Header Background Image

    It was an unbreakable, unbendable and unavoidable law of the universe that, when Rarity called, Twilight Sparkle would always answer. And nothing could have prepared her for the wave of emotions that drowned her at seeing the unicorn again. She could only stare at her, completely at a loss for words.

    Rarity, a few feet away, looked at Twilight with her head tilted to the side. She looked nothing like how Twilight remembered her. She remembered an elderly pony with a grey mane tied in a bun, a greying coat, and red glasses permanently stuck on the bridge of her nose. This pony, however, was nothing like that. Her beautiful purple mane flowed down from her head, her coat shined with the vibrancy of youth, and no red glasses decorated her nose. Twilight had dreamt of that moment many times before, but now that it was happening, it didn’t feel real.

    “Hellooooo,” Rarity continued, waving a hoof in front of the other mare. “Equestria to Twilight Sparkle.”

    Twilight would have liked to say something, but her mind was too much of an incoherent, jumbled, panicked mess to do so. In the end, after another minute of frantically trying to get her thoughts in order, she only managed to force out a stuttered “Rarity”.

    “Ah! So there is somepony home,” Rarity exclaimed, pleased at having received recognition. Curious ponies still watched the scene from the entrance of the alley, but they all scurried away when the unicorn turned to look at them, narrowed eyes demanding privacy from their meddling.

    Once they were gone, she turned back to Twilight. “Darling, what exactly are you doing standing in the middle of a dreary alley?”

    Oh, you know, time-travelling, disguising myself, running away from our friends after spying on them, the usual. As much as Twilight would have liked to say something else, that was the only reply that came to her mind. What could she say? She had to be extremely careful. What if it wasn’t something her past self would say? She hadn’t been that young in centuries; how was she supposed to remember how she acted back then?

    “Er… Wha-What are you doing here?” she asked, rationalizing that the best course of action was to just completely avoid talking about herself.

    “What am I doing here?” Rarity asked, putting a hoof over her chest, surprised at finding herself being the one questioned. “Twilight, I told you earlier that I had to deliver some dresses near here. I told you several times, in fact.”

    “Oh… er, really?” Twilight said, laughing nervously. “I forgot?”

    Rarity pointed at the cloak. “And why in Equestria are you wearing that horrid thing?”

    “Er… chilly… day?”

    Rarity pursed her lips. “You’re not even wearing it properly,” she admonished, levitating the cloak off Twilight without even asking. “It’s not supposed to drag on the floor like that, honestly. Where did you even get this?” she asked, flapping it in the air to clean it a bit.

    “I… uh… Pinkie Pie gave it to me?”

    Rarity raised an eyebrow, seemingly unconvinced by Twilight’s excuse, but pursued the matter no further. “Hmm… Did she? Well, in any case, I’ve finished my deliveries for the day. Since we’re together now, I was wondering if perhaps you’d like to get started with…” She faltered mid-sentence and stared. “Twilight…”

    To Twilight’s horror, Rarity began circling her, her eyes inspecting every inch of the alicorn’s body, the cloak still floating in the air. Twilight was suddenly reminded that she didn’t look all that young anymore, and it seemed like Rarity had noticed it too.

    She came to a halt, eyes narrowed. “You… Why do you look older?” she asked finally, brushing her hoof against Twilight’s coat and sending jolts of electricity through Twilight’s system at the contact. “Your coat is graying…” She looked up at Twilight. “And are you taller?”

    Panic gripped Twilight’s brain as she rummaged it for an explanation. Sick? No, Rarity wouldn’t believe it. “I…” She took a step back, watching as Rarity’s hoof dropped back to the ground. “I… was practicing… aging… spells?”

    Rarity raised an eyebrow. “Aging spells.”

    “Y-yep, aging spells!” Twilight stammered, trying to give Rarity the single most nonchalant smile she could muster. “Princess Celestia asked me to… study the biological effects of using magic to increase the age of somepony.” There. Rarity couldn’t think she was lying when she knew perfectly well that Twilight would do almost anything Celestia asked. The perfect excuse.

    Rarity was quiet, eyes still narrowed. “Odd. You didn’t mention the Princess had written to you recently. I suppose that explains the cloak, then.” However, with a flick of her mane, any trace of suspicion vanished from her face. She levitated the cloak over to Twilight and watched as the alicorn put it back on again. “Anyway, as I was saying, I was wondering if perhaps you’d like to get started with the spells.”

    Twilight blinked. “Spells? What spells?”

    Rarity rolled her eyes, unamused by Twilight’s ignorance. “What do you mean ’what spells’? The ones you promised to help me with earlier today, of course. Or have you forgotten that, too?”

    Twilight winced, ears flattening against her head. “O-Oh! Right… Those spells…” Whatever they are…

    Rarity shook her head. “Honestly, Twilight, on what planet did you wake up this morning? You’ve forgotten nearly everything I told you this morning, and suddenly you’ve decided that dark and gloomy alleys are the best place to test aging spells? Not to mention you’ve been looking at me as if though I had two heads. Are you feeling all right?” She made a move to check Twilight for fever, but Twilight quickly backed away.

    “I’m fine, Rarity,” she insisted, trying to smile reassuringly. “I guess I’m just a little out-of-it.”

    “Well, please do try to ‘be-in-it’ from now on, darling,” Rarity replied before turning towards the alley’s exit and trotting off. “Come now, it’s starting to get late.”

    Twilight bit down on her lip, unsure of what to do. Going with Rarity involved more meddling with time, and meddling even more with time could have ugly results. But, on the other hoof, trying to get out of her situation would no doubt result in an angry Rarity, and Twilight wasn’t sure she wanted her last ever interaction with the unicorn to be an unpleasant one. With some reluctance — and a bit of excitement, admittedly —, Twilight followed her, hoping she’d soon find a way to go back home.

    The walk towards Carousel Boutique had been mostly a silent one on Twilight’s side. While one fraction of her mind tried figuring out a way out of her situation, every other part was focused entirely on Rarity. The unicorn had been doing most of the talking, and even though her topics were no doubt mundane and normal for her, for Twilight they were absolutely fascinating. To hear her voice, to hear what she’d done, even the simplest of things just kept reminding Twilight of the fact that she was talking to Rarity after so many years.

    “Ah, here we are!” Rarity said suddenly, directing Twilight’s attention towards the building in the distance.

    Carousel Boutique.

    It had been one of the many things Rarity left to Twilight when she passed away. Twilight, at the time still heartbroken over the mare’s death, had given it to one of the unicorn’s apprentices to live in, figuring Rarity would have liked her house to still be used in the name of fashion. Eventually, Rarity’s apprentice passed away, and she in turn left it to her own apprentice, starting a tradition of sorts. By the time Twilight celebrated her five hundredth birthday, Carousel Boutique had already passed through the ownership of three different ponies, including the original one.

    It was a bit sad for Twilight to notice that, whenever she visited Ponyville, Rarity’s essence had disappeared more and more with each owner, until it got to the point where she could no longer recognize anything inside the building.

    It was because of this that, when she followed Rarity inside the building, she was overcome with a wide array of emotions upon seeing it again in its original state. She felt very much like a foal inside a toy store, where every little object was cause for excitement.

    “I’m sorry about the mess,” Rarity said, using her magic to pick up stray objects from the floor and put them back in their place. “I’m afraid I didn’t have time to pick up this morning.”

    “Oh, I don’t care. It’s a beautiful mess,” Twilight whispered, mostly to herself. She put the cloak on the coat rack and kept looking around, fascinated by it all. She then realized Rarity was staring at her quite intently. “What’s wrong?” she asked, alarmed.

    “A ’beautiful mess’?” Rarity repeated, as if to make sure she had heard correctly.

    Uh-oh. Twilight cleared her throat, feeling her cheeks redden. “Err, so, what about those spells?” she asked, hoping to change the topic.

    “The spellbook is upstairs in the bedroom,” Rarity replied, still observing Twilight with the same concerned expression.

    Twilight nodded, smiling awkwardly. “Okay, then.”

    She trotted past the unicorn and went up the stairs, hearing Rarity following behind and whispering to herself: “A ’beautiful mess?’ What?

    While Twilight was excited to once more see Rarity’s bedroom — for purely innocent reasons, thank you very much —, she now knew better than to say anything out loud. Unlike downstairs, Rarity’s room was very neatly picked up. The only thing not in its place was the blue spellbook on top of the writing desk.

    Twilight took off her saddlebag and put it on the bed, using her magic to float over the book and read its title: Dazzlingly Dazzling Spells for Dazzling Ponies.

    How… dazzling.

    “What spell do you need help with?” she asked, sitting down on the floor and looking through the pages. They all seemed like relatively easy spells, which meant she’d be able to hightail it out of there in no time at all.

    Without warning, Rarity plopped herself down next to Twilight, startling the latter into giving out a little “eep!”. Once more, a blush crept up Twilight’s cheeks at being so close to Rarity. Despite the fact that she had been making it a point to avoid physical contact with Rarity, she now found she was very much tempted to snuggle up to the unicorn. Instead, however, she forced herself a few inches away from the other mare; far enough so their coats weren’t brushing anymore, but close enough that Rarity wouldn’t notice anything.

    To be honest, Twilight felt like it would be wrong, inappropriate even, to act as anything more than platonic friends with Rarity since she wasn’t really who Rarity thought she was. Yes, even if, for all intents and purposes, she was technically the same pony as her past self, she still didn’t feel comfortable pretending to be her. In fact, it even felt like it might be an act of betrayal towards her past self to get cozy with Rarity.

    Gosh, time-travel was complicated.

    “Hmm, let me see,” Rarity murmured, taking the book from Twilight and flipping through the pages. “It should be near the end, I believe.”

    Her search was interrupted seconds later by the sound of the entrance bells chiming. “Hello? Rarity?” a voice called from downstairs, followed by the sound of a closing door.

    Rarity looked up, frowning. “That’s odd. I thought I put up the ‘closed’ sign,” she murmured, closing the book and handing it to Twilight. She got up and looked at Twilight. “Sorry, darling. Let me go see what they want, and I’ll be right back.”

    Twilight nodded, hoping that whoever had come would leave quickly so she could get going herself. “Alright,” she replied, watching as Rarity made her way towards the door before looking back to the book.

    “Rarity?” the impatient voice called again.

    “I’ll be down in a moment!” she called back. All of a sudden, she came to a stop in front of the door, her ears perked up.

    Twilight looked up from her book. “Something wrong?” she asked.

    “No… Nothing,” Rarity replied slowly. “It… It’s just that their voice sounds a lot like yours, and, well, for an instant I thought that was you calling.” She shook her head and shrugged, oblivious to the absolutely horrified way Twilight looked at her. “In any case, I’ll be right back.” With that, she left the room, shutting the door behind her.

    The entire room seemed to spin around Twilight as she tried to process what was about to happen. She needed to get out of there. Fast. Feeling as if she was moments away from fainting, she tried to teleport herself outside but stopped. No. If the Twilight downstairs was already very skilled with magic, she’d be able to detect the magic surge and track it down in no time. But… But she couldn’t get out of Carousel Boutique without magic.

    It was all over.

    Twilight knew what came next. Rarity and her younger self would come up, find her and confront her about the time-travel. Rarity would then find out she’s dead in Twilight’s time, while the younger Twilight would freak out over the dangers of time-travelling; she’d worry herself into a frenzy over the paradoxes it might have caused, and then she’d go tell Celestia about everything.

    Celestia, of course, would be furious upon finding out Twilight had tampered with an old scroll, especially for such a trivial reason. She’d then go on to punish Twilight by forcing her to stay in the past.

    None of her friends from the past would want to be with her, because they’d still have the younger Twilight, thus dooming the future Twilight to a life of solitary misery. Spike, her Spike, back in the future, would cease to exist because of the changes there would be in the past, and Twilight would be completely alone for the rest of her painfully long life.

    Oh Celestia, if only she had wings, she could just fly out the window and… Wait a minute! what am I thinking?! I do have wings!

    Twilight’s eyes focused on the oval glass-door that stood in the way between her and salvation. If her magic wasn’t going to get her out of there, her wings sure as hell would. She stretched them out, used her magic to open the door and then rushed towards it. She could already taste her freedom.

    Or, at least, she would have tasted her freedom if only a blue colored magic hadn’t slammed the door shut in her face.

    “And just where do you think you’re going?”

    So close.

    She had been so close to avoiding eternity alone in misery. Steeling herself, and figuring that if she was to go down, she might as well go down with dignity, Twilight stood up straight and turned around to face judgement day. To her surprise, only Rarity had come back up.

    The unicorn closed the door behind her. “I knew something was off with you,” she spat.

    Twilight bit her lip and forced herself to look into Rarity’s eyes, even if she so very badly wanted to look away. Why was Rarity angry? Couldn’t she at least know why Twilight had done what she did before getting angry? “You… You don’t know what’s going on,” Twilight shot back, trying to defend herself.

    “Oh, I know exactly what’s going on” Rarity snapped back, stomping her hoof against the floor.

    Twilight’s ears flattened against her skull, and she took a step back. “I… I don’t regret anything,” she said, trying hard to keep her voice loud and firm.

    “Oh, really? We shall see if you feel the same way after Princess Celestia deals with you.”

    Twilight felt her heart sink. Did Rarity truly love her so little that she’d be willing to turn her in without even listening to her explanation? “Please, at least, let me explai—”

    “I am not interested in any explanation you have to offer!” Rarity snapped, her voice as vicious as the glare in her eyes. “Princess Celestia warned us you might come here!”

    Wait, what?

    “She did?”

    “She suspected it would happen sooner or later,” Rarity went on. “That you’d want to get revenge.”

    Revenge. Revenge? “Revenge?!”

    “Oh, don’t act innocent!” Rarity shrieked, stamping her hoof against the floor again. “We all knew one of you would be back, even after Princess Celestia defeated your queen!” She narrowed her eyes. “Isn’t that right… changeling?!

    “A… changeling?”

    Oh! So that’s why she thought I… This… This is perfect! Suddenly, it was like an enormous weight lifted off her back. Never in her life did she think she’d be so happy to have somepony mistake her for a changeling.

    “Exactly what are you so happy about?!” Rarity barked, snapping Twilight out of her reveries.

    The excited smile on Twilight’s face vanished. “I’m not!” she barked back. “If Twilight Sparkle hadn’t come, you’d have never seen through my, uh, transformation, pony!”

    “Hah! Please do not underestimate me! Besides, you didn’t do a very good job with your transformation in the first place!” she retorted. “For starters, Twilight would have told me if she was planning on doing an aging spell! And, even if she hadn’t, she wouldn’t look like that at all!”

    Well, that wasn’t something Twilight had expected to hear. “She wouldn’t? Why not?”

    “Well, I mean, look at yourself!” Rarity said, pointing her hoof at Twilight, “You barely have wrinkles, you look fit, your mane and coat have a very healthy sheen… With the very lacking personal upkeep Twilight has, if it can even be called that, there’s simply no chance she’ll look like you when she’s older!”

    Twilight didn’t know whether she should feel proud or extremely offended.

    “Speaking of Twilight,” Rarity continued, “I didn’t want to alarm her until I was sure of what you were, but now that I do, I ought to fetch her. I’m sure she’ll be quite pleased to send a message to the Princess.” Rarity started backtracking towards the door. “I do hope you’ll enjoy your stay in Canterlot’s dungeons.”

    “Wait! Please, don’t!” Twilight pleaded, shaking her head. “You have me all wrong! I don’t mean any harm!”

    Now Rarity looked offended. “Really? You try tricking me into thinking you’re Twilight, and now you claim you bear no ill will? How daft do you honestly think I am?!”

    “I promise I don’t!”

    “Then why are you impersonating Twilight?! You just want to use her image to get to Celestia!” Rarity accused.

    “If I really wanted to get to Princess Celestia, I’d have transformed into Princess Luna!” Twilight debated.

    If it was possible to make Rarity even angrier, that comment had been the way. “Pardon me, but Celestia takes very seriously whatever Twilight thinks or says!” A furious Rarity snapped back. “I will not stand for you undermining her relationship with the Princess!”

    Though she was moved by the fact that Rarity had gotten offended on her behalf, Twilight ploughed on. “But Celestia would have seen right through my disguise! I had really wanted to get to her through Twilight, I’d have transformed into you!”

    Me?” Rarity asked, pointing at hoof at her chest. “Why me?”

    “Isn’t it obvious?” Twilight asked, no longer acting. “Twilight loves you, doesn’t she? She holds your opinion in a much higher regard than anypony’s else’s! Maybe even Celestia!” she asserted. Sorry, Princess…

    “She… does?” Rarity whispered, her anger subsiding.

    Realizing that perhaps she was saying a little too much, Twilight decided a change of tactic was in order. Two centuries ago, back in her time, a group of changelings had come to Canterlot, asking to be allowed to live there. They had abandoned their faith to their queen and asked to be given a second chance to live peacefully alongside the citizens of Equestria. It had been Twilight who dealt with their case and had found a secluded place for them near Phillydelphia. She had grown pretty friendly with one of them, in fact, and had thus learned of the hardships they went through under Chrysalis’ reign.

    “I deserted my queen,” she lied, remembering everything her friend had told her, “because I just want a peaceful life. Ever since the incident in Canterlot, everypony shuns my race. I… I transformed into Twilight because I wanted to know what it was like to walk around without being attacked or hated.” She thought of Pinkie and Rainbow Dash. “To… To have friends again… that care about you…”

    Maybe it was because of Twilight’s real feelings seeping in through her lies, but she was putting on a very convincing act for the unicorn. Rarity’s expression had softened considerably, prompting Twilight to continue. “Let me go, please,” she pleaded, pointing at the balcony. “I won’t come back. I will never bother you, and you will never see me again. I promise.”

    “Rarity?” the other Twilight called from downstairs, getting impatient. “What’s going on? Did you find the book?”

    Rarity furrowed her brow and bit her lip, still intently looking at Twilight. After a minute, she sighed and looked towards the door. “Everything’s alright, darling! I found the book, but something came up! Give me a few minutes, please!” she called before turning to Twilight. “Leave,” she ordered, “before I change my mind.”

    At the sight of the balcony doors opening, Twilight smiled gratefully. “Thank you.” Taking one last look at Rarity, she went towards the bed to get her saddlebag and leave. However, just as she was about to reach it, it promptly floated away from the bed.

    “You don’t mind if I inspect what’s inside, do you?” Though it was formulated as a question, it was clear that Rarity had no intention on waiting for permission. “You shouldn’t have anything to protest since, as you say, you mean no harm, don’t you?”

    Before Twilight could even try and protest, the unicorn opened the bag and looked inside, retrieving the scroll moments after. “My, my, this looks important,” she remarked, unfurling the scroll and reading aloud. “‘Star Swirl the Bearded’s Time-Travelling Spell’. A time-travelling spell? No doubt to go back in time and change the outcome of the fight in Canterlot.” She rolled up the scroll again. “And to think you almost tricked me into letting you go.”

    Twilight watched with frustration as the balcony door was slammed shut again. Couldn’t she catch a break for once?

    Still not finished with her invasion of Twilight’s privacy, Rarity rummaged inside the bag again. “Let’s see. What else do we have… Wait, this is…” There was a slight pause, and her eyes grew wide. “What have you done?!” Her screech was followed by Twilight’s notebook shooting out of the bag and floating in mid-air for all to see.

    “I gave this to Twilight three days ago!” she continued, looking with absolute horror at the old and worn-out notebook. “Look at the atrocious state it’s in!”

    Terror took over Twilight, trotting over to stop the unicorn. “Wait, no, please!” If Rarity accidentally read an entry about the future, it could mean big trouble for everypony.

    And big trouble was on its way, unfortunately, since Rarity was already flipping through the pages of the book. “You even wrote inside it?! It’s almost completely filled-out! How in Equestria did you even…” She went quiet, her inspection of the notebook’s content accelerating.

    “Wait a minute,” she said. “These entries… This is Twilight’s hoofwriting… But I just gave this to her, and it’s already finished! And the dates… These are dated months — no, years! — in the future! That’s imposs—” She stopped talking and looked at the scroll, her eyes widening again.

    Twilight watched, filled with dread, as everything clicked in Rarity’s head. The unicorn looked from the notebook, to the scroll, to Twilight, then back to the notebook, back to the scroll and finally to Twilight again.

    The notebook and scroll dropped to the floor. “You… You’re from the fut- mmph!” Rarity’s loud reveal was silenced by Twilight’s hoof.

    “Don’t scream it!” she warned in a hushed voice, carefully listening for any sign that her younger self had heard anything. After a minute of silence, in which Rarity stared at Twilight in shock, Twilight gently closed the door with her magic and finally retrieved her hoof from Rarity’s snout.

    Rarity took a few steps back, her rump colliding with the door. “But! But that’s impossible!”

    “Is it? You yourself know that I’ve time-travelled before, with Pinkie Pie and Spike.”

    Rarity looked from the notebook to Twilight, sputtering her words. “Yes, but… But you…” All of a sudden, she took a defensive stance, eyeing the alicorn suspiciously. “Prove it,” she demanded, though her tone wasn’t harsh. “Tell me something only Twilight and I would know. Now. Do it.”


    After a good five minutes of listening to Twilight flawlessly answer her questions, Rarity seemed almost entirely convinced. “I.. I think I’ve heard and seen enough,” she replied, though it looked as if she was only just properly seeing her friend. “This is so bizarre…” she admitted, circling Twilight. “I.. I have to say you… you look in very good shape.”

    Twilight allowed herself to smile cheekily. “Really? Even despite my ‘rather lacking personal upkeep, if it can even be called that’?”

    Rarity cleared her throat, a blush appearing on her cheeks. “Well, you could stand to use a little more cream,” she replied. She giggled and offered a small smile. “Sorry about that.”

    Twilight shrugged, her smile widening a bit. “I guess it was sort of a compliment?”

    Apprehension had drained away and excitement had come bubbling in. Even if she’d been talking to Rarity for a few hours now, it was the first time in the entire day that she was doing so as herself, not her past self. The greatest part about it was that Rarity wasn’t freaking out. There was no Celestia getting angry, no being banished to live in the past without friends, and no explosions due to paradoxes in the time-space continuum. Somehow, everything was working out.


    Except it couldn’t last forever. Rarity was a ghost to Twilight; a reminder of times long gone. Even if they were talking, and even if they were creating new memories, she was still living in the past. She was having a painfully vivid and lifelike glimpse of a thing she would never again have.

    “Why are you looking at me like that?” a concerned Rarity asked, snapping Twilight from her reveries.

    “Huh? What’d you mean?”

    “It.. It’s silly, but I noticed it earlier too. The way you look at me…” She drifted off briefly. “It’s like you can’t believe I’m here. It’s as if though you’re seeing a ghost. It’s the impression I get, at least.”

    Twilight gulped. “A-A ghost?”

    Rarity let out a nervous smile. “See? I told you it was silly,” she said, laughing awkwardly. “I guess it must be my nerves at meeting a future version of you. Why would you even look at me like that? After all, it’s not like I’m a ghost to you. I haven’t died in your time yet…” she said before half-jokingly adding, “right?”


    Now, if Twilight had said ‘no’ in a reassuring, assertive manner, then Rarity would have smiled and they’d move on to a different topic. But then a different story would unfold because, in this story, when Rarity half-jokingly asked if she was dead in the future, Twilight Sparkle stammered her reply.

    “Twilight,” Rarity said, carefully, backing away from Twilight. “Am I dead in your time, yes or no?”

    “No!” Twilight said, shaking her head and trying to sound convincing. She was not, unfortunately, and all hell broke loose as a consequence.

    “I am dead in your time!” Rarity gasped, covering her mouth with her hooves.

    Oh no.

    “No, of course not, Rarity!” Twilight lied as convincingly as she possibly could despite her steadily increasing panic levels. “You’re not dea—”

    “Oh my stars! Twilight, is that why you time-travelled?!”

    “What? No! Rarity please!” she pleaded. “Please, let me expla—”

    “But that must be it! What other reason could there be?! That’s why you were sneaking around in dark alleys!” she went on, her own conjectures riling her up even more. “You… You’ve come to save me from dying! Twilight, please tell me you’ve come to save me from dying!”

    Twilight remembered Rarity being prone to… dramatizing events, but this was ridiculous. What books had Rarity even been reading to set off her imagination like this? “No! You’re not even goi—”

    “You’re NOT going to save me from dying?!” she screeched, horrified.

    “No! I mean, yes! But you’re n—”

    “So then I will die today!”

    “Will you please stop putting words in my mouth?!” Twilight slapped her hoof against her face and groaned. “Rarity, for Celestia’s sake, will you please be quiet and let me tal—”

    Rarity, of course, proceeded to completely ignore the request and instead trot around in quick circles. “Oh Celestia, I know I’ve always joked about wanting our relationship to be more exciting and dramatic, like a book, but I didn’t mean THIS! I wanted Pride and Stereotypes, not Poneo and Filliette!

    “Rarity, will you please calm down?! And Poneo and Filliete is a play, not a book!”

    Twilight Sparkle,” Rarity shrieked, turning around to look at the alicorn. “I’m going to die, and you’re worried about whether something is a play or a book?!”

    Twilight let out a long-suffering sigh. “Rarity. For the last time,” she said, as calmly as she possibly could in preparation to her scream. “You are not going to die!”

    “You don’t know that!” Rarity snapped, so lost in her own delusion that she forgot Twilight was a time traveler.

    “Yes, I do, actually!” Twilight snapped back, forgetting that she wasn’t supposed to say anything, or perhaps saying everything because some part inside her needed release, needed closure. “You’re going to die in your sleep of old age, a very long time from now, while I’m helplessly stuck in a diplomatic visit to Saddle Arabia that I’ll regret the rest of my life! So stop saying you’re going to die today, because I know when you’re going to die, and it’s not today!

    Rarity went very quiet, taking a few step back. She had obviously not expected that outburst, and Twilight immediately regretted what she’d said.

    Tears stung at Twilight’s eyes, and her entire body trembled at inadvertently having brought back memories of a terrible day she wished to forget. “Well, so much for keeping that a secret,” she muttered, looking away.

    “I… Twilight…” Rarity was at a loss for words, and Twilight didn’t blame her. What could one say upon hearing such terrible news? “I didn’t… I-I…”

    Three loud knocks at the door startled them half to death. In the midsts of dramatics and confessions, they had forgotten somepony else was in the house. “Rarity?” Younger Twilight called from behind the door, apparently having decided to take matters into her own hooves. “What’s going on?! What are those screams?”

    Rarity rushed to the door, holding it closed. “N-Nothing, sweetheart!” she stammered, panicked. “O-Opalescence… broke a perfume bottle and I’m afraid I scolded her a bit too loudly! I just have to clean up, and I’ll be right down!”


    Hoofsteps were heard outside, and Rarity threw Twilight a helpless look. “I… I have to go…”

    Twilight gave a tired smile, trotting over to her saddlebag. It was the time to go. She had no place in the past, and it was time she accepted it. “It’s alright. I have to go too, anyway,” she said, putting on her bag. “It was nice seeing you, though.”

    “No, wait, please!” Rarity exclaimed, extending her hoof towards Twilight before quickly lowering it again. “Please, don’t go. I just need to go and… I’ll be quick. Please.”

    Twilight considered the request. The worst thing that could happen were time-space issues, and so far, the fabric of time and space hadn’t ripped, so there shouldn’t be too much problem with staying a little bit more. “Okay,” she said, taking off her bag again.

    Rarity nodded before quickly taking the spellbook and running off, the door closing behind her. Sighing, Twilight trotted towards the balcony. In the distance, she saw Spike playing with the Cutie Mark Crusaders.

    I’ve really gone and done it now, haven’t I, Spike?

    Twenty minutes later, Rarity finally came back up to the bedroom, finding Twilight entertaining herself by playing with Opalescence.

    “Oh, good! You’re still here!” she exclaimed, trotting in. She gulped down. “I… I thought you might have left…”

    Twilight didn’t even glance back at Rarity. “I did say I’d stay,” she replied flatly, now entertaining herself with watching the cat play with her saddlebag.

    “W-would you like a cup of tea?” Rarity offered, disconcerted by Twilight’s apathy.

    Figuring she ought to make the best of it, Twilight looked up, smiling slightly. “That would be nice, thank you.”

    Rarity beamed at her, reassured by the positive reaction. “Perfect! I just got a new flavor, and I’ve heard it’s absolutely delicious!”

    Twilight nodded and got up, following her down to the kitchen. Once there, the two of them sat down at the table and engaged in at least ten minutes of awkward silence, looking at their cups of tea with complete fascination.

    It was Rarity who finally broke the silence. “Was… Was it a nice day?” she asked. “When I… well… you know…”

    Twilight looked up from her tea. “When you died?”

    Rarity seemed suddenly very uncomfortable. “Yes… It’s just that I’ve always imagined it’d be a sunny day when I’d die, but don’t mind me. That wasn’t really an appropriate question, was it? I was tactless. I’m sorry, forget I said anything.”

    Twilight looked down at her tea again. “I don’t know,” she replied, letting her mind go back centuries. “I was in Saddle Arabia, but I vaguely remember somepony telling me there had been a rainstorm in Ponyville that weekend.”

    “Ah,” Rarity replied. “Well, it’s very fitting, I think.”

    Twilight looked up again. “It is?”

    “Indeed,” Rarity said, smiling broadly. “After all, the world should weep the day I chose to leave it, wouldn’t you agree?”

    Despite the grim subject, a small smiled appeared on Twilight’s lip. “Of course. What would become of Equestria without the fabulous Rarity, right?” she asked, finding her smile growing bigger at the sound of Rarity’s giggles.

    Rarity went quiet, looking at Twilight regretfully. “I… I’m sorry about what happened earlier. I let myself get carried away, and I crossed a line.”

    Twilight waved her hoof in a dismissive motion. “It’s okay. you wouldn’t be the Rarity I know and lov— like if you didn’t go off in theatrics every now and then.”

    Rarity idly stirred her tea, watching Twilight thoughtfully. “I imagine Spike must be a magnificent dragon by your time. It’s a shame I’ll never get to see him as a fully grown dragon.” She took a sip of her tea before continuing. “And… the others… are they also… you know…”

    Twilight gulped down.

    She… She probably shouldn’t be telling Rarity any of this, but it was painful to stop. She needed to get it out. “You were the last one to go,” she replied, crossing her forehooves on the table. “I was there for all of them… except for you.”

    “Oh, Twilight…” Rarity lifted her hoof with the intent on putting it on top of Twilight’s, but hesitated and instead put it back around her teacup.

    “I never got a goodbye from you,” Twilight continued, now talking to herself as much as to Rarity. “Maybe that’s really why I came. Maybe I just wanted my goodbye.”

    “I… I’m sorry I brought back such painful memories…”

    Twilight smiled kindly at her. “It’s okay. I’m the one who should be sorry. I just basically told you when and how you’re going to die. I think it’s safe to say I’m the one who did more damage here,” she said, staring at her tea. “This entire thing was a disaster and a waste of time.”

    This time, Rarity did put her hoof on top of Twilight’s. “I don’t think this was a disaster or a waste of time, Twilight.”

    She looked up. “You don’t?”

    “No, I don’t,” Rarity replied with complete sincerity. “I’m glad you came.”

    Twilight looked down at her tea, thoughtful. After a minute, she looked back up again. “You… you don’t think I’m a weirdo for coming back to see you girls?”

    “Darling, why on earth would that make you a ‘weirdo’? If I understand correctly, all you had planned on doing was just taking one last look at us before leaving forever, no talking or interacting.” She smiled, taking her hoof back. “I, on the other hoof, would have done much worse in your position.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “Twilight, if you and the others had died on me, and I got the chance to go back in time to see you once more, no power in Equestria would have been strong enough to make me leave you again.”

    Twilight wasn’t sure whether Rarity was being serious or not, but the unicorn’s words brought her comfort. “Rarity… You… You won’t tell anypony of me, will you? Or tell your Twilight about what I told you is going to happen.”

    Rarity raised her brow. “But why don’t you want me to tell her? Why not when I’ll be able to spare you a great deal of heartache by asking you to stay the day you have that trip to Saddle Arabia.”

    “Rarity,” Twilight said, voice straining. “Please.”

    Rarity sighed and took a sip of her tea. “Alright, Twilight, if you say so. Besides, your presence here is living proof that I won’t say a word.”

    Twilight blinked. “Huh?”

    “Well, time-travel is like a loop, isn’t it? We saw as much the day you had that whole ‘stop it from being Tuesday morning incident’,” Rarity elaborated. “Following that logic, everything happening right now already took place in your past. One day, you were off doing something while I was sitting at this same table talking to a future version of you.”

    “Ergo,” she continued, “the fact that you’re here means I never told anyone about this, thus preventing any incidents in the time-space continuum, or whatever you call it.”

    Twilight stared at her, mouth slightly open.

    This dumbfounded expression drew a sly smile out of Rarity. “Ohhhh, Rarity,” she drawled, imitating the alicorn. “I loooove it when you talk science to me.”

    Twilight instantly turned scarlet. “I’ve never said that!” she protested. “I was just thinking that it was a very logical explanation, that’s all!”

    Rarity clearly did not buy the excuse, fluttering her eyelashes whilst taking another sip of her tea.

    Twilight was about to insist on her excuse, but she noticed the clock on the wall. Almost five hours had passed since she’d arrived to the future. “It’s getting late. I should go.”

    Rarity’s expression lost all of its previous playfulness. “Already? But we’ve barely had time to talk!” she protested, putting her tea down. “It’s not like I have the chance to do this every other week, you know!”

    Twilight forced herself off the chair. “Well, I didn’t expect to even be able to talk with you five minutes, let alone almost four hours. I don’t think I can ask for more,” she replied. “Besides, your Twilight should be back soon, and us meeting would probably be a bad idea.”

    “I must disagree with you on that respect.”


    “I can see how you and ‘my’ Twilight, as you insist on calling her, might have an anxiety attack upon meeting eachother, but me? Two Twilights in the same room? My, it would be like Hearth’s Warming Eve come early.” Rarity leaned in a bit, folding her forelegs on the table. “The things I would do with two of you.”

    Rarity!” Twilight gasped, blushing furiously. “I don’t remember you being this forward.”

    “You must remember me incorrectly, then,” she replied, smiling innocently. “In any case, I was only teasing. You don’t need to worry about Twilight. I’m supposed to catch a train for Manehattan tonight, and I told her I’d go see her when I came back on Sunday.”

    “I guess I should go, then,” Twilight said, heading out of the kitchen and towards Rarity’s room where her saddlebag was. “I bet Spike already gave himself six worry-induced stomachaches, and you probably still have to pack.”

    As she went up the stairs of Carousel Boutique for the last time, she took special care in taking one last, long look at everything. On the way back, she stopped halfway down the stairs to look at three photographs hanging from the wall: the first one depicted the six Elements of Harmony and Spike enjoying a picnic; the second one depicted Rarity, Sweetie Belle and their parents; and the third… The third picture was of herself and Rarity inside a train cabin, both of them leaning against each other and smiling in their sleep.


    Twilight looked down and saw Rarity standing at the bottom of the stairs.

    “Are… Are you sure you want to leave already?” Rarity asked, looking rather disappointed.

    “Yeah,” Twilight replied, resuming her descent of the stairs and trotting past Rarity. “I think it would be better to just… get it over with.”

    “But you still have a little time!” Rarity pressed, following Twilight into the foyer.

    “Thirty minutes? An hour? There’s really no difference between leaving now and leaving then, and it’ll hurt less if it’s now.”

    “Well, I don’t know about it hurting less, but to me it’s worth thirty more minutes,” Rarity replied. She then looked as if struck by an idea. “Actually… you could come with me.”

    Twilight stopped in front of the exit door, turning back to look at the unicorn. “Come with you?” she asked. “Come with you where?”

    “To Manehattan! Come with me for the weekend,” Rarity replied, growing excited at her own idea. “It’ll be like of those romance novels Fluttershy lent me. A romantic escapade before our inevitable, eternal separation.” She faux-fainted as an added dramatic effect.

    “No,” Twilight flatly replied. “Absolutely not.”

    Rarity stamped her hoof against the floor. “But… But, Twilight! Whyever not?! Have you suddenly decided that spending more time with me would be the single most unpleasant thing in Equestria?”

    “No, of course not!” Twilight answered, shaking her head. “But look at everything that’s happened in the span of, what? Two hours? I don’t want you finding out more things you shouldn’t know!”

    “But you can time-travel!” Rarity insisted. “Can’t you somehow go to the future, and ask your future self if it’s okay to go?”

    “Rarity, I can’t do that! Do you realize the risks an entire trip together could bring?”

    “Then take a leap of faith! What’s the worst that could happen?”

    She shook her head again. “No, Rarity! Unless you somehow find a time-travelling free way to get a message through from my future self, I’m afraid I need to get going.”

    Just as Twilight started opening the door, Rarity spoke up. “Wait, there is a way!”


    Rarity nodded her head effusively. “Indeed! Remember how we came to the conclusion that this all already happened in your past?”


    “So, in your past, we already went on the trip or not. What if, right now, I promise to write a message in your notebook at a later date if the trip goes well. Let’s say I’ll write it down a year and five days from now, which would be the… 9th of June of next year?” Rarity suggested, watching as Twilight closed the door again. “My train to Manehattan is leaving at half past eight tonight so I’ll write down ‘half past eight to Manehattan’ on the margin!”

    “But… But then that would mean that’s already written in my notebo— Oh…” Twilight looked at her saddlebag, feeling as if though it had suddenly become much heavier. Her hoof automatically started reaching for her saddlebag, but she stopped it halfway. “…And what if there’s no ‘eight thirty train to Manehattan’ written on that date?”

    “Then we’ll say our goodbyes, and you can go home without further protest from my part.”

    Twilight hesitated for a moment before lowering her hoof and using her magic to open the door once more. “I have to go, Rarity.”

    “But you haven’t even chec—”

    “I’m not going to check it,” Twilight interrupted.

    “But… Why not…?” Rarity asked, and the hurt in her voice almost deterred Twilight from following through with her decision.

    “Because…” Twilight gulped down. “Because I’d rather leave while I can still do so with a smile…”

    Rarity seemed taken aback by this, ears lowering. “I… I understand,” she whispered finally. With a sigh, she re-adjusted herself and smiled at Twilight. That smile Twilight would never stop missing. “I suppose this is where we part ways, then.”

    Twilight smiled while she could still do so. “Until next time, Miss Rarity.”

    “Until next time, Princess Twilight,” Rarity replied, bowing playfully before Twilight. “By the way, I’m not upset I’m going to die alone,” she added. “If I wasn’t, then you wouldn’t have come today. I just thought you should know that.”

    Twilight’s eyes began to water. “Thank you, Rarity.”

    She then turned around, took her cloak and put it back on, then trotted past the open door, forcing herself to not look back even though she knew Rarity was standing at the entrance, watching her leave. Fighting back tears, she quickly made her way to the outskirts of the Everfree Forest, and once she was safely out of sight, stopped to process everything that had happened.


    She looked at her saddlebag, slowly lifted her hoof and put it on the opening of the bag.

    “To Manehattan! Come with me for the weekend.”

    Without warning, she opened the saddlebag and the notebook came floating out. It opened in front of her and the pages started swooshing by, her eyes scanning them for the correct date.

    She had to know.

    If, upon finally finding the correct page, there had been no message from Rarity, Twilight might have closed the notebook and smiled, maybe even would have shaken her head at the silly belief that there’d be something there. With the crackling sound of magic, she’d have returned to her future, only to be greeted by an extremely worried dragon.

    Twilight would have told him everything that happened, and she’d have told him that her heart was still hurting, but, for once, it was healing too. She’d have then gone back in peace, with no tears or anxieties. It would have been a good, heartwarming, hopeful ending for a story that would unfold if, and only if, there had been no message for Twilight in her old, worn out, purple notebook.

    Unfortunately — or perhaps, fortunately — that was not the story or ending that awaited Twilight Sparkle because, when she found the correct page, a message was indeed written on it. Upon reading it, she put her notebook back in the bag, waited ten minutes, took one last long look at the forest and then headed towards Ponyville’s Train Station, leaving behind the forest and the ending her story could have had.

    Effectively, when Twilight Sparkle would return to her own time, two days later, she would not return in the same state she would have had she gone home two days earlier. She would come back with an utterly crushed, ravaged heart; barely even able to speak when a panicked Spike would ask what happened and why was she crying and why hadn’t she listened to him.

    Days, or perhaps weeks later, once Spike would have been able to put together the pieces that made up Twilight’s slowly healing heart and soul, he would ask her if it had been worth it.

    And her answer would be yes.

    A thousand times yes.

    You can support me on


    Enter your details or log in with:
    Heads up! Your comment will be invisible to other guests and subscribers (except for replies), including you after a grace period. But if you submit an email address and toggle the bell icon, you will be sent replies until you cancel.
    Email Subscription