• Published 9th Mar 2022
  • 415 Views, 29 Comments

Satin Morning - daOtterGuy



Rarity, an overworked historical seamstress at a time travel agency, meets wackadoodle slang slinging Flash Sentry

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Modernism

If one were to ask most designers about the state of fashion in the modern era, they would state, overdramatically as is the norm, that the current era, Modernism, is a wasteland of creative drought. A dystopia for clothing aficionados everywhere.

They will bemoan the cultural transition of wearing clothes only on special occasions and for occupational reasons. A feat only performed for certain types of parties, intimate affairs between partners, and backroom strip clubs where ponies put clothes on instead of off. It was lewd, crass, a blemish on pony society at large.

I, however, beg to differ because I feel that recent designers miss the entire point of why the movement even occurred.

A history lesson then to clear the air.

This change began some several hundred years prior shortly after Princess Luna’s banishment, er, sabbatical to the moon. Princess Celestia was in mourning and many ponies, despite Celestia’s attempts to hide it, had become aware of the true cause of Luna’s descent to darkness.

Repression. Loneliness. Isolation.

An insurmountable divide brought forth by those who claimed to care for her. She never knew that she was as equally beloved as her sister. The adoration of her strength, her wisdom, and her grace. That there were ponies that preferred the night over the day and its many gifts.

With this information at hoof, an idea had taken root. The true “evil” of these terrible events were not because Luna was inherently bad, but because ponies as a whole were closed off from each other. Because their thoughts and hopes and feelings were locked behind sealed doors for what in hindsight appeared to be foalish reasons.

No greater example of this problem existed then the Princess herself as she repressed herself during the day and grieved during the night.

The ponies witnessed this and sought to correct it.

Hoof in hoof with this shift in emotional vulnerability was fashion. It started small. Superfluous accessories were cast off. Things that derived no meaning or purpose. Next went the petticoats, the pant bottoms, the shirts, the hats, until, finally, only a pony’s bare form was left.

This is the point where many lesser designers cry foul. The de facto moment that they bring up and claim was the end of cultured society. But what they always miss is the intent that followed.

Ponies still wore clothes, if less frequently, but instead of wearing them needlessly, they wore them with purpose.

There were the obvious ones. The guards and the nobles. There were show ponies, those employed to dazzle and impress. Courtesans and strip clubs continued the tradition of excess with clothing’s new moniker of sex symbol.

What I want to focus on though is the meaning behind what the common pony wears.

A brooch owned by a recently deceased loved one that is worn in their memory. A favoured blanket repurposed as a bandana to keep the mane out of their eyes. A bow to grant a flash of colour and stand out in the crowd.

Sentimentally, practicality, and style. Important cultural aspects largely ignored by the so-called “fashion” experts.

Fashion had not gone stagnant, it, like all culture, had simply evolved. Instead of being over glorified indicators of wealth or just for the sake of it, clothes now had meaning. They had use.

And even if that wasn’t enough to convince you, no greater style could be achieved than what was worn by everypony across the world.

The self.

Nothing could ever triumph over a pony’s natural form. The curves and ridges that made up every being in Equestria. An inherent individual beauty that could never be matched by mere fabric.

Style had reached its true zenith. Fashion was now a compliment to the form of whom it hung upon, not a replacement.

It embellishes what already exists. Enhances the beauty present in every pony regardless of appearance. A support for one to bloom into their true self.

But, at the end of the day, leaving everything to bare is hard.

To not be able to hide behind a colourful brocade of fabric, and to be forced to show everything for every eye to ogle and comment upon.

In the face of that, it is difficult to have the courage to even step outside.

I hear a chorus of a thousand worries bear upon me as I mull over my final decision. Should I do as modernism decrees and lay bare my feelings? Should I, no, dare I take that possibility of happiness? That hope?

Flash Sentry has proven to be a joyous pony. Charming in a way that sets my heart a flutter. He understands me in a way that not even I truly did.

I stand before the precipice, a modern mare.

I am bare before an audience of many.

I am Rarity. I am Curio. I am myself.

And, as I mull over my thoughts that race past me like a train barrelling down the track, I find myself drawn helplessly to the conclusion of our dance of passion.

Only one rule of FROD remains.

The final test.

Today, with the Princesses as my witness, I will ask Flash Sentry to dinner.

May they have mercy in this endeavor.


Rarity’s was in utter disarray as she stared out into space, laid out on the central platform of her workroom. Though she projected the very image of relaxation, her mind was anything but.

She had a decision to make.

And she just simply couldn’t decide what she wanted.

A part of her lamented the turmoil caused by a mere stallion, but he was a cute stallion and that was half the problem.

Factors were involved. The lack of time with their workloads — ironic for two employees of a time traveling agency. His understanding of her, and acceptance thereof. Just simply how he made her feel happy when they spoke with one another.

On examination, the first issue wasn’t even a real problem. On a whim, she had broached resolving her end of the heavy workload equation by speaking with HR yesterday once Flash had left and was met with a variety of options to assist in reclaiming a personal life for herself.

No, the true turmoil ultimately came down to herself. Her thoughts since they had parted had been a buzz with the “reality” of the situation. How Flash was simply going along with everything out of pity. That his goofy smile would soon fall away to reveal the disgust secretly lying underneath.

Irrational, an untruth conjured by her own mind, but nevertheless at the forefront of her wild train of thought.

So many needless concerns and dissections of conversations past all observed under a dingy lens that coloured everything in a murky green. She needed clarity, but the mere act of thinking only seemed to muddle everything further.

She was trapped in a loop made by her own foalish insecurities and it was all leading to one answer.

It wasn’t what she had hoped it would be.

Logically, it was utterly ridiculous, this circular logic she found herself stuck in. It was absurd to think this was all a facade, a fabricated lie. But when one set forth without any armour to shield them, it was difficult not to see everything against you as an attack.

Her only hope of laying this issue to rest was to answer Flash just as he stepped through those doors. Tell him her answer right away. Don’t give herself the time to back down or come up with some excuse. Reject him. It was… the only option.

Experience told her it couldn’t work. There would come a day where he would see that their relationship was faulty, not worth the effort. He would leave and she would be alone.

It was silly, this tizzy she had worked herself into. But her mind was set. She couldn’t drag him down. She couldn’t drag herself down.

Rarity’s ears swiveled towards the door as a click resounded through the room. Any moment the source of her distress would walk through the door and she would have to end things because… that was the right decision.

A quick answer.

She heard the clop of hooves on wood.

That’s all it would take.

Flash Sentry stepped into her workroom. He turned towards her and Rarity watched in rapt attention as his face came alight at seeing her. His ears perked, his eyes positively sparkled.

Everything about Flash’s body language screamed that he had seen the most pleasurable sight imaginable and her mind could barely comprehend that it was her.

“Hey, Rarity, how’s it hanging?” he called out in the warm tone of voice he always had.

And with it, her thoughts came crashing down around her as the silly fragile things they were. She laughed, helpless to hold back the mirthful tide that welled inside due to her now trivial musings.

Flash moved forward, concern swiftly overcoming his features. “What’s wrong? Is everything okay?” he asked.

“Everything is fine, Flash. Never better,” Rarity answered with a brilliant smile spread across her face. She stood up, bracing her hooves against the raised platform. “Now, I have a fun idea. Would you like to try something a little different today?”

His previous excitement returned, energizing his every movement as he trotted the rest of the way forward. “Sounds rad, what are you thinking?”

“Well, I’ve been dressing you up these past few days, so I thought it only right to return the favour.” A burst of magic brought forth several racks of clothing and boxes of accessories onto the main floor. “Pick an outfit for me. Anything you want.”

His tail wagging behind him, Flash called out, “anything I want?”

“Any era, any ensemble. Your choice.”

He bounded towards the racks and began rummaging through the clothes. Rarity giggled as he grumbled and fussed over his choices, never quite achieving the vision he had in mind for her.

After a period of time, he returned to Rarity, bounding forward excitedly with his chosen items slung across his back. In his fervour, he hopped and glided, his wings opening and closing with a loud snap, landing with a pronounced thud.

Presenting the two items with his wings, Rarity took note of the simple purple foldover shirt with a deep neckline and a hairpin made of a trapeze cut opal surrounded by silver filigree. She attempted to grab the items in her magic but was stopped when Flash pulled the garments back with a grumpy expression on his face.

“Hey, hey, you dressed me up, so I get to do it too.”

Rarity chuckled. “Very well then, by your lead.”

She sat her rump down on the platform and extended her forelegs before her expectantly. He stepped into her space and began dressing her in the shirt. Once complete, he moved even closer, brandishing the hairpin in his hoof.

The bottom of his neck came just to her nose, his chest fluff tickling the ends of her snout. He was breathing deep and even going by the rise and fall of his corded breast. A sharp cologne wafted towards her. She took a tentative sniff and smiled at identifying it as a type of mint.

With the utmost care, he tied her mane back into a loose bun using his wings and pinned it together using the hairpin.

Letting his wings return to resting by his side, he surveyed his work and nodded once, satisfied. Rarity eyed herself in a nearby mirror and was pleasantly surprised by the result. Simple, but elegant.

“Fantastic job, darling. I look positively splendid.” Flash blushed at the compliment, rubbing one leg with the other. “May I ask for the reasoning behind your decision?”

“Well, I wanted to get you something that would work with either gender you presented as and…” he hung his head bashfully, ears pinned to his head. “I wanted something that didn’t cover you up too much since you already look stunning.”

Rarity smiled warmly and gently grasped Flash’s head with her hooves. “Could you turn to face me, please?”

She had a decision to make.

He did as he was asked, turning his big blue eyes towards her. There was nervous anticipation there, an expectation of what she would do next.

A quick answer.

“I love the outfit. It suits me, and I appreciate the sentiment behind it. Of course, it would be a waste to get dressed up and do nothing with it, no?”

His face flushed. “It definitely would,” he replied.

That’s all it would take.

She drew him in close much to his surprise. She kissed him gently on the lips. As she pulled back she could see the joy beginning to radiate through him, his whole body coming to attention like he had been struck by bolts of lightning.

“If you aren’t busy tonight, would you like to go out to dinner? Together?”

“Yes!” he yelled excitedly. He then coughed into a hoof and tried to play it off. “I mean, yeah, like, totally.”

A cascade of tinkling bells spilled forth as Rarity giggled at the foalish stallion she had chosen to be with. “Then it's a date.”

She leaned in again once more. Flash moved in to meet her halfway.

They kissed.

And it felt like, for once, they were in the right place and the right time.

Comments ( 13 )

Awesome work so far, keep it up

Well isn't this a cute little story~

I do love how Rarity and Curio were incorporated fairly as two halves of the same whole. And freaking super dork Flash, just oh man what a cutie.

Awwww, so cute!

I swear this story has been on the chopping block for Celestia knows how long. Well, I finally got around to reading this. I have to say, I’m not usually one for romance, but this story was immensely charming.

The framing device of the clothing styles was very, very well done, as a fan of history lessons in general, I really love what you did with the worldbuilding here. In addition, the way all the styles that the chapter titles emphasize are used to show Rarity/Curio’s feelings felt natural. You felt like you were going through Rarity/Curio’s mind as they connected these styles to the story.

Love how the chapter introductions were done. It has an experimental flavor to it, which really just means I don’t see a lot of people use that formatting often.

The characters were also written very well. I loved Flash Sentry pulling slang from several different time periods, including the modern day, a funny occurance, but not complicated enough that I found myself getting lost. Also, Rarity/Curio just has that flair of dramatics that you’d expect the character to have.

If I had some little problems with the story, I’d say that the italics could’ve been used less in the first chapter’s introduction, but that’s a personal thing. I know you used it to show how much emphasis Rarity/Curio put over multiple words, but there were just a lot of them.

Overall though, this was a really good story. It looks like you got hit with the Enby Dislike Curse though, and that’s unfortunate. However, the story definitely doesn’t deserve those dislikes. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

11236427
I'm so glad you enjoyed it! And yes this particular style of writing I've used only once prior (Flashbang) and it is a pain to write since I have to write incredibly tight theming to make the whole thing workout.

Also, yeah. I use italics... a lot, and with Rarity/Curio I tend to overdo it. Oops.

Anygay, just glad you liked it!

i.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/033/779/I%27ve_Looked_At_This_For_Five_Hours_Now_Banner.jpg

I loved all of this deeply, though the third chapter especially for... reasons. :twilightsheepish:

It really is the best, and also most forward, flirting I think I've read recently. Perfect for a goofy himbo like Flash to be assaulted with.

I hope we get to see more of this relationship some day. Flash and Rarity/Curio deserve to be happy timehorses. Kissing each other throughout the eras. Or just in the one era. Just more kissing.

Though if you ever make Flash say pog again my vengeance will be swift and ceaseless. I will take Flash away from you.

They will bemoan the cultural transition of wearing clothes only on special occasions and for occupational reasons. A feat only performed for certain types of parties, intimate affairs between partners, and backroom strip clubs where ponies put clothes on instead of off. It was lewd, crass, a blemish on pony society at large.

augh, love this cultural worldbuilding! pony society definitely has a very interesting relationship with clothing

What I want to focus on though is the meaning behind what the common pony wears.

A brooch owned by a recently deceased loved one that is worn in their memory. A favoured blanket repurposed as a bandana to keep the mane out of their eyes. A bow to grant a flash of colour and stand out in the crowd.

Sentimentally, practicality, and style. Important cultural aspects largely ignored by the so-called “fashion” experts.

Fashion had not gone stagnant, it, like all culture, had simply evolved. Instead of being over glorified indicators of wealth or just for the sake of it, clothes now had meaning. They had use.

And even if that wasn’t enough to convince you, no greater style could be achieved than what was worn by everypony across the world.

The self.

Nothing could ever triumph over a pony’s natural form. The curves and ridges that made up every being in Equestria. An inherent individual beauty that could never be matched by mere fabric.

oof, i really love this passage! it feels like a love letter to pony culture, and augh, i really wish i lived there instead of here!

I hear a chorus of a thousand worries bear upon me as I mull over my final decision. Should I do as modernism decrees and lay bare my feelings? Should I, no, dare I take that possibility of happiness? That hope?

Flash Sentry has proven to be a joyous pony. Charming in a way that sets my heart a flutter. He understands me in a way that not even I truly did.

I stand before the precipice, a modern mare.

I am bare before an audience of many.

I am Rarity. I am Curio. I am myself.

and of the bits relating a fashion period to Rarity/Curio's current internal state about their pursuit of Flash, this one is by far my favorite. but that makes sense, because the whole thing brought this emotional core that i could really feel resonate with myself. and it is just so wonderfully Rarity/Curio to have a perspective that lets them analogize between the two

also, i love the phrase "modern mare" for some reason. there's a very nice alliteration and rhythm to it!

The lack of time with their workloads — ironic for two employees of a time traveling agency.

hehe, that is pretty ironic

Experience told her it couldn’t work. There would come a day where he would see that their relationship was faulty, not worth the effort. He would leave and she would be alone.

oof!

She sat her rump down on the platform and extended her forelegs before her expectantly. He stepped into her space and began dressing her in the shirt. Once complete, he moved even closer, brandishing the hairpin in his hoof.

somehow, this scene already feels very charged, in the best of ways

“Well, I wanted to get you something that would work with either gender you presented as and…” he hung his head bashfully, ears pinned to his head. “I wanted something that didn’t cover you up too much since you already look stunning.”

oof, love how this is Flash's unknowing answer to Rarity/Curio's worries and anxieties earlier in the chapter. it's a great way to seal their connection right before the story's conclusion

“If you aren’t busy tonight, would you like to go out to dinner? Together?”

“Yes!” he yelled excitedly. He then coughed into a hoof and tried to play it off. “I mean, yeah, like, totally.”

A cascade of tinkling bells spilled forth as Rarity giggled at the foalish stallion she had chosen to be with. “Then it's a date.”

and this is just adorable! Rarity's response to Flash being Flash is definitely a good sign that the FROD has served her well, here!


thinking back on this story, what strikes me is that it's a bit of a "bottle fic", with all scenes taking place within Rarity/Curio's workshop, and Flash being the only character that is present as opposed to being a reference. just like with Flashbang, i loved the introductory sections of cultural and historical worldbuilding that comments on the progress of the romance. can't get enough of that structure! and the time-traveling magical seamstress for a time-traveling magical agency was a really fun concept to see set in the world of MLP, which you did an excellent job of here.

and of course, having an in-story excuse to make Flash's dialogue be at times incomprehensibly slang-filled was joy to watch, and your Rarity/Curio is to die for with their wit.

i really liked the origins of Curio, and how the fic explored the differences between Curio and Rarity from their perspective. Rarity was a fantastic choice for this, as her deliberately cultivated femininity screams for its aristocratically masculine counterpart. and the vulnerability! Rarity is the only pony (besides Fluttershy) to show embarrassment at being naked, after all! you really stuck the landing with that in the last chapter, bringing a strong finish to this fun journey. thank you for it!

11240673
I figured that out, yes. Probably should have read the description. 😅

This ended up having far more emotional depth than I expected, beautiful work. Rarity's philosophy on people's relationship with clothing actually reminds me of Kill la Kill, funnily enough, in that baring the self takes courage, and that people shouldn't be slaves to clothing.

This was fun! I liked the period-based structure of each of the chapters, really tied the whole story together. I kept waiting for the story to move outside of Rarity/Curio's dressing room, but can't complain too much, with all the tension in those fitting scenes. :raritywink:

Also, Rarity/Curio themself was a whole lot of fun! I didn't know I needed genderfluid Rarity in my life, but now I'll be mildly disappointed every fic I read where it isn't the case. Good work!

I've always loved the time agency seamstress tumblr post, so happy to see it in pony form! Great use of fashion through the ages to tell your story.

It was a cut and enjoyable read:twilightsmile:

Lovely stuff. Heck of a way to discover one’s gender fluidity. You make everything work fantastically. The themes of history, hindsight, and daring to move forward into an unknown future are captured outstandingly. The only constant is change. The trick is learning how to embrace that.

Thank you for a great read. Best of luck in the judging.

As someone who's bisexual and genderfluid this was joy to read.:twilightsmile:

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