Clink. Clink. Clink.
Rarity sat alone inside Carousel Boutique’s kitchen, her spoon clinking against her cup as she stirred her warm tea. She took out the spoon, placed it to the side, and then lifted the cup, but before she could take a sip her body intervened. She coughed once, twice, thrice, and her hoof rose to her chest and rubbed in slow circles.
When the coughing fit subsided, she finally lifted her cup and took her coveted sip, her eyes scanning the table and landing on a book. A leather-bound purple book about old magic spells. A book that looked brand new despite being a thousand years older than Rarity herself.
The final lost book.
Rarity put down the cup and floated the book over, gingerly taking it in her hooves. She ran her hoof over the cover, because it still felt surreal. The book she’d looked for all her life, found only once time had caught up to her. Destiny liked playing cruel tricks on her, much like it had made sure that she—not Amethyst—would be the one to find the last book.
A present from a client given to her because she always asked about old books.
She opened it and her eyes settled themselves on the painfully familiar calligraphy decorating the top of the page. For just a moment, she imagined herself as a young mare again, foolish and in love, running to the library in the forest with the last book, moments away from seeing her princess free at last.
“Rarity?” Amethyst Wind’s voice rang from a distance, and immediately Rarity closed the book and pushed it away. “Is the book ready?!”
Fear gripped her for a moment. No, she wanted to say, no, it’s not ready.
But she didn’t, because another voice replied, repeating over and over that her time was done. Her time was done, done, done, ended decades ago in Canterlot Castle, and now she had no choice but to let go.
She cleared her throat. “Yes, darling!”
“Okay!” Amethyst called back, excitement ringing in her voice. “I’m going to call her, then!”
Rarity sipped her tea again, distracting herself with the sensation of the hot drink burning her tongue. She didn’t want to see, truth be told. She wanted to leave, wanted to do everything but bear witness to what followed, but she had to, didn’t she?
Finally, Amethyst stepped in, smiling like a filly, her eyes glowing and Rarity’s… Rarity’s former necklace hanging around her neck, glowing bright pink. Amethyst did not spare the unicorn a glance as she went straight for the book on the table.
She picked it up, slowly, gently, and tears bordered her eyes. “Look, sweetie,” she whispered, opening it and brushing her hoof against Twilight’s hoofwriting. “It’s the last one.”
Even though shame burned her, Rarity looked away. She’d never seen Amethyst use the necklace before, and now that she did, she realized it was more than she could handle. Tears stung at her eyes, and she forced herself to look back to Amethyst. She tried to smile, but the smile did not come.
After a moment, Amethyst closed the book, giggling with delight and hugging the book against her chest, apparently still in communication with Twilight. She opened her mouth to speak but, instead, she shifted her sight away from the book and toward Rarity herself. Her expression changed immediately, the ecstatic smile fading just as the book slipped from her grasp and loudly fell to the floor, ignored by the two mares.
Amethyst stared at Rarity, and Rarity stared back because somewhere in there, perhaps now leading the two intertwined minds, Twilight Sparkle was looking at her for the first time in decades.
Now Rarity smiled, tilting her head to the side and speaking up.
Amethyst held Rarity’s gaze for a moment before, suddenly, the necklace’s connection ended so abruptly it threw Amethyst off. The younger mare stepped back, her hoof going to her head and rubbing.
“Oh, wow, uhm…” She opened her eyes, blinked three times and cleared her throat. “That’s weird, I kinda zoned out there…” She giggled nervously, picking the book up from the floor. “She got too excited about the book, I guess!” she ventured, lifting her hoof and pressing it against her necklace. She sighed and continued, “I’m so happy, Rarity. I’m so, so, so happy…” She looked up at the unicorn. “I owe this all to you.”
Rarity bowed her head. “It was my pleasure.”
Amethyst took a deep breath. “Okay! I’m going to go now!” she exclaimed, seemingly invigorated by all that had just transpired, and Rarity couldn’t blame her for it. “I’m going to finally save my Twilight…” She drifted off, giggling nervously, and rushed forward to hug Rarity. “Wish me luck?”
When Amethyst pulled back, Rarity shook her head. “You don’t need it,” she said, and with that, the younger mare nodded and ran off, taking with her the last missing book of Princess Twilight Sparkle.
“Don’t wait up for me!” Amethyst called, and Rarity simply took her tea again.
Rarity decided to wait, but not for Amethyst’s sake.