Dense as Diamonds

by River Road

First published

Rarity is the hopelessly romantic one. Twilight is the sheltered, naive one. That's just the way it is, obviously. Right?

Twilight knows that Rarity is a hopeless romantic, experienced through countless romance novels.
Twilight knows that Rarity has had some bad experiences with romance and courtship.
Twilight knows that Rarity still dreams of somepony to properly sweep her off her hooves.
Twilight has no idea how Rarity keeps missing the hints she keeps dropping.

Written for Monochromatic's Raritwi contest.

Cover art generously offered to all contestants and provided by the skilled Multiversecruise.

Top of the Feature Box on 05/05/17 and then for 72 hours straight: A huge thanks to everyone who liked or commented on this story.

Decline of Subtlety

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“A little to the left, please.”

“Yes, Rarity.” Twilight smiled and nodded, carefully lifting the cabinet an inch off the ground and carefully moving it a few inches to the left before setting it down on the crystal floor again. “Is this good?”

“Perfect, darling. Or rather… hmm…” She still smiled and watched as Rarity strode around the cabinet, letting out a series of thoughtful hums as she inspected it from every reasonable angle and one or two unreasonable ones. “I don’t know, maybe it looked better over in that corner after all.”

Twilight glanced over her shoulder at the corner Rarity was pointing at, then turned back to her friend, raising an eyebrow. “The one I moved the cabinet away from? Three times now, I believe?”

“Yes, that… oh. Oh!” Rarity took a step back, ears pinned against her head. “Oh dear, I’m so sorry. I’ve been having you move furniture for hours now, haven’t I? You must be run ragged by now.”

Twilight stared her down for a few more seconds, then broke down into a giggle. “Relax, Rarity, I was just kidding. Ever since I’ve become an alicorn, levitating furniture around like this is barely more exhausting than levitating books.” She lifted the cabinet up in her magic and moved it back over to the corner, keeping it in the air to let Rarity adjust the position.

“Oh, very funny.” Rarity huffed and followed the cabinet, stepping a bit harder than strictly necessary (a Lady didn’t stomp, after all). “If I moved the amount of books you read in a day, I wager I wouldn't know the difference either. It’s really not my fault, though – a little to the right, please, yes, just like that – not my fault that you live in a giant crystal castle. Crystal and gemstones are wonderful for accentuation, not to make your floor and walls out of them. Honestly, I don’t know how Cadance does it with her castle.”

“Don’t you mean Cadance and Shining Armor?” Twilight asked with a smirk.

“Don’t be ridiculous, Twilight.” Rarity rolled her eyes, striding right past Twilight and towards the set of couches near the center of the room, giving them a critical appraisal. “Shining Armor is a stallion, through and through. I know that he has many redeeming qualities, but if a sense of aesthetics is one of them, I’ll eat my father’s hat.” She lifted up one of the throw pillows to inspect them, muttering under her breath just barely loud enough for Twilight to hear, “Equestria would be a better place without that atrocity, anyway.”

Twilight rolled her eyes with a smile. “And here I thought he would be more your type, what with all those romance novels you read.”

“Setting aside the fact that he is happily married,” Rarity huffed, “I fear I am not the starry-eyed romantic I once was.” She threw herself onto the largest of the couches, dramatically holding a hoof to her forehead. “Indeed, the Rarity you once knew is no more. The mare you see before you has been hardened and disillusioned by a life of dashed expectations.”

She opened one eye to scan the reaction of her audience, seeing Twilight try to hide her chuckle behind a hoof. She got back up with a huff, tossing her mane. “Oh, of course, laugh at my pain and despair why don’t you. Rarity can take it.”

She held that pose for a few seconds, then broke down into giggles as well. “That was rather dramatic, wasn’t it? Anyway, the couch set looks good as it is, actually. At least one pony tries to take my lessons on color combinations to heart.” She trotted back over to Twilight, giving the room one last look. “I believe that was everything in this room. Shall we move on to the next one?”

Twilight smiled, opening the door for her. “Sounds good. How about the game room… have you ever seen a crystal pool table growing out of the floor?”

“Have you ever seen me have a nervous breakdown about interior decoration? That was a rhetorical question, don’t answer it. How about we move on to the kitchen and have a cup of tea instead?”

“That sounds good, Rarity.” Twilight chuckled, following her friend but pausing at the door to take one more look over the living room, and the purple and white throw pillows arranged neatly in pairs of one each on the couches. She lingered for a second, then shook her head and started walking again, closing the door behind her.

It was a rather subtle attempt, admittedly. She was sure if she dropped a few more small signs Rarity would pick up on them soon. Probably.


“You’re picking up on it rather well.”

Twilight gave a quiet hum to acknowledge the compliment, the tip of her tongue poking out in concentration as she watched the knitting needles held in her magic. They danced around each other as she switched from the soft purple wool to the white one and back, adding another line to the diamond pattern on her scarf.

Rarity laid a hoof on her shoulder, breaking her concentration just a bit. “You’re way too tense though. Relax, Twilight, it gets a lot easier if you just let yourself sink into the rhythm. Trust me, after a while you'll be knitting without even having to look at it.” Her own needles moved in a steady staccato of clacks over her lap as a proof of concept while she watched Twilight.

Twilight let out another hum, tensing up even more as she forced herself to tear her eyes away from the scarf. The clack of her needles sped up before stopping suddenly, followed by a groan as the alicorn looked down at the mess they had become tangled up in.

“I don’t know how you do it. And if this is picking up quickly, I don’t want to imagine what the alternative would be.”

“It’s all about practice, darling. Practice and patience.” Rarity held up the two thirds of a sweater for her sister she was working on, looking it over for irregularities while Twilight worked to carefully untangle her own project.

They both went back to knitting silently for a while, only the sound of their needles and the fireplace filling the room until Rarity spoke up again.

“Do you think Spike is alright?”

Twilight paused her needles and glanced up at the window, seeing the blizzard still raging against the glass from the darkness outside. “Well, he’s with the Crusaders at Sweet Apple Acres, so unless one of them got it into their head to go outside for some reason, they should be fine.”

“Oh, yes, of course… I meant more in general though.” Rarity focused on her knitting, studiously avoiding eye contact. “Now, I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing, but I did notice him getting… more reserved around me with his advances, if you get what I mean.”

Twilight blushed lightly and turned back to her own knitting. “Oh, that. Yes, I think he may be starting to move on from his crush. We had a talk a while back.” She glanced up again to watch her friend’s reaction. “Is there a problem with that? Are you…?”

“What? Oh goodness no.” Rarity waved off quickly, shaking her head. “He is still a baby dragon, or at least looks like one. No, I just noticed and… well…” She looked away, blushing.

Twilight set down her needles, watching her nervously. “And what? What’s wrong, Rarity?”

Rarity fidgeted a bit, then took a deep breath and let it out as a sigh, setting her own nearly-finished project down on the table next to Twilight’s.

“It’s just… I know it wasn’t right. And I suppose at times I was taking advantage of it somewhat, even if I did it to dissuade him of said crush. Well, most of the time.” She shook her head, leaning back and staring into the fireplace. “Am I rambling? I know that it’s a good thing he is moving on, that he doesn’t keep clinging to it, but on the other hoof…”

She trailed off for a while before she spoke up again, quieter. “He was the only one, you know?”

Twilight blinked. “The only one?”

“The only one who ever went out of his way to court me.” Rarity gave a non-committal shrug, though her shoulders were tense.

“Now that can’t be true.” Twilight frowned. “You’re practically a celebrity, not to mention–“ She coughed, blushing lightly again. “I mean, you put a lot of effort into your appearance. I’m sure there are at least a dozen ponies just here in Ponyville who would want to ask you out.”

Rarity scoffed. “Oh, I know that, Twilight. But that’s all they would do, ask me out. Spike was the only one who ever romanced me, acted like a proper gentlestallion. And he’s not even the right age nor the right species to be.”

“Oh… I guess I can see what you mean.” Twilight looked down, scuffing her hoof against the couch in thought.

“And the few stallions I had hoped to find something more in all turned out terrible disappointments. I’ve tried to lower my standards, I really have, but would it be too much to ask for a little cheesy romance in my life?”

Rarity groaned and threw herself across her side of the couch, waving a foreleg around. “I’m getting maudlin, Twilight. Fetch me some wine, lest I start whining. It is far too cold outside and too warm in here to binge on ice cream.”

Twilight got up, giving her friend a concerned look. “Are you going to be alright?”

“Yes yes, I’m quite fine. You know me, darling, if I can’t have romance I will at least have some drama. And wine. Drama and wine go well together, trust me, I’m talking from experience.” Rarity stretched and started gesturing wildly with both forelegs. “Am I being silly? Maybe. Fetch that wine, Twilight, so that I may have validation of my silliness.”

“Of course, milady.” Twilight giggled and bowed her head before turning around to head into the kitchen, Rarity’s voice following her.

“Finally somepony gets it. Allons-y, Twilight! If we cannot find romance, we shall hunt it instead! The world isn’t an oyster, it’s a shore; ponies are oysters and sometimes you have to crack a hundred of them to find a little pearl. Metaphorically, of course. Though I know some stallions that would deserve a cracking, certainly.”

Twilight poked her head back through the doorway, raising an eyebrow. “You’re drunk Rarity, and I haven’t even gotten the wine yet.”

“I’m not drunk. Maybe a little tired…” Rarity stifled a yawn behind her hoof, looking around for a clock. “What time is it? Past midnight? You don’t mind if I take one of your guest rooms for the night, do you?”

“I already prepared one. You didn’t think I would let you walk back through town in this weather, did you?” Twilight smiled, walking over to sort their wool and needles and put them away.

“You’re a gem, Twilight. I can see where Spikey-Wikey got his manners from.” Rarity rolled off the couch, shaking herself slightly before she made her way out into the hallway.

“Yes, I suppose so.” Twilight followed, pausing at the door to glance back at the couple inches of a scarf set neatly on the table, lavender with white lines woven in a diamond pattern. “Maybe he did get it from me.”


Twilight glanced down at the napkins next to each of their plates and the violet-on-white patterns on them as the waiter left them with their food, at the small outdoor table of the bistro she had invited Rarity to under the pretense of wanting to get out of the castle for lunch. The napkins wouldn't have been notable in itself if she hadn’t noticed Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie sitting at the table behind Rarity, trying to look inconspicuous. It might even have worked if Pinkie didn’t peek around the newspaper she was hiding behind every couple seconds.

Rarity looked up from her salad, smiling at her. “Is something wrong, Twilight? Did they mix up your order?”

“Oh, no no no.” Twilight shook her head, picking up the watercress sandwich she had ordered for lunch. “I was just getting distracted thinking about something.” She took a bite, savoring the taste for a moment before turning her attention to Rarity again. “So, how was your day? Did you have any interesting customers?”

“Nothing out of the ordinary, I’m afraid. A slow day for gossip.” Rarity paused, putting a hoof to her chin. “Well, no, that’s not entirely right. Big Macintosh came by this morning to ask for a bowtie.” She leaned in with a giggle. “You didn’t hear it from me, but I think he is finally going to ask out Fluttershy one of these days.”

Twilight giggled as well, both from the news and the faint ‘eep’ coming from the table behind Rarity. For a moment she swore Rarity would notice their two friends just from feeling the heat of Fluttershy’s blush on her back.

“That sounds like quite some news. Are you sure?”

“Well, he didn’t say it of course.” Rarity leaned back again, taking another bite of her salad. “But I have a feeling. My romance senses are tingling, darling.”

Twilight blushed slightly, glancing away and finding her eyes drawn to the napkins again. “Doesn’t that also mean that another stallion here in town is taken now, though? I thought you would be less enthusiastic about that.”

“Twilight, why wouldn’t I be happy about one of my friends getting a bit of romantic attention? Not to mention some juicy new gossip on my next spa day with Fluttershy, hopefully. Besides, it’s not like I was pining after him. I was merely appreciating what's there.” She took a sip of her water to fight down her blush. “Really, how Applejack doesn’t have to beat the mares away from her brother with a stick I will never understand.”

“Still…” Twilight trailed off for a moment, not sure how to continue and wilting a bit under her friend’s confused look. “I thought he would have been your type. You know, strong, chivalrous, leading the family business along with Applejack…”

“Oh, I’m sure he’s a perfectly good stallion, but I’m afraid it wouldn’t work out.” Rarity waved off. “He is perfectly content with his farm and you know I’m trying to expand my boutiques across Equestria. Not to mention he would have to stay here in Ponyville whenever I go running off with his sister and our other friends on another friendship problem.” She sighed and shook her head. “No, I’m afraid I simply know him too well and I have read too many romance novels like that to think it would work out. Romantic fantasies are so much easier to have about ponies you don’t actually know personally, I've found.”

Twilight nodded, going back to her sandwich with a thoughtful look. They ate silently for a while before she steeled herself and leaned forward again. “So, uhm, how do you think is Big Mac going to approach Fluttershy? Maybe he’ll ask her out for a simple lunch at a restaurant, or a bistro…”

Rarity nodded. “Oh yes, something simple like that. But seeing how shy Fluttershy is he might rather take her on a picnic somewhere in the orchards. Of course Big Macintosh can be a little shy himself… He might invite her without actually telling her that he’s trying to ask her out.” She smiled and shook her head. “Oh well, I’m sure they will figure it out easily enough. And if not, Fluttershy still has us to drop her some hints.”

Twilight blinked, staring as Rarity went back to eating her salad and watching as the unicorn picked up the napkin to wipe a drop of Prench dressing from the corner of her mouth. Before she could say anything else, however, she saw Pinkie come up from behind the newspaper, throwing up her forelegs in frustration.


“Sweetie Belle?” Rarity blinked and turned her head to look back at the suddenly empty table behind her, a lone newspaper sliding off a chair to drop to the ground. “No wait, that sounded more like Pinkie Pie… did I miss something there, Twilight?”

“Oh, you know… just Pinkie being Pinkie.” Twilight gave an awkward grin, waving off. “Nothing to worry about… say, what are you doing next Saturday?”


“I still can’t quite believe I’m watching Roaming and July from the royal balcony.” Rarity set down her opera glasses as the second act ended and the lights came on again. “It’s such a shame Princess Luna had to pull out at the last minute, I’m sure she would have enjoyed the olden speech the play is written in.”

“Yes, such a shame.” Twilight glanced down over the railing into the crowds below. “I’m sure it was something important that came up, though. You know how she is.”

“Oh, indeed. She wouldn’t have missed something like this. It was probably something of national importance.” Rarity smiled, watching the crowds as well as stallions and mares alike filed out to stretch their legs or have a drink, something they didn’t need to get up for on their private balcony.

“I’m not sure it’s quite that important.” Twilight’s eye twitched slightly, but if Rarity noticed she didn’t say anything.

They were quiet for a minute before Rarity spoke up again. “Did you know that Trenderhoof was in Ponyville again at some point last week? His latest travel log was published in the Equestrian Geographic yesterday.”

“Trenderhoof? Wasn’t he that travel writer that came to write about the Ponyville Days festival last year?” Twilight frowned lightly, ears folding back. “The one you had that huge crush on?”

“It wasn’t a crush.” Rarity said defensively, then wilted a bit. “Oh who am I kidding, I made a complete fool out of myself with that one. At least with Blueblood I still kept my dignity, if only somewhat.”

Twilight winced. “I’m sure it wasn’t quite that bad.”

“Oh, I assure you it was even worse. You weren’t there for the worst parts. And I can’t even blame him much.” She sighed. “I can’t believe how much I was fawning over that stallion.”

“Well, sometimes you just fall for somepony even though you have no idea if you’re their type at all.” Twilight looked down into the theater, not wanting to meet Rarity’s eyes.

“Yes, I suppose so. To be honest, in hindsight I am not entirely sure he was my type either. Even if he was poetic, and famous, and handsome…” Rarity trailed off and shook her head, blushing. “Be that as it may, I think he may have actually been too poetic. A little out of touch with reality, at least if the way he talked about Applejack and her farm was any indication.”

Twilight smirked. “Too poetic for you? Wow, he must have been bad.

“Well, there was a reason I was so enamored with him after reading his articles.” Rarity sighed. “Alas, yet another hope of a meaningful romance dashed.” She shook her head. “But none of that now. We are here to enjoy ourselves, yes? This evening is about romance, not the lack thereof, and I think the next act is just about to start.”

Twilight squeaked and turned her head back to the stage to hide the light blush Rarity's wording had brought on. She remembered the new costumes of the two protagonists – white and violet – that she was quite sure they hadn’t been wearing in any of the pictures she’d seen of previous showings of the play. She also remembered spotting the two supposed unicorns – white and deep blue – who were sitting down in the floor seats, whispering to each other, giggling and glancing up at their balcony every couple seconds.

Twilight sighed and forced a smile, waving at them. She might have admonished them for their meddling, if the implications hadn’t apparently gone right over Rarity’s head.


“It’s getting a little chilly, isn’t it?” Rarity shivered lightly and pulled the blanket up to her shoulders with her magic, pushing herself back into the plush seats in an attempt to keep the warmth contained.

Twilight shifted a bit under her side of the blanket, looking over at her. “I’m sorry, if it gets too cold we can–“

“Nonsense darling, a little cold hasn’t killed anypony.” Rarity shook her head. “Besides, this blanket is rather comfortable. If I were to get up now it would only get worse, I’d wager.”

Twilight nodded, glancing down at the large two-tone blanket that had arrived with the chariot, one half white with purple design and the other half purple with a mirroring white design. Twilight had taken the primarily white half and left Rarity to bundle up under the purple half, though if her friend had noticed the intention behind it she didn’t show it.

Speaking of friends, Rarity hadn’t commented on the royal guard pulling their chariot either. That is to say, she had made a bit of smalltalk with him and commented on the fact that Twilight had arranged for a royal guard to pull them, but not on the fact that the earth pony stallion wasn’t really built like an earth pony nor a stallion. Twilight could see how Rarity wouldn’t bat an eye at ponies with unusual body types or seeing a somewhat flamboyant stallion in the guard, especially in Canterlot; but Twilight also knew enough about the guard’s look, the particular type of moustache they were wearing (in Ponyville colloquially known as 'number twenty-five') and what pony could or couldn’t easily get their hooves on an enchanted guard armor that she had an inkling of which cutie mark to expect under the metal plating.

She had to admit though, as their ‘guard’ strained to pull the chariot up a short slope, when Cadance got into one of her shipping moods she didn’t shy away from even manual labor to see them through.

“And anyway, I wouldn’t want to miss this,” Rarity continued, unaware of Twilight’s thoughts. “After you went all these lengths to give me a nighttime ride through your hometown? I’ll admit I have never properly seen Canterlot like this. The only time I was really out and about at night was on that first Gala, and you know how that turned out.” She gave Twilight a warm smile that made the alicorn’s heart flutter and definitely didn’t make their manly (since mustachioed) guard squee like a little filly.

Rarity blinked and turned to look at their guard. “Is everything alright?”

The guard didn’t miss a beat, replying in a somewhat gravelly voice that sounded just as manly and fake as 'his' moustache, “Yes Ma’am, one of the wheels squeaks a bit sometimes is all, nothing to worry about.”

“Oh, alright then.” Rarity shrugged and turned her attention to Twilight again. “I’m sorry, where were we?”

“Uhhh…” Twilight helpfully replied.

“Oh yes, the Gala. Did I tell you that I met Blueblood at the Canterlot Carousel when I went to check up on the store last week?”

Twilight’s ears folded back and she frowned. “Prince Blueblood? I thought you didn’t particularly care for that pony after… you know.”

“Oh, I didn’t.” Rarity huffed. “And I still think that he is one of the absolute worst ponies when it comes to romance, even more than I did before. He outright told me that he considers himself a bachelor and doesn’t care in the least for romance or romantic relationships of any kind.” She paused to put a hoof to her chest and push it away under the blanket, doing the same breathing exercise Twilight had once learned from their guard her foalsitter. “Still, when I met him again he did apologize for the way he acted back then, and it turns out that he can be a rather charming gentlestallion with thoughtful and interesting political insights, if he isn’t trying to brutally murder romance and leave it in a ditch.”

Twilight raised an eyebrow, still frowning slightly. “You’re not going to rebound and try to get his attention again, are you?”

Rarity’s left eye twitched. “Don’t be ridiculous, Twilight. I already covered royalty in cake twice, with that time Princess Luna started a food fight and I slightly overshot trying to get back at Rainbow Dash, just as Princess Celestia came through the door, in her very best regalia that she had just gotten cleaned and polished…” She did the breathing exercise again, until her face went back from being ghostly pale to the only somewhat livelier complexion of white fur under moonlight. “Ahem, nevermind that. My point is that I would rather avoid doing it a third time, you understand.”

Twilight nodded. “Well, that’s good. I-I mean, not good, I’m sorry that it didn’t work out for you, but–“

Rarity giggled and brought a hoof from under the blanket to Twilight’s lips to stop her rant, making Twilight burst into a blush she was sure Rarity had to notice even in the dark, the way she felt like she was literally glowing.

“I get it, Twilight, and I appreciate it.” Rarity pulled her hoof back and sat down normally again, looking out at the nightly city with a wistful look. “There is nothing you need to be sorry for, though. It was just a silly filly’s dream anyway. I mean, out of all the ponies in Equestria what would be the odds that I’m the one marrying into royalty.”

Twilight opened her mouth to reply, then closed it again, biting her lip. She was just about to open it again to say something when the chariot was hit by a sudden gust of wind.

“Eeek!” Rarity screamed in surprise as the chariot rocked back and forth a little under the gale. Their blanket fluttered and suddenly flew up, picked up by the wind before either of them could react. Twilight turned and lit her horn to grab it, but before she could do so the blanket was whisked away by the shadow of a pegasus leaving just the faint outline of a contrail behind.

Twilight blinked in confusion, then huffed and muttered under her breath about how she would definitely have a talk with Rainbow Dash the next time she saw her.

“I-I’m t-terribly sorry, but we m-might have to cut this evening short after all.”

Twilight turned back around to see Rarity curled up even more than before on her side of the seat, looking up at her with an awkward smile as she tried not to show how much she was shivering. The wind had stopped as quickly as it appeared, but now the chill of an early spring night halfway up a mountain attacked them with a vengeance. Not a problem to somepony who grew up in Canterlot and had gained the additional perk of pegasus magic since then, but apparently a lot more noticeable to one who grew up on the plains around Ponyville and always did her best to be rid of any ‘extra insulation’ by this time of year.

“It’s getting j-just a little chilly, t-that’s all.” Rarity did her best to keep up the smile. “I’m terribly sorry to call it off after the effort you put into this, but…”

She trailed off as Twilight scooted closer and leaned against her, throwing a wing over Rarity’s back and fanning it out as much as she could, then focusing as best as she could on her still slightly unfamiliar pegasus magic until it formed a full shield around her friend, or at least as close to it as she could manage.

Rarity turned her head to stare at the wing in awe and surprise for a moment, then turned away, looking over the city again as a light shadow passed over her cheek. “Y-yes, that should work. Thank you, Twilight.”

Twilight watched her for a bit, then turned away again as well, though still staying snuggled up to her friend. She looked up at the full moon hanging above the city surrounded by stars, noting how it seemed even bigger and brighter than usual (probably so Luna could watch them more easily, even though Twilight knew the Princess’ powers really didn’t work like that at all).

It also distracted her from seeing the bouncing tips of a moustache as the definitely manly guard pulling their chariot pranced ahead of them like a little filly.


Twilight took a deep breath, looking over the table and the three-course meal that Spike had helped her prepare (or rather let her help with anything she wasn’t likely to mess up; while cooking was little more than applied chemistry, kitchen appliances seemed to hold a personal grudge against Twilight ever since she had taken apart their siblings as a little filly to find out how they worked). The table was set just right, with every knife, fork and spoon in its proper place. The candles were lit, two long candles of twisting white and violet, something Spike had apparently ordered specifically for this occasion to show his support. The dishes were still under their covers on a little cart not too far away from the table yet not so close as to bother the ponies sitting there. Spike was in his room, having gone to bed early to give them privacy.

It was going to be her last attempt at subtlety (for what little subtlety was in it) and while Twilight had planned and prepared for every possibility she still felt a knot in her gut at the thought of outright asking Rarity, not to mention the answer she might or might not receive.

She cast a quick reflection spell to look herself over one more time, checking that her mane and tail were groomed and that no hairs were trying to spring out of alignment as they tended to do when she was stressed. She had considered wearing a dress, but all the ones from before her ascension didn’t fit her right anymore, and the other ones she had were just replacements. The only dress she owned that she (and Rarity) had a special connection to was her ‘Reign in Stain’ dress, but after the whole Princess Dress fiasco she just wasn’t sure how Rarity would feel about seeing her in that.

“Oh my, that smells absolutely delightful.” Rarity stepped through the doorway with a smile, eyes closed and nose raised slightly to follow the scents of the food. Twilight was suddenly glad that she had decided to forego the dress, as Rarity wasn’t wearing anything either and she was pretty sure that making the fashionista feel underdressed would have been one of the worse ways to start the evening.

“I certainly hope so.” Twilight grinned nervously and moved over to the table, pulling out Rarity’s chair as they both sat down and then levitating over the first course and only dish she had been able to completely prepare herself, a mixed salad arranged completely symmetrically on each plate, with homemade dressing.

Rarity let out a little oooh of delight and they both dug in, making idle conversation through the first and most of the second course – with no sign whatsoever that Rarity had realized and/or acknowledged just what the situation was supposed to be – before Twilight decided to try and drop one more hint. “So… how has your love life been going?”

“Ugh, don’t ask.” Rarity slumped down a bit, then straightened up again and leaned back in her chair. “It already wasn’t exactly great before, but recently it’s like every single stallion in Ponyville is intentionally avoiding me.”

Twilight flinched, and not just because she knew what ponies were likely responsible for that. She’d noticed this particular issue long ago, but had never been able to work up the nerve to ask. “You… you always talk about stallions. Does that mean you’re… you know?” She shrunk in on herself, looking away.

“I’m what?” Rarity tilted her head in confusion, until her eyes widened slightly. “Oh, you mean… well, no. I mean, I never thought about…” She paused and shook her head, sorting her thoughts before speaking up again. “I think you may have been right about me reading too many of those ‘cheap romance novels’ as you call them. Whenever I think of a breezy tale romance, I see a mare and a stallion. But to answer your question… no, I don’t think I am exclusive like that. I don’t mind the idea of… being together, with another mare.” She hummed thoughtfully. “At least I don’t think so. Honestly, the idea has simply never come up. I don’t think I have ever been approached romantically by a mare or a filly.”

Twilight bit back the obvious reply. “So… if it’s not stallion or mare, what are you looking for in a partner?”

“Ideally or realistically? For the former I think you would know that better than me with all the conversations we’ve had about the topic.” Rarity giggled, then leaned back and gestured dramatically with a hoof. “My dream stal- partner would be a prince – or princess – at least in how they act if not in actual standing. But… well, I guess I don’t want somepony acting high and mighty or looking down at ponies. I’d want somepony who is okay with just doing normal, everyday things with me. Somepony who can bring up some interest for my interests, who I could share a hobby with. But, well, at the same time I also want somepony romantic. I want to be courted, Twilight, taken out for brunch or dinner, taken to the theater or other such things… I would say long walks on the beach, but there really aren’t any beaches here. Maybe something else romantic, like a moonlight ride or a… candlelight… dinner...”

Rarity froze, hoof still in the air. She blinked a few times and slowly lowered it, looking over the table as if only now seeing the situation she was in and everything set up in front of her, lit by only the two candles between them. “Twilight, darling…”

Twilight’s eyes got a mischievous sparkle in them as she leaned in slightly and fluttered her eyelashes, a quickly widening smile on her face. “Yes, Rarity?”

“Are you…? Is this…?” Rarity gestured helplessly, not daring to look away from the mare across the table.

Twilight’s smile twitched up into a smirk ever so slightly and her eyes swiveled to the side, looking somewhere to Rarity’s left. Rarity reflexively glanced the same way to follow her gaze, turning her head and then her whole body when she didn’t immediately see anything..


The purple flash of a teleport spell right in front of her face made her tense up in surprise, blinding her for just a second. Before she could blink the spots from her eyes, however, she felt Twilight move in to lock lips with her.

Against her expectations, the kiss was not awkward or shy. It wasn’t forceful or rough either. It was the confident kiss of a mare who had planned out this moment for weeks, if not months. Rarity felt her brain lock up as dozens of memories were suddenly put into an entirely different context, crashing into her with the kiss like an avalanche. The chariot ride, the opera, the brunch and many more… and every time white and lavender had been present somewhere, like a thread connecting all of these moments, a thread that she of all ponies had completely failed to notice.

Twilight pulled back, slowly, almost reluctantly. Rarity still hadn’t moved a muscle since the first contact of their lips. She had, however, instinctively backed away from the flash of the teleport after having already turned sideways on the chair.

Now gravity finally asserted itself to pull her off the side of the chair and land sprawled out on the floor with a squeak.

Twilight blinked, then blushed and leaned forward, looking past the pair of twitching hindlegs now resting on the seat of the chair to the mare they belonged to. “Uhm, Rarity? Are you alright?”

“The unicorn you are trying to reach isn’t available right now. Please leave a message after the swoon.” Rarity giggled, waving a foreleg about drunkenly. She took a deep breath, then let it out again and calmed down, looking up at Twilight. “I’m terribly sorry, darling. I have been acting rather dense, haven’t I?”

Twilight smirked. “Just a little. I thought it was rather endearing, actually, in a really frustrating way.”

“I suppose I should try to make it up to you then.” Rarity blushed and looked away, giggling again.

“So, does that mean…?” Twilight gave her a hopeful smile, offering a hoof to help her up.

“Well, I would be a fool not to at least give it a try, wouldn’t I? After everything you did to woo me…” She took the offered hoof and let herself be pulled back to her own hooves, looking Twilight right in the eyes with a soft smile. “And after everything I talked to you about on those dates, too. It seems like you’re everything I ever knew I wanted and I was just too blind to see it.”

Twilight blushed and looked away. “You’re making me out to be some sort of perfect prince like the ones from your books.”

“Accept the compliment, darling, it is almost literally what you are.” Rarity giggled, lifting her glass in her magic. “As my dear grandmother always said, modesty is for boring ponies. So accept that you are, in fact, amazing, and just enjoy our…” She paused, frowning. “Oh dear, which date does that even make this? The fifth? The sixth?”

Twilight lifted her own glass, smiling softly. “How about… the first.”

“I think I would like that.” Rarity smiled, tearing up just a little as she moved her glass forward to meet Twilight’s halfway, right between the two candles and above a small decorative bouquet of white roses and lavender.

“To our first date.”