The soft touch of a snow white hoof on your chest…
Warm breath on your neck and ears…
The angelic whispers of a voice so kind…
Fur as soft as silk…
The pungent aroma of expensive perfume…
These are the feelings and thoughts dancing on the fringe of your subconscious mind as you slowly begin to rouse from your peaceful slumber; gradually your eyes begin to open, pulling you out of your shadowy world of dreams and into the light of reality. Your pleased to find that your black eye from the night before has regained its usability, or at least to an extent. You can see out of it at least, but it seems like it’s still too swollen to allow you full use, still, an improvement is an improvement.
With a groan you force your body into a sitting position, bracing yourself on the backboard of the lush and cozy bed you’d been occupying for the night. You cast your gaze around absentmindedly, more or less just allowing your tired and bloodshot eyes a few moments to adjust. You were still in Rarity’s bedroom, something you can’t help but feel somewhat guilty over, maybe you could blame it on your sense of chivalry, but it didn’t seem right to just take over your new employer’s sleeping quarters for your own personal use, especially after she had already done so much for you. But Rarity had insisted that it was no trouble, so that at least helped put your guilt somewhat at ease.
You gently place a hoof to your mouth as you let out an extensive yawn, feeling the life begin to return to your previously stone like limbs and body. You shift your hind legs underneath the soft silk like covers lying over them. You can’t help but compare it to the sensation of Rarity’s fur, softer than any silk you’ve ever touched before, warm, and it felt fantastic rubbing against your coarser, rougher, style of fur. You quickly feel a blush sting your cheeks as your mind wanders into places you’d really rather it not. Quickly you give a shake of your head, as if to knock those unclean thoughts away.
You let your gaze wander over towards the grandfather clock; curious as to what time it is. Craning your neck to get a better angle you can see that the time reads five thirty, you’re surprised to find you’ve awoken this early. Typically you didn’t force yourself out of bed until around six or seven, seven thirty if you were willing to skip breakfast before work. But your recent unemployment had provided you ample opportunities to sleep in, sending your internal clock askew and making you awaken at almost embarrassingly late times of the day.
For a moment you contemplate going back to sleep, as you doubt that Rarity would be up yet and you don’t want to accidentally awaken her by stumbling around her home. But you quickly find that you’re much too well rested for that course of action to be worthwhile, and you don’t want to abuse the use of Rarity’s bedroom for any longer than you already have. So, seeing nothing else to do, you decide to try and get a little freshened up. You hadn’t showered or cleaned up at all recently, and you insecurely wonder if Rarity had been putting up with your foul stench all day yesterday, just for the sake of being kind.
You do take a quick sniff to check and see if any undesirable scents are hanging around, and you’re relieved to find that there’s nothing particularly unpleasant. You certainly didn’t smell like the stallion from those Apple Spice ads, but you didn’t have to worry about knocking Rarity out with merely your stench if she hugged you again. Oh wait…that did happen didn’t it?
Suddenly you feel yourself smiling giddily and blushing profusely as you recall particular events from yesterday. Rarity had hugged you…Rarity…possibly the most beautiful and generous mare you’ve ever met …had hugged you. You shift awkwardly on the bed as those strange sensations from yesterday begin to return, those strange yet completely wonderful sensations. A soft tingling starts to dance over your skin as you recall Rarity’s fur against your own, and you can feel a strange pressure and warmth on your chest where she had placed her hoof the night before. You absently begin to run your hoof tenderly over the same spot, your grin growing wider with each passive stroke of your tuft of chest fur.
You wonder what that touch had signified, what all of last night had signified. Rarity was generous, that much was well known by even the least experienced Ponyville resident, which was probably you actually, but still. Would she go so far to ensure the comfort of a pony who she didn’t even really know? Or did she…perhaps…just maybe? You give a quick shake of your head and let out a sigh, labeling your current thoughts for what you knew they were. Wishful thinking.
You weren’t a dumb pony, and you were quite willing to assume that you were just over thinking Rarity’s intentions, heck maybe your wishful thinking wasn’t exactly wishful thinking, maybe Rarity did care about you in a more than friend’s kind of way. But in actuality, there was no way of telling, at least not until you got to know her a little better, so you give up on thinking about it, there would be plenty of time to sort out your feelings and thoughts later. But as for right now they could wait.
You take a moment to stretch your legs and pop your neck, your limbs stiff and resistant to your commands. When you feel limbered up you pull off the covers and get out of the bed, you wince slightly in pain as a few of your still injured and sore joints protest against the movement, your right hoof being the most prominent of them. You look down at your bandaged limb, giving it a quick once over to make sure you hadn’t done anything to worsen the wound while you slept. There are still a few light red flecks on the thick cotton material of your bandages, but they were hardly noticeable and you were confident that so long as you didn’t end up tumbling down the stairs again this morning you could get Rarity to remove her stitches within a couple days’ time.
You shudder visibly as you recall your fall down the stairs from yesterday. And you dislike the knowledge that you’ll probably be forced to traverse that very same stairwell numerous times during your employment. But you manage to comfort yourself by deciding that you’d be extra careful to make sure that a certain little foal didn’t sneak up on you anymore.
After another yawn you turn around and quickly make Rarity’s bed, you figure it’s the least you can do to repay her for all she’s done. Not to mention since you were technically now the mare’s assistant you would more than likely be performing menial tasks such as this more often than you’d like, might as well get into the swing of things early on you figure. When everything seems satisfactory you turn and trot out of the room.
You once again find yourself on the upper floors of Rarity’s Carousel Boutique, the large windows above you bathing the interior of the building with a soft orange glow as the early morning sunlight filters in. The sight is pleasing to the eye and fills you with a sense of comfort, it’s now you realize that this place is more or less where you’ll be living and that is a thought that you are far from opposed to. And for the first time in what seems like ages you feel like you have found a place you could truly learn to call your home.
After a few moments of sucking in the vista you decide to delay your inevitable perilous descent down that dreaded stairwell and take a look around the upper portion of Rarity’s boutique. Being cautious to avoid making any unnecessary noises to keep from awakening Rarity or her sister, you trot down the hall to your left, it doesn’t take you long to reach the first door.
With a twist of the golden nob and a gentle push with the brunt of your forehead the door opens with a barely audible squeak, a single quick glance around and you’re relieved to find that you have stumbled into a bathroom, or well, what you assume would be called a bathroom. From the looks of things calling it a personal spa wouldn’t be that much of a stretch.
Cautiously you step inside, looking around the room with your mouth agape as you marvel over the sheer amount of pampering tools Rarity has at her disposal. There are brushes for coats and manes, incense candles hanging from the walls, there are body butters, perfumes, and all manner of items you couldn’t even discern the use for placed around the room in a painstakingly crafted picture of organization. Your scared to so much as touch a bar of soap for fear that you’ll upset Rarity, organizing all of these materials must have taken her an agonizingly long time, and you knew from experience that it was never a good idea to mess with a mare’s hygiene products.
Staring at it now you’re a little overwhelmed, with all the tools at Rarity’s disposal it was no wonder she was so drop dead gorgeous. You wonder just how long she spends in this room every day…and then realize how creepy that thought is and immediately shut it down, your hooves clack loudly against the polished tile floor of the bathroom as you make your way towards the sink.
You take a look at your reflection in the mirror. Pleasantly surprised to find that you’re not quite as beat up looking as you thought. Admittedly your black eye was a little jarring, though it was probably worse yesterday, and your disheveled mane and matted fur left a little to be desired, but you couldn’t honestly say you hadn’t looked worse before.
You close off the drain to the sink beneath you, give the handle on the faucet a turn you watch as the sink slowly begins to fill with warm water. You reach a hoof around your neck and unclasp your silver pendant; you give it a quick dab or two in the water and scrub off some of the dirt that had covered it from your drunken wandering around town the other night. A giddy smile splays across your face as the beloved neckpiece regains its shine, and you gently place it on the counter next to the sink.
Once the water reaches a satisfactory level you turn the faucet off, the handle giving a loud screech as you do so. You figure this’ll be a lot quicker and a lot less intrusive than starting up Rarity’s bath, yet will allow you to wash off at least a little of the muck from the past couple days.
Being cautious to avoid getting your bandaged hoof wet you use the filled sink to get yourself clean. Then you use the hand towel sitting on the counter to dry yourself off. You let the sink drain as you search around for something to clean your mouth out with, not brushing your teeth yesterday left a rather foul taste in your mouth that you were eager to be rid of. Unfortunately there weren’t any extra tooth brushes in the bathroom, but you were lucky enough to find a bottle of mouth wash in one of the wooden cabinets beneath the sink. You figure Rarity wouldn’t mind if you had just a sip or two.
“Ah, much better,” You mumble to yourself as you make your way out of the bathroom.
You stop at the top of that dreaded staircase, your limbs trembling slightly in fear as your mind relives your tumble from yesterday. Eventually, after mustering up your bravery, you start down the stairs, shrugging off the chills once you reach the soft carpeted ground below.
You stop for a moment to collect yourself, sighing heavily in relief at the knowledge that you made it down okay. You wonder if you’ve now got a phobia for staircases, or if this fear will eventually die down, Celestia knows that routine trips to the therapist are the last thing you need right now.
“…mnh for the last time, I do not look like a marshmallow Pinkie…” Your ear twitches in recognition as a voice from behind gives you a slight start, causing you to quickly whip around to find the source of the sound.
The sight you are greeted with is quite possibly the single most adorable thing you have ever seen in your entire life. Rarity was the source of the voice, and you were far from surprised to see her sleeping soundly on a red satin couch that was pushed up against the wall. No what caught you off guard, and almost made your heart explode in a shower of rainbows and hearts, was that Rarity held her little sister, Sweetie Belle, up against her chest in a tender motherly embrace. The pair smiling happily and breathing easily as they rested their heads upon an open story book, Sweetie’s head buried against her older siblings snow white coat, using the soft fur as a pillow of sorts.
You force a ‘daaw’ back down your throat before it can escape and awaken the pair. Looking down you can see a crayon drawing of what you assume are Rarity and her sister playing at the park. The sight of the sisters brings warmth to your heart, and makes you wish that you had a closer relationship with your sibling.
Unfortunately the extent of the interaction between you and your sister was very limited, even before you had moved away. You still loved her dearly and enjoyed her company, but there was no changing the fact that you just didn’t have all that much in common. She, for instance, was a very bright young filly who had taken an interest in your father’s work with an admirable gusto. She was all too happy to learn about money management and the intricacies of running a bank. While you on the other hoof just never really saw the point, that and mathematics always did bore you to tears. Yes she was indeed daddy’s little filly, her whole world revolved around him, while you were more or less just the pony who wandered around the house and slept in late.
Seeing Rarity with her sister now…it made you wish you’d spent a little more time with her than you did, maybe if you ever got around to paying your family a visit in Manehattan one of these days you could take her to that waterpark she loved, yeah that’d definitely be something she’d enjoy. You chuckle softly as a few memories are brought back to the forefront of your mind. That girl always did have the strangest fascination with water; you recall actually having to force her out of the bath when she was really young.
As a matter of fact she loved swimming so much that your father ended up installing an indoor pool just for her a few months before you left. You can recall her practically spending every spare moment of her time in its light blue waters; you imagine it’s only a matter of time before she earns a cutie mark for something of the sort.
You snap out of your thoughts when you notice Sweetie Belle give a slight shiver in response to a chilly draft coming in from the open window nearby. You feel that tightening of your chest return as Rarity pulls her sister a little tighter in response to the disturbed movement; the foal’s once slightly perturbed expression fading back into a smile as she buries her head into her sister’s chest.
Being cautious to avoid disturbing the two you step over to the open window, shut it and lock it before heading towards the closet at the far end of the boutique. After a few moments of digging you find a fairly standard quilt and bring it back towards the couch. With a quick whip of your head you lightly drape the blanket over them, smiling in satisfaction as the siblings respond rather positively to the newfound source of warmth and protection. Rarity gives a soft sigh of satisfaction as she settles into the quilt, causing the corners of your lips to extend even further into a wide arch of happiness.
“…mnuh what no bedtime kiss?” Your smile immediately fades as you hear those words. You quickly snap your eyes onto Rarity, double checking to make sure she’s really asleep.
You see nothing more than the steady rise and fall of her chest as the fashionista continues to slumber. Seeing that she’s obviously not conscious and likely just spouting nonsense in her dreams, you relax.
You give a shake of your head and a slight chuckle. “I never took you for a pony who talks in their sleep Miss Rarity.” You whisper with a smile.
Leaving Rarity and her sister on the couch you proceed to look around the building. There really wasn’t much else on the bottom floor. A few racks of fancy dresses and suits were put on display near the entrance, no doubt placed there to entice any new customers into purchasing. You eventually stumble into what you guess is Sweetie Belle’s room, judging from the crayon drawing taped to the front of the door, the colorful marks coming out to something along these lines. Sweetie Belle’s room, for secret CMC meetings and stuff, but don’t tell anypony. You can’t help but laugh at the makeshift sign, the irony no doubt sailing right past the little foal’s head.
It’s in the midst of this home exploration that your stomach begins to make its emptiness known. The deep growling and grumbling of your empty gut letting you know that you had gone on much too long without a bite to eat. You recall that you hadn’t even touched a plate of food for two whole days, and right now it felt like you could devour an entire refrigerator. The emptiness in your stomach is actually so overwhelming that it almost hurts, and though you wish not to intrude, you know if you don’t get something to eat soon you’re likely to collapse.
Groaning in discomfort as your stomach calls out for sustenance once more you make your way over to the kitchen at the opposite end of the boutique. Once you enter the room you begin to scrounge around the cabinets and drawers for something quick and easy to shove down your gullet, though you doubt anything short of an actual meal will really fill this seemingly empty void in your stomach.
Thankfully you find a half-eaten bag of hay fries in one of the cabinets, you waste no time stuffing your face with what remains in the scrunched up bag. Sighing contentedly as your stomach’s incessant growling finally comes to a stop. You may be held over for now but you know that such a measly little snack isn’t going to keep you satisfied for long.
You wonder if Rarity would be opposed to you making some breakfast. That was something assistants did wasn’t it? You can remember your dad used to have his assistant run out and get lunch almost every day; the only difference here was that you’d be cooking it up yourself rather than stopping at a fast food joint. Then again, it was still pretty early and Rarity was still asleep, you didn’t want to wake her by slamming pans and cooking utensils around.
You figure that it won’t hurt to at least take a look and see if there’s something simple you could cook up. Another few minutes spent digging around through the polished wooden cupboards scattered around the kitchen and you eventually stumble onto some pancake mix.
“Well, that could work.” You speak absentmindedly as you reach into the cabinet and secure the small box of mix with your teeth.
You set the box near the stove and begin to read through the directions. You weren’t exactly the worst cook on Equestria, but there was no escaping the fact that your skills were lacking. Your family had a chef that always prepared meals for you, so you had never bothered to learn yourself. Thankfully the kind old mare was willing to show you a few basic things before you left your family’s estate. Still, you weren’t willing to take any unnecessary risks. After all, it was a kitchen fire that ended up burning your house down.
After glossing over the directions a few more times you figure you’re capable enough to make a batch or two. Before you start cooking you decide to set the dining table, figuring that Rarity and Sweetie Belle would probably want a bite to eat once they woke up. You actually spend a little more time on this then you probably should, ensuring everything is perfect, from the folding of the napkins to the organization of the silverware, you wanted to wow Rarity when she laid her eyes on this masterpiece.
“There we are!” You exclaim happily, placing a bright red rose in the glass vase resting in the center of the table, grinning broadly as you admire your handiwork. “Pretty as a painting,”
When you finish gushing over your lavishly decorated table, a table so beautiful it could make Nightmare Moon weep, you steal a glance up at the clock hanging from the far wall. Your eyes widening in surprise as you realize that you had spent more time preparing the table than you had the actual meal it was set up for, the numbers on the clock reading seven fifteen. Whipping around you feverishly begin to make your pancakes, the sound of sizzling batter filling your ears as the tan goop strikes the scorching pan.
About half an hour (and two delicious looking stacks of pancakes later) the sound of a surprised gasp suddenly gains your attention. Turning towards the entrance to the kitchen you’re pleased to see a rather flabbergasted Rarity standing before you, her hoof placed over her mouth as she marvels over the nearly picturesque setting you had created.
“Oh hi Miss Rarity!” You acknowledge her presence with a warm grin and a wave of your hoof. The fashionista meeting your eyes with her own, smiling at you in a way that made your heart skip a beat.
“And hello to you my dear gentlecolt.” Rarity speaks somewhat drowsily, lazily bringing a hoof up to wipe the sleep from her eyes. “I must say, I’m quite impressed with all this.” She motions towards the table you had set with a wide sweep of her hoof.
“Oh it’s nothing special Miss Rarity.” You shrug off the compliment with a slight blush and twinge of bashfulness to your voice. “I just figured that you might enjoy a pancake or two before you started work today.”
“Well, I am truly grateful. And might I say, they smell positively delicious.” Rarity leans over and takes a few petit sniffs, sighing in satisfaction as the pleasant aroma fills her nostrils. “Mmm quite exquisite indee- OoOh…” Rarity’s sentence is cut off by an earth shattering yawn escaping her lips. “My, I do apologize. I must have stayed up a little later than I thought. Sweetie Belle really takes it out of me when she’s here.” The unicorn explains when suddenly her expression morphs into one of fear as she realizes something positively terrifying.
“Oh no!” The worry in Rarity’s voice catches you off guard.
“Miss Rarity, is something wrong?” You ask with concern, the mare’s sudden shift in tone and demeanor startling you.
Rarity slightly shrinks back at the sound of your voice, as if trying to hide herself from you. “Oh um…” The unicorn begins with a quiver. “It’s nothing I just…” She seems to choke slightly on her words.
“Miss Rarity if something’s wrong please tell me.” You encourage her. “I promise I’ll help in any way I can.”
The flustered unicorn shifts awkwardly on her hoofs, her gaze darting around the room as if she’s looking for an exit. Your heart tightens up in worry, as you suspect that something is seriously wrong.
“It’s just…” Rarity clears her throat before she answers, her eyes glued to the floor. “I just woke up and…you must think I look like a mess.”
You feel a wave of relief wash over you when she utters those words, a smile forming as you let out a chuckle. Rarity returns your laugh with a perplexed stare. “Is that all?” You ask playfully. “You look fine Miss Rarity, come on have a seat.”
Rarity however, seems far from put at ease by your words. “Oh no you’re just being kind. My mane’s a wreck, my fur is all matted, my makeup’s smeared, I haven’t even bathed yet, and you must thi-” Rarity’s voice suddenly cuts off as she feels a familiar bandaged leg wrap itself around her hoof.
You don’t know what exactly compelled you to do it, but you do know it was probably a terrible idea. You look down, your hoof wrapped gently around Rarity’s, you can feel the constant thumping of your heart as it picks up momentum, you can sense the warmth of Rarity’s soft white hoof with your own, you’re frightened with how she might react to such forward behavior, but you don’t let it show.
“I think…” Your eye’s meet Rarity’s, losing yourself in a sea of blue as you give her hoof a light squeeze. “I think Miss Rarity, that you are the single most beautiful mare I have ever met.”
A slight shade of red begins to sting Rarity’s cheeks as she hears your words, yet her eyes never leave yours. “Oh…my, you flatter me.” She once again makes an awkward shift, but her hoof doesn’t leave its comforting grasp around yours, something which you are immensely grateful for.
“It’s not flattery if it’s true Miss Rarity.” You tell her with a smile.
Rarity offers a slight chuckle in response, her hoof tightens around yours ever so slightly as she does so, leaving you to wonder if she had done it intentionally or if it was just a reflex, either way you don’t really care. You decide to savor the moment.
“I really should probably go get straightened up though.” Rarity adds with another hint of nervousness.
“If you want, but that can wait until after breakfast can’t it Miss Rarity?” You inquire, motioning towards the stack of pancakes with a quick flick of your head.
Rarity lets out a playful sigh, acting exasperated as she gives a hard roll of her eyes. “Oh I suppose!” The mare let’s go of her grasp around your hoof, you miss the contact already, your hoof feeling cold and lonely without it, but you manage to keep your desire for her contact hidden, opting for a rather blank expression to cover up your wants as you watch the unicorn approach the table. “But only because your so convincing my, étalon têtu.“
You blink in confusion at the last part of Rarity’s sentence, her use of the foreign language throwing you off. But your thoughts as to what she might have said are immediately thrown out the window once you feel a slight tickle underneath your chin. Looking down you can’t fight a blush as you realize Rarity had used her tail to flirtatiously stroke the underside of your muzzle. Fighting off the burning of your cheeks you look up to see Rarity smiling coyly at you over her shoulder, her tail falling back into place as she proceeds towards her open seat.
Before you can even utter a response the sound of tiny hoofsteps and an excited yell cuts you off.
“Pancakes!” Is the only thing you hear before you’re nearly thrown off balance by a tiny white blur shooting past your legs. “Oh boy I love pancakes!” You’re far from surprised to see Sweetie Belle practically bouncing off the walls in excitement as she marvels in delight over the flapjacks on the table.
“Calm down Sweetie Belle!” Rarity urges the little bouncing ball of energy. Sweetie seems to stop her incessant hopping, but continues to gush over the food you had prepared. “Can I have some Rarity, pretty please?” Well, at least the filly still had her manners.
“Well I don’t know.” Rarity goads playfully, setting herself down in an open chair and smiling at her sister. “I’m not the one who made them, maybe you should ask him.” Rarity’s blue eyes flash onto you, you can’t help but feel your heart rate quicken slightly as they do.
Sweetie Belle does a complete one eighty, looking up to you with pleading puppy dog eyes. “I can have some of your pancakes, right mister?” Well with a look like that how on Equestria were you expected to say no?
“Well of course you can Sweetie Belle.” The foal’s eyes light up with joy as you give her your answer.
“Thank you thank you!” She quips excitedly, wrapping her tiny forelegs around you in the strongest hug her little limbs can muster; you smile bashfully at the sudden show of affection, a hint of red tinting the coloration of your cheeks as you hear Rarity stifle a giggle.
Sweetie Belle excitedly hops up in the chair you had strategically placed next to her sister, which did annoy you somewhat; as it was of course the seat you had planned on using. But you feel your aggravation fade almost immediately once you see the glowing smile on the foal’s face. So you relax and settle for a place directly across from the pair.
“Well, there we are.” You say after readjusting yourself into the most comfortable position the wooden chair beneath you would allow. “Dig in everypony.”
Sweetie Belle acknowledges your statement with a rather distasteful, almost cartoonishly overdone, licking of her lips. An action that causes Rarity to visibly shudder in disgust, which in turn nearly makes you burst out in fits of chuckles, thankfully you manage to suppress them before the fashionista notices.
You wait for Rarity to serve herself and her sibling before grabbing a pair of pancakes yourself. Both you and Rarity more or less eat in silence, exchanging secret smiles as you both listen intently to Sweetie Belle as she goes on and on about her and her friends’ recent escapades as the ‘Cutie Mark Crusaders’ how the foal manages to keep talking and shovel down two whole pancakes at the same time is completely unbeknownst to you, but you figure some things are best left unanswered.
About a half an hour passes as you all finish off the pancakes, feeling satisfied and content with the first real meal you’ve had in days. And ready to assume you could go a couple more without one judging by how positively stuffed you felt right now, but it was the good kind of stuffed. Not the, ‘wow I just ate four pounds of chocolates and am a total fat flank’ kind of stuffed, but rather the ‘I just had one of the single most delicious things in my entire life and couldn’t get enough of it’ kind of stuffed.
“Oh wow, that was great!” Sweetie says happily, popping the last chunk of pancake in her mouth after she does so. “Thanks for the pancakes mister.” She declares cheerily before hopping down from her seat and skirting out of the room, you can hear her trotting up the stairs, probably going to the bathroom you figure.
You notice Rarity levitate a tablecloth up to her mouth, gently dabbing away any of the mess that remained from her meal. Removing a few stray crumbs and a tiny dab of syrup from her chin and mouth with a few gentle wipes.
“I concur; you did a splendid job with this meal.” Rarity compliments you, smiling in a way that made you feel like the most proud stallion in all of Equestria.
“Oh, well thank you very much Miss Rarity.” You add with a slight twinge of timidity, feeling a slight heat in your chest, signaling the return of those feelings from yesterday. You quickly shift in your chair and shake them off, trying, and more or less failing, to keep those sensations at bay.
“You’re very welcome.” She adds, when suddenly she furrows her brow and gives you a somewhat displeased expression. “And for the last time stop calling me ‘Miss Rarity’.”
You look away in embarrassment, realizing you had been attaching miss to the front of Rarity’s name despite her constant insistence you not.
“Um, sorry mi-” Rarity raises an eyebrow. “I mean, Rarity…sorry Rarity.” You smile nervously, hoping that your change in words did the trick.
A few long painful seconds go by as Rarity keeps up with the unamused glare, you feel heat rise to your face and panic settle in your stomach as she does so, worried that your relationship with her may have already been put in jeopardy.
You suddenly feel all your anxiety dissipate when Rarity holds a hoof up to her mouth and giggles quietly. “Oh I was only kidding dear; you mustn’t take everything so seriously.”
You smile and chuckle once yourself. “Well, I’ll admit you had me going there for a minute mi-” You stop yourself before you utter the word you knew was coming, clearing your throat before you proceed in an attempt to cover up your slip. “…Rarity.”
Rarity once again contains a petite giggle. “Well, to be honest you can call me whatever you wish. It’s just ‘Miss Rarity’ strikes me as a little too, oh how should I put this, impersonal.”
This strikes you as a bit odd; you always figured Rarity would be the kind of mare who would enjoy being called ‘miss’. What with the whole ladylike persona she had apparently invested so much time and effort into crafting for herself.
“Impersonal?” You ask, seeing no reason not to question the fashionista about it.
Rarity gives you a shake of her head, her purple mane giving a slight bounce in response to the sudden movement. “Well, you see normally I would be fine with you calling me Miss, I would perhaps even insist on it if our relationship were more business oriented.” Your ear gives an involuntary twitch in response to her voice, stray thoughts about how beautiful it is slowly filter their way into your mind but you quickly block them out. Focusing on what the unicorn is actually saying rather than how great it sounds. “But…” You notice Rarity’s deep blue eye’s leave yours for just a moment, darting towards the ground as her voice hitches just slightly, as if she’s contemplating what to say next. You find this strange, and though you hate to admit it kinda cute, but aren’t given much time to think about it as Rarity quickly regains her composure.
“But, it just doesn’t seem like the kind of thing you should do. You see, only people I don’t have that close of an attachment to call me Miss…and I…like to think we’re…closer than that.”
You can’t fight a smile as Rarity utters those words, you were happy to know she thought of you that way.
“I mean, you saved my life, how could I not be...attached.” Rarity meets her eyes with yours, gratitude written plain on her expression. “I guess what I’m trying to say is, that I want to be closer to you; I want to think of our relationship as more than employer and employee. I want to be your friend.”
You feel warmth overcome you as Rarity gazes into your eyes, it wasn’t exactly the romantic attachment you so strongly desire, but it was still a step in the right direction. You smile thankfully at her. “I would like that Rarity.”
She seems pleased with your response. “Good, I’m glad to hear it. Now, with that out of the way, might I ask how your wounds are healing?” You pick up on a tone of concern in Rarity’s voice, something you find very touching.
“No not at all, I think I’m doing pretty well actually. My eye seems less swollen and I can see out of it now, my hoof still stings a little from time to time but that’s nothing a few painkillers can’t fix.”
“I see.” Rarity gets out of her chair and approaches where you sit, motioning for you to come down and meet her on the floor, you promptly comply. “Would you mind if I take a look?”
“Sure, go ahead.” You hold up your bandaged hoof for her to examine.
You feel tingles shoot up and down your hoof as Rarity envelops it in her magic, your leg glowing a light blue as her magic takes hold, her keen eyes studying it for any sign of damage. You watch with intrigue as your bandages quickly undo themselves, Rarity scrutinizes your now uncovered leg, turning it left and right as she checks over the long jagged gash that remained prominent on your skin.
“Well, I must say I do splendid work.” Rarity compliments herself, her lips curving upwards as she begins to magically rewrap your wound.
“That you do, and I’m willing to bet being treated by the most beautiful mare in town is probably helping to speed my recovery along.” You speak playfully, though not untruthfully, smiling innocently as Rarity gives you an amused expression.
“Flatterer,” She chides lightly. “But you may want to stop by Nurse Redheart’s clinic later today, just in case.”
You nod, opening your mouth for another bout of playful banter, only for a loud bang sounding from upstairs to cut you off.
Rarity makes a noise halfway between a groan and a tired sigh, her head drooping as she casts a resentful glance upwards towards the ceiling.
“Celestia help me if that foal…” Rarity’s voice fades off, turning into a low grumble as you stare at her, perplexed. Rarity takes note of your confusion, taking a few deep breaths and straightening herself up before you, as if trying to calm herself. “It seems that my darling little sister has been poking around my designing room again…and I take it from the bang we heard just a few brief moments ago that she has likely destroyed something of great value.” You’re not certain, but your fairly confident Rarity has started grinding her teeth behind her pursed lips and resolute expression.
Rarity takes one more deep breath, shutting her eyes while quietly mumbling underneath her breath. “Remember what Fluttershy taught you Rarity…picture rose fields…flowing blue streams…nice fluffy animals…yes I’m in my happy place…my calm, peaceful, and sisterless happy place.” One last deep breath before she opens her eyes, staring off into nothingness as she allows herself a moment to cool down.
“If you want Rarity…I could um go check for you.” You offer, less concerned for Rarity’s appreciation than you were for Sweetie’s safety…probably the only time you’ll ever catch yourself thinking that.
Rarity’s eyes snap onto you when you speak, widening just slightly in recognition for a moment, like she’d forgotten your presence. “Oh no, that’s quite alright. Don’t worry yourself over it; she’s my sister and therefore my responsibility.” Rarity begins to walk off, your expression showing concern as she does so, as you find yourself worried for her, and not to mention Sweetie’s, wellbeing, considering it seemed like she was about to blow a gasket just a few moments ago. You feel your thoughts eased slightly when she looks back at you, her eyes shining and her radiant smile filling you with warmth. “But thank you for the offer.”
A few moments after Rarity leaves you make your way back into the living room. You sit down on the floor and wait patiently for her to return, that’s when you hear what sounds like repressed sobbing coming from upstairs. You guess that it’s Sweetie, and you feel your heart twist in a knot every time you hear one of the little foals pained moans, you hope Rarity will be soft on her, though from what you saw just a few moments ago you wouldn’t be surprised to hear those cries get just a few decibels louder in due time.
Though to your surprise you don’t hear what you expect, rather than the harsh assault of shouting you hear gentle cooing, Rarity must have decided to comfort her sister rather than yell at her. This brought a smile to your face, any other pony you knew would probably have just yelled at their sibling…you wouldn’t put it past yourself either, Celestia knows you’d been less than kind to your sister more than once.
This continues for well past a minute, and slowly but steadily Sweetie’s sobbing begins to fade, there seems to be a brief silence between the two before you hear Rarity’s muffled voice and what you guess is a giggle from Sweetie.
That was a pleasant turn of events. You muse with a smile, pleased to see that the situation was handled in a much better way than you thought it might be.
You cock your head to the left, your eyes falling on the door leading into Rarity’s boutique. Your ears twitching at the powerful sound of a hoof striking the hard wood, you cast a glance up the stairway, waiting to see if Rarity was going to respond to the knock at all. After another series of bangs, met only with silence, you take it upon yourself to see who’s at the door.
“Coming!” You shout, showing a sign that the house was occupied so whoever was there didn’t leave.
You clasp the knob with your teeth and give it a quick twist, this sudden movement causing your neck to crack in a rather unpleasant way. You swear underneath your breath and give your neck a quick rub, cursing yourself for being born an Earth pony as several slight twinges of pain shoot up and down your spine.
“Oh well look at that why don’t cha!” You stop the soothing rub of your neck and open your eyes to see a smiling pink mare standing in the open doorway before you. “Looks like my little Rarity had herself a grand time last night.”
You blink and cock your head in confusion, your eyes studying this strange mare before you. She wore a rosy red shirt with a frayed white collar at the top, her bulbous mane a deep purple, though spotted here and there by faint streaks of grey, and it was held in place by a large blue headband, she was rather plump though still far from unattractive, and she had light blue eyes, not unlike that of Rarity’s you notice. Balled golden earrings hung from her ears, shining dully in the sunlight as Celestia’s golden rays strike the earpiece with precision.
“I’m sorry?” You ask, raising an eyebrow.
The mare laughs, causing your confusion to only increase. “Oh there’s no need to play coy with me dear.” She steps past you and into the boutique, setting herself down on the red satin couch near the far wall and shooting you an amused expression. “The evidence is all there, the smell of perfume on ya.” You give yourself a quick sniff and pick up on the faintest hint of Rarity’s cherry blossom perfume. “The messed up mane…” You shoot a hoof up to your mane; realizing that without your constant management it had fallen back to its usual unkempt state. “And a bandage!?” The strange mare asks, followed by possibly the most grating laugh you’ve ever heard. “I always thought she might be pony who likes to play rough.”
Your mouth hangs slack and your mind draws a blank, finding yourself at a loss for words as you stare at this completely bewildering mare. You’re guessing one of two things, either A, she’s acquainted with Rarity somehow, or B, she’s completely and totally off her rocker. From what you’ve seen so far, you wouldn’t exactly be surprised if it was the later.
“Um, I’m sorry but I have no idea what your-”
“Mommy!” Once again that all too familiar high pitched voice cuts you off.
Looking up you see Sweetie Belle standing at the top of the stairs, a wide grin displayed on her face as the pink mare sitting in front of you hops off the couch and opens her forelegs welcomingly. Sweetie cascades down the stairs with a speed that a Wonderbolt would have a hard time matching, flinging herself into the pink mare’s open embrace with a squeal of glee.
Mommy? You think to yourself. Well, I guess that makes sense.
“Oh Sweetie, have you been crying?” The pink mare reaches down with a hoof and wipes a salty tear from the corner of the little foal’s eye.
Sweetie shook her head yes. “Yeah, but it’s okay, Rarity cheered me up.”
“Aw, well isn’t she just the best?” The pink mare says in a motherly voice. “And where is your sister?”
“I’m up here mother!” Your ear twitches in recognition at the call of that wonderful voice.
Thoughts of happiness quickly knock aside those of any other kind as your object of affection approaches. A smile present on your face as you watch her descend the wooden steps, she returns this with a somewhat nervous glance of her own, before she turns that same look onto her parent. Rarity quickly picks up the pace at the last few steps, stopping next to you as she smiles, somewhat tensely, at her mother.
“Well, mother I wasn’t expecting you.” Rarity says, apprehension tainting her otherwise angelical voice. “Oh, blessed me I must have forgotten the time.” You notice a bead of sweat cascade down her forehead as she says this, before it’s wiped off with a precise flick of her hoof.
Rarity’s mother shoots you a knowing smile, a smile that makes your heart skip a beat. “Yes…I bet you did.” She looks down at Sweetie Belle, tapping the foal on the shoulder to garner her attention. “Sweetie why don’t you go and pack up your things? I’d like to talk to your sister for a minute.”
Sweetie nods her head in agreement before she darts off towards her room, happily humming to herself as she does so. You watch attentively as Rarity’s mother approaches, stopping and looking over the pair of you. You feel yourself grow restless underneath the older mare’s gaze, though you’re not exactly sure why.
“So, is this the one you’ve been talking about Rarity?” The mare asks with a smirk. You can practically feel Rarity’s body grow tense when these words are said. “Or is this just a one time thing?”
One time thing? You think to yourself, those words…they make you feel, you’re not exactly sure what. Hurt maybe? Disgust? Surely Rarity isn’t a mare like that. Your mind races with possibilities and implications, maybe Rarity didn’t actually care about you…maybe this was all just some elaborate plan she cooked up to get you to stick around and be her personal stress reliever. You debate over this for what feels like a long time, though is in actuality only a few brief seconds, before you knock these thoughts out of the way, refusing to believe them. If Rarity had any plans to use you she hadn’t shown them, hell she had even told you just this morning that she wanted to be your friend. Still, even after reaching this conclusion you can still feel a niggling of doubt at the back of your mind, you’d been hurt by many a mare…so why exactly were you expecting this to be any different?
Rarity seems to choke on air, startled that her mother would say something like that. “Mother! How could you even assume such a thing!?” Rarity turns to you, her face apologetic, her sorry gaze enough to cast any doubts of her intentions out the window. She wordlessly tells you she’s sorry with her blue eyes and you tell her its okay with your own. She then turns that gaze onto her parent.
“Mother, I think it would be best if we continue our discussion in private.” There’s a faint edge to her voice, an edge that seems sharp enough to cut glass.
Rarity’s mother rolls her eyes, making an annoyed ‘tsk’ sound before she speaks. “Oh if you insist, but only if you tell me if your big hunk of stallion over there can make the flowers bloom…” The pink mare gives you a suggestive wink, a wink that makes you feel dirty. “…if ya know what I mean.”
Rarity growls like a rabid dog and you assume she may very well tackle her mother and bludgeon her to death in a few moments. “Mom!”
The older mare lets out another one of those horrid cackles, causing you to nearly grimace in pain. “Oh, I’m just teasing dear you know that.” Rarity seems eased by this, though you can still see her grinding her teeth in order to keep her anger in check. Suddenly the pink mare’s voice grows incredibly grave. “But no seriously honey…enjoy it while you can. When stallion’s get to your father’s age you’ll find they just cannot keep up.”
Rarity suddenly turns beet red, not from anger, but from sheer unmitigated mortification. “Oh Celestia if there is any mercy in your soul strike me down where I stand.” She prays quietly, folding her hooves over her face to hide her embarrassment.
Rarity’s mother shoots you a devilish smile and giggles into her hoof at her eldest daughter’s display. “Oh, I haven’t had that much fun in a long time; I’ll be in the kitchen when you want to talk dear.” With one last repressed giggle the mare turns and swaggers off, making a beeline towards the kitchen, leaving both you and Rarity alone in the living room.
Rarity looks at you with sad and embarrassed eyes. “I must apologize for my mother she…is an interesting sort.”
You nod your head in agreement. “That she is.”
Rarity shifts nervously where she stands, her eyes glued to the floor as she speaks. “I’m sorry about what she said, and I hope you haven’t got the wrong idea, she’s always been one for jokes but it seems that no matter how many times I tell her that she takes things too far she just doesn’t get it and I hope that her rude behavior hasn’t soured your opinion of me and I can honestly say that she didn’t mean any of what she said and-“
“Rarity!” Your stern voice ceases the unicorn’s constant chattering, her mouth snapping closed as she looks off to the side, too embarrassed to meet your eyes. You gently place a calming hoof on her shoulder, the touch warm and comforting to both of you. “Just relax okay, trust me if anypony knows how embarrassing parents can be its me.” You say, letting your hoof slide off her shoulder as she turns to look at you.
Her gaze meets yours, and your smile seems to calm the mare down a little, she takes a deep breath and grins ever so slightly. “I do apologize, I was rambling.” Rarity admits with a twinge of remorse. “I should have known you’d understand.” Something about the way she said that…it made you feel, oddly happy…“But I must admit, I doubt that your parents could be quite as humiliating as mine.”
Your expression goes deadpan, several memories you’d rather forget run through your head. “Rarity…my father used to wear a monocle and top hat.”
The snow white unicorn seems slightly taken aback by this confession, something you can’t quite blame her for. “Are you serious?” She asks incredulously. You nod your head in the affirmative. This is followed by a noticeable ‘pff’ sound as Rarity tries to hold in her laughter. “Oh, so your father is basically the monopoly pony?” She manages to question, holding up a hoof to hide the smile forming on her lips.
You sigh, memories from the schoolyard filtering into your head as you recall even your closest friends failed to resist making a few cracks about your father’s appearance…it seemed Rarity would be no exception.
“Oh my…I apologize but that is absolutely hilarious.” Rarity says, sighing contentedly as a few more faint giggles slide past her lips. “Well I suppose I shouldn’t keep my mother waiting. Celestia knows the last thing I want her to do is come back in here.”
“I’ll just…” You stop as your voice trails off, really what were you going to do? “…sit in here I guess. Unless there’s something you need done?” You offer, you wouldn’t exactly be much of an assistant if the majority of your time was spent just sitting on your flank.
Rarity puts a hoof up to her face, rubbing it underneath her chin in thought. “Well, I suppose if you want something to do you could go and help Sweetie pack, if it’s anything like the last time she stayed here she’ll need a little help getting everything all squared away.”
You nod. “Okay, anything else?”
“No, well not right now at least, I have some errands that need doing but we can talk about that after I deal with my mother.” Rarity says, turning and trotting off towards the kitchen, you watch her get about halfway across the room before you turn and head towards Sweetie’s bedroom. “Oh, and one last thing!”
You turn your head at the sound of Rarity’s voice, eager to do whatever she may need, when suddenly you feel her her lips against your cheek. The kiss didn’t last long, it was more like the peck you’d received the day you’d first met…but that didn’t stop it from feeling just as sweet.
Rarity steps back, a warm smile present on her shining face. “And thank you for cheering me up.”
Your mouth hangs open as you search for an answer, finding nothing but surprise and delight on the tip of your tongue. Rarity flutters her eyelashes happily and turns, trotting away towards the kitchen. You reach up with a hoof and touch your cheek, a smudge of the fashionista’s cherry red lipstick still present…you were never going to wash that cheek again.
A/N GAWD!! 9,000 words and I’m still not satisfied with this. Sorry if it seems like nothing happens in this chapter, but I felt like it needed to be cut somewhere so here we are. Things will actually happen in the next time round I promise.