• Published 10th Aug 2012
  • 2,334 Views, 59 Comments

Red Light City - Joe Amethyst



An economic downturn has hit the country, and not everyone has held their honor intact for money.

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The Shade of the Lights

Spike leaned in the doorway of Captain Armor's office, and knocked on the wall to get his attention. Armor was staring down at a few documents sprawled out across his desk. He shot his head up as soon as he heard Spike's knock. "Oh, come in, come in," he insisted. Spike took his weight off the doorway and proceeded to sit in front of him as instructed. "How did everything go?"

"It went...alright, I suppose," Spike sighed out. "I got the help we need. She has my number, so she'll inform me about anything the gang is plotting.

"Ah good, good. We'll get them."

"Uh...yeah..." Spike trailed off. He needed to tell Armor about Twilight. "She uh, also informed me on who the boss is." Spike looked over to the wall, trying to not stare Armor in the eyes.

"Good, good. Whomever it is, they need to be stopped. Who is it?"

Spike sighed heavily and looked at his partner again. "Twilight Sparkle is the leader. My contact says that she'll kill her and me if Twilight ever finds out about her helping us. I also have reason to believe that she's been the one behind the murders. Twilight, that is." Shining's expression dropped, and he drove his hand across his face, and stared blankly at the ground, tapping his foot. If there was anyone who this news would be most disturbing to, it was him. Twilight was his little sister, and now she was his enemy.

“Are you absolutely sure we can trust this contact? She’s a prostitute, remember; working for Twilight supposedly.”

"I'm more than sure that she won't double cross us," he assured Armor.

"How can you be so sure?"

"We have a...history together. A few years ago, we had a thing and... I'd rather not talk about it right now. What matters is that she's helping us. Soon, we can stop them." Armour leaned back in his chair and folded his arms, and stared up the the ceiling. An awkward silence loomed over the room for a moment.

"Twilight, eh? I'm glad to hear she's alive, but... I can't believe she went down this path."

"Well, she was disgraced by the Princess five years ago," Spike reminded him. "She ran away after that, and never came back. I was left in the library alone for a while. It wouldn't be surprising to me if the experience drove her around the bend."

"Yes but, I had seen her grow up... I especially remember her at my wedding." That was an experience that Armor would never forget.

"Whatever happened is done now," Spike said, trying to cheer his friend up some. "We can't change the past. No matter who she used to be to us, this is who she is now. We need to stop her, before she turns the whole city into chaos. We know what she's capable of."

Armor stayed silent and nodded. "Yes... It's unfortunate, but you're right; we can't hold back." The silence in the room took its place again. Spike fiddled with his pocket a bit before he recalled something.

"You know, Derpy's helped us quite a bit," Spike state, trying to bring the conversation back to life.

"Indeed she has," Shining answered, returning his attention to Spike.

"She's told us everything she knows, and with Rarity on our side now, I don't think there's much else she can do."

"What are you getting at, Spike?"

"I'm suggesting that," he explained to Armor, "perhaps she's earned her freedom." Armor looked at Spike, deep in concentration. It was true, Derpy had not been in any way defiant or troublesome since her arrest. After her trial a few days ago, Armor had managed to talk the judge into letting her serve her month sentence where she was. She had helped a lot so far, but they’ve gone to the limits of what she knew.

“We can’t just release her back into the world. There’s a lot of work that has to be done, and she could be in the way of danger. We shouldn’t do that to her," Armor argued.

"There's this magical thing called 'parole'," Spike sarcastically suggested.

"What?"

"You heard me, parole," Spike started to elaborate. “She’s released on good behavior, but has a parole officer she reports to and checks on her. She’s essentially protected.”

“You know it’s not that simple,” Armor said, “There are terms she has to agree to. And I’d have to contact the parole board and get federal approval for a release like that.” Spike stood up and patted Armor on the shoulder.

"I'm sure you can figure something out," Spike assured him. “The sooner the better. She's better off on the streets with protection than a prison.” Armor still sat thinking about it. “Come on, she really deserves it.”

It would take a lot of talking, but Armor knew he could probably make it happen. Spike was right, she did deserve it.
“I’ll see what I can do," Armor answered, picking up the phone on his desk and putting in a number.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Three days later, everything was set. The judge granted Derpy release on good behavior, but required a parole officer. Spike was given permission to hand select the officer, since he was the one to press all of this to begin with. He strolled into the parole office, and greeted the Chief.

"Good day, sir," he kindly smiled. "I'm here to select the officer for Derperina."

“Ah, yes, come with me”, the man answered. Spike followed him around until he came to a room where a group of officers standing around. The officer called them to attention and they lined up. The man stepped aside, as Spike walked across the line to inspect each one individually.

He stopped at one particular officer and inspected him. He had light brown hair and a darker set of eyes. He was rather slim, and nearly as tall as Spike. He was young, and Spike wouldn’t be surprised if he had just joined. He stood there silent and near motionless, barely blinking and staring straight ahead, almost through Spike.

Spike decided to question him. “What is your name, officer?”

“Sir, my name is…” the officer started.

“I’m already bored,” Spike adressed him. The officer immediately stopped speaking and stiffened further. “Relax, officer. Just give me a short name I can call you by.”

The officer took a second. “My friends dubbed me ‘Doc’, sir.”

“Would you be kind as you explain why?”

“My friends say I resemble an incarnation of the protagonist of a science fiction series, sir.”

Spike was familiar with the series. He decided to ask something else. “How long have you served, ‘Doc’?”

“I finished my training only a month ago, sir”

He’s green, Spike thought. He could sympathize. Spike had served in the Guard for three years. “With that amount of time, I’d say that you haven’t had a lot of experience, have you? Be truthful.”

“No, sir”, Doc answered.

Spike stood there for a moment staring at the officer. He nodded his head. “Tell you what, I’m going to offer you some experience.” He turned to the chief officer. “This one is my man.”

The chief officer nodded. Doc looked in disbelief. “Sir?”

“I am looking for a parole officer,” Spike explained. “I have selected you.” He moved away and motioned him to follow.

“Come along, we have a lot to talk about.”

Doc did as asked and followed Spike. He was curious as to why Spike just chose him. “Sir, may I ask something?”

“Absolutely, Doc. So long as you drop the whole sir thing, this isn't the army.” Spike answered.

“Sorry," He answered slightly embarrassed. "I am new, and without experience. Why choose me?”

“You need the experience, Doc,” Spike told him. “I took you so you can get some.”

“What if I mess up?”

“Trust me,” Spike assured him. “I don’t think you will Doc. You seem competent.”

“Thank you,”

They continued their way out of the building, and Doc got into Spike's car along with him. "I'm Investigator Spike, nice to meet you."

"Same to you." Spike had driven back to the precinct, which was not very far at all. They came through the front doors of the offices to find Derpy standing across the room, with several documents haphazardly arranged on the table. Doc had stopped instantly in his tracks as he saw her, staring intently. Derpy turned when she heard the door open. She was dressed the way she had been, with her hat, sweater, pants, and sneakers. She looked back at him with the same demeanor. Spike was confounded by the silence.

After a moment, both looked down, and placed their hands at their sides, drumming their legs. Doc then extended his arm slowly towards Derpy. “Hello, my name is Doc…”

She gave a small smile and offered hers. “Derpy…” she simply said.

Spike saw how they shook their hands. They held so softly, and their gazes never left each other. When slowly they retracted, Derpy hung her arms down and placed both hands together, swaying to and fro. Her eyes looked up to the ceiling.

“So…uh…you are my parole officer, huh?”

“I am,” Doc said. They went back to each other’s gaze.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

"Do you have reservations, ma'am?" the heavily accented host asked, behind him a lavishly upscale restaurant full of patrons consisting of the nobility of the city. Did he have to pick such a nice place? "...Ma'am?"

"W-what? Oh, yes. I do, it should be under the name Spike."

"Ah yes, here it is. He is already here waiting for you. Come with me, now." Rarity trailed close behind the man, who directed here through a sea of tables full of the wealthy. The main room had a very large ceiling with an upper balcony, looking down on the crowd. The clicking of Rarity's heels attracted much attention throughout the mostly quiet room. Rarity sheepishly smiled, following the host up a flight of stairs, where many secluded booths overlooking the harbor rested. Leading her to the second table from the stairs, the host gestured towards the table. "Here you are ma'am. A server will be here swiftly."

"Thank you..." Rarity drew closer, finding Spike awaiting her, dawning a dress shirt and pants, his fedora resting on the table. His goatee had been trimmed down, and his short mop of hair forcibly combed. Hot dayumn. Rarity pulled out her chair and sat, immediately locking eyes with Spike.

"Is there anything else you would like while I'm here?" The host asked.

"No, thank you though," Spike said, breaking his gaze from Rarity, and looking up at the man.

"Very well then, I shall be on my way. A waitress will arrive momentarily." The host departed back down the stairs, leaving the pair to their relative lonesome.

"We meet again," Spike said with a smirk.

"That we do." Rarity slipped her purse off of her shoulder, placing it across the back of her chair.

"Looking as lovely ever, I see. How have you been?" Spike asked, shifting in his seat.

"Quite alright, if I may say so myself," Rarity lied through her teeth. Since striking her deal with Spike, Rarity had been spending the last few days nervously avoiding the girls as much as possible, fully aware of the eventual doom she had placed on either them, or on Spike. A haze of awkward silence drifted toward them, leaving the two with nothing better to do than stare at the other. Come on Rarity, it's been five years. There has to be something we can talk about!

"So, uh..." Spike and Rarity both said, exactly within the same moment. Spike chuckled to himself, while Rarity looked down in discontent. Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted their waitress coming up to the table. Thank GOD.

"Hello, my name is Amethyst Star, and I'll be your waitress tonight. Can I start you off with any drinks?" The woman had medium length purple hair, with one big streak of lighter purple running through the middle, and a matching set of eyes. Spike picked up the beverage menu sitting in front of him, causing Rarity to realize she had one as well. She hastily picked it up, in a dire attempt to not keep the woman waiting.

"A pint of your home brewed hard cider would be just fine," Spike said, handing the menu to the waitress. Rarity quickly spotted a long time favorite wine of hers, and ordered as well.

"Very well then, I will be back with your drinks and entree menus."

Spike watched the waitress walk away, ensuring they were alone. "I figured we could start by getting right into business. Do you have that list of clients for me?"

"Indeed," Rarity said while reaching for her handbag. "I have a copy of my records ever since we started keeping track of them." After sifting through many assorted make-up items, she found the bundle of papers stapled together. Reluctantly, she extended out her arm, handing them to Spike. "Here."

Spike took them from her, flipping through all the papers. "There has to be over 10 pages of this..." Spike said, uneasy. Rarity looked away from him, ashamed despite her profession never bothering her before. Spike took a closer inspection at the chart.

There were many repeat offenders, though the list varied with many different phone numbers, some not even from within the city. The font was rather small, allowing for at least 75 lines of phone numbers that had inquired about her services. And that was simply the first page.

"Well I uh, er..." Spike stuttered, trying to find the words. Holy shit... Rarity's cheeks flashed a ferocious red at her embarrassment, recalling the anticipated and now overwhelming dread of this moment. "...I appreciate the help." Spike reassuringly grinned at her, attempting to salvage her dignity. Rarity looked up, a shiver running through her body as she locked eyes with him. They shared another moment of silence, with Rarity's face washing into further anguish, while Spike's turned into disappointment. Did she really sell herself out like this THAT much..? And why is she so embarrassed by it? I know she's a prostitute but...

Rarity uncomfortably shifted around in her seat, crossing her legs and looking down again. Rarity! What are you doing?! Look up at him, don't hide yourself!

Do you really expect me to be able to look him in the eyes? After giving him proof of just how unfaithful I've been?

Unfaithful? Please darling, you haven't seen him in years. All strings were cut. Besides, you know you still want him.

I'm not denying that, no... Rarity peaked up at him for a moment, only to find him still inspecting her. His eyebrow was raised in a curious manner, with his hands up at his mouth. But I still feel guilty. There was never a farewell, never a 'this is the end'. I left him in the dark.

No matter what you did, avoiding him while he's sitting right in front of you won't help anything. Rarity picked her head up and looked back at Spike, who's unchanged expression remained. "I can't believe I just gave myself advice..." she said under her breath.

"Hm?" Spike inquired, hoping to break the silence.

"Oh uh, hehe..." Rarity nervously chuckled. "Nothing, disregard my rambling." She took another look over her old lover, and bit her lower lip. Those Royal Guards really know how to whip a boy into shape... Rarity spotted their waitress coming from the distance, their drinks and menus in hand.

"Hard cider for you, sir, and the select wine for you, ma'am." Spike instantly gulped a large portion of his beverage as if he had spent days in the desert, and Rarity barely sipped on her wine while Amethyst Star placed their menus down. "I will return in a few minutes to take your orders." She respectfully bowed, and walked away.

"So, you say all the girls are with Twilight now?" Spike finally asked, pleased that he had found a viable subject to converse on.

"That we are. Pinkie, Dash, AJ and Fluttershy."

"Yes, we caught wind of a killing Fluttershy had made. That's... sort of what started all of this." Spike went for his cider once again. "I never pegged her to be capable of murder. I figured that would have been Applejack's forte, or maybe even RD's."

"She's... had probably the hardest time out of all the girls before we found her again," Rarity said painfully, recalling the story that Fluttershy confessed to her after breaking down one night shortly after they had recruited her. "We've all had to kill, except me. I refused to stoop down to that level, and Twilight seemed to respect it." Rarity finally picked up her menu, attempting to find a proper meal to eradicate her hunger.

"...If you don't mind me asking, what did happen to her? I know she's killed people and I have to arrest her at some point but...she was my friend." Spike looked up from his menu to rest his eyes on Rarity.

"Fluttershy..." Rarity started, taking a moment. "She was too ashamed to admit her story to Twilight, and still is. I'm not sure any of the other girls know besides me." Rarity quickly spotted a lamb chop on the menu, making up her mind, and placed it down to look at Spike. "She was evicted from her home, couldn't keep up with the inflating prices when the economy dropped. Most of us had gone our separate ways by then, barely able to support ourselves. You know Fluttershy before all this happened...how shy and gullible she was..."

Spike nodded in response. "Go on."

"Well..." Rarity sighed. "She ended up wandering around in the forest scavenging for food and sleeping with the local wildlife. Eventually..." Rarity looked away from Spike for a moment, reminded of the pain her friend went through. "A group of ruffianly bandits or highwaymen or...something found her and hauled her away. She didn't know how to defend herself at the time, and they weren't exactly...kosher." Spike's silence and expression was more than enough of a response for Rarity. "Yeah...To be blunt...they raped her, and then pressed her into servitude..." A large frown had befallen Rarity's face

"A slave..." Spike drifted.

"Indeed..." Rarity replied. "She was quite...vivid about it when she came to me. They called her a 'stupid cunt' and 'group whore' almost constantly, never using her actual name," she recited from her memories. Grimacing, Rarity continued. "If she messed up something simple, even if it was the most redundant or minuscule of tasks, they would get rough with her, usually ending up with lashes that ripped through her skin. She was never safe there, always being harassed in some form or another, whether it was sexually or otherwise. They did give her a good place to sleep she said, but... it was for reason."

"Oh..."

"Yeah..." Rarity softly responded, "They would come in during the night hold her down and clamp her mouth shut...and just put themselves to work. She said it was almost every night."

Rarity allowed the silence to linger for a moment, attempting to clear her mind of the vision she had just etched in. Looking down at the table, she realized she had polished off her glass of wine. "But, she's with you now, so... what happened?" Spike asked.

Rarity shot her eyes to a women walking towards them, and responded with, "That may have to wait just a moment darling." She bit down on her tongue the second the word came out of her mouth. DARLING?! DID YOU REALLY JUST CALL HIM DARLING!?

Oh simmer down, you call everyone darling.

But it's Spike! It's...different...

You still love himmmm, you still love himmmmmmm. Rarity's flustered face as she argued with herself imposed a look of suspicion to be printed on Spike and Amethyst Star's face.

"Uh...Rarity? Rarity..." Spike snapped his fingers in front of her face, catching her attention.

"Oh?" She glanced over to find the waitress with a notepad that had Spike's order scribbled onto it and pen in hand, waiting patiently for the purple haired woman's order. "Uh, y-yes, I'll have the uh, grilled lemon and rosemary lamb chop."

"And would you like more wine? I can bring over the entire bottle, if you wish."

"Yes, that would be more than adequate. Thank you." Swiveling around an resting the pen behind her ear, the waitress merrily skipped along, heading to her next set of patrons.

"Is everything okay?" Spike asked, his voice riddled with concern. "That's the second time you really seemed out of it tonight."

"You needn't worry, I'm quite alright," Rarity attempted to cover for herself. "Uh...Anyway, where was I?"

"I had asked how she had gotten free, and found you guys."

"Right!" Rarity shouted, sounding a little too overly excited. "Right..." she repeated in a lower tone. "Well, as I said, they had been abusing her every waking moment of her life, groping her as she walked by, hitting her as they pleased. She was there for around a year she claimed, which was more than long enough to morph her from the innocent push-over she was into, well... what she is now.

"Since she had been around for so long at that point, the leader deemed it worth to release her from her slavery...That was their horrid mistake..." Amethyst Star quickly rushed up to the table, leaving the bottle of wine she had opened for Rarity next to her, and rushed off again. In desperate need for a drink she poured herself another glass, and quickly went to work on it.

"The second they released her, she grabbed for a knife resting on a table, stabbing and slashing at each and every bandit until they had all fallen to the blade. Fluttershy never mentioned details, I guess the memories of it had been suppressed, but..." Rarity trailed off.

"But?"

"She still remembered everything after murdering them all. The puddles of blood that littered the hideout, the various scraps of tissues and organs plastered to the walls, and Fluttershy..." An atrocious image of the bloodied girl flashed through her mind when she found her. "Fluttershy left the hideout, wanting to get as far away as possible from the place, but she was covered from head to toe in a mix of her and other people's blood. I had been waiting on the edge of the city for a client when I saw her wade through the trees. I thought I was seeing things, none of us had known what happened to her, and the fact that she was wearing nothing but a large, baggy t-shirt and gore didn't exactly help." Rarity sighed once more. "When she approached me, I was terrified. It's not everyday a half naked woman comes at you during the middle of the night. Her eyes had changed somehow, away from the soft, chastity that they were. It wasn't until I heard her plea for help that I realized who it was. I immediately took her to Twilight without asking a single question, looking to get her cleaned up and somewhere warm to sleep. She never told Twilight what had happened A few nights later, she came running into my room in tears, so I comforted the poor girl. She shoveled her entire story onto me."

"...Wow." Spike had been at a loss of words the entire time. For what he thought to be the weakest and most frail of the group of six, it had blown him away that she dealt through all of that.

"I couldn't do anything but tell her to stay strong, not only for me or the other girls, but for herself. None of the others seemed too concerned about how she arrived, simply that she was now there. It did take her quite some time to readjust to living with people who didn't constantly rape her, but she persevered, like I knew she would."

"But, she still hadn't started killing at that point?"

"I'm getting there, hold your horses. Twilight had just started getting to the drug business through Pinkie, and we had uh... 'guests', if you will, over at the apartment. They were getting a little aggressive with negotiations, and when they made a move at Twilight, Fluttershy snapped, grabbing a gun and shooting them all where they stood, without so much as a second thought. I was mortified that Fluttershy had finally jumped off the edge again, and even more so at the smirk she had on her face, as if she was proud of what she had done. Now, I'm not her mother, I didn't punish her, but I was rather disappointed in her. She had taught herself to use various weapons, sniper rifles, forks, pens, even farming equipment. That's what happened to her."

A frown had formed over any other emotion Rarity might have been expressing at the moment. Recalling old memories often wasn't good, especially for her uncanny skill at remembering things. "I...I wasn't expecting that at all..." Spike stuttered out, flabbergasted from the tale.

"Horrible, isn't it..." Rarity whispered. Amethyst then came back, a the tray topped with their dishes pipping hot. She placed the respective dishes in front of each of them, and then went back to serving the others. Spike and Rarity heartily ate their dishes, occasionally looking up at each other as they did so. Silence had befallen them again, but not an uncomfortable one. A warm assurance had been pulsing through Rarity. Perhaps it was the alcohol, perhaps it was talking to Spike again, or maybe a bit of both, but she felt happy. Occasionally, they would look up at each other, finding themselves pleasantly lost within the other's eyes.

"Ahhhhh, that hit the spot," Spike sighed out, leaning back in his chair and tossing his napkin on his plate. Somehow, he had seemed to get more of his food on his face rather than in his stomach.

Ah, so messy... Rarity licked her own cloth napkin and wiped of remnants of Spike's dinner off of his face, a light red flush replacing it.

"Was your dinner good?" Spike asked, trying to retaliate off the embarrassment.

Rarity nodded, and smiled lowly. "It was..."

Amethyst came back after a bit. "Would you care for dessert?" Spike looked over to Rarity for an answer.

"No, I couldn't..." Rarity told her. "I...I've had my fill. I'm stuffed..."

"I'll just take the check then, at that," Spike commanded. Amethyst nodded lightly and turned away, returning moments later with the bill. Rarity turned around to reach for her purse, grabbing her wallet and facing the table again, only to find Spike already handing the waitress the correct amount.

"Oh..oh, thank you..." Rarity responded to Spike's action.

"Never a problem" he answered. "Keep the change," Spike directed at Amethyst Star.

She nodded with a large smile. "Thank you very much." She nonchalantly walked away, returning to work. Spike dug through his wallet further, only to find a 20 bit note to leave as a tip.

"That was nice of you..." Rarity whispered to him, standing up and gathering her things.

"She looks like she needs it," he told Rarity. "Not to sound mean, but everyone in this economy below the nobility needs more cash in their pockets..." He stopped, remembering Rarity's current profession, and not wanting to insult her. Rarity noticed his reaction, and said nothing, and simply looked away.

"Come now, let's go," Rarity insisted. Spike nodded, and put his fedora back on his head. Taking Rarity's hand, he lead her down the steps and out of the doorway, dictating her through the still largely populated main hall.

Quickly shifting her feet down the steps, Rarity tripped on her heel, sending her ground bound. Spike quickly reacted in her aid, grabbing her around the waist, saving her from damage. Blood rushed to her cheeks as Spike held here there awkwardly.

"Too much wine, I suppose," Spike joked, chuckling.

Rarity giggled. "Yeah..." She straightened and regained balance, and Spike let go.

"Okay, I'll drive you back to the edge of the Quarter." Spike opened his car, and let Rarity in first, offering to help her in. She smiled, and she accepted Spike's gentlemanly offer. Spike came around, and went in through the other door. Staring up the car, Spike drifted from the restaurant, and into the city.

During the drive, Rarity said nothing, but she glanced at Spike occasionally. The boy she used to love, now a man who she simply helps. Their vocations were separate. By all rights, Spike should be arresting her for breaking the law, but this was a way to help him, and get her off the hook. She needed to do this. She couldn't say no, not to him.

The red glow then became visible, and Spike pulled over just outside of the Red Light Quarter, and got out, helping Rarity out the door. Both of them stood at the sidewalk, and both smiled softly at each other for a bit.

Spike cleared his throat, and looked down. "Well, I ought to be leaving." He looked back up to Rarity. "Stay safe and keep in touch. Check in when designated, okay?"

"Okay..." she trailed. Spike nodded and waved goodbye, going back into his car, and slowly turning around, driving back to the better parts of the city. Rarity stared at him as he drove away sighing, but then shook her head. Don't lose yourself. Stay focused; your time with him is over; you moved on...

But he's still so...lovely...

You have your job, and he has his...

Ugh, why do these old feelings have to get in the way?...

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Spike walked into the busy coffee shop swiveled his head, in search of his partner. He eventually found Shining Armor sitting at a table by himself, reading a newspaper with a dossier and two coffees in front of him. Spike went over and sat in the chair opposite.

Without looking up from his paper, Armor addressed Spike, "What did she tell you? Do you have anything?"

Spike took out his notepad and slid it across the table. Armor put his paper down and looked at it. "She's given me the phone numbers of some of her clients," he told Armor. "The money we gave her should keep her afloat, and also she told me that the gang's business includes drugs, bootlegging and racing. She said she'd tell me if another one of those is coming up."

"Good," Shining Armor said. "We can back trace these numbers. We should get that done soon." Armor picked up his coffee and noticed Spike still sitting there, staring into space. "Anything wrong?"

Rarity is what's wrong... "No, nothing," Spike answered, fully reentering reality.

"Okay, let's go then," Armor told him. Spike got up and got his coffee and they made their way out of the door.

As they were walking towards their car, Spike heard something and looked over. As quickly as he saw it, he grabbed Shining Armor and motioned to what he was looking at. A smug look of triumph washed over Spike's face.

Derpy and Doc were sitting on a bench together, coffee placed out of the way. Doc was wearing a trench coat and Derpy a shoulder-less sweater. And both were locking lips, kissing each other passionately with their eyes closed, oblivious to Spike and Armor.

"That was quick," Spike whispered to Armor. Armor then bumped Spike and Spike looked down, and saw Armor had a ten bit bill in between his fingers. Spike smiled, remembering the bet. "Thank you," he whispered back.

The two continued their session for another minute until Armor cleared his throat, interrupting the public display of their kissing. Doc's eyes opened and went wide. He shot up and both him and Derpy blushed, their faces going a bright red.

"Er...sir, sorry captain, I'm sorry..."

"Stop groveling, rookie", Armor told him laughing. "It's alright." He looked down to Derpy, her shoulders shrugged giving an embarrassed smile. "Do you like this one?" She nodded. Armor turned back to Doc. "Do you like her?"

"Ye...yes, sir..." Doc stuttered. "I'm...I'm not in trouble?"

"No, no, goodness no," Armor told him. "I'm glad for you. And I'm sure you'll take care of each other." Armor winked and both him and Spike left. Armor then saw in the corner of his eye Derpy dragging Doc's gaze back at her and then they resumed their previous activities.

What a nice couple they'll make, Shining thought.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Three cars pulled up in front of the house that the number was tracked to. Spike and Armor were accompanied by four other officers just in case anything may go wrong. They all proceeded up to the stoop when Shining Armor took a slip out and read the address.

"Is this the place?" Spike asked.

Armor looked at the address on the house. "Yeah, this is it."

They were in the higher-end of town, close to the Royal Castle. Unfortunately, that's also where they had to make several arrests. Whoever Spike's contact was had very accurate information, and by Royal permission, they found and arrested several criminals from the upper class society. Right now, a number that phoned a prostitute was tracked to this address, so they were going to make an arrest.

Spike and Armor motioned for the other officers to stand around, as they walked up the steps to the two-story house. Both dressed in trench coat and fedora, they stepped to the door. Armor rang the bell.

"Who...who is it?" a regal voice called from the other end. However, Spike noticed it sounded feminine.

"Open this door in the name of Her Highness, Celestia," Armor told her.

"Alright, one moment," the other voice called back. They saw the door open and a young woman stood there. Spike observed she was about Rarity's height, and around the same age, give or take a year. She had black hair and purple eyes, wearing a grey collared shirt.

Spike and Armor held up their badges. "We are members of Her Highness's Royal Guard, ma'am." Armor addressed. "We've tracked the number involved in a criminal case here; We will need to place you under arrest and take you for questioning."

"Oh uh, okay? I'm not all too sure why you'd need me, though." Obeying to Armor, she turned around, placing her hands behind her back. Spike took a pair of handcuffs and bounded her, telling her her rights. He was puzzled about something, but didn't say anything. It could wait until interrogation.

She was then escorted to Spike and Armor's car and placed in the back. The other officers went to their cars and Spike and Armor went into theirs. The woman said nothing but looked down suddenly, as if she were ashamed.

Spike was still puzzled though, but he tried not to show it.

Are there no men in her house...? Then who made the call for Rarity...

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

The woman was placed in the interrogation room, and Spike and Armor went to gather what was on file for her. After checking the owner of the house, it belonged to an 'Octavia'. When they opened her file, it had no previous criminal record, and the physical description matched the woman perfectly. She was twenty-four, and a bassist in a upper-class orchestra. But there was no mention of a spouse or any hint of a male figure that lived with or had been with her. Spike was becoming more confused, and denying his own thoughts.

Armor decided to take the interrogation, and Spike stood through the one-sided window. He watched as Shining Armor sat down and began his interrogation.

"So", he started, "Miss 'Octavia' is it?"

"Yes, sir", she answered. Her voice was regal, yet the shame stuck out.

"Bassist in an orchestra, Tell me, what is that like?" he asked.

"I...I like to play," she answered. "It's a good occupation...playing for nobles..." She seemed a lot more nervous, now that they had her within the precinct.

"I'm sure," Armor told her. "But, apparently, there was a call number affiliated with a prostitute from the Red Light Quarter that was found in your phone, as I had said before." He put down the dossier and looked at her. "Do you have any friends who use your phone? Anyone else live with you Miss Octavia?"

Say yes, say yes, Spike wished to himself. Rarity had limits, from what he knew. It had to be.

"I made the call; that was me."

WHAT!

Armor was shocked as well, "Oh?"

"Yes, yes," she continued. "I admit to it. I've nothing to gain from lying to you. I couldn't find a good partner, the noblemen are bores, so I decided to...have some fun. Try something...naughty." Her look of shame started to fade away, being replaced with more of a sober. "I found out about that prostitute, how she'd sleep with a lot of corrupt nobles or noble sons, and so I got her number and gave a call. She was hesitant, but with enough persuasion...I had my time with her, and she complied."

Spike's mouth dropped and his eyes widened. WHAT! RARITY SLEPT WITH YOU?

"I-I see," Armor noted, almost fumbling over himself. "Well, that was easy. Thank you for your uh...cooperation." He stood up and went to the door, and told one of the officers he was done. The officer came in and handcuffed Octavia and led her away.

Spike came out with the same shocked face.

"Wow," Armor commented. "Didn't see that one coming."

You don't believe how much this shocks me, Armor. Spike thought, but couldn't say.

"...though, I think I now hold the record for the quickest interrogation ever," Shining said, trying to lighten the situation.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Rarity was waiting at the pre-determined location at the end of the Red Light Quarter that Spike had specified. She stood right under a street lamp, waiting and watching various cars drive by, wondering which one would stop. Dressed in a small black dress and thigh-high socks, it was no mistake that she was a prostitute. She was approached by several, but turned them all away, both with heavy fees and that she needed to be here for when Spike came.

Eventually, she saw a car drive and pull near the sidewalk, eventually parking right beside it. She looked inside and saw a figure sitting in there. It turned its head towards her and the window of the car rolled down. Rarity couldn't tell who the figure was, so she looked away, trying to come off as snobby as possible.

"Wouldn't be waitin' for anyone will ya," the driver called, his voice unfamiliar, almost sounding fake.

"Darling, even if you wanted, my fees are..." she started, before she saw the figure lean towards her and raise his fedora. Two familiar green eyes looked at her and winked, before lowering the fedora resting back into his seat. "Oh..." She came closer and leaned in, and the figure handed her a stack of money. She flipped through the stack, and determined it was right. "Thank you once again."

She went around and got into the car, as the driver drove off, removing his fedora. Spike smiled at her and she smiled back.

"How are you doing Rarity?" he asked, sounding a little stressed. He returned his voice back to it's normality.

"Fine, fine," she answered.

He looked at her attire. "I'd say you still look like a prostitute," he remarked. She nodded. "I know you'd probably do that to fool Twilight, but are you still...working?"

She took a moment to answer, and looked to him. "I...yes," she admitted. "I need to make more, I'm sorry, but what you give me doesn't pay for my weekly income. It's close, but I need to make a little extra."

"Oh," Spike answered flatly, "That's...disappointing." It was hard on his conscience that she still had to do those things.

"I'm sorry," she apologized.

"It's alright, you need to stay alive," he told her. "I...I can see if I can get you more, to pay for your income." Spike knew there was no way he'd be able to get more money from the Guard, and he'd have to pay out of pocket.

"No, no", she replied. "I don't want to bankrupt Her Highness. Just let me do my job, you do yours."

"You know your job is illegal, right?"

"I know," she answered. "But when you stop Twilight, I can stop I think. But for right now, I need to work."

"Oh yes, that reminds me..." Spike interjected. "We've been getting to some of your former clients, making arrests and such."

"That's good...I think?"

"Indeed," he replied. "But I also found out something a bit interesting."

"What?" she asked, nervously. "What did you find out?" So much had happened between five years ago and now, it may have been just about anything.

"It would seem," he started, "you played for the other team once, if you catch my meaning."

Her eyes grew wide. THAT. "Oh, no...no, no...Spike, I can..."

"You slept with a bassist. A woman bassist."

"Listen, Spike", she tried to explain. "I...I got the call from her, yes. I thought she was crazy, I would never...but she said she'd pay, and the money, Spike...I needed to think about that! But when I asked Twilight, she said that I should do it, but charge more if I was uncomfortable. So I...I made her pay triple for it! She said she'd do it, and...well, I couldn't refuse that much money, so...yes we did...but I am not exactly proud I did that Spike, I can assure you of that...I'll never take that kind of job again." She paused to catch her breath. "We did do some naughty things though, like when she put her mouth-"

"I get it," Spike snapped, cutting her off. "...I'm sorry I asked."

"Spike..." You jealous thing... "We had just started out, so we needed everything we could get. I can assure you I'd never take a job like that again."

"Are you sure?"

The recollection of the event fresh in her mind, she was certain. "EVER."

Spike sighed heavily, and the car rolled to a stop at a red light. He looked over to Rarity, and stared into her eyes. "Thank you."

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Pinkie walked through a doorway of a ground floor apartment, followed by Applejack, Fluttershy and Rarity. The room was small, populated by a medium-sized table in the middle, chairs all around it, pushed in, and on one side, a group of four men in brown fedoras and dusters. All of them were relatively young, but all experienced, though not as much as Twilight's gang. They were lower in the food chain, but still, the fresh meat provided good transportation and distribution.

Pinkie sat down, dressed in a light blue shorts and pink t-shirt, which was decorated with three balloons, two blue ones surrounding a yellow one in the center. Her companions were dressed differently. Fluttershy had worn a light brown duster, underneath wearing a yellow shirt and a bandolier with ammo, a pistol in a holster underneath her arm, and khaki-colored leggings. Applejack wore a dark brown duster, with her trademark hat and her hair tied back in a tail like as usual. She had a repeating rifle slung over her back, with cartridge boxes appearing in the duster's pockets. Rarity, however, was dressed less intimidating as opposed to the latter two. She wore a short white jean skirt and tight black sweater that cut into a "V" at her chest, divulging her cleavage.

"Hello, Ms. Diane Pie,"one of the men told her, speaking in a farmer-like accent. He appeared about in his early twenties, not much younger than the girls. He sat sideways in his chair, his arm on the table, looking to the girls. He and his men were not directly armed, their arms being on a table in the back, far enough away so they couldn't get them speedily, obviously only there in case of a surprise raid. What was seen, mostly by Fluttershy, was a submachine gun and four pistols.

"Oh, you can call me Pinkie," she told them, giddy in her tone.

"Okay, 'Pinkie'", the leader chuckled, saying it playfully. He cleared his throat. "I see you brought some companions...some are armed...Pinkie, why..."

"Oh, don't worry, silly," she told them. "They are just here for protection, it's alright, they won't hurt anyone."

"Alright then," the leader uneasily answered. He eyed Rarity standing to the side. "And who might you be?"

"Oh her," Pinkie started, "Oh, she's Rarity! She's my friend as well...I hope you don't mind her being here, she can be quite a flirt." Rarity giggled at that statement, looking to the leader.

"No...of course not", the leader answered, leaning back as Rarity came over to him. She took his fedora off, and planted a small kiss on his head, making him blush a bit.

"That's great!" Pinkie smiled, and then sat up in her chair. "So, what's the order you asked for again? The same as usual, a crate of my specialty and two of Applejack's spiked cider?"

The leader of the gang nodded. "That would be it."

"Awesomeness!" Pinkie was giddy, which made her a pleasure to work with. "So, um...I was thinking..." she pondered, trying to determine a good price. "Maybe...for the entire shipment, three thousand?" She gave a smile.

The leader's expression dropped considerably.

"Oh, is something wrong?" Pinkie asked.

"Uh...Ms. Pinkie," the leader started, his voice filling with . "I...uh...heh...three thousand? I know how well your wares are, but three thousand? I could probably only sell them for twenty-two hundred, twenty five hundred at the most! I mean...that's a bit unfair..."

"Oh...I see," she answered. Her voice kept her pitch, but an eerie sternness came to her voice.

"I'm sorry Ms. Pinkie. I-I'm afraid we can't do that much for this shipment, perhaps if you gave a bit-"

A move of Pinkie's hand, and Applejack drew her rifle, and Fluttershy her pistol, holding it on the table, their weapons aiming at the gang, making Rarity jump and cringe out of the way, realizing she'd be caught in the crossfire. Pinkie began to laugh, snorting a bit as she did.

"Silly...I'm sorry, but it has to be three thousand...just please? I don't want them to have to hurt you, it's not very much fun! At least, not to me. My friend here might think differently," Pinkie threatened, gesturing towards Fluttershy.

The leader began to sweat. "...uh..uh....erm...could...twenty seven fifty?" Fluttershy's finger squeezed the trigger inwards a bit more. "FINE! FINE! THREE THOUSAND IT IS!"

Pinkie slapped on an enormous grin. "Great! I'm glad we could agree! I'm so happy!" Rarity slowly came back to the girls, as one of the gang members went back, and came with a sack, slinging it to Pinkie. Pinkie took it, humming a tune about how to cook a certain pastry while counting the money, and feeling satisfied with three thousand, as the leader of the other gang rubbed his face with his palm. "That's good!" She reached over the table, extending her hand. "Thank you!"

The leader slowly gave his hand to her, shaking it. "You're..you're welcome..." Pinkie got up, and explained where the drop off point would be, and then Fluttershy motioned for them to leave. All of the girls did, going back to the alley, Pinkie doing a slight skip.

Rarity turned to Fluttershy. "Fluttershy, was that intimidation really necessary? I was in the middle of what would have been a slaughter zone!"

"We need the money." Fluttershy coldly told her friend. "By any means necessary. We needed to squeeze three thousand from them."

"But..." she started, though she decided to hold her tongue, not seeing point in debating it further, and walked in silence, returning back to the apartment.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

"Are you sure this looks good on me?" Fluttershy asked, dawning a short white jean skirt and pink tank top. Her and Rarity stood in front of Club Minerva, in queue. Rarity had the night off, and Fluttershy had offered to take her out for the night.

"Oh hush, you look smashing darling. Now move up in line," Rarity gestured forward. Rarity and Fluttershy moved up a few feet. They were at the front of the line, and the bulkier of the two bouncers recognized Rarity, letting her in right away. The moment they entered the main room, the two of them could feel the nearly constant bass humming throughout the nightclub. "Shall we sit at the bar?" Rarity suggested.

"Sure," she complied. Both girls strutted towards the bar, passing by many male counterparts who were a little more than distracted.

"They're... all looking at us..." Fluttershy said quietly, not often having attention thrown at her.

"You get used to it," Rarity puffed up. The club itself was jam packed, but the two of them managed to find two empty chairs up at one of the various bars. On the platform above the bartender was three stripper poles, all occupied by various co-workers of Rarity's.

"Can I get anything for you two?" the bartender asked with a wheezy voice.

"An apple brandy cocktail," Fluttershy said.

"And I'll have a peach martini." The bartender promptly crafter them their mixed drinks, and she walked away to tend to other patrons once she delivered them. Rarity and Fluttershy clinked their glassed together in a cheer.

"For us!" Fluttershy smiled before taking a large portion out of her drink.

"For us indeed..." Rarity said without the same amount of enthusiasm. Her deal with Spike was still fresh in her mind. After a moment of hesitation she also started on her drink.

"Ahhh..." Fluttershy relaxed back into her seat. "It's nice to be out of that damned apartment for something other than business."

"That it is. Twilight's been pushing us a LOT lately."

"But we're actually getting somewhere big finally. All this work, it'll be worth something." Rarity cringed at her friends words, knowing of her new roll against her only family. Things would never be the same, not like they were before...

"You know, sometimes I just wish things had never changed... I still had my boutique, we all lived out in the country side..."

"And our weekly spa trips. I miss not having the time to do them anymore."

"I still drag you along once every couple of weeks," Rarity laughed.

"Yeah, but at least you still find time to go as often as you do."

"Well, I do have to keep my body in pristine condition after all," Rarity sarcastically bragged. They both took another sip from their beverages, and a long silence ensued.

"And what if all this never did happen? Where would you be right now Ms. Rarity?" Rarity noticed Fluttershy already starting to slur her words.

Happily married with Spike, she thought, barely containing the thought within her mind. Before she could make up a fake answer, Fluttershy stood up from her stool. "I'll be right back, need the bathroom. Save my seat!" she called out, scurrying towards the back of the club. Rarity sat alone for the moment, completely tuning out the lights and music. She held on to Fluttershy's imposed reality. No recession. No crime. No killing. Just them back in town. Yes, married with Spike... perhaps a child, maybe even twins... I wonder what there names would have been... And my business would be world renown, with critiques from all over the country coming to see my designs...

Rarity was suddenly sucked back into reality as a man bumped violently into her chair, almost sending her face first into the bar countertop. She jerked her head to find the culprit, and was met with the gaze of a drunken man. He had extremely dark blue hair, as well as green eyes that almost matched Applejack's. He dawned an officers jacket that matched the same design as a renown air force division.

"Oh hey there!" he spewed out, stumbling over himself to collect his balance. He stared at Rarity for a moment, his eyes tracing her body as a look of disgust grew across her face. "I'm shorry about that! Here, lemme buy you a drink! Hey bartender!" He leaned over to the bar itself, placing his face right in front of Rarity's, His breath smelled like a mix between rotting armpit and whiskey.

"That's quite alright, really," Rarity insisted, leaning away from him, spawning a nervous smile.

"No, no, I insists! Maybe it'll help soften you up for later, and we could get some sleazy hotel around here...hehe..."

"Yeah, sorry, but no. I suggest going back to your table before you do something we'll both regret."

"Oh come on now! I'll pay! You look just a slutty as half the women in this damned place anyway, what makes you so spec-"

"She said no, so I suggest you return to your table. Now." Rarity looked for the source of the voice, finding an extremely pissed off looking Fluttershy behind her.

"What's it to you? What are ya, her girlfriend? Go mind your own business, unless of course, you want in on this too. I wouldn't mind a threesome," he started laughing to himself. Fluttershy's eyes narrowed as she lurched forward at the man, grabbing him by his shirt and holding him off the ground by about a foot. "Fucking damnit, put me down!"

"What's your name?" Fluttershy asked calmly.

"My friends call me Soarin', why?" Fluttershy released her grip on him, sending him towards the floor. His drunken state caused him to fall over, only to brush himself off and stand back up. "Listen, 'Soarin''. My friend here said no, so back off."

"Fuck you, you bitch! How dare you to-" Fluttershy had pulled out a knife from her belt, and shoved it up under the man's rib cage, the sudden shock impairing him. She stared into his eyes as they rolled backwards when she removed the blade, sending him straight to the ground. The rambunctious crowd didn't even take notice of Fluttershy assault. She simply stepped over him and returned to her seat.

"FLUTTERSHY!" Rarity cried out, in complete disarray. "Was that really necessary!?"

She looked at Rarity confused. "Hey, he asked for it. I warned him, and he kept pushing." Rarity sighed heavily and chugged down what was remaining of her drink. "Why didn't you just take the job anyway? You usually would."

Rarity straightened up a bit, and her eyes widened. "Uh, well... this is time for me and you, plus this is my day off. I'd like to enjoy it."

"Right..." Fluttershy said, unsure of what to think of her friend. Rarity called the bartender back over, and ordered herself a refill of her previous drink as well as a shot.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

"YOU DOUBLE-CROSSING, UNFAITHFUL, LYING SON OF A BITCH!" The book flew across the room, hitting the nobleman, known as Fancy Pants, square in the head, then thumping against the floor as Fancy grabbed his nose in pain. The angry person: his mistress, a fashion model and diva known only as Fleur-De-Lis.

The irony being she was his mistress, not his wife. The fact he slept with a prostitute, and her anger, made Spike and Shining Armor have to contain their laughter, especially now that she was throwing an adult temper tantrum at him.

"I...I..."

"Don't you talk to me!" Fleur de Lis stepped over and slapped him hard, the her accented voice and the impact echoing throughout the house, causing Armor and Spike to barely be able to withhold their amusement. Spike and Armor were professionals, but they were still men. Thankfully, they were downstairs, though they could hear every word that rattled out of Fleur's mouth.

"How dare you cheat on me with that... that putain!" Spike's ears perked at the insult that she dished out to Rarity, but he was enjoying himself too much for it to ruin the moment.

"I don't suppose we should go calm her down?" Spike asked, starting to feel bad for Fancy Pants, and feeling a little corrupt that he was allowing someone to be assaulted.

"Alright, I suppose we should." Shining drifted his weight off the wall and made his way up the steps with Spike close behind. Fancy's voice became more clear the closer they got.

"Recollect yourself, Fleur! You've been my mistress for years now, and you've always said that there would be no strings attached. Besides, it's never bothered you all the times I've done this before!" Fancy Pants pleaded, trying to talk sense to calm her.

"THERE HAVE BEEN OTHER TIMES BEFORE THIS!?" Fleur fumed, raising her hand up to backhand Fancy Pants again at the newly released information, who cringed in defense.

"Relax!" Shining commanded, walking into the study with Spike in close follow.. Fleur stared at him in shock, and quickly lowered her hand.

"Oh, I uh... forgot you guardsmen were here, I apologize." The woman in front of Spike and Armor was dressed in a white jacket, lined with fur inside. It was a matched with a white denim skirt, and slip-on dress shoes.

"We gave you the uh, privacy, to talk, but time is up." Spike advanced towards the nobleman, pulling the cuffs from his belt. "Fancy Pants, you are under arrest for soliciting a prostitue,"

With a lowly sigh and a bruising face, Fancy Pants turn around, placing his arms behind his back in queue for Spike to arrest him. Lightly slapping the handcuffs on, Spike started to lead him out of the room and down the stairs. "You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in court of law..." As Shining and Spike furthered themselves further and further away from the study, they heard Fleur let out a hissy scream in aggravation, causing them to chuckle once more.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Rarity walked down the sidewalk, followed by Twilight and Fluttershy closely. The latter two decided to join her on her visit today to the spa. A nice, simple place on the outskirts of the district that Rarity often frequented, and Twilight helped support. Rarity dressed in a white blouse with a complementing skirt, while Fluttershy and Twilight wore coats over simple pants and a long shirt.

The two owners, twins, were superb in their art, and were sweet, but had to rely on certain funding and protection to stay open. Rarity really enjoyed going to sessions here, to unwind and relax. Twilight and the others occasionally accompanied her, but all six were familiar to the two owners. They knew how to calm their patrons, individually, and knew almost always what to do for each and every one.

Rarity walked into the door as the electronic bell rang after her entrance. "Oh Aloe, Lotus? Darlings? I am here!"
The two sisters appeared, and joyously smiled and nodded in unison. One sister had pink hair, the other, light blue. Their shirts were the colors of the other's hair, to complement each other. "Welcome, Miss Rarity. I see Miss Twilight and Miss Fluttershy have joined you today."

"Yes, they have indeed, and I'm sure they'll need relaxation."

"Of course, of course," Aloe replied enthusiastically, "We always enjoy patrons! Come, come, be comfortable." Aloe turned to her sister and nodded and the other nodded back, going to the back. "So, I assume it's the usual for all of you?"

"Yes, Aloe", Twilight answered, knowing the owner by name.

"Okay, then I will ask usual price."

"Okay," Rarity answered, getting out her purse, before Twilight motioned her to stop.

"I'll get it," Twilight answered, taking out a small stack of bits from her pocket and handing it to the owner, who counted and was satisfied with the amount.

"Oh..." she answered in confusion, "Alright, thank you!"

"No problem," Twilight answered.

Lotus came back and stood at the entrance and cupped her hands into each other. "Okay, I will lead you three back, and we can begin!"

"Alright," Twilight answered. "Rarity, you go on ahead. Aloe, Lotus, I want to talk to you two."

"Oh... okay, Miss Twilight," Aloe said, and the other twin stepped behind the counter with her sister. Twilight stood at the other end of the counter, while Fluttershy casually stood against the wall, hands inside her coat. Twilight began to speak: "I have become aware lately that my business is being sabotaged. You two understand what I mean."

"Yes, Miss Twilight," both said in unison. The two associated with the criminal world, but were not active in it. They only existed here for their customers and to treat their patrons well. But, they knew fairly well what many of their customers did, and the shady business that went on.

"Good, then you know that I must...ensure my trusts in my associates," she told them, her voice changing slightly more serious. She looked around, placing her hands in the coat, eyeing a fountain. "You own a nice spa, and I'm happy you two are open." Both nodded their heads. After a moment of looking around with the twins watching, Twilight started again, "The Guard has been on my tail. I would like them to know my stature, and for them to fear me, but I have this...tiny concern that I could go down. And you know, I fund you, and help keep you open." Both nodded their heads a little more slowly now, and stood closer together.

They are afraid, Twilight thought. Good... "So if I am to go down, you lose business by default. So pray that I stay on my feet." The two nodded. "And...also, I know that the Guard might ask of me. They might find out that I am your patron." She watched the two begin to hug each other, and turn their faces towards Twilight, legitimately fearful of what she was about to say, Twilight smiled, and nodded towards Fluttershy, who started to get something out of her coat. Twilight, and the twins looked too in horror, as Fluttershy pulled a bottle of flammable liquid from her coat. The liquid had a cloth tied around the neck, and Fluttershy held a lighter in her other hand. She started it, and lit the cloth, and Aloe and Lotus watched as the flame started to eat into the cloth, and know that what would happen if Fluttershy dropped it. "I just want you to know that I do not take betrayal easily. If you so much as say one thing, just the tiniest thing to the Guard that relates to me or my business...you can kiss yourselves and your spa goodbye," Twilight continued. The two started to shake in fear, and both turned to Twilight and nodded in agreement.

"Yes..." Aloe whispered. "I swear, on my life, that we won't say anything...please don't hurt us..."

"I will not," Twilight assured, nodding toward Fluttershy, who placed the flame in the fountain water, making a sizzle as it suddenly died. The twins sighed in relief. "But that all depends..." Twilight continued, "...on your good behavior." The twins nodded. After a moment, Twilight watched as the two were still clutched in embrace. "So, may I receive my session now?"

"U-uh...Yes..." Lotus whispered, "...right this way, ma'am..." Twilight and Fluttershy followed, confident their point got across.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Shining Armor walked to the front door of a fairly large suburban home, taking his key out and unlocking the door. Entering the house, he placed his hat and coat on the rack in the foyer.

"Hey honey," he shouted to the lone occupant of this house at this time. Cadence was back from any royal duties by now, and she came out in a pink night dress that went slightly past her knees, her mixed colored hair of yellow, pink and purple in a muss.

"Hello love," Cadence said, returning his greeting. They went up to each other and shared a kiss, Armor bringing his hand up to her face, stroking her cheek gently. He drew off after a moment, moving his hand across it, staring into his wife's eyes.

Cadence slowly took his hand off, and kissed him again for a shorter time. Both drew off and stood, holding hands in front of each other.

"So..." she began. "How's work?"

"Good, good," he answered. "Me and Spike are getting hit after hit. I'm telling you...his source is solid. Every time, perfect."

"Oh?" she inquired.
"Yeah", he answered, "We've made several arrests, stopped the bad guys..." Armor chuckled. "You know, how I always do..."
Cadence giggled.

"I bet..." she drew his finger on his shirt, and back up, flicking the bottom of his nose lightly, both amused. "Well...I'm a bit tired...its late, you know...let's just go to bed..."

Armor nodded, feeling weary as well. Both let go of each other's hands, and went into the bedroom, Armor letting Cadence in first. She went on the bed, and put herself under the covers, and Armor bent over, tucking her. Armor himself went and undid his shirt, taking it off, and leaving his undershirt. He then undid his belt, putting all his Guard tools on the dresser, and shook his pants off, replacing with a pair of bed boxers, covered in pink hearts. He crawled into bed next to his wife, kissing her again, placing his hand on her arm, rubbing it softly. He drew off, and brought his hand down to her stomach, leaving it to rest there.

His thoughts shifted, thinking of a child again. He couldn't remember how long...it was like a year and a half, since they had first started trying to have a child. Time and time again, just taking a night every so often and trying. Most times...any test came up negative. Once, they thought she had, but she had miscarriaged early in development. Though they grieved for a while, they picked themselves back up, trying again, but each time, nothing. They became very concerned, and visited a doctor, who concluded that Cadence was fine, and it was just a matter of trial that would end with a child.

Cadence smiled as her husband rubbed her belly. "I like to think of the swell...just...having a swollen stomach with our child inside...feeling so happy to be pregnant..."

Shining Armor nodded, and kissed his wife. "Someday there will be a child in there...our baby....and we'll be happy."

"Yes...yes..." Cadence muttered. Shining Armor looked to his wife, and saw the weariness in her eyes. He leaned in and kissed her on the head, stroking her hair until she fell asleep.

Shining Armor smiled and continued to stroke her hair. So adorable...

Suddenly, his thoughts shifted to work. He hadn't told Cadence yet about Twilight Sparkle, and he had been meaning to. At the same time, he didn't know how to break it to her, telling her the child she babysat and grew so close to and cared for was now a dangerous and deadly criminal boss. What if I don't come back one day? Cadence, Spike, my child...

He didn't want to entertain the thought. What mattered now was his wife, and to stop Twilight eventually. Armor and Spike, taking down his baby sister.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Gilda stood waiting with the rest of her gang in the small abandoned harbormaster's hut, as a storm blew past, the thunder rattling the wooden structure. The room was small, with a nautical flair all about. Gilda herself wore a dark brown hooded sweater with a matching beanie over her short cropped hair, which was dyed white. All of her associates were similarly dressed.

She looked over when she heard the door creak open, and saw Rainbow Dash enter. "Ah, Dash, it's good to see you", Gilda told her, grasping Dash's hand and bringing her for a quick hug.

"It's good to see you too," Rainbow Dash answered. She was dressed in a light blue raincoat for the weather, with her rainbow and cloud racing emblem on the back. "So, what have you been up to, Gilda?"
"Not much, to be honest", Gilda told her friend. "Had a few...run-ins with the Guard, but nothing important."

"You didn't lose anything, did you?" Dash asked.

"Oh no, no. All is fine."

"Good," Dash replied. "So, you said you had a little something for me?"

"A prototype engine for your car," Gilda told her. "It's bound to make you beat out any other competition. I know, my cousin tested it. It's guaranteed to work. You'll have every advantage."

"Good, good," Dash said, rubbing her hands together. "When and where?"

"At the old warehouses east of the district on Canterlot Street at six o' clock. You'll know which one it is," Gilda explained.

"Sweeeet, I can't wait to kick some ass with it." Dash told her friend, and hugged her again briefly, shaking hands. "Thank you, Gilda." She released her friend's hand and opened the door again, putting on her hood. "Goodbye!"

"Goodbye..." Gilda said, waving to Dash as she left. A few minutes later, when she was certain Rainbow Dash was gone, she turned to one of the men reclining on the couch. "Got that?"

"Oh yeah," the man answered, lifting up his beanie to show the signs of green hair. "I heard the whole thing."

"Good", Gilda told him. "Investigator Spike, remember our bargain."

"I will," he told her. "You'll be monetarily compensated and get safe passage away from here. Trust me, once I get to the bottom of this, you'll be safe here again, I promise. Just be sure that tracker is in the engine."

"I had better," she hissed out lowly. "This deal is risky as it is."

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

"Girlllllsss, are you in the back? I'm here for my daily treatment!" Rarity called out, standing at the front desk of the spa. It was eerily quiet, and Rarity was fairly sure that they wouldn't leave the doors unlocked all night. It isn't too early, is it?

Knowing the spa inside out by now, Rarity departed through the door to the right of the main desk, and down the long hallway to their office on the last door to the right. She knocked lightly, hopefully not intruding on anything. "Aloe? Lotus? Are you here?" Not hearing anything at all, her curiosity overtook her, and she reached for the doorknob. It was unlocked. Turning it and opening the door slowly, she took notice at how the lights were on, and their computer screen was turned towards the door...

Rarity shrieked out something that would rival that of a banshee as she saw the two owners of the spa, Aloe laying in the corner with a pool a blood around her head, and Lotus sprawled out across the floor with multiple shots in her upper body. Rarity flinched back from the sight at first, but slowly returned to entering the room. She noticed a video playing from the computer screen, and a note attached at the top. Stepping over Lotus, taking extra care to not disturb her body, Rarity went over to their desk to inspect the screen.

Rarity removed the folded piece of paper that was taped to the monitor, and set her attention towards it. A looping video of security footage was playing of Fluttershy entering the room calmly. The spearkers were on, so Rarity heard the exchange of dialogue.

"Hello, Miss Fluttershy," Aloe said slightly surprised. "What brings you here?

"Oh not much..." Fluttershy answered enigmatically. She went to the side of the room, examining a snow globe on top of a cabinet. "Nice place you have, I mean that truly."

"Oh...thank you, Miss Fluttershy," Lotus answered, her voice revealing slight concern.

"By the way..." Fluttershy told aloud, "Remember when Twilight gave you that talk about betraying her?"

"Ye-yes..." Aloe replied, and on the footage, Rarity could tell she was shaking in fear. She looked over to her sister who was doing the exact same thing.

And then Fluttershy drew a gun from her coat. "Then why did you snitch on her, huh?" Fluttershy's voice immediately hardened.

Rarity saw Fluttershy spurt two rounds into Lotus first, as Aloe watched in horror and screamed. Aloe ran to a corner, bending over and covering her head, shouting "MERCY! MERCY!" Fluttershy gave no quarter as she took Aloe by the neck, holding her against the wall, bullet muzzle at Aloe's temple, and pulling the trigger.

Rarity looked over to the corpses, seeing exactly where they were hit. Lotus's eyes were wide open, and Aloe's closed, but the stench and sickening sight of blood and brain matter was nauseating.

Sighing, Rarity shifted her weight onto the desk, closing her eyes and shaking her head. Killing. All this unrelentless killing. Opening her eyes again, Rarity unfolded the paper and brought it up close to read.

The price of betrayal.

~T.S.

What could they have possibly said to deserve death? This is always so unnecessary, Twilight... Rarity swiveled around, resting herself onto the desk. She looked down at Lotus, her motionless body unchanging. I can't just leave them here. But the cops... Jumping up at a sudden idea, Rarity turned her torso around just enough to reach the phone on the desk. Picking it up, she entered Spike's number into the keypad, of which she had memorized by now.

"Hello?" a soothingly familiar voice answered from the other side.

"Spike..." Rarity finally let out, her voice sounding more distressed than she intended.

"What's going on Rarity? Are you alright?"

"Yes, yes, I'm fine. But I..." Rarity trailed off, looking at the bodies of her friends again. "Spike...come here...I'm at the Spa...Aloe and Lotus owned it..." Her voice choked and cracked, holding back the tears of fear and sadness, "They're dead, Spike...killed...I need you to come here, take care of it...the Guard needs to be here now."

A long silence ensued. "I... see. I understand. Don't want just anyone from the precinct coming in to question you. Don't worry, I'll handle it." He paused for a bit more, and silence rung through the receiver. "Still there?"

"Yes...yes..." she answered, tears in her eyes.

"Good. Listen to me carefully: Do not, repeat, DO NOT, be there when I arrive. Go home and relax, but don't let ANYONE know you called me. I need you to be safe."

"Okay...", she choked, and taking a breath. "Okay..."

"Good, be careful. Talk to you later, Rarity. Keep safe..."

"Goodbye...just make it alright, Spike...make it okay..."

"I will; don't worry," he assured.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Fluttershy trudged up the stairs to the entrance of the up-town night club. The source Twilight had said that Blueblood would be here, which is exactly what Fluttershy wanted, and didn't want at the same time. We need to start tying up loose ends Fluttershy. Old clients of Rarity's, people we can no longer trust. We can't have them walking around for the Guard to snatch them up and take us down. Dispose of them. Twilight's words echoed in her mind.

I know Rarity doesn't have all the necessary skills for this job, Fluttershy thought, But why do I have to seduce him?

Indeed, this should be Rarity's job. She was the best seductress, and Fluttershy didn't know so much as to how to get him to go with her. She was prepared for the plan to go wrong. Ugh, this underwear is killing me, she complained to herself, I don't see how Rarity can stand this sometimes.

Underneath her revealing clothing, she had on a pair of 'naughty' undergarments, to complete her get-up. She made it to the door to the club, and reached into her bag, to make sure she had everything she needed if she was successful. She nodded at the bouncer waiting outside, and he opened the door for her.

The club was afire with many dancers and patrons at the small bar. There were tables around, for those making business, securing deals, and in some cases, hiring a woman to pleasure them for the night. She rolled her eyes at the latter. Despite Rarity's income, she never had a real appreciation for the job.

And now she had to be one of them for the night. Fluttershy looked around, and took a picture out from her purse to ensure her target was correct. Long wavy golden hair, looks like an asshole. Looking around for the man, she spotted him over at the bar. He was sitting down on a stool and talking with another scantily-clad woman, but soon she left him to his drink, seductively looking back as she did so. "Damn whores..." Fluttershy mumbled under her breath, but swiftly realizing she now had an opening.

Fluttershy sat down on a stool next to the Prince, who didn't notice her. The bartender quickly came over and asked for her drink. "I'll have..." she started. Fluttershy decided to try and get the Prince's attention, and leaned in close, placing her right index finger below her lip looking up. She was thinking of how to play her next move, and finally decided. "...a Canterlot Cocktail," she followed, saying seductively and nudging the Prince beside her. That got his attention.

"Oh, now what do we have here?" he asked, looking to Fluttershy, who was leaning into the bar, her shirt drooping down and showing her cleavage. He signaled the bartender. "Hey, her drink is on me."

"Ooooh..." she responded to the Prince's gesture. "Thank you..." she said softly.

"You're welcome," he answered. He turned around and took her in with his eyes. "So, what's your name?"

"They call me..." she started, looking at him, then leaning back on the bar, staring at him seductively, "...Fluttershy."

"Oh, that's a pretty name," the Prince told her. "What brings you here?"

"I'm just looking for a bit of nighttime fun..." she answered, twirling her hair. She was impressed herself with her success so far. "...go to the bar, dance..." She looked to him, and down. She took her hand and started to rub his right leg. "Possibly...find a friend..."

"Ooh," the Prince answered. "Are...you...one of those call girls then?"

"Oh, no," Fluttershy giggled. She continued to rub his leg. "But, maybe tonight...I could be like one for you..."

"Oh, would I have to pay you anything?" he indulged.

"No..." Fluttershy answered, batting her eyelashes. She moved her hand a bit to the left, touching him.

"...for you, its free..."

"Ooh..." Blueblood blushed and slightly looked away. "I can tell I'll like you..."

"I...think so too..." Fluttershy lied.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Fluttershy and the Prince had left the bar after a few drinks and a little more persuasion and coaxing him to bring her home. He had explained on the drive to his place that he owned a loft in the Quarter for nights he didn't want to go all the way back to the castle, and for nights he had special guests.

They pulled up to a worn down brick building, seemingly abandoned. Blue Blood parked out in the street, leaving the expensive car sitting in the middle of the worst Quarter of the city.

"Are you sure it's a good idea to leave your car out here?" Fluttershy asked, completely confused.

"It'll be fine. Besides, my auntie Celestia can always just buy me another one," Blueblood said assuringly. No wonder this country is in shambles... Shaking her head, Fluttershy got out of the automobile with the Prince, who ushered her in to his home, not even holding the door open for her. Blueblood flicked the lights on, revealing a lavish, modern style loft that hid behind the ugly exterior of the building. The house consisted of one large, main room that included a stainless steel kitchen, a leather furniture lined den, and a built in bar. Up the steps led to above the den, where a large bed with silk sheets resided in the middle of the balcony.

Fluttershy unconsciously let out a "whoa..." but her mind quickly focused back to what she was asked to do.

"So... would you like another drink?" Blueblood asked, placing his jacket as well as Fluttershy's on a coat rack near the front door and drifting over towards the bar. Fluttershy left her purse on the coffee table in the den.

"No, but I would like something else..." Fluttershy strutted over to the bar where Blueblood poured his drink.

"Oh?" He asked, focusing on what he was doing. Fluttershy rested her hands on his, stopping him from mixing his beverage. Gently, she kissed him, pushing him away from the bar and towards the wall. Blueblood became more aggressive with his lips, and flipped Fluttershy around, pressuring her against the surface. Fluttershy wrapped her arms around him, sucked into the moment. Blueblood shifted his body, rubbing his thigh against her crotch as he indulged his tongue into Fluttershy's mouth. She yelped out a muffled moan of pleasure, being touched for the first time in years.

Blueblood broke away after a moment, and asked, "Would you like to continue this upstairs?"

Fluttershy blinked and collected herself for a moment, regathering her thoughts. Kill him Fluttershy, not fuck him. No matter how attractive he may be. He's still a jerk, and still needs to die. "Of course..." she softly said, leading him by his hand through the loft. She grabbed her purse and walked up the stairs, giving much effort to walk as seductively as she could.

Reaching his bed, she pushed him down onto it and took off her blouse. "Just lay back and close your eyes..." Fluttershy commanded. Blueblood complied, relaxing down onto his bed, waiting for the pink haired woman standing above him to make her move. Fluttershy crawled onto the bed, straddling across Blueblood's waist, her skirt stretching to the contours of her hips and legs. She dove down to kiss him, rubbing herself against the anomaly extruding from the Prince's pants. Blueblood brought his arms up, taking a handful of breast in one, and placing his other hand on her back. He leaned up after breaking from a kiss, and licked up Fluttershy's neck, sending chills down her spine. Wanting more, Fluttershy relocked lips with the Prince, allowing their tongues to dance. Blueblood traced his fingers down Fluttershy's spine until reaching the waistband of her skirt, and moved his hand to the front of her.

He led his hand down, passing the edge of the skirt and following the curve of Fluttershy's body, causing her to softly moan. She arched her back up, in a stasis of ecstasy as Blueblood pressed his fingers partly into her through her thong. Attempting to regather herself, Fluttershy started to unbutton the Prince's dress shirt, lightly skimming her fingers over his now bare chest. Getting closer and closer to her goal, she unbutton his pants and slipped her hand under, grasping and stroking Blueblood through his boxer-briefs. Blueblood increased his penetration, causing Fluttershy to collapse next to him on the bed. He removed his hand from her, and gave her a deep kiss.

"I...I think I'll be just a moment, wait here," Fluttershy said, dazed from her experience. Fog filled her mind, and unable to think completely straight she stumbled over to her purse. Grabbing and digging through it in hope for some sort of protection, she found the switchblade which was meant to be her weapon to assassinate Blueblood. A sobering punch hit her, unpleasantly reminded of her reasoning for being here. Her blood rushed cheeks quickly lost their warmth, as she flicked open the blade and sighed. There goes another guilty pleasure...

Without a second thought, Fluttershy crawled back over him, keeping the knife out of sight. "Here, I have something. Take this..." As Fluttershy finished her sentence, she brought down the blade with all her might into Blueblood's rib cage, piercing through his lungs. Struggling from the sudden shock, he tried to crawl out of underneath Fluttershy, only causing the blade to cut further. Blueblood grasped out, desperate to grab whatever he could. He found Fluttershy's long hair and yanked, enraging his assailant. Pulling the switchblade out, Fluttershy wasted no time stabbing two more times, striking through his heart, and his grip on her hair releasing. Blood had started seeping out of his large stab wounds, and some had splattered onto Fluttershy herself, including her undergarments.

Fluttershy looked down to inspect the damage she did to herself, finding a large blood splotch on her white bra. "Oh, damnit! I liked this bra!" In spite, she stabbed him once more, only causing more blood to fly out onto her. She pulled downward, cutting past his upper torso and into his bowls. Fluttershy smiled at the blood now trickling down the prince's chest, pooling below him. Bringing down the blade once again striking through his face, the familiar pump of adrenaline flowed through her body. Fluttershy's smirk quickly widened into a maniacal grin while she carved out bits and bobbles of his face and chest, leaving no distinct pattern.

Pleased with her work, she crawled off the bed, leaving the knife stuck in Blueblood's corpse. She reached down on for her blouse which lay on the hardwood floor, putting it back on. The blood that had been on her abdomen stained onto the blouse, causing small blots of red to appear all over it. Fluttershy went back over to the Prince, who now lay with a face of terror glued onto his deceased body. Blood had started to spread, soaking into the sheets as it oozed out of his chest. She pulled out the knife and flicked off the majority of the blood, licking what wouldn't shake away. She closed the switchblade shut, placing it back into her purse.

Fluttershy walked down the stairs, disturbed by how eerily quiet the building had become so suddenly. Fluttershy headed for the front door, taking her jacket off the rack and sliding into it, preparing for the cold of the night. She stared at Blueblood's own coat for a moment. I could always just take his car... would be a fair amount of money... Reaching into his coat pockets, she located the keys to the lavishly expensive car and headed out the door. "Besides, his 'auntie Celestia' can just buy him another one..." She said to herself. Fluttershy stepped into the vehicle, and started it up, eager to inform Twilight of her success.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

"What've we got today?" Captain Shining Armor asked as he entered the house of Prince Blueblood along with Spike. Many members of the Guard were inside, along with trucks and cars lining the city sidewalk.

The woman they were following handed Shining a report and said, "One of the butlers came into work this morning and found the prince dead in his bed, brutally cut up." They had made their way upstairs, and she nodded at one of the guard members who stood at the top of the stairs to the upper loft, who proceeded to let the trio in. "It's been a while since we've found such a...vile crime scene."

Spike and Shining looked past her to find the cubed mess of what was Prince Blueblood sprawled across his bed. His face had several bits surgically removed, and his chest was lined with cuts, dried up blood, and similar wounds to his face, simply deeper and more prevalent. Various parts of his intestines had been pulled out and different bodily fluids had pooled within his chest cavity.

"As you can see, they killer wasn't exactly subtle," the woman sarcastically said. "The prince was a known nightclubber, but we cannot confirm if he brought anyone home last night. This looks like the work of someone who's a little psychopathic though, rather than just a woman trying to defend herself from his advances. We've been scanning the area for about a half hour now, still no re-"

"Ma'am, I've got something," one of the agents called out who was inspecting the upper part of the bed.

"...results past what I've told you," the woman sighed out. The three of them went over, and the agent raised up his hand, showing a strand of light pink hair resting in a pair of tweezers. Shining Armor and Spike looked at each other simultaneously.

"Fluttershy," they said under their breathes.

"I'm sorry, did you say something?" the woman asked.

"Run a DNA test on that hair and see if it matches the description from a case from a few weeks ago on a girl named Derperina," Shining commanded. "If it matches, we know who our killer is."

Spike and Captain Shining backed away from the bed a bit, wanting to get away from the rancid stench, and leaned over the rail looking down on the rest of the apartment. "Do you really think it could be her? I mean, what beef would Blueblood have with Twilight?"

"None that I could think of, but it's our best lead for now."

"Maybe Ra-er uh, my source had previous dealings with him? We have been hitting her past clients pretty hard, maybe she's eliminating people before we get to them."

"Well, she might have to try harder than that. Despite how disastrous this might be, that list you received from your source wasn't exactly small. We do have other options."

"Don't encourage her, Armor," Spike condescendingly remarked.

"Captain Armor?" The woman investigators voice called out. "It would seem that whoever did this also took his car, as for none of his staff have seen it since yesterday afternoon."

Shining nodded his head at her, and took a look back at the body of the deceased prince. "All the more reason to put and end to this."

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Spike pulled up in front of his apartment building. He lived on the outskirts of the town, quiet enough for his taste and out far enough so Twilight wouldn't think of looking here. It was the safest place to bring Rarity, as far as he was concerned. As with their other meetings, they met during the night; 'work time'. For safety, though, she wore a baseball cap, which did not compliment her dress or coat.

"This is ridiculous," Rarity complained. "This doesn't match anything I'm wearing."

"I can't let you be discovered," Spike had told her. "for one, we can't risk Twilight finding you. Plus, how would I look with a prostitute?"

"Oh please," Rarity scoffed.

"Would you rather wear my fedora?" Spike offered.

"In fact, I would." Rarity smugly pulled Spike's hat off his head and plopped it onto her, replacing the empty space above Spike's head with the hat she was wearing. "It looks no better on you than me," she amused.

Spike parked right in front of the door to the building, trying to spend the least amount out in the open as he could. He went around the car and opened her door and helped Rarity out. He ushered her forward as he rushed to the door and let her in, looking behind his shoulder to ensure no one had been following them. After a moment, he was pleased, and he headed up the stairs where Rarity awaited him before a locked door.

"Here, home sweet home," Spike said to Rarity as he stuck his key into the door, revealing the apartment's living room.
A gaudy dark green couch lined the wall with the door, his desk with a laptop sat on the wall facing the parking lot. The desk was also lined with cluttered papers and manila folders. Across the room sat a small television.

"Want anything to eat or drink? I could always cook you something. Still am a pretty good chef if I do say so myself," Spike smiled at Rarity. She gave a warm smile in return, and sat down on the couch, removing her coat. It revealed a short, strapless white dress with three blue diamonds towards the bottom that almost exactly matched her eye color.

"Hm, what do you have?"

"Water and juices mostly", Spike answered. "I have cider, I think."

"That'd be grand." Spike headed towards the kitchen and came back out with a glass full of cider, placing it on the table that rested before the couch.

"So, what's new?" Spike asked, taking a seat next to Rarity after grabbing one of the folders and a pen off of his desk.

"Pinkie Pie has a big deal going down with some gang called the Griffons. A woman named Gilda leads them." Spike grabbed a pen off his desk and started writing in the folder.

"Where and when?"

"One of the abandoned warehouses on the street that those officers were killed on. I don't remember which. And I think Pinkie said Tuesday night." Spike continued to record what she said. "Pinkie also said that Dash would be coming with her because she knew this Gilda from a long time ago."

"Anything else?"

"Indeed, there's a shipment of cider coming in next week. It is from a company called 'Ponyville Fruit Company'. Applejack hasn't said any details yet."

"Huh," Spike answered, writing it down. "What a silly name."

"Trust me, I thought the same thing."

Spike nodded. "Ironic you're drinking cider and you have this to tell me." Rarity giggled. "Well, uh, thanks. I'll get this to Armor tomorrow."

"You're very welcome," Rarity answered, and smiled. She looked into Spike's green eyes, and saw the young man five years ago, the one she was so innocent and young with.

"Are you alright, Rarity?" he asked.

"Oh, uh yes," she blushed. Rarity twirled her fingers through her purple hair. "I was just thinking back..."
Spike placed down the folder and pen on the table, and scooted closer to Rarity.

"Oh?"

She nodded, looking towards the ceiling. "Do you remember those times Spike? When we were together?"

"I never forgot," Spike answered. He didn't want to admit it, but those were the happiest times of his life. But they had taken their separate vocations now. Though there was just something about her blue eyes and purple hair...

"How you used to be there when I finished making a dress, and we would go out and get dinner...you'd take me home, and..." she giggled, "kiss me good night." Rarity's voice grew increasingly dreamy.

Rarity felt herself drawing towards Spike. She realized it was mutual, as if some sort of magnet was pulling them together. "I...I remember," Spike whispered. "Not something I'd like to forget..."

"Indeed..." she answered back. They were side and side now, almost touching. Spike looked to the table. "Sometimes I think back, me and you...so long ago..."

"Is that so?" he whispered into her ear. She shivered as chills shot down her spine.

"Yes...", she answered, coming closer. Both looked at each other, and she took him by the hands.

"I miss you quite often..." he admitted.

"I do too..." she confessed, finally now realizing how much she actually thought about Spike. Their faces moved closer. "Sometimes...I wish I never left..."

Their lips locked, and Rarity pressed herself against Spike. He hesitated for a moment, unsure whether his desires should consume him. Rarity’s craving for Spike seemed to be overpowering, as he melted along with her, wrapping his arms around her. Their tongues danced around, complimenting each other’s moves. Spike moved his arms up her back, grabbing at the zipper that kept her dress on her body. Spike broke away from her and started kissing down her neck, attempting to remember what she used to enjoy. His hand floated to Rarity's back, in search of a zipper that kept her dress on her body.

Suddenly, he stopped. Spike broke away his kiss and placed his forehead against Rarity's. Emeralds stared into diamonds for a moment before Spike broke the lingering silence. "Rarity, I..." Spike sighed and leaned his head back. Rarity took advantage of the situation, and started kissing up Spike's neck, causing him to shiver in pleasure. He reached for Rarity's shoulders, pushing her back away from him a bit. She looked at him quizzically, unsure of why he had her stop. "I don't... I think it's time for you to head back," Spike slithered through his teeth. Rarity's expression dropped a bit, not often being rejected. She wore a small smile regardless, trying to mask the stinging.

She nodded. "Okay..." Rarity whispered. She got up and fixed her zipper, also handing Spike back his fedora and placing on the baseball cap without complaint. Spike opened the door to the apartment, and they both stepped out, soon headed down the flight of stairs and towards Spike's car.

Rarity and Spike stayed silent for the duration of the ride, Rarity contemplating on why Spike stopped. Of course, she realized. I am just a dreamer. We went our separate ways. What we did was over; he could never love a prostitute. Rarity cringed at the thought and glanced over to Spike, who seemed upset himself.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Fluttershy sat to herself her head leaned back and eyes closed, listening as Rarity hummed a tune that she had conjured up years ago, making dresses for the girls for one of Celestia's extravagant balls. Fluttershy rolled her eyes at her friend. Rarity had gotten way too upset about minor things. Rarity didn't even like that Prince much anyway, and the two spa girls were traitors. They had to be killed, there was no other way. Why couldn't she see that?

Fluttershy looked down as Rainbow Dash entered the apartment angrily, throwing her bag down and groaning in anger.

"What is it?" Fluttershy inquired.

"Damn Guard was at my garage," she angrily let out. "They shut the place down on order and confiscated my racing car! My pride! Just towed her away!"

"Oh... that's not good," Fluttershy answered in sympathy.

"Just 'not good'? I spent years on that car! And just got an upgrade! It made us a lot of money, and they just took it!" It was true. Dash's racing winnings had made them quite the sum of money. Her skill, and her slyness on the courses, had made her feared by the other gangs. Now the car was gone, and so was another source of income. Fluttershy knew something was up. This was one too far for them to be simply coincidences. Someone had to have tipped them off.

"Do you know if anyone sold you out...?" Fluttershy suspiciously asked.

"No, I don't think so," Rainbow Dash answered, scratching her head in thought. "I can't believe it's done though...all that time wasted." She sat down on the couch opposite Fluttershy. "Come to think of it," she pondered, "what if someone's tipping them off? Those two spa girls did rat out to the Guard."

"Yeah, but they didn't know too much about your venues, if anything at all," Fluttershy stated. "It had to be someone else..." Fluttershy conspired.

"Think its inside?" Rainbow Dash hesitantly asked, not wanting to suggest the idea of one of the six betraying them.

Fluttershy considered and looked back to the source of the humming. Rarity hadn't even bothered to take notice of Dash since she came in. "Rarity..." Fluttershy whispered, displeased by her own thought. "She's had a regular schedule and income for some nights," Fluttershy observed. "I wonder..."

"What? Rarity? Do you really think?"

"She's gotten upset at my efforts to tie up loose ends," Fluttershy explained. "She's had to go in a hurry some nights, and it's in a pattern, don't you see? It's always those same two nights every week, along with her other days. When it's not the other random days, it's those days." Fluttershy sat back. "I think she's hiding something."

Rainbow Dash considered as well. "...I think you should talk to Twilight soon about this."

"Really?"

"Yeah." Dash answered. "I think something's not quite right too. We need to find out if Rarity's being a snitch, and if it's not her, then we need to find out who. Twilight needs to know our concerns, she's the head after all."

Fluttershy considered this. "Alright, I will. She might not be happy though."

"That's alright," Dash assured. "If we're right, she won't be happy with Rarity, but glad we sniffed it out."

"Okay, I'll do it." Fluttershy sighed, hoping this wasn't the case, but almost certain she was right. She spotted Twilight walking out towards the kitchen.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

"Uh, hey Twilight?" Fluttershy asked as she walked up behind Twilight.

"What is it Fluttershy?" Twilight returned, not even turning around to look at her friend. She opened up the fridge, and pushed aside the wine that Rarity had sitting there, reaching for the alcoholic cider.

"I have some concerns about our business. It seems to go down to shit."

"You don't say?" Twilight sarcastically remarked.

"Our operations have been getting busted left and right. The guards knows what we're up to."

"Is that not what we want?" Twilight reached into the cabinet for a glass, and poured herself an entire glass. She took a large gulp, refilled it, and placed the cider back into the refrigerator. "The Guard is finally taking notice of us. Just like they should."

"Yes but, they've known too much. I do not think that this could be done without someone helping them. I've eliminated most of our loose ends, but still, something is wrong, and I'm seriously considering someone inside is behind it."

"Really, now", Twilight answered intrigued. "Who do you think did this?"

"I think it's Rarity, to be honest, Twi," Fluttershy replied.

"Oh..." Twilight said flatly in surprise. "Why do you accuse her, Fluttershy? Is she not our sister?"

"She's been leaving on the same two days of the week for the last month! At the same time, every week. She's also been having the same steady income." Twilight looked at her with disbelief, unsure of whether or not to be convinced by her friend. "Fine, if you won't listen, at least confirm her allegiance. Have Pinkie go with her to her next job," Fluttershy insisted. "I'm sure I'll be correct."

Twilight finished her glass of cider, and said, "Fine, but only to prove you wrong. Rarity has a job tonight. I'll go tell Pinkie." She walked out of the room, leaving Fluttershy behind as she approached Pinkie's room. She lightly knocked before opening the door anyway, finding Pinkie laying on her bed.

"Hi Twilight!" Pinkie exclaimed, jumping out of her bed to greet her friend. "What's up?"

Twilight stood stoically, used to the overabundance of excitement that her friend had somehow manage to uphold all these years. "Due to our recent string of bad luck, Fluttershy seems to think that one of us is being an informant to the Guard-"

"It's not me Twilight! I swear! I Pinkie promised, remember?!"

"As we all did, I remember. But it's not you that the suspicion is floating around." Pinkie looked at her inquisitively, urging that she continue. "Fluttershy seems to think that it's... Rarity." Pinkie over dramatically gasped, and jumped back a bit. "I would like you to go with her on her job tonight, and see what happens. If she refuses for you to come along, well then... we will know the truth of our sister. If she truly is a traitor."

Pinkie Pie had narrowed her eyes angrily, furious at the thought that Rarity may have even dared to broke a promise with her. "Okie-dokie, I'll do it" She replied to Twilight, and she promptly left the room, returning to Fluttershy out in the living room.

"So, what did she ask?" Fluttershy asked Pinkie.

"I have to go with Rarity", she answered. "Something about testing her. Oh well, I guess I can have some fun with it."

"Remember to watch her reactions, if she's sincere, she'll have no problem with it."

"Okay," Pinkie replied enthusiastically, heading toward Rarity's room. "Sooooo uh, hey Rares!" Pinkie Pie said, strolling into Rarity's bedroom. The beautiful woman sat at her dresser and vanity mirror, curling her long and purple hair.

"Oh, hello Pinkie," Rarity addressed her friend, continuing to do her hair, a hint of annoyance from the interruption. Plus, she needed to leave soon to meet Spike.

"Oh, not much. Do you have something I can wear?"

"Wait, what?"

"I was asked to come with you," Pinkie explained, taking off her pink shirt and starting to undo her pants, revealing black undergarments.

"WHAT IN GOOD GRACIOUS ARE YOU DOING, PINKIE!"

"I was asked, Rarity, you need to pay attention!" She proceeded to start to unstrap her bra.

"Put your clothes back on," Rarity ordered getting up. She couldn't allow her to come along with her to see Spike. "Just go, get out!"

"But Rares..." Pinkie tried to fight back.

Rarity's answer was only, "Go! Go! Just Go!" She pushed Pinkie out of the room in a hurry, before she could even get dressed. Pinkie was left standing half-naked, holding onto the bra over her breasts. She looked over and saw Rainbow Dash come out of her room and look at her. Dash whistled jokingly and laughed to herself as she went to the living room, leaving Pinkie's face turning red from embarrassment and becoming slightly angry.

Fluttershy came out with Twilight upon hearing the scuffle. Fluttershy and Twilight stood arms folded. Twilight asked first, "So?"

"She...she kicked me out", Pinkie answered.

"Told you," Fluttershy whispered to Twilight. "Rarity is going behind our backs."

"Dammit..." Twilight whispered. "She did betray us..." She stood there for a few moments, thinking of what to do. She turned to Pinkie. "You can go back to you room." Pinkie nodded and hurried, wanting to get away from the girls due to her lack of clothing. She turned to Fluttershy. "Get Rarity's ass out here," Twilight harshly ordered.

Fluttershy nodded, and she and Twilight went to Rarity's door. They looked at each other and Twilight nodded, Fluttershy proceeding to knock on the door.

"Coming..." Rarity hissed from the other side. Rarity swung the door open, and opened her mouth. Fluttershy instantly took Rarity by the neck, strangling her. When the latter tried to struggle, Fluttershy held her hand over her mouth, cutting off all circulation. She held just long enough to knock Rarity out.

When Rarity stopped struggling, Fluttershy lowered her and felt her pulse and nodded. "She's alive," she told Twilight.

"Good", Twilight answered. "Traitorous bitch..." she whispered, and spat at Rarity, the saliva landing in the latter's half done hair. "Eliminate her," Twilight coldly demanded. "Be creative though. Take away something of hers that she holds close. Be clever about it. Make it long, and painful. Let her know why she shouldn't betray her family. Rarity must pay for what she's done."

Fluttershy draped Rarity over her shoulder, leaving out of her room and towards the front door.

"Oh," Fluttershy started menacingly, "I have some ideas..."

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Rarity's eyes struggled to flutter open as a wave of disorientation washed over her. A light with the intensity of a thousand suns shone in her eyes, making her struggle to regain her vision all the more difficult. She could barely feel anything, save the weight of her pounding headache and the cold metal against her bare back. Wait, metal...?

"Wake up", she heard a voice say. Rarity's eyes squinted, trying to adjust to her surroundings. The light moved away for a second, being replaced by a person's silhouette. "I SAID WAKE UP!" the voice angrily spouted, and not long after Rarity felt a hand strike her face, causing Rarity to wince in pain and the throbbing of her noggin to increase.

Rarity's senses slowly recollected themselves, and her vision tuned into Fluttershy standing over her, in a yellow turtle neck and khaki vest and pants. Dash's racing garage...? Rarity tried to ask, quickly finding duct tape placed over her mouth. She tried to move one hand to rip it off, but it wouldn't budge. Looking over, she saw the hand was latched onto where she was lying. She tried to move the other, realizing it too was bound.

Rarity looked up, introducing herself to her stark naked body, her legs also strapped down in opposite directions, spreading them open. Naked? What...?

"You were an idiot, Rarity," she heard Fluttershy tell her. "Thinking about selling out your own family..."
How did they find out... Fear latched onto Rarity like white onto rice. Then...what are they going to do to me? Her mind crossed Spike. What was he doing? If only he could come save me, his damsel in distress...

Rarity muffled something but even it was unintelligible to her. Fluttershy turned around and smacked Rarity again. "DO NOT TRY TO SPEAK!" she yelled. Rarity held back tears, but that one hurt. Fluttershy then stepped aside and brought out a rolling table. Rarity saw several objects on it and squinted to see what they were. Screwdrivers, drill bits, different size wrenches and a tire iron littered the surface.

What is she...? Fluttershy contemplated over the large selection of tools lying in front of her. Carefully, she prodded the tire iron and picked it up. "Twilight was very upset you did this to your family, Rarity. She gave direct orders for me to silence you for good." No, no, no... Please, don't...we're friends, aren't we? Rarity just shook her head in terror as Fluttershy came closer with the tire iron.

Fluttershy held it at eye level and drug her finger across it. "However, Twilight did mention she wanted me to make it as slow as possible; 'be creative', she had said." Fluttershy's eyes glanced down to between Rarity's legs. "I've decided to have some 'fun' with it as well." Her enlarged emphasis on 'fun' caused Rarity to start trembling. In a flashing motion a hand came holding Rarity's waist down and the other thrust the tire iron in between Rarity's legs and right up her sex.

None were around to hear the muffled shrieks of pain cried out from Rarity.

Comments ( 14 )

First off with this update, I must say...
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There is a little something something I've written before but never published, and I'm a little nervous/interested to see you guises' reactions.

I again apologize for how long this took. Both me and We'll Never Know were swarmed with school and other matters. Hopefully the next chapter will not take nearly as long, since we do not anticipate it being very lengthy.

Anyway...
Enjoy this chapter! :raritystarry:

Shit just got incredibly REAL :twilightoops:
It was REALLY well done, you do a really good job showing us how the crime world works. I also loved the way you showed rarity's thoughts. Keep up the good work.

...Oh...FUCK.

Shit's about to go down.

Twilight is screwed

dude the wait it.......it was long but you sir have preceded yourself i liked it, your other fans liked it. so by the the power invested in me and by bronies everywhere i present you with this......


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Godspeed and please update a little sooner this time.
:moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache:

Woah, just Woah, talk about your intense tales. :twilightoops:

I must say You have got yourself a grand dark storyline here, with so much character focus in this. Nice update and great focus on Fluttershy and her actions, I can almost tell that she's be the first to go down within the next chapter.:fluttershysad:

Honestly, I never thought I see such a tale with so much emotional attachment to the past and so many questions raised....

1. How will Twilight take it when she learns that her own brother and her former "assistance" are after her ? :twilightoops:

2. If Fluttershy does go down within the next chapter, then who's next ? :rainbowderp:

3. While the past maybe the past, something tells me that may cause some problems when the final fight is upon them all...especially given Twilight intellect.:twilightsmile:

Please do keep up the good work upon such a great storyline like this one.

The wait was worth it! And such an intense chapter, especially the end!
I hope the next one is just as good if not better!

Aw, Dammit Joe, we need to fix something :facehoof:

Don't worry, just a single line :twilightblush:

You lost me on this chapter; it was unfortunately trite compared to the previous one. A bit bland too; when you went for 'X' it was just another item on a checklist being marked off, and when you went for 'Y' it was spelled out with glitter and followed by a slideshow.

Nothing wrong with that in measured amounts, but the scene where Pinkie exposed Rarity was simply too much.
-
It's certainly a good length and a decent read, but whoever proofreads this needs some practice. You don't really seem at ease working with darker material; not enough to make it appropriately brutal or flowery anyway. There aren't many sources for that in this fandom though, so not much can be done there.

Also, dat last sentence. You went full google translate on me there; the words are close and the idea is sound, but something went wrong.

Comment posted by Joe Amethyst deleted Dec 31st, 2012

FUCK! C'mon Spike!

Lost me. There are such things as alternate universes and such but the characters are nearly unrecognizable. Their dialogue feels like plug-and-play. Try swapping out names and places and you might just find yourself with another crime/police procedural/mystery novel at Barnes & Noble.

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