• Published 28th Jun 2012
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A New Hero - Alex The Lone Wolf

What if there was another pony who joined the pony gang? (Look at longer description...)

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Rarity Takes Manehattan

Episode 73 – Rarity Takes Manehattan

"Watcha doing? Are you going somewhere?" Spirit asked while observing me pack a few things in a luggage bag.

I scoffed lightly in a friendly matter, feeling as if she was really joking for asking me. "As if you didn't already know."

She reacted by giggling. "I guess you do know me…"

I laughed a bit to that. "Actually, I don't." I hinted towards her secrets, but I didn't want to make her feel guilty about them.

"Oh." She lowered her head slightly. "Heh… Right…"

I closed my bag easily, seeing as I really didn't have much to bring. Using my magic to carry it, I walked by her. "I'm assuming you'll be coming along?"

"Yeah." She answered. "I'll be sure to stay out of the way…unless you need something."

Feeling a little concerned, I turned towards her. "What do you mean by that?"

"N-nothing… I just…don't want to be in the way is all. I feel like I bother you sometimes. You know. Being there when I don't really need to be."

I approached her and placed a hoof on her shoulder. "Hey. If you're going to be a friend of mine, you better start acting like it." She slightly widened her eyes in surprise at this. "I always enjoy having my friends around. Don't feel like you're not wanted just because you don't feel like you fit in."

"But, besides the times we've spent together, you hardly know me…"

"I know you enough to be your friend." I immediately returned. "My friends accepted me as their own friend when they only knew the type of pony I was before their friendship affected me. They didn't know about what I went through and what I thought about them. They saw me by my present actions at the time. I know…there are a lot of things I still would like to know about you…but hey, I can't force you to tell me. It wouldn't be right."

"Okay." Spirit lightly nodded and then formed a smile. "Yeah. Thanks."

"Well, I better get going." I informed, preparing to turn around to take my leave. "Certainly don't want to worry the others and show up late. You do what you need to do." I offered one last small grin.

"Hehe." Spirit giggled. "See you later."

I returned a short salute and then walked towards the first floor down the stairs, exiting out of my house and heading to the train station where all of us were to meet.

Arriving at the train station, I saw some other ponies waiting to board on the still train. I looked around for the girls, but a voice beat me to it. "Hey, Alex!" I turned my head to see a lavender hoof waving in the air. My smile stretched and I walked towards her direction. I placed my bag on the ground when I approached Twilight, noticing Rarity and Applejack with her. "Hey." She greeted warmly. "I was just about to go check on you. Thought you may have overslept."

I chuckled briefly. "On trips like these? To new places? I actually have trouble sleeping the night before and I wake up early feeling energized." I turned to Rarity. "I'm really excited we're all going to Manehattan. It'll be like a vacation."

Before Rarity could respond to that, Spike was heard nearby.

"There you are, Rarity!" He announced, bringing in a cart completely full of her bags. "That's the last of your bags."

I sent Rarity a friendly raised eyebrow, to which she noticed and blushed in embarrassment for a quick moment. "Actually, Spike, I've got one last pile of bags, over there." She continued, leaving me to notice Twilight roll her eyes at Rarity's usual request. Spike turned to her direction and jumped in shock at the huge pile of bags towards him. "Won't you be a dear?" She worked her charm.

"Sure... I'll be a dear..." Spike returned, clearly affected by her attraction. He began releasing strains of his effort as he worked on moving her bags.

Rarity turned back to me. "To answer your question, Alex, I'm feeling very exhilarated as well! An entire week in the fabulous city of Manehattan with every one of my best friends!" She exclaimed out loud, giggling jubilantly.

"Of course we'd all come along to support you during Fashion Week, Rarity!" Twilight managed to return to her joyful self.

"Not that you'll need it. We're sure you'll win." Fluttershy delightfully presented herself, along with Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie.

Rarity immediately squealed after viewing every one of us. "I can't begin to tell you how excited I am that you'll all be there with me! However..." She used her magic to bring her primary luggage closer and open it. "Perhaps I can show you..." She turned and faced all of us bringing out a visible ticket and later revealed seven other ones that were actually in a stack.

"What's that?" Twilight asked as I held the same question in mind.

"Ooh, ooh, ooh, I know!" Pinkie Pie waved her hoof rapidly in the air. "A paper fan!"

"No, it's—"

"A magic trick!" Pinkie prevented Rarity from finishing her sentence. "You know, where I pick a card and remember what it is and then you put it back in the deck so you can't look at it and—"

"These are tickets to the hottest musical on Bridleway!" Rarity returned the favor by walking closer towards us to allow us to see the tickets clearly.

"You couldn't mean Hinny of the Hills..." Twilight mentioned after forming a hopeful grin. "…because that show's been sold out for months! Or could you?!" She exclaimed with a wild smirk.

"I could. I do." Rarity reacted keenly in the same manner.

Twilight gasped out loudly. "Oh, Rarity, you didn't have to do that, but... since you did..."

The rest of the girls instantly joined Twilight in her cheerful and loud hopping, expressing each one of their appreciation and excitement on the manner.

"This trip is fun already! I love jumping up and down! Whee-hee!" Pinkie Pie expressed enthusiastically while the girls continued to go through their highly adorable expressions.

I actually didn't really hear about this play, but I was really happy I would be spending the time watching it with them anyway. I didn't reveal my excitement as much as they did, but nonetheless, I left them to their girl-to-girl display of emotions. I turned to Spike who continued to carry Rarity's items.

"You need any help?" I asked with a grin.

"No thanks…" He strained out, holding a heavy bag. "I've…got this…"

"You sure…?" I asked, concerned by the way he looked under the weight.

"Yeah… Gotta show Rarity I'm…capable of…carrying her bags."

I smirked lightly. "Whatever you say…"

"All aboard!" We heard the conductor shout out, leading for us to grab our things and head inside the train.

Seeing how Spike was behind in Rarity's bags, I used my magic to help bring all of them on board. Once we were inside, we all sat close by each other. I felt like looking out the window most of the trip, so I had picked the spot close by the window. I decided to space out so the mares could be mares without me possibly feeling weird about it.

Soon throughout the train ride, I began noticing the immediate differences from leaving Ponyville to arriving at Manehattan. Everything began becoming more…urban, if that's the right word to use. In fact, the train even moved on a bridge that led to the city of Manehattan, which was more somewhat of small island. I stared out the window to see a few small boats sailing on the ocean below us. Then, ahead I could see huge buildings that were way completely different from Ponyville! The best way to describe them would be like those buildings we saw in that comic book world.

Once we actually stopped at the station to board off, I was allowed to see how enormously high the buildings actually were than how they looked. I knew that if I was on the rooftop on one of those buildings, and I looked down, I would become dizzy from the high height, even if I have wings. Seeming as if she was already used to these new surroundings, Rarity led us out of the train station where everything we saw was completely urban. It was similar to Canterlot, but Canterlot had more of a sophisticated and fancy look while this city held back a lot on the fancy.

"Come along, ponies!" Rarity directed while I remained in awe. "I found us a place to stay only a block from the train station in the very heart of this glorious metropolis!" She held out her hoof enthusiastically out to the busy streets in front of us.

We resumed walking with Rarity in the lead. We continuously looked out to observe everything that was happening around us until Applejack stopped to point a hoof at a certain area. "Hey, look! That's the theater where Hinny of the Hills is playin'!"

The rest of the girls presented their astonishment for the theater that was really packed with ponies waiting in line.

"Wow, Rarity!" Twilight expressed, noticing the long line we passed by on the sidewalk. "How'd you manage to get us seats for tomorrow night?"

"Oh, I gave some designs to the costume designer, so he pulled a few strings." Rarity calmly explained.

"Cool!" Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and Pinkie Pie expressed otherwise.

"That is what makes Manehattan so splendid and amazing." Rarity continued on in our walk. "You do something nice for somepony, and then you never know when they'll do something nice for you!"

"So then you can do something nice for us!" Applejack added, referring to the play we were rewarded to see.

"Like get us in to see Hinny of the Hills!" Fluttershy excitedly acknowledged.

"Which is only the best musical in all of Equestria!" Rainbow Dash surprisingly commented.

"It must be good if Rainbow Dash is impressed." Applejack honestly brought up. "Normally she doesn't even like musicals."

"I know." Rainbow admitted. "Ponies just bursting into song in random places at the drop of a hat? Who does that?"

Already knowing we've done that plenty of times, Rarity decided to emphasize that by beginning a song of her very own.

"Oh, Manehattan, what you do to me

Such a huge bustling community" She went on ahead in a happy trot as we followed her.

"And there's always opportunity

To do the friendly thing" Rarity managed to find that Spike was having quite a bit of a struggle carrying her bags.

"If some are grouchy, pay no mind

Surprise instead with something kind" Rarity decided to reward Spike on his help by buying him a tasty treat from a nearby vender.

"Lo and behold, you may just find" Spike was about to take a bite of his treat until a bird suddenly took it out of his claws, angering him deeply.

"A smile is what you bring" I approached him and focused my attention towards the bird. Making sure Fluttershy wouldn't see, I sent out a beam towards the bird. Next thing we knew, the edible item dropped back down and was returned to Spike. It was his, after all.

Arriving at the hotel, a bellhop had just passed through the doors with a luggage carrier.

"Welcome to the Mane Fair Hotel!" He greeted with a greatly positive attitude. "Please allow me to take those bags to your room for you!"

"Only if you'll accept this gratuity first." Rarity responded, holding up a gem with her magic.

"Oh-ho-ho!" He expressed after his eyes were caught onto the gem. "I'll get your change!"

"Do keep it all." Rarity generously encouraged. "I insist!"

After Spike was finally allowed to rest himself, our luggage was taken to our room while Rarity decided we should start off our stay with a cruise on a yacht. Rarity continued to express her love of being generous as she looked out among the water. I had to say, the stay here already seemed to be off at a great start.

"Generosity, I'm here to show all that I can give

Generosity, I'm here to set the bar

Just sit back and watch how I live!"

We stopped by the large green statue of the pony the city was known for. There was actually an observation deck on top where a few other ponies were. Rarity was heading towards one of the planted binoculars until she stumbled upon another pony that was planning to use them.

"After you." She delightfully insisted.

"Why, thank you." The stallion happily returned.

Rarity noticed another stallion who was shaking from the cold breeze that blew through the area.

"Please, take mine." Rarity offered the scarf she had been wearing, wrapping it around his neck.

"Wow, okay." The tourist accepted in a surprise.

I had to admit, Rarity was really being generous. I wonder if it was all the excitement and happiness of being here with us. She was having a really good day.

"Some may say, 'Rarity,'" She continued as we were back on the streets.

"'Don't be so big-hearted and bold

Treating strangers like they're friends

This town's too big and cold'" She slightly shivered.

"But this is how I play my cards

I'm not about to fold

Where I see a frown, I go to town" Possibly for a certain reason, she turned to me and stretched out a smile on my face with her hooves, even though I wasn't frowning at all.

"Call me the smile patrol"

"Oh, Manehattan, what you do to us" Rainbow ironically decided to join as we continued on.

"What if you find a Gloomy Gus?" Fluttershy pointed out, directing our attention to a highly frustrated and complaining pony towards a broken wheel on the taxi cart.

"It's no intimidatin' thing" Applejack slipped under the cart and pushed it up with her strength.

"Just be kind without a fuss!" Pinkie Pie assured everything would be alright with her gleeful facial expressions.

"Generosity, I'm here to show all that I can do!" Rarity trotted towards the taxi cart.

"Generosity, you are the key" She was able the mend the broken piece of the wheel back together, allowing the driver to continue on thankfully.

"Manehattan, I'm here just for you!" Rarity twirled around a street lamp.

"Just for you!" She ended with her forelegs outstretched to take in the stunning sights around us.

We paused by a dress shop as Rarity gazed inside, possibly imagining her own dresses on the dress forms inside. She sighed happily. "To think my dresses could soon be displayed on the most glamorous shopping thoroughfare of the most glamorous city in Equestria! Oh, it would be my dream come true!"

"Is there anything left to do we can help you with?" Twilight gratefully asked beside a beaming Pinkie.

"Hm, nothing I can think of." Rarity thought for a moment before responding. "The dresses are all completely finished, all made from a fabulous new fabric I've been developing for months. Stretchy, but not clingy. Shimmery, but not showy."

"Sounds amazing." Fluttershy expressed for the both of us.

"There's nothing left for me to do but check in at the runway with my dresses by two this afternoon." Rarity confirmed stress-free.

"Oh, that's funny." Pinkie spoke and pointed out towards a huge clock on one of the tallest buildings. "Because that clock over there makes it seem like that's only ten minutes from now!"

Coincidentally at this alarming news, heavy rain clouds formed above us and thunder boomed, leading for rain itself to immediately follow.

"Oh, my ribbons and threads. And the runway ballroom is all the way across town! If I don't get there, I'm disqualified!" She quickly ran out in distress. "Taaaaxiii!"

"Oh, no!" Fluttershy worriedly expressed. "We've gotta help her find a cab, now!"

"I'm on it!" Rainbow Dash flew straight towards the first taxi she could find. "Hey, buddy! Is this cab taken?"

"The line ends back there, 'buddy'!" A stallion appeared from inside the cab and rudely answered to Rainbow Dash. He had pointed towards the sidewalk, leading for us to turn to.

"Huh?" Rainbow turned her head as well, noticing a line just as long as the one at the theater. "What? Does everypony in this town want a cab?"

"Everypony that doesn't want to be drenched in the rain." I explained as Rainbow Dash joined us back on the ground.

Rarity walked by, covering her mane with a newspaper. "I'm afraid getting a taxi at this time could prove almost impossible!" She emphasized my point.

"Please won't you let her have this taxi?" Twilight worriedly walked over to the stallion that was preparing for the incoming cab and asked. "She has somewhere very important to be right away!"

"Not likely! She can get in line like the rest of us!" He answered bitterly with no hesitation as he climbed onto the cab, leading the other ponies in line to complain angrily.

"Oh, it's no use!" Twilight sat herself at the corner of the sidewalk. "The cab drivers just drive right past to get to the next pony in line!"

Unexpectedly, a familiar driver stopped right in front of us. "New wheel works like a charm!" It was the pony that Rarity fixed the wheel for. "So now which of you nice folks are hoppin' in?"

"Fashion runway plaza in seven minutes." Rarity quickly jumped in. "Can you make it?"

"Hang on!" He prepared his hooves in the air for fast transportation.

"Ta-ta!" Rarity expressed before she was rushed out of our location.

"Whew, that was close." Spike had come walking our way, holding another carrot dog in his claw. It seemed the time he was missing was spent on getting another food item. The girls returned general agreement when I continued staring out at the direction Rarity had left. Just as Spike was about to take a bite out of his food, he suddenly paused. "Anypony else got a sneaking suspicion we're forgetting something?"

After a very short moment, the girls' eyes widened greatly as they prepared to exclaim out loud. "The dresses!"

"Dresses?" I quickly questioned.

"Rarity was supposed to take the dresses she had made to her check in! We had left them at the hotel!" Twilight explained dreadfully.

I gasped at this alarming new information. "Come on! We have to hurry and get those dresses to her then!" We all galloped back to the hotel, feeling the matter of minutes slipping off our backs.

Paying no attention to time, we arrived at the hotel, bursting in through the front door. We quickly looked around for the bellhop that was handling our things.

"There!" Twilight pointed out to a specific pony carrying around luggage.

We instantly approached him for me to ask about the dresses we required urgently.

"Excuse me!" I caught his attention. "The dresses. Where exactly did you put them?"

"Right to your right as soon as you go in your room." He clearly answered.

"Thanks!" I returned and galloped towards the stairs, seeing that we had no time to wait for an elevator.

With the girls right behind me, I pushed through and entered into our room. I immediately noticed the dresses hanging on the portable line.

"You think we'll make it in time?" Rainbow Dash questioned. "We've gotta have like less than five minutes now!"

After looking away from the dresses, the first thing my eyes caught onto were the windows.

"We've got no other choice. Hurry, open those windows there!" I pointed directly at them.

Twilight did so with her magic, but was wondering on how that related to getting the dresses to Rarity on time.

"How exactly is this going to help?" She asked.

I placed myself on the dress carrier, leaving one hoof on the ground like a scooter.

"We're about to find out!" I pushed my hoof against the ground and began flapping my wings, preparing for my unplanned stunt.

"Whoa, Alex, wait!" Twilight called out, but it was too late.

I managed to fit through the window and was immediately outside. I flapped my wings with all my strength in order to keep myself in the air. When I saw the closest thing to ground were the rooftops, I landed on there and continued to support the momentum in the wheels of the carrier. I quickly worked my way towards the streets to where I was able to maneuver at an appropriate height, but I had to swerve past other ponies that were walking along.

I remembered to head in the direction Rarity was going at. Using whatever clues and signs there were available about the runway Rarity had been talking about, I continuously flapped my wings so I wouldn't have to use my back hoof to keep me moving. It was honestly a little something I had learned from Scootaloo.

Fortunately, as I made my way inside the building, the doors were open, so I wouldn't have to come to an abrupt stop. However, I was still coming in pretty fast as I entered the main lobby.

"Whoa!" I expressed and attempted to use my magic to slow down the carrier, later seeing Rarity was on the floor after most likely just realizing she didn't have her dresses. "Don't worry! They're here!" I announced.

Rarity gasped and quickly confronted me with no hesitation.

"You're a lifesaver!" She quickly squeezed and even kissed me on the cheek before taking the carrier on ahead to wherever she was supposed to be.

Afterwards, it was heavily quiet except for the tapping noises the pony at the counter was making with the typewriter. It was sort of a weird change to endure, seeing how everything was fast-paced and heart-pounding the first second, and then immediately quiet and calm the next.

"Hm…" I expressed to myself. "Can't see why I can't wait for her to see how it went…" Allowing to rest in order to make up for those crazy stunts I endured, I walked over to the comfortable seats ahead and sat down. There, I placed both of my forelegs together between my back legs and began looking around. It was even a little awkward how the mare at the counter just continued tapping her typewriter while I just…recovered, I guess. My heart was slowing down and my adrenaline was wearing out.

My legs swung lightly as I looked around the clean room. I stared at the paintings to the side and behind me. I usually wouldn't have minded the silence, but ever since Spirit would pop out randomly to talk to me, I sort of felt she would do that now. But she didn't appear. I supposed it was the receptionist who was too busy minding her own business.

I decided to head into the stallion's restroom to clean up a bit after rushing in the rain. I shook whatever water that was still on me off me and then used the small towels inside to wipe any excess water left off. Lastly, I moved on to my face. The towel covered my field of sight until I removed it when I was done. However, when I was able to see myself in the mirror again, I saw another pony staring right at me. Fortunately, it wasn't a creepy smile.

Jumping back a little, I quickly turned to see that Spirit was right by me.

"Thought I should come visit you." She spoke with a warm smile.

"Geez…" I calmed myself. "You always love doing that, don't you?"

She closed her eyes in glee. "It's funny."

I sighed and placed the towel away. "I hope you know that we're in the stallion's restroom though…"

"So?" She questioned calmly.

"So…any stallion can come in and see a filly in here." I explained.

"Oh, Alex." She lightly messed with my semi-wet mane. "You should already know that I'm superior to vanishing at the last second."

Smiling lightly, I knew it as well. "If you say so."

Of course, it did feel a little awkward talking in a bathroom, so we didn't prolong our conversation in there. We possibly would have talked out into the lobby, but we couldn't as the receptionist was there. I still couldn't see why she was so afraid of being out in public with me. Was she afraid of other ponies? That seemed to make sense, but then again, she was completely open to everypony when we were inside that comic book. Either way, whatever it was, I had to respect what she wanted, no matter how intriguing it was.

I continued roaming around in silence until I noticed several ponies walk past me as they headed towards the exit. Taking whatever that was going on in there was done, I waited with a smile on my face to see Rarity walk out.

Soon enough, she did. She held her head up proudly, as if everything went well.

"Hey." I greeted her, approaching her by the side. "How'd everything go?" I asked.

She returned a sigh of relief. "Just well, thank you." She presented her relief as well through facial expressions and body movements. "I don't know if I would've been able to avoid being disqualified hadn't it been for you."

"Pffft." I merely brushed away. "It's really nothing…" I began walking by her side out the building. "So what now? What more do you have to do?"

"I have an appointment very soon for today. I'm going to be showing my dresses to Prim Headline." She reacted eagerly at the thought of it. "I honestly cannot wait to do so, I'm just so very sure she'll love my dresses."

"Who wouldn't?" I answered with a rhetorical question.

Rarity giggled lightly while slightly looking away. "So, yes… I apologize, but for now, I'm not able to spend some time with you or the others. I need to be at least half an hour early for my appointment, just the way Prim likes."

"That's fine." I assured. "You didn't come here and invite us along with you just to spend time with us. Work comes first."

"I'm glad you're able to understand very easily." She expressed and then thought for a moment. "However…I do have some time for a quick lunch…" She hinted lightly.

Grinning a bit, I decided to take it. "Shall I take the lady out for some lunch before her big appointment?"

"Oh, please." She politely declined. "Allow me to take the gentlecolt instead."

"Wow." I chuckled, following along her. "You're really generous today."

"I believe it's the least I can do for saving my opportunity back there…" She recalled.

"Come on…" I modestly shrugged. "It really was nothing…"

"Then, I shall get you nothing to eat." Rarity smirked playfully, allowing me to play along as well.

"Okay, it was something!" I said before we trotted onwards with a small laughter.

After was exited out of the small but thriving restaurant we stopped in, our appetite was satisfied.

"Guess, I better let you get to your appointment then." I mentioned before I could take up any more of her time. "I should get back to the hotel anyway. The others are probably worried sick about me." I chuckled lightly, looking in the direction I originally came from.

"Oh, I'm sure they know you did a job well done." Rarity assured softly, waving her hoof slightly. "You never fail us when it comes to our issues."

I smiled lightly at her. "Thanks. And thanks for the generous lunch too." I placed my hoof around her for a warm embrace. "I really appreciate it."

Rarity laughed kindly with a lightly heated blush. "It was my pleasure."

"I'll see you later, okay?" I guaranteed as I pulled away.

"Mm-hm." Rarity nodded her head gladly. "You'll be the first to hear the amazing news I'll be bringing!"

"True that." I smirked and then waved. "Have fun at your appointment!"

"I will!" She joyfully waved back as we both began going in our own direction.

I began wondering if the food was what started making me a bit drowsy and sleepy as I approached the hotel door. I knocked and waited for the girls to answer. Twilight was at the door when it opened.

"Alex! Did everything go alright?! Did Rarity get her dresses? Are you okay?" She hastily fired at me as I walked inside the room.

"Yeah, yeah…" I yawned a bit. "Sorry I was gone for so long. I waited for Rarity to see that everything went well on her end. Then, we had some lunch before she had to go to another appointment."

"Well, that's a relief to hear…" Twilight managed to smile warmly.

"We were waiting for you to come back so we can go out for some fun in Manehattan!" Rainbow Dash excitedly flew by me, eager to head out.

"But," Twilight strained. "We were more concerned about your well-being." She made clear. "However, now that you're here, what do you say we go out and have some fun, huh?" She lightly nudged me.

"That sounds great." I answered, but began feeling like I couldn't really keep my eyes open. "…but I'm kind of tired…I think I'll stay here and take a nap."

Pinkie instantly bounced in front of me. "Aw! You aren't coming?!"

"Sorry for keeping you all waiting… I just wouldn't want to slow you down if I lag behind." I apologized sincerely.

However, Twilight coped and formed a small grin while chuckling lightly. "Okay, we'll go out for a while, but when we come back, you're coming with us whether you like it or not."

I pretended playfully as if I was intimidated. "Oh no. I better get sleeping then."

"You better!" Twilight pointed. "Come on, girls." Twilight looked towards the others and gestured them out the door.

The rest followed while Fluttershy flashed me a gentle wave before she carried on. Before Twilight closed the door, she sent me another jokingly look of seriousness and shut the door. I sighed contently and then allowed myself to fall on the bed.

A moment after I closed my eyes, I heard another voice nearby.

"I'm sure they're fun to be with."

Without needing to open my eyes, I answered. "Hey, Spirit." I greeted, already knowing the routine, especially when hearing her voice.

"Hi hi." She returned jubilantly. "Going to sleep so early, are we?"

I opened my eyes to notice her sitting on the side of the bed. "I was kind of excited for this trip… I couldn't really sleep, so I woke up earlier than I probably needed to. Besides, I also expended a lot of energy getting the dresses to Rarity and had a pretty full lunch. I'm excused." I smirked lightly.

"Of course." She responded and then looked away towards the window. "Why don't you go on ahead, sleepy head, and I'll look around this room a bit, if you don't mind."

"Knock yourself out." I replied and closed my eyes. "I'm about to right now." I made myself comfortable and slowly felt myself spacing out.

"Oh my gosh, what a great afternoon! That was almost too much fun!" I heard Twilight's voice exclaim as several hoofsteps entered inside the room. I mumbled a bit, feeling no need to wake myself just yet. I turned over to the other side of the room, covering my head with the blankets. "Hey!" Twilight shouted and then pounced on the bed, which was pretty surprising because usually I'd expect Pinkie to do that. "Get up! We aren't finished yet!"

"You better have gotten enough sleep, 'cause the rest of the day is jam-packed!" Rainbow Dash happily stated while she approached the bed.

"First there's the salon appointment to get our manes done." Applejack listed, despite that activity being more suited for a mare, and walked towards the bed as well.

"Then our fancy dinner at the Far-Afield Tavern!" Pinkie Pie joined cheerfully.

"And after that..." Fluttershy added.

"Hinny of the Hills!" They all blurted and jumped in the air, landing directly on top of me on the bed.

I could feel myself practically being crushed under them, so I quickly pulled myself out with attentive widened eyes and shouted. "Ow! Okay, okay! I'm up!" I scratched my head and rubbed my mane, able to feel certain spots where it was slightly messy. The girls continued laughing together in possible victory, leading me to smile at them until I turned my head towards the doorway.

I was shocked to see a completely unexpected sight. Rarity was standing right there, holding her head gloomily low while her mane was slightly frizzled as if she had been stressing out greatly about something. The worst part of it was when I saw tears slipping out from her eyes.

"Rarity…!" I trotted towards her. "What's wrong? What happened?" I quickly asked.

Rarity appeared as if she wanted to speak, but hardly couldn't. Her muzzle scrunched and her lips shook terribly. Tears immediately quickened their production in her eyes, and then she had to hold up a hoof to her face to try to prevent anything startling from happening. I tried to hold up a hoof to reach out slowly, but she immediately began bawling, holding me for support.

"Whoa, Rarity!" Twilight exclaimed, noticing the sight of her. "What's going on?"

Continuing to cry and clench my coat, Rarity began attempting to respond while breathing rapidly between pauses. "I let one of the other contestants use some of my one-of-a-kind fabric…and then she turned it into a wardrobe just like mine…only now it looks like I'm the one copying her! My generosity has ruined me, I tell you! Ruined!" She bawled loudly once again.

"Now, Rarity, whatever went wrong, we're all here to help you get through it, no matter what it takes." Twilight assured comfortingly, receiving general agreement from the others.

"Come on, Rarity, buck up!" Applejack expressed lively. "All we need is some fabric and you'll be back in business!"

"Now, hold on…" I stated as Rarity's despair seemed to lighten up. "Is there any way you can prove that this contestant stole your line?"

Rarity continued to sniffle a bit while wiping her eyes. "No. She already showed her line to Prim Headline. Prim already thinks that she is the one who came up with it first, as she showed her outfits before I could!" She sighed greatly. "No one would believe me, most importantly Prim Headline."

"Shoot…" I looked away sadly. "I'd hate to let this contestant get away with this, but what's more important right now is getting you back on track. We can deal with this contestant later, but it looks like right now we have to get you a new line."

"Where is Rarity going to find the fabric and new ideas for an entire new line in such a short time?" Twilight worriedly asked.

However, Rarity had quietly pulled away from me and looked around the room. She noticed the curtains on the windows, the rug on the floor, and rubbed the bed sheets on the bed. Soon enough, her face immediately beamed up with hope. She gasped loudly. "This new line is going to be marvelous! Perhaps even better than the last! It's daring, it's bold! Perhaps I still have a chance after all!"

"Just tell us what you need us to do and we'll do it!" Twilight announced proudly and confidently.

Rarity cleared her throat and looked among us, but more at the girls. "Girls, if I am to redeem myself from this monstrosity of a situation, I'll need all your help. We're going to have to be here for a long while in order to get these dresses out on time."

"Well…" Applejack rubbed her chin as she looked back in thought. "I suppose we can skip our appointment at the salon…"

"What about fancy dinner at the Far-afield Tavern?!" Pinkie Pie immediately questioned a little fearfully.

Rarity sighed and thought about it for a moment. "If you girls can stay during that time…I'll order you a meal while you work on the dresses."

Twilight looked at the others and shrugged. "I guess that's okay… After all, what we were really excited about was for Hinny of the Hills."

"Perfect!" Rarity expressed happily and then began to point out everpony's jobs.

When Rarity estimated the fabric and the amount she would need, she appointed Fluttershy and Twilight to the sewing machines. Rainbow Dash was on the spinning wheel while Pinkie Pie pulled out fabric and Applejack folded it. I had asked her what I was able to do, but she only told me that she had nothing at that moment but would come up with something soon.

However, it was pretty uncomfortable seeing the girls do all the work while I stood around doing nothing. At first, it wasn't so bothering until they began to look tired in performing repetitive work. Since all I could do at the moment was watch, I noticed how Rarity had changed. She focused her mind practically a hundred percent on getting these dresses done rather than the comfort of the others like earlier today. I know this was really important to her…but…because of one contemptible contestant, she allowed her generosity to escape, leaving her to change to virtually a grueling pony.

She walked around the hotel room that was transformed into a work area. She held her designing red glasses while she picked out a roll of fabric. She eyed over to Fluttershy's area, where Fluttershy herself seemed to be having trouble with the machine or something. Fluttershy noticed this and immediately sent back a nervous grin. Almost coldly, Rarity continued to pass Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie. However, she stopped by Pinkie after she noticed her playing with a ball of thread, rather than doing what she was supposed to. Rarity sent her a glaring look, leading Pinkie to quickly return to her assigned job.

When she reached Applejack, I could tell Applejack was finally relieved to have finished folding the last of her fabric until Rarity placed down the rolls she had been holding. Applejack only withheld a sigh and expressed her thoughts through silent facial expressions.

I couldn't handle seeing the girls work like this, so I sat up and approached Rarity as she was heading towards Twilight.

"Rarity, there has to be something I can do to help. Maybe I can let one of the girls have a break while I take over." I offered.

"Alex, please." Rarity responded without much emotion. "A handsome stallion such as yourself shouldn't have to—" Rarity immediately shut her mouth when she noticed every mare in the room staring at her weirdly. She quickly cleared her throat and returned her attention to Twilight. "Twilight! Sew these pieces together according to that pattern there!" She pointed her head towards the design blueprints on the table by Twilight.

"You said if we skipped dinner at the Far-Afield Tavern, you'd order a meal for us while we keep working." Twilight brought up, seeing as the time they would have been at the restaurant had already past.

"Don't fret. It'll be here in an hour. That's not going to be a problem, is it?" Rarity irritatingly looked at the rest of the ponies working.

"Well, we're supposed to be watching Hinny of the Hills by then..." Rainbow Dash answered reluctantly with hesitation.

"Oh! I see!" Rarity lowered her head and walked forward, picking up a cloth in her way. "I go out of my way to get you tickets for a show, and this is how you repay me?" She wrapped it around a dress form as a bow. "By abandoning me in my hour of need?" She paused to receive lowered heads from them, seeing it as they didn't want to work anymore. "Oh, oh, oh!" She was deeply offended with a loss of words for a quick moment. "Fine!" She pounded her hooves on the floor. "Go and see Hinny of the Hills tonight! And then tomorrow morning when you come to see my fashion show without any fashion to show, you can have more entertainment!" She dashed between Pinkie and Rainbow to express her feelings on the matter. "'Oh, why look, there's our friend Rarity going down in flames! Isn't friendship magic?!'"

"Rarity, calm down." Twilight carefully approached Rarity. "What's gotten into you?"

"What's gotten into you?!" Rarity shot back. "Oh, go ahead! See your little show! Congratu-pony-lations, fillies! Sounds like you've all figured out already it's everypony for herself in this town!" Rarity slammed her hooves on the floor once again and then once more with the door when she raced out the room. The girls looked at each other sadly and then returned back to work, seeing as her appeal to emotion worked successfully.

I sighed heavily, seeing as I still didn't receive a task from Rarity. I had to at least do something useful.

"I'll go get dinner, everypony." I announced, feeling affected by Rarity's behavior as well. "I might as well do something useful." Before I walked out the door, I took a look at the girls. I could tell they were on the edge of falling asleep. "I better get some coffee too… Looks like we're going to be up all night."

I managed to order take-out from the tavern the girls wanted to go to, but of course, that feeling of eating together, laughing, and having fun would be missing. I didn't want to sound negative, but this was all because of that loathing contestant Rarity was talking about. Either way, I was too tired and lightly depressed to express it in my behavior, which was a good thing if I didn't want to tick whoever I approached off. Nonetheless, I roamed the streets carrying the bag of food with my teeth while my eyes would close every now and then. I stopped by a coffee place on the way and figured we could now really use it.

I entered the café and headed towards the counter with the intention of only getting what I wanted and leaving.

"Seven lattes…" I frankly ordered to the mare at the counter.

"Any specific flavor?" She asked.

Feeling no strength to think about that, I merely just wanted to get it out of the way. "Whatever. Just your usual way of doing it." I flipped my hoof while I felt the need to rest my head on the counter.

"Looks like you could really use a strong one, buddy." She commented while finishing up my order.

"Tell me about it…" I mentioned under my breath, allowing her to go on ahead to make the coffee.

I wasn't exactly tired as if I was deprived of sleep. Rather, it was the loss of eagerness and fun that was once instated at the beginning of the day.

"Alex?" I heard my name being called surprisingly, but I didn't feel like turning around to see who it was. "Alex, is that you?" When I heard hoofsteps sound near me, I decided to lightly turn my head to notice an unfamiliar mare walk towards me with a smile on her face. "It is you!" She unexpectedly held out her forelegs and pulled me in for an unknowing embrace. "It's so good to see you!"

"Uh…do I know you?" I asked, trying to think of how I could know this mare, but either way, my brain didn't want to function fully.

"It's me! Suri Polomare? We used to go to school together!" She expressed friend-like.

"…school?" I tried to recall.

"Y'know? In Fillydelphia?" She seemed to feel that a small chuckle would be appropriate.

"Oh…um…sorry…" I responded honestly, not remembering her specifically as no pony would really talk to me anyway. "I don't really remember you…"

"That's okay!" She took cheerfully nonetheless. "It was like a long time ago anyway."

There was another mare by her, but she looked unhappy rather than energetic as Suri was. "I—"

"Uh, excuse me?" Suri interrupted a little rudely. "I'm having a conversation right now? Don't you know it's rude to cut ponies off like that?" This mare immediately lowered her head and refrained from talking at all. I was quite shocked when seeing this, but I couldn't exactly say anything about it right then and there. "Sorry." Suri apologized to me. "That's just Coco Pommel." She introduced her very…well…without importance. "I'm just mentoring her and showing her how life is in the city." Uh-huh… "So, how've you been?!" It was quite uncomfortable to see how quickly she changed from the tone of disgust when talking about the mare with her to a tone of cheer when talking to me.

"…okay…I guess…?" I replied, feeling no need to actually strike up an enjoying conversation.

"That's nice to hear!" She stated expressively. "Me? I decided to move here in the big city to follow my dreams of—"

"Your coffee is ready." The mare that took my order placed the coffee in holders, which I gratefully used my magic to carry them.

"Sorry." I apologized to Suri. "But I really need to get going. It's been uh…nice seeing you…Suri…um…" I began to slowly slip away and also glanced over to Coco, who was looking away but managed to sneak a peek at me as well.

"Of course!" Suri waved her hoof happily at me. "We should catch up really soon!"

"Sure…" I said softly so she couldn't hear me, but I had no intention of speaking with her again. I was relieved when I was able to escape the shop and finally head back to the hotel.

After I walked in the hotel room and closed the door behind me, I notified the others that I was back.

"You all must be hungry…" I walked in with the bag of food in my teeth and coffee in mid-air.

The girls working sighed heavily and took a break from their work, shaking their hooves as they must have been sore.

"We better hurry." Twilight advised and glanced over at their work. "I highly doubt we'll make it to the show. We'll probably barely finish when morning comes."

"Ugh." Rainbow expressed, rubbing her hoof. "This blows. We should have been getting ready for Hinny of the Hill by now."

"It's Rarity who even got us the chance to see Hinny of the Hill, Rainbow. We can't leave her all by herself in a case like this. No matter how rude she may be acting, it still isn't fair." Twilight acknowledged.

Rainbow Dash sighed. "Fine."

I passed a plate and a latte to each one of the girls. Afterwards, I sat myself down on the floor with my own meal. "I'm guessing Rarity didn't show up while I was gone?"

They shook their head.

"She's probably calming down somewhere here…" Twilight assumed. "Doesn't mean she'll be calm when she gets back up here though…"

"Well, guess we better finish our food as soon as possible." I suggested. "Don't want her to blow a fuse when she comes back and sees us not working."

Throughout the night, the girls continued working. I decided I could take Rarity's place in placing the fabric and accessories in the right places on the dress form. I was content that I was at least doing something instead of staring and doing nothing at all.

Rarity returned sooner or later, but she didn't seem to want to spare a word to any of us. Everything from on then was just…confusion. We had no time to try to resolve the issue some other way. We just had to do what we had to do, I guess…

I was impressed the girls were still able to last through their work, however. Even almost being total zombies, they seemed to stick with what Rarity wanted. Morning struck and attacked our weary eyes. Nonetheless, we all seemed to be very relieved when we saw Twilight and Applejack attaching the final piece to the final dress…finally.

"There. That's the last of them." Twilight stated, leading the girls to finally smile in relief, despite the bags from under their eyes. I didn't even notice that Spike was sleeping in the bed at the end of the room.

A second later, Rarity came rushing through us with the rest of her dresses, bringing the one we just finished along with her. "Finally!" She exclaimed and ran out the door.

"You're welcome!" Twilight angrily expressed with a raised hoof, but it didn't seem that Rarity heard or cared about these words. Twilight shut the door and sighed loudly. "Did anypony else feel bad when we knew we were missing Hinny of the Hills at the time it would have been showing?"

"I would've…" Applejack replied, tiredly rubbing her right foreleg in exhaustion. "…but I was too busy…doin'…the…thingamaji…" Her ears flopped down and her eyes closed.

"You girls better get your rest." I advised. "It's been one heck of a working night."

"What about you?" Twilight asked in concern.

"I'll go out and get some breakfast for us…probably some coffee again so we can last through the day. For now, just try and catch up on your sleep."

"Are you sure you're up for that?" Twilight asked, seeing as I had spent the entire night with them.

"Yeah." I nodded. "After all, I do technically have that extra sleep from the nap I took yesterday. Hopefully the coffee is good enough to last until I can really sleep when we get back to Ponyville."

"Well, be careful out there…" Twilight tiredly expressed, holding a heavy hoof to my shoulder. "Wouldn't…want you to…you know…get run over or…something…"

I managed to smile lightly at that. "I'll be fine."

Once the girls made themselves comfortable, I left the hotel, feeling unfortunately not fully aware of my surroundings. My eyelids wanted to close, but I strained them enough to keep them open as much as they could stand.

Fortunately, the coffee shop wasn't too far from the hotel. I decided I could get the breakfast there along with the coffee. When I walked inside, I headed towards the counter until I not shockingly bumped into somepony.

"Oh, I'm so sorry!" It was a soft voice that quickly and frantically apologized.

"No…no…" I tiredly expressed. "I'm the one who's…" After I got a look at this pony, I realized it was the one I met the night before. "…sorry…" I finished and then observed her face. "…Coco, right?"

"Y-yes…" She returned while looking away as if she feared something greatly. She actually kind of reminded me a lot of Fluttershy.

However, before I could say anything, the mare at the counter called to me. "Seven lattes again?" She half-joked after taking a look at me.

"How do you know?" I asked curiously.

"You look like you need it even more than yesterday." She smiled a little wittily.

I managed to smile back. "I sure do… and add some of those breakfast specials too while you're at it, please…" I strained my eyes at the menu. "The one with the…muffins…and stuff…"

The mare only stretched her smile and worked on my order.

I looked back at Coco to continue speaking with her. "So… Suri is not with you?"

"She sent me out to go get coffee for her…"

"…she doesn't really…seem to treat you so well…"

Coco nodded hesitantly as she continued looking away. "She's only trying to teach me how it goes down in Manehattan so I can get used to it."

"I'm not so sure that's how it really goes down here…" I doubted. "Honestly…she doesn't seem like a nice pony…" Coco didn't really respond to that. "Anyways…last night…you were going to say something. Was it something you wanted to add in to our conversation or her specifically?"

"I um…I just wanted to say that…" Coco rubbed her hooves a bit. "Well…I knew you from Fillydelphia too."

My eyes slightly widened. "Really?"

She nodded. "I don't know…if it's okay to say so…but I'm really sorry for what happened…at school… To be honest… I would have liked to be your friend…but I was too shy and scared by how the ponies treated you. I hope that doesn't make me a bad pony…"

"No…no…" I assured. "It doesn't. It's understandable." I faced over to the counter and placed my forelegs on there. "If I was in your shoes, I don't think I'd do it either." The mare that took orders placed a cup of coffee on the counter with the name labeled Coco. "But, it's fine." I turned around to face her. "I mean, now, that is. I still went over some rough patches afterwards, but after such a long tiring obstacle, I finally passed through. I try to just look at today and leave the past away."

"You're pretty brave…" Coco admitted. "I mean…look at where you're at now." She directed towards my wings, horn, and possibly my Prince status. "Me? I'm just a little filly that works for a bossy 'mentor'…"

"Have you ever thought of quitting?" I asked.

"Yes." She answered. "But…then I'm afraid of so many things after… What if Suri really is keeping me up in this city? Without her, what if I can't make it?"

"I think anypony can achieve their goals as long as they put their mind, heart, and spirit to it…" I felt a small warmth in my heart. "If you hang out with the bad crowd, they'll only slow you down and turn you away from what you really want. Sometimes, even though it's scary, you have to stand up and be assertive. Take back control of the road to your goal."

"Wow…" Coco returned a little speechless. "That…kind of makes me feel better…" She paused for a moment. "Maybe…just maybe…" She began thinking until a doorbell rang.

"Coco! There you are!" Suri came in, quite frustrated at Coco for some reason. "Geez! How long were you planning on keeping me waiting before my turn at the runway?!" Coco began lowering herself in fear. Suri noticed me by her and immediately changed the tone of her voice. "Oh hi, Alex! Didn't see you there! How's it going?"

My ears didn't really pay attention but instead focused on the "runway" part of her sentence. "Runway?" I questioned.

"You know? For Fashion Week?" She chuckled a little obnoxiously. "I managed to finish my line when some mare, who obviously doesn't know anything about this city, gave me some of her fabric. Pshh." She scoffed. "Keeps complaining about me 'stealing' her fabric when she clearly gave it to me."

"Wait…" I paused and then realized who this mare really was. "You're the one who copied Rarity's designs?!"

"You know Rarity?" Suri asked, surprised herself.

"Yeah!" I felt my anger rising. "Do you know how stressed she was getting over for what you did?! How could you do such a thing to one of the most generous ponies in Equestria?!"

"That's just how it works in this city." She merely returned. "It's not my fault she doesn't know that it's everypony for herself in the big city."

I was at a loss of words. I wasn't sure if I would have went straight at her, had she been a stallion, but I just couldn't believe how this pony really was inside.

"You're unbelievable!" I exclaimed.

"…um…your…order…" I heard the mare behind me at the counter say, not willing to disturb us.

"That's so low of you!" I continued and then grabbed the bags holding my order with my magic so I could continue talking. "I just hope you know ponies that do things like what you did get what they deserve in the end!" Afterwards, I stormed out the café, not looking back once.

I returned to the hotel room feeling sick after finding out that that was actually the mare that cheated Rarity from her fabric. I placed the stuff on the table and didn't really have the appetite for breakfast anymore. Instead, I just drank my coffee to keep me awake.

Eventually, the girls began waking up, possibly due to the smell of what I brought, especially the coffee.

"You're back…" Twilight sleepily announced as she rubbed her eye.

"Yeah…" I answered and then kept silent, continuing to focus on my thoughts and drink.

Pinkie rose from her bed with her nose held up high. "Smells good!" She bounced out of bed and raced towards the table.

"Go ahead and help yourselves." I offered as they began getting out of bed.

"You're not going to eat?" Twilight asked.

"I'm not really hungry anymore." I responded and took another sip.

"Everything alright?" Twilight questioned once more after receiving the hinting answers from me.

"I actually met the pony who stole Rarity's designs at the coffee shop. Her attitude disgusted me." I shared.

"Really? Who was it?" She inquired.

"Suri Polomare or something…" I shrugged, seeing as there was nothing I could really do.

"Wow…" Twilight expressed at the news, even though she didn't actually know this pony.

At that moment, I began hearing rain drops on the window, catching my attention. I sat up and then walked towards the window. Outside, I began seeing ponies hurry to get under shelter or to catch a cab again. "It's raining…" I stated. "And Rarity's out there…" I looked downwards in thought. "I think it'd be a nice thing to do to bring her an umbrella…" I looked out and observed outside once more. "Even though she kind of acted like a jerk…I know that's not who she really is… Her real intentions showed when she got us tickets to the show in the first place…" I closed my eyes and placed a hoof to my heart. "And that's good enough…" I then felt something…beam…in my heart. Everything else seemed to fade away, such as my angry attitude, my possible hunger, and my tiredness. I then turned away and briefly skimmed through Rarity's stuff to find an umbrella. "I'm going to bring her home, okay? Then, we can settle whatever issues we have."

"Uh…" Twilight raised her hoof, as if she wanted to say something.

"I'll be back." I looked towards them and then walked out to look for her.

As I stepped outside, I opened up the umbrella and held it on top of me to cover me from the heavy rain. I walked calmly, actually enjoying the sound of the rain hitting the pavement. As I walked, I stared at the floor in thought. Actually… I didn't really know what to think. Unclear thoughts just raced in my head, and I allowed them to pass by.

I heard the racing cabs gallop past me on the main streets. I looked up to see myself reaching a familiar corner. I turned left to stay on the sidewalk but was completely caught off-guard by who I saw standing in front of the shop with the dresses out in display. At first, I couldn't completely make sure it was who I saw because of her drenched mane, but then I walked closer to get a better look.

By what I had to see, I could eventually realize it was her, especially by her familiar presence in my heart. I looked up and quickly used my magic to move the umbrella and hold it above her. She had been allowing the rain to pummel her, giving no sign of worry for her hair. Something else was severely bothering her. However, she was surprised when she felt no rain landing on any part of her body. She looked up and then turned to me to see the pony responsible for it.

"Alex…?" She questioned in deep surprise.

"Rarity…" I began. "I thought you were at the runway showing your dresses… Why are you out here all by yourself?"

She suddenly ran towards me and embraced me tightly with her drenched mane and coat. "I was such a fool! You ponies did so much for me while I merely took advantage of it for my own needs. But that's not what friendship is about…" She sniffled a bit as I held the umbrella above the both of us. "I should have placed the happiness of you all before mine. After all…that's what generosity is about…" She sighed and buried her head in my shoulder. "I thought you all left to Ponyville because of my behavior…"

"…what…?" I questioned. "No… The others are all at the hotel. I came out here looking for you because it was raining, and I didn't want you to come home drenched because I know how you hate getting your mane wet." After observing her once more, I smiled lightly. "But I guess I'm too late now, aren't I?"

She chuckled lightly with a small smile as well. "Even though I acted so horribly…you still were generous enough to come out for me?"

"That's not what friendship is about." I returned softly. "What better would it be if I just treated you like that? That's how friendships end up dissolving and breaking apart… No pony ends up wanting to resolve the situation as everything utterly fails. Besides… I know that in your heart, you really aren't like the monster you thought you were."

Rarity remained silent for a moment. "Thank you, Alex… You don't know how much you mean to me…" Then, she pulled away and looked at me firmly. "Can you please come with me? I need to speak with Prim Headline."

"Of course." I nodded, feeling better that we straightened things out.

When we reached the building, Rarity stopped by the bathroom to dry herself as much as she could with the towels inside. Then, she approached the receptionist who was busy on her typewriter, just like last time.

"I need a moment with Prim Hemline." Rarity announced after ringing bell on the desk. "I just wanted to thank her for—"

"Uh-uh-uh, you'd best steer clear of Prim for a while." Suri Polomare came in through the door, leading me to furrow my eyebrows. "She's pretty furious. Isn't that right?" She faced Coco.

"Um..." She hesitated for some reason as Suri Polomare stared in an unamused manner at her. "Yes." She seemed to forced out.

However, despite the circumstances, another group of mares, along with a purple dragon, arrived inside the lobby, looking happier than ever.

"There you all are!" Rarity exclaimed, shocked but happy to see them as well. She stepped towards them as I followed by her side.

"We didn't want Alex to go off on his own looking for you, so we began heading our way here too after we finished our breakfast. Although…we heard you lost. We're really sorry." Twilight apologized as the rest of them held saddened faces for the news Rarity had just received.

I was surprised myself.

"I lost?" Rarity questioned and then looked towards the ground sadly. However, she immediately pushed it aside. "You know what? I don't even care. I'm just happy you're all still here after how I treated you. Taking advantage of your friendship the way I did. How could you ever see past it?"

"Yeah, you were pretty rotten." Applejack stated frankly.

"Wow, Applejack. I know your thing is honesty, but come on!" Rainbow Dash couldn't help but share.

"Last night we may not have seen you at your best, but we know you." Twilight expressed towards Rarity and glanced over to me when she said that. "And we would never let one thing like that change how we feel about you." The rest of them gathered around for a group hug.

"Oh, thank you!" Rarity returned emotionally and dearly. "You really are the most wonderful friends a pony could have!" She wiped her the tears that formed in her eyes. "Come on." She gestured her head towards the outside. "There's something I need to do before we head on back."

As we exited outside, Twilight was curious enough to ask what. "What is it?"

Rarity remained silent on that, only sharing a subtle excited smile.

Rarity led us towards this specific building where we waited a while outside for some reason. When she finally come out, she was beaming more than ever.

"What?! What is it?!" Pinkie Pie eagerly asked after observing Rarity's wide smile.

"Hope you're all available for an exclusive performance of Hinny of the Hills!" She announced proudly.

This surprise caused an uproar of loud cheering from the girls.

"Wh-what?!" Twilight asked, too stunned by the positive emotions that were swelling within her.

"Come on!" Rarity directed. "The actors agreed to do another show just for us right after they had just finished the one a few minutes ago! We best hurry. Wouldn't want to miss this one as well." She winked jubilantly.

Everypony was absolutely at a loss of words. I was pretty glad that at least the plans for Hinny of the Hills was back on, but I had to admit that I wasn't as excited as the others were.

"And I'm a dancing pony~!" The main character of the show sung as she concluded the final song and ending of the show. After, they bowed, leading the curtains to close. The girls clapped their hooves loudly on the seats, cheering greatly as well.

"Wow! That was even better than I imagined!" Applejack commented heartily.

"I loved it!" Rainbow Dash flew upwards into the air and shouted out loud for all to hear, if there was anypony else. However, Rainbow received stunned stares due to her surprise of a review. She slowly returned to her seat and crossed her forelegs. "Uh, I mean, it was a'ight." She coolly corrected, leading for Applejack and Pinkie to giggle.

"How did you ever get them to agree to do an extra performance just for us?" Twilight asked Rarity the question she had been holding since the beginning of the show. I was curious to know how as well.

"Remember my costume designer friend who got me the tickets? Well, I offered to make all the costumes for his next show!" She explained, leading the girls to replace their smiles with frowns.

"Um, here in Manehattan…?" Fluttershy asked.

"Well, um... yes..." Rarity answered hesitantly. "It will keep me away from Ponyville for a while." She confessed, leading the girls to sigh in unison. "But I so wanted you to see this show!" She quickly wished to state the reason why. "And working for this designer is such a great opportunity!"

"We know." Applejack assured. "We're happy for you, Rarity. We're just sad for us."

"It's alright." I spoke. "Rarity will be gone for only a while." I stated to the others and then looked over to Rarity, smiling lightly. "We appreciate your generosity in order to make it up for us. That's the Rarity we know and love."

The others nodded and agreed in unison, leaving Rarity touched and smiling brightly but in a delicate manner.

"Mind if I join you?" We suddenly heard a familiar voice from the back of the room. We looked back to see Coco Pummel standing there as the door behind her closed shut.

"Sure?" Rarity returned, surprised of her unexpected appearance. "Come on down." She invited her as she sat up to walk to her. I also decided to get up to meet with her. For the first time, I saw Coco Pummel smile as we faced each other. She reached into her bag, pulled something out, and revealed it to Rarity. "This is the first place trophy for Fashion Week." Rarity read and then suddenly gasped sharply. "With my name on it! But I thought I lost!"

"You didn't. You won." Coco corrected, giving the trophy to Rarity as she looked confusingly between us. "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." She explained. "So she lied to make you and your friends go away, and, well, I lied too. I've worked for Suri for so long, I started to believe that it really is everypony for herself in this town." She paused and looked away in silence for a moment. Then, she turned back to Rarity. "Until I saw how generous you were with your friends and how generous they were with you." Coco then faced me. "You told me that I need to take control; that I needed to be brave… Well… I had trouble doing that…until I realized where doing that got you. You have such amazing friends…and that's something I've always wanted… It all made me start believing there was something better for me out there. So, I– I quit." She formed an uncertain face. Nonetheless, she walked towards Rarity, revealing she had more to give. "I brought you something to say thank you." She reached into her saddlebag and retrieved a beautifully wrapped box, giving it to Rarity.

Rarity stared at it for a moment and then smiled. "Hm. I suppose you'll need a job now that you're no longer with Suri." Coco formed careful eyes and quickly nodded. "How would you like to work for my friend making all the costumes for his next show?" Rarity offered, referring to what she was talking to us about just a while ago.

Coco grinned brightly, but in a very soft manner, just like Fluttershy would do. Either way, looking into her eyes, I could tell she was deeply excitedly.

Coco accompanied us as we prepared to leave Manehattan. The rest of the girls waved as they all headed inside the building towards the train. Spike, of course, was carrying all of Rarity's stuff. Before I could leave, Coco called for me to wait behind. Curiously, I did and walked towards her to see what she had called me for.

"I…um…I wasn't sure…if I should have given you a certain something too… I mean…" She seemed to stumble upon her words. She sighed heavily and decided to start fresh. "Ever since I made you this…" She pulled out another gift from within her saddlebag. "I wasn't sure whether I should give it to you. My mind always prevented me…but now…I'm following my heart." She confessed and stretched out her hoof towards me, holding the box. I stared at it for a moment in surprise, but I knew I was even in a bigger surprise when I opened the box. Nevertheless, I accepted her gift warmly and continued staring at it. "If you can wait…please open it when you get home. And only you open it. I'm a little embarrassed about it…" She rubbed her head a little nervously and even held a little blush in her cheeks. "When you open it and see what's inside, you'll know why…"

Now I was really curious to what was inside, but I was able to wait. "Don't worry." I assured with a soft smile. "I'll wait. Promise."

Coco released a breath of relief. "Thank you."

I looked back towards the train station, knowing that the girls already had to notice I was missing. "I better get going." I turned back to Coco. "I'll see you around, okay?" With a small smile, she nodded. Before I turned to walk away, I stayed and hugged her for a few seconds. When I pulled away, I grinned and vaguely explained my purpose. "Just in case you're still wondering."

Revealing her embarrassment in her face, she nonetheless nodded again in silence. I wasn't sure if she knew what I meant, but hopefully she would soon if she didn't. Afterwards, I waved once again at her and proceeded towards the train station.

When we finally returned to our home in Ponyville, I decided to visit Rarity after expressing my farewell to the rest of the girls, who probably returned to their own homes to catch up on sleep. Honestly…I also kind of wanted to see what Coco got for her as a gift.

"Visiting so soon?" Rarity joked lightly after I had knocked gently on her door.

"Sure." I played along. "It's been so long since I've seen you."

Rarity chuckled, rolled her eyes, and invited me in.

From there, we walked towards her bedroom where she began writing in her journal with a quill and ink.

"Manehattan was simply grand." She processed her thoughts out loud."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." She finished, placing the quill back in her bottle of ink and pulled out the gift Coco had given her. She unwrapped it to reveal an object that was just as beautiful as the wrapped package. It was a spool of thread, but it was completely unique to Rarity's collection. It was rainbow colored…and I had never seen anything like it…

Rarity was pretty surprised at this sight as well. However, she smiled softly and placed it inside her shelf along with her personal collection of spools of thread. For some reason, my eyes wanted to remain locked onto it, and I could feel yet another warmth in my heart.

"It certainly is beautiful…" Rarity commented.

After a second, I managed to snap out of it. "Yeah." I turned to Rarity and then continued staring at her for a moment.

"What?" She asked when she noticed me facing her like I was.

I smiled warmly and then pressed my lips against her cheek. She was immediately dazed by my move.

"Now, don't read too much into it." I friendly warned with my same smile. "I guess it's just a thank you for being such a great and generous pony." I shrugged. I remembered about my own gift to open and decided to hurry home. "I should get home. I have something else to do."

"H-heh…" Rarity returned, still a bit dazed. "Sure…"

I chuckled a little at her expression and waved. "See you tomorrow, Rarity."

Afterwards, I took my leave and headed home.

I felt like such an excited little kid who couldn't wait to open his presents when I raced upstairs to my bedroom. Instantly facing the desk near my bed, I retrieved my gift and placed it on the desk. My heart was pounding rapidly in anticipation of what dwelled inside. I took in a deep long breath and slowly exhaled. I then shut my eyes and used my magic to pull the ribbon on top to open the package. Once I felt it was loosened enough, I slowly opened one eye to see what looked like a folded note inside. I allowed both of my eyes to remain open as I reached for the note inside. When I pulled it out, I began unfolding, gasping when I realized it was actually a letter. However…the message was scribbled on with a light-blue crayon.

Hi, Alex. My name is Coco Pommel. I always see you by yourself and feel like you need a friend. I want a friend too. I want to know if you want to be my friend because I think we could be really good friends! But I am always too scared to ask you face to face. Would you like to be my friend?

At the bottom was a smiley face she drew and her signature. This was a note she must have wrote back when we were in school at Fillydelphia. Wow… Besides Miss Cadence, I never knew that there was actually another pony that liked me…and actually wanted to be my friend. I guess…she was still even too shy to give me the note…

I felt the need to release a tear of joy at that moment, despite it being a long time ago. Either way…it's was so warming to know this… It really was.

I made sure to safely store this note in my journal for safekeeping. It meant a lot to me, and I never wanted to lose it.

Of course, Coco. I hope you know that we were officially friends when I hugged you back at the train station…

As Spirit and I ate our ice cream while the light from the sunset soothed our coats, I never let go of the bright smile that was planted on my face.

And I was sure Spirit knew why.

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