristine canvas. Precious red wine spilled on a tablecloth of priceless lace. A single rose losing its petals one by one on a bed of lilies. The traitorous lipstick on the white vest’s collar, revealing an affair of the most sordid kind. The blood of the fallen royal guard agonizing on the white snows of Stalliongrad.  

Red and white. Red and white. Red and white and pink. Pink?

A shrill voice rang out.

Bluey? Are you okay? You don’t look okay, but then I don’t really know how you’re like when you’re okay so it’s really hard to judge. I know everypony in Ponyville, though, and none of them look like that when they’re okay. I’m not sure I get why you’re all scared like that. It’s just an itty bitty little scrape, no? I mean, I don’t see any blue...”

Distracted from his state of shock, Prince Blueblood stared blankly at the young pink mare. Slowly, his panic turned to incomprehension.

“But... you... I... what? Oh... you thought... Huh?”

Blueblood blinked. He blinked again. Pinkie Pie cracked him an enormous smile, the likes of which no other pony could replicate.

There was an awkward pause.

To the great surprise of everyone involved, Blueblood cracked up. The barn rang with the pure laughter of a stallion free from worry, free to laugh like the colt he once was, free from the constraints of his noble upbringing. The sharp pain of the cut on his leg had been completely forgotten, leaving place to nothing but pure amusement.

It didn’t take long for the cheer to catch up with Pinkie, who soon accompanied the prince in his laughter, herself collapsing to the ground in a fit of hilarity.

Watching over the two, Applejack and Big Macintosh shared a chuckle and a smile. Pinkie could cheer up anyone, that much was clear.


That night, Prince Blueblood arrived at his hotel room tired but in high spirits. He’d managed to last through the entire day of work. When he had left, the barn had seemed twice as spacious as when he had first arrived, clean and orderly.

 Fortunately, his wound had turned out to be a very minor affair, and he felt somewhat silly for how far out of proportion he had taken the whole thing.

The two stallions had come to an agreement that it would probably be better if Blueblood took the day off farm work tomorrow. He had some thinking to do, and was also getting rather curious to see more of the town.

Settling down on the luxurious sofa that throned in the hotel room, Blueblood poured himself a glass of wine nectar, purchased just some hours earlier.

What did it truly mean to be a leader? His mother had always told him that he should lead by example, by being the best stallion he could be. Though he had often tried to become an example of good behavior, his mother seemed to take exception to any of his enterprises. At one point, he had even thought of joining the royal guard, but to his great surprise, his mother had flown into a frenzy, telling him that the guard wasn’t the right place for a colt of his stature, that he would hate it. She’d forbidden him from trying out as a junior recruit.

The prince had never known much about his father, Duke Blueblood the Fourth. Mother had always told him that his father had left soon after the young prince was born, that he had abandoned his family. It came to Blueblood’s attention now that he had never taken a moment to look into the matter. However, he now felt curious. Over the last few days, his mother had proven to be wrong in more than a few ways. Perhaps there was more to his supposedly ingrate father than he had been led to believe. Blueblood made a mental note to look up his ancestry as soon as possible the next day. Looking back at one’s hoofprints, the elderly wisemare had said.

Having already returned to his past, the thought of his old friends came back to him. Amethyst and Apricot. It had been years since they had seen each other. After a particularly crazy adventure of theirs during which the young prince had nearly hurt himself very badly, his mother had forbidden him from seeing the two of them again.

Of course, they had continued meeting in secret, but things had gone sour. Amethyst was the first to drift away.

“You’re not the colt you used to be, Blueblood. You’re no longer the colt I liked. You’ve become haughty, stiff. It’s like you don’t even care about ponies anymore.”

Apricot had stood by him for a while, out of misguided admiration and friendship for his noble friend. Soon, however, Apricot had left as well.

“What happened to the Blueblood I used to know? You used to be awesome. Now you’re just a blowhard. I’m not good enough for you, huh? It’s all about social rank to you now. Can’t be seen with a commoner, huh? Well, fine with me! Go be seen without me all you want!”

Blueblood sighed at the memories. He had failed in the past, but he would not fail again. It was time to take back control of his life.


Dear Lady Amethyst of the House of Gemstone Heart

It has been a long time since we last met, and I understand that I have not always been the best of friends to you. Our last meeting was, perhaps, rather tense.

Recently, I have been having somewhat of a change of heart. Events have pushed me to reconsider many things about myself, our lost friendship being one of the first.

I would like to extend an invitation for an amicable reunion, to see if, perhaps, we might be able to rekindle our lost friendship. I have extended a similar invitation to Apricot, and I am hoping that the three of us may one day stand again with one another.

With heartfelt hope,

~Prince Blueblood the Fifth


Dear Apricot of the House of Fallen Leaves

I have come to realise, recently, just what I have done to drive you away. I recognize my faults and fully admit to my guilt.

I am sending the present letter in hopes of rekindling our friendship. Recent events have led me to reconsider myself and my actions, and to see just how much of a good friend I had driven away from my life.

In hopes of reviving our lost kinship, I hereby extend an invitation to you and Lady Amethyst for us to have a friendly reunion. Perhaps we might be able to work out our differences and resume our friendship where we had left off.

With the humblest of apologies for my past actions,

~Prince Blueblood the Fifth


Prince Blueblood gently set down the two scrolls on the bedside table, and put the quill and ink away. Tomorrow morning he would send the two letters off to Canterlot. Perhaps, with some luck, there was a chance to salvage that which he had stupidly thrown away.

Satisfied with his accomplishments for the day, Prince Blueblood settled upon the bed and slowly drifted off to sleep. Tomorrow was another day entirely, and would likely bring its share of surprises, but for now, all was good.


To Be Continued


Coming up next in To Be a Better Stallion

“Third nebula left of Orion, the skies tell a shining story!”

~Prince Blueblood

“Fifteen stars north, fifteen stars east, a comet flies straight to glory!”

~Twilight Sparkle

“He’s up to something! I’m sure of it!”


“Rarity, this is Prince Cakeface we’re talking about! The jerk of the gala! Just a couple weeks ago you were calling him words I’d never even use to describe Discord!”

~Rainbow Dash


← Chapter 4         Chapter 6 →


I’d like to thank the bronies at #EquestrianStudy who helped make this chapter a possibility with their suggestions, proofreading, reviews and critique, most particularly BlankFlankBrony, DJMidli, FoolOnTheHillz, MaverickVox, Nightbreak, Secret_Agent_Man, Silfir, Taggerung, TiramisuTales and vonBoomslang.

A special shout out goes to my favorite brony pals, Cheechos, Aurora Dawn and CookieClansman, who were great help with inspiration and helping me figure things out.

Another special shout out to Present Perfect who gave this fic the rough shakedown of odds and ends it needed.

All comments and criticism are welcome, either through comments wherever you’ve read this fic, or through email at [email protected]. I ask in particular: What do you think of Prince Blueblood’s characterization here?

Please do not distribute this fic without my express permission, though I will gladly give permission for this fic to appear on most of any fan fiction sites if I am asked politely.

Thanks for reading!


Disclaimer: This is a work of fan made fiction, based on the animated show “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” I do not own, nor lay any claim to My Little Pony or any related intellectual property.

This work was made entirely for entertainment value and as a tribute to the amazing work of the Friendship is Magic production team. It is not, and will never be, distributed for profit.

To Be a Better Stallion

A “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” fan fiction

Written by Autumn Wind

Chapter The Sixth - Of Memories and Fantasies


← Chapter 5        Chapter 7 →


"... I had no choice but to call him out. ‘Gruel?’ I said, ‘Certainly you must be deranged.’”

The dining room of La Rose Dorée was rather empty this morning, Blueblood being the only customer present. Few ponies ever came to the restaurant, and only a handful of those made a regular habit of it. Still, thanks to catering to the richest ponies of the town, the restaurant was more than successful. As such, only two staff members were currently in the restaurant: The chef, Cordon Bleu, and the main waitress and connoisseuse, Crystal Château, both unicorns.

With little to do, Crystal had taken to chatting with the prince, who had quickly become a regular customer. Blueblood had taken every single meal of his at La Rose Dorée since his arrival in Ponyville, each time trying a different item off the menu. This, in turn, had led to the two of them becoming somewhat acquainted.

Alors, Monsieur Blueblood, how are you finding our little town of Ponyville?”

It was actually hearing her voice, distinguished and colored with a slight Percheron accent, that had first attracted Blueblood’s attention to the restaurant. He had always had a soft spot for Percheron haute cuisine, and La Rose Dorée had been more than successful at catering to that desire.

“I must say, it is slowly growing on me. Of course, I somewhat miss the luxuries of my home in Canterlot, but a small town such as this one does have its charms. I may just make plans to come back for a true vacation at a later date.”

Crystal gave a warm smile.

“We’d be more than glad to have you again.”

A bell chimed, indicating the arrival of new customers and startling the waitress.

“Oh! Off I go. Enjoy your breakfeast, Prince Blueblood.”

Briskly trotting over to the incoming customers, Crystal left Blueblood with his order and his bill, so that he could finish eating and pay at his leisure. When she next came by his table, he had finished up and left sufficient bits to cover the meal, as well a copious tip.

With each passing day, his tips were becoming more and more generous.


The walk to the library turned out to be short and uneventful. As usual, Prince Blueblood flashed a few smiles to mares attracted by his dashing looks, but he paid them little attention. His heart was taken, and besides, he was out of their leagues.

A library built inside a tree? These ponies sure have strange ideas when it comes to architecture.

The sudden approach of a noisy mass startled Blueblood. Coming from the distance, he could hear the giggles of several foals, the pattering of many small hooves, and the buzz of a young pegasus’ rapid wingbeats. The market was usually noisy in the late morning, but never as much as this.

Prince Blueblood watched in bewilderment as the Cutie Mark Crusaders came speeding by on their scooter and wagon, followed by a flock of a dozen of giggling, cheerful foals. He chuckled to himself at the sight, proud to have been an inspiration.

Finally, Blueblood found himself at the library’s doorstep. He brought a hoof up to the door and knocked three times. Voices rang out from the inside.

“Spike! Can you get the door?”

“I’m on it, Twilight!”

Spike? Twilight? I’m sure I’ve heard these names before...

The door to the library swung open, revealing a young dragon assistant the likes of whom Prince Blueblood had met a few times. Surprised to see such a creature here, the prince couldn’t help but look Spike over a few times.

Of course! Twilight Sparkle from Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns and her assistant, Spike!

“Uh... hi? Can we help you?”

“Oh! Pardon my distraction. I was looking to consult a book on the noble lines of Canterlot genealogy, and someone recommended I come here. If I’m not mistaken, you would be Spike, assistant to Lady Twilight Sparkle of Canterlot, am I wrong?”

The young dragon blinked a few times, frowning, before calling out.

“Twilight, I think you might want to handle this one yourself.”

Without any further words, he walked off in a huff, heading up the library stairs and leaving the prince alone at the door. Halfway up, he motioned to his eyes and then to Blueblood, as if to say “I’m watching you,” before vanishing into the upper level.

Blueblood remained at the door, looking right to left and wondering whether or not he should come in, until he was greeted by a peculiar sound.


Startled, the prince looked around, trying to find his questioner. Finally, a small brown figure caught his eye. An owl was perched on the top of the door, looking down at him.

“Pardon me?”


“That’s not a very polite way of asking, is it?”


“Oh, fine. I am Prince Blueblood.”


“Prince Blueblood of Canterlot.”


“Prince. Blueblood.”


“... Celestia’s nephew?”


The prince stamped a hoof against the library’s doorstep.

“How have you not heard of me? Everypony’s heard of me!”


“I just told you! Prince Blueblood of Canterlot! Head of House Blueblood! Honorary nephew of Princess Celestia! Proprietor of Quill and Sofa International Incorporated, Hammer Hoof Hardware Limited and Hayfries n’ Tulips Incorporated! I was twice elected most desirable bachelor in Equestria! I am a master of three classical schools of horn fencing, and the Equestrian champion of the stallions’ division in Longue Corne! Equestrian Dreams Magazine gave me the Most Charming Smile Award for eight consecutive years! I was top of my class at Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns and Class President in magic kindergarten! I swear, for all the manure in the world! How can you possibly not know my name?”


Blueblood could feel himself nearly catch fire, until the sound of a pony’s voice startled him.

“Prince Blueblood, I wasn’t expecting you to drop by! I see you’ve met Owlowiscious already.”

As Twilight Sparkle came into view, his attention turned to her. He paused for a moment, surprised. He hadn’t expected the awkward filly he’d known in school to have grown into such a pretty mare.

“Lady Sparkle, it has been quite a long time, has it not?”

Prince Blueblood bowed politely, and Twilight returned the gesture. Though it had been nearly a year since she had left Canterlot, the gestures of nobility had been ingrained in her from a very young age. Though her parents and herself were by no means royalty, her status as the Princess’s protégée had conferred to Twilight a position of noblesse, and thus, the title of Lady. In turn, this meant that she was expected to act properly in all matters relating to the courts of Canterlot.

“It certainly has. I’ve got to admit I was hoping for you to drop by. There are a few things I’d been meaning to ask you. May I ask what brings you to the library?”

“Certainly. I was hoping to borrow a book, but it would be no problem for me to stay and talk for a while.”

Twilight turned her head towards the back of the library.

“Spike! Could you prepare some tea? Thanks!”


“Blueblood, do you remember Professor Solaris?”

Blueblood rose from his seat, chuckling under his breath, and assumed a theatrical, grandiose posture.

“Third nebula left of Orion, the skies tell a shining story!”

Feeling a rush of giggling coming over her, Twilight matched the gesture, declaring loudly for all to hear.

“Fifteen stars north, fifteen stars east, a comet flies straight to glory!”

The two of them laughed for a moment, as Spike gawked in incomprehension.


“Oh! Right. You were too young to remember. Professor Solaris was one of our teachers back at school. His enthusiasm was... something else entirely.”

Spike gave a nervous laugh. Noticing that the prince’s attention had drifted to scanning the library’s history section from his seat, he leaned in close to Twilight and frowned before whispering to her.

“Twilight, what are you doing? This is Prince Blueblood, remember? Rarity’s Prince Charmless! How can you be so nice to him?”

Twilight gave the young dragon a stern look, occasionally glancing at the prince to make sure he wouldn’t notice.

Spike, Prince Blueblood is an old friend of mine, and he’s making an effort to redeem himself. Rarity wants us to give him a chance, and that includes you. I know you don’t like him, but be respectful.”

Her words were a stern admonishment, almost a hiss.

Spike sighed in exasperation.


Twilight could only offer an apologetic smile and a quick but affectionate nuzzle to the young dragon before the prince snapped back to attention.

“I promise I’ll make it up to you later.”

After a few more moments of searching quietly, Blueblood zeroed in on a familiar book’s spine amongst many others in the “History and Genealogy” section.

“Lady Twilight, I hope you won’t mind if I borrow a book, yes?”

Twilight beamed at the question, marvelling at the thoughts of her precious books being useful to a pony.

“Sure, go right ahead!”

Thank you oh-so-very much!”

The book leapt off the shelf and landed on the table, swerving around Prince Blueblood’s teacup and slowly coming to a stop in front of him in a dexterous display of levitation magic. Intrigued, Twilight read the title of the tome her guest had selected.

House Majesty and House Blueblood: History and Genealogy - A Compilation of Works by Duke Silver Majesty XVII

Blueblood magically opened the book, flipping through a few pages in search of a specific entry.

Spike rolled his eyes at the notion.

“Leave it to the prince to pick a book about himself and his family.”

Twilight shot the young dragon an annoyed yet amused glare, unable to decide whether she should laugh or scold him. Finally, she had no choice.

“Spike! Be respectful!”

Prince Blueblood simply chuckled, thinking to himself that only two or three days ago, he would have unloaded a vicious verbal assault on the hatchling.

“No, no, it’s quite alright. It does look rather silly of me. However, young dragon, you’d be surprised how much there is to learn from the past. It is sad that I myself only learned that lesson yesterday; perhaps I could have avoided this dramedy my life has recently become had I known this earlier. If it’s alright with you, Lady Twilight, I’d like to borrow this book for a day or two. Some in-depth consultation is in order, and I would enjoy being able to consult it in my downtime.”

Twilight nodded in full understanding.

“Of course, no problem at all. Spike, please add it to the library records.”

Spike nodded, thankful for the occasion to get away from his rival, mumbling under his breath as he walked downstairs and shut the door to the library’s basement behind him.

“He’s up to something! I’m sure of it! Don’t you worry, my dear Rarity! I swear this clown’s empty charms won’t trouble you more than they already have!”

Having recorded the book checkout, Spike headed back upstairs, but opted not to enter the main room just yet. Confident that he wouldn’t be seen, he peeked out from behind the door frame and eavesdropped on Twilight and Blueblood’s conversation.

“... I don’t get it, Prince Blueblood. Back at school, you were so nice, and now, you’re well-educated and respectful. Just what happened at the gala with you and Rarity?”

Blueblood’s head lowered. He had strongly hoped not to have to approach the subject, but since the cat was now out of the bag, he relented.

“I must admit, by now, I am asking myself the same question. I can’t say I recall changing all that much, yet events around me these past weeks have proven to me that I definitely have. I’ve mostly managed to drop that haughty facade I used to carry, and yet another problem plagues me. I often find myself having to consciously act polite against my own temperamental nature. ‘He wears a mask and his muzzle grows to fit it,’ as Oatwell so cleverly put it.”

Twilight smiled at the reference.

“He was a wise stallion, for sure.”

An awkward silence soon took over the library, as the two searched for words, until a suddenly more somber Twilight finally took it upon herself to speak out.

“Blueblood, you were really nice back in school, and I’m really not sure what happened these last few years, but... when you acted like you did to Rarity, it really hurt her. I’d never seen a pony look so miserable before.”

Twilight’s words struck home, leaving Blueblood to look down at the table.

Did... did I truly hurt her so much? Oh dear...

Seeing that the prince had nothing to say for himself, Twilight continued.

“I’ve seen your good sides before, I know you can turn things around, and I trust you. Just... please, be very careful around Rarity. I’d really hate to see her devastated again because you went and trampled all over her a second time.”

Lowering his empty teacup onto the table, Prince Blueblood nodded his head politely.

“I promise, Lady Sparkle. Never again will this stallion act so uncouth. My past actions are objects of shame to me, and I have made it a point of honor to put them behind me and recover a more proper and noble image.”

Twilight offered the prince an encouraging smile.

“In that case, I wish you the best of successes to turn things around.

Prince Blueblood politely bowed. A faint smile found its way through the prince’s gloomy expression, thanks to Twilight’s encouragement.

“Thank you very much for these kind words, Lady Sparkle. It was a pleasure meeting you again, but I fear I have some concerns to attend to.”

Twilight rose from her cushion, bowing in turn.

“Feel free to drop by anytime; my door is always open to a well-read pony like you. Also, please give my regards to the Princess.”

Prince Blueblood followed suit and stood up, the book levitating itself into his travel bag. As he headed for the door, he turned to Twilight and offered a charming smile.

“Thank you for the invitation; I’ll be sure to find some time. I’ll make sure to tell Celestia how proper and smart a lady her student has become.

Twilight barely managed to stutter a simple salutation through her blushing. The compliment had hit home.

As the prince trotted away from the library, pondering what kind of discoveries he would make from a closer inspection of the borrowed book, he failed to realise that he was being followed by a bush with strange green thorns and a purple tail.

“A two-faced flatterer, that’s what he is. I’ll catch you red-hoofed yet, Blueblood. No fake charmer can get past this dragon’s keen senses! Don’t you worry, Rarity, I’ll make sure this... uh... how would she say it... ruffian! I’ll make sure this ruffian doesn’t disgrace you again!”


Not long after leaving the library, Blueblood was walking through Ponyville’s central park on the way back to his hotel room. By then, the desire to open up that book and read was burning him up from the inside, but first, he felt the need to wind down from the emotional reunion with his old classmate.

As he strolled across the gravel path, he slowly became aware of the unusual scenes around him. Foals running around and playing wildly, a musician stallion delighting a group of mares with his music, and a unicorn struggling to maintain a strange sitting position, much to her mate’s amusement. Unlike orderly, stuffy Canterlot, the ponies of Ponyville clearly had no problem having fun even if it made them look silly. It was all different from home, and yet it felt friendly. He didn’t feel like an outcast, even though he was so different. Here, he wasn’t Prince Blueblood, he was just Blueblood the potential friend. It was refreshing.

Perhaps I ought to come by this town every once in a while from now on, even if this all doesn’t work out.

He levitated the book out of his bag and up to his eye level, pondering to himself as he walked.

How did I never think to look into this? It is quite unbecoming of a stallion such as I not to have looked into his line before. As proud as I am of being head of House Blueblood, it feels rather silly of me.

But then, Mother has told me so much about Father. How he just up and left one day, abandoning his own kin; he was an awful stallion, unworthy of his name, so she said. I trusted her blindly for so long, but...

Prince Blueblood’s thoughts went silent, replaced by pure doubt. Over the last few days, he had discovered that his mother had been wrong on many things. What it meant to lead, how his behavior really appeared, so many things he had thought true had only led to his misery. Could she also be wrong about Father? He would soon have his answer.

The prince settled down on an empty park bench, unable to wait any longer. He opened up the book in front of him, quickly riffling through the pages.

“Now, let’s see... House Blueblood... direct descendants of Princess Celestia, branched off from the older House Majesty when Duke Blueblood the First was granted some land by Princess Celestia...”

He fanned ahead, looking for something more specific.

“Prince Blueblood the Fifth. Hmm, they have an entry about me. Interesting. Son of Duke Blueblood the Fourth and Précieuse... The title of Prince as granted to foals personally godmothered by Princess Celestia... Okay, nothing I didn’t know here.”

Prince Blueblood turned back a few pages.

“Ah! Here we are. Duke Blueblood the Fourth. Son of Duke Blueblood the Third, obviously. Born in Canterlot on the year of... okay, deceased...”

Prince Blueblood’s jaw dropped as the next words sunk into his mind.

“Died defending Canterlot from an invasion? Personal honor guard of Celestia herself? Mother! You hid this all from me?”

Suddenly, it was all clear. Her near smothering. Her panicked reaction when he wanted to try out for the guard. Those times when he had caught her crying at night over Father’s picture. Her insistence that he always stay at her side. It all made sense now.

She was afraid that she would lose her son like she had lost her husband. It could only be that. But... why the spankings? Why all the anger? Couldn’t she simply have been honest with him? Why had she lied to him for so long?

Silently, his hooves shaking, Prince Blueblood slowly closed the book. He attempted to pick it up with his magic but faltered, resorting to moving it into his bag with his mouth. He rose from the bench and walked away, nearly unaware of his surroundings. He would need some time to wrap his head around it all.


Rarity walked out of Carousel Boutique feeling relaxed, if somewhat disappointed. With business running at a snail’s pace today and Sweetie Belle off with their parents, her day at the shop had been a complete bore. Having no dresses to sew, no mess to clean and no ponies to give makeovers to, the fashionista figured she’d close up shop for the day.

Last evening, she’d discussed the latest developments of the prince’s quest. She’d heard about him helping plough the field and clean the barn, and how he’d even done his best to put up with the Cutie Mark Crusaders’ antics.

Sweetie Belle had also added oil to that fire, asking Rarity about Prince Blueblood some more, saying he had seemed pretty nice to her, and that the story he’d told her and her friends had given them a great idea for crusading.

Prince Blueblood is changing... for me? I must be the luckiest mare in all of Equestria!

Rarity was dragged out of her thoughts by a sudden craving for one of Sugarcube Corner’s famous low-fat lily turnovers. With nothing else to occupy her day, she shrugged and daintily trotted off to the bakery, hoping she might run into some of her friends.

As usual, Sugarcube Corner failed to disappoint. Not only was Pinkie at work, somehow having anticipated Rarity’s arrival and immediately offered her the aforementioned turnover fresh out of the oven, but Rainbow Dash was also present, eagerly munching on a lemon tart.

“Hi Rarity! Welcome to Sugarcube Corner, where life is always sweet! Looking for the usual?”

Pinkie Pie giggled. She was the one to have come up with the bakery’s new greeting, and she reveled in saying it every time a customer walked in. Before Rarity could even answer, the turnover had been plated and thrust into her hooves.

“While I would enjoy being asked next time before you hand me the pastry, yes, that is exactly what I was coming here for. Thank you very much.”

Rarity levitated a few bits over to Pinkie, before sitting down at the same table as Rainbow Dash.

“Hey Rarity, fancy running into you here.”

Having her mouth full of crust and lemon filling was no obstacle for Rainbow Dash. The unicorn rolled her eyes, wiping a speck of sprayed food from her right cheek with a glare of sheer disgust.

“Rainbow Dash! You would do well to swallow before you speak.”

Rainbow Dash swallowed audibly, wiping crumbs off the side of her muzzle before giving a nervous giggle.

“Sorry, Rarity.”

“Rainbow Dash, I swear, sometimes, you are the worst.”

Rarity sighed, before remembering why she had been hoping to run into friends.

Before Rarity had a chance to touch her food, she became aware of Pinkie Pie sitting uncomfortably close to her. Somewhat uneasy, the unicorn dragged her chair a few hooves away from the intrusion and daintily took a bite of the fresh turnover, chewing a few times before swallowing and magically wiping the corner of her muzzle with a paper napkin before she explained.

“Now then, Rainbow Dash, I’ve heard from Applejack that the two of you have had a run-in with Prince Blueblood?”

At Rarity’s words, Rainbow Dash burst into laughter, almost spitting the remainder of her tart onto the table.

A run-in? More like a run-into!”

Pinkie joined Rainbow Dash in laughter, until Rarity quieted them both.

“What do you mean, a run-into?”

Reclining back in her chair, the pegasus grinned awkwardly, attempting to cover for herself.

“Well, I saw Prince Haughty walking around the street, acting all ‘look at me, I’m the most important pony in all of Equestria’, and I kind of... just happened to lose control of my flight at that moment, and... uh... accidentally knocked him into a dirty puddle when I crashed into him?”

Pinkie opened her mouth to speak, but was quickly overridden by Rarity’s exclamation.

“Rainbow Dash! How could you? I know Prince Blueblood hasn’t exactly been a model of good behavior, but deliberately crashing into him? That is unbecoming of a lady!”

Rainbow Dash leaned forward against the table, panicked.

“Whoa, whoa! I’d never crash into someone intentionally! Look, I’ll be honest. I just wanted to give him a scare, you know, fly close to him, ruffle his mane, just bother him a little. But, uh... I kind of messed up and crashed into him.”

The white unicorn gave an annoyed sigh, burying her face in her hoof.

Whatever shall I do with you, Rainbow Dash? A noblecolt comes to town looking for me, resolves to better himself for my attention, and you go and tackle him into a dirty, filthy puddle.”

Rarity stopped to ponder for a moment, struggling to bear with her histrionics.

”Oh, this is awful, this is just plain awful! How do you think this will reflect on me? Rainbow, do you not realise what you’ve done? I insist that you seek him out and apologize! To think a good friend of mine would crash into that noblecolt!”

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes in response.

“Uh... a noblecolt? The only time I’d call him noble is with an I and a G ahead of it. Rarity, this is Prince Cakeface we’re talking about! The jerk of the gala! Just a couple weeks ago you were calling him words I’d never even use to describe Discord!”

Rarity recoiled, taken aback.

“But... things aren’t the same anymore! He’s changing for me! He said it! Applejack saw it!”

The brash pegasus flicked her head dismissively, rolling her eyes.

“Pfft! Please. Like a pony can just change from one day to the other. Rarity, hate to have to be the one to tell you, but you’re lost in your Disneigh Princess fantasies again! Get back down to Equestria a little, would you?”

“But... but... just see him go! He was ploughing the fields in Applejack’s orchard just two days ago! He bought muffins for Ditzy Doo and her daughter!”

Rainbow Dash nodded.

“I’ll give you that one, he is getting good at being nice, when he’s in a good mood. But have you seen him in a bad mood? He shouted at me and called me a madmare!”

Rarity cocked an eyebrow.

“Rainbow, I shouted at you and called you a madmare last week. Plus, you crashed into him.”

“Okay, you’ve got a point. Still, he’s far from being as good as you think he is. Do you think you’re the only one Applejack told about Blueblood? Have you seen his attitude? He’s always sighing and just barely holding back his annoyance. He almost snapped at Scootaloo when she’d barely done anything and he sneered at Pinkie Pie when they first met. It’s never, ‘Sure, I’ll do it!’ It’s always, ‘If I must!’”

The unicorn nodded quietly, silenced by Rainbow Dash’s words.

 “Look, I’ll admit, he’s making a good effort. Even I have to recognize that. But... it’s all fake right now; he’s forcing it. It’s not real yet, and we have no way to know if it’ll ever be that way. I know you’re hoping this works, and as much as I don’t like him, I really hope it all works out for you. All I’m asking is, please, be careful. You’re my friend, and I’d hate to see you get hurt again because some doofus of a prince thought he could change in a snap and sweep you off your hooves, only to fumble and drop you onto the pavement.”

Rarity sighed.

“I... guess you’re right, Rainbow Dash. I’ll be careful not to go off in fantasies again, and try to keep my head on my shoulders about this. There’s only one thing I’d like to ask of you. Please, take a moment and apologize to Blueblood for crashing into him, would you?”

The pegasus begrudgingly nodded.

“Fine, but if he’s rude to me when I do so, I can’t be held responsible for my actions.”

Rarity chuckled and smirked.

“A fine bargain. Now then, what about you, Pinkie?”

The two ponies looked around. Pinkie Pie was nowhere to be seen. Rainbow Dash stepped over to the counter.


There was a second of awkward silence until the bakery’s door suddenly crashed open. Pinkie Pie dashed in, dragging the Cutie Mark Crusaders in behind her and slamming the door with one of her hindlegs.

“Behind the counter, they won’t find you!”

Galloping under Rarity and Rainbow Dash’s confused muzzles, the three fillies ducked behind the counter as a dozen angry foals poured through the main entrance in a flash. Their de facto leader, a blue filly with a bow and arrow cutie mark, stepped forward.

“Come out, Cutie Mark Crusaders! We know you’re in there!”

Thankfully, Pinkie quickly calmed the mob down through the amazing magic of free, extra-frosted cupcakes. Once the bakery was clear, the Cutie Mark Crusaders walked out from their hiding place, out of breath.

While Rainbow Dash was too busy laughing at the mishap to question what had happened, Rarity looked down at her sister and sternly questioned her.

“Sweetie Belle! Please tell me, what was that chaos all about? I want to hear the whole story.”

Sweetie Belle scraped her hoof against the floor a few times. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo looked just as dejected as she did.

“Well... it all started when we decided to try for our Pony Leading Cutie Marks...”


The rest of Blueblood’s day was, to his great relief, devoid of any problems. In order to settle from his emotions and calm his frenzied mind, he had gone for a walk in town. Thoughts of his parents kept galloping through his mind, but he knew that there was no point in worrying too much about them, that things would be clear in due time.

A surprise inspection at the local branch of Quills and Sofas had revealed business to be booming, especially in the fainting couch department, and local manager Mr. Davenport had been promised a bonus.

Next, Blueblood had encountered the local spa and treated himself to their most luxurious stallions’ treatment, where the amazing talent of Lotus’s expert hooves had massaged away the tension he had built up from working so hard. On his way out, he had encountered Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, themselves heading to the spa. Their endearing smiles had helped soothe his spinning head and worried heart.

Later, he had stumbled upon Sweet Apple Acres’ apple stand. Out of curiosity, he’d decided to give their produce a second chance, this time opting for a fresh apple rather than a sugar-laden fatty fritter. It hadn’t been really fair of him to judge them on a product he’d already known himself to dislike. However, a taste of the fresh produce itself, straight from the apple cellar, had shown him just why the orchard was so popular. Fresh, crisp, sweet, and delicious. He couldn’t help but purchase a few more to eat that evening, and he had made a mental note to seek investment opportunities in their business. It was clear that Sweet Apple Acres was destined to become a very big name and that he would be a fool to pass on such an opportunity.

Finally, he had made a most unexpected encounter on the way to his hotel room: a zebra mare. Zecora, as her name was, had been more than impressed when the prince had greeted her according to her native land’s customs, the way his uncle, an Equestrian ambassador in the zebra lands, had taught him.

His day now behind him, Blueblood arrived in the hotel’s lobby. Despite having been through the lavish décor several times since his arrival in Ponyville, it never ceased to impress him. The tapestries, the warm red carpet, the great chandelier; it reminded him of the luxuries of Canterlot.

The hotel’s manager, a middle-aged unicorn with a snowy white mane, stepped out from behind the counter to greet him, magically levitating an envelope over to him.

“Excuse me, Prince Blueblood, you have received some mail while you were away.”

Blueblood’s magic gently picked up the envelope as he walked by her, bowing politely.

“Thank you very much, Ms. Dreams.”

Sweet Dreams bowed back respectfully as the prince disappeared into the hotel’s main corridor and headed to his room.


Settling down for the evening, Blueblood laid out the borrowed book and the apples, then looked the envelope up and down on every side. There was no signature on the envelope, only a logo that he had come to know very well: Carousel Boutique. Prince Blueblood extracted the letter from the envelope in the blink of an eye and settled down onto the couch to read comfortably.

Esteemed Prince Blueblood,

I have been made aware of your recent bout of soul-searching and learning here in Ponyville. My friend Applejack, whom I presume you have met several times over the last few days spent on the farm, has informed me of the current situation.

I would like to congratulate you for allowing yourself to step off your pedestal and for doing some solid farm work. It is rather endearing to know that a noblecolt such as you would try his hoof at it. I have myself offered some of my time to help my dear friend Applejack, and I know just how discouraging that labor can be.

I have also heard of your commendable generosity to our local mailmare and her daughter. I have nothing but compliments to give here. That is a sign of a true noble stallion.

However, I have been made aware of more than just the good. Your altercation with Rainbow Dash, for one. While I do not hold you fully responsible, for I know that she can be quite a hoofful, I believe that your reaction to her was most uncouth. Sneering at poor Pinkie Pie before she had a chance to make a good impression on you wasn’t exactly nice of you either.

Still, all in all, I am very impressed by how much progress you have made since you first knocked on my door. There is yet hope for you, Prince Blueblood, and should you follow this path you have chosen, there may yet be hope for us.

Wishing you the best of successes,


As he set down the letter, a smile slowly traced itself upon Blueblood’s face. Soon, a chuckle came to him, then another. Then, he erupted into gleeful laughter.

“I stand a chance! She knows! She cares! Oh, Rarity! Beautiful Rarity! Thank you for these kind words of hope! I shall not betray your trust!”


Big Macintosh smiled as he tapped the loose earth around the new sapling’s roots. The new tree, now bathing in the sunset, was barely a dozen hooves high, but would most likely be several meters tall by the time the farm passed on to the next generation.

Though he was happy to help Blueblood’s cause, Big Macintosh was thankful for a calm day with nothing to trouble him. Only his family, the farm, and his work were on his mind today, giving him some quiet peace for thought.

“Now then, what do we call you, little fella?”

The red stallion sat down, pondering for a moment, until an idea came to him.

“Considerin’ who got the earth here ready for you, I guess I may as well give him the honors. Prince it is.”

Satisfied with his work for the day, Big Macintosh headed back to the barn, glancing at his collar for a moment to make sure the precious note was still safely tucked inside.

That night, the red stallion went to bed with an oafish smile on his face and a delicate mare dancing through his thoughts.

And there I was thinkin’ things couldn’t get any better.


To Be Continued


Coming up next in To Be a Better Stallion

“Oh my gosh! You’re... Amethyst!”

~Rainbow Dash

“My, my, my. Someone has certainly changed.”

~Lady Amethyst

“What you need to learn now, my dear Blueblood, is chivalry.”

~Lady Amethyst


← Chapter 5         Chapter 7 →


I’d like to thank the bronies at #EquestrianStudy who helped make this chapter a possibility with their suggestions, proofreading, reviews and critique, most particularly DJMidli, Eights, Foolonthehillz, Miyajima, PonyMarine, Secret Agent Man, TiramisuTales and Vulpin.

A special shout out goes to my favorite brony pals, Cheechos, Aurora Dawn and CookieClansman, who were great help with inspiration and helping me figure things out.

Another special shout out to Present Perfect who gave this fic the rough shakedown of odds and ends it needed.

A final special shoutout to TiramisuTales, who allowed me to borrow the fantastic nickname of Prince Cakeface. Thanks Tira!

All comments and criticism are welcome, either through comments wherever you’ve read this fic, or through email at [email protected]. I ask in particular: What do you think of Prince Blueblood’s characterization here?

Please do not distribute this fic without my express permission, though I will gladly give permission for this fic to appear on most of any fan fiction sites if I am asked politely.

Thanks for reading!


Disclaimer: This is a work of fan made fiction, based on the animated show “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” I do not own, nor lay any claim to My Little Pony or any related intellectual property.

This work was made entirely for entertainment value and as a tribute to the amazing work of the Friendship is Magic production team. It is not, and will never be, distributed for profit.

To Be a Better Stallion

A “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” fan fiction

Written by Autumn Wind

Chapter The Seventh - Dinner and a Show


← Chapter 6        Chapter 8 →


Hah. Canterlot to Ponyville in half an hour. New record for me there. The fillies at the gym will be pulling their manes out in envy! That’ll do wonders for my figure, that’s for sure.... How do I look?

Amethyst’s hooves touched down on the cumulus cloud’s surface, allowing the mare to catch a quick breather from the short flight she had just completed. She set down her saddlebags and searched through them for a moment, pulling out her pocket mirror. She looked herself over inch by inch, ensuring that she still looked the best she could. After all, she had an image to preserve.

She flicked her braid over her shoulder. To her great relief, its complex patterns were intact. Only her unicorn hairdresser could manage such a braid, and that made it all the more desirable. It was worth every bit,  for sure. He had been the one to recommend it, explaining that it would work wonders with her flaming red mane.

Okay... mane... check. How’s my bleach job?

To her great disappointment, the dull violet of her fur had always clashed terribly with her mane, and the resulting color conflict had left her ashamed of her appearance. Fortunately, she had learned of a most magical procedure some years ago: coat bleaching. Invented by one of Canterlot’s most renowned estheticians,  a coat bleaching gradually made a pony’s fur  lighter, allowing for a brighter disposition and correcting natural coat and mane mismatches. In Amethyst’s case, her simple violet had bleached into a much more attractive light thistle, nearly white, which complemented her mane far better. Thankfully, the bleaching didn’t affect cutie marks. Her polished amethyst gemstone could still shine for all to see, showcasing her talent as a jewelry model.

Great, holding fine, no dark regrowths... Marescara?

Amethyst looked into her mirror over the rim of her sunglasses, carefully checking her eyelashes. Happy with what she saw, she winked at her own reflection.


Amethyst carefully unfolded the elegant garment she had been carrying with her. It was a casual Sunday dress that perfectly matched her mane. She slipped into it with practiced expertise, careful not to ruffle any part of it.

 Check. Tail? Check. Feather extensions? Check, check, check, check, check and... check. Faaan-tastic. Lookin’ good, Amethyst, lookin’ good. Now... where do I find that colt?

Amethyst gracefully dived off the cloud, flaring her wings out into a slow glide. Her eyes scanned the streets of the small village below her. Thanks to the Prince’s large size and enviable white color, there was no way she could miss him.

As she was halfway through her descent, a second pegasus joined her in the sky, speeding to catch up with her before slowing to her pace.

“Hey, aren’t you... Oh my gosh! You are! You’re Cloud Nine’s wife! You’re Lady Amethyst!”

“Yep, that’s me alright. Nice to know my reputation reaches all the way here.”

Amethyst chuckled as she turned to face the pony whom she assumed would be just another admirer of her Wonderbolt husband. She was surprised see just who it was that had joined her in the sky. The cyan color, the rainbow mane, that cutie mark. Indeed, it could only be...

“Oh! I know that pretty face. Rainbow Dash, is it?”

Rainbow Dash missed a wingbeat and nearly lost her balance, stuttering in amazement.

“You... you know me?”

Amethyst smiled, resting her sunglasses on top of her head. She gesticulated as she spoke, punctuating her speech with grandiose gestures.

“Are you kidding me? Anypony who’s anypony’s heard of you! You won the Young Fliers’ Competition, saved three Wonderbolts, and helped protect Equestria from the forces of evil twice! How could anypony not have heard of you?”

Rainbow Dash puffed her chest out more and more as Amethyst listed her accomplishments.

“I guess I am pretty awesome, yeah. Flew straight up to a dragon and kicked it in the snout, too. But enough about me. What brings you to town?”

Dash gasped in amazement at a sudden thought, causing her to puff out even further. Too full of air, Rainbow Dash could only deflate in a stream of words.

“Wait, wait, wait, wait. If you’re here... that means... the Wonderbolts are coming too! Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh! Are they coming for a show? Wait... since you know me... that must mean... are they coming for me?”

Amethyst chuckled.

“Just as eager as I’d heard you were, I see. Sorry to disappoint, but it’s just me here, on personal, non-Wonderbolt business.”

Rainbow Dash paused in her tracks, showing a clear frown of disappointment.

“Oh. Sorry, got a bit ahead of myself there.”

The thistle mare gave an encouraging smile.

“Don’t worry about it, I know how it feels to wait on something like that. Say, if it’s not too much of a bother, have you seen a prince wandering around town? You know the type: tall, white, blond mane, probably looking full of himself.”

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes, snickering at the description.

“Oh, you mean Prince Blueblood? I’m pretty sure he’s helping out on the farm right now, says he wants to better himself.”

She nodded towards the large orchard in the distance, bright green foliage shining under the Sun’s rays.

“Hah, I’d never have thought to look there. Thanks!”

Amethyst folded her wings and dived down, gaining speed towards the farm until a thought passed through her mind. She quickly flew back up to Rainbow Dash, who had simply remained hovering in place, disappointed by the news and distraught at being abandoned so suddenly.

By the way, Rainbow Dash, sorry, but there's a non-disclosure agreement forbidding me from telling you that you're being considered for a Wonderbolts tryout. So I'm not going to tell you. Because that would be wrong.”

In an instant, Amethyst was gone. The cyan mare stared in confusion, failing to process just what she had been told. A bright smile crept onto her face as she grasped the not-so-hidden meaning of Amethyst’s declaration. Finally, she burst into laughter.

“Well I guess I can’t thank you, then!”

The shout echoed some distance away to Amethyst who giggled to herself.

Keep it up, filly. You’re going places.


Amethyst’s jaw dropped as the great orchard came into view.

Blueblood’s supposed to be... there? Either Blueblood wasn’t kidding about wanting to change or someone is playing a trick on me.

She glided above the flowering trees, delighted by their sweet smell and enjoying the feel of the wind as it filled her wings. The sun was warm on her back, and the crisp morning air caressed her face. She spaced out for a moment, focusing on nothing but spotting anypony she could and enjoying her tranquil flight.

A figure caught her eye not too far below. A tall stallion stood in the shadow of a tree, focused on his task. The wide-brimmed straw hat and oversized poncho he was wearing made it difficult to discern his traits, but the soft teal glow that lit the ground around him and the pruning shears hovering around the tree as they snipped away troublesome branches were a dead giveaway to his breed.

Wait... unicorn? Teal magic? Could it be... Naaaah. There’s no way. Maybe he’ll be able to tell me where to find Blueblood, though. He’s probably doing some meaningless busywork inside the barn just to look good.

Amethyst dropped her altitude, approaching the stallion from the skies.

“Excuse me, sir, might you know where I could find- Whoa!”

The edge of Amethyst’s dress snagged against a stray branch. The sudden resistance threw her off-balance and sent her into a steep nosedive, sending her tumbling as she crashed.

“Oh dear! Are you okay, miss?”

Amethyst shook off her daze and dusted herself off, readjusting her sunglasses. Fortunately, her favorite accessory had survived the accident without a scratch. The same could not be said of her dress, which bore a very visible tear.

Oh, that’s just great! Hopefully, this’ll be easy to fix for a seamstress who knows what she’s doing.

She cracked the stallion a friendly smile, inspecting him from his hooves to his head as she stood back up.

“Don’t worry, I’m alright, thank you very much. I should have been more careful, I-”

The mare blinked a few times, gawking at the stallion that stood in front of her. She knew that face and that horn, but everything else was leaving her completely baffled.

“B-B-Blueblood? But... you... farm... What!?”

Blueblood seemed just as confused as she was, until her cutie mark caught his eye.

“Amethyst? You received my letter! I certainly wasn’t expecting you to drop by so suddenly! My, you certainly have changed. I like the bleach job; it looks great on you.”

Amethyst pushed her sunglasses to rest on her forehead. Shaking her head, she rubbed her temple with her hoof.

“Okay, Blueblood. You’re gonna have to explain to me just what in Equestria has happened to you, because I’m pretty sure I’m probably in a bar somewhere in Canterlot and I’ve started hallucinating after a few salt licks too many. I swear if you don’t tell me right now, I’m gonna wake up and leave you here.”

The Prince chuckled.

“What do you say I take a break and we go out for a cup of coffee? I know a nice little place not too far from here. I’ll explain everything on the way.”

Amethyst shrugged, happily going with the flow. She smirked mischievously.

“Sure, why not? Worse come to worst, I’ll find out you haven’t changed at all and ditch you.”

The stallion smirked right back at her.

“You’re saying that like I didn’t deserve it.”


“... Of course, at first, I was just going through the motions because I’d bound myself like an idiot, but after a while, I began to realise that the whole thing really was having a positive effect on me. Big Macintosh has been very helpful.”

Amethyst could barely contain her laughter at the antics she was hearing about.

“My, my, my! Somepony certainly has changed. Blueblood pulling a plow, I’d sure have liked to see that.”

Blueblood sighed, ashamed.

“Honestly, I’d rather it stay a secret between you and me.”

The mare derisively rolled her eyes behind her sunglasses.

“You’re no fun, you know that?”

The two exhanged friendly smiles, and Blueblood nodded towards a colorful building some distance ahead. Amethyst nearly fell over muzzle-first as she saw the garish mass of pastry-like architecture. She lifted her eyewear, taking in the bakery’s décor.

“That’s the place you had in mind? Far shot from the fancy cafés in Canterlot, I swear. I’d be surprised if this place can make any decent coffee, let alone my usual.”

Blueblood smirked.

“Ah, the elusive chestnut mocha, is it?”

Amethyst’s wings fluttered for a moment as she giggled and prodded the stallion’s side.

“Hah, you sneaky little stallion, you. You remembered!”

Blueblood stopped for a moment and bowed.

“But of course. Just because I became a jerk doesn’t mean I forgot about you and Apricot.... Now that I think about it, any news of him? Do you know if he got my letter?”

There was an awkward silence. Amethyst couldn’t help but recall what the colt had said the previous day when she’d gone to meet him. Her expression turned somber, dismayed.

“Who does this stallion think he is? After everything, he thinks he can just say ‘I’m sorry’ and it’ll be fine again? I don’t know about you, Amethyst, but I’m not ready to give him a second chance. Not after how he humiliated me. You’re welcome to go check on him, but I’m not being a part of it. No way.

“Yeah, he got it. I’m afraid he wasn’t exactly... receptive to your apologies.”

Blueblood’s tone matched hers.

“I had expected as much. I’m afraid we did not part ways on the friendliest of terms.”

She shot him an inquisitive glare, raising an eyebrow.

“Just what did you do to the poor colt, anyway?”

The prince’s head hung low.

“Do you remember that scandal from the newspapers some years ago, when I made a fool of myself by proclaiming the superiority of the nobility over the common folk and generally stuffed my hoof knee-deep in my mouth.”

Amethyst recoiled, surprised.

“As a matter of fact, no, I don’t remember.”

Blueblood gave a sigh of defeat.

“He most likely does.”

Amethyst gave Blueblood a pat on the back.

“Isn’t much we can do about it, really. He’ll probably need some time to warm up to you again, but I’m pretty sure he’s not a lost cause. Here’s an idea: If I think you’re good by the time I leave tonight, I’ll tell him you’ve improved and how you were making nice-nice with farmers. That oughta help.”

Blueblood perked up, smiling faintly.

“Thank you, Amethyst. I’ll make sure not to disappoint.”

Amethyst grinned.

“I had my doubts about you for a while, but I’m glad to see the good old Bluey resurfacing.”

She playfully shoved Blueblood to the side as they walked together, causing the stallion to nearly lose his balance.

“There’s hope for you yet.”

Blueblood chuckled, turning onto the walkway leading to Sugarcube Corner. Amethyst followed closely and took a step back as they reached the door, expecting him to open the door and let her in as any good stallion would do.

As expected, the door swung open, glowing with the aura of Blueblood’s magic. However, in a gesture that left her disheartened, he simply waltzed on in, just barely holding the door open long enough for her to slip in behind him. She nearly had to rear up to avoid bumping into him, flapping her wings a few times to keep her balance.

Blueblood stepped towards the counter, completely oblivious to her issues.

What was that? One moment he’s acting all polite, and the next he’s rushing in right ahead of me. What’s that all about?

Amethyst rolled her eyes and flicked her head, letting her sunglasses fall back in front of her eyes. Looking around, she took in the strange appearance of the establishment, baffled by the prince’s passive reaction to the area. The Blueblood she remembered would most likely have been offended by the colors of the walls or by the scent of processed sugar in the air.

Oh my gosh, I’d better watch myself. This place is infested with rogue calories just waiting to ambush me. I think just being in here is making me fatter.

Mrs. Cake cheerfully greeted the duo, as bright and chipper as ever.

"Oh! Hello again, Prince Blueblood, and hello to you as well, Miss. Welcome to Sugarcube Corner! How may I help you today?”

Prince Blueblood nodded politely.

“Nice to see you again, Mrs. Cake. If you’ll give me a moment, I have yet to decide.”

Amethyst smiled to the baker, giving a bow as she introduced herself.

“Lady Amethyst, nice to meet you.”

The two nobleponies quietly perused the menu, taking a moment to consider their orders. Amethyst was pleasantly surprised with the large variety of products the bakery had to offer.

The voice of a young filly distracted them for a moment, alerting them to the presence of a pair of customers. The first was a stallion with a slick black mane and a suave smile, the businessman known as Filthy Rich. Alongside him, almost bouncing in place with excitement, was the young filly Blueblood had come to know as Diamond Tiara.

“So it’s still okay if Silver Spoon and I head to the park tomorrow, right Daddy? Oh look! Hi Prince Blueblood! Hi Lady Amethyst!”

Filthy Rich was quick to follow his daughter’s example, nodding in a polite salute to Bluebood and Amethyst. The two of them responded with equally polite greetings as the father and daughter left the store with a heaping box of fresh pastries. Blueblood curiously eyed his companion.

“You know her?”

Amethyst nodded with a smile.

“Sure do. I got to work with her a few times. That little filly is one of my boss’ favorite models for his foals’ jewelry line. That cutie mark of hers doesn’t stand for nothing, you know.

Blueblood nodded in understanding as the two of them turned back to the menu on display.

Hm... well I’ll be. Chestnut mocha, right there on the sign. I could do with a little treat. Surely they’ll have something in here that’s not too- oh gosh that chocolate mousse looks delicious.

Before she could stop herself, she’d ordered it along with her coffee.

“I’m clearly committing some kind of crime against my diet here. This one’s going straight to my flanks, I swear.”

Blueblood chuckled, already sneaking a few nibbles of the éclair he’d purchased.

“In hindsight, perhaps I should have warned you when I invited you here. Oh well, one must live one’s life. I know I would go crazy if I had to stay away from the most decadent of foods at all times.”

Mrs. Cake joined the two ponies in their merriment.

“It’s a good thing, too. I’d be out of business otherwise.”

The duo shared a good-natured chuckle at the baker’s remark as they stepped towards one of the small coffee tables. Amethyst couldn’t help but notice that Blueblood had gone straight to his seat, leaving her to pull her own chair out.

Polite? Yes. Gallant? No. He’s not going to be impressing any mare worth impressing if he keeps that up.

Oblivious to her concerns, Blueblood took a sip of his own coffee.

“So, what about you, Amethyst? What’s become of my dear friend these last few years?”

A goofy grin crept onto Amethyst’s face as she reflected on her own life, and more specifically, her husband.

“Oh, you know, nothing much. Modeling jewelry for Be Deers, being married to a marvelous Wonderbolt and really just living it up in Canterlot. I think you probably know a lot about that.”

Blueblood grinned before melting down into theatrics.

“Woe is us, rich ponies of Canterlot! What ever shall I do with so much free time? How will I ever find enough space to store my bits! Oh, the horror! Shall I go to this gala or that ball? Such a horrible life we lead, is it not?”

Amethyst burst into laughter, pounding her right hoof against the table. Blueblood maintained his falsely distraught image for a few more seconds before he faltered and joined his friend in laughing.

“So, anyway, Bluey...”

A cheeky smirk spread across on Amethyst’s face. Through the dark lenses of her glasses, Blueblood could see a glint of mischief. A chill went down his spine as the mare asked a question he was not ready for.

“That Rarity filly must be quite something if she’s caught your eye like that over all those mares who’d give a hoof to kiss your flank in Canterlot. Why her of all ponies?”

Blueblood stopped for a moment to think. His heart had been aflutter for days now, and parasprites flew through his stomach whenever he saw Rarity walking through town. However, until now, he had never truly stopped to think of what exactly about her had charmed him.

“There’s something about her: Her strength of character, her passion. She’s not just looking for some rich idiot. I think she first caught my eye when I realised that she wasn’t just another noble mare. She was a challenge. Her independence might have played a good part in it, too. Most of my suitors back in Canterlot have all the ambition of a saddlebag poodle. In comparison, she currently runs her own successful business here in Ponyville, and she had the gall to try to seduce a prince of Equestria and the charm to pull it off. Yes, clearly, I think that would be it. It’s that strength of character.”

Amethyst smirked, watching in amusement as Blueblood gushed. Under his white fur, she could see him blush quite clearly.

“Her strong personality and ambition, really? Nothing else? Let me guess... Nice round flanks? Cute little butt? Big pretty eyes with the fluttery eyelashes? Hah! I see blushing! It’s the fluttery little eyelashes. It’s always the fluttery little eyelashes.”

Taken aback, Prince Blueblood stammered.

“Lady Amethyst! This is hardly proper conversation!”

The mare sighed, rolling her eyes behind her sunglasses.

“Fiiine. Sorry. So, when are you putting the moves on her?”

Blueblood, surprised in the middle of a sip of his coffee, sprayed a mouthful of it onto the table and spilled his mug. Shocked at the sudden splash, he shot back with a squeal and nearly fell off his chair. His horn flashed and a napkin surged out of its holder, unfolding as it leapt through the air. The brave fabric threw itself onto the table, shielding the Prince from any wayward coffee drips.

“Oh dear! I’m so sorry! You took me off guard, and I’m afraid I’ve made a sizable mess. Please, allow me to clean this up.”

From her side, Amethyst gawked back, dumbfounded at the extreme reaction. A single drop of coffee slid down the tip of her muzzle and fell onto the table, at which point she lost her composure and burst into roaring laughter. She had to force her words out through her hilarity.

“It’s okay, Bluey, I’m not mad at you. Oh, dear, I can’t stop laughing. If you’d only seen the face you made!”

Blueblood’s distraught expression called her back to Equestria, and her laughter quickly ceased, noticing his embarassment.

“Here, I’ll help you clean this up. Don’t worry about it. I mean, we’ve all had that kind of accident, no?”

Still frantically gathering as much of the wayward drink as possible, the Prince sighed, relieved that she wouldn’t hold it against him.

“We have? I don’t recall you ever doing something like this...”

Amethyst picked up a napkin of her own between her hooves, carefully wiping the table in front of her.

“Are you kidding? You’re talking to the mare who accidentally spilled wine on Princess Celestia herself. Good thing she was forgiving, because for a moment there I was sure I’d wind up saying ‘Hi!’ to the Mare in the Moon.”

This time, it was Blueblood who burst into laughter.

“Oh dear! That was you? You made the headlines for that! ‘Wonderbolt Wife’s Wine Wreck; I’ll remember that forever. If it’s any comfort, she was laughing about it when I spoke to her that night.”

Amethyst joined in the laughter.

“Well then, that’s a relief.”

“To get back to your question, however, I have yet to ask her out, as I do not feel my presence would be quite welcome yet. While she has proven rather supportive of my efforts, she has made it clear that I am not to seek her out and that she would come to me when she feels the time is right. Why? Do you feel I have sufficiently improved?”

Amethyst pondered for a moment.

“Well, you’re acting a lot humbler than when we last saw each other, so that’s a good start, but if we’re talking about taking that mare on a date, I think you’re missing just one little detail....”


“A double what to teach him what now?”

Big Macintosh gave Amethyst a dumbfounded look over the barn’s dinner table. Amethyst chuckled.

“A double date to teach him chivalry, of course. You’ve done some amazing work making Bluey humbler, but I get the feeling you’re forgetting what this is all about.”

The stallion raised an eyebrow.

“Now then, just before we came here, Blueblood and I were out grabbing a cup of coffee, and I couldn’t help but notice the poor stallion knows nothing of the finer courtesies one should adopt when dealing with a lady. I don’t mean to call you uncouth, you seem like a very nice stallion yourself, Mister Macintosh...”

… And a pretty attractive one at that... Mmm... those fetlocks...

“... But I think what comes naturally to most stallions doesn’t come to him. That’s where my plan comes in. However, I’ll need your help. I need someone who can model good behavior...”


The plan had been so simple at first. She’d drop by Ponyville and see if Blueblood had changed... but somehow she now found herself teaming up with a farmer pony and organising a pretend double date to teach the stallion the base notions of chivalry and romantic gallantry.

Hah, always another adventure waiting for Lady Amethyst... I love it!

The first steps of the plan had gone off without a hitch: securing the farmer’s help and getting Blueblood to agree to the idea. Now, she had a few hours of free time before the date. It was time to get her dress fixed and do some shopping.

Amethyst looked up at the boutique in front of which she now stood. Whoever had designed the place definitely had talent. It was tall and visible, and yet did not overshadow its neighbors. Instead, it seemed to complement the area perfectly. All of light pastel colors and well-dressed pony figures, the building looked beautiful in the early afternoon sun.

Carousel Boutique, is it? That name sounds familiar, I know I’ve seen it in a magazine somewhere, but where...

Amethyst carefully pushed the door open with a hoof and stepped in, a melodious set of chimes heralding her entry. Waiting for the seamstress to show up, the pegasus looked around, taking in the boutique’s exquisite décor.

The store was elegant and full of purple velvet curtains, culminating in a warm, cozy atmosphere. A crowd of wooden modeling forms stood at attention, clad in dresses and suits in various states of completion. Curled up on a particularly warm-looking coat, an elaborately groomed cat was snoozing comfortably. Fabrics of all colors were neatly organised on shelves and workstations, and the light smell of new fabric permeated the air. The carpet felt warm and comfortable under her hooves. The soulful voice and music of Sapphire Shores’ latest production softly emanated from a gramophone sitting in a corner of the shop, completing the atmosphere.

A distinguished, feminine voice rang from upstairs, seizing Amethyst’s attention.

“Just a minute, I’ll be right there!”

Not a second later, a white mare came trotting down the stairs.

“Please pardon me for the delay, I’m afraid I was rather... entangled in my work. Oh! Just where are my manners? Welcome to Carousel Boutique, where everything is chic,”

Here we go. Three...



“and magnifique!”


“So how may I help you today, Ms....”

Rarity gasped and stumbled when she realised who she was speaking to.

“You’re... you’re... the famous jewelry model, Lady Amethyst!”

Amethyst grinned, instinctively standing tall and flaring her wings out.

Every time. It’s always the same with the small town seamstresses.

“Yep, that’s me. I’ve heard a lot about your boutique recently, and since I was in town, I figured I’d drop by and have a look.”

Rarity was hesitant for a moment, surely intimidated by the presence of a high lady of fashion.

“It’s an honor to have a fashion star like you visit us, Lady Amethyst. I am, of course, Rarity, proprietor and seamstress. How may I help you today?”

Amethyst paused for a moment, reeling in confusion.

Wait. Waiiiiiit. Did she just say what I thought she said? Of all the places I could have stopped, I’ve stumbled upon the one mare Blueblood’s head over hooves for. If I play my cards well, I might just be able to do some good here.

“Well, actually, I’ve got a special little occasion tonight in town, and I was thinking I could really use a new dress. Your brand’s certainly climbing quickly, and I’d love to snag myself a piece before they become all the rage and everyone else is wearing them too!”

The mares shared a chuckle.

“The issue is, I only have until four hours from now. Think that’d be enough time? I have nothing but time to burn until then, so if you’d like to model it right off the pony, that’s no problem.”

“Oh! Certainly! It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve completed a piece so quickly. Just a little while ago, I remember making no less than 10 dresses over the course of a single day!”

Rarity cringed, betraying the fact that the incident had been a lot more complex than she was willing to talk about.

“Do you have anything particular in mind?”

“Let’s see... I’m looking for something light and short for the warm season that’s coming. Something elegant but not too bulky, because I’m likely to fly in it a few times. Also, it’s imperative that...”


As Rarity measured and pinned the fabric in place, the mares had taken to gossiping about recent events. Soon, the conversation had turned to Rarity’s misadventures with her friends.

“...and then, would you believe it, they let us go! Just like that, with carts full of gems! It’s amazing what a little persuasion can do.”

Amethyst couldn’t help but chuckle at the mental image of the ugly creatures pleading for the wellbeing of their ears.

“Oh, Miss Rarity, those are certainly some interesting escapades you’ve been having... and here I thought my life was full of excitement and adventure!”

No longer distracted by Rarity’s story, Amethyst glanced down at the dress that was slowly forming around her body. Her wings fluttered for a moment, feeling the fabric gently tickling their undersides.

“Please, no need for such formalities, just call me Rarity.”

Amethyst gave a kind smile.

“Oh, of course. I must say, Rarity, this dress is coming together exquisitely, and this silk is amazing. How did you ever find something so light, yet so comfortable? I simply love it!”

Rarity beamed, prancing in excitement as she moved over to her workstation to gather a few more pins. Realising her excess, she forced herself to keep up a professional appearance.

“Oh, this old fabric? It’s just a little something I ordered specially from Bovindia a few weeks ago. I had been saving it for a special occasion, and a visit from a fashion leader such as you seemed like the right time. How has our little village been treating you?”

Amethyst’s wings flared out as the praise struck home, betraying the mare’s stoic reaction.

“I’m simply honored, Rarity. Also, Ponyville certainly seems like a charming little community. I’d heard some pretty... strange things about it, but it does seems like they came from misguided assumptions. It’s definitely livelier than I expected.”

Rarity laughed daintily, blushing.

“There’s never a dull moment around here, and especially not as of late, what with that noblecolt... what’s his name... ah yes, Prince Blueblood coming into town.”

So she does know he’s in town... Gotcha! I see blushing!

Amethyst folded her wings back, watching closely as Rarity took to pinning the hem of the dress’ collar in place.

“Ah, yes, Prince Blueblood. He’s certainly a very unique character, is he not?”

Rarity froze in place, betraying a recent warming up to the prince. She could only blurt out a few awkward words amidst uncomfortable laughter.

“Yes... ‘unique’ is certainly the word I’d use to describe him. Do you know him as well?”

Amethyst nodded, careful not to move too much while Rarity double-checked the left side of the dress’ skirt.

“As a matter of fact, we go way back, he and I. We were dating, a couple of years ago.

Shocked, Rarity nearly tore the fabric held by her magic as her face sunk into a frown. She gulped, failing to keep a neutral expression.

“Oh, you don’t say? I dare not imagine what caused you to leave him.”

The thistle mare raised an eyebrow, reflexively reaching for the sunglasses on her forehead only to realise she had set them aside before the fitting.

“Actually, our separation happened on amiable terms. We weren’t looking for the same things out of romance.”

The seamstress lowered her head in shame.

“Oh... I am very sorry, I shouldn’t have assumed.”

Amethyst looked back at Rarity, offering a warm smile.

“Heh, I can’t blame you. A few months later, he’d changed. A lot. Honestly, I blame his mother’s weird teachings about what’s considered proper. He and I have been estranged for a few years. I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw of him earlier today. I think that his visit to Ponyville has been an eye-opening experience for him. It was like meeting the old Bluey again, at least for the most part.”

Rarity visibly perked up, until a spark of worry shot through her eyes.

“So... I figure that means... You and he...”

Amethyst didn’t need to hear what Rarity had to say in order to guess her intentions. She winked at the unicorn.

“He’s all yours if you want to chase after him. I’m happily married now.”

Rarity’s blush deepened, her white cheeks flaring taking on a deep red color that could almost rival that of her client’s mane.

“What? You thought I... He... No, no, no! I wasn’t implying...”

The pegasus mare grinned, answering Rarity’s objections with a tone midway between good-hearted mockery and reassurance.

“Of course you weren’t. Please forgive me for assuming.”

“It’s... quite alright. Now then, I believe that’s all the fitting we need for the dress. I should have it done in about two hours.”

Rarity helped Amethyst out of the dress, steadying the unsewn pieces of fabric as the pegasus slipped out of the unfinished vestment.

“May I offer you a cup of tea while you wait? I have some Earl Grey I've been saving for my most distinguished guests. Of course, you’re free to go enjoy our town some more if you’d rather, but I have to admit I am rather enjoying our little chat.”

Amethyst grinned, fluttering over to the boutique’s small salon.

“Oh, a cup of tea would be wonderful.”

With a simple flash of Rarity’s horn, a teapot adorned with floral motifs set itself upon a heating plate.

“If you don’t mind me asking, Amethyst, I should admit I am rather curious. When you say ‘The old Bluey’...”


Blueblood paced about the sidewalk in front of La Rose Dorée. Hesitation weighed on him, with only the clopping of his hooves against the pavement and the murmur of discussions within the restaurant to break the monotony. Amethyst had instructed him to meet her there fifteen minutes before their planned dinner time with Big Macintosh and his guest. Ten minutes after the agreed time, she had yet to show up, to his great consternation. Finally, the sound of wings flapping caught his attention.

“I’m here, I’m here! Sorry for the wait!”

Prince Blueblood whipped his head around to face Lady Amethyst as she landed. He frowned, tapping his hoof against the ground impatiently.

“You know, I learned, not too long ago, that when one makes plans, one should take care to follow them. I’ve been waiting for quite a while now. If I had known you’d make me wait so long in this chilly spring evening, I would have brought a warmer coat.”

Amethyst shrugged dismissively. She knew full well that the fault was hers, but she had far too much pride to accept the scolding.

“Heh, sorry. If it’s any comfort, I got some pretty good information while chatting with that Rarity of yours. It’s just too bad we got lost in our gossiping for so long.”

Prince Blueblood blushed and his eyes shot wide open. Amethyst snickered at his reaction.

“Oh? Did anything interesting come up?”

Amethyst grinned mischievously as she seized his elegant vest by the collar and gave it a tug, pulling him towards the restaurant until he relented and followed by himself.

“Now, now, it wouldn’t be any fun if I just sold the punchline right now, would it? I’m afraid, my dear Bluey, you’ll have to find out for yourself.”

This time, Amethyst knew what to expect when they reached the door, and she slipped ahead of Blueblood. He appeared surprised but not particularly bothered.

She glanced around the restaurant, pleasantly surprised by what she saw. The restaurant’s décor was elaborate, its colors, appetizing. Delightful smells floated through the dining room.

Whoa, this place could rival Canterlot’s fanciest.

One particular detail caught her eye: near the middle of the restaurant, a grand piano stood on an upraised stand. Sitting at the keyboard, a small purple dragon bearing a large black mustache played the instrument with great skill, offering delightful music for all to hear. She turned her attention back to Blueblood, who had noticed the strange pianist as well. He was the first to speak.

“That’s odd, I remember their pianist being taller... and less draconic, at that. Must be a new person. I’m surprised this town has two dragons, let alone one, or one with a mustache.”

Amethyst’s eyes went wide.

“Wait, did just you say two dragons?”

Blueblood nodded.

“Yes. Twilight Sparkle, Princess Celestia’s number one student lives here with her draconic assistant. Didn’t you know?”

“Oh! Right.”

This town is fascinating. I’ll have to make a point of taking Cloud Nine to see this place sometime, for sure.

They were greeted by the same waitress Blueblood had met over the last few days. Crystal Château smiled as the saw the prince’s tall and bright figure, surprised when she noticed the mare accompanying him wasn’t the one he had been going on about these last few days.

“Blueblood, party of four, reservation for the private booth, I take it? Will the other two be joining you later?”

Prince Blueblood nodded. Amethyst could tell he was familiar with the place, and so she politely followed and allowed him to handle the situation. As she led them towards the back of the restaurant, Crystal whispered a few words to Blueblood, who chuckled quietly.

None of them noticed the pianist keeping a close watch on them as they walked through the establishment.

“Don’t get any wrong ideas, Miss Château. Lady Amethyst is merely a friend of mine, and I would never make advances on a married mare.”

The light blonde waitress’ cheeks turned bright crimson in shame, and she remained silent as she showed the pair to their booth.

Obviously, he didn’t show me to my seat like a gentlecolt. Doubts confirmed, one chivalry lesson to be served.

 Once Crystal had left the two with the drink menu and was out of earshot, Amethyst couldn’t help but crack up.

“That look on her face was priceless! Really, though, picking this private booth was a great idea. I’d hate for anypony to get the wrong idea about either of us.”

Blueblood nodded, glancing over the various choices offered by the restaurant.

“Definitely. Also, I believe you wanted the two of us to meet so you could explain something to me before Macintosh and his date arrived?”

Amethyst grinned, looking up at him as she poured herself a drink from the provided pitched of ice water. She figured she’d make him squirm a little before she told him what she’d heard.

“Oh, sure. I could tell you, but are you sure you want to know?”

Blueblood shot her a confused look, one eyebrow raised.

“Of course I want to know.”

Amethyst leaned over the table, smirking.

“Are you really sure? It’s not too late to back down. I’d hate to trouble you with this.”

Blueblood leaned back as she approached, completely baffled by her sudden game.

“No, no, I am quite sure.”

“Are you certain?”


“Completely, one hundred percent certain?”

“Yes, yes, I am certain.”

“Absolutely, fully, entirely cert-”

Blueblood slammed a hoof against the table, causing the utensils to tinkle and the glasses to wobble.

“Yes, yes, yes! I am certain! Now tell me! I want to know! I need to know! Tell me! For the love of the Princesses and Equestria all around us, sing it if you must, but tell me!”

Sing it? Hm... That’s an idea.

Lady Amethyst chuckled. This would be interesting.

“Well then... if you insist, who am I to deny a request? Ready, Blueblood? One-and Two-and Three-and-let's-go!”

Blueblood’s eyes went wide. In his irritation, he had given her the most terrible of ideas. Amethyst leaned back in her seat and took a sip of water. As they shared a moment of silence, hers in anticipation, his in apprehension, the dragon pianist seemed to pick up on the moment. The calm song he had been playing segued into a rhythmic piece not unlike a passionate showtune. Amethyst grinned. This would be fun...

“You've been polite,

That's great and all.

You've got the look,

You're standin' tall.”

Blueblood sighed, dejected.

“Oh, Amethyst, you really haven’t changed a bit, have you?”

Amethyst laughed.

“Nope. You, however, haven’t changed nearly enough yet.”

“Keep that smile bright,

Let’s have a ball,

You need a hook,

So here's my call....”

Sighing, Amethyst buried her face into her hoof.

“Blueblood, you have no concept of chivalry.”

The Prince’s jaw dropped. Stammering, he tried to stand for himself.

“What? How dare you! Such rudeness!”

“Oh, are you serious? Hate to be like this, Bluey, but someone’s gotta tell you.”

“Okay, maybe you’re right, but still, there had to be a less... shocking way to tell me.”

Amethyst gave him a mischievous wink and a smirk.

“Tough love, baby.”

Amethyst rose from her seat, thankful that the private booth would spare the other customers from the madness she was preparing to unleash. The piano’s tempo picked up as the pegasus’ passion flared up.

“Full pampering and nothing less,

You've got to show her much finesse,

And if you want to see success,

You'll make her feel like a princess.

“But mother always said it was the mare’s task to-”

Amethyst rolled her eyes.

“Bluey, please. Respect to your mother, but did you ever see her hold the door to a stallion?”

Blueblood pondered for a moment.

“I... guess not.”

Amethyst grinned back. She knew she had hit the nail right on the head.

“Did she ever offer to pay for her date?”

The Prince blinked a few times in incomprehension.

“Not that I know of.”

“Did she ever let anyone pass ahead of her?

“... No.”

“Did she ever-”

Blueblood pounded on the table with a hoof.

“Okay! Okay! I see your point! I guess my mother wasn’t exactly the best pony to trust, when it came to chivalry. Nor in any other matters, for what it’s worth.”

Amethyst offered a warm smile.

“Aw, c’mon, don’t get all sad on me, you’re still a good pony, no matter what. Now listen here.”

“Listen and take this little clue,

If you just care, oh yes it’s true,

Some sweet gestures, only a few,

Her heart will beat only for you.

“But how am I supposed to know what she wants? I may be able to cast spells, but I can’t read minds!”

Amethyst sighed.

“Oh, Blueblood, you’re so adorably clueless. Oh! Look who’s coming! Right on time!”

Big Macintosh arrived as if on cue, clad in an elegant collar not unlike Blueblood’s. At his side was a small-statured mare whom Amethyst immediately recognized as Fluttershy, the one-week wonder of haute-couture.

Blueblood was the first to speak.

“How nice of you to join us, Big Macintosh, and you as well, Miss...”

Fluttershy hesitated for a moment, but Macintosh’s presence was enough to bolster her.

“Fluttershy, nice to meet you.”

Amethyst noticed Big Macintosh whisper a few words to Blueblood, but could only make out the last few; “...friend of Rarity.”

Important information, for sure. Blueblood certainly wouldn’t want to make a bad impression of a friend of his precious lady.

“Now Bluey, watch closely.”

Amethyst hovered towards the couple as Big Macintosh helped Fluttershy out of her jacket. She followed the two from above, pointing out various details.

“Watch as he helps her with her vest,

You’ll see that she thinks he’s the best.

Watch as he shows her to her seat,

You’ll see that she thinks he’s quite neat.

The new arrivals shared a chuckle as Amethyst launched back into her number.

“There I was thinkin’ only you and Miss Pie ever did that.”

Fluttershy answered with nothing but a dainty giggle, perusing the menu.

Blueblood was silent for a moment, pondering the example that he had just been offered. He looked utterly baffled.

“So, if I understand clearly, one is expected to act like a servant to his date?”

Big Macintosh repressed a burst of laughter, but Amethyst did not offer the prince that same reprieve.

“Oh, Blueblood, it’s nothing like that. It’s just about being nice and helpful sometimes.”

Fluttershy cut in hesitantly.

“Well... since it’s Rarity we’re talking about, I guess servant might be... um... nevermind.”

Amethyst could barely keep herself from a second burst of laughter.

Blueblood sure knows how to pick ‘em.

“It’s not about being a slave,

She’ll never count how much you gave,

Just stop and think, ‘How can I show...

‘That my heart does care for her so?’”

The Prince shot up from his seat with a gasp, eyes wide open.

“Of course! How... could I be so obtuse? It all seems so obvious now.”

Amethyst rolled her eyes, smiling at his reaction.

Looks like the wires have finally touched. ‘Bout time too, I was running out of words and I can see the pianist getting tired.

“Really? Then sing it with me!”

Blueblood looked at her with utmost confusion painted on his face.

“Wait, what?”

Amethyst lunged at him, draping her foreleg around his shoulder and forcing him to stand tall with her. She grinned to the other two, who were besides themselves with amusement.

“Now follow along, Bluey! Follow along!”

“Full pampering and...”

“Nothing less...?”

You've got to show her...”

“Much finesse.”

“And if you want to see suuuuuucceeeeeess...”

“I’ll make her feel like a priiiiiiinceeeeeess!”

The two built up their crescendo to a stunning finale, the pianist punctuating it with a closing cadence and a quick flourish. At the table, Big Macintosh and Fluttershy applauded, chuckling in amusement.

As the duo’s voices faded away, Amethyst turned to the waitress, who was now dumbfoundedly gawking at them.

“I’ll have the fresh garden salad. What about you three?”


The rest of dinner went off without a hitch, and all four ponies had a good time. The subject of Fluttershy’s short-lived fashion career came up. Amethyst tried to encourage the shy mare to give fashion a second chance, explaining that her manager, Showtime, would be more accommodating to her shy nature than Photo Finish ever could have hoped to be. Nevertheless, Fluttershy would have none of it.

Blueblood was rather surprised to find out how much of a tycoon the farmer was. Big Macintosh’s desire to spread the business of Sweet Apple Acres outside of Equestria had definitely made him curious. The Prince was no stranger to business himself. For all of her quirks, his mother had taught him well in the use of the family fortune. Despite what some would call his ridiculous spending habits, Blueblood still made a clean profit from his investments.

The dinner had also been a great learning experience for Blueblood, who got to see the broad lines of gallantry firsthoof and take many mental notes for his eventual chance with Rarity, if he were ever to have one.

The dinner soon came to an end, and the two pairs bid farewell to each other. Blueblood and Amethyst watched as Big Macintosh and Fluttershy walked off towards the mare’s cottage, the farmer having explained that he would see her home since it was getting late. Amethyst chuckled, nudging Blueblood.

“Look at how close they’re walking. I’d say their date was a lot less pretend than ours.”


 The two Canterlot ponies soon found themselves at the outskirts of Ponyville. They had sought out a quiet spot to talk before the mare took off for home. The Prince’s instinct led them to the same river where Applejack had found him crying just four days ago.

Amethyst glanced up at the setting Sun before turning back to Blueblood.

“I’ve had a good time, but I’d better head home. I’m feeling pretty tired and I’ve got a husband waiting for me.”

Blueblood nodded in understanding, a worried frown plainly visible on his face.

“Have a good trip home, Lady Amethyst.”

Amethyst spread her wings wide for a moment, but slowly closed them. She had business to finish. She took a few steps towards the Prince and threw her forelegs around his shoulders, drawing him into a hug which he was more than happy to reciprocate. After a few seconds, she pulled back gently and sat on her haunches.

“You’ve changed so much since the last time we saw each other, Bluey. I’ll be honest, when I first came to Ponyville, I kind of expected you to not have amounted to much, and that I’d just see the same stallion I saw when I walked away from you. I’m really glad you proved me wrong.”

Blueblood thought for a moment and smiled back.

“It was a very difficult experience, I can’t deny it, but I’m very glad I went through with it. I feel like a new stallion now. A better stallion.”

The two fell silent for a moment, looking at each other. Amethyst was surprised to see tears well up in the Prince’s eyes. Soon, he found the courage to ask.

“Say, Amethyst... You met Rarity earlier, yes? Do... do you think I stand a chance with her?”

Amethyst placed a hoof on his shoulder, winking amicably.

“If you keep up the good work like you’ve been? Absolutely.

Blueblood lit up like a Hearth’s Warming tree, recovering his noble posture.

“It’s been wonderful seeing you again, and I’m hoping we’ll have more chances to catch up when I return to Canterlot.

The pegasus smiled back, her wings flaring out.

“For sure, Bluey! For sure!”

With a strong burst, she lifted off, only to remember a crucial detail. Her ascent stopped and she glided back down, hovering near her friend.

“Oh! I almost forgot. I’ll make sure to have a talk with Apricot. I don’t think you’re a lost cause to him just yet, but he’ll definitely need some pushing. As for you, I think you’ve learned your lesson by now. You’ve been in good hooves with Big Macintosh.”

Good hooves with even better fetlocks.... Mmm.... Maybe I ought to get Cloud Nine to grow his out.

“I’ll see you soon, Blueblood. It’s a promise.”

Blueblood bowed solemnly.

“So it is. Farewell, have a nice trip home!”

With a final salute, Amethyst vanished into the distance, flying off towards the mountain summit. Canterlot was resplendent in the setting Sun, and its majesty was without equal.

As he looked upon the mare becoming naught but a speck in the distance, Blueblood could only feel hope welling up into him.

“Thank you, Amethyst.”


To Be Continued


Coming up next in To Be a Better Stallion

“Rarity! You gotta stop leadin’ him on!”


“You will remove your grubby paws from that filly immediately!”

~Prince Blueblood

“Such courage! Such bravery! Such heroism!”



← Chapter 6         Chapter 8 →


I’d like to thank the bronies at #EquestrianStudy who helped make this chapter a possibility with their suggestions, proofreading, reviews and critique, most particularly Blue Thrush, CHeighlund, MaverickVox, Pata-K, Sagebrush, Silfir, SouthernCross, TiramisuTales and vonBoomslang.

Extra credit to MaverickVox and Blue Thrush for coming up with this amazing, amazing chapter title.

A special shout out goes to my favorite brony pals, Cheechos, Aurora Dawn, CookieClansman, and Cosmic, who were great help with inspiration and helping me figure things out.

Another special shout out to Present Perfect and Foolonthehillz who gave this fic the rough shakedown of odds and ends it needed.

All comments and criticism are welcome, either through comments wherever you’ve read this fic, or through email at [email protected]. I ask in particular: What do you think of Prince Blueblood’s characterization here?

Please do not distribute this fic without my express permission, though I will gladly give permission for this fic to appear on most of any fan fiction sites if I am asked politely.

Thanks for reading!


Disclaimer: This is a work of fan made fiction, based on the animated show “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” I do not own, nor lay any claim to My Little Pony or any related intellectual property.

This work was made entirely for entertainment value and as a tribute to the amazing work of the Friendship is Magic production team. It is not, and will never be, distributed for profit.

To Be a Better Stallion

A “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” fan fiction

Written by Autumn Wind

Chapter The Eighth - Her Noble Hero


← Chapter 7        Chapter 9 →


To say that the inhabitants of Ponyville were strangers to unexpected events would be a gross misunderstanding of the town’s daily happenings. However, there were still things that could take its predominantly female population by surprise. For one, the presence of two stallions, each of whom would have been a fair contender for the title of ‘Most Attractive Stallion In Equestria’, was drawing much attention.

Prince Blueblood’s perfect grooming, svelte allure, and elegant accessorizing made him a prime target for the desires of those who admired the upper crust. Quite a few of Ponyville’s local mares had eyes for him, especially those amongst the unicorn population. Despite having been in Ponyville for several days by now, the Prince still attracted very much attention.

Big Macintosh, in contrast, was what some would have described as ‘the local flavor’. The farmer was strong and muscular, towering over most ponies by nearly a head. He stood steadfast and unflinching, a true example of stability in a wild and changing world. His quiet, reserved disposition made him both a mystery and a challenge even to the more outgoing mares of the town. He was certainly no stranger to their affections, though he had been rather uninterested as of late. His heart was already spoken for.

The two stallions ambled through town, discussing everything and nothing all at once, fully aware of the eyes watching them. Big Macintosh simply shrugged them away, indifferent to the interest he was attracting. Blueblood, on the contrary, reveled in the attention. He stood tall and proud, occasionally returning a mare’s look with a charming smile.

“Pray tell, Big Macintosh, how was your evening yesterday? I take it walking Miss Fluttershy home was no trouble? Might anything interesting have occurred?”

A turquoise unicorn mare was reclining on a bench in an unusual manner, watching closely as Blueblood walked by, hypnotized by his cutie mark or perhaps his rear end. A beige female earth pony with a two-colored mane, presumably her mate, soon called her back to order, at which point the unicorn offered an apologetic grin.

“Eenope. We said our goodbyes, and she thanked me for the evenin’. I mean... it ain’t like... uh... we’reacoupleoranythin’ofthesort.”

Blueblood raised an eyebrow. Between how quickly Macintosh had spoken, the sudden fear of eye contact, and the fact that the he was now chewing on his stalk of wheat as though his life depended on it, it was easy to tell that there was more to it than he was willing to let on. Of course, intruding any further would have been most impolite.

“Oh! I’m sorry for assuming. You certainly seemed close enough.”

Big Macintosh eyed the Prince nervously and spoke under his breath.

“I’m a pretty bad liar. Jus’... keep this to yourself, would you? Fluttershy and I ain’t ready for the news to come out.

Blueblood smiled and nodded politely. He couldn’t quite understand why a couple wouldn’t want to put themselves on display, but he had enough respect for Macintosh to follow the farmer’s wish.

The two fell into an awkward silence, both searching for words as they walked by a flower stand.

“Girls! Look over there!”

A pink earth pony pointed to the stallions, the lily flower stuck behind her ear falling off as she dramatically stood up from behind the stand.

“Now those are what I call stallions!”

A second pink pony, this one green-maned, joined the first.

“They’re so…  so...!”

A white mare with a deep fuchsia mane completed the trio, exclaiming even louder than her friends.

“So attractive!”

“So handsome!”

“So dreamy!”

With a chord of sighs, the three mares brought each brought a hoof to their respective foreheads and fainted on top of one another.

“I reckon you get this much attention in Canterlot all the time, huh?”

“You could say so, yes.”

Silence fell upon the two as they continued to make their way towards the farm. With little to do and many things to talk about, the Prince had agreed to give Macintosh a helping horn with a particularly tricky set of repairs on the barn’s roof.

“I’ve been meaning to ask, Macintosh, do you have any plans to expand Sweet Apple Acres’ business any further? The name has been developing a very strong reputation in Equestria, and yesterday, I recall you mentioned a potential interest in going international. Do you have any concrete plans in that direction?”

Big Macintosh paused for a moment, deep in thought.

“‘Fraid not. Thought about it, but we ain’t got enough contacts to pull it off. For now, we’re just keepin’ an eye open for opportunity.”

“Oh, fair enough.”

“Why do you ask’?”

It was Blueblood’s turn to avoid eye contact.

Oh, no reason; simple curiosity, that’s all.”

The farmer shrugged, turning his attention back o the road in front of him.

Up in the air, a yellow pegasus mare with a turquoise mane was handling a cloud, positioning for the afternoon’s downpour. Her eyes catching the two stallions below, she released the cloud and brought her hooves to her mouth, wolf-whistling in approval.

The nimbus drifted freely, coming to a stop directly over a blue unicorn bearing an hourglass on her flanks. Mesmerized by the attractive display walking across the street, she failed to notice her drenched mane falling flat on her face, let alone the localized downpour that was its cause.

“I gotta admit, it’s surprisin’ how much you changed just these last few days.”

Blueblood turned towards the farmer, intrigued.

“Oh? What do you mean?”

Big Macintosh remained silent for a moment, pondering his next words.

“When you first turned up at the farm, I didn’t think there was much to do with you. I figured I’d toss some farm work at you and you’d run screamin’ right then and there like some highfalutin’ city pony.”

Blueblood smirked, pondering how he would have reacted to such a comment just days ago.

“In all honesty, I most likely would have if it had not been for... particular circumstances.”

“That honor-bound thing? Heh. I was pretty surprised when you went and ate your slice of humble pie like it was nothin’. After the first day you asked me not to pull any punches, and I thought for sure we’d soon find out you’d hightailed it back to Canterlot. Yet you just kept on goin’ an’ goin’. I’m mighty impressed.”

The two of them reached the outskirts of Ponyville as Macintosh spoke, passing by the last building on the edge of town, a local pub known as the Thirsty Trotter. Seated comfortably on the establishment’s terrace, a plum-colored mare bearing grapes and a strawberry for a cutie mark watched the two go by, a dopey smile on her face. She was oblivious to the fact that her hooves were no longer pouring her favorite fruit punch into a glass, but rather onto her nearby tulip sandwich and hay fries.

“To be truthful, I am rather unsure of how I survived these days of labor, but I am quite glad I did. I feel like a new pony. I also feel sore from all that farmwork, but that’s another issue entirely.”

Big Macintosh snorted.

“Don’t worry. The farmhooves all get that for the first few days. It’ll pass. If anythin’, a cold bath does wonders for sore muscles.”

Prince Blueblood raised an inquisitive eyebrow.

“Oh? A cold bath, you say? I’ll be sure to try that out... not that I don’t bathe every night already, of course, albeit at a more comfortable temperature. I mean, obviously-

“I know what you meant.”

The two were silent for a moment, still marching towards the farm. Soon, Blueblood gave a sigh, which attracted a curious glance from Big Macintosh.

“I worry somewhat. Despite all my work, I have yet to hear or see from Rarity other than an ambiguous note. I wish I knew where she stood about this, or what she is expecting from me.”

Big Macintosh nodded.

“If it’s any comfort, Applejack’s havin’ lunch with Rarity right about now. Knowin’ those two, they’ll probably wind up discussin’ a lotta things, you included. Ain’t no tellin what she’ll-”

Big Macintosh was interrupted by the shrill screams of three fillies in the distance. He recognised one of them as Sweetie Belle, but the other two were a mystery to him.

“What’n tarnation?”

By the time he recovered from the surprise, Blueblood was already galloping off towards the source of the noise.

“Big Macintosh! Hurry up! Those fillies might need help!”

Big Macintosh caught up with the Prince in an instant. Thanks to his strong legs, the farmer was a fast runner. He glanced at Blueblood as they charged ahead.

“The screams’re comin’ from the gemstone quarry! They must’ve gotten in trouble with some varmint!”

“Lead the way, Macintosh; you know the path better than I do.”

As he rushed forward, Prince Blueblood noticed a small figure, a short distance in front of him. Catching up to the creature, he recognized it as Spike, Twilight Sparkle’s young draconic assistant. He seemed to be headed in the same direction as the stallions.

“Big Macintosh! Blueblood! Did you hear that? Somepony’s in danger!”

Spike found himself hoisted into the air by the unicorn’s magic and placed on the Prince’s back, where he instinctively clung to the blond mane to keep from falling.

“Hang on, young one! Those fillies will need all the help they can get!”

Spike gave an enthusiastic shout.

“Hold on, Sweetie Belle! I’m coming! Hi-ho Blueblood!”

Noticing the prince’s indignant look, Spike laughed nervously.

“Sorry, I get carried away in the action sometimes.”


Opalescence’s ears perked up as the echoes of the shrill screams tickled her hearing. She rose up onto her paws immediately, meowing once in an attempt to get her owner's attention

Comfortably installed in the boutique’s little salon and entirely focused on her conversation with Applejack and her cup of after-lunch tea, Rarity paid no attention to the cat on the windowsill.

“... and so I told her: ‘Emerald earrings? Obviously, you want to look like a beanstalk.’”

Applejack and Rarity shared a burst of laughter.

“Oh! Speaking of beanstalks; how is your farm, Applejack?”

“Well, I reckon things are goin’ pretty well. You’d be surprised how helpful Blueblood’s turned out to be.”

Rarity eyes shot wide open and she remained silent for a moment, blinking in incomprehension before breaking into a chortle.

 “Oh, Applejack, you almost had me going there. I mean, please, Blueblood? Meaningful farm work? You simply must be kidding!”

Applejack gave a blank stare.

“I know it’s hard to believe, but that weren’t no joke. While I can certainly fault his taste in pastry, I sure as sugar can’t find anythin’ wrong with his work ethic. It’s like I said, that stallion’s driven, an’ I don’t think I need to remind you what he’s driven by.”

Forced to face the fact, Rarity paused, her thoughts speeding through the Running of the Leaves. She was startled out of her musings when Opalescence frantically hopped onto her, meowing for her attention. Rarity mechanically levitated the cat off of her and back onto the ground.

“Not now, Opal; Mommy’s talking with her friend.”

The unicorn turned back to the earth pony with a sigh, blushing intensely.

That is certainly... interesting news, Darling. I knew he was motivated, but I would have never thought he would be so... devoted.”

Applejack chuckled at Rarity’s flustered reaction.

“Y’know, with how he's been turnin' out, if he weren’t called for, I'd almost be tempted to make a move on him myself.

Rarity shot Applejack an incredulous look, but burst into amused laughter once she caught on to the farmer’s tall tale.

“Point taken, Applejack. I see he has been doing very well.”

Applejack snickered at the mental image of her hypothetical union with the Prince.

“Heh, I doubt he and I’d be a good- Whoa, nelly!”

Applejack suddenly ducked, narrowly avoiding Opalescence as the cat pounced towards her. The feline fell back down to the floor, only to be enveloped in a blue magical aura and unceremoniously locked up in her kennel. The grate rattled as she tried to force her way out. Annoyed, Rarity simply admonished her.

“Opal, since you’re clearly not going to behave, it looks like I’ll have to keep you in there until you calm down.”

Applejack straightened her hat.

“Anyway, Rarity, what’re you plannin’ to do about Blueblood? He’s been puttin’ in a lot of effort, aren’t you goin’ to at least give him a chance?”

Rarity’s smile fell into a hesitant frown.

“I do realise he’s been working hard, but I’m still unsure of what I should do. I can’t just walk up to him and say ‘Prince Blueblood, here I am, giving you a second chance. How awkward! Darling, these things take time. I still need to figure out what to do. How can I even know for sure that he’s any better than he used to be?”

Applejack slammed her hoof against the carpet, a disappointingly muffled thump marking her anger.

“What? Of all the...  Rarity! That ain’t fair of you! Not so long ago you were all about finding a noble stallion who’d treat you nicely, and now that there’s one pretty much beggin’ for your attention, you’re makin’ excuses not to give him a chance! You gotta stop leadin’ him on! Land’s sakes, just listen to yourself!”

For the second time in only a few days, Applejack proved to be the voice of reason. Shocked by the sudden critique, Rarity’s voice lowered to a whimper.

“Really, Applejack? You think I’m being... unfair?”

The unicorn solidly planted her front hooves in the plush carpet, swallowing her worries.

“No, no. You’re right. I am being unfair, both to Blueblood and to myself. I’ve been so afraid that things wouldn’t go right that I left him uncertain for far too long. Thank you for being honest with me, Applejack.”

Applejack offered an encouraging smile.

“We all need a friend to set us straight every now and then. So, what are you gonna do about it?”

Rarity pondered the best approach for a moment, before making a declaration loudly and clearly.

“I’m going to go see Prince Blueblood and I will-”

Rarity’s fierce words melted into an incoherent mess as Opalescence burst through the grate door of her kennel. The cat made a beeline for Applejack and leapt through the air with an agile somersault, snagging the cowpony’s hat between her teeth and landing behind her. From there, the cat vanished through her cat door with the prize dragging beside her.

Forgetting their conversation, Applejack immediately gave chase, closely flanked by Rarity.

"Come back here and gimme my hat back, ya scoundrel!"

"Opalescence! Let that hat go immediately! It's filthy!"

Applejack shot Rarity an irritated glare the likes of which the unicorn had rarely seen. Rarity grinned back nervously.

"... Also it's very special to Applejack!"

However, Opal was determined in her endeavor and kept rushing into the distance, towards a place Rarity knew all too well: the gemstone quarry.


Sweetie Belle, Diamond Tiara, and Silver Spoon all huddled closely together as the three beasts closed in on them. Cornered at the foot of a large boulder, they had nowhere to run. Sweetie Belle fearfully stared up at the creatures, while the other two fillies cowered, their muzzles buried in their forelegs. Those ears, those fangs, those claws... Rarity had told her about them: Diamond Dogs.

“Well, well, well. What do we have here?”

The chief of the canines, a slim and tall dog with large pointy ears, stopped in front of them. He gave a scratchy laugh as he loomed over the filly, watching his two companions approach.

“Looks like some little ponies thought they could take our gems!”

A brown canine much smaller than the first added to the laughter, his eyes fixating on the small turquoise gem Sweetie Belle clutched in her hooves.

“Look at this one! She has a horn!”

Completing the half-circle and trapping in the fillies completely, an enormous greyish-blue lug of a Diamond Dog towered over them, his grubby paws ready to seize one of them at any moment.

The first Diamond Dog cackled cruelly.

“Oooh. Then she should be able to find gems like the other one.”

The other two dogs stared at him, terrified.

“But... but...”

The smallest dog stuttered in a panic, only to find his sentence completed by the oaf.

“...What if she also makes the awful noises?”

Their leader planted his paw straight onto his forehead with a resounding clap.

“Quiet, you fools! Look at her! Little pony, little problems! Just grab her and let’s go!”

The subordinates looked at each other, then at the cowering fillies, and then back at each other before the largest dog grabbed Sweetie Belle and lifted her, taking great care to hold her muzzle with one of his paws. Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon could only stare, stunned with fear. What were they going to do? Sweetie Belle squirmed and attempted to shout, but could only make muffled noises.

All hope seemed lost until the thundering sound of hooves echoed from the distance. The fillies gasped, one more muffled than the others, as two stallions and a young dragon came into view. Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon suddenly shot up on their hooves in excitement.

“Prince Blueblood!”

Blueblood and Spike posed fiercely while Big Macintosh quickly closed the distance between him and them. The dogs looked at them hesitantly. While the little dragon didn’t seem to be a threat, the two ponies were a lot larger than any they’d seen before.

Breaking the silence, Blueblood’s voiced boomed. He had practiced the Royal Canterlot Voice all his youth, despite it being obsolete, and now it was about to pay off.

You will remove your grubby paws from that filly immediately!

The dogs flinched for a second. The smallest dog was ready to run, his tail having taken refuge between his stubby legs.

“Looks like he means business!”

The largest dog was tempted to join in the escape, struggling to keep Sweetie Belle under control as she flailed about wildly.

“We should run!”

The Diamond Dog leader stood his ground as he and Prince Blueblood competed in an intense duel of stares.

What are you, puppies? There’s only two ponies and there’s... uh... one... two... uh... more of us! We can take ‘em!”

Blueblood scraped his hoof against the ground before charging towards his enemy, his horn lowered and ready to strike.

“Fear my horn, cur!”

The canine tumbled out of the way with practiced agility, sticking his leg out and tripping the Prince. The white unicorn fell face first into the dirt, but did not stay down for long.

“Why, you scoundrel! I’ll show you what the Canterlot champion of Longue Corne fencing can do!”

The stallion and the dog engaged in a fierce duel of horn against claw, neither of them managing to score a decisive blow. While Blueblood had far better technique, the Diamond Dog had much more experience in actual combat and the advantage of two paws.

At the side of their duel, Big Macintosh approached the largest Diamond Dog, who seemed hesitant. Still not letting go of Sweetie Belle, the canine watched as the red pony got closer and closer, a fierce look on his face. To his great confusion, Big Macintosh nodded towards the orchard.

“Y’see them apple trees over there?”

The large dog nodded and glanced over to the trees behind him, confused.

“Lemme show you how we harvest ‘em.”

Facing away from the dog and the orchard, Big Macintosh reared up and planted his forehooves solidly into the dirt, striking the beast’s large buttocks with a solid kick. The Diamond Dog was propulsed head over heels into the dirt, dropping Sweetie Belle.

“I’ve got you!”

Big Macintosh lunged to catch Sweetie Belle, only to fall onto his face in the dirt as she was swept out of his grasp.

“Not on my watch!”

The smallest Diamond Dog dived for Sweetie Belle, attempting to drag her to a nearby burrow.  However, an obstacle stood in his way. Spike stared him down defiantly, standing his ground between the dog and the pit.

Pick on someone your own size!”

The Diamond Dog considered his options, quickly opting to charge on and bowl over the young dragon. Spike stared, his confidence suddenly melting away.

“Uh... Whoa! Whoa! What do I do!?”

Blueblood stuck his head out of the cloud of dust that now surrounded his agitated duel.

“You’re a dragon! What would a dragon do?!”

Spike rolled his eyes, realizing the obvious.

“Oh, right.”

He took a deep breath, filling his lungs with air and feeling a familliar heat rise within him. The Diamond Dog turned back quickly, realising the foolishness of charging headfirst towards a dragon of any age, but he could not run away fast enough.


Spike breathed out a gout of flame, barely reaching his opponent.

“Ha! You missed me!”

A closer inspection of his rear end proved him woefully wrong, as he realised that a green flame now lit the tip of his tail. Dropping the filly, he fled into the distance at a breakneck pace, desperate for water to put his tail out.

The largest dog recovered from his tumble and glared around the dirty field, noticing that a dizzy Sweetie Belle was now defenseless in the open, with naught but the small dragon to guard her. He ran and dived for her, only to collide with a much larger obstacle.

Big Macintosh looked directly at the dog who had just bumped against his chest, having barely been nudged from his place by the impact.


Screaming in panic, the dog fled into the distance, following in his companion’s tracks.

“Foul beast! Feel my wrath!”

Blueblood and the last remaining Diamond Dog were still trading strikes and parries, neither of them able to get the upper hand. Between two agile lunges, Blueblood paused and sniffed at the air, erupting in a massive shudder.

“Ewww! Very foul, even!”

Frothing with rage, the Diamond Dog made a desperate swipe for Blueblood, leaving a long claw mark on the stallion’s chest.


Blueblood flinched and fell back, feeling a sharp jolt of pain. He glanced over the injury, breathing sharply and intermittently.

Blood? Oh, not again.... Oh dear.... Oh dear.... No. This is no time to panic. There isn’t any blue to be seen, is there? This is nothing.

Blueblood chuckled to himself, feeling his confidence surging anew.

Know your place, scum! I shall trounce you once and for all!”

Blueblood hopped to the right, attacking the dog’s left.


The dog hopped out of the way, sticking his tongue out at the Prince. Unfazed, Blueblood stepped over to the left, striking from the right.


The dog parried once more, catching the horn between his paws. Blueblood pulled back immediately, continuing his dazzling assault, only to have his every strike countered.

“Left! Right! Left! Right!”

Eventually, where the dog had expected another left, a right came and knocked the beast to the ground. Laughing, the Prince reared up and placed his front hooves against the canine’s back to pin him against the ground.


The dog flailed, trying to free himself from Blueblood’s pin. The Prince struggled to keep him in place.

“Let me goooo!”

Big Macintosh soon ran over, taking the unicorn’s place.

“I’ll take it from here. Go check on the fillies, would you?”

“Of course.”

Near them, Spike approached Sweetie Belle, whose eyes were spinning in confusion from being tossed around.

Sweetie Belle! Are you all right?

The filly shook the dizzyness out of her head and looked at the dragon in amazement. 

“Spike! You... you saved me! My hero!”

In a flash, Sweetie Belle closed the distance that separated her from the dragon and seized him a a bone-crushing hug.

“You’re welcome. I was only doing the right thing and uh... Sweetie Belle? Sweetie Belle! I... can’t... breathe!”

The filly blushed, pulling away quickly.

“Oh... um... sorry. You’re so brave!”

“I am? Uh, I mean... of course I am!”

Spike posed proudly, eliciting a warm giggle from Sweetie Belle. Struck by a sudden idea, Sweetie Belle motioned for him to follow.

“Follow me! I think you deserve a little reward, and I’ve got something for you right over there!”

The young unicorn led Spike to the boulder where Blueblood was now checking on the two earth pony fillies. They were still trembling from the shock.

“Now then, pray tell, what were the three of you doing in such a place?”

Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon glanced at each other, until the pink filly finally owned up to their actions.

“We thought we could get Sweetie Belle to find gems.”

Silver Spoon cut in.

“We figured it would help her get her cutie mark.”

The Prince pondered for a moment, before offering them a comforting smile.

“So be it, then. It was noble of you to try to help Sweetie Belle with her cutie mark, but the three of you should have known better than to venture into such a place.”

Sweetie Belle and Spike arrived, walking far closer together than Spike seemed comfortable with. Overhearing the conversation, Spike raised a finger and an objection.

“Hold on just a minute! Help Sweetie Belle with her cutie mark? I don’t buy it. You’re always going around calling her and the Cutie Mark Crusaders ‘blank flanks’! You’re always being mean to them!”

Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon recoiled. They were caught.

“Is that so?”

Prince Blueblood’s smile melted into a frown of anger.

“Little misses, is what this young dragon is saying true? Do my ears deceive me, or are my local fans... schoolyard bullies?”

The last two words were full of venom and disgrace. The fillies repeatedly looked to each other and back to the Prince, stammering incoherently as they tried to find an excuse.

“We were um... um... we wanted to... uh...”

“We thought that ... well... maybe if we...”

Finally, they looked down with defeated sighs and nodded silently.

Spike silently watched, hesitant, while Sweetie Belle seemed more interested in looking dreamily at her newfound knight in shining scales.

“Young ladies, I want the truth. Why did you truly bring Sweetie Belle here?”

Silver Spoon was the first to own up to their actions.

“We got her to think that, if she found gems, she’d get a cutie mark like her sister.”

Diamond Tiara nodded in agreement.

“We figured that when she’d find some, we’d grab them and run.”

Blueblood remained stone-faced.

“Very well. I see how it is. Young fillies, that is hardly proper for ponies of your status, or really, of any status. Once we get back to town, I would like to have a talk with your parents.”

The two fillies nodded dejectedly.

“At least you two are willing to own up to your mistakes. That is a noble thing to do in the face of one’s misdeeds.”

At the earlier mention of gemstones, Sweetie Belle had suddenly shot back to attention, silently motioning for Spike to keep following her. The small turquoise gem still sat where she had dropped it earlier. Sweetie Belle focused intensely and an unsteady aura of purple magic lifted the stone in the air and dropped it into Spike’s unexpecting claws.

“I found this earlier, and I want you to have it for saving me.

The young dragon eyed the gemstone over, his eyes wide in amazement.

“It’s... beautiful! Thank you, Sweetie Belle!”

Slowly edging over towards Spike, Sweetie Belle offered a friendly smile.

“You’re welcome, Spike! You deserve it!”

Spike’s dazzled gaze kept shifting between the stone and the filly, until he was startled out of his thoughts by a piercing caterwaul echoing through the air. Opalescence came running seemingly out of nowhere and leapt off of the dirty ground, bouncing off the top of Spike’s head, claws fully extended. The young dragon soon found himself blinded when the hat that she had been carrying fell out of the cat’s grasp and onto his head, the brim completely obscuring his eyes.

“Get back here, you!”

“Opalescence! Come to mommy!”

Applejack and Rarity came rushing to the scene, screeching to a stop as they noticed the impromptu gathering.

“Big Macintosh? What the hay’s goin’ on here?”

“Sweetie Belle! Prince Blueblood! What happened?”

Opalescence’s came to a stop as she landed on the Diamond Dog’s back, latching onto him with an earsplitting hiss. Panicked, the canine shot up into the air and fled into the distance with an incoherent series of yips, struggling to shake off the enraged feline. Pushed away, Big Macintosh fell to the ground with a resounding thump, but quickly stood back up and rejoined the group.

“I reckon they shouldn’t trouble us for a while.”

Freeing the young dragon from her hat, Applejack nodded to Big Macintosh.

“You said it, brother.”

Rarity ran over to her younger sister, inspecting her from every angle.

“Sweetie Belle, are you okay? They better not have hurt you!”

The filly trotted to her sister and pulled her into a hug.

“I’m okay, Rarity. Spike protected me!”

Rarity turned to the young dragon, whose gaze seemed unable to decide which the two unicorn sisters it wanted to be planted on.

“Spike? Is that so? How admirable!”

Spike hesitated for a moment.

“Yeah, I... uh... I guess I did. Well, with a little help. Blueblood is the one who led the whole thing, really. I helped though, you should have seen it! I was all like...”

Spike inhaled deeply and demonstrated a burst of dragon flames, only to find out as the smoke cleared that Rarity had stepped over to Blueblood. Sweetie Belle, however, had been watching attentively.

Rarity turned to look at Blueblood, who was still discussing matters of discipline and proper attitude with Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon. Next to him, Big Macintosh and Applejack were watching silently, curious about the Prince’s impromptu lesson. Rarity trotted over to the two farmer ponies, leaving Sweetie Belle to lavish admiration upon her savior.

“Big Macintosh, thank you so very much for helping Sweetie Belle from those... repugnant creatures! Is it true, what Spike said? Did Blueblood really lead you to help Sweetie Belle and those two?”

“Eeyup. He was mighty brave about it, too.”

In an instant, Rarity now stood by Prince Blueblood, who turned to face her.

“Oh! Prince Blueblood! Such courage! Such bravery! Such heroism!”

 Big Macintosh and Applejack shared a chuckle.

“Well, big brother, looks like she ain’t doubtin’ no more.”


Big Macintosh turned to the two earth pony fillies.

“C’mon, you two; let’s get you home. I think Prince Blueblood and Miss Rarity need to talk. Applejack, mind fetching Rarity’s cat?”

“No problem, big brother.”

Rarity gazed at the Prince with sparkling eyes.

“Prince Blueblood, I am oh so thankful! To think that such a noble stallion has been hidden from me all this time!”

As the farmers left, Blueblood looked at Rarity, unsure of what to say and still afraid that he would accidentally offend her. He offered a heartfelt smile.

“You are quite welcome, Miss Rarity. Still, it was only my duty as a royal of Equestria.”

“Oh, Prince Blueblood, such modesty is unbecoming of a stallion of your status. You more than deserve praise for your actions. How could I ever thank you?”

Prince Blueblood smiled, looking deep into Rarity’s blue eyes.

“You could, perhaps, meet me tomorrow at La Rose Dorée for dinner at sundown? On my bits, of course.”

Rarity paused for a moment, hesitating. She swallowed her doubts, a charmed smile tracing its way onto her face as she gazed back at him.

“I would be delighted, Prince Blueblood.”


To Be Continued


Coming up next in To Be a Better Stallion

Forty three dresses, sixteen overcoats, twenty six hats, thirty five articles of jewelry, and nine different sets of shoes, yet none of these seem quite perfect for the occasion. What am I to do!?”


“I just wanted to say, about the other day with the puddle and everything...”

~Rainbow Dash


“Well then, shall we?” ~Rarity

“With pleasure." ~Prince Blueblood


← Chapter 7         Chapter 9 →


I’d like to thank the bronies at #EquestrianStudy who helped make this chapter a possibility with their suggestions, proofreading, reviews and critique, most particularly CHeighlund, DJMidli,  HolyJunkie, MaverickVox, Pata-K, Sagebrush, Taggerung and most especially Blue Thrush.

A special shout out goes to my favorite brony pals, Cheechos, Aurora Dawn, and CookieClansman who were great help with inspiration and helping me figure things out.

Another special shout out to Present Perfect and Foolonthehillz who gave this fic the rough shakedown of odds and ends it needed.

All comments and criticism are welcome, either through comments wherever you’ve read this fic, or through email at [email protected]. I ask in particular: What do you think of Prince Blueblood’s characterization here?

Please do not distribute this fic without my express permission, though I will gladly give permission for this fic to appear on most of any fan fiction sites if I am asked politely.

Thanks for reading!


Disclaimer: This is a work of fan made fiction, based on the animated show “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” I do not own, nor lay any claim to My Little Pony or any related intellectual property.

This work was made entirely for entertainment value and as a tribute to the amazing work of the Friendship is Magic production team. It is not, and will never be, distributed for profit.

To Be a Better Stallion

A “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” fan fiction

Written by Autumn Wind

Chapter The Last - A Fool of a Paragon


Chapter 8       Epilogue →


Forty-three dresses, sixteen overcoats, twenty-six hats, thirty-five articles of jewelry, and nine different sets of shoes, yet none of these seem quite perfect for the occasion. I have nothing to wear!”

Rarity frantically tore through her walk-in closet, her magical aura parading each of her clothes through her line of sight before unceremoniously tossing them into a corner of the room. The other Elements of Harmony were all present, having agreed to help Rarity get ready for her date. However, they were finding themselves with little to do other than try to soothe her rising anxiety. Fluttershy kept Opal busy and out of Rarity’s way, while Rainbow Dash and Applejack distracted each other with whispered comments and chuckles and kept the overexcited Pinkie Pie from doing more harm than good. Nervously eyeing the growing pile of discarded dresses, Twilight Sparkle was the first to speak up.

“Rarity! Calm down! You’ll damage your dresses if you keep this up! I’m sure whatever you choose will look won-”

A ruffly dress, all silk and lace, flew through the air and landed on Twilight’s head, muffling the end of her sentence. Ever more panicky, Rarity collapsed on her haunches, the dizzying sight of a depleted closet now surrounding her.

“Calm down? Calm down!? How can I calm down when I’m about to go on a date with the most handsome, most amazing pony in all of Equestria and I have nothing to wear! Oh, this is hopeless!”

Lifting the garment off of her head and folding it nicely before leaving it to rest on a nearby chair, Twilight blinked a few times.

“Okay. I can see why you’d panic, but-”

“Ooh! Ooh! I’ll help! I’m sure I can find something good!”

Pinkie Pie leapt out from behind Applejack and Rainbow Dash and vanished into the pile of clothing which, by any standard, should not have been capable of hiding a young filly, let alone a grown mare. Rarity stepped out of the closet, her mane and tail completely disheveled.

“Pinkie! Be careful! You’ll damage those!”

A few seconds later, Pinkie burst out of the clothes clad in a simple royal blue dress  lightly glittering with sequins. Her hooves bore neat gilded sandals, and her front right foreleg was decorated with an elegant bracelet of the same composition. Completing the ensemble, a pair of earrings, sapphire embedded in gold, hung from her ears while a matching necklace circled her neck.

At odds with the ensemble, a black silk bow-tie surmounted the necklace.

Taken aback by the sudden invasion of her property, Rarity stomped a hoof to emphasize her disapproval.

“Pinkie Pie!? What are you doing!? That color doesn’t suit you at all.

Chuckling to herself, Applejack cut in.

“Uh, Pinkie? I thought we were tryin’ to find something for Rarity to wear.”

Pinkie giggled and hopped over to Rarity.

“Oh! Right! Rarity, come with me!”

The others watched as Pinkie dragged Rarity into one of the boutique’s changing rooms at a breakneck pace. After a few seconds of unbelievable brouhaha, Rarity staggered out of the stall, wearing the outfit. Pinkie emerged behind her, still bearing the bow-tie.

Once her head stopped spinning, Rarity glanced at herself in her full-body mirror.

“My, Pinkie Pie, I don’t know how you did it, but... this looks gorgeous!”

Well, Duh! It’s like cookies and milk or punch and pie or cupcakes and hot sauce or trampolines and candy canes!”

Rarity paused, desperately trying to find the connection between desserts, trampolines, and fashion, until Twilight Sparkle gently placed a hoof on her shoulder.

It’s Pinkie, Rarity. You know better than to try to understand.”

Rarity gave a calm smile, levitating a brush over to correct her frazzled mane and tail.

“In any case, thank you, Pinkie Pie. This looks simply divine.”

Before the pink pony could answer, Rainbow Dash walked up to her, inspecting the accessory that still hung from her neck.

“I gotta ask, what’s with the bow-tie, Rarity? That doesn’t look like the kind of thing a mare like you would have.”

“Oh! That thing? A few days ago, not long after Prince Blueblood visited me for the first time, Opalescence came home dragging it behind her. I assumed she had swiped it from some unlucky stallion. I fixed it up nicely and hung on to it so I could give it back to whomever it belonged, and...”

Rarity’s cringed as she thought back to Blueblood’s first arrival in Ponyville. She had missed a very obvious connection, and now all was becoming clear.

“Oh dear! This bow-tie. I just realised... It’s Blueblood’s! Rainbow Dash, you’re the fastest amongst us, would you be a dear and deliver this to its proper owner? Just give me a moment, and I’ll write a note to go along with it.”

Rainbow Dash beamed. While she had little interest in anything mushy, Rarity’s compliment had flared up her spirits and she was more than happy to help a friend in need.

“Sure! What good is being the fastest flier in Equestria if you never put that talent to use! Uh... does anypony know where I can find him?”

Having replaced the fallen dresses neatly back onto their hangers, Twilight turned to the group.

“According to what he told me, he’s staying in room six at the Coltfort Inn, just south of the market place.”

“Alright, I’ll be back in a nanosecond.”

Rainbow turned back to Rarity, who was in the middle of writing the note. The pegasus tapped her hoof impatiently as she waited, until finally, after several agonizing minutes, Rarity lifted her quill from the paper. With a nervous giggle, she held out the note to her friend along with the bow-tie.

“Okay, it’s ready, sorry to keep you waiting.”

Rainbow took hold of the accessory and the letter from Rarity’s magic, speaking around the items.

“Finally! Alright, I won’t be long!”

As the pegasus sped away from the scene, the fashionista turned to the other girls, brushing a wayward strand of her mane away from her face.

“I think I’m going to need to arrange my mane again; all this stress is making it impossible to keep it nice and orderly.”

Making great haste, Rainbow Dash charged out of the door and took off into the skies, the bow-tie and note carefully held in her teeth. She smiled to herself. If Rarity felt Blueblood was the right stallion, then she was going to give him a chance to prove his stuff. However, she’d have to be sent to the moon before she let him approach Rarity again without a good warning...


"Blasted thing! The legendary Starswirl the Bearded and all of his magic wouldn't know how to make you obey!"

Horn and hooves both desperately at work, Blueblood struggled with a maroon tie. Clad in an increasingly-wrinkled white shirt, the Prince had been reduced to desperate trial-and-error, attempting random loops and knots in the vague hope that the tie would fall in place correctly.

Frustrated, Blueblood let out an incoherent shout of frustration, batting at the accessory with both forelegs just to get it away from him. Seconds later, the stallion found both his front limbs and his neck entangled, leaving him tied up with his rear legs pointing up at the ceiling. The fallen prince kicked at the air in irritation.

“Where’s a tailor when you need one? Somepony get me out of this!”

A knock on the room’s balcony door startled the prince, who craned his sore neck to try and identify the new arrival. In his ridiculous position, however, this proved to be an impossible task.

“Who goes there? Show yourself! I have a horn and I’m not afraid to use it!”

“Blueblood, just open this door, will ya? It’s Rainbow Dash! Rarity told me to bring you something.”

The Prince sighed. Of all the pegasi that could have flown up to his balcony, it had to be the one he had an outstanding conflict with. Still, his tie-induced entanglement left him with no other choice. Blueblood focused on the door’s lock and nudged it open, bracing for the worst.

Rainbow Dash stepped in.

“Blueblood? Where are y-”

The pegasus interrupted herself as she found the prince in a compromising position, her mouth falling agape. Not a second later, Rainbow Dash burst into uncontrollable laughter, clutching her sides with her forelegs.

“Miss Dash! Would you please stop laughing and help me?”

Slowly recovering, Rainbow Dash stood back up, still cracking up as she tried to speak.

“S-s-sorry, it’s just... you look so... ridiculous!”

She pointed out his reflection in the mirror that decorated the room’s closet door. Blueblood rolled to his side and observed, still attempting to kick out of the fabric’s hold. He looked like he was being attacked by some kind of vicious fabric-snake and was futilely struggling to get away.

 How he had even managed to get so badly entangled remained a mystery even to him. Blueblood attempted to keep a straight face but it was futile. He burst into laughter in turn, with Dash soon joining him again, neither of them able to control themselves.

Oh dear! Hahaha! I look like such a fool!”

“Hah, that reminds me of that costume Rarity made me for the Grand Galloping Gala. You wouldn’t believe how much I struggled with those sandals. My hooves were sore for days!”

Blueblood chuckled, but a wayward cramp reminded him of the situation at hand.

“That is a rather amusing story, Rainbow Dash, but I would really appreciate if you could help me get untangled from this accursed thing.”

“Oh, uh, right.”

After a few minutes of struggling and pulling, the Prince was finally free. Stretching his sore neck, he turned to the pegasus.

“Thank you, Rainbow Dash. I’m not sure what I’d have done without you.”

“Heh, with the laugh you gave me, I should be thanking you. You know, you’re not so bad after all. I thought you’d be a lot more stuck-up.”

Blueblood gritted his teeth at the words, but chose to keep the peace. After all, he had rather deserved such a title before, and it would take time before it became clear to all that he was no longer so uptight.

“Well then, you’re very welcome. Now, to what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?”

Rainbow Dash’s eyes shot open for a moment, and she fumbled to find something until she pulled out a small package that had been tucked under her wing.

“Oh, right. Rarity wanted me to get these two things to you. She said you’d know what to do with them.”

Blueblood’s eyes sparkled with amazement as he saw the accessory that his magic now held afloat.

“My favorite bow-tie! Wherever did she find it!?”

Rainbow Dash snickered.

“Apparently, her cat dragged it home. It was in a pretty banged-up state, but Rarity patched it up lickety-split.”

Blueblood admired the craftsmanship on the few repairs that had been applied to the item. Rarity’s work was certainly polished: He could hardly tell where her fixes had been made. The item now smelled of light, flowery perfume. Rarity’s, he guessed.

“I’m very thankful for the delivery, Ms. Dash. I’ll take good care to peruse the letter as well.”

“Hah, it was nothing!”

Rainbow Dash grinned, only for her expression to gradually turn somber as a thought came to her.

“Hey, while I’m around...”


“I just wanted to say, about the other day with the puddle and everything...”

Noting Rainbow Dash’s hesitation, Blueblood extended a foreleg towards her, offering a conciliatory hoofshake.

“Let us speak no more of it. You and I both got carried away on that day. What do you say we leave that behind us?”

The pegasus energetically bumped her hoof against his with a smile, leaving the prince somewhat confused by the more casual gesture.

“Sounds good to me. Anyway, I’d better get back to the boutique before Rarity goes crazy.”

Blueblood accompanied Rainbow Dash towards the balcony.

“Have a good flight back, then.”

“I sure will!”

Dash kicked off the balcony’s ramp and into the sky, only to turn back after a moment.

“Oh, and Blueblood...”


Rainbow Dash cracked a mischievous smirk.

“I’m giving you a chance with Rarity because she really likes you, but if I hear you’ve hurt her again, Applejack and I will buck you straight back to Canterlot before you can let out a whinny!”

Blueblood blinked twice, surprised, before suddenly displaying an understanding smile.

“I would expect no less of Rarity’s friends, of course.”


Esteemed Prince Blueblood,

It has come to my attention that this bow-tie belongs to you. I am afraid it was somewhat damaged during the events that led it from you to me, and I have taken the liberty of fixing it. I hope this is not a problem for you.

I would be delighted to see you wearing this beautiful accessory during our little outing tonight, and it is with hope that I await this fated encounter with the new you.

I do believe I owe you an apology for taking so long in showing you any consideration. After all, you have been doing much good in Ponyville and at Sweet Apple Acres. I will confess that I was worried that we would have a repeat of the Gala, but after seeing for myself the results of your scuffle with those vile creatures, these doubts have been completely banished.

Setting aside the letter for a moment, Blueblood’s eyes fell to his bandaged chest. The mark left there by the Diamond Dog was healing well, and would thankfully not leave any scars. Smiling proudly, Blueblood resumed reading, pacing around his hotel room in the evening’s tranquility.

I am very impressed by how much you have improved your attitude over these last few days.

 I became rather doubtful after your rather ridiculous presentation at my door, and your conflict with my friend Rainbow Dash had only emphasized these negative feelings. Not that I didn’t give her some grief for her rude treatment of your person, of course.

Contrary to my expectations, you soon began showing a completely different side whose existence I had never expected. I began hearing so much about you. Dropping off Sweetie Belle at school, I encountered Ditzy Doo and her daughter, who were quick to tell me about how you had covered for them at Sugarcube Corner. Twilight recounted to me how pleasant you had been during your visit with her, as well as how you had been nice to her back at Celestia’s school.

I clearly recall Sweetie Belle coming home overjoyed some days ago, after you had recounted your cutie mark story to her and her friends. Then, of course, you completely blew me away by taking on a ferocious and utterly revolting beast in order to protect my dear little sister. For that, I am eternally grateful.

I suppose what I really want to say is: Thank you, Blueblood. Thank you for the good you’ve done in Ponyville. You have truly become a paragon.

Blueblood chuckled to himself, eyeing the crumpled tie that lay in the corner of the room, now bathed in the light of the late afternoon sun.

“And yet, I remain a fool.”

I eagerly await our date tonight.



The Prince could almost have danced with glee. He stood tall and proud, and looked at himself in the mirror, a wide grin plastered on his face.

“This is it, Blueblood: Your big chance. You’re all dressed up and ready to go. Remember what Amethyst said: ‘If you want to see success, you’ll make her feel like a princess.’ Look out, Equestria, for a new stallion is coming to town. No longer is Prince Blueblood a stuck-up jerk. This new pony shall blow you away with his generosity and noble chivalry!”

Judging that the sun was low enough in the sky, the dapper stallion checked his outfit one last time.

“Bow-tie? Perfect. Undershirt? Nice and white. Vest? Great. Overcoat? Fantastic. No use keeping Miss Rarity waiting; here I go!”


Rarity paced about the boutique while Twilight and Fluttershy did their best to comfort her rising panic. Applejack, Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie had been called to answer various other commitments.

“Should I go now? Will I seem too eager? The sun has just started to set. What if he thinks I’m too eager? What if he thinks I’m not eager enough? What if he thinks I’m so right on time I simply had to have been spying on him!? Oh, all this worry is going to give me wrinkles, I swear!”

Twilight moved into Rarity’s path, trying to get her to hold still, only for the fashionista to step around her.

“Rarity, calm down! I’m sure Prince Blueblood is as nervous as you are.”

Rarity stopped in her tracks, turning to face the voice of reason.

“You think so? Oh dear, now I have to worry about making him nervous too!”

Fluttershy turned away from the window out of which she had been watching the sun slowly descend.

“Um, Rarity?”

Oblivious to Fluttershy’s call, Rarity resumed pacing, with Twilight following along with her still trying to get her to listen.

“Am I overdressed? Underdressed? Do you think the bracelet is too much?”

“You look fine, Rarity. You look amazing. I’m sure Blueblood will like it.”

“Um... Rarity? Twilight?”

There was no reaction from the two unicorns. Rarity had now sat before a mirror, and was magically running a brush through her mane, going through several dozen hairstyles a minute.

“What about my mane? Does it look okay? Maybe like this? Oh no, this won’t do. Maybe this? Oh, I’ll never look good enough!”

Twilight’s aura interrupted Rarity’s own, stopping the brush mid-stroke. Rarity’s mane was now a complete mess.

“Rarity, please, breathe. It’s going to be okay. I know it, you know it, Fluttershy knows it. Isn’t that right, Fluttershy?”

“Um... Yes. I’m sure you’ll do fine, Rarity, but...”

“Thank you, girls. What would I ever do without you two, I wonder? I’m so sorry, this is all so troubling for me. Pray tell, Fluttershy, what’s so interesting outside that you’ve been watching it for the past few minutes?”

Fluttershy sunk down in shame, disappointed that it had taken so long for her to finally warn her friend.

“Um... Prince Blueblood is just about to....”

The boutique’s doorbell chimed, announcing the Prince’s arrival. Fluttershy let out a pained squeal. It was too late.

“... get here....”

Rarity shot up in a panic, rushing for the door and opening it without thinking of the wreck that was her mane. The Prince stood tall and strong upon the boutique’s porch, offering a ridiculously exaggerated smile. His chest was puffed out like an overly inflated balloon and his proud stance seemed to be about to make him fall forward face first. The prince gasped with all the credibility and intonation of a cardboard cutout.

"Oh my! What fortune! I have discovered the mysterious third princess of Equestria!"

Rarity and Blueblood’s faces both fell as they came face-to-face with each other. She looked as though she had been run through Rainbow Dash’s patented Rain-Blow Dry, while his introductory line could have made Discord’s petrified form wince. The two fell into silence, hesitantly looking at each other speechlessly until Twilight stepped in.

Ooo...kay. Looks like we got off on the wrong hoof here. How about we close this door, fix up Rarity’s mane, find a better pick-up line and try again?”

Blueblood and Rarity both nodded hesitantly as the stallion stepped backwards off the porch and Twilight gently nudged the door shut. Rarity collapsed onto her haunches and sighed in despair.

“Oh, girls, I’ve gone and completely messed things up.”

Outside, the Prince traveled the short length of the boutique’s pathway a few times, berating himself, speaking louder than he seemed to notice. His voice echoed through the boutique’s door, reaching the mares.

“Nice one, Blueblood. Very distinguished. Coming so early she didn’t have time to do her mane, spouting a ridiculous cliché of an entrance line. What next? Will you ask her if she hurt herself falling from the sky because she looks like an angel, too? If this gets back to Canterlot, I’m never going to live it down... Okay... okay... Breathe, Blueblood, breathe. This is only a minor setback. Thankfully, Lady Sparkle was here to pick up the pieces. I best give her a few moments to get nice and ready and let the ridicule pass....

Twilight gave Rarity a wry smirk.

“I don’t think Blueblood will be blaming you.”

The doorbell chimed a second time, startling Rarity and causing her to dive for the hairbrush. After brushing her mane back into her usual elegant style, Rarity swallowed her fears and called out to the Prince in a melodic tone.


Bolstered by her friends’ encouraging smiles, Rarity opened the door to a definitely less goofy-looking Blueblood, who greeted her with a warm smile and a mischievous wink.

“Hello, young filly, is your older sister home?”

Rarity giggled, blushing lightly.

“Oh, you! You flatter me.”

Blueblood chuckled.

“I know we’d agreed to meet at the restaurant, but I ventured a guess that you would perhaps like to walk there together.”

Rarity beamed, moving to Blueblood’s side.

“That sounds like a wonderful idea.”

Twilight and Fluttershy approached the door, and the would-be couple moved aside to let them through. Twilight offered the two a smile.

“I’d better get going. Have a great time!

Fluttershy nodded in agreement, full of joy at the sight of the Prince and Rarity.

“I should head home too. I hope the two of you have a wonderful evening together.”

Rarity took a step towards her friends, hugging each of them one by one.

“Thank you very much, girls. Oh, and Twilight, thank you so very much again for agreeing to watch Sweetie Belle and her friends for me tonight. You know how it is with my parents, always so unexpectedly busy. Are you sure everything will be okay?”

Twilight nodded reassuringly.

“I’m sure things’ll be alright. I have everything under control. You just enjoy your date and relax. I’m sure Spike and the girls can handle themselves at the library until I get back.”

Rarity bowed her head.

“Thank you again, Twilight. I hope the two of you have a nice evening.

Rarity and Blueblood watched as the two mares walked away, waving goodbye one last time. As they turned out of the boutique’s pathway, Blueblood turned to Rarity.

“It’s nice to see you have such great support from your friends.”

Rarity gave a contented sigh, remembering just how much help her five best friends had been in getting ready for her date and keeping herself sane these last few days.

“They are certainly great to have around. I don’t know how I’d manage without them. So sorry to have kept you waiting, by the way.”

Blueblood smiled politely.

“It’s no problem at all, I assure you.”

As Twilight and Fluttershy vanished out of the pair’s sights, Rarity motioned with a forehoof for the two of them to move ahead.

“Well then, shall we?”

Blueblood tentatively took the first step, feeling as though he were walking on clouds.

“With pleasure."

As they walked, Blueblood hesitantly held out a small box, tied closed with a colorful ribbon. He wasn’t sure offering a gift so early was a good idea, but he had felt better doing so than not.

“I brought you a little something.”

Rarity gently took the item with her magic, undoing the ribbon and peeking inside, a delighted smile appearing on her face.

“Oh! Is this what I think it is?”

A dainty little sniff confirmed her thoughts.

“Baalgian chocolate! My favorite! How nice of you, Blueblood.”

The prince smiled back nervously, trying not to let his worry show through.

“You’re quite welcome, Miss Rarity. Those sheep certainly know their chocolate, do they not?”


Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy stopped as they reached the Ponyville library.

“So, um, Twilight, are you sure you don’t need any help taking care of the three of them? I know they can be a real hooffull, sometimes.”

The unicorn winked to her friend.

“Fluttershy, I know you already have something to do tonight, and I’m sure I’ll be able to handle them. It’s almost their bedtime, anyway. You just go and enjoy yourself with your very special somepony, okay?”

Fluttershy turned a very crimson shade of red, offering a very coy smile.

“If you insist. I guess I should be on my way. Have a good evening, Twilight. I’ll be at Sweet Apple Acres if you need me, okay? It’s no problem at all if you need my help.”

Twilight rubbed her temple. She gently nudged the meek pegasus, not-too-subtly letting her know it was time to go.

“Oh, Fluttershy.”

The unicorn sighed.

“It’s okay, I promise. Go on, now, you go and have a good time.”

Fluttershy stretched open her wings, propelling herself up with a few clumsy flaps.

“I will.”

Grinning at Fluttershy’s small burst of confidence, Twilight turned and walked into the library. Three fillies and a young dragon were seated at the dinner table, enjoying the snack of muffins Rarity had sent over with them. As she stepped into the library, the unicorn could hear singing and laughter from Apple Bloom and Scootaloo.

“Spike and Sweetie, inside a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g!”

Immediately, the so-called lovers reacted in annoyance.

“Are not!”

Apple Bloom grinned widely, pointing an accusatory hoof at the unicorn and the dragon.

“You answered at the same time! Are so!”

Spike reacted faster, insisting.

“Are not!”

“Are so!”

“Are not!”

In contrast to the young dragon’s annoyance, Sweetie giggled just as much as her friends. Spike seemed to have forgotten the entire debate’s purpose and was simply going along with the repeated negation.

Twilight chuckled. Foals would be foals. She stepped into the dining area, greeting the assembled ponies.

“Okay, okay, that’s quite enough. It’s getting a little late. Finish up your muffins, then it’s time for bed.”

Four voices echoed together, voicing their disapproval.


Scootaloo stood up.

“No way, we have crusading plans for tonight, and Spike promised to help us! With a dragon’s help, we’re bound to find our cutie marks!”

Twilight’s resolve didn’t falter, and she persisted, admonishing them gently.

“You’ll have plenty of time to go looking for your cutie marks tomorrow. If you’re good, I’ll even tell you a nice story.”

Apple Bloom stood up next.

We ain’t going to bed until we’ve looked for our cutie marks.

Sweetie Belle and Spike followed suit.

“Yeah! We’re not going!”

Twilight sighed and rolled her eyes, her horn flaring up.

“Looks like we’re going to have to do this the hard way...”


“... and would you believe it, Prime Minister Fair Vote was wearing mismatched horseshoes!”

Rarity burst into laughter as the Prince finished his story.

“Oh, Prince Blueblood, that is simply hilarious.”

Blueblood chuckled alongside her, only to pause as she used his honorific title.

“Miss Rarity, please, you can simply call me Blueblood. There is no need for such formalities between us.”

Rarity nodded, blushing. She hadn’t expected him to be so accessible, but she certainly wasn’t going to complain.

“Oh, of course. In exchange, I would like to ask you to do away with the ‘Miss’. Just Rarity is more than adequate coming from such a polite stallion.”

Prince Blueblood bowed, bringing out his best theatrics.

If it is milady’s desire, then it shall be done.”

Flattered, Rarity grew even redder. The two of them walked side by side, glancing at one another occasionally. Just as they were about to cross one of Ponyville’s main roads, Blueblood stopped in his tracks, motioning for Rarity to do the same.

“Rarity! Wait!”

Rarity stopped immediately, eyeing her companion curiously.

“It would pain me to see your magnificent shoes ruined by this dirty puddle. Please, allow me.”

Blueblood nodded towards the ground, where a large puddle of the morning’s rain had accumulated. The last time he had been faced with such a conundrum, he had made the worst possible decision. This time, he knew what to do. With a practiced gesture, Blueblood’s horn flared, plucking his overcoat off of his shoulders. He floated it ahead of their path, but found himself hesitating. It pained him to ruin such a nice vestment. Was it truly necessary? Certainly, chivalry demanded it, but....

Resigned to his fate, the Prince released his magic’s grasp, watching as the coat floated down to its wet, soggy, dirty fate. Unable to face its demise, Blueblood looked away, only to be surprised when he felt the touch of dry fabric across his back. A quick glance revealed that a blue magical aura had left it there.

“While I very much appreciate the gesture, it would pain me to see your magnificent overcoat ruined by this dirty puddle. Please, let us simply step around this wet inconvenience, shall we?”

Relieved, Blueblood sighed. How fortunate to have proven himself worthy and kept his clothes dry all at once!


Big Macintosh watched the clouds drift by as the sun slowly descended below the horizon. He unhooked himself from the plow and stretched his tired muscles as he gazed over the large area of fields he’d gotten prepared over the course of the day. Just as the farmer moved to take the plow back into storage, the sound of wings flapping rhythmically attracted his attention.

There were many stars in the evening sky, but none of them shone quite as brightly to him as the eyes of the mare that approached from above. Fluttershy gracefully glided to his side, nuzzling against him as she landed.

“Good evening, Big Macintosh.”

The farmer returned the affectionate gesture, edging closer to her to shield her from the crisp evening chill.

“Good evenin’, Miss Fluttershy.”

The pegasus frowned lightly at the formality.

“Please, Macintosh, just Fluttershy is more than okay.”

Big Macintosh nodded silently, knowing full well he’d need to be reminded of her preference again later. He smiled mischievously.

“Heh, my mistake.”

Fluttershy giggled, familiar with Macintosh’s little game of teasing.

“Did you have a good day?”

“Couldn’t ask for anything better. What about you, Fluttershy?”

Fluttershy giggled, pressing against the larger stallion.

Oh, it was wonderful. This morning, my animals were extra-affectionate, even Angel Bunny, and you know how he usually is. Then, in the afternoon, I went over to Rarity’s with your sister and the rest of the girls, and we helped Rarity get ready for her date with Prince Blueblood. Things got a little awkward when he showed up, but Twilight helped clear things up. I think they’re going to have a pretty nice date tonight.”

The farmer smiled, listening attentively. He’d always known Fluttershy to be a quiet pony, but she had turned out to be quite the talkative one when she was around him.

“Good to know those two might work out. They certainly look like a good fit.”

“Kind of like you two, eh big brother?”

Fluttershy instinctively stepped away from Big Macintosh, turning to face the new voice.

“Oh... um... Hi Applejack. I hope... um... you don’t mind about....”

Big Macintosh rolled his eyes. He’d hoped Applejack wouldn’t catch them so soon, but now? He’d never hear the end of it. The cowpony approached the pegasus with a broad smile and, to Fluttershy’s surprise, pulled her into a tight hug.

“Fluttershy, I can’t think of anypony else I’d rather see courtin’ with my brother. Take good care of him for me, would you? He’s got a good heart, but he doesn’t know when to stop workin’.”

Big Macintosh chuckled, watching the two mares.

“I’m standin’ right here, you know.”

Before Fluttershy could say anything, Applejack tightened her embrace.

“You’re a good gal, sugarcube. I’m sure you two will be real happy together.”


“Oh, Blueblood, this place is simply magnificent! I can’t believe I haven’t thought of coming here before!”

Blueblood’s eyes shot wide open in surprise.

"Oh? I’m quite surprised; I would have expected a lady such as you to have explored all the culinary delights to be found in her hometown.”

Rarity’s eyes sparkled as they took in the welcoming decor and the pleasant smells of the restaurant.

“To be honest, it had simply eluded me; I’d never seen it before. It is rather out of the way, after all, lodged between those two large hotels.”

The stallion reflected on the matter a moment, bringing a hoof to his chin.

Indeed. I would say that adds to its charms. The ambience is so nice and quiet.”

Rarity nodded in agreement.

All too true... Is that a grand piano I see in the corner?”

Blueblood followed Rarity’s eyes to the instrument, which sat on its small stage, unoccupied.

“It certainly is. Would you believe they have a young dragon pianist here?”

Rarity looked at Blueblood with the utmost confusion. She certainly wasn’t aware of a second young dragon in Ponyville, and she knew for a fact that Spike didn’t have a job as a restaurant musician. However, before she could delve into the question any further, their waitress approached the table, levitating a platter alongside herself.

“Good evening, Prince Blueblood, it’s quite a pleasure to see you again.”

Crystal Château turned to Rarity and offered a warm smile.

“Good evening to you as well, Miss Rarity. I’ve heard great things about your boutique.”

Prince Blueblood smiled to their waitress.

“Good evening to you as well, Crystal.”

Crystal set down the platter. Upon it sat two elegant crystal glasses and a shining bottle of grape nectar clearly labeled with ‘Colton Estate Vineyard.’ As the waitress addressed the two unicorns, she busied herself with magically uncorking the bottle and pouring each of them a portion of the juice, as well as floating two menus onto the table. The gesture was automatic.

“I’ll be your waitress for this evening. If there’s anything you need, please feel free to signal for me. I hope your meal at La Rose Dorée is peaceful and pleasant!”

The two unicorns nodded politely at the waitress before peering into their menus, thanking Crystal Château in unison as she stepped away to let them make their decision. After a few moments, Rarity looked up from the scrumptious selection of meals, each looking more delicious than the last.

“Oh, I’ll never be able to decide; everything looks so exquisite.”

Equally puzzled, Blueblood looked up at her.

“I know what you mean. I’ve been here so many times, and I still don’t know what to have.”

They were distracted by two stallions clad in expensive-looking suits walking by their table, engaged in what sounded like the tail end of a business dinner meeting. The first, a haughty-looking pegasus, seemed rather pleased with himself. He spoke high and loud, intent on displaying his superiority for all to see.

“Well then, Brown Nose, I’ll be happy to have you as my vice president starting tomorrow.”

His follower, a meek earth pony, bowed respectfully.

“Thank you, sir. It’s an honor.”

As he was directly next to Blueblood and Rarity’s table, the pegasus made a grand gesture, both with his forelegs and wings.

“You’ll see. With me at its head, this company will grow like no other!”

As it flared outwards, his right wing struck Rarity’s glass, spilling it onto the table. The liquid nearly splashed onto Rarity, who leapt out of her chair in a panic, narrowly avoiding a terrible stain on her outfit.

“Why! I never! You, sir, nearly ruined my dress! I have half a mind to-”

“Rarity, please! Please!”

Livid, Rarity turned to Blueblood, who offered a gentle, reassuring smile.

“Please allow me to handle this.”

Ignoring her twitching right eye, Rarity did her best to compose herself, nodding her approval. Blueblood took a step towards the offending stallion. The business earth pony eyed him cautiously.

“Thanks for stepping in. At least now we can discuss this without any crazy-”

Blueblood’s glare silenced the businesspony. The Prince edged closer, staring the offender in the eye and speaking between his teeth.

You, sir, nearly ruined Miss Rarity’s dress. Have you no decency, flailing about like a foal and raising your voice around ponies trying to enjoy a peaceful dinner? If anypony here is crazy, it would be you.”

The other stallion stumbled back, turning red in the face with anger.

“How dare you speak to me like this?! Do you know who I am?!”

The Prince stared at him blankly for a second, before bursting into laughter.

“Really? You’re playing the ‘do you know who I am?’ card with me? Sir, tell me, do you, perhaps, realise who you are talking to?”

A look of sheer terror came upon the pegasus’s eyes as they stopped on Blueblood’s cutie mark.

“P-P-Prince Blueblood! I am ever so sorry for this inconvenience. I apologize for not being able to stay any longer, but I must go... er... polish my safe. Yes, I need to go polish my safe. I hope you two have a good evening!”

The businesspony hightailed it out of the restaurant, followed by his assistant. The earth pony seemed ready to burst into laughter at any moment. Rarity walked over to the Prince, beaming.

“Such bravery, Prince Blueblood, I’m impressed! Thank you so much for standing up for me.”

Prince Blueblood smiled back.

“It was my pleasure, Miss Rarity. Fortunately, your dress remains as pristine as ever. If you’ll please give me a moment, I’ll fetch Miss Château. I’m sure it won’t be a problem assigning us to another table so they can clean up this mess.”

The two unicorns shared a mischievous glance and a smile. Everything was going perfectly.


Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon sat at the window of their respective rooms, separated by nothing but the air above part of their houses’ yards. Having been grounded with little to do in their rooms, the two fillies were more thankful than ever that they lived next to each other. Their voices echoed through the tranquil evening.

“... Silver Spoon, do you think maybe we went, like, too far this time?”

Silver Spoon looked up at her friend, whose head, much like hers, was propped up on her hooves, elbows on the windowsill.

“I don’t know. I mean... it was just a few gems, right? But... Prince Blueblood scolded us so badly.”

Diamond Tiara sighed.

“Daddy said we should apologize to Sweetie Belle, earlier. D’you think maybe...”

The gray filly pondered the obvious question for a moment, unsure.

“I’m not sure... Do we really have to? It’s not like it’s our fault the Diamond Dogs came... I wonder what Prince Blueblood would do.”

Diamond Tiara scratched her head, looking at the framed autograph of the prince that hung from her wall.

“Well... Prince Blueblood is like... totally proper, right? You know, the good kind of proper.”

Silver Spoon nodded in agreement.

“I think I know where you’re going, with how he told us we weren’t acting proper, right? Do you think... we’re bad ponies or something?”

Diamond Tiara shook her head immediately.

“No, it’s not that, I mean, Prince Blueblood liked us until we picked on Sweetie Belle. Like, Blueblood’s a really important pony and everypony looks up to him, but I’ve never heard of him picking on anypony. Have you?”

 Silver Spoon’s answer came immediately.

“Nope. Never. He’s always so polite to everypony... Maybe we should ask him to teach us how to be proper, tomorrow. Then we could be great like him!”

Diamond Tiara’s eyes sparkled in excitement.

“That’s a great idea! Then we’ll know what to do for sure!”

The two fillies grinned, going through a practiced motion despite the distance making the gesture somewhat awkward.

“Bump! Bump! Sugar Lump Rump!”


“I must say, this is simply delightful.”

Rarity took another eager bite of her salad, daintily wiping a droplet of dressing off of her lips.

“Indubitably. Everything is always so fresh and prepared with great care. Oh! Look, here comes the pianist. Looks like they’re back with their regular musician.”

A white unicorn stepped onto the stage, his short black mane elegantly slicked back. He bore a cutie mark of a set of black and white piano keys. The stallion sat at the piano and closed his eyes, taking a deep breath and focusing intensely. His horn lit up with a bright white glow, causing the piano’s keyboard to do the same. The keys came to life in an elegant melody.

Rarity caught herself gently swaying her forehoof from right to left in time with the music.

“Ah! Ivory Keys’s ‘Sun Princess Sonata’.  I love this piece so.”

Prince Blueblood paused to listen attentively, recognising the familiar notes.

“Indeed, it is a rather delightful piece. Did you know the Royal Canterlot Orchestra performs it in nearly all of their concerts?”

Rarity’s eyes went wide.

“The Royal Canterlot Orchestra? Oh, how I’ve always dreamed of witnessing one of their concerts. I hear it is a most grandiose experience!”

The Prince beamed.

“I would be more than happy to invite you to their next performance.”

Fighting off the urge to immediately accept, Rarity politely nodded.

“Thank you for the generous offer. I’ll certainly consider it. Pray tell, other than concerts, what does a pony of your status do for his enjoyment in Canterlot?”


The library’s basement was dark and quiet. Sharing a bed, the Cutie Mark Crusaders lay in bed, still awake. In his basket nearby, Spike was fighting off sleep as well. The young dragon was the first to complain, keeping his voice down.

“I can’t believe she actually put us to bed.”

Sweetie’s whispers echoed out in the dark.

“The story was really nice, though. I liked the part where the princess forgave the prince and they got married!”

Apple Bloom’s hushed voice came next.

“I thought it was funny when the prince fell into the big cake.”

The others laughed quietly. Scootaloo spoke up next, perhaps a little too loud.

“Or what about when he fought off the evil chimera?!”

Apple Bloom shushed her quickly.

“Quiet! Twilight’ll hear us!”

Spike turned over, facing the fillies.

“Twilight is really good at telling stories, isn’t she?”

A deep yawn escaped the young dragon as he stretched.

 “I feel kind of tired. Maybe it’s better if we go to sleep, really. If we wake up early enough tomorrow morning, I’m sure I can help you girls find your cutie marks in no time.”

Three mumbles of approval came from the fillies’ bed.

“Good night, Apple Bloom. Good night, Scootaloo. Good night, Sweetie Belle.”

All three of them answered at once.

“Good night, Spike.”

Spike laid his head deeper into his pillow, basking in the silence, until hushed whispers, too low for him to hear well, came from the fillies once more.

Apple Bloom was the first to break the silence.

“Sweetie Belle, you... and then... and he’ll...”

After a few explanations, Sweetie Belle’s answer came.

“No way, what if he... I want to but... think I should?

The earth pony replied.

“But yesterday, I saw my brother and Fluttershy... and he looked happy.”

A quiet expression of disgust came from Scootaloo.

“Eww... that’s so girly.”

The young unicorn gave an immediate rebuttal.

“No, you’re the one who’s not girly enough. Apple Bloom, do you really think... I don’t know if I should.”

Apple Bloom, ever the adventurous one, proved to be encouraging.

“What’s the worst that could happen?”

Spike heard nothing for a moment, until the silence was broken by the rustling of bed covers. Thanks to the dim moonlight, he saw Sweetie Belle climb out of bed and slowly approach him.

“Spike, are you awake?”

The young dragon answered hesitantly.  Sweetie had been acting strangely around him lately, and to his great confusion, Apple Bloom and Scootaloo seemed fixated with the idea of calling the two of them coltfriend and fillyfriend.

“Uh... yeah, why?”

Sweetie Belle approached him very closely, and whispered to him.

“Thanks again for saving me yesterday, Spike. I wanted to give you this, too, but there were too many ponies around.”

Spike froze up as he felt the little unicorn’s lips gently peck his cheek. He blushed profusely as Sweetie Belle quickly retreated to her bed, giggling.

“Good night, Spike.”

Completely dazzled, Spike answered shakily.

“G-good night, Sweetie Belle.”

The young dragon quickly drifted off to sleep, sailing into a familiar land of pleasant dreams and pretty unicorns. However, where each night those unicorns were tall and slender with sultry eyes and long violet manes, tonight, he found them to be smaller and cuter, with curly pink and purple manes and adorable puppy dog eyes.


“... let me tell you, darling, it’s not always easy being an older sister, but when Sweetie gives me one of her smiles, it’s worth all the gems in Equestria.”

Rarity caught herself uncontrollably smiling as she recalled Sweetie and her friends bouncing with joy when she’d agreed to let Twilight watch them rather than cancel the sleepover.

Blueblood nodded, finding Rarity’s happiness contagious. He was himself reminded of Dinky’s shining grin when he had bought her and her mother a muffin, and those of Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon when they’d gotten their hooves on his autograph.

“It certainly seems rewarding. I must admit, before coming to Ponyville, I hadn’t exactly been one for foals. It is indeed a most heartwarming experience to have one of them smile back at you.”

Raising an eyebrow in intrigue, Rarity leaned in towards the Prince.

“Ah! Little Dinky Doo, if I remember well? Her mother had only the most shining of praise for you when I met her yesterday.”

Blueblood nodded, finishing the last few drops of his after-dinner tea.

“Yes, she was certainly an adorable one. Your sister and her friends are also very endearing, I must say, though the other two little misses tend to be somewhat rambunctious.”

The two unicorns shared a chuckle as the prince continued.

“Ah well, foals will be foals, as it were. I think, however, that the ones who made the most impact on me would be two posh earth pony fillies I encountered a few times.

Rarity raised an eyebrow.

“Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, I would guess?”

Blueblood nodded.

“Yes. They seemed well-behaved and polite at first, and it disappoints me to know that they are showing... Oh, how to put it... Ah yes, a mean streak.”

Rarity nodded, her smile faltering.

“Oh, those two. Sweetie Belle certainly has a lot to say about them, and I think both of us got a firsthoof sight of her problems with them. Pray tell, how did they leave such an impact on you?”

Blueblood pondered the question for a moment, rubbing his chin with his hoof.

“I think I recognized myself in them, in some way, so very eager to be part of the upper crust, most likely to a fault. I feel that these two could become very good mares, but after what I’ve been hearing of them, I worry that they may end up... well, the way I was before I came to Ponyville.

Rarity sighed. It soon dawned on her that she’d never really given those two a thought beyond them troubling her little sister.

“Hopefully, that little lecture you gave them yesterday will do them some good.”

Blueblood nodded with a gentle smile.

“One can certainly hope.”

A lull fell over the conversation as both ponies worked on finishing off the last few bites of their dessert. Soon, at the Prince’s behest, Crystal Château came by their table and left the bill, requesting that they meet her by the register once they were ready. Prince Blueblood immediately reached for his bits, only for Rarity to interpose herself.

“Oh, Darling, I simply can’t have you pay for everything. That wouldn’t be right of me.”

Blueblood smiled and plucked the necessary bits out of his coin pouch.

“I must insist, Rarity. I said I was inviting you and paying, and I am a stallion of my word.”

Rarity’s aura took over Blueblood’s and forced the coins back into their pouch.

“Absolutely not.”

A mischievous grin crossed Blueblood’s face.

“Not to pay would be quite improper of me. After all, you did pay for the desserts at the Gala.”

Rarity chuckled. She didn’t have the heart to remind Blueblood that Applejack had given her them for free. Left without a counter argument, she smiled gratefully.

“Fair enough. I insist on paying on our next outing, however.”

Blueblood felt his heart beat like a Zebrican drum.

N-n-next time? She wants a next time?

He composed himself to the best of his ability, laying the noble charmer act on as thick as he could.

“A fair compromise. I would be delighted to meet up with you again soon, Miss Rarity.”


As she came back by the Prince and his date’s table later that evening, Crystal Château nearly dropped her serving tray. Right in front of her sat the most lavish tip of her career. As she gathered the bits, a white card left amongst them attracted her curiosity. It was a business card from Rarity, showing simple directions to reach her establishment. A quickly written note had been added to the back.

“Miss Château, thank you very much for some of the best service I have ever received... evening has been wonderful for me... would like to express my utmost gratitude.

Crystal raised an eyebrow as she read on, curious as to what Rarity was angling towards.

“Please drop by when you have a free moment... would be delighted to fit you for a dress... Free of charge!?”

Crystal bounced in excitement as she squirreled away the precious card, promising herself to make good on the offer. A Carousel original for free! The girls would be so jealous!


Blueblood and Rarity found themselves back at the boutique all too soon, smiling quietly. Still, all good things had to come to an end, wonderful first dates included.

“Thank you very much, Blueblood. I’ve had a positively amazing evening.”

Blueblood bowed elegantly.

“The pleasure is mine, Rarity. It is truly an honor to have been offered a second chance after my... atrocious conduct at the gala.”

Rarity giggled, remembering the events.

“Say no more, Blueblood. You’ve more than redeemed yourself, these last few days.”

Silence fell over them. The Prince’s smile slowly fell to a disappointed frown, which he hid away as quickly as possible.

“I... guess this means good night for now.”

Rarity hesitated for a time. She didn’t want the evening to end just yet, but decency and the general protocol precluded inviting him into her home after just the first date. She turned away coyly, not wanting him to see her disappointment.

“... I guess it does indeed. I hope to see you again soon.”

The prince cracked a smile as he turned away, slowly departing for his hotel.

“I would be honored, Rarity. Perhaps for lunch tomorrow?”

Perking up, Rarity caught up to the Prince, stopping by his side. Blueblood paused as she approached.

“I would be delighted. Also, one last thing before you go, please.”

He turned to face her, curious.


Rarity hesitantly stepped towards the Prince, and brought her head forward, gently pressing her lips against his cheek.

“Thank you again, for everything.”

The Prince blushed profusely, completely speechless. Rarity nodded politely as she walked back to her door.

“Good night, Prince Blueblood.”

Blueblood returned the gesture politely.

“Good night to you as well, Miss Rarity.”

 As she reached the Boutique’s porch, Rarity stopped, unsure. She looked back over her shoulder, seeing the prince slowly moving away. Protocol be darned, she didn’t want the evening to end just yet.

“Prince Blueblood! Wait!”

The prince froze in his tracks and turned to face her, still unsure.


Rarity pushed the door open with one of her hind legs and nodded towards the door.

“Would you like to come in? I have some Southshore Lake Salt I’ve been saving for a special occasion, and I figured perhaps...”

 A little social salt definitely couldn’t hurt, Blueblood assumed.

“I would be delighted.”

The prince smiled warmly as he walked into Rarity’s elegant home and boutique, gently closing the door behind himself.


To Be Concluded


What fate awaits our happy lovebirds in the near and far future? Check in next time to find out in the epilogue: ‘Happily Ever After’.


← Chapter 8         Epilogue →


I’d like to thank the bronies at #EquestrianStudy who helped make this chapter a possibility with their suggestions, proofreading, reviews and critique, most particularly  CHeighlund, MaverickVox, PonyMarine, Sagebrush, Sketchy Sounds, Vulpin and especially Blue Thrush.

A special shout out goes to my favorite brony pals, Cheechos, Aurora Dawn, and CookieClansman who were great help with inspiration and helping me figure things out.

Another special shout out to Present Perfect and Foolonthehillz who gave this fic the rough shakedown of odds and ends it needed.

All comments and criticism are welcome, either through comments wherever you’ve read this fic, or through email at [email protected]. I ask in particular: What do you think of Prince Blueblood’s characterization here?

Please do not distribute this fic without my express permission, though I will gladly give permission for this fic to appear on most of any fan fiction sites if I am asked politely.

Thanks for reading!


Disclaimer: This is a work of fan made fiction, based on the animated show “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” I do not own, nor lay any claim to My Little Pony or any related intellectual property.

This work was made entirely for entertainment value and as a tribute to the amazing work of the Friendship is Magic production team. It is not, and will never be, distributed for profit.

To Be a Better Stallion

A “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” fan fiction

Written by Autumn Wind

Epilogue - Happily Ever After


Chapter 9


Rarity beamed as she reclined into the carriage’s comfortable seat. The plush cushioning felt wonderful, but not nearly as much as the stallion she was currently leaning against.

“Oh, Blueblood! I still can’t believe I’m going to the gala for the second year in a row! I simply cannot thank you enough!”

Pressed against her side, the Prince gave her cheek a gentle nuzzle.

“I simply couldn’t have enjoyed it without you, and your friends have been so good to me, this was the very least I could do to pay them back.”

With a sigh of contentment, Rarity turned to face the Prince, planting a kiss on his cheek.

“I can’t believe it’s nearly been a year already....”


After their fateful dinner date, Rarity and Prince Blueblood enjoyed frequent romantic encounters over the span of a week. However, Blueblood eventually had to return home to Canterlot. The two wrote to each other constantly, until the perfect occasion came up for Rarity to visit Canterlot for a few days to do some shopping and enjoy some quality time with her very special somepony.

Of course, to their delight, the media was immediately all over their story. A combination of fashion, friends in high places, and a royal’s love helped launch Rarity’s reputation into the stratosphere. Conversely, being in the spotlight gave Prince Blueblood a golden opportunity to redeem himself to Canterlot’s high society. Until now, most had dismissed him as an airheaded, stuck-up brat, but that reputation soon faded thanks to his newfound chivalry.

The couple quickly became the news of the hour, making public appearances all over Canterlot. They were even asked by Princess Celestia to inaugurate the first of a line of flying yachts designed for travel all over the land. Much like it, the two of them sailed away on the winds of happiness as time flew by with nary a dark cloud in sight.

For Blueblood and Rarity, the next eleven months were a whirling waltz of high-society romance. They would visit each other frequently yet keep enough space for their personal lives, taking things slowly as etiquette suggested.

Soon after the first day of spring, Rarity received a letter from the Prince. Immediately, she ran to meet her friends, eager to tell them the fantastic news.

“Girls! Girls!”

Rarity could not hold still.

“Look what I have!”

Rarity waved a bundle of golden tickets, beaming with bliss.

Last year’s Gala had been a complete fiasco, but this year’s would be different. She and her significant other would be inviting their friends and family hosting to their own smaller reception in a private garden during the festivities. It was bound to be the most wonderful of nights.


“Oh my... Prince Blueblood! Look at the sky!”

The two unicorns gazed up through their carriage’s windows, speechless. The night was brighter than either of them had ever seen; an untold amounts of stars shone with every color of the rainbow. The Prince’s eyes widened in shock as he took in the sight.

“I had heard rumors that Princess Luna wanted to do something special for her first participation in the Grand Galloping Gala. She certainly did not disappoint, did she?”

Puzzled, Rarity raised an eyebrow.

“Her first? What about last year’s?”

Prince Blueblood shrugged, a somber frown tracing itself on his face.

“I believe she was still recovering from her long isolation.”

Still transfixed with the sky, Rarity slumped in her carriage seat. Her smile slowly faded.

“Oh... all too true. I can only imagine what such isolation must have been like.”

Blueblood gently leaned against her, offering a comforting nuzzle and a gentle smile.

“Tonight is no time to worry about such things. The Princess is now restored to her rightful place, and I feel she would want us to enjoy our evening rather than worry about the past.”

Returning the Prince’s gesture, Rarity perked up.

“Very wise words, darling. It’s pointless crying over spilt milk, and even more so once it’s been cleaned up.”

The Prince chuckled as he glanced outside again.

“I do believe we’re just about to-”

“Grand Galloping Gala, we’re here!”

“... Arrive.”

The couple disembarked from the carriage, thanking their chauffeur for his services. The earth pony nodded back.

“Ya know where ta find me once yer ready ta go back.”

Without further ado, the stallion trotted away.

The castle’s grounds were quiet and sparsely populated. Most of the guests preferred the busy interior of the palace and the inner gardens, leaving the outside mainly reserved for the arrival of carriages.

 Blueblood and Rarity made their way towards the entrance, only to be surprised by the flapping of wings and the shouting of a mare.

Bluey! Rarity! Glad you made it!”

Dropping out of the sky in a slinky red dress and a generous amount of jewelry, Amethyst grinned and alighted by the couple. Pushing up her sunglasses until they rested on her forehead, she pulled the unicorns into a hug.

“How have you two been? I haven’t seen either of you since that Pinkie Pie party three months ago for Bluey’s birthday! That filly sure knows how to have fun!”

The Prince smiled, extirpating himself from Amethyst’s crushing embrace.

“It’s good to see you as well, Amethyst. It has certainly been a long time.”

Rarity chuckled as the pegasus took the hint and released her as well.

“It’s always a pleasure, indeed.”

Amethyst’s smile collapsed as she recalled why she had been looking for the Prince.

“By the way, Blueblood, I hate to pester you with this so early in the evening, but I think there’s someone here you’d like to meet. That being said, I think you might want to go see him by yourself; things might get a little awkward.”

Catching Rarity’s curious stare, Amethyst slipped over to the her side and whispered a few words in her ear, prompting an understanding nod.

“I don’t mind at all. In the meantime, I’ll try to find my friends. I’m sure they’re around here somewhere... Oh! There’s Fluttershy. The poor girl looks terrified. What do you think, Blueblood? Shall we meet in our reserved area, say, in an hour?”

The Prince nodded, curious as to who was expecting his presence.

“Certainly. I’ll see you soon, then, my dear. Amethyst, please lead the way.”

Rarity stole a kiss from Blueblood as she trotted towards the shy pegasus.

“Fluttershy! Wait up!”

Blueblood turned his attention to Amethyst as she motioned for him to follow her.

“Someone wants to meet me, you say...?”


In a corner of the royal garden, by a pathway dotted with benches, the delightful scent of fruit and confectionery wafted from a popular stand.

The salespony, a peach-colored stallion, pushed aside a bang of his emerald mane as the last customer of a long sales rush walked away. A familiar voice called out to him.

“Hey! Fruit boy! I’m bringing you a guest!”

The salespony placed a “Back in a moment” sign onto his stand before trotting towards the speaker, looking up at the sky. Hovering some meters in the air, the pegasus mare who had called out to him motioned towards the ground with her hoof. Apricot blinked a few times in disbelief as he saw who else was approaching.

“Blueblood, huh? It’s been a long time.”

Blueblood sighed and lowered his head.

“Good evening to you, Apricot. I... do believe I owe you some apologies.”

Judging it best to let the two stallions air out their dirty laundry in peace, Amethyst took off into the sky, heading back towards the Wonderbolts’ area.

“Well then, I’ll catch you guys later. Try not to hit each other too hard, now.”

The two stallions remained silent for a moment, both unsure of what to say. Finally, taking a seat on one of the park benches, Apricot gave his old friend a hesitant look.

“Amethyst told me a lot about what you’ve been up to, Bluey. I know I’ve been pretty cold to you when you tried to contact me this past year, but Amethyst slapped some reason into me now, and I guess I should listen to what you have to say.”

Unmoving, Blueblood took a deep breath, relieved that the mare had at least gotten Apricot to listen. This was his only opportunity, and he didn’t want to blow it.

“I’m... not too sure how to say this, Apricot. I’ve acted in a truly unfair manner towards you. I lost myself in my role as a royal, and I let that lead me into the kind of conduct that is unbecoming of anypony.”

The Prince cringed.

I’ve missed your complicity, you know. Just us colts being colts and running wild. I’ve been an idiot to throw our friendship away in some kind of misguided belief that it would help me get ahead in life.”

Blueblood paused, taking a deep breath. This was it: The big moment.

“I guess all I really want to ask is... would you be willing to give this noble idiot a second chance?”

Apricot remained silent for a few seconds. This was what what he’d been hoping for. Not a mention of Blueblood working hard. Not a supposed humility lesson from the Prince. Just an apology and a few words of recognition.

“You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to hear these words, Bluey.”

The peach stallion thought for a moment.

“Say, you know how the Grand Galloping Gala started?”

Blueblood remained silent, reflecting on Apricot’s answer and his own question.

“... As a matter of fact, I don’t think I do.”

Apricot tapped a hoof on the bench next to him, beckoning for the Prince to sit down.

“A long time ago, in Equestria, the ponies didn’t have nearly the luxuries we have today. Even the highest classes of ponies, like rich merchants or royalty, had to work really hard to get by. The winter was especially hard on everypony. They had to have it every year, of course, but it’d always leave everyone pretty hungry until spring came.

Come the first harvest of spring, when food was in abundance again, everypony would gather their resources together and throw a big celebration for Equestria’s returning prosperity.

Throughout the years, that meaning got a little lost and the celebrations became tradition, but there you have it.”

Apricot relaxed his position, nonchalantly leaned against the bench’s back.

It’s kind of like us, really. Bad weather happened, I lost you to your bad attitude, you lost me because of that bad attitude, and now you’re here offering some apologies, and it feels like a celebration to me.

I’ve heard a lot about what you’ve been up to, Bluey. All that stuff about you getting off your pedestal and trying your hoof at not being so haughty anymore.”

Nervously, Apricot rubbed the back of his neck.

 “I gave this a lot of thought these last few months, and... Well I guess what I mean to say is, if you’re hoping for a second chance now after you’ve worked so hard, I’d be kind of a jerk not to give you one, huh?”

Grinning, Apricot extended a hoof towards the unicorn, who returned the gesture with a sad smile.

“Thank you, Apricot. Thank you so much. Again, I’m so sorry I acted like I did.”

“I guess this would all be better as water under the bridge really. I could probably keep this grudge going for a while longer and people would still call me the reasonable one, but by this point, I don’t really care anymore. I missed you too, pal, just... try not to do it again, okay?”

“It’s a promise.”

Chuckling, Apricot threw his other foreleg over the Prince’s shoulders, pulling the unicorn into his grasp and playfully messing up the Prince’s mane despite his amused objections.

“C’mere, you!”

The Prince pulled back, laughing, and quickly rearranged his mane. Apricot’s gardening and orchard work had been generous to his physique, as the the once-small colt had overtaken him in both size and bulk.

“You’ve been owing me that one for a long time, Apricot.”

The two shared a chuckle.

“So, Blueblood, you worked on a farm, huh? I’d sure have loved to see that.”

Blueblood raised an eyebrow.

“... And here I was hoping Amethyst wouldn’t tell. I’ll never hear the end of it, will I?”

Apricot grinned mischievously.

“Nope. Never.”

As things got quiet, Blueblood finally got a good look at his friend, noticing the subtle changes that had affected the stallion. Apricot had put on a few pounds, and his elegant suit, as well as the state of his stand, made his status clear.

“I see the wealthy landowner has only gotten wealthier?”

Apricot chuckled, nudging his friend.

“Yep. My father taught me well, and it’s all working out great.

The Prince offered a warm smile.

“Good to hear, good to hear.”

Apricot sighed, looking back to his stand.

“It’s been great seeing you again, Blueblood, but I’d really better get back to business. We should really grab some lunch soon and catch up some more. What do you say?”

Blueblood nodded enthusiastically.

“That’s a wonderful idea. How about next Monday at the Golden Barrel?”

The earth pony chuckled.

“The usual table?”

“Precisely. Also, before I go, I’d like to ask you to join me later tonight over by the area I’ve reserved....”

Blueblood leaned in, whispering a few words to his friend.

“Really?! Seriously?!”

Blueblood nodded to the affirmative, prompting an enthusiastic answer from his friend.

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”


“Ah, here we are, Oak Gardens.”

Rarity’s jaw dropped as she approached the area the Prince had reserved for the evening. From the number of tickets he’d secured for her to invite ponies of her choosing, it had been an easy task to deduce that their reception would be a grand one, but the sheer beauty of it all left her completely baffled.

The small garden was softly lit by an array of colorful lights, offering a comfortable atmosphere and good visibility despite the growing darkness. Many ponies milled around: familiar faces from Ponyville, acquaintances and strangers from Canterlot, Blueblood’s own guests, and Gala wanderers.

“Good evening, Miss Rarity. Would you like something to eat?”

Startled by the familiar voice, Rarity noticed a tray of food to her left being balanced on a filly’s head. Having temporarily swapped her namesake for a less cumbersome circlet and an elegant velvet dress, Diamond Tiara was maneuvering from pony to pony with expert skill.

“Oh, good evening, Diamond Tiara. Are you helping out with the catering?”

The earth filly nodded, careful not to spill her tray.

“Absolutely. Prince Blueblood suggested that Silver Spoon and I give a helping hoof tonight. It’ll help us be nice and proper like him!”

Rarity offered the filly an encouraging smile as she magically lifted a delicious-looking kiwi and strawberry tart from the platter. In doing so, she noticed a small sign resting amongst the pastries.

Sugarcube Corner - Joint Catering Venture - La Rose Dorée

“That is a very noble endeavor, Diamond Tiara. I am certain it will do you much good to mingle with the populace of Canterlot.”

Beaming with pride, Diamond Tiara half-trotted, half-bounced towards another new arrival, a tuxedo-clad earth pony.

“Thank you, Miss Rarity!”

Rarity couldn’t help but chuckle in amusement at the filly’s enthusiasm continuing as she saw Silver Spoon heading back to the reception’s buffet table with an empty platter. There, Pinkie Pie exchanged it for a full one and sent the filly back on her way with a wink of approval. Crystal Château, busy preparing another batch of sweets, gave her a few words of advice. Rarity smiled as she approached them, thinking out loud.

“So, Blueblood has students of his own now, I see. How appropriate.”


Fluttershy gently strolled through the palace gardens, humming to herself as she watched a finch forage for seeds. Away from the hustle and bustle of the gala, she was taking the time to look around and watch the animals as they came and went. She had learnt the previous year, to her great disappointment, that Canterlot’s animals preferred to be left alone. Fluttershy was happy to comply with their wishes; she would have been a hypocrite to deny them that courtesy.

Sitting quietly by a small ornamental fountain, the pegasus watched as a marmot poked its head out of the ground, sniffing the air. Soon afterwards, the animal bounded over to the small pile of berries Fluttershy had left out for the creatures of the garden, filled its cheeks to the brim with the juicy morsels and dashed back to the privacy of its hole.

“Good evening to you, Fluttershy.”

With a squeak, the startled pegasus faced the approaching pony. She offered a modest smile as she saw who had called out to her.

“Oh! Good evening, Prince Blueblood. Are you also here to watch the animals?”

The Prince approached slowly, taking great care not to scare off the wildlife, and sat on his haunches by the pegasus, returning her joyful expression.

“While there certainly are some fascinating creatures in this garden, I must admit they are not the reason I came here. I was told you could most likely be found here, and there were some things I wanted to discuss with you.”

Intrigued and somewhat apprehensive, Fluttershy turned away slightly, her mane hiding part of her face.

“Oh? Um... sure... it’s no problem. What did you want to talk about?”

Noting the mare’s shy demeanor, Blueblood offered his most friendly smile.

It has recently come to my attention that I haven’t yet had the chance to congratulate you and Macintosh for your wonderful wedding. I am very grateful that you two saw fit to invite me along with Miss Rarity, and I must say that it was an absolutely delightful event.”

Behind her long mane, Fluttershy blushed.

“You’re, um, welcome, Prince Blueblood. It meant a lot to me that you and Rarity came back from Canterlot just for the wedding.”

The Prince chuckled.

“Please! You sell yourself short. I owe you and Big Macintosh so much, and you know as well as I do just how important you are to Miss Rarity.”

Blueblood thought for a moment, rubbing the side of his chin with a forehoof.

“You know, that was a most spectacular dive she pulled off in order to catch the tossed bouquet.”

Fluttershy nodded, giggling.

“It was. It’s really too bad the cake happened to be in the way... Good thing Twilight had planned for a backup.”

The Prince cringed, recalling how awkward the incident had been, and how difficult it had been to coax Rarity back out of the Apple family’s cellar for the rest of the wedding.

“There is something else I wished to discuss with you, Fluttershy. I would like to ask a small favor of you....”


Following the Princess’ suggestion that she go and enjoy the gala with her friends, Twilight Sparkle weaved through the crowd assembled in the Oak Gardens, where Blueblood and Rarity’s private reception was taking place. She greeted familliar faces from Ponyville and ponies she remembered from school.

The reception was going full force, with ponies talking, eating, dancing, and overall enjoying the celebrations. She couldn’t help but chuckle as she noticed Pinkie launching into a wild song and dance number in a secluded corner of the party area. Apparently, Blueblood and Rarity had seen fit to account for the rowdier partygoers of Ponyville. Her eyes shot open as she recognized another familliar figure, a middle-aged grey unicorn stallion with a shiny mustache, who was giving the pink mare a run for her bits in a heated dancing contest. She grinned as she walked by the two.

“Good evening, Pinkie, good evening, Professor Solaris!”

The unlikely rivals greeted her back without breaking from their competition, soliciting a giggle from the unicorn. Twilight walked along towards the buffet, until a voice called out for her attention.

“How nice of you to drop by, Twilight.”

Rarity approached her friend, clearly looking worried.

“There’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you these last few days, and it kept slipping my mind.”

Twilight turned to face the other unicorn, raising an eyebrow in curiosity.

“Oh? What is it, Rarity?”

Rarity took a step closer to Twilight and whispered her question, judging it best to keep things private.

“I think by now, little Spikey Wikey’s crush on me is hardly a secret to anypony, and It dawned on me that my relationship with the Prince may be causing him some undue chagrin. I was wondering, how is he taking things?”

Twilight chuckled and nodded over to a small arrangement of bushes. Confused, Rarity looked it over for a moment, until she caught on to what Twilight was referring to.

Believing themselves to be hidden, Spike and Sweetie Belle looked at each other, each of them blushing deeply. After ensuring nopony was in their immediate proximity, they shared a quick nuzzle.

Twilight cracked a smile as she saw her friend’s frown of worry perk up in an instant.

“I... think he’ll pull through.

Rarity chuckled.

“Oh my, how did that slip under my nose for so long? Those two certainly do make a cute couple. I couldn’t dream of a better little suitor for my dear little Sweetie Belle.”

Joining Rarity in her laughter, Twilight winked at her friend.

“And I couldn’t think of a better date for Spike, either.”

Turning away from the young lovebirds, Twilight helped herself to a glass of punch.

 “So, Rarity, how has your latest trip to Canterlot been? I heard you’ve been to the Museum of Equestrian History. Did you like it?”

Rarity nodded enthusiastically.

“Oh, very much so. I dare say those historical dresses are some of the most fascinating....”


“You were right, big brother. Them fancy little apple cakes are selling faster n’ fresh cider at the peak a’ the season!”

Applejack adjusted her hat, a green felt replica of the original which Rarity had insisted would go perfectly with her gala ensemble.

Big Macintosh chuckled.

“Eeyup. After the Prince raved about them back at the farm, there was no way they could fail here.”

The farmpony siblings chuckled amongst themselves as Big Macintosh rifled through the coin box, counting their newly acquired bits.

“If this keeps up, we’ll have enough bits for Granny’s new hip, that plow we’ve been thinkin’ of, the barn’s roof, and maybe even that record player Apple Bloom’s been talking about in her sleep.”

Applejack reared up in excitement.

“Yeehaw! Now that’s what I call runnin’ the market!

The two were startled when a third voice called out to them, chuckling.

“There’s far more to come, Ms. Apple. I have a few friends who would be rather interested in sampling your products.”

The farmers looked on as Prince Blueblood approached with a broad smile. With a complicitous wink, he tossed a small bag of bits onto the counter.

“Four samples each of your three best products, if you please.”

Applejack’s eyes widened at the sight as she plated up the order.

“Comin’ right up!”

The Prince nodded politely as his horn lit up, carefully levitating the four platters. He disappeared into the crowd of formally-clad ponies.

“Thank you very much. I’ll be back in a moment.”

Big Macintosh piled the bits in the stand’s safebox, nodding to the prince before nudging his sister.

“Hey, AJ, you ever seen this many bits?”

Applejack eyed the golden coins curiously; her jaw dropped in amazement.

“Nope. I don’t reckon I have. I don’t think the farm usually makes that much in a whole week, now that you mention it.”

The sound of several sets of hooves quickly captured the siblings’ attention. Big Macintosh greeted them as his head emerged from behind the counter, only to interrupt himself when he realized who their customers were.

“Good evenin’ and welcome to the Sweet Apple Stan- Whoa.”

Prince Blueblood wasn’t much of a surprise to him anymore, but the same could not be said of the unicorn’s companions.

“Thank you very much for the kind greeting, Mr. Macintosh. If you’d allow us, my partners in business are quite interested in meeting you and your sister.”

Stunned, Big Macintosh could only nod politely, stopping himself from blurting out a family expression of complete bafflement.

Well, stick me in a dress n’ call me Red Gala.

To the Prince’s right stood a proud-looking fellow: A dromedary clad in bejeweled robes and a fine silk turban. He offered each of the farmponies a hoofshake.

“Good evening to you, Mr. Macintosh and Ms. Applejack. my name is Humpfrey, and I must say your business looks like it has much potential.”

To Blueblood’s right, a short and heavy-set elk clad in a white tuxedo grinned almost as wide as his massive antlers.

“Good evenin’ eh? W. A. Petey at your service.”

Craning her long neck over the prince to look down at the stand, a female giraffe, clad in a ruffly blue dress and several dozen diamond necklaces attentively eyed the produce and confections. Raising an eyebrow, but remaining stone-faced otherwise, she introduced herself.

Moneckas the name, and I think there’s probably some profit to be made here.

Applejack stepped around the stand, returning Humpfrey’s hoofshake and offering a similar one to the other two. Meanwhile, Big Macintosh received the same gesture from the dromedary.

The Prince smiled, glad to see his initiative paying off. He departed slowly, somewhat regretful that he wouldn’t be around for the business dealings; he had something far more important to prepare for.

“Well then, since the introductions are done with, I’m afraid I must be elsewhere. If you’d all be so kind as to join me by the Oak Gardens at nine-thirty, I’ve got a little announcement I’d like to make.”


Tired of the hustle and bustle of the Wonderbolts’ zone, a trio of the professional fliers had retreated to the roof of the castle, known for being a quieter spot during the Gala.

The first, Spitfire, sat comfortably upon the upraised edge of the roof, adopting a relaxed slouch her PR manager would never have forgiven her for. A glass of cider sat by her, nearly empty.

Next to her, Soarin’ was enjoying a plate of hors-d’oeuvres eagerly gathered from the buffet on their way to the roof.

Completing the trio was the Wonderbolt known as Cloud Nine, a light gray stallion with a white mane and mid-length fetlock fur he was in the process of growing out. He leaned against the rampart, intently looking around the sky.

“Aha! There!”

Excitedly leaping onto the wall, Cloud Nine brought a hoof to his mouth and whistled forth a resounding cat call. Two mares in the distance turned towards him, curious. The stallion’s eyes focused on one of the two as he called out to her.

“Hey there, babe, looking for a good time?”

The mare burst into laughter as she sped towards the Wonderbolts. The second mare’s jaw dropped, speechless, until she realised who the stallion was, at which point she hurried to catch up with her friend.

“Oh, Cloud, you big goof!”

The first of the two mares, Lady Amethyst, alighted by her husband, nuzzling him amorously.

Rainbow Dash, the second mare, slowed her approach, finding herself hesitant until the flame-maned mare beckoned her over.

“Well, well, look who Amethyst brought in! C’mon, Rainbow Dash, you should join us!”

Before any of them could say anything, Rainbow Dash rocketed over and stood by them, a look of pure excitement on her face. Spitfire shot her a smile, beckoning for Dash to take a seat next to her and Soarin’. Swallowing a mouthful of hors-d’oeuvres, the stallion offered Rainbow Dash an encouraging nod.

“You know, Dash, that was a pretty sweet job you Ponyvillians did with that tornado. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of such a small crew pulling it off before.”

Puffing her chest out, Rainbow Dash struggled not to immediately faint in excitement. Trying to maintain her composure, she grinned proudly.

“Oh, please, that was nothing. We did what we had to do, that’s all.”

Amethyst chuckled, nudging Rainbow Dash playfully.

“Well, somepony’s humble. That’ll do you good in the profession.”

Cutting the discussion short, Cloud Nine hopped onto the wall and turned to face the rest of the group, looking at Soarin’ specifically.

“I’m feeling a bit restless, what do you ladies say we go for a flight?”

The other male pegasus rolled his eyes.

“Ha. Very funny. Lead the way, Cloudette!”

With a broad flap of her wings, Spitfire hopped out of her seat, hovering by the roof.

“Sounds good to me! Hey, Rainbow Dash, are you familliar with flight routine Omega-6?”

Rainbow Dash grinned, preparing to dive off the castle’s edge. She’d have recognized that name anywhere. Omega-6 was the routine the Wonderbolts used to test out rookies.

“Well, duh! I could do Omega-6 in my sleep!”

Amethyst joined the others, ready to take off as well.

“I take it I’m filling in for position four again?”

The three Wonderbolts nodded, and on Spitfire’s signal, the group took off, flying through the air. Rainbow Dash traced the path through her mind, making sure to avoid any possible mistakes. This was one of her best chances to impress her idols, and she didn’t want to blow it.

“Wow, Amethyst! I didn’t know you were such an awesome flier!”

Amethyst laughed, tilting into a barrel roll just as expertly as her four formation partners.

“Comes with the husband; he’s been teaching me a lot.”

Flying right above the two of them, Soarin’ winked to Rainbow Dash, swooping down to her height.

“You’re making a pretty good showing yourself, Rainbow. It’s rare that rookies manage to keep up half as well as you did, even when they’ve been cramming, but you’re following us like it’s nothing.”

Rainbow Dash’s heart fluttered. Such a compliment, and from her favorite Wonderbolt, at that!

Further above, Spitfire, Cloud Nine, and the newly ascended Amethyst were whispering to one another, chuckling as they watched Rainbow Dash blush brightly. Spitfire broke formation, calling out to the two of them.

“Hey! Soarin’ Rainbow! Why don’t you two take the next part by yourselves?”

Soarin’ grinned, moving closer to Rainbow and extending a foreleg towards her, putting on a ridiculous imitation of a noblecolt’s tone.

“Miss Rainbow, may I have this freestyle duo?”

With a voiceless squeal, Rainbow Dash accepted his offer, hooking her foreleg with his. The two sped up into the sky, engaging in an airborne dance of astounding agility.

Spitfire grinned as she watched the pair go.

“That ought to be as good a tryout as any.”


Prince Blueblood cleared his throat as he stepped onto the stage of the Oak Gardens. He fiddled with the microphone stand for a few seconds, extending it to the appropriate height.

“Esteemed guests and gala-goers, if you’d kindly allow this stallion a few minutes of your time, I have a little speech I would like to give.”

The crowd fell silent, gathering before the stage. This was the moment many had been anticipating.

It is a great honor for me to see all of you assembled tonight for my little announcement. If you’ll allow me, I’d like to tell all of you a little story.”

Prince Blueblood paced around the stage, seeming nervous. The audience was silent, enthralled.

“I used to be what one would call, amongst polite company, a pompous, self-important brat. A year ago, day for day, I met a most wonderful mare here at the gala, but in my idiocy, I failed to truly realise her value.”

Sitting with the rest of the Elements of Harmony, Rarity blushed intensely, eliciting a giggle from Twilight Sparkle and a mischievous nudge from Rainbow Dash.

“Eventually, still full of myself, I learned of her whereabouts and sought her out for a second chance, which she rightfully denied me. This turned out to be the best thing that could ever have happened to me, for that one door slam may have done more to make me realise my foolishness than entire years of my life. For that, Miss Rarity, I am eternally grateful.”

Rarity beamed proudly, basking in the crowd’s attention as polite claps came from all around, particularly from her friends and acquaintances from Ponyville.

“Soon, I found myself lost in my feelings, unsure of where to go or what to do, until somepony who could, by all rights, have been justified in leaving me there, chose to extend a helping hoof. She presented me to her older brother, who was so kind in helping this foolish stallion learn some humility and manners. For this, Ms. Applejack, Mr. Macintosh, I am eternally thankful.”

The two elder Apple Siblings stood up and waved politely to the applauding crowd.

“Of course, such a progression would not have been possible without the help of the other great inhabitants of Ponyville. I spent a single week in that welcoming little town, and yet I found myself meeting so many amazing ponies. I believe quite a number of you are amongst us tonight, and I would like to extend thanks to each and every one of you.”

The Prince took a deep breath to remain calm as he continued.

“To Lady Twilight, Mrs. Fluttershy, Ms. Pie and Ms. Dash, who welcomed me so generously, despite my previous misdemeanors: Thank you.

Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie cheered loudly, calling for even louder stomping from the cloud, while Fluttershy seemed to collapse on herself, uncomfortable with so much attention. Twilight Sparkle rolled her eyes at her friends’ rowdy behavior, but stood up to smile thankfully to the crowd.

“To Ms. Doo and little Dinky, without whom I may never truly have discovered the value of generosity. Once more, thank you.”

The wall-eyed mare and her young filly were met with reasonable applause from the Canterlot folk, but a veritable thunder of hooves by the assembled Ponyvillians, most of whom were more than familiar with the single mother’s situation.

“To the three fillies communally known as the Cutie Mark Crusaders, for making me recall my past and what I had lost, thank you.”

Respectively lifted up by their older siblings and idol Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo shared a giggle as the crowd saluted them with a round of applause. Sweetie Belle couldn’t help but grin when she saw Spike applauding particularly hard for her.

“To two more young fillies, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, who reminded me of my own past and motivated me to change, thank you, and congratulations on making excellent progress on your own redemption. You two are becoming shining examples of proper young ladies.”

The two distinguished fillies blushed a deep red color as the applause and the attention turned to them.

“We love you, Prince Blueblood!”

The crowd chuckled lightheartedly at the outburst, but the fillies felt no shame.

“Last but not least, I wish to thank two of my old friends who found it in their heart to forgive me despite how terribly I had treated them in the past. Amethyst and Apricot, thank you.”

Amethyst and Apricot rose to yet another round of applause, bowing to the crowd respectully.

“Now then, this brings me to the announcement I wanted to make. Miss Rarity, if you would be so kind as to join me on stage?”

Rarity’s eyes shot open in surprise as Applejack and Rainbow Dash all but pushed her onto the stage. She soon joined the Prince’s side, as intrigued by the rest of the crowd.

The Prince breathed deeply once more. This was the big moment. It was now or never.

“Now then, this brings me to my announcement. My dear Rarity, thanks to you, this last year has been the happiest of my life. You have changed me for the best, driven away the boor I once was and brought out the noble stallion that I could truly be. You have given me so much, and as much as it makes me feel greedy, I wish to ask for one final thing from the Element of Generosity herself.”

Recognizing Blueblood’s signal, Fluttershy turned to Philomena, standing on her gilded perch. With a burst of her powerful wings, the phoenix cut through the air, dropping a sparkling object out of her claws as she soared over the stage.

The Prince lunged energetically and speared the falling object on his horn, revealing it to be a golden ring inset with the largest diamond most of the audience had ever seen. Awed, Rarity looked on with glittering eyes and an amazed smile as the Prince kneeled before her, beaming.

Miss Rarity, will you marry me?”




Autumn Wind’s closing comments:

Boy, it’s been quite a ride.

I started this fic several months ago, not too long after first joining the fandom, and it’s been following me since, through highs and lows. I think it’s been a pretty good learning experience, and if I am to judge by my prereaders and critiques, I’ve grown a lot as a writer through it all.

Now that I think about it, clocking at nearly 60,000 words of text, this fan fiction is by far the longest body of work I’ve ever produced.

I couldn’t have done it without all of you readers. Your feedback, critique, and just seeing the reader numbers piling up have all been great motivation for me to keep up.

To my prereaders, editors and friends, thanks to all of you, too. You guys are awesome!

It’s been a real adventure for me, and while I feel a little strange calling it done, I’m quite happy at the same time. It’s been a great ride for me, and I hope you guys enjoyed it too.

This is Autumn Wind signing out, and if you’re hungry for more, keep an eye for my writings, because there’s more where this came from.


P.S. I know some readers really hate open endings, so I’ll point out the obvious for them: Rarity says yes and they have a big happy wedding. Duh.


Chapter 9


I’d like to thank the bronies at #EquestrianStudy who helped make this chapter a possibility with their suggestions, proofreading, reviews and critique, most particularly DJMidli, Icer, Red, TiramisuTales, Vulpin, and especially Blue Thrush.

A special shout out goes to my favorite brony pals, Cheechos, Aurora Dawn, and CookieClansman who were great help with inspiration and helping me figure things out.

Another special shout out to Present Perfect and Foolonthehillz who gave this fic the rough shakedown of odds and ends it needed.

All comments and criticism are welcome, either through comments wherever you’ve read this fic, or through email at [email protected]. I ask in particular: What did you think of Prince Blueblood’s characterization here?

Please do not distribute this fic without my express permission, though I will gladly give permission for this fic to appear on most of any fan fiction sites if I am asked politely.

Thanks for reading!


Disclaimer: This is a work of fan made fiction, based on the animated show “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” I do not own, nor lay any claim to My Little Pony or any related intellectual property.

This work was made entirely for entertainment value and as a tribute to the amazing work of the Friendship is Magic production team. It is not, and will never be, distributed for profit.