• Published 18th May 2015
  • 7,908 Views, 682 Comments

Inner Strength - Krickis



When Twilight overhears a private conversation, she has to come to terms with how she feels about herself, love, and a certain somepony. All while weighing her public image against her personal desires.

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5 - Unexpected Results

Chapter Five

Unexpected Results

A good idea did not mean an easy one. Twilight had already known that, of course, but she was relearning it as she made her way to Sweet Apple Acres. She kept her head held high and walked with confidence, but inside she was screaming at herself to turn back. Telling Applejack was just too big of a risk.

She kept her pace brisk because she was liable to abandon her goal if she didn’t. This was important. She needed to do this. Everything would work out. She repeated the words in her head, but couldn’t get herself to believe them.

Still, she continued because this was important. She knew Cadance’s advice was good, but it never hurt to have a second opinion. True, she did already have Sunset backing Cadance’s advice, but while Sunset had definitely been on more dates than Twilight – by virtue of having been on any dates at all – they had all gone badly. Meanwhile, Spike had given her the unconditional love and acceptance he always did, but she obviously wasn’t about to go to him for relationship advice, not unless she decided the best way to win over Fluttershy was to follow her around like a lost puppy.

Unlike Cadance, Applejack wasn’t an expert on relationships, and she’d been on about as many dates as Twilight had. But she was always happy to lend an ear and offer a fresh perspective. Besides, she knew Fluttershy, and would be able to look at the situation from both of their points of view. She was the logical choice.

But no matter how Twilight rationalized it, she was terrified of telling Applejack. Still, she kept trying. So far nopony cared. Why would Applejack be any different? She was a good friend, and not to mention one of the most supportive ponies Twilight knew. Logically speaking, there was nothing to worry about. And what was she if not a pony driven by logic?

So she kept on, forcing herself to keep moving forward and to not dwell on how things could go wrong. Better yet, don’t think of anything. So she cleared her mind as best she could of all her troubles and focused on the rhythmic sound of her hooves against the packed dirt.

It didn’t erase her anxieties, but it carried her the rest of the way to the farmhouse. She had expected to find Applejack working on something around the farm, but instead she was standing back watching in amusement as a Pinkie dashed around, displaying a level of hyperactivity only she could possess.

After taking a deep breath to calm her nerves, Twilight approached her friend. ‘Well, I guess it’ll be two with one stone.’

“Good morning, Applejack. What’s going on here?”

“Hey there, Twi,” Applejack said, tipping her hat. “I told Pinkie she could throw Cheerilee’s party here, and she said she needed to plan the decorations.”

Twilight cocked her head to the side as she watched Pinkie zip around. “Even though she’s thrown plenty of parties here already?”

“Eeyup.” Applejack smiled, clearly enjoying watching the pink blur. “I don’t reckon I’ll ever understand that one.”

Twilight chuckled. “That’s Pinkie alright.”

“Well of course it’s me!” Pinkie said, causing Twilight to jump back. She could have sworn Pinkie was still across the yard, but here she was standing right next to them. If Pinkie noticed Twilight’s shock, she didn’t show it. “I mean, I’ve known Applejack a long time, Twilight. I’m pretty sure you don’t have to tell her who I am.”

Twilight laughed. “I’ll keep that in mind.”

“So is this a social visit, or is there something I can do for ya?” Applejack asked.

“Well, actually there is something I wanted to talk to you about,” Twilight said. She cast her glance down. Was it too late to turn back? She wasn’t sure she still wanted to do this.

“What’s eatin’ at ya, sugarcube?” Applejack wrapped a foreleg around Twilight’s shoulders.

Twilight looked at her friends. Applejack was frowning slightly in concern, while Pinkie smiled encouragingly. She was being ridiculous, she could trust her friends. “Well, the thing is, there’s somepony that I’ve had a bit of a crush on for a while.” She blushed and brushed her mane back. “Well, more than a bit, actually.”

Applejack broke into a grin. “Aw shucks, ya had me worried there for a second. Relationships ain’t so hard, Twi. Knowing you, ya probably haven’t talked to him ‘bout it, but really that’s all there is to it. So, who is the lucky stallion?”

Of course Applejack would think it was a stallion. Why wouldn’t she? Twilight had been doing her best to keep it secret for years. Still, Twilight winced at how naturally the assumption came.

Meanwhile, Pinkie’s smile was so big her face was scrunched up. She nodded and inclined her head slightly towards Twilight.

“Well, the thing is…” Twilight bit her lip, willing herself to finish the sentence.

“Shucks Twi, ya don’t gotta tell us if ya don’t want to,” Applejack said. “Wasn’t tryin’ to be nosey.”

Pinkie threw her foreleg around Twilight’s other shoulder so she was in the middle of a group hug. “Aww, it’s okay, Twilight. You just got to talk to them, and everything will work out.”

“It’s not that easy,” Twilight said.

“You’re making a mountain out of a molehill,” Applejack said, shrugging as she broke away from the others. “Okay, so you don’t want to say who it is. Fair enough, but can you tell us a little about him? Maybe we can help ya out.”

Him. Another reminder. Twilight knew she shouldn’t read so much into it – a few days ago she would have been upset if Applejack hadn’t assumed it was a stallion. But every passive reminder that she was expected to date a stallion was changing her mind more and more.

“Well, uhm…” Twilight took a deep breath. She was doing this one way or another. She would tell Fluttershy how she felt.

“Hmm… I bet the pony Twilight would love must be really sensitive,” Pinkie said. “Somepony kind. I bet it’s somepony who appreciates nature. Sort of quiet, and you know, shy.”

Was Twilight imagining it, or did Pinkie’s smile grow a little bigger on that last word? “Well… yes.” She stared at the pink pony, then shook her head. ‘Come on, this is just Pinkie being Pinkie. There’s no way she knows.’

Applejack’s eyes went wide for a second, and her smile turned into a grin which turned into a laugh. Twilight smiled nervously while she waited for Applejack to compose herself. “So ya don’t want to tell us who it is, which means it’s probably somepony we know. I get that much about right?”

“Well, yes,” Twilight said with some reluctance. “It is.”

“And then everything Pinkie just said.” Applejack shook her head and looked like she might burst out laughing again at any moment. “Twilight, be honest with me. Is it Big Mac?”

“What? No, it’s not Big Mac.” Twilight shook her head.

“Really? ‘Cause Pinkie pretty much just described Big Mac,” Applejack said. “If you’re worried about me, then you should know better than that. I don’t have any problems with you dating my brother. Shoot, I’d love to have you as part of the Apple clan!”

“That’s, uh, good to know Applejack, but it’s really not Big Mac,” Twilight said. Applejack looked a little disappointed. Pinkie seemed amused by the misunderstanding.

“That boy’s never gonna get a marefriend,” Applejack muttered to herself. She shook her head. “Well, anyway, I suppose I can see why you’re havin’ trouble. If he’s half as shy as Big Mac, that could make talking a bit difficult.”

“That’s not really the problem.” Twilight closed her eyes and shook her head. “The problem is, well… it’s not a stallion.”

When she opened her eyes, Applejack’s head was tilted in confusion, while Pinkie just grabbed Twilight in another hug, tighter than the last. “Silly Twilight, that’s not a problem.”

“I’m, uh, not sure I follow,” Applejack said.

Twilight had already committed by now, she might as well clear the confusion. “Applejack, Pinkie Pie… I’m a lesbian. The pony I have a crush on is, well, a mare.”

Applejack arched an eyebrow. “A mare?”

“Good for you, Twilight!” Pinkie said. “But that’s no reason not to talk to her about it!”

“But what am I supposed to say?” Twilight asked. She looked to Applejack, but the farm pony seemed to still be processing. ‘I didn’t think I hid it that well.’

“Well, do you know if she likes mares?” Pinkie asked.

“Yes, but only a couple of weeks ago she was rejected by the mare she has feelings for. I want to tell her, but I don’t know if I should. I mean, she obviously doesn’t feel the same way about me.”

Pinkie laughed. “Twilight, you can love more than one pony you know.”

“I don’t really think she’s like that. And besides, I don’t want her to think I’m just trying to get her on the rebound.”

“Aw, she won’t think that. She’s your friend, and she knows that you’d never do anything like that!”

“Pinkie, I haven’t even told you who it is,” Twilight said.

“Oh, Twilight.” Pinkie smiled and shook her head. “So predictable.”

Twilight frowned. She was never going to understand Pinkie. She turned instead to Applejack. “What do you think?”

“Hmm? Oh, I don’t know Twi. I don’t reckon I’d know much ‘bout that type of thing.” Applejack looked off to the side.

“Well, what would you do if you were in my place?” Twilight asked. “Cadance said I should tell her anyway, but I’m not really sure.”

“I reckon Cadance knows what she’s talking about,” Applejack said, fidgeting with her hat.

“If the Princess of Love tells you to talk to somepony, I think you should do it, Twilight,” Pinkie said, deathly serious all of a sudden. “If you don’t do what she says, she might throw you in her love dungeon, and I don’t think Shining Armor would be too happy about that!”

Twilight facehoofed. She wondered if Pinkie even realized everything wrong with that sentence. Choosing not to dwell on it, Twilight turned back to Applejack. She realized she never should have mentioned anything about Rarity. She couldn’t tell them it was Fluttershy now; it wouldn’t be right for Twilight to let them know she was gay. “I guess if it was me I’d like to know,” she said. “It’s only fair I let her decide for herself.”

“Well, sounds like ya got everything figured out then,” Applejack said. “I guess I’ll leave you to it, I got a heap of chores to do.”

Twilight’s ears fell. “Is… something wrong?”

“Course not, I just figure all that’s left to do is for you to talk to her.” Applejack’s smile was unconvincing, and it faltered a bit when she said ‘her.’

Twilight couldn’t believe it. Applejack was the most dependable pony she knew; there was no way she wouldn’t stand by Twilight now. “Does it... bother you that I like mares?”

Applejack hesitated a moment before answering. She wouldn’t meet Twilight’s eyes as she spoke. “Well, I suppose you’re still the same Twilight as always.”

Twilight shook her head. “That doesn’t answer my question, though. You were happy to help when you thought it was a stallion, but once I said it’s a mare you began acting differently. Just tell me, what do you really think?”

“I, uh, reckon it’s none of my business, really.” Applejack took a step towards her orchard, away from Twilight.

“Of course it’s your business! We’re friends, and the pony I love is kind of a big deal to me.” Twilight took a step closer to the fidgeting pony.

“Look, Twi, don’t get it the wrong way. Of course we’re friends, and of course I want you to be happy. But this whole thing is just, well... You can do whatever you want, but I don’t see what I can do for you.”

This couldn’t be happening. She had thought she was prepared for this. She was always acutely aware how badly ponies could react. But Applejack? Applejack had always stood by her. Didn’t she realize how important this was?

“So, what then? If I do talk to her and things go well, what am I supposed to do? Pretend this isn’t a thing whenever I’m around you? I’m not talking about some one night stand, you know. I think... I think I might be in love with her. She could be my marefriend. How is that not something you care about?”

“I never said I don’t care about it, I just, well…” Applejack looked around uncertainly before kicking idly at the ground. “I’m not sure what you want me to say.”

Twilight just stared at Applejack, unable to say anything. Even when a pair of hooves wrapped around her, Twilight kept her eyes lingering on Applejack for a few moments more. When she did turn away, she saw Pinkie’s mane had deflated somewhat and her ears were folded down. Even though she hardly felt like it, Twilight smiled for her friend. “Thank you, Pinkie. I think... I’d like to head home now.”

Pinkie looked like she was going to argue, but eventually just sighed and let go of her. “Okay, Twilight.”

Twilight took a few steps away and looked back. Pinkie waved sadly while Applejack didn’t acknowledge her leaving at all. Turning away, she launched herself into the air where the earth ponies couldn’t follow her.

As she flew she couldn’t stop thinking about the ponies she left behind and what would happen now. Pinkie had looked so distraught, but at least she had been accepting.

Applejack... She wasn’t sure what would happen with Applejack. How were they supposed to remain friends when Applejack wanted to deny some part of Twilight’s life? And even if Twilight was okay with continuing to hide that part of herself, how was she supposed to do that if things did work out with Fluttershy? And what was she even supposed to do about Fluttershy, anyway? She had been counting on Applejack for more than just support, she needed somepony who was close with both of them to give her some advice!

She barely felt anything when she crashed into the cloud. Her lungs filled with moisture, causing her to cough and sputter. On instinct, she began flailing around.

By the time she came out the other side, she found herself spiraling to the ground, which was sure to be much less pliable. Panicking, she forgot to use her wings and continued to flail her legs around uselessly. She closed her eyes and screamed.

At first there was only falling. The roar of wind rushing past her intertwined with the sounds of her own screaming. Then her mind went blank, and there wasn’t even that.

The next thing she was aware of was a crash, except it was from the wrong side. When she opened her eyes, she was still falling, but much slower and at an angle. She still hit the ground hard, but she was able to roll with it instead of crashing head first, reducing the damage.

Initially, she just lay on the ground. Her entire body was in pain, which she couldn’t be happier about; she had to be alive to be in pain. She moved one foreleg up to her head, gently pressing it to her temple, and used her other to pat the ground. Solid, just the way she liked it.

“What the buck was that about?” Opening her eyes, Twilight saw Rainbow Dash. She was clearly roughed up but was already pushing herself into a sitting position. Either she had hit the ground softer than Twilight, or the athletic pegasus was simply more used to crash landings.

“I wasn’t looking where I was going. I hit a cloud and spun out of control.” Twilight groaned as she forced herself to sit up. She did a quick survey of her limbs, finding that nothing seemed to be broken.

But as the initial euphoria of surviving began to wear off, she couldn’t believe her own stupidity. She could have saved herself with either her wings or her magic, but instead she flailed around like a filly who didn’t know how to swim. And because of that, her friend was probably hurt too. “Are you okay?”

Rainbow raised an eyebrow skeptically and ignored her question. “So you just decided to try stunt flying, huh?”

Twilight replayed the scene in her head as she thought about how to answer. Part of her wanted to tell Rainbow what happened, but she didn’t want to cause problems between her friends. Rainbow and Applejack were really close, and she couldn’t help but think about how Rainbow had acted when she thought Twilight didn’t accept Fluttershy. “I was just practicing. Guess I’m still not very good at flying yet.”

“Nope, not buying it,” Rainbow said, an agitated expression on her face. “I taught you way better than to lose control from one little cloud. So either tell me why I had to save you from a free fall, or at least come up with a better excuse than that.”

Twilight gingerly stretched her neck, which hurt quite a bit. “I’m fine, really. Thank you, by the way.”

Rainbow sighed. “Look, I get that you don’t want to talk about it. And okay, that’s your business. But if you don’t talk about it now, you’re just gonna bottle it up until it’s this whole big thing. Eventually you’ll tell everyone anyway, and we’ll all hug and stuff. You’ll be all ‘I shouldn’t have kept secrets and you’re the best friends ever’, and we’ll probably sing a song about it. And that sappy stuff is okay once in a while, but we just did all that with Fluttershy. So can we just skip it this time?”

Twilight was annoyed at how accurate that was. “Fine. I was over at Sweet Apple Acres and I… well, I told Applejack I’m a lesbian.”

To her surprise, Rainbow smirked. “And she probably was dumbfounded and said something stupid. Come on Twilight, Applejack’s great and all, but you do realize how old-fashioned her family is, right? How did you think she’d react?”

“So what, I should have just – oww!” Twilight had dramatically thrown her hooves into the air, an action she immediately regretted. She lowered them and rubbed at her shoulder. “Should’ve just kept hiding it from her?”

“Not what I’m saying. You just should of known she’d need some time afterwards.” Rainbow carefully stretched out each of her own legs. “And you definitely should know better than to let yourself get distracted while flying.”

Twilight rubbed her temple. She wasn’t sure if her headache was because of the fall or Rainbow’s lack of empathy. “Why weren’t you this calm when you thought I was the bigot?”

Rainbow turned to her with a slight glare. “That was different. You made Fluttershy cry.” She shook her head. “Wait, why didn’t you tell us then? It would’ve meant a lot to her, you know.”

Twilight looked away, feeling ashamed. “I know, I should have. But, well, Fluttershy isn’t the only pony who’s scared to talk about it, you know. Actually, it’s because of her that I decided to come out. I think it’ll be easier for both of us knowing we’re not the only one. I guess I should have picked somepony else to start with though.”

Rainbow walked over and sat next to Twilight. “Listen, I’ll talk to AJ about it. I know she’ll come around, just give it time.”

“You’ll talk to her? Like you ‘talked’ to me?” Twilight said, grinning.

“That was different.”

Twilight just shook her head. All things considered, she did feel a little better. “Oh, and by the way… Rainbow?”

“Yeah?”

“I’m a lesbian.”

Rainbow covered her mouth in mock horror. “What? And you never told me?” She narrowed her eyes. “I don’t think I want you around Scootaloo anymore.”

Twilight snickered, then they were both laughing. Out of all her friends, Twilight would have probably gone to Rainbow last for comfort, but she had to admit she had underestimated her friend.

All of a sudden Rainbow sat straight up. Twilight could practically hear the gears in her head turning. “So, Twilight… Fluttershy?”

Twilight was not ready for this talk. Had she guessed already? Twilight couldn’t ask Rainbow to keep a secret from Fluttershy, but she also couldn’t let Rainbow be the one to finally tell her how she felt. “What about her?” Twilight tried to smile as innocently as possible.

“Would you… maybe you could, I don’t know…” Rainbow awkwardly looked off to the side as she scratched at the back of her head. “I mean, if you don’t already have somepony in mind, maybe you could try asking Fluttershy out?”

Well, that was unexpected. She didn’t know what to say, so while her mind tried to catch up, she played dumb. “Ask her out, like, on a date?”

Rainbow shifted uncomfortably. “Yeah. Look, Fluttershy is great and all, but she’s kind of…” She moved her hooves around, trying and failing to wordlessly say what was on her mind. Twilight just furrowed her brow and watched. “I think she’d be happier with a marefriend, but other ponies would, well… I know you wouldn’t push her into doing anything she didn’t want to.”

Twilight was confused for a moment more before it clicked. “Wait, are you talking about s–”

“Besides!” Rainbow interrupted loudly. “You two could probably spend hours walking through flowers and looking at clouds and stuff. You’re perfect for each other.”

Again, the accuracy was kind of annoying. “Well, first things first, I have to finish coming out to everypony. Then, who knows?” Even if Rainbow did keep her feelings a secret, Twilight suspected that if she were to actually let slip how much she wanted to do just that, she wouldn’t have a moment’s peace until she did. She had to do this in her own time. Still, it was nice to know she had Rainbow’s approval, since she was the closest thing Fluttershy had to family.

“Yeah, I know. Just… think about it.” Without waiting for an answer, Rainbow flew off towards Sweet Apple Acres, leaving a rainbow stream in her wake.

Twilight waited for a moment before pushing herself up. Rainbow thought she and Fluttershy would be good together. Did she maybe have some kind of insider information that suggested Fluttershy would actually accept if Twilight did ask her out? There was a lot of potential in talking to Rainbow Dash about her feelings, but there was a lot of risk as well. Either way, she could decide that later. For the moment, there was still one more friend to come out to – Rarity.

Fluttershy had told her that she had come out to Rarity, so Twilight knew that she wouldn’t have a problem with her being a lesbian. But even if she wasn’t worried, she wasn’t looking forward to it either. The only thing she was looking forward to was a hot shower to soothe her muscles and wash off the dirt. Maybe afterwards she’d take an afternoon nap. Not like she had any other plans for the day, not after things went so poorly with Applejack.

‘All the more reason to get this over with now.’ If she had any chance of relaxing for the rest of her day, she had to get everything else taken care of. She’d be plagued by the nagging thought of not completing her plans, otherwise.

For the entire walk to the Carousel Boutique, Twilight found herself wondering how Rainbow had managed to fly away so soon after their fall. Athlete or not, she had to be almost as sore as Twilight was, and every step for her was a reminder to never take her hooves off the ground. She knew she must look like a mess too, even without all the stares she got when she made it into town. She did her best to not pay them any attention. ‘Just tell Rarity, then I can go home.’

As soon as Twilight walked into the Carousel Boutique, she realized it was a mistake. There were several mirrors around the entrance, and they all showed a pony that Rarity would be appalled at the state of. The last thing she wanted right now was for the fashionista to make a huge fuss over her, although she knew that was exactly what was sure to happen.

“Just a moment!” Rarity called from the next room. Twilight took advantage of it and ran a hoof through her mane and tail. Even if she didn’t have the time to make herself look good, she at least hoped she could get herself to look somewhat presentable.

“So sorry about that, I was –” Rarity stopped dramatically when she caught sight of Twilight. “Twilight, darling, whatever happened? Are you alright?”

Twilight turned away from her tail and put on her best reassuring smile. Which, given her day so far and her reservations about telling Rarity the truth, was likely not very reassuring. “Is ‘Rainbow Dash’ an acceptable answer?”

Rarity scowled at the absent pony. “I swear, that pony…”

Twilight realized she couldn’t leave it at that. It would be unfair to place any of the blame on Rainbow, who had actually saved her from a much worse injury, then helped her feel better about the whole situation on top of it. “Actually, I wasn’t looking where I was going during flight practice and took a fall. Rainbow saw and tried to catch me, but ended up as bad as me. Which, uh, isn’t as bad as it looks.” She could only hope that since Rarity hadn’t witnessed the accident, she’d be more likely to believe the excuse than Rainbow had been.

“Not as bad as it looks? Well, I should certainly hope not! Darling, have you looked at a mirror? No, we simply must fix this!”

Rarity was already levitating several beauty appliances towards them. “No, really, I’m fine. I just wanted to tell you something, then I’d really like to get home.”

Rarity pouted but put everything back to wherever she had pulled it all out from. “Well, if you insist. What is it you’d like to talk about?”

‘Okay, let’s do this one right.’ Twilight thought carefully about what to say next. She had to properly word it so Rarity would know it was an important and difficult decision to talk about, but not make it sound like too big of a deal so that way she’d know nothing was actually changing. “I’m a lesbian.”

Or she could just shut down the brain-to-mouth filter and blurt it out.

Rarity remained composed, but Twilight did notice her eyes widen slightly. “Oh? Well, congratulations on deciding to come out with this. Of course, I fully support you, and this changes nothing between us, so please don’t take this question the wrong way but, well… Is there anything else? That is to say, is there a reason you came here to talk to me? Specifically?”

Twilight blinked and tilted her head to the side wondering what she meant. What more did she want? Wasn’t this already a big enough announcement? “No, I just… Oh.” Twilight couldn’t help but smile when she realized what Rarity was trying to say. “No, I’m not here to confess any hidden feelings for you. And if I were, I’d like to think I’d at least make a better impression than showing up like this.”

Rarity smiled and nodded. “Of course,” she said. “And I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be presumptuous. It’s just that I had a similar conversation with another friend of mine recently, and I wanted to make sure we were on the same page.”

Twilight smiled. “You mean Fluttershy. I already know. I… sort of overheard her and Rainbow talking about that a few weeks ago, then the three of us talked it all out. I was pretty surprised when she told me she’d actually confessed her feelings, though.” Twilight felt guilty as she remembered how happy she had been to hear Rarity had turned down those feelings.

“Well, that does make things a bit simpler. I just don’t want any more awkwardness among our little circle of friends. Not that I find Fluttershy’s affections awkward, I really am flattered, but I fear it has been causing her trouble. Do you know I practically had to drag her to our weekly spa day? She seems to think I don’t want to be alone with her anymore, which is of course preposterous.”

“I’ll talk to her about it,” Twilight said, smiling. “I still haven’t come out to her, so we’ll probably have a lot to talk about, actually.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry, darling. Here I am going on, and this is such an important day for you! So, if I may ask, what did make you decide it was time? A certain somepony perhaps?” Rarity grinned expectantly.

Twilight had seen this coming. She had already decided she wouldn’t involve Rarity in her romance with Fluttershy, but she supposed simply telling her wouldn’t be too bad. And after the day’s failures, it might actually be nice to finally tell somepony who accepted it. “Well, yes, actually.”

Rarity clapped her hooves excitedly and practically skipped over to Twilight as she pulled out two chairs. “Ooh! Do tell darling! And while we’re talking, perhaps you’d allow me to…” She levitated a brush over.

Twilight rolled her eyes, but she realized she was getting off light from the full makeover that Rarity must have wanted to do. “Fine.”

Rarity began working out the knots in Twilight’s mane. “Now, don’t spare any of the details.”

Something about Rarity’s enthusiasm made it hard for Twilight to refuse. She looked at Rarity, who was leaning forward and almost literally on the edge of her seat. “Well…” Twilight looked away, blushing. “It’s Fluttershy.”

“Fluttershy?” Rarity lit up. “Yes, yes, I see it. Oh, you two would be simply adorable together! And of course it’s no wonder you’ve decided to come out now. Oh, I do hope I haven’t caused any problems in this… No matter, we shall simply have to come up with a plan for you! Now normally we’d want to go extravagant – all the better to win a fair lady’s heart – but I’m afraid dear Fluttershy is too easily overwhelmed.”

She put down the brush, either satisfied with Twilight’s mane, or just because she had found something else to divert her attention to. In its place, she levitated a notepad and quill out of a desk drawer and began furiously taking notes. “I believe the proper setting will be the key aspect of your courtship. Something romantic, simple yet elegant, secluded goes without saying. Maybe… oh, now there’s an idea.”

“Rarity, thank you, but please don’t worry about it. I’ll talk to Fluttershy and tell her…” What would she tell her? After telling all her other friends, the idea of coming out to Fluttershy was definitely easier, but asking her out? She had no idea how she would manage that.

“Oh, nonsense. Nothing could be better than to play a role in two of my closest friends finding happiness in each other! Trust me, darling, with the two of us putting our heads together on this, dear Fluttershy simply won’t be able to resist you!”

Twilight hesitated. She hadn’t wanted to involve Rarity in her love life, but it was undeniable that the socialite was more knowledgeable on romance than she was. “Alright,” Twilight said at last. “What should I do?”

Rarity clapped her hooves and started going over ideas with Twilight, who was giving her full attention. She would learn everything she could in order to win Fluttershy’s heart. She was going to make this perfect.

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