“Emergency frilly disguises?”
“Life-size Wonderbolt plush?”
“Game plan—W-wait, what?”
Rainbow Dash stopped pacing in the middle of the cleared floor, checklist in hoof, to gawk at Pinkie as she blushed and tried to stuff her Spitfire doll back under the bed. Her jaw opened to speak, but a cautious hoof reached up and closed it without another word. I-I’m not even going to ask. Tossing the checklist to the side, Rainbow Dash picked up a folded disguise from the floor.
“Ugh, dresses.” Rainbow Dash gagged as she picked up her choice. Pinkie Pie’s emergency disguise was modeled after Rarity’s casual wear: a blue bonnet with a floral design and a hot pink summer dress. Lifting the dress to examine it made Rainbow blush as she took in the skirt’s length. This is… really short.
She shook her head and took a deep breath, resisting the building heat of frustration.
Sacrifices have to be made.
Twenty minutes later…
Rainbow Dash grit her teeth. Once again, she tried to stretch her wings to cover her cutie mark as the occasional glance at her short skirt grated on her last nerves. The colors were nice, and the multi-colored frills matched her mane, but it wasn’t her style. Not at all.
Fortunately, few ponies recognized her thanks to the bonnet hiding all but a red lock of her signature mane. Her tail was the obvious give-away, but the tacky outfit deflected any curious gazes. At least she got to wear her cherished sunglasses. That they served to conceal her further was just an added bonus.
Shifting her anxious hooves, her pent-up energy begging to be released, Rainbow Dash waited and waited for Pinkie Pie to rendezvous. Nothing interesting was happening as far as she could tell while waiting by the stone water fountain. Blowing the stray lock of hair out of her eyelashes, Rainbow Dash leaned her shoulder against the cold stone and watched the passing crowd.
Derpy, now on her afternoon run, was dragging along a thundercloud for delivery. Flying a few heads above the grounded residents, the boggled mailmare drenched the innocent public in stray rainfall and paraded static electricity on those she passed over. Rainbow Dash couldn’t help but giggle when Snips’ and Snails’ horns acted as lightning rods.
No major injuries, of course, allowing Rainbow Dash to snap a picture of the singed—and now, naked—pink colts on the sly. Scoots is going to love that one! she thought as she watched Derpy apologize and explain that she was late, heading to the outskirts of town, and had no time to rain on the colts’ naked parade.
Watching the colts run away brought a smirk to her face, but time was still of the essence. Rainbow Dash checked her watch, bored once again. For somepony that could keep up with the fastest pegasus in Equestria, even to the mountainside for some reason, Pinkie Pie could take a while getting ready.
Well, she is a girl, Rainbow Dash thought. Girls take forever to get ready, right? She chuckled and checked her watch. Then it hit her. Her eyes snapped wide open. Wait. I’m a girl! Am I taking too fast to get ready? I don’t do makeup like Rarity—that’s filly business—but am I doing it wrong? Is that why Cloudchaser doesn’t like me? She looked down at her dress and then to the skirt. She sighed. Yeah, no. Speed over frills any day, bud.
“Who you talking to, Dashie?”
“Nopony, just my—Wait, Pinkie?” Rainbow Dash shook her head as pink filled her vision. She backed away and blinked to take a proper look at her disguised friend. Black tuxedo, pants, red bowtie, fake mustache, and a top hat the height of Spike gave Pinkie Pie the appearance of a villain. Rainbow Dash snorted, her wings fluttering at her sides and messing with her frills.
Of course she’d make me dress like Rarity and then dress like some old film villain, she thought with a grimace. Images of being helplessly tied to railroad tracks flashed through her mind, forcing her to shake her head clear.
“Why—er, why are you blushing, Dashie?” Pinkie Pie asked, dropping her voice an octave.
Rainbow Dash shot her a wide-eyed stare.
“What?” Pinkie Pie said, staring back. Her eyes flickered to Rainbow Dash’s dress, then, to her eyes. An empathetic sparkle burst in her eyes. She pounded her chest, coughed into her other hoof, smacked her lips, and said, “Sorry about that. Was the font too much?”
Rainbow Dash stared, jaw hanging down, and slowly nodded.
“Okey dokey lokey!” Pinkie Pie cheered as she began bouncing down the city streets with Rainbow Dash in tow, attracting the stares of a few curious passersby. Curious as in wondering why Professor Sinister was escorting an incognito mare of mystery. Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes and strolled along.
“So, let me get the plan straight one last time!” Pinkie Pie said as they turned a corner past Sugarcube Corner. “We’re dressed up to spy on Rarity through her window so if anypony sees us, they don’t know our names immediately, so they won’t say anything, and Rarity won’t know we’re here. If anypony stops us, we’ll just tell them we’re pulling a prank on Rarity and force ‘em to stay quiet. One way or another…” Pinkie Pie paused to rub her hooves together and twirl her mustache.
“Right, and then—”
“And then we’re gonna sneak into Carousel Boutique as soon as we learn each and every one of her habits, like that one thing she does with her eyes whenever Applejack touches a dress or that one time Twilight had an ‘oopsie’ when practicing her magic on gemstones and Spike puked on her new shoes, and then we slip whoopee cushions in her drama couch, enter dramatically, and say we’re the fashion police, here to stop a crime against fashion!”
Rainbow Dash sighed and wiped her forehead. “Yeah, that. Pinkie—”
Pinkie Pie tackled Rainbow Dash and dove into a nearby bush, holding a hoof onto Rainbow Dash’s muzzle. She lifted the other to her own mouth. “Shh…”
Rainbow Dash raised an eyebrow, but ceased to struggle. They adjusted in the bush to give her room to stand; then, they peeked out of the bush, into the nearest window—the boutique’s window. Inside was their target: Rarity.
There she was, Ponyville’s fashionable mare of fabulosity, sewing clothes of fashion to become fabulous for all to wear. Her trusty assistant, Spike, followed her and carried piles of fabric as she examined her mannequins. Rarity ordered him about, oblivious to his herculean patience. Spike obeyed her every word, quietly pining for her. To Rainbow Dash, it stirred something warm in her chest as she leaned on the windowsill and sighed.
When will he confess already? she thought to herself, scratching behind her ear with a hoof. Eh, whatever. We’re gonna have to get him out of the way. We wouldn’t want to have collateral damage or something.
“Oh, are we going to have a pillow fight, and you don’t want Spike to get a noseblee—”
“Hm…” Rainbow Dash hummed as she stroked her chin, Pinkie Pie quietly fondling her mustache beside her. Something buzzed at the back of her mind, a nagging urge to satisfy her curiosity. She reached into her dress’ chest folds and pulled out her hidden goggles, secretly strapped around her neck, and brought the lens to her eyes. Her vision, despite the clear sight presented by the enchanted goggles, flashed pink as the magic took hold.
Ribbons, two velvety ribbons floated inside the boutique. Frayed and tattered, one was noticeably smaller, about half the size than the other. Ironically enough, or as Rainbow Dash thought, the smaller one belonged none other than the charmer herself. Rainbow Dash cocked her head and watched the ribbons’ bizzare behavior; Spike’s ribbon twirled around Rarity’s, only to be slapped away. Then, Rarity’s ribbon would approach the Spike’s, only to dart away whenever it felt trapped by the larger entity. All this repeated in a pattern, as if two invisible ponies were twirling batons in a synchronized ritual dance.
Rainbow Dash shook her head and dropped the goggles inside her dress. She nudged Pinkie Pie, still absorbed with her mustache twirling, and the two dropped away from the windowsill to enter the boutique.
Rainbow Dash pounded the door, and waited. Pinkie Pie nudged her shoulder.
“So, did you memorize her each and every move? I was too busy playing with Mister Mustache and I forgot,” she said, her ears drooping as she frowned. “Did you?”
The door swung open just before Rainbow Dash muttered, “Yeah.”
Rarity stood at the door, raising her foreleg and beckoning them in with a smile. “Come on in, darlings. Carousel Boutique is open to all, no matter your…” she lifted her chin and leered at their attire, judging, “...tastes.”
Pinkie Pie tipped her hat before Rainbow Dash could intervene. “Why thank you, madam. May we, oh! May we enter your premises to bestow our wonder among your bejeweled and renowned wears so we may know the almighty beauty that is fair Rarity?”
“Of course!” Rarity giggled, holding her hoof to her mouth. “You’re always welcome here, Pinkie Pie. I have a new order to fill, and you’re just the girl to help! Come in!” She fired up her horn and pushed the two inside her boutique, slamming the door behind them. Rainbow Dash quietly fumed about the pointlessness of their disguises.
Spike approached, a large stack of uncut fabric still in his arms. A sapphire hue glowed around the fabric and lifted it away, giving him a chance to rub the knots out of his shoulders.
Rarity smiled down at her little helper and kneeled down to eye-level. “Thank you so much, Spikey-Wikey. But Pinkie Pie is here, thank goodness, and I need her to model for me. You’ve should take a well-deserved break. Go take any gem of your liking and get some rest. You’ve earned it!” She leaned forward and pecked his cheek.
Spike blushed as his pupils dilated and sparkled. He brought his claws to his chin and squeaked before scurrying off, only stopping at her chest of gems to grab a shining diamond, and then returning to his path outside. He stopped by to greet Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie with a salute on his way, and slammed the door shut in his continued, frenzied rush.
The three mares exchanged glances, but not another word about it was said.
Rarity got to work, stripping Pinkie Pie of her clothes with magic and examining her figure with measuring tape. She circled around Pinkie Pie as Rainbow Dash stepped away and reached for her goggles.
“Hm, excellent,” Rarity said as she set aside her measuring tape and lifted a folded piece of green fabric. She unfurled it, revealing a plain green dress, and slipped it on Pinkie Pie. “Perfect, this base will fit her just nicely. All I need is the white fabric, and we’ll have the perfect we—”
“How about now, Dashie? Can we do it now? Now? Now?” Pinkie Pie chattered, vibrating in her dress as Rarity struggled to stitch the back and flank area.
Rainbow Dash moved to signal, or give a cryptic answer, but Rarity beat her to the punch.
“Do you happen to be trying to prank me, darling?” Rarity mused as dug her needle into Pinkie Pie’s dress rather forcefully, causing Pinkie Pie to wince. A poke wasn’t enough to hurt, but enough to get the point across. “I sure hope you don’t plan on continuing that fruitless endeavor. I wouldn’t want any. Bad. Blood. Between. Us,” she said, punctuating each word with a cheeky prod of the needle on Pinkie’s flank.
Perfect, now’s my chance! Rainbow Dash smirked as she lifted the goggles from her chest and flipped them onto her eyes. The pleather strap gave her no difficulty this time, instead yielding to her efforts and wrapping snug on her head. Her vision flashed scarlet again before returning normal, as if the glass wasn’t there.
She strolled up beside Pinkie, whistling nonchalantly, and rested a hoof with Rarity glaring at her. Patting Pinkie Pie on the back, she grinned at Rarity. Rainbow Dash felt for the ribbon’s fabric, and held on with her hoof.
“Rainbow Dash, do you have anything you’d like to say?” Rarity asked, raising the needle with a daring glint in her eyes. “Or would you like me to adjust that horrid rag you call a dress?”
“Nope!” Rainbow Dash answered, honey on her tongue. “I just wanted to thank you for the wrapped present you left Pinkie Pie in the kitchen!” She smiled as Rarity looked at her with a frown.
Rarity clicked her tongue. “I don’t remember—”
“PRESENT!” Pinkie Pie shouted as she dashed away, free from Rarity’s needle. Before she could let the confusion settle, Rainbow Dash set to work. The ribbon she grasped before Pinkie dashed away was sliding in her hoof, but grabbing it with her teeth stopped it. The velvety strip grew tight, and Pinkie Pie bounced back like a tetherball.
Rarity’s eyes widened as she watched what appeared to be Pinkie Pie being thrown across the room by an unknown force. Rainbow Dash casually trotted to Rarity’s side, her teeth clenched to hold the invisible rope, and hugged her close. Rarity’s ears twitched, but she gave no resistance.
Rainbow Dash grabbed the small ribbon from Rarity’s chest, coaxing the unresponsive velvet with a hoof, and brought the two ribbons together. Quickly, before they could react, she tied them in a knot. Best. Prank. Ever.
The smirk was wiped of her face in a single white flash. Or more accurately, explosion. A white surge of magical energy illuminated the room, throwing Rainbow Dash across the room like a fluffy pillow. Her back slammed against the shelves of fabric, the impact reverberating across the construct and topping it down on Rainbow Dash. She rolled out the way in the nick of time, save for a red lock of hair. It tore at her skull, but she managed to free her scalp with a sharp tug.
Ouch, she thought, rolling onto her back and panting. It wasn’t like that last time. What gives? Her vision was currently shot, completely dark and blind to the world. She repeatedly blinked to speed up the recovery. Dizzy, she dragged herself upright and rubbed her eyes, fireworks flashing in her oculars. Sounds echoed in her hearing, but the ringing distorted them to no end, only further disorienting her. She slipped the goggles off and left them hanging on her neck.
Finally, at last, her vision cleared as the dark fog dissipated from her vision. Rainbow Dash rubbed her sore head as she looked to the middle of the room to the pranked couple. The two, rather than being attached by the lips, merely stood in place, blinking at one another.
“Ugh,” Rainbow Dash groaned as she stepped away from the wall and fallen bookcase. She shook her head and completely cleared her vision of any lingering anomalies. Noticing the two oblivious mares, she crossed her forelegs and pouted. “Hey! What gives! Pinkie?” What about the prank?
Pinkie Pie blinked, still dressed in the green dress Rarity had thrown on her. Without a word, she crouched down and slipped out of it. The dress fell into a neat fold, just as Pinkie’s mane fell into straight locks.
Rainbow Dash widened her eyes. That’s not good. Rather than intervene or merely gawk, she took the silent opportunity to reach for the forgotten camera, having fallen just outside the crash radius of the shelves.
“Oh woe to me, the damsel in distress!” Rarity cried, bringing a dramatic hoof to her forehead as she collapsed backward onto her drama couch. “To be stricken with a forbidden love! Paradise lost! Star-crossed! Dooooomed!” She rolled on her couch, dramatically flailing her limbs about as crocodile tears sprayed from her eyes. “This is a love that cannot be!”
Rainbow Dash crept forward and raised the camera to her eyes.
Pinkie Pie lunged forward and took Rarity’s hoof in her own, kneeling down on her hind legs. Rainbow Dash took the opportunity to start snapping photos. “Rarity!” she cried, genuine tears of dramatic ambiguity clouding her shimmering eyes. “Please! We can do this together! Like in that one movie where the two fillies from two families fell in love at first sight and they couldn’t be together because rivalry but they did anyway except we could kinda leave out the double—”
Click, click, click!
“Pinkie!” Rarity scolded, wiping her eyes dry. Click! “We would never! I would never want you to hurt yourself, never for somepony as unworthy as me. You deserve somepony worthy of your grace, your beauty.” She sniffed, her muzzle completely dampened with misery. Rubbing her red, swollen eyes, she continued. “To love another mare, for that is forbidden love. We cannot be, dear Pinkamena.”
Her sniffling ceased; Pinkie’s demeanor became grim and serious. “Yes, yes we can, Rarity. I would do anything.”
Rarity turned to her side, her hoof still in the grasp of her fabricated lover. Her nose twitched, stuffed. “A-anything? B-but you can’t be a stallion...”
Rainbow Dash stumbled as the entire boutique shook, as if the Ursa Minor had returned. Pinkie’s stern expression never faltered as her eyes bore into the windows of Rarity’s soul, no doubt casting away all doubt.
“Anything for you, babe.”
Slipping her hoof away in surprise, Rarity held both to her muzzle, fanning herself off from Pinkie’s deep-voiced bravado. “Oh my, Pinkie Pie! What has come over you?”
Pinkie Pie shrugged as she bent down to pick up the heavy objects that fell out of her tail. “Sorry about that, my balls dropped,” she said as she picked up her bowling balls and placed them in her tail, never to be seen again.
Pausing her photography, Rainbow Dash facehoofed.
Slowly, Pinkie Pie leaned forward and wrapped her forelegs around Rarity’s neck, closing her eyes as her lips pursed together. Her ears tilted back, pressing against her skull, as she lightly pressed her mouth against and intertwined her muzzle with Rarity’s. This caught Rarity by surprise, evident by an mmph!, but the distressed mare closed her eyes as well.
Rarity placed her hoof under Pinkie’s chin and raised her head, drawing her deeper into the kiss. Rainbow Dash, completely ignored, took the opportunity to start flying about the room for photos from all angles. This is going to be the greatest blackmail ever!
Deepening the embrace, Rarity leaned forward and wrapped her forelegs around Pinkie, pulling her up onto the couch on top of her. Wrapping her hind legs around her partner’s waist, Rarity hummed as the two embraced. Judging by Rainbow’s latest camera angle (kneeling just beside the couch, aiming up), Rarity was apparently skilled with the inner workings of the kiss.
Nice, Rainbow Dash thought as she raised an eyebrow. Didn’t know ponies could use their tongue like that! Kinda hot, actually. Rainbow quietly forced her rising wings to stay at her sides, continuing her impish photography.
Carousel Boutique’s door slammed open as somepony made their entrance. Rainbow Dash jolted, heavy steps sounding from the door to meet Rarity, hurriedly hiding the camera inside her dress’ folds as she turned around to see—”Twilight, Applejack? What are you doing here?”
The two mares stood in the middle of the room, panting like wild beasts. Twilight’s eyes were bloodshot and her mane was sticking out in odd places, as if she had forgotten her week’s friendship letter. Applejack fared no better: twigs and grass stuck out of her unbraided mane and a wild look shined in her eyes. Their appearances were timberwolves in the shape of ponies, or mares in-season.
Rainbow Dash would have preferred the timberwolves, a thought she contemplated as she was sent flying in the couple’s abrupt rush to meet Rarity. Landing on top of the fallen shelf, Rainbow Dash shifted her rump and got comfortable.
“Rarity, Rarity!” they simultaneously cried, like the creepy twins from the movie The Bridle. “We need you!”
Rarity groaned as she slowly pulled away from Pinkie’s silky lips, turning her head to glare at the other couple halfheartedly. Her eyes were half-lidded, most likely from the hoof stroking her side than any actual aggression. As the gentle caress lowered to her cutie mark, she closed her eyes and purred.
“Mmmm--Yes, darlings? What can I do for you? I would prefer to return to my lover’s warm embrace, but I’m sure I can spare a moment. Right, Pinkie Poo?” Rarity asked, turning her head up to look into Pinkie’s loving eyes.
Pinkie merely smiled and leaned down, kissing Rarity on the top of the horn. Rarity’s cheeks turned bright red as her horn shone with a blue, ethereal glow as she whinnied. “Of course, my rarest, rarest Rarity.“
Twilight gave a slight bleat as she watched the horn-kissing, coercing Applejack to lean up and wrap her forelegs around Twilight, only to receive a purring nuzzle against her neck.
Twilight sighed, satisfied, and began. “Well, you see—”
“Mah sugarcube and I—”
“We were hoping to get purchase two dresses—”
“Maybe a couple gems for the rings—”
“Hopefully by tomorrow, because—”
“WE’RE GETTING MARRIED!”
Rainbow Dash’s wings shot out and her jaw dropped. Without twitching a feather, she slowly lifted the camera to her eye.
The two clutched one another, their eyes wide as saucers, as they waited for Rarity’s response. Rarity’s facial expressions went through a metamorphosis: her eyes widened, her brow furrowed, she bit her lip, frowned, and then finally nodded. “Yes, of course my darlings. Just one thing must come first.”
Her ears began to twitch as a certain sound permeated the boutique’s walls; Rainbow Dash gulped as she recognized the familiar sound of an andante rhythm. Don’t tell me she’s going to—
”Pinkie Pie, my love-ly dar—”
“Look! A split end!” Rainbow Dash gasped.
Rarity gasped and turned to her head, staring at the curl of her mane in a hasty attempt to fix her appearance. Rainbow Dash took the opportunity to pick up a spool and throw it at her, hitting her head as distinct noise of a record scratching sounded in the background.
Pinkie Pie grumbled as she banged on her gramophone near the back of the room, somehow moving from the couch in a blink of the eye. With the mood effectively ruined—Or it would have been, if a couch hadn’t flown underneath Pinkie and swept her hind legs, catching her. Blue energy surrounded the gramophone, sparks flew and gears turned, and the gramophone began playing soothing melodies.
Bringing Pinkie Pie to her with magic, Rarity trotted toward the magicked couch. She turned her head and charged her horn, summoning a small box that zoomed through the air. Rarity’s quick hoof snapped up to catch it. She sat on her knee, the musical tempo increasing, and held up the box to Pinkie Pie.
Rainbow’s eyes widened as everypony held their breath.
“Pinkie Pie, darling, will you marry me?” Rarity held a single diamond ring up to Pinkie Pie. Sitting on the dramatic couch of intimacy, Pinkie Pie held her hooves to her muzzle, her eyes sparkling with tears. The magical music increased in pitch and rhythm, mirroring Rarity’s heartbeat as her chest rapidly rose and fell.
Rarity’s eyes opened wider and wider, sparkling brighter and brighter with sapphires as she scrunched her muzzled and held her breath.
Silence dominated the room as the music faded.
“...” She blinked.
“YES!” Pinkie Pie cried, and leaped off her couch to embrace her new fiance as the music rose once again. Unicorn and earth pony, mare and mare, the two had become lovers. And quite cuddly as well. The two rolled on the floor, tangled in each other’s hooves, and ended with Rarity staring down into her lover’s eyes below. She lowered her head and brushed her lips against Pinkie’s, keeping her touch light as Pinkie Pie giggled underneath. Their blue eyes never broke contact, even as Rarity’s eyelids drooped in an alluring expression.
“Pfft!” Rainbow Dash held a hoof to her mouth, resisting the urge to lose it then and there. Her lungs burnt with the laughter begging for escape, but it would call unwanted attention to her. Better to maintain the masquerade. She returned to incognito photography.
As Twilight and Applejack applauded the new couple, stomping on the floor and cheering, Rarity climbed off her lover and helped Pinkie Pie to her hooves. The two shared a quick hug, a peck, and finally turned their attention to the other couple in the room. Rarity smiled and absorbed the good will, wrapping her foreleg around Pinkie Pie’s shoulders.
“Well, now that’s settled, we’re dearly betrothed as well. Now, darlings, tell me again. What can I do for my beloved friends?” Rarity pulled Pinkie Pie tighter and nuzzled her, receiving an approving purr. Purring back, she nipped Pinkie’s ear before returning her gaze to a blushing Twilight.
Applejack, her cheeks red, said, “Ah suppose we should start small. We’re gonna need two dresses. White, obviously.”
“White?” Rarity asked, peering at Applejack with narrow eyes. Her eyes flicked up and down, taking in Applejack’s figure. “Are you absolutely sure you want white? I’m not sure it’d be… appropriate.” Her demeanor never faltered, but Twilight let out a gasp.
“Just what are ya implying?” Applejack said as she puffed out her chest, mirroring Rarity and hugging Twilight close. Her nuzzle came off as a forced rub against their cheeks, which Twilight accepted with less enthusiasm and a distorted smile. “Ah never loved anypony like Twilight, and Ah never will! She’s mah Sparklin’ Apple! Mah one and only Sparkling Apple!”
“Hmph,” Rarity snorted as she raised her nose. “Very well, but that wasn’t what I was speaking of in the slightest. Your commitment is commendable, but I was merely referring to the lack of luster a white dress would be on you two, darling. White is simply not your color.”
Applejack turned to Twilight and shared a flushed grin. “Ah-” she turned back to Rarity “-Ah guess you’re right. Maybe gree—”
“Applejack, whatever you want, there will be no galoshes this time. You will let the fashionista do her work this time,” Rarity said, lowering her head to give Applejack a stern glare. Applejack gulped and nodded. Rarity trotted over, Pinkie still in her hold, and examined the couple. Her eyes flicked up and down, examining their unkempt coats. “Good, let us begin. Since you two are innocent, after all, your dresses shall be white.”
“Come on!” Applejack spat as Rarity winked to Pinkie, earning a giggle of approval.
Rarity released Pinkie and properly circled around the couple, taking in mental measurements. She hummed and muttered to herself, levitating a brush and grooming their unkempt manes and coats to manageable levels. A notebook and glasses flew through the air in her magical grasp, allowing her to take notes and sketch while occasionally adjusting her scarlet glasses. Pinkie Pie crept close, like a lioness stalking her prey, and lunged forward into a cheek-to-cheek nuzzle.
“Will you stop doing that?” Rarity hissed as Rainbow Dash’s shutter clicked, the mare in question hovering just above the foursome, gently flapping her wings. Rainbow Dash lowered her camera and grinned, her cheeks flushed. Just as Rarity turned away, cuddling with Pinkie Pie, she sneaked in another picture. Click!
The hours ticked by, and the sun began to dip low in the sky like Celestia’s fork whenever she ate cake.
Rainbow Dash dozed on Rarity’s drama couch, only stirring to check up on the four’s shenanigans. The occasional picture was taken as the four flirted, gossiped, and romanced their significant others during Rarity’s fitting of the dresses. Scissors, spools, and fabrics floated in the air as the finishing touches began. The last notes of her fashionable song ended with her final stitch, ringing in the air and awakening Rainbow Dash from her slumber.
“Snerk—er, what? What happened?” Rainbow Dash said as she rolled on her back. “But Fluttershy, I don’t like it when you touch my wings…” Her eyelids slithered open as her foreleg hung off the edge of the couch, brushing against the floor. Ears twitching, jaw drooling, she just watched her friends from the sidelines.
“And. There. We. Go!” Rarity annunciated each word as she finished the last flower in Twilight’s laurel. Her belongings floated to the floor, the magic’s task complete. “Apple blossoms for the new, lovely Apple.” She stepped back and admired her work. Thrice were the dresses white, for each maiden was pure. Twilight’s dress was accented at the hem with various flowers, a floral palette, complete with a blossomed laurel and veil.
Rarity turned and said, “And, of course, a twilight dress for Twilight’s bride!” She giggled in unison with Pinkie, snuggled next to her in her own dress. Applejack’s dress was fit to match, but instead of apple blossoms, it featured nightshades. Dark hues, purples, and blues dominated the seams of her dress, but the radiance of the pure white preserved Applejack’s cheerful smile and bright eyes.
“And last, but not least, my own dear Pinkie,” she said, beaming as Pinkie Pie strutted from her side, showing off her own tacky, lollipop-styled dress. Modeled after her Gala dress, minus the hat and main pink skirt color, the candied dress hugged Pinkie Pie’s pleasantly plump curves. Rarity’s eyes drank in her appearance, tracing the curves of Pinkie’s shoulders and back, hungry for more cuddles. She placed a hoof on Pinkie’s back and stroked, teasing out the knots in Pinkie’s shoulders, receiving a gasp and a purr of approval. “Yes, my little sweet Pie.”
“Oh my, Rara-Pie,” Pinkie Pie giggled as she turned to kiss her lover on the nose. She lowered her head and bumped noses, rubbing them together. “I love you so so so so so much!”
“Ho oh oh,” Rarity giggled. “You’re much too sweet, my little Pinkie-Gem. I love you too!” She pursed her lips and posed to a reeling Pinkie Pie’s pleasure. She smacked her lips, giving an appearance to what Rainbow Dash would compare to a duck’s face.
“I love you more, Sapphy-Cakes!”
“No, I love you more, Bakey-Jewel!”
“No, I love you more! I love you, Diamond-Pudding!”
“Argh!” Rainbow Dash groaned from her couch, watching the ongoing spectacle of two mares grinding their muzzles together. She lifted a hoof to her wide-open jaw and pointed inside. “Gag me with a spoon, why don’t you?” She stuck her tongue out when Rarity shot a glared at her, but soon was ignored as the two continued their banter.
“Well…” Twilight wrapped a foreleg around Applejack’s shoulders. “I suppose you were always my Harvest-Mo—”
“Twilight, no,” Applejack warned as she held her hoof in Twilight’s mouth. “Yer mah Sparklin’ Cider, and that’s that.” Twilight struggled against the strong hoof, soon to relax and become putty in Applejack’s hooves when she was finally released. The two embraced and wrapped their tails together, to Rarity’s chagrin. Applejack nodded toward Rarity. “Just give us a moment, will ya? We ought to buy some nice rings for these dresses., then we’ll happily purchase the wares.”
Rarity nodded to the two and helped them out of their dresses, neatly folded the fabric, and placed the dresses on the table. She huffed and wrapped her tail around Pinkie Pie’s, the corkscrew shape perfectly encasing the pink, fluffy tail as they watched the other couple exit the boutique. Applejack and Twilight gave a quick wave before shutting the door behind them.
As soon as they were left alone, Pinkie Pie glomped Rarity and the two snuggled close.
Rainbow Dash stared, then rubbed her eyes as little red hearts seemed to float out from Pinkie’s mane. She looked again—still there. Pinkie being Pinkie…? She rubbed her eyes again. Okay… maybe this has gone on long enough. Certainly got enough ‘evidence,’ she thought with a small chuckle. She rolled off the couch and onto the floor, then reached through her collar for her goggles.
The bronze rims felt warm to her hooves as she slid them up her neck and onto her forehead, adjusted the straps as necessary. Without a hitch, they snapped into place. Her vision turned red. Rainbow Dash could see.
She instinctively braced herself, bending her forelegs and crouching down, ready to launch. Her vision faded to normal, revealing one ethereal ribbon connecting the couple. The velvety ribbon, the shining ribbon.
She scanned the room, searching for the right tool among the piles of fabulous junk on the floor. She took into the air, thankfully ignored by the intimate couple, and circled the room. A waning sunbeam through a window reflected off something on the floor, momentarily blinding Rainbow Dash as the light struck her iris. She squinted and descended after the shining object.
Rainbow Dash lifted the cut fabric off the hidden tool, revealing a pair of scissors. Smirking she picked them up with her teeth and turned back to the couples huddling in the middle of the room. Taking off into the air once more, she flew just above them.
Biting her lip in concentration, sweat beading on her forehead, mental calculations ensued in Rainbow Dash. She lifted a hoof to the scissors into her hooves and gave them a practice snip. One possibility had her diving onto the ribbons and getting them in one go, or just floating down and just cutting them in a more pragmatic manner. The awesome way, or the boring way.
The answer was obvious.
She puffed out her chest and raised her shoulders—just to drop down and grab a ribbon.
Safety first! She chuckled to herself and wrapped her legs around Rarity’s and Pinkie’s shared ribbon. The ethereal velvet immediately shuddered and began to roll in waves, trying to wrangle itself out of Rainbow Dash’s grip. Her legs were not secured yet, otherwise she would fly off if she freed a hoof to operate the scissors. Considering the quick reaction her touch, she mused that if she had gone in head first, the ribbons would have smacked the scissors right into her eyes. Heh, mom was right. Flying with scissors is a bad idea!
The ribbon continued to roll in frenzy, bucking like a cattle caught in Applejack’s lasso. Rainbow Dash was thrown in the air above the oblivious couple—What is with them?—as she struggled to end their enchanted romance.
One foreleg clutched the ribbon in an iron grip, despite its frantic rolling, and her hoof held onto her other shoulder for support. She lifted the other one, finding her grip secure, and leaned down with the scissors. Her teeth clinged to the plastic, mouth salivating, holding onto the scissors for all she was worth as the world blurred around her in the ribbon’s desperation.
Rainbow Dash’s eyes grew wide, her heart pounding in the excitement, as the ribbon was… completely unaffected. She narrowed her eyes and grunted before trying again.
She stared at the stubborn ribbon, holding in a bubbling urge to shout and slash at it.
“Darling, w-what are you doing?” Rarity asked, holding her Pinkie Pie and shivering. Rainbow Dash paused from her work and looked down at her. The ribbon calmed, seemingly worn out. The couple underneath appeared sickly pale, and entangled in each other’s arms as if they were cold. Rainbow Dash gave a mental shrug and returned to her task.
Argh! Still nothing! Rainbow Dash growled as she shook her head in an attempt to slice through the stubborn threads. Her eyes traveled down the ribbon to the sickly girls underneath, to the base protruding from their chests. It was wider in length, yes, but the ribbon seemed thinner and more tattered. Her eyes widened. Perfect!
She adjusted the scissors in her mouth and released the ribbon, flying away from the small group. The two huddling girls watched her with wary eyes, wondering what sorcery could affect them so. Rainbow Dash sucked on her hoof to wet it, lifted it in the air, and made quick mental calculation before diving at Rarity.
Rainbow Dash tackled Rarity and began assaulting her chest with scissors, aiming for the sweet spot. Rarity attempted to bat her off once she caught her breath, flailing her forelegs and trying to punch Rainbow Dash off. A hoof managed to strike her muzzle, but Rainbow Dash didn’t even squeak as she shrugged off the weak blow. Pinkie Pie tried tugging her off, but wings beat her away as Rainbow Dash became frantic with the scissors. The ribbon was as stubborn as Applejack wrestling a timberwolf.
“Come on!” Rainbow Dash growled as the scissors began to crack with repeated use. Her thighs squeezed tight, straddling Rarity in a death grip. “Just cut already!”
“W-what are you doing?! Get off me!” Rarity cried as her voice cracked. “It hurts!”
Grunting, Rainbow Dash tossed aside the bent pair of scissors, resolving to get some sharper. For now, damage control. She climbed off Rarity, allowing Pinkie Pie to help her to her hooves and caress her disheveled mane. Rarity dug her muzzle into Pinkie Pie’s shoulder, letting out a tiny whimper.
Pinkie Pie glared and said, “Rainbow Dash, you big bully! What did you do to my Sappy-Laffy?” She wrapped her forelegs around a sobbing Rarity and held her close.
Rainbow Dash rubbed her throbbing temples, pondering how long it’d be before the headache settled in. The ribbon wavered in the air, seemingly weakened by the assault but never breaking. Rainbow Dash stared at it and sighed. “Guys, it isn’t as bad as you think.”
“It isn’t bad? It isn’t bad? You assaulted me like some unbridled bandit, you brute!” Rarity spat as she tried to dart forward, held back by Pinkie Pie’s hooves, as her horn charged with angry magic. Unfortunately, she tripped on a forgotten fabric, only to be caught by Pinkie Pie. “Ooh, how sweet!” she swooned in Pinkie Pie’s embrace, before returning to scowling at Rainbow Dash.
Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes. “Seriously, guys, you’re not even in love.”
“WHAT?!” the two embracing ponies screamed, glaring at Rainbow Dash with heart-bedazzled daggers. “What on Equestria does that mean? Who are you to—”
“Whoa whoa whoa!” Rainbow Dash said as she took a step back, off put by their synchronization. “Look. I, uh, pulled a prank on you guys and just was trying to fix it, that’s all.”
Rarity scoffed, “Fix it? By diving at me with a pair of scissors and trying to cut me out of the blue? What were you thinking?”
“Yeah, Dashie! Didn’t your mommy tell you it’s not good to fly with scissors and hurt innocent ponies?” Pinkie Pie hugged Rarity, her eyes narrow and cautious. “Nopony hurts my Marshmallow!”
“Marshmallow? How am I a marshmallow?” Rarity whined, sniffling for effect.
“Because you’re all squishy and fluffy!”
“Fluffy! Darling, I am comfortably toned.”
“Whatever you say, Rara!”
“Guys!” Rainbow Dash flailed her legs in the air, flapping her wings in desperation for attention. “We kinda have a situation here!”
“Sorry, darling,” Rarity said before pecking Pinkie Pie on the nose. “I was distracted by Pinkie’s, er, charm.”
“Yeah, right.” Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes and floated to the ground. “Since when have you been distracted by Pinkie’s charm? All you do is moan and complain whenever she spills crumbs on your dresses.” She focused eye contact with Rarity; Pinkie Pie was distracted and sniffing Rarity’s mane. “And I thought you found her, how do you say it? Filthy?”
Pinkie Pie gasped and jumped away from Rarity, her jaw dropped in shock. Rarity, on the other hand, flipped her mane and growled. Rainbow Dash couldn’t believe her eyes. Rarity growled.
“Filthy! I would never say such thing!” Rarity said as she coaxed Pinkie Pie back to her side. “She’s beautiful, joyful, and always bring makes me smile! As a stressed fashionista, I couldn’t ask for anything more! She’s perfect! Perfect!”
“Pfft, perfect?” Rainbow Dash snorted. “Yeah, you’re the perfect couple alright, with magic as your matchmaker!”
“You’re right, it is magical…” Rarity said, staring into Pinkie’s eyes. Rainbow Dash stomped her hoof to bring her back to attention. “Sorry, darling. I was too distracted by true love to notice your barbaric attempt to steal my lover!”
Rainbow Dash snickered. “Steal your lover? As if! You don’t know anything about love, Rarity. All you do is chase random stallions that turn out to be total jerks! You’re a total sap! All I did was use a bit of magic and now you’re head over heels for Pinkie!”
Rarity bit her lip, her horn sparking blue volts. "Do I not know about love? You’re the fool, Rainbow Dash! You dare lecture me on love while all you've been doing for the past ten years is stringing Fluttershy along!"
What? Rainbow Dash stepped back, holding a hesitant hoof in the air. “W-what does Fluttershy have to do with this? I haven’t been—”
“Quiet, Rainbow Dash.” Rarity lowered her head and whispered into Pinkie Pie’s ear. She nodded and left Rarity’s embrace, zooming past Rainbow Dash toward the front door in an abrupt blur. Rainbow Dash shook her head and returned her gaze to Rarity, who was walking to her.
Rainbow Dash held her head up, equally indignant as Rarity’s nose came within a hair’s length of hers. “Stringing along? Why would I ever do that? Fluttershy and I are, well, best friends!”
“Best friends don’t lie to each other, Rainbow Dash.” Rarity glowered, her voice dropping to a near-whisper. “She talks to me at the spa, you know. She tells me everything, from the false promises you make to spend time with her to the lies you spin. Every. Little. Lie.” She pressed her nose against Rainbow Dash’s, forcing her to step backwards as Rarity pressed on.
For reasons unbeknownst to her, Rainbow Dash’s forehead began sweating. “I, uh, don’t really know what you’re talking about. Fluttershy and I are cool, I swear!”
“Oh really?” Rarity crept closer, until Rainbow Dash’s tail brushed against a mirror. “How about the Great Butterfly Migration? Fluttershy told me you were bored out of your mind.”
“What’s wrong with that? Butterflies are her thing!”
“Tsk. You obviously don’t know, do you?” Rarity backed away and turned her back to Rainbow Dash, beginning to pace with a sway to her hips. “Do you not notice when she blushes around you?”
“She’s just shy! That’s her thing! FlutterSHY! She does that around everypony!”
“Oh, and I’m sure the constant boasting and cuddling justifies that?” Rarity shot a glance at Rainbow Dash, stretching her back in a vampish manner. “I never saw her blush around Thunderlane, or even Snowflake! Or any stallion for that matter!”
“W-what are you talking about?” Rainbow Dash flustered, her feathers bristling and cheeks burning. “Are you saying Fluttershy…?”
“Yes! Of course I’m saying that!” Rarity threw her head up and rolled her eyes in hysteria. “Can you get that through your thick skull?! No wonder you drive poor Fluttershy to tears, you uneducated dimwit!”
“Hey now, no reason to be all mean…” Rainbow Dash cowered, her will drained. Her mind whirred for a retort, but none came. It wasn’t her fault that she could be a bit dim, even if the ramifications of Rarity’s words hadn’t quite clicked yet.
Rarity sighed and bowed her head, turning around. She stepped forward and rested a hoof on Rainbow Dash’s shoulder. They stared into each other’s eyes, any hint of malice withering away into melancholy.
“Rainbow Dash, I don’t mean to be mean,” Rarity whispered. “But I love Pinkie Pie, and nothing will change that. We’re going to marry tomorrow, and nothing will stop me.”
Rainbow Dash’s eyes dilated as her ears fell. Every word rang true, without a hint of uncertainty. If she couldn’t figure out how to undo the magic ribbons, Rarity’s prophecy would come true. Deep in thought, her gaze fell to the floor. “I’m, uh, sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
Rarity lifted Rainbow Dash’s chin, bringing her eyes back to her mesmerizing sapphires. “Of course not, you just lost your head. I hope you make it to the wedding tomorr—”
The door slammed shut. Footsteps echoed in the vast chamber of the boutique.
“Hey, who’s getting married?” Spike asked as he approached the duo, biting into a diamond. “I hope it’s not like Shining’s. That wedding came out of nowhere!”
Rainbow Dash blinked. Oh no. This is not good.
“Oh, hello Spikey-Wikey! I’m getting married to Pinkie Pie tomorrow!” Rarity beamed at Spike, her conversation with Rainbow Dash forgotten. Rainbow Dash could only gawk at the audacity.
Does she really not know—
“What?” Spike deadpanned, smiling as if Rarity was telling a joke. Rather, she fluttered her eyelashes and smiled down at him.
“Spikey, I’m getting m-married,” she said, her voice wavering. Her tone had become dull, and her words forced. Even the smile had the appearance of plastic. “Married…”
Spike’s eyes sparkled with water as his arm dropped to the side. The half-eaten diamond fell out of his claw and rolled at his feet, forgotten.