• Published 20th Nov 2011
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Facets and Flaws - Scarlett



Diamond Tiara is spoiled, Silver Spoon is sheltered, both have secrets, will friendship survive?

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Masks and Mirrors

WARNING: This story will contain adult themes including homosexuality, gender dysphoria, and other controversial themes. I will be avoiding explicit sex, however if you are offended easily, please do not read.

Facets and Flaws

By: Scarlett


Chapter 3- Masks and Mirrors

It was the dawn before the summer solstice, which meant, among other things, that Ponyville’s Summer Sun Celebration would be held that night starting at midnight, and lasting until dawn. This year Ponyville was not the site of the main celebration, so the princesses would not be attending, but the residents of Ponyville would be celebrating, and watching the sunrise nonetheless. Mayor Mare and the town council had decided upon the theme of ‘masquerade’. Preparations had already begun, and everyone in town had an assignment. For example, this year the mayor had sent Pinkie Pie on a “special mission”, one that involved going out of town. The mayor wanted to keep the decorations and party a bit more elegant than in years past- Pinkie was to be back in time for the party, the Mayor wasn’t cruel, but she should be bringing along a giant piñata ordered from Canterlot; the trip should take most of the day by wagon, allowing less— intense ponies to set up the actual party.

Almost everypony in town was looking forward to the event.

Everypony did not include Applebloom. That dawn Applebloom was pretending, as she did every week or so, not to notice as her sister Applejack did her best to sneak into the bedroom that they shared; she smelled of hard cider and imported perfume, and— Applebloom struggled not to laugh— still had Rarity’s lipstick on her neck, but it wasn’t her sister’s secret relationship that had kept her awake most of the night. No, she had been tossing and turning because she was pissed off. Somehow Diamond Tiara had gotten herself invited to tag along with the Crusaders to the masquerade ball.

Ever since the day at Sugar Cube Corner, Diamond Tiara had been nice. It was an act, obviously, a mask that Diamond was wearing, but Applebloom still hadn’t been able to find fault with anything Diamond had done since then. She and Sweetie had been together almost daily and seemed to be enjoying it, Twist had received a package the next day containing a gorgeous dress for the party, and now refused to tell Applebloom what had really happened between the two of them at the candy shop. What had that crying been about?

Applebloom supposed she would just have to grin and bear it, none of the girls had dates after all. Archer was dating Mirror, Snips and Snails were— themselves, and there were no other colts their age in town, and as for fillies, well, unlike some ponies, she didn’t even want to think about that possibility yet, she quietly giggled, remembering her sister's secret shame.

There was another reason Applebloom wasn’t excited about that night. For all the complaining her sister did about frou-frou for herself, she had always had a double-standard when it came to Applebloom, she’d been forced to wear that bow in her mane for years, and now, there was that. Applebloom looked over at the dress on her plain wooden nightstand and whimpered, so many ruffles. She didn’t understand it, why couldn’t a filly wear something simple, like a bow-tie.

****

Scarlett let out a squee, as she held her Celebration dress close to her chest. She was sitting on her bed as the early morning sun came in through the drapes. The dress was so perfect, so pretty, more ruffles and bows than she had ever seen before, and it came with a matching mask. It was a masterpiece. The sapphire blue of the dress was a compliment to her lighter blue eyes, she had ordered it offset by grey accents and ribbons as a tribute to her best friend, it was far and away the greatest thing she had ever owned. She squealed again and hopped from her mattress, laying the dress across her haunches she spun, watching it flutter, careful not to catch it on the edges of any of her furniture.

Tonight was the ball, the masquerade, a night of fairy tales. Scarlett was as her mother said, a dreamer, and a night of make-believe and fantasy appealed to everything within the young filly. Tales of dark wizards and noble knights filled her bookshelves, tales of adventure, exotic zebra’s, heroic young colts and fillies. The fact that these things existed in truth in modern Equestria as well as in it’s ancient history, only made things more appealing to the young pony. Not only were they amazing, but the tales were possible, if only just.

She carefully set her dress onto it’s stand, making sure she hadn’t caused a wrinkle, she couldn’t let her excitement cause her to ruin it. With hours and hours yet to go, and a nap to take before the dance, Scarlett knew it would be a long day of anticipation. She walked over to her mirror, looking at her unclothed body; there were so many flaws to fix, so many imperfections to hide, she frowned at what she saw, she wished she was a bit smaller. She couldn’t do anything about the shoulders, but she’d stopped eating altogether once, trying to get thinner, mom had intervened.

She had to look her best tonight. She couldn’t be the beauty of the ball, however much she wanted to be, but maybe she would at least be called pretty, if only for that one night— she’d wear her tightest corset. There were a few things she could conceal with magic, she’d spent ages looking for just the right spell. Her horn glowed softly as she cast one particular spell which had become a morning ritual, it hid what she considered the worst parts of herself.

It wasn’t about vanity, not really, but she never really felt like herself til the spell was cast.

Maybe the library would have a new book she could read to pass the hours? She smiled at the thought. Yes, she would get presentable enough for that, and go find a book to read, and maybe a scone to nibble on. She wouldn’t be meeting Silver Spoon until an hour before the masquerade, so she had plenty of time to spend on her fantasies.

****

“Crusader Cliff Diving!” Scootaloo shouted as she threw herself off of the twenty foot drop into the deepest part of the river, her wings tightly folded into her sides and bound down so she wouldn’t open them on accident. Sweetie Belle, though not as brave soon followed. They had done this particular crusade a number of times, and enjoyed it alot. It was only mid-morning, but this was summer, and Scootaloo was determined not to waste it, even if the Summer Sun Celebration was that night, they still had a whole day of fun to get to.

The best part of it was she was finally alone with Sweetie Belle. Scootaloo had known from an early age that she was one for the fillies, but she hadn’t realized what her sometimes slow friend really meant to her, until recently. She didn’t know if she could ever say anything, or if Sweetie would understand it if she did, was that even really what it was?

She had to admit to some jealousy, no, a lot of jealousy, at how much time the other girl was spending with Diamond Tiara, but that morning, the rich girl had finally let some of her true colors come through though. The prissy filly had decided to stay home when they had described that mornings activity, “Throwing yourselves off cliffs? On purpose?” The girl had been shocked to learn that they considered it fun.

Applebloom hadn’t joined them either, she had told them she had to help Big Mac with something on the farm; there was always something that needed doing on Sweet Apple Acres, and Applejack was apparently a bit under the weather. So Scootaloo had Sweetie all to herself, someday she’d have the courage, but for now she could be at her friend’s side, letting her know how awesome she was.

Scootaloo paddled in the water just to keep herself afloat and watched a laughing Sweetie Belle eagerly climbing up the cliffside for another jump. Her laughter had that same deep clear sound that her singing voice had. Scootaloo felt her chest warm with what was probably love as she watched her friend plummet into the water.

****

He had tried to convince Snails to ask Twist to the masquerade, as he was pretty sure she had a thing for his lanky friend, but Snips hadn’t had any luck. “But she can’t cook anything but candy,” his dimwitted friend had complained. Snails hadn’t wanted to hear that fillies and cooking didn’t necessarily have to go hand in hand. Snips should have known it was a lost cause sooner, the pin-up calendar on Snails wall was “Lady Chefs of Equestria” after all.

Snips had thought about asking one of the fillies in town himself, because despite the fact that he was a talented mane dresser, Snips was all about the ladies— well, mostly about the ladies, Snips admitted to himself, his barn door might have a little bit of backswing to it.

Anyway, there was really only one pony who he was pining for. He’d only met her once, years ago, but to him T.G.A.P.T. was the cream of marehood. The Great and Powerful Trixie had never returned to Ponyville, but he’d read articles on her rise to fame in Manehattan and Las Pegasus. She had studied hard after what she described in her autobiography as “The Humiliation” and had become an even more accomplished showmare, dropping a little (just a little) of the bravado and replacing it with real skill and power. He’d even saved up to go see her live, just once, but was unable to get close enough for an autograph.

There wasn’t a filly in this town that could measure up to a young colts infatuation, of course, but Snips wasn’t ready to give it up just yet.

Oh well, he and Snails both had tuxedos they could use that night from their magic act, Snips wasn’t talented in real magic, but he had become quite proficient in trickery and slight-of-hoof, all smoke and mirrors, but for a hobby it wasn’t bad, and a birthday party or two earned them a few bits now and again.

They would go to the ball and dance with some unattached fillies, nothing wrong with that.

****

“Twist, can we talk?” Diamond Tiara asked as she stood in front of the counter at Bon Bon’s, Twist had finally come out of the kitchen.

Twist froze, “How thid you get in here? We’re clothhed to make candy for. . .” She saw Bon Bon sitting at a table in the corner, and sighed as her boss gave her a conspiratorial wink. She felt her stomach sink, she never should have told her boss what had happened.

“Twist, I just need a few minutes, please?” Diamond pleaded.

It wasn’t like they hadn’t seen each other since that day, but it had always been with the group, so other than Diamond mouthing, “I’m sorry”, they really hadn’t discussed anything that had happened. Twist wasn’t sure she wanted to. She had been hesitant to accept the dress that Ditzy Doo had dropped off the following day, she’d wanted to return it, but there had been no return address, only a short apology note from Diamond inside:


Dear Twist,

I am sorry, I do not know why

I did those thnigs. I was hurting inside,

and I hurt you.

Please accetp this small gift for your kindness,

Diamond

She was so confused. Somehow Diamond Tiara had become a sort of friend over the past few weeks. She was being nice, kind, funny even. Twist wasn’t sure she wanted to hear what the fillly had to say to her alone though. If she rejected her would things just go back to normal?

“Okay, Leths go in the kithchen,” said Twist, Bon Bon would probably be listening to every word, but they’d at least have the semblance of privacy, and if Diamond tried anything, she gulped, Twist would have a rescuer.

There was nothing boiling in the kitchen, but the counters were covered in cooling candies and toffees, the air was sweet and warm. Twist leaned up against a counter and waited.

“Twist, you made all this?” Diamond asked, her mouth watering, “That is like, really cool”

“Me, cool?” Twist shook her head.

“No, really, you are, I can't wait to try these candies tonight,” Diamond looked at Twist with an intensity that made her blush, “Listen, Its really hard to say this, because I’ve never been a very nice pony, like, I’m totally mean right? But I just need to tell you that-”

“I’m thorry,” Twist interrupted, not really wanting to hear what she thought was coming next, “I like. . .colths, tho I don’t think-”

Diamond was laughing, that wasn’t quite what Twist had expected. “Oh no its not that,” Diamond smiled at her fondly, and the smile even seemed real, “I wanted to tell you that I’m sorry I hurt you, and for making fun of you. . .and everypony. I did like somepony and it didn’t go well, and I was taking it out on you that day. I’m sorry, and I promise that’s the last time I’ll apologize for it, you're probably sick of "I'm sorry" by now?”

Twist breathed a sigh of relief, it looked like she wouldn’t have to defend herself today after all. She was a bit curious about who Diamond liked, but there were more important questions at hand, “That day. . . but you uthed to pick on me all the time. Hanging out lately hath been cool, but, whath changed?”

Biting her lower lip, Diamond debated within herself, “I have some things that I can’t really talk about too much yet, but, alot of it was jealousy Twist.”

“Jealouth, of me?”

“Yes, of you, I’ve never told anypony outside of my family this before but I can’t read very well, I’ve got dyslexia, so school is really hard- it sucks to be honest, and I have to have private tutors just to get C’s, but you don’t even do homework sometimes and just pass all the tests and get A’s, I so wish I could do that,” Diamond’s eyes were watery as she continued, “Sometimes, a lot of the time, I don’t feel like I’m good at much of anything, so I insult people,” Diamond put a hoof to her mouth, that was more than she had meant to say, but it felt good, “I don’t want to do that anymore.”

Twist tapped a hoof on the tile of the kitchen, she wasn’t ready to let everything go yet, she still harbored resentment for years of abuse. “Because of gradthes! Because I did well in thchool you thorthured me like that?” she exclaimed, “Do you know how hard I work after thcool everthay?” Twist had walked over to Diamond and was shaking her by the shoulders.

“I didn’t. . . I do now,” Diamond said as she moved back from the irate filly. She huddled up against one of the counters, she thought for a moment that she may have to flee, but Twist stopped advancing on her. The other filly stood menacingly in front of her, anger flashing in her eyes, but it slowly drained away.

“Tho. . . whath now?” Twist asked, her breathing slowing, her aggressive posture shifting back into uncertainty.

“Now, maybe, we can be friends?” Diamond asked, seeming sincere, but she did that so well, how could Twist know for sure? Twist looked into Diamond's eyes, trying to gauge the truth, she saw more fear in the filly than anything else.

“You're coming with uth to the parthy right? Tho we mutht be friendth alreadthy,” Twist gave Diamond a little smile, she wasn’t ready to give her full trust yet, but she liked the Diamond Tiara she had seen lately, she could give her a chance.

“So. . .do we hug now?” asked Diamond, sounding truly mystified, she hadn't had many friends— just Silver.

Bon Bon, just outside the kitchen, had begun snickering sometime during that last exchange, and now it burst out into full out laughter, “So, do we hug now? HAHAHAHA! That’s a good one, hey, can I use that line? HAHA! You should give her a kiss Twist.”

“I've thold you both, colth only,” Twist grinned, blushing, and they settled for a hoof-shake.

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