One might say Rarity liked to stare at Twilight Sparkle.
One might also be incorrect. Rarity the unicorn never stared, thank you very much. She was a lady. She admired and appreciated the immense beauty of her beloved, just as she happened to be doing at that very same moment.
When she giggled, Twilight looked up from her book and towards her. “Huh? Did you say something?”
“No,” Rarity said. She quickly changed her mind. “Well. Yes, I suppose. I giggled.”
Twilight raised an eyebrow. “...You giggled,” she repeated, and offered a smile. “Why did you giggle?”
“Oh, no reason in particular, dear,” Rarity replied as she returned to the dress she’d been working on. “I was just admiring your wonderful complexion.” She paused and then spoke with care, “And I was also remembering your perfect confession.”
She was, of course, referring to the day Twilight confessed she liked her. A wonderful event that included Twilight failing miserably to act coolly, accidentally spilling punch all over herself, and then teleporting away to the other side of the castle in an embarrassed fluster.
It was wonderful.
Twilight snorted. “You mean my perfect disaster.”
“Well, you say that, but how can it be a disaster if it ended with us dating?”
“I guess that’s true,” Twilight conceded before turning back to her book. “Still. I’d rather you erase that from your memory, please.”
“But Twilight,” Rarity complained, “however shall I treasure how we got together if the memory is wiped from my mind?”
A valid concern that Twilight didn’t take seriously as she jokingly replied, “I’ll just confess again, get it right, and we can pretend it’s the first time.”
After a moment, Rarity spoke up.
“Well, why don’t we do that, then?”
“Exactly what you just said.”
“Rarity!” Twilight exclaimed. “Are you crazy? I’m not going to wipe your memories!”
“Not that part, obviously! But if it really bothers you that much, we can just try again.” She fluttered her eyelashes. “Rather than wipe my memory, we can break up, you can confess in a way you’ll want to remember, and we—or rather, you—can pretend the first time never happened! It’s the perfect plan!”
“No,” Twilight replied, amused, “it’s a silly plan.”
Rarity gasped, putting her dress down.
“Silly?!” she protested. “You only think that because you’ve no flair for dramatics! Twilight, think about it! Imagine the drama! The romance! The thrill!” She grabbed her dress and pressed it against her chest. “Pretending we’re love-sick fillies all over again, throwing bashful glances at each other, wondering when we’ll discover our true fee—”
“Darling!” At Twilight’s amused stare, she cleared her throat. “Too much?”
“Bashful glances? When did either of us ever do that?”
With a hum, Rarity took off her glasses and perched them on her horn. “No, I suppose we never did, did we? I was too overt a seductress, and you were too you. We never were ones for subtlety. Well, regardless!” She put her glasses back on. “I think it would be fun. Just so you know.”
Twilight giggled. “I do know. You just said it.”
“Good. So you know, then. That it would be fun.”
“Are you going to say it a third time?”
“You know, I just might. Here it goes. It would be fun. I think it’s worth considering.”
Twilight laughed, her affectionate gaze settling on Rarity for a moment before returning to her book. “Well, I’ll think about it while I’m at Canterlot, but no promises.”
Truthfully, Rarity didn’t expect Twilight to do as much. That was their routine, more or less. She’d come up with some dashingly excessive idea, Twilight would ask about it, indulge her fantasy, and then the idea would be dropped.
As such, she’d been somewhat caught off-guard when Twilight came back from her week-long trip and, for some strange reason, agreed.
“I thought about your idea of re-doing my confession,” she repeated, having come to spend the night at Rarity’s. “And I decided I want to do it. Our fifth dating anniversary is coming up next week, anyway, so it’ll match up and we don’t have to change our actual anniversary date.”
It took Rarity a moment to find her words. “I… What?”
Twilight couldn’t help a smirk.
“I said I’ll do it.”
“Really? Darling, are you ill?” At Twilight’s raised eyebrow, she stood her ground. “I mean it! This is… Well, this isn’t something you’d agree to do! You’d have at least ten different lists on why it would be a logistical nightmare!” She narrowed her eyes. “Is this some sort of joke? Am I missing something or—?”
“No, it’s not a joke,” Twilight interrupted, an amused twinkle in her eyes as she leaned in. “I’m serious. I want to make my confession something both of us want to remember. In fact!” Her horn flashed and a rolled-up scroll appeared next to her. “I already planned it all out.”
She was serious.
“First things first, though,” Twilight continued. “We have to break up.”
“Goodness, this truly is a logistical nightmare, isn’t it?”
“What about the dishes?” Twilight suggested, levitating a fry from the restaurant table and idly watching a waiter take the order of a nearby couple. “I think that would work.”
“Twilight!” Rarity exclaimed, her exasperation failing to draw Twilight’s attention back to her. “We are not breaking up over chores! Who breaks up over chores?! Nopony!”
“We wouldn’t be breaking up over chores, though. Not technically.” Twilight finally turned to Rarity, levitating yet another fry. “Remember the couple’s counseling books we bought last year? Well, several of them said that when a couple breaks up over something seemingly trivial, the reason they’re breaking up isn’t the trivial thing. It’s actually a lot of other reasons, but that’s the excuse.”
Rarity narrowed her eyes. “Aaaah. Yes, I see, like a ‘last straw’ sort of thing. But still! Chores? We are not breaking up over something as uninspired as that!” She narrowed her eyes, ideas forming in her head as she stole the fry Twilight was levitating. “This is the most crucial part of this entire affair! It has to be tragic. No, devastating!”
Twilight grinned. “Tragically devastating?”
“I thought the most important part of this was the confession, not the break-up.”
“It’s all important, Twilight! This is buildup! You of all ponies should know that a story’s climax is only as good as its buildup!”
“All right, all right,” Twilight conceded, waving a hoof. “Do you have any ideas?”
Rarity hummed loudly, tapping a hoof against her mouth.
“What if we break up over our jobs?”
“Yes! It’s just gotten to be too much. You, your relentless royal duties. Me, my several hundred boutiques—”
“Several hundred boutiques?”
“—Several thousand boutiques taking me all over the country and away from you. It was too much. We couldn’t bear it. It would seem that in the end…” She sighed, and a sad laugh followed. “In the end, distance didn’t make our hearts grow fonder.” She looked away, her lips quivering. “It only tore them apart.”
Twilight snorted. “I see.”
“Do you approve?” Rarity whispered, still looking away and still maintaining her harrowed, desolate, tragically devastated expression.
Twilight let out an amused breath. “Yes. I think it works. It’s very tragic.”
“However,” Twilight said, raising a hoof. “I do want to establish some conditions.”
“Conditions?” Rarity tucked her theatrics away and gave Twilight her full attention. “Continue.” As soon as Twilight opened her mouth, Rarity rushed to speak again, “Wait! I’d like to establish some as well!”
“All right.” The princess gestured to her and smiled. “Ladies first.”
“Why, thank you, darling.” She cleared her throat and then slammed her hoof against the table. “I want us to LIVE IT! Act it! An extended version of… of whatever it is that Spike and his friends do when they play Ogres and Oubliettes!”
“If we’re going to do that, we need a safe word,” Twilight said, dipping several fries into a sauce and eating them. “Something that when we say it, we need to stop pretending.”
“Curtains up and curtains down!” Rarity offered, levitating a napkin and wiping the sauce off Twilight’s mouth. “Like a stage play!”
“That doesn’t leave us with a lot of options, though. Why not Simulation? ‘Begin simulation’ to start things off, and then we can use ‘pause’ and ‘play simulation’ in between, and ‘end simulation’ for when we’re finished with the entire thing.”
Rarity grimaced. “Isn’t that complicating things? They’re so long! And too, I don’t know, technical.”
“I like technical!” Twilight protested. “I like them!”
“Oh, fine, fine. If you like them, then so do I. Mostly.” She cleared her throat. “Any other conditions?”
Rarity frowned. “What about the girls?”
“I don’t want to make them think we’ve broken up, so I think we should tell them we’re doing this. I also want to be the one to tell them.”
“What? Why you?” Rarity asked. “What if I wanted to tell them?”
“They’re not going to believe you.”
“Yes, they are! Why wouldn’t they?”
“Rarity,” Twilight said, a wonderful grin on her face, “did you believe me when I said I wanted to do this?”
“No. Honestly, I still don’t belie—Oh. Point taken. Fine, you can tell them.” She cleared her throat. “So then! When are we breaking up?” Suddenly, she grimaced. “Oh. Oh, that wasn’t at all pleasant to say.”
“We can just not break-up and pretend we weren’t dating in the first place, if you want?”
Rarity shook her head. “No, no! It’s fine. I have an idea for how I want it to happen, regardless. When exactly are we supposed to do this?”
Twilight hummed. “Why not the night before our anniversary?”
“But that’s only one day of pretending we’re not dating!”
“And you want more than that? One day of not dating is already awful enough, don’t you think?” Twilight asked without missing a beat, her suave expression dissolving at Rarity’s smitten giggling.
“Twi-light Spar-kle!” Rarity gasped, resting her chin on her hooves, her tail swishing behind her. “Since when are you such a romantic?”
Twilight hummed thoughtfully. “Since I started dating you?”
Rarity fluttered her eyelashes. “Oh really, now?”
“...It might have also been since I rehearsed that line in the mirror yesterday.”
Rarity giggled. “Ah. That’s more like it.” She levitated the last fry from the plate and deposited it in Twilight’s mouth. “Don’t feel bad, my love. It’s hard to outromance me, you know?”
“Oh?” Twilight leaned in. “Want to bet on that?”
“Ooooh. Bet on outromancing me? That’s a dangerous game to play, your highness.”
Twilight shrugged, her rare display of confidence enticing the unicorn. “I’m not worried.”
“You’re not worried?” Rarity leaned in as well, folding her forelegs on the table. “Well, my dear, I’m not one to back away from such an easy win.”
It was a depressing, dark, rainy day when Rarity the unicorn broke up with her marefriend of three years.
Stormclouds hung over Carousel Boutique, raindrops collided against the window and slid down into the muddy ground, ponies rushed to take cover from this unexpected weather—unless you were Rarity, in which case you’d bribed Rainbow Dash with twenty bits to make this happen, but that’s entirely besides the point.
All in all, it was a depressing scenario fit for such a depressing event.
Rarity faltered after saying the name, these two syllables that would forevermore wound her when uttered. A name with a melodic cadence she’d never find again, would she? A name that she’d think about when she’d gaze out the window late in the afternoons, bathed in the light of the alicorn’s namesake.
There was an art to breaking up, Rarity knew, and though it pained her, she would make a masterpiece out of it.
“Twilight,” she repeated after a breath, not wanting to look back. “I’m sorry. I… I thought we could make it work.”
But she looked back because Twilight was owed that courtesy, wasn’t she?
“Rarity,” Twilight replied, taking a moment not to swallow searing pain, but to suppress a snort. “I, er. I know. I’m sorry—” She licked her lips, wiping a smile away. “I’m sorry too. Really. I’m devastated.”
A moment passed, in which Rarity regarded the alicorn, and then she spoke up.
“Pause sim! Devastated?! Twilight Sparkle, you don’t sound devastated! You don’t even look devastated! What is this? Amateur hour?!”
“I’m trying!” Twilight protested, whining despite the massive grin on her face.
Rarity raised an eyebrow. “Really.”
“Yes!...Sort of! Maybe.”
She laughed, and though Rarity found it adorable, she still harrumphed and looked away out of principle.
“I’m sorry,” Twilight continued, sincerely. “Just let me…” She grabbed the novel Rarity had provided for studying and opened it up at a bookmarked page. “Okay.” She put it down. “I’m ready. I am!” she insisted when Rarity peered at her skeptically. “Go.”
“Very well, then. Play sim!”
Rarity cleared her throat, not to get back into the roleplay, no, but to choke away the words that hurt so much to say. Why was destiny so cruel? Why did it toy with their hearts?
“I’m sorry, Twilight. I don’t see any other way.”
“Rarity, please,” Twilight said, with emotion now, finally. As she would because they were breaking up and it was sad. “There has to be something we can do!”
“There isn’t!” Rarity exclaimed. “This isn’t a fairytale, Twilight! This isn’t pretend! It’s over between us!”
Twilight froze. “...Wait, this isn’t pretend?”
Rarity blinked at her. “...This isn’t pretend, and if it was, which it isn’t, I’m sure we’d have established some sort of safe word system.”
“Oh, right, sorry. Uhhh, where was I?” She slammed a hoof against her chest. “Rarity, please!”
“No, Twilight!” Rarity said, desperate, commanding, wanting to end this charade before it could wound them more. “It’s over. But… But perhaps we can still be friends.”
Twilight nodded. “I… I would like that.”
“Is what I’m sure you’d wish to say!” Rarity interrupted, gasping and putting a hoof over her eyes. “But we both know you can’t! To have me as a friend and nothing else? You simply can’t bear it! If you can’t have me as a lover, you don’t want me at all!”
“...Wow, that seems unhealthy of me,” Twilight mused, ignoring Rarity’s exasperated sigh. “Just like some of the things these characters do in this romance novel, actually. I’m sure some of this could be considered borderline stalking and fixation.”
“Pause sim. It’s romantic, Twilight!”
Twilight grimaced, tilting her head. “Mmm. Is it, though?”
“All right, fine! Fine, it is borderline stalking and fixation, but it’s not as if anypony expects to get healthy relationship advice from a dime novel! Regardless. Play sim.”
She cleared her throat and continued, emotionally.
“I suppose! I suppose you might want me as a friend after a year of therapy, but until then…” With a curt nod, Rarity got up. “I… I shall take my leave.”
Twilight politely cleared her throat. “...And I will stay here in Carousel Boutique.”
Rarity faltered for a moment before quickly saying, “...Yes! I know it’s sad, Twilight. I shall miss this place that was like a home to me and where you’ve always lived.”
“Where I’ve always lived.”
“Where you’ve always lived!”
Rarity grabbed her things after that and trotted to the foyer, Twilight following behind. She paused upon reaching the door, one last moment before it was all over, and then opened the door to greet the storm.
“Twilight.” She turned back to the alicorn, who was clearly masking her devastation with a smile, and lifted a hoof to brush back Twilight’s bangs. They had to be strong. “Goodbye, my darling.”
And so, without another word, she turned around and stepped outside, the door to Twilight’s boutique closing behind her. She contemplated the rain for a minute, safe under the door’s alcove, and then did what one did after a terrible break-up.
She laughed giddily before taking a big breath, turning back towards the door and furiously knocking her hoof on it. Less than a second later, the door swung open and her dear friend Twilight Sparkle greeted her.
“Hi, Rarity!” she exclaimed, happy to see her until she noticed Rarity’s expression and her joy shifted into concern. “Rarity? Whatever’s wrong?”
“Twilight, it’s terrible!” Rarity gasped, pushing past Twilight and into the boutique. “Awful!”
“Gosh! What’s happened?” Twilight asked, closing the door behind her and following Rarity into the workshop.
“My marefriend broke up with me!” Rarity revealed, throwing herself on the chaise longue and burying her muzzle into the pillow. “Can you believe it?!”
“Wow, Rarity! I’d heard you’d broken up with her.”
Rarity lifted her head. “What? No. No, no. No! You heard wrong! She broke up with me! She’s destroyed me, Twilight!” She buried her muzzle back in the pillow. “Destroyed me, I tell you!”
Twilight walked over to the couch and sat next to her friend, placing a comforting hoof on top of her.
“Goodness, Rarity. Do you know why she broke up with you?”
“I don’t! I really don’t.” Rarity sat up, delicately wiping her eyes with a hoof and keeping it together right up until she saw Twilight and it was all too much. With a great sob, she threw herself on her friend, burying herself in her embrace. “Oh, Twilight, whatever shall I do?!”
“It’s all right,” Twilight said, brushing her mane, “I’m here for you.”
And she was. And it was wrong.
“Pause sim,” Rarity sniffled.
Twilight’s hoof froze. “...Yes?”
“Darling!” Rarity exclaimed, pulling back in horror. “I don’t want you to be my rebound! I’m serious!” she insisted, when Twilight laughed, affectionately rolling her eyes.
“Rarity. We’re pretending, remember?”
“I don’t care! We have to be accurate! This is art! Theatre! And I won’t have you being my rebound!” she said, more upset than she’d anticipated. “I should be blinded by love for you, not using you as a way to not think about my ex!”
“I mean…. does that reaaaaally matter when I’m also the ex in question?”
“Alright, alright. I have an idea.” Twilight got up from the couch. “Play sim.” She cleared her throat, then rubbed a hoof against her mouth. “You know, Rarity, I think I have something that might be able to help you with this. Hold on.”
She walked towards a bookcase on the other side of the room and grabbed a random book, flipping it open to a page in the middle and walking back towards Rarity.
“A memory spell.”
Rarity blinked. “A memory spell?”
Twilight nodded. “Mhm. It’s not a widely used one since memory spells in general can open up a whole mess of moral and legal disasters, but this is for personal use so I don’t see the risk. Anyway, with this, you’ll be able to forget all about your heartache. Literally.”
“Literally? Oh my… Can it truly do that?”
“Let me see, let me see!” Rarity took the book from Twilight and nodded enthusiastically at an explanation of gemstone compositions. “My stars, you’re right! This is a memory spell! And—! And not only will it erase my heartache, but it says here I’ll fall madly in love with the pony I’m destined to be with!”
Twilight snorted. “Really.”
“Oh yes! But, wait, darling, there’s more!” she gasped. “It also says that this spell will make somepony forgive me for inking a sketch on the back of her referendum!” At Twilight’s look, she blinked innocently. “That’s what it says!”
“Let me see that.” Twilight took the book back and then matched Rarity’s gasp. “Gosh! You’re right! It does say that! And it also says that somepony is finally going to let me automize her sewing machine!”
“Automi—Need I remind you what happened last time?!”
“I won’t give it artificial intelligence this time!”
Rarity whined. “But… Oh, all right. I’ll consider it after you’ve done the spell.”
“Great!” Twilight cleared her throat, put the book away after one last glance, and then stepped up to the unicorn. “Okay. Close your eyes and stay completely still.”
Rarity did as told, trying to keep her excitement to a ladylike amount. She waited, and waited, until rather than a spark of magic, she felt two lips lovingly press against hers.
A delicate action that ab-so-lu-te-ly warranted dramatically fainting onto the couch.
“Rarity?” Twilight asked, gently shaking Rarity with a hoof. “Are you all right?”
There was a moment of silence, until finally Rarity’s eyes fluttered open, the pain of the past left behind. No more awful but beautiful and wonderful exes, no more ravaged hearts, no nothing but the stunning mare hovering before her, heralding the start of a new life.
The name came out barely above a whisper, the intonation matching the awe in Rarity’s eyes as she regarded this alicorn more beautiful than life itself.
“Twilight, I…” She delicately sat up on the couch, her eyes never once leaving Twilight’s.
“How are you feeling?” Twilight carefully asked.
“Like I’ve been kissed by an angel,” Rarity whispered, a dreamy sigh leaving her lips as she tried hard not to grin when a most becoming blush accentuated Twilight’s cheeks. When she finally sat up, she rubbed a hoof against her eyes, adjusting to her new state of mind. “I think I’m doing better.”
“Oh! I’m so glad to hear that, Rarity,” Twilight said, tilting her head to the side. “You were so devastated…”
Rarity nodded. “I was! I was, dear, but—” She hoofed at the couch, bashfully looking down. “I’m so much better now that you’re here. Thank you ever so much for helping me.”
“Of course!” Twilight replied. “That’s what friends are for.”
Rarity bit down on her lip.
There was a split second pause before she spoke again.
“Speaking of which, darling! I feel like we haven’t spoken in absolute ages!”
“Gosh, I know! It feels like it’s been years!”
“Well then!” Rarity patted a hoof on the spot next to her on the couch. “Come now! We simply must catch up!” Once Twilight sat down, and only when she scooted over so they’d be pressed together, she cleared her throat and then fluttered her eyelashes. “So, darling, do tell…”
Twilight grinned. “Tell you what?”
“Twilight, dearest, please! Don’t play coy with me!” She lifted a hoof and tapped it against the tip of Twilight’s nose. “Don’t think I can’t tell! I know somepony in love when I see them!”
Twilight hummed loudly. “I wouldn’t say that I’m in love,” she replied, and then faltered. “Or, well… I guess I would say that.”
A gasp filled the room.
“Twi-light Spar-kle! Who is it?! Where did you meet her?! Tell me everything!” Another gasp. “Do I know her?!”
“Maaaaaybe,” she replied casually before shrugging her shoulders. “It’s really nothing big. I’ve had a crush on her for a while now, but—”
“For a while now?!” Rarity interrupted, aghast. Twilight Sparkle, denying herself what she deserved?! Not on her watch! “Twilight, really! What are you waiting for? An invitation? Tell her!” She sobered up and placed a comforting hoof on Twilight’s. “Do you need advice, dear? I know you…” She licked her lips and gestured aimlessly. “... Have a different brand of finesse, shall we say.”
Twilight snorted. “Gee, thanks.”
“Dearest, I say that lovingly, I do!”
“I’m sure. Anyway!” The princess cleared her throat and sat up straight, donning a proud smile. “I actually don’t need advice. I have a plan! A plan that will actually work this time,” she added quietly.
“How about you?” she asked Rarity next. “Do you have somepony you like?”
Rarity sighed theatrically. “There is somepony, yes.”
Twilight tilted her head to the side, ears perking up. “Oh?”
“Mhm.” Rarity nodded quickly. “Somepony very special indeed, but…”
“...But?” Twilight prompted, laughing when Rarity dramatically fell down onto the couch.
“But she’s too good for me, Twilight!” she declared, which was true! What cruel fate! What cruel destiny, having her fall desperately, madly, irrevocably in love with perfection itself! “She’s a complete dreamboat, I tell you! S.S. Divine Beauty From Above!”
“She can’t be that gorgeous, Rarity,” said the S.S. Divine Beauty herself, her rosy cheeks looking most becoming. A dreamboat and humble! How could Rarity resist her? How would Rarity ever deserve her?! “Especially not compared with you.”
And now it was Rarity’s turn to blush, and suppress a giggle, and bite down on her lip and REGARDLESS—
“Twilight, you simply don’t understand!” Rarity insisted, resting the back of her hoof over her eyes. “If only you knew her, you’d see! She’s smart, talented, wonderful, and has a wit so sharp it’s cut through all my defenses!”
“I see,” Twilight said, poor thing looking so pleased she might burst.
“Oh, Twilight!” Rarity continued, “Whatever shall we do? Why must we be so helpless?”
Twilight hummed loudly. “Mmm… Why don’t we try to figure this out over dinner tomorrow? Give each other advice, maybe? You’re good at romance, and I’m good at… okay, not romance, but… errr...”
“Words?” Rarity offered.
“Words! That. Yes,” Twilight said, despite the fact that she had difficulty articulating her very point, but that didn’t matter. “I actually have an idea on how I want to tell her and maybe I can test it on you? It’ll be like a test date.” She grinned. “A simulation.”
“Twilight Sparkle, it would be my honor,” Rarity said. “It’s a date.”
A very early date, at that.
Rarity knew she took her time getting ready, but she admittedly felt rather silly being ready for a late dinner date at four in the afternoon.
“Oh, Rarity,” Fluttershy said, sitting on a couch and admiring the unicorn as she paced around Carousel Boutique’s living room in a gala dress. “You really do look wonderful.”
“Thank you, dearest,” Rarity said, pausing her pacing long enough to model the dress for her friends. “It is our anniversary after all, and Twilight said that I should dress to impress!” She then laughed. “Luckily Ponyville doesn’t have many restaurants where it’s hard to impress…”
Fluttershy frowned. “Rarity!” she scolded, and her frown deepened when Rainbow snorted next to her.
“What! She’s not wrong.”
“I still don’t understand why she needed me to be ready at four,” Rarity continued with a huff, glancing up at a clock on the wall. She turned to her friends. “You four were apparently quite lucky with your timing. A little later and I’d be gone.”
“Well, yeah,” Rainbow said bluntly, patting the saddlebag next to her. “Did you really think we’d miss this?”
Rarity blinked. “...Miss this? Miss what exactly?”
“The day you and Twilight finally get together, duh!” Pinkie exclaimed, absolutely giddy. “I’m so excited, I could jump around the room!”
“Oh, I guess that’s exciting, too,” Rainbow said.
Rarity smiled at Pinkie. “Darling, you don’t have to ‘pretend’. That’s just between Twilight and moi.”
“Don’t matter none,” Applejack said, getting up and going to her friend. “Three years’ still plenty of time, and we all want to be here for the both of you.” She paused a moment and then, to Rarity’s shock, wiped away a tear. “I’m real proud of y’all.”
Rarity swallowed, oddly emotional. “Applejack, I…”
“Yup. Three years almost, and here I thought for sure Twilight would dump you after three months.”
“Applejack!” Rarity gasped, ignoring Rainbow’s roaring laughter. She took Applejack’s hat and playfully swatted her with it. “What is your problem?!”
“We are proud, Rarity,” Fluttershy said once Rarity’s righteous assault was done. “You and Twilight make a lovely couple… and…” And again, to Rarity’s surprise, now Fluttershy was tearing up too. She quickly wiped away at her tears. “Oh, I’m so sorry, I— I’m just so happy for you. Three years is so long, and you’re both so happy, and...”
“Aaaanyway!” Rainbow Dash cleared her throat and stepped towards Rarity. She placed a hoof on the bewildered unicorn’s shoulder. “...Rarity.”
“...Rainbow, are you going to cry too?”
“What? No, ew! Do you even know me?” Rainbow protested, gagging dramatically.
“Oh, thank the stars.”
“Listen, Rarity,” Rainbow continued, severely. “You’re going to have the best night ever.”
“The best night ever?” Rarity asked, intrigued.
“Like, ever. Trust me.”
Rarity hummed. “I hope you recall what happened the last time we deemed something ‘the best night ever’.”
“...Yeah, okay, just be like the rest of us and pretend that night didn’t happen. Anyway!” She patted Rarity on the shoulder again. “The best night. Ever.”
“I see. And do you know why this so called ‘best night ever’ is starting at three in the after—“
Three knocks interrupted her sentence, and she turned around towards the front door.
“Yeah, I do,” Rainbow said, taking a camera out of her saddlebag. “That’s why.”
Intrigued and admittedly, shall we say, thrilled by the anticipation her friends had built up, Rarity made her way towards the door, heart thundering in her chest. She stopped before it, took one last look, patted down her dress one last time, and then donned a dazzling smile as she opened the door to find…
A grinning, well-dressed, delighted Fancy Pants, standing in front of a massive carriage with several royal guards waiting to leave.
“Why, good afternoon, my dear!” he exclaimed, bowing his head. “Aren’t you looking ravishing today?”
“Sweet!” Rainbow exclaimed, lowering her camera and taking the photograph that came out. She shook it briefly, and after a moment admired Rarity’s wide-eyed, slack-jawed portrait. “Twilight’s going to love this!”
As Rainbow trotted off to take pictures of the carriage, Fancy lifted his hoof and closed Rarity’s mouth.
“Now, now, dear, gather your bearings and let’s hurry off before we’re late for take-off.”
“Take-off?” Rarity stammered.
Fancy laughed. “Well, of course! You don’t expect us to trot to Canterlot in an afternoon, do you? Silly girl.” He cleared his throat and gestured to the carriage, a guard immediately opening the door. “Your carriage awaits, Lady Rarity.”
Her heart hammering in her chest and a giddy laugh leaving her lips, Rarity stepped towards the carriage just as the rest of her friends came out of her house to send her off.
“Say hello to Twilight for us!” Fluttershy called out.
“Tell her we love her!” Pinkie yelled next, hopping up and down.
“Don’t have too much fun without us, ya hear?” Applejack said next, waving alongside the others.
Rarity stepped into the cabin and took a seat near the window, noticing a bottle of wine and two glasses atop the cabin table.
“The princess asked me to apologize on her behalf,” Fancy said as he stepped into the cabin, settling himself on the opposite seat. “She would have wanted to fetch you herself, but she has some preparations to finish in time for your dinner. Luckily for you, she’s asked me to keep you company during the trip.”
He uncorked the bottle and poured wine into the two glasses.
“Take your time with this. She’s only allowing you one glass.”
Rarity playfully raised an eyebrow, swishing the liquid in her glass. “She’s only ‘allowing’ me one glass?”
“Unfortunate, I know, dear, but she would like you to have most of your senses during dinner.”
“And I gather you won’t tell me what she’s planning?”
Fancy laughed with gusto. “I should think not! I quite enjoy sleeping in my bed and not in the dungeons. Though…” He nonchalantly adjusted his monocle. “You won’t believe which charming duchess landed herself with a night in the dungeons the other week.”
Rarity leaned in. “Who?”
He peered into his glass. “My wife.”
“Fleur spent the night in jail?! What in Equestria did she do?”
“Be herself!” He grinned and raised his glass. “A toast, my dear. To the loves of our lives.”
The hours flew by as they spoke, the two friends engaged in gossip as delicious as the wine. It went by so fast, in fact, she’d didn’t realize two hours had passed until the carriage landed on solid ground.
“Oh! We’re here!” she exclaimed, delighted.
She pushed the curtains aside, peered out the window. To her great surprise and confusion, they weren’t in front of the castle doors. In fact, they weren’t even in Canterlot at all. The carriage hadn’t even landed on a street. It had landed on a cobblestone road at the entrance of what seemed to be a forest.
She frowned. “This isn’t Canterlot.”
“Not precisely, no, but it is quite close to Canterlot.” He similarly peered out the window and gestured to the city, nestled on the side of the nearby mountain. “We’re just below it.”
Where were they having dinner, then…? Unless this forest was it? Were they having a picnic? That… Well, that was fine, of course! It was fine, but she was going to look rather silly wearing a full-blown gala dress for a picnic…
“Don’t look so disappointed, Rarity. We’re not there yet,” Fancy teased, settling back in his seat.
“Oh! Oh, goodness, I wasn’t disappointed!” Rarity lied, trying not to sound too relieved.
She settled back in her seat when they moved forward, passing by a sign pointing the way towards Lone Isle National Park. Ten minutes later, the carriage stopped again, but Rarity still couldn’t see anything promising. Just more forest.
“We’re here!” Fancy announced, standing up. He levitated a pocket-watch from his coat pocket and smiled. “And right on time.”
One of the guards opened the carriage door and stepped to the side.
“After you, my dear.”
Biting down on her lip, Rarity cautiously stepped out of the carriage and saw the entrance to the national park, its silver ornate gates protecting a beautiful garden still visible under the sunset.
However, these gardens that were beautiful and beckoned her towards them, could not hope to compare with the beauty of Princess Twilight Sparkle herself.
There she stood, looking as radiant as ever, quite literally transformed. Her long mane fell over the side of her shoulder, loosely tied together near the bottom with a silver ribbon. Not only that, but it was sparkling, too, as if by magic—which it probably was. Her eyes were accentuated by a modest amount of makeup—not too much, not too little, just enough. Her lovely coat was protected by her royal regalia, the golden collar and horseshoes bearing her insignia gleaming under the sunlight.
And finally, atop her head, complimenting this wonderful ensemble, was her crown.
She was gorgeous.
She was absolutely radiantly beautiful, and Rarity was too mesmerized to realize her rather unseemly blush.
“Close your mouth, dear,” Fancy said, laughing when a flustered Rarity immediately did so. He stepped towards Twilight and bowed down. “Your Highness! I’ve brought you your most prized possession, as requested!”
Twilight smiled, and it was perfect.
“Thank you, Fancy,” she said, her gaze moving towards the poor unicorn that was wholly unprepared for what the stallion added next.
“Do go easy on her, will you not? She has to be alive to finish my suit next week.”
“I will.” Twilight giggled, sparing Rarity her intense stare and turning it towards Fancy instead. She bowed her head slightly. “Really, thank you for all your help.”
“Twilight, it is entirely my pleasure,” he said, and after a bow to Rarity, he trotted off towards the carriage. “Happy anniversary, my dears!”
It wasn’t until the carriage wheeled off and they were well and truly alone that Twilight spoke up with a grin.
Alright, alright! Enough blushing like a filly! She was not about to be out-charmed by Twilight Sparkle!
With a clearing of her throat, Rarity grinned back.
“Twilight!” she exclaimed, looking straight at Twilight. “Don’t you look…” Almost immediately she looked away, a really quite unwanted blush spreading over her cheeks. “Mmmm.”
“What did you say?” Twilight innocently asked, probably trying not to sound as smug as she probably looked, damn her! “Don’t I look what, Rarity?”
“...Very pretty,” Rarity squeaked, ashamed by her complete transformation into a flustered school-filly faced with her crush.
“Is that why you can’t even look at me?” asked Twilight, and her laughter was beautiful, and wonderful, and unfair, and even more so when she added, “You look beautiful.”
The most unrefined giggle left her lips, until finally she could take it no more.
“Pause sim! Pause sim!” she exclaimed, before stepping up to Twilight, not even trying to hide her attraction. She placed a hoof over Twilight’s chestplate and fluttered her eyelashes. “Twilight. Twi-light Spar-kle. My, my, my.”
Twilight leaned in, delighted. “Yes?”
“You really want to make up for your first confession, don’t you?”
Twilight laughed, leaning in.
“Maybe,” she said. “And maybe I also want to win that bet on outromancing you.”
“Darling, dearest, keep this up, and you might have a winning chance,” Rarity whispered, moving forward, her lips inches apart from Twilight’s. So close, in fact, that Twilight was already closing her eyes for a kiss, which was unfortunately replaced with: “Play sim!”
And just like that, Rarity pushed herself away from her marefriend and became just a friend, thank you very much, gasping as she looked around.
“Twilight! You’ve outdone yourself!” she exclaimed. “Whoever this mystery pony that you’re trying to seduce is, I hardly doubt this won’t have her swooning already.”
She cantered over to the closed silver gates, poking her muzzle through the empty spaces.
“What’s next?” She looked back and fluttered her eyelashes. “A romantic stroll down the park.”
Twilight smiled, her horn crackling and opening the gates just as Rarity stepped back.
“After you, Lady Rarity.”
Truth be told, Rarity couldn’t figure out why such a lovely park would be given a dreary name such as Lone Isle National Park.
A stone path guided visitors through a labyrinth of beautiful flowers of all shapes and colors, each and every one tinted with the pink hue emanating from the dozens of magical pink paper lanterns floating around.
Silently admiring the garden, Rarity and Twilight walked side-by-side, far enough they weren’t actually touching, but close enough Rarity found herself longing to close the distance between them. Her tail swung behind her, itching to intertwine with Twilight’s.
Which she could, if she wanted. In fact, if she really wanted, she could simply close the distance between their coats, and that would be the end of it.
But she didn’t, because there was a thrill to be had in feeling deprived of her marefriend. Three years of having her way with Twilight Sparkle had made her forget what it felt like to long for the alicorn, to have her heart hammer at the idea of something as chaste as tails brushing against one another.
She’d missed it. But what was ‘it’?
It wasn’t being ‘in love’ because being in love, really, wasn’t this giddy, hormonal desire to be physically affectionate and swoon oneself into oblivion. Being in love was a choice, something you committed to each and every day. It was decisions you made that were sometimes very nice, but could also sometimes be hard. Very, very hard.
So, if being ‘in love’ isn’t what she missed, then she could only surmise that, as silly as it sounded...
She missed having a crush on Twilight.
With that in mind, she turned to her crush for the night and found her looking out into the garden, her beautiful face marred with a rather pronounced frown. Not the one Twilight sported when she was upset, but the one Rarity saw when the alicorn was working on a particularly difficult test.
“A bit for your thoughts, Princess?”
“Oh!” Twilight exclaimed, coming to. “Sorry, did I zone out? Were you saying something?”
“No, no. Just noting you look, shall we say, concerned.” She giggled and fluttered her eyelashes. “Are you nervous about confessing to our mystery mare?”
Twilight smiled. “...I guess you could say that,” she conceded. She looked back towards the path, her ears lowering slightly as she added, “Pretty nervous, actually. Are you—Er, I mean, do you...” She turned to Rarity, looking somewhat embarrassed. “Do you think she’d like this so far?”
Rarity’s heart swelled with affection. Goodness, was Twilight actually nervous?
“I do,” she said, sincerely, because she more than liked it. “In fact! If she isn’t already madly in love with you, I can promise you she will be after this.”
Twilight nodded, reassured, and it was too adorable. She really had been nervous!
“Good!” she said, idly levitating a single violet that had fallen from a nearby plant. She frowned yet again. “...Good.”
Rarity hummed softly, taking in the view. “Anything else?”
“Anything else? No, that was it. Why do you ask?”
“Mmm, what was it that I told you last year when we visited Trottingham?” Rarity asked, her magic interlacing with Twilight’s and relieving the alicorn of her flower. “‘Like a good picture book, dear…”
Twilight blushed, rolling her eyes. “...’you’re easy to read’. Right.”
She stuck out her tongue when the unicorn laughed.
“Come now, Princess,” Rarity prompted, tucking the flower behind her ear. “Would you like to discuss with the fabulous lady Rarity what’s ailing your brilliant mind?”
“I… How do you know you’re making the right choice?”
Rarity cocked her head to the side. “The right choice? Regarding our mystery mare?”
“Well! You just know!” she said theatrically.
“In your heart?” Twilight added, playfully.
“Precisely! You look at them, and you know it’s the right choice. There is no doubt about it.”
“And… what if there is doubt?” Twilight carefully asked, every word measured. “What if you don’t ‘just know’ it’s the right choice?”
And now, at this, Rarity stopped.
“...What do you mean?” she asked, watching as Twilight similarly stopped. “You don’t think confessing to this mare is the right choice?”
“That’s not what I said,” Twilight quickly corrected, and my, my! Either she was a fantastic actress, or was that real anxiety on her face? How slightly concerning! “I didn’t say I don’t think it’s the right choice. I said I don’t… I don’t know if it's the right choice. Which is why I’m asking you for advice.”
Rarity smiled thinly. “Ah. I see. Hm. Well, I… Hrm… Pause sim!”
“Huh? Pause si—?”
“Twilight,” Rarity interrupted. “Darling, dearest, are you trying to tell me something? Should I be concerned?”
“What? Rarity! No, of course not!” she exclaimed, flustered.
“You don’t know if you want to date me?”
“Rarity! I’m… I’m…” She faltered and made a haphazard gesture with her hoof. “I’m trying to be accurate, that’s all! Do you really think the day I confessed to you, I wasn’t thinking of fifty reasons why it was maybe the wrong choice?”
Twilight stared. “Really.”
And now, Rarity faltered. “...Alright, I suppose it would be out of character for you to not overthink this a tad, yes.”
Twilight smiled. “Exactly. So, if you want an anxiety-free confession, that’s not a simulation, Rarity.” She fluttered her eyelashes. “It’s a fantasy.”
“Well! Well, it’s your fault entirely, Twilight. With how romantic this all is, I thought it was a fantasy,” she replied in kind, sticking out her tongue in an entirely unladylike fashion. “But alright, alright, my little miss anxiety. Play sim.”
She cleared her throat and continued.
“You were saying, dear?”
“I was saying,” Twilight repeated with a smile she quickly erased as she resumed their walk, “how do you know you’re making the right choice?”
Rarity fell silent, taking in the question as if Twilight had sincerely asked it. Maybe she was actually asking, and if so then she deserved a thoughtful reply.
Rarity herself thankfully didn’t suffer the awful neuroses and anxieties that plagued her poor beloved, but three years of dating had at least taught her how to… not deal with them, for Twilight was never something to be dealt with, but rather something to deliberate with.
“It’s just such a big change, I guess,” Twilight continued. “And what if it goes wrong? What if we end up arguing over little things? Or we find out we don’t like each other? Or it wasn’t really what we thought it would be? What if it doesn’t work out?”
“What happens if it’s the most wonderful thing that’s ever happened to you?” Rarity asked, simply.
“What happens if you go on lovely dates? Or you find out you can stay up until six in the morning talking to her? Or that it was much better than you ever thought it could be?” She turned to Twilight and smiled. “How do you know it won’t work out?”
Twilight stopped. “I… I don’t.”
“Ahh. Precisely.” Rarity came to a stop in front of Twilight and playfully tapped her on the nose. “You don’t!”
Her horn lit up with magic and she plucked two violets from a plant, which she then floated up towards Twilight.
“As I see it, your highness, you have three options to pick from. The first—” She levitated one of the violets and tucked it behind Twilight’s left ear. “You tell her you like her, and you find yourself in a relationship that, yes, is not what you thought it would be, but you’re both mature enough to end it on amicable terms. The second—” She tucked the second violet behind Twilight’s right ear. “You tell her you like her, and you find yourself in a wonderful, happy relationship with a wonderful mare who loves and cherishes you. And the third—”
She plucked a red rose from a nearby bushel and levitated it in front of the princess.
“You don’t tell her! You don’t tell her because you’re not sure it’s the right choice, and losing the possibility of things going fabulously is alright with you, and you absolutely will have no regrets the day you see her dating somepony from her long line of suitors.” She giggled. “Now, indulge me and open wide, Princess Twilight.”
Frowning, and probably confused, Twilight opened her mouth and then playfully rolled her eyes when Rarity gently laid the stem inside and closed Twilight’s mouth with her hoof.
“Shall we continue?” she asked, trotting further off into the garden as Twilight took the rose out of her mouth.
“Long line of suitors?”
“Miles long!” She came to a stop just as Twilight caught up to her and then gestured to the horizon. “As far as the eye can see! All of them clamoring for my love!”
Twilight cuddled up against her, extending a wing over the unicorn and pulling her close. “That sounds like a lot of suitors.”
“Oh yes,” Rarity said, nodding quite seriously, trying not to smile when Twilight nuzzled her. “You’ll have to beat them away with sticks.”
“Mmm. I’m sure I can find a different way of letting them know you’re taken,” Twilight said. “A princess beating ponies with sticks wouldn’t be great optics.”
Rarity sighed into the affectionate gesture, allowing herself a comfortable moment with her beloved. The sun had already set and the moon had risen instead, bathing the gardens and the two mares in its soft light.
It was a perfect, romantic moment shared up until she remembered that, actually, Twilight Sparkle was not yet her beloved!
“Now then,” she exclaimed, moving forward into the garden, Twilight’s wing sliding off her back. “What do you have planned next for your potential lover? More of this moonlit stroll? A—” She trailed off, her ears twitching at the distant faint sound of music. She looked over her shoulder at Twilight, excited. “A dance, perhaps…?”
Twilight simply smiled, gesturing her forward with a hoof.
With a rush of excitement, Rarity cantered further ahead until the path led her not towards a different section of the garden, but a lake.
Waiting right in the middle of Lone Isle National Park was Lake Delorne, a glistening lake reflecting the beautiful starry night sky. Furthermore, floating on this lake were dozens and dozens of lit candles inside of hoof-carved wooden boats. The lake, it seemed, had stars of its own.
What was truly interesting about this lake, however, and in fact was the namesake for the park itself, was the islet right in the middle of it. A cozy little secluded spot upon which Rarity could see somepony had set a dinner table, a small buffet, and a magical gramophone that filled the park with gentle music.
She was at a loss for words. It was right out of a fairytale.
“So!” Twilight exclaimed, stepping up next to the unicorn. “What do you think?”
“Twilight, you…” Rarity reached out to Twilight with a hoof, needing some sort of support. “This is…” She let go and rushed forward to the edge of the lake, taking it all in. It was incredible. And it was legitimately shocking. “Pause sim!” She turned to her, stunned. “You did this? You did all of this for a fake confession?!”
Twilight giggled. “No, I did this for our anniversary.”
“Oh! Yes.” Rarity frowned. “That. I forgot about that.”
Twilight snorted. “Wow.”
“When did you even have time to plan all of this?” Rarity continued, looking back towards the water.
“When I was in Canterlot for a week,” she explained, joining the unicorn at the edge of the water. “Somepony special was visiting Canterlot too, and when I told her what I wanted to do, she offered to help.”
Rarity blinked. “Somepony special? Who?”
Twilight simply smiled.
Her horn crackled with magic and a flare shot out, bursting into multicolored lights in the air. A minute later, a light appeared over the lake, belonging to what seemed to be a small, fast-approaching boat carrying two ponies in it.
When it finally came to a stop before them, Rarity was treated to the sight of a familiar waiter and waitress, both dressed in stunning suits.
“Hello, ladies,” greeted Shining Armor with a flashy smile, leaning off the side of the boat. He gestured towards the boat. “Your golden loveboat awaits.”
“Shining Armor! Cadance!” Rarity gasped, delighted.
Twilight frowned. “Our what?”
“Shiny!” Cadance exclaimed. “That’s not what we practiced!” She cleared her throat and stepped up to them. “Good evening, Rarity and Twilight. My name is Cadenza Mi Amore and I’ll be your lovely waitress for tonight.”
“And I’m Shining Armor,” the stallion said next, “and I’ll be whatever she needs me to be.”
Rarity laughed, pressing herself against Twilight. “Well, well, well. First Fancy, and now this lovely couple? Shall I anticipate Princess Celestia and Princess Luna making a guest appearance later tonight, as well?”
“No,” Twilight said, watching as Shining Armor helped Rarity up into the boat. “But you can thank Princess Luna for the extra stars in the sky.”
Once everypony was safe inside the boat, Shining Armor rowed them away.
“So, Rarity,” he said, “you’re here to help my little sister score with the mare she likes, huh?”
Rarity laughed. “That is the plan, yes.” She turned to Twilight and brushed back her bangs. “Give our little bookworm here an edge romance-wise, mm?”
“I’m doing pretty well on my own,” Twilight pouted.
“And have you met her?” the stallion continued, rowing them towards the islet. “What do you think of her? Do you think she’ll be good enough for Twily? I heard she’s a heart-breaker.”
“...Have you, now?” asked the heartbreaker, not missing sight of Twilight’s amused expression. “Imagine that!”
Shining nodded. “It’s all true.”
“I think she’s a wonderful mare for Twilight,” Cadance interjected. “She’s sophisticated, smart, generous, a businessmare, and has a great sense of fashion, too! I think she’ll be—” She giggled. “A fabulous sister-in-law.”
“She’ll be dazzling, I’m sure,” Rarity replied, able to put on a winning smile despite her flustered pleasure and Twilight’s absolutely delighted teasing grin.
“I guess you’re right,” Shining conceded. “And she has a great mane, too.”
“She has a fantastic mane,” Twilight added. “It smells great. And her coat is so soft.”
“It looks soft!” Cadance agreed. “And remember when we visited you last month, she sang Flurry that one lullaby? She has a lovely voice. It almost put me to sleep.”
Shining laughed. “It did put you to sleep!”
“My, doesn’t this mare sound wonderful?” Rarity said, burning with pleasure, and even more so when a smitten Twilight sidled up to her and nuzzled her.
“She is wonderful.”
Thankfully, Rarity was spared—or deprived—of another string of teasing compliments when the boat reached its destination. As soon as they disembarked, Cadance ushered them towards the table, her excitement palpable. Shining, on the other hand, occupied himself with getting the food.
Two lavender linen sitting pillows were placed at opposite sides of the candlelit dinner table, which Rarity and Twilight promptly occupied. Moments later, Shining levitated over a few covered silver platters and placed them in the middle of the table.
“Your dinner, ladies. Kept warm and brought to you straight from Canterlot Castle’s kitchens.”
“And your drinks,” Cadance said next, pouring wine into their glasses. “And your dessert is waiting at the buffet table for whenever you’re ready.”
And then they both stood there, absolutely delighted, until Twilight politely cleared her throat.
“Oh!” exclaimed the embarrassed couple.
“Well, girls, we’ll let you be now, but Twilight can throw a flare if you need us to come back,” Cadance said, stepping back. She smiled brilliantly. “Happy anniversary.”
“Thank you for everything, really,” Rarity said, Twilight nodding in agreement.
“It’s our pleasure,” Cadance insisted. She turned to her husband. “Isn’t it, Shining Arm—Oh, Shiny…”
To Rarity’s surprise, Shining Armor’s eyes were filled with tears, affectionately looking on at the young couple.
“Ah, sorry! Sorry,” he quickly apologized, wiping his eyes. “I’m just— just—” And again he teared up, prompting Cadance to pull him into a winged hug.
“He always gets a little emotional with these things,” she explained, tenderly laughing when he again wiped his eyes.
“Okay! I’m good!” he promised, taking a breath and shaking it off. He offered a teary grin. “Ladies. Have a great dinner, and Twily—” He looked to his sister and winked. “Good luck confessing to this mystery mare.”
“Thanks, B.B.B.F.F.,” she said, returning his affectionate smile triplefold.
They watched the royal couple board the boat and row off, and once they were far away enough, Rarity dedicated the whole of her attention on Twilight.
“Pause sim.” She fluttered her eyelashes. “Darling, dearest, love of my life, are we expecting any more visitors tonight?”
“No, we’re not.” Twilight laughed, her magic enveloping the lids and lifting them up. “It’s just you and me now.”
Dinner went by rather quickly, the two mares chatting about nothing and everything, their little game of pretend briefly put on pause as they enjoyed their meal.
Saffron-infused risotto was the first course, a slightly spicy meal that went along wonderfully with their conversation regarding Fleur’s night in jail. To compliment it, there were some bowls on the side that held crackers and plentiful servings of foie grass and other expensive mixes, most of these quickly disappearing as they talked about their friends, Twilight’s meetings next month, and Rarity’s plans for her shops.
It wasn’t until nearly the end of the dinner that they indulged in the guiltiest of Princess Twilight’s pleasures: steaming hot, salted fries dripping with truffled garlic aioli.
“I hope you’re leaving some room for dessert, darling,” Rarity teased, watching as Twilight deposited yet another fry into her mouth.
“I am,” Twilight said wiping her mouth with a napkin. “That was the last one.” She levitated another fry. “After this one.”
Rarity raised an eyebrow. “Mhm.”
“It was!” Twilight insisted, yet her wandering eyes roaming the fries betrayed her.
Rarity laughed, endeared. Well, it was their anniversary, and who was she to resist making her beloved happy?
Her horn lit up, and two fries levitated towards the alicorn.
“After these two,” she said, feeding them to Twilight before putting the lid back on the platter and levitating the entire thing towards the buffet table. She then noticed there was another silver covered platter, presumably storing the dessert—and wrapped it in her magic. “Shall we start with the dessert?”
“Oh, uh, I’m not really in a rush,” Twilight quickly said. “Maybe in a little bit? Or, actually—” She cleared her throat and then grinned. “Play sim.”
With an excited gasp, Rarity put down the dessert platter and set her full attention on Twilight, trying not to sound too giddy. She was, after all, helping a dear friend here! Twilight Sparkle wanted to confess her endless devotion to the mare of her grandest dreams, and as her wonderful friend, Rarity wanted to help her make it perfect~!
“So, your highness, you’ve flown your date out to Canterlot on a royal carriage. Afterwards, you’ve brought her to a lonely island in the middle of the park for a beautiful candle-lit dinner under the stars.” She lifted her wine and swirled it in her glass. “I daresay our dazzling mystery mare is very lucky indeed to have you.”
“Thanks, Rarity.” Twilight beamed. “I worked very hard on planning this.”
“Well! With a buildup this lavish, I can’t help but wonder what comes next!” She gestured with her hoof, excited. “Come now! What is it? Don’t keep me in suspense, dearest.”
Twilight smiled, embarrassed.
“Right! So. Uhm. At this point of the dinner, we’d be done with the main course and should be starting the dessert, so let me, uhm, one second—” She levitated the dessert platter and brought it to the table. “Okay. So. We’d have the dessert platter, and then…”
“I’d have a speech for her,” Twilight proudly declared, frowning when Rarity laughed gently. “What? What’s wrong?”
“Nothing, nothing, darling! That’s just very you. I love it.” Again, she urged Twilight on with an excited gesture. “Go on, go on!”
“Well, uh, so… I was hoping I could practice it on you? Maybe you can give me feedback or advice on what to improve? I’m good at academic writing, not…”
“Grand declarations of undying love?” Rarity offered, innocently.
“That, yes. So! Will you help me?”
Rarity gasped, putting a hoof on her chest. “Twilight! I’d love to! And here is your first piece of advice.” She held out her hoof and when Twilight put hers on top of it, she continued. “Be yourself. I am not this mare, but if I were, anything that comes from your brilliant mind would be more than perfect.”
What a lovely blush decorated Twilight’s cheeks, perfectly matching her smitten expression.
She took back her hoof and then exhaled a deep breath, steadying herself.
“Rarity, I—I, er...” She stumbled on her words, and her still present blush intensified, and it was wonderful. “I… Uhm… Ah…”
Rarity couldn’t stop grinning, absolutely enamoured. Was Twilight actually nervous to re-confess? Rarity was torn between feeling sorry and being delighted. Goodness, she really did love her silly little princess.
“You can do it,” she encouraged teasingly, blowing Twilight a kiss when she gave her a pointed stare.
Twilight took another breath and restarted the speech.
“It’s… It’s hard for me to be a princess. I mean! It’s easy when I know what to do, and I’ve studied for this, and I’ve prepared, and everything, but—! It’s a lot. It’s a lot, and even though things can go right, they can also go wrong. Really, really wrong. Like diplomatic scandal that results in a war with a neighboring country kind of wrong.”
“I would say that’s rather a bit of a worst case scenario, don’t you think?”
“Yes, but it could happen! And then I’d… I’d… Uhm…” And she faltered again, trailing off until she groaned, looking more than frustrated.
“Twilight?” Rarity asked, her delight quickly vanishing. “What’s wrong?”
“I’m messing up. Again.” Twilight smiled thinly. “I just… This is harder than I thought it would be.” Her ears pressed against her head. “Sorry, I just… I need a minute.”
“Wait, wait, Twilight, sweetheart,” Rarity quickly said, reaching out with a hoof. Yes, this game had been fun, but if it wasn’t fun, then she didn’t want to make Twilight play it. “Twilight. We don’t have to do this. Wait, wait. Pause si—”
“No!” Twilight interrupted. “No, please, wait, I—! I really love her, Rarity.”
And at that, Rarity quickly withdrew her hoof, allowing Twilight to continue.
“But it’s scary. It’s almost as scary as being a princess. Or a diplomatic scandal. Does that make sense? It sounds silly! A relationship being more scary than a, what? A war with another country?” She paused. “Does our fight against Tirek count as a war? Or maybe the war against Chrysalis? Technically they’re another country.”
“Darling, are we perhaps straying away from the topic?” Rarity politely pointed out.
“Right! Right. Anyway.” She took a breath and pushed on. “I… I was worried about doing something wrong. Or just anything going wrong. Anything! Our relationship, our communication issues, or my duties to the kingdom getting in the way, or her career making it impossible for us to be together, or— Or, I don’t know! I could make a list of all the things that could go wrong, and it would be a mile long.”
Twilight raised her hoof, and immediately Rarity fell silent.
“But today,” the princess continued, cheeks red, flustered but determined. “Today I met with one of my closest friends in the world. The only pony who I feel I can tell her everything that’s wrong, and she’ll always know what to do.” She looked straight into Rarity’s eyes. “I would trust her with my life.”
And Rarity couldn’t help the smile so wide it made her cheeks hurt.
“I told her what I thought. And what I was afraid of. What if it doesn’t work out? And she told me…”
“What if it does?” Rarity whispered, her chin resting on her hooves as she giggled with delight and love and all sorts of emotions when Twilight’s eyes sparkled with tears and so did hers.
“Right.” Twilight said with a laugh. “What if it does? What if it’s the best thing I’ve ever done? What if we have a—” She stumbled on her words, grinning as much as Rarity. “What if we have a fantastic relationship? Or she stays up until six in the morning sewing so she can listen to me read her my referendums and essays and books? Or I get to have her take me to her favorite fashion shows, or she helps me with all the things I don’t understand about high society, and—” She took a breath, giggling affectionately when Rarity sniffled rather loudly. “Or what if one day we decide to play pretend and she lets me re-confess? What if she’s the best decision I ever make?”
“That really does sound lovely,” Rarity said between sniffles, wiping away at her eyes for the sixth time, absolutely and quite desperately in love.
“So! So, with that in mind, I’ve finally made my decision.”
She took a breath, and so did Rarity as well. Take a breath to declare her absolutely, totally stunned shock at Twilight Sparkle liking her!
“Rarity,” Twilight said, “I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
Rarity giggled like a schoolfilly. “Gasp!” she exclaimed “Twilight, I feel the same wa—”
She cut herself off, her mind processing what exactly Twilight just said.
And my, my, my, her heart nearly leapt out of her chest when Twilight’s magic enveloped the dessert lid.
“Twilight? Twilight?!” she said with a gasp that was now quite, quite real when Twilight Sparkle lifted the lid away, and Rarity covered her mouth with her hooves.
There before her was the most wonderful assortment of chocolates, and cakes, and all kinds of delicacies. Delicious treats that formed a circle and highlighted the open purple jewelry box in the middle, proudly displaying two diamond horn-rings.
“Twilight?! Twilight Sparkle?!” Rarity gasped, standing up, rocked to her core. What? W-H-A-T? “Twilight, is this a joke? What is this? Are you joking? Twilight Sparkle, if this is your idea of a prank, I will kill you. Twilight?!”
And Princess Twilight Sparkle smiled as she said:
Rarity could only stare in muted, teary silence as her world entire stood up and made her way around the table, the purple box floating up in the air. This explained everything, didn’t it? The girls. Shining and Cadance.
“Rarity,” she said, her eyes sparkling with giddy tears as she bowed down and presented the box, “will you do me the honor of letting me be your wife?”
“Yes,” Rarity whispered, and then yelled it out for the world, for Equestria, for everypony to hear as she threw herself at Twilight, the both of them toppling down onto the ground. “Yes, yes, yes, Twilight Sparkle, a thousand times yes!” She peppered her beloved with delirious kisses before finally burying herself in the alicorn’s embrace. “Oh, darling, dearest, yes.”
And her happy little princess laughed, holding her close in silence for about a minute until she cleared her throat.
“Uhm… I do have another question, though…”
Rarity leaned back, wiping her eyes. “And what is that?”
Twilight giggled. “Sooooo, I’m guessing this means I won the bet, right?”
As it turned out, Rarity thought to herself, lounging on a couch in Canterlot Castle’s library five years later, Twilight Sparkle had made the right decision that day. Five years they’d been married, and barring a few fights, a few disagreements, and one accidental Arimaspi invasion, those five years had been wonderful.
She looked to the desk nearby, where the Sovereign Queen of Equestria frowned through her glasses at the scroll she was writing on.
“I was thinking about our anniversary,” she said, closing the book she was reading. “And something occurred to me.”
The queen didn’t look up. “Mhm.”
“Well, it occured to me that, frankly, I’m rather upset about it.”
“Upset?” Twilight asked, finally turning to her, her concerned frown now directed at her wife. “Upset about our anniversary?”
“No. Upset that you were the one to do every single one of all the big romantic gestures in our relationship! It’s unfair!”
“...What? What do you mean?”
“Think about it! You got to confess you liked me, then you got to confess yet again, and then you proposed that same night!” She sat up and pressed a hoof against her chest. “Why don’t I get to do anything!”
Twilight laughed, putting her quill down. “I guess that’s true, isn’t it? I’m sorry, Rarity. Since you’re the big romantic, I always thought you’d want me to woo you.”
Rarity fell back onto the couch. “That’s true, but… I don’t know! Proposing is a once in a lifetime thing! I’ll never get to do it now!”
And then her eyes grew wide.
“Unless…” She sat back up and gave her wife the single most dazzling smile she could muster. “Play sim?”
Twilight blinked. “Play si—Oh. Don’t be silly,” she said, amused right up until Rarity’s dazzling smile had changed to a pleading expression. Her frown returned. “Oh. You’re being serious.”
“Darling! You got a do-over!” she protested, before bringing back her pleading expression, ears pressing against her head, lips jutting. “Won’t you hear me out? First, we get a lawyer, and then—”
Twilight frowned. “Rarity.”
“Twilight! It’s just a fake divorce!”