• Published 13th Feb 2013
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Pride and Prejudice and Ponies - arglefumph



Rarity reads her favorite romance novel, Pride and Prejudice, to her little sister Sweetie Belle.

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Chapter 11

Rarity was not allowed to leave the house, until the night of the Netherfield Ball. She was unhappy about this arrangement, but her cousin Spike was quite pleased because it allowed him to spend more time with her. In his mind, the two of them were getting closer and closer to the wonderful day when their hearts and fortunes would be forever joined in blissful union.

In Rarity's mind, however, the two of them were getting closer and closer to the wonderful day when she finally smacked him upside the head and told him to look for somepony his own age. And species. And preferably somepony not directly related to him.

The only thing which entertained Rarity in the following few days was the company of her sisters, which she used to exhaust the topic of Mr. Darcy's misdeeds against Blueblood. Rainbow Dash thought it was enough reason to run Mr. Darcy out of town. Fluttershy, for her part, fell upon her characteristic kindness and refused to think evil of anypony; she insisted that there must have been a misunderstanding somewhere.

It was exceptionally rainy that weekend, which put none of the girls in particularly good mood. Rarity spent most of her time putting the finishing touches on her sisters' dresses, and daydreaming about how nice it would be to dance with Mr. Blueblood. Alas, Rarity's fantasy of entertainment and romance was dashed, when her dream stallion failed to make his appearance.

"I don't understand," Rarity said, checking the clock again. "It's well past 4:30! He should be here by now!"

"Maybe he got lost," Sweetie Belle said.

"My letter was very specific!" Rarity said. "He promised to be my escort tonight! Where is he?"

"Obviously, he is a lying scoundrel," Mrs. Bennet said. "I told you right from the beginning I never liked that stallion!"

"You haven't met him yet," Mr. Bennet said.

"That doesn't matter! Any stallion who kisses one of my daughters without my permission is a scoundrel!"

"I didn't know that Rarity's lips need a formal letter of introduction," Mr. Bennet said dryly.

"Not helping! Not helping!" Rarity said, practically dancing on her antsy hooves. Pinkie Pie, thinking this was some sort of game, starting imitating Rarity's movements.

In the corner, Spike was trying hard not to smirk. He had made a few, shall we say, adjustments to Rarity's letter to Blueblood when he delivered it through his flame-breath, and it seemed that his efforts were paying off handsomely. Almost as handsome as I am in this suit... he thought.

Finally, there was a knock on the door at 4:58. With a huge sigh of "finally!", Rarity opened the door to find Shining Armor, dressed in full regalia.

"Hey, everypony," Shining said. "Twilight's waiting in the carriage. Are you ready to go?"

"Yeah!" Pinkie Pie said.

"I suppose it is time to leave," Mr. Bennet said.

"But...but...where's Mr. Blueblood?" Rarity asked.

"Didn't he tell you?" Shining asked, a tad confused. "He's not coming with us to the ball tonight. He told the Royal Guard that he had to leave for Rosings this week, due to urgent business. He left yesterday."

"WHAT?"

"It was kind of weird, actually," Shining said. "I dunno. I got the sense he didn't want to go, because he's avoiding somepony."

"Darcy," Rarity said under her breath.

"Well, this is great news!" Spike said, suddenly appearing at Rarity's shoulder. The small dragon was wearing a top hat and a false mustache, to make himself look more cultured. "If Blueblood isn't here, then I can be the first to dance with you, Rarity!"

"Er...perfect," Rarity said.

The ponies all filed out the door and into the carriage. Mr. Bennet stopped next to Rarity and put a hoof on her shoulder. "I'm sorry, darling," he said. "I know you were looking forward to being with Mr. Blueblood. If you want to, you can always forego the ball and stay home with me."

"You're not going?" Rarity asked.

"I couldn't leave, when my favorite daughter needs me right now," Mr. Bennet said, smiling down at her.

Rarity smiled weakly and wiped a tear away. "Thank you, Father," she said. "...But you're not getting out of the Netherfield Ball that easily! I heard you promise Mother that you would dance two foxtrots with her tonight! I'm not going to miss that, even if my escort has absconded!"

Mr. Bennet groaned slightly as he and Rarity entered the carriage bound for Netherfield.


For his part, Mr. Darcy was also having an unpleasant evening, leading up to the ball. First, he had somehow gotten dirt all over his dashing derby hat, which he had been planning on wearing. Second, he had discovered that Apple Bloom broke his mustache comb in a bizarre attempt to get a cutie mark. Even worse than these mishaps were his so-called friends, the Apple family.

"Okay, Lover Boy," Applejack said. "You're leaving on Friday, right? So this is your final chance at makin' sweet-talk with that mare."

"I assure you I have no idea what you are talking about," Mr. Darcy said.

"No need to pretend," Big Macintosh said. "Y'all have been mooning over her ever since she came to check up on her sister."

"I do not moon," Mr. Darcy said. "If I have seemed upset, it is because I have been away from home and my sister for so long."

"Hey, Mr. Darcy," Apple Bloom said. "If'n you and Miss Rarity get married, will that make me and Sweetie Belle cousins?"

"Enough with the ridiculous questions!" Mr. Darcy said. "I admit that Rarity Bennet is quite pretty, and her ingrained sense of self-reliance and independence set her far apart from the gold-digging mares I usually encounter in high society. However! This is not cause for romantic entanglement. If it was, I would have long since asked Applejack to dine with me."

"Ah, shucks, you're making me blush," Applejack said.

"But just so you don't get the wrong idea, Macintosh," Mr. Darcy said, "you should know that I intend to use this ball as a means to make a thorough investigation of the Bennet family."

"Checking out your future in-laws?"

"No, rather, yours," Mr. Darcy said. "I heard...an unsavory rumor about Miss Fluttershy Bennet. I hope to determine if it is true or not."

"Aw, well, it's obviously false," Big Macintosh said. "She's such a sweet, purdy gal that I can't imagine she's done anything wrong."

"You are blinded by her beauty," Mr. Darcy said. "You need an objective third party, such as myself, to investigate the matter."

"Heh, well, don't get distracted none by her unicorn sister," Applejack said. "Say, you think if I had long eyelashes like hers, I'd be able to wrangle me a stallion? I heard y'all go hog-wild over a pair of lashes."

"Ooo! I want long eyelashes, too!" Apple Bloom said.


At Netherfield, Rarity danced the first two dances with Spike, which brought a return to her distress. Spike was awkward and fidgety, and he often moved wrong without being aware of it. He gave her all the shame and misery which a disagreeable partner for a couple of dances can give. The moment of her release from him was ecstasy.

Rarity took refuge in her best friend, Twilight. "My hooves!" she cried. "He kept on poking my hooves with those weird clawed things he has!"

"I think they're called 'toes'," Twilight said.

"Whatever they're called, they hurt!" Rarity said. "And the whole time, he kept talking about how romantic it was for him! I swear, the day he goes back to his home up north will be too soon!"

"Aw, Spike's not so bad," Twilight said. "He stopped by the library the other day and volunteered to sort all the books in the non-fiction section for me."

"Did he try to eat all your gems, afterwards, as a payment?" Rarity asked.

"Well...yes," Twilight said.

"Of course he did," Rarity said. "That greedy little dragon has eaten nearly a quarter of my gems! Why, he took my broach, and—"

Rarity was cut off, when a larger white stallion approached her from the side and coughed to get her attention. "Excuse me," Mr. Darcy said. "Miss Bennet, I would like the pleasure of taking your hoof in a dance."

"I—wha—you—"

"Excellent," Darcy said. "When they begin the next cycle, then? I look forward to it."

He walked away quickly, with his head in the air. Rarity's jaw was still dropped.

"What just happened?" Rarity asked.

"I think you just agreed to dance with your sworn enemy," Twilight said.