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    The sun had only just risen upon Ponyville when Rarity woke up to get herself ready for the last morning of her life. One would think that on that day of all days she wouldn’t bother with her usual routine, but she went through with it for the sake of a certain somepony else still snoring away in bed. Settling down in front of her bathroom mirror, the elderly pony began her morning ritual: combing her gray mane, putting on eyeliner and eyeshadow, curling her eyelashes and powdering her nose. Perhaps a splash of Twilight’s favorite perfume, as well.

    Though she had reached an exceptional old age, Rarity’s complexion did not show it. She was not the traffic-stopper of her youth, no, but she was still quite the beautiful sight to behold. Her face, thinned with age, bore few to no wrinkles; she still had a head full of hair, and her coat still retained its healthy sheen.

    It was almost unfair how every single part of her, both physically and mentally, was remarkably healthy except for the silly little organ that kept her alive. She pressed her hoof against her chest and felt the continuous beating of her deteriorated heart — her own personal death clock, counting away the seconds to her demise with each thud against her ribcage.


    In the reflection of the mirror, Rarity saw a half-asleep Twilight standing under the frame of the door, yawning as she looked at the elder pony through half-lidded eyes.

    “Did you take your heart medicine? And your cold medicine?”

    Like every morning for the past years, before exchanging morning greetings, or even before fully waking up, Rarity’s health was Twilight’s top priority.

    Twilight’s reflection disappeared as Rarity opened the mirror, revealing a small cabinet with shelves filled with makeup and assorted medicine bottles. She took out two pills from one of the bottles and swallowed them, thinking to herself how useless it was to take the pills at that point. It’s not like they would save her from dying that night, after all.

    “Civilized ponies say ‘good morning’ first, you know?” she pointed out, putting the bottle back in its place and closing the cabinet door. When the mirror re-appeared in front of her, she watched Twilight’s reflection move from the door and over to her.

    “Good morning,” Twilight yawned, sitting down next to the unicorn and planting a sleepy kiss on her cheek. She then placed her hoof on Rarity’s chest and rubbed slightly. “You were coughing all night yesterday.”

    Rarity sighed, brushing a hoof against her throat. “Yes, I’m afraid my cold isn’t getting any better. I suppose we just have to wait for the medicine to take effect.”

    Twilight nodded, taking back her hoof and facing the mirror. She floated the comb over and brushed her mane, though it looked more like she was patting it down rather than actually brushing. Appalled at the way Twilight mistreated her silky mane, Rarity took the brush from her and decided to take care of the princess’ manestyling herself — like every morning. As she combed the alicorn’s mane, a single question interrupted the brief silence.

    “At what time is your train leaving?”

    A useless question considering Rarity knew perfectly well at what time Twilight and Spike were due to leave for Saddle Arabia. She had been counting the hours, minutes and seconds ever since Twilight had announced the trip a fortnight ago right in the middle of tea time. Rarity remembered nearly choking on her tea; poor Twilight thought it was because her heart had finally given out.

    “We’re taking the eleven o’clock train,” Twilight replied, watching as Rarity transformed her mane from a messy disaster to a coiffure worthy of a princess. “And we’ll get to the Capital Train Station at around eight.”

    When Rarity finished combing Twilight’s mane, they both looked at their reflections in the mirror. Twilight looked so young, so vibrant and beautiful; she still made Rarity’s heart race. Rarity leaned on her, a deep sigh leaving her lips.

    “Look at us. What an odd pair we make,” she whispered, both saddened and amused at how much older she looked than Twilight. “The beauty and the granny.”

    Twilight raised an eyebrow and scoffed. “Hey, I take offense to you calling me a granny.” Her offense was short-lived though, her expression turning into a playful one and a grin adorning her face. “Not everypony can be as beautiful as you.”

    Rarity laughed in reply, a bittersweet sentiment taking a hold of her heart. Heavens, she loved Twilight. She loved how Twilight could make her laugh with such ease, how she knew how to make everything better, how she understood what Rarity felt without having to be told. How sad it was that all these things she loved and more would come to an end in a few hours.

    The two mares were suddenly distracted by the chiming of bells, signaling somepony had entered Carousel Boutique.

    “Morning, ladies!” Spike’s voice rang in the distance. “Up and at ‘em!”

    “Morning, Spike! We’ll be right down!” Twilight called, glancing at the bathroom door. She then turned to the mirror again and looked at Rarity’s reflection. “Would you mind going down first? I still need to finish packing some things.”

    Rarity nodded and tore herself away from Twilight. She headed towards the door and left the bathroom. “I’ll make you and Spike some breakfast. Don’t be long, or it’ll get cold.”

    “Duly noted!” Twilight’s voice rang out. There was a pause before she hastily added, “And be careful with the stairs! Remember what the doctor said about straining yourself too much!”

    Rarity stopped in her tracks, looking back towards the bathroom. “Twilight, darling, no pony has ever had a heart attack by going down the stairs a little too quickly.“

    “You don’t know that!”

    She rolled her eyes, shaking her head. No use arguing with Twilight, it seemed. “Very well, sweetheart. I will measure myself when walking down the stairs,” she gave in, picturing the little satisfied nod Twilight had probably just done. “Besides,” she added with slight mischief, “there is something much more dangerous here than the stairs.”

    Twilight’s head poked from out the bathroom door, concern awash on her face. “There is?”

    “Why you, of course,” Rarity replied, raising her eyebrow as if it were obvious. Just as Twilight was about to question the unicorn, Rarity grinned and continued, placing her hoof against her head in a dramatic fashion, “After all, you take my breath away.”

    Twilight’s face flushed. “Wow, Rarity,” she said, rolling her eyes and disappearing once more into the bathroom.

    “But you do!” Rarity insisted, grinning at the general direction where Twilight had disappeared. “You leave me absolutely breathless, Twilight Sparkle.”

    “Just go downstairs already, silly,” Twilight replied, laughing.

    Rarity complied, her heart fluttering in her chest. Upon reaching the top of the staircase, she saw Spike standing idly by down in the main entrance, rummaging through the bag he had brought with him. Spike, now a teenaged dragon, had grown considerably and already stood several feet taller than her.

    “Good morning, darling,” she greeted, descending the stairs to join him. “You’re here early!”

    “Yeah. Twilight asked me to be here on time so she could double check everything,” he explained, still shuffling the contents of the bag with his hand. After a minute, he took out two train tickets from the bag. “Here we go! Two eleven o’clock tickets for Saddle Arabia.”

    “You’re leaving so early,” Rarity noted, taking the tickets and looking at them. How she wished the timestamp on them would change for a later hour. “It’s a shame I won’t be able to spend a little more time with you before you leave.”

    “Yeah, I know. We could have left at two, but Twilight wants to leave early in case of ‘incidence’. Pfffft.” The dragon put the bag on the floor and made his way towards the kitchen. “Hey, mind if I grab something to eat? I’m starving, and there’s nothing good at the library.”

    “Spike, how many times do I have to tell you that this—“

    “—Is like my house. I know, I know,” his voice came from inside the kitchen, followed by the sound of the refrigerator door opening. “Lesse, what can I hav— Whoah! Holy sh—“

    “Language, Spike!”

    “—ooting stars!” There was a rattling sound in the kitchen before he came out, holding between his claws a very large ruby-encrusted, triple layered vanilla cake. “Hey, Rarity, please, can I have some of this?” he asked, practically drooling all over the pastry.

    “You can have all of it, dear,” she replied, smiling at him. “I did make it just for you, after all.” It was her parting gift. A very delicious cake filled with radiant diamonds she had dug up just for her precious Spike.

    Spike’s entire face lit up, and suddenly it was as if he had regressed to his baby self. “Yessss!” he exclaimed, already devouring the cake with his eyes. However, before devouring it with his mouth, he put down the cake and went over to the unicorn, lifting her in his arms into an affectionate hug. “Thanks, Rarity! You’re the best!”

    “Careful now, Spike. You don’t want to crush little old me with those big, strong arms of yours, now do you?” Rarity asked between laughs.

    Spike, still carrying Rarity, chuckled. “Well, I have been working out, y’know!” He put the unicorn down and flexed his arms, puffing out his chest. “Gotta impress the ladies, right?”

    “I have no doubt they’re already very impressed by you, darling! I’m very impressed — look at those muscles!”

    A blush flashed through Spike’s cheeks. He crossed his arms and looked down at the unicorn, smirking. “Hey, listen, Rarity. I know you were devastated when you found out years ago that I got over my crush on you, but I can see you’re still not over me, so I can give you a second chance. I’m generous like that, see.”

    “Oh, Spike!” Rarity put her hoof on her chest and gasped dramatically. “How kind of you! Let me go pack my things.”

    “Spike!” Twilight appeared at the top of the stairs, looking quite unimpressed at the conversation taking place. “You have other more important things to do than trying to get Rarity to run away with you. Did you bring everything we need?”

    Spike waved his hand in a dismissive motion. “Yeah, yeah. I got everything,” he brushed her off, watching Twilight go down the stairs. “Now, if you ladies will excuse me, I have to take care of something. ” He picked up the cake and smacked his lips. “You and I have a date in the kitchen, Miss Diamond Cake.”

    “Don’t eat it too fast or you’ll get a tummy ache!” Twilight warned, following him into the kitchen and leaving Rarity to stay alone in the main hall, a small smile on her face. Dear, dear, dear, she was going to miss them so much — her odd little family.

    Then again, she’d only miss them for a day before she stopped missing them — or anypony — at all.

    Breakfast came and went in the blink of an eye, and suddenly it was time to leave for the train station. With a very heavy heart, Rarity accompanied Twilight and Spike to the foyer, wishing she had been allowed to go with them as far as the train station. Curse her frail heart!

    “Well, this is it, then,” she said, watching Spike grab his and Twilight’s suitcases. “Off you go to do your royal important duties while I’m stranded here in Ponyville.”

    Spike snorted at her remark. “More like off we go to sit through hours of boring debates, you mean,” he corrected, loading another bag onto the already growing pile in his arms. “You’re not missing anything fun, Rarity. Trust me.”

    Twilight was too busy putting on her saddlebag to reprimand Spike about his apathy towards diplomatic issues. “We’ll be back in a flash, Rarity.” She glanced sympathetically at the low-spirited unicorn. “I wish you could come, but I don’t want to risk your cold getting worse.”

    “Of course,” Rarity murmured, looking at the floor and poking at it with her hoof. “I understand.”

    “Rarity…” Twilight said, taking a step towards the unicorn. “Spike, would you mind taking a head start?” she asked, turning to look at the dragon. “I need to finish some things here so maybe you should get going and get us good seats on the train.”

    Spike nodded. “Sure thing, Twi.” After giving Twilight her train ticket, he made a start for the door and said, “See you on Sunday, Rarity!”

    Momentarily pulled back into reality, Rarity looked up and smiled brightly at him. “Goodbye, Spike!” she hastily said, trying to imprint his features in her memory. Oh princesses, he was leaving. He was leaving for good. “I love you, Spikey-wikey!” she added. “Don’t forget that!”

    Spike laughed. “Rarity, you’re making it sound like I’m leavin’ forever,” he noted, sending a playful glance her way as he walked out the house. “Love you, too!”

    Once he was gone, Twilight walked over to Rarity and used her hoof to gently lift the other’s chin. “Hey. What’s wrong?” she asked, searching Rarity’s eyes for answers.

    Rarity looked away, fearing she’d succumb to the penetrating gaze and reveal the reason behind her misery. “It’s nothing,” she whispered. It’s everything, she thought. “I’m just sad to see you go, that’s all. I… I’m going to miss you.” Twilight hugged her, and it was incredibly hard for Rarity to hold back tears — but she had no choice, did she?

    “I know. I’m going to miss you too, but it’s just for a few days. I’ve gone away for weekends before, and it turned out fine, so no being sad, okay?” Twilight pulled back and placed a kiss on the tip of Rarity’s nose. “Besides, Spike’s right. It’s not like this is the last time you’ll see us.”

    Rarity was quiet for a moment. Before she could stop herself or double-think what she was about to say, she whispered, “But what if it is the last time?”

    Twilight’s eyes widened for a split second, before returning to their previous worried state. “Rarity, look at me.” When the unicorn, with some reluctance, did as told, Twilight reached over to hold one of her hooves. “Don’t say that. You’ll be fine, Rares. You’ve been taking your medicine, and we’ve been doing your heart exercises every day, right? Everything the doctor ordered! I’ll come back on Sunday, and you’ll be fine, because we’ve done everything by the book.”

    By the book…

    Twilight had read every single book about heart diseases from the moment Rarity had been diagnosed. The alicorn had poured hours and hours of her days on learning about Rarity’s condition: how to treat it, how to prevent it from getting worse, exercises to do at home, what eating habits to have. Rarity was certain Twilight knew more about her condition than even the doctor treating her. That meant, of course, that Twilight surely understood that nothing could save Rarity any more. There was a limit to what medicine could do, and she had reached it — they both knew it.

    And yet, the conviction with which Twilight reassured her that she’d be fine was almost strong enough to make Rarity believe her. For the briefest of moments, the idea that future Twilight had been wrong danced in her mind.


    Rarity’s unconvinced silence did not go unnoticed by Twilight. She looked down at the floor, her grip around Rarity’s hoof tightening. “I wish I could stay. You’re sick. I should be staying. I should be staying here and taking care of you.” There was a silence. “If… Do you want me to stay?” she finally asked, and Rarity wondered if perhaps she had made Twilight afraid that she’d pass away that weekend. “I can make-up an excuse for the Princess — if you want me to.”

    Yes, she thought. Yes, I want you to stay. I want you to stay tonight, and I want to spend my last hours with you, and I want to die asleep in your forelegs. Yes, I want you to please stay and never leave.

    “Of course you don’t have to stay. You’re absolutely right. We’ve done everything by the book, so there needn’t be a reason to fret.” She leaned forwards and nuzzled against Twilight, once more forcing down tears. “I’m sorry for making you worry, love.”

    Twilight returned the gesture, wrapping a foreleg around Rarity. “It’s okay. I mean, I’m always worried about you,” Twilight said, chuckling to herself. “I guess I just…” There was a pause. “It’s just that if you…you know what…while I’m away… I don’t think I’d ever be able to forgi—” She cut herself off and paused again, followed by the clearing of her throat. “But that doesn’t matter because everything will be fine.”

    Rarity broke contact, now being the one to take the other’s hoof. Even if Twilight hadn’t finished her sentence, Rarity was able to guess its ending, and she felt sick at the thought that Twilight would blame herself for her death. She realize she needed to try and correct this, even though she knew her efforts would prove futile in the end. After all, future Twilight very much blamed herself for her death.

    “Dearest… I want you to listen carefully. When the day comes that I pa—”

    “Don’t say it,” Twilight sharply interrupted. “Don’t.”

    Rarity gulped down. For how long had the word ‘die’ or any of its variations become a taboo for Twilight? How deep did her fear of losing Rarity run for her to not even bare hearing the concept out loud? ”But, darling, the day will come that I di—”

    “But not soon.”

    “But when it does—”

    “It won’t.”

    “Promise me you won’t blame yourself,” Rarity quickly said before Twilight could interrupt her once more.

    Her statement shocked Twilight into silence, her protests drowning out and her eyes averting Rarity’s stern gaze.

    “Twilight, look at me.” Purple eyes locked with blue ones. “The only reason I’ve lived so long is because of you, and how hard you’ve fought to help me against my illness. But you can’t save me forever. Promise me that, when I leave, you will not blame yourself for it if you’re not here when it happens.”

    “Rarity, please…”

    Twilight’s eyes began to tear up, and though it crushed Rarity to force Twilight to face their grim reality, she did not relent. “Give me your word, Twilight Sparkle.”

    Twilight looked away once more. “I… I promise.” She looked back at Rarity. “But… this isn’t goodbye, right? Rarity, promise me this isn’t goodbye. Promise me.”

    “I promise,” she replied without a hint of hesitation. “I give you my word you’ll see me again, Twilight.”

    It wasn’t a lie, after all. Twilight would see her again; it was just that she would see another Rarity — a younger Rarity, all ready to go to Manehattan for the weekend. Another Rarity, who would still be blissfully safe from the cruelty of having Twilight taken away from her.

    Twilight let out a deep breath and pressed her forehead against Rarity’s. “You better keep that promise, Rarity,” she warned, smiling slightly. “Or else I’ll go back in time and bring you back myself.”

    Rarity stifled a laugh. “Oh darling, I wouldn’t put that past you.” She pulled back and smiled at the alicorn. “Come now. You better leave or you’ll miss your train. Can’t have you be late to your enthralling diplomatic debates, now can we?” In an oddly motherly gesture, Rarity adjusted Twilight’s saddlebag and brushed her fringe back with her hoof.

    “Yes, you’re right. Spike’s probably getting antsy, knowing him.” She walked outside, Rarity following close behind. Once outside the house, she extended her wings in preparation for a quick flight to Ponyville’s train station.

    “Well then,” Rarity said, watching Twilight fly a few feet into the air. “Say hello to Celestia, Luna and Cadance for me.”

    Twilight nodded. “Yeah, I will.” She got ready to depart, but stopped to glance at Rarity. Her expression looked unsure. “See you on Sunday,” she finally said, the seemingly confident smile she offered Rarity losing impact due to its hesitant nature. “Right?”

    “Have a safe trip, Twilight.”

    That was Rarity’s reply. She couldn’t bring herself to lie to the mare and tell her that ‘yes, darling! But of course we’ll see each other again on Sunday!’ so she settled instead on answering Twilight’s question by not answering it at all.

    Twilight hovered in the air, looking down at the unicorn with an undecipherable expression. It did not stay that way for long, her eyes watering again and letting Rarity know that some part of her knew they were saying their final goodbyes.

    “Yeah, I will,” Twilight choked out, before clearing her throat and wiping her eyes. “Sorry. I don’t… know why I’m crying. Just being silly,” she continued. “I mean, you’re going to be fine. You’re going to be just fine! You’re going to be fine, absolutely fine. Fine, fine, fine, fi—“


    Her ramble interrupted, Twilight blinked at Rarity. “Y-Yeah?”

    Rarity smiled softly, tilting her head to the side. “I love youuuu.”

    Twilight immediately landed next to Rarity and pulled her in for the last hug. “I love you, too,” she replied with earnest. “I love you more,” she added, giggling a bit.

    “Really now?” Rarity asked, brushing the back of Twilight’s head with her hoof. “Shall we go back inside so I can show you how much more I love you?”

    “Oh my gosh, Rarity.”

    Rarity laughed at Twilight’s flushed face when she pulled back. To her dying day — in other words, that same day — Rarity would never get enough of teasing Twilight. She leaned in and kissed Twilight’s nose.

    “I better go,” Twilight said, stepping away and once again extending her wings, “because I’m suddenly very tempted to take you up on that.”

    Ah yes, Twilight was also quite good at making Rarity blush, as well.

    Without warning, Twilight took off towards the station. “‘Bye!” she exclaimed, glancing back towards Rarity.

    Rarity waved her off. “Goodbye, Twilight!” She stood there, waving and waving at the alicorn until her foreleg got tired, and Twilight disappeared completely from eyesight. Once this happened, Rarity sat down on the floor, her heart thumping strongly against her chest.

    Twilight was gone. Gone forever. Just like that.

    Rarity couldn’t even bring herself to cry, she was so shocked by the fact it was over. After what might have been either five minutes or an entire hour of sitting there, staring at the spot where Twilight had disappeared, Rarity only reacted when a single raindrop landed on her head. Looking up, she was greeted by the sight of rainclouds slowly taking over the previously clear blue sky. Future Twilight’s word resonated in her head.

    “I was in Saddle Arabia, but I vaguely remember someone telling me there had been a rainstorm in Ponyville that weekend.”

    Perhaps the sky wasn’t mourning her own death; perhaps it was crying in Rarity’s stead.

    As the raindrops became more and more frequent, Rarity finally got up and returned to Carousel Boutique, shutting the door behind her. She entered her main workroom and looked at everything inside: the dresses she’d never finish, the drawing she’d never finish drawing, the mess she’d never finish cleaning.

    Well, maybe she could finish one design, at least. Her final work of art to leave for the masses, or rather, the soon to be unfashionable masses without one of Equestria’s top designers.

    Perching her red glasses on the bridge of her nose, Rarity got to work on the latest dress she had been working on. It kept her mind from dwelling on negative thoughts, such as Twilight’s departure and her own forthcoming demise. She was only distracted from her endeavour when, upon levitating a pile of red fabric she needed, a purple notebook suddenly fell from the fabric and onto the floor.

    She levitated the object to her, recognising it as the notebook she had given Twilight years ago; the notebook that contained the spell, and time and destination responsible for that fated trip to Manehattan. Twilight must have inadvertently forgotten the journal in the Boutique. She opened the journal and idly flipped through its pages, stopping on the one with the 9th of June as its date. She brushed her hoof against the message she had left there for Twilight on the margin, complete with three little hearts.

    Half past eight to Manehattan.

    What wouldn’t she give to go back in time herself and relive that trip one more time. How odd it was to suddenly be envious of her younger self, getting whisked away by a future-version of the love of her life. It seemed like their romance was rather novelistic, wasn’t it? Someone ought to write a story about their little time-breaking weekend. Perhaps she’d have written it herself had she been granted a little more time.

    Her reveries of her life as an author were cut short by the chimes of the door. Odd… She had put up the ‘closed’ sign in the morning, hadn’t she? She looked at the notebook and realized Twilight had probably come back to get it. It seemed like she still hadn’t seen the last of Twilight Sparkle, thank Celestia.

    “Twilight, you really should pay more attention to where you put your thi— What’s this?”

    An envelope had been floated in front of her. She took it with her own magic and upon closer inspection, noticed what looked like Twilight’s hoofwriting on it, save for the fact that it seemed like a much more elegant version of it. What really caught her attention and made her heart skip a beat, however, was the inscription on the envelope.

    Twilight Sparkle’s first and last life-report to Rarity

    She suddenly felt short of breath as she read and re-read the inscription on the letter. She turned the envelope around and carefully opened it, taking out its contents. There was a letter inside, written in the more elegant hoofwriting, and her hooves trembled as she started to read.

    Dearest Rarity,

    While it hasn’t been an entire week since the last report, considering this is the first one I’ve written, I’m sad to declare that life is still as boring as ever without you. I did, however, do as you wanted and let other ponies into my life so maybe life isn’t that boring.

    After that trip to Manehattan long ago, I often thought about visiting you one last time, but I knew that we had been very lucky that the first trip hadn’t ripped a hole in the fabric of the time-space continuum, and there was a very small chance we’d be able to get away with another consequence free trip… Until I realized there was just one day where we could get away with it, and it just so happened to be the one day I had always regretted not being able to spend with you. So, here I am.

    Also, I was never able to perfect that aging-potion for turning ponies into teenagers, so I guess we’ll never see a teenaged punk Princess Celestia with a mohawk. I did a drawing of what I think she’d look like, though.

    Twilight Sparkle

    Rarity folded the letter and put it back in the envelope, directing her attention to the stack of photographs that had come alongside the letter. At the top of the pile, the first photograph was actually a drawing made to look like a photograph, depicting a crudely drawn teenaged Celestia with a rather extravagant mohawk. Rarity wasn’t able to stop herself from giggling out loud.

    “Enjoying my artistic masterpiece?” a voice asked, effectively halting any further giggling.

    That was Twilight’s voice, alright, but it was different. It sounded older — much older. Rarity found herself unable to turn around to look at Twilight, paralyzed from fear of finding out just how older the alicorn was.

    “How… How long has it been since Manehattan for you?” Rarity asked, staring intently at the drawing.

    “How old am I, you mean? That’s what you really want to know, isn’t it?” Twilight responded, chuckling. Her raspier, more mature voice sent a chill down Rarity’s spine. “I’m old. Really old.”

    “How… how old?”

    “I’m nearing the ten thousandth year.”

    Rarity almost lost her grip on the pictures. “Ten thousandth year…” she gasped softly. She repeated the dizzyingly high number several more times, almost as if in denial about it. Dear punk Celestia, help me.

    After finally coming to terms with Twilight’s new age, or rather after telling herself she couldn’t just sit there and stare at the drawing with shock, Rarity slowly took off her glasses and, gathering every ounce of courage within her, turned around.

    That did not look at all like the Twilight she had seen mere hours ago. This Twilight was quite taller; she wasn’t as tall as Celestia, but she wasn’t short, either. Her mane had also become gray with time, but still retained some shades of its former sapphire and violet streaks, with only her rose streaks still remaining almost intact.

    Her face, thinner with age, bore almost no wrinkles and her coat still looked very healthy, even if its coloring had also slightly faded with age. She was still a stunning sight to behold. Some part of Rarity — the non-stunned part of her mind — was quite delighted to see that her relentless years of hassling Twilight about proper coat care had not been in vain.

    “Well?” Twilight prompted after a minute of having been stared at by the unicorn. “I can’t look that bad.”

    “N-no… You look… I mean… I just… You look great… Different… like… me,” she concluded, stumbling on her own words. Twilight looked her age. Maybe mentally she wasn’t, and technically physically she wasn’t either, but she looked Rarity’s age.

    Twilight laughed, bowing her head meekly. “You look great so I’ll take that as a compliment?” She looked around the room. “This is sort of weird. I feel like I’ve jumped back several thousand years. Well, technically, I am several thousands years in the past.” She turned to Rarity, and coughed awkwardly upon being greeted by a still stunned unicorn. “So! Uhm… What’s new…?”

    “Besides the fact that I’m dying today, and that I’m being visited by several thousand year old versions of Twilight?” Rarity asked. “Not much, frankly.”

    This response drew a smile out of Twilight. “Normal day, then?”

    Rarity returned the smile. “Normal day, indeed.” She put the photographs back into the envelope and glanced towards the door. “Would you care to join me for a cup of tea? I’m afraid I need something to soothe the shock out of me.”

    “Ah, yes, tea would be nice, thank you.” She paused and added, “And, sorry for the shock?”

    Rarity trotted past Twilight, the envelope floating behind her. “Don’t apologise, darling. After all,”— she glanced at the mare—“you’ve always been a stunning sight to behold,” she finished, looking away just in time to see Twilight’s cheeks turn bright red.

    Ah, Rarity, you’ve still got it.

    Hours later, Rarity’s kitchen table was littered with all kinds of pictures, depicting a vast amount of different types of ponies Twilight had befriended. Two purple notebooks rested next to the pictures, one of them belonging to the Twilight in Saddle Arabia and the other to the one sitting in the room.

    Rarity floated up a picture of Twilight standing next to another mare. The purple-colored mare with silvery white hair was a fashion designer Twilight had met during her first thousand years, and had subsequently dated for a modest amount of time.

    “Twilight, this is the third fashion designer you’ve dated, myself excluded,” Rarity pointed out, stirring her tea as she looked at the picture. “Interesting.” She floated the picture back on the table and fluttered her eyelashes at the alicorn sitting on the other side of the table. “I’m flattered I’ve left such a lasting effect on your dating choices.”

    “It’s just coincidences,” Twilight replied, resting her chin on her hooves and playfully returning the eyelash flutter, flashing Rarity a grin.

    Rarity laughed at this, taking the photo again. “Well, darling, you say that, but you know, if you reverse her color scheme, she does look an awfully lot like m—”

    “Okay, okay! Moving on!” Twilight quickly blurted, floating the picture away and putting it back in the envelope, eliciting a delighted chuckle from Rarity. Twilight looked back at the pictures on the table and crossed her forelegs. “Who do you want to know about next?”

    Rarity scanned the table through the lenses of her glasses, looking for the next piece of Twilight’s life to ask about. She eventually lifted up a picture where Twilight was standing next to three other ponies and a changeling, all five of them enjoying what seemed to be a very nice picnic. “Tell me about them.”

    As Twilight began to talk about the ponies in the picture, Rarity’s gaze wandered towards the rest of the pictures and felt some strange heart warmth at noticing how happy Twilight looked in all of them. She wasn’t going to lie and say she didn’t feel the teensiest bit jealous of Twilight’s new friends, and of the ponies Twilight had subsequently dated, but she was also grateful to all of them for making Twilight happy.

    It was a rather complicated emotion.

    After Twilight had finished talking, Rarity contented herself with quietly looking through the pictures, only lifting her gaze when she realized Twilight had been staring at her for a few minutes now.

    “Is something wrong, Twilight?”

    Twilight, snapped out of her trance, shook her head. “No, no! Sorry for staring,” she apologised, once again crossing her forelegs. “It’s just that… I haven’t seen you for a really, really long time… or heard your voice, or your laugh or anything.” She blushed and, idly toying with one of the pictures, confessed, “I missed them… I missed you. A lot.”

    Rarity, moved by Twilight’s confession, reached out and placed her hoof on top of Twilight’s crossed forelegs. “Why didn’t you come earlier in your timeline?” she asked, squeezing Twilight with her hoof. “What stopped you?”

    Twilight looked at Rarity’s hoof and uncrossed one of her forelegs so she could place her own hoof on top of the unicorn’s. “I guess I wanted to wait until…” She drifted off and sighed. “I’m sick, Rarity.” Another pause, and then a correction. “I’m dying. Soon.”

    The blood drained out of Rarity’s face. It was one thing to be confronted with her death, it was another more horrible thing entirely to be confronted with Twilight’s death — particularly when it had always felt to her like Twilight would live forever. “You… you’re dying?”

    Twilight nodded, gaze still focused on their intertwined hooves. “Yeah. I’ve known for a while, though. I’m ready for it. I think I’ve been ready for a long time now,” she continued. “The Princesses are ready for it, I have all of my stuff in order, and Spike… Well, Spike isn’t ready, but he’ll cope. He has his wife and kids to help him with that.”

    “Twilight…” Rarity whispered, her voice cracking ever so slightly.

    Twilight smiled reassuringly at the unicorn. “It’s fine, Rarity. I’m ready for it, really. All I have to take care of are my goodbyes, like the one I’m having right now.”

    Rarity looked down at the pictures on the table, comprehension dawning on her. “I see. You’re travelling back in time to say goodbye to them.”

    “No,” Twilight interrupted instantly, shaking her head. “I’m only going back in time to say goodbye to you. Just you, Rarity.”

    “Just me?” Rarity’s heart started beating at what was probably a very unhealthy rapid pace. “Why?”

    “Because I never felt the same way for them as I did for you,” Twilight replied without missing a beat. She looked down at the pictures and took one in her hooves. “I’m not saying that everypony I met wasn’t important or special to me. They were, and when they passed away or our relationship ended, it was painful for me. It’s just that…” She looked back at Rarity. “You’re the only one that I was ever willing to risk everything just to see again — twice, in fact. I guess it’s why I didn’t date much and just focused on friends.”

    “There’s something you said in Manehattan during that one weekend,” she continued, looking straight into Rarity’s eyes. “Maybe you don’t remember, but you said something that day, and it’s always stuck with me. You said that if books were to be written about our lives, I’d be the beginning, middle and ending of yours, while you’d ‘only be pages in the prologue of mine’.”

    She lifted her hoof and pointed at all the pictures scattered on the table. “Yeah. Maybe you weren’t the middle of my life story. Maybe you were just the beginning.” Twilight put her hoof back on top of Rarity’s and looked at the unicorn once more. “But I knew, after that trip, and even during the years after it, that there was only one place where I wanted my story to end: right where it started; here in Ponyville with you.” She paused and smiled at the unicorn. “You’re my ending, Rarity. The last chapter in the book of my life.”

    Rarity wasn’t sure what to say. What could one say or do to such a thing except for try very hard not to cry? She looked at the notebook of present Twilight and took it in her hooves. “I wish… I wish we could go on that trip again…” She opened it up to where her message was and brushed her hoof against it. “Can I see the one from your notebook?” she asked, looking at Twilight. “I’d like to compare, out of curiosity.”

    Twilight smiled. “You can’t.”

    “I can’t? Why not?”

    Twilight took her own notebook. “Because there’s nothing to compare your message to,” she elaborated. “I mean, you can go to the correct date, but you’d be comparing it to an empty margin.”

    Rarity felt her heart skip a beat. “You… You mean there isn’t…”

    “There isn’t a single thing written by you on the 9th of June,” Twilight confirmed. “Remember in the ice cream shop? How you asked me if you should tell past me about the speech? How I told you that you should take a leap of faith and follow your heart? I said that because I was doing the same with that trip.”

    “You… You were?” Rarity asked, feeling herself choke up. “You chose to come with me?”

    Twilight nodded, laughing. “I was more terrified of time paradoxes than I let on, Rares.”

    “But then… then that means that Twilight won’t chose to come, will she?” Rarity asked. “She’ll come because the notebook says so.”

    The two notebooks suddenly switched places. “Let’s give her the choice, then,” Twilight suggested. “I put a spell on my notebook to make it last longer, so I’ll take the notebook with your message and you keep the one without it.”

    “B-But, Twilight!” Rarity protested, almost trying to reach out for the notebook with the message. “What if… What if she chooses not to come? What if she’s not like you? What about the time loop?”

    Twilight laughed. “I’m not worried, Rarity.” She took her new notebook and opened it up to the page with the message. “It doesn’t matter whether your message is here or not, because there isn’t a choice. As long as you always suggest we go to Manehattan, I will always choose to go.” She smiled at her. “You will always be my choice, Rarity.”

    Rarity looked at Twilight in silence for a minute or so. “Twilight Sparkle,” she whispered, finally, taking off her glasses and wiping her eyes with her hoof, “didn’t anypony ever tell you it’s not nice to make old ponies cry?”

    Twilight laughed softly, her own eyes sparkling with tears. “Old? You’re not old. I’m the old one here.” She grinned playfully. “But hey, this is your proof of what past me said a few hours ago.”

    Rarity looked at her, questioningly. “What do you mean? Proof of what?”

    Twilight nodded with excitement, before smirking and saying, “Well, yeah! Proof that I love you more, of course!” she exclaimed, witnessing Rarity collapse into a fit of giggles.

    “That’s hardly fair!” Rarity replied between chuckles. “I’d do the same thing if I had your lifespan.”

    Twilight waved her free hoof in a dismissive motion. “Okay, okay, let’s just agree we’re tied on that matter.”

    A while later, after they had cleared away the table and Twilight had put away the photographs, they headed off to Rarity’s main workroom.

    Sitting on Rarity’s beloved fainting couch, Twilight watched as the unicorn finished her final dress, and talked to her all the meanwhile, continuing to fill up Rarity on every detail she had missed. Once the dress was finished, Rarity levitated it in the air, displaying it for Twilight to admire. Rarity would never live to learn what would happen to her design, but Twilight would. Or did, actually.

    “It’s for you. I hope you’ll wear it.” She put down the dress and looked at the clock on the wall. “It’s eight o’clock. You must be in Saddle Arabia already.” She felt another coughing fit coming on but managed to keep it under control, not wanting to worry Twilight too much.

    Her chest hurt, and she wondered how long she had left. Perhaps a few hours, but maybe just a few minutes. Twilight looked at her in silence, a small worried smile on her face. Rarity trotted over and settled down next to her, appreciating how Twilight almost immediately wrapped a wing around her and pressed her forehead against the side of her head.

    “I love you,” she whispered, tightening the hug. “You have no idea how much I missed you.”

    Rarity smiled, closing her eyes and sighing. “Twilight?” she asked all of a sudden. “For how long will you stay?”

    She has asked this same question once before, a very long time ago, on the day after a quite life-changing trip. However, unlike that occasion, Twilight was finally able to answer what she really wanted to answer and what Rarity really wanted for her to answer.


    The residents of Ponyville mourned Rarity, their fashion designer and infamous element of generosity, in different ways, each trying to pay respects to the heroine. Some of them placed beautiful flowers and candles all around Carousel Boutique, hoping to bring beauty to it in the same way Rarity had brought beauty to the town’s citizens. Others shared stories with young foals about the many adventures of the six bearers of the Elements of Harmony, hoping to help Princess Twilight Sparkle keep their memory alive.

    Those that had the privilege of calling themselves Rarity’s friend mourned her each in their own way. A select number of them, however, put their own personal grief aside and choose to honor her by helping the pony Rarity had most loved in life.

    Princess Celestia, who had been informed of the death very early Saturday morning, mourned the unicorn by discreetly pulling strings so Twilight wouldn’t be needed for the rest of the diplomatic visit. Centuries and centuries of training had made the elder princess quite adept at masking her emotions, but when she informed Twilight that she would not be needed for the rest of the visit and would return to Ponyville, her perfect mask cracked. It cracked at the sight of the comprehension, denial and utter devastation that flashed across Twilight’s eyes.

    Spike, the young dragon who had loved the unicorn more dearly than many, mourned her by being strong in the wake of her death — just as she would have wanted him to be. During the train ride back home, silent tears streamed down his cheeks as he held Twilight’s hoof. Her silence and absence of tears were just side-effects of the state of total and complete shock she had been plunged into.

    Stepping down onto Ponyville’s train station, Twilight and Spike were greeted by an elderly unicorn. The famous singer had canceled her appearance at a musical theatre in Manehattan in order to greet them at their arrival. Sweetie Belle, who had adored her elder sister, couldn’t help but cry in Twilight’s forelegs, understanding that the alicorn’s silence was her way of listening and comforting — not a lack of sympathy.

    Sweetie Belle and Spike walked all the way from the train station with Twilight, neither one questioning or stopping Twilight when she silently headed straight for Carousel Boutique instead of following them to the funeral home. After all, it was her turn to mourn the unicorn, wasn’t it?

    When she reached Carousel Boutique, Twilight stood in front of the door for a moment, frowning at the ‘closed’ sign hanging from the doorknob. She turned the sign around so it was on the ‘open’ side since, after all, Rarity never closed on Saturdays, only Sundays. Once the grave mistake had been corrected, she opened the door and stepped inside the building she called home, closing the door behind her and speaking for the very first time that day.

    “Rarity! I’m home!” she called, hanging her saddlebag on a nearby bag rack, her entire psyche drowning in an ocean of pure and utter denial. “T-they let me come home early! Isn’t that great?”

    Denial after there was no reply to her announcement. No ‘welcome back, darling’ or ‘Hello, Twilight’ or sight of Rarity trotting into the foyer to see her. Denial as she told herself Rarity wasn’t answering because she was too busy with something to have heard her.

    “Rarity? Rarity, come on! It’s rude not to answer when somepony calls, y’know?” Tears started streaming down her eyes. “Rares?” Twilight made her way inside the house and entered the main workroom, finding it empty. Empty of the constant sound of the sewing machine, empty of the sound of music Rarity hummed as she worked, and empty of Rarity.

    She was upstairs sleeping, wasn’t she? Overslept again. Twilight trotted over to the sewing machine and noticed there was a paper with her name on it resting on the finished dress. “Rarity, this is beautiful!” she called out, levitating the dress and admiring it, surely crying because of the present, and not something else.

    She couldn’t wait to put it on and model it to Rarity. She’d probably trip on it like always, but hopefully she wouldn’t rip it this time. Oh Celestia, it still smelled like her. Twilight pressed the fabric against her face, taking in the scent of perfume and only putting it back on the table for fear of her tears staining it.

    Taking one last look around the workroom, she left. “Are you in your room?” she called, trotting up the stairs and wiping her tears away. “H-huh, that’s weird, why am I crying?” Everything was fine, so there should be no reason for her to cry. No reason to cry when Rarity had promised she’d still be there. “Hey, I was thinking we could go out for d-dinner later! Go to that place you like! Rari—” She entered the main bedroom, finding it completely devoid of Rarity. “—ty… R-Rarity?”

    She stood at the door, staring inside the bedroom, the pain in her chest increasing with every passing second. Where was she? It wasn’t like Rarity to be gone, especially with her condition. She needed to stay home and rest so nothing would happen to her. Twilight walked inside the room and towards the empty, unmade bed. A single notebook lay open on the bed, and Twilight gingerly took it in her hooves. It had been left open at a page explaining a modification for one of the time-traveling spells back in the Canterlot Archives.

    “You better keep that promise, Rarity. Or else I’ll go back in time and bring you back myself.”

    “Oh darling, I wouldn’t put that past you.”

    That was it. It was a joke, wasn’t it? Rarity was playing a prank on her to see if Twilight would really go back in time. That had to be it, right?

    Several tears fell on the pages of the book and fell over the words, making Twilight close the notebook and put it back on the bed. Looking around, she noticed a pair of familiar red glasses on the nightstand and gently took them before sitting down next to the bed.

    Without warning, she buried her face in between her forehooves, the frame of the glasses pressing against her face. “Rarity, please, s-stop it,” she weakly called, eyes stinging and breathing unsteady. “It’s not… It’s not funny. Come out and stop it.” Tears flowed freely from her eyes and down her her cheeks, landing on the floor. “Celestia… I can’t… N-Not again… Not her… Rarity…”


    She couldn’t be gone. She was fine, fine, fine, please Celestia, she was fine. She’d be back any moment now, mortified at seeing Twilight like this. Rarity couldn’t be gone when Twilight could still hear her laugh, see her face, smell her perfume. Please…

    Rarity couldn’t have gone because it meant she had gone all alone, alone, alone, and Twilight had swore to her she’d be there when it happened and wouldn’t let her leave unless it was by falling asleep in her forelegs and with a goodbye kiss.

    Rarity, p-please, I can’t… not you… not you too…

    “Twilight, darling…”



    She looked up and through teary eyes saw Spike standing at the entrance of the room, his reddened eyes welling up with tears.

    “She promised,” Twilight said, standing up and letting the glasses fall to the floor. Her puffy eyes stared back at him, beseeching him for an explanation. “She promised, Spike. Sh-She promised me, she gave me her… she… She promised me!” Twilight slammed her hoof against the bed. “Rarity, you promised me! YOU PROMISED ME YOU WOULDN’T DIE! YOU SWORE!” she wailed, collapsing into sobs as Spike quickly went over and ushered her into a hug.

    Sitting in the middle of Everfree, the older Twilight closed her eyes and breathed in the forest air, feeling sympathy for the anguish her younger version was going through. She wished she could do something to ease her younger self’s pain, but found comfort in the fact that she had done the best thing she could do: leave a small notebook on the bed. Of course, her younger self would never even dare go back in time so soon after Rarity’s death, but it would be enough to plant the idea inside her head until such time she would decide to use it.

    The elder Twilight took out the other notebook and opened it up to the page with the spell. It was funny how her story was about to end while the story of the Twilight inside Carousel Boutique had barely even started.

    Glancing one last time towards Ponyville, and thanking Celestia that Spike and Sweetie were there to comfort her younger self, she decided it was time to go back to her own time and get her last affairs in order.

    After all, though she didn’t know where ponies went after they died, she at least knew that a certain fashionista — and four other special ponies, no doubt — had been waiting there a long time for her, and Rarity was probably extremely impatient to get the eternity together that she had been promised the day she died.

    Hold on, Rarity. I’ll be there soon.

    “As if you could kill time without injuring eternity”
    ~ Henry David Thoreau

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    1. Ryebuck Junction
      Oct 9, '22 at 9:47 am

      Oh my, Mono!
      How do you always manage to make me cry 😭

    2. mellodillo
      Mar 21, '22 at 5:35 pm

      Mono, this story absolutely crushed me (in a fantastic way, naturally). I’m not sure if it’s better that I read this one early on in my reading binge, or if I should’ve left this one for last…but either way, this was a beautiful story! You have the privilege of being one of the very, VERY few people to make me shed tears, and I am proud to admit that 🙂

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