• 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 2: After Everything

In the last chapter: Rarity and Rainbow Dash sink a yacht in favour of an emotional rowboat outing, and Fluttershy steps on stage.

In this chapter: Rarity loses it, Fluttershy finds it, and Rainbow Dash finds out.


Rainbow Dash hated weddings.

So reasonably, she was bitter at the idea that she was spending her Saturday evening breaking into one.

This was totally all Rarity’s fault.


This is all your fault, Rainbow Dash!

“Well,” came the dry reply. “I feel like blaming other people only causes problems.”

Rarity shifted back slightly, eyeing Rainbow Dash pointedly. “Well, when you’re this at fault, one simply has no choice but to blame you!”

Or we could, like, not?” Rainbow offered sheepishly. She then threw her hands up in the air. “Look, I messed up big time, I’m sorry. I’ll fix things if you tell me how.”

Rarity leaned back and sipped of her tea. The two were seated at a small table that sat on the roof of Sugarcube Corner, soaking in the last of the moonlight as dawn approached. Rarity quite liked the setting: she felt the tea, still steaming in the refreshingly chilly air, absorbed a particularly pleasing sweetness, there and then. It balanced out well with the aftertaste of a well executed tea hijacking.

It was an acquired taste, truly.

“I think I might have an idea,” Rarity finally said after the flavour set in. “But you’d have to do it yourself; I’m due elsewhere this weekend.”

“Where?”

“Do you remember that CEO son of that make-up company I told you about a while back?”

“Umm…” Rainbow made a thinking face; bless her soul for actually trying to remember all the boys Rarity talked about. “The one with the nice accent or the trinity knot tie?”

“The trinity knot—a dedication to that ilk shan’t go unnoticed! Well, I found out that he funds an underground gold business. Not quite illegal, but certainly not mentioned in the income taxes.”

“I’m still amazed at how you find these things out.”

Rarity brought the cup to her lips, but let it sit on her smile, looking all the more certain of herself. “Ah, I have a way with words. And breaking into bank accounts.”

Rainbow snorted a laugh.

“Anyway, I got into contact with him again, and he’s interested in the ring. I may just be able to rid our hands of it by Monday, and make us marginally more qualified to join yacht parties in a legal clear.”

“Technically, we got the ring through illegal means. Pretty sure that pans out.”

Marginally, dearest.”

“Well, when you put it that way.” Rainbow shrugged, satisfied enough. “I was starting to think we’d have to melt it to sell it and lose all that ten percent design value.”

“Ah-ah. You know me better than that.”

“Right.” Rainbow grinned. “That’s why you’re the talker, and I’m the action guy.”

“Precisely,” Rarity said with her own smile. “Which is exactly why I need your full cooperation for this weekend's plan.” She finished her tea with one more timely, dainty sip. “I’ll send the blueprints through sheet music at tomorrow’s band practice.”

Rainbow tipped her cup sharply and gulped down the last of her tea. “Right. Don’t worry, I won’t give up until I get your pen back.”

“Thank you.”

They stood up in sync and surveyed the sky as it began to slowly brighten.

“I’ll put this away,” Rainbow said after a moment, pointing at their table. “You go home and get your makeup done. Can’t rush your perfect three hour routine, eh?”

Rarity rolled her eyes, but smiled all the same. She waved goodbye, then scaled down the building with practiced grace. Though she wanted to enjoy a blasé walk home, they had spent a bit longer than usual on the roof and Rainbow Dash was more or less correct with her comment.

The thought of Rainbow triggering the alarm while putting the cups back in the café in a rush crossed her mind briefly, but she brushed it off quickly: Rainbow may be forgetful, but she was top notch at breaking and entering.


Rainbow Dash heard the alarm grow louder in the distance.

Breaking and entering just wasn’t her forte.

Well, it usually was, but Rainbow Dash had rushed because waiting was boring and she had typed in the wrong passcode because she was too tired to focus.

She heard faint static following up behind her; the security was catching up to her. With a grimace, Rainbow switched gears. She hadn’t wanted to, but she couldn’t escape with Rarity's pen without causing some distraction, and she was only good at causing huge, ship-sinking levels of distractions when pushed this desperate.

Rarity wouldn’t be happy, though.


“Oh, I’m so relieved you got my pen back!”

Well.

To be fair, it wasn’t sinking the ship: it was only forcing it to make an emergency docking. It still put everyone on board in danger and, better yet – or worse, depends on who’s asking – sending them into a panic.

In any case, Rarity didn’t have to know all the details.

“That’s good. I’m sorry I almost lost it.”

Rarity laughed, and Rainbow could imagine her on the other end of the line, waving a hand dismissively. “Oh, all’s well that ends well. I’m just happy to have it back from that foul Roseluck.” She practically spat the name.

Rainbow let go of one of the oars to adjust the Bluetooth in her ear. “I don’t think she meant to steal it. I let her borrow a pen from my pencil case and she must’ve liked yours. She prob’ly forgot to return it, that’s all.”

Rarity scoffed, taken aback. “Forgot? Oh no, darling, she knew the pen was valuable when she saw it. It just radiates that Paris-original crafted aura!”

“I dunno…”

“Even if! It’s bad manners to never return things one borrows. Such people are the worst part of school, on par with Calculus class.”

Rainbow shrugged, and winced at how sore her shoulders had become. “I just think it would have been easier to ask her for it back instead of grabbing it out of her makeup bag during a wedding –”

Because she stole it and had no intention of returning it!”

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes and mentally threw her hands up in the air – which she often did physically in response to Rarity, when her arms weren’t busy paddling her to civilisation. “I don’t get why popular girls can’t just use regular pencil cases! She wouldn’t need any of your pens if all hers weren’t for her eyes.”

“Precisely!” Rarity affirmed. Then, with a sigh, she added, “I truly hope I didn’t put you through too much trouble.”

“Nah, I wanted to go out this weekend anyways,” Rainbow said. “I had fun.”

“Thank you all the same.”

“No prob. So what’s up with you?”

Rarity let out a long breath. “Simply waiting to see the appraiser.”

“Cool. Did trinity-tie guy see the ring?”

“You never start out with the pièce de résistance, you know that.”

“I forgot.”

Rainbow heard Rarity smile—well, that sounded wrong, but that was the best way Rainbow could describe the faint, brief exhale Rarity made. It was familiar to Rainbow Dash, like the rhythm of rowing, and she knew Rarity was smiling that sharp-curved smile that made little corner-wrinkles on her face.

It came as a sort of breather to Rainbow – one she didn’t realise she appreciated.

“Regardless, it really is worth the wait, the way it glitters in the low light. And it looks so nice on me.” The sharp turn in tone from self-praising to quiet reminiscence didn’t go unnoticed to Rainbow.

“Hey,” she began, but Rarity cut in, her voice sterile.

“Rainbow Dash? Do you remember the ring glittering in the low light on Friday, during tea time?”

“No,” Rainbow said simply. She just didn’t notice these things like Rarity did.

“Ah. Well, I don’t see it now either,” she replied, voice just barely quivering.

Rainbow made a face, even if Rarity couldn’t see it. “Dude, what’s that even mean?”

“I don’t see the ring, Rainbow Dash.”

“Then turn on the lights or something, I dunno.” Given she was currently rowboating her way through the ocean, Rainbow really didn’t have much energy to decode Rarity's wordplay—not that she usually had much notable energy, but still.

Suddenly, Rarity answered with a slight crack of desperation in her voice. “I don’t see the ring because I don’t have it, Rainbow Dash.”

A beat, two.

Rainbow Dash stopped rowing. Rarity wasn’t joking.

Sh– ”


“ –it was right there the whole time, I’m certain!”

“Then when could it have gone missing?”

“I have no idea!” Rarity paced the room, running her fingers over her hair frantically. “But one doesn’t simply not notice their diamond engagement ring is gone!”

“Is it ours if we stole it?” Rainbow asked suddenly, skeptically, putting aside the trouble at hand for a moment.

Rarity wouldn’t have it. “MORALLY QUESTIONABLE, DARLING!” she seethed. But watching Rainbow flinch made her pause to gain her composure. “Sorry, I’m just stressed.”

“Hey, I understand. We just lost a very valuable and very stolen item. I’m stressed too.”

Rarity resumed her pacing. “What’s more is that, if someone finds it, they may trace it back to us. DNA samples, reverse tracking. They could follow the steps and link us to all our exploits.”

Breathing hastened, Rarity doubled her pacing speed. She started to resemble an overheating coal-engine. “In fact, what if they manage to trace it all the way back to our beginnings? What if the find out everything? WHAT DO WE DO THEN?!”

Rainbow grabbed Rarity’s shoulders firmly before she could crash. “Rarity, chill!” She stared back at her wide-eyed, so Rainbow continued. “Listen, it’s not gonna come to that. We’ve—you’ve—covered our tracks crazy well. 'Sides, even if worse comes to worst, we’ll make it through.” She grinned. “We always do.”

Rarity exhaled steadily, then mustered a small smile. “I can’t believe you expect me to be calmed by just that.”

“I can’t do much else, can I?”

“You can find the ring.”

Rainbow threw her hands up. “That again?”

“It’s somewhat of a big deal, dear.”

Rainbow Dash huffed and crossed her arms. “Well then, do what you do best and start being clever.”

“Since you asked so nicely…” Rarity sat on the edge of her bed, pulling her legs up and sitting cross legged. Rainbow Dash took her usual spot in Rarity’s office chair.

Closing her eyes, Rarity organised her thoughts, and heard the thinking music fade in. She began: “Firstly, the ring is missing.”

“Which sucks, because of reasons you already panicked over.”

“Quite. Secondly, we have no idea when the ring went missing, which is key information.”

Rainbow Dash spun around slowly. “You have no idea at all when or where you could’ve lost it? Did you ever take it off?”

“No, it was safest on my finger, which proved to not be safe enough,” she finished a tad sourly.

“Are we gonna consider ‘stolen’ a possibility?”

Rarity chewed on that for a moment. “What motive would anyone have to steal it?”

“You mean ‘what locomotive’?”

Rarity blinked. “Pardon?”

Quick as herself, Rainbow switched tracks. “Their motive: same as ours, maybe?”

“I hardly think anyone reasons the reasons we do, darling,” Rarity said, humoured.

“Then, someone prob’ly just thought it was pretty and snatched it.”

“I would have noticed immediately. It’s a heavy ring.”

“But what if…” Rainbow looked hesitatant for a moment, as if she really didn’t want to dismiss the possibility quite yet. “What if they were just really good pick pocketing and you were really distracted?”

“You seem very adamant on it being stolen.”

“Well, that’s most likely, right? And, I know ‘likely’ isn’t in our vocab, but –” Rainbow shrugged, as if it finished the sentence for her.

“If you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras...” Rarity started carefully, tucking a lock of hair behind her hair: her thinking quirk. “Then on that tangent, the culprit likely planned this, and planned better than us.”

Rainbow whirled around again. “So you think someone in specific is out to catch us?”

“It scares me to say it.” Lifting her head, Rarity pushed her hair back again. “I wish I could tell you it’s just a silly mistake on our end, but that’s quite improbable.”

“I did lose your pen,” Rainbow pointed out.

Rarity shook her head and replied with the sort of casual tone that dismissed any distrust. “That’s different; I know your work reliability.”

Maybe she was wrong, but Rarity was sure Rainbow spun faster this time. “I bet Twilight would’ve thought to put a GPS system on the ring or something.”

“Hey –”

“I’m just sayin’.”

But saying it at all brought them back to an unspoken concern, even if only Rarity noticed it. “Yes, well, I’m just saying that I’m glad fate brought you on this path with me.”

Rainbow stopped spinning, looking a little sick. “That was so cheesy.”

“It’s how I roll, you know.”

“I can’t believe you expect me to be floored by your lame one-liners.”

“Not much else I can do, hun.” Rarity shrugged, smiled, and when Rainbow smiled back, she decided to drop the issue—it would come back again, no doubt, but Rainbow seemed to be done with the subject; she only had so long an attention span.

Besides, one problem at a time. “As for the ring.”

Rainbow propped her elbow on her leg and leaned her head on it. “What’s the plan, Leader?”

“We cease and desist.”

“And?”

Firmly as she could, Rarity said, “And we both go back to a normal pretense, while I firstly separate us from any and all evidence.”

Rainbow nodded, almost solemnly. Then, in just as grim a voice, “And then..?”

It was selfish, Rarity knew, to find solace in Rainbow’s worry. Still, it was strengthening to know that, with all that happened thus far, they were both happily attached to their heisting business.

“Then I plan, and we reconvene after we know we’re safe.”

“Good,” Rainbow said, relieved, then leaned back lazily. Rarity almost made a comment on posture when she continued, “Are you sure that’s cool, though? I hate it when we make Sweetie Belle wait.”

Oh. Oh.

Rarity felt so bad it made her smile. The sort of guilty, cant-do-much-else smile. Guilty that, for all this, Rarity still believed that Rainbow Dash was mostly taking part for the thrill of it; that, after everything, Rainbow still put Rarity’s objectives first.

She really needed to give the girl more credit.

But she couldn’t let Dash hear that – Heaven knows whatever barely contained her ego would explode from it. “Oh, we’ll just pay her a personal visit to make up for it.”

“Ugh, but it’s so far and stuff,” Rainbow groaned in the same tone she did before giving into one of Rarity’s ludicrous demands. “'Sides, I hate downtown parking. They charge too much.”

“Oh, Mother told me the parking gate at one of the hospital’s lots is broken, so I suppose we could use that to our advantage. Not one of our biggest endeavors,” Rarity added with a wry smile, “but still.”

Rainbow Dash replied with a smile of her own. “Speaking of. You sure you wanna take a break? This is all about –”

“It’s not ‘all about’ one thing anymore,” Rarity said, reaching over to poke Rainbow in the shoulder, who winced. “Especially right now: right now, it’s about our safety, and our future. I’m –”

“If you say ‘sorry for dragging you into this, darling’, I’m so gonna puke.”

“I would blame that on the spinning or the seasickness. I would then tear you a new one for ruining my carpet.”

Rainbow reached forward and lightly fist-bumped Rarity’s shoulder. “We’re in this together, and I think it’s awesome that way. Cool?”

Rarity pursed her lips. “Only if you know that I meant what I said before: I wouldn’t want to have dragged anyone else into this but you.”

“Yeah, sure, deal. Now that we’re cool –” Rainbow stood up, stretched, then looked around the room with disdain. “Man, your room is so lame. Why am I even here?”

Rarity would miss their camaraderie, but she didn’t miss a beat. “Chemistry assignment, dear. Now let’s get this over with so I can head to the mall with Fluttershy.” She held her outspread hand in front of her, lifting her nose up with uppity. “We’re getting our nails done.”

“Gag.”

“Not on my floor YOU DON’T!


The jazzy montage music opened in full swing.

Rarity laughed—a joyful giggle that was background noise to the music—and lifted the delicate glass to her lips. The sunlight danced in the drink as if it were crystal.

From there, Rarity felt the world move in quick succession of picture perfect moments of her with her friends: walking down a bustling mall with Applejack carrying most of the shopping bags; sitting at an old-fashioned restaurant and sharing a meal with Fluttershy; badly hiding behind a tree, watching Twilight awkwardly attempt to communicate with the less-intelligent lacrosse team captain.

Through it all, the sun and the colours shone bright and beautiful.

For mid-October, it was very summer-ish.

As the second and final crescendo rushed in, Rarity pulled the glass away, idly stirring the shimmering drink and looking into the distance behind aviator sunglasses. She caught Rainbow Dash’s eye, who gave a quicksilver grin before spin kicking on her skateboard and vaulting right into the sparkling pool water.

Rarity breathed a laugh—genuine, relaxed, melodic—and placed her glass on the table with a musical cling.

A light lipstick stain decorated the glass’ rim.


Fluttershy really needed nicer lipstick.

Instead, she hugged her throw pillow closer to her. “I need you to be more punctual.”

Rainbow rolled her eyes as she rolled over on her back. “You suck the fun out of Truth or Dare, y’know that?”

“I know.”

“Uuuugh,” Rainbow groaned, squinting at Fluttershy. But, being upside-down, it didn’t do much else than make Fluttershy laugh. “Also, you’re drunk on juice. How did you do that?”

“I’m not –” she paused, and though no one else was home, she dropped her voice to a whisper—which, from Fluttershy, was as loud as still air. “I’m not drunk!”

“You’re giggling.”

“You’re funny!”

Uuuugh, again.” Lifting her empty glass up, she added, “Can’t we have something harder? Soda pop or somethin’?”

It took a bit of mental steadying, but Fluttershy managed a casual, “Too much is bad for your health, Dash.”

“I’d rather die young and happy than old and miserable.”

Fluttershy giggled again—maybe she was drunk on juice—and switched topics quick. “It’s my turn, right? So: truth or dare?”

A spark jumped in Rainbow’s eyes. “Dare.”

“I dare you to –”

“I swear if it’s ‘come to next week’s sleepover’, I’m gonna throw that pillow at you.”

Fluttershy stopped dead. A beat, then, quietly, “…come to next week’s sleepover.”

Rainbow threw a mermaid-coloured pillow at Fluttershy. “If you giggle I’ll throw another one.”

Except that Fluttershy was already in a childish fit of laughter by the time Rainbow Dash finished her threat. Rolling her eyes again and rolling upright, Rainbow reached for the furthest throw pillow—decorated with tiny bears in bee costumes—and chucked it.

It hit Fluttershy’s face with a soft thump and did nothing to stop her from doubling over and going breathless-red from laughing.

Rainbow grinned but shook her head. “I want some of what you’re having.”

After two failed attempts to control herself and speak, Fluttershy succeeded in wiping her eye on her palm and shaking her head in reply.

In one word, this was nice.

Fluttershy couldn’t remember the last time she laughed like this—Pinkie Pie was funny, and she wanted to laugh with her and the rest of their friends, but she knew if she did, she’d spend the next half year over-worrying about how loud she might’ve been, or how weird she sounded.

Often enough, Fluttershy caught herself in a mental pirouette of looking back and cringing at everything she ever did.

Which was why Fluttershy let herself go a little too much during these sleepovers; something about how Rainbow Dash just didn’t care enough to judge people, or even remember embarrassing things was comfortable to be around.

Maybe being old friends helped too.

Fluttershy would never say it out loud—she couldn’t weigh Rainbow Dash down with her own issues—but sometimes, she really needed these sleepovers.

“What’ch’ya thinking?” asked Rainbow, eyebrow quirked.

“Nothing,” she said, leaving worth bothering you with unsaid.

It was odd, Fluttershy would later realise, that Rainbow didn’t let it drop like she did most things. “You went from maniacal laughter to dead quiet. What’s up, dude?”

Fluttershy hugged her throw pillow tighter, starting to fold into herself. “I’m just glad you’re here.”

Rainbow pulled a face. “You said that already. Do you have, like, a limited number of unique words per day?”

“On Tuesdays it's twenty-one.”

“Ah.” But she didn’t laugh; instead, Rainbow’s eyes drifted off to a corner of the room. “Umm...listen: sorry, 'bout being so AWOL these past few days.”

Fluttershy withheld the urge to correct her; a three-month difference wasn’t worth interrupting her for. Besides, she was pretty sure she had told Rainbow she was glad to have her over about ten times, and she really didn’t want to give her a new reason to skip out again.

...But it was so nice to have another sleepover.

“I’ll try to come around more often. Cool?”

“Cool,” Fluttershy said, feeling really uncool. And maybe it was that, or maybe it was concern, or guilt that weighed heaviest of all that made her say, “Can I tell you something?”

“Anything,” Rainbow said, almost expectantly.

“Could you...No, I meant, if it's possible-um-I don’t mean to sound rude, but…” Fluttershy bit her lip unconsciously, and braved on. “Rarity is a great person.”

“Yeah,” Rainbow said with the kind of casual tone that suggested that it was common knowledge.

“But...and sometimes, that attracts the bad sort of attention. And,” Rainbow pushed up straight, focusing on Fluttershy now, and made an already difficult conversation harder. “...and, you've been hanging around her more—which is great, I’m so glad you two get along, but—and, I just don't want you to get-get involved in that kind of trouble.”

Rainbow Dash shrugged, but it looked taut. “Trouble’s my middle name.”

“I know, but…”

When she stood up, Fluttershy realised she was shaking. Different things were hard for different people; for Fluttershy, telling one friend that another was dangerous to be around was terribly tough.

Still, some part of caring about someone gave her courage—maybe Dash rubbed off on her a bit, too—to go to her dresser, open the second left drawer, and pull out the ring.

As soon as the light caught it, the glint was in Rainbow’s eyes. So was disbelief.

“Wh-where’d—” she drew herself up on her knees. “I mean, what's that?”

It wasn’t the smoothest catch, and it confirmed Fluttershy's fears: Rainbow was somehow involved.

“Rarity—she dropped it.” Rainbow opened her mouth to cut in, but Fluttershy continued. “I mean, she took it off for a moment, in our Calculus class, and she fiddled with it, but then the teacher called on her and she dropped it by accident. I think she forgot about it, so I-I picked it up, but I didn’t get the chance to give it to her.”

It wasn't the exact truth—Applejack would be disappointed—but it was close enough.

Either way, Rainbow didn’t seem to know the difference. “I can—like, you can give it back tomorrow at Calculus, right?”

“Of course, it's just that–it’s just—remember that transfer student I told you about?” Rainbow made a thinking face. “The pretty one with the bob-cut?”

“Oh, yeah, Destiny Bond.”

That Rainbow knew was another clue. “Yes, Destiny. Well, she had a ring–a ring that looked just like this—” Of the many things that she learned from Rarity, picking out quality jewelry from fakes was proving most important. “And she hasn't been back for a while, and now Rarity has the ring…”

Rainbow waited a bit after Fluttershy trailed off unevenly, but spoke when she realised Fluttershy didn’t know how to go on. “It's prob’ly just a copy. Well, no, Rarity’s no copycat, but she was probably inspired or somethin’.”

“I know,” Fluttershy said softly, dropping down in front of Dash. “I know Rarity too. She's the sweetest, most generous person I’ve met. But right now, I just have a reallybadfeeling about the things happening around her and— ”

Rainbow shook her head, and chuckled half-heartedly. “C’mon, 'Shy. It sounds like it’s just Prom Queen Drama at worst. Might as well say Pinkie’s part of some genetic engineering conspiracy.”

Except that Fluttershy didn’t just throw suspicion at anyone—well, ever. Not mysterious transfer students, not Rainbow’s mother, not even every person who bullied her got the benefit of the doubt.

Yet even after she told herself otherwise, after she spent the past week swallowing down the nervous choking feeling in her throat, she couldn’t shake the evidence that something bigger than themselves was happening with Rarity, and Rainbow Dash was getting pulled in.

Crazier things happened, right?

“Just—Destiny, and the ring, and-and Rarity has been so…caught up in something else for the past few months—Rainbow Dash.” Taking Dash’s hands, Fluttershy faintly noticed how rough they felt in hers. “I don’t want you to get hurt. Please, please, take care of yourself.”

Rainbow Dash watched Fluttershy with an unreadable expression for a long moment before something like—guilt? No, something like unhappiness—settled in her features.

Then, she grinned.

“Yeah, all right, I will. Promise,” she added quickly, seriously, when Fluttershy opened her mouth to ask her to. “I still think you’re totally reading too much into this, but…I promise.”

And when Fluttershy pulled her hands away a few moments later, leaving the ring in Rainbow’s palm, she swallowed quietly, closed her eyes, and breathed easy for the first time since finding it.

Sometimes, she really needed these sleepovers.


It wasn’t until after she nearly spilled coffee all over her chiffon shirt that evening that Rarity realised how much she missed Rainbow Dash’s stupid shock-scares.

“Easy there, Princess,” Rainbow said, perched on her office chair and grinning like the Cheshire cat. “Coffee’s making you jumpy. I recommend Sugarcube Corner’s Roof’s Tea with a hint of Morning Heisting.”

Rarity collected herself, placed her coffee beside her journal, and smoothed her clothes. Offhandedly, she said, “You know, I’ve been going through the reddest of fabrics lately. I’m thinking of –”

“Cut the code, we’re safe: I got the ring.”

Rarity made a mental note to later kick Rainbow Dash for being so smug at her expense. For now, she just grabbed her by the collar. “WHERE IS IT?!”

“Here, here,” Rainbow said, stuffing something cold into Rarity’s fists.

Cradling it like a child, Rarity brought her hands together and stared down at the pristine sterling.

She dropped to her knees.

Rainbow Dash fell at her side. “Oh, we’re starting with the drama this time?”

Rarity added throw high heels to her To-Do to Rainbow Dash list. “You idiot. You’re not the cool one out of us, remember?”

“I don’t even remember breakfast.”

Rarity smiled, breathed through her nose—the soft guitar melody started just after—and dropped sideways against Rainbow Dash. “Thank you.”

“If you were this torn up about it, you should’ve said so.” She shrugged, and Rarity’s head bobbed with it. “You’re not the cool one out of us, either.”

Rarity managed to laugh softly. “Where did you find it?”

“I dropped by your class while skipping mine and it was just there on the ground. Guess it pays to go to Calculus after all.”

Rarity found that beyond bizarre: Calculus may have been painfully mind-numbing at best, but she liked to think she was a pro at all times when it came to her business.

…Well, losing the ring in the first place put that into question, didn’t it?

“In any case,” Rarity continued aloud, “I’m elated to have it back, and beyond relieved to know it was just a stupid mistake on my end.”

“Sure. Does this mean we’re back in business?”

It sounded like someone else missed the way things were, too. “Oh, we’re back, baby.”

“Yeah!” Rainbow shouted, leaping like a spring. This ended in both Rarity falling to the floor with an indignant ‘oof’ and Rainbow slipping in her socks instead of landing and falling face-first.

With pained laughter, they helped each other up, and Rainbow possessively spun in Rarity’s office chair. Rarity sat on her desk, pulling her journal in her lap.

Settled, Rainbow tipped her head forward. “You’re almost out of pages.”

“Mhm.” Rarity continued writing until she finished her sentence, then flipped through the remaining pages. “I was thinking of using a new book before our next mission: a volume three of sorts.”

“You should’ve ended it at when we lost the ring. Would’ve been more of a cliff-hanger.”

“Perhaps. Also, I was thinking –” she held the ring up, and it sparkled in the low lamplight “– of giving this to Sweetie Belle when she grows up a bit. It probably won’t fit right now.”

“Yeah, we wouldn’t want it to fall off in class or something,” Rainbow said, spinning, and Rarity couldn’t see the expression on her face.

She smiled, though, despite the jab at herself. Things were back to normal—well, their normal—and they still had what kept them grounded and going. She followed the curls of her cursive writing down to the last few lines, where empty space beckoned ink.

She tipped her pen against her lip and looked up, distantly. It wasn’t until she mentally crossed out three mostly plagiarised closing lines that she realised she was watching Rainbow spin carelessly.

Something about the familiarity of that image brought Rarity warm comfort – like being wrapped up in a cozy blanket with a good book – and with it brought inspiration that she penned out.

You see, Sweetie, in life you’ll find that mediocre people often do extraordinary things; sometimes, it takes the form not of their grandest of arrangements, but their kindest of gestures.

It may be just another little thing, but one day we’ll add up all the little things together and see that they paint the biggest and most beautiful of pictures.

Simpering, Rarity dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s. She listened to the music ease out and end behind the soft thump of shutting her book, and absently ran her thumb along the cover’s edge.

Normal would be different for everyone – and teaching Sweetie Belle that could be Rarity’s normal.


Author's Note:

And so we find ourselves here.

I meant to have this chapter out a week ago, but it got written, scrapped, restored, redone, lost, found, then completed; in summary, it went through a lot.

Also, I figured it wouldn't hurt to do the intro bit at the top; a little something I learned from someone somewhere.