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    No power on Earth could stop me.

    The carriage rushed through the city streets, the poor horses galloping for their lives and mine. I had to see her. I had to see her and somehow set things… not right, I suppose, but straight.

    Clear the air, and perhaps, if the Gods were good, hope for something more.

    Whereas Rainbow Dash was outside the carriage, flying beside the horses, Lady Luna and I were seated inside, the two of us silent as we sat directly across from each other.

    “How are you feeling?” she eventually asked, politely ignoring the rude way my foot tapped and tapped the floor.

    “I don’t know. I think I’m scared.”

    “What of?”

    “That it won’t go well.”

    I turned to the window and pushed the curtain away, peering out into the streets. A knot formed in my stomach at the sight of the Sunswept District looming in the distance. This was it, wasn’t it? It was happening.

    The end of this long, long charade was nigh.

    I took a breath and closed the curtain, too nervous to continue looking out. Instead, I turned to my Lady and smiled apologetically.

    “How are you holding up, Auntie?”

    My Lady’s hands were folded on her lap, her unexpressive eyes set on mine. It felt for a minute like she didn’t want to answer, but she indulged me nevertheless.

    “I confess I’m growing very tired of having to involve myself in other people’s problems.”

    I swallowed the lump in my throat. “Ah…”

    I rather felt like apologizing but decided against it. I’d already made her come all this way; to apologize felt out of place. We might as well see it through.

    “I used to wonder about what I’d do when I retire, which at this rate might be sooner than expected,” she continued. “I’ve decided I’m going to fake my death.”

    “…Come again?”

    “The day that I decide to retire, I’m going to make sure that I am legally considered dead. That way, I will no longer feel obligated to help you all fix your problems. I will even buy a plot of land and have a headstone commissioned.”

    “That sounds sensible.”

    A loud knock against the window startled me, and I pulled the curtain open to find Rainbow Dash flying by.

    “We’re almost there!” she called out. “Get ready!”

    “Oh, God.” I turned to Lady Luna. “We’re almost there.”

    “Yes, I heard.”

    Moments later, I felt the carriage come to a stop and my heart along with it.

    This was it.

    “You are a pain, Rarity,” my Lady said suddenly, carefully. “You have caused me innumerable headaches. But even despite this, I would not have it any other way.” Affection poured out of every word. “I’ve been blessed with many privileges in my life, but none greater than you calling the Sapphire Carousel your home.”

    My eyes filled with tears. “…Auntie Luna, I…”

    She flicked her hand, and the carriage door magically swung open.

    “Now, go. Get Twilight Sparkle back.”

    “I will,” I said. “I will, Auntie Luna.”

    And with that, I rushed out of the carriage and into the streets, the cold air hitting my face and reminding me I was alive, and breathing, and this was it.

    “Come oooon!” Rainbow Dash bellowed, holding open the great silver gates. “Don’t just stand there! Go!”

    “I’m going!” I protested, running, running, running, like my life depended on it, because it did. I rushed into the mansion’s driveway, this place I loved as much as I hated, and ran until I reached the great wooden doors.

    To my great dismay, the hidden key was gone—doubtless as a result of my drunken visit from way back. “Damn it!” I hissed before turning back to the door, grabbing the grand silver knocker, and slamming it for dear life.

    “Hello! Someone open the door! Hello?!”

    “Dear heavens, stop breaking the door!” a voice called from inside, revealed to be Flint moments later when he opened it, took one good look at me, and said: “Oh God, now what?”

    very kindly elected to ignore his rude and uncalled-for remark, opting instead to push past him and into the mansion.

    “Where is she?!”

    She?” he exclaimed. “Which one do you want now?!”

    “Twilight?!” I rushed towards the stairs. “Twilight!”

    “Twilight?! Twilight isn’t here, child!” he snapped, having just closed the door.

    I whipped around, going to him. “She isn’t? Where is she then?! Where—”

    “She’s gone,” he cut off.

    “Gone where, Flint? Where?!”

    “Home,” he replied, gruffly. “She went back to her home in the North. Left a letter for the Lady, packed a bag, and left.”

    I felt the blood drain from my face.


    “She went back home?” I whispered, only to then grab him by the shoulders and practically shake him like a maraca. “No! What do you mean she’s gone home?! This is her home!”

    Just as I imagine he was about to tell me off for shaking him like that, his chastising was interrupted by someone knocking at the door in a much less desperate way than I had.

    “It’s her!” I yelped, shoving the poor man aside and tripping over myself trying to get to the door.

    Upon slamming it open, I was greeted by a charming young woman that looked quite distraught and was definitely not Twilight Sparkle.

    Rarity?” gasped my one and only estranged childhood best friend.

    I don’t recall how long it was since we’d last seen each other. Years now, and mostly my decision. Her mother no longer approved of me, and I didn’t want to burden Fluttershy with having to defend me all day.

    So I’d just allowed our friendship to die out.


    I wish I could say I was happy to see her. Of course, I was, but I’d always imagined our reunion happening under entirely different circumstances. Specifically, ones where I was a dazzlingly wealthy designer who could flaunt my greatness in her mother’s face.

    Ah well.

    “Young miss,” Flint said, going towards the door. “I am very sorry, but I must ask you to leave. We aren’t welcoming visitors tonight.” He turned to me. “That includes you, child. Both of you. Out!

    Fluttershy and I spoke in unison.

    “But, Twilight—” we began, only to cut ourselves off and turn to each other, and with great shock say: “You know Twilight?”

    Before the poor dear could even react, I was already upon her. I didn’t shake her by the shoulders like I did Flint—I would never dare treat Fluttershy in such a way—but I clasped her hands in mine.

    “Is she with you?! Have you seen her?!”

    “T-That’s what I came here for…” she replied, her hands just as firmly gripping mine. “She was supposed to spend some time at my house tonight, but… but when she came, she apologized and said she had to go back to the North!” Her gentle eyes filled with tears. “She didn’t tell me why, or, or… I don’t understand.”

    Of course she wouldn’t, but I did.

    It seemed like Twilight had taken it to heart when I told her I never wanted us to meet again.

    “Damn it! Damn, damn, damn it!” I hissed, letting go of her hands and turning away. Why could things never be simple?! I loved drama, yes, sure, of course, but not when I didn’t need things to be dramatic!

    “Rarity.” Now it was Flint who spoke, his voice graver than I’d ever heard it. He walked to me and grabbed my wrist. “Are you responsible for this?! What have you done now?!”

    “I’ve done nothing!” I protested, even though I had. In my defense, however, so had Twilight, so there. Why was I always the one solely responsible for everything!

    “I can’t believe this!” he exclaimed, letting me go. “I really can’t, child!”

    I don’t quite remember what I thought, but surely it must have been something along the lines “well, this possibly couldn’t get worse” because, dear friend…


    The worst possible thing happened as who barged into the mansion but the ever lovely, ever perfect, ever wonderful Madame Summer Breeze.

    Who, might I say, still looked as much a witch as the day I last saw her, but I digress.

    Actually, I take that back. That’s not fair to witches. Witches are lovely.

    She looked like a she-demon! There. Perfect.

    The Grand She-Demon, who once told dear Fluttershy that she was to blame for her lack of friends, who forced Fluttershy to take up an education she was uninterested in. The woman who kept such a controlling hand in Fluttershy’s life that the poor dear could barely breathe without being told she was doing it wrong.

    In any case!

    The Grand She-Demon herself walked into the mansion, her small ugly eyes immediately searching for her prisoner. Ooops! Pardon me, I meant to say her daughter.

    “Fluttershy! There you are!” she exclaimed, filled with what seemed like concern. “Did you find Twilight?”

    Of course she’d be concerned, you know. Can you imagine the gossip? Lady Celestia’s prodigal protégée leaving without warning! My, my, my! Couldn’t be bothered to watch her daughter volunteer at the local animal shelter in the slums, but for this? This she would never miss.

    What a show she made, wanting to make sure Lady Celestia saw how much she cared. But Lady Celestia wasn’t there, oh no. There was only me, and when Summer Breeze’s eyes landed on yours truly, aaaah…

    It was like Hearth Warming come early, her eyes turning positively evil.

    “Well, well, well,” she sneered, smiling ever so politely, “look who’s come back.”

    The prodigal whore returns.

    I didn’t know what to say. Not just because there were far too many insults I’d have loved to hurl her way, and not just because I didn’t have time to bother with this demon, but because I was otherwise preoccupied with yet another visitor.

    I’d obviously never seen you before, dear friend, but I will say that before I had the privilege, never had I felt like I’d just seen the Grim Reaper than when Lady Luna emerged from behind her, towering over the smaller woman.

    Forgive me, dear friend. I’m interrupting myself so much, but can you imagine it? Please, I beg of you, just picture it. Lady Luna sitting in her carriage, probably looking out the window while waiting, then suddenly seeing the She-Demon strut up towards the mansion, and then thinking to herself: “Oh, hell no.”

    “Summer Breeze.”

    For the briefest of moments, terror flashed through the woman’s eyes. It was wonderful. But then she quickly collected herself and turned around to look at my Lady.

    “Lulu!” she exclaimed, sickly sweet. “Of course you’d be here, too.”

    Lady Luna promptly ignored her and instead addressed Fluttershy, smiling pleasantly. “Fluttershy. Hello. It is good to see you.”

    Fluttershy bowed her head. “You too, Lady Luna! You too!”

    “What’s going on?” Rainbow asked, the last person to barge in uninvited. “Where’s Twilight?” She looked at Fluttershy. “Who’s this chick?” She looked at Breeze. “Who’s this lady? Oh, shit!” She jumped back. “Are you Lady Celestia?!”

    “No!” immediately said everyone else, in varying degrees of horror.

    “Oh, right. She’s tall as heck.”

    Madame Breeze snorted. “My, brought along the whole motley crew, did you, Lulu?”

    Again, she was promptly ignored in favor of looking at me. “Rarity.”

    “Twilight’s gone,” I sputtered. “She went home. Home home. To the north.”

    The Lady nodded in understanding.

    “Leave, Breeze,” she said, curtly. “Fluttershy will help look. We have more than enough people helping.”

    “Fluttershy? You think you can order my daughter around?” Madame Breeze exclaimed, indignantly. “Fluttershy isn’t going anywhere! Do you know how late it is?”

    “Mother, please,” Fluttershy said, strained. “I’ll be fine. Go home.”

    “No, absolutely not! What does Celestia think of this?” She looked around. “Where is she?!”

    “The Lady is not home, Madame,” Flint replied, aggravated. “I don’t know when she will be back, as she was not expecting visitors tonight.”

    “Well!” said the She-Demon, forcefully grabbing Fluttershy’s wrist. “Then we certainly shouldn’t be here. We respect Celestia enough not to barge into her house without her even there.” She made a move to go. “Let’s go, dea—Fluttershy!”

    My friend stood in place, unwilling to budge.

    “Fluttershy, come now!” she said, as if her daughter was a dog, so she might as well have snapped her bony fingers, and—

    Give me a moment, will you.

    I’m fine.

    All right. Shall we?

    “Mother,” the young woman repeated again, gently, with the patience of a saint, I tell you. Even then, she was still trying to appease her. “Please. Go home. I will be fine.”

    “Fluttershy,” her mother hissed, “I will not have you—”

    “For heaven’s sake!” Lady Luna exclaimed. “Just let her live her life!”

    Now, Madame Breeze turned to her. “You! You think you have any right to—”

    Stop!” I howled, slamming my foot against the floor. “Stop! All of you! Shut up! I don’t care about any of this! I don’t care! I need to find Twilight before she leaves, so either you all shut up and help me, or you can all leave!”

    Silence followed.


    “What do you want us to do?” Rainbow asked, immediately standing alert. “Shoot.”

    “She must have taken the train. But there’s only four stations that go to the North, and all four are far away from here and each other! By the time we’ve gone to all of them, she’ll be gone!”

    “Let’s split up, then!” Rainbow said. “I’ll fly to Riverside Station—” She turned to Flint. “Lady Celestia has a carriage, right? You take it to Gully Station!” She turned to my Lady. “You can take the carriage to Barrowlane Station, and you—” She turned to me. “You take the inner-city train to Avens Station.”

    “The inner-city train? Darling! That’ll take me at least an hour and a half!” I said, despairingly. “If she’s there, she’ll be gone by the time I—”

    “We can take you.”

    I turned to look at Fluttershy, the woman stepping forward.

    “Papa’s motor carriage. It should still work. We can drive there.”

    I could have wept in joy. A motor carriage! That was faster than any other mode of transport available.

    “Oh, Fluttershy, thank—”


    I felt solace in knowing everyone in the room wanted to slap Madame Breeze.

    “Absolutely not. Our driver is asleep, and I won’t wake him up for this.”

    I almost shouted at her. I wanted to. I wanted to wring her little neck and give her a piece of my mind.

    Someone got to it first.

    Fine,” said dearest Fluttershy, standing straighter than I had ever seen her. Fiercer than I ever dreamed she could be. “I’ll drive her, then.” She then stepped forward, grabbed my hand, and with fiery determination, dragged me off. “Let’s go!”

    Fluttershy, I’m warning you!” howled her mother, and despite it all, it made Fluttershy stop. “If you so much as dare disobey me! If you so much as put a single foot in that carriage, I will not let you put a foot back in the house ever again!”

    Again, the entire room was dead silent.

    No one moved. No one, nothing, save for Fluttershy’s grip on my hand tightening, her entire body still turned towards the door. I returned the gesture, too afraid to speak, but my stars, I needed her to know I was here for her. I squeezed her hand so tight.

    She was doing what I had tried to do with Celestia.

    Certainly, and my god, you’d never catch me admitting this, at least not then, but Celestia wasn’t even half a demon as this woman was, but still.

    Madame Breeze relaxed. She smiled, even. “That’s what I thought.”

    “All right,” said Fluttershy, her voice quiet. “Kick me out, then.”

    “…What?” the She-Demon said, stunned. In complete and utter disbelief. “What?” She laughed. “Dear girl! Where would you even go?”

    I will admit…

    I mentioned before that she and I used to be friends. Closer than friends, her leaning on me when her mother hurt her and took control of her life. I don’t think I ever really allowed myself to think it, but when I’d left the mansion, when I’d forsook that life, I’d left Fluttershy with no one on her side.

    Well, no more. I was done turning people I loved into footnotes in the story of my life because I was too obsessed with Celestia.

    Enraged, I spun around and practically shoved my face in hers.

    The Sapphire,” I hissed. “She’ll come live with me at the Sapphire.”

    “The Sapphire?!” she gasped, stepping back as if I’d slapped her.

    “I would be honored,” said my Lady, loud and commanding. We all turned to her, watching as she stepped towards Madame Breeze while I stepped back.

    “It’s curious,” she continued. “I’ve said it before. I am not a religious woman. I do not believe in God, and yet… And yet I believe there must be a higher power up above for it to be possible that a woman as good as Fluttershy could come from a woman as vile as you.”

    “W-Why! How dare—”

    I dare,” my Lady cut her off, again towering over her. “You think I hold no power. You sit there, in a house much too grand for a nuisance like you, and you idolize my sister. You revel in her disdain for me, and yet. And yet here I am, able to come and go into her house, into her businesses, into her life as I please. And do you know why? Because even Celestia knows not to make me cross.”

    She gestured to Fluttershy.

    “You would get rid of her? Well, I confess I would encourage this. In fact, I would be more than pleased to see your daughter leave your house. It would make my day, and I would welcome her into my home with wide, open arms. And, I ask again, do you know why?”

    She leaned in.

    “Because so long as people like you and my sister exist, people so blinded by their intolerance and self-righteousness that it’s a miracle they can see at all.” She leaned in closer. “So long as they exist, and so long as I live and breathe, the Sapphire Carousel will always be a home to those who deserve better.”

    And finally, she leaned back.

    “Now, tell me, Summer Breeze. Are you still intending on making Fluttershy leave for doing the decent thing and helping her friend? So I can make preparations, of course.”

    She waited.

    We waited.

    Waited, and waited, until a minute went by and the grand Lady of the Sapphire Carousel smiled politely.

    “That’s what I thought.”

    “Holy shit,” whispered Rainbow.

    “Fluttershy,” the Lady continued, turning to the two young women gaping at her. “Thank you for your help. Please, do as you offered and drive Rarity to the station.”

    “Yes,” Fluttershy said, not daring to look at her mother.

    And thus, we both rushed out, running on pure adrenaline right up until Fluttershy stopped and buried her hands in her face.

    “Oh gosh. Oh gosh. Oh gosh. I can’t believe she did that.

    “Darling,” I said, grabbing her hand. “Darling, I don’t mean to make less of whatever just happened, but…”

    “Yes!” Fluttershy blurted out. “Sorry, yes, uhm! Let’s go!”

    “Fluttershy, thank you,” I said, minutes later, as I climbed into the motor carriage with her. “Thank you. You can’t possibly understand how much this means to me. I didn’t even know you could drive. When did you learn?”

    “I’ve been teaching myself in the mornings so I can run errands for the animal shelters,” she said, fiddling with the keys. She paused and then timidly added, “…Maybe I could teach you, too? If you want.”

    “Yes. My stars, yes. I would love that.” I put my hands on her. “I… I would love to be friends again. Really. If you’ll have me.”

    And for the first time in what must have been forever, Fluttershy smiled brilliantly. “I would like that, too, Rarity. Now—” The engine roared to life. “We should find Twilight.”

    And thus we set off into the night, my heart pulsing in my chest.

    I want to say an epic race against time ensued. I would love to excite you with a story of Fluttershy weaving in and out of traffic, a daring last adventure to stop my beloved from leaving forever.

    I would love to.

    The reality, however, is that we didn’t even make it five blocks.

    Not because Fluttershy is a lousy driver, mind you, or because the motor carriage was in bad shape, or anything of the like.

    It was because as she sped past King Pike’s inner-city train station, who did I see sitting on the very same bench where we met but Twilight Sparkle herself, her face buried in the luggage on her lap.

    Stop!” I screeched, grabbing Fluttershy’s arm. “There she is! It’s her!”

    She brought the motor carriage to a complete stop in the middle of the street.

    “It is!” she exclaimed. “Go!”

    But I couldn’t. I was paralyzed in my seat, the terror from before risen anew.

    What if she didn’t take me back? What if I didn’t take her back? What if she never understood, never accepted me for who I was?

    What if.

    As if sensing my fear, Fluttershy took my hand in hers.

    “It’ll be okay, Rarity,” she said, gently. “I know it.”

    “You’re right,” I said. “Of course. It will be. Are… Are you coming?”

    “No,” she said. “I know she just needs you right now. So go! I’ll see you both tomorrow.”


    With that, I took one last breath, rushed out of the carriage and ran to the station, slowing my step until I was standing before my poor, darling beloved. As I mentioned, she was sitting on the bench, her arms crossed over her small luggage, and her face buried in said crossed arms.

    She hadn’t noticed me yet, and I admit I did not know how to announce my presence. I did take some solace in knowing she was upset, so perhaps she’d be more amenable? I don’t know.

    I eventually decided on sitting down next to her, watching her just as I’d done the very first time we met. I raised my hand, faltered for a moment, and then eventually laid it down on her back.

    She stirred briefly, peering out from the corner of her eye.

    She took one look at me, buried her face again, and then just as quickly, she violently sat ramrod straight, her eyes wide as saucers.

    I didn’t look away. I didn’t smile or offer apologies for staring or anything at all. How could I? You see, I’ve been looked at before. Day in and day out, men and women and all in between admire me, devour me, look down at me with their eyes.

    But no one had ever seen me like Twilight Sparkle.

    And no one ever would, and to lose that would be too much to bear.


    She stared at me as though I were a ghost. And then her eyes focused on me, like this was perhaps the very first time we were letting ourselves truly see each other.

    There were no masks here.

    She was sad, and we couldn’t have that, now could we?

    I raised my hand and, after a moment’s hesitation, carefully brushed back her bangs, letting my fingers slide down her cheek, until I folded my hands on my lap, smiled and said:

    “Hello, Twilight.”

    She didn’t say anything. I looked away from her, a little nervous, a little scared, a little excited. I took a deep breath, closing my eyes and letting the breeze caress my face.

    “Did I ever tell you,” I said, opening my eyes and turning to look at her, “that a boy died here?”

    “…Yes. It was the first thing you ever told me.”

    I laughed. “Not my best moment, I fear.”

    She must have thought I’d gone mad. Or that she was mad. In truth, I think we were both a little mad, as crazy for each other as we were crazy in general.

    I lost my nerve and looked away, afraid that I might falter or stumble if I kept looking at her.

    “Were you really going to leave?” I asked.

    “…I don’t know. I tried. But…”

    “I’m glad you didn’t leave, Twilight. I know I said I wanted you to, but I’m glad you didn’t.”

    I wanted to say more. I wanted to tell her that I was glad she didn’t leave because if she had, I’d be so miserable I would have died on that bench, too.

    I reached into my pocket instead and took out my lipstick. “Thank you for returning this, by the way.” I applied it on my lips, and it wasn’t until I did so that I knew how relieved I was to have it back. “It means a lot.”

    Her eyes widened, briefly fearful. If I had that, it meant I knew. I knew she’d gone to the Sapphire.

    “I… I’m glad to help,” she said, finally. And then, her panic won over. “I didn’t go there for you. I mean. I went there for myself. I didn’t want to go there to try and make you forgive me. I just—”

    “I know. And even if you didn’t do it for me, I appreciate that you did it, regardless,” I interrupted, gently.

    We fell into silence. There was so much I wanted to say. So much she wanted to say. So much, but the chasm between us felt insurmountable. How do you go back after what had been said?

    How do you start to fix something like that?

    I noticed the train coming towards us in the distance, just as it had the day we met.

    “Twilight,” I asked, quietly. “Did you take off our lock from the bridge?”

    Her response was instantaneous.


    “Do you still have the key?”

    “Yes,” she said, and I felt a strange lump in my throat when she revealed it was hanging from her neck like a necklace. She carried Us with her wherever she went. “Why?”

    The train came to a stop before us, and though the doors opened up, no one came out.

    I stood up.

    “Wait!” she blurted out, her hand shooting up and taking mine. I didn’t look back. “W-Where are you going?”

    I didn’t know. I didn’t know if I was even going somewhere.

    “Do you remember what I asked you the day we met?” I asked. “Not the thing about the boy, but—”

    “You asked me if I’d miss you after you were gone.”

    I still did not look back.

    “Did you?”

    “Yes,” she said, and her voice ached. I could hear how difficult this was for her. “Every day.” Her grip tightened and her voice cracked. “I… I missed you so much, it hurt.”

    “I’m glad,” I said, and when I finally turned to her, my eyes weren’t dry, either. “Because I missed you every day, too.”

    She stood up, and I knew she was about to hug me, and it scared me. So I stepped back, because I was terrified.

    “Twilight,” I said, “I’m not—I’m not going to change who I am. I can’t. I won’t.

    “You don’t have to, Rarity,” she said, wanting to step forward, to hold my hands. But she didn’t. Just like me, she was afraid. Shame burned her. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. You—I—”

    “It’s how you feel, Twilight. You…” Stars, it was hard to speak. Hard to say plainly these things that burned. “You shouldn’t have to apologize for…Sometimes, that’s just how you feel, and you can’t help it, and—”

    “But I hate feeling this way!” she exclaimed, falling onto the bench, anger and frustration lacing her voice. It was killing her. “I hate it! Sex is—It’s just a biological instinct! It shouldn’t mean anything! The only reason it’s so stigmatized is because we as a society decided it would represent love!” She buried her face in her hands. “And I hate that I feel this way! I hate that it bothers me!”

    “Why does it bother you?” I asked her. “Why, Twilight?”

    I wanted her to say it.

    “Because I love you,” she confessed. “And it shouldn’t even matter, anyway, because you have a boyfriend and—”

    “I broke up with him.”

    “You… You broke up with him?” she asked, and when she forced herself to look up, she saw that I was crying.

    “Yes. Today, in fact. Immediately after you and I spoke.”

    “After we—Why?”

    “Because I love you, too, Twilight,” I confessed. “I love you so much I could die.”

    It was as if something took her over. Something flipped inside her, switched irreversibly, and before I could even process it, she got up, took me in her arms, and kissed me.

    And my, my, my, what a kiss it was, one hand holding my waist and the other buried in my hair, our tears intermingling. I held her back in return, my fingers digging into her shirt, afraid that this was a dream that I’d soon wake up from.

    It felt so terrifying, almost, that things were going well. That, maybe, we could get a happy ending, after all.

    Alas, all good things must come to an end, and our kiss was no exception. Though we did not move away from each other, our lips parted just long enough that I could speak.

    “Twilight,” I whispered, out of breath, desperate. “Twilight, listen to me. Please. People can buy access to my body, but no one—not a single person in this godforsaken world—will ever be able to take away the only thing that matters and that you already have. My heart.

    There it was.

    The boldest, most heartfelt declaration of love I could ever muster, and do you know what Twilight Sparkle did?

    She laughed.

    She laughed, endeared and smitten and in love, kissing me again and again, but laughing as she did so.

    “Twilight!” I indignantly demanded in-between kisses. “Why are you laughing?”

    “I’m sorry! I’m sorry, I just—” She leaned her forehead against mine, her eyes glowing with affection. “That was really corny.”

    Corny?!” I yelped, offended. Aghast! “I just bared my heart to you, and you dare call me corny?” I theatrically pushed her away and stomped towards the late train, still waiting for people.“I’m leaving! You don’t deserve me!”

    “Nooo!” she yelled, still laughing as she chased after me into the train, her luggage floating behind her. “I’m sorry! I take it back! It wasn’t corny!”

    “Don’t lie to me, Twilight Sparkle!” I shrieked, half-heartedly trying to wriggle away as she backed me up into the train’s wall and caught me in her arms, kissing me again and again and again. “I’ll never be romantic with you again! Never! Never, never, never!”

    And yet there I was, melting in her arms, giggling as much as she was.

    But my insecurities crept up again, and my laughter faded.

    “Twilight… I… The Sapphire…”

    “It’s fine,” she said, and she meant it. “I… I want to be with you. I love you. Please. I want to learn. Maybe you can help me?”

    Tears filled my eyes. “I would love to, Twilight.” I buried myself in her, relieved, relieved, relieved. “I would love that very much.”

    Hours later found us at the lock bridge, her back against the railing and my own against her chest, her arms tightly wrapped around me. To our side was our little red padlock, which was in a completely different place than I remembered.

    My hands were cupped together, and a delicate fireball floated above them.

    “I told you you’d get better at it.”

    “You say that, but last time I tried doing it, it did not go well. Hold it for me, will you?”

    I felt her move her hands up, her fingers alighting with magic, and now it was she who carried my flame heart. As she did so, I reached into my pocket and took out my lipstick.

    “Stars,” I said, reapplying it. “I’m so happy it was you who picked this up and not Auntie Tia.”

    “Urgh.” She extinguished my flame, ignored my protest, and then buried her face in the crook of my neck. “I forgot about her. That’s going to be an embarrassing conversation.”

    “What did the letter say?”

    “Everything,” she replied. “About us. Except for the fact that I love you.”

    “Mm. I’d feel inclined to complain about you revealing all our secrets to her, but to your credit, we were broken up-ish. Friend broken up?”

    “It’s getting late,” she noted. “I should probably head back to the mansion.”

    “But I’ll miss you!” I complained, at home in her arms. “We can just sleep here. I’m sure it’ll be fine. You can be my bed, my pillow, and my blanket all at the same time.”

    “What about me?” she asked, amused.

    “Whatever do you mean? You get to be my bed, my pillow, and my blanket. You should be honored!”



    “Unfortunately, I don’t want that honor tonight,” she said, ignoring my whining as she let me go and got up. She looked down at me and extended her hand. “Come ooon.”

    Uuuuugh,” I said, but still I took her hand, and when she helped me up, I wrapped my arms around her neck. “Shall I walk you to the station?”

    “No, that’s okay. It’s far away, and the Sapphire is, what? Three minutes away from here? I’d rather you go home. Do you want me to walk you home?”

    “No, that’s fine, darling. I might stop by to see Sweetie first. She’ll be asleep, I imagine, but she’ll be infuriated if she’s not the first to find out we’ve made up.” I peppered her face with dozens of kisses, stalling for time. But, eventually, I asked: “See you tomorrow, then?”

    “Tomorrow,” she replied, her smile as wide as mine. That is, until she noticed I was staring at her with a twinkle of amusement in my eye. “What?”

    “Nothing.” I brushed back her bangs. “You just…” I bit my lip. “…You look very beautiful tonight, that’s all.” I giggled. “Very loved.”

    “I… I’ll take that as a compliment, I think?”

    “You should!” I said, walking away. “The highest of compliments, my darling!” I turned around and walked backward. “I love you!”

    “I love you, too!” she called back.

    She stayed there, watching with a silly grin as I turned around and practically skipped away. Once she could see me no longer, she took a breath, grabbed her luggage, and then went on her way back home.

    She felt different. Everything felt different, really, but she in particular felt different. Yes, she still had… things to work through regarding her prejudices, but she felt like she was on the right track. She was happy—truly happy—and she thought she must have looked it too, considering several commuters kept stealing glances at her.

    Things would be different now. It was scary, but… she was ready.

    She expected everyone to be asleep by the time she got home, but no sooner had she opened the door, a voice rang out.

    “Twilight? Twilight, is that you?”

    And finally, for the first time that night, Lady Celestia made her grand appearance, dressed in a nightgown as she ran out of the nearby library.

    “Lady Celestia!” Twilight exclaimed, immediately embarrassed. Had she been waiting up? “Hello.”

    The Lady seemed stunned for a moment, blinking at Twilight. She seemed to be at a loss for words.

    “Twilight, I…” She cleared her throat, regaining her composure. “Welcome home.”

    “Thank you… It’s been an eventful day,” Twilight replied, genuinely.

    “…Yes, I can see that.” She reached into her nightgown’s pocket and withdrew Twilight’s letter. “I read your letter.”

    Twilight’s cheeks reddened. “Oh. Uhm. Yes.” She took a breath. “I’m sorry I didn’t say anything sooner.”

    Lady Celestia softened. “I’m sorry for the same thing, Twilight.”

    “I would like to stay here and continue my lessons. Would that be alright?” Twilight continued, every word spoken with care.

    “Yes! Yes, of course. Yes.”

    “And I’ve decided to continue my friendship with Rarity. I was just with her, actually.”

    “Ah…” The Lady faltered, looking Twilight over. “Were you?”

    “Yes. I hope that’s fine with you? And that I continue my friendship with her?”

    Lady Celestia didn’t say anything immediately. It felt like forever, until finally, she smiled.

    And it was genuine.

    “Yes, of course, Twilight. You don’t need my permission. I’m glad you have a…” Her smile increased ever so slightly. “Friendship with each other.”

    A crashing wave of relief overcame Twilight.

    “Good,” she said. “I’m really glad to hear that.” She cleared her throat and took a step towards the stairs. “I’m going to bed, if that’s okay.”

    “Of course, of course! Please, don’t let me keep you up! Have a wonderful night, Twilight.”

    Twilight nodded, smiling politely. “You too, Lady Celestia.”

    Their goodbyes said, Twilight went off to her room, immensely relieved that the conversation didn’t go nearly as badly as she thought it would. She hadn’t yet mentioned her lessons with Lady Luna, but that was okay. That could come once they were actually about to begin.

    What a great big breath she let out when she was back in her room, putting down her luggage, closing the door behind her and resting her forehead on it.

    She could relax now.

    Or, rather, she could, right up until she leaned away from the door and noticed something on it that had not been there a minute ago.

    “Oh no.”

    As quickly as she could, my darling beloved rushed to the bathroom.

    I should have mentioned, dear friend, something that I think I haven’t told you before. My lipstick? It’s not the tube itself that’s special, nor the actual lipstick itself. It’s the spell cast upon it.

    A spell that, in order to maintain its magical effect, must be cast every day.

    And, well, I hadn’t had that lipstick in weeks now, had I?

    Thus, as I leave you with the parting image of my beloved Twilight gawking at her reflection, her entire face covered with my lips.

    I’d like to amend a statement we all know.

    It would seem that not often, but sometimes…

    A lady does leave a mark.

    You can support me on


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    1. Silver Mint
      Nov 10, '22 at 12:30 am

      I’d like to amend a statement we all know.

      It would seem that not often, but sometimes…

      A lady does leave a mark.

      I really like this silly thing, because it’s brilliant.

    2. Silver Mint
      Nov 10, '22 at 12:01 am

      “I used to wonder about what I’d do when I retire, which at this rate might be sooner than expected,” she continued. “I’ve decided I’m going to fake my death.”


    3. A Deer
      Sep 6, '22 at 1:32 am

      It’s interesting to see the difference with how Twilight and Rift love Rarity. Rift accepted Rarity’s job from the beginning and Twilight allowed Rarity’s personality to fully shine. Rarity felt rejected by both. Her personality rejected by Riff and her worth rejected by Twilight. Since Rarity was able to fall in love with Twilight that meant Twilight’s rejection hurt more. But Twilight is defeating her prejudices because she fell for Rarity too. Luna’s right that Rarity should’ve told Twilight right away about her job but I wonder if Twilight would’ve made the effort to understand if she found out right away.

      I’m a big fan of Crimson Lips Luna. Glad to see Celestia accept Twilight’s wishes about Rarity since Twilight hardly hid the evidence when she entered the mansion.

      Rarity’s apparently not among the living anymore as she narrates this story. Intriguing. I’m hoping she’s an elderly woman ghost telling us about how she met her beloved after decades of bliss together. Also apologies for so many comments. I couldn’t stop reading.

    4. platinumSKIES
      Jul 11, '22 at 10:25 am

      This whole chapter was lovely and now I’m terrified for the next chapter.

      And the sequel.

      ….I’m so suspicious now…

      1. Alison M
        @platinumSKIESAug 18, '22 at 12:12 pm

        For a while I questioned whether or not they’d get back together. My first thought was “this is Mono we’re talking about here, or course we get raritwi.” But then the doubt crept in. “Oh my god. What if she really does it? The ultimate subversion.” And I honestly believed that for a few chapters. But here we are and THANK THE HEAVENS THEYRE TOGETHER

    5. Zachary K
      Jun 10, '22 at 3:49 pm

      This artwork is super cute! Did you make it?

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