• Member Since 4th May, 2013
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On the Sliding Scale Of Cynicism Vs. Idealism, I like to think of myself as being idyllically cynical. (Patreon, Ko-Fi.)


In some ways, every Bearer is a partial reflection of every other. Fluttershy can lecture, Pinkie is prone to overwork, Applejack has wound up lost in research, and Twilight's been known to hide under the occasional couch. But when it comes to Rarity and Rainbow... that's where the connection seems to be the most tenuous. They're each part of the same sextet and to outside observers, that's about it.

That little detour through the kite flying area means Rainbow isn't going anywhere for a few hours. Rarity refuses to abandon her relaxation site. And with the two mares stuck with each other, they're going to talk about how they have absolutely no commonalities whatsoever.

They're nothing alike, except for the one way in which they're exactly the same.

(Part of the Triptych Continuum, which has its own TVTropes page and FIMFiction group: new members and trope edits welcome. While this story does reference previous events, it can generally be treated as a stand-alone: no other reading is required.)

Now with author Patreon and Ko-Fi pages.

Cover art taken from an image by White Quartz, cropped by Dawnbreez.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 51 )

Wait, I really love these two! And seeing rainbow be smart is always kind of nice

Oh, wow. That hit a lot harder than I expected coming in.
Masterfully done.

Maybe I’ve just been reading/watching too much of it lately, but there at the end, I got something of a Ranma/Akane vibe from those two. Probably because Rainbow hovering reminds me of Ranma always walking on the fence.

Brilliant bit of mundane utility with pegasus magic. Why not create a course of various winds when you have the capability?
Similarly, it makes sense that kites wouldn't hold much interest in Cloudsdale. When you can actually fly, why should you care about a toy that's at the mercy of the wind?

Any crash you could fly away from didn't need to be counted as a crash at all. So if Rainbow rested her wings until she could get into the air again, then it was exactly like the encounter with the strings had never truly happened: any witnesses speaking to the contrary were just trying to make her look bad.

This is why Rarity can actually be the best member of the group to deal with Dash at times. She's used to cat logic.

"-- Luna understands fun better than you do."

And she might be on board with kite combat. Even if Dash was drifting towards Battlebots near the end.

Twilight's [parents] are out by the west coast and we hardly ever see them...

Ah. Bit more detail on her origins.

The ones from the race, the race where you wouldn't even have a mark or a life without it, the ones who must have hit Fluttershy and knocked her down, they've never admitted it

After all, the alternative is that Dash herself did it. And to even entertain that possibility would be to destroy herself.

I don't even know what the postpony was doing there: she's decent enough in the air, but there's supposed to be a maximum age limit on entries. Best Young Fliers! How old was she when she had that kid?

Yeah, one of the more unfortunate bits of fridge logic there. :fluttershyouch:

More hints about the shadowfount. Well, we know extreme pegasus magic has optical effects, but inversion... That'll be hard to rediscover, especially if Dash isn't even a third of the way there.

Wonderful work with the literal storm along with the figurative one, and with clearing the air between these two. No punches pulled, no bars held, no wonder I enjoyed it so much. Thank you for a brilliant bit of interaction and analysis.

RDT #5 · May 10th · · ·

Is this "The End in Friend" fixfic that I didn't know I needed?

It makes you wonder why the rainboom was that rare. It should have been cropping up every few generations with the old timers mentioning it more then in passing or old mare tales.

Estee #7 · May 11th · · ·


I was about 80% of the way through writing the story when I realized that this might be seen as the 'verse version of that episode. All I can say is this wasn't meant to be a fixfic -- but it is the local answer to the episode's question.

IRL, kite fighting was a
Chinese sport. They used glass instead of diamond dust.

nlinzer #9 · May 11th · · 2 ·

"Intelligence means seldom wasting time in thinking about things which are self-evident."

Not true at all Rarity, in fact Intelligence is taking things that seems self evident and questioning them, but also doing so within the confines of reason.

I am not advocating for flat earth or climate denial, what I am saying is that even though it is almost certainly true, like 99.999999%, that the Theory of Evolution is correct, we don't and cannot know 100% and so it is always worth questioning if the question has a good basis.

Tipper #10 · May 11th · · ·

Something I’ve noticed about Rainbow Dash? Ponies think that she’s oblivious to her own failings, her own shortcomings, her own weaknesses. And she’s not. She’s hyper-aware of them. But not just because they make her doubt herself — she wears them as armour. She knows what ponies expect of her, and uses that to cover her actions. She knows she’s not great with words, so she lets others speak first in an argument and catches them on it. She understands why some ponies don’t have a lot of respect for her, but that just means she has nothing to prove to them. She’s a mare constantly aware of her limits, and constantly pushing against them. She just doesn’t say that she is.

That’s the main difference. Rarity does say it. She announces her inspiration, her desire to innovate and re-invent, to make her Mark. But while Rainbow Dash knows where her limits are and is constantly trying to push past them, Rarity doesn’t know her limits, and she’s constantly pushing to discover them.

A beautiful, thought-provoking piece between two remarkably similar mares... even if neither of them would ever have admitted it before now.

Wonderful work, Estee.

B_Munro #11 · May 11th · · 1 ·

Well, you're never going to get 100% certainty about anything - we could all be in the Matrix, don'tcha know? - but some levels of certainty probably don't require wasting a great deal of time double-checking. And testing things yourself often requires knowing how to distinguish between good information and bad - there are plenty of places on the internet where people have spent a great deal of time creating bottomless rabbit holes of fake or out of context facts so you can "find the truth".

Trytpic is really what the show should have been after season 3. We still have friendship lessons and slice of life but it stays good, characters stay flawed but get better while always feeling like them even when more is revealed. Though maybe not with how dark and complicated it could be and how there is death constantly looking. But this, this story is an episode of the MLP season 4 that should exist.

True which is why someone who has studied the subject and knows alot can rightly debate the theory of evolution, not just some random person. My point is the mentality, it's at least worthwhile to test our held beliefs rather than stay comfortable on them, including whether all of this is real.


Edit: Oh, never mind. Story spells it out. Sorry to bother anyone.

Still is in the Middle East too

Good story. This really was an argument they were bound to have eventually.

Also a reminder of just how powerful Rainbow's weather magic is, darkening the skies without even consciously thinking about it.

thank you for the excellent story as always. i swear the characters you write are sometimes more real to me than the people i actually encounter in the real world. beautifully written.

This was an excellent little character piece with fun interactions between two ponies who never got to spend that much time together in the show, yet you found multiple points of overlap and comparison to make for some rich examination of each of them. And of course with it being fresh in my mind, I quite liked the call back to Tricks of the Trade Show and a further look into Rarity’s relationship with her father.

Also, I quite liked the reasoning by Rainbow that forced her to stay with Rarity and allow this story to take place... that was some spot-on, weaponized characterization in service of a plot point. Great work!

Two strong egos.
Two strong desires to leave their marks.
Two strong friends (much to their own behest, at times).



There's actually a surprisingly decent probability-based argument that we may very well be in a simulation of some kind...

If so, though, then it's a high-quality simulation in which we have not yet found any exploitable bugs. (Well. Not that I've heard of, at least.)


And she might be on board with kite combat. Even if Dash was drifting towards Battlebots near the end.

Yeah, Dash would 100% be a Battlebots fan. And yes, Luna would probably enjoy kite fights!

In the days when the three tribes were fractured and at war, kites would be a weapon for unicorns and earth ponies.

If they try to change the weather, the kites are an early warning system for the shifting winds.

The strings can entangle, as we’ve seen. Treated with something sticky and the pegasus would suffer a worse impact than Rainbow did.

With razors along the tail, the combat Rainbow was hinting at becomes very real to a pegasus flying nearby. A skilled kite flyer could cause horrific injuries with a razor-tail on their kite.

Tripwires... Hitting a kite string could be a trigger for another weapon.

They could even be used for long distance coded messages, like semaphore.

But in the modern day, forgotten as nothing but a simple hobby...

We have, however, found the pixel and frame. We just name them after Planck instead of calling them that.

Ah yes, a conversation between best pony and worst pony. :raritywink: :rainbowwild:

As been said, this is a mirror to 'The End in Friend'. My take away from that episode was that if it weren't for the Elements of Harmony and Celestia's manipulations, how good of friends would the Mane 6 really be? If their friendship wasn't Equestrian Defense Strategy #1, would they bother putting this much work into maintaining their friendship? Rarity and Dash are the most distant of the Mane 6, but anyone can find common ground if they tried. Here, it's the shared drive to keep up appearances and to break into their own competitive fields.

Indeed. So many things have been discovered by someone asking questions about things that were though done and fully understood.

Entire branches of mathematics and physics have come from questioning fundamentals like "What exactly is a straight line?" or "How does light really behave?"

Also, another great story Estee :)

Emtu #27 · May 11th · · ·

The funny thing is best pony/worst pony could be taken either way.

An interesting thing about the mane 6 is that each of them is the opposite of each other one in some aspect of their personality.


This snort was much softer. "Rainbow, I do see your point. But you have your accomplishment, where I do not. Something unique, a place in the history books. The Rainboom --"

The words hurt. And because they hurt, they had to be shared, just to see if it would make the pain go away. "-- will be done by somepony else within three years."

I actually disagree with this idea, because I don’t think the Sonic Rainboom is a technique at all, but Cutie Mark magic at work.

I believe that the Sonic Rainboom is the result of some sort of resonance with a speed-based Cutie Mark, where it improves her natural speed, and because she’s in tune with her talent it strengthens the magic boosting her speed, and therefore a kind of feedback-loop occurs until it causes a magical explosion in which she surpasses the sound barrier.

"the ramp at half an gallop per hour"
"the ramp at half a gallop per hour"?

"leaving a gasp between her body and the"
"leaving a gap between her body and the"?

"every so often is necessarily for inspiring"
"every so often is necessary for inspiring"?

"And even when she didn't have your wings working at full"
"And even when she didn't have her wings working at full"?

""It spent my whole life getting ready"
""I spent my whole life getting ready"?

""Are you aware of how quickly you said that?""
[checks who got which mark]
[thinks some more]
...Have I mentioned how much I love your writing? :D
(Though I'm pretty sure that even with the realization I just had, I'm still not getting all of the potential meaning in there...)

Excellent, as usual; thank you for writing. :)

It's the ones that seemingly have the least in common that have the most in common. Both of them yearn for attention and will go to great lengths to get it. The only difference is why they do it.

Also, yeah, Dash knows nothing of teen pregnancy, does she?

>story is called ripstop
>kite rips SEVERAL times
I think someone should ask for a refund, honestly.

"-- I said, before they did the same! It's not a prank, it's a sport ! Kite combat!" She looked up again, and told herself she was seeing the future. "How much weight can those carry? It's important! Because you don't have to stop at diamond dust! I mean, that's easiest for you, because you've got the diamonds. But if they can take a little more up with them --"

i've actually read an old story about a kite combat contest.

The interesting thing is that Rarity and Rainbow arent the shows versions. There ones with all the flaws they earn. And there last experiences weighing heavily upon them. The sad part is these girls might not ever get the limelight like the shows girls get in the world but if they do. They will have earned it through hard work, and guts.

I like that the cutie switch of magical mystery cure is mentioned it doesn't often get brought up for the 6 spent some time in each others hooves (or marks at least) given how important marks are in the Esteeverse you'd think it would be brought up more. Also I'd like to see how each bearer ended up living in their semi alternative reality, how did Rarity's desire to be a weather pony fit with her parents expectations? How did Pinkie end up running Sweet Apple Acres? (In this verse it seems likely she was adopted but I've seen an interesting fic which suggested she'd ended up marrying Big Mac)

I was not ready for this level of emotion. Well done. Though, I do have to echo 10811130's argument regarding the reproducibility of the Rainboom. Maybe I'm biased, but Dash's abilities always struck me as indicative of an unusually vast and potent mana pool, much like Twilight's. I can't remember if this has been directly addressed in the 'verse, but that's my take.

Complaining about the postpony, Rainbow?

She's your age, silly filly. Canonically, before her eye condition worsened she actually outflew you!

(But given the AU, perhaps not.)

I browse through fimfic, a site I haven't visited in a while - but so much more than that. I have a dreamy nostalgia about this place, about some of these stories, about reading (a passion I've neglected).
Good memories that feel like a distant dream - and every now and then I have my doubts that they were real. What happened here is so strange after all. Maybe we were all just seeing what we wanted to see.

I don't have much to say that other comments haven't, besides thank you for putting my doubts to rest.

This one goy me all introspective. I ain't sharing why.
I sometimes enjoy Rarity but Rainbow I definitely dislike, Estee makes her flaws shine even more. And what is hate but an ugly mirror.
Ramblings aside I've enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Not that my specific enjoyment is badge or anything but kudos to you Estee, stories touch hearstrings in the strangest of ways. And you manage quite well.

Oh now this was great! The show never really had a rainbow and rarity focused episode so this was a treat. Helps that the characterization is really heavy hitting in this too.


no bars held,

Somepony didn’t hold a bar? What type of bar, the kind you jump above, the kind you shimmy under, or the kind that serves drinks with little umbrellas in them? :pinkiehappy:

Clearly the kind Rarity barely resisted using to beat Dash's head in. :derpytongue2:

I suspect Rarity has figured out that, if in all the times Rainbow crashed head first into the landscape she didn’t crack her skull, then finding a bar big enough to do the job might be somewhat difficult. :raritycry:

zx29b #43 · May 12th · · ·

Given that Rainbow had already completely flubbed her routine in the Best Young Fliers competition until Rarity's wings went all Icarus, I do not imagine that she would have much reason to be resentful toward Rarity over it. Who should feel resentful toward Rarity is the second-place finisher who would have won without her antics.

zx29b #44 · May 12th · · ·

Sure it did: "Rarity Investigates!" Ashleigh Ball and Tabitha St. Germaine play off of one another well.

Honestly I actually forgot that episode existed haha. I suppose I’m speaking more of the two of them doing stuff as friends rather than merely just interacting.

WARGAMES #46 · May 13th · · 1 ·

Ever try sharpening the strings

So imagine some total idiot flying into some practically invisible strings. Now, imaging those strings were sharp as shit. I thought she was mentally competent. I was wrong

You may not believe this, but there are actually people in RL doing that . .
It has been heavily regulated and partially banned of late for obvious reasons though . .

Yes I have indeed fought kites



Nah, that's not the pixel. (Unless the simulation is zoomed in absurdly far). That's the result of the computer having a limited number of bits to hold position or time variables. It seems pretty clear that it goes down to the sub-pixel level.

This flight was far more satisfying than any I have ever participated in. Beautiful.


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