...maybe should go back to Mexico City and open that bar he always wanted to open. You're all invited.
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“Rarity! We’re going out now!” Her mother’s voice floated up the stairs. “Please take care of Sweetie Belle! We’ll be back in four hours or so!”
“Yes, mom!” Rarity called back, trotting down the stairs until she stood next to her baby sister.
“Are you sure you can handle it, dear?” her mother asked once more, making it about five times in the last hour.
“I’ll be fine mom! I promise! I can take care of my little sister!” Rarity insisted. “She’s only an infant!”
“We could still call Red Heart, I’m sure she would-”
“It’s okay dear,” her father said. “Rarity can take care of her. She’s a very responsible filly!” he chuckled putting a hoof on Rarity’s head.
Rarity felt her control breaking as her dad playfully ruffled her mane. “D-dad! Not the mane! I- I was really careful to groom it just the way I like it!”
Her dad chuckled but relented. “Since when are you so prissy about your looks?”
“Since she started behaving like a lady!” her mother spoke up. “Really, Field Kick, her behaviour has changed for the best!”
Field Kick chuckled. “I know, I know, I just wish we could watch the games like we did before,”
Rarity felt a slight lump in her throat. “I- I’m sorry daddy, I promise to watch the game with you!”
Field Kick laughed and gave her a big hug. Rarity’s eyes snapped wide open when her tail flashed and turned straight and green. Shooting a wild look at her mother, who was thankfully looking outside, she quickly closed her eyes and with a green flash her tail was back.
“Well dear, our cab is here,” her mother said, then she did a double-take. “Rarity, did you dye your tail? I’m not sure it works, dear!”
Rarity blinked and looked at her tail. It was a very deep purple. “Um- I- I had an accident earlier,” she quickly replied; her smile a rictus of unease.
“And next time make sure you dye it in the team colors!” Field Kick laughed, turning around and putting his forearm around her mother’s shoulders. “Come on, dear, let’s go!”
The moment the door closed, Sweetie Belle violently spat her pacifier and started crying. “Maaaaaaaaaaamaaaaaaa!”
The unexpected wail made Rarity jump into the air, flashing green until she was standing upside down on the ceiling, glaring at Sweetie Belle, who took another look at her and wailed harder. Rarity rolled her eyes and dropped down to the floor, her little wings fluttering briefly into view until she was safely on the ground. With a green flash they were gone.
“Sweetie Belle!” She chided, gingerly picking up her sister from the back of the diaper. She carried the infant unicorn into the play room she had helped her parents set up and put her down next to a little device. It looked vaguely like a merry-go-round, but on a scale that made it possible for Sweetie to use her hooves to hit the movable parts and make it rock back and forth, producing a small melody.
Sweetie Belle giggled and started batting away at the little toy while Rarity watched. Her thoughts went back to the Hive, where she had not had a ‘play room’; her days had been spent practicing with assigned drones on how to shapeshift, or with her sisters tutoring her on the ways of the Hive when her mother did not have time to do so. Which was most of the time.
Rarity sighed. She much preferred life and her parents here. There was so much love that her inexpert shapeshifting was not as taxing as it would have been otherwise. She still felt a pang of guilt at how her new... personality... was a bit more aloof than she had been before she and Pupa had become one being.
She smiled down at Sweetie Belle, whose eyes were focused on her. “What is it, Sweetie Belle?”
Rarity frowned. “What?”
“Maaaaalk!” Sweetie Belle insisted.
“Malk? What’s- oh, silly me!” Rarity chuckled, trotting over to the fridge. She pulled out a bottle of milk and slowly heated it with a spell until it was lukewarm. She presented it to the infant filly, who greedily rolled on her back, holding the bottle to her lips as she sucked the milk out of it.
Rarity shook her head. Her wings materialized once again as she scooped up Sweetie Belle in her forearms and flew them upstairs to her room. She placed Sweetie Belle on her bed and sat down next to her to brood a bit more.
The squelching sounds were a bit distracting, but not by much. It sort of reminded her of the drone chambers where little drones would burst out of their sacks, jelly splattering all over the place... their cute little faces straining as they fought for the very first time to stand up; it was disgusting, by pony standards. She had to remember that.
Rarity stood in front of the mirror and looked at herself. She conjured up the image of the sacks bursting and tried to replace the small smile with a look of disgust. All the time her new sister, barely a week old, kept making sucking and squelching noises until the unmistakable sound of her sucking on air made Rarity return to her side.
Gently, she removed the bottle from Sweetie’s hooves and picked her up, placing Sweetie’s chest against her shoulder as she tapped the infant unicorn on the back with her hoof until she burped.
Rarity giggled, then shook her head and made a face. “Um... eww, Sweetie Belle...” she attempted half-heartedly. She shook her head. It would take a while to pretend to be disgusted at things.
“Will it ever become a second nature?” she wondered aloud, putting her sister down on the bed.
Sweetie Belle cooed at her and cuddled up, closing her eyes and muttering to herself. “Wawitwy”
Rarity smiled and nuzzled her sister, wondering if Cocoon or Chrysalis had ever cuddled up with her like this.
“Probably not,” she snorted, then laid down next to Sweetie Belle. The baby filly instinctively cuddled up to her, enjoying the warmth of her body and the rhythm of her breathing. “But I guess it doesn’t matter,” Rarity whispered, closing her eyes. “I have you to spoil.”
“Rarity has been acting weird lately,” Sweetie Belle said, sulking as she stared at the crayon-drawn map of Ponyville that decorated the wall of the CMC headquarters.
“What do y’all mean? More than usual?” Apple Bloom asked.
“Ha, ha,” Sweetie growled.
“Aw, come on, Sweetie, it’s true that your sister is odd most of the time,” Scootaloo chuckled, bumping Sweetie’s shoulder with her hoof.
“Okay, okay, she is!” Sweetie groaned, rubbing her shoulder. “But it’s weird. She’s acting... different.”
Her two friends stopped and looked at each other.
“Different how?” Apple Bloom asked.
“Well, she’s not... whiny,” Sweetie Belle said slowly, trying to find the words to express her observations. “She’s distracted and, she looks sad and happy at the same time... it’s weird, okay? I don’t know how to explain it. She’s just... not the same.”
“Okay, let’s look at this in an illogical manner...” Scootaloo stated, face serious.
“Y’all mean ‘logical’ manner, right?” Apple Bloom corrected.
“Logical? Is that a word?” Scootaloo blinked. “Funny, I’m always told I’m being illogical, I never thought you could be logical.”
“Anyway,” Apple Bloom sighed. “Sweetie, when did your sister start actin’ all funny?”
Sweetie frowned. “It was just after we received a package from the castle last week,” she said. “Rarity read a letter that was in a weird language and she started crying.” She looked at the others. “I think that’s when she changed... she put the crown on a shelf next to the letter and-”
“Wait, crown?” Scootaloo interrupted. “Why did she get a crown?”
“I don’t know! I don’t even think it’s hers!” Sweetie Belle snapped. “It belongs to somepony called ‘Purity’ and was sent to her by somepony called ‘Chrysy.’”
“Chrysy?” Scootaloo blinked. “Why does that sound familiar?”
“I know, right?” Sweetie moaned planting her face on the table. “I can’t figure it out, and it’s driving me crazy!”
“Chrysy...” Apple Bloom shook her head. “Ah know it does sound familiar, but why?”
They stared at the map in frustration for a few moments.
“Well, we’re not going to figure it out by staying here!” Scootaloo declared. It was then that they heard the bump on the roof. The three fillies turned around to see a green flash just outside their window and a moan.
The three looked at each other before rushing out. Lying on the ground was a cream-coated pegasus just slightly older than them. Her cutie mark was some sort of flower. She shook her head and slowly stood up.
“Hey! Are you okay?” Scootaloo asked, checking her fellow pegasus for signs of injury. “That sounded like a nasty bump!”
“I- I’m okay,” the stranger said, letting her light green mane’s bangs cover most of her face. “I’m really sorry I crashed into your... house. I was just looking at the apple trees and, well, they’re gorgeous! I got so distracted that- um. Sorry.”
Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo glanced at each other, but Apple Bloom took a step forward. “Ah hope you weren’t tryin’ to get your hooves on some of our apples!”
“Oh, no!” the pegasus’ eyes widened. “I really wasn’t! Promise! I just wanted a closer look! They all look so healthy!” She took off and hovered in front of one of the trees, holding one of the leaves in her hoof, without pulling it off the tree. “See how green it is? It’s so healthy! Even with this heat it’s barely shriveling at all! You take very good care of your trees!”
Apple Bloom smiled and puffed her chest. “That’s right! In Sweet Apple Acres we all take good care of all our trees here! We produce the best apples in Equestria! You should try one!”
“Oh, I- I couldn’t impose!” the pegasus shook her head, honey-tinted irises shimmering.
“Pluh-eze!” Apple Bloom drawled. “Go ahead! Ah’m givin’ it to you! No imposition at all!”
“Well, if you say so...” the pegasus took one apple off the tree and bit into it. She swooned. “Oh, by my ancestors... this is...” she stared at the apple before giving it another, ravenous bite. And another. She paused to slowly munch on them and swooned once more.
Scootaloo lipsmacked and gulped down. “Um... A-Apple Bloom... do you think I could also have an apple? I’m really craving one now.”
Sweetie Belle stared at the apple in the stranger’s hooves with envy and nodded once her acquiescence.
Apple Bloom smiled and bucked the tree, dropping a few more apples. “Go right ahead!”
Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle wasted no time in biting at their own apples, adding their own praises to the pegasus’ own.
“So,” Scootaloo spoke up in between bites. “I don’t think I’ve seen you around, are you new to Ponyville?”
“What’s your name?” Apple Bloom asked.
“My name is Thysa,” she provided, taking the last bite of her apple. “And I’m here for–” she cut short as her eyes widened as she stared into space. “Oh, no!”
“What?!” Apple Bloom asked, looking in the same direction as Thysa was and seeing nothing.
“I got too distracted! I must find my aunt!” Thysa exclaimed. “It’s really important!”
She prepared to take off again, but Sweetie Belle stopped her. “Wait! If she lives here in Ponyville we can probably tell you where she is!”
Thysa blinked and settled down. “That makes sense,” she said, looking at the three fillies. Then she saw a flower and bent down to smell it. “Wow... this flower smells so nice!”
“So, what’s her name?” Scootaloo prompted.
“Hmm?” Thysa looked up and blinked. “Oh. Oh! Yes! My auntie. Her name is Purity.”
Rarity stared at the crown and the letter for the upteenth time that day. Then shook her head and turned around, trying to put down the feather and ink to paper. Her new design was... too frilly. It looked nice on paper, but she knew that once the dress was put together, it would be too cumbersome and downright comical to look at. Which was not what she was going for. However, the key of the design was in the details, and as such, taking away certain elements required careful thought.
And careful thought required clarity of mind.
And clarity of mind required her not to be thinking about the damned crown!
Sighing, Rarity put down the feather into the inkwell. And stepped away from her drawing table. “This is ridiculous,” she chided herself. “You know it’s stupid to go. Even if Chrysy said it would be fine- there are too many bad memories there. And who knows what her true intentions are, she might...” she trailed off, looking up at the shelf and the objects on top of it.
“Okay, so she might not try and kill me, but what to do? I cannot simply go there by myself!” she levitated the letter and opened it, glancing in. “She said I could bring somepony else, but who would be my best bet? Twilight? Or maybe Rainbow Dash...”
Rarity started pacing around her study. “Why must things be so difficult? If she hadn’t gone ahead and started her stupid war this would have never happened!” she groaned. “I could have lived my life as Rarity and left the Hive alone. It took me years to stop thinking about them!”
She shook her head and walked up to the mirror. Lowering the shades, she magically lit up a small lamp and released her disguise. A habit that she had outgrown... and then found addictive after revealing herself to her friends and Chrysalis.
She was taller and slimmer, her blue mane with seaweed-green highlights was curled up in her usual style and her cutie mark contrasted wonderfully with her black chitin armor. Her wings buzzed a bit as she relished in letting them flutter a bit.
“I’m really good looking,” she admitted to herself. “Even my horn looks nice and deadly.” Rarity snorted.
She heard the door downstairs open and close and sighed, letting her body be encased in emerald flame, revealing her real form as far as she was concerned. Rarity opened the curtains and headed downstairs. “Welcome to the Carousel Boutique, where everything is- oh, it’s you, Sweetie Belle!”
She cantered up to her sister and nuzzled her. “What brings you here?” she asked, eyeing the pegasus that had just followed Sweetie Belle in. She frowned and stepped between her sister and the pegasus, who was looking around the boutique curiously, ignoring them completely.
“Who are you?” Rarity asked.
Sweetie Belle looked at her sister in confusion. Rarity sounded... angry.
The pegasus blinked and turned to look at them. “Oh, I’m–”
“Never mind that,” Rarity growled. “Why are you here? How dare you use my sister to get to me?”
“R-Rarity?” Sweetie Belle asked, starting to look a bit scared.
“Why...” Thysa looked at Rarity innocently. “I didn’t! I promise! She said she could help me–”
“Don’t lie, changeling!” Rarity growled, her horn lighting up with magic. The door slammed shut and glowed a bit as her magic secured it. “Why are you in Ponyville?”
“I- I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Thysa stammered. “I’m just a pegasus and I’m–”
“Just a pegasus,” Rarity snorted. “Your disguise shimmers when you are caught unawares. Even now I can tell by the blurring that you’re having trouble keeping it up. Who sent you?”
Sweetie Belle stared at Thysa in horror as the pegasus slumped down and green flames erupted around her, revealing a changeling, not unlike Chrysalis, only younger.
“I-” Thysa stammered, eyes getting watery. “I- I’m sorry! Nopony sent me! I just want to talk to my auntie! There’s trouble in the Hive!” she started crying, covering her head and sobbing. She started chittering “I’m sorry! Please don’t hurt me!” over and over again.
“R-Rarity?” Sweetie Belle ventured. “S-she said she was looking for ‘auntie Purity’ and- and I remembered that you seemed to know who that was so I...” she trailed off when she noticed that Rarity was staring at the changeling in horror.
“Wh–” Rarity cleared her throat. “Who are you?” she asked less forcefully, but Thysa didn’t speak up. Rarity looked around, clearly at a loss. She didn’t know what to say or do. Finally she looked at Sweetie Belle. “Sweetie, please go fetch Twilight and... don’t tell anypony about this. Please... not even Apple Bloom and Scootaloo. It’s really important.” She released the lock on the door and motioned for her sister to get going.
“But- but why is she here?” Sweetie asked. “Why do you know who Purity is?” her eyes were also getting watery as she stared at her older sister. “Tell me...” she whispered. “Please? Was that letter from the changelings?”
Rarity closed her eyes, her feelings reeling. “Sweetie, I- please get Twilight,” she slumped down. “I’ll need somepony to watch over her while we talk. I promise to tell you everything, sis.”
Sweetie gulped, nodding once before galloping out of the door.
Sighing, Rarity gently closed the door and spoke in the chittering language of the changelings. “What’s your name, little princess?”
“T-Thysa,” the changeling princess sobbed, apparently not noticing the change in language at all.
“Thysa,” Rarity sighed, patting the changeling’s head gently. “It’s okay. I know about you, you are Chrysalis’ daughter... the one that loves plants.”
Thysa seemed to have calmed down a bit and drew a shuddering breath. She looked up at Rarity and nodded.
Rarity shook her head and stood up, letting the changeling gather herself as she paced.
“Why did you come all the way here, Thysa?” Rarity asked, looking at her niece. “What kind of trouble would make you abandon the Hive?”
“I- I need to talk to auntie Purity, she’s the only one that could understand...” Thysa muttered. “No offense.”
Rarity rolled her eyes and let herself change.
Thysa stared at the queen changeling in front of her. There was no way this could be any other changeling than... “Auntie Purity!”
Just as Thysa launched herself to hug her, Rarity heard a horrified gasp. Her eyes widened as she turned to face the door, which had been pushed ajar. Sweetie Belle stood on the doorway, frozen in place, her eyes wide and tearful, her expression one of horrified confusion.
“S-Sweetie Belle!” Rarity called just as her niece latched on to her.
Shaking her head, Sweetie Belle turned around and galloped away.
Another nagging in the back of my head. I debated actually writing this, but, what the hay. I’m doing it, if only to produce something. I did want to mention though, the name “Purity” actually derived from a comment from “Big Mac.” in ‘The Three Sisters’. ^_^ I liked the idea so I went with it.
Also, this is a small series based on the what-if, therefore earning its own story. I’m dedicating it to all of you who loved ‘The Three Sisters’ and ‘What if: Rarity met Chrysalis’. I’m dedicating this to all of you that loved the (unintentional) series. Many, many thanks to those of you that took the time to create wonderful art out of my simple words.
Again, this is as it was written, almost no editing other than whatever my faithful minion Trevor pointed out at first glance, so mistakes and such are to be expected. If you let me know about them out in the comments I’ll drop back later and fix ‘em.