• Published 1st Mar 2012
  • 15,388 Views, 346 Comments

Seeking Beauty - Donnys Boy

Rarity has accomplished everything she’s dreamt of accomplishing. Except for finding love.

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Chapter 1

“Seeking Beauty”

by Donny’s Boy


Synopsis: Rarity has accomplished everything she’s dreamt of accomplishing, and she couldn’t be happier. At least, that’s what she thinks, until an old friend comes unexpectedly bouncing back into her life. A RariPie story.


“I don’t need a parachute, baby, if I’ve got you.
Baby, if I’ve got you, I don’t need a parachute.
You’re gonna catch me,
You’re gonna catch if I fall …”
--Cheryl Cole, “Parachute”


Desert. Hard, barren, unforgiving desert, as far as the eye could see.

To her right, endless sand. To her left, endless sand. And in front of her only a long stretch of railroad track, disappearing off into distance. All of it standing out starkly against the huge expanse of cloudless sky, where the sun burned a dusky orange as it kissed the horizon.

Sweat dripped down in absolute torrents, stinging her eyes, making her coat feel sticky and slimy. Every pump of the rail car’s lever sent another shudder through her aching muscles and another stream of perspiration down her back. But at least the discomfort caused by all this unladylike sweating and grunting served to distract her from the constant, incessant babbling that buzzed in the air like so many horseflies. For just as the sweat came pouring down in endless rivers, so poured out endless words from her companion’s mouth.

She’d stopped listening long ago, of course, but she couldn’t completely block them from her mind. All those words marched relentlessly forward, relentlessly onward. As the non-stop chatter battered her sanity, she tried to calm herself with daydreams about all the terrible, terrible vengeance she would wreak upon a certain rainbow-maned pegasus.

Then, the babbling suddenly stopped. She closed her eyes and drank in the sudden silence. It was as sweet as a drink of cool, refreshing water would have been at that same moment.

The quiet was not to be long-lived, however. “Hey, Rarity? I just wanted to say thanks.”

“For what?” Her voice snapped out like a whip, much harsher than she’d meant it to sound

But that harshness was only met with a happy giggle. “For catching me.”

They both lapsed back into silence. The only thing to be heard, as dusk descended upon them, was the rhythmic squeak of the rail car’s wheels as they traveled along the tracks.

“You’re welcome, Pinkie.” The words were so quiet, so gentle, they were almost lost to the wind. Almost, but not entirely.

Chapter 1

It began with a simple business card.

The Duchess of Hoofington had been taunting her all through the evening, going on at length about her fabulous new caterer, who was as yet a complete unknown in Canterlot’s high-society circles. All through the soup course, through the salad course and well into the course featuring the main entree, the duchess had sung the praises of her caterer’s many delectables--cakes and pies and tarts and, apparently, dragon-fire creme brulee. Even Fancy Pants, the most patient and tolerant of hosts, had shot the boastful mare a few annoyed looks from his place at the head of the dinner table.

But it wasn’t until the dessert course that the duchess finally moved in for the kill. “You know, Lady Rarity,” she began, with a smile as sharp as a dagger, “I really should put you in touch with my caterer. I’m sure her work would be just the most perfect thing for your fashion show after-parties.”

“Is that so?” Rarity’s smile was every inch as sharp and as dangerous. “Do tell, my dear duchess.”

The duchess, a pale green unicorn with a too-thin face, tilted her head. “I believe I have her business card somewhere or other … oh, and while I’m looking for it, may I ask you something, Lady Rarity?” A calculated pause, followed by another one of those awful smiles. “I was hoping you might be able to create one of your stunning dresses for my daughter to wear at her upcoming cute-ceañera, if you happen to be available to do so. I know how busy you get this time of the year.”

Aha. There it was. Rarity had been waiting for it because she knew, as surely as she knew that the Duchess of Hoofington was both an insufferable boor and an insufferable bore, that this would come down to a matter of quid pro quo. “I’m sure I can make some time in my schedule,” she replied in a light, breezy tone, “and I would be delighted to design for your lovely daughter.”

Free of charge, too, of course. That went without saying. Almost everything went without saying among Canterlot’s aristocracy, really, as directness was considered terribly uncouth. As refined and elegant as she already was when she first moved to Canterlot, Rarity had still been a bit surprised to learn that, here, nothing could ever be said but only implied. All of those years in Ponyville, surrounded by ponies such as Applejack and Rainbow Dash--who seemed to have had the filters between their brains and their mouths surgically removed at birth--had taken their toll on the unicorn’s sensibilities. She’d grown too used to ponies actually meaning the things they said.

She’d learned quickly, though. She’d had to.

Still smiling, the Duchess of Hoofington took out a small white card and placed it on the fine linen of the table. She gently nudged the card towards Rarity with a dainty burst of magic. “If I do give you this, you must promise that you’ll contact her! I don’t give her information out to just anyone, you realize.”

Despite herself, Rarity felt a flush of pleasure--that she wasn’t “just anyone.” It was silly, and it was wrong, but she felt it nonetheless. “I give you my word, Duchess,” Rarity said in a solemn tone, as she used her own magic to pick up the business card.

Which she almost dropped, once she saw what was written upon it. Because on the front of the card, in swirly pink script, were the words:

Pinkie Pie, Esq., D.D.S., Ph.D.
Sugarcube Corner, Proprietress
Caterer, Party Planner, and Balloon Animal Artiste


Mixing business with friendship was never a good idea. And the mere thought of deliberately and voluntarily bringing Pinkie Pie up to Canterlot was enough to cause Rarity to nearly break out in psychosomatic hives. But she had promised the duchess, and one simply did not break promises to nobility.

So it was that she was now pacing around the large room that housed her work studio, anxious and restless, all while trying not to imagine all the many different ways everything could go horribly, horribly wrong. Soon enough, however, she was interrupted by her assistant, a rather short and stout young unicorn stallion, who rushed into the room as though being chased by an entire pack of timber wolves.

“I am so sorry, Lady Rarity,” he gasped out, eyes wide with fear and contrition. “I tried to inform Lady Pinkie that I would announce her arrival, but she--”

He was cut off as a familiar, high-pitched voice squealed, “Oh, my gosh! This place is so big!

Rarity smiled almost despite herself as a blur of pink bounded into the room, and it was one of her seldom-seen genuine smiles. Turning to her assistant, she replied, “It’s quite all right, Snips. You oughtn’t blame yourself at all. But would you go prepare some tea for the both of us, please?“

“Yes, milady.” With a bow, the young unicorn stumbled his way out of the room, closing the door behind himself.

Once he’d left, Rarity approached her newly arrived guest, who was facing away from her and poking at a clothes mannequin with a curious hoof. “Lady Pinkamena! It’s so good to see you, darling.”

Pinkie Pie turned around with a grin. “Ha! ‘Lady Pinkamena’ ... You’re so funny, Rarity.”

“That is your title, you know.” The unicorn sighed. This was a conversation that had been had many times, but still, she felt compelled to try again. She always felt compelled to try again. “Certainly you remember the ceremony at which Princess Celestia bestowed ladyships upon all of us? In honor of our--and I quote--in honor of our dedicated service to the nation as bearers of the Elements of Harmony?”

Somehow, Pinkie was now halfway across the studio, inspecting some bolts of fabric with intense interest. She called out over her shoulder, “Well, sure, I remember! The party we had after that was one of the bestest I’ve ever thrown. But it’s still really funny when you call me Lady Pinkamena.”

With a quiet sigh, Rarity decided to let the matter go. The truth was, none of her friends ever used their titles, with the occasional exception of Rainbow Dash, who was of the firm belief that having a title made her name twenty percent cooler. In fact, Applejack had nearly refused to receive her ladyship at all, and it was only the combined pleading of Rarity and Twilight that had swayed the stubborn farm pony.

“I suppose you’re right,” the unicorn allowed, ever gracious. “Well, then. Let me start by saying that it was kind of you to come on such short notice, Pinkie.”

“Of course! I love my friends, and I love parties! How could I not come?”

At the mention of friends, Rarity perked up. “Ah, yes, that reminds me. Before we settle down to business, perhaps you could join me for tea and share a bit about how everyone is doing back in Ponyville?”

She didn’t actually have the time to do so, but then again, she never had the time. For anything, really. After only a few weeks of living in Canterlot, Rarity had learned that she’d have to make the time for the things that were truly important.

For instance, she’d been in the middle of a big rush order for Sapphire Shores when the letter arrived inviting her to Rainbow Dash’s big try-out for the Wonderbolts--which, naturally, had been scheduled for the very next day. She’d stayed up through the entire night, working at a feverish pace, but still it hadn’t been enough. By morning, she’d only completed half of the gowns that Sapphire had requested. It had been unfortunate, but there was only one thing that could be done.

She had dashed off a quick letter to Miss Shores full of the most abject apologies, and then she’d hopped the express train to Ponyville. She arrived just in time to join her other friends for the balloon ride that would take them all to Cloudsdale. And the very moment they’d landed in that grand city of the pegasi, she’d found herself engulfed in a giant, crushing hug by an athletic pegasus pony with a shaggy rainbow mane.

“Thanks for coming on such short notice, Rare,” Dash had whispered in her ear, her voice even huskier than usual. “I’m really, really glad you could make it.”

Rarity had laughed. “Don’t be ridiculous, Rainbow. I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.”

That had been two years ago. Two years Dash had been a Wonderbolt, and two years Rarity had received not a single order from Sapphires Shores.

She regretted nothing.


The afternoon tea shared by the two old friends was a much louder, more boisterous affair than the teas to which Rarity had grown accustomed. Pinkie guzzled cups of the beverage as quickly and as messily as she used to down mugs of cider at Applejack’s farm, all the while talking at a near breakneck pace.

“... and then Twilight got that look on her face--you know, the one where her eye starts twitching?--and Fluttershy said we should probably all leave, but I wasn’t so sure about that. I mean, if your friend is upset, shouldn’t you stay there and help them? So I was trying to explain all that to Fluttershy, but then Applejack chomped down on my tail and started dragging me away …”

Rarity took a dainty sip of her own tea. “Ever the eloquent diplomat, our Applejack,” she murmured, fond amusement tinging her voice.

“Uh-huh!” agreed Pinkie enthusiastically, as she slurped more tea. “Oh, and then the library burned down. Again. But it’s okay! Applebloom is fixing it back up, and it should be good as new soon.” Finishing off yet another cup of tea, the earth pony sat back and grinned. “So! What’s new with you?”

It was a question that Rarity was often asked, though not usually with such informal phrasing, and never with the utter sincerity that shone in Pinkie’s voice. Rarity found it rather a nice change of pace, truth be told.

“Not too terribly much, darling,” she replied with a casual wave of her hoof. “It’s been the same clients, the same dinner parties, the same plays and musicals for the last few months. Sweetie Belle was able to stay for a few days not too long ago, though, and that was quite the treat. Her tours keep her so busy lately.”

“I bet! I mean, she’s only the bestest singer in all Equestria.”

Rarity found herself smiling again. “I must admit that I agree with that opinion, though Sweetie tells me I’m biased. But if an older sister can’t show a bit of pride, who can?”

“Oh, I so totally know what you mean,” chirped Pinkie, nodding rapidly. “When my little sister broke open her first geode, I was so proud, I threw her a party right then and there!”

You have a younger sister?” Rarity couldn’t quite keep the note of surprise from her tone.

“No, silly, I have two younger sisters. They both still live on the farm, though. They took over the rock farming from Mom and Dad a few years back.”

The unicorn took another sip of tea, while pondering over the various implications of this new bit of information. Fascinating. “I never knew you had sisters,” she finally confessed.

Pinkie grinned in reply. “There’s a lot that ponies don’t know about me! Twilight says I’m complicated.”

“I do believe our dear Twilight is quite correct in that assessment.” Rarity chuckled dryly. “Though, she usually is, isn’t she?”

“Yeppers! She’s such a smarty pants.”

At the thought of Twilight, Rarity had to stifle a sigh. How long had it been since she’d last visited Ponyville and seen Twilight Sparkle and the others? Two months? Three? She and Twilight corresponded regularly, of course--the studious unicorn did love writing and reading letters--but it wasn’t as satisfying as when when they’d lived just down the road from one another. Fluttershy also sent mail fairly often, but neither Applejack nor Rainbow Dash were much for written correspondence. For her own part, Pinkie sent care packages with little notes tucked inside, but the various cupcakes and brownies tended to smudge out all of the words she’d written down.

They still loved her, and she still loved them. That hadn’t changed a single iota through all the years. If anything, she'd come to love them more and more as the years passed by.

But things simply weren’t the same. Of course, that had been the point, back when she’d first planned her move. She’d long grown tired of Ponyville, with its humdrum everyday sights, its constrictions and its limitations. She’d longed for the bustling streets and towering buildings of the big city, for the glimmering opportunities Canterlot promised for her career--and she’d been blessed to have friends who urged her to go, even as they cried and hugged her close.

Rarity glanced out the window of her boutique, out at those wide, bustling streets of Canterlot, where countless ponies dressed in the finest of clothing passed by. She usually adored pony-watching, silently critiquing the various fashions that walked by her window, but at the present moment she couldn’t seem to muster up any enthusiasm. The sigh she’d been holding in finally slipped out.

So lost in all these thoughts was the unicorn that she didn’t notice that a silence had fallen over the little tea table until it was broken by an unusually soft, unusually serious voice: “Are you … are you happy, Rarity?”

Rarity turned to look at Pinkie Pie, and slowly she blinked as she attempted to clear the cobwebs from her mind. “What? Why would you ask such a thing?” She shook her head. “Of course I’m happy.”

The other mare frowned. “Are you sure?”

“Pinkie, I am fine. I am better than fine! I’m a successful, sought-after designer in one of the most glamorous cities in Equestria. This is everything I ever wanted. Why wouldn’t I be happy?”

“I guess that’s a good point,” said Pinkie, still sounding the slightest bit doubtful. “As long as you’re extra super sure.”

“I am. Quite sure.” And she was happy. She had accomplished exactly what she’d set out to do, and what more was there than that? What greater happiness could there be than making your dreams come true? “Now, as we’ve finished with tea, shall we begin discussing the preparations for tomorrow night?”

Not waiting for an answer, Rarity stood up and began heading across the room towards her work desk at a brisk trot. After a few moments she heard the clop of hooves behind her, as Pinkie finally followed.

Author’s Notes: Thus begins my experiment in RariPie. This should be … something. I guess!

Also, can I just say that while I generally find Derek Hough (from “Dancing With the Stars”) kind of smarmy and ick, he is so ridiculously hot in the music video for Cheryl Cole’s “Parachute”? Lordy lordy.