• Published 26th Dec 2014
  • 10,569 Views, 1,950 Comments

Three Gems and a Scooter - RaylanKrios

For Rarity, what starts as a simple quest to help her sister turns into an unexpected journey of what family really means.

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Fickle Hearts

A short walk later, the unlikely pair was at the Carousel Boutique dress shop that doubled as Rarity’s house. Rarity led Scootaloo upstairs to her guest room, which mainly functioned as Sweetie Belle’s home away from home. Not that Scootaloo needed a guide; she had been to The Carousel Boutique enough to know where everything was anyway.

“Well, here we are,” Rarity announced with a smile as she opened the door. “I know it may be a bit frilly for your taste, but if you’d like, we can get some new bed dressings over the weekend, something a bit more rustic than hearts and flowers perhaps?”

Scootaloo took a quick look around the familiar lodgings. “Whatever,” she muttered.

Clearly, Scootaloo is not in a very talkative mood, though I suppose that’s understandable. “I‘m going shopping tomorrow, what do you think you might like to eat over the next few days?” Rarity asked, hoping to do what she could to make Scootaloo’s stay more comfortable.

Scootaloo looked up sharply. “Look, I don’t need anypony to take care of me. Just give me a place to sleep and some food and I’ll stay out of your way and tell Sweetie Belle you’re being nice to me so that she’ll think she has ‘the best big sister ever’.” Scootaloo’s derision at the last phrase removed the last remnants of doubt that Rarity had concerning Scootaloo’s mindset about family.

Aware that Scootaloo was undoubtedly a little tattered by the whirlwind of events Rarity's first instinct was to just back off, however given Scootaloo’s responses back at her foster house, she reasoned that perhaps a bit of a hard sell might be productive. “Scootaloo, I am trying to help you,” Rarity said sharply, in a tone she reserved for Sweetie Belle and unruly vendors. “I don’t expect you to be grateful; I don’t even expect your appreciation. What I would like, is if you could not make it more difficult than it has to be. Now, unless you want to get on a train to Baltimare, you are going to be staying here for at least a few days.” Rarity paused so that Scootaloo could properly process that those were, in fact, her two options. “I pride myself on being a good hostess, so if you would be so kind as to enlighten me about what you might like to eat, I won’t have to buy every single item at the market trying to discern the key to your fickle heart!”

Scootaloo just scowled at her and Rarity got the distinct impression that Scootaloo was used to standoffs. Her experiences arguing with Rainbow Dash taught her that winning one with a pony as strong willed as Scootaloo was a futile proposition so she opted for a softer approach again. “As long as you don’t expect to subsist on blood orchids and tiger lilies, I would be perfectly happy to pick up something you would enjoy,” Rarity offered gently.

Scootaloo flicked her tail back and forth and stared at the ground. “I like oatmeal or pancakes for breakfast,” she said, addressing her remarks to the carpeted floor more than to Rarity. “I like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and daisies. I don’t like spaghetti; everypony is always trying to give me spaghetti. I like barley soup though,” she muttered just loud enough for Rarity to hear her.

Rarity smiled warmly, hoping to put Scootaloo at least a little more at ease. “Thank you Scootaloo. Barley soup is one of my favorites too.” She was actually fairly neutral on the subject of barley soup, but building some common ground seemed worth eating bland, grainy mush for a few meals. “Is there anything else I can get you?”

“I’m fine,” Scootaloo said just a little too quickly.

“Very well, I promised Sweetie Belle I would go visit her. Are you going to be okay here by yourself for an hour?”

“You trust me enough to leave me alone?” Scootaloo asked, surprised, despite her familiarity with Rarity.

Rarity playfully brought a hoof to her chin and pretended to ponder the thought, “I suppose you could abscond with my cash box, but I closed early today so I’m afraid it’s rather bereft at the moment,” she said with a wry grin.

“I wouldn’t do that!” Scootaloo snapped as she clenched her shoulders and instinctively arched her back.

Rarity lifted a hoof in an apologetic gesture. “It was a joke, dear. Yes, I trust you enough to leave you alone for an hour.”

Scootaloo slowly released the tension she had been holding in her shoulders, but still regarded Rarity with suspicion. She snorted a low “hmph” and turned her attention to unpacking what few things she brought with her.

Okay, no more joking with Scootaloo. Rarity turned to leave the young filly alone in her temporary lodgings, when she heard a small voice behind her.

“Thanks for letting me stay here. I don’t want to move to Baltimare,” the voice said quickly and quietly.

Rarity turned around so she could be sure Scootaloo registered her response. “You are most welcome, Scootaloo.”

Rarity trotted over to her parent’s house, Scootaloo’s apparently fluid family situation causing her to reflect on her own. They weren’t an ideal family, when Rarity was younger she often wished her parents would be more refined and upscale. As she grew older though she learned to appreciate her parents for who they were, kind hearted supportive ponies, rather than what they were not. Differences aside, she couldn’t imagine her life without them.

“Hello, mother,” she said as she walked through the door to find her mother reading a book on the couch.

Rarity’s childhood home was an almost perfectly average two story bungalow located just off the main drag of Ponyville. If it were any other pony’s house, she would have described the décor as garish and dreadful, with red and yellow floral drapes that clashed with the two toned bluish green carpet, accented by mismatched furniture. But it wasn’t any pony’s house; it was her parents house, and that meant the clashing colors and lack of any guiding principle in selecting furniture only served to make the place feel more homely. The ponies that lived here weren’t concerned about how guests viewed their living room; they were concerned with letting those guests know that they were welcome.

“Rarity!” her mom exclaimed, promptly shutting her book and practically leaping off the couch to give her eldest daughter a hug. “What brings you by? Is everything okay?” her mother asked, growing more panicked by the second.

Rarity gave her mom a reassuring squeeze. “Everything’s fine, Mom, I told Sweetie Belle I would come by to see her. Is she here?”

“Oh, so you know what’s bothering her? She seemed so upset when came home but all she would say is that she didn’t want to talk about it. She should be in her room.”

“Thanks Mom. Where’s Daddy this evening?”

“Bowling League is on Wednesday nights,” her mom replied with a somewhat apologetic smile.

“Of course, how silly of me to forget.”

Rarity trotted upstairs and gently knocked on the door to her sister’s room. Sweetie Belle opened it and greeted Rarity with hopeful, if still puffy red eyes. She looked up expectantly at her older sister, her lower lip quivering.

Rarity broke the silence quickly. “Scootaloo is not moving to Baltimare, for the time being anyway.”

Sweetie Belle’s previous distress started to fade away as she stared in awe. “How’d you do that?”

“I am going to try to find somewhere for her to stay in Ponyville, and until I do, she can stay with me.” As Rarity verbalized her plan, it occurred to her that she actually had no clue how she would go about finding Scootaloo a permanent home; but the sensation of her sister hugging her forelegs quickly relegated that to a secondary concern.

“Thankyouthanyouthankyou, you’re the best sister ever! I promise to make you breakfast everyday for a year!”

Rarity fought back her immediate instinct to recoil in horror at the thought of eating burnt cereal for a year, (how anypony could possibly burn cereal was a conundrum she had pondered more than once.)

“That’s really not necessary,” she replied, patting Sweetie Belle on the back.

“But you’re helping Scootaloo. She’s my friend, I wanna help too!”

“I understand Sweetie, Scootaloo is…well Scootaloo’s going through a tough time right now, she could use a good friend.”

Sweetie Belle contemplated what her sister could possibly mean by that last statement. “I already am her friend…but maybe I could be extra friendly to her?”

“I’m sure she would appreciate that very much, dear.”

Sweetie Belle looked up again, this time with unmitigated gratitude. “Thank you, Rarity,” she whispered, giving her sister another hug. Though she didn’t say anything, Sweetie knew that taking in a houseguest was a bigger imposition than her sister let on. She also knew that the only reason Rarity had done it was out of consideration for her feelings, which meant that gratitude was the least she owed her sister.

After a quick chat with her mother, leaving out the information about her new houseguest, Rarity returned home emotionally drained; and if she felt this raw she could only imagine how Scootaloo felt. She went upstairs with the intent of discovering if Scootaloo needed anything further from her, but as she approached the filly’s room the sound of soft snores told her that Scootaloo had all she required for the time being.

It’s just as well, I suppose. It’s been a very long and exhausting day. Rarity quietly continued down the hallway towards her room, stifling a yawn as she did so. Much had happened and she was still uncertain of what the first full day of Scootaloo’s tenantship would bring. She hoped that Scootaloo would be less standoffish, and more open to communication, but Rarity had a feeling that she would need all of her faculties for tomorrow. If nothing else, her visit to Foal Services would almost certainly require her most polished diplomacy. Though after fulfilling her promise to Sweetie Belle (unexpectedly though the outcome), she herself reasoned that she had earned a good night’s sleep, and could hardly wait to do so.

Author's Note:

For anyone wondering the next chapter will shed some light onto why Scootaloo acts the way she does.

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