• Published 11th Mar 2015
  • 8,711 Views, 202 Comments

Mate in Five Moves - Karrakaz



Friends who play together, stay together. That was the philosophy Rarity had in mind when she suggested she and Pinkie play a game of chess every week. Unfortunately for Rarity, however, she finds out that Pinkie is playing more than just one game.

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Checkmate

By the time Rarity stepped back into her boutique, she had come to exactly one important realisation: This was exactly what she had hoped for when she agreed to go out with Pinkie. She had wanted her friend to find somepony that would be good for her, and now it seemed that she had.

Rarity clung to the thought like a life-raft, letting it drown out all other thoughts, and even the pain that seeped from the open wound in her heart. On the way back she had managed to delude herself that it would be a one-time deal, simply because Pinkie liked parties as much as she did. But then she would remember the smile Pinkie had been wearing when she looked at the stallion; a smile that, before, Rarity had only seen when Pinkie had looked at her.

With an aggressive shake of her head Rarity cleared her mind of all thoughts but one: I have an order due in eight hours, and I had best get back to it. She went about it in a frenzy, working on three different stitches, folds, and cuts at the same time. It was an intense task, one that required her complete focus. It was just what she was looking for.

By the time Upper Crust arrived to pick up her dresses eight hours later, Rarity had just about finished. “Just a moment, darling,” she told the mare with a dazzling smile. “I wasn’t quite happy with one of the stitches, it will be done in just a moment. Tea?”

The dresses were some of her best work, and Upper Crust was happy with them, even if she did decline Rarity’s offer of tea. After she had left, Rarity made some for herself and sat down on her chaise lounge. Now that her order was finished, she had nothing to focus on, and the thoughts quickly filled her mind again.

What if it isn’t a one-time thing? What if she’s genuinely fallen in love with him? She scoffed. “Don’t be absurd, Rarity. She hardly even knows him. They met maybe an hour prior to deciding to go to a party?” She gulped down most of her tea in one go. “That isn’t love.”

But what if it is?

“Well, seeing as I was the one that encouraged her to find somepony that could love her back, I will simply be happy for her,” she told the empty room, with the eniquins as her only witnesses.

Liar.

Merely sitting still drinking tea wasn’t an option for long. She needed to know that Pinkie was alright. Of course, part of her knew that she could simply ask her friend about it during their next chess session, but she felt that it was her duty to make sure that her friend had had a good time. It’s about time for breakfast, anyway.

Her unasked question was answered before she even came near Sugarcube Corner. Pinkie’s singing drifted out of the open doors and onto the street, a sure sign that she was happy, and a blow to Rarity’s gut. The last time she had heard Pinkie sing had been many months ago, which made her realise that her estimates on Pinkie’s crush had been woefully off the mark.

Swallowing her insecurities and letting the delicious smell of baked good drive her onward, she stepped into the bakery. There was a lengthy line to the counter despite the earliness of the hour, fortunately, Pinkie appeared to be everywhere at once and it took less than a minute between order and delivery of said order which made it more of an inconvenience than a problem.

When it was finally her turn, Rarity stepped up to the counter and said: “Hello, Darling. I’ll have three croissants please.” She hardly even saw Pinkie’s face, all smiles and zipping hooves. “How was your party last night?” she added after a fashion, hoping to be able to get an answer before the ponies that had gotten in line behind her made a fuss.

“That’ll be five bits.” Pinkie zipped back into place, still wobbling a bit from the speeds at which she had moved, and handed Rarity a paper bag. “It was great,” she continued while Rarity opened her purse and traded the bits for the bag. “I’ll tell you all about it at our next game.”

Rarity opened her mouth to reply but thought better of it. Pinkie was busy and had already assured her that they would talk about it. That would have to be enough for now.

During her walk home, she steeled her resolve, vowing not to let this problem interfere with her day to day life. Her heart complained, but she silenced it and threw away the key. It wasn't the first time her love life had thrown her a curveball, and it wouldn't be the last. She just needed some time to gather herself. Time, and a few family-sized tubs of icecream.


The week that followed was relatively normal. Rarity worked on the orders she had gotten, fussed about her sister whenever she found another one of the crusader's ill-fated plans in the boutique, and generally held her life together well enough. The only noticeable change was the fact that she no longer felt inspired to come up with new designs whenever she had a moment of peace. It felt like her creativity had abandoned her when she locked up her heart, but she didn't dare release it for fear of falling apart at the seams.

She very nearly did when the next thursday rolled around and Pinkie was nowhere to be found. Fashionably late was a concept Pinkie had never understood. The earth pony had always been on time, or even early to whatever appointment with Rarity she had, and her absence made Rarity fear the worst.

Her fears were confirmed when Mrs. Cake, laden with the twins and a pair of saddlebags fit to bursting with picnic supplies, dropped by to deliver a note hastily written by Pinkie.

Hey, Rarity. Sorry I’m not there to tell you that I couldn’t come myself. Stampy invited me to a restaurant he really likes. He even had roses and everything! Anyway, I couldn’t just tell him ‘no’, it would have made him so sad!

“I’ll make it up to you later. Pinkie Promise,” she read aloud to the sympathetic face of the older mare.

“No need to fret, deary,” Mrs. Cake told her. “Young love often makes ponies do crazy things. Why I remember when Carrot—”

Rarity only half listened to the story that followed. Her world was falling apart, and her body seemed determined to go with it. Her head pounded, her stomach ached and her hooves felt like they were on fire. Worst of all, however, was her heart. It had burst through the seams of its prison and was screaming bloody murder. You could have had everything you ever wanted in Pinkie Pie, and now you have nothing.

Every fibre of her being ached with a desire to destroy the stallion that had taken away what could have been hers. She had already absently thanked Mrs. Cake for her time and walked half of the way to Sugarcube Corner before her senses returned.

You have no one to blame but yourself, her mind told the rest of her. You insisted that the wonderful times you had with her should not be classified as dates. You told her that it was important that she look for somepony else, because beauty queen Rarity could never fall in love with the likes of her.

“I never said that I couldn't,” Rarity muttered, sinking down onto her haunches in the middle of the street. But you implied it. Hot tears stung behind her eyelids, and she closed them to keep the tears from spilling out. Frantically, she raced through every memory, every laugh, every word that had passed between her and Pinkie, looking for anything that she could use to take back everything she had said. Anything to make everything go back to the way it had been all those weeks ago when Pinkie had told her she loved her.

She came up empty. Letting out a deeply suffering sigh, she got up and looked at the gigantic cupcake that topped Sugarcube Corner. Her vision became blurry, but she refused to be seen crying in the middle of the street. There was nothing she could do anyway; Pinkie wasn’t at Sugarcube corner, and neither was the stallion. She could only do what she had told herself she would:

She would grin, and bear it, and help Pinkie in whatever way she could. That’s what good friends did. Rarity would just have to rid herself of that thing called love. It should be easy enough; she had only just found out it existed after all.

I always hated the way she bowled me over while I was working, anyway. And the way she always yelled, so uncouth. Never could stand still when I was designing a dress for her. Made me go on those awful rides.

For every negative thought she threw at her love, however, it threw back positive ones, small details that made Pinkie... Pinkie. And before she had made it out of the street, she realised why it wasn’t working. Love meant caring for somepony despite their little annoyances. She was stuck with it.

By the time she returned to her boutique, Mrs. Cake had long since gone, and her sister wasn’t anywhere to be found either. Just as well, she thought to herself. A lady doesn’t cry in front of others.


When Rarity set out the chessboard again a week later, she didn’t have high hopes of Pinkie arriving on time, or at all. She had thrown herself into her work and taken on more projects than she should have, which had helped her emotional state to an extent, if not much else. Having reduced her everyday life to working until exhaustion and then lying down in bed until sufficient time had passed that she could call it sleeping was a way to live; it just wasn’t a very happy way. It was only by sheer coincidence that she even remembered that Pinkie could be coming by today. On some level, Rarity hoped that she wouldn't.

Part of that thought came from the little vanity she had left. She looked hideous, and she knew it. Her eyes were constantly bloodshot and had heavy bags under them; she hadn’t combed her mane in days and it was starting to get tangled up, and last, but certainly worst, she knew she had put on some weight. There was a veritable mountain of ice cream canisters behind her boutique, and there would have been more had the mare she bought the ice cream from not banned her from the parlour for her own safety.

Once the pieces were in place, she decided that she should at the very least make some tea. The day had been a long one, and looked like it was going to be longer still. The water went forgotten the moment she put it on the stove, having lost the competition for her attention against a myriad of other matters that required it. If I can get all seven of Fancy Pants' suits done before tonight, I could tackle the rest of Fleur's dresses tomorrow. She very nearly smiled to herself, pleased with her plan. The suits alone would have her working until deep unto the night, but that's what she was planning on. Another sleepless night with nothing to do but think didn't help her in any way, so she avoided it as much as possible.

The little bell above her shop's door rang the moment she stepped out of the kitchen, and even though she hardly paid any attention to the sounds, she had heard it often enough that she almost subconsciously rattled off her usual greeting. "Welcome to the Carousel Boutique where everything..." Both her sentence and her train of thought crashed and burned when she saw Pinkie standing in the doorway.

The earth pony looked alarmed, her ears swiveling every which way and her eyes mirroring the movements. The reason for her anxiety wasn't hard to place. Rarity had stopped trying to keep the boutique neat and tidy several days ago, and although she hardly noticed anymore, it likely looked as bad as she did.

“Hi…” she called out lamely. “Is it... okay if I come in?”

Rarity sucked in a breath and donned her brightest smile. The moment of truth, Rarity. You can do this. “Of course it is, darling. We're...friends... aren't we?” The word came out sounding weak and pathetic, and Rarity silently cursed herself. She cleared her throat and composed herself before beckoning Pinkie inside. “Forgive me, darling. It’s been a busy week. How have you been?”

Pinkie eyed her warily, but tried a cautiously optimistic smile after she had subjected Rarity to a close inspection. “Oki doki.”

They sat down, though neither touched the chess pieces. Pinkie didn't let up with her inquisitive gaze, and it didn't take long before Rarity began to feel uncomfortable. “So, how are you and Rubber Stamp doing?” she asked, shifting uncomfortably in her seat.

“We’re great!” Pinkie replied, smiling. “We had a lot of fun at parties, and a disco, and we even went to a wine tasting event.” She leant forward and whispered, “Stampy is funny when he gets drunk.”

Rarity affected a smile in turn and grabbed Pinkie’s hoof with her own. “I’m glad for you, darling.” It was an earnest statement; more earnest than Rarity thought she would have been able to be, but there it was. She found it within herself to be happy for Pinkie Pie even if every word twisted the knife a little more.

It will get better, she promised herself after letting go of Pinkie’s hoof. Time heals all wounds. It’s happened before. Of course, her love hadn’t been quite the love she felt now, but she ignored the differences.

However wonderful her performance was, however, it seemed that it still wasn’t quite good enough. Pinkie had lost her smile somewhere in Rarity’s sentence, and was now looking positively cowed.

“You don’t like him, do you?”

The room seemed cramped all of a sudden, and Rarity felt as though she couldn't get any air. “Nonsense! Why would you say that?" Her smile stretched until it felt unnatural, but she couldn't get her facial muscles to behave. "Granted I don’t know him very well but he seems like a nice enough stallion.”

“But you don’t like him.” It wasn't quite an accusation; the only things Pinkie Pie ever accused ponies of was breaking a promise or spiking the punch, but it was close enough to sting.

Whatever else might happen between them, Rarity knew that she didn't want to lose Pinkie's friendship. Expressing her disapproval of Pinkie's colt friend would force her to choose, and Rarity didn't want to find out what she would do if Pinkie chose the stallion over her. “What I think is of no concern. If he loves you and you love him then—”

“I don’t."

Rarity did a doubletake. “W-What?”

“I don’t love him,” Pinkie elaborated. “I love you.”

Rarity was confused. Her head spun, both with the fact that, not only had she been wrong in her assumptions, Pinkie would give up on most anything to be close to her. “Darling…” she started, completely overwhelmed. “I—”

“And I know you don't love me!” Pinkie interrupted her once again. “That's okay, I just... I just wanna be your friend, and stay close to you and have fun and laugh and…” She slowed down, taking a deep breath and letting it out in an equally deep sigh. “I like goofing around, but it’s not the same without you.” A sad, lonely filly who had both ears flattened against her head looked at Rarity for a moment longer and then stepped away from the table and trudged over to the door. “Sorry, Rarity. I'll go home now…”

Rarity shook off her stupor and got up as well, half sprinting, half stumbling in her haste to get to Pinkie before she reached the front door. “Darling, wait!” She saw Pinkie turn around slowly, and braced herself for what she was about to do. She lunged.

They collided with the hardwood of the front door with a loud 'bang' at the same time that Rarity's lips found Pinkie’s. The kiss was one that could have come straight from one of her romance novels. It was passionate—if one sided; romantic—if sudden; and liberating, although that might just have been her.

She kissed Pinkie until she ran out of breath and then kissed her some more until her lungs finally rebelled and pulled her away from the lips of the mare that she loved— the mare that loved her. “What if,” she said, panting softly. “What if I did love you as well?"

Pinkie looked at her, as speechless and confused as she had felt just a moment ago. Rarity belatedly realised that she had been a little overzealous in her confession, but that didn’t mean that she was going to let Pinkie go—ever.

"Come, darling,” she said, pulling Pinkie to her hooves and guiding her to the table. “Sit down."

Pinkie turned her head to look at Rarity, eyes still filled with awe and a little apprehension. "B-but..."

Rarity silenced her with a hoof to the lips, and a small, chaste, kiss on the nose. "No buts, darling. I am going to make us some tea, and then we are going to talk.” She smiled tenderly and caressed Pinkie’s cheek. “And perhaps a game of chess, if you still want to play?”

Pinkie surprised her with a sudden, and none too gentle hug, squeezing for all she was worth and sneaking in a shy kiss on Rarity’s cheek before taking her seat at the table. “I’d like that, but... I don’t get it! I mean, I’m super happy, but—”

Rarity silenced the tirade with another kiss, then pulled back, smiled at her and said, “In a moment, darling. Let me get us some tea, and I’ll tell you a story.”

“A story?”

Rarity nodded. “It’s about a very foolish mare who nearly lost what she was looking for her whole life, just because when she found it, it wasn’t quite what she’d expected.”

“Oh!” Pinkie vibrated out of her chair with excitement. “Does it have a happy ending?”

“I think so, yes.” Rarity winked and gave her another kiss. “I’ll be right back.”


Tea, especially the simple chamomile kind that Rarity drank near constantly, had a nice soft aftertaste which lingered in the mouth for minutes following a drink; much like kissing Pinkie had. It also helped that—no matter how much of the stuff she drank—it didn’t interfere with the wonderful feeling that settled in her stomach like butterflies when she moved her first pawn forward. The tension she had walked around with for months was finally gone, and she’d already won the most important game she ever played.


~fin~

Author's Note:

That's it folks. Another sappy romance... thing.

Next, I'm going to plug away at the next chapter of UHW, and after that I have a lovely(if probably short) Twilestia planned. We'll see where it goes.

I hope you all enjoyed reading this story, and I also hope that you'll tell me what you thought of it :twilightsmile:

/hugs

Comments ( 104 )

5726259 Huh, actually, none of that happens. She rants in his face and shakes her mane covered in cake frosting because of him. She doesn't touch him at all. The closest thing to what you describe is her breaking her glass slipper when Pinkie implies a Cinderella plot.

5726936
I was actually going for the 'mate' in 'checkmate' A bit of a double entendre perhaps, but I think it works... :twilightsheepish:

5725540

Keep in mind though, we have seen Rarity lose a ton to Pinkie in tic tak toe, so we know she can be a gracious loser who was still happy to play more with Pinkie.

5727041 Sorry to hear it didn't work for you. I'm not entirely sure what to make of the idea that a series of connected events don't make up a story, but the effort for feedback is appreciated at least.

5726841 OK, so she only broke one thing and she got frosting on him out of her mane instead of the classic, if cliche, drink in the face. Even so, all true with a small amount of error in the particulars. The "violent temper tantrum" as you call it was at most equal to the violence of the aforementioned GGG encounter with Blueblood. She broke a glass chess board instead of a glass slipper and skipped the "cover the offending party in foodstuffs". She also, presumably, didn't do quite as much ranting at/laying into Pinkie as she did that foalish stallion.

Huh. I really enjoyed this story. There was one word choice that I found could be improved, but that was two chapters and three cuteness induced heart attacks ago, so I can't remember it at the moment.

5727076 Yes but we also know that Rarity thinks of Pinkie as more then a little uncooth and one can gain quite the scocial standing as a chess master. Her frustration at the inability to beat someone she sees as low society at a high society game would be a source of irritation.

(I'm not saying she looks down on Pinkie, just keep in mind that friendships are complected. I am good friends with people who do say and act in ways I hate.)

5728117 The opposite, actually. She flung the board into a vase.

She kissed Pinkie until she ran out of breath and then kissed her some more until her lungs finally rebelled and pulled her away from the lips of the mare that she loved— the mare that loved her. “What if,” she said, panting softly. “What if I did love you as well?"

Then we're in the Matrix.

...That's seriously the first thing that came to my mind.

5728216 The Maretrix, actually. Which makes Rarity the One, since she already knows kung-fu. Pinkie will make a great Trinity.

5728367 True enough. Though if most people did get it, it's not so much unclear as unclear to him. And usually, when a joke flies over someone's head, you don't blame the joke, that person just grins sheepishly.

:raritystarry: my face when I finished

good work, you

5728122

I don't know about that, really the only time we see Rarity be outright annoyed with Pinkie is when Pinkie makes Fluttershy feel bad in FillyVanilli and she doesn't seem that angry really.

5728657 Yep, it's more "Stop that at once." Rarity is probably the least likely to get annoyed with Pinkie, and the most likely to get a little chuckle out of it.

5728674

Exactly, we don't see much of Pinkie and Rarity together, but when we do they seem to be quite close despite having very different personalities.

5728696 Close enough that Rarity was helping Pinkie run counter in Sugarcube Corner, and the two were happy to hang around together to give Fluttershy pointers on bargain hunting.

5728674 I had to consider that for a minute. But yeah, you're right. Now that I think about it she's shown the most patience and usually pretty unflappable in response to Pinkie's shenanigans.

Rarity is such a great character. She has such a diverse personality that makes her a lot of fun (I find) to write for.

Dawwwwww! That was adorable :D

5728721

And just getting to hang out with Rarity and watch her make a dress helped contribute to Pinkie deciding she needed a bunch of clones.

5728753 Close, she realized she missed out on seeing Rarity make dresses, which ultimately made her decide she needed clones, since she hadn't yet been into the magic comic to get her hair powers and super speed. As Filli-second she could have just been everywhere at once.

5728788

Good catch. Thanks. It has been fixed. :pinkiesad2:

Commence read.

Well, glad Rarity didn't fall apart completely, just partially.

5728273
That makes some sense.

Emil #23 · Mar 12th, 2015 · · 1 ·

5728039
5728041
I am well aware that mate can happen in as few as two moves- Fool's Mate requires near-active participation by the loser, but Scholar's Mate is a more reasonable trap for Rarity to fall into. That is not why I am objecting. I am objecting because Twilight says "Mate in seven," which implies that she can force checkmate in seven moves. There is no way known for Black to force mate after White's first move, even if White intentionally makes an awful first move like 1. f3 but plays normally afterwards.

The concept of the story was good. The execution was passable, but would have been improved significantly if the author either understood chess better or consulted with someone who did so that the jargon made more sense.

“I don’t love him,” Pinkie elaborated. “I love you.”

THEN WHY THE F:flutterrage:NG HELL HAVE YOU BEEN BLOWING HER OFF IN FAVOR OF HIS COMPANY FOR ALMOST TWO G:flutterrage::flutterrage:MN MONTHS STRAIGHT YOU STUPID HORSE

:facehoof: Sorry. But this resolution really is a mangled train wreck of nonsensical characterization and deus ex machina.

5728943 Um... she missed one game of chess, not two months worth. Read the letter again, she agreed because it would have made him sad if she said "no". She did like hanging out with him, but didn't love him. I think you owe Pinkie an apology. :pinkiesad2:

We all know that feel Rarity.

*1 hour Later*
Jet Fly: All according to plan?
Pinkie: Yes. Today Rarity, tomorrow the world.
*maniacal laughter*

I love the idea of Pinkie being a chessmaster.

5728041

...That's really not how chess works.

5728943

And you don't have very good reading comprehension or a good grip on what deus ex machina actually is.

Ugh
Come on Rarity
You could've avoided a week of pain and heartache with a simple "Hey Pinkie, I know you're really busy right now, but if you get a chance today please stop by my place. We have to talk about something very important."

5729414 Sometimes, we only appreciate what is taken from us. And we cling all the more tightly when it's given back.

5729443 Yes, yes, you don't know what you've got till it's gone.
But Rarity assumes it's gone the next morning and then spends a week gorging on ice cream (a perfectly reasonable response to heartbreak) before she and Pinkie have their talk and then don't do much talking when she could have had almost the exact same conversation that first day!
It's just that in the beginning Rarity was the most competent character I've ever seen in any romantic story I've read. She noticed Pinkie's behavior, suspected Twilight's word choice, and caught Pinkie on the very first slip up. And she confronted Pinkie almost immediately, only stopping to get advice from a friend.
And then she picks up the Idiot Ball and screws up the most important part.
I just thought she was smarter than this.

5729598 Love is the leading cause of idiotitis. People die for it. People kill for it. She wasn't in love before, so her head was not filled with dumb.

With the focus on chess, I was concerned that Pinkie's shift from Rarity to Rubber Stamp was a purposeful ploy; I'm glad to see it was just her trying to do right by her friend :twilightsmile:

5727094 A series of connected events DO make a story. I wasn't saying otherwise - I was saying that the events in this story felt somewhat disconnected. Something happens, something else happens, and while there's a clear line of chronology, there's not much causality. I like seeing each event cause each other event, even tangentially, and if there is some of that here, I don't see it.
The first few chapters were still an interesting read, and Pinkie here, while more subdued than I like to imagine her to be, is nonetheless one of the more memorable non-grimdark depictions of her that I've read. The last two chapters killed it for me, but I wouldn't say it's a bad story. Worthy of a like, but not a favorite.

5728273

Correction, Rarity already knows karate. Beside that though, the concept wouldn't be a bad story. And yeah, all of your characterizations makes sense.

5729740
So do a series of unfortunate events!

Sometimes, I like, no, love... maybe... need?
Sometimes, I need a good, old-fashioned piece of sugarcoated sweetness. Like an unspeakably cute little piece of RariPie. One day, I'll probably die on an overdose. Welp... there are worse ways to end.

Three things that stood out - at least for me. First one: Pinkie NOT breaking the fourth wall. Oh dear Luna, I can't thank you enough for that. Pinkie talking to the reader might be fun once in a while. If the setting allows that kind of antics. If it fits in. But it's been used beyond sense and at some point, one just get's sick of it.
Second one: Pinkie being clever. She has this wonderful, often childlike kind of naivety to her and maybe she sometimes even impersonates 'ignorance is bliss' - but I never for one second saw her as the stupid one, the pure comedic relief or anything like that. Roles I sadly saw her in waaay to often. Pinkie actually being able to push Twilight? Being able to beat our loved little bookworm? In chess, of all games and things possible? Wow. Just wow.
And the third one, a minor detail maybe, but an appreciated one nonetheless: Rarity got chubby? Well, you didn't really said that, did you. You just wrote that she gained weight. But that's just as good. Seeing as she ate that stuff for weeks, and probably not to much else, it's nice to read that an author actually dares to show some consequences to her overdramatic lifestyle.

Thank you!

PS.: That TwiLestia-story you mentioned doesn't coincidentally concern some rather private letters between Twi and Celly? There were some remarks throughout the story, not only concerning TwiLestia, that made me curious for more.

She very nearly did when the next thursday

You forgot to capitalize Thursday here.

There was one chapter last night, this story exploded. Time to commence reading

Well damn, that was actually really really good, though I feel like it ended at the best part, it was still really nice to read and definitely gets an upvote and a fave out of me.

My favorite aspects were that Rarity was smart, figuring out how Pinkie felt without being told by her, and how she tried her best to be a good friend straight through, challenging as it was. Seeing her try to figure out what things she should be saying and not saying right after Pinkie's Freudian slip was great.

5731254 There is room for interpretation of her characterization in any fanwork. In one story she is composed, in another, she blows her top. But remember, that composure comes at a price. Swallowed anger doesn't just go away, it festers. My favorite example of just how angry Rarity can get is from Sisterhooves Social. There is a point where it looks like she is going to swallow her own head, then she forces calm on herself. Imagine doing that over and over, for hundreds of games. Even Rarity might flip a table after that.

A fun and amusing read!

This was just lovely! Making Rare Pie is a difficult task, and needs a good grasp of the characters, and this was an excellent example. Maybe my favourite, actually!

I enjoyed Rarity's attention to detail, and how it only lasted as long as her control bubble, that perfect little world she worked so hard to maintain and create, took to collapse in on itself. Then we don't see it again, not really - it felt like she lost the basis for her keen powers of perception and pony-reading. Everything just came tumbling down, which is very realistic. In situations like this, you get so used to things being the way you break your back to maintain them, and when someone goes and pulls the rug out from under you, the very foundations for how you interact and view the world and other people completely shatters, leaving you attempting to cling to the biggest shard left over in the vain hope you can put the damned thing back together again like it never happened.

Wasn't just a character-driven story, but the writing elements played nicely into the immersion factor. Good job.

Oh I get it. Mate in Five Moves. Five Chapters. Clever girl.

Frantically, she raced through every memory, every laugh, every word that had passed between her and Pinkie, looking for anything that she could use to take back everything she had said. Anything to make everything go back to the way it had been all those weeks ago when Pinkie had told her she loved her.

Oh Rarity, if only you had though a little harder on those memories, you may have saved yourself a lot of stress:

“Really?” Pinkie swallowed heavily, wiped away the tears with a hoof, and smiled at her. “O-okay! You can take as long as you need and I’ll wait for you.” She hopped off of her chair and rattled off a familiar series of motions. “Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye.”

NO ONE breaks a Pinkie Promise.

I actually recalled this quote when I started reading the last chapter, and was waiting for Pinkie to remind Rarity about her promise, as the last little push that would 'break the dam' so-to-speak (the 'checkmate', if you will), and I was actually a little disappointed that it wasn't mentioned. It would have made the ending all the sweeter, IMO.

5731969 True. I see your point. It's just, I remember, as a child, I once flipped a board game in anger, and while I was only 6 or 7, i felt childish even while i was flipping the board. The idea of Rarity, a full grown pony, who is extremely preoccupied with the way she is viewed, physically taking a glass chess board and flipping it, it just doesn't seem right. I can see her feeling like doing so, and even play with the idea of it. But when it comes to actually flipping a board, I don't see it happening. But, all in all, i guess I am just being a little stubborn on my view of her. I can give the writer at least this much freedom with her character interpretation.

Man, this was so good!:raritywink::pinkiehappy:

This was a good story.
Good job.

5735617 Oh, to be sure, she felt horrible afterwards. But... there are times when you really just need to commit violence on an inanimate object. I wouldn't recommend punching a wall, though. Hurts both your fist and the wall. Then you have a bleeding hand and a hole to patch.

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