by Leaf Blade

01. Wake Up, Makeup

The small apartment in which Rarity now snoozed was modest and humble— ‘homely’, Rarity would describe it— but her bed was wonderful. It was her haven at the end of a monotonous day and on this early winter morning it cradled her in its warmth like a child in their parent’s embrace.

Simply marvelous.

That is, of course, until the sudden impact of a pillow hitting her in the face abruptly roused her from her slumber, a disturbance which was nothing compared to the clattering of her body falling out of bed and onto the thinly carpeted wooden floor.

“I’m awake!” she said deliriously as she tried to grab hold of something to help her onto her hooves, but she only managed to grab the blanket off the bed and pull it down on top of her head. “I’m blind!”

“Silly, you overslept,” the tender, albeit teasing, voice of Twilight Sparkle was a great comfort, almost as much as her delicately taking the blanket off of Rarity and placing it back on the bed.

“Thank you, darling,” Rarity chuckled bashfully, putting her hoof onto Twilight’s as Twilight pulled Rarity up and helped her get onto her hooves.

“My pleasure,” Twilight giggled, a little fang sticking out the side of her mouth when she smiled.

Rarity couldn’t help but smile at the sight of Twilight, a thin and slender lavender pony whose smile always brightened even Rarity’s dreariest days.

“I’m fine now though,” Rarity hummed, brushing a hoof through Twilight’s lovely bangs.

Twilight’s mane was one of Rarity’s favorite of Twilight’s many stunning features; immaculately kept and straight as an arrow, falling across the unicorn’s back and down in front of her shoulders, framing Twilight’s pretty lavender-coated face with a beautiful complimentary indigo, the streaks of violet and rosy pink only further highlighting Twilight’s awkward but dazzling beauty.

“Don’t you have somewhere to be today?” Twilight tilted her head, ears perked up and tail swaying behind her, completely oblivious to Rarity’s fascination.

“I do, I do indeed,” Rarity grumbled dramatically as she stretched her weary bones, which were no more ready to be awake than her mind was, and headed for her meager vanity, her nose curling up as she brushed her hoof across it, chipping some of its ugly pale pink paint.

The dresser and mirror combo also came with an uncomfortable and squeaky wooden chair that Rarity needed to sit in, and she squeezed herself between the chair and the vanity which were crammed into the dimmest corner of the room, the only place they would fit.

“My sweet companion Fluttershy has requested my assistance with a matter that she assures me is most urgent,” Rarity spoke casually as she applied moisturizer to her hooves and rubbed them across her cheeks.

“Oh?” Twilight, ever the inquisitive one, bit her lip and let her tail wag behind her as she sidled into the corner alongside Rarity, even her slender frame becoming cramped in this compact environment. “Do tell?”

“Darling, I wish I could,” Rarity sighed theatrically as she dried her face with a towel, speeding the process along with her magic, before brushing her face with the foundation brush, using her magic to move that process along quite nicely as well.

Rarity was never terribly good at magic, but she was infinitely grateful to Twilight for at least teaching her how to use it to ease her morning makeup routine.

She then grabbed her hairbrush to arrange her mane into its naturally perfect, gorgeous style with its distinctive curl, and as she finished, she gave yet another melodramatic sigh as she delighted in the feeling of being beautiful.

Her body was weary and at times rather difficult to look at, dysphoria being what it was, but her mane was perfect.

The clearing of Twilight’s throat clued Rarity in to the fact that she had gotten a tad distracted, and she hummed a little tune to play her pause off as somewhat intentional.

“Unfortunately,” Rarity said slowly as she carefully applied her eyelashes, “dear Fluttershy is rather tight-lipped about these sorts of things. I suspect she’s afraid of me judging her harshly if she’s forthright with me.”

“Huh, that doesn’t sound like you,” Twilight said ponderously, scratching her hoof against the wall, tearing at the tacky mauve wallpaper until an aside glare from Rarity forced her to stop.

“Of course not! I am as trustworthy as they come!” Rarity harrumphed and blinked several times, smiling at how pretty her eyelashes were. “That said,” Rarity muttered, delicately dressing her eyes with her favorite light blue eyeshadow, “Fluttershy is a nervous sort, and I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how that can play tricks on one’s mind.”

Twilight, ever anxious herself, let out a sad sigh of her own, though her eyes quickly lit back up as she refocused on the present. “You should really introduce me to her sometime. I bet we’d get along really great.”

“Ah, yes, of—of course,” Rarity gave a soft giggle and thanked her luck that Twilight was not one to pick up on certain social cues like ‘forced laughter’.

Fluttershy had been a faithful companion of Rarity’s for a year or two now— from before Twilight had moved in with her— yet in all that time, Twilight and Fluttershy had never actually met each other. This was, unfortunately, by design.

At first it was simply a matter of Twilight never leaving their apartment for any reason ever, but after about a few months or so the awkward pony began reluctantly leaving the humble dwelling every so often, usually to go to the library, check out more books than Rarity thought was even possible for a single pony to read in a lifetime, and then come straight back home and read them all within a fortnight at most.

However, the sad truth of the matter was that Twilight and Fluttershy were both anxious, awkward ponies, bless their hearts. Being out and about with either of them took a certain amount of mental energy from Rarity to make sure they felt safe and comfortable, and the idea of having to manage both of them, and the fears of what if they didn’t get along, and what if they didn’t get along because of her

As was the case with an ever-mounting number of issues, Rarity never seemed to have enough spoons for it.

Rarity yawned rather dramatically and dismissed Twilight with a wave of her hoof. “Darling, can you grant me about ten more minutes of beauty sleep?”

“Uh, okay. If you’re sure?” Twilight said hesitantly, and as Rarity smiled and nodded, Twilight bowed her head, nearly bumping her nose into the vanity.

She slunk out of the room and closed the door behind her, reminding Rarity of the wooden door’s ghoulish green paintjob and the way its hideous coat was chipping away in clumps, but also leaving Rarity alone with her thoughts in a room that somehow felt even more stifling despite the so-called breathing room left in Twilight’s absence.

Rarity crawled back into bed, into her little haven, but she knew no sleep was coming.

She opened the blind above the bed to look out over the horizon and the beautiful cityscape of Dodge City. Unfortunately, all she could actually see from her window was the wall and dumpster of a neighboring apartment building.

Rarity buried her face in her pillow and groaned quietly—a pitiful mewling grumble of a bitter and hopeless pony. She would have loved to cry had she still the capacity to shed any tears, but she was quite certain that she had cried herself dry many years ago.

She didn’t dare look at the clock as she awaited Twilight’s inevitable return to ‘wake’ her. She simply remained on her bed with her face buried into the pillow, only lifting her head periodically to breathe before the weight of her circumstances forced her back down like a crushing hammer of gravity.

When a younger Rarity would retire for the night, she occasionally entertained the notion that she wished to never wake up again. As she grew older, those occasions became more frequent.

And now, she made that wish every night.