• Member Since 4th May, 2013
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On the Sliding Scale Of Idealism Vs. Cynicism, I like to think of myself as being idyllically cynical. (Patreon page.)


This story is a sequel to Tricks Of The Trade Show

In many ways, Rarity is still trying to settle back into Ponyville life. Her first moons after dropping out of boarding school have been hectic: preparing for that now-passed first trade show, opening the Boutique. She's been completely out of the gossip circuit and doesn't know what she missed for events, scandal -- and new arrivals. She and Pinkie have spent years with neither knowing the other existed.

As if that was going to last.

(Part of the Triptych Continuum, which has its own TVTropes page and FIMFiction group: new members and trope edits are welcome. This story takes place shortly after the events of its prequel and while it can be read as a stand-alone, checking out the original piece might help.)

Now with author Patreon page.

Chapters (4)
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Comments ( 75 )

Now this sounds fascinating...

Well, as far as first impressions go, this one was certainly accurate. For Rarity, at least. If it weren't for her talent, Pinkie might find all those goggle-eyed stares would blend into one another after a while.

In any case, definitely looking forward to seeing where you go with this, especially given the title. And I can only imagine what Mrs. Voyeur will have to say about Pinkie. Separating fact from fiction there could prove uniquely challenging.

Mrs Voyeur? A name and a half, right up there with the legendary Mr and Mrs Git.

There's a great deal I could say about this story, but to summarise, your wonderful cruelty to your characters never ceases to delight me.

Some things to remember.
First 3 seasons, Rarity was a LOT more "This is The Worst Day Ever!" , had a fainting couch (& used it).
Look Before You Sleep Rarity probably knew AJ (small town), but they were NOT close friends
Rarity knows some martial arts (fight against the Manticore, among other evidence)
Sometime before Bridle Gossip, she learned of Zecora. Possibly this very day, from Voyeur

It has long been my Head Canon that Opal got sick. Pinkie brought in her friend Fluttershy to help & that was the start of their friendship.

As to sequence. S1 is clearly out of order (To start with, Winter Wrap Up is before Fall Weather Friends). A key fact is that in A Dog and Pony Show, Saphire Shores knew who Rarity was, but Rarity was surprised by this. I say this means Green Isn't Your Color comes before that. Tricks of the Trade Show explains why Hoity Toity was in town. (She might be Hoity, but she'll never see Toity again).

But, this is all clearly a few years before the pilot. So, she has enough success to be put in charge of decorations, but not enough to be widely known outside of Ponyville

This should be a fun ride. But I've got a bad feeling about Mrs. Voyeur because I've never seen gossip used as a force for good.

I'm excited to see Pinkie and Rarity's interactions, it'll be cute.

Well, this is very, very surprising, and interesting, and now I'm actually wanting to see if Pinkie has extra Mark-related sense(s) like Fleur does... Or if Pinkie's knowledge of Rarity's newness is just SherlockScanning...

Discounting Pinkie Sense... Which I'm not sure if Pinkie Sense actually appeared in the Continuum at all...

This also explains why Rarity knows how to style hair and stuff, because she sort of had to learn to get business, or something...

Oh my! Hyperenergetic teen Pinkie, and still unsure of herself teen Rarity... there's going to be friction, I bet, but the sparks will be interesting to see!

My favorite ponies, together for the first time!

Rarity, meet that strange contradiction in terms occupying the same place as Pinkie Pie.

Pinkie can fix that, Rarity. I'm half-surprised she didn't pop up right at the end there.

This was pretty sad all around though. It's really difficult to come home again after being gone for a long time and find all these things that should be familiar but aren't.

Never truly enemies, and there had in fact been one successful (and decidedly temporary) alliance of necessity against a common foe.

Well, there's a story waiting to be told...

Sarcastically, I can likely rule out the one concerning her having been brought up by sapient pony-shaped insects.

Not in this timeline, anyway.

Yeah, the boarding school really did Rarity no favors socially. No wonder so few ponies are coming in. All the written advertisements in the world won't mean much in a town that treats careful reading as something that happens to other ponies. (And in Canterlot, an increasingly isolated filly feels a moment of irritation without knowing why.) Rarity's going to need to make some genuine connections to get that hoof traffic going.

Fortunately, there happens to be another social spider in town who's been very busy spinning her web. Never mind that it's made of Silly String, Rarity. It'll serve you very well indeed.

I really want to know when and why she teamed up with Applejack.

Rarity felt she had a better chance of striking up any degree of true relationship with a dragon than she did of ever befriending Applejack.

Yes, I'm absolutely sure that's how it goes, Rarity. :trixieshiftright:

Also -- Rarity, you're trying to make sense of Pinkie Pie. You really like to live dangerously, young lady!


Given what we know about the 'verse's Pinkie, especially her foalhood... well, this is a Pinkie who is still working to match her own offbeat drummer. The amplifiers are not, so to speak, yet at 11.

You almost have to feel a little sorry for Ponyville. Pinkie alone, once in her prime, would be like dropping a depth charge in the local social scene's bathtub. But with Rarity involved as well?

I could almost wish Twi decided to stay in Canterlot, just to see what Ponyville would look like ten years down the line.

According to The Cutie Mark Chronicles, Rarity was in a play with Cheerilee. Probably became her friend (based on my experience in school theater). Of course, Cheerilee isn't necessarily the school teacher yet. Could still be sometime before the old one retires.

Also probably knows old family friends of her parents

I wonder who the familiar face was. And good on that red pegasus for fooling Rarity completely and dragging her all the way out of town, somehow I didn't make the connection even with the line foreshadowing it.

It took me surprisingly long to realize the set-up was for the party rather than a mean-spirited prank, but I did figure it out before the party itself.

This story kind of reminds me of "Hay-oh, Welcome to Hayburger" by MyHobby, since it is also a story about Pinkie helping Rarity get started on her dream by providing a little Laughter.

Some days had clouds. Others Sun. All were grey.

There are times when you craft elaborate sentences that I wouldn't ask my worst enemy to diagram. Other times, you take nine words and three periods and drive the point home like you're trying to kill a vampire with it. Wonderfully impactful bit, this.

As for the party, I admit, Pinkie took me by surprise up until the giggles. As for what went wrong...

Well, hopefully the good will outweigh the bad. Hopefully. :unsuresweetie:

This story is giving me flashbacks to when my friend and I opened our toy store. The first month was not good.

Shouldn't the second one have a comma between them?

And finished.

I just put it on the Patreon page, but I'll repeat it here: I hope everyone understands if I finish out the month with a pair of shorter efforts. 5k word count average between them, maybe.

March has been 9500, 18k, and just south of 20k on this story. I know that for some people, that's a slow week. But it's been a rough month in a few ways, and...


...let's just say there's no point to anyone attempting pranks on me this April 1st. I'm going to sleep through everything.

I love your 'pre-show' stories. I like your interpretations of how things develop for our heroines.

Oh no, Rarity is trying to figure out how Pinkie Pie Pinkie Pies. Turn back!

Woah. Published to complete, in so fast!

The team is forming up! Sorta!

"I think we're ponies who know each other a little more than they did," she finally said. "And who might spend more time together --" although not with Applejack "-- and learn still more, moon by moon. And that such is one of the many ways in which friendship might come. If you wish me to be both fully honest and sincere, Pinkie, I don't know if we're friends just yet. But I believe we'll get there."

Carefully thought, yet honest! Nice!

I was wondering if Pinkie would find her when she went gem hunting...

Do we know what happened between Applejack and Rarity? I know the relationship is from Canon, but did they ever say why, or did you, Estee say a reason already?

Dr. Gentle is referenced!

That party went a lot worse, and better, than I thought it would, from last chapter's hinting...

I'll bet there are a lot of ponies that have wished to tell off the town gossip like Rarity did. After the panic wore off, most would be saying to each other, "I'm glad I got to see that with my own eyes!"

With that hanger at the end of last chapter, I thought for some reason that Pinkie was gonna royally screw things up for Rarity and this was going to lead to issues in forming their friendship. I'm glad it wasn't Pinkie's fault is what I guess I'm saying.

I like that the conflict ended up coming from an unexpected direction, and was partially exacerbated by Rarity's own actions which were totally justified by both her age and paranoia regarding her unsure status in still establishing herself. The scene between Pinkie and Rarity as they dug for gems was one of those really sweet moments that come up from time to time in the usual unending grimness that is the Triptych verse. :raritywink:

Great story, would read again.


The scene between Pinkie and Rarity as they dug for gems was one of those really sweet moments that come up from time to time in the usual unending grimness that is the Triptych verse.

And still FIMFic's all-time leader in being praised with faint damns.

Don't unquote the winky face. Very integral part of that sentence that won't be disregarded.

Has Sequin appeared elsewhere in the 'verse?


For all your supposed unending darkness and cynicism, the main characters seem to make out pretty well in the end. It's the contrast that makes those nuggets of sweet so delectable, anyway.

A touching look at Rarity's early days. Considering exactly how helpful her mother has been, I hope that when Rarity babysits Sweetie Bell for her parents on those week-long vacations they love, she charges them the same rates a high-end Canterlot governess would.

8057404 I was just thinking it reminded me of the same story!


And still FIMFic's all-time leader in being praised with faint damns.

Well, by the end of the story Rarity looks set to get a good deal on both a cat she wants to mother and her signature couch, it's appropriate that you receive such praise for a future fainting dam.

8057951 At first I thought Sequin was Suri Polomare, since she was childhood acquaintances with Rarity, and the horn took me by surprise.

Mane is best saddlebags. Just like hair is best bottle opener.

8057939 I can see the cynicism in this verse quite well but I think its handled very well, there is always humor to be found despite the perceived grimness (and on a personal note I think the grimness everyone is seeing is either overblown or outright not there. I think its just people who are mad because you don't stick to the established norm for what slice of life quote on quote "SHOULD BE" and I for one am drawn to these story's because you don't stick to the norm, a sentiment I feel most of your other readers share.)

Eat. Rest. Do it all again tomorrow.
And tomorrow.
And tomorrow.

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.

— Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5)

You know, there's a bit of irony in how Applejack perceives Rarity, considering how much work, effort, and willingness to dirty herself for her craft we see. Hell, seeing Rarity build herself up goes gives a new perspective to everything about her as we know her from the show. Granted, most of it is stuff we might have assumed anyway, but I really like how it was portrayed here.

I wonder how Rarity first meets Rainbow Dash, and how their relationship grows. I'm also curious as to how her friendship with Spike forms outside of him just hanging around. Unnoticed gave us a bit more insight as to what Rarity means to Spike, so I can't help but wonder what he means to her. These are off-topic, I know, but reading this story inspires me to think more about these things.

Who is Pinkie's friend that knows Fluttershy? I feel like I should know offhand, but I'm drawing a blank.

I'm pretty sure the friend is honorary-Doctor Gentle Arrival, from Triptych.

I don't get why everyone says you are so dark? I'd put you between the Winnerverse & the Lunarverse & that ain't dark.

This ties in nicely with Triptych & the cartoons.

As to "Where is Dash?" The pilot (& other places),she seems to be in charge of the Ponyville weather team. Before Griffon the Brush Off she isn't close with Pinkie. In Super Speedy ....6000, she mentions "Pinkie always getting all the cider", which might explain why (early Pinkie can be a SUPER troll). She probably isn't close to Rarity (too frou-frou) Pinkie Pride , she says she came to town on her birthday. Testing, 1,2,3.. she has ADD but near photographic memory when flying.

Putting the pieces together, It is my Head Canon. She dropped out of school (some things Hoop said in Sonic Rainboom) or just scraped through by cheating. She got a job working weather (because they can all do it, the Pegasus equivalent of working in a fast food place). She learned on the job & was promoted to manger of the Ponyville team, so she moved to Ponyville. Probably Summer or early Fall the year before the pilot.

As to "Why did she get the job so young?" She would probably say "Ponyville is a hardship post, it's tough to get good Ponies to work there (between wild weather & wild critters coming out of the Everfree) + sheer awesomeness on my part. They offered a promotion if I'd take the post". I'd say "Celestia had a hoof in it" Or do you think it's a coincidence Ponyville is located there because Celestia gave the Apples their land grant so near the castle + the first 5 Ponies Twilight met just happened to be the Elements of Harmony?

Herd instinct can be a terrible thing. Triggering a flight response in your own species is in some ways even worse. What clearer way can there be to say "You don't belong?" There's a pony on the moon who might understand how Rarity felt at that moment.

Still, once the adrenaline fades and sapience gets the steering wheel back, people start to think. Hopefully. And then they ask themselves who they're going to side with, the struggling young business owner who is trying her hardest despite the odds stacked against her, or a sour old baggage who was crowing about said youth's struggle to survive. And in the end, it's not like we've ever seen Mrs. Voyeur on the show.

The last scene between Rarity and Pinkie was especially nice, especially Rarity dropping the matter of Pinkie's decoration conjuration. The how doesn't matter when one considers the why. And I can only imagine what Pinkie thought when seeing Rarity's personal trick for the first time. So close, and from such an unexpected source...

Also, interesting to see Davenport back when he was slightly more sane.

In all, an unexpected but excellent look at the early relationship between two of the Mane Six who have a lot more in common than one might think at first glance. Thank you for it.

Cut, Color, Carat, Clarity
This is a tale about :pinkiehappy: and :raritywink:

As per usual, excellent, fascinating and engaging as ever.

Rarity felt she had a better chance of striking up any degree of true relationship with a dragon than she did of ever befriending Applejack.

Not sure whether to snicker up hit you with rolled-up newspaper...


Ahh. Thank you for the clarification. I've never actually read the main story, so I wouldn't have known otherwise.

I originally put this in my "tracking" folder, in which I put the stories of which I'm not sure about and am considering dropping.

With this last chapter, I put this in my "good stories" folder, because that's what this is.

This is mostly unrelated, but this is a Rarity story and you were talking about April 1st... Anyways, I was hanging out at a club on my campus (Maker's Club, we make stuff, lots of crafts, do it yourself stuff, wood and all kinds of stuff really) and the guy who runs the place walks past two of us and mentions a gem show on April 1st. The other girl seems confused (it was pretty much out of nowhere) and I say I wouldn't trust anything anyone says about April 1st...and she just gives me the weirdest look, like "why would you even say that??" And I just gave her a confused look back, like "how is it not obvious?" When we finally used words, I explained I was talking about April Fool's Day--and she explained she was confused and a little hurt because her name is April and she thought I was saying I wouldn't trust anything she said! It was really funny, at least at the time. I dunno, I just like sharing the story, and thinking about Rarity+gems=gem show and your mention of April 1st... Yeah. I'll shut up now.

I really loved this story. I should've said that first. :twilightblush:

Very charming story, the sort of thing that you could almost see as happening in canon. I did like the end piece particularly, Rarity and Pinkie finding and digging up those precious things together, as almost-friends. Sweet.


So of the winningverse and the lunaverse, which is the darker end of the spectrum?

Lunarverse is definitely darker. Dinky gets kidnapped by organized crime figures in an effort to blackmail & influence the Elements of Harmony. Many of the Lunar Court nobles are so corrupt they give coupons & validate your parking (sarcasm), Octavia is a spy, Trixie (Element of Magic) has a serious drinking problem (mostly played for laughs)

& yet, I wouldn't say it's that dark. Things mostly work out & there is an overall tone of optimism.

Back closer to on topic. It's darker than Estee's world.

Grimness isn't inherently bad.

She ate on the way. The grass wasn't particularly nutritious or tasty, but it was free.

oh, that reminds me of a strange story called "The Quest" that takes place in the distant future of an alternate reality, where Princess Twilight has, among other things, made grass much more nutritious...
oh, yeah, she also eliminated disease altogether.
she's not the ruler, she hides in the forest and no one who goes after her is ever heard from again...


I guess it's a matter of opinion, I think that some of the stuff that happens in the winningverse can be darker than the Lunaverse. Clouds mom gets killed and replaced by a changling who was sucking the life from her younger sister and Cloud is forced to kill her. The whole Canterlot invasion thing was fairly grim as well.

I'm surprised that Rarity specifically wanted a cat given what 500 little murders told us about them in Equestrian culture and how much they cost to feed (Opal doesn't seem to me like much of a mouser, and the boutique probably doesn't have much of a rodent problem anyway). It could be she specifically wanted to prove that she wasn't broke I suppose but I would have thought that Opal might have chosen Rarity rather than Rarity choosing Opal.

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