A short time later in the stunning interior of the premier fashion establishment this side of Canterlot, an innocent white filly with shining eyes was about to begin a chain of events that a certain unicorn fashionista wouldn’t soon forget.
“You want me to do WHAT?” shouted the alabaster unicorn, dress falling to the floor as her concentration on her magic shattered along with her composure upon hearing her sister’s question.
“I said,” began the smaller filly, “can I borrow one of those books you keep on top of the bookshelf in your room Rarity? Please? I promise I’ll give it back when I’m done,” pleaded Sweetie Belle, her puppy dog eyes turned up to 11 and directed right at her older sister.
“Sweetie, dear, whatever are you talking about?” asked Rarity, doing her best to play innocent despite the sweat beginning to bead on her forehead. She was sure Sweetie had never actually seen her grab one of the books she kept up there; she certainly had never shown one to Sweetie Belle. Such a thing would be positively indecent.
“Oh come on!” shouted Sweetie Belle. “I know you’re keeping the good stuff up there sis,” Sweetie said with a snort. “I’ve seen you reading them. I mean, you were practically moaning out loud how good it felt when you were reading them. I’ve never done that while reading, so it must have been good!”
The beads of sweat on Rarity’s forehead had practically become rivers running down her immaculate white coat as Sweetie Belle pushed on, oblivious to Rarity’s growing horror.
Sweetie Belle began to pace around the organized chaos of Rarity’s inspiration room as she kept up her assault on her fashionista sister. “There was that one time I came back to get my Cutie Mark Crusader cape for our crusading after we left and I heard you upstairs. Something like, ‘Yes…yes…YES! Ohhh, yessss.” Blah, blah, blah, something like that. I wasn’t really paying attention anyway. You told me you were reading when I was gone when I asked about what you were doing later.”
Sweetie stopped her pacing in front of a ponykin, a half-finished dress with a navy base and lace accents on the collar draped over it, a pensive look on her face as he raised her right forehoof and tapped her chin. “There was also that one time I went to check up on you when I thought I heard a scream and saw you passed out on your bed with a book next to you, all sweaty but with a big smile on your face. I mean, I’ve had a book put me to sleep before, but never like that.”
By this point, Rarity’s coat had gone from a healthy white sheen to a pale white to make even the oldest of bleached bones envious.
“See big sis. I know there are books out there that must be that good for you to act like that,” Sweetie Belle said, a winning smile filled with innocence upon her face, green eyes shimmering in triumph. "Besides, Applebloom told me all about that section of the library upstairs where Twillight lives that she doesn’t allow fillies and colts into.”
Having been boxed into a corner on the existence of those books, Rarity did her best to deflect Sweetie Belle from actually getting to see any of them. “Well, Sweetie, dear, it’s just that even if I had such books, which I’m not saying I do, they just aren’t suitable for a growing filly like yourself. Wouldn’t you and your darling friends rather read those Daring Do novels that Rainbow Dash is so fond of?”
Leveling a glare at Rarity, “Rainbow never screams ‘Yessssss!’ when she reads those,” Sweetie deadpanned at her big sister. Sweetie moved over to glance up at the puffy white clouds outside the window, furrowing her brow in thought. “Well, there was that one time I heard Rainbow say, ‘Just a few more pages and I’ll go to sleep.’ But I never heard her shout ‘Almost there!’ or ‘Just a little…bit…more!’ when she was finishing a chapter.
Rarity had long since scaled the wall of nervous, jumped across the canyon of terrified and firmly landed in the lake of pure mortification, blood turning to ice in her veins and legs straining to keep from collapsing on the floor.
Still lost in her own recollections, Sweetie failed to notice the deathly pallor overtaking her sister’s face. “Come on sis, you can’t tell me that something isn’t really enjoyable about those books to act like that. Gosh, if we had books that good even Scoots might read as much as Twilight!” said the white filly, voice cracking from her enthusiasm.
Rarity suddenly had the thought that maybe Cerberus wasn’t there to keep things in Tartarus but to keep ponies like her sister out. As she reached a hoof out to steady herself on her sewing table, all the times Rarity had to decided to ‘enjoy’ a light read when she was sure Sweetie Belle was asleep or out began to flash across her eyes. There was the particularly steamy affair of the new guard recruit and the princess, the less than innocent confrontation at a spa between rivals, and one simply could not forget the masterpiece that was the rollercoaster romance of the librarian and the schoolteacher with a bit of royal meddling to add spice. What she said aloud during each of those scenes surged to the forefront of her memory as she tried and failed to suppress a whimper, hoping her sister was too caught up in her rambling to notice.
The pathetic whimper finally proved enough to get the younger unicorn’s attention. Turning to face her distraught sister, Sweetie frowned in concern. “Are you all right, sis? You don’t look so good.” Sweetie began to plod over to her sister, searching her face for the cause of the problem.
Summoning her last vestiges of willpower, Rarity attempted to discern just how much Sweetie knew. “Dear, just how, uh, much, have you heard when you thought I was reading those type of books?” Fluttershy would have been impressed by how meek Rarity sounded by the end of her question.
Turning to stare at the floor in thought, Sweetie tried to recall any other times she heard her sister while she was reading one of those books. “Well, other than those, there was this one time I came to ask you a question when I couldn’t sleep but you seemed kind of occupied. I mean, you had your book floating in front of your face but it looked like you were holding something kind of long in your hooves in front of you. I dunno really, I couldn’t really see it. You did look like….”
Before Sweetie could finish her recollection she heard a considerably louder whimper, something akin to the noise a dying animal would make before it was finished off, followed by a loud whump as something hit the floor hard. She turned to face the source of the sound and stared in shock as she beheld the prone form of her sister passed out on the floor, a grimace etched on her face even in unconsciousness.
Sweetie tentatively approached Rarity and gently prodded her in the side with a forehoof. “Uh, sis. Are you okay?” Other than the slight shifting of the elder unicorn’s marshmallow-like frame, the prodding elicited no reaction. “Um, I guess if you want to sleep in the middle of the floor I can let you…” began Sweetie Belle, gears turning in her head as she saw the opportunity she had been waiting for to snoop around for some reading material unsupervised.
Slinking back to the entryway, the white unicorn filly glanced surreptitiously around outside through the large windows before she slowly flipped the ‘open’ sign in the window to ‘closed,’ making sure nopony would enter and notice the sleeping mare in the middle of the floor and rouse her before Sweetie Belle could finish her search.
Taking a moment to stop and glance at her sister as she passed by, the hint of a devious smirk played upon the white filly’s lips, excitement bubbling to the surface at the prospect of what awaited her in her sister’s bedroom. Sweetie Belle trotted up the stairs at the back of the boutique, careful not to make a racket as she slunk her way to the bedrooms located in the back.
It wasn’t often that Sweetie paid a visit to her older sister’s bedroom, but when she did, things tended to end poorly. Of course, this was the farthest thing from the filly’s mind at this point, the prospect at seeing Rarity’s stash of those books banishing other, more rational, thoughts from her mind.
Those kinds of thoughts, however, did come crashing back into her conscious thought when she entered the spacious bedroom of Ponyville’s premier prissy pony, lavish decorations and plush furniture abound. The excitement of reading her sister’s books was suddenly swatted away upon realizing the fact that Rarity had her books of that nature on top of her bookshelf was not just so that Sweetie couldn’t see them, but also so that she couldn’t reach them either.
A few cries of frustration, some unceremonious interior decorating that may be considered a crime in some cities, and a few choice words that would have left the unicorn downstairs in a similar state if she had heard her younger sister say them later and Sweetie Belle was finally in position to take her pick from Rarity’s decidedly vast selection.
“Wow! I had no idea sis had this many. I knew she liked to read, but I had no idea she liked it this much. There must be like, gosh, over 40 books from this one author!” Having found the proverbial mother lode, Sweeite was now struck with the dilemma of having to choose which books she actually wanted to abscond with.
After glancing at the various books and trying to decipher the meaning of the vague titles and even harder to understand the strange pictures of ripped stallions and beautiful mares, Sweetie Belle decided to just grab whatever looked the most worn, reasoning that Rarity would most likely read whatever books had the best plot the most times. Besides, she reasoned, it wasn’t like there was any other reason her sister would choose to reread her books other than for the plot, right?
Sweetie quickly stashed her loot in her saddlebags and tried to rearrange the furniture so it no longer looked like Rainbow Dash had done a sonic rainboom inside of the Boutique. She trotted as quickly as she could while remaining quiet down the stairs and past her sister and back out the front door, saddlebags swaying on her sides.
“Mission accomplished!" she squeaked. "Now to see what the others have got!” Sweetie shouted as she galloped off in the direction of Sweet Apple Acres and her soon-to-be-authors in arms.