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    She waited two hours for me.

    Swinging under the moonlight, her feet kicking off the ground, every back and forth in rhythm with the seconds ticking by.

    Two long, bloody hours. We’d only been friends for, what, two months or so, maybe? Two measly months, and she waited two hours for me in the cold. She probably would have waited all night.

    A Sapphire session had gone on longer than I’d anticipated. I’d done my usual tactic of, shall we say, quietly exaggerating my performance so as to leave him satisfied more quickly, but this had the opposite effect.

    By the time I was running to the park, I was sure she’d left. She had to have. I certainly wouldn’t wait for anyone for two hours—well, maybe I’d have waited for her, but I didn’t expect her to do the same for me.

    I remember the surprise I felt when I rushed into the park and saw her there, swinging in the distance.

    “Twilight!” I called, aghast. “Twilight, goodness, what are you doing here?!”

    She jumped off the swing. “Oh, I—I was waiting for you.”

    “Yes, darling, I know that,” I said, stopping before her, quite out of breath. “I meant to say why are you still here? I’m so late! A client kept me for so long, and I was sure you’d gone home! You should have gone home!”

    She looked contrite. No, that’s not the word. Embarrassed is more like it. She hugged herself, gripping her arm.

    “I… You’re my friend. I don’t mind waiting. Was there a problem with your client?”

    I couldn’t help but laugh. “Oh, heavens, no! Quite the opposite, unfortunately. They were—” I faltered. “Err, they were very happy with my work.”

    She frowned. “Why is that unfortunate?”

    “It made me late to see you!” I exclaimed. “I left you in the cold, darling! Speaking of which—” I walked forwards, and before she could protest, took her hands in mine. “You’re freezing! Twilight. I’ll have to make it up to you.”

    Were I bolder, I’d have lifted her hands to my lips and kissed them until they were warm.

    She laughed, and regaled me with that killer smile. “You don’t have to make it up to me, Rarity.”

    “But I want to! It’s only right.” I whined piteously. “You must think me an awful friend.”

    She blinked at me. As though I were silly.

    “Rarity,” she said, our fingers interlacing, “Nothing you do could ever make me think you’re awful.”

    I went quiet. She noticed.

    “What’s wrong?”

    “Do you promise?”I asked, and she was thrown off by my tone. It was vulnerable, certainly, but it was also severe. Much more so than she’d ever really heard of me before. “That nothing I do will ever make you think I’m awful?”

    “I… Yes?” she’d said, because she was a little confused, but this was clearly important, and she was always one to please. “I promise.”

    It wasn’t until eons later, after we’d gone our separate ways, until she and Sunset Shimmer made their way towards my shop, that Twilight realized what I’d been referring to.

    She wanted to say she wished I’d said something, then. Maybe things would be different if I had. Maybe it would have been rather uncomfortable at first, but it was still early enough in our friendship that she would have…

    Her heart sank.

    What? Would have not fallen in love with me? Oh, she’s a prostitute? You heard that, heart, friendship it is!

    Her heart sank further.

    That felt terrible. The idea that she would do that, even though she had been raised to do exactly that. Even though every aspect of her upbringing dictated that people like her were not to associate with people like me because it wasn’t right. It wasn’t correct.

    And yet… and yet, and yet, and yet, that wasn’t the problem, now was it? She knew it, even if she wasn’t really able to decipher it yet. To phrase it properly. She’d never fit in with those Like Her. She’d known this since she was a child!

    Her heart had always been drawn to those like her in spirit, and her spirit was not defined by its position in the echelons of society.

    Of course, it was too late now. What was done was done, and to dwell on it was an exercise in futility.

    “What’s on your mind?”

    Sunset’s voice snapped Twilight out of her thoughts, and she looked towards her friend walking besides her. “Huh?”

    “You look like you failed a test,” Sunset said. “What’s wrong?”

    “Nothing,” she said.


    Caught, Twilight sighed. “Okay. I just. I don’t think this a good idea.”

    For reference, ‘this’ was going to my boutique.

    Sunset shrugged. “We’re just going to look at her, Twi. Nothing more. Try to relax.”

    Relax?” Twilight whispered. “What if she sees us? Then what?”

    “She won’t see you.” Sunset flashed her a smile. “Promise.”


    In truth, she wanted me to see her. She wanted us to interact. But… But then what? What would she say? What would she do? She loved me, yes, she knew that, but… could she be with me? Not just because I probably didn’t want that, but because try as she might, she could not ignore the pit in her stomach at the idea that I spent day in and day out in the arms of another, their lips on mine, and their intimates…


    “I think we’re here?”

    Alert, Twilight looked up and what a sharp intake of breath at the sight of Carousel Boutique, the colorful building towering in the distance.

    Her hand shot up, clutching her friend’s arm.


    Sunset stopped, taking in Twilight’s panicked expression before acting. With great care, she put her hand over her friend’s, looked around, and then gestured Twilight to a nearby café.

    “Go wait for me there. I’ll be quick.”

    Twilight hesitated. What temptation! How easy it would be. How much easier for her anxiety, too. But, alas! She wanted to see me. No, she needed to see me.

    Alright, maybe she didn’t need to see me, but she certainly wanted to see me.

    Would I look as destroyed as she felt?

    “No.” Her grip softened until her hand fell at her side. “No, it’s fine. Let’s go.”

    “You’re sure?”


    They resumed their path, step by step, closer and closer to the boutique until finally they were right in front of it.

    “Hold on.” Sunset walked over to the store window and peered through it, cupping her hands around her eyes like a binocular. “Oh, wow. Wow.”

    “What?” Twilight asked, urgently. “What is it? What’s wrong?”

    Sunset turned to look at her. “She’s hot.

    Hm? She did say that. She did! And she was right! And Twilight also knew she was right, for she privately agreed with Sunset, but she wasn’t about to say it.

    “Don’t just stand there!” Twilight hissed as Sunset resumed her spying. “She’ll see you!”

    “No, she won’t. She’s busy working on something.” She glanced towards Twilight. “Do you want to see?”

    Twilight hesitated, her hand reaching up to the key hanging from her neck. She was frightened. Somewhat like Sunset had been days before, I suppose. Afraid of finding out just how much she missed me.

    Taking a deep breath, she walked forward, joining Sunset at the window and peering into my shop. The place seemed much like she remembered it—an organized mess. Her eyes wandered the racks of clothes, the stacks of fabrics, scanning everything in an attempt to delay the inevitable.

    Eventually, her sight fell on me, and if she’d earlier kept her distance from the window, now she did anything but.

    There I was, sitting on top of my desk, my hair tied up in a messy bun, stray strands of hair framing my narrowed eyes. There I was, working away at a dress, almost comically muttering to myself, looking so disheveled in the privacy of my workshop.

    I looked… How do I describe it? Not normal, for I always am normal, thank you very much, but in that moment I looked… real. Not as perfectly manicured as I always was, be it on our dates or on the job. I looked fallible, messy, real, real, real.

    That was me, she thought. The real me. The Rarity who wasn’t hiding, wasn’t controlling how she was being seen.

    It was searing, really. A flashing, burning pain overwhelming her entirely, because only then did she realize just what exactly she had rejected. She felt terrible. Awful. Like a monster.

    I was just like her, a woman like any other, pricking my fingers and bleeding red like the rest of humanity.

    “Tell her why you’ve rejected me! Tell her why it doesn’t matter that I’m a good person or anything else about me!

    “It’s because I’m a fucking whore! That’s why! Because the things I do with my body matter more than the things I do with my heart!”

    There was no going back. There wasn’t, she was sure of it, even though the very fact she was there meant some silly, foolish part of her believed the opposite.

    And yet, in that split moment, despite the pain, it didn’t matter. She was happy to see me. In love with and endeared by this woman living her life, biting down on her lip, looking up when the door to her boutique opened and Sunset Shimmer strode in.

    That quickly snapped Twilight out of her quiet admiration.

    Sunset?!” the poor dear yelped, slapping her hand over her mouth moments later, as if I could even hear her. Heavens, the money I’d pay to have seen her look of utter horror at Sunset just casually addressing me.

    Quelle horreur! The meeting of the exes! Or, in this case, the exes-but-not-really-but-sort-of.

    Now, dear friend, allow me to leave Twilight alone for a moment, and let us follow Sunset Shimmer into my boutique.

    “Hello!” she greeted, luring my attention away from the dress I’d been struggling with for hours now.

    “Oh, hello! One moment!” I blurted out, a little embarrassed at having been caught in such a casual position. I scrambled off the desk and rushed behind it, perching my glasses atop my head and clearing my throat. “Hello! Welcome to—” I paused and then exclaimed, “It’s you!”

    Sunset was caught off guard, and I imagine she must have been momentarily panicked. How did I know who she was? Did I know about…

    “Sorry? You must have me mistaken. This is the first time I’ve ever been here.”

    I swallowed, embarrassed. “Ah, pardon me, I—Well, you probably don’t remember, but you asked me for directions to the Sunswept District last week. You were on a motorcycle?”

    “I…did?” Sunset’s brow furrowed until she finally remembered the moment we met. “Oh, you’re right! I did! Wow, I can’t believe you remember me from that. You have an amazing memory.”

    I laughed, flattered. “Oh, thank you, but you’re not so easily forgotten, Miss. It’s not often we see someone riding on a motorcycle like those, and if I may be so bold, your hair and fashion style are most striking.”

    Now it was Sunset who was flattered, crossing her arms and flashing me a grin. “Thanks! That’s a big compliment coming from an excellent designer.”

    In retrospect, it’s a good thing Twilight couldn’t listen in, because I can’t imagine how she’d feel at the idea of Sunset and I practically flirting.

    I put my glasses on again, fluttering my eyelashes. “Oh? Excellent designer, she says, not even having looked around my designs in the three minutes she’s been here. You must have quite the eye for fashion then, Miss…”

    “Shimmer,” Sunset said, extending her hand. “Sunset Shimmer.”

    “Sunset Shimmer…? Sounds familiar somehow.” I shook her hand. “Rarity. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

    Meanwhile, Twilight was having a heart attack, no doubt, but I digress.

    “So! Do tell, how can I be of assistance today, Miss Shimmer?” I asked her, clapping my hands together. “Unfortunately, I’m closing for lunch soon, but you’re more than welcome to browse for about fifteen minutes or so?”

    “Oooh. I should be getting lunch soon, too. Any place nearby you recommend?”

    I hummed, tapping my finger against my chin. “Mmmm. There’s a lovely little café on Hammersby Place that I absolutely love. Sundried Summers. They have excellent sandwiches. There’s also a new place that opened up two blocks away from here, Seabreeze’s Delicacies. My beau and I went there yesterday, and the food is quite good.”


    If the word gave her pause, she didn’t show it.

    “I’ll try that one out, then,” she said without missing a beat, charming as ever. “But first, I’ll take a look at the clothes, if that’s okay?”

    I waved her on. “Of course, of course! Let me know if you have any questions.”

    While I busied myself with my dress, she lingered towards the back, the cogs of her mind turning. What would she say to Twilight? Clearly the truth, but how?

    The entrance bell chimed, and she whipped around, for one terrified second thinking Twilight had thrown her fears to the wind and walked right in. To her great relief, it was not Twilight who’d strode in, but a handsome young man with a charming smile.


    “Rift!” I gasped immediately, contrite. I perched my glasses atop my head. “What are you doing here?!”

    “What am I doing here?” he asked with a laugh, going to the desk. “Have lunch with a lovely lady, I thought. Aren’t we?”

    “We are,” I huffed, flustered, while Sunset quietly watched. Though we’d only known each other for so little time, we’d already fallen into a dynamic. Our relationship moved fast, yes, but things tended to move fast when it came to me. “But I’m not ready yet! You’re early!”

    “No, I’m not! Early is on time, on time is late, and late is…” He paused, gesturing me on.

    “Fashionable?” I replied, fluttering my eyelashes.

    “Unforgivable,” he corrected, and when I pouted, he laughed. “It’s true!”

    I put my glasses back on. “Well. Be that as it may, the shop doesn’t close for ten minutes, so go wait for me outside.” I waved him out as he finally noticed Sunset. “Off you go! Shoo! I have a client waiting!”

    “Okay, okay!” He leaned in to give a rather unashamedly long kiss, before striding off towards the door, the bell chiming as he opened it. He then paused and turned to Sunset. “Make sure you buy her entire stock, huh?”

    Sunset couldn’t help a smile. “I’m definitely thinking about it!”


    “Out!” I exclaimed, rolling my eyes good-naturedly. Once we were alone, I turned to Sunset. “Any questions, Miss Shimmer?”

    “No, no!” she replied. “Thanks. I’m good. I might have to come back later to try some things on, I think, but that’s it.”

    “Oh, that’s quite alright. We’ll be open later today, so feel free to stop by then.”

    Sunset didn’t linger any longer after that. She bid me farewell and then exited the shop, finding Twilight standing by, her face pale, pale, pale, and her eyes set on Rift Shield as he lazily leaned against the windowpane.

    Had she been watching? Did she see the kiss?

    “Twilight,” Sunset said, politely. “Let’s go.”

    Twilight didn’t speak. She simply nodded, her eyes tearing away from Rift and burning into her friend’s. And then back to Rift Shield when he spoke.

    “What?” he gasped rather theatrically, looking at Sunset. “What’s the deal? You said you were going to buy my girl’s entire stock!”

    Sunset didn’t miss a beat, falling into a role while being fully aware of Twilight looking like death.

    “Hey, man, I said I was thinking about it, not that I’d do it,” she replied, grinning. She took a step towards Twilight, grabbing her hand and moving them along. “Have a good one!”

    “You, too,” he replied back, waving them off.

    Sunset’s smile vanished when she looked away, giving way for concern. They walked side-by-side, hand in hand, the midday sun glinting off Twilight’s tearful eyes.

    “Maybe this is what you needed,” Sunset said many hours later, the two women sitting under a tree, its branches hiding them from the midnight moon. “For it to be over.”

    “I…” Twilight hugged her knees tighter. “I don’t want it to be over.”

    “But it is, though,” Sunset replied, firmly but kind. “It’s done.” She waited for Twilight to reply, but when she didn’t, Sunset continued. “I don’t… Or, well, I understand, rather. I get why you did it.” When Twilight looked at her questioningly, she took a deep breath. “Why you broke things off with her because she’s… Well, a prostitute.”

    “…You think it was the right thing to do?”

    “No. That’s not what I said.” She laughed. “Why is everyone putting words in my mouth today? Geez.” Her severity returned after a moment. “What you did wasn’t right. And especially not the way you did it. But I get why.”

    “How do I fix things?”

    “With her? You don’t. You can’t. Honestly, you should probably leave her alone.” When Twilight groaned and buried her face in her knees, Sunset scooched over and patted her back. “Hey. Sometimes… Sometimes things don’t work out, Twilight. You can’t always fix them.”

    “Then what am I supposed to do?” Twilight asked quietly. “What do I do now?”

    “You do what you’ve always done. You take note of the results, analyze what you could or could not have done better, and then you keep learning how to be better at it. You try to understand.”

    “Okay,” Twilight said.

    She would understand.

    With or without me.

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    1. A Deer
      Sep 5, 22 at 11:03 pm

      Sunset and Rarity flirting while Twilight’s having a heart attack in the background. But Twilight will survive. She’s not coughing up blood afterall. But this must’ve been hard for Twilight. Moving forward is a hard thing to do and moreso when it feels things are left broken.

    2. platinumSKIES
      Jul 11, 22 at 7:10 am

      Oh gooooood, this is what dying inside feels like.

      At least we have best bro Sunset Shimmer with us… 🙁