• 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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Preparations and Panic

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 4- Preparations and Panic

She was a bit startled when the front door opened as she was attempting to knock, Silver was forced to take a step back as a flurry of bags came rushing through the door-frame, floating through the air wrapped in an azure aura of magic. Glory Dancer had come trotting out after her bags, her white coat glistening from her spa treatment earlier in the day, her purple mane with its light blue streak perfectly coiffed, but she had to come to an awkward and sudden halt to avoid trampling straight over the filly that had appeared on her porch. “Hello dear, Scarlett isn’t here, did you need something?” Glory asked cheerfully after a few stuttering steps to find her balance.

“Oh— no, Ms. Dancer, I was just hoping she was home,” Silver Spoon said, fidgeting. If Scarlett wasn’t there she would have to go home— she glanced back that way with a great big sigh.

Glory groaned inwardly, the little one sure knew how to tug at her heartstrings, but she didn’t have time for this, she had to deliver the decorations for tonight, help Scarlett with her gown— all those ruffles took an extra pair of hooves— Silver wasn’t her daughter, she shouldn’t have to. . .

“. . .Come on in, I’ll make you some lunch,” Glory resigned herself to following her heart.

Silver was a bit of an enigma to Ms. Dancer- the filly seemed to try so hard to be what those around her wanted her to be. Around her mother, the girl was a quiet non-entity in the background; with Diamond she had been a snob and a bully. With Scarlett’s incurable indecisiveness, (Glory had tried everything,) forcing Silver into the leadership role Glory thought she would learn more about the filly, but she still wasn’t sure who Silver was when she was all alone.

Glory asked the girl,“What do you like to eat?” as they entered the extravagant home, but received only a shrug in reply.

Like her own house, it was decorated in only the finest furnishings, but it didn’t feel old, cold, and uninviting— there was a sense of warmth and lived in comfort there. Normally Silver Spoon would head straight up the stairs to Scarlett’s room, but today Glory led her back through a hallway and into an immaculate kitchen with white and blue tile work. Ms. Dancer gathered the ingredients herself and began slicing the bread and cheese, grilled cheese and daisy sandwiches had never gotten a complaint from any filly she had ever known. She heard Silver giggle as she worked, and looked over questioningly.

“I was just imagining my mother trying to fix me lunch like this, she’d probably burn a hoof,” Silver’s smile was shy, but sincere, “Its really cool that you know how to cook.”

Glory snorted, and replied loudly, “Melting cheese isn’t Trans-dimensional Magical Theory, you know?”

Silver shrugged, watching Glory work, “Do you want to help?” the mare asked.

The filly nodded emphatically. Silver Spoon soon learned to butter bread, a knife held awkwardly in her mouth. She would get better with practice, she knew, but sometimes she wished she was a unicorn— like mother had wanted. So many things were easier with a bit of magic. Glory didn’t seem to mind using her mouth to do the job herself though. It made Silver’s heart warm to know the mare was foregoing her own magic to teach her in a way that she could copy.

As they went through the steps, Glory noticed Silver was humming softly to herself while she worked- some top 40 number by Sapphire Shores, and swaying in time with the music. ‘Finally,’ she thought, ‘something real.’

****

Later, Silver had accompanied Ms. Dancer to drop off the decorations, still licking her lips from the wonderful sandwiches. She had even offered to carry a bag herself, even though Glory was easily carrying them all with her magic. Rarity herself was there to claim the decor, already the hall was full of color and light, the night was sure to be magical.

“Wait until Scarlett sees this! Are those tablecloths silk? She will love this, for sure!” Silver squeaked in excitement.

Glory giggled along with the filly as they skipped through the hall, “Try not to spoil it for her, you’re right though, she has always loved elegance and theatricality, this night seems made for her. How about you?”

“I guess. . .” she paused for some time, wrinkling her nose as she considered it, her glasses falling slightly askew,
“. . .I am excited. I have never been to a masquerade but the idea is that you get to wear a mask, and everyone is supposed to pretend not to know who is who, even if they do know, so you can act a little foalish and its okay?”

“Yes, that does just about cover it,” Glory smiled, then whispers conspiratorially, “Did you know that Princess Celestia holds a masquerade for the school every year? She uses it as an excuse to get up on stage and sing— and she isn’t very good, but nopony would dare say such a thing; after all, that couldn’t be the Princess up there making a fool of herself, such is the magic of the masquerade.”

Silver Spoon giggled softly to herself, she closed her eyes and imagined what she might do if there was no judgement, no repercussions. She couldn’t be that brave, could she?

“Oh my, look at the time! Scarlett will be back soon, would you like to get ready at our place? I’m sure your servants can bring your dress and accessories over.”

“Oh yes! Please,” Silver was relieved that she would not have to go home before the masquerade, now she wouldn’t have to listen to mother lecture her about propriety and What A Good Little Filly Should Do, while she dressed.

****

For Scarlett, it had been a wonderful day, and it was barely even started yet; she had a nap to take and then it would be time for makeup and dresses and dancing! Early that morning, she had picked up hot chocolate and a scone, raspberry, of course, from Sugar Cube Corner, carried it carefully through the hustle and bustle of Ponyville’s town square, and over to the outskirts of town. The street that was home to the enormous tree that was the library held a few scattered shops and homes, but unlike the square, it was still quiet, almost silent; Scarlett was the one to break the silence, knocking loudly on the library door. Those first knocks seemed to echo among the branches of the tree that was a home and more, but they hard garnered no response from within the library, the windows remaining dark.

She had knocked again, a bit harder, and winced as she tweaked her hoof slightly. Again she waited, but this time she could hear a rustling within the library. She heard the familiar sound of a stack of books come crashing down, and a voice had shouted, “Spike!”

Scarlett tried to contain her giggles when the door finally opened, and a sleepy-eyed dragon, slightly taller than her, opened the door, scratching absently at his purple scales, “What do you want,” came the sullen demand.

She had argued with the silly little dragon, just because she could, normally she would chide Silver for doing such a thing, but the creature was so obviously upset that his nap had been interrupted that she hadn’t been able to help herself, but she did feel guilty afterwards. “Books,” she said, “this is a library isn’t it?”

“Well, yes, but its more of a private library”

“That’s good, I like privacy, now can you point me to the fantasy section?” As she said this she snuck past the dragon and into the main room, her eyes growing wide at the shelves of books. Her hot cocoa floating behind her. She spotted the cover of one of her favorites, and had begun to trot over.

“B-but, Hey WAIT!” The dragon came scrambling after her, standing in her way with arms spread wide, “You can’t just come in here!”

“I know, that’s why I knocked, thank you for opening the door and showing me in, now would you be a dear and fetch me a comfy chair?” Pushing past Spike, Scarlett reached out and obtained her goal, a story of distant lands and magic, princesses and— she barely held in a fit of giggles, dragons. She clutched the book tightly to her chest and closed her eyes with a small whinny of pleasure. Now to read in earnest, where was that chair? . . .

. . . she had passed hours that way, finishing not one, but two whole novels before she left for the day— all the while sipping her chocolate and nibbling her scone long after they had both gone cold. She had noticed the purple unicorn not long after she started, and had giggled at the mare’s restrained curiosity. The older unicorn had smiled at her, then picked up books of her own, but she kept sneaking peeks at Scarlett, she seemed to be trying to find excuses to walk by and take a peek at what Scarlett was reading. When Scarlett finally decided she had better introduce herself, since the mare was being too polite, despite her curiosity, she quickly found a kindred spirit, at least when it came to books. Twilight Sparkle, as the other introduced herself, was a total bibliophile, and while Scarlett didn’t share her voracious appetite for non-fiction, she could at least appreciate it. After the introduction, Scarlett had felt as if she opened a floodgate, for suddenly the shy mare began to babble on and on, it wasn’t uninteresting, just a bit obsessive— was she this bad about stuffed animals?

One thing in particular caught Scarlett’s interest, the other’s faculty with magic, in fact before the day was through, Twilight had practically force-fed her a spell which was meant to augment her already fast reading speed and memory. Maybe, once she got to now the mare a little better, she could help Scarlett with her, “little problem.” She had been searching so long for a permanent solution without success— the other mare was so powerful and adept that she allowed herself to hope again. She had to make sure though, ponies could be judgmental, best to take it slow, maybe mom could get to know her maybe drop a hint or two?

She had finally been able to escape from the discussion by begging to finish what she was reading, telling a little fib about being at a cliffhanger, even though the plot had come to a bit of a lull in truth. She became enraptured by the book again quickly, looking up to return Twilight’s smile occasionally, but still becoming so engrossed that she ended up staying longer than she had planned— panic! She had to leave now if she was going to have time for that nap, and she had told mother she would be home fifteen minutes ago.

Before she left she did stop to give Spike a quick peck on the cheek, and a "thanks for all your help!"

****

Diamond Tiara had left the candy shop skipping, she felt wonderful, the world seemed fresh and new. The sky was brighter, the birdsong prettier, the air fresher. Was that really all it had ever been, that sadness that had gripped her from her earliest memories, all because she felt she needed to do more, to be the best? She wasn’t sure how it had started, her parents were encouraging rather than demanding, but for some reason her best had never been good enough, for herself. Her need had become consuming, she realized now, she had to be the first to get her cutie mark- she needed to be the richest and most beautiful, and when Silver Spoon had come to public school as well, richer than she was, she had to either make her her friend, and her follower, or destroy her.

She remembered the cold calculation of her thoughts that day, how she had planned to make the other filly look silly and embarrassed if she hadn’t responded to Diamond’s offer of friendship. Even with Silver, Diamond had been using her, that is who she was— had been. NO MORE!

Diamond had come to like Silver, to love her— and even her rejection had led to Diamond being better for having known her. Diamond felt her heart swelling and tears welling, but now wasn’t the time for tears, Diamond was reborn. Maybe she should try a nickname, or cut her hair, something to cut her ties to the past. Her skipping had turned into ballet twirls, and Diamond giggled wildly as she spun across the street. She never saw the girl coming around the corner until she tripped over her hoof. Diamond continued her spin off-balance, it looked as if she would fall, but somehow the agility that was her talent, and her mother’s training allowed her to somehow twist just right to land mostly unharmed. Her left hip hit the ground a little roughly, but with a little luck it wouldn’t even bruise.

“Oh no! Are you okay?” Scarlett Dancer laid a soft touch on Diamond Tiara’s shoulder.

“. . .” Diamond Tiara bit back the venom that would normally have followed, she wasn’t hurt, it was her fault as much as the red-haired girl’s— that admission, even in her own mind, left a bitter taste, an effect of that same corrupting pride that she had just promised to give up, she settled for, “Ow.”

“I wasn’t paying attention, and then I kind of froze when I saw you twirling, it was so cool, but I never realized you were heading right for me, c-can you get up, are you bleeding?” The white furred unicorn kneeled down next to Diamond as she spoke, folding her skirts beneath her, she pulled a white hoofkerchief from somewhere, and offered it to her.

Diamond blinked, and began to pull her limbs together, she looked herself up and down, she was fine, a small scratch on her flank was all, and though dirty it wasn’t really bleeding. She looked up to reassure the other girl, and got her first real look at the other filly— she felt a familiar jolt run through her, it wasn’t love, no match for her feelings for Silver, but it was an attraction, and she didn’t know why. The taller filly wasn’t a beauty, and she couldn’t be called thin exactly, her shoulders were coltish, but something about her made Diamond’s breath catch. Was it those kind blue eyes? Or the way she was nervously biting her lower lip?

Diamond sighed, “I’m fine,” and for once thinking of others for some reason other than just because it would get her something in return, “You’re okay too?”

Scarlett nodded and blushed shyly, again pushing the lacy cotton handkerchief forward. Diamond rolled her eyes and took it, she could at least use it to wipe the dirt off of the abrasion.

“Well, I need to get home, sorry again, I’m Scarlett.” The filly extended a hoof gracefully with the introduction.

“Diamond,” she replied, and the white filly’s eyes grew big— she knew that name. Silver Spoon had let a little bit slip when she wasn’t careful, so Scarlett had some idea that the two had been friends and had a falling out. It had seemed to trouble Silver very deeply, but she wouldn’t speak about it openly still. She was sure it was some silly misunderstanding.

“Oh? Well its good to meet you, I’m a friend of. . .” said Scarlett, changing her words mid-stream, knowing it would be a touchy subject, “. . .a friend of mine has told me a little bit about you, I really have to get going, I’m late, maybe I’ll see you tonight, I’d love to know where you learned that spin.”

As the other filly gathered her skirts about her and flounced off into the distance with a wave, Diamond Tiara narrowed her eyes suspiciously. “A friend?” Who could that have been, no-one would have anything good to say, except maybe Sweetie or Twist or Silv— could Silver miss her too? Diamond tried to tell herself it was just wishful thinking, she didn’t want to be disappointed. Tonight she said? The ball, and Silver will be there? She swallowed nervously, she needed to talk to Sweetie.

****

Scarlett sighed as she hurried home, she didn’t know what had come between the two exactly, but she knew Silver would not be happy if she blabbed about how much she missed Diamond Tiara. They really needed to make up. She felt her need to meddle start rising, and she thought about turning around to talk with Diamond, but Mom wouldn’t be happy if she didn’t get home soon. She couldn’t run, exactly, in her long skirts, but she was doing her best. She scurried up the steps of the front porch her hooves clopping loudly on the wooden planks, and burst through the front door.

“Mom! I’m home!” She shouted as she scurried up the stairs, tossing aside horse-shoes, and her outer skirt as she went, as well as her blouse. By the time she reached her room she was only wearing her socks and a slip, she didn’t hear the giggling until she was halfway through the door— Scarlett shrieked in surprise and shut the door, until she could gather up her skirt at least. Glory and Silver had looked up from where they sat on Scarlett’s bed, and burst out laughing in full throat-ed hysterics, they had been looking at Scarlett’s foal book— Scarlett realized, she hoped it was the one that was safe for company, Mom wouldn’t forget that would she?

“What an interesting habit you’ve developed dear,” Glory smiled at her daughter as she opened the door and looked down at the trail of clothing that began at the bottom of the stairs, “Silver is going to be staying here until its time to get ready, I’ll do your hair and makeup together.”

“But Mom, I can’t, remember?” Scarlett whispered, gesturing wildly at the room the other young filly was occupying.

“You’ll be fine, I’ll hand you a clean slip and a night gown, that will do for now, take a shower and change for your nap, I’ve got it all figured out,” Glory insisted as she stepped into the hall and closed the door.

Scarlett sighed and rolled her eyes, sometimes, Mom and her plans. They almost always worked though, “Okay, we’ll do it your way— what could possibly go wrong,” her sarcasm was biting.

Glory gave her daughter a stern glance, “Don’t be silly, just don’t take off your slip, and make sure to renew the spe—”

“Got it Mom,” she started huffily, but she slowly softened, she knew her mom was right, she almost always was, it was irritating, “Sorry— I was panicking, I love you.”

“Just take your shower, then you two will have a nap and then we get to make you pretty. It’ll be great,” Ms. Dancer wasn’t used to her daughter being quite this willful, not with her, but she knew why she had been so afraid, “I love you too.” She added a hug of confirmation to the last and shooed Scarlett off to the bath.

Glory rubbed her head and neck, relieving some tension, this would be a long night for her. She opened the door with a big smile and sat down next to Silver, whose nose had wrinkled in thought— she had stopped looking through the book.

“Ummm, Ms. Dancer?”

“Yes sweetie?”

“Whats wrong with Scarlett?”

Glory sighed, “You know she is a bit, ummm, bigger than most fillies right? Well, she is very self conscious about it, that’s why she always wears those old fashioned blouses that cover so much, she doesn’t like being seen without clothes.”

“Oh, then do you think I should go get my pajamas too, maybe she would feel more comfortable?”

“Not a bad idea, unless you don’t mind borrowing one of Scarlett’s nighties?”

For some reason that idea appealed to Silver Spoon, as if borrowing her clothes would be some secret pact of friendship, “She won’t mind?”

“No dear. Now let me go find the butler to set up the extra mattress,” she slipped from the bed, fetching a nightgown from a drawer, “You can change while you wait, and I’ll make you all a snack, but don’t stay up too long, I’ll be waking you to get ready before you know it.”

Just before Glory closed the door, she heard Silver speak up softly, “Thank you— for not making me go home, I mean.”

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