Of Blue Notes and Pink Surprises
Blues had never felt so appreciated in his life before.
True to Pinkie's word, she had invited every pony in Ponyville for the party. Well, almost every pony. A few were missing out since they were either too busy or too sleepy to engage in the party. The Mayor was noticeably absent, but her assistant managed to make an appearance, at least. She was trying to make chat with Big Macintosh, whom had miraculously decided to spare tonight for the party. Apple Bloom was there too, as well as several foals accompanied by their parents or siblings.
The bulk of the party was inside the Sugar Cube Corner, and the guests made themselves at home in the living quarters of the building. The dining area and foyer was filled with ponies having a good time, but the kitchen and upstairs were off limits. Pinkie Pie was occupied in the kitchen along with Mrs. Cake to make snacks and drinks for the party guests, and the upstairs was were the family slept. They didn't want any pony sneaking up there for whatever reason.
Tables and chairs surrounded the bakery since the building could not house every pony at once. Several of the town's farmers had their own stands set up out there to sell there own goods for hungry partiers. Carrots, lemons, apples courtesy of Big Macintosh, hay, bags of oats, grapes, candies, and all sorts of foods were featured at the party thanks to the sheer variety of produce the farmers made.
The party would have been bigger had absolutely every villager attended the party. Pinkie Pie tried to get Mayor Mare to come, but she had late night paperwork to do. Others like Silver Platter, Lyra, and Sepia were too busy to attend the party, something to do with early morning business. But still, she tried her best, and that mattered the most to a pony like Blues.
Streamers lined every wall of the house wherever a nail was, and there were a lot of nails everywhere suspiciously. Balloons hung in bunches in every corner of the building, although a few of them had been popped courtesy of the daycare stallion, whom Pinkie promptly scolded. And the tables had been topped with all sorts of sweets and drinks, so much so that the sheets were barely visible underneath. And the music had been provided by the town's DJ Vinyl Scratch, an old acquaintance of Blues back in Music Academy but had lost contact with each other after graduation. Blues was grateful that she still showed up; at least she remembered him.
Needless to say, the party was magical. It was as if the entire town had forgotten about his bad reputation and came to share their happiness with him. Either that or they knew about the free food.
But this time, Blues pretended it was just the former.
"So you play the saxophone?" BonBon, homeowner and occasional baker, asked Blues.
"Well, yeah. I do a few tunes over at Hoofington's Pub," he felt rather glorious over his talents tonight.
"Can you play something for us, then?" Carrot Top asked.
"Uhh," he wasn't however, prepared to prove himself, though.
"Yeah! Play us something!" Another mare asked. Was her name Linky or Shoeshine? He couldn't remember.
Blues dug into his mind for an excuse, "But, the DJ is still playing."
"Oh. Hey DJ!" Carrot Top shouted across the room.
Vinyl managed to hear the mare's call over the pounding waves of the music. The gardener made a few motions with her arms, which Vinyl understood, nodded, and promptly lowered the music to mute.
"Ok, you have the floor," the orange mare said as she turned to him, "Go show us your stuff."
The crowd began to murmur at the disappearance of the music. Blues didn't want to get on stage and perform, but the mares he was talking to beckoned, pushing him through the crowd. He shyly walked up on stage next to Vinyl's turntable, drawing the attention of all of the ponies in the room.
"But," he nearly whispered, "I don't have my sa-"
Before he could finish, the DJ handed him a black case, which Blues knew was his saxophone. He looked at the mare curiously, who tilted her head to the stallion nearby, who waved his hoof at him with an innocent smile.
'Caramel, I'm going to kill you,' he thought.
He took the case from Vinyl, uttering silent thanks, and opened it to retrieve his instrument. He set it next to him and reached for the secret compartment, looking through his sheets for some impressionable music to play for his sudden crowd. Nervousness got to him as he breathed anxiously, his heart pounding loudly, as he found no suitable tunes to play for the crowd, at least none that weren't depressing or blue. He feared he'd have to makeup something original just for them.
Blues hated performing in front of audiences, especially a packed room like this. It wasn't anything like the crowd at Hoofington's Pub, as it was only a fraction of the audience before him. Maybe if half of the crowd didn't know he existed, he might have stirred up the courage to play a tune or two. But he had the whole room's undivided attention, silently waiting for him to start playing his music.
He took a glance up at the crowd, the majority of them eyeing him in anticipation, a few of them taking a moment to admire the food table. He could see Applejack and Twilight in the room, just as anxious to see him play, with a few more ponies walking in from outside to see what happened to the music. Blues was extremely nervous now, as the crowd was only going to grow bigger if the outside group joined with the inside for this concert, and he really didn't want to disappoint.
But then he noticed something pink in the corner of the room. Peeking out from the kitchen, looking out into the crowd before seeing Blues, she smiled at him with her usual smile, and stared with her own blue eyes. And then she gave him a wink of confidence, earning a quick blush on the musician before the mare retreated into the kitchen.
Suddenly, the notes before Blues didn't matter anymore. He pushed them all back and closed the case. The stallion placed the saxophone before him and licked his lips. He knew what kind of sounds he wanted to play.
'This one's for you, Pinkie,' he thought.
And what melodious sounds they were.
The song started with an ominous feeling of nothingness, even though a beat was present. It was low, silent, and moldable like a fresh block of marble. But as he played, the tunes picked up in pitch. It was like a seedling sprouting from coldness and barrenness, the way the tunes rose. The audience had become captivated by these noises, anxious to hear how the beat continued, anxious to see what this sprout would grow into. As Blues played, suspenseful notes sounded off besides the beat, a build up of trouble and anxiety alongside this plant, ready to swallow it again in nothingness. But then those ominous notes rose again, as if that sprout was growing higher and higher, to the heavens to pierce the shadowy clouds.
The audience could only hold their breath at the apex of the song.
The sprout had pierced the sky and bloomed in the open sun, widening its petals to absorb its rays. The tunes had dramatically shifted to a march like step of triumph, still being consistent with the earlier beat. The audience could feel it, that happiness resonating from those notes. Those victorious tunes playing were feelings of joy hard earned and fought. It was the emotion of success and vigor playing from his saxophone, as if they were staring at the very sprout that had transformed to become a tree that overtook the heavens. It was the kind of happiness that was contagious, seeing something so grand and victorious, you couldn't help but feel happy hearing those tunes.
The end of the solo came and Blues slowed down to a gentle but sad beat. It emanated envy and realization, that you couldn't be like that flower high over the sky. It made you feel like a sprout yourself, and how you'd never be able to grow as big as the flower. It felt hopeless to try…
The song ended with a final uplifting beat. The sounds were almost motivational, as if anyone could seek the light of happiness like the one who tried. It made all the plants rise up in hope, that happiness is always possible and always within reach. A sort of pep talk in musical form, it was inspirational in that you could reach that level of happiness if you tried. But you'd never find out if you didn't grow.
For many ponies like Blues, he didn't have happiness. He wasn't able to be happy until he tried. It may have not happened the way he tried, but a certain pony had helped show him the way. This song was dedicated to the one pony who helped him realize this.
The light of happiness was accessible to any pony. You just have to stand up and reach for it.
"That was amazing!" the crowd resounded as cheers and applause sounded off.
Blues bashfully rubbed the back off his head as the crowd walked up on stage to congratulate him. As the ponies crowded him with applause, he quickly placed the saxophone away in his case and closed it. He was still wary of would be thieves stealing his most precious item, especially in crowds like this, so he gave it back to Vinyl who he knew would keep it safe. Call him paranoid if you will, but knowing his luck, he took no chances.
With his sax put away safely, he freely took in the praise of the audience. Many mares asked him to play some more or inquired about how busy he was the following day. Blues just nodded to the crowd, unable to discern the ponies from their questions. However, he was very grateful for the praise he got here. The bar he worked at barely had this amount of customers to listen to him, and only a fraction of them appreciated his music. This was a very welcomed change of reception, though.
'That reminds me,' Blues thought.
"If you want to hear more of that," Blues shouted over the crowd, the ponies silencing to better hear him, "Stop by Hoofington's Pub at eight o' clock in the night, Tuesdays and Thursday through Saturday. I'll be there."
The crowd only cheered at this. Blues couldn't help but smile.
'You're welcome, House,' he thought.
"…and then PLOP! Twilight goes out like a light."
The table laughed at the retelling of the mare's tale, hooves pounding, Twilight chuckling embarrassingly, and good times being had.
Blues was now seated outside on a large table, accompanied by his new friends. This time the table was large enough to seat all seven of them, with an extra spot to spare. There used to be a cake in the center, but Pinkie thought it obscured everyone's view too much and volunteered to 'slay' it. Thankfully, Twilight suggested that it'd be divided into seven equal pieces, one for each of them. The slices were on their way of being eaten as the group talked, Pinkie's own slice disappeared as soon as she got her hooves on it.
"Don't forget, you're still going to have to pay it off," the unicorn reminded her.
"I know, I know," Dash replied as she took another bite of her cake.
"It still amazes me how emotional you get over books, Twi," Applejack said, wiping a tear from her eye.
"Don't blame me. I take books very seriously," she defended, "Like how you take apples seriously, or how Rarity takes fashion seriously."
"I must sympathize with Twilight here," the other unicorn spoke up, "Why, if my favorite dress ever got ruined somehow, I'd probably faint too."
"You do a lot of fainting, now that you've mentioned it," Dash said as she swallowed, "Think that's healthy for you?"
Rarity was about to answer, but found herself short of evidence, "…you know, I'm not sure. I should check with Nurse Redheart. It might be bad for my complexion."
"Yeah," Pinkie spoke up from her plate, face covered in chocolate cake, "Like those white hairs of yours."
At this, Rarity was quick to panic and brought out her mirror, "White hairs? Where?"
After a minute or so of scanning the mirror frantically, the unicorn realized that she was already covered in white 'hairs'.
"Pinkieeeee…" she said in annoyance.
The group laughed again at this, with Rarity pouting but soon joined in on the laughter.
"So Blues!" Pinkie quickly said to the stallion next to her, "How are you enjoying the party?"
The pony took a moment to look at his plate. He had half finished his chocolate cake doused in frosting, but it wasn't because he wasn't hungry, he was enjoying the conversation with the six mares before him. Speaking of whom, he looked over them and thought about what made them such great friends. Applejack, the farmer who quickly befriended him over an exchange of words, is a great listener and pony who could offer him great advice to brave insecurities and failure. Twilight Sparkle, the librarian whom he chatted with over tea and books, is a great intellectual and a wonderful pony to share his thoughts with. Fluttershy, the pegasus that shared a bath with him in absolutely no suggestive manner, is a very kind pony who is not afraid to speak her thoughts in order to help him understand things he didn't know. Rainbow Dash, the mare who set his house on fire, is a very strong pony who could be depended on for tasks no matter how major. Rarity, the unicorn who denied him the date he had been working for, is a very generous pony with an honest career who knows just how others are feeling with just a glance.
And Pinkie Pie…
Pinkie Pie. She was an odd one, perhaps the best of the six if he were to choose a favorite. All she did for him was give him a free lunch, but Blues found it hard to forget about her. She had this strange ability to make others smile no matter how down they were, and if her normal efforts didn't work, a party was in order.
And the party…
"I'm enjoying it very much," Blues happily answered, earning a wide smile from the mare.
"Glad you like it! We haven't had a party like this since Twilight moved into town," Pinkie said, taking another dive into her cake.
"Really? How was it like?" he asked.
"You wouldn't know it, but Twilight was very antisocial back then," the mare said as she cleaned off her face in one quick wipe of her tongue.
"Huh. How'd she turn around?" Blues asked.
"It's a long story," Pinkie quickly cleaned off her plate before setting it down.
As the two talked, Rarity could only smile and take a sly sip of her milk. She watched the two converse with each other, with Pinkie emphasizing certain parts of her story with waving arms and Blues chuckling at her childishness.
Blues was laughing.
'Of course, she's the only mare who could make somepony like him happy,' Rarity thought as she shifted her attention away from the two ponies.
She had noticed it for a while now. She saw how deeply he cared about that mare, and how she had made him genuinely happy through her antics and motives. Of course, Pinkie acted like that to every pony she met and threw a party for, but when it came to this stallion, the pony who went by the name Blues, she swore she saw those feelings returned. As if she owed him happiness. Pinkie genuinely cared for the stallion as well, and on a deeper level than the rest of her friends.
All he had to do now was to realize those feelings.
'Good luck, Blues.'
The party continued well into the late hours of the night, the clock ticking past eleven. Confetti and a few slices of cake had littered the floor, with a few fresh stains on the couch and rug apparent. It was an hour ago when party guests began to leave the party to hit the hay for the night, most of them were early nighters and others were parents or siblings going home to lay their young to sleep. With the minors gone, the alcohol was introduced to lighten up the mood of the place and to refresh the tired partiers. A smaller crowd was easier to maintain should the majority of them become intoxicated, so the alcohol was saved until guests started leaving. Half of the original crowd had already gone home to rest, with only one forced escort courtesy of Pinkie Pie. Apparently Pierce couldn't help himself to those balloons again.
Nevertheless, the party maintained a calm atmosphere thanks to the alcohol, as the drinks helped the guests relax after being tired from the music and the dancing. Vinyl was now just leaving a chill beat to play throughout the house, the tunes somewhat inspired by a certain saxophonist. She never left her turntable, keeping an eye on his saxophone and getting her sustenance from the party mare should she ever become hungry. Otherwise, she was enjoying herself in this party made for Blues.
Speaking of whom, that very stallion was now idly leaning on the windowsill of the living room, elbows rested on the ledge as he stared out at Luna's moon and stars. The other ponies he had been talking to had already left for their own reasons. Applejack had to leave with her brother because they had to wake up early for work the next morning. Twilight left so that she could get an early start on cleaning up the library the next day. Rainbow Dash left, saying something about visiting a news press or something, and took back Blues fancy clothing he had worn earlier that day. And Rarity had gone home early to escort Fluttershy to her cottage, who was otherwise too scared to brave the dark. The only mare of those six left was Pinkie Pie, who happened to be standing right next to him.
"Hm?" the stallion looked to the party mare, looking casual as ever, "Oh Pinkie. Hey."
"Hey," she responded with another smile, "Still enjoying the party?"
"Yeah. I mean, I don't drink, really," Blues said, addressing the introduction of alcohol to the party.
"That's ok, I don't drink either," she said as she took a spot next to Blues and stared out into the night sky.
Blues shuffled a bit, not recalling the last time he'd been this close to a mare before. Discounting crowded schoolrooms and coincidental positions, he's never made contact like this before. There had been a few dates before back in school, but they were mostly awkward times and the mares were usually uninterested in him. Some of them had left him for other colts or for personal reasons, memories he'd rather not remember. But as far as Blues remembered, no mare had ever willingly got this close to him.
"Hey Blues," the mare spoke up, "I heard what you said to my friends."
"Heard what?" he asked.
"About my parties," she looked to him with a sly face.
The stallion looked away embarrassingly, "Uh, you heard all that?"
"No, I reread it," Pinkie said with a smile, earning a confused glance from Blues, "But I thought it was nice of you to say that about my parties. Nopony ever really wonders what my parties actually mean."
"Err, yeah, I figured," he commented, "I mean, who could object to a party? It's more like, hey guys! A party! Buck yeah!"
"I know, right?" she beamed, "I mean, I don't always have a party just to have a party."
"You throw parties to spread joy and good times," Blues finished.
The pink mare smiled back at him, "Exactly. I haven't heard anypony figure that out, though."
"When you live your life full of disappointment and misery," Blues said, "I tend to make a habit of finding happiness in the littlest of things. Since, you know, I don't usually have a good day, I make the most out of what I can get. So I genuinely knew how good a party was when there was one to be had. It's kinda weird to say that considering, well, my lack of parties…"
"See, that's what I meant," she responded, "I knew a poor stallion like you hasn't ever had a party for him. I could tell by how sad and pessimistic you were. That's why I made sure to make this party extra special for you."
"I wonder," the stallion remarked, "How are you going to top this for my birthday?"
The question was dripping with competitiveness, as if he were wondering how Pinkie was going to make his birthday party be better than this one. Although the pink mare had a habit of missing tones, she seemed to catch this one immediately.
"Just you wait and see," Pinkie said in her usual happy tone, "It'll be a birthday you won't forget. I can promise you that."
"I'll hold you to that," Blues said, unable to hold back a sassy smile.
It was strange. The earlier day he had resented the thought of such a party. But after the turn of events from today, and growing to befriend the six infamous ponies of Ponyville, he was actually looking forward to such a party, especially if Pinkie Pie was going to be there. If it was anything like this party, he couldn't wait to see wait the mare in store for him.
"By the way, I came to say thanks," she said to the stallion.
"For what?"Blues asked.
"For doing this party thing," Pinkie smiled again, as if the answer was obvious, "And you played a wonderful saxophone too."
"I've never heard you play before, but I'm glad I did," she said, thinking back on the music, "It was really wonderful."
"Well, I had some inspiration…" Blues couldn't help but look at the mare for this.
"Well, I hope you continue to have this inspiration streaming into your head, because I can't wait to hear it again," she beamed again.
Blues caught himself staring at the mare and turn to look away. He hoped she didn't notice.
"Well, I'm going back to tend to the party," Pinkie said, "I'll see you around?"
"Of course," Blues said calmly, hiding his nervousness.
"Okie dokie lokie," she said before leaving her spot from the windowsill.
Blues didn't watch her walk away. He was too shy to. He worried that the feelings he was having for that party mare were more than what friends should have for each other. He wanted to believe it was just a phase, a temporary feeling of affection and attachment for her just because of what she had done for him. Sure, she had thrown this great party for him. Yeah, she cared about his thoughts and feelings. Of course, she was the only mare he felt happy around. But that didn't mean anything special. It didn't mean that she liked her. And even if it did…well, he banished those thoughts from his head. He worried that it might ruin their relationship if he ever assumed it. Maybe she wasn't interested in dating. Maybe she does these kinds of things for everypony. Maybe she didn't really like him as much as she let on. He couldn't let himself be disappointed like this, not again.
Because unless she gave him a hint or something, there wasn't any way he could-
Blues turned his head to see the pink mare smiling fondly at him. His face heated up. He rubbed the spot on his face. And just as quickly as she appeared, Pinkie Pie walked away again back to the party. Or was she always there? It was hard to tell with her anymore.
This time, he watched her walk away.
And before she walked out of sight, she looked back.
'Okay. That's a good enough hint…' Blues said as she walked away.
The stallion went back to the windowsill, looking up at Luna's moon once again.
"Maybe…maybe romance isn't a lost cause just yet," Blues uttered.
The faint sounds of balloons popping could be heard in the house, followed by an irritated cry.
"Pierce! I told you to go home! I have to pay for those, you know!"
Today wasn't such a bad day after all.
"Dear Princess Celestia."
Blues had had the most comfortable sleep he could ever remember. Caramel's couch was old, but it was one of the first buys from Quills and Sofas, back when they were cheap, and it was far better than his old bed. The air also lingered with the nostalgic smell of home cooking, as Caramel had some family over the previous day and he was a pretty good cook. It beat the musty smell of his apartment any day. And best of all, there wasn't any distracting sounds from the rooms nearby. Blues hardly slept much because of his job working at the bar, even worse because of the neighbor's habit of, well, being luckier than him if that was understood.
But all in all, Blues was having a good morning so far. Sure, Caramel refused to cook for him due to awkward implications, whatever that meant, so he was free to the leftovers from the family dinner. Best breakfast he's ever had, regardless.
"Yesterday, I had the fortune of meeting a unique pony who goes by the name of Blues. You wouldn't believe it if I told you, but there are some ponies in this world who are deprived of happiness. That's pretty much who Blues was, an unhappy individual without friends and without luck. It's a miracle he persevered in life without becoming eternally depressed. That alone represents the strength one can have when it comes to braving disappointment and misfortunes. And that's what made Blues a very unique stallion."
It could be said that things were finally looking up for the saxophonist, and so was he. He strode into town with his chin up high, walking past the citizens who remembered his concert from the previous night. They would occasionally give him a wave or greet him hello, to which he would reply with a nod or a wave.
It felt great to be noticed and admired for his talents.
"But sometimes it isn't enough. Blues may have managed for so long without the support of friends, but we all need a helping hoof to get through or darkest times. Yesterday, me and the others formed a friendship with this pony to help him see the light. Friends are never a bad thing to have, and you shouldn't be afraid of making great friends. No matter who you are or what you do, everyone deserves friends, because friends don't judge others. They accept their shortcomings and help them up whenever they are down. And yesterday, we had succeeded in helping Blues open up and socialize, a great achievement on our part."
Speaking of the previous night, Blues couldn't remember the last time he had had such fun. Half of the town was still asleep from the party, probably sleeping off their hangovers or whatever, so the stroll into town was quiet and relaxing. It was a great party nonetheless, and he could enjoy the fact that the town had enjoyed it as much as he did. The music, the food, the entertainment, it was a great social gig, and the town now knew him better. Well, better than 'that frequently sad pony'.
On the bright side, the town was more aware of his musical talent. Hopefully business would improve for Hoofington's Pub.
"Friends help us keep our chin up. They help us see the light. The light of friendship is free to anypony who needs it, no matter how blue they may be. Sometimes friends keep us smiling to take in the light of happiness. Sometimes, friends are the light, and are the reason we may smile. For whatever reason, friends are always there for us, to shine and brighten up our day. And you shouldn't be afraid to seek those friends, or be that light. And I'm happy to report that we helped Blues see just that."
Up ahead, he noticed something pink walking down in his direction. It was Pinkie Pie, no doubt, merrily trotting through Ponyville without a care in the world.
"Your faithful student, and friend, Twilight Sparkle."
His expression changed, his face heated up, and his heart started to jog. Blues stopped and wondered what he should say to her as she passes by. Would a simple hello do? How about a thank you? Blues had to think quickly because she was already there.
The stallion lifted his arm to say something, even though it probably wasn't going to be a real word in the dictionary. He was too nervous to say anything properly. He still didn't forget about that peck on the cheek from the previous night, so he was extra nervous about making contact with the very mare who gave him that. He was loss for words as the mare passed by him, not noticing him standing there dumbfounded.
The stallion watched as she walked away, losing the smile from his face and frowning his characteristic frown. He set his arm down and drooped his head, looking a little more like the old Blues from before.
What a loser. Once again, he had failed to make the proper words to greet a special mare. Cursed by this insecurity, Blues couldn't help but ponder if he would ever find love in another mare. It was clear, however, that he wasn't going to ever find true love if he wasn't such a scaredy cat. It was his fault for not braving rejection and staying quiet in the one moment that mattered, the one moment that decided whether he and she were meant to be. And now he'll never know, because he was too much of a chicken to-
"Oh hey Blues."
He looked back to see the pink mare smiling at him. She gave him a nod. He nodded back. She resumed her trot to her own business, leaving Blues to recollect his smile.
Blues thought, 'You were saying?'
I really should stop mocking these characters when they're aware…
It's finally over.
I'd like to thank my loyal readers who have been here from the start of this fic. Those of you who never gave up on me, I'd like to give special thanks to. Without you all, I wouldn't have had a reason to finish this fic. Sometimes I write for my readers, and sometimes my readers enjoy what I write. No matter what, I am thankful for those who stood by, waiting patiently for the new chapters, and staying here with me until the end.
I hope you enjoyed this story. It is now no longer a secret that I ship PinkieBlues and primarily started this fic to jump start the ship. I hope that this fic inspires more fanart or fanfics of the two, as I'd be eternally grateful for that material in the fandom.
And to my readers of His Name is Mac. You will have your story back soon. I will have to go back to work soon, but I will no longer play around with the schedule and updates. I promise you all a steady update and story.
Thank you, once again.