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    The passing of time did not exist for Rarity the unicorn as she sat in Fortuna 3, listening with endless fascination to the many tales that Twilight weaved for her. For the past few hours, nothing existed except for her, the lavender mare and two cups of delicious hot chocolate.

    Taking a sip from her cup, Rarity learned that for almost a century, Twilight and Princess Luna had held yearly Nightmare Night tours of The Castle of the Two Sisters for the students in Ponyville. She had not been surprised when Twilight said she was in charge of the educational section of the tour, whereas Luna was in charge of the… scaring part.

    “So after ‘Nightmare Moon’ appeared, we all went into the garden to make s’mores and tell stories,” Twilight continued, idly stirring her chocolate. “They started arguing about what story to tell, and suddenly a filly asked if I could tell the story of ‘the night the moon turned purple’.”

    “Aw, cute.”

    “She asked me if it was possible to actually paint the moon purple, and I told her that theoretically you could if you had the proper spell and a whole lot of magic. Next thing you know, I have five foals asking if I could ‘pretty please’ turn the moon purple. Obviously I told them no. First of all, I really didn’t believe I had enough magic to paint the moon purple, not to mention that I couldn’t just go around coloring the moon whenever I wanted. They kept insisting, though, and even Princess Luna dared me to do it…”

    Rarity’s eyes widened. “Oh no…”

    “Honestly, I just wanted to show them that it was impossible to do. I tried remembering a painting spell I had used recently, then I looked up at the moon, said the spell and…” She drifted off, a little mischievous smile on her face.

    Rarity placed a hoof over her snout, shaking her head. “Twilight, you didn’t…” She looked at Twilight with a strange mix of delight and horror. “Did you…?”

    The alicorn nodded and grinned. “Turns out you can paint the moon purple.”

    Rarity leaned against the backrest of the booth, covering her face with her hooves and laughing from in-between the cracks. “Twilight, I can’t believe this. You have to be making this up.” She retrieved her hooves and kept laughing. “Goodness, I imagine Celestia must have been absolutely livid.”

    Twilight shook her head. “Not her; she was asleep. Luna, though… I thought she was going to murder me,” she admitted, shaking her hoof and giggling. “Oh Rarity, it was absolutely awful. We couldn’t fix the moon because the spell said you actually had to wait for the moon to dry off before painting it again. At one point, one of the kids suggested covering the moon with a huge white blanket and—” she covered her face with her hoof, laughing “—next thing you know, I had already started sewing together all the spare bedsheets in the castle.”

    “What happened next?”

    Twilight leaned back. “Well, Celestia eventually found out, and we basically had to wait for almost a day before we could do the counterspell. She wasn’t too angry, but the rest of Equestria…” She closed her eyes and grimaced. “Luna and I had to spend the next few weeks making public apologies for the chaos, and then I had to paint it white again, but our yearly tours were all the rage after that.” She crossed her forelegs on the table and shook her head. “It took almost two centuries for ponies to stop sending me letters asking me to change the color of the moon again.”

    Rarity couldn’t stop smiling. It was like seeing an entirely new side of Twilight and she loved every bit of it. She rested her chin on her hooves and sighed, gazing at Twilight with delight. She could sit there and listen to her forever without ever getting bored. Goodness, do I love her…

    Twilight noticed Rarity’s fixed stare. “What?” she asked, smiling sheepishly at her.

    You,” Rarity replied, her smitten smile growing wider. “You’re the same, and yet you’re so different…”

    Twilight’s cheeks reddened. “But I’m good different,” she said. Rarity could hear the doubtfulness in her voice and, as if to make the feeling clear, Twilight added: “Right?”

    “Of course.” She took one of her hooves from under her chin and reached out to place it on top of Twilight’s crossed forelegs. No doubt remained in her that Twilight was still the same pony she was centuries ago, with that big smile that still stole Rarity’s breath, and that big heart that had stolen Rarity’s affections.

    And this just made it even harder for her to accept that she was no longer part of Twilight’s life.

    Before she could ask for another story, the waitress came over with the check. Realizing they’d been talking for almost four hours, Rarity paid the bill and they left the restaurant. Outside, Twilight sat down on the ground and looked through the tourist guidebook Rarity had lent her, trying to find something for them to do. Though Rarity was admittedly not a fan of sitting on the pavement, the idea of using Twilight’s warmth as a shield against the chilly wind was quite tempting. Carefully, she sat down right next to Twilight and leaned against her, shivering at the contrast brought by the air and Twilight’s warm coat.

    For a second, she felt Twilight tense up and wondered if she was overstepping, but her worries were dashed away when a wing wrapped itself around her body, providing perfectly lovely protection from the wind.

    Twilight looked away from her guidebook. “Cold?” she asked, tightening her grip around the unicorn. Rarity noticed the mare’s cheeks were quite red, and she couldn’t stop thinking how enchanting the alicorn looked when flustered.

    “I was but you’ve taken care of that wonderfully,” she replied, feeling her chest warm up at the sight of Twilight’s pleased little smile. If this were present Twilight, she’d have already smothered her with kisses at least five seconds ago. Actually… “Twilight, you know what second first thing we haven’t done yet?”

    Twilight raised her eyebrow. “What?”

    Rarity leaned in and kissed her on the lips. “That,” she announced, giggling at Twilight’s dumbfounded expression.

    It took a few seconds for Twilight to process what happened. “D-did you just…?”

    “Mhm.” Rarity batted her eyelashes. “Care for another?”

    Rarity!” she gasped, the bridge of her nose turning pink. “I’m too old for you! I’m old enough to be the grandma of your grandma’s grandma!”

    “Then I must say you make an extremely attractive elder.”

    “W-Well, there’s still the other me!” Twilight reminded her. “Wouldn’t this be like cheating on me? Er, her.”

    “Hm.” Rarity frowned and asked: “Did you not like my kiss?”

    Twilight looked horrified by the question, shaking her head immediately and tightening her wing’s grip around Rarity. “What? Of course I liked the kiss!” she corrected, only for her face to flush when she realized what she said.

    “Well then…” Rarity leaned in again, making sure her lips were inches away from those of the flustered alicorn. “I’m sure she’ll forgive me the day she finds herself in your position, hm?” With that, she closed the distance between their lips and treated herself to a longer kiss.

    When it ended, Twilight frowned and looked back at the guidebook. “I’m not sure how that’s supposed to make me feel…”

    “Is there anything you’d like to do?” Rarity asked, looking to the guidebook as well. “You mentioned wanting to go to the theatre, didn’t you?”

    “Uhm, well, about that…” Twilight drifted off, running a hoof through her mane. “I didn’t plan on coming to Manehattan when I time-traveled, so I’m a little—” She coughed. “—short on bits.”

    Ah. Normally, Rarity would have insisted on paying both their tickets, but she admittedly only had enough funds for one ticket, not two. This won’t do at all. “There has to be some way,” she murmured, coming to a stop as she searched her brain for a solution. Perhaps a client or a friend she could ask to help them in exchange for a commision? Ah-hah!

    “I think I have a solution!” she exclaimed, getting up and trotting off. “Come on, we have to hurry to my office.”

    “Hey, wait!” Twilight got up and followed behind, trying to match Rarity’s pace. “Your office? Why?”

    “Last time Twilight and I went to see The Phantom of the Stable, the manager offered us free passes since I helped out with the costume design. I should still have them somewhere in my desk,” Rarity explained. She glanced at Twilight and grinned. “Do you have any play in mind?”

    Twilight furrowed her brow. “Hm. I had wanted to see The Phantom of the Stable, but if you saw it already, then I guess we can go see Scarlet Windmill?”

    “Oh, I don’t mind seeing Phantom again,” Rarity informed, waiting for the stoplight to turn green. “We were seated in a private booth last time, and—” She cleared her throat. “—we distracted each other, so to speak.”

    “Distracted each other? What do you mea— Oh.” Twilight lightly blushed. “I forgot that happened sometimes…”

    “Well, in any case, it is not the most lady-like habit to practice while in the theatre.”

    Twilight nodded. “Yeah, we probably shouldn’t do that,” she said before quickly adding, “As in you and the other me — not you and me me, because I hadn’t thought of doing that with you today, of course! Not that I wouldn’t want to— Wait, no, I mean, I don’t want to do that, but not because I wouldn’t really like doin—” She cut herself off and looked in front of her, blushing madly. “I’m just going to be quiet now, and you’re going to pretend you didn’t hear any of that.”

    Rarity giggled. “Hear any of what, darling?”


    As the years and her business has progressed, Rarity had been frequenting Manehattan more and more every month, to the point that she had realized she needed an actual office. At the time, Rarity hadn’t been able to afford for a big place (and had stoutly refused to use Twilight’s status as means to get a better place) so she had rented a cosy little office downtown. Her office was very bare if compared to Carousel Boutique, but she didn’t need a lot.

    There was only a wooden escritoire Twilight had given her, a painting easel, a smaller desk with a sewing machine on it and, finally, a medium sized red couch for the occasional nights when the fashionista stayed up working until late.

    “We’ll just be a few minutes,” she informed, opening the door of her office and letting Twilight in. She took off her saddlebag and left it on the couch, instructing Twilight to get comfy while she looked for the free passes.

    Instead, Twilight took a look at the framed picture on the desk. “Rarity?”

    “Mhm?” Rarity replied, still busy looking through her drawers.

    “You remember that one time we stayed an entire week here just the two of us?” she asked, putting the frame down.

    “Of course, darling,” Rarity answered, still looking through her things. “That was about a year ago for me.”

    Twilight was quiet for a minute. “You know, I…” She drifted off for a moment. “I always thought you organized that trip because you felt so bad about what I did,” she confessed, finally grabbing Rarity’s full attention.

    “Felt bad about what you did?” she asked, stopping her search efforts.

    “You know… That time you were really busy with work, but I thought you just didn’t want to see me anymore? And that you wanted to break up?” Twilight elaborated, letting out an embarrassed chuckle. “The fact that you already forgot about it just shows how much I blew everything out of proportion.” She looked at Rarity. “Sorry again for that.”

    Goodness, why did Twilight still remember that horrible affair? Rarity felt sick to her stomach at the thought that her incredibly foolish decision had left such a permanent mark on Twilight. It felt as if the world kept trying to make her feel terrible for what she’d done. “Darling, don’t let it bother you. It’s a thing of the past,” she said, trying her hardest not to think about the breakup speech currently lying in the bottom of her saddlebag. Why had she even brought that accursed thing with her in the first place?

    “No luck with the passes?” Twilight asked, changing the subject much to Rarity’s infinite relief.

    “No, unfortunately,” Rarity muttered, searching again and again through her drawers. It looked like the option of going to the theatre was becoming less and less of a possibility. “I am sorry, dear. It seems as though I might have misplaced it somewhere.”

    Twilight shook her head, dismissing the unicorn’s apologies. “It’s okay! Manehattan’s a big city. There’s a lot of other things we can do.”

    Suddenly, Rarity remembered that the owner of one of the offices downstairs — a stallion she had befriended at the theatre, in fact — was a rather influential pony in the Manehattan show biz. Perhaps he might be able to offer some assistance?

    She glanced at the clock on the wall and realized it was already past lunchtime. Not wanting to risk missing him, she closed the drawers of her desk and made for the door.

    “I’ll be right back, darling! A friend of mine downstairs might be able to help us,” she explained, opening the door. Perhaps it was because she was in too much of a hurry to think straight, but in what she would later consider a moment of profound imprudence, she added: “The tourist guide is in my saddlebag, if you’d like to take a look. It should have a list of alternatives in case my friend can’t help us.”

    Opening the door, she grabbed her keys while Twilight floated over the bag, opened it and took out several pieces of parchment. “I just hope he hasn’t gone out yet,” Rarity muttered, leaving and closing the door, failing to notice Twilight Sparkle reading the contents of what she’d found.

    The sound of the closing door drowned out Twilight calling her name, and Rarity trotted off towards the stairs. One, two, three floors down; first, second, third, fourth, fifth door on the right; one, two, three, four, five pages an alicorn read, her eyes going wide and body shaking.

    Rarity knocked three times on the door and waited for permission to enter. Once obtained, she opened the door and found a pegasus pony sitting behind a desk, smiling broadly at her.

    “Rarity! What brings you here?” he asked, beckoning her to him. “I didn’t know you’d be in town!”

    “Ah, Rift Show! Yes, I had a meeting with Coco for the spring line of Equestrian Fashion. I think I might have mentioned it last time,” Rarity explained, closing the door behind her. “What about you? How’s the business?”

    “Busy. Too many plays, not enough decent costume designers. Sometimes I gotta say I wish you lived here, doll.”

    “I’m afraid I’m not leaving Ponyville anytime soon, Rift,” Rarity laughed, taking a seat in front of his desk. “My business is there, as well as my family, friends and Twilight.”

    Ah oui oui, la princesse,” he said in a terrible attempt at a french accent. He cleared his throat and grinned. “So, what can I do for you?”

    “I was wondering if perhaps you had a couple of theatre passes I could borrow? Twilight came with me by, uhm, surprise and I’m afraid I spent a little too much on my last shopping trip,” Rarity said, smiling her most dazzling smile. “I’ll pay you back in full next week, of course.”

    Rift Show opened his desk and looked around. Moments later, he took out two tickets and slided them over to Rarity on the table. “On the house, doll. Celestia knows I owe you after you saved us from last month’s fiasco.”

    Rarity squealed in excitement, quickly taking the tickets. “Thank you, darling!” She got up from the chair. “I won’t take any more of your time until next week, then. I think a cup of coffee is long overdue.”

    Rift Show nodded, taking out some papers from his desk. “Alright then, Rarity. I expect a full report on your thoughts concerning that speech Photo Finish did at last week’s fashion show. That was really something else.”


    With that single word, Rarity felt the blood drain from her face as she was reminded of what exactly she had stashed away in the saddlebag she had given Twilight full freedom to inspect. Before Rift Show could get her opinion, Rarity yelled her farewell and ran off.

    Please. One, two, three floors up. Please, please, please. First, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth door to the right. Ten seconds standing in front a closed wooden door, too terrified to open it. Gently, she turned around the doorknob, cracked open the door and glanced inside.

    The first thing she was Twilight sitting in front of the window, staring at the street below. Good, she was still there. She looked for her saddlebag and saw it lying on top of the table, all of its pockets tightly closed. Good, if Twilight had seen the speech, she probably wouldn’t have put it back in again. Her eyes then wandered over to the couch, and once again, the blood drained from her face at the sight of five very familiar pages resting on top of it.

    “Did you get tickets?”

    Twilight’s sudden question startled Rarity, for a second retreating back into the hallway before taking a very deep breath and marching right in, head held high. “Yes, I did! Two tickets to any theatre we want!” she said, closing the door behind her. She watched as Twilight turned her head halfway to look at her, and Rarity didn’t know if it was a good or bad sign that the mare looked quite calm and collected. “Did you find the guide?”

    Twilight unceremoniously floated the guide book out of Rarity’s bag, turning to look at the window again. “Yes,” she replied tonelessly. “There was nothing that seemed interesting.”

    Rarity was immediately a hundred percent sure Twilight had read all five damned pages of the speech. “Ah, good!” she said, deciding the show must go on even if she knew all hell was about to break loose.

    A silence ensued in which Twilight stared out the window without saying so much as a single word. Did the alicorn not know what to say? Did she even want to say anything at a about it? Or was she waiting for Rarity to bring it up?

    Rarity eventually grew tired of the waiting game and decided to just get it over with. “You also found those papers that are now lying on the couch, I see! I assume you read them all, did you not?” she ventured, examining her hoof with interest.

    Twilight didn’t reply for the longest time. “Yes, I did,” she finally said, an edge to her voice.

    Rarity looked at the back of Twilight’s head and repressed the urge to give a weary sigh. “Would you like an explanation?”

    Twilight turned around, frowning deeply. “I’m not sure I really care for one, to be honest.”

    Rarity nodded. “I see. In that case, I want you to at least know that I’m sorry,” she said, inadvertently bringing Twilight’s controlled anger to boiling point.

    Twilight’s eyes became slits as she took a step towards Rarity. “You’re sorry?! Sorry for what exactly, Rarity?” Twilight demanded, her tone rising with each word. “Sorry for spending an entire month ignoring and being rude to me, but not anypony else? Sorry for lying over the reason you did that? Sorry for lying about it again? Or are you maybe just sorry that I found out the truth in the first place?!”

    Rarity winced. Celestia, what had she done? “I’m sorry about everything, Twilight,” she replied, knowing it would be better for everypony to not argue back. “I truly am.”

    Twilight stomped her hoof against the floor. “Well, being sorry doesn’t make me feel any better!” she spat, turning away and staring out the window again.

    “Twilight, I hate to say this, but this happened centuries ago for you,” Rarity pointed out. “Don’t you think you’re overreacting just a tad?”

    Twilight zoomed around, her wings flaring up and making Rarity subconsciously take a step back. “Overreacting?! I am not overreacting! You made me go through one of the worst months of my life!” Twilight seethed. “Do you even know what it’s like to see your ’special somepony’ treat you like you’re nothing? Treat you like you’re some random pony, and not your best friend, let alone your marefriend?! I thought you hated me, Rarity!” She looked away, gritting her teeth. “And with what I’m finding out now, you might as well have.”

    Rarity winced. Indeed, it had been a part of her ill-conceived plan to radically change her attitude vis-a-vis Twilight, in the hopes that it would have prompted the alicorn to break up with her — not the other way around — and it had worked. It worked and the day Twilight came to break up with her, Rarity did everything in her power to change its outcome by convincing Twilight that she had been busy with a difficult project.

    Rarity shook her head, wiping away the ghastly memories. “Twilight, if I could turn back time and undo what I did, I would,” Rarity insisted, “but I can’t. I can only apologize and ask you to please let it go.”

    “‘Let it go’?! I just found out you were planning on breaking-up with me, and you just want me to put it behind me just like that?” Twilight asked, incredulously.

    “But I didn’t break up with you,” Rarity retorted, growing irritated.

    “But you wanted to!” Twilight shot back. She floated the speech from the couch and held the pages accusingly in front of Rarity. “Look at this! Five entire pages going on about ‘how it would be better if we parted ways’.” She turned them around and scanned their content again. “Why would you even write this unless you really didn’t love past Twi—”

    Rarity used her magic to snatch away the speech. “Of course I love her,” she argued, offended at the insinuation that she didn’t — even despite the supposed evidence to the contrary. She rolled the pages up in a ball and threw it in the trash can next to the desk. “Nothing in that speech is true! I admit I had planned on breaking up with Twilight, but it was for another reason entirely, and not because I don’t love her.”

    “Furthermore,” she added, “you know for yourself that I’m going to stay with her until I die. Do you honestly think I’d do that if I wasn’t in love?”

    Her remark seemed to have calmed Twilight down. “I guess you’re right…” she conceded with some reluctance. “Unless…” Her eyes went wide, and she took a few steps back, now regarding Rarity with a mixture of dawning comprehension and horror.

    “Unless what?” Rarity inquired, finding herself nervous at the way Twilight was looking at her.

    “Unless you…” Twilight’s wide eyes turned into slits. “You stayed with me out of pity!”


    Rarity’s nervousness turned into confusion. “Pity?”

    “Because I’m an alicorn! And because of my lifespan!” she answered, starting to rant. “Of course! You did fall out of love with me, but you can’t bring yourself to break up with me because ‘poor little Twilight already has enough to deal with, and nopony else will want to date the awkward, immortal bookworm’! That’s it, isn’t it?!”

    Rarity gaped at Twilight, her confusion now turning into anger. “You… How dare… Accuse me… That I…” Such was her outrage that words and sentences escaped her. In the back of her mind, she noticed Twilight’s expression soften into one of concern, and Rarity realized a few tears of anger were now rolling down her cheek — this did not softer her own anger, however.


    “How dare you…” she interrupted, voice trembling. “How dare you, Twilight Sparkle, accuse me of staying with you out of pity, especially when it is actually the other way around?!”

    This hadn’t been an answer Twilight had expected. “Wha… What?”

    “You want me to tell you why I wanted to break-up?! Fine, I will! It’s not because you’ll stay young, but because I’m growing old! There!” she exclaimed, now walking back and forth around the room. “What reason would you have to want to keep dating or liking somepony who will look like your grandmother?!”

    “You think I would leave you because of how you look?! Rarity, just how shallow do you think I am?” Twilight demanded, looking at the unicorn with indignation.

    “That’s just it! You’d never leave me for something like that, even if you wanted to!” Rarity interrupted, coming to a halt. “That’s why I wanted to break-up! I thought it would be better to go through the heartbreak now instead of later, but then, when you were going to break-up with me, I realized I’d rather be with you knowing you don’t love me than be without you at all!”

    “But I did love you! I still love you! The fact that I’m risking Celestia knows how many time-paradoxes just to be here should be proof enough!”

    “That doesn’t mean anything, Twilight! This entire trip isn’t because you still love me! It’s because you just felt—“ she paused, trying to look for the correct word “—nostalgia for the past!”

    “Wait, you think this is some sort of nostalgia trip?” Twilight asked, looking at Rarity with disbelief. “That I just woke up one morning and decided to go back in time because why the hay not?”

    “I didn’t mean it quite like that,” Rarity corrected, dryly. “But yes, I assume that’s what this is. Let’s be honest, too many years have passed for you to feel anything else but nostalgia for me and the others! You would have come sooner in your timeline if it was for any other reason!”

    Twilight opened and closed her mouth several times, eventually settling on baring her teeth and glowering at the unicorn. “Fine, Rarity. You know what? Maybe this is a nostalgia trip. Except I’ve had my fill now, and all I can say is that I’m happy it’s in the past. I should have left it there,” she hissed, the door opening behind her.

    Her words took Rarity by surprise. You don’t mean that, she wanted to say, but when she opened her mouth to do so, nothing came out.

    Twilight waited for a minute, expecting an answer from Rarity, but when none came, she put on her saddlebag and cloak. “Goodbye, Rarity,” she said, turning around and leaving past the door, closing it behind her.

    Rarity sat down on the floor, tears clouding her eyes. She hadn’t known what to say, because what could one say after doing so much damage?

    I should have left it there.

    Twilight Sparkle was the pony Rarity loved most, the one she would give up her happiness for, and she feels… felt the same way.

    Twilight Sparkle; paranoid, logical, perfectionist, wonderful, beautiful; loved her enough to come from centuries in the future just to see her one last time, and she had agreed to come away with Rarity for a weekend.

    And for her to have walked away saying she should have never come didn’t just mean Rarity had messed up. It meant that she had messed up in such a way that she had reached the pinnacle of messing up.

    Maybe it was some kind of karmic retribution for never having told the truth. The thought of going back home crossed her mind. Fleeing back to Ponyville and into the waiting forelegs of a younger Twilight who would kiss away her worries, her pain, her regret — except it would never be the same again. How would she ever find comfort with Twilight knowing the alicorn would one day hate everything about her?

    Twilight trotted down the hallway, her heart beating thunderously in her chest. It felt like static in her head, in her heart, in her body. Numbness as she cantered down the stairs, numbness as she brushed past ponies and muttered apologies, and numbness as she trotted outside and felt like screaming.


    Twilight looked up towards the building and saw her. She saw the source of the pain in her head, in her body, in her heart staring back down at her — and waiting? Waiting for Twilight to come back? Or daring her to keep her word and leave forever? She had given her a second chance. She had waited, hoping Rarity would have said something, anything. ‘Fine!’ or ‘be that way’ or any sign to show that it wasn’t over because nothing was over as long as Rarity had a say in it.

    But she didn’t.

    She didn’t and Twilight realized there was no more to be said or done. She took one last look at the figure in the window, and then turned around and made her way towards the corner of the building. She paused at the corner and wanted to look back, but there was no need. Rarity would always be watching. Twilight took a deep breath and turned around the corner, disappearing from the sight of the pony she still loved and adored even then when everything hurt.


    Taking a deep breath, Twilight pressed her forehead against the building wall. It wasn’t supposed to end like that, was it? She stood there for almost ten minutes, playing Rarity’s words again and again in her mind, but trying to focus on the ones that mattered. I realized I’d rather be with you knowing you don’t love me than be without you at all. It was irrational. Twilight wanted to believe it was a lie, another one to add to the pile, but how could she? How could she when she felt the exact same way in that moment and understood what Rarity meant.

    How long had those thoughts plagued the unicorn? For how long had she been preparing herself for the inevitable outcome she had convinced herself of? Twilight didn’t doubt some part of Rarity found comfort in the fact that her life was so dramatically novelesque. The thought made her smile. Why hadn’t Rarity ever said anything? Twilight would have understood.

    Had… had Rarity lived out the rest of her life thinking Twilight was just humoring her? The thought made her sick.


    It didn’t have to end like that just because they were both so painfully and hilariously bad at communicating.

    She hadn’t come all that way for it to end like that. Going away in a angry rage wouldn’t fix anything, and she hated above all leaving a problem unsolved — especially when said problem involved Rarity.

    She took her forehead back from the wall and cantered back towards the front of the building. She noticed Rarity was no longer watching through the window, and she hurried along inside the building. As she got closer and closer to her goal, however, she slowed down her pace enough to try and see if she could hear some of Rarity’s patented crying hysterics. But she never heard a single sound until she reached the door, opened it slightly and little sniffles greeted her ears. Peeking inside, she saw the unicorn lying on the couch, face buried in the corner of the armrest and the back area.

    Twilight stepped in the room, careful to close the door so that her presence would be known. “Rarity?” she called, taking a few tentative steps towards her.

    “Oh, leave me be, Twilight,” Rarity said between sniffles, taking out hoof to wave Twilight away. “I already know I’ve ruined everything so you can go back to the future without having to come and make me feel awful again.” Rarity put her hoof back in between her body and the couch, sniffling very loudly — almost exaggeratedly so, Twilight thought.

    After a minute, she spoke again. “I’m sorry,” Rarity’s muffled voice said. “I… didn’t mean all those terrible things I said.”

    Twilight bowed her head. “I’m sorry too, Rarity… I… shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions like I did.” She made her way towards the couch and sat down in front of Rarity, using her hoof to gently nudge the unicorn. “Come on, we still have a lot to do today.”

    A sniffle was the only reply she received.

    “I’ve wanted to come for a really long time, Rarity,” she began, focusing her sight on her hoof resting on Rarity. “I wanted to come ever since the day you died, but… I didn’t because it meant accepting I just can’t move on.”

    “Move on?” Rarity asked quietly. “Move on from me?”

    Twilight nodded, starting to play with the other mare’s mane. “From you, from the others. I tried. I tried getting new friends and a new special somepony, but it’s not the same. You girls loved me before I became this.” She opened up one of her wings and glanced at it accusingly. “Before I became ‘Princess’ Twilight Sparkle instead of just Twilight Sparkle.”

    “They treat me differently now,” she continued, allowing the bitterness soak her voice. “It feels like they want me for my title, not for me.” She paused, only just realizing Rarity had stopped crying. “But you didn’t; you liked me for being myself. And when we’d go to parties, you wouldn’t flaunt around you were dating me. You’d go to these events as yourself, not ‘Princess Twilight Sparkle’s date’.

    She felt ashamed of her confession. The Princess of Friendship who couldn’t get new friends. How sad, pathetic almost. Could she be blamed? She had been so blissfully happy with her five best friends, so thrilled by every new thing she’d learn from them that she’d forgotten how to do the one thing Celestia had tasked her with that first fateful day: how to actually make true friends again.

    “All my other dates would use me to climb up Canterlot’s social classes. And each time they did, I missed you more and more. Everypony expected me to just move on — like Cadance moved on from my brother — but they don’t understand how hard it is. You… you can’t just go through life-changing experiences like the ones we’ve had, fall in love and be with somepony until they die and then be expected to move on like if it was some casual relationship.

    “So there,” she finished quietly, moving in and nuzzling against Rarity. “You don’t have to worry about the other Twilight not loving you later because, as you can see, it’s kind of hard to stop.”


    “You don’t think this was a mistake?” the muffled voice timidly asked.

    “If it is, then it’s the best mistake of my life.” She leaned back and nudged Rarity with her hoof again. “Come on, you can’t hide your face in the couch forever, Rares. Will you turn around?”

    “Hah! I shan’t,” Rarity replied, shaking her head. “I’m crying, my makeup is ruined, and I have mascara tear-stains all over my face. I’m hideous!”

    Twilight rolled her eyes. “Rarity, I know for a fact that’s not true because you wouldn’t have your face pressed against the fabric of the couch if there was any chance your makeup or mascara would stain it,” she pointed out. She watched as Rarity slowly turned around, her eyes reddenned by tears but face completely safe from ruined makeup. “See?”

    Rarity reluctantly sat up straight and then extended both her forelegs towards Twilight, sighing with relief when the alicorn gladly moved in for a hug. “I’m sorry, Twilight,” she said piteously. “I… How can I make it up to you?”

    “You don’t have to make it up to me,” Twilight replied. Honestly, Rarity had made up for it with the entire trip. “Though maybe you could let my younger self get away with whatever she wants for a month, huh?”

    “But I want to make it up to you,” Rarity insisted, watching as Twilight pulled back from the hug. “She’s not the one who just had to go through this awful fight.”

    “Well, if you want to make it up to me so badly…”

    Rarity nodded eagerly. “Yes! Anything you want, I shall provide!”

    “Anything?” Twilight frowned, tapping her hoof against the couch. An idea suddenly came to her. “I know! Remember that ice cream shop in 57th street? The one with that deep fried vanilla ice-cream topped with chocolate fudge and whipped cream?” She smiled deviously, fluttering her eyelashes. “The one you never let me eat?”

    If Rarity’s face had been remorseful before, it now looked completely horrified. “Absolutely not.”

    “You said ’anything’, Rarity,” Twilight reminded.

    Rarity looked aghast, torn between her desire to pamper Twilight and forbid her from eating the delicious dessert. “B-But, Twilight, think of the calories!” she protested. “In fact, forget the calories, think about your health!”

    Twilight sighed dramatically, looking down and hoofing at the ground. “I guess you really don’t want to make it up to me that much…”

    “Oh, fine already. It’s your health funeral.”

    “I don’t know what horrifies me more,” Rarity confessed, resting her chin on her hoof while watching Twilight push away on the table a ridiculously large plate now devoid of an equally ridiculously large dessert. “The fact that you ate that entire thing, or your appalling table manners while eating it…”

    Twilight leaned back on her chair, placing a hoof on her very satisfied stomach. “I don’t know why I ever listened to you,” she said, licking some of the remaining chocolate fudge from her lips. That had been worth the entire argument five times over. “Actually, I don’t know why I never thought to try this in all the times I’ve come to Manehattan recently.”

    An unimpressed Rarity levitated a napkin and forcefully wiped the remains of the dessert off of Twilight’s cheeks. “Thank Celestia it’s over, at least.” She put the napkin back down and crossed her forelegs. She seemed deep in thought, pursing her lips. “I was thinking… should I be honest with present Twilight about the speech? I… realize the whole time-loop affair dictates I shouldn’t considering you didn’t know about it, but…” She sighed, idly toying with the spoon lying on the empty plate.

    Twilight sighed, looking towards her saddlebag and noticing her notebook sticking out. “I… I think you should do what you think is best, time-loop notwithstanding,” she advised, reaching out to bury the notebook back inside the bag. “Take a leap of faith, basically.”

    “A leap of faith?” Rarity asked. “But, what about paradoxes and such things? Won’t something go terribly wrong if we change the events from this trip so drastically?”

    Twilight didn’t reply for a minute. “Well, actually, I…” She gulped down and shook her head, dispelling the desire to finish that sentence. “Listen, I trust your judgement, Rarity,” she said instead, smiling at the unicorn. “I know that whatever you choose will be the right decision.”

    Rarity nodded slowly. “Alright…” She looked towards her saddlebag and took out the tourist guide, leafing through the pages. “Well, in any case, we ought to leave or else we’ll be late to the next performance.”

    Twilight got off from her seat and waited until Rarity did the same before trotting over to her. “Uhm, thanks for the dessert.” Before she could change her mind, she leaned in and quickly kissed Rarity, feeling her cheeks heat up. She pulled away just as quickly, offering apologies for an action she did not regret at all.

    “You’re very welcome, sweetheart,” Rarity said, having acquired a blush of her own. She cleared her throat and took the lead, Twilight following close behind. “Now, I don’t think there’ll be any private booths left by this time, but hopefully we’ll still be able to get decent seating.”

    “Oh, that’s too bad,” Twilight lamented.

    Rarity smiled sympathetically. “No, it’s not, darling. I assure you the view is very nice from anywhere in the theatre.”

    “Oh! I don’t doubt it! I just…” A fierce blush took over her face. “I thought we might get distracted again.” Rarity’s eyes widened, and Twilight couldn’t stop herself from grinning at how fast Rarity’s face turned several shades of red.

    “Goodness, if this is how forward you get after not seeing me in some time, I might need to start taking longer trips to Manehattan.”

    “Well, you can’t really blame me, can you?” Twilight asked, grinning. “I’m pretty sure we’re both wildly attracted to each other, and I only have half a day left with you so I can’t afford to go slow here, you know?”

    Rarity opened her mouth to reply, but Twilight cut her off by leaning in close enough to whisper: “Actually, I don’t feel like going to the theatre so much anymore…“

    “I don’t know what in Equestria has gotten into you, Twilight Sparkle,” Rarity blurted out in response, “but I’m sorry to inform your apparently raging hormones that it would be very rude to have asked Rift Show for the favor and then not use it!”

    “Yeah, you’re right. ” Twilight admitted, laughing. “Still, maybe I can get us a private booth. I think it’s time I started imposing my royal privileges around here, don’t you think?”

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