• Published 18th Jan 2013
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Dysphoria, Arc 1: Introductions - thedarkprep



Applejack finds a pony at death's door during one of the worst storms of the year. He is bleeding, his wings are broken, and he's unconscious. This new pony has secrets he wants to hide, but as the saying goes, all things must come to light

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5. The Mare in the Torn Dress


5. The Mare in the Torn Dress

As perfect as Ponyville may have seemed, it took on a new beauty after dark. The soft breeze caressed the grass, forming ripples that crossed amongst the parks and hills, which were in turn illuminated by the cool rays of moonlight while the stars flickered like candles in the sky. And yet, no one was out to admire the night, save for one sole mare walking down the street. The lack of interest in the night was not a new problem; after all, this was the fuel that sparked Nightmare Moon’s fire and anger a bit over a thousand years ago. It was not even a problem that survived well into this stage of Celestia’s reign, with some of the bigger cities like Canterlot and Los Pegasus having adopted a need for nightlife in the forms of clubs and entertainment. And yet, it was still mystifying to that mare that amongst all the beauty that could be found that night, the only sound she heard was her own hoof steps.

Mystifying as it was, it was also comforting. The mare loved to come out at night; she found comfort in the solitude, a feeling of safety under Luna’s watchful eye. The silence calmed her. She walked to a bench to watch the moon for a while, noting every crater. She was awestruck by its beauty, and would often refer to it in her mind as the superior celestial body. After all, the moon (unlike the sun) would not harm those who looked upon her splendor. The moon was low to the ground now, almost completing its descent. Behind her, a few rays of light could be seen. Sunrise. The mare took a deep breath and prepared to go home. Soon the early risers would be heading off to their jobs, and as much fun as it is dealing with those cheery ponies that wake up with both energy and a smile, she would prefer to avoid them.

Sure enough, it was not long before ponies from every walk of life started heading out of their homes and towards wherever that day’s business required them to be, whether it be a store, school, or the market. The mare avoided them by keeping to the back streets of Ponyville and walking behind store buildings. She was glad that she did not have work that day, otherwise she’d need to run home, but she was still traveling at a fairly fast pace until the collision happened.

Apparently she had not been the only one taking the back streets to avoid the general public that morning. Though a bit winded, she slowly picked herself off the ground.

“Oh my goodness, are you alright?” she heard a soft voice say. Maybe it was because it wasn’t directed at her, or maybe it was the voice of the speaker, but she had had a very hard time even registering that someone had spoken.

“Hey you! Why don’t you watch where you are going?”

“That one was definitely directed at me,” thought the mare as she looked up to see two pegasi, a cyan one staring her down while a yellow one helped a unicorn buried underneath a pile of textiles to her hooves.

“Now Rainbow Dash, there is no need for that,” said the unicorn, “the crash was obviously my fault. I was too busy admiring this new fabric and I was simply not paying attention to where I was going. Now apologize to the poor girl.”

“Aw Rarity, it’s not like it’s not her fault too. She could’ve seen you coming and dodged or something, isn’t that right Fluttershy?” asked the cyan pegasus.

The yellow pegasus simply stared at the floor.

“Um, I mean, if you… that is to say, I’m just glad nopony is seriously hurt.” She mumbled.

“Exactly, and if you will not apologize then I will.” Rarity said, and then turned to face the mare.

“Now darling, I’m sorry about this horrid crash, I simply got distracted and… what?” Rarity stopped mid-apology to look at the pony.

The mare had her mane in curls and was wearing a loose green dress. The dress, however, was ripped and torn. For a brief moment Rarity thought that she might have crashed into the poor mare harder than she thought, but then she payed close attention to the tears in the dress. From the looks of them, they had been there for a while. The hemline was frayed and tattered, probably from years of use, while the shoulder straps had obviously been ripped and cheaply repaired. Now that she saw it in better light, the dress itself was faded, probably with age and multiple washes. The only conclusion was that this dress was the only one this mare had, and was damaged because of the frequency of its use.

“No no no no no, this will simply not do,” Rarity exclaimed. Using her magic she levitated all the fabric over her head and addressed the confused mare in front of her. “I don’t know where you were going or what you had planned for your morning, but you are now coming to my boutique with me.”

“I’m doing what now?” the mare asked.

“You are coming with me. No offense, dear, but we absolutely must do something about your dress. I cannot with a clear conscience let you go on your way knowing you’re wearing that in public. Think of me as the fashion police.”

The mare did not know whether to be offended or confused. She settled on confused.

“And if I refuse?”

“Then I will have my pegasus friend over there corral you and/or carry you until you are in my boutique.”

“Which of the two?” the mare asked, glancing at the two Pegasi. Fluttershy was shaking at the concept of having to corral anypony.

“The Rainbow-maned one,” Rarity expressed.

“Darn. Hey, isn’t this ponynapping?”

“Yes, but I have a very good reason,” Rarity said. “Come on, it will be such fun!”

Rarity began to walk towards her boutique. The mare decided to follow her without another complaint.

Soon they arrived at the Carousel Boutique. Rarity entered first, placing the new textiles she had bought on an empty shelf. She was followed by the mare and the two pegasi. Rarity turned to look at them.

“Now darling, I don’t think I caught your name.”

“It’s Evening Rose,” the mare said.

“Well, it’s a pleasure to have… run into you, as it were. My name is Rarity and this is my boutique. Behind you are Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy; I’m sure you can tell which one is which.”

“The pink-maned one is Rainbow Dash, right?”

“Oh, and witty too! I like you Miss Rose; we are going to be good friends, you and I,” Rarity said. “Now do me a favor please and stand on this platform.”

Rose complied, standing on a circular platform in the center of the room. She tried to showcase confidence and composure but she felt more and more awkward as Rarity walked around her, mumbling to herself.

“Uh huh. Not too lanky, nice neckline, probably want to show that off, mhm. The low waistline is unconventional but works ok enough, the straps need to be made of something thicker, and maybe patterned, and this is riding too low on the flank, completely covering the cutie mark, fixing this would probably fix the hemline problem. Then again, showing off cutie marks is sooo last season. This dress needs to stand with whatever will come, not dwell on the past… I’VE GOT IT!”

Everyone stared, waiting for Rarity explain. “I know what dress will work out best for you! Now, if you could, please remove that dress so that I can measure you.”

“What?”

“Please remove your dress so that I can get your measurements. I have a dress that will work for you but I need to make a few adjustments to it to make sure that it fits just right.”

“Can we do this in a way that does not involve me removing articles of clothing?”

“Why, whatever do you mean? Why would you want to do that?”

“Because not everypony likes playing dress-up with others like you do Rarity,” Rainbow Dash said.

Rarity turned around and started arguing with Rainbow Dash about how what they were doing was not “playing dress-up, but creating art.” However, Rose tuned them out. Instead she looked at Fluttershy. The pegasus was giving her a curious stare, as if she was trying to figure something out. It made Rose uncomfortable.

“It is no more playing dress up than your ‘training’ is spiraling in the air for the sake of whimsy!” finished Rarity, turning back to Rose. “Now, if it makes you uncomfortable, darling, we can forgo the formal measurements and I can eyeball it, but I cannot promise the measurements will be precise.”

“Still, I think that’s best,” Rose said. “Thank you.”

“No problem at all darling! Now let me get the appropriate dress on a mannequin.”

Soon Rarity returned with a mannequin wearing a form-fitting black dress with a medium waistline. The dress still showcased the flank to display one’s cutie mark, but instead of doing so by riding high on the flank with a short hem, it maintained a low and long line with precise cuts into the fabric and an enchantment that caused the dress to flair out exotically. It was a very regal dress, and one of the best Rarity had to offer. She turned to look at Rose and was surprised to see hesitation.

“Is something the matter with it?” Rarity asked.

“What? Oh no, it’s beautiful.”

“What don’t you like about it?”

“What are you talking about… I like it. It’s beautiful.”

“Then?”

Rose sighed. “It’s just not something I would wear.”

“What are you talking about? Even I have to admit that dress looks really cool!” said Rainbow Dash.

“Well… I… um…” Rose found herself unable to speak with each second making her more and more uncomfortable. She turned to look at Fluttershy, and there was that look again. Then Fluttershy seemed like she had decided something, and walked off.

“Look, darling, it’s ok if you don’t like it completely or if there’s something specific you don’t like. I want to help get you the perfect dress for you. I won’t get offended, believe me; with some of the friends I have, I had to learn that fashion can be very subjective,” Rarity said.

“Though I still don’t get what you could not like about this,” Rainbow piped in.

Before Rose had a chance to respond, Fluttershy came back in.

“What about this one?” In her hooves she was holding what seemed like a long green dress. Rarity took it off her hooves and put it on the mannequin.

“Interesting choice Fluttershy, I wouldn’t have thought of this one. Now let me think.” Rarity then mumbled to herself as she studied the dress, “Well, it’s a bit flowier than modern dresses are nowadays, but you can’t argue that it is not elegant. Plus we already know she looks good in green. The hemline is still way too long, but that’s an easy fix…“ Rarity clapped her hoofs together. “Ok, I just have to make a few changes.”

Rarity grabbed the dress and took it to a different room to make adjustments, leaving the two pegasi and Rose in the other room. Rose was about to ask if she should step down from the platform when Rarity came back holding the dress and passed it to Rose.

“Now if you please, Miss Rose, try this on in the changing room over there,” Rarity pointed to a booth with curtains.

Rose complied, changed, and then stepped out.

“That looks awesome!” said Rainbow Dash.

“I agree! Excellent pick, Fluttershy; you certainly struck the mark with this one,” commented Rarity.

“Thank you,” said Fluttershy.

Rose had to admit that she loved the way this dress looked. It was the perfect length, size, and shape, despite Rarity being unable to take those measurements. However, as she stared in the mirror, a realization struck her. She turned to Rarity with a frown on her face.

“Look, Rarity, this dress looks simply amazing, but there is no way I could afford it. I’m sorry for all the work I made you do.”

“What? What nonsense is this? Who ever said anything about paying, darling? This one is on the house.”

“What did you say?”

“That I would never dream of ponynapping someone from the street, forcing them to stand there while I picked out and designed a dress, and then ask them to pay! I mean seriously, what kind of pony do you take me for?”

Rarity’s words hit Rose like a brick and she had to fight hard to stop her tears of happiness from flowing.

“Thank you soo much, Rarity. You have no idea what this means to me.”

“Oh come now Miss Rose, I do believe I have some idea. And you are very welcome. Now, should I throw this garish thing away?” Rarity said while holding the dress Rose had been wearing when she arrived.

“Um… Is there any chance I could keep it still? It does have some sentimental value,” pleaded Rose.

“Oh sure thing, you just have to promise me that you’ll wear this new dress instead of this old one, and that you promise to keep the old one only as a keepsake.”

“I promise.”

“Fabulous, now let me just tidy some things up in the other room and I will be right back.” Rarity said as she left once again.

Rose turned to look at Fluttershy and mouthed a silent “thank you” to the pink-maned pegasus. Fluttershy simply smiled and nodded.

“Are you about done, Rarity?”

“Really, Rainbow Dash, you need to learn to have some patience. This rushing around you always do is unbecoming of a lady. As for you Miss Rose, I must say that this was a rather fun experience! You are quite fun to be around. We must certainly do this again.”

““Yeah, I have to admit you’re pretty funny,” said Rainbow Dash.

“And next time we could introduce you to Applejack. She could learn a thing or two from you, like the way you tried on a dress despite it being in the company of strangers.”

Rose’s eyes shot open and her throat tightened. Despite this, she managed to ask a question.

“You three know Applejack?”

“Um, duh, she’s one of our best friends,” commented Rainbow Dash.

“Really, Rainbow. There’s no way she could’ve known that, she only just met us,” said Rarity. She then turned to face Rose. “Why do you ask, dear? Do you know her as well?”

“Oh what? Oh, no, not really. I just know that she’s been taking care of my brother,” she said, looking at the floor.

“Oh, that Script fellow? You know, I have yet to meet him. I hear he’s no longer living at Sweet Apple Acres though, I think he has got a new place near the Market Square,” commented Rarity.

“Well, on that note I should probably say that he doesn’t know that I’m in town. We have a complicated history and I think it’s best for everypony involved if he doesn’t know I’m here. So we might want to hold off on that meeting Applejack thing, considering I hear they hang out a lot nowadays.”

Rarity looked at her questioningly but decided to drop the issue.

“That’s fine darling, your secret is safe with us,” said Rarity, “Now about meeting up again. I’m busy the rest of the day and tomorrow, but what about the day after that?”

“I’m free after 3,” said Rose.

“You know I’m always free,” said Rainbow Dash.

“Um… I won’t be free until after 4…” muttered Fluttershy.

“Two days from now at 5 pm it is,” said Rarity. “That way you all have a chance to finish what you have to do, relax, and then come out. Why don’t we meet, say, at the restaurant over by the Lemon Tree?” There were nods of agreement from everyone in the group.

“Then it’s settled, see you all then.”

Author's Note:

Leaving Script alone for a while to add another piece to the story. Also, I love writing Rarity.
We'll see Script again next chapter though so don't despair!