• Published 21st Aug 2012
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On Pins and Needles - The Descendant

Spike would do anything to stay near Rarity, to spend time with her. Even, it seems, suffer pain...

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Chapter 3: Sewing it Together

Chapter 3: Sewing it Together

“Now, it’s just peroxide, Darling, but it will sting.”

“That’s cool, no problem.”

“I just want to be sure that your poor back is disinfected before I put the bandages on.”

“Yeah, no, I get it… it’s fine.”

“It shall sting a bit, Darling. Are you ready?”

“Sure, no problem. Go ahead and pour it all over, I’ve got this.”

“You’re sure, Spike? It’s going to sting, you know…”

“Right, yeah, I’m good.”

“Alright then, if you’re ready. Here it comes…”


“Spike, Darling, kindly dis-attach yourself from my bathroom ceiling, your claws are damaging the stucco.”

They stood together before the door, Spike wrapped tight in his bandages, as they waited for Twilight to arrive.

To her surprise, Spike actually wrapped his arm around her foreleg as he looked at the door. She looked down to see him appearing very worried. Could Twilight, the dear Twilight she knew and loved, truly be that harsh a disciplinarian?

Rarity gulped a little. She, like Spike, would have to make a confession before Her Royal Majesty’s Designate Twilight Sparkle… one that would determine many things. She hoped that Spike’s apprehension was entirely as overblown and needless as the time, as Twilight had told her in secret, that he’d mistakenly believed he’d interrupted a romantic tryst between his caregiver and a local yokel.

If Spike’s reaction was warranted, then this whole thing could end badly… very badly indeed.

A soft knock sounded out at the door. She quickly looked down, gave him a reassuring smile, and called “Come in!”

The door creaked open to reveal a rather shell-shocked Sweetie Belle, the young unicorn seemingly awash with apprehension.

“Sweetie? Dearest? What’s wrong?” asked Rarity, motioning to her younger sister, lifting her hoof to her in surprise and alarm.

“Rarity…” breathed Sweetie Belle in a horrified tone, one of restrained panic.

Before she, or they, could even move… it was upon them.

“Hey everypony!” came the oddly familiar voice of Twilight Sparkle, apparently trying (and failing utterly) to sound like Spike.

Twilight continued her impression from behind the doorframe, trying to hide herself (and failing utterly) from the onlookers. Before her hobbled the playmate that Spike had fashioned from his own discarded scales, dancing about in the magic of the unicorn.

“I’m Spike!” Twilight continued in her poorly disguised tone as she bobbled the thing along in front of her, trying to approximate his little wobbling walk (and failing utterly). “I’m usually a good little guy, but sometimes I just don’t listen!”

Rarity pulled Sweetie Belle closer as all three of the onlookers had expressions of confusion, puzzlement, and disgust fall through them.

“I’m gonna just go and get myself all hurt… deedle, deedle diddy dee…” she began, once more attempting to mimic Spike (and failing utterly). As Twilight carried the stuffed doppelganger forward in her magic, she finally noticed the looks across the faces of the two other unicorns and the bandaged dragon whelp.

“… dumm dee, dumm… deedle, dee… dee… what?” she asked as the realization sank into her that her little marionette was not being well-received, “What? What! I-I thought that it would be… funny? I guess?”

“Twi,” said Spike, pinching the bridge of his nose as Twilight dropped his scaly counterpart, “seriously, we’ve got to work on your sense of humor.”

“When Sweetie Belle told me that you got hurt,” Twilight said, brushing away his criticism, “I was so worried! You know that I had told you about your new scales, you knew about our plans for after your molts…”

Rarity watched Spike slink down into a pose of supplication, perhaps anticipating some form of discipline, one that he knew he rightly deserved.

“But, Sweetie Belle told me how scared you were,” Twilight said, her tone dropping down into one that was far more concerned and gentle, “and I wanted to think of something… something to show you that it was okay. It’s going to be okay, Spike.”

Rarity watched as Spike lifted his head. As she followed them with her eyes she saw Twilight looking back at Spike, saw how much concern floated above her friend. Even as she looked on the features of the other unicorn they became softer, and she lifted her hoof to him.

Spike took two hesitant steps towards Twilight. Rarity watched as Twilight lifted her hoof to him again, showed him that everything was indeed alright. To Rarity it seemed as though a world of worry left Spike, as though his fears about his judgement had been cleared away. He smiled as though oceans of apprehension had washed out of him, took a few long strides, and leapt up into the offered embrace.

Something moved through Rarity in a happy wave as she watched Spike lean into Twilight, as he hugged her and said that he was sorry for not listening, for doing something that he knew would get him hurt.

“We make mistakes, Spike,” Twilight said, using her magic to peak beneath the bandages even as she still embraced him, “and it sure looks like you’ve already learned yours, I see. You’ll... huh, you won’t be swimming in lava any time soon, that’s for sure.”

Rarity felt herself becoming just a touch jealous of Twilight, able as she was to embrace him for this long. Twilight, she knew, was free to offer him the reassurance of her touch. But Rarity was happy. She was happy that at least his immediate worries were gone, lost in the warmth of the lavender coat of the pony he knew best in the world.

As Rarity looked on, she knew that Twilight was showing him that he was forgiven. His caregiver, sister, mother, and friend was showing him that she worried about him and loved him.

At that, at least, Twilight had succeeded completely.

She hoped that Twilight would be just as understanding with her.

Together the four sat in the small shelter of the Inspiration Room, enjoying a late lunch made up of yet more snacks that Sweetie had taken upon herself to prepare.

Rarity watched her little sister serve the three others, and then herself, just as a lady would. She smiled and gave a small laugh of approval. True, Sweetie’s snacks were a touch lop-sided, and perhaps the presentation could have used a touch more panache, but she was so proud of her.

She smiled to Sweetie, and her sister answered her in the same way. Their relationship had grown, that the secrets of cooking and poise that she was teaching her sister were showing. She knew too that the sense of fun and freedom that her sister was teaching her in return were evident as well.

She had changed, she was a better pony now. She wondered if she’d even recognize herself from Twilight’s first slumber party. Her relationship with the two friends at the table, to Spike and Twilight, that had made it all possible.

She moved now to test that relationship, see if there had indeed been a breach, one for which she took the responsibility.

“Spike?” Rarity whispered. “Would you please keep Sweetie company as I show Twilight something interesting?”

“Sure! Oh, ummm, I mean, of course,” replied the whelp, smiling at her once more as the familiar expression fell across his face.

You’re looking at her again, she thought. What does she look like at this moment, that mare that you think you see? Is she beautiful, Spike?

“Twilight?” she asked, painting calm certainty into her face. “May I show you something interesting in the kitchen?”

“Oh, certainly,” said Twilight, setting down her cup of tea and standing to follow her graceful friend. Together they walked the short distance to the nearby kitchen.

As she entered the room she cleared her throat, and as she did the feeling of being on pins and needles went through her again. It remained as she stood before a familiar appliance.

“This,” she began, “is my icebox. Isn’t it interesting, Twilight? I was told that it’s the top of the line, at least it was three years ago when I purchased it. I found it fit the décor of the room nicely.”

Twilight arched her eyebrow, eyed the icebox, and turned back to Rarity with some doubt. “Ummm, yeah,” she said, “That’s… interesting?”

“I’m glad you think so, Darling,” Rarity said, tossing her mane, “that makes it so that we’ve actually seen something interesting, and so therefore I’ve told the truth to that fine young man out there…”

Rarity nodded towards the door, the two listening as a few happy sounds rose from where Spike and Sweetie still sat speaking.

“… and that means I can now move on to why I really asked you back here, out of earshot, as it were.”

Twilight turned to Rarity, tilting her head and seeking her friend’s eyes. Rarity, though, stared at the icebox door once more, trying both to find the words she needed and the strength to say them.

You must tell her, Rarity, the unicorn told herself as she bit her lip, No secrets, no lies. That can only make things worse. Keeping this a secret would make it wrong, keeping it a secret would make it shameful. If you honestly believe you were doing it for him, then you must tell her…

“Twilight,” she said meekly, “when Spike was in the bathtub, we were using the cold water to help stop the bleeding, as I said. Now…”

“That was a good idea!” Twilight interjected, stealing some of Rarity’s resolve. “I’m impressed that you knew to….”

“Yes, thank you,” Rarity interrupted, fighting to keep her momentum. “Well, Twilight, dear, you see… he got so cold. So very cold, Twilight, so I had him… had him lean into me, so that I might keep him warm.”

“Uh huh,” answered Twilight.

Rarity waited a few moments, swallowed again, and then continued.

“I had him… hold me, so that he might keep warm,” she said, “ and, even after the water stopped, as he was still cold, he held me… and I held him, you see.”

“Okay,” said Twilight.

Rarity stared, blinked, wondering if Twilight could really be missing her meaning.

“Even, even after he was warm, after he’d stopped trembling,” she continued, her voice beginning to rise, “I let him hold me… even though, it wasn’t absolutely necessary…”

“Were you uncomfortable with him showing you that much affection?” Twilight asked, her expression barely changing.

“No!” Rarity called, immediately placing her hoof to her mouth. After she regained herself she continued. “No, not at all,” she said, looking deep into Twilight’s eyes, “and that’s… that’s what I need to tell you. That I-I… I appreciate his affection, and that I did let him show it. That I showed it to him.”

Twilight’s mouth came open in just the slightest, and Rarity’s eyes dove for the floor.

“I… I was just so worried over him, and I wanted him to be all right! He’s… he’s dear to me, Twilight, and I… I just…”

Twilight Sparkle was generally considered to be among the most educated and intelligent unicorns that her friends knew. She was generally respected as a learned individual.

There was even a certain owner and operator of a noted doughnut shop in Canterlot who frequently referred to her as “a smart cookie”.

Not much would escape her grasp, and even fewer things than that would get past her analytical eye.

One would wonder then how something as obvious and as the growing relationship between her little summoner and her stylish friend, the one that had changed so much over the last year, could escape her notice.

The simple answer, of course, is that she did know about it.

The simple answer is that she understood.

Rarity’s mind came alive with the soft feel of Twilight nuzzling beneath her, the touch of the other unicorn falling through her in the most unexpected way.

“You wanted me to know,” Twilight said, lifting the head of the surprised mare across her shoulder, “because you never want to hurt him, that you want me to know you don’t want to hurt him… in any way…”

“Twilight,” Rarity breathed.

Twilight gently rocked her friend and let the feeling of her coat sit against that of the other unicorn.

“I-I just don’t want, want to do anything… improper. Not that I would!” stammered the elegant mare, “Or that I’d think of it, but… I don’t want to turn him away either, or make him feel… Oh, Twilight, he hurt himself, for me! To be with me! What kind of boy does something like that? Why?”

Who does he think he sees when he looks at me? Who is that mare? Why has she earned his affection? His… love…

Twilight rocked Rarity that much longer, the two mares standing in the silent kitchen and swaying together as voices filtered in from the nearby room.

“What kind of boy?” answered Twilight softly, lifting her head from across Rarity’s withers. “Let me show you…”

Twilight turned towards the door. Lifting her hoof she beckoned Rarity to come look, and there the two unicorns stood watching the children who sat at the table in the Inspiration Room.

Together they watched as the two young creatures embarked upon an impromptu science experiment, the children giggling as Sweetie arranged the cups and Spike used a tiny touch of his fire to ignite a paper napkin.

As Sweetie applauded Spike looked on as the air in the glass was consumed by the flame, and the glass filled itself with water through the force of the vacuum alone.

Together the two celebrated their victory, jumping happily claw-in-hoof as they sat unknowingly under the gaze of the unicorns.

“The kind of boy with a great big heart,” said Twilight softly, whispering into Rarity’s ear. “One who wears his heart on his sleeve. Well, heh, if he had sleeves, of course.”

Twilight and Rarity turned back into the kitchen. As they did Rarity saw Twilight smile slightly. Even as she did she became more introspective.

“You know that he hugged Applejack over and over at his birthday, and you should have seen him when we went to find Fluttershy, before the hydra showed up. He’s always been my missing gregarious part, at least until I met you and the girls. He’d always go to parties in Canterlot on my behalf, and he’s always made friends so much easier than I have. He’s just that kind of guy… he’s just a great little guy…”

Twilight turned back to Rarity.

“He loves us, worries about us, wants to be there for us,” she said. “He tries so hard. He shows us all affection, in whatever way he knows how. He always has…”

Twilight paused a moment, and then spoke a truth that Rarity had forbidden the boy in the room beyond to speak.

“He loves you, you know. I mean, more so, than the way he loves the others…”

Rarity took a small breath, and once more she found herself looking into Twilight’s eyes.

“I know. I do know, and I don’t let him tell me. I don’t let him tell me because, because…”

“Because you don’t want to hurt him,” Twilight concluded. “You don’t know how to answer him… because he’s still just a kid…”

Rarity’s eyes misted over. Even as they did she felt Twilight’s nuzzle reaching for her again, and she fell freely into her touch.

“He’s dear to me, Twilight. His affection means something to me. I’m sorry, but it does. I don’t want to hurt him, I don’t know how to reply…”

A few tears began to roll down her face. As Twilight rocked her once again she friend moved to assuage Rarity's fears.

“I trust you, Rarity,” Twilight said, leaning deeper into the purple mane of her friend, “You are dear to me, and I love you. You’re one of the best friends I’ve ever had. I trust you. I know you won’t go anywhere with his love that would hurt him, that you won’t misuse it. I believe in you, I know who you are inside…”

Oh, Rarity mused as she wiped her face along Twilight’s shoulders, another resident of the library who sees that mare? I presume such insight must be a family trait, then. I wonder if the Owliscious and the fledgling share in it as well…

“No, I wouldn’t,” she said, lifting her bleary eyes and looking into Twilight’s face, “I’d not do anything that changes the way he… sees me. I do love his little signs of affection though, I must admit. I do so enjoy the way your great little guy is so free with his feelings…”

Twilight laughed a little, lifted her hoof to wipe the tear from Rarity’s face.

“I do too,” said Twilight, “He’s such a great little guy… our great little guy.”

With a shared whimper the two mares smiled and rested their heads together once more as the small, happy sounds continued to lift from the two children in the room nearby.

“I do like your icebox, Rarity,” said Twilight with a tiny laugh that got lost in sniffle.

"Thank you, Darling," Rarity answered, a smile seated on her face and a tear escaping her eye.

“But, but I already said I was sorry, Twi,” spoke Spike earnestly, trying to turn and look up to her as she readjusted some of his bandages.

“Yes,” she said, “but I want to hear it. Oh, and we are going to talk about some appropriate discipline when we get back home. You did intentionally ignore our ‘Post Molt Contingencies’, after all.”

Spike’s expression deflated again, and he ran his hands up and down his arms.

“I’m sorry,” Spike replied. “Rarity, I’m sorry that I lied to you. I’m sorry that put you through all of this.”

Rarity smiled down at him. “Well,” she said as she helped Twilight put the bandages back in order, “we do make mistakes, and we’ll know better in the future, shan’t we?”

Something hung there in the air as they wrapped him once more, as the faintest of red marks appeared against the bandages and began to dry into the purple she had seen earlier. She waited, knowing full well what fear still hung upon him.

“Rarity?” Spike asked, still rubbing his arm with his clawed hand. “Is that true, about the future? Am… am I still allowed to come here, even after all of this?”

He looked up to find her staring down over him with a smile. Her purple mane, uncharacteristically loose after the odd day that had developed, fell around him as she looked him in the eye.

“You are always welcome here, Spike,” she said with a soft giggle, “A lady appreciates the presence of a gentleman, you know.”

“A lady…” he answered once again. His expression went soft, and once more she basked in the feeling of sitting in his gaze.

Does she look back at you in a way that you adore, Spike? How do you know that she appreciates the way you look at her? How did that mare earn your adoration, Darling?

“Alright Spike,” Twilight said, turning through the doorway of Carousel Boutique, “let’s get you home and…”

Twilight stopped. As she looked upon them Spike’s arms came up slowly, but quickly retreated. Soon he began to lift them again with small motions, almost as though he was unsure. It took Twilight a second, but as she saw Rarity making small motions of her own she quickly realized to where they were moving.

Twilight stood standing in the doorway as Spike and Rarity embraced one another, the ambient sounds of the streets of Ponyville sitting around her as the light of the afternoon sun played in the windows of the boutique.

Rarity watched and waved as Twilight and Spike prepared to leave.

She suddenly realized that Sweetie Belle wasn’t at her side. In fact, she hadn’t seen or heard a word from her sister since the group had returned to the doorway.

“Sweetie?” she called as she turned and looked across the room. “Come and say goodbye to Twilight and Spike, Dearest…”

As Rarity found her sibling, the face of the older unicorn mirrored the disgust and horror that sat upon the face of her younger sister. Rarity’s magic wrapped around her sister, freeing her from the awful enchantment and pulling her away from the scene that had frozen her in disgust. With that Rarity’s magic opened the door and her voice rang out into the street.

“Twilight!” she desperately called, waving the doppelganger made of Spike’s molt above her. “You will be taking this, won’t you? Please?”

Completing the outline of Sweetie Belle’s dress took a few minutes longer than Rarity had anticipated. As she looked down at the pincushion that she wore wrapped to her hoof she realized that she hadn't enough pins to continue her work.

She sighed as she realized there was only one place where she could find more. She looked up to see her sister smiling at her with a devilish grin. What could she be thinking?

“Sweetie, Dearest?” she asked, lifting the form of the dress from her sister, “Would you perhaps do me a favor? Could you go straighten up the kitchen? I have to… well, tidy up the bathroom.”

Sweetie began to step down, her knowing smile still spread across her face.

“Oh? And what is it that has you smiling so, Sweetie?” Rarity asked as she gently folded the nascent beginnings of the dress over her outstretched foreleg.

“Heh, Rarity, do you know that Spike loves you?” Sweetie Belle sang out, her characteristic squeak accenting the crucial word.

Rarity tried to hide her surprise, not even turning to look upon Sweetie’s wide grin. Still, she had given a small jump. Even as she went through the motions of gathering up the rest of her materials, she prepared the best way to phrase what followed.

“Yes, I’m aware that he’s fond of me, Sweetie,” she quickly stated before attempting to change the topic, “Did you two have fun with your little experiment? While I’m not fond of you playing with an open flame, I did see that you were learning about…”

“Do you lo…” Sweetie Belle began. She was made to stop very quickly, as in one quick motion Rarity’s hoof had sat gently but firmly against her lips. A long glance fell between the sisters.

“Please do finish up cleaning the kitchen, Dearest,” Rarity said as she lifted her hoof from Sweetie’s lips. She ushered her sister along, watching the bouncing steps of the foal as some small song began to rise from her sister.

After a few moments, Rarity sighed once more and climbed the stairs.

Rarity looked down over the small pile of pins that sat in the sink.

Little lines of purple traced the bowl of the sink, marking where they had rolled along before settling to a stop. Rarity found herself pondering what part of dragon’s blood made it change color from the deep red of earlier to the purple that sat before her.

Oh Spike, you poor dear, you poor darling boy, she thought, looking from the deep purple of her own mane to that of the pool at the bottom of her sink. You even bleed purple, in the end. Does she know how much you love her? What has she offered you in exchange for such devotion?

She opened the tap, and as the sound of the warm water splashed through the bathroom, she carefully washed each pin, letting each one rest upon the damp remains of the towel, the one that was now forever stained with his blood.

He did this for her, she told herself as she scrubbed away the last of the stains upon the porcelain. He did this for that mare, that beautiful, wonderful, generous mare he thinks he sees. He hurt himself just to be near her, to be close to her.

She looked over the bathroom one last time, and as she departed to the Inspiration Room that thought lingered in her mind.

He loves her, wants nothing more that to be with her… make her happy. Why? What can he possibly see in her?

As she sat herself down at her sewing machine, Rarity began to attempt to work upon the dress, but soon she found that she had already stopped and was simply staring at the wall. She began again, looking over the design once more before squinting past the glasses that sat upon her nose and concentrating on the work.

It was useless. In a few moments, she found herself simply staring at the wall once more as the sewing machine slowed to a stop and the glasses hung limp upon her face.

She’s given him practically nothing! She’s taken, well… asked for, in all fairness, far more than she’s given him!

Rarity rested her head in her hooves, unknowingly jarring her glasses even farther askew. As she looked up to the sewing machine again she sat for another long moment.

He goes through that just to be with that mare… he just wants to be with her, be near her. He doesn’t want anything from her, there’s no price he wants for his affection. He doesn’t want anything other than to be with her. He’d even risk hurting himself just to spend time with her… that mare he thinks he sees when he looks at me…

He loves her.

He loves me.

As Rarity wiped her hooves across her mouth and across her eyes, she knocked the glasses from her face and sent them falling to the floor. Inside Rarity different emotions flew around, each one bouncing off of her perceptions.

She stared down at the sewing machine, simply gazed over the embossed steel name of the manufacturer as remembrances drifted through her.

She’d had stallions profess their love to her over and over. She’d had colts spinning in the twist of her elegance since she was in grade school. Candy, flowers, cards… jewels rare and valuable. These had all been heaped upon her by stallions who had lied to themselves… or who had lied to her boldly. “Love”, they would say, and she would pretend to believe them.

It was not love that had made them play their games. It was lust. Desire. Desire to possess her, to have a beautiful mare. These things she had come to accept as a parody of love. These things she had learned far, far, far too early to take in place of what her heart truly demanded, what it longed for.

And she had played the game right back at them.

She had batted her eyes at them, pouted her lips. She had taught herself to paint the farce, to use her charms to catch the eye of stallions in high places and with "the right contacts". She was just as guilty as they were. It had been a lie shared between her and the willing participants in that mockery of love, the parody of love that fell far short of the romantic notions she had once held.

That was over. That was gone. That Rarity, long ill and fading, had died in a fit of rage at the gala. That Rarity had drowned that night in the indifference of a prince whom, if the rumors were correct, had (at that time) been more concerned with what went up his nose than what sat before his eyes.

This Rarity had no need for that, for any of that.

This Rarity had no need for that because Spike loved her.

“Here!” she cried aloud, waving her arms dramatically, invoking the voice of the cruel reality. “Do you wish to finally have someone in your life who loves you for who you truly are? Someone whom looks upon you in adoration for doing nothing more than being true to yourself? Someone who sees not the flaws, but what lies beneath? You do? Well, here!”

Rarity spun from the chair. She stood upon her rear legs, placed the back of her foreleg to her forehead. With an impassioned moan she collapsed upon her bed. There she continued to play the part of the cruel fates that tormented her.

“Do you wish for such a stallion? Do you truly wish for such a man? One who loves you without condition?” she continued as her legs kicked at the air. “Not asking for much, are we, Rarity? Here then! Have one!”

“Oh! By the way, Rarity, you old dried-up Jezebel,” she choked as her body deflated, “he’s a boy of about twelve… and a lizard. Surprise.”

It was unfair. It was utterly unfair.

Rarity blinked her eyes, forcing the water from them before they could become tears.

She focused on her breathing. She let her head settle farther back onto the bed for an instant before sitting upright.

There, upon the nightstand, stood the black velvet box.

Rarity gently lifted it from the table, held it to her chest as though it were a sacred relic. She opened it slowly.

She had a dozen names for the fire ruby. The Heart’s Desire, the Heart’s Afire, the Light of Love, each one sappier and less easily explained than the last. None of them came to her now, though. Now she stared down into it as it sat perfectly in the gold setting, shining in the soft velvet lining of the box.

Hello, she said, staring into the eyes of the mare who was reflected back to her in the shimmering surfaces of the ruby, Would you, by any chance, be that mare, the one that Spike sees? The one who has earned and deserves his love? Are you the mare who can be trusted with his perfect love? Are you the mare who merits the love of that child, innocent and pure as it is?

If you are, please, please, please help me become you… please, oh please I beg of you… please…

She studied the fire ruby some more, once again pondering the very minutes that it had shown her how deep and real his love for her was… how he’d given it to her of his own free will and without expectation of reward. How he’d been dragged back from the monster he’d become when she had placed her hoof upon it and refused to surrender it.

The vision returned to her as she stared deeper into the ruby. Once again she saw him begin to tell her of his crush, to make the deliberate, certain steps towards professing his love as they plummeted through the sky together.

It was not a lie. There had been no other motives. It had been real. It was an honest, earnest desire to let her know what he felt.

Once again she felt herself place her hoof to his lips, let him know that she knew.

It seems there must always be something between us, Darling, she told herself as she ran her hoof across the surface of the ruby, because you know how I am with precious things.

No, she could not have let him say it then. She cannot let him say it now. She could not because it terrified her. If he had said it, what other choice would she have had but to tell him the truth?

If she told him the truth, then his heart would be hers, and that truly and utterly terrified her.

How easily he’d simply give it to her, let her claim it forever. Terrifying, completely and absolutely terrifying. A majestic, wondrous heart that could beat for centuries, a millennia, or more… what could possibly make her worthy of such a precious gift?

Spike was still a child, and as such he had no notion of the things that she’d mistaken for love. His was the love of a child, a love without the complications of adult drives and feelings. His love was still pure, uncomplicated, unblemished.

She was... blemished.

But not irrecoverably so. His love had proven that to her, had shown her that despite her vanity, her apparent shallowness, her complaining (and whining), that there was still a very real reason why the Element of Generosity had chosen her.

There must be some twinkle in her eyes, something of the mare Spike saw. She must be there, hiding in her own eyes. She had once called him her hero, had said it there on the bridge before she’d given him that second, well-deserved kiss.

That remained true. It remained so utterly true. He had saved her, had saved her in the light of his love… helped her see that she had worth.

She was getting better, recovering in his love. Not just his love though, but also in the love of her friends, the love that Twilight had brought all of them. She was so much better now, so different. Would that Rarity, the dead one, have worried over Fluttershy so when that Cretan changed her? Would that dead and decaying husk have been so upset over the loss of Sweetie’s love? Would that ghost have fawned over Spike so?

No, but this Rarity would. This Rarity did.

This Rarity, she thought, is becoming the one Spike sees. She’s trying so hard to become her.

She leaned backwards and fell into the pillow as the ruby glistened in the sun that streaked through the window. Rarity stared back into the Heart’s Afire, looked back into the eyes of a Rarity that sat somewhere between the dead one and the one she longed to be.

She did not know when she fell asleep, but she knew that she had because the wind was whistling by her ears.

Falling dreams are supposed to be nightmares.

Falling dreams are supposed to make those who dream them come awake with screams. Falling dreams are supposed make the dreamer pour sweat upon their sheets and sit up in their beds and tremble with a thick, palpable fear.

This was no nightmare.

The dreamer did not come awake. Instead the dreamer kept her mind in the moment, fought to remain in the dream.

This was no nightmare. This was the sweetest kind of dream.

This was the dream where she was carried through the air by a grown dragon, one that sat his clawed hands gently against her forelegs as they wrapped around his neck. Together they fell through the sky as he swooped low and they parted the clouds, her jubilant cries filling the moist air.

This was the dream where they landed upon a high ledge beside the great cascading waterfalls, a place only they knew.

This was the dream where they had their picnic among the great mossy oaks that clung to the mountainside as the cascades fell and became vapor far beneath them.

This was the dream where he laid her down in the sweet smelling grasses, the dream where he ran his fingers through her mane and told her over and over how beautiful she was, how much he adored her.

This was the dream of that perfect time in the future, of that time where fate had not been so cruel and they could finally be together, of the time where she could let him say the words. This was the dream of the time when she no longer had to be on pins and needles as he began to make his profession. The large, powerful dragon stared tenderly into her eyes and began to finally say the words…


She reached up, put her hoof beside his face… guided his hand down to her even as he prepared the words, let him touch her. To her it felt like being touched for the first time, touched by someone who truly loved her instead of just lusted for her.

His lips came open…


No, it was not his voice, the voice of the mature dragon. It was not Spike’s voice, but that once again of Sweetie Belle. Rarity awoke once more to find that she had dozed off again, the afternoon having sped on that much more.

Rarity found the black velvet box still upon her chest. She wiped her eyes with the back of her hoof and looked to the door. “Sweetie,” Rarity asked blearily, “is something wrong?”

“Ummm, yeah,” Sweetie said, wiping her hoof back and forth a little bit across the floor. “Hey, Rarity, you know how you asked me to clean the kitchen? Well, ummm, I tried… but I kinda, well, made it worse…”

“Oh dear,” she said with a startle. She quickly regained herself and painted a mischievous smirk. “Is anything on fire, Dearest?”

“Oh, ummm… no, not really,” Sweetie said as she took a few more steps into the room.

“Oh, well,” Rarity continued, letting her head rest on her hoof, “Is anything down there turning into a huge, threatening monster that could possible devour Ponyville, Sweetie?”

“Umm, no?” answered Sweetie Belle, looking back to her sister.

“Ah. I take it that you opened a portal to some other dimension, then, and some horrible demon is now emerging in my kitchen? Defiling my teapot, is he?” Rarity answered as she smiled back at Sweetie.

“No, wait, what?” asked Sweetie Belle, arching her eyebrow.

“Ah, well… if there’s no real immediate threat to our well-being then I suggest only one course of action,” Rarity said, lifting her forelegs to where the little unicorn stood. “Namely, my dearest little sister, please come here so that I can fix your mane.”

It took Sweetie Belle a second to understand, but as soon as she did her face came alight. “Really?” she asked as her squeak once more sounding out around the room. A radiant smile beamed from her as she pranced forward into Rarity’s offered hooves.

Soon the peals of her Sweetie’s laughter filled the room, her sister tickling her over and over as they sat upon the bed. Soon they had settled, and as Rarity worked to put her sibling’s mane in order she teased her, mentioning the names of young colts at school whom she thought might have crushes on her baby sister.

The other Rarity, the dead one, she’d not do this. She’d not have been so sweet with her little sister, she thought as Sweetie laughed and denied each claim with cries of “Ewww!” or “He’s gross!” She would not have been so forgiving with her after the Gabby Gums unpleasantness. She would not have covered herself in mud to salvage this love.

Rarity felt Sweetie growing quieter, felt the tiredness that the unusual day had draped around the little girl. She quieted her voice, and soon her little sister was napping across her forelegs.

Rarity moved dinner an hour or so in her mind, re-arranged the rest of her day, and then laid her head upon the pillow once more. She ran her hoof through Sweetie’s mane, listened to her little breaths, and thought once more of those other mares.

I’m not her. I’m not either of them. I am not the one who I left behind. Yet, I am not the one you see, Spike. I wish to be her, but I am not her. I am only myself.

This Rarity, she thought as she slowly gathered the sleeping form of Sweetie Belle closer, can only be herself, Spike. She cannot deny her feelings, cannot help but appreciate the love you give her, Darling. That beautiful, unconditional, pure love… the innocent love, the one you give so freely. This Rarity honors that.

Rarity turned her head, and with a tender smile she gazed over the fire ruby once more as it sat shining in its box.

This Rarity has a hero. This Rarity has a Prince Charming, one she waits for as he gallantly goes off on his crusades to save her heart from its perils.

She turned and rested her head above that of Sweetie Belle. She listened to the sounds of the city streets of Ponyville that came in through the window on the small breezes, bringing with it spring scents and distant voices.

This Rarity knows of your feelings, Spike. She cherishes them.

This Rarity loves you.

She closed her eyes. In moments Rarity was drawn down once again into her interrupted nap. Soon she dreamed of being the mare that Spike saw when he looked at her, the radiant mare buried deep within her.

This was the sweetest kind of dream, a dream where she floated on waves of happiness as she became that mare, the one he adored. In the dream she transfigured herself into that mare, the one who had earned the way he looked at her with warm emerald eyes, the one who he saw when he floated in her presence.

As their dreams overtook them the sisters napped softly. Around them the afternoon wore away and slight spring breezes jostled the curtains.


Comments ( 199 )

Hmmm...new story by the Descendant? Oh, this goes on the read later list for tonight.:rainbowkiss:

Right now, work time.:ajbemused:

Nice, my night is safe ! :heart: :rainbowkiss:

Dat... um... description? Yeah, it could use a rewrite. the "him her" part really just reads badly.
Okay, I'll shut up and read the story now. >.>

You... you bastard. A story this short and simple isn't supposed to bring me to the brink of tears. It's cruel, and unseemly, and evil, and I won't stand for it, and maybe I'll just read it again one more time. Or two. Or ten.
THIS is exactly the kind of character work I'm always trying to push for. *sigh*

TD, you magnificent bastard...
I read your story.

Wow, that's great. You managed to make a nice story about the feelings Spike and Rarity has for each other by taking the canon and building on it, but it never felt as if you made stuff up to fit your story. My favourite part is the "who is that mare? bits that shows how undeserving Rarity felt.

*sees story* Yay, a new story by The Descendant!*hits fave* *proceeds to read*

Why in the name of Hitler's Monobollock is this not featured?

I don't even see why one person, let alone six, would thumbs this down.

This was beautiful. :raritycry:

....Dood. Nice.

This is TD's whole problem. His stories aren't eye-catching, the titles don't stand out, and the descriptions seem generic. Instead his stories are emotionally gripping, the titles perfectly fit the actual stories and he's just a generally great writer - but you only find that out when you read them. Sadly, stories are posted to the site faster than they can be read, so only the ones that seem to stand out from the crowd from summary alone gets much attention. And therefore Scootaloo Is Slightly Flame Retardant ends up in the feature box and this does not.

1130333 I'll be honest, I can't even remember why I looked at it in the first place, only that it's awesome

Work! Bah! Disregard work, acquire Pony stories!

I hope you enjoy it when you find the time to read!:twilightsmile:

When you consider how vast the galaxy is and how immense the scope of time, you were pretty damn close to being first!:raritywink:

Damn! Grammar error! Damn, damn, damn.

Description was changed... I dare suggest it's the reason for the instantaneous "six derrière" salute.

If I have to be a bastard, I'm glad it's a magnificent one!:pinkiesmile:

I'm very glad that you do, sir.:ajsmug:

Yes, trying to put the whole relationship as we see it in canon into context was the whole point of the story, and I'm glad that came through!:twilightsheepish:

Heh, thank you so much!:pinkiesmile:

Because the world is a cruel, unhappy place? That and the original description sucked. Anywho, I'm glad you enjoyed it!:pinkiehappy:

My guess was that the original description turned them off. I'm glad that you enjoyed it though!:twilightsmile:


going to read it... but packing first!

Good story, as well as a nice exploration of Rarity's growth as a character through the series.

Packing? Moving or vacationing? Business, pleasure, or cross-border flight from the law? In any case, I look forward to your thoughts when you have a chance!:pinkiesmile:

Thanks so much! I really appreciate it!:twilightsmile:

I'm very glad that you enjoyed it. Yeah, I liked that little scene too! Tnanks for taking the time to read and comment!:twilightsmile:

Thank you! I'm very glad that the examination of Rarity's growth came through for you! Thanks for leaving a reply!:twilightsheepish:

Dawwww, a true work of art with giggles thrown in but so perfectly placed that they did not disturb the mood.

I was worried when Twilight came over playing with the "skin puppet" she had broken her brain like that time she was late for her report.

also I think his skin puppet is cool!

Gah, I hate allergy season...yeah, allergies. That's why my eyes are a little watery.


Beautiful work, sir. I have yet to read a piece as heartwarming as this one. :twilightsmile:


This was beautiful. You've brought me damn near to tears for the last half of this chapter, and I've only cried over stories... three? I think three times before. I can only remember the name of one, and it's the one that makes just about everyone cry.

A wonderful peek into Rarity's head as well.

I love this. I can't understand where all those thumbs down came from.

"she chocked as her body deflated" "chocked" should be "choked"


That was beautiful. :twilightblush::raritystarry::moustache:

The skin puppet, however, needs to be launched into the sun, assuming Celestia will have it. I'm relatively confident that Twi can launch it with enough escape velocity to get it there.

Alright, this is now my favourite Sparity fic. Congratulations.


>> Waffley
When you consider how vast the galaxy is and how immense the scope of time, you were pretty damn close to being first! :raritywink:

Nice counter-troll sir, I'm one of many who most assuredly hate it when people just post such dimwitted horseapples such as that.

Ergh, that scene with the pins made my back tingle. Well done as usual, TD.

1130333 I see a flaw in your argument: it assumes that there are people who don't already follow him and don't know to drop everything else as soon as the notification arrives telling of a new story of his. Such a world seems extremely unlikely, and, since it would mean people would be deprived of the joy of reading stories like this, would not be a happy place.

Man, this story has more character development than a word count this low has the right to have. Seriously, you've got the power to move us with words - those monologues, especially the last, bring more life to the story than I could ever imagine.

Have five hearts out of four and something special:

Cross-country escape from the law sounds more fun, eh?:raritywink:

Heh, I'm glad that there was "just enough" humor! I'm proud of Twi's scene there, too! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!:twilightsmile:

Thanks again!:pinkiesmile:

*Hands a tissue.*
Thank you so much! I'm very glad that I was able to write something that was heartwarming!:twilightsheepish:

I'm very glad that you found the work so beautiful. I guess the down-votes came based on the original description... which was pretty bad. Thanks for the grammar catch!:pinkiehappy:

Heh, I almost had Spike give it a name! Glad you enjoyed it!:twilightsmile:

That is quite the compliment! Thank you so much!:pinkiesmile:

It means a lot to me that you've acquired this as part of your personal canon. Thanks so much!:twilightsmile:

Thanks al, you know I appreciate that!:pinkiesmile:

I was wondering about that. The way it was explained is that at the time she's using it, it becomes their nicknames, so therefore proper nouns. When she's using them as descriptors, such as "my dearest" or "a darling", then they are adjectives. Anywho, if I'm wrong I'll change it when the grammar police come!

Ouch about the nails! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment!:twilightsmile:

You guys are making me blush!:twilightblush:

Oh wow, thank you so much for the compliment! A Rarity applaud and everything! I really appreciate that you think that the monologues came through, as I was worried about them!

I appreciate the compliments! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!:twilightsmile:

Damn you adding more to my read later list. I swear, I really don't have the time for this.
(I say that with all possible love :3)

Coming to grips with her own feelings, written amazingly well. Spike felt real, and I just... how he... yeah. Emotions everywhere. Real and relatable, done very smoothly.
You've managed to move Rarity up higher on my list of favorite ponies.


very good TD ! thanks that you uploaded it in one piece ! 4 AM here, and i'm happy that i took the time to read this story.

Very nice! I love how you are able to build upon what we see in the show, without having to resort to outrageous exposition. These guided tours of Rarity's heart show the depths of feeling, the fact that she knows she was a bit on the shallow side and how she felt ... unsure of herself and her role in life and how much she is striving to become the mare that Spike sees.:raritywink:

Also adorkable Twilight is adorkable! :facehoof: Seriously, having Twilight try to use the fake Spike to ease the tension is classic!

One little nitpick:
Twilight stood standing in the doorway as Spike and Rarity embraced one another,
Might want to fix that soon, it is too tender of a moment to be marred by such a small mistake.

Yayness, a happy ending. I've enjoyed this immensely, now just two small things.

"She wondered if she'd even recognize herself from Twilight's fist slumber party of two years ago."

Should be first instead of fist...

"Therefore I've told the truth to that fine young man out there."

Do ponies even have that word in their vocabulary? I've got no clue...

Like I said, I've enjoyed this immensely, and I can't wait for your next story!:twilightsmile:

Nope, don't gotta say a thing.


Insurmountably brilliant, sir. I got chills as I read this. How perfectly you capture the intricate emotional ballet between Rarity and Spike. Bravo!

Say that three times fast while being poked with a sharp stick!:raritywink:

I'm very glad that the emotions came through for you, as that appears to be one of my strengths. Thank you, as always, for reading and commenting!:twilightsmile:

Dude I will drive to your home/place of employment and do your work/chores for you if you'll spend that time reading the story! You know how much I love your comments!:pinkiehappy:


I'm glad you took the time to read it... now get some sleep!:rainbowlaugh:

Ah! I must have "derped" it... :rainbowderp:

Thanks for the catch! I don't know about the second... doesn't Twilight call the Crusaders "girls" at one point? Anywho, thank you so much for reading!:pinkiehappy:

You can say how awesome my beard... wait, deja vu!:pinkiegasp:

Heh, don't get chilly on my account! I'm glad that it was emotionally moving for you, and thanks again for reading and faving!:twilightsheepish:

Wow... I'm actually not a Sparity fan... but this makes sense somehow and this last chapter was phenomenal! :pinkiesmile:

1133088 Yes, she has refered to the crusaders and the rest of the Mane six as girls before, so I'm pretty sure girl and boy exist in their vocabulary, but I'm not so sure about man. I always just use stallion, or colt. One might argue that Rarity wouldn't use stallion or colt for Spike, as he is a dragon, but I think she may, since it's just what's she's used to saying. Spike probably wouldn't know the difference either, as he was raised by ponies, and probably has similar thoughts to ponies.

oh p.s.

There was even a certain owner and operator of a noted doughnut shop in Canterlot who frequently referred to her as “a smart cookie”.

I see what you did there... dl.dropbox.com/u/31471793/FiMFiction/emoticons/misc_Rainbow_dealwithit.png

Wow, such an amazing character driven story with the interactions between Spike and Rarity and how you drove there actions that they made in the story and made them 100% believable and I love how you ended the story. So all and all amazing job this story deserves more news.

I'm glad that I was able to transcend your shipping pairings to make this work for you! Thanks for taking the time to read, Type, you know I look forward to your feedback.:twilightsheepish:

Oh! And you're the first to notice the A Cup of Joe reference!:duck:

True enough!:twilightblush:

Thank you so much for saying so! I'm especially glad that you liked how the story was character driven. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment!:twilightsmile:

I'm glad that my writing was able to provide so much emotion for you. Thanks so much for taking the time to read it and leave feedback!:twilightsmile:

Well, I could PM you my current residence if you live that close. :raritywink:
You know I love reading your stuff, I just have so much to do. College class started Monday, school starts tomorrow, and I have soccer practice every day, so finding time to read is difficult. :applecry:

And thus ends a great story looking more into the relationship of Rarity and Spike.
The writing for Rarity is genius. I applaud you. :twilightsmile:

The writing was stupendous as usual, but I am queasy about this very concept, Rarity taking seriously a childhood crush instead of gently discouraging it. :ajbemused:

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment for each chapter. I'm very glad that you found it enjoyable! I'm especially glad that you found Rarity's characterization so good!:twilightsmile:

The crux of this story was to have Rarity come to an understanding of why Spike has a crush on her, to define their relationship (one which has changed substantially over the two seasons) as we see it in canon. I certainly don't believe that I've written anything "cringe-worthy", and if I thought that I was... well, I wouldn't have written it.

I'm gad that you enjoyed the writing, and as always I appreciate you checking in.

1130781 You can use the skin puppet like a dragon voodoo doll! I suspect Zecora, that evil enchantress, shall steal it for such nefarious purposes! :trollestia:

The best part about this story was that it made sense. It fit canon and had a good ending without breaking anything or making things up just to make people happy. I didn't think I was going to like this story when I first read it, yet now I'm wishing there was more. Beautiful piece you have here, great writing!

This.. This was _beautiful_.
I should probably regret staying up to 5AM, especially with deadlines looming. But you know what? After reading this, I just can't find it in me.
I'd ask you to write more, but I'm not sure I can handle that many feels.

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