• Published 9th Mar 2016
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No spell for that - Jeweled Pen



Twilight meets a young stalli... mare at her old school, with a problem that even her great magic can't fix. Despite her desire to give aid, there are some things even a princess can't fix. After all, when born in the wrong body, how can you fix it?

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Chapter 3: Makeover and made-uptoher

Twilight took a deep breath as she stood outside the door to Drifting's room. Last time they hadn't left under the… best terms. She wouldn't be surprised if h-- she slammed the door in her face. It would probably serve her right. But she had obviously hurt the mare, and she couldn't just let this stand. She gently reached out and knocked on the door.

There was no answer. She tried again after a few moments. Then, on the third attempt she heard a soft voice. “Who is it?”

“It's me, Princess Twilight, I—”

“Go away!”

The alicorn gave a sigh. Well, she expected that. Deserved it, probably. “I came to apologize. I… uhhh… I brought a gift.”

“I don't want it!”

The princess hummed, looking at the three little pieces of paper. She then slowly slid them under the door. “Here. You don't have to--”

They were shoved right back out. “I don't want anything from...” The voice stopped. “Did… those have… were those from the Canterlot Boutique?”

Twilight grinned and slid them right back under. “Yes.”

There was a long, long pause. Then slowly, the door creaked open. Twilight couldn't believe it, bribery worked! The mare stared at her from the other side. “They… aren't fake, are they?”

“No, of course not. The owner is a personal friend of mine and she has apparently dealt with plenty of situations like this. May I come in?”

The stall-- mare looked thoughtful for a moment, before pulling back and letting her in. Twilight stepped in and let out a sigh of relief. Phase one of apology, complete, not getting the door slammed in her face. She smiled at Drifting and… tried not to frown.

Now that she knew, she couldn't help noticing. The dress didn't fit right at all, the make up was just horribly done, her body was a bit stallionish and not to mention her face, it was a little softer but definitely a stallions. How did she possibly miss this? She--

She face hoofed. Ten seconds in and already she was over analyzing everything. If she says she's a mare, then she's a mare. Weird or not, she hurt the pony and she couldn't stand for that..Twilight took a deep breath.

“Um… are… are you okay? Princess?” Drifting asked softly, before looking down. “I'm sorry I… kicked you out. That's… err… that's… not a crime, is it?”

Twilight stared for a few moments. Now that she thought about it, it might possibly be a crime. “No, not at all. I deserved it.” But buck her if she was going to press charges. “Can we talk?”

“I… I guess. You aren't going to try and… fix me, are you?”

“No! No no, no,” Twilight said quickly. “I… actually talked to a few ponies. About your… condition. I'm sorry, it was just a bit shocking.”

“Yeah, shocked me a lot when I found out, too,” she said darkly.

“If… umm… you don't mind me… asking. How did you find out about… I mean… what made you decide this?”

Drifting gave a sigh, the sigh of a pony who had explained something ten thousand times already, but was going to have to do it again. Many of Twilight's past projects were often connected with that sigh. “I was depressed. Parents sent me to therapist. Helped me figure it all out. The end. Happily ever after,” she said a tad bitterly.

Twilight cringed. “I… I'm sure there's more to it than that. But if you don't want to tell me, you don't have to! I just… I'd… like to know.”

Drifting glanced down to the small vouchers from the boutique. Once again, bribery won her over. “I… I was depressed a lot, growing up. I hid it, but… my parents eventually noticed when my grades started to fall. I… saw a therapist for a while and she helped me… find out what I wanted.” She closed her eyes. “It… it didn't make sense at first, but after a bit, it all did. How I felt, why I couldn't look myself in the mirror, why I hated… everything about me.”

“And… and you're still seeing this therapist?” Twilight made a mental note to talk with this mare. Surely she'd have some answers.

“No. The moment my parents found out, they found me a new one.”

“Oh. And… your second one?”

“Told me what I was feeling was wrong, that if I kept on this path, I'd just end up alienating myself and everypony around me, ruin my life and cause trouble for everypony I knew.” She glanced towards the door. “Guess she was right.”

Twilight's eyes widened. “I… I'm sure she didn't… say it like that.”

“She might as well have,” Drifting said weakly, giving another shudder. “I… I tried being fixed, r-really, I did. I tried to be a colt. To… to make everypony happy. I was just miserable and hated myself a-and wanted to die!” She gave another little sniffle. “E-everypony was still mad, though. T-the others always picked on me, mom and dad were mad my grades were failing, I… I finally just decided if they were going to hate me anyway, I might as well be what I want to be.”

The alicorn nodded and reached out, putting a wing over the mare. “For what it's worth, I think you're a very pretty mare.”

The mare looked up, giving a little sniffle. “R-really?”

Twilight gave a nod. Maybe it was the tears, but she was really starting to see that mare in there. Or maybe she just felt so bad. “So… your parents are okay with this?”

“Ha!” Drifting said, before blushing. “S-sorry princess. I-I didn't mean to… to be rude.”

“No, no, go ahead. Please, tell me.”

“They… don't like this at all. They say stallions should be stallions and...” She glanced to the dresses. “B-but we made a deal. They said if I got my grades up and… and got into this school, they'd let me dress however I like. For every A I get, they give me bits I can use to buy dresses and things. Not… a lot, b-but some of the other girls sell me theirs, cheap. So…. I get some things.”

Twilight glanced to the make up cases by the window. There were a lot of them, but all of different shades and brands. She then looked at the mare before her. The princess had only learned the bare minimum of make up application from her mother, but even she knew that half of those were probably useless for the mare. She must have been desperate.

“And… so long as I keep going to therapy, they honor the deal.”

“I… I see. And this therapist?”

“He's trying to fix me. It's just… there's nothing wrong with me,” she said with another whimper. “I was just… I was just born in the wrong body and… and I thought...” Tears started to well up in her eyes. “W-w-when I r-read that book, I-I thought you had a spell to t-turn somepony into… into that a-and i-if I learned it I-I could fix everything a-and nopony would hate me anymore!”

Twilight pulled the mare into another tight hug. “I'm sorry, Drifting. I really, truly am. But… there isn't a spell for that.”

“There should be!”

“Transformation spells like that are… well… I… could turn you into a breezie? It only works during the breezie season, though.”

“I-I already know t-that spell,” she said with a soft whimper. “B-but I don't wanna b-be a breezie, I-I wanna be a mare! I am a mare! I am I am I am I am!”

“I know, I know,” Twilight said as soothingly as she could. She gently patted the mare on the back as she worked, trying her best to comfort the girl. Once the was finally all cried out, she smiled down at her. “Listen. Do you think you can come down to the Canterlot Boutique this weekend? My friend will be there and I can guarantee, she will personally make you whatever dress you want.”

“A-any?”

“Any.”

“… E-even the p-princess dress?”

Twilight blinked a few times. Oh, she would owe Rarity soooo many favors. “Yes. Even the princess dress. You heard about that one?”

“U-uh huh… I… I saw it and ummm… it's how I recognized… you.”

Twilight paused and tried to process that. Multiple time savior of the whole country, newest princess, her castle only a few miles out of the city, not to mention she had her picture in a few places in the school. And yet she is identified for modeling a dress. “I… see. Yes, whatever you like. Okay?”

“O-okay. I'll… I'll be there. I promise.”

“Good. I'll meet you there as well, okay? Princess' promise. And we can't break our promises.”

“Really?”

“Really really. So… just… try to be brave, okay? I'll see you then.” She slowly pulled back and gave the mare a smile.

Drifting nodded, smiling up at her. “O-okay. I'll be… I'll be good, I promise.”

Twilight nodded and then headed out the door, before making another sigh. She still didn't know what was going on, but the mare seemed happier at least. Which meant she could feel slightly less guilty for what she'd done. Slightly. Now came the fun part.

Convincing Rarity to remake the princess dress. Well, bribery had worked on Drifting, maybe it would work on Rarity, too. So to Sugarcube Corner she'd go!

------

Twilight sighed as she say in one of the chairs of the Canterlot Boutique. Cake bribery had not worked. Neither had bits. Instead, she'd had to use… favors. Nothing too difficult, of course, she'd just had to help around the boutique as Rarity worked on a rush order for some clients of hers. It had, sadly, taken up a lot more time than she'd wanted.

Still, it was just a few days and after she got the little stall-- mare these dresses, her conscience would be clear and she could move on. The boutique would open in a few minutes, though she didn't expect to see Drifting for a few hours yet. It was still early morning and she couldn't imagine anypony wanting to be up at this hour.

Still, she'd helped as much as she could with the opening preparations, now Sassy and Rarity were just doing final touches before uncovering the windows and opening the doors.

As soon as they were unlocked, a light jingle hit the air as they opened. Drifting stood in the doorway, pausing halfway in as every eye turned to her. Twilight couldn't believe it, what student wanted to get up at this hour? The mare was also shaking a little bit.

Wait, had she been out there waiting for the store to open? How long? It wasn't freezing outside, but it was still cold. She got to her hooves. “Drifting, you came!”

The mare looked so startled she nearly bolted out the door, turning around.

“W-wait!” Twilight called out.

Drifting paused, shuddered, and slowly turned back around. She looked like a mess. Her hair was a bit wild from the wind, her make up was just… no. And she was wearing a red, gemmed dress that was… two sizes too big in some places, and a size too small in others. Still, she was here, that was the important thing.

Rarity smiled as she moved forward. “Ah. You must be Drifting Petal, yes? Please, come with me. Don't worry, child. I've dealt with plenty of ponies with your sense of Dysphoria, there is nothing to be worried or embarrassed about. You're a perfectly lovely lady.”

The alicorn blinked a few times. “Dysphoria?”

“Yes. It's the clinical term,” Sassy said calmly.

Twilight tilted her head. "Huh. When you use the clinical terms, it sounds familiar. I think...I think I remember reading about it? A bit. Apparently its caused by sexual abuse or moderate sociopathy, at least according to Sigmare Frid, and can be cured via electro-shock therapy or… or... uh..."

She noted the look Rarity was giving her, and Sassy's wide eyes and shocked expression. Not to mention the look of terror on Drifting's face, who was only not fleeing for her life because Rarity had a firm grip over her withers.

"Or...uh. I'm...going to shut up now."

“P-please don't… electro-shock me...” Drifting said softly, tears starting to well up in her eyes.

"Drifting, darling? Please don't cry,” Rarity said quickly. “Twilight didn't mean that. She may be a princess, but she is still simply dreadful in social interactions. I promise, she was just reciting some dusty old book from memory. She would never conceive of actually doing that to some pony. Oh, my." Rarity herded her up to the little dais she worked all of her clients on with skill and strength that would have astonished Applejack. Circling the mare, she looked her up and down. "I see you're wearing one of mine from...hmm. That was the spring selection a few years back, yes? It goes wonderfully with your hair, darling. Now, now, now… let us see."

She whipped her tape measure out with a crack, grinning. "You have an astonishing natural beauty dear. lets just see how best to… accentuate it."

Drifting, for a split second, looked like she might try to flee again, Rarity Originals or no. Especially when the fashionista's horn lit up, and she felt the dress sliding free.

"No worries dear, I'll alter this before I begin working on your pieces so it fits better,” Rarity said in a soothing, docile tone. “It shouldn't take but a minute or three once I have your measurements." She hummed, walking around her again. "Now, please stand straight darling. Oh, you have a simply lovely coat. What product do you use?"

"Pro... duct?" She'd ask softly with a wince. "I-I just get shampoo... the... school supplies it..." She lowered her eyes and shuffled her hooves. Her mane was a bit... ragged. It was obvious she let it grow and brushed it, but had none of the proper care used on it. Even Twilight could see that.

Rarity was behind her, so she didn't see the wince. "Well, I'll send you home with some of mine, and some recommendations." She hummed. "Perhaps, when we're done here, you could use a visit to the local spa? As tense as you are, I believe you could use such a trip.”

Drifting's face turned bright red. "I-I can't... really, afford a spa trip. I-I'm sorry, I--"

"Nonsense," Sassy said quickly. "That is one of the benefits of having a princess act like a total cad to you. It means she will likely hoof the bill."

Twilight face hoofed. Well, she wasn't wrong, but still, did she have to be so blunt?

“Hmmm...” Rarity rubbed her chin, before holding out the measuring tape to Sassy. “Would you?”

“Of course,” the other unicorn said before moving besides the frightened mare.

Rarity then grabbed a small white hoofkerchief and began to wipe the face of the startled mare. “S-stop...” Drifting said weakly.

“Oh darling, do hold still. I am a professional, I know what I'm doing.”

The mare gave a little whimper, but didn't fight. Twilight couldn't help but feel even worse for the poor mare now, she looked like she might start bawling at any moment.

“There. You do have a nice beauty, darling. You shouldn't put so much on, hiding that pretty face,” Rarity said with a little coo, before her horn glowed and she grabbed a small makeup case from the counter. “Of course, all of us girls do like a little help, no? How about we do this proper. I think I can probably help with your mane as well, dear.”

“O-okay...” Drifting said weakly. She was too frightened to move as the older mare began applying the make up. She trembled a bit as her eyes began to water.

“Oh dear. Whatever is the matter?” Rarity asked softly.

“I-I'm sorry I don't... I don't k-know how to... to do any of this--”

“Nonsense,” Rarity said, cutting her off. “Plenty of mares don't know how to properly style their manes or apply their own make up. It can be difficult even for the best of us.”

Drifting nodded and gave a little nod. “T-thank... thank you.”

“Truly, shame on your mother for not teaching you such things,” the mare tutted as she softly applied a thin layer of blush. “A young woman such as yourself shouldn't have to depend on strangers to teach her.”

Drifting cringed. “Mother... doesn't... approve...” Her eyes wandered to Twilight and she chewed on her lower lip a little.

The fashionista hummed for a moment, before smiling. “Twilight, dear, could you go into the back and grab a round, little red box? I think it would suit her perfectly. Only about the size of your hoof.”

“Huh? Oh, sure,” Twilight said before hopping up and trotting out.

The moment she was gone, Drifting let out a sigh of relief. “S-she wouldn't really try to have me put through electro-shock therapy, would she? I-I mean, she's a princess, I-I know she can if she wants to and--”

“Hush. Twilight would never, ever do such a thing to somepony. She just... has much too much book smarts and not always social smarts. I assure you, you're in no danger.”

“O-okay.” For a few moments there was silence, then she gulped. “And... and she won't... tell my parents, will she? That it can be... cured? Like that?”

Sassy and Rarity shared a concerned look. “It cannot be cured like that, for one,” Rarity said quickly. “And I will have a talk with the princess. But surely your parents wouldn't permit such a thing.”

“They wanted to send me away to one of those... fixing camps... when they found out.”

Rarity managed to turn paler. “I... I see. I will have a long, long talk with the princess. I assure you. Besides, you don't need to worry about those. Camps such as those have... long been outlawed. I do believe the last went through a... scorched earth phase once the princess found out what they did there.”

Drifting gave a soft giggle. “I-I read about that in the paper. Did... the princess really--”

“I do believe so. Princess Celestia is very protective of children, or so I hear,” Rarity said with a hum. “You have a darling giggle, child. You should use it more often.”

She blushed. “I-it's not... good. My voice is too deep and--”

“You're young, it will strengthen with time and use. Just practice, practice, practice.” Rarity said with a nod. “Now then, are the measurements done?”

“Yes, Miss Rarity. She's as fit as a button.”

“Good, now how about we finish the alterations before we work on your next gown, shall we?”

“P-please,” Drifting said softly as she kept her eyes lowered, unknowingly beginning to lower herself down to the ground, hiding as best she could while they worked. Without the dress, she felt naked and helpless and it was all she could do not to run and hide. But within a few minutes the dress was back on her as Rarity stood over her, smiling.

“There. I do hope you didn't catch a chill, child,” Rarity said before trotting off and humming softly as she looked over a few pieces of paper, finally pulling one out and handing it to Sassy. “Can you ready this one?”

The assistant nodded. “Of course.” She then trotted to the back room.

Drifting sighed as she eyed the mare, her cheeks a little red. She knew if she... she knew she wanted to be a mare like that, one day. Quick, smart, talented, smooth as silk. She doubted the mare ever had a non-graceful moment in her life. She probably could walk through a rainstorm without getting a single hair out of place.

“Rarity, I think I found about twenty boxes that suited your description,” Twilight said flatly as she walked out, a dozen little red boxes held in her magic. “Are these it, or do you need me to get one of the others?”

Rarity hummed before taking one. “No, this one will do. Now, how about we get to work, shall we?” She trotted over to Drifting and hovered over a brush and a pair of scissors, making the mare recoil. “Easy, easy. I'm a professional. Trust me, darling, I know what I'm doing.”

Drifting gave a frightened look to Rarity, but the mare only stared back with that soft, soothing gaze of hers. Slowly she moved back into position and closed her eyes. She soon felt the gently brushing and the snip snipping. She couldn't open her eyes, no matter how much she willed herself to. She was terrified and felt like she was going to be sick. The mare seemed nice enough, but she was still friends with the princess. She didn't want to think this was all some sick, elaborate trap, but she couldn't help but feel it was. Maybe a plan of her parent's to try to 'fix' her again.

It took her a few moments to realize she was being a bit too neurotic. While she wouldn't put it past her parents, there was no way they could get a princess involved. Which meant that was how one of the rulers of the country actually was. That brought another shudder.

Finally, the sounds and feelings stopped. “Okay, darling. Open your eyes.”

Drifting did and stared into the mirror held in front of her. She felt tears welling up in her eyes again as the mare stared back at her. A real mare. The makeup was perfect, accentuating her more delicate features. Her hair was gently trimmed, but still long, with an adorable little pink ribbon going through it and tying into a little bow at the top of her head. The red dress fit her form perfectly and... she was pretty sure had a bit of padding in some places, but she didn't care. She stared at herself, not even flinching as Rarity dabbed at her eyes with a hoofkerchief. “Careful, dear. You don't want to make your makeup run.”

“S-sorry.”

“Now, how about you go sit with Twilight while Sassy and I work on your first dress.” She turned and gave the princess a little smile before trotting over. “Do be gentle.” She leaned in and whispered. “And that little glow in the child's eyes? That's why it's worth getting through the initial bit of confusion.”

“R-right,” the princess said quickly. “No fixing, I swear,” she whispered back.

------

Twilight shuffled her hooves a bit nervously, before glancing over to the mare. It had been about ten minutes and the two hadn't managed to say a single word. She finally took a deep breath. “I'm sorry for what I said before. I swear I won't try to put you through... anything like that. No electro-shock. Princess' honor.”

“Thank you,” Drifting said gently. “And... thank... you for this. All of this.”

“It's no problem, really. It's mostly Rarity, anyway. She's... much better at this than I am.”

Once again the two sat there, awkwardly shuffling. Finally, Drifting spoke up again. “I'm sorry... I don't... I don't mean to be such a freak.”

“It's fine, really. You have your reasons,” Twilight said with a shrug, before cringing. “I-I mean, you're not a freak!”

Drifting lowered her eyes. “Didn't you ever... feel like...” She paused. “Did you ever want to be a stallion?”

Twilight shook her head. “Of course not. Well, there was this one time when I was a little filly, but that was more because I wanted to be like my big brother. I like being a mare, I couldn't imagine being a stallion.”

“That's exactly how I feel, all the time.”

The princess cringed. “I... I see. I'm sorry, I really don't know much about it. I'm afraid Rarity is right, that was probably from some old, dusty tome. My studies have been a bit... lax as of the last few years and modern psychology has fallen a bit to the wayside.”

“It's okay,” she said softly, before looking up. “Do... you hate me?”

“Huh?”

“I mean... do you and... for this. Do you... hate me?”

“Of course not!” Twilight said quickly, shaking her head. “How could I possibly hate you? You haven't done anything bad!”

“Do... you think the other princesses would hate me?”

“I... can't claim they would approve of this, but I'd never say they'd hate you for this. If it makes you happy, then... I don't think they could fault you for it. Why do you ask?”

“I... used to be...” She poked her hooves together. “I... know it's silly, but I thought... before. I thought if I tried doing it... I'd be... bad. It would make me an evil pony. A... horrible, sinful pony. One that deserved to suffer and just... die.” Her voice was weak and filled with despair.

Twilight shuddered. “Drifting, you are not evil, in any sense of the word. If this is what it takes to make you happy, that's fine. You're not hurting anypony and you're most definitely not trying to cause problems. You're just... special. Suffering with... something I really don't understand, but I wish you weren't. If there was some way to fix this--” She saw the child cringe again. “To make you a mare, like you want, I would. But... there isn't magic for that.”

“Not yet,” Drifting said softly.

The alicorn cocked her head to the side. “Not yet? Oh! That reminds me! Drifting, what is it you study at the school? I never got a chance to find out your focus.”

“Oh, transformation magic.”

“Really? That's quite--” She froze. “Wait. You said you knew how to turn into a breezie?”

“Oh, yes. It was a really hard spell to do, but I learned it for extra credit after I had a bad test. It took a few weeks to get right, but it was worth it.”

Twilight stared for a moment. She'd only learned that spell AFTER becoming an alicorn. Granted, she probably could have done it as a unicorn if she'd tried. Likely years ago if she hadn't spent so much time learning all of the other spells she'd picked up. Still, she couldn't help being a little impressed. “That's... quite the advanced spell. Aren't you just a sophomore?”

She nodded. “Uh huh. Just three more years and I'm free.”

“What do you want to do after that?” Twilight regretted it almost as soon as she said it. She knew the mare was going to say 'be a mare'. She just knew it.

“I wanna work with animals. Not a vet, though. I couldn't do that. Maybe work in the zoo.”

“I'm sure you-- wait, what?”

“Uh huh! I love animals, I used to have a ton of cats and a few dogs. It's why I always liked transformation magic, I could run around and play with them a bunch. But I don't really know what kind of job I'd like to do with it, though. I'd love to work at a zoo, but I'd hate to have to clean up all their messes, ick.” She paused and looked intently at her. “Though, if I could tell you the truth? Something I really, really, really wish I could do but I just knowwww would never work?”

“What?” Twilight asked, dreading the answer.

“Be somepony like Daring Do. She's sooooo cool. Going on adventures, fighting off bad guys. I used to dream I was her side kick and we'd go on the most awesome adventures, I'd turn into like, birds and things and we'd fight off villains like Azhooicicle.”

“Ahuizotl.”

“Gesundheit. Or maybe I'd become a writer, make up a bunch of stories and sell them. I tend to daydream a lot, so sometimes I think about putting the words to paper. But I doubt anypony would ever care to read them, they... wouldn't be that good.”

Twilight could sense the conversation was taking a dark turn. Time to switch the subject. “You know, I've met Daring Do.”

Drifting rolled her eyes. “Oh, of course you did. And I met the tooth fairy.”

The princess paused. She hadn't expected THAT response. “I did! Really!”

“Oh, come on. I'm not a little kid, I'm almost an adult, you know. I know those books aren't real.”

The alicorn gaped. “But... but they are. I was IN one of them!”

“You were?”

“Yes! The purple alicorn! Twine!”

“That was YOU?” Drifting asked, her mouth gaping open. She then paused. “Wait, so you really just stood there and watched while Daring Do was being attacked?”

“... Kinda... we were... a bit caught up in the moment and... w-we just weren't paying attention, that's all. We helped when we realized!”

Drifting eyed her suspiciously. “I... don't believe you. There's no way somepony as cool as Daring Do is real.”

Twilight face hoofed. “She is, and I've met her. Maybe if you're lucky, one day I'll introduce you, too.”

For a moment the child looked excited, before pausing. “Wait, is there a... condition to this? To me... 'meeting' this Daring Do?”

“What? No. Of course not. Why would there be?”

“Uh huh. It's just the author, isn't it? Or some actor?”

“No, it's the real Daring Do and just... listen. Daring Do is real, I give my word. I swear.”

“Is everything alright in here? I heard yelling,” Rarity said as she stepped into the room.

“Hi Miss Rarity! The princess is trying to make me believe that Daring Do is real and she knows her.”

“Oh, yes. She is real, we met her not that long ago during the midst of writing her newest book. Quite the adventurous sort. Though, I do feel she didn't do my character justice.”

Drifting blinked, her mouth falling open. “Wait. She... she really IS real?”

“Oh, so her you believe,” Twilight grumbled, crossing her hooves.

“Well, yeah, she wouldn't lie.”

“I haven't lied either!”

“Do... do you think she'd want a side kick?”

Rarity chuckled and shook her head. “I'm afraid not, deary. She prefers to work alone. I believe her last adventure was a... one time deal.”

“Awwww...”

“Your dress is almost ready.”

“Eeeeee!”

Twilight smiled at the young mare. She remembered when she was that age, something like a dress would have never interested her in the slightest compared to a good book. Yet to this mare it seemed like the best thing in the world. The three dresses were well spent.

Then Rarity stepped out from the back room, pushing the gown ahead of her. The way Drifting's eyes lit up made it all the more worthwhile. It was a take on the princess dress, although the gems glimmered in many different shades of red and pink, flowing gently with the blues. “Now, I hope you don't mind, but I made a few modifications to the original. It--”

“It's beautiful and I love it,” Drifting said softly. “Wait, modifications?” She blinked, and gasped. “It's... it's unique?”

“Oh, of course. I can honestly say there isn't another princess dress like it,” Rarity said, before adding flatly. “Not for lack of trying, mind you.”

“And... and I can have it?”

“Would you like to try it on now, dear?” Rarity asked with a little smile.

“O-of course!” Drifting yelled, rushing to the changing room, the dress tugged behind her.

Twilight sighed and walked up behind Rarity. “You're... really good at this. How did you... learn all this?”

“Oh, darling. My first time dealing with a case like this was absolutely dreadful. I was so shocked that... frankly, I was afraid the poor dear was going to do something... irreversible to herself after. She was fine, but I learned from the ordeal. It has taken me years to get... this good at it, of course. But it's well worth it, no?”

Twilight nodded and gave a sigh. “Right. Is... she going to be okay?”

“Oh, I imagine so. She's still young. I do believe that today will stick out as a particularly good day for the rest of her life, though. The princess ensuring she gets properly pampered and such. As turbulent as her life must be, this day will likely linger for years.”

The princess blushed. “I-I haven't done anything, t-though. You're doing everything.”

“So? You're the one who set this in motion, took a notice. Besides, it's not every day a princess comes out from the heavens and tells a pony what they're doing is okay. That alone might help more than you know.”

Drifting pushed aside the curtain before Twilight could answer. She gulped and gave a soft little sile. “How... do I look?” True to Rarity's talent, the dress framed the young mare perfectly, drawing attention to all the right points and hugging the mare's body in just the right way to keep a viewer's eyes away from the more... masculine traits.

“You look spectacular. Now, little Petal, I do believe the princess owes you a spa date.”

Twilight yiped. “W-what? Me? I thought--”

“I do have a business to work with. Dear, it'll be fine. You've been to the spa often enough. I'd go to the Silver Sponge. They'll be perfect.” She then looked to Drifting. “Make sure to return here when you're finished, okay? With the makeup washed away I'll teach you how to properly apply it.”

The little mare squeaked. “W-what? But you've already done so much, I can't--”

“Nonsense. Now, you two have fun.” Rarity shoved the two out the door before they could object.

It was harder to tell who was more nervous about it, the princess or the sophomore.

------

Drifting let out a happy, content sigh as she walked up to the school, her bags hanging neatly over her side. Today had probably been the best day of her life. No, it most definitely had. Miss Rarity was amazing, so beautiful and kind, she hoped one day she could be like that.

As busy as she was, the mare had been generous enough to spend hours teaching her how to apply the make up properly and giving her directions on how to do her mane correctly. She even taught her a simple spell to help get the ribbon fixed right. The princess hadn't been nearly as bad this time, though she was still a tad bit intimidating. The spa trip had been delightful as well. She'd been pampered and coddled to her heart's content and she wasn't sure if she was just imagining it, but she swore a pony had been checking her out. Her, of all ponies. Possibly more than one pony.

All in all, Drifting felt more like a mare than she had since she'd discovered what she was. For the first time in a long time, she felt like she really was what she felt like on the inside. Finally, her happiness was a real possibility.

She froze as she walked in the school grounds and her heart began to beat faster. There were only a few ponies out and about, though that made sense. It was a little after dusk, and so most of the weekend staff were either in their rooms or had headed home. Now it was mostly just the other students. A few of the students glanced up, but barely gave her a second glance.

They probably didn't even recognize her. Now she was just another mare. She doubted that would last once she made it to the Starswirl Wing. That was when the real danger would begin.

She took slow, deep breaths as she walked through the halls, plotting her route. Once she was in the Starswirl Wing, they'd put two and two together. For the most part, the students were… passable. They would yell things at her, but they wouldn't hurt her. Most of them. But there were always those who would. Years of bullying had taught her how to avoid those situations. The number one rule was to make sure there was always a member of staff around, even if it was just a janitor. As long as there were witnesses, they'd limit themselves to just words.

But she'd been out too late. Even the floor aide had likely retired by now, locked in their room and only coming out if there was real trouble. Drifting lived on the third floor, the aide lived on the first floor. That meant the second floor would be the most dangerous. That, and the lounge on the third floor. She'd have to pass through it to get to her room. There was a second entrance, though. If the first floor was quiet, she could pass through to it, then make her way up. The back way would be quieter. She took a slow, deep breath as she came to the Starswirl Wing.

She put a hoof to her chest and felt her heart, pounding away. She had to do it, she couldn't hide out all night. Once she was in her room, she'd be safe. She pushed open the door and quickly trotted inside. Running was out of the question unless she was chased, no matter how badly she wanted to. If she ran, they'd chase. She knew that.

Her heart hammered in her ears as she stepped inside. The main lobby was filled with ponies. Of course, it was the weekend. Lots of ponies had gone home, but there were still many more who lived at the school. A few of them stared at her, probably trying to place her. But she ignored them and quickly made her way through the door into the staircase.

“Hey freak!”

She ignored it and kept walking, quickly making her way up the stairs. If the lobby was that full, then she didn't dare risk the hallway. She stopped for only a moment near the second floor, her ears twitching as she tried to hear if anypony was following her. But there weren't any hoof steps. She quickly made her way up, stepping into the second floor lobby for just a moment before stepping into the next staircase, making her way to the third floor.

She was almost there. Almost home free. There had been a few ponies in that lobby as well, but she'd been in and out so quickly they probably hadn't noticed her.

She stepped into the third floor lobby and held her breath. The room was emptier than all of them, only one table occupied with four ponies. The biggest problem was they were looking right at her, staring. She did her best to ignore them and kept walking. She made it to the doorway to the hall before she heard the scraping sound of chairs being moved.

She didn't have to look to know they were getting up. “Hey,” one of them called.

Her heart started hammering so fast she felt it would explode. She quickly pushed open the door and walked into the hall, trotting as quickly as she could without running. If she ran, they would run. If they were faster, they'd catch her. She prayed they'd stop and wouldn't follow her down the hall.

Her prayers weren't answered as she heard the door behind her open. “HEY! Bitch boy!” one of them called after her.

She paused for a second, before breaking into a full gallop. Buck not running, if they were going to hurt her, they'd have to earn it. She raced down the hall and could hear their hoofsteps behind her.

She just had to make it to her room, once she was there, she was safe. Her blood was pumping in her ears as she turned the corner and, at the end of the hall, she could see it. Her door. Her horn glowed as she pulled out her key.

She could hear them, racing down the hall towards her, all four of them. Like the four horseponies of the apocalypse. She fumbled with the lock, her key jamming in and her realizing a moment too late it was the wrong key. She yanked it back.

They were getting closer. She could hear them. She didn't dare look, because she knew she'd freeze. She got the right key and jammed it in, twisting the knob and shoving the door open. She raced inside and then slammed the door, locking it behind herself.

A moment later there was a heavy pounding on it. “Hey! Tranny!”

They really needed to come up with better nicknames for her. They pounded for a few more moments, but soon she heard them trotting away. She could hear them talking and laughing to each other, probably congratulating themselves for spooking the freak. She was safe, she knew she was safe. She sat down and put a hoof over her chest, feeling her heart pounding so fast it might burst.

Once again she found herself thankful she'd come to this particular school. Due to the high amounts of magic that flowed through the student body, breaking into another student's room was grounds for immediate expulsion. There were just too many dangerous, sometimes deadly, experiments that went on. That and there were so many enchantments on the rooms that breaking in was nearly impossible. This was her sanctuary and they couldn't hurt her here.

She sat there, heart pounding as she took slow, steady breaths, calming herself down as best she could. Once her heart went down to a reasonable level, she turned and trotted to the mirror, looking in at herself.

A grin slowly spread against her lips. She was pretty. Beautiful, even. No matter what those ponies said about her, there was no denying it. She looked good. There was no way she was letting a near mistake ruin her amazing day. She turned in the mirror a few times and admired herself, as vain as it was.

------

As Drifting slept in her bed, a blanket wrapped tightly around herself and face cleared of make up, she failed to hear the gentle hoofsteps outside her door, or the sounds of the small, red envelope being pushed under it.

Author's Note:

So uhhh... here's chapter 3. I'll be honest, I really think I should have thought this all through more before posting any of this. Honestly, this entire story has mostly just been a type of helpful therapy to put all my fears and anxiety's to paper and lay them out before me. Each chapter has a semi-focus on a few of them. And to kind of help re-assure me that I'm making the right choice for myself, or at the very least, I'm not destroying my life.

This one in particular tends to focus more on my fear of... well, passing. My complete lack of knowledge on make up, hair styling, the fact for the longest time I thought this made me a bad person for feeling this way, as if I was some kind of ultimate sinner because I dared to question my gender. The last section is just a... big fear I've had for a while due to how my life used to be, even before I realized what I was, now those fears are pretty much amplified even though I know I'm pretty safe due to how I live now.

The biggest problem I'm starting to realize is that while, for the most part, it has been very helpful to write, something like this can sometimes dredge up really painful thoughts and issues that are just... a lot more destructive than I thought. Also, while it's very nice to write, it is likely not very fun to read since I'm not following my standard procedures when it comes to writing(more writing what I feel, rather than trying to think everything out and come to the logical conclusion). I don't know if I'll come back to this story once it's done, but if I do, I imagine I'll have to rewrite a lot of it to get it more in line with how I normally write(namely focus more on how it flows from one scene to the next, describe the characters better, definitely work on Twilight's character a bit more, and just... about everything.)

The big thing is, as much as I would love to just assume the flood of down votes is because it's a trans story, I'm nowhere near vain enough to believe they're all because of that. In the end, this story has a lot of flaws that really shouldn't have been there from the start. Thank you for putting up with it and I assure you my future stories shouldn't be nearly this bad.