• Member Since 6th Jan, 2013
  • offline last seen Last Tuesday

Distaff Pope


An experienced writer of limited skill and dangerous enthusiasm.

T

This story is a sequel to The Unbearable Lightness of Being Sweetie Belle


The last year certainly hasn't been ideal for me. Losing Applejack followed almost immediately by Sweetie, well... maybe I spent more time in the Boutique and less time with my friends, but then... I don't know why, but I just had to get out of the Boutique. Get out before I did something drastic and incredibly stupid. But once out, where do I go? It's pouring rain, and I'm certainly not about to go back. Not tonight. Twilight's castle is glowing in the distance. Hopefullly, she was being serious when she told me to come to her if I needed anything, even if it's just a place to stay for the night.

Special thanks to my pre-reader Seether00, my editor EquesTRON, and Tchernobog for violently hating one of my favorite ships.

Chapters (12)
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Comments ( 217 )

Hells yeah. Now gotta read this to see what I been waitin for. Cause damn. :rainbowhuh:

Ah, the delicious shipping. Nom nom nom.

I am liking this so far. Admittedly, I have not read the other two stories yet, shame on me, since Tragedy tag on the last one and not getting along with the first. But it is nice and introspective and the pacing is good. Especially the last thing is a godsend when compared towards my recent reading endeavours.

Now, I don't want to come into this nice apartment you've invited us into and immediately start complaining about the wallpaper, but if I were a really, really, REALLY big Rarilight fan, how much money should I bet on them staying a couple, instead of just being a short rebound relationship?

Darn, now I wish I could time-travel to a point where this is finished because you left me wanting for more...

Everything here was very good!! I loved your writing style, it flowed really well throughout the entire story and the pacing was wonderful. I especially liked how you wrote Rarity ohmygoshhh :heart: The way you handled her thought-processes was very... Rarity? And her dialogues were especially amazing. I always tend to focus on that, and man, she just felt really in-character. Teach me your ways of writing Rarity...

The breakup scene was also handled very well, I think. It was touching and poignant to see Rarity be more mature about the whole thing, unlike the other times, and the fact that it felt more like resignation made the whole thing more moving. Sometimes things don't work out no matter how hard we wish they did, and sometimes we just need to chin up and face the problem.

As for the scene with Twilight, it was also really well-done. As someone who struggles with writing Twilight a lot, I always try and learn from other writers and gosh, you just really wrote her and Rarity's interactions really well. Like really well. Like ohmygosh, I just really loved that scene. The small line about Twilight's smile was just adorable, but there was one line/paragraph in particular in which you basically described one of my appeals of Rarity & Twilight dynamics.

“Rarity, are you alright?” Twilight asked. “We’re all just worried about you.” Always dancing around the issue, so concerned with my feelings. Out of all my friends, she was the one most concerned with tact. The rest… well, they could speak plainly, directly, and honestly, but never artfully. Twilight and I could hold a conversation about things we didn’t say.

THAT LINE WAS REALLY GREAT, LIKE EVERYTHING ABOUT THAT PARAGRAPH, BUT GOSH. :rainbowkiss:I could literally -- and I do mean literally -- sit here and write five pages, double spaced, mla citations on why that entire sentence applies so well to them, but for the sake of everyone, I will refrain. Man, though, I'm actually kinda envious, I wish I'd come up with that sentence!

All in all, this was a very well-written and enjoyable read, and I wait with bated breath for the next chapter! Thank you for sharing this with us!

and Tchernobog for violently hating one of my favorite ships.

:trollestia:

Are you happy now Tchernobog? Are you? I killed my favorite ship for you (and also because it complemented the themes of my larger narrative, but mostly you)!

:pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy:

Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!

Yes! It's here!

I'd like to say I forgot how well you write Rarity, but the truth is, I never forgot! I love everything about this already!

Except... the title. The title sounds like every generic RareLight story ever. I don't like it at all, especially since this is far from a generic RareLight story.

Hey, I can actually type out comments on my phone, now. Sorry to everyone for not responding sooner, I'm in the middle of vacation and driving cross country.


6232892 Yeah, I'm not in live with the title either, but out of all the titles I brainstormed, it was the best I could come up with. I'm always open to suggestions, though.


6232657 Yep, this story probably wouldn't exist without my shipping talks with Tchernobog, so everybody who likes it should be sure to thank him, and if you don't like it, you know who to blame.


6232435 Well, it has the romance tag, not the fling tag.

6232463 Glad you're enjoying it! I really liked that line, too. Of course, Rarity and Twilight are still just as capable of deluding themselves as anyone else.

I'm really going to try and keep the quality up as I edit and re-edit the next 11 chapters, but there are a few plot details I still need to revise/omit.

Oh, and speaking of that, chapter two is ready to go as soon as I have a title. I could literally publish it tonight if I wanted too.

6234672

Yep, this story probably wouldn't exist without my shipping talks with Tchernobog, so everybody who likes it should be sure to thank him, and if you don't like it, you know who to blame.

:scootangel:

Oh, and speaking of that, chapter two is ready to go as soon as I have a title. I could literally publish it tonight if I wanted too.

:flutterrage: DO IT, FILLY!

Edit: one comment, actually. How much time has passed between the breakup scene and Rarity seen AJ with Dash? The dinner is obviously a flashback, but it lacks a timeline. Feels like events happened in 24 hours, and then Rarity mentions "two seasons until she could get back with Applejack". Unless that was supposed to be two years, that's a LOT of time to have gone by without stating as much.

6234707 To answer your question, it's been a bit less than a year and a half. Each season is about three of our months (a little less, since the Equestrian year is four weeks shorter than our own), so two seasons translates to half a year. I tried using Rarity's internal clock as a way of doing the time stamp gracefully, but I guess that doesn't work so hot if I don't explain the calendar. Blog post, away.

As for the other thing, I could do that, but I'm on vacation, you know? I guess I'll see about doing it when I stop driving either today or Friday.

Okay... so Rarity is a moron who threw away a (rocky) but fulfilling relationship because she wanted to set a good example for her estranged little sister? Not to mention the fact that it didn't do any good at all?

:facehoof:

6237106
Patience, grasshopper. This is just the opening chapter; all will become clear in time. :raritywink:

(And realistically, if you read the prior story, their relationship was more than just "rocky"; it was highly dysfunctional and destructive in ways that, if not actually crossing the line into "abusive", were certainly skirting very close to it. It really wasn't a relationship that could have been sustained over the long term; the only question was when would it end, and how badly.)

Can I complain that you still write about another lesbian relationship? I really expected RD or Twi to end with a stallion, since the previous story was very lacking in this area. Honestly it could have be another funny destructive story to have Rarity wanting to break Twi relationship to reach her. (And I think Rarity is probably the worse pony for Twilight to end with, but it's my personnal opinion.)

But I am really curious how the Sweetie Belle part will play from Rarity pov :)

6241946 Of course you can complain. It's... admittedly, a problem that's grown as I continued working in this story, and one I work on at least explaining a little in the sequel to The Unbearable Lightness. I did include a small stop-gap explanation in Foal Fever when I talked about how two mares could conceive together and that the resulting child would have to be a female due to genetics, but... yeah, more explanation is required than just saying the population statistics in Equestria are strongly tilted in one direction.

So, to tease and tantalize some of you, here's a term that might or might not be used in a future story. I've provided no context, so I'll leave that to you to puzzle out: Summer Straights.

I thought of giving you the Mane 6 on a Kinsey scale, but they're sexuality's all weird and not easily graphable on a six-point scale. Fluttershy's pretty exclusively straight, though. Apple Bloom would be, but then I couldn't pass up the opportunity to ship her with Life Bloom. Anyways, I think that's about all.

6237106 To echo what EquesTRON said about their relationship being super unhealthy, it was... bad. When they were fighting, they were going for blood. Entire rooms were leveled as they used each other as their own personal emotional punching bag. If they kept dating, one of them very likely would've gotten hurt at some point.

6242610

Okay. Understood. That being the case... I mean... from the description I've read in this story, Rarity ended it because she wanted to set a good example for Sweetie Belle, and thought she might as well not have bothered after a year of nothing happening? AJ similarly looked like she didn't want to end it... are the characters in your story very different from cannon or?

6242630 Sorry, for some reason, I can't figure out exactly how I want to say this, so if I'm not precise and concise, I apologize.

Rarity meant it when she talked about there being a better option out there for the both of them, and even after things with Sweetie ended poorly, she had no intention of breaking her two-year moratorium (to do so would be unhealthy, unproductive, and immensely embarrassing for Rarity since she was the one who did the dumping).

AJ didn't attempt to reconcile things with Rarity for similar reasons. After a night of drinking and crying on the inside, she thought Rarity had a pretty good point about their relationship being bad, and decided to give the two-year moratorium her best shot (she did promise Rarity she would, after all).

and thought she might as well not have bothered after a year of nothing happening?

I'm not sure what you meant by this line, and that might be messing up my ability to properly respond to you.

6242664

But Applejack… No, I’d never considered. I’d just assumed she was as miserable as I was, and that at the end of my silly two-year moratorium on us dating, we’d continue as if nothing had ever happened. Oh, if only I’d known then how doomed my efforts with Sweetie were… If I hadn’t wanted to ‘set a good example.’

This tells me that she threw away her relationship with Applejack (no matter how rocky it may have been) and now has regrets.

6242685 Oh, she absolutely regrets it, but she also feels it was the right thing to do. She's been very conflicted this last year. On the one hoof, she recognizes that it's good to be out of an unhealthy relationship, but on the other hoof, she desperately needs some emotional outlet. She's dying of thirst, but the only water available is salt. Plus, she's way too proud to go back to Applejack begging for AJ to take her back. She'd rather be miserable for two years until the moratorium ends than beg to Applejack (which... probably is another sign that their relationship is super not great).

6242737

I see, I see. Thanks for the answers. It makes more sense now. :twilightsmile:

6242746 Glad I could help, and I hope you the next few chapters go down easier. Sorry for the confusion.

6242578

more explanation is required than just saying the population statistics in Equestria are strongly tilted in one direction.

Actually... no, it really isn't. That perception exists partly because all of the primary characters are female — which, in turn, is mostly due to the fact that no matter how much Hasbro may appreciate and acknowledge their unexpected secondary demographic, the show still was, and is, targeted primarily to an audience of young girls — and partly because of animation constraints in the earlier episodes. Since background ponies are just mix-and-match, palette / cutie-mark / manestyle swaps of the existing character models, and they had more mares in the production library they could mix-and-match from (due to the above-mentioned mare-centric lead cast) without it being obvious that they were all carbon-copies of each other, that meant that you did tend to see a lot more female background ponies in the earlier episodes than male ones. (After all, if the only stallion models you have in the library are Big Mac and the palace guards, you can't really plant a couple dozen of them in a crowd scene without it being pretty obvious that they're just cut-and-pasted clones.)

As the show has moved forward and they've added more stallions to the model library, the mare:stallion ratio in crowd and background scenes has made a definite shift towards a more equal ratio. (There used to be a Youtube video proving this, but both it and the user who made it seem to have been purged from Youtube for some reason. I knew I should've downloaded it and saved a local copy...)

Dammit. Looks like I need to go back and read the stories connected to this one now.

Oh good, if Mina exists then does that mean all comic continuity exists in this universe? If so then that opens up a lot of really absurd political minefields for Twilight considering she has an entire kingdom of magic Deer with dominion over what is essentially Ponyville's backyard.

If it does, I personally hope that we get Rarity talking with Twilight about her own political coup experiences as Nightmarity and/or Scoots enlisting the help of Prancy Drew to unravel Sweetie's plans whenever that story comes around.

Of course, as much fun as such nonsense might be, it would probably just confuse those who don't read the comics. :derpytongue2:

God, I love your dialogue. Especially that part where you made up a new word. What are these 'feet' you're talking about? :raritywink:


6243844 Good point, actually. Did Nightmare Rarity happen in this universe? I assume not, but you never know.

6243008 Oh, no, yeah, that's probably completely true in the show, but back in FF when the gender difference was more... pronounced, I struggled to explain how two mares could make a daughter. Magical fertilization was the solution I came up with, and I thought it could also be used to explain why the gender balance was so skewed. So... yeah, while there might not be a canon gender disparity in the show, there now I'd in the Orchestra verse. Right now, I'd say it's about a 65/35 split.


6243844 I'm treating the comics like this: If I like an idea from the comics, I steal it, but if not, it won't appear in the Orchestra-verse.

6244054 Hey, at least one of those uses of feet were correct. The other... not so much. As for the Nightmare Rarity thing, please see the comment immediately above yours where I talk about borrowing selectively from comic canon.

The way you picture Rarity (with all her idea of organizing the castle) promise for a lot of drama between the two of them. Rarity would probably want to live her dream by proxy with Twilight and it's really not healty x)

One or two parts where the dialogue felt a little on rails (as in, there was just banter, and some places where it felt like 'MUST TALK ABOUT THIS NOW' without a good segue), but overall... nice. Twi's not entirely realizing flirting's going on, and Rarity doesn't seem to be aware she's doing it either. Ehehe.

Even with things being somewhat strained between us, if Applejack came to me tomorrow, hat in hoof, begging for bits so she could marry Rainbow Dash, I’d give her whatever she needed, because that’s what friends do.

I DEMAND THIS NEXT CHAPTER!

“You’d have to stand on your back legs, wear a brace, and then, depending on my size, we’d either have to–”

:rainbowderp:

So much angst. So thick I can eat it with a spoon.

Nom, nom, nom.

So delicious.

6257512 Is this the angsty chapter? I thought chapter four was the angsty chapter. Or are they all the angsty chapter?

This chapter was fun, I enjoyed it.

” I said, winking at him. Was I so tipsy that I was winking at ponies now? That did not bode well for the rest of my night.

Isn't she talking to a griffon here?

Looking forward to more. :raritywink::twilightsmile:

Hee hee. Yes, Twilight, one can cure all ails with twelve thousand bit bottles of wine.

“When an existing friendship turns into a relationship, there’s something else – it happens in regular romances too, just usually much later – there’s this feeling like something’s slotted into place. You don’t just feel the usual elation of infatuation; there’s also this dull, aching contentment, like they met a need you never knew you had

Dohoho. I sense this will come back :D

Two bottles of 45% alcohol wine? How are those two not just dead?

Ah well, good form on resisting the obvious "No, thiiis is Wiiiiiiiiine" joke.

6258932 I didn't even think of that joke.


6258922 Yep. Expensive bottles of wine are great, especially when they are free. Also, what could possibly make you think the two of them are getting together.

6259255 that little romance tag on the fic, amongst other things :duck::twilightsmile:

So good! :heart: I agree, long dialogs between Twilight and Rarity are the best, it just show how in sync they are and how wonderful their minds are.

Such a great chapter.

I stared up at Twilight’s cavernous,

I thought that was going somewhere.

6258932

Two bottles of 45% alcohol wine? How are those two not just dead?

Ugh... in hindsight, I should've caught that when I was editing. :facehoof: 45% alcohol is way too high for wine; that's the high-end alcohol-content range for straight vodka, rum, whiskey, or tequila. Even "45 proof" is a bit high; 45 proof is 22.5% alcohol content, and even fortified dessert wines like port or sherry don't quite get that high (although some get as high as 21%.) Brandies can get up to 60% alcohol, but those are produced by distilling wine to concentrate the alcohol, and they're not usually served with meals. They're more of a cocktail and after-dinner drink.

Typically, the strongest wines that can be produced naturally (i.e. without fortifying them with additional alcohol from other sources) are the zinfandels, at around 14-17% (28-34 proof), primarily because the particular strains of yeasts used for zinfandels have a higher tolerance for swimming in their own alcohol...

6260145 Hey, I'm the one who put it in there and failed to tone it down, especially jarring since I had a few glasses of wine that were 18% ABV and that got me plenty tipsy. When I get back from Vegas and can use my computer again, I'll make the wine less deadly.
6259358 I'm glad you like the long dialogs because we've got plenty of them written. In fact, I think chapter six might be the only chapter without an extended conversation between the two.

Just a few quick questions. Will there be any new updates about Sweetie Belle in this fanfic seeing as (MAJOR spoilers for the story that this is a sequel to!) -> the 3 year mark for the rescue from the end of the last fanfic is still a ways away and we can simply assume that she's still on her bad streak? I guess what I'm asking is, are we going to hit that 3 year mark in this fanfic, or will it be a separate fanfic seeing as this is mostly focused on Rarity and Twilight? How many chapters are you planning for this fic? Will it be a short but sweet, or more in the 200,000 word count like Sweetie's story?

6268003 No updates on Sweetie Belle beyond a few lines in Chapter 11. Expecttwelve chapters totalling up to somewhere around 70k words. The story will end about a year before the three-year mark.

Pretty good story really like it. sad bittersweet but well written.

Will rarity have a confration with her parents think high time she faced them and rip them a new one.

“Philistine!” I shrieked, throwing myself from the ropes over to Twilight and launching my hoof at her target.

Man, Twi, that was low. :rainbowderp: Let us not forget though that Rarity seems to know kung-fu.

:ajbemused: Y'know, th'more I think of it, the more i'm seein' this relationship really was stinkin' unhealthy, wasn't it?

I quite like the ending, actually, it feels pretty spot on. Twi is doing everything she can to convince Rarity that she's worth so, so much. She finally seems to have gotten through there. Eager to see where it goes next! :raritystarry:

Amazing it's perfect!

6274940
6273640

Thanks, I'm glad not everyone hated it, although I did notice the amount of dislikes almost doubled for this chapter, which... isn't a great feeling, especially since I know there are still two controversial chapters in this story's future. Not that I live and die by my like/dislike ration, but... I do probably give it undue attention.

6276460 Meh, you can likely safely ignore the downvotes. There's always going to be a bunch of dicks that downvote only for the sake of downvoting, or those who just don't like a certain ship, or equally idiotic reasons.

6277060 True, I just can't help myself from observing trends in my like-to-dislike ratio. If readers whose opinion I trust keep liking it, though, that will have to do.

6277244

Indeed. Also, I've found a gif that sums up RariJack in a nutshell:

http://imgur.com/gallery/xmdYnGo :rainbowlaugh:

I hate this ship, but I love your writing, so I can't stop reading. My hope it that it will end badly :)

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