• Published 30th Sep 2015
  • 16,497 Views, 3,478 Comments

Just Girls Talking - MythrilMoth

Ponies and their human counterparts talk about various things.

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The Unexpected Side Effects of Ponying Up

Author's Note:

This is a series of vignettes of, as the title says, girls talking.

There's no action, no hijinks, no big epic plots.

Just...girls, and ponies who happen to be girls, talking about stuff.

The morning after the Friendship Games dawned bright and clear in Canterlot.

Rarity hummed to herself as she studied her reflection in the mirror. "Ugh," she complained. "My eyes are positively puffy...I believe a trip to the spa is in order sometime soon. Perhaps the others would like to accompany me!" She clasped her hands together. "A spa day for all of us! That would be lovely!"

She picked up her brush and began brushing tangles out of her hair. After everything that had happened with the Friendship Games and that whole dreadful episode with Twilight Sparkle turning into a monster, Rarity had been so exhausted upon returning home that she had utterly neglected herself.

A nice, long, luxurious bath was in order.

Rarity shed her terrycloth robe and hung it on the hook on the door. As she turned toward the tub, her nude reflection in the mirror caught her eye. She paused, blinking, and turned her head slowly to stare at herself.

High upon her hip was some sort of tattoo, depicting three clear blue diamonds.

Shaking her head and blinking her eyes to clear them, she rubbed at her hip with a thumb. She then wet her hand and rubbed some more, then grabbed a washcloth, wet it, and vigorously scrubbed.

The tattoo remained.

After careful consideration, Rarity did the only thing she could think to do:

She screamed and fainted.

* * * * *

Pinkie Pie giggled as she examined her hips from every conceivable angle, including some that were not physically possible. "Floaty balloons!" she said, prodding the three balloons on her hip with a finger. "Wonder where they came from?"

* * * * *

Fluttershy's heart hammered in her chest as she pressed her back up against the wall of the bathroom. Cautiously, nervously, she peered out of the corner of her eye at her reflection in the mirror.

The three pink butterflies were still on her bare hip.

She squeaked and shrank in on herself, curled up into a shivering ball on the cold tile floor.

"Oh my goodness...I really hope Mom and Dad don't kill me..."

* * * * *

Applejack stared at her reflection in the mirror. Three ripe red apples gleamed on her hip.

Her right eyebrow slowly rose two inches.

"Well now. Ain't that somethin'."

* * * * *

Rainbow Dash stared at her hip, head tilted and brow furrowed in confusion. "Huh."

She scratched the tattoo on her hip—a cloud and a three-colored lightning bolt—then shrugged and got dressed.

* * * * *

Sunset Shimmer grimaced as she looked over the panicked texts she'd received from her friends. "Well, this'll be fun to explain," she said. She sent out a text to everyone, telling them to meet at Rarity's place, then set out. She stopped on the way to pick up donuts for her friends.

When she arrived, she found the girls lounging around Rarity's living room. Rarity was being theatrical, Fluttershy had her hair covering her face and was making herself as small as possible, Pinkie Pie was telling jokes and laughing, Rainbow Dash was...asleep actually, and Applejack had her arms crossed and was idly kicking one booted foot in the air.

"Sorry girls, I got here as fast as I could," Sunset said. "I brought donuts!"

"WOOHOO!" Pinkie cheered, bounding over and liberating the donut box from her.

Sunset frowned. "For everybody," she clarified.

"I know!" Pinkie said around the frosted donut she had in her mouth. She set the box down on the living room table. The others, even Rarity, each took a donut.

Sunset sat down, crossing her legs. "So...I got the impression from your texts that something's up," she said.

"You could say that," Applejack said dryly.

"Sunset Shimmer, dear," Rarity said, "I...I know so many strange things have happened to us, what with the magic of friendship giving us pony ears and tails and...and everything else, but..." She coughed, blushing faintly. "I...honestly don't know how to phrase this delicately—"

Pinkie took off her skirt and panties and shook her hip in Sunset's face. "Look!"

"PINKIE!" the others yelled.

Sunset massaged the bridge of her nose, then sighed. She stood and lifted the edge of her camisole and pulled down the side of her tights just enough to show the others the two-tone blazing sun emblem on her own hip. "I'm guessing the rest of you woke up with one of these too?"

"Yep," Rainbow said.

"You got it," Applejack agreed.

"What...what does it mean?" Fluttershy asked timidly. "What's going on?"

Sunset straightened out her clothes, then sat back down. "Remember when I said I understood why you all ponied up? That it was because each of you expressed your own true nature, the thing that makes each of you special?" The others nodded. "Well, I...didn't really realize at the time exactly what I was describing, or the implications..." She laughed. "And I really should have. Honestly, I've been away from Equestria too long..."

"So what's the deal?" Rainbow asked. "Is this like, some kind of permanent pony-up?"

"Sort of," Sunset said. "Not entirely. Not exactly." She paused. "They're, well...your Cutie Marks."

The others stared at each other blankly.

Rainbow snorted. "Our WHAT?" she snickered.

Sunset shot her an irritated look. "In Equestria, there's a special kind of magic that everypony has. It's the magic of Cutie Marks." She stood up and walked around the room as she spoke. "When a pony discovers his or her special talent, the thing that defines who they are and what their destiny is, a mark appears on their flank. It's...a big deal. Young colts and fillies can't wait for the day when their Cutie Mark appears. It's...kind of an affirmation of who you are, who you're destined to be." She looked around at her friends. "Rarity. You throw yourself into designing and creating beautiful clothes and costumes. You're passionate about sharing your love of fashion."

Rarity preened. "It's true."

"When you went on a design spree to make all those different uniforms for the Friendship Games, you ponied up. It's because you were expressing your individual style...your talent and enthusiasm for creating beauty and sharing it with your friends." Sunset turned to Pinkie. "Pinkie Pie. When you turned that sad, boring party where nobody was having fun into a bright, cheerful celebration and everybody started laughing and having a good time—"

"I ponied up because I was making everybody happy and that's what makes me happy?"

"Exactly!" Sunset smiled and turned to Fluttershy.

Fluttershy blinked, then tapped her chin thoughtfully. "I...was sharing my love of animals with Twilight, and...and showing her kindness..."

"Your kind, gentle nature and your love of animals is what makes you special," Sunset said. "So you ponied up."

"And I ponied up because I'm awesome!" Rainbow cheered.

Sunset laughed and shook her head. "No, Rainbow Dash. You ponied up that first time because you displayed your loyalty to Canterlot High, and the second time because you showed your loyalty to your friends by saving me on the motocross track."

Rainbow grinned. "Hey, I can never leave a friend hangin'."

"An' me?" Applejack asked.

"You were honest and forthright with Twilight," Sunset said. "You helped a friend in need, showed her what she needed to do and reassured her with your honest nature."

"Huh," Applejack said, shrugging. "An' here Ah'd'a thought mah special talent woulda had somethin' t' do with apples."

Sunset laughed.

"And what about you, darling?" Rarity asked.

Sunset smiled. "I...rediscovered my Cutie Mark." She chuckled. "My special talent was always magic, but...I never really understood my Cutie Mark until now." She looked at her friends. "I was destined to...to shine the light of friendship. To embrace the magic of friendship and...and harness that magic to do great things." She looked down. "I guess...it took a long time for me to understand that."

"So...what do these magic bootie marks do?" Rainbow asked.

Sunset shrugged. "They don't really do anything. They just mean you know who you are and what your destiny is."

Rainbow frowned. "That's...really dumb," she said.

Sunset arched an eyebrow. "I seem to remember saying something similar about the rivalry with Crystal Prep, and you all jumping down my throat for not getting it." She shook her head. "Cutie Marks are a really big deal in Equestria. Bigger than you can possibly imagine."

"It almost sounds like it's...puberty," Fluttershy said. Then her eyes widened, and she blushed. "Eep! Don't...don't mind me, I—"

"Actually, you're not far off," Sunset said. "Ponies usually get their Cutie Marks when they're young fillies and colts, anywhere from seven to about eleven." She frowned. "Ponies who don't get their Cutie Mark by the time they're eleven or so tend to get teased, especially if they're the only one in their class who doesn't have it yet."

Rarity gave Sunset a concerned look. "Were...were you teased for being a late bloomer, darling?"

Sunset snorted. "Puh-lease. I was one of the first to get mine." She sighed. "You know what I was like before...before Princess Twilight came here."

"Oh. You...you were the bully then, weren't you?"

Sunset sighed. "I did...give this one filly a pretty hard time," she said. She chuckled ruefully. "I've been paying for it here in this world ever since the Fall Formal, too."

"Huh? What's that supposed to mean?" Rainbow asked.

Sunset smiled wryly. "The filly I used to tease was a unicorn named Beatrix Lulamoon. Or, as she liked to call herself, the Great and Powerful Trixie."

Stunned silence met this proclamation.

"Well. How 'bout that," Applejack said.

"So," Rainbow said slowly. "Magic tramp stamps forever?"

Sunset rolled her eyes and groaned. "Yes, Rainbow Dash. Magic tramp stamps forever."

"Well, as long as there's an explanation for it that makes sense," Rainbow said. "Who's up for a Daring Do movie?"

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