49w, 6dThe Fillyfoolers.
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Rarity bit her lip, trying to recall the words from the air between them, but of course it was too late. It wasn't so much she did not want Fluttershy to meet them. Quite the contrary. The problem was her father... "What I meant was... if you wished to meet them at some point—"
Fluttershy cut her off. "I would love to meet them! Oh, this is going to be fun, what are they like? Is your mother as graceful as you? I bet your father is a handsome stallion. He would have to be to have a daughter as pretty as you." She beamed, apparently very pleased at the invitation. Oh Goddesses, I can't back out now. Really, I shall have to have a long introspective moment at some point and determine why there seems to be such a disconnect between my mind and mouth lately.
"Yes... they are wonderful ponies, I'm sure they will love you." Now if I can only convince him I’m serious this time...
"Father, I would like you to meet my fillyfriend, Snow," she had said, proudly presenting the love of her life. Snow had looked so lovely that day. Rarity had made her a lovely white gown to complement her light blue coat, it set off her luscious pink eyes nicely. They had been dating for several weeks by then and Snow had been quite insistent that she be allowed to meet Rarity’s parents. She had been a little nervous about telling them about the mare — she was an earth pony after all — and was not certain what the reaction might be. They both looked expectantly at Rarity’s father.
"Oh, that’s nice, Rarey. It’s nice to meet you, Miss. Any friend of Rarity's is a friend of ours."
That was not the reaction she had expected in the least. Still, she pressed on. "Father, I mean I love this mare." She hugged the mare in question to demonstrate her meaning. There, surely he will understand.
"Oh sure, I love my friends too. Especially after a few drinks, so much love in the room." The uncomfortable silence stretched on. Somepony might have coughed at one point, but nopony would own up to it.
Snow whispered to Rarity in disappointment. “We should just go, he obviously doesn’t like me.”
The unicorn smiled nervously. She hadn’t known what to expect; Father had always gone on and on about the unicorn stallion prince who would one day sweep her off her hooves. Indeed he seemed quite enamored with the idea. But after actually meeting the cad she had quite given up on finding love with the rougher sex. She’d bumped into Snow at a local cafe and they had hit it off quite nicely. Now, standing here, it seemed the whole thing might be doomed. Not because the relationship could not work, but because of an issue she’d never even considered: her father was an idiot.
“Well, this was fun. Father, Snow and I have things to do now. I love you.” She hugged the stallion goodbye and left with her fillyfriend.
The relationship petered out a few weeks after that; Snow just seemed to grow ever more irritable with her. She never said so, but Rarity could tell her father’s lack of approval was the issue. They remained friends of course, and Snow had ended up with a rather nice pegasus mare named Sun Catcher. They occasionally met for lunch to just dish a bit. The fashionista had always considered Snow the one that got away, and from that day on she had resolved to be very careful whom she brought to meet her father.
The walk to the Boutique was a rather silent one, on Rarity’s side at least. Fluttershy seemed to be babbling (in an excellent imitation of Pinkie Pie) about how excited she was. She supposed she did not blame the poor dear; from her perspective everything was going perfectly. Their longstanding relationship as close friends had gone from platonic to romantic in a matter of days. And now she was being introduced to her fillyfriend’s parents, further cementing the relationship as a valued and stable one. To Rarity, however, this was practically a death knell for her hopes. She kept trying to think of ways to delay the meeting but, having offered, saw no way out now but to go through with it.
She just wished she knew what had gone wrong! Was it that Snow was not a unicorn? If so, Fluttershy would face similar rejection. She’d never brought herself to just ask her father; it was far too painful to do so with the memories of tearful pink eyes fresh in her mind. Her father had never struck her as a tribalist, but perhaps that was the issue? She had to find out, preferably before another scene developed as it had with poor sweet Snow.
As they arrived at the Boutique she noticed her sister being dropped off by her friends, Sweetie stepping down from the cart Scootaloo always used to give the other two rides. She expected the trio to give each other a nice hug goodbye. what she saw instead was Apple Bloom and Scootaloo giving her little sister a kiss on either cheek and three sets of suddenly-rosy faces looking into each other’s eyes. They broke out of their shared trance and the other two clambered back into the scooter and cart respectively. They all waved at Rarity and Fluttershy as Scootaloo sped off, faces still very red.
Hmmm, that’s an interesting development. Sister, you and I may need to have a little talk in the near future. She filed the issue away for another day, however. She had other concerns at the moment. “Hello, Sweetie, did you... have fun with your friends?”
Sweetie Belle blushed furiously. “Yeah, we had a slumber party! We made s’mores and told stories and played truth or dare!” Then she began to look a bit evasive. “So, how was your night, Rarity?”
And now it was the older sister’s turn to look evasive. “F-fine, just fine, the spa was relaxing as always. Are you ready to go back home now?” She wasn’t quite sure if it was appropriate to explain how her night had gone. Sweetie was getting older, but Rarity had yet to see her show any interest in anyp — oh my. “Sweetie, did something happen between you and your friends?”
Sweetie looked startled. “Um... n-no?” She began looking around as if expecting attack from all sides. Then she latched on to something. “Say... Fluttershy seems to be getting awfully close to you all of a sudden, did something happen?” She grinned knowingly.
Rarity sputtered. The pegasus had been hanging close to her the entire walk home. They quickly and self-consciously stepped apart. Silence reigned for a moment as the two unicorns regarded each other.
“Never speak of this again?” Rarity finally offered. She really did not wish to explain herself to her sister until she’d first figured out what to do about their father. No point in fighting a two-front war after all. Still, one day, little sister, we shall have to have a discussion.
The walk to her parents home was a slow and painful one. The ill-fated, frazzled fashionista found herself wrapped up in thoughts of how she could possibly fix this situation before it became an issue. I will not tolerate anything more going wrong. I love Fluttershy, he is going to accept that if I have to beat him to a bloody pulp and get him to write “Welcome to the family” in his own drool. She, of course, would never truly injure her father. However, anger — not just for the potentially upset Fluttershy, but also on behalf of her unfairly dismissed Snow — was making it difficult to remember that.
If he didn’t approve, he could have had the courtesy to say so! Acting the foal like that... She fumed darkly. Fluttershy nuzzled her as they walked, apparently not knowing what was bothering her but wanting to be supportive. She smiled gratefully at her love. Definitely an advantage to dating a long-time friend. She understands me like nopony else can.
There had to be some way to head off the dreaded confrontation, some means by which she could discover what had gone wrong without upsetting her father in the process. Some — Wait... somepony who understands him? Who would understand him better than Mother?! She was aghast, how had she never thought of this before? Mother could surely tell me what problem Father has with the other tribes. Maybe it was all just some horrid misunderstanding! That would be rather nice to report at their next lunch. Oh Snow, darling! So nice to see you again. And how is Sun doing? Oh, promotion higher up in the weather team? How lovely! Say, do you remember that day I took you to meet my father and he treated you so horridly? Turns out he just dislikes the color blue. Isn’t that silly? Okay... perhaps not, but at least it would avoid a similar problem with the current love of her life. She deserved a chance at happiness. Snow had found her happiness after all; nopony could blame Rarity for wanting her own.
Finally, they reached their destination. Sweetie’s horn flared just as her sister gave her a warning look. We cannot afford to keep replacing burned doors. “I think a simple knock would do, Sweetie.”
At her abashed nod, Rarity knocked quietly. To her relief it was her mother who answered the door and she embraced the older mare warmly. She would be wearing the golf pants, of course she would. “Hello, Mother, I’ve brought Sweetie home. Did you enjoy your little trip?”
“Oh it was great, Manehattan was wonderful. Your father picked up a load of new knickknacks for our collection.” Ugh... Must they always do that? Those cheaply made trinkets are at best fit for starting a fire.
“That’s lovely, Mother. Sweetie, you should take your things up to your room now. Mother... could I talk to you for a moment? Privately?”
“Well sure honey, but what about your friend here?”
“Um... well I suppose she’ll have to come with us. It concerns her after all. Mostly I wish to speak with you without Father for just a moment.” She grinned nervously, not sure how her mother would take that.
“Rarey, you know you can talk to me about anything, but why wouldn’t you want your father to know?” Rarity cringed at the childhood nickname her mother had saddled her with and inexplicably continued to use.
“Well... that’s what I wanted to talk to you about.”
“Okay, honey, but I reserve the right to tell your father if it’s really important.”
“I intend to tell him as well, but I need your advice first... However, proper introductions are in order. Mother, I would like you to meet my fillyfriend, Fluttershy.”
“H-hello,” Fluttershy managed to squeak out.
“Oh my! Well, it’s lovely to meet you, Fluttershy. She’s gorgeous, hon, but... is this the secret? Why should your father not meet her?”
“Let me explain... do you remember the mare I spent so much time with a few years back?”
“Oh Rarey! I am so sorry, I had no idea you and that pretty little filly were dating. Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Well, I wanted to, but things went so abysmally with Father I decided not to. She broke things off with me shortly afterwards.”
Fluttershy put her wing over her fillyfriend comfortingly. She remembered the unicorn crying over Snow that same week. She’d never said what went wrong, just that the mare had left her.
Rarity visibly composed herself. “That’s the trouble, you see, I don’t know why everything went south. Do you have any idea why Father was so dismissive?”
The older mare bit her lip slightly, deep in thought. “Rarey... I don’t think he meant anything by it. We grew up in a very small town, built on older values. It’s not so much that we weren’t aware fillyfoolers and coltcuddlers existed, it just wasn’t done there. When you grow up in a small town, your parents tend to fill your head with ideas about having a family. While you two can adopt, it’s much more practical for mares to be with stallions in a town that small.”
“Wait... so it was nothing to do with her having been an earth pony. Father just couldn’t wrap his head around the fact I was dating a mare?” The revelation was staggering. Was that what it was? Thinking back, it did make sense. Every story he’d ever told her featured a handsome prince, not a beautiful princess who married her equally beautiful duchess or some such. “So what do I do then?”
“Rarey, your father loves you. He may not understand what you see in another mare, but just show him you mean it when you say you’re in love. He’ll come to accept it. Just give him some time.”
The fashionista cringed. This was turning out much like the first time, the only difference being that now she knew what was wrong. “Very well, is he out back then? I suspect he is grilling at the moment, I smell tofu-dogs.” Goddesses, its always tofu-dogs. I never could get him to sit down to a nice healthy salad.
“You know your father, Rarey, he does love to grill. Go out back and talk to him. It’ll be okay.”
Rarity hugged the older mare gratefully. “Thank you, Mother, I badly needed some perspective. I love you.”
The older stallion was in fact cooking at a small patio in the back garden. The smell of searing vegetable byproducts and barbeque sauce wafted to her nose. No wonder he could eat Sweetie’s cooking, everything he eats tastes like ashes. “Hello, Father!”
He turned with a grin, dropping his implements on their hooks at the side of the grill. “Rarey honey, good to see you. You really need to make time to come visit more often.”
“Yes, Father, I know. I have something to tell you actually.”
"Father... I would like you to meet my fillyfriend, Fluttershy"
"Aww, that's nice honey, but that's a weird way to call her a friend. I mean I can see she's a mare. She’s a little old for you to be calling her a filly."
“I’m about a year younger than her actually.” Fluttershy interjected into the exchange. She blushed when Rarity looked at her in mild irritation and mouthed ‘Not right now.’
"No, Father, I mean I’m in a relationship with her."
"Well sure, friends always have great relationships. Why, my buddies down by the bar are just swell."
"Father, I showered with her!"
"Oh, that's no big deal. I shower with my buddies at the tennis club all the time. Don't tell me you're worried about that!"
"Ugh... Father... I am in love with this mare, I intend to have relations with her..." Seeing the lack of understanding in his eyes frustrated her to no end. "Fluttershy, could you come here for a moment?" Her fillyfriend trotted to her side, clearly curious as to what Rarity wanted. The unicorn then grabbed her shoulders, dipped her into an embrace and stuck her tongue down Fluttershy’s throat. She looked up at her father, smiling, just a bit breathless. "Do you understand now, Father?"
Lex v Stee:
* flipflopping sweetie