Standard – Something is Very Wrong
When Rarity came to, she was back outside of the portal. Her head was throbbing a bit, but she wasn't in any real pain at the moment. She rose to her knees and looked around, happy to see that everyone looked singular.
“What on Earth was all of that?” Rarity asked rubbing her shoulder, “Sunset… Sunset!” Rarity turned to the portal and ran her hands on it, saddened to see that it had closed, “Oh dear! I have to warn the others!”
She rose to her feet as the bell rang, signaling the end of homeroom. Maybe she could track down her friends on the way to their next classes. She ran into the school as fast as she could.
When she got inside though, something just felt wrong to her. She didn't really know what it was, but for some reason she felt out of place. She shook it off and continued to walk through the halls. If she knew her friends' schedules, she should have run into Applejack somewhere around this-
“Oof!” someone cried, falling to the ground after bumping into Rarity.
“Oh, terribly sorry,” Rarity said kneeling down to help them up, her eyes went wide though when she saw who it was. She was wearing a simple blue and white dress, and she had a bunch of thick text books with her, but her rainbow colored hair gave her away.
This was Rainbow Dash…
“N-no. It was my fault…” Dash said demurely, “I should have been watching where I was going.”
“D-Dash…?” Rarity asked, “What are you wearing…?”
“Huh?” Rainbow Dash looked up at Rarity confused, “I always wear clothes like this, uh… Are you new here?”
“N-new?” Rarity asked, “Rainbow Dash, it's me, Rarity,” she suddenly smiled, “Oh, I get it. This is a prank, isn't it? Very cute, but I really need your help.”
“Prank? What are you talking-” Rainbow Dash suddenly backed away from her looking terrified, “Wait, you're in Miss Fluttershy's clique, aren't you?”
“Fluttershy's… clique…?” Rarity asked tilting her head slightly, “Dash, what's going-”
“Please, I'm sorry!” Dash cried bowing to Rarity, “I-I-I didn't mean to bump into you, I swear!” she stood up, “I'll leave you alone forever, I promise!”
Rainbow Dash ran off holding her books close to her chest in tears. Rarity stood up and watched her run away in confusion.
“Okay… that was weird,” Rarity said to herself. She turned around and saw Twilight step out of a classroom. Like Dash though, she looked different. Her hair, instead of the loose bun she always put it in, was now out and flowing freely. She was wearing a black blazer over a purple dress shirt, a matching tight pencil mini-skirt, and black high heels. If Rarity was looking at her correctly, she was also wearing black eye liner and red lipstick.
“Twilight?” Rarity asked walking up to her, “When did you have time to change clothes? Oh, that's not important right now, Dash was acting weird just-”
Twilight turned to Rarity frowning in confusion, “Um, I'm… sorry. Do I… know you?”
What… did Twilight just ask her…?
“T-Twilight…? It's me. Rarity. You and I sit together in homeroom,” Rarity said, a little hurt now.
“I think I'd remember sitting with someone as pretty as you in homeroom,” Twilight said with an awkward smile, “But I am curious as to how you know my name.”
“Twilight, I don't know what prank Dash has you a part of, but this is very cruel,” Rarity said, her heart racing for some reason.
“Dash playing a prank? She's been here since ninth grade, and I've never known her to pull a prank of any kind. She's too shy for that sort of thing,” Twilight explained.
“Too shy? No no no, Rainbow Dash isn't shy at all. She-” she stopped thinking about something that Twilight said, “Wait, since… ninth grade…? How would you… know what she was like in… ninth grade…?”
“Because I've been here since ninth grade…” Twilight said slowly, as if Rarity had asked something silly, “Seriously, are you okay? You said your name was… Rarity?”
“Yes! My name is Rarity, and you're Twilight!” Rarity teared up, “I asked you to come with me to the Spring Festival just a few minutes ago! Don't you remember that?”
“What's a… Spring Festival…?” Twilight asked. Rarity shook her head and ran, tears beginning to fall from her eyes for some reason.
What's going on?!
Did something happen to all of my friends?!
The closest one to her was probably Fluttershy, since she also had the same homeroom as Rarity. Her next class was History with Time Turner. When she made it to the classroom, she saw Applejack walking ahead of her.
At least, Rarity thought it was Applejack.
It looked like her from the back a bit, but like with Rainbow Dash and Twilight, everything was off. Her hair was flowing freely instead of being in a ponytail, her stetson was replaced with a white and red hat that looked similar to her usual one but fancier, her usual attire was replaced with a flowing white gown, a red jacket, and white high heeled boots, and her walk was more of a saunter, swaying her hips back and forth with each step.
“Applejack!” Rarity called out. Much to her fear, the girl in front of her stopped and turned to her. Rarity was taken aback by seeing how fancy the jacket she wore was, and how much of her ample cleavage the top of her gown was showing. Also, Applejack herself was wearing pink eye shadow and red lipstick.
“Ooh, well aren't you precious?” Applejack said walking over to Rarity and examining her, sounding more like a southern belle than a farmer, “Ah just love your style. It accentuates your figure in a very tasteful manner, an' Ah absolutely love your make-up.”
“Please no…” Rarity pleaded shaking her head.
“Let me guess, ya heard about me from one of my many admirers?” Applejack asked haughtily, “If your new to Canterlot High, then you came to the right person. Ah'll get ya acclimated just fine. Oh, but please call me Applejewel, love.”
First of all, since when did Applejack know how to use the word “acclimate” in a sentence properly? Second of all, since when did she dress and act so elegantly? Finally, since when was Rarity new to Canterlot High?!
“You too…?” Rarity asked backing away from Applejack, “You… don't remember anything… do you…?”
“Sugar, are you alright?” Appleja- sorry, Applejewel asked, “You look like your about ta break down an' cry.”
Oh, she was. She was very close to breaking down. Still, she had to try and stay calm. Surely someone in this building would recognize her. Someone who no matter what would-
Fluttershy! She needed to find Fluttershy!
“W-where's Fluttershy?” Rarity asked, trembling as she tried to hold in her tears, “I need to f-find her… and ask her something.”
“Fluttershy?” Applejewel asked with wide eyes, “Ah don't know why you'd be searchin for her, unless ya had a death wish or somethin.”
That didn't bode well.
“Please, just tell me,” Rarity urged, “It's very… important…”
Applejewel pursed her lips and folded her arms considering Rarity, before sighing, “She's probably in the history classroom now, assumin she ain't cuttin.”
“Thank you Applej-jewel,” Rarity said pushing past Applejewel and walking briskly to the history classroom, trying her hardest to not break down completely just yet. She needed to see Fluttershy before she could truly get a grasp on her situation.
When she arrived in the classroom, she looked inside and saw Fluttershy leaning by the open window of the classroom. Instead of her more modest attire, Fluttershy was wearing a red top that showed off her bust line, a black leather jacket, black mini skirt, fishnet stockings, and black high heeled boots. Her eyeshadow was dark gray, she wore dark red lipstick, and her butterfly hair pin was replaced with a bat shaped one.
Also… she was smoking.
Rarity slowly approached Fluttershy, noticing how everyone was watching her.
“F-Fluttershy…?” Rarity asked. The teenager in front of her threw her finished cigarette out the window and glared at Rarity.
“What?” Fluttershy asked harshly, making Rarity step back a bit. Honestly, she felt a little like how Sunset Shimmer used to act before she was reformed.
“Uh… well, I…” Rarity was suddenly at a loss for words. Something about Fluttershy was extremely terrifying right now.
“Do you have a reason for standing there like a fucking dumbass, or are you just trying to annoy me?” Fluttershy asked walking over to Rarity, “Either way, it's not looking too good for you right now.”
Rarity started trembling. Not just from how scary Fluttershy was all of a sudden, but because of what this meant. Fluttershy wouldn't act so out of character for no reason.
“Um… can I ask… you a q-question…?” Rarity asked Fluttershy.
“I don't know. Can you?” Fluttershy asked sarcastically. Rarity swallowed nervously before speaking again, choosing her words carefully.
“D-do you know anyone n-named Rarity…?” Rarity asked. Fluttershy stepped back a bit frowning.
“Yeah, I knew a girl named Rarity back in elementary school,” Fluttershy said.
“You... knew a girl named Rarity? What happened?”
“She died in a car accident ten years ago,” Fluttershy said, making Rarity's mind go blank. She was… dead…?
“D-died…?” Rarity asked, trembling as the tears started to fall freely.
“Oh fuck, you're crying,” Fluttershy groaned, “What's the matter with-”
“Fluttershy, it's me!” Rarity cried, going into full panic mode, “I'm Rarity! I'm not dead! You and I are best friends! Please, try to remember-” something within Fluttershy snapped and she shoved Rarity to the ground and glared at her seething.
“Don't fucking joke about that!” Fluttershy shouted, “Rarity and I were best friends, and her death destroyed me!”
“Fluttershy…” Rarity sobbed, “What happened to you…?”
“Get out…” Fluttershy seethed, “GET OUT OF MY FACE!!!”
Rarity scampered out of the classroom, bumping into someone in the middle of the hall.
“Please, no running in the halls,” Principal Celestia said, so far the only one wearing the same attire she always wore.
“Principal Celestia…” Rarity sobbed.
“Oh dear, what happened honey?” Celestia asked holding Rarity in a comforting embrace. Rarity couldn't hold in her tears anymore, and simply broke down crying in the older woman's shoulder. She didn't even need to find Pinkie Pie to fully understand how messed up her situation was.
Something happened to all of her friends, and possibly even her entire world.
Unknown to both of them, Twilight stood behind a corner listening to them. As the two of them walked off, Twilight folded her arms thoughtfully.
“Was that girl being… serious?” Twilight asked, “But… I don't remember her…”
“Here,” Celestia said, handing Rarity a cup of tea. She took Rarity to her office, which thankfully looked the same. Actually, so far Celestia was the only one who was remotely like she should have been.
Why is this happening?
What did that creature do to my friends?
“Is there anything you wish to talk about?” Celestia asked Rarity as she took the cup of tea. Rarity, not looking up at the older woman, just shook her head. She had since stopped crying, but she didn't have the energy to speak up yet, “You're new to this school, right? My sister Luna is the Vice-Principal, but she also doubles as the school counselor. Maybe you could talk to her.”
Damn it! I already know these things!
Rarity closed her eyes tightly as a fresh batch of tears built up, these being tears of frustration. Before Celestia could ask her what was wrong, there was a knock on the door.
“Come in,” Celestia said, the door opening shortly afterward, “Twilight? Is everything okay?”
Rarity looked up and saw Twilight standing next to her.
“Rarity is my pen pal from Manehatten,” Twilight said, “She's really emotional because she's so far away from home.”
“Ahh, that makes sense,” Celestia said, “So she is a new student?”
“Yes,” Twilight said, “I think her enrollment letter got lost in the mail though, which is why no one knew about this. That's why there was such a commotion earlier.”
“Hm, I see,” Celestia said thoughtfully. Rarity couldn't take her eyes off of Twilight. In fact, looking at her right now, Rarity saw a brief flash of her Twilight standing with the same serious expression.
“It's going to take a full day to sort this out,” Celestia said turning to her paper work, “I'll discuss this with Luna, but we should have you enrolled by tomorrow. For now, why don't the two of you go home. Is it safe to assume Rarity is staying with you?”
“Yes Principal Celestia,” Twilight said with a bow.
“Good. I'll write you an excused absence for the rest of the day,” Celestia said writing a brief letter, “Take care of your friend, Twilight.”
“I will. Come on, Rarity,” Twilight turned to Rarity with a kind smile.
“R-right…” Rarity said, slowly taking Twilight's hand.
“Oh, and Rarity,” Celestia said, stopping them at the door, “Don't worry if you're far away from home. I'm sure there are people out there who will be your friend as long as you are your genuine self.”
Somehow, the way Celestia smiled at her put Rarity a bit at ease, like everything would work itself out somehow.
“T-thank you, Principal Celestia,” Rarity said.
Twilight and Rarity stopped right outside the school, Rarity looking down somberly.
“Why did you do that?” Rarity asked softly.
“You seemed like you needed help,” Twilight said. Rarity shuffled a bit rubbing her arm.
“Were you serious… about me staying with you…?” Rarity asked.
“You don't have anywhere else to go, right?” Twilight asked, shocking Rarity, “Don't worry, my parents are always away on business, and they won't mind either way. They basically let me do as I please.”
Rarity remembered that her Twilight was always stuck at home with just her brother, Shining Armor, for the same reason. Was that still a thing here?
“My house is down this road,” Twilight said pointing to the right, “Do you want to go right there?”
“Actually… could we… go someplace else first?” Rarity asked, “There's something I… need to see.”
“Yeah, sure,” Twilight said nodding, “Lead the way.”
The more she heard this Twilight speak, the more comfortable Rarity was around her. Somehow, she seemed about the same as her own, if not more fashionable, and as far as she knew she wasn't obsessed with science and magic.
Was there still magic here? Oddly, Rarity didn't think so.
As they walked through Canterlot, Rarity saw more and more signs that something was wrong. Whatever happened wasn't limited to just her friends or the school. The entire town looked different. Shops that were supposed to be open were either closed or replaced with other shops. Mr. and Mrs. Cake's place was some other diner, and Flim & Flam's Pawn Shop was a general good's store.
Also, no one waved to Rarity as they walked by. They were too focused on themselves and their own personal effects. Even though it was sunny outside, the entire world seemed gray and dark to Rarity.
“So… feeling better?” Twilight asked awkwardly. Rarity sighed looking away.
“No. Actually, I'm starting to feel worse than I did before,” Rarity admitted, “Nothing looks like it should. Everything just seems so… empty.”
“This is just how Canterlot is,” Twilight stated, “People are too concerned with themselves to really care about what's going on around them. But isn't that everywhere?”
No, it wasn't. Canterlot was a community. Everyone looked out for each other, and cared about one another. Here, Rarity saw people arguing out in the streets, and there was even litter on the ground. Rarity took a deep breath in an attempt to calm her nerves.
It didn't work.
When they arrived at their destination, Rarity's eyes went wide. Her house, which was supposed to look like a giant merry-go-round, looked like just a regular three story house.
“Where's Carousel Boutique…?” Rarity asked trembling, “Mommy… Daddy… Sweetie Belle… Where are you…?” she fell to her knees as the realization fully hit her. She had been thrown far out of Kansas, straight into Oz.
“Hey, it's okay,” Twilight said kneeling down next to Rarity and embracing her.
“No…! No it's not okay!” Rarity screamed breaking down completely, “This isn't my house, this isn't my town, my friends don't remember me, and I'm-” her words were lost in heavy sobs. She buried her face in her hands as Twilight held her tightly. She probably looked insane right now, yet Twilight stayed with her. She had to admit that it felt nice.
But she had no idea how to get back to her home, or even if she could get back home.
Rarity's place was on the way to Twilight's house, so it didn't take them long to get there once Rarity calmed down. She was extremely silent for the rest of the day, only speaking up to ask for something to eat, and even then she didn't have much of an appetite.
Twilight's house was nice, but very lonely. Turned out her brother was in the military, so she didn't have anyone staying with her. Also, there were only two bedrooms. Rarity was prepared to either sleep in Twilight's parent's room or the couch, but Twilight refused to allow that.
As such, after Rarity finished her shower, she waited for Twilight in her room, wearing some of Twilight's pajamas. As Rarity was a little more top heavy than Twilight, she had to unbutton the top three buttons of the shirt in order to breath, but otherwise they were comfy.
“That felt good,” Twilight said, drying her hair as she walked into the room, “I don't know about you, but a shower always helps me relax at night.”
Rarity brought her knees to her chest and hugged them, trying to avoid a fresh batch of tears. She didn't feel more relaxed at all. Instead, she just felt hopeless and helpless. She was scared for Sunset, who as far as she knew probably died from that monster. She might have been the only one who could get them out of this mess.
Twilight sighed and sat down next to Rarity.
“So… how did you know my name?” Twilight asked, “I've been meaning to ask that for a while.”
“You won't believe me,” Rarity said somberly.
“Try me,” Twilight said with a smile. Rarity took a deep breath, deciding to take a chance. I mean, what did she have to lose? Twilight did help her, and she hadn't asked any questions except for this one.
“You and I are actually friends…” Rarity said, “It's you, me, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Applejewel, Fluttershy, and another girl named Sunset Shimmer.”
“Don't know anyone named Sunset Shimmer I'm afraid,” Twilight said thoughtfully, “But Fluttershy is our friend?”
“Yes, but no one is like they should be,” Rarity continued, “You're supposed to be a transfer student from Crystal Prep, Rainbow Dash is an athlete with the ego the size of Mount Everest, Applejewel is a hardworking farm girl, Pinkie Pie should be all throughout the school cheering and making people laugh, and Fluttershy…” Rarity closed her eyes as fresh tears fell, “Fluttershy is the sweetest person you'll ever see.”
“What about you?” Twilight asked softly.
“I can tell you this much, if I had died, I wouldn't be here right now,” Rarity said.
“Wow… okay then,” Twilight said, taking what Rarity said in, “Not going to lie, that's something. So… are you saying you're from another world or something?”
“I don't know, maybe?” Rarity said/asked, “I do know that everything around me is off. You and Principal Celestia are the only ones remotely right, and yet you're still not the way you're supposed to be. No offense, darling, but…”
“I-I get it,” Twilight said nodding, “You're saying that I'm still not your Twilight, right?”
Rarity nodded, “You think I'm crazy, don't you?”
“Actually… I think I believe you,” Twilight said. Rarity turned to Twilight wide eyed.
“W-what? You do…?” Rarity asked.
“Well, the Fluttershy I know is anything but sweet, Rainbow Dash is the shyest girl in school, Applejewel is nice, but she's not really what I'd call a hard worker, and Pinkie Pie avoids everyone because of her social anxiety. You said that over here, you're supposed to be dead?”
“That's what Fluttershy said,” Rarity said, “I asked her if she knew anyone named Rarity, and she said that they were best friends in elementary school, but she was in a car accident and… died.”
“Huh, do you remember a car accident?” Twilight asked.
“When I was seven, yes,” Rarity said, “My parents said its a miracle I even survived it. I do sometimes still get chest pains from it, but beyond that I made a full recovery.”
“I see,” Twilight said, “I think I know what's going on here. At least, why your memories of the world are so different than mine.”
“I'm crazy, right?” Rarity said sadly.
“No, I was going to say this sounds like the Butterfly Effect,” Twilight said.
“The… Butterfly Effect…?” Rarity asked, “What on earth is that?”
“According to the theory, if a butterfly flaps its wings in one area of the world, somewhere else there's a hurricane. Essentially, it's saying that the smallest change can drastically effect the rest of the world. What you're looking at right now is a version of the world where you didn't survive the car accident ten years ago.”
“But… how does this place even exist then?” Rarity asked.
“Well, some people believe that when you make a choice, there's another world created where you made the opposite choice. So for example, this: you were in a car accident ten years ago. There are two possible outcomes from this: one where you survived it, and one where you didn't. You know what happened if you survived it, because here you are. This world represents what would happen if you didn't.”
“So… I'm in a parallel world?” Rarity asked.
“That's… surprisingly the most logical explanation,” Twilight said, “Either that, or something happened to your world and switched events to match that outcome.”
“Why do you believe me?” Rarity asked defensively, “You know I can't prove any of this, right? How do you know I'm not an escapee from a mental asylum?”
“Because you just asked me that,” Twilight said laughing, “Also, I don't know what it is, but I just… feel like you're telling the truth. Besides, this is kind of a dream come true for me,” Twilight admitted sheepishly.
“W-what do you mean?” Rarity asked stepping away from Twilight a little in shock.
“You're actually from another world!” Twilight said, grabbing Rarity's hands, “I read about all of this stuff all the time, and you're living proof! Could you imagine the implications this discovery would have on science?!” she caught herself, “Um, not that I don't feel bad for you. I do, really. It's just… this is kind of exciting for me, you know?”
Rarity couldn't help herself. Despite her situation, she had to laugh a little. At least Twilight felt like herself. If what she said about the Butterfly Effect was true, then Twilight probably wouldn't have changed so drastically either way.
“Twilight, thank you,” Rarity said, “I… needed this.”
Twilight smiled, “I'm glad I could make you smile.”
“Do you think… you and I could be friends…?” Rarity asked Twilight looking down nervously, “I know this is sudden, and even though you're helping me, I shouldn't expect you to be willing to-”
Twilight cut her off by hugging her.
“Apparently, you and I are already friends, right?” Twilight asked. Rarity returned the embrace, this time shedding tears of joy. The two girls lied down in the large bed together, looking into each others eyes.
“Tomorrow, let's meet up with Pinkie Pie,” Twilight suggested, “I actually am friends with her and Applejewel, and she's into this sort of stuff too. She might have a solution to getting you back to your dimension.”
“They'll believe me?” Rarity asked.
“Well, Jewel might be skeptical, but she won't put you down or anything,” Twilight said, “Like I said, she's nice. Prissy, but nice.”
“Well good,” Rarity said with a yawn, “Perhaps this isn't so bad. Besides, what's freaking out going to do for my situation? Thank you Twilight.”
“No problem, Rarity,” Twilight said locking pinkies with Rarity, “What are friends for?”
“So… that's the one my master chose?” the shadowy figure said, standing on a nearby roof watching Rarity and Twilight, “This is going to be fun!”
She gave a high pitched yet terrifying giggle before she jumped away. She had to report this to her beloved master.
The Singularity had arrived…