"Healthy" Competition

by IfFoundReturntoRarity


Prologue

The door to the boutique swung open. Rarity was exhausted. It’s always a pleasure to go, she thought, But I’m glad it’s once a year. It drains the life out of me. It had been a long week for her, as she spent all of it in Manehattan, at Equestria’s largest fashion expo. Packed to the brim, it was the place to be for all involved in Equestria’s booming fashion industry. It was also incredibly lively, and as was the case with poor Rarity, extremely exhausting.

Just make it to the sofa, she told herself, and I can sleep for the rest of the day. Dropping her bags at the floor, she used the rest of her strength to crawl to the couch. She pulled herself up, curled up and closed her eyes. Just a cat nap…

Knock! knock! knock! Like a sleeping lion who was disturbed Rarity snapped at the sound. “WHAT?!”

“Oh… gosh… I’m so sorry, I’ll come again later. Sorry…” She recognized the soft voice immediately.

“Oh goodness! Fluttershy, I’m so sorry!” Rarity sprang up to the door. “I sincerely apologize, darling. I just got back from Manehattan, it was incredibly tiring. Please forgive me.” She opened the door to be greeted with a warm smile from the pegasus.

“It’s okay Rarity. I heard you were on your way back, so I wanted to come by and return Opal if you were here.” Fluttershy placed her bag down to allow the cat to get out.

“Yes, thank you so much! I hope she wasn’t too much trouble.”

“Oh of course not. She was the sweetest.”

“That’s great.” Rarity got down to eye level with Opal. “Mommy missed you so much, yes she did!” She leaned in to give her a little nuzzle, only for Opal to return the affection with the usual hiss and a swipe. “Well I suppose that’s my fault for believing you felt the same way.”

“So, um, how was the expo?”

“It went fantastic, thank you so much for asking! I was able to talk to Hoity Toity again, apparently he is looking to have a store opened in Blueblood Plaza! And he asked me if I’d be interested in opening there!” The thought alone was enough to make Rarity squee like a school filly.
“That’s good news. I’m so happy for you.”

“Thank you! Now come inside, I can make some tea.”

“I’m sorry Rarity, I wish I could… But I don’t have time for that today, I’m in a bit of a hurry…”
“Okay darling. Another time then.”
“But before I go…” Fluttershy fumbled through her bag, “I have your mail too, like you asked.”
“Oh Fluttershy, I cannot thank you enough for doing all this. I appreciate it so much.”
“Anything for a friend. Oh, and I should add, there was also something else in there, along with your mail.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I caught this pegasus who was waiting outside your door to give you something. I didn’t recognize her, she seemed like she was new.”

“Maybe it was someone I know? What did she look like, did you talk to her?”

“She had a light green coat with a yellow and pink mane. I spoke to here a little… I just told her you weren’t home. She then asked me to give you this.” Fluttershy fummled through her bag again, and pulled out a pink envelope, it looked as if it was homemade. Rarity took the envelope from her, but was extremely puzzled as to who it could be. She not only knew of no pony who matched Fluttershy’s description, nor did she expect to receive anything during her time away.”

“Are you sure you didn’t recognize her, dear?”

“It was the first time I saw her… and there was that building close to City Hall that was recently sold…”

“Well. If that’s all you know, I appreciate you telling me that. I’ll look into it then and find out what she wanted. Thank you again Fluttershy.”

“Really, it’s never a problem. I’ll see you another time Rarity!”

“Goodbye darling!”

And with that, Fluttershy was off. Rarity closed the door. “Well,” she said to herself, “I should probably sort this before getting my beauty sleep.” She examined the envelope. It was blank, save for the decorations.

There’s no return address on this… She continued to inspect the envelope. She just delivered it on their own? Using her telekinesis, Rarity got her letter opener, and cut the envelope open, to read the contents.

To whom it may concern,

Hi! I’m new to Ponyville. My name is Fabrica, I moved here recently from Appleloosa! I’m so excited to meet my new neighbors! As I really want to get to know each and every one of you, I’m having a move in party on the 15th of the month at the opening of my store Apparel Avenue! Refreshments will be provided. I’m located two houses to the east of City Hall. I hope to see you there!
-Sincerely,
Fabrica

Rarity placed the letter down. Uncomfortable thoughts came to her mind, memories of cruel competitors she had to deal with. Especially awful, mean spirited ponies like Suri. What if this Fabrica was just the same? No, she told herself, it’s not fair to judge a pony before meeting her. I wouldn’t want somepony doing the same to me. I guess the right thing to do would be to attend her party on the 15th, the 15th… Rarity rummaged through her papers, trying to find where she put her daily planner.

“Ah, here it is~!” She said in a sweet little sing-song voice. “Now to just check that date… OH MY STARS! The 15th is tomorrow!” One of the issues Rarity had was she could never reorganize her daily schedule, especially after she’s been out of town so long, the day before something came up. “Well… I suppose I can squeeze in a brief visit if I close the Boutique for lunch, and I’m back in time to meet up with the clients in the afternoon…” She marked the new event in her planner. “Then it’s settled! I’ll attend Fabrica’s party tomorrow, and move on from there! Oh, I do hope I have something to make a very good first impression with...” Rarity’s thoughts of a good rest were a thing of the past, as now all of her attention was diverted to the creation of a stunning ensemble for tomorrow.