Leap of FaithMonochromatic
It was on our sixth meeting that Twilight Sparkle did the impossible.
“It’s not fair!”
Sweetie Belle’s voice echoed in the lobby, the pout on her face doing a fantastic job at making her look like a chipmunk. I’d have noted how endearing it was if I was not busy pouting myself.
“Sweetie Belle, honestly!” I whispered urgently, smiling briefly at the curious security guard before glaring at my sister. “Stop arguing, will you?”
“No!” she protested, ignoring me when I gestured for her to lower her voice. “I’m the one she comes to see! I want go out with her after classes, too! It’s not fair that I can’t come along!”
“Sweetie, really, you’re making a scene over nothing! If you come along with us, you’ll only be dreadfully bored by our adult conversations!”
My sister stamped her foot on the ground. “I’m an adult! I’m an adult!”
“Oh, really?” I asked, crossing my arms and raising an eyebrow. “What’s a mortgage?”
“No!” she whined, moving forward and clutching my dress. “I wanna go! Why won’t you let me?!” She narrowed her eyes suspiciously and whispered, “…Are you going to do your work with her?”
“My wo—Sweetie Belle!” I gasped, my scandalized face as crimson as my lips. “No! Absolutely not! No! Sweetie Belle, really!” I chastised, for it was such a silly idea! Such a silly statement! As if a poor awkward woman like Twilight Sparkle would have the nerve to stride into the Sapphire Carousel, bat her eyelashes at me, caress my cheeks with the tips of her magic fingers and ask for my rate.
The screeching voice of my sister awoke me from my admittedly lustful reveries, and before I could say a thing, she started lobbying false accusations my way.
“How come you’re always so excited for my classes with her, huh? And why are you always staring at her during class?! And why—” Her eyes went wide and she let out a gasp, the pieces falling into place. Stepping back and covering her mouth with her hands, she condemned me. “You like like her!”
And the second I foolishly faltered, the banshee of the nine hells was unleashed upon my poor ears.
“Oh my gosh, you like like her?!” screamed my little sister for the entire damn world to hear. “Do you?! Do you like her?! Is that why you want to spend time with her?! Rarity! Rarity, do you?! Rari—”
“Absolutely not!” I lied, flipping my hair away and harrumphing. “Me?! Regard the student of Celestia in any other way than polite friendship? Please! Please! Don’t be ridiculous!”
Sweetie lowered her voice. “Oh,” she said, and crossed her arms behind her back and smiled innocently. “Okay! I was gonna let you be alone with her if you liked liked her, but since you don’t, then I’m gonna go with her!” Without warning, she curled her hands around her mouth and howled. “TEACHER TWIL—”
“Fine! Fine, you little demon!” I hissed, slamming my hand against her mouth. “Yes, I like like her! All right?! Will you stop this torture now?!”
Sweetie’s grin was shameless. It seemed I’d taught her far too well.
We turned towards the entrance doors and saw the woman of the hour poking her head in.
“Did you just call me?” she asked, and when my sister nodded her head, I panicked.
“I did!” she exclaimed joyfully, only to almost masterfully change her expression into one of a poor, desolate child. It was like looking at a younger version of my well-meaning manipulative self. I was both horrified and immensely proud. “I’m sorry, teacher…” said my sister. “I wanted to go be with you and Sis, but I can’t.”
“You can’t?” asked Twilight, stepping into the lobby, concern etched on her face. “Why not?”
With almost practiced perfection, Sweetie looked down towards the floor. “Because…” She looked back up and took a few steps towards Twilight, gesturing for her to bend down.
When she did, Sweetie leaned in, whispered something in her ear, and let me tell you, I never fully understood the true meaning of cold-hearted betrayal until the moment Twilight’s eyes immediately flickered towards me as Sweetie whispered.
Et tu, Sweetie, indeed.
“Right,” said Twilight, and nothing else.
“‘Kay!” exclaimed Sweetie, stepping away and giving me a big grin. “See you tomorrow, Sis! Bye, teacher!”
We watched as she ran off into a hallway and once she was gone, I turned to Twilight, already bracing myself for whatever had been told to her.
Twilight, instead, simply gestured towards the door. “Should we…?”
I quickly gathered my bearings. “Ah, yes! Yes, of course! Let’s!” I said hastily and followed her towards the door.
I readied myself to open it as we approached, but instead Twilight made a simple gesture with her hand and the crystal double-doors swung open before me. Impressed by such casual display of magic, I slowed my step. Though I fully expected her to walk out before me, she stopped at the door and turned to me, bowing ever so slightly.
“After you,” she said with a smile, and I must confess I hadn’t been aware I could feel short of breath by having someone smile and open the door for me, but there I was, hurrying out so she wouldn’t see me biting down a smitten grin.
A breeze of cold air hit my face, and the slight shock of it helped me shake off the remaining traces of my feelings for Twilight.
“So!” I exclaimed, having forgotten all about Sweetie’s whisperings. I turned to her and, much like my sister, crossed my arms behind my back. “Where shall we go?”
Twilight’s brow creased, and with another gesture of her hand a map and notebook floated out her bag. Stars, as impressed as I was, I was also envious. What was second nature to her took immense effort for me! My magic wasn’t awful, no, but certainly limited to sewing and very basic levitation — levitation that wasn’t even nearly as seamless as hers.
She hummed, looking over her notes and map.
“Well… I’ve never been to the Lunar District,” she said. “I heard there’s a theatre there, and some artistic attractions.” She turned to me. “That’s where you live, isn’t it?”
“Ah… Yes! Yes, I do, but…”
I thought of my neighborhood. It certainly wasn’t anything like the prim and proper neighborhood Twilight was used to living in. The Lunar District, much like the night, was beautiful but dangerous as well.
I lived there, after all.
Was that too much? It was, wasn’t it? I can’t help it, I must be theatrical when talking of Twilight!
In any case, putting aside the deadly beautiful seamstress living there, the Lunar district was not one for tourists and newcomers to the city, and certainly not for someone whom I didn’t want knowing too much about me quite yet.
“But…?” Twilight asked at my silence.
“But the Sunswept District is so much more exciting!” I said. “The shops are all so lovely, and we can go for a walk in Lone Isle Park.”
Twilight hesitated “Well…”
“You’ll see!” I exclaimed, striding off towards the nearest inner-city train station. Better not give her time to think, I thought. “It’ll be grand.”
The sun was setting by the time we reached the posh neighborhood of the city, though no one seemed in a hurry to go home. It was always at this time, when the moon and the sun collided and created the twilight, that the city truly roared to life.
If I had been bolder, I might have told my companion that she never looked lovelier than under the light of her namesake.
But I wasn’t, and so I didn’t.
Men and women, girls and boys, all walked past us as we made our way along Westley Avenue, the street dipped in the artificial orange hues of the city’s metal streetlights. Street vendors stood on every corner, belting out the quality of their hot treats to the chattering crowds that might have ten coins to spare.
It was so painfully nostalgic, these roads I’d once called my own.
“Do you miss your home terribly?” I asked Twilight, my eyes jumping from one window display to the other, my mind trying to extract inspiration for designs in what I saw.
“Not terribly,” Twilight replied, “but I do miss it. Especially my brother.”
“Your brother? I didn’t know you had one!” I turned towards her and adjusted my shawl. “Is he also a terribly talented mage like you?”
She blessed me with a smile. “You could say that. He’s more proficient in defensive magic, though.”
“And what are you proficient in?”
“Everything,” she said.
“Well!” I said, raising an eyebrow. “Quite the prodigy, hm?”
“I don’t mean it like that!” she exclaimed defensively. “Well, I do, but… I don’t really have a type of magic I excel at. I just… I can do all kinds of magic. That’s all.” She was eager to move on to me. “What about you? Sweetie mentioned once that you knew some spells.”
“Ah…” I looked in front of me. “I suppose you could say so, yes. Granted, I’ve not practiced in some time, but I can do very basic levitation of small objects and precision magic. I’d venture to say my forté is illusion magic.”
She raised her eyebrow. “Illusion magic? That’s pretty advanced! Are you self-taught?”
“Oh, no no! Heavens, no. I… I had a teacher when I was younger. She tried to teach me more, but my magic essence was, er, lacking in potential.” I cleared my throat. “Nevertheless, I decided that my expertise was in things other than magic.”
Twilight perked up. “Oh? You mentioned you were a seamstress, aren’t you?”
“And a designer, too!” I added, proudly. “Of all types of things.”
“Are you self-taught?” she asked again, and again I answered the same.
“No, I’m not. My teacher also taught me how to sew,” I elaborated. “That’s what we focused on after we decided magic was best left as a hobby.”
“That’s quite a teacher,” Twilight said, clearly impressed. “I wish I could have met her.”
Hah! If only she knew!
If only she knew.
“Do you still keep in touch?” she asked.
“I’m sorry, Twilight,” I replied, and offered a polite smile, “but can we change the topic?”
And I’m sure she would have agreed if the busy city streets hadn’t led us straight towards an entirely more interesting route.
We turned around, and who did we see walking towards us amidst the crowd but my simultaneously best and worst dream. With intertwined arms and angel smiles and devil eyes, Lord Fancy Pants and Duchess Fleur De Lis filled our horizon.
“A-Ah, Fancy! Fleur! Good evening,” I said hastily, for once uncomfortable to run into them in public. “What a coincidence, running into you here…”
Fancy laughed. “You’d almost think we live two blocks away!”
I smiled thinly. “Ah. Right.”
“Rarity, tis’ not often you come ‘ere,” Fleur said next, undressing me with her eyes before looking at my companion and fluttering her eyelashes. “And with such prestigious company, too.”
Fancy flashed Twilight a dashing grin. “Twilight Sparkle, I presume! This is my lovely wife, Fleur de Lis, and my name is Fancy Pants,” he exclaimed, extending his hand. “An honor to meet you at last, my dear.”
Poor Twilight was more than confused as she shook his hand.
“Meet me at last?” she asked.
“Why, yes!” His eyes flickered towards me for a moment. “A pretty little birdy has told us much about you, you know?” At my glacial, threatening stare, he added, “Can’t tell you who, however. Wouldn’t want to lose my spot in the city’s gossip circles!”
Fleur disentangled herself from her husband and went to Twilight, putting a hand on her shoulder. “Non, non! Do not listen to my husband! He is as silly as the cravat he insists on wearing.”
“What—! I say, it’s not silly at all! It brings out my eyes.”
In reality, all that green horror did was bring out the fact that he’d doubtless been hungover when dressing this morning, but I certainly wasn’t going to point that out.
Fleur rolled her eyes before readdressing Twilight. “We’re very good friends with Lady Celestia,” she elaborated. “She speaks very highly of you.”
“She does?!” gasped Twilight, basking in two seconds of euphoria before clearing her throat and trying to look somewhat dignified. “Does she? I’m glad to hear that.”
Fleur moved away from my beloved and back to her own, her hand finding his as her eyes flickered back and forth between us.
“And what do you think of our little Rarity, Twilight?” she asked, much like her husband ignoring my stern expression of disapproval at her question.
Even if I was curious.
“We’re very fond of her,” Fancy added, his smile sultry in a way only Fleur and I could recognize. I could feel myself grow hot. “Very versatile, our dear Rarity.”
“She was telling me as much earlier,” Twilight replied, and their eyes fixed on her. Gauging to see how much she knew, and more than that, what she knew. Twilight looked at me for confirmation when she added, “You would have to be versatile if you’re an outfit designer, right?”
I coughed. “One tries to be so, yes.”
The couple smiled in near perfect unison. Ah, they seemed to say with their eyes. She doesn’t know a thing.
“She’s designed smashing dresses for Fleur, in fact,” continued Fancy, his evil little mind already machinating how to take advantage of the situation.
“Mmmm… Very comfortable, too.” Fleur leaned in towards me and lifted my chin with a finger. “Sometimes I feel like she knows the details of my body better than I do, n’est ce pas?”
Snakes! The both of them! And they knew it, too! One could only dream of being so shamelessly bold.
“So, do tell, where are you two headed?” I asked, hoping that my tone conveyed my desire for them to tell me and then go there immediately.
Fancy, thankfully, decided to end my suffering.
“Home, I should think! The night is young, my wife has high heels, and I am hungover,” he exclaimed, a little peace offering so I would forgive them for their teasing.
I grinned. “I wasn’t going to say anything.”
“Shame,” said Fleur, cozying up to her husband in a way that made me wish I could do the same with Twilight. “He might listen to you. This silly man is far too taken by my beauty to pay attention to anything I say to him.”
Fancy adjusted his monocle. “Really! You’d think being in love is a crime.”
Fleur disentangled herself from him and offered Twilight her hand. “I do hope we see you again, Miss Sparkle.” After shaking hands with her, she turned to me and her smile turned lovingly predatory. “And we will see you tomorrow night, mon ange,” she said, leaning in to hug me and staying there long enough to whisper in my ear: “I do hope you won’t be too worn out, mmm?”
“Goodbye, ladies!” exclaimed Fancy, waving to us as they walked away. “Do enjoy the rest of your night!”
Twilight was the first to speak when they were gone.
“Well,” she said, “they were nice, but a bit…” She struggled to find what to say.
“Eccentric,” I said. “Eccentric is the word you’re looking for.”
Twilight frowned. “Right. Let’s go with that.”
As Fancy had said, the night was young and I’d be hard-pressed to be separated from Twilight any time soon.
She asked me about Fancy and Fleur as we continued to walk, and I spoke to her in vague but ultimately truthful terms. They were close friends I’d had for a few years now, as well as customers. I didn’t specify what they purchased from me, and she thankfully did not ask.
She did, however, ask where my studio was, or where one could go see my designs.
It’s complicated, I ended up telling her. I didn’t have a studio per se, and I was very busy doing private commissions for a high-profile client, which again, was not a lie. Lady Luna paid me ridiculously well for the costumes I made for her plays, but that was also because she demanded quite a lot from me.
Not that I had ever failed her, of course. My designs always did what she wanted them to, whether it was enchanting the children who saw them in her children’s theatre down by the Dragon District or make the patrons who attended the Sapphire’s late show hot enough to purchase another cold drink or two.
We eventually reached Lone Isle Park, characterized by being the only park in the city that had a lake inside of it. It was, after the Lady’s Gardens, my favorite outdoor place to be in as a child and teenager. How many hours had I sat there under the shade of the trees, watching with envious eyes as lovestruck couples strolled about, as lost in each other’s gaze as they were in their hearts.
The memories came back to me as we walked, and it was hard for me to suppress the desires of my heart—not the risqué ones, but the childishly innocent ones. How silly, I was! Me, who previously had no problem luring Twilight into my little games, now was too flustered by the idea of somehow holding her hand.
She spoke as we walked, and you’ll forgive me when I omit some details as they are not relevant. She only told me of a similar park back home, and I told her a few fun facts I’d learned of the park as a child.
The real point of interest in this little story was a little further along the path, taking the form of a large lake in the middle of the park.
Lake Delorne, the habitat of ducks, insects, and fish who all demanded food from whoever dared to sit on the lake’s retaining wall. A romantic spot, if I do say so myself, which is why I innocently led Twilight to it, and where she understood where the name Lone Isle Park came from.
There was a barren islet right in the middle of the lake, locally known as Stargazing Point.
I hope I don’t need to tell you what it was popular for.
“There are so many stars tonight,” noted Twilight, leaning over the edge of the retaining wall and gazing at the stars’ reflections dotted on the water. She reached out and curiously dipped her fingers in the water only to take them back. “It’s freezing!”
“It is nearly winter,” I noted and readjusted my shawl for the tenth time that hour. I noticed Twilight was wearing both a sweater and a cloak, and so I sighed quite theatrically. “If only I’d thought to bring a cloak of my own! I’m freezing in this shawl.”
What a smile I made when Twilight quickly scrambled into action.
“Oh, err, hang on,” she said, lifting her hand towards her cloak’s fastener.
I was already preparing my practiced “Oh, Twilight, I simply can’t accept! No, I can’t! I can’t! Well, if you insist…” but the opportunity to re-enact a tired cliché from every romance novel out there was suddenly and rudely stolen from me.
“Actually,” said my beloved, letting go of the fastener. “I have a better idea.”
She took a step back and snapped her fingers; I yelped with surprise when a floating red flame the size of a lantern appeared before her, immediately warming me up.
“There!” she exclaimed, pleased with herself. “Will this work?”
“Well,” I huffed good-naturedly. “Now you’re just being a show-off, Twilight.” Before she could offer apologies for it, I seized my opportunity and went to her, intertwining my arm with hers and cuddling close to her and the warm flame. “And I shall take advantage of it, if you don’t mind.”
“O-Of course not,” she blurted out, bless her.
We continued to walk in pleasant silence, and all I could think of was how nice it felt. How warm she was, how well my arm linked with hers, and how she smelled of old books and fresh ink. I prayed she didn’t find me strange or was in any way put off by me.
Our hands were so close together as we walked, as well, and it was an entirely new kind of torture to want to hold her hand and not be able to.
It was ridiculous! It was! Even then, as I tried to focus my sights on anything else but her, I couldn’t help but think how silly it all was. I barely knew her! I’d only met with her a couple of times, and yet I clung to her as if I’d longed for her my entire life!
Maybe I had longed for her my entire life. I certainly did then, and I certainly would afterward.
Even now, as I tell you this story, I long for her still.
“You know, I always wanted to go to Stargazing Point as a child,” I said, an effort to focus on something other than finding an excuse to hold her hand. “Take one of the little boats and have a dashing person take me there to tell me about the stars.”
“Why didn’t you?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” I confessed. “I suppose because my parents found it too expensive.”
And I always feared that asking my teacher would make her think of me a child.
“Why don’t we go now?”
I stopped and turned to Twilight.
“Stargazing Point,” she said, and I could hear excitement bubbling up inside her. “Why don’t we go now? It’s a clear night and the stars are all out.”
“But we can’t,” I said. “It’s already nighttime! The boat rental closed hours ago.”
“So?” she said, just like that.
I gawked at her. “So? What do you mean ‘so’? There is no other way to get there but with a boat.”
“That’s not entirely true.”
“Twilight, I hope you understand I’m not going to swim there.”
“That’s not what I meant!”
“It isn’t? I see!” I sat on the retaining wall and looked at her, tilting my head and fluttering my eyelashes. “Are you planning on walking there, perhaps? Take a leisurely stroll on the water, hm?”
She stared back at me for a moment, deep in thought, until finally, it was she who smiled.
“Actually,” she said, “yes. Yes, I am.”
I think I laughed. “Walk on water? Twilight, you—Twilight?”
With a snap of her fingers she doused the magic fire, leaving me defenseless against the cold. Another gesture of her hand and her bag opened, a worn-out book floating into her hands.
“There’s a spell here,” she said, quickly leafing through the pages, “the one that flight mages use to stand on clouds when they’re flying. Ah-ha!” She stopped at a page and looked it over. “Clouds are just condensed water vapor, right? So, if I combine that spell with…” She flipped through a few more pages and read. “…and then if I…” Again, she flipped through a few more and stopped. “Combine it with this one and the one from page thirty-six… There!”
“There what?” I asked when she closed the book and levitated it over to the retaining wall, along with her bag. “Twilight! Twilight, you’re not really going to try, are you?”
“Yes,” she said. “Yes, I am.”
“Twilight, you can’t! The water is freezing! What if it doesn’t work?”
“It will,” she said, her fingertips lighting up with magic and her face with a look of determination that was hard to argue against.
So I didn’t.
“You’re insane,” I told her, even though I myself now shared her excitement. “I won’t let you use my shawl as a towel, just so you know.”
She said no more to me.
She only licked her lips, took several steps back, and murmured what I assumed to be the incantation she’d apparently just concocted. Her fingertips crackled with raspberry-colored magic, and soon enough her shoes began to faintly glow.
My God, I thought. She’s actually going to try.
I stared at her, waiting and waiting and waiting, and after it felt like I’d waited there forever she finally rushed forward, jumping onto the retaining wall and then jumping towards the lake without hesitation.
It felt as if time had come to a crawl.
I watched, my heart hammering in my chest, as her feet approached the water and—
My shrieks echoed throughout the park when I jumped off the retaining wall in a desperate attempt to avoid the water splashes sent my way. However, not even a second after I’d run away did I run back, leaning over the wall and looking around in horror.
“Twilight?! Twilight, where are you?!” I called out, already imagining her freezing to death at the bottom of the lake. Why had I let her try?! “Twilight, please!”
When I continued to hear and see nothing, I stepped back. I’d have to jump in after her. I had to! Granted, I would probably be paralyzed by the frigid water and then go join her underwater, but at least we’d have a poetic death in some respect.
I gathered my courage and ran towards the retaining wall, letting out a startled yelp when Twilight finally emerged out into the surface, coughing out water and gasping for air.
“Twilight! Twilight, thank goodness!” I exclaimed, climbing up onto the wall and extending my hand towards her. “Hurry! Hurry, take my hand before you freeze to death!”
My poor beloved swam towards me, and my heart ached for her. It was clear on her face how she felt about her splashing failure, and I wanted nothing more than to console her after I made sure she didn’t get hypothermia.
Her hand was freezing when she grasped mine, and I helped her over the wall on which she sat down and hugged her soaking self.
“That didn’t work,” she muttered between clacking teeth, the wet hair plastered on her face doing little to hide the frown she wore.
I insisted she take off her coat and sweater so I could squeeze the water out of them. Once that was done, I took off my shawl, ignoring her protests when I wrapped it around her, hoping it would absorb some or most of the water still ailing her. It didn’t actually do much, sadly, but the fire she conjured up to dry herself seemed to be working.
“Come on, dear,” I said soothingly, trying to will her up. “Let’s go home so—”
“I can’t believe that happened,” she cut-off, still lost in her shamed world. “That was stupid of me.”
“Now, now, you’re being too hard on yourself!” I insisted, and when she gave me a pointed stare, I smiled brilliantly and brushed back her wet bangs. “Everyone’s done stupid things to try and impress pretty girls, hmm?”
Now, I don’t know if you remember the first time I met Twilight. You know, on that bench in the train station. Do you? Well, if you do, you might remember the one thing that permanently imprinted Twilight in my soul.
The stare she gave me, analyzing and examining and figuring me out all in one go, as though she’s not merely seeing you, but she’s looking right into your soul.
Well, it happened again.
As soon as I finished my sentence, my gentle tease that was more wishful thinking than anything else, her expression changed. It changed from frustration and embarrassment to something as burning as the fire she’d earlier summoned.
Nothing else existed in that moment for her. Nothing save for the pretty girl she’d tried to impress.
And thus, my beloved made a choice, and though I could not look into her mind, her expression held me in place. Intense, and burning, and blinding like the sun. The air shifted around us, the cold was long forgotten, and all that I had left was the crazy desperate impression that she was going to lean in to kiss me.
And she did in a way kiss me, though not in the way you’d expect. Not with lips, or touch or all the things we think a kiss is. She kissed me in the single most decidedly Twilight Sparkle way she could.
Without a word to me, she took off the shawl and jumped up, walking several feet away before turning around to face the lake, her fingertips already bursting with magic.
“Twilight?!” I gasped, standing up. “Twilight, what are you doing?! You’re not trying again, are you?!”
“Yes,” she said. “Yes, I am.”
“Twilight, have you gone mad?! You can’t try again! Do you want to die of hypothermia?! Stop this!”
She ignored me, and instead rolled up her sleeves, revealing a bright pink ribbon tied around her wrist. Still staring at the lake, she undid the ribbon and then used the lace to tie her hair up into a ponytail.
Her sudden determination would have been blindingly attractive if under different circumstances.
Deciding I did not want to lose my new crush to her own damn stubbornness, I stomped my way towards her but stopped when a blinding burst of magic shot out of her hands. I shielded my eyes with my arm, and when I finally lowered it, my eyes went to her shoes.
The soft glow from before was nowhere to be seen, replaced instead with a vivid brilliance that cut through the dark.
I was compelled to step back, sit down on the retaining wall and let this absolute madwoman do as she wished.
“Twilight…” I said, one last attempt to reason with her that fell on deaf ears.
She took one, two, three steps back and then, without thinking twice, ran forward, jumping on the wall and then towards the river just as I turned away, too horrified to look.
I waited for the inevitable splash, and yet it never came.
I only heard a soft thump and an even softer gasp.
My eyes flew open under my hand.
Did… Did she do it?
Bracing myself, I lowered my hands, turned around and felt the world around me disappear.
There she was, Twilight Sparkle herself, crouching on the water’s surface with her back turned towards me, her fingers still glowing with a magic I’d never dreamed of.
Her name left my lips like a breathless whisper as I watched her slowly stand up, and when she turned to look at me, her eyes betrayed the fact that she was just as surprised as I was.
“Twilight, you did it,” I said, my racing heart demanding I stand up and kneel on the retaining wall, trying to get closer to her. “Stars alive, you did it! Look at you!”
She broke into a winning smile. “I did… I did! I did it!” Her nervous, glee-filled laughed filled the air, and much like a child, she jumped up and down on the surface of the water. “I did it! Wait until I tell Lady Celestia!”
“Twilight, wait, don’t jump like that, for Heaven’s sake!” I scolded, somewhat panicked that she might plunge down into the water. “Don’t test your luck!”
Obviously, she ignored my concerns and continued to jump, skip and run around until I gave up and settled on sitting down to proudly watch her revel in her amazing achievement.
“Rarity!” she called after a moment “Get up!”
“Get up?” I asked.
“We’re walking to the island!” she elaborated, running up and standing on the other side of the retaining wall. “I’m going to cast the spell on you, too.”
“What—? Me? But, Twilight!” I crossed my arms and stepped back. Just because it had worked once didn’t mean it would work again, and while she might have survived those frigid questionable waters, I certainly would not. “Twilight, I’m sorry, but I really don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“It’ll be fine,” she insisted and patted the top of the wall. “Stand here so I can get a clear view.”
“I really don’t know…” I whined, but my whines did little to dissuade her.
She simply patted the top of the wall again, offering me an assured grin, and I clearly had no choice but to relent. If I didn’t, I risked upsetting her and that would be a very terrible crime.
I turned away from her and scrunched up my face, closing my eyes and reciting one of my teacher’s lessons. “A lady has no fears. A lady has no fears. A lady has no fears,” I whispered to myself over and over until I convinced myself I believed it.
I turned back towards Twilight and moved forwards, climbing onto the retaining wall and standing on it, making no attempts to hide my trepidation at the entire thing.
Twilight stepped back and summoned magic into her hand, once again casting the blindingly bright spell that left my shoes glowing like a furnace.
“All right,” she said, moving back and giving me space on the lake. “Jump.”
“But what if I fall into the water?!”
“But what if I do?!”
“You won’t, Rarity,” Twilight insisted and moved towards me. “I promise I will never let you fall.”
I crossed my arms. “You can’t promise me that!”
“Yes, I can.” She held out her hand towards me. “Trust me.”
It was admittedly surreal to see here there, asking me to place my hand and trust in hers. To think that not even an hour ago I dreamed of interlacing my fingers with her, and yet now I hesitated. I couldn’t really place the real reason behind my hesitation back then, though now that I’ve had so many years to dwell on it, well…
I think I knew that would be the point of no return.
In Twilight Sparkle’s hand lay my destiny entire, if and only if I was bold enough to grasp it.
It’s funny how I say that as if I had a choice; the reality is that, whether I knew it or not, when Twilight asked me to follow it was my destiny to never refuse.
“Twilight Sparkle,” I said, finally and blissfully taking her hand in mine. “Trusting you will be the death of me.”
I jumped forwards, though hardly with the grace and prowess Twilight had earlier displayed. No, I yelped like a terrified child and threw myself at Twilight, wrapping my arms around her neck and my legs around her hips while she held me, trying not to lose her balance.
“Did it work?!” I asked desperately. “Did it? It didn’t, did it?! I knew it!”
“Rarity,” Twilight stammered, doubtless struggling to support my weight, “we won’t know that until your feet actually touch the water!”
I whined into her neck, gripping onto her as hard as I could before slowly, very slowly, loosening my legs’ death grip on her hips and lowering them. I kept expecting to feel my feet sink into water, but they never did. I only felt them land firmly on what can only be described as wet ground.
“We-Well?” asked my beloved, trying to look down at my feet. “What happened? Did it work?”
I did not reply with words.
I carefully slid my arms off her neck until my hands were resting on her shoulders and I was now fully standing in front of her, her hands still gently holding my waist. There we stood, lost in each other’s eyes, soaking up the moment until we did what you’d expect of two young adults having just done the impossible.
No, we did not kiss—not for lack of wanting, mind you—but we did the second best thing one can do in such an occasion.
Giggle like absolute teenagers.
“We’re walking on water!” I exclaimed, jumping, running and doing exactly everything I’d earlier told her not to do. “Twilight! Look! We’re walking on water!”
I rushed to her and grabbed her hand, forcing her to run in circles with me.
“Ra-Rarity!” She laughed. “Calm down!”
Once I willed myself into obeying her, Twilight ran back to get what we’d left behind on the retaining wall.
“Here you go,” she said, handing me my bag and shawl, which I promptly tried to give back.
“Darling, keep this! Aren’t you still cold?”
“Oh, no, I’m fine. Well, no, I’m cold, but walking to the island will help me. Or maybe running will. Or…” She looked at me and gave me a challenging stare. “A race?”
I laughed dismissively.
“A race? Oh no, no. That is far too childish for me,” I said, flipping my hair. “Not to mention exhausting! And in this weather? I’ll freeze! And you’ll freeze too when you’re left all alone to eat my dust!”
Without giving her time to react, I sped off towards the islet, cackling like a banshee the entire way.
The poor dear didn’t catch up with me in time, and thus I let out a decidedly unladylike victory cry when my feet touched solid land. I turned around and patiently waited for my non-date to catch up, the poor woman gasping for air when she arrived.
“How do you run so fast?” she asked between heavy breaths.
Too caught in the moment, I completely forgot to be discreet.
“Top shape is a necessity in my line of work, dear.”
Twilight grunted, supporting her hands on her bent knees. “Maybe I should consider taking up sewing, then,” she muttered, completely missing me slapping my hand against my mouth. When she’d managed to regain some of her strength back, she stood straight up and looked around. “Well, here we are.”
“So we are,” I repeated, giddily.
She looked up at the night sky and did the cutest nod.
“The sky’s still clear, too.” She looked back down and scanned the islet briefly before striding past me and walking right towards the center of the place. Once she was there, she glanced up at the sky again before unceremoniously plopping down on the ground.
“Twilight!” I chastised.
“You’re sitting on the ground! That’s filthy! Heaven knows what’s crawled on there!”
“I don’t care.”
I harrumphed. “Well, I do!”
As if we’d known each other for years, Twilight rolled her eyes. “Right…” She took off her cloak, spread it on the ground next to her, and then gave me an amused stare. “Will this work?”
I was tempted to remind her that cloak was sodden with dubious lake water, but eventually decided against it. Beggars shouldn’t be choosers, and I wasn’t going to start rejecting her little gestures.
Doing my best to ignore my dress getting wet, I walked over and sat down on the cloak, somehow managing not to grimace when my dress similarly dampened upon contact. That done, Twilight and I engaged in a very unsubtle act of ‘innocently’ scooching over until we were all but pressed together. She snapped her fingers and summoned back her wondrous little portable flame, warming us both.
That done, she lay down on the grass and I shortly followed on the cloak, again trying to be as close to her as possible without actually cuddling her. It was so hard to resist the urge, and it was harder still when our outstretched hands brushed against each other on the grass.
The stars looked mesmerizing above us, and yet they could not distract me from thinking of her. Soon enough we’d have to part ways, and I’d be forced to wait an entire week for Sweetie’s lesson just to see her again.
“Might you be free next Wednesday evening?”
I felt her shift against me. “Wednesday evening? I… think I am? I’d have to check with Lady Celestia. Why?”
“Oh, no reason at all, really. It’s simply that I have Wednesday evening off from work, and I was wondering if perhaps you’d like to meet?”
She sat up. “Oh? Did Sweetie want to change her class?”
I was grateful the night hid my blush.
“…No, Twilight, not like that,” I said, sitting up as well with a pained smile. “I mean, meet up to do something together like today. Just the two of us.”
“Oh!” she exclaimed. “You mean as friends? I would love to!”
I would learn later that year that my poor beloved had immediately internally chastised herself for that choice of words.
But she’d said it, and not wanting to make her uncomfortable, I followed her lead.
“Er, yes,” I said. “As friends. And fabulous! Why don’t we sort out the details later tonight, then?”
When we lay down on the grass again, my enthusiasm had somewhat waned. After everything we’d been through, and all the signs I’d tried to throw her way, to see her label us like that had been… well, disappointing.
Then again, I knew I would take her in any way she let me, whether it be as a friend or more.
Considerably more aware of our personal boundaries, I tried to scooch away and give her space, but stopped when she surprised me by brushing her hand against mine in what I could tell was a premeditated gesture.
Just like earlier, I took the plunge.
“Twilight!” I gasped and took her freezing hand in mine. “Your hand is so cold!”
“Is it?” she asked, and made no attempt to take it back.
“It is!” I exclaimed, and interlaced our fingers together. “I’ll just have to keep it warm with mine, won’t I?”
She laughed. “All right then,” she said, letting our hands perfectly intertwine before closing the distance between us and fulfilling my silly childhood wish. “I studied a lot of astronomy back home in the north. Would you like to know some things that I learned?”
“Why, Twilight,” I said. “I’d like nothing more.”
“Do you think Teacher Twilight will be alright?” asked my sister as I combed her hair.
“Twilight will be perfectly fine, Sweetie. It’s just a cold. Granted, I still don’t exactly know what possessed her to want to walk there so badly. Not that I didn’t have a dazzling night, but still…”
Sweetie giggled. “I know why she wanted to,” she said in sing-song.
I stopped brushing her hair.
“What? Why?” I asked, and when she turned to look at me, my eyes narrowed. “Does this have to do with whatever you whispered to her? What did you tell her?”
Sweetie Belle grinned.
“I told her I wanted to practice because you really loved powerful sorceresses.”
I liked the slight misdirection with what Sweetie Belle whispered to Twilight. It keeps both Rarity and Twilight from knowing exactly how the other feels at this point, but they are getting there.
I’m wondering how the connection with Celestia plays out later. Both have very different views of her and I’m guessing that will lead to conflict. The same with Rarity being guarded about her past/life.