The radiance of the midday sun gleamed off the sequins and jewels in Rarity’s boutique, making the studio glitter with twinkles.
Twilight Sparkle was dazzled. The Boutique was so pretty with the sunlight streaming through the windows; she was surprised she hadn’t noticed before. But then again, she certainly had not spent this amount of time in Rarity’s shop in the past.
The fashionista had made the scholarly unicorn wait in the front room of the Boutique while she prepared lunch for the two of them. “I wish to make something special for you, darling,” she had said, when Twilight had attempted to follow her to the kitchen. “And I want you to be surprised.”
So the lavender unicorn had continued the study of her books for the better half of an hour, waiting for Rarity’s order to ‘set the table’. What kind of help is that? I’ll only have to place two plates on the table, that doesn’t even count… and she has more work to do in the afternoon, I really shouldn’t let her do everything and tire herself out... but she’ll probably be mad at me for ruining the surprise. Hmm. Okay, when the hour is up I’ll go down, no matter what.
Twilight had flipped a few more pages, pausing frequently to check the time, when she heard the lyrical voice of her dearest calling her. “Twilight, dear, you can come down now!”
The bookworm hastily shut her books without bothering to use a bookmark. Wow, that was pretty fast. With her attention to detail… I thought she would be fussing over something like the placing of an alfalfa leaf.
Trotting down the stairs to the kitchen, the purple unicorn caught whiff of the most enticing aromas. “Rarity, it smells really good!” she exclaimed, her respect and fondness for the elegant unicorn growing.
“I’m flattered that you think so. Now would you please be a dear and take those to the table?” said Rarity, gesturing to two sets of tableware on the far end of the counter.
“Um, okay,” said Twilight, using her telekinesis to set the plates and silverware on the round dining table.
The indigo-maned unicorn started levitating platters holding the most beautiful food Twilight had ever seen to the table. “Lunch is served, my darling,” said Rarity, taking on the air of a pompous waitress. “Please, take a seat.”
Twilight gaped a bit at the dishes being set before her. Not only did they smell wonderful, each of them also looked like pieces of art.
Every leaf and segment of the orange and lavender salad was arranged painstakingly, carefully placed slices of tomato adding the perfect dash of color. Cauliflower and garbanzo beans were exquisitely spread on the vegetable Jalfrezi.
“Wow, Rarity… this looks better than the fancy cuisine that the royal chef prepares on ceremonial banquets!” Twilight was not exaggerating; those she ate along with Princess Celestia on special occasions looked nice, but were usually unsatisfying both in quantity and in flavor.
“Ooh, I know you’re just saying that,” answered Rarity with a dazzling flutter of her lashes. “But I appreciate it nonetheless.” She placed the last platter on the table and seated herself across from Twilight.
“Oh Rarity, I really mean it.” Twilight got off her chair and went to the fashion designer’s side, draping her hooves over Rarity’s shoulders and giving them a warm squeeze.
The fair unicorn nuzzled the scholarly mare, then raised her snout to Twilight’s cheek and kissed her. “Darling… really, it’s just a modest meal.”
The studious mare slowly let go of the white unicorn and seated herself again. “No, it’s not. How about… I take a bite and prove you wrong,” she said with a smirk.
Grabbing both of their plates with telekinesis, she started using a spoon to serve… but then stopped. “Rarity, I can’t bring myself to ruin this, you spent so much time arranging them…”
“Nonsense, darling. If you don’t eat then I will have done it for nothing. Here, I’ll do it myself.” The elegant mare decisively scooped a portion of the salad into her own plate, another portion into Twilight’s. “There you go. Now you can tell me if it is edible or not.”
The lavender mare tried a few bites of the salad. A perfect blend of flavors immediately melted on her tongue: the cool crispness of lettuce leaves, the juicy tanginess of the orange slices, mixed with the sweet fragrance of lavender petals.
“It’s lovely!” she said, almost swooning. “I didn’t know you were such a great cook.”
“Perhaps it is simply because of my love for you,” Rarity replied, a blush appearing on her cheeks. A silence followed as she came to grasp with what she said. How… gauche of me. I just professed my love, over lunch!
Twilight was the same shade of red as the pale mare. “Um, thanks…” Not really knowing what to say in response, she hurriedly dipped her head down and resumed eating. “Wow, this is the best thing I have ever tasted!” she said, chewing a bit louder than necessary. What… what should I say in return? I love you too? Oh, forget it. It was probably just a figure of speech, don’t get all excited!
Rarity was in truth a bit peeved that the studious unicorn had changed the subject so abruptly, but decided that it would only be awkward if she brought it up again. They continued their meal in a relative silence, except for the occasional praise from Twilight.
“Rarity, let me do these,” said Twilight, when they had both eaten their full. She stacked the empty plates together and levitated them to the kitchen sink. “You should go take a rest, you need it.”
Rarity nodded, feeling pretty tired out although she didn’t want to admit it. Applying her magic to array the meal had taken quite a toll out of her, because of the pinpoint precision and concentration needed; she had scarcely used her hooves as they could not be surgically precise enough.
She headed up to the storefront and fell on her chaise longue. There were roughly twenty minutes before she had to open shop again, so she chose to make the most of it and get as much of her energy back as possible.
Twilight came back to the front of the Boutique to find Rarity dozing on her couch and smiled at the sight, but the purple unicorn could not help also being a bit worried.
She must be quite exhausted… but she doesn’t have much more time to rest because of the time she spent preparing our lunch. It’s a pity I have to go back to the library later… wait, actually I think that assignment can wait until tomorrow – if I focus hard and spend the whole day on it, I can still finish it.
The studious mare contemplated some more about changing her schedule, and finally convinced herself that she could afford to spend the rest of the afternoon accompanying Rarity; perhaps she could help make tea when the designer felt fatigued.
Rarity raised her head groggily when she felt that the twenty minutes had passed, and saw Twilight sitting on the floor beside her, reading a book. “Twilight, I’ll have to open the Boutique now… I really had a very nice morning with you.”
“Actually, Rarity, I’ve decided to finish the research tomorrow, so I can spend the rest of the day with you. I think you’re a bit tired…” The brainy mare looked affectionately at the other unicorn. “In fact, I think I can do something to ease a bit of the tension and help you relax.”
Twilight placed her hooves on Rarity’s back as the fair unicorn asked, “But, darling, did you not have an essay to complete?”
“Oh, it’s perfectly okay if I do it tomorrow, you know that I can easily finish that kind of thing on time.” The scholarly unicorn started applying pressure to the fashionista’s back and shoulders.
Twilight had read up on massage techniques in the past; her curiosity had been piqued after a few enjoyable sessions at the spa, and she was grateful that she could now put the knowledge to use.
Rarity melted under her marefriend’s hooves, letting out an expressive sigh of satisfaction that made Twilight’s ears turn quite red. “Wow, it seems you really enjoy it,” she said happily.
“You are simply too good to be true, Twilight,” cooed the white mare. “I feel much better now.”
Twilight lifted her hooves and gave Rarity a quick kiss. “I’m glad I could help. So... I guess you have to open the Boutique now?” Using a flick of her magic, she turned over the ‘closed’ sign on the door.
By the time the bookworm had returned to the library, night-time had long fallen. Her disgruntled assistant was there to meet her. “Hey! Twilight! Where were you all day?”
“Didn’t I tell you I went to Rarity’s to let her measure me?” answered the unicorn, a bit guiltily.
“And then? Did you stop by all your other friends’ houses too?”
“Um, actually, Spike, I spent the whole day at the Boutique… she wanted me to help with… some spells and things, ha ha ha,” laughed Twilight uneasily. She was not very happy about the white lie, though. Spike had been her friend and trusty helper since childhood, and she did not like the idea of deceiving him.
“Huh…? You spent the whole day at Rarity’s helping her? Why didn’t she ask me then? I could have helped her too…” The baby dragon frowned sadly.
“Spike,” said Twilight. When the dragon did not answer, she called him again in a louder voice. “Spike!”
“Wha-?” he asked, snapping out of his disappointment.
“I’ve got something very important to tell you… tomorrow, okay? And now it’s supposed to be your bedtime. Come on, I’ll tuck you in.”