• Published 1st Aug 2012
  • 1,476 Views, 28 Comments

The 'Mane' Problem - RazorSharpFang

Rarity has an ... issue with her shampoo... which has an issue with her. Panic ensues.

  • ...

Getting to the roots

//Chapter Two. Getting into the roots.

Rarity closed her eyes as she passed through the invisible boundary between the sanctity of her boutique and the outside. Her hooves hit the ground with a light thud as her muscles alternately tensed and relaxed as she parted the air standing in her way. She could feel the air moving past her; an afternoon breeze, carrying many scents; a sure-fire indicator of her new location. She came to a rest a few meters from her porch, refusing to delay the inevitable no longer. She opened her eyes.

Staring at her in the face was a pink pony, a VERY pink pony. A pony so pink, her name was Pinkie. “Hiya, Rarity! Nice dramatic exit!” She beamed a giant beam, almost as wide as the curls of her pink mane and tail were curled. Stepping back from Rarity, her grin turned into a look of wonder, her blue eyes dilating. “Ooh! You sure are dressed up! Going somewhere special?” She gave a soft wink, after she said ‘special’ giving the word an emphasis and hidden meaning.

“Oh, you mean this old thing?” Rarity gave her dress a very light nudge, taking care not to adjust it unnecessarily. “Just something I threw on for my, er, meet-up with Twilight this afternoon, for which I am already late, so I must be going now.” She stepped past Pinkie, who had a quizzical expression thrown onto her face. “You understand, don’t you?” She turned to Pinkie, stopping for a mere moment, anxious to get there A.S.A.P.

Pinkie’s face beamed once again, as she lilted her famous expression. “Okie dokie lokie!” and she bounced off into the distance, at speeds difficult for pegasai. A safe distance from Pinkie, Rarity gave a sigh of relief. Pinkie Pie, although hyper and carefree, was a discerning pony, and could tell when things were up. Being a good expression reader, Rarity could already see the suspicion oozing off Pinkie’s body. She quickened her pace, not wanting to stay outside for any longer than necessary. Not long later, she found herself outside of ‘The Golden Oak’, home to Twilight Sparkle, expert wielder of magic and science. She took a deep breath, and pushed onto the wood of the door, opening it.

“Twilight? Are you home?” Rarity called from inside, desperately hoping that she was here. The door shut with a click, as its counter-weights did its job. Responding to the voice of its beloved, a purple dragon emerged from upstairs, racing down the stairs at unsafe speed, topping down them in a rush, and falling to the ground in a heap. Rarity gasped in shock and concern, racing over to the dragon. “Oh Spike? Are you ok? You really should be more careful coming down the stairs… and slower.” She helped spike up using her hoof, showing real concern for her good friend. Spike appeared be uninjured, showing just a few misplaced scales from the incident.

“Um… thanks, I’m fine, Rarity.” Spike responded, his green eyes sparkling in interest. “What are you doing here today? Looking for a book?” Spikes eyes widened a bit more. ‘If only once, just once, she would come here for me…’

“Thanks, but no thanks, I’m here to see Twilight. Do you know if she’s here right now?” Rarity looked around, searching for a purple unicorn with straight blue hair, and a pink and purple streak along them.

“Did somepony mention my name?” Twilight asked. She was wearing a wielder’s helmet, steam emanating from her entire body, and dissipating into the air above her. She lifted her helmet, a smile forming on her face as she located her friend. “Oh, hi there, Rarity. Didn’t expect to see you here today. What can I do for you?” Her smile faded as she noticed more details about her friend. She was dressed pristinely, with an over-the-top dress that seemed too fancy for Rarity to wear to anything, save a special occasion. Not only that, but she looked nervous. Nervous and anxious and worried and troubled and others… Her eyes widened as she came to a realization. “Spike, I think you’ve been delaying the chore for too long now, can you get the extra packet of parchment from the store?” She took off her helmet and levitated to the side, where it came to rest on the wall.

“What? Now? But…” Spike stammered, looking for an excuse to stay. He turned around, and came to see Twilight’s expression. Twilight was making the most adorable puppy-dog-eye expression she could muster, and Spike was no match for it. “Uh, ok. I’ll go get it, see you later, Rarity.” Spike waved goodbye to the love of his life, as he exited, determined to get this chore done as quickly as he could. Twilight locked the door behind Spike, and slid a ‘closed’ sign onto it from the outside.

“Ok, Rarity. I can see that something’s troubling you, really badly.” Twilight caressed, putting on her ‘best friend’ voice. ”As a good friend, I want you to know that I am here for you, and you can tell me what is wrong, and I won’t judge you, regardless of what it is. Cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye.” She indicated the respective actions for Pinkie Pie’s ‘Pinkie Promise’ remembering to have her eyelid shut for the latter part.

“Ok, but promise you won’t laugh when you see this.” Rarity entreated, the nervousness getting through to her voice, which was squeaking ever so slightly.

“I also promise not to laugh.” Twilight added, nodding to her friend. Rarity responded, her horn lightening up, a soft blue glue enveloping her horn and her dress. The buttons unclicked, and her zips unravelled. Her dress came apart, piece by piece, revealing the cause of her troubles, exactly the same as it was, before she had put the dress on. The dress floated to her side, where it came to rest on the ground. Twilight’s mouth fell open at the sight, closing suddenly, in an attempt to supress a snort at how ridiculous it looked. Though valiant, the effort failed, a small snort escaping her mouth. Rarity’s face tinted a light pink colour, obviously annoyed at Twilight’s reaction. Twilight took a deep breath, and managed to regain her composure.

“Sorry about that… I’ve… just never seen a mane-style quite like that before.” She admitted, walking around Rarity, trying to get a good look at it, her eyes taking in all the details. “So, how did this happen? Did Sweetie Belle get your hedge-clippers?” Twilight asked, raising her eyebrow.

“Oh, heavens no. I would never let Sweetie Belle near anything like that.” Rarity answered, trying her best not to think about Sweetie Belle with hedge-clippers. “My hair turned out like… this… when I shampooed my hair using two different shampoos.” She indicated to her mane, drawing her eyes up, and then down again in sadness as it came into view.

“Huh… never heard of hair getting shorter like that before… Well, if your hair has just shortened, a simple mane-growth spell should fix it up really quickly.” Twilight perked up, her enthusiasm increasing all of a sudden. “I don’t even need to look it up, it’s so simple!” She clopped her hooves together to emphasize.

“Well, if it’s really that simple, that would be lovely. Thanks, Twilight. It’s good to know I can always count on you to be a good friend.” Rarity remarked, purposefully using those words to build Twilight’s enthusiasm up. She loves being a good friend.

“Alrighty, then. Here we go!” Twilight lilted, goaded into action by Rarity’s words of encouragement. Her horn lit up, Twilight closing her eyes lightly, and focussing energy into Rarity’s small mane.

Seconds pass…

“Twilight is anything supposed to be happening?” Rarity asked, slightly unnerved by the lack of activity occurring, despite the obvious magical power coming from Twilight’s horn. Twilight’s eyes jutted open, a look of confusion on her face. She looked up at her horn, and back to Rarity’s mane a few times, trying to sort things out in her mind.

“What in Equestria? What’s happening?” Twilight lifted her hoof up, nudging her horn. It sparked slightly in response, making a short buzzing noise. She took a few steps up to Rarity, and lightly tapped her mane, which also sparked in response. Twilight’s mouth disengaged.

“Twilight? What’s wrong?” Rarity’s expression turned more and more nervous, perhaps with a hint of subtle panic, which was not helped by Twilight’s expression of shock.

“I’m not entirely sure. It’s like the energy I’m pumping into your mane is being absorbed by something… Hold on, I’m going to try to overload it.” Twilight sat down, closing her eyes once again, this time, her brow was twisted into a frown, concentrating rather harshly. Twilight’s horn lighted up brightly, causing Rarity to strain her vision. Twilight opened her right eye, observing that no change was occurring, though Rarity’s mane was now glowing slightly. ‘I’ll show you! Nopony beats Twilight Sparkle in magic!’ She thought to herself, scrunching her face to new extremes. Her horn brightened even further, causing Rarity to lift her hoof up, and look away from the intense light. A giant band of white energy began circling Twilight’s horn, as Twilight lifted her mental limiter, eager to beat her foe. Too eager…



A giant bolt of magical energy connected Twilight’s horn and Rarity’s mane, showering the room in excess light, sparks exploding from the bolt, firing off in every direction. Both Twilight and Rarity are thrown back from the blast, which subsides in a few seconds, the echo from the building and their ear-drums both subsiding. Twilight was the first to stir, more used to being thrown back from explosions.

“Urgh… Rarity… Are you ok?” She squinted, her vision obfuscated from the blast. Though that didn’t stop her from seeing what was there, perched right on top of Rarity’s head. Twilight gasped, causing Rarity to look up in shock, still blinded from the blast.

“What? What is it? Did something happen to my mane?!” Rarity looked around, despite not being able to see anything. Twilight’s vision returned to her, a puzzled look appearing on her face, or perhaps perplexed would be a better word for it. Twilight stood up slowly, cautious to place weight on her hooves, and she walked over to the flailing Rarity, bending down, and putting a hoof on her face to calm her, which worked wonders.

“Your mane looks better.” She replied, a tired smile on her face. Now staring at a single object, Rarity’s eyes refocussed successfully, her vision restored. As Twilight stood up, Rarity drew her gaze to her mane, which she could see in front of her, dangling down, curling nicely. Rarity smiled in glee, and giggled. Well, she would have, if she had caught her breath yet, so she snorted sporadically instead. But something was off. Rarity knew her mane, and it was different, shorter. Not only that, but he curl was weighted differently, not quite curling with life as it did before, as if weighed down with its own weight. Ceasing her giggle/snort, she glanced over to her tail, which did like-wise. Her smile did not vanish from her face though. It was a great improvement, and she was happy with it. “Though, I have no idea whatsoever what just happened. The mane-growth spell backfired!” Twilight levitated a brown book from her shelf, continuing to ramble. “But it’s under the list of ‘Spells that cannot backfire’! How does that make any sense?!” Twilight threw her hooves up into the air, emphasizing how lacking she was in understanding the situation. She glanced down at Rarity, who was tilting her head from side to side, watching her hair fall down, and back, over and over.

Rarity suddenly snapped back into reality. “Huh? Oh, right. Thank you so much for helping me with this.” Rarity conceded, slowly getting to her hooves. “Admittedly, I got rather worried back, there, but you overcame, Twilight.” Rarity smiled at her friend who wasn’t smiling back at her.

“But I don’t even know WHAT I overcame! And I’m not sure I even overcame it! That mane-growth spell was configured to restore your mane to the same length that it was before, which it totally didn’t do!” Twilight declared, looking exasperated. “This isn’t what was supposed to happen, and I am NOT satisfied with the outcome!” Twilight closed her eyes, frowning again in light frustration, stomping her right hoof onto the ground, eliciting a loud thump from the impact zone. She opened her eyes to see Rarity folding her dress, and placing it into a saddle back, ready for departure. “What? You’re going? But your mane isn’t fixed up yet!” Twilight cried, not happy with the situation at hoof.

“Twilight, while I appreciate the offer, I find myself getting fond of this mane-style.” Rarity replied, joy in her tone. “But.” Rarity continued, turning serious. “Sweetie Belle is cooking, and I will head back as soon as I can, so I have a place to head back to. Thank you again, Twilight, this means a lot to me.” Rarity nodded at Twilight, levitating the saddle-bag onto her back, and unlatching the lock on the door. Just before she left, Twilight added something.

“At least tell me which shampoos you used.” Twilight asked, calming down from her near-hysterical state. Rarity stopped, and looked back, Twilight giving Rarity her sad face. Rarity gave a smile.

“I mixed Mane ‘N’ Tail with Fuente shampoo. See you later darling.” Rarity closed the door, missing Twilight’s eyes widening at the name.


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