• Published 17th Apr 2018
  • 764 Views, 25 Comments

Is This It - PapierSam



Rarity and Rainbow Dash embark on many byzantine heists. Keywords: suspension of disbelief, context, and dramatic crackfic.

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Chapter 1: Lies on the Seaside

“I just don’t see why you can’t walk in there like you’re Rarity herself, in the flesh.”

Because he can’t know it’s me, Rainbow Dash.”

“Nnnneh,” Rainbow Dash grumbled, spinning around again in Rarity’s comfortable office chair. “Why can’t you just make this simple?”

“This is simple! The only tricky part is getting the timing perfect on sneaking past the camera-sweeping security,” Rarity explained with a casual wave of her hands—this was rudimentary levels of breaking and entering. “But as soon as I get past the motion-sensor laser system, I’ll send the smoke signal and it’ll be easy as bullion stitching!”

Rainbow Dash continued spinning, following the swirling patterns on the ceiling. “But…I’m tired.”

Rarity grabbed the chair by the arms and looked at Rainbow imploringly once the recoil passed. “Rainbow Dash, please. I have to do this, I can’t do it alone, and more than any of that, I can’t do it without you.”

With a skewed frown but little resistance to Rarity’s pleas and veiled compliments—everything sounded like a personal compliment when said to Rainbow Dash—she gave in. “Fiiine. But you’re gonna have to explain to Fluttershy why I can’t make our sleepover again this week.”

“Yes!” Rarity cheered, very literally and lad-ily jumping for joy. Then, coming back down, she added, “Again?”

“Yeah.” Rainbow shrugged. “I’ve missed the past few weeks.”

“It’s not quite weekly, then, darling.”

“I was tired.”

“Fair enough.”


Rarity liked to see her life through the lens of a teenage drama series—light-hearted, sometimes petty, and surprisingly good at handling darker topics.

“Rainbow Dash is going to miss another sleepover?”

“I’m sure you two would’ve had a gem of a time.”

Light-hearted.

“And she’s not going to tell me why because she’s mad at me and not talking to me?”

“She says you should taste the silent treatment for once.”

Sometimes petty.

“But you think she’s handling a deep-rooted energy drink addiction caused by the traumatising divorce of her parents, which she attributes to her own failure at meeting their expectations?”

“You can see it in the little moments she has.”

And surprisingly good at handling darker topics.

“But…” Fluttershy said after she had a moment to swallow it. “Not that I’m doubting you, but repeating it out loud…doesn’t something sound wrong with that?”

For a moment, Rarity suffered real-life lag, blinking at Fluttershy with a steady expression. “Why, whatever do you mean?”

Perhaps a teenage drama didn’t quite see its own flaws, though.

“Because that sounds a lot like the reason she gave me for missing last week’s sleepover.”

“O-oh! Well…” Rarity tittered a bit to hide her stutter. “It’s a, erm, recurring issue, see? Addiction is a lifelong battle.”

Fluttershy nodded slowly. “Yeah, but last week it was soda pop.”

“…She feels she really failed her parents’ happiness,” Rarity said, and hoped it was only to her own ears that she spoke with the same confidence as an old cat lady did about her independence.

Fluttershy seemed skeptical, if a little hesitant to say, “It’s just…something just doesn’t add up.”

Rarity could hear the casual background music slowly fade out. The next few words they would share would be emphasised, focused on.

“If there’s something she’s hiding from me…I’d like to know.”

Rarity looked Fluttershy dead in the eye, and waited for the words to sink and silence. A beat, two, and then:

“You know she would tell you everything," Rarity said soothingly. "And this is it: the truth.”

The tiny shifts in Fluttershy’s posture and the usually muted background sounds seemed to echo. The suspense—plentiful and paltry in such a production—hung between them.

With a small smile, Fluttershy said, “I know. I just wish she wouldn’t try to be so strong on her own about it.”

Rarity hummed in agreement.

“Could you just let her know that I’m always here for her? If she ever needs anyone to listen.”

“Of course, dear.”

“Thank you.”

And as Rarity watched Fluttershy depart down the hallway and head towards her class, she felt the camera hang on her falling expression.

“But if I lie about lying, then I’m telling the truth.”

A bell echoed as the screen went black.


She dubbed the plan Mona Lisa Lies.

Rainbow Dash thought it sounded impressively poetic. And super cool.

But then again, the way Rainbow Dash thought made the world very different than the way she acted she thought.

“Hey, I heard you were giving Fluttershy the silent treatment,” Soarin added, off-handed.

“Really? Man, I wish I knew earlier,” Rainbow Dash said. “I wouldn’t have asked her for lunch money today.”

“It could’ve just been a rumor. Those spread like the plague.”

She snorted in agreement, then continued. “You think she heard it too? 'Cause when I asked for money, she said, ‘Of course. You can ask me anything, you know?’.”

“Man, I dunno,” Soarin said as he stretched. “People need to be simpler. Like you.”

“Heck yeah.” And, as her ever-racing thoughts fought for the number one spot in her head, she said, “Hey, you think Mona Lisa Lies is a cool name?”

After a thoughtful click of his tongue, Soarin said, “Yeah, it’s got a ring to it. Kinda mysterious. What’s it for?”

“It’s a mystery.”

“Ha-ha.”

Rainbow Dash smiled; talking to Soarin was always nice, mostly because he knew how to listen. For her, there was always too much to listen to at once: all the other thoughts in her head, and all the other people’s thoughts – it made it tough to focus on just one at a time. And if she couldn’t do it well, it had to be an achievement beyond accomplishments.

But she could focus if she had to, and tonight, Mona Lisa Lies required her full fifteen-percent attention span.


“Man, what would you do without me?” Rainbow Dash said, smirking at Rarity.

“Yes yes, you were a hero in sneakers,” Rarity relented with the tiniest of smiles – now in Full Action Mode, her mind was buzzing busily with the task at hand.

“But like, did you see the way I just zshooped zhan bamed over the lasers?” Rainbow enhanced her story with intricate hand waving. “I was like, James Bond and Michael Jackson at the same time.”

“The electric guitar solo in the background really set the energy of the scene.”

With a sigh, Rainbow said, “Yeah. We should break into millionaire yacht parties more often. Corporate offices just don’t call for this kind of awesomeness.”

“Wherever we’re needed, darling,” Rarity said, distracted. She only realised she added, "It's all for Sweetie Belle, after all," when Rainbow Dash landed a firm hand on her shoulder and hummed warmly.

The two were quickly reaching a door at the end of the low-lit hallways of the ship. Rarity adjusted her Vaudevillian-style mask, its sleek black a stark contrast to her porcelain skin, and a shadow to her icy blue eyes. “Shall we?”

“Oh, right, business time,” Rainbow said with little investment. She too wore a mask, but hers a template one to match her waiter’s suit. With a lazy wave of her arms, she ushered Rarity ahead. “After you, m’lady.”

And as she opened the door, an orchestra began its Chopin-inspired ballad. Violins and violas sprang to life like the lights blinking in the gold of the chandeliers. Cellos hummed low, beside the small details in the curtain accents and tableware. Flutes spoke like the practiced laughter, the calculated dialogue.

The drum and the thump of footfalls; the harp and the clinking wine glasses; the chamber choir and the rich perfumes; the piano—the piano—and the glitter in the air. It all made the expensive textures and colours stand out in the elegance of the ballroom, an expression of aristocratic art.

It was truly a loss to the world that could only hear the small consort’s rehearsal, who could—by no loss to their merit—never recreate the masterpiece that sang in Rarity’s head.

Truly, all media had moments of gold that made it worth bragging about.

And Rarity was about to walk into the season finale’s second part.

“Show time, darling.”


It was hard for Rarity not get lost in the melody of the dance when it took her back to the easy happiness of rhythmic sewing patterns. Even harder not get lost in was Soarin’s focused green eyes.

Well, she wasn’t quite allowed to know his name, but a mask wasn’t enough to keep her from recognising the young man she had never met. And her identity to him was as secret as her motives, as mysterious as her air.

She had approached him like the evening breeze in summer: natural and pleasant, greeted with a tired smile of a stranger awake and lost. A veiled compliment, a reply that saw the purpose. From there, it was a dance of words that beckoned a dance of people. A delicate, expressive pattern of two red threads weaving together.

And the seamstress conducted it like a symphony.

“You look distracted,” Soarin said.

“I am,” Rarity replied, as much with her words as her dancing.

“Well, until the dance is over, I have no choice but to listen to you.”

Rarity hummed laughter. “Aren’t you unlucky.”

“I’d think all my luck went into getting this dance with you.”

An opportunity. “Isn’t that just it, though?”

“Hmm?” Soarin prompted.

“Our chance encounter, is it not but Destiny that could bring us together like this?”

He snorted, as if the irony was almost overplayed. “She would tear us apart.”

“Is there one of us she wants?”

“It’s what we have that she wants.”

“Love?”

That gave Soarin a pause. Then, with truly amused laughter: “Ah, don’t we all? But nay, she wants our fortune.”

And though she risked taking the wrong path out of the ones presented to her, she chose the least beneficial and most alluring. “Which is still the same: love.”

“Quite the dreamer, aren’t you?”

But was he caught in her dream, or seeing it with waken eyes? “Perhaps. But what would she want a fortune of measure for? Has she not her own?”

“She does, but her and her family and those in her interest want more, always more.”

“Greed is one seventh of our descent to Hell,” Rarity said, and part of her noted that hypocrisy had a bitter taste.

“Ah, isn’t that a way to see things?”

“Hmm?”

“No one here is quite dressed like they plan to go to Hell.” He paused, as if to replay what he just said in his mind. “I seemed to have taken the conversation somewhere else completely.”

“I think not. I think death and Hell is the only thing this party really celebrates.”

“Pray tell?”

“The masks hiding true emotions, the gathering of not friends, but those who were invited. Steps careful and philosophies not agreeing.” Rarity lifted her gaze. “This isn’t a masquerade, darling: it’s a funeral procession.”

He hummed—impressed and agreeing but in thought mostly, because something in her comment caught his attention—as the song ended. They bowed, and for a moment, they were equally vulnerable.

But as they rose, the light caught in Rarity’s eyes, reflected in its ice, and he was lost in the dream they dreamt.

A beat, two.

They awoke to the sound of a gunshot.


Rainbow Dash made it narrowly, sliding under the table to catch the rolling ring as they both succumbed to the gravity of a sinking ship.

“I better get paid overtime for this!” she shouted to no one as she rolled sideways to avoid crashing cutlery. “And I better not lose it to dry cleaning this suit.”

Clumsily, Rainbow managed to struggle to the edge of the ballroom and latched on to a curtain, swinging herself up enough to grab hold of the window ledge.

After adjusting her grip and securing the ring on her finger, Rainbow searched the panicked ballroom for the prettiest girl; in her opinion, everyone else was just flaunting what money could buy, but Rarity made her beauty with her own two hands and tons of make-up and fabric and time—not that Dash would ever say that out loud, and Rarity's huge ego didn't need to hear it anyway.

It wasn’t quite as easy as she had hoped, though; many people were still struggling to gain some control over where the ship tossed them, as it stood—she was proud to know, math could suck it—at an acute angle with the water.

Masks were thrown away, and hair was falling loose from its intricate patters, but that made it easier—Rarity would be the most stubbornly prim and proper to the very end, and this looked like Armageddon.

CATCH ME, YOU IDIOT!

Upon instinct and before she knew what was happening, Rainbow Dash grabbed a screaming, kicking Rarity as she nearly skated past her. With a wry smile, she helped Rarity take hold of the ledge.

“Eh, you seem a bit upset. Is it because of the whole drowning ship thing?”

“Like hell is it ‘because of the whole drowning ship thing’!” Rarity screamed, in part out of necessity of being heard and in two parts out of being upset ‘because of the whole drowning ship thing’.

Rainbow shrugged as best she could in her position. “I’m sorry, okay? I got distracted, and they almost saw me, and I had to create a diversion.”

“Oh, that puts things into context.” Rarity’s voice was dripping with sarcasm. “I hope putting the lives of the most elite business people in the world and their loved ones was distraction ENOUGH!

“Hey hey, I think we should focus on saving ourselves. We can make me feel bad later.”

With that, Rainbow Dash kicked the latch and pulled the window open. Helping Rarity through first, she gave the chaotic ballroom one last look before jumping out.

It wasn’t as bad as the inside of her head, she thought with a laugh.


With a spinning kick and a, “Take that, you ruffian!”, Rarity sent the last thug overboard.

“I feel kind of bad,” Rainbow said as they resumed their mad dash to the escape boat. “Drowning to death is one thing, but being kicked in the face with heels probably hurts a lot more.”

“In your words, ‘I think we should focus on saving ourselves. We can make me feel bad later.’”

“Right.”

The music was fast, dramatic, and exhilarating: a rapid drumbeat that seemed to speed up and force Rarity to fall to its pace. She now wore the ring on her finger and, just behind her partner in crime, saw the final setting for their scene.

With a battle cry, Rainbow leapt over the ledge and onto the small rowboat, submerging it unsteadily with her force. As she gained her balance, she spun around and threw her hand out.

“Rarity!”

Rarity came to a dead stop—which meant quite the obligation, given her heels, her momentum, and the wet and slanted deck of the boat, but she direly could not move a centimeter.

She watched Rainbow’s pleading expression, but the camera’s focus was on the man behind her.

“Is this how you want the dream to end?”

She snapped her head towards him. Of course he was even more handsome when he was slightly disheveled, hair falling into his glowing green eyes that cut through the night. There was a calm that followed him: the music halted, the panic silent, and just a gentle evening breeze between them.

“I never wanted it to end. I just had to make a better reality.”

He sighed, looking much older and much sadder than he had only an hour ago. “Then…I must thank you. I don’t sleep much, dream even less –”

She didn’t have much time, but then she didn’t have much resolve left either. “I never wanted it to be this way –”

“– but I think I liked what I saw.” He breathed in, gave a sidelong glance to the infinitely stretching sea and sky. There were no stars out tonight. “I just might choose to dream forever.”

It seemed all of Rarity’s grace in wordplay had escaped her. “Soarin.”

He looked back at her. She saw two stars now. “The ring looks like it was made for you.”

Absent-mindedly, Rarity touched the ring. She wanted to stay in the moment, at least until she could speak the words that needed to be heard. The ice in her eyes was beginning to melt, and without her mask, the mist would streak her face black.

She watched herself get wrenched out of the scene as if she was long overdue to leave. She felt the buoyancy of the boat, heard the shouts of her companion, but saw only a lone man on a sinking ship become smaller and smaller.

She watched until it was gone, and then sometime after.

There were no stars out tonight.


“You alright?”

“How can I not be? We secured the ring, saved what had to be saved, all according to plan.”

“Except for the sinking ship.”

“What had to be done was done.”

“I guess you could say the plan went ‘swimmingly’, then?”

Rarity finally looked at Rainbow Dash. Her partner in crime was glistening in sweat and ocean water, but she rowed the boat forward with stalwart determination and a self-assured grin.

She sighed, but smiled all the same.

“You alright?” Rainbow asked again.

“I will be,” Rarity replied.

A beat, then Rainbow groaned loudly, annoyed. “You always do this with every pretty boy. It’s like, no mission goes by without scenes like this.”

Rarity didn’t miss a beat; she could feel bad about it later. “It makes it all the more interesting. Besides, you know Sweetie loves a good romance.”

“We’re not prom queens, we're antiheroes!” Rainbow countered. “We do morally questionable things to protect what is objectionably right.”

“Like sinking an expensive yacht to steal a ring?”

“Like sinking an expensive yacht to steal a ring!”

And they shared a laugh under an empty sky until it was swallowed greedily.

Then, offhandedly, Rarity asked, “Do you think we’ll make it in time for school?”

“I dunno,” Rainbow said, just as conversationally. “I still have to make up an excuse for why I didn’t do that assignment Cheerilee gave us.”

“Would you like some help?”

“Mmm…nah. I’ll just tell them everything we did tonight, and she’ll probably write it off as my wild imagination again.”

“I suppose.”

“But I do need help thinking of an excuse for missing Fluttershy’s weekly sleepover again.”

“Infrequent sleepover, darling. And why?”

Rainbow’s eyes glinted with determination and arrogance. “Well, we’ve got to sell the ring without getting caught now. And there’s no one else you could turn to help but me, right?”

Rarity smiled a porcelain smile. “Wouldn’t dream of it.”


Fluttershy nodded slowly. “Yeah, but last week it was energy drinks.”

“…She’s so far gone, the poor dear.”

With a sigh and a knowing smile, Fluttershy relented: “I just wish she would come to me. I want to be there for her.”

“I’ll pass the sentiment on to her.”

“Please do.”

With a nod and a wave, Rarity and Fluttershy parted ways, the former giving her goodbye in the form of Calculus-related complaints.

The latter, however, came to a slow stop. She turned just as cautiously, and watched Rarity until her back disappeared behind a corner.

Fluttershy then looked at the glinting ring in the palm of her hand.

“But if I steal what has been stolen, I have still the sin of stealing.”


Author's Note:

It's not over yet.

Well, technically, this wasn't even the beginning. But it'll come, as will the end, but firstly comes more not-end and not-beginning.

So, more middle. Double stuffed.