• Published 17th Apr 2012
  • 36,219 Views, 5,097 Comments

Green - Steel Resolve

Rarity and Fluttershy have been friends for years, and every week they go to the spa. But after every trip, Rarity finds herself growing greener with envy over Fluttershy's beauty and grace, if not something more than just envy—

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Chapter 1: The Spring Line

Rarity stared at the pristine sheet of writing paper, willing ideas to come. The paper remained blank, naturally. Inspiration always came to her when she least expected it: a chance comment, a sunset, a cloud formation, a soft pink mane, a pair of deep blue eyes—No! Stupid sexy Fluttershy. How long till our next spa date?

Sweetie Belle barged in, effectively ending any chance of regaining her concentration as she babbled something about tree sap. The fashionista looked at her calendar, seeking the next day circled in red. Three days, far too long. "—so can they spend the night, Rarity? We'll try not to pester you or break anything. Oh, and definitely no fixing things."

The unicorn shook herself visibly. "I'm terribly sorry, Sweetie. What was that just now?"

Sweetie looked irritated, but repeated the request. "I wanted to know if Apple Bloom and Scootaloo can spend the night. We'll try not to bother you, but we want to have a planning session on how to get our cutie—"

Oh, it's that again. Those three are always so impatient. It comes with time. True talents don't present themselves so easily. She thought of her own mark, those three lovely gems. When her time had come, she had simply been dragged to her destiny, literally. Her pegasus friend had fallen into hers, those three little butterflies. She wondered at times if her friend was as ticklish around the cutie mark as she was. Maybe I could take lessons from Aloe and Vera on massage? She tapped a hoof to her chin. Come to think of it, Fluttershy is quite skilled with massage herself, if Twilight is to be believed. I wonder how it might feel to be under those hooves


Oh, I did it again, didn't I? "I'm so incredibly sorry, Sweetie. Yes, you absolutely may have your friends over tonight. Would you mind terribly going to play with them for a bit? I just remembered I need to go see Fluttershy—" Oh, I have no real excuse ready for this. Quick, make something up! "—to discuss something we talked about during our last spa visit." Oh yes, very smooth. She glanced at the clock. Dear Celestia, have I been staring at this drawing board for three hours? Noon already?

Sweetie hopped around the room, very happy. "Of course, Rarity! I'll be back in time for dinner!"

Rarity hugged her sister. "Take your time, dear. I may be a little while."

Well then, if I can't get any work done, perhaps I can go visit the source of my distraction.

Fluttershy's morning was not going well. It had started with a carrot to the face. Angel Bunny glared down at her impatiently. She yawned. This was not a new development. He had been trying to reassert his dominance lately. Though she figured he had earned a little slack for his excellent behaviour the week before. "Good morning, Angel."

He stamped a foot impatiently, pointed to his mouth, and then the kitchen. She sighed and got out of bed, remaking it after she did so. Angel sneezed as a small cloud of dust was kicked up from the floor. "Oh my, Angel, are you sick again?" He shook his head vehemently, but she still felt his forehead and checked his nose. Still a bit warm. I should stop by Zecora's today. She should have a potion to help him get over the last of the cold.

Fluttershy let him squirm away and he looked up, slightly less annoyed. He gave her a questioning look and pointed to his mouth again. "Coming, Angel, we'll make you a nice salad, then I need to visit Zecora." She followed him downstairs and made him breakfast, then began to feed the rest of the animals. It normally took her until around lunchtime to feed all her friends, so she had to get an early start. She was was just getting to the mice when she was interrupted by a knock on the door.

The walk to her friend's cottage was a pleasant one, all the more so because her mind was finally not split between two tasks. Granted, this is being accomplished by ignoring my work, but it wasn't exactly fruitful to spend hours staring at a page willing inspiration to come, now was it? She arrived at the cottage door and knocked. A hesitant voice answered. "Hello?"

"Fluttershy, it's me, darling. May I come in?"

The door opened a crack. "Oh, hello, Rarity, it's nice to see you. I wasn't expecting you today, or anypony for that matter." A horrifying thought crossed her mind. "Oh no, I don't have the dates mixed up, do I? Did I miss our spa day? Oh, I'm so sorry! Let me get ready!"

Fluttershy all but slammed the door in her friend’s face. She looked around frantically, finally finding her sack of bits. The now-frazzled mare shoved the sack into her saddle bag and rushed back to the door, opening it to be greeted by a very hurt looking unicorn rubbing her nose with a hoof.

She looked in shock at her friend. "Rarity, are you all right?!" She did not look all right, she was in fact the furthest from all right one could be at the moment. She looked as if something might have been broken, or at least bruised. Fluttershy instantly felt maternal concern welling up inside her.

"Quite all right, dear. I really should watch where I am going."

"Come inside, let's have a look at your poor nose! Oh, I am so sorry. First I forget our spa date, now I slam a door in your face!" She led her friend inside where she could sit down, finding a good location with natural sunlight.

Angel Bunny hopped in and looked at the intruder. He gestured to the unicorn as if to say “Are you kidding me?”

Fluttershy shook her head, motioning with her hooves for him to go do something else.

Angel huffed, then hopped off to his hutch. He threw a look over his shoulder that clearly said he felt there was just no dealing with her at times.

Fluttershy hoped he wouldn’t make any more of a fuss, but she had an injured friend to tend to. She turned back to the injured unicorn, examining her nose carefully. "It doesn't seem to be broken, but we should ice it down before it swells."

"Ob, id's fie, Fluddasy... Don trubba yasel—Ob no!" Her friend's face was pained, her eyes widening in panic about how her nose must look if it was beginning to interfere with her speech.

"Stay right there. I'll be back with an ice pack."

Some time later, after the swelling had reduced, the fashionista was finally able to explain the misunderstanding. "Darling, I am so very sorry to have worried you. Our visit is still three days away."

Fluttershy looked relieved, although still a bit guilty. "Oh thank goodness, I was worried I had forgotten. I know just how much the visits mean to you."

Her friend's voice took on a hesitant tone. "You... do?"

She nodded, a smile ghosting across her lips. "Oh yes, they mean a lot to me too!"

The unicorn’s voice was full of repressed emotion. Oh, she sounds so grateful. She really does love our time together. That makes me so happy! "Oh, Fluttershy, I didn't dare hope—"

She placed a hoof over her friend's lips. I understand, Rarity, I love our visits too. I just wish I could tell you why. "It's all right, I know how stressed you get running the Boutique. I don't mind in the least helping you relax. The truth is, I enjoy them too. Sometimes Angel Bunny gets a little demanding, and a nice soak is just right to take my mind off of things." Things like beautiful unicorns.

Her friend laughed suddenly, the manic-sounding laugh of somepony desperate to pretend they had just gotten a joke. She really needs to relax, the poor dear. "Stress, yes of course! Stress all the time, dear!"

The pegasus got up. "I'll make us some tea. You keep that ice pack on."

Rarity watched her get up to make tea, trying not to be too obvious that she was doing so.

Fluttershy came back after the water was boiled and she had added Rarity’s favorite infusion of Earl Grey to the steaming liquid. She sat down and carefully poured two cups, holding each one steady with a hoof and pouring with her mouth. The unicorn marvelled, not for the first time, at just how skillful one needed to be to perform such a task without magic. So very elegant, even in so mundane a thing.

After the tea was poured, both ponies sat in relative silence and contemplation, simply and surreptitiously delighting in each others company. Finally, Fluttershy asked the question she had no answer for. "So, not that I mind you calling, you’re always welcome to come see me. But, if not the spa, what brings you to visit?"

The fashionista sat in silence for a moment longer. "I—" Nothing, no excuse came to mind. Just tell her the truth! Well, as much as you can. "I am having a bit of a creative dip, truth be told. I just spent three hours staring at a blank easel with absolutely nothing to show for it. I can't quite say what's come over me—" Oh yes you can, you wicked liar. Say it! Say it! "—but I thought a change of scenery and some company might help. I hope I’m not imposing." Coward!

Fluttershy sipped her tea and nodded with understanding. "It's no trouble, really. I was just about to leave to visit Zecora when you arrived. Angel still feels a little feverish, you see. Would you like to wait here until I get back?"

The unicorn leaned over and clasped her friend’s hooves with her own. "Oh no, darling. That simply won't do. I wouldn't dream of imposing in such a way. Besides, I know how much you care for the—" Angel Bunny popped his head into the room, catching the unicorn’s eye. He made a rude gesture before leaving as abruptly as he had entered, his hands in the air as if condemning all females as insane. "—dear little... thing. Goodness knows, when my poor Opal gets sick, I am an inconsolable wreck! No, dear. I insist on accompanying you. Besides, perhaps my inspiration awaits us!"

Walking into the Everfree was, as always, terribly frightening. Fluttershy had remarked to her friends on more than one occasion that, if the animals did not need her, she would prefer to live anywhere other than on its outskirts. Still, perhaps she felt more confident with a friend beside her. Rarity trotted next to Fluttershy in companionable silence. She worried a little about their lack of conversation, recalling the many discussions they had shared in the past. Tut tut! What would Applejack say? You talked, she listened, just as she always does!

Still, Fluttershy did not seem to mind the silence. Rarity was actually quite shocked to find she did not mind it herself. It was a rare thing to find somepony you did not feel compelled to make small talk with. So much unneeded nonsense, just to fill that dreadful silence. Being with her lovely friend just... calmed her. In her presence she always felt that things would work out, that no problem was too great.

The besotted unicorn felt soft fur brush against hers for the briefest of moments and turned to see that it was Fluttershy, who had bumped into her.

The pegasus had walked around a root in the road and briefly brushed flanks with hers, blushing as she did so. "Sorry, Rarity. I didn't want to trip."

"No trouble at all, dear. The woods are full of roots and branches just waiting to catch the unwar—yaah!" Her front hoof caught one of the very roots she was referring to and sent her sprawling face-first into the dirt. She spat dirt from her mouth as she righted herself. "Does the universe just have it out for my nose today? I mean really, first the door now—oh hello there, what's this?"

They were the most delicate little blooms, largely pink in hue but shot through with streaks of yellow and orange. She had spotted them only when she was eye level to the ground. Seeing them brought to mind the first morning of spring, as the sun rose over the town on the day after Winter Wrap Up. "Gorgeous..."

A concerned voice came from above her. "Rarity? Are you all right?"

Rarity’s horn flared as she delicately picked one blossom from the plant, shearing it expertly from the stem so as to cause as little damage as possible. She got to her hooves and carried the flower with her as she did so. Fluttershy gasped at the flower she had levitated with her. "Oh my, how lovely..."

Rarity smiled, rubbing her nose once again. "Isn't it? I believe I may have found my inspiration! It just stimulates the senses! Yes! This is it! Just what I needed to get my creative spark going."

The rest of the trip went without incident, save for Rarity having to take it slowly to favor her bruised leg. When the two arrived at Zecora's hut, as luck would have it, she was just returning from a herb-gathering trip into the forest.

"Fluttershy, my kind young friend, is dear Angel on the mend?"

The pegasus smiled shyly. "He's doing better, Zecora, but I hoped you might have something to help him past the last of his fever."

Zecora nodded sagely. "Ah yes, some willow bark tea should surely do. Come inside while I mix the brew."

She looked at the unicorn, noting the bruised nose. "Ah, but what is this I now do see? A bruise on poor sweet Rarity?"

The injured fashionista covered her nose, a little abashed. "I... had a little run in with a door and later the ground." Sighing heavily, she remarked, “Sundays always seem to have it in for me.”

Zecora stepped inside her hut and re-emerged with a potion. "Drink this down, but hold your nose... a foolish request, I suppose. Try not to smell it as you drink. It should do just the trick, I think."

Rarity eyed the potion dubiously. Even stoppered she could smell its pungent aroma. Still, if it was a choice between a moment's discomfort or having a bruised nose to deal with for the next few days, she would choose the potion.

She unstoppered the flask with her magic and tipped the liquid directly down her throat, swallowing as she did so. The aftertaste was horrid, but as advertised, in but a moment or two her poor nose felt as good as new. In fact, even her shin, which had been throbbing since her fall, was feeling fine now. “Thank you, darling, that was indeed just the trick."

The two set off on the return trip, once again walking side by side in silence. Rarity was the first to speak up. "Darling, do you suppose—No, never mind."

Fluttershy's ears perked up. She had heard that tone before, she used it herself when she was not comfortable making a request, which was frequently. "Yes, Rarity?"

Rarity gulped, but soldiered on regardless. "I hesitate to ask this, but the colors I'll be working with complement yours so well. Would you be willing to model my new design?" Fluttershy was instantly apprehensive. "Privately, of course, dear. I just want to see how it looks on the ideal wearer before I release it to the public. Please?"

She wanted to say no. Every part of her screamed quietly in protest. Yet somehow, Rarity asking in this way was even more irresistible than when she was being demanding—especially when she looked at her in just that way, her eyes wide and pleading. You’re really not playing fair. "Okay, Rarity. When would you like me to come by?"

The lovely unicorn cocked her head to the side, obviously deep in thought. "Tomorrow if possible. I should have a basic design worked up by then. I'll need to retake your measurements, naturally. Nopony goes a year without some slight changes."

Fluttershy nodded. Only for you. "I'll come to Carousel Boutique tomorrow morning, then."

Rarity concealed a small grin as they walked to Fluttershy's cottage. She wanted to hop for joy but managed to restrain herself.

Yesyesyesyes! She's coming over to the shop!

Oh wait... I just promised to design a new dress overnight, didn't I?


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