With Rainbow Dash's rainbow contrail fading into the distance, speeding away from the center of Ponyville at a breakneck pace, Twilight Sparkle watches regretfully along with her companions Applejack and Pinkie Pie as the prismatic speedster vanishes from sight. With the cocky mare now out of earshot, Twilight sighs, thoroughly disappointed at her inability to befriend such an obviously important member of the town. “….Well…….. That was pleasant.”
“I know, right?!” says the ever oblivious Pinkie Pie. “Dashie is one of my best ever friends, I’m so glad that you could get to meet her!”
“That’s Dash for ya,” Applejack remarks. “To tell ya the truth, ah think she’s a little intimidated by new ponies. She thinks that having more friends means that yer less loyal to the ones ya do have. That, and Dash is as paranoid ‘bout newcomers as a beehive in bear season.” Applejack slaps Twilight on the back. “Don’t ya worry none, once she gets over her rash behavior and cools off a little she’ll come around, she always does!”
“Yeah!” Pinkie slaps Twilight on the back as well, mirroring Applejack and ignoring Twilight’s protests. “Dash may be slow to making friends but once she forms that super special bond of friendship she’s a friend till the end!”
Twilight looks upwards to the colorful streak left behind in the sky, the only remnants that the rainbow mare was even there. “I really hope so girls……... Anyway, I heard Dash mention something about another Canterlot unicorn in town?” Twilight asks with curiosity abounding, “I thought that because this is a prominent earth pony town, and because of all these anti-Canterlot sentiments, that there weren’t any other high-class unicorns around.”
Applejack suddenly stares Twilight in the eyes, a look of utter seriousness being conveyed by a mere glance. “Shug, yer wrong about two things, one of them getting the more serious. First, there aint no anti-whatever attitudes here in Ponyville. We don’t take to hating any kind of pony no matter what they worship or where they’re from…...”
“Or what or who they love!” Pinkie chimes in. “In fact just yesterday I threw a wedding anniversary for Golden Harvest who is married too….”
“YES, Pinkie, we know!” the farm mare says, cutting off the party pony from saying things better left unsaid. “Anyway, we won’t hate ya just because yawl come from a certain town or somthin.”
The purple mare lowers her head in shame. “But there have been so many ponies that don’t seem to like me just because I’m from Canterlot……”
“I know Twi, but it’s not because of where ya are from. Most ponies here in the shadow of Canterlot just don’t like the government. All those stuck up nobles going around telling us what to do and how to live, like they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread,” Applejack growls. “It’s those ponies that are so pompous that they believe they’re right about everythin and that everypony who isn’t a noble is garbage that we don’t like.”
Applejack smiles reassuringly at the mare in front of her. “And Twi, I’m happy ta say ya aren’t like any of those ponies, you are you, no matter what others believe; so don’t go running around like everypony is after you.”
Twilight perks up visibly. “Thanks, Applejack, that means a lot to me. But what was the second thing that I was wrong about?”
Applejack chuckles at that. “The second thing that you were wrong about is the fact that Rarity is a Canterlot snob. I’ve been friends with Rarity since ah was a filly and I can tell ya personally that she’s the most generous, gracious an sophisticated pony ah know.”
Applejack nods her head in a direction, urging the others to follow her. “Don’t get me wrong; Rarity may not have been born in Canterlot, but from her ‘de-cor-um’ ya wouldn’t guess it. She’s about as high-class as ya can get round these parts. In fact, we’re on our way to visit her now!”
“Why?” Twilight asks inquisitively, “is she a member of the town council or a prominent magi?”
“Well I don’t know how talented she is in magic compared ta you, Twilight. After all yer are probably in a whole other ball game compared to most unicorns, from what ah can figure.” Twilight blushes at this compliment. “But other than the fact that she’s a good personal friend, Rarity has an ear for gossip like no other mare ah know.”
“Yeah, Twilight! Rarity’s really good at figuring things out!” Pinkie comments. “This one time I ate this pie she baked for the town bake sale in one whole bite and she knew I did it, even when I said I didn’t do it! But it was okay because I helped her bake a new pie in time for the contest with a really cool song!”
Applejack groans. “Pinkie, she knew it was you cause ya had pie crumbs all over yer face!” Pinkie shrugs as Applejack turns to face Twilight again. “Anyway, like ah was saying we may not see eye to eye sometimes but, hoowee, if there is a rumor in town that Rarity doesn’t know it’s not worth knowing. If there are any strange happenings around town she’ll find out faster than a hungry squirrel finds its nuts after winter thaws.”
“…….. Applejack, I know that you enjoy them a lot,” Twilight asks as carefully as possible, “but PLEASE lay off the southernisms for now; it’s still way too early for me to deal with them.”
Applejack chuckles at this. “Heh, Rarity says the same thing, except she says it no matter what time of day it is! Ah think that you an her are going ta get along just fine.” Applejack comes to a stop at the front door of a circular shaped building that resembles, at least in Twilight’s eyes, a giant cake. “Looks like we’re here yawl: Carousel Boutique! Home of the one and only ‘Miss Rarity’.”
Taking them to the door of Carousel Boutique, Twilight looks up at the building in front of her. “What beautiful architecture; you were right, Applejack, she certainly has good taste.”
The building itself, though unremarkable from a Canterlot perspective, is intricately decorated with various signs of a fashionista’s trade. Ribbons that look sewn on, lights that resemble buttons, and the ponykins looking out through the window dressed in the most cutting edge clothes are all signs that this is a place of fashion. The fresh pink checkered coat of the building and embellished metalwork making it a match of any fancy Canterlot architecture.
“Yeah, Rarity may be a small town girl but she’s got real talent with the needle,” Applejack confirms. “Ah may be a simple farm pony who doesn’t understand much about high society, but ah can tell ya that it’s a fact that she’s the best dressmaker this side of Canterlot, even if she’s a bit of a drama queen.”
Twilight arches her eyebrow in sudden confusion of this overwhelming support from Applejack. “You speak very highly of her for somepony that does such different work.”
Applejack locks gazes with the skeptical Twilight. “She’s my friend, Twilight, why wouldn't ah speak highly of her? Sides, she entered several Fashion contests in Canterlot with her skill and always finished in the top five.”
“But not first? Why?”
Applejack’s glower reveals her feelings on the matter. “Cause those stuck up noble ponies always judge the contests on nobility and royalty and all that other hogwash. There’s no way they'd let some ‘impure’ unicorn from a backwater town win. No matter how good she did she never got a lick of recognition.”
Twilight seeing her friend upset moves to comfort Applejack by draping her foreleg over her shoulder. “I’m sorry, Applejack, I didn’t think her skills were poor, I was just curious. Besides, from what little I can see through the windows I can tell that she’s a whole lot better than most designers in Canterlot.”
Applejack’s demeanor softens a bit. “Thanks, Twi, that would mean a lot to Rares if you were to tell her that. You know Rarity may be a Canterlot mare at heart but, she’s tha good kind of Canterlot, like you Twi.”
“Yeah Twilight!” Pinkie bounces her way into the conversation. “You’re gonna be such great friends! You already have soooooooooo much in common. You’re both magicky unicorns! You both love Canterlot and both of your manes are purple!”
Applejack tips her hat as she opens the door to the store. “Well, enough small talk y'all let’s get on inside an’ out of this cursed heat.”
With no small amount of excitement, the three friends walk through the door into the designing room of Carousel Boutique where they can already make out some of the amazing designs housed there by the fashionista. Twilight, her apprehension growing by the second, resolves to not let another great opportunity to make a new friend go to waste. “Well it will be good to meet somepony with some Canterlot sophistication here, as long as she isn’t half as crazy as……. GOOD SWEET CELESTIA WHAT IS SHE DOING!?!”
Standing in the middle of the room, pinning up a top notch dress, is a peerlessly beautiful ivory unicorn mare with curled purple mane. She carries herself with high standing and an inner sophistication that usually takes years for even the most top notch of the Canterlot elite to learn. Her Fibonacci-curled mane and glamorous grey-purple eyes, accented by dark thick eyelashes, are a sign of the enormous time and effort the mare takes in maintaining and accenting her natural beauty. Her cutie mark, that of a trio of diamonds, displays for all the world to see her talent in good taste and her desire to seek beauty in all things.
In front of the ivory goddess is a butter yellow pegasus mare with an aura of natural beauty that eclipses the previous mare (if that alone is possible). Her dainty hoofsteps betray her shy predisposition, but makes her even more petite and glamorous than one would think possible as she shuffles nervously from side to side. Her pink mane is expertly styled and so long it almost reaches to the ground, flowing from her scalp with the smoothness of running water. Her cutie mark that of three butterflies practically screams grace and poise, demonstrating a level of natural charm so peerless that even feral beasts would die before harming her.
Yet it is not the beauty of these mares that has stunned Twilight Sparkle, but what the yellow mare is adorned in. For the dress that she is wearing, a bright red dress that sparkles in the glow of Rarity's magic, is covered in a small multitude of the Red Stones. The dress itself is magically enhanced so that the copious numbers of Red Stones continually gleam, producing a bright red glow around the wearer.
The sound of the chiming doorbell echoes through the store, informing the proprietor that customers have arrived. However, from her focused gaze on the dress, it appears that Rarity barely recognizes the presence of the ponies who have entered her store. “I’ll be right with you in a moment darlings, I’m in the zone as it were. Just have a seat over there for a moment and I’ll be right with you. Now, Fluttershy, strike a dignified pose here while I compare which shawl goes best…….”
“Um, Rarity…..” the pegasus says in the meekest and quietest voice possible, “I don’t mean to interrupt you but our frie..…”
“Fluttershy, please, no talking. I need all my artistic focus for this one moment,” Rarity states as she levitates two different shawls. “Now, the hot pink or the mahogany? Which goes with the dress best…….”
Rarity mumbles to herself as Twilight gapes at the fact that a national treasure is being used for a fashion accessory. “What in Equestria is she doing!? Does she have any idea what she is doing with that priceless magical artifact?! Is……. Is that embroidery?!?”
“Now shug, I’m sure Rarity means well.” Applejack places her hoof on her friend’s shoulder. “Ah’m sure that she’ll be receptive to giving us the Stones when she understands how portant it is.”
Twilight smacks the hoof off. “That’s not the point! Here’s an incredibly powerful and sacred magical item and she’s using it for dressmaking! It’s…..…it’s a crime against nature!”
“Yeah that is a crime!” Pinkie jumps up a look of disgust in her eyes.
“See, Pinkie understands!”
“That dress needs more blue! Everypony knows that blue is a great party color!” With a hop skip and a jump the pink party pony jumps right next to Rarity. “Hey Rarity! That dress needs more blue!”
Rarity groans, unwilling to even pull her eyes off the dress to chastise the pink party pony. “Pinkie… I know you just want to help but I am TRYING to work here.”
Pinkie rubs her chin. “Maybe you’re right, Rarity…”
“I’m glad you’ve seen reason, darling. Now if you would just...…”
“Polka dots would look way better!”
Rarity turns around, nearly foaming with rage as she stares down the pink oppressor. “Pinkiamenia Diane Pie, please, you are just being ridiculous and it is not funny. Now please wait there with Applejack and the others while I…..”
Rarity blinks twice, and with expert comic timing performs a double-take to see Applejack waving back at her. “Applejack darling!” Rarity jumps off the stage and hastily trots up to the friend she kept waiting. “I’m so sorry, I simply did not know you would be stopping by today! I am terribly sorry for ignoring you like that.”
The ivory mare’s face suddenly brightens. “Have you finally decided to join Fluttershy and I on our spa date? I know you’re not into that whole prim and proper thing that we do, but...”
“No, Rarity, ah’m not goin to the spa with you.” The orange mare shivers. “Not after what happened last time…”
“I swear, Applejack, you simply will not forget. Well a filly can hope. Anyway, what brings you here to my humble abode?”
“Oh right!” The Farmer steps off to the side and sweeps her foreleg open to reveal Twilight Sparkle, who is still staring at the red dress with such distress one might think she were witnessing a book burning. “Rarity, this is Twilight Sparkle. She’s a friend of mine and she happens to be the new Princess Rep from Canterlot.”
Before the Princess’s protégé can even get a word in edgewise, she is cut off by the ecstatic unicorn’s gasp, “Canterlot! Why, it’s always been my dream to make it in Canterlot! The glamor, the sophistication why there’s... Mph!”
Twilight places her hoof on the white unicorn’s mouth, breathing a sigh of relief. “Rarity, it’s great that you love Canterlot and that you love the fact that I love Canterlot, but I really need to ask you about that dress…”
The purple manned Fashionista looks at Twilight with a look of confusion. “… What about the dress?”
Twilight’s brain shifts into overdrive. ‘Great. How do I get to learn how she found those Red Stones without arousing her suspicions? Think, brain, think!’
Clearing her throat, Twilight resumes, “That is, I hate to weigh in with you when it comes to fashion but…”
“Oh there’s too much red on here isn’t there?” Rarity looks off to the side at Fluttershy with a look of suspicion. “I knew it! But Fluttershy refused to admit it!”
“Ummm, actually… Um Rarity… that is… I really… ummmmm…”
“Oh no no no no! It’s the perfect amount of red!” the purple mare assures the fashionista nervously. “It’s just that there’s an awful lot of those strange looking sequins on your dress and I was wondering where you…”
“Oh darling, please, one can never have too many sequins, bwah ha ha ha.” Rarity’s laughter dies down instantly at the cross gaze of the purple unicorn.
Seeing how unamused the purple unicorn is at her joke, the ivory mare laughs emptily and tries to divert the conversation in a more appealing direction. “He he….. Ahem. But I can see that you have a particular eye for the best, my dear. Though of course that should not surprise me in the slightest, being that you hail from the most fashionable city in all Equestria. You see, there was a particular coincidence upon how I obtained these magnificent gems that I feel deserves a bit of elaboration.”
With her telekinesis Rarity moves four cushions over to the mares in the room before grabbing one for herself. With grace that surprises nopony, Rarity then lowers the cushion to the floor and sits gracefully upon it, motioning for the others to follow. Taking their cue from Rarity, and realizing that this will be a long story, the mares sit down on their own cushions as the ivory mare begins her tale.
“You see,” Rarity begins her tale, “I was out for one of my weekly gem hunts to provide for my fashion wares. You see, my cutie mark specializes me as an expert in gems; although I do possess an unnatural perchance for designing clothes, which I have to admit is my true passion. Anyway, I was out near the southern gem fields a short while after the Summer Sun Celebration, and while I was looking for my normal supplies of gems, I found a new kind of gem in the soil that was totally foreign even to me. Now, I’m not one to brag, darlings, but I know almost every kind of gem in existence and I had never even seen this kind of gem before. True, I could only find these amazing gems at short range even with my most powerful gem locating spells, and they all looked like normal rocks. However, when I picked them up with my magic they produced the most beautiful inner light that I could possibly imagine. It was then that I knew that I simply had to have them; so I have been going out and around Ponyville looking for these strange gems, which I have personally dubbed, ‘the Stone of Great Rarity’ - catchy I know - and I have now just gathered enough to finish this idea for a designer gown that I have been working on. And since it is our spa day Fluttershy decided to help me out by modeling the dress for me. But I can tell that you are interested in the design, so can I put you down for one; I have to agree this shade of red goes so perfectly with your coat. Though I will have to warn you that it will be quite a while before I am ready to produce enough of these dresses for the general public, as the gems are so awfully difficult to… to…… Twilight, dear, are you okay, darling?”
The pillow underneath the posterior of Twilight Sparkle actually begins to smoke as Rarity continues her story, to the point that it actually bursts into flames beneath the purple mare. Suddenly, Twilight’s rage counter reaches max as her mane and tail burst into terrifying orange flames. Her nose snorting hot steam, Twilight rises from the smoldering ashes of Rarity’s’ pillow and with an ear splitting voice she yells at the top of her lungs: “Are you BUCKING KIDDING ME! You find an infinitely powerful magical treasure and you use it as a fashion accessory?! Do you have ANY idea how priceless the stone you are using is!? How dangerous it can be!? And you are using it…… using it…... for jewelry?!?”
Rarity stares open mouthed at Twilight’s raw fury and anger a scant few seconds, before stupidly commenting, “… Do you think that it would make good jewelry?”
Twilight screams for a moment, before teleporting away in a blast of fire that scorches the ground beneath her.
The frightened ivory mare turns to Applejack. “A-A-Applejack, did I say something wrong? Gasp! It wasn’t that my taste in fashion was bad, was it? I knew that my wares weren’t good enough for a Canterlot eye! Everything those snobby Canterlot fashion designers said about me was right!”
The orange mare shakes her head. “Nah Rares. It’s not yer taste in fashion at all. It’s something a whole lot more important than that.”
Rarity gasps again. “More important than Fashion? Explain, Applejack!”
Sighing, Applejack removes her stetson to look Rarity in the eyes. “Well, Twi told us not to tell anypony else, but seeing how she’s……. indisposed, and since Twi already spilled the beans, then ah might as well tell ya both the whole story…”
Minutes later, Applejack has finished her story, leaving the four mares with nothing better to do than wait for Twilight to return. Pinkie and Fluttershy are playing cards in the middle of the room while Rarity and Applejack spend their time catching up on current events in the town. Suddenly, in a flash of purple light, a much calmer unicorn appears in the middle of the room looking visibly ashamed of herself.
“Twilight!” Pinkie jumps up and hugs her friend. “I missed you! Where were you? Never mind! Lookie what I won!” Pinkie points to the large pile of circular plastic buttons. “I really hit it big against Fluttershy; she has no poker face at all. Now look at me! I’m totally loaded!”
Looking back and forth between Pinkie Pie and her ‘pile’, Twilight can’t help but sigh. “Pinkie, that’s a pile of buttons.”
“Silly Twilight! Of course they’re buttons, we were playing for fun! And I won! So I got the most fun of all! And since I already have a lot of fun, and now I have Fluttershy’s fun, I’m like the super banker of fun for all Ponyville!” Pinkie whispers in the lavender mare’s ear, “Plus I’ll never have to worry about needing a button ever again. It’s the perfect plan!”
“… Anyways,” Twilight turns to Rarity with a look of sorrow in her eyes. “Rarity, I’m really sorry that I just blew up on you like that. I didn’t mean deride you like that; I guess that it’s just been one of those days where everything seems to spiral out of control….…”
Rarity smiles gently and pulls Twilight into a side hug. “Apology accepted, Twilight! I can understand that feeling perfectly. Why just the other week I had to make five dresses a day by hoof while looking after my little sister. I’m just glad that Fluttershy was able to help out, otherwise I don’t think that I would have made it.” Rarity looks Twilight in the eyes. “The point that I am making is that I go through the exact same thing from time to time, so I can understand exactly how you feel right now, what with all those horrible Red Stones around.”
“Red Stones? Wait, Rarity, how do you…”
“…nd your little outburst wasn’t a complete waste, darling. When you left to, ahem, ‘clear your head’, it allowed my dear friend Applejack to explain what is going on around town with these ‘Red Stones’ and all that.” Rarity smiles. “And I have to say that I am impressed with your resolve in helping ponies, and your courage in saving my dear friend Applejack’s life from that wretched monster.”
The ivory mare tears up with a smile on her face. “I… I simply cannot thank you enough, Twilight Sparkle. I don’t know what I would have done if Applejack…… You saved my friend’s life, Twilight Sparkle, you saved Applejack, and for that I will be eternally grateful.” With poise and precision the fashionista lowers her head, not in shame or fear but in endless gratitude.
Twilight is suddenly aware of the importance of what she has done as she tries to dismiss the ivory mare’s thanks. “It’s fine, Rarity, Applejack is my friend too! Of course I would save her. I’m just glad that somepony is supportive of me for the first time since I’ve gotten here.”
Rarity lifts her head. “Oh that reminds me, since you haven’t been properly introduced to her before and since you… left… before you got to meet her, I would like you to get to know my friend.”
Despite her friend’s generous introduction, the shy butter yellow mare brushes the ground with her hoof, trying to look anywhere but where the unicorn is.
Smiling awkwardly at the pegasus’s painful shyness, yet unwilling to give up, Twilight makes an attempt at small talk. “Ahem, I’m Twilight Sparkle, Princess Representative. What’s your name?”
“Um… I’m… Flutte…………”
“I’m sorry, what was that?” Twilight asks.
“Um……. My name…… is… Flutter…”
“… Um, didn’t quite catch that,” Twilight states with confusion.
Emitting a noise halfway between a mouse’s whisper and a whimper, the mare responds in octaves barely recognizable, only making the scene between them even more awkward.
With an enormous force of will, Rarity manages to avoid rolling her eyes. “Oh for Celestia’s sake, Fluttershy, She’s not going to bite your head off, even if her mane was made of fire. You always talked about making new friends, darling, well now is that chance!” Nodding reaffirmingly to the shy yellow mare, the fashionista gives the pegasus a slight nudge in Twilight’s direction.
Suppressing her fears in the wake of Rarity’s encouragement, the timid pegasus tip toes up to the purple unicorn. “Hi, I’m Fluttershy. It’s… um… it’s nice to meet you!” she says as she ducks behind her mane.
‘Oh no, look at the poor dear, she’s completely terrified!’ Twilight thinks ‘But why? What did I…..’
Twilight’s previous behavior suddenly comes back into the forefront of her mind as she remembers her terrifying abuse of magical power. “Oh, I’m sorry Fluttershy! This is about me exploding into flame and burning the floor and yelling at your friend Rarity. I’m really sorry that I did those things and I’m so sorry that I scared you that badly!”
The butter yellow Pegasus apologizes, “Oh it’s not that, Twilight. Your ummmm, ‘freak out’ wasn’t very scary. That is, it wasn’t very scary, compared to one of Rarity’s freak outs.”
“Ahem.” The purple maned unicorn taps her hoof at on the ground as she stares judgmentally at the pegasus in a way that implies ‘I thought we agreed to never talk about that’.
“Um that is herfreakoutsthatIshouldnevertalkaboutaresomethingI’mgoodatdealingwith! SoIwasn’tscaredandI’mreallygladtomeetyouaswell!” The pegasus takes a breather as she tries to catch her breath from her speedy response, while Rarity herself calms down as well.
“All right then, it’s a pleasure to meet you both of you,” Twilight states. “Any friend of Applejack is a friend of mine, Rarity. And of course by extension any friend of Rarity is a friend of mine as well, Fluttershy. I hope that we can be on good terms in the future as well.”
Twilight nods her head as she looks at the surprising diversity of the ponies surrounding her. “Well then, on to business: since Applejack was able to fill both of you in on the importance of the Red Stones to the nation of Equestria, I hereby formally request that you hand over the Stones to my possession in Golden Oaks Library so that they might be adequately protected and studied by the Princess Representative.”
Twilight looks Rarity over, fully expecting her to comply with her reasonable and expected request. Yet to her surprise the fashionista begins to chuckle again. “Darling, you simply must stop reading those dusty old books! You sound like a military manual or something.”
The fashionista chuckles to herself despite the stunned look of her friend’s face. “No, Twilight, despite our new rapport I simply can’t turn over the Red Stones for nothing at all. After all, it took a great deal of effort for me to locate them, and if I am to assist you in locating more of the Red Stones…”
Twilight manages to catch this. “Assist me? Why would you want to assist me? You’re not a Stand user.”
“Of course I’m going to help you, Twilight. After all, what are friends for?” Rarity flutters her eyelashes. “And of course I’ll have to tag along as well, now that you’ve disclosed how important your little mission is. Not only is your little group in need of some beauty and skill, but after what happened in the forest it is painfully clear that I have to come along to keep an eye on SOMEPONY, so that she doesn’t go rushing off into danger again.”
Under Rarity’s intense stare it takes everything that Applejack has to look away and whistle to herself, hoping Rarity’s wrath will pass over her and onto somepony else.
“… And as for why you should let me help, I believe I told you,” Rarity resumes without missing a beat. “My natural talents for locating gems, (though it might be more difficult to locate them than ordinary gems, I admit - makes me far more valuable than a platoon of soldiers in your task.” Rarity smiles at her proper labeling of her skills as she continues on. “Now as I was saying, if I end up helping you for nothing at all, my fashion business will undoubtedly suffer as well. I may be generous Twilight but I’m not completely selfless and if I am expected to help you locate the Red Stones I require that I be reimbursed for my troubles.”
Twilight thinks this over in her head, her mind analyzing both the pros and cons of Rarity’s assistance. ‘True, Rarity’s gem hunting power means that it would be very good idea to have her help look for the Red Stones. But if she is involved she’ll be in danger, and it would be unforgivable if something happened to her as well. After what happened to Applejack I should just tell her that we don’t need her assistance and…….’
Applejack’s voice resonates through Twilight’s mind: ‘Ahm the kind of pony that others can rely upon, so instead of takin this whole mess by yer lonesome why don’t ya lean on yer friends instead?’
Reconsidering her own thought, the mare looks at the fashionista, taking in her generosity and her willingness to risk it all to protect a friend in need. “….. Alright, Rarity, you can help,” Twilight relents.
The ivory mare beams. “Really?”
“Really. Now, how much do you want for your services?” Twilight asks. “I’ll have to warn you, the Princess’s budget is tight, so I can’t give you a fortune or something but it’ll certainly be better pay than most jobs out there.”
Rarity shakes her head. “Oh Twilight, I don’t need money; my business though small is incredibly lucrative, and between that and my gem finding I could probably go….. let’s see……. four, maybe five months without filling an order?”
Twilight’s jaw drops. “What?!” the purple mare exclaims, “You’re that rich!?!”
Applejack shakes her head. “I thought ya knew, Twi. Rarity’s a small town girl. But cause of her gem findin and her popular hoof made fashion lines she’s the third richest pony in town. Just behind Filthy Rich, Silver Strike, and Filthy’s wife Gleaming Earing, an he owns Backyard Bargains!”
“Applejack, you flatterer, you.” Rarity blushes under Applejacks’ compliment. “But yes, I have little need for money; besides, all the money in the world can’t get me into Canterlot without the proper… connections.”
“It’s quite simple, Twilight darling,” The ivory mare brushes her purple mane out of her eyes. “You are the Princess’s protégé, are you not? If I help you out I want to have my clothes be backed by the Crown. That is, I want the Princess and her special protégé to wear only outfits that I myself make.”
Rarity trots over to the window, looking out towards Canterlot. “If the Princess herself is wearing my clothes, NO noble will be able to tell me that my best outfits are cheap rags, that my clothes are nothing but potato sacks for the common peddler… NO……..”
The mare’s eyes burn with a silent fury. “NO, THEY WILL NOT BE ABLE TO DENY ME ANY LONGER. NO, THEY SHALL ALL BOW BEFORE ME, THAT ARROGANT PHOTO FINISH, AND THAT HORRIBLE SURI, AND THAT ROTTEN HOITY TOITY!! THEY SHALL ALL BOW BEFORE THE UNDENIABLE BEAUTY AND PRESTIGE OF THE GREAT RARITY!” With a voice that chills the bones of every pony in the room, the ivory mare laughs a dark and cruel laugh, anticipating her dramatic rise to power over the ponies who ruined her life.
“Told you,” Fluttershy whispers in Twilight’s ear.
The mare suddenly becomes aware of her incredibly unladylike behavior as she clears her throat and turns around to face Twilight again. “Sorry about that, darling. Well, what do you say? You get not only my amazing services but the right and privilege to wear the best of the best that I can offer. Quite a bargain, no?”
Twilight looks around at Rarity’s wares, her every dress a perfect masterpiece of woven cloth and embroidered gems. Even Twilight has to admit that Applejack is right; Rarity is a mare of skill and passion. “Well, normally the Princess never directly advocates things because it causes so much trouble. However, she does always need formal wear for one reason or another.” Twilight gestures around the room, “And from what I have seen of your work, I would be proud to forward some of it to her.”
No sooner than the words leave her mouth, the lavender mare finds herself embraced in a bear hug that could crush a manticore. “ThankyouohthankyouTwilightSparkleyouarealifesaverandyou’rehelpingmemakemydreamscometrue! Thankyou!Thankyou!Thankyou!”
Twilight tries to use all her power to pry herself from the grasp, to speak, to use her magic; however the lack of oxygen to her brain has made all three of these things impossible as she simply waits for it all to end.
Pinkie laughs, “He He Look at the color her face is turning! I never knew there were that many shades of purple!”
Applejack taps Rarity on the shoulder. “Um, Rarity…” She points to the nearly unconscious mare, which causes the ivory unicorn to relinquish her grip.
“I’m so sorry, Twilight! I simply don’t know what came over me!”
Taking great wheezing breaths of ever so precious oxygen, the lavender mare barely manages to respond, “Don’t worry about it Rarity. It’s just one of those days, I guess.”
“Well, that still does not excuse my behavior. Now I know managing business and friendship is tricky so I simply have to ask, are we still friends despite all this?”
Rarity extends her hoof, and without thinking for a second Twilight grasps it, giving the fashionista a certain and clear sign of their friendship. “Yes, Rarity, yes we are.”
Unable to restrain her joy any longer, Twilight beams at the numerous successes she has achieved today. They have already seen so much of the town, she has made two new friends, one of which can greatly help in her mission, and already they have gathered so many of the Red Stones thanks to Rarity, all on the first day of looking.
Twilight asks herself, “Could this day possibly get any better?”
“… This day couldn’t possibly get worse,” the now-ragged unicorn states as she drags her hooves through the dirt.
“WOWIE wasn’t that a great day, Twilight?” Pinkie says as she bounces next to the obviously exhausted and frazzled mare. Celestia’s sun is setting off in the distance and the entire town is winding down as the ponies of the small town prepare for a relaxing evening. “Too bad Applejack couldn’t join us for this walk back home, I’ve had almost as much fun explaining everything we did today as I had actually doing it. Let’s see, we met almost every amazing pony in town including Raindrops! We looked at every important building in Ponyville and took our pictures next to each and every one. And you only freaked out a whole three times! That’s gotta be a personal record!”
Her library in sight, Twilight breathes an immense sigh of relief that her day is almost over and puts all her remaining willpower into ignoring the pink menace behind her. “And you know what the best part of all is Twilight? Hunh? Do you? Hunh? Do you? Hunh? Do you? Hunh? Do you? Hunh? Do you? Hunh? Do you? Hunh? Do you? Hunh? Do you? Hunh? Do you? Hunh? Do…”
Finally reaching the door, Twilight wrenches it open. “No. What is the best part Pinkie?”
Pinkie smiles brightly. “Tomorrow we get to wake up and do it all over again! Isn’t it exciting?”
Twilight visibly shudders at this as she freezes in the doorway. “So Twilight, what’s your opinion of Ponyville?” Pinkie asks, oblivious to the lavender unicorn’s torment. “It’s the greatest town in Equestria right? Did you learn something new? How were Mrs. Cake’s brownies? Did you think that Mayor Mare is a silly name? Because I certainly did!”
Her mane begins to curl as the lavender mare’s eye twitches in its socket. As slowly as Twilight can manage, she cranes her neck behind her, her beady twitching eye blinking erratically at Pinkie Pie. “Why yes, Pinkie, I did learn something about the town of Ponyville today!”
Pinkie leans in to hear Twilight’s thoughts as the mare clears her throat and raises her hoof demurely, before shouting at the top of her lungs: “ALL THE PONIES IN THIS TOWN ARE CRAZY!” With the force of thunderclap Twilight slams the door of the library shut, leaving Pinkie Pie and all the craziness that she represents outside.
Rubbing her sore horn, Twilight walks through the ground floor of the library. Finally able to relax, the mare tries to restore her frazzled nerves before she has to wake up tomorrow and deal with Ponyville and all it’s crazy all over again.
“Maybe from now on I’ll have two cups of coffee in the morning instead of the normal one. I have a feeling I’m gonna need it from now on, seeing as how things are only going to get more hectic from here on out.” Twilight looks out the library window to see the pink menace bouncing off in the distance, almost missing the presence of a pony so bright and full of energy. “I still can’t believe that I made friends with such crazy ponies, a stubborn farmer, a dramatic fashionista, and… Pinkie.”
Closing her eyes as she rests her head on the center table in the library, Twilight thinks back to everything that happened today. Pinkie’s felt boards, Rainbow Dash’s fear of authority, Applejack’s unflinching support for her fillyhood friend, Fluttershy’s grace and poise in the wake of her outburst, and even Rarity’s terrifying rant and her deep seated concern for the fate of her friends.
“They’re all completely crazy,” Twilight states as she smiles to herself. “But you know… I wouldn’t have anypony else by my side in all this.”
Twilight slaps her face with her hooves, causing fresh blood to once again rush to her head. “Okay it's only seven oh seven. I still have plenty of time for Stand meditation and practicing magic. But just to be safe I should probably have a cup of coffee and try some of those new beans that I…” Twilight suddenly remembers what she forgot to get while she was out. “…… coffee beans. And by now all the stores are closed so there’s no chance of getting any fresh coffee for tomorrow morning.”
Twilight prepares to utter a string of obscenities that could make ears bleed as she takes in as much air as physically possible. Thankfully, Twilight’s imminent outburst is stopped when she spies an open thermos on the library table that she hadn’t noticed before. Amazed at the item’s sudden appearance, Twilight trots over to the table and gives the steaming cup a deep whiff. Twilight shudders, unable to suppress a shiver as the smell alone reinvigorates her entire body.
“Its coffee all right! But who…” Next to the now-familiar thermos Twilight spies a note.
THOUGHT YOU MIGHT NEED THIS FOR LATER! I KNOW I DO WHENEVER I PULL ALL NIGHTERS AND HAVE THOSE SLOW MORNINGS THAT KEEP ME FROM BEING MY PINKIE BEST! THANKS FOR LOOKING AROUND PONYVILLE WITH ME AND MY OTHER FRIENDS! I LOOK FORWARD TO HANGING OUT WITH YOU TOMORROW, AND THE DAY AFTER THAT, AND THE DAY AFTER THAT, AND THE DAY AFTER THAT, AND THE DAY AFTER THAT.
SINCERELY PINKIE PIE
P.S. AND THE DAY AFTER THAT AND THE DAY AFTER THAT AND THE DAY AFTER THAT…….
Twilight smiles as the picks up the thermos filled to the brim with piping hot coffee. Her hoof practically trembling as she takes a big swig of its delicious caffeine. “Like I said, I wouldn’t have anypony else…”