• Published 27th Dec 2021
  • 430 Views, 9 Comments

My Little Mages: The Rogues' Entries - Foxhelm

Friendship might be magic, but not everything is rainbows and sunshine.

  • ...

Rarity Takes Manahattan

Rarity was looking out the window of the train, a blissful smile on her face as she looked at the city of Manahatten and its skyline full of skyscrapers, many of them taller than the castles of Chantalot and Krystalopolies. Seated next to her was Applejack with Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie seated across from her. “Congratulations on the invitation to this year’s Manahatten Fashion Week.” Pinkie said to Rarity. “Too bad Twilight and Spike couldn’t make it.”

Rarity turned from the window, “Let’s not forget she’s a princess now. And as one she needs to be seen positively. I’m glad she elected to provide summer workshops.” electing to address the absent princess of their party. “Sweetie’s spellcraft is actually advancing nicely.” she added.

“Zecora told Apple Bloom to get a few pointers of brewing potions from Twilight, something about learning how to learn differently and learning from other sources.” Applejack chimed in. While she was not stupid, nor Big Mac or Granny Smith, Apple Bloom was the member of the Apple family that actually understood academia.

“And Scoots could use some pointers in research.” Rainbow commented. Everyone was silent for almost a solid minute, didn’t Rainbow need to study for her Wonderbolt Reservist Entrance Exam in a few weeks? Sure she made it through Wonderbolt Academy, but that was if she had what it physically took to be a Wonderbolt. Now the question is, can Rainbow take the time to show she has the right mind. The rest elected to not press the issue, Rainbow was either going to take the exam seriously or not, and if she chose not to and that choice destroyed her chances to be a Wonderbolt, no skin off of anyone else's nose. Yeah Twilight would be a much needed good academic influence for Scootaloo, as everyone silently agreed.

Fluttershy sighed and shivered slightly, “I just hope she’s not overwhelmed.” the druid added, thinking about all those young students and Twilight by herself. “Couldn’t she start with say one, two, maybe three at most?” Fluttershy asked as she recalled her own experiences with school age children.

“And give grounds to be accused of nepotism?” Rarity asked in slight horror with an implied gasp. “Nonononononono.” she repeated swiftly and shook her head at the druid’s lack of knowledge of such matters. “As a princess now, Twilight’s actions are going to be highly screwtinized. If she just had Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo over, it would look like she’s playing favorites among the school age children of Magiville that haven’t uncovered their aura yet. Diamond Tiara is bad enough as she is, could you imagine what she could do if she thought her father could press a lawsuit against Twilight?” Rarity asked. Applejack shivered as she understood what would happen. It took Rainbow a little longer, but she too skwormed at the thought.

“Sorry I asked,” Fluttershy said as she wanted to be anywhere else at that second.

Pinkie coughed, “Girls.” she ordered, “We’ve passed Twilight time, now on to our designation and everything there.” Pinkie then turned her focus to Rarity, “So what’s the plan for fashion week aside from Rarity showing her new line?”

Rarity pulled out her purse a set of tickets, “Am owed a few favors by the costumer maker of the hottest musical on Mantraway.” Each of the four took one.

“SWEET!” Rainbow cheered as she made a fist with her left hand, turning it so that the back was facing the flow and brought her arm back so that her fist was now parallel with her chest. “Twi’s been so wanting to talk about this musical after Celestia and Luna took her to see it opening night.”

Fluttershy looked from the ticket back to Rarity, “But it has been sold out before Twilight’s coronation.” the druid pointed out “How did you get them?

Applejack gave the hermit her signature bemused look, “Didn’t Rarity just say that she was owed a few favors.” she pointed out before she looked over the ticket more thoroughly. “Thankfully these are good for any showing.”

“Why do you say that?” Pinkie asked.

Applejack just shook her head, “of mice and men, Sugarcube, of mice and men.” Applejack took a breath. “Hopefully Sunflower is there to pick us up.” she whispered.

Just then the train started to decelerate as it neared the station. “We will be arriving at Manahattan Grand Sage Station shortly, all passengers for Manahattan please disembark. Next stop Selam.” The conductor said as he walked down the car and repeated as he entered the next car and continued this repeat until he returned to the front.

“Well fortunately The Manafair Hotel is only a few blocks from the station and a short walk from the theatre, all in the very heart of this glorious metropolis.” Rarity said as she got her bag. “Another good thing is that Twilight lent us her bag of infinite holding. Can you imagine what it would be like to carry our luggage traditionally?” The question was rhetorical and every one of her group knew as they made no comment, and nodded agreement. After the train came to a stop and the five exited. Rarity saw an older man having a hard time getting on to the train. She focused her mind on the man’s walker and as she placed a hand on it the walker sprung to life and picked up its master and the man gave a grateful smile to Rarity as he got on the train. This was seen by a young man, about their age dressed in a three-piece striped blue suit. He opened the door for Rarity and her friends as they headed to the station exit. Once outside, “That is what makes Manahattan so splendid and amazing.'' She commented on how she helped someone and was then given small help in turn. “You do something nice for somebody, and then somebody will do something nice for you!” she declared. She took a deep breath as if she was preparing to belt out a song. “Oh, Manahattan, what you do to me
Such a huge bustling community—”

“Hey, save the musical number for the stage, yah country broad!” Rarity’s song was cut short by a shout that sounded like it came from a woman their age, but the diction was similar to how Babs Seeds spoke. The group turned to their left and saw a woman their age with green eyes, like Applejack, with blonde like orange hair with a white peddled flower with a yellow center in her hair just over her left ear. She was dressed in blue pants and a long sleeve, mostly dark pink light sweater. She was leaning against a yellow and white running car with the word ‘Taxi’ all over it. She spat on the ground, “It’s bad enough that you smell like country, could not act like you just got off tha bus.”

“Well good day to yah too, Sunflower.” Applejack spined back as she walked up to the woman, squinting slightly. It was clear there was little love between the paladin and this particular member of the Apple Clan.

“Jackie.” Sunflower retorted, just as bluntly as she crossed her arms. The two stood silent for almost a solid second as they seemed to be sizing each other up. “I can’t believe I let Babs talk me into this.” Sunflower said first as the cousins stared at each other.

“Ah ain’t too keen on Apple Bloom bein’ thah onah tah suggest this, either.” Applejack retorted.

After another second of tense silence, Sunflower then smiled as she patted the roof of the taxi car before she walked around to the driver’s seat. “Well, the meter’s runnin. You coming or not, I am on the clock.”

“She’s expecting us to pay?” Rainbow groaned as she was the first to enter the cab as she was going to the front passenger seat and started to open the door.

“HEY! All riders go to the backseat!” Sunflower shouted as she pulled the door back, shutting it and locked it before she rolled down the window. “The boss already bitches about the current insurance policy and that there aren’t enough trees for waivers and consent forms, and verbal contracts are worth the paper they're written on!”

Rainbow was about to explode at Sunflower, “Oh Dashie, it’s for our own safety.” Rarity said as she, Pinkie and Fluttershy walked around her to the back door and opened it. “Thank you so much for agreeing to this somewhat off label reservation and for picking us up here.” Rarity said with a smile, clearly attempting to defuse the situation.

“So where are you all heading?” Sunflower asked as Applejack was the last of the five to get in.

“The Manafair Hotel.” Rarity answered without missing a step, a confident smile on her face.

Sunflower looked into the rear-view mirror to get a look at Rarity while looking behind her car. “To meet a client at the bar who’s gonna foot the bill?” The disbelief that any of AJ’s friends could afford a room at the most expensive hotel for any period of time was saturated in her tone.

“Nonononononono.” Rarity shook her head as she rapidly and yet ladylike denied the implication. “I am a contestant for this year’s fashion week. I even booked a room.”

Sunflower just stared blankly at the answer for a solid second. She then turned from her seat and looked squarely at Applejack, “Is this broad for real?” Applejack nodded with a slight smirk that Sunflower didn’t fail to catch. Rarity then took out of her bag a diamond and placed it in Sunflower’s right hand. It was the closest to flawless that Sunflower had ever seen, the most devoid of colour, the most excellent cut and Sunflower could tell that it had a mass of 10 grams. Sunflower’s eyes widened even larger as Applejack smirked at her cousin’s agape mouth. “The Manafair Hotel it is. I’ll have to stop at one of the gem shops along the way to get your cha...” Rarity giggled causing Sunflower to trail off.

Once Sunflower was silenced, “Keep it, as a gratuity.” Fortunately for Sunflower, her mouth couldn’t drop any farther. After a brief second Sunflower was able to shut her mouth and then started to protest but Rarity waved her left hand, “I insist.” Sunflower then smiled and put the diamond into one of her pockets. As that happened Rarity sighed, “To think my dresses could soon be displayed on the most glamorous shopping thoroughfare of the most glamorous city in Mystica!” If Sunflower’s snort had any effect on Rarity’s musing, Rarity didn’t show as she continued to expose her thoughts, “Oh, it would be my dream come true!”

Pinkie then spoke up, “Unless there is something you need help with.” the jester pointed out.

At that moment, only Applejack seemed to realize that the cab was not moving. She leaned forward to speak to Sunflower, “Say, Cus, Ah know there’s still some bad blood between us, but taking it out on my friends is beyond petty, even for you.”

Sunflower tried to contort herself so that she could still look out her left side windows and mirrors, “Sorry cuz, but traffic is ridiculous.” she said as she nodded. Applejack looked and saw that Sunflower was sugarcoating the description.

As the two cousins spoke only so that they could hear each other, Rarity gave a ‘Hm,’ in response to Pinkie before she gave a proper reply, “Nothing I can think of.” She then reached into the bag she borrowed from Twilight to carry everything. “The dresses are all completely finished,” she said before she pulled the top of a roll of the fabric she brought just in case, “all made from a fabulous new fabric I've been developing for months. Stretchy, but not clingy. Shimmery, but not showy.” she said as placed it back in.

Her friends smiled, it was clear none understood her, but they were happy that she was happy, “Sounds amazing.” Fluttershy spoke diplomatically to convey the support they offered Rarity.

Rarity smiled as she looked up, not so much at the ceiling of the taxi but into the ether beyond and between, “There's nothing left for me to do but check in at the runway with my dresses by two this afternoon.”

Sunflower broke from her vigil to safely enter traffic and turned to face Rarity with eyes widened in shock, “Two?” she asked as if Rarity just asked her to walk on water in a pair of cement shoes. Rarity nodded, blissfully unaware of what she just asked. “Then why didn’t you catch the previous train?” she asked, pointing out the reality of the situation. Before she gave any of the five a chance to answer, “You’ll be lucky to get there with less than a minute to spear in this traffic.”

Rarity gasped as it dawned on her that Manahatten was not Magiville, “Oh, my ribbons and threads. If I don't get there, I'm disqualified!” she started to panic and ventilated into the bag.

Sunflower muttered something that must have been something like ‘Old on two yah passess’ before she turned her left turn signal and made what even the five country bumpkins in her back seat could tell was an insane dash into traffic. Horns blared as Sunflower entered traffic and shot into the left most lane and drove like a demon as she weaved in and out of the lanes until she was able to pull up to the entrance of the Manafair Hotel, and her taxi was without a bent or starch. Her passengers, well it took a few seconds before they were able to stop screaming and crying. “Manafair Hotel.” Sunflower declared. “Sorry for the scare, but you asked to be here for a two in the afternoon check in.” she pointed out as she stopped the meter before she stepped out and walked around to open the door for them.

AJ was the only one to calmly get out, Rainbow, Pinkie and Fluttershy were forced out as Rarity bolted out. “THANK YOU!” Rarity shouted as she ran into the lobby.

“Well I better get going.” Sunflower said as she started to driver’s seat.

“Say, give mah a couple of minutes, Ahm gonna check in to our room and then yah can give us a Real Manahatten tour, none of the tourist money skins.” Applejack said as she walked up to Sunflower and whispered into Sunflower’s ear. Sunflower couldn’t help but beam at what she heard. Applejack then went in behind Rarity, after handing her hat to Pinkie.

Inside Rarity arrived at the reception desk, she was out of break and struggling to collect her breath, “Good afternoon, I'm here for Fashion Week!” she managed to finally regain her breath and her composure.

The receptionist didn’t look up from the file she was examining. “Everybody's gathered in front of the runway and about to start, so you'll just have to bring your dresses along with you and store them backstage later.” her tone was mono. She clearly didn’t care for fashion week attendees. “Go down the second hall on the left and follow the signs, even a broad right off the bus can’t miss it.” she pointed with her right hand.

Rarity bolted. Just as she left, Applejack cleared her throat, “Well, I do declare, my uncle, Citrus Orange, was right.” she spoke in her best belle drawl. “This is the most be-a-utiful hotel this side of Chantalot and those on the other side can’t hold a candle.”

The receptionist turned to see Applejack. She smiled as the paladin looked over the lobby. This was someone she could work with. “Why thank you, this week everyone only talks about the fashion show, they seem to have forgotten the venue.”

“Now that's just wrong.” Applejack declared in shock. “And not a single 'thank you' or 'how do you do' for the receptionist, where are people’s manners?” she asked rhetorically. “Please forgive my friend’s lack of tack, Ms. Janine Magewitz,” Applejack recalled from the name plaque after she spotted it before looking around. “She didn’t mean any harm, but Ah do suppose I’m the one to blame. I should have gotten an earlier train.”

“Well life happens, so what can I do for one of Citrus Orange’s nieces?” Janine asked.

“I’d like to check myself and my friends into the room that was booked by our contestant friend, Rarity Crumbles-Flank.” knowing how Rarity felt about her family name, “It may be booked in her given name.” The receptionist started to look over the reservations.

At that moment, Rarity pulled out the bag of the mobile rack with the seven dresses she made for the competition as she rushed on to the stage and stood in a line of the five other contestants. She huffed and had a sigh of relief, “I made it!” she declared.

“And with only seconds to spare.” came the voice of an older woman, one in her early fifties. She was of dark skin, with dull pink hair, it was not dyed, and less dull pink eyes. She wore a pink shirt that looked like one wore by ESM officers in high formal events, blue pants and a set of round purple gem earrings. Her cufflinks had her aura marks, a pair of golden scissors with a spool of pink thread. “Miss Rarity Crumbles-Flanks, I presume. Rarity nodded. Rarity knew better than to speak. “Miss Crumbles-Flanks, how is it that all of the other attendants are here at least half an hour early and yet you arrive seconds before we begin?” Rarity remained silent as she knew any answer would not be satisfactory for the host of the event. The host struted so that she could look at all contestants. “Once we’re done here, you're to finish setting up backstage, so you'll be ready for your run-through appointment.” she said to all of them. She then focused solely on Rarity. “You show your designs last.” she didn’t need to point, everyone there knew she was talking at Rarity. She then turned and started to walk up and down the line of contestants. “We keep to a precise schedule, so let's try to be more than a few seconds early, hmm?” she asked. This would have gotten a chuckle out of the other contestants, but now was not the time. “Tomorrow is the contest to see which one of you gets to stay to meet top designers all across the city. The rest of you must go home early. So sad.” she said and then started to leave, “Dismissed!” she declared.

Most of the contestants left, Rarity sighed as she started to the other side of the curtains. She heard a chuckle she thought she remembered. “I can’t believe Prim Hemline used your family name, Rarity.” Rarity turned to the source of the voice. It was a woman about her age. She had brown eyes and violet hair done up in a slight back bun with a white band just behind her ears. She wore a light blue striped bandana around her neck and was dressed in what looked like a dark purple-red plaid skirt and blazer, on the back of the blazer was a set of three buttons, one yellow one blue and one purple. “But I’m glad you made it, Rarity.”

Rarity then remembered her, “Suri Polomage!” Rarity then hugged her old acquaintance. “It’s been three years, the Magiville Knitters League hasn’t been the same since you moved.” she stated after they ended the hug. “But I am glad to see you here too.” Rarity then looked around the place, “So you move to Manahatten?” it wasn’t a real question.

Suri laughed, “Yep. You know what they say, if you can make it in the big city…” she trailed off, letting Rarity finish it or leave it unstated. Rarity elected to not continue it as she allowed Suri to continue on. “And now here we are, competing!” she then laughed after the declaration.

Rarity turned from Suri, “Well, good luck!” the enchantress said as she started to leave.

Suri fought back a chuckle, “Oh, I don't need luck.” she declared. “Would you like a hand with your things?” she offered as Rarity was boarderline behind schedule. Rarity nodded thankfully. In the dressing room for the models after Rarity took the covers off of the dresses she made about twenty minutes later, “My, your collection is gorgeous!” Suri acknowledges, barely able to stop herself from being agape.

Rarity smiled and closed her eyes, “Oh now, I'm sure your collection is equally lovely, if not more so!” she complimented, while it was a competition, there was no reason to be unladylike. All the while she was looking for a place to put the two bolts of the fabric, she brought with her in the case of emergencies. A lady should always be prepared.

Suri shook her head, “It's alright,” she confessed, “but nothing like this!” she was still enamored by Rarity’s line as she looked over every piece, soaking in every detail, “Take my culottes, for example –” she stopped as she tried to find the right things to say, “they are simply crying out for just the right accent, but I haven't the slightest notion where I—” she gasped as turned back to the dresses. “Actually…” she trailed off as she actually touched one of the dresses, feeling the fabric, “just a touch of this fabric could be perfect with it. W– Oh, hey, would you mind terribly if I took a swatch?” she asked with a somewhat guilty smile.

“Oh, not at all!” Rarity said as she turned to Suri and levitated to her one of the two bolts. “Here, I have loads extra.” Rarity admitted.

Suri was absolutely at a loss, she wanted something to add just a little extra flare, but this. “You're sure?” she asked, not believing that Rarity would ever give her so much.

Rarity smiled, “Positive!” she declared as she turned from Suri. “Oh, well, it's been wonderful getting caught up, and I don't wish to be rude, but I must finish my preparations and I am a bit late as it... is?” she trailed off as she noticed that Suri was no longer there.

Almost two hours later Rarity arrived back in the lobby, she rang the bell at the receptionist’s desk. “Hello!” she said to the receptionist. “I'm here half an hour early for my run-through appointment,” she informed the mostly still uninterested Janine. “Just the way Prim likes!” Rarity added.

“Tell your friend, Miss Apple that you’re not making it easy to pardon your previous lack of tack.” Janine. She then pointed to a line that had formed, “Get in line over there.” Janine’s eyes then drifted from Rarity to her dresses. “Oh my, that fabric's gorgeous, did you make that yourself?” she asked in awe.

Rarity shut her eyes and smiled at the compliment before she provided confirmation, “Oh, why, yes.” She started the short description she gave her friends while in the cab, “It's stretchy, but not clingy. Shimmery—”

Rarity stopped as she heard in slight distance echo Suri’s voice say the same word, “Shimmery, but not showy.” Rarity forced her way through the line to see on stage Suri with a mobile rack with exact replicas of her own dress. Standing next to her was a woman slightly younger than Rarity, she had blue eyes with hair that was two shades of light blue with one being slightly gray dressed in a simple lavender dress with a white brimmed sailor’s collar, a scarlet tie and a three colored hair clip. Embroidered on her skirt was her aura mark, a wide brim feathered lady’s hat. “And the entire line is in the same adorable pattern.” Suri added her own words to the pitch. “It works on everything from skirts to tops to shoes and,...''She chuckled before trailing off.

Prim was in the stands at the end of runway where the VIP of the audience and judges would seat for the proper show. She stood up and applied. “Bravo, Miss Polomage! I've never seen anything like it!” she said and headed to the nearby exit; it was her ritual to come in with fresh eyes.

Once Prim had exited, “You stole my fabric!” Rarity accused Suri as she all but ran onto the stage.

Suri was at first affronted but quickly regained her cool with a laugh, “I didn't steal it, okay?” it wasn’t an actual question, but there was a point to it that Rarity couldn’t accept unless she was the one that had to come up with the answer, “You gave it to me, 'member?” Suri reminded her as she walked past Rarity before she nodded to the other woman to push the mobile rack.

Rarity turned and refused to be walked over, “I gave you the fabric for accents!” she pointed out what she understood to be the terms of the offer, “Not for your whole line!” she called out the abuse. Rarity then realized something, those new dresses had to have been made in the last hour and half, “And how could you possibly make all of those outfits out of it so fast?!” she requested to know.

“Fast?” Suri asked as if she was insulted, “Hah!” her laugh compounded her point. She then pointed to the third woman there, “Coco Pommel took practically forever!” She identified and charged her assistant. “Nearly got me completely disqualified.” Suri added not pleased with the time it took Coco to work.

Coco gulped, “Well, I wanted to make sure you'd win,” her voice was small and timid. She wasn’t shy, more like soft spoken, “so I took the extra time to—” she tried to explain everything to her boss.

“Coco, I pay you to sew and get coffee, not talk.” Suri silenced Coco. “'Kay?” it was not a question and Coco only nodded and rolled the rack away to the model’s dressing room for the show.

Rarity however didn’t seem to notice this maltreatment as she was still trying to come to terms with what happened. She gasped in an attempt to get air in her lungs to prevent a panic attack, “How could this happen?” she asked.

Suri walked up to Rarity and placed her left arm around Rarity’s shoulders, “Aw, sweetie, don't blame yourself.” the words while by their own would be comforting, the tone Suri used was to pour salt into the wound, “It takes some small-town girls a while to learn it's every girl for herself in the big city, m'kay?” she added in a clear mockery of providing advice. Rarity ran away in tears. Once she was gone, it was only Suri and Coco on the stage, “Hope you realize how fortunate you are to have me as a mentor.” Suri said without looking at Coco. Before Coco could voice her opinion, “Now get me some coffee!'' She ordered and Coco ran to fill the order.

After getting her key to the room, Rarity was on her bed, still in tears, her oil-based mascara was running. “What a great afternoon!” Pinkie all but shouted as she, Rainbow, Applejack and Fluttershy entered the room.

“Pace yourself Pinkie, there still so much to do!” Rainbow tried to reign in her excitable friend. The irony of that was not lost on Applejack or Fluttershy.

Applejack took out their itinerary, “First there's the salon appointment at four fifty-five to get our hair done and then there's our fancy dinner at the Far-AWay Tavern at six with my uncle and aunt Orange, Sunflower and Babs and then there the…” Applejack trailed off to a stop, while she was the last to enter the room as she was the first to notice Rarity was a mess. ‘Buck’ she whispered just before everyone else noticed.

Fluttershy walked to Rarity’s bed, “Um...is... everything okay?” she asked timidly.

Rarity managed to take a breath and told the story, “And then Suri stole them!” she was struggling to not cry as she was breathing quickly. “I let one of the other contestants use some of my one-of-a-kind fabric” she stopped speaking as she started to breathe quickly again. “And then she turned it into a wardrobe just like mine,” she was nearing the end but needed another breather, “only now it looks like I'm the one copying her! My generosity has ruined me, I tell you! Ruined!” she then bawled and returned to tears.

Applejack held out her left hand with the palm up and brought the fingers in a few times, indicating that the others were to pay up. Fluttershy and Pinkie swiftly placed several bit notes in the paladin’s hand. Rainbow dug into her pockets only to find one bit coin. Applejack’s bemused face looked squarely at Rainbow. “Can I issue an IOU?” Rainbow asked weekly.

“Sun up to sun down for three days during the upcoming harvest.” Applejack declared. Rainbow sighed and nodded agreement.

Applejack turned to the still bawling Rarity. Slapping her would silence Rarity long enough to hear her, but she wouldn’t listen. Applejack took a breath, “So how can we help?”

“How?!” Rarity was almost incredulous, “That line and fabric was going to put me on the map, I was going to be properly recognized as one of Mystica’s greatest designers. There is no how! A new line would have to be far better than the last! It would have to be even more daring than anything I have mustered before! It would have to be so bold that even throwing in the kitchen sink would be tame…” Rarity trailed off as she looked around the room soon her eyes widened as an idea came upon her. “I still have a chance, with your help.”

While Fluttershy, Pinkie and Rainbow all seemed gung-ho about it, Applejack sighed and went to the phone in the room. She dialed a phone number, “Hello Sunflower, could yah call Uncle Citrus and Aunt …, my friends and Ah aren’t gonna make it to the Far-Away Tavern tonight.” She waited. “Rarity seemed to have been more than generous with some fabric of and another contested beat to the punch with a near identical line.” Applejack paused and listened. “Yep, that was a right-off-the-bus mistake, can you help me out>” She paused as she allowed Sunflower to answer, “You’re a lifesaver, cousin.” Applejack then hung up the phone and cracked her knuckles.

It was past eight at night as Rainbow, Applejack, Pinkie and Fluttershy were nearing completion of Rarity’s on the spot dresses. Rainbow stopped sewing the piece was working on as her stomach growled like a movie dinosaur, “I’ll say, we’re supposed to be having dessert right now.” the elementalist bemoaned.

Rarity sighed, “I am sorry, room service should be here soon. This is a service industry and if a patron presses matters too hard they will be placed on the back burner.” She tried to explain and apologize.

Rainbow cleared the table she was working on with both her arms as she roared, matching her stomach. “At this rate we’ll miss the showing for tonight!”

Applejack stopped and tried to get between Rainbow and Rarity. “Now, Sugarcube, let’s try to keep our heads on, the tickets are good for any showing and we’ll be here for the rest of the week.” She tried to defuse the situation.

Rainbow moved AJ aside, “I get that this is a big thing to you, but you’re the one that screwed up and gave that Slurry Whatsherface an either roll and let her examine your dresses!” the elementalist pointed out.

Rarity narrowed her eyes, “Oh! I see!” Her tone started to raise. “I go out of my way to get you tickets for a show, and this is how you repay me?” Her question was not one expected to be answered by Rainbow as Rarity gave the ‘correct’ answer, “By abandoning me in my hour of need?” granted it was in the form of a question. “Oh, oh, oh! Fine! Go and see your little show tonight!” She declared as she pointed to the door. “And then tomorrow morning when you come to see my fashion show without any fashion to show, you can have more entertainment! ‘Oh, why look, there's our friend Rarity going down in flames! Isn't friendship magic?!’”She almost shouted. Rarity started going into one of her dramatic sighs, but this one was full of frustration and exhaustion.

Rainbow sighed as she, with Applejack’s help, picked everything back up and restarted the dress. After half an hour, the final dress was almost finished. Applejack clipped on the last pick. “And it’s done.” Applejack declared.

Rarity gasped as she covered the dress and put it onto the mobile rack and began to run out of the room, “Finally!” she declared.

Pinkie leaned out of the room, “You're welcome!” she shouted in her own Twilight-voice.

Hours later, well into the fashion week contest (in fact outside the sun was rising), the last model, wearing the last of Suri’s counterfeits, walked off of the runway and headed to the dressing room. Prim walked onto the stage. “Let's have another round of applause for Suri Polomage's amazing collection.” she announced and the audience applauded and cheered. The judges, however, reframed from any expression, they had to be seen to be impartial. “That fabric! So original!” Prim praised, moved by the fabric.

From the currents, Rarity sighed in ire. As Prim was exposing the history of Rarity’s career, Rarity heard Suri chuckle as she walked up to her, with Coco following with a clipboard and notepad. “Well look who's here. Here to show off your copycat collection, mm? Heh.” Suri just walked past Rarity, as far as she knew, she had beaten Rarity, and all because of Rarity’s misplaced generosity. However, Rarity took a calming breath.

Prim finished telling of Rarity’s career to date, “And now, we debut her brand new line – and I mean ‘brand new’ – Hotel Chic.” Prim stepped off the runway as the first of Rarity’s seven new dresses, each of them seemed to be themed after parts of a hotel room. How Rarity made it all work, someone with little fashion sense could not articulate, but each dress was almost drop dead gorgeous. The audience cheered, some applauded and others spoke excitedly, all sounding in praise. Even the judges were moved.

Rarity was in awe at how her hotel chic line was a massive success among the audience. People cheering and cameras clicking all the while, “Oh! They're liking it! I think I may have just won this thing! Oh, I can't wait to celebrate with…” As she looked at the audience only to see the section reserved for her friends was vacant. “My friends. They didn't come. What have I done?”

Before Rarity could fully let the absence of her friends and the start to recover from it, Prim Hemline took her out to the stage. Rarity didn’t know it but she was the only fashion designer that Prim ever escorted to the stage as the last model presenting her competitive line “Rarity, they all adore you! Aren't you going to tell them about your fabulous pieces?”

Rarity looked to the area her friends were to be and saw the cord that was in front of the area. She saw it glitter a rainbow made of the colors orange, yellow, alabaster, cyan, purple and pink. Her eyes then flashed the same rainbow. She knew what she had to do. Shutting her eyes and leaping off the stage heading towards the back exit. “I have to go.”

Prim gasped as she called out to Rarity, “Come back at once!” The audience gasped as Prim stormed a short distance but stopped before stepping off the stage. “This is unheard of!” Prim shouted.

Rarity was not phased as she ran to the room. Her friends were not there. She then ran down to the receptionist desk, but the receptionist wasn’t there. She then dashed outside and looked around in a panic. She then heard the bell hop address her, “ How do you do, ma'am? Contest going well?” he asked politely.

Rarity turned to face the bellhop, “No time to talk. I have to find my friends!” she explained.

The bellhop seeing the tears that were forming in Rarity’s eyes, “Oh, uh, they're gone already. I saw them headed out.” he informed in a soft and clearly attempting to be comforting tone. Rarity gasped and then ran to the train station. She failed to hear that the bellhop was trying to say something just as thunder rumbled. At the same time clouds rolled in and soon it began to pour.

She arrived at the station hoping to catch the next train with Magiville as a stop, however she just missed it and the next one would be hours later. Rarity dipped her head and turned around and exited the station. She slowly walked back to the hotel, all the while the rain came down, and it didn’t hide her tears. She stopped suddenly, a ways from the hotel, “Oh, Manahattan, what have I done?” Rarity started to sing only to be silenced yet again by a certain member of Applejack’s kin.

“HEY BROAD!” Sunflower shouted as she pulled Rarity out of the rain and under an awning, just before the traffic started to flash by just before Rarity was splashed. “Geez, what is wrong with you hicks?” she asked before she took a cigarette out of a box and lit it. “I know Jackie would throw a fit if she found out,” she inhaled and then exhaled a stream of the smoke, “But the Oranges can be just as trying to deal with.” She then turned her focus to Rarity and offered her one from the box. Rarity declined. Sunflower put out her cigarette and flicked it into the street then to the door, “Well you managed to make it for breakfast.” she said as she opened the door, revealing that they were at a restaurant, which happened to be the Far Away Tavern. Rarity was dumbfounded for a solid second, “You comin?”

Rarity followed and saw at a fairly large table not only her four friends that came with her but also Apple Bloom, Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle, a girl the same age as the CMC. She had green eyes, her hair was two shades of a bright red with a noticeable left side bang. She wore a green jacket with numerous pockets over a white shirt. Rarity concluded that she was Babs Seeds. Also at the table was a young woman about her age, she had white hair with purple streaks and dressed not too dissimilar from a librarian, and wore a pair of school girl glasses, on her lap was a dog with purple fur. “Twilight?” Rarity asked.

The woman gave a freighted ‘ah’, “How did you guess?” she asked, confirming Rarity’s suspension.

“Spike as a dog.” Rarity answered as she pointed to the dragon turned canine. Spike turned around in Twilight’s lap and gave her a bemused look as if to say that he knew this was a bad idea. Twilight only rolled her eyes in response. “Are you using a glamour?” Rarity asked Twilight, calling attention to her new form. Twilight nodded as she tapped her glasses. While Rarity wanted to press the matter, other things were more pressing, “What are you all doing here, I thought you,” Rarity’s focus was on Applejack, Rainbow, Fluttershy and Pinkie, “left for home after how I…” Rarity could not bring herself to finish.

Applejack placed her fork down, “Took advantage of our friendship and treated us pretty rottenly.” the paladin finished for her. Rarity nodded, “Sugarcube, last night wasn’t your best night.” the farmer started. “But we’ve known you for years, and one bad night ain’t worth ending our friendship over.” Applejack then pointed to the empty chair, “Now eat up.” she ordered.

Rarity smiled, as tears of joy started to form in her eyes. “Oh, thank you! You really are the most wonderful friends a girl could have!” Rarity declared as she hugged Applejack, then Rainbow, Fluttershy and Pinkie. “I am dreadfully sorry you missed the show you wanted to catch last night.” Then hummed for a second as she noticed the three younger sisters of her group, Twilight, Spike, Sunflower and Babs. “I know just the way to atone. But first I need to swing back to the hotel, I need to talk with Prim Hemline.”

“Nope.” Applejack said before she pointed to the food, “We all eat.” Rarity didn’t challenge as she picked up one of her forks and started her breakfast.

After they had finished their breakfast they headed back to the hotel. While Sunflower and Babs were about to leave, Rarity insisted that they come (a 2 gram ruby helped with her pitch). There Rarity rang the bell at the reception desk, this time the receptionist was there. Standing nearby were her friends. “I need a moment with Prim Hemline.” Rarity said to the receptionist. The receptionist turned to Rarity, “I have to rush back to Magiville, but I just wanted to thank her first for—” she started but was cut off by a familiar voice.

“Uh-uh-uh, you'd best steer clear of Prim for a while.” Rarity and her friends turned to see Suri Polomage with her assistant Coco next to her. “She's pretty furious.” Suri informed Rarity. “Isn't that right?” she turned to Coco as if to confirm. Coco nodded in agreement. Suri then turned back to Rarity. “Also, she doesn’t grant audiences to losers.” she added.

“I lost?” Rarity asked, shocked by the news at first but then felt nothing. It was as if it didn’t matter. She smiled and tossed her hair, “Doesn’t matter.” She turned around to face her friends, with her focus mostly one AJ, RD, Fluttershy and Pinkie, “I'm just happy you're all still here after how I treated you. Now let’s catch the show!” Rarity declared and the group left, with them cheering. Sunflower and Babs only shrugged as they followed.

After they left, Suri smiled as she turned to Coco, “And that is how it's done.” she declared before she had a small laugh. “Pretty clever how I convinced her to stay away from Prim, wasn't it?” she asked. Coco nodded. “Wouldn't have wanted her to find out the truth now, would we?” She asked and left. Coco looked in the direction that Suri walked and then turned to look where Rarity and her friends headed.

A few hours later, as they exited the show house with them heading back to the hotel, “THAT WAS AWESOME!!!” shouted Rainbow as she leapt into the air. Everyone nodded in agreement, there was no need to be as vocal. Sunflower and Babs had the biggest smiles, they clearly wanted to catch the play longer than any of the rest.

Applejack turned to Rarity, “As Sunflower would say, ‘How a broad like you score those tickets?’” she said, sounding like her cousin.

Rarity gave a sad sigh, “Remember my costume designer friend who got me the tickets?” she asked the paladin. Applejack nodded. “Well, I offered to make all the costumes for his next show.” she informed her friend. Applejack raised an eyebrow, “Yes I would be staying here in Manahattan until they costumes are done.” Applejack gave a small but sad nod. “It is still a great opportunity for my work.” Applejack only gave an understanding smile.

Just then, “WAIT!” they all heard shouted as Coco ran up to them, mostly to Rarity. After she caught up she had to collect her breath. Once she was able to breathe, “Mind if I join you?” she asked.

Rarity nodded, “Certainly Miss Pommel…” she trial off as Coco reached into a large purse she had and handed to Rarity a trophy, “This year’s Manahattan Fashion Week first place trophy?” she asked as she accepted it. She then gasped as she read the name of the victor. She then looked at Coco in confusion.

Coco nodded, “Yes, you won.” Coco confirmed. She took a breath, “Suri was hoping that if you didn't claim your prize, the judges would consider it a forfeit and first place would go to her.” Coco started to explain. This action on Suri’s part was not shocking or surprising for Rarity at that moment. “So she lied to make you go away, and, well, I lied too.” she confessed her part, tears of remorse in her eyes. “I've worked for Suri for so long, I started to believe that it really is every girl for herself in this town.”

Sunflower snorted in derision, “You believe this bimbo?” she asked Babs as she pointed to Coco with her left thumb. Babs snorted too and shock her head. “Look Mocha,” Sunflower started as she turned to focus on Coco.

“Coco.” Coco and Rarity corrected, Coco was more sheepish while Rarity was firm.

“Whatever,” Sunflower continued unconcerned. “It’s the girls that think its every one for herself that don’t last here.”

Coco sighed and continued, “Until I saw how generous you were with your friends and saw the results of how generous they were with you.” Coco paused as she took a breath and prepared to continue. “It made me start believing there was something better for me out there. So, I– I quit.” She told the last part of her story. She then looked squarely into Rarity’s eyes, “And I want to thank you for giving me the courage to do so, even though you weren’t aware.” Coco then reached into her bag and pulled out a small, wrapped box, “I brought you something to say thank you.”

Rarity accepted the gift she wanted to hug Coco, but she knew Coco needed something more. Rarity gave a ‘Hm.’ as she thought. Then a light bulb went on above her head. “I suppose you'll need a job now that you're no longer with Suri.” Coco nodded in agreement. Rarity then expressed her idea, “How would you like to work for my friend making all the costumes
for his next show?” she asked. Coco smiled and nodded in silence.

Back at their room, as everyone else were drifting into sleep later that night, Rarity opened the bag she borrowed from Twilight and took out the group journal, having been entrusted to her for the week. She opened it and turned to the next blank page. She took out a pen and started to write about the last couple of days. As she neared the end she gave her reflections on the events, ‘Manahattan was simply grand. It was in this magnificent metropolis that I learned that, while there are ponies who will take advantage of your generosity, you should never, ever let that cause you to abandon your generous spirit. Nothing feels worse than taking advantage of the giving nature of your friends.’ their due as she jotted them down. Once she opened the box Coco gave her. It was a spool of thread that was the seven colors of the rainbow. She squinted at it in confusion for a second but smiled as she put it back into the box before returning it and the group journal to her bag. As she did that she failed to notice the spool flash a rainbow of orange, yellow, alabaster, cyan, purple and pink.