• Published 11th Sep 2013
  • 1,651 Views, 42 Comments

Weekdays are too short - Jeweled Pen



Follow up to Weekends are too long, a few months after the two get together can Pinkie and Rarity survive a week of separation?

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Monday

Luna's moon hung high over Ponyville as many of its residents slept soundly in preparation for the coming days work. Except for a single light that beamed out through a window in a building shaped and designed much like a gingerbread house with candy and frosting, known as Sugarcube Corner. In the top room Pinkie Pie sat on her big fluffy pink bed and slowly took a deep breath before blowing out the candle on her little cupcake. “Congratulations on arriving Rarity, safe and sound and I wish I could be there to give you a party. I just want you to know I'll miss you dearly, so when you get back I'm going to hug and kiss you sincerely...” she mumbled softly before taking a bite out of her cupcake and rolling onto her back and sliding under the covers.

”You know she's not coming back,” a little voice in the back of Pinkie's head said softly, making the mare roll her eyes. ”She's going to make it big and then she'll never have time for any of you again. She'll-Eep!”

”Now just what do you think you're telling the poor girl?” a much nicer, Rarity-ish voice said.

”N-nothing, let me- OW! Stop it! Ow! Leggo! You can't do this to me! I'm the voice of insecu-OW!'

”You're a bratty little voice, that's what you are. Hmph. Imagine skulking around all day in this nice mare's head and trying to make her feel bad. Were you the one who said all those horrible things about her appletini cupcakes?”

”They tasted awful and were tacky!”

”They were original and, while I will admit the taste left much to be desired, they were the first step in the creative process.”

”They were a failure! Just like everything else she- OW! MFFF! GRFFFF!”

”Such a naughty little voice... It seems you'll need to be... disciplined...”

”MFFFFFFFFF!” the voice let out muffled screams that got quieter and quieter until disappearing.

Pinkie giggled as she held Gummy close and rubbed his tummy. “I wonder what Rarity's doing now...” she mumbled as she slowly drifted off to sleep.

------

“-here?” Rarity finished as she stared at the unicorn stallion with wide eyes. He was small, about the same size as her with a perfectly trimmed red coat and black mane and tail. His eyes were red and his cutey mark was a strip of pleather wrapped tightly around a heart.

“Oh Rarity, is that any way to talk to an old friend? I've been waiting for you to arrive of course! I-”

“What do you want Enigma?” she snapped in annoyance.

“Why, I'm proud you actually remembered me. Come now, can't you at least pretend to be happy? We haven't seen each other in years,” he said as he held out his hooves.

“Where's Lovetap?” she snapped in annoyance as she tried to storm past him. He let her, but followed quickly behind her.

“Ah, we broke up years ago. I'm now with these pretty little twins named, would you slow down?”

“No. I'm not interested in whatever you have to say,” she snapped as she made her way to the luggage drop and began stacking her luggage onto a nice large cart.

Enigma sighed and moved to help her out. “Please, will you just listen to me?”

“No!” she snapped angrily as she tossed one of her bags, cringing as it missed the cart and instead slammed across the ground, cracking open and spilling its contents everywhere.

“Rarity, please...” he mumbled as he continued to help her gather everything. “I pulled a lot of strings to get you to this show, I just want to-”

“YOU?!” she screamed as she turned her gaze onto him. “You... You're the one responsible for this?! How... why...”

“You're work is amazing!” he said as he took a step back, raising a hoof defensively. “I always said you were destined for great things. I've been watching you, in a purely business sense I swear. I heard about the elements, Discord, your fashion line with Hoity Toity and, probably most impressive of all, designing a wedding dress for a princess as well as creating the ceremonial head dress for the newly discovered Crystal Empire? I can't imagine a single mare who deserves to be here more than you,” he said proudly.

“Well... I will admit I may have accomplished a little bit more than the average designer...”

“Of course you have. But... I've also seen the profit margins on that little boutique of yours,” he said with a sigh.

“You've what?! How could you! You violated my-”

“We were business partners once, I merely wanted to see how you were fairing. Tell me Rarity, how much do you still owe on that boutique?”

“Ah, well, with property costs, maintenance, and-”

“Rarity,” he said sternly.

“.... About twenty five thousand.” she mumbled softly.

“Uh huh. I've seen the way you run shops, Rarity. You make only, what, a few hundred bits profit each month? How many pieces of original work do you give away or keep for yourself, just to be on the cutting edge of fashion?”

“Well, I...”

“Not to mention the fact you're in a small little town. You should have a shop in Canterlot by now,” he said with a sigh as he began stacking her suit cases back up again.

“Well, I just, I need to finish paying off the boutique first and-”

“I bet you didn't even accept payment for the wedding dress.”

“... Well the princess was the teacher of a friend of mine and the groom was my friends brother. It wouldn't really feel right taking payment since they supplied the materials and-”

“Rarity. Listen to yourself,” he said as he moved in closer and stroked her cheek a little bit. “You're a generous mare, of that we all know. But you are also running a business. Listen will... you just come to my place? Listen to what I have to say?”

“What? No. I told you, I'm not interested in that line of design any more,” she grumbled as she put the last suitcase on her cart and sighed as she began to haul it.

“Why? Are you afraid of what your friends would s-”

“Don't you talk about my friends!” she snapped angrily. “Don't you dare try to threaten me! I've already given you my answer! I am no longer... that mare. I am a fashionista! I create designs that are the cutting edge! I no longer create such... such frivolities.”

“I would never, I just... Please. I kept my promise, I never told anyone, just why won't you...” he sighed in defeat as she stormed off, ignoring his words. Albeit very slowly as the cart she was pulling was quite heavy. He merely sat down and watched as she slowly pulled her cart away, occasionally having to stop as things toppled off, but, eventually, she made it outside and was on her way.

------

The city was aglow with life. Ponies were running around and chatting. Bright lights streamed out from diners and markets. There was a constant clop clop of hoof steps surrounding Rarity on all sides as she slowly made her way through the city, glancing around in as refined a manner as she could muster. This was where she belonged! The lights, the sounds. Ponies everywhere at all hours of the night, admiring her designs as she, one of the greatest designers in Equestria, would come walking down the street in the cutting edge of fashion. It reminded her, a little, of her trip to Canterlot. Excitement pulsating the air, the lights, the sounds, but it was different. While the royal capital was more subdued this was unrestrained and alive! Nothing at all like the quiet nights of Ponyville.

It wasn't long before she arrived at a large golden building. Windows surrounded it on all sides and she could see other designers setting up their works, piece by piece, within. All manners of materials were being set up side by side and with an excited squeal she reached out her hoof and tugged on the door.

It didn't budge.

A look of confusion covered her face as she tried a few more times. Nothing. She looked around for a sign or some direction but, nothing. What was going on? Was there another entrance? Maybe... Ah! A blue unicorn dressed in a golden gown walking by! She tapped on the glass a few times until she drew the mares attention and slowly, with a visible sigh, the mare moved over. She popped the door open a few inches and, after taking one look at Rarity, grumbled. “Can I... help you miss?”

“Ah, of course. I am Rarity and I've come to displ-”

“Miss, I'm sorry this isn't one of 'those' events. We don't take designers off the street no matter... how much luggage they have,” she grumbled with annoyance. “This is only for the elite of Equestria.”

“What? But, I am! I have an invitation from-”

“I'm sure you do. Just like the other ponies who have- wha?” the mare stopped as Rarity pulled her invitation from her bags with her magic and held in in front of the woman.

“Oh, I-I see. I'm dreadfully sorry. I thought, well... I mean, you're naked. I thought you were just another... wanna be who... I'm dreadfully sorry,” the mare said as she flustered about with bright red cheeks.

“It's... quite alright, dear. I can understand your confusion, I ahhhh, haven't had time to dress up yet. I've only just arrived from the train and haven't had time to properly prepare,” she managed to keep her composure as best she could but internally she screamed. She hadn't even thought of an outfit for herself! So stupid! Coming to a fashion event completely naked?! She'd have to do something fast!

“Well then, now that that's out of the way. If you'd like to come inside there is an entrance around the back. Just show your invitation to the guards and they'll let you right in,” the mare said as she quickly ducked back inside and closed the door.

Rarity let out a soft sigh as she slowly walked around the building. Windows surrounded it on the sides to allow the outside to see the excitement going on within, but the back was solid stone with only one doorway, albeit a very large one. Two very large, possibly even larger than Big Mac, pegasi blocked the doorway as she moved towards it.

“I'm sorry miss this entrance is only for-” he went silent as she held out her invitation. “Ah. Sorry, here,” he said as he held the door out for her. Despite its size she had to empty part of her cart outside to get it through.

“Would you two be total dears and watch my things for me?” she asked with a charming smile and a bat of her eyes.

Red flowed into the ponies cheeks as he nervously smiled and nodded. “S-sure miss...”

“Thank you ever so much,” she said with a dazzling smile as she slowly hauled her things inside. The building was filled with ponies running back and forth as they set up their stands and did last minute checks on their designs, as well as organizers making sure nothing went wrong. To her delight she found she wasn't near the back, in fact she was near the center of the great hall in a rather sizeable island of her own. After a few trips she had all her supplies within reach and began to set up her dresses. All except one.

It was a soft sky blue dress that flowed down across her blank and came up to just under her neck, though it left her front hooves completely bare almost like a cloak or cape. The front formed a clasp around her neck where a beautiful fire ruby shaped like a heart resided, quite similar to one her dear friend Spike gave her not to long ago. A trail of jewels, rubies, topazs, diamonds and sappires formed a beautiful trail along the hem before they interested near the back, at which point they seemed to explode upwards like a fountain, across the entire back of the dress.

She glanced around the hall before catching the eye of one of the organizers. “Yoo hoo! Hello? Darling?” she asked with a soft smile. “Could you tell me where, ahhh, I can go prepare myself and freshen up before the big morning?”

The stallion, a smaller red unicorn lugging around a clip board, glanced at her for a few moments before looking down at the paper. “Ah. Yes, miss Rarity was it? There are a few small showers set up on the third floor and, if you wish to catch a few hours rest we have a number of cots set up on the second floor,” the pony said in a practiced tone. She imagined he had been telling ponies that all night.

“Ah! Merci!” she said as she glanced back at her little island. Well, it was good enough for now. She really could use a few hours nap before the big show. After all, she only rested a little on the train and didn't get much sleep the last couple of nights either. She took a deep breath and, with a few helpful directions, soon found a room with plenty of small white cots set up. Despite the herds down below setting up she found quite a few of the cots were already filled.

She dropped into the nearest open one and let out a gasp. While the design left much to be desired it was amazingly soft... for a cot. She almost suspected clouds were used in its manufacturing. After a few moments to get nice and comfy she drifted off to sleep, the stress of the coming day eventually evaporating as well.

------

Shrieking and cries of excitement woke the sleeping mare and she slowly sat up with a confused look. “Wha? What's going on?”

“She's here!” a young pegasus stallion said as he smiled at her.

“Huh? Who's he-”

“Cuckoo Strait!” he shrieked as her heart jumped. Oh my gosh! The mare! The legend!

“Where is she?!” Was her hair done? Were her hooves polished, were her- SHE HAD BEEN SLEEPING! She darted off full pelt, not hearing the stallions response as she galloped towards where the showers had been set up and, using her special cleansing and make up kit she brought to all special occasions she was prepared and looking Fabulous in record time! With a capital F! And in only forty minutes too!

She took a deep breath and checked the clasp on her outfit one final time. While she didn't make a hat for the outfit she did apply a single ruby pin to her hair before slowly heading down to the main hall.

Finding Cuckoo was easy. A single elderly green earth pony with an orange mane and sharp eyes. That and she was surrounded on all sides by dozens of ponies, all hoping to catch her eye with their designs.

The mare was taking her time, looking through each fabric and design with an appraising glance. Even though the hall hadn't even officially opened yet the ponies did their very best to impress the mare. To Raritys delight the mare hadn't even made it to her small island yet and wouldn't for a while, so she quickly ran to it and prepared.

She was in the midst of polishing her showcase dress when a loud sound caught her attention. One of the ponies who's work was being examined by Cuckoo was crying and a moment later the mare turned and just ran, straight towards the exit. The ponies who surrounded the earth pony were looking uncomfortable and she realized the herd was diminishing quickly.

“Oh dear... Poor thing. I hope her comments weren't to harsh,” Rarity said nervously as she got to work even harder. By the time the legend made her way to the unicorn's stand she was visibly shaking at the thought of what her legend would say. Just like all the others' the mare slowly browsed through each outfit, circling a few times as she examined them closely.

As the mare finally stopped she glanced at Rarity and looked her up and down.“Are you the designers of these?”

“Ye- Hic!” she paled as the sound escaped her lips. Oh no. No no no. Not hiccups! Not now! “I'm the *hic* designer of these *hic* dresses,” oh Celestia she wanted to die.

“I see... It looks familiar. You are the one who designed the dress in the recent wedding for the princess Cadence, are you not?” the mare asked as she gently poked one of the gems on a ruby gown.

“Y-yes! I *hic* was the designer an-”

“Fascinating. I remember when I first saw them I thought to myself 'here is a designer who will one day shape the fashion world at its core,'” the earth pony said as Rarity's heart beat faster.

“R-really? You thoug-”

“But I suppose even a blind diamond dog may find a jewel once in a while.”

“I... what?”

“That dress had been fabulous. These ones... I wouldn't clean my bathroom with them,” the mare said harshly as the few remaining ponies of her entourage watched with the fascination one would a wagon wreck.

“But... But I... I...”

“The designs are obvious, the use of jewels is nothing more than pandering to the masses and an awful attempt to draw attention. These outfits are safe. Just that. Safe. The kind of thing you'd see at a bargain rack at the nearest Hoofmart. Not to mention this outfit, the worst offender of them all!” she said as she motioned towards the show piece. “You basically flooded it with diamonds! Replacing the spirit and soul of the dress with a pathetic attempt to be 'current' due to the sudden popularity of diamonds. Frankly this entire line is nothing more than easily forgotten dress after easily forgotten dress. The kind of thing some pony would wear once, then toss in the back of their closet for a few years before donating it to Goodfeels.”

Rarity just stared, her mouth open in shock. “I... I... I...” she squeaked pathetically as her hero slowly turned and moved off to the next designer. It took all her might to resist crying in front of the mare, instead moving around so her dress was between the two of them, apparently the only thing it was good for, before bursting into tears.

When the hall finally opened to the public she managed to barely get a hold of herself, smiling a fake-happy smile to all her visitors. When it finally, mercifully, ended she quickly gathered all her things that weren't staying there and made a beeline straight to the Golden Egg hotel. Fortunately she had booked her room months in advance so she had a nice single princess sized bed to mope on.

She laid on her bed and just stared at the roof, trembling as the mares words ran through her head. Over and over and over again. Obvious. Pandering. Safe. Bargain rack. Each word felt like a knife through her heart. She didn't even know where she had failed! Where she had screwed up! She had kept up with the latest fashion trends in Canterlot, she knew it! Maybe they were more advanced here? Maybe... Maybe she wasn't meant to be a designer. Maybe it was all just a sham. Maybe she... should just give up.

She rolled onto her side and hugged her tummy as she wallowed in her misery. A small bit of white caught her eye and, to her surprise, she found a small envelope on her nightstand. She slowly pulled it to her with her magic before opening.

'Dearest Rarity,

I know you have no desire to speak about our past relationship but, please, I would love to have a chance to talk with you, as friends, while you are in town. Please give me a call. I've left my card with this note.

From, Enigma'

The unicorn stared at the note for a few moments before glancing at the hotel room phone and then the card. If she went back to designing those things... well... She had always been good at it. She slowly picked up the phone in her magic and then dialed the number. It was answered on the third ring.

“Hello?” a young mares voice answered.

“Is Enigma there?”

“Who is this?!” the mare snapped angrily.

“I... oh... Rarity. I-”

“Listen, miss Rarity, we have no need for- huh? Who?” a voice could be heard in the background before the phone was handed off.

“Rarity? Is it you?” Enigma's voice asked excitedly.

“... Yes. I... I want to talk. Can you meet tomorrow?”

“Sure! I have a standing reservation at Madame Lah Creme's tomorrow. How about we meet around noon? My treat?”

“... Sure. I'll see you then. Bye,” Rarity said as she slammed the phone down before she could change her mind. She laid her head down as she wallowed a bit more. “Way to go Rarity,” she grumbled, “not only a horrible designer but selling out to... that life again... Why did I even think I could compete in that world?” she rolled onto her back and stared at the roof sadly as the clock slowly ticked away. Four more days of this. Could she even show up in the hall tomorrow? Could she endure their stares? What if Cuckoo came by again and did it again in front of the visitors? She'd be ruined.

She closed her eyes as she tried, and barely succeeded, to fall into a restless sleep.