March Patreon ficlet!!!
Once upon a time, Rarity asked of Twilight Sparkle a very important favor.
“Twilight,” she’d said, rushing to leave and catch her train to Canterlot, “I am expecting a letter.”
“A letter?” Twilight had asked, watching as the unicorn ran to and fro, making sure she’d not forgotten a thing.
“Yes, a letter,” Rarity asked, wrapping a scarf around her suitcase, and then around her neck when she realised she’s the one who needed the scarf. “A very important letter.” She stopped mid-wrap and looked into Twilight’s eyes with the seriousness of a pony doing a windsor knot. “The most important letter. Ever.”
“Ever!” Rarity screeched, but mostly because she tripped over her suitcase, but it added to the moment, so it was all right. “It’s from Madame Lady’s Review, and it arrives tomorrow. It has some paperwork I need to deliver to the magazine or else I won’t qualify for their event.”
“Right,” Twilight said, levitating Rarity’s luggage into the air before Rarity tried to unpack it a fifth time to add something else. “And you want me to bring it to Canterlot when I go on Saturday.”
“And I want you to bring it to—Oh! Yes. That! Also, put my luggage down, I’m not done packing.”
“Actually, you are because you’re going to miss your train if you’re not.” She levitated the door open, handing the luggage to the unicorn as she rushed out after a quick goodbye kiss. When Rarity stopped and turned to her, Twilight smiled. “I won’t forget your letter.”
“I won’t. Go!”
When Twilight arrived at Rarity’s Canterlot Boutique that Saturday evening, carrying with her single suitcase for the weekend, she was surprised to find an imposing older unicorn mare touring the closed shop.
She was wearing the largest winter hat Twilight had ever seen, along with the thickest winter coat she’d also ever seen, and that was saying something considering she was dating Rarity.
Rarity was there, too, animatedly talking to the older mare and even more so when she caught sight of the young princess stepping in.
“Darling, you’re here! Finally.” She gestured Twilight over. “Come, come!”
“Hello!” Twilight greeted enthusiastically. She looked to the stranger. “Nice to meet you, Miss…?”
“Madame, please. I’m certainly not a miss anymore. Though you may call me Lady,” the mare replied, her voice big and booming. “And I’ve heard of you, of course, Princess.” She bowed her head. “A pleasure.”
“How was the trip, dearest?” Rarity asked, brushing a hoof against Twilight’s shoulder. “Not too bad?”
“It was okay,” Twilight replied. “I’m just tired. Stayed up too late doing research.”
“In that case, I won’t take much more of your time, Rarity,” Lady said. “I have to stop by the offices. I need to finalize everything tonight. Work never ends, I tell you!”
“Work?” Twilight asked, perking up. “What do you do, if I can ask?”
“I’m a writer,” Lady explained. “Or, was! I am now the editor-in-chief of one of Canterlot’s premiere fashion magazines. Madame Lady’s Review.”
Twilight’s eyes grew wide and she tapped her hoof against her chin.
Madame Lady was very pleased, taking that as a sign of approval on the princess’ behalf.
Twilight and Rarity could read each other perfectly, you see. They didn’t have to even exchange words! In a single moment’s glance, just a look into each other’s eyes, and an entire conversation could be had.
Conversations such as “Are you even listening to what this duke is saying?” “Yes, unfortunately, and I’m all out of wine.” Or, “Darling. Darling. Please.” “No, you don’t need that personal sauna bubble chair.”
In this particular instance, Rarity lovingly staring into Twilight’s wide eyes, the following tacit conversation took place:
“You forgot the letter, didn’t you?”
“Would it help to say that I love you very much?”
“I am going to murder you.”
“Well,” Rarity said in bed a few hours later, looking through her agenda. “Now that my October has unexpectedly freed up, I should tell Rainbow Dash I’ll be able to attend her Wonderbolts party after all.”
“I’m so sorry, Rarity,” Twilight repeated for the upteenth time, hiding under the covers. How could she FORGET? Well, she knew exactly how she forgot. She took it out of the suitcase because it was at the bottom, and she didn’t want it to get wrinkled, and then she thought it would be better to put it in a proper paper protector sleeve, but then she couldn’t find them, so she stayed up all night organizing her office, and then suddenly she was late for the train, and she—
“It’s fine,” the unicorn replied, scribbling away in her agenda. She pointedly didn’t look at Twilight, not that Twilight would know because she was hiding under the covers, but she could feel Rarity’s non-staring. It was piercing in a non-looking way.
That made sense, right?
“You’re not upset?” Twilight asked, peering at her from under the covers.
Rarity bit her lip. “No, I’m not,” she replied a moment later.
“You are, though.”
Another pause, and the unicorn said, “Define upset.”
Twilight knew that a groaned “mmmmnnnnhnnngh” defined buck-all, but it certainly got something across.
“Do I want to break-up with you? Certainly not,” Rarity mused. “Did I think about breaking up with you as I explained to Madame Lady herself why I’d decided not to participate in the event I’d hassled her for months to allow me to participate in? No, but almost.”
Twilight took the covers off, her ears plastered against her skull. “How can I make this up to you? There has to be something I can do.” Her eyes landed on her crown resting on the sofa. “I’m a princess. Surely if I ask her, she’ll let you submit your paperwork past the deadline.”
Rarity smiled thinly. “And add fire to the burning Canterlot rumors that I’m dating you solely for your status? I’d rather not.”
“Twilight,” Rarity cut-off, still staring at her agenda. “Please. Drop it.”
But Twilight couldn’t. “What if I get your mail for you every day for the rest of the year?”
When Rarity finally turned to her after the longest pause in the entire world, their eyes met and the following tacit conversation ensued:
“Twilight, I am losing my mind. Internally, I am screaming with such burning intensity at how ridiculous that is, that I have deafened Equestria and beyond. Ears are bleeding, Twilight. Oozing blood, leaving in their eardrum-torn wake an eternal screech that will be like that condition where you hear a never-ending beep—”
“Yes, that, but beautiful and somehow worse all at once. And forever. Eternal. They shall call it Raritinnitus.”
“I’ll get your mail for you for the rest of your life.”
Rarity looked away. “Alright, then.”
“Twilight,” Rarity said, as Twilight deposited her mail on her kitchen table at six am as she had for the past months. “You really don’t have to keep doing this. It’s been months.”
Twilight looked at her marefriend. “Has this made up for you missing the show?”
“Yes,” Rarity replied with a falter. When Twilight gave her A Look, Rarity whined with great frustration. “No, but nothing will! I just need to get over it, plain and simple. Bringing me my mail every day will do nothing to change that!” She looked through her mail and then said, “On the other hoof, at this point you’ve overcompensated so much that you might just circle back into somehow making up for it.”
“Oh,” replied the alicorn, her shoulder hunching over. “Is there really nothing I can do?”
Rarity hummed, her eyes searching her beloved. “If you stop getting my mail every day out of guilt, you have my word I’ll let you know if I think of something. Alright?”
Many months later—March 1st, to be precise—Twilight was having a wonderful picnic with Fluttershy and Applejack on a sunny Sunday afternoon, just like they did every Sunday since Applejack and Fluttershy had started dating and Rarity insisted they all needed to go on double-dates.
Unfortunately, Rarity wasn’t there that day.
She hadn’t attended the past three Sunday picnics, in fact, which was strange. Truth be told, Rarity had been acting a little… odd, in the past weeks. Not upset, really, but just… strange. So many times, when Rarity looked into Twilight’s eyes for a second too long, the alicorn got the distinct impression the unicorn was trying to convey something.
Or get something out of Twilight.
But, for the life of her, Twilight didn’t know what it was, and the times she’d asked, Rarity had said all was well. And she’d meant it. It was clear that she meant it, and yet! And yet, something was there. Or missing. Or something!
“Girls,” Twilight said, affecting a serious tone as she scarfed down her sixth sandwich. “Do you two know if there’s something going with Rarity?”
“Wrong with Rarity?” Applejack asked, lying on the blanket as Fluttershy braided her long, yellow mane. “Don’t think so.”
“I haven’t noticed anything,” Fluttershy added, her brow furrowing with concern. “Why do you ask?”
Twilight faltered. “I… I think something is going on?” she said. “But I don’t know what.”
“Have you asked her?” Applejack inquired.
“What did she say?”
“That everything is fine.”
“Then everything is fine!” Applejack exclaimed, clearly finding the matter settled because Applejack lived in a world where everyone said how they felt when prompted and Twilight found that both profoundly inspiring and misguided.
“Mmm,” said Fluttershy, who lived in a world where ponies often hid how they felt, including herself. “Did she do the gesture?”
Applejack raised an eyebrow. “The gesture?”
“She didn’t do the gesture! That’s the problem! She didn’t do it, but I can still tell something is off!”
“Oh my… But… if she didn’t do the gesture, then…”
“What’s the gesture?” Applejack asked with somewhat of a huff. “Will somepony tell me?”
Fluttershy turned to her marefriend and bit her lower lip.
“What?” Applejack asked. “Is it a secret or somethin’?”
“No, that’s the gesture,” Twilight replied. “Whenever Rarity’s about to lie about how she feels, she bites her lip before answering. It’s her tell.”
“Well, I’ll be! That’s mighty useful to know.” She turned to her marefriend. “Do I have a tell?”
Fluttershy laughed, stroking Applejack’s cheek. “You do. Not for lying, because you don’t, but you have one for when you’re a little upset.”
Fluttershy nodded. “Mmm. Your nose scrunches up. That’s how I knew you didn’t really like the food you ordered at Le Bistro Escargot.”
“Wait, Le Bistro Escargot?” Twilight asked, pleased to learn this information. “That’s Rarity’s favorite restaurant! When did you go?”
“Last month,” Applejack replied.
“For Hearts and Hooves day,” Fluttershy finished.
Twilight’s eyes grew wide and she tapped her hoof against her chin.
Applejack smiled, similarly pleased. “Eeyup! Took her to the fanciest place in town, isn’t that right, honeycom—” She cut herself off, catching Fluttershy looking quite distraught. “What’s wrong with you?”
Fluttershy winced. “Oh. Uhm. Well. One of Twilight’s tells for when she’s realized she’s done something wrong is to say ‘oh’ and tap her chin,” she explained.
Applejack’s gaze fell on the alicorn, her nose scrunching up. “What did you do wrong, sugarcube?”
“Well,” Twilight replied, her voice quite small, “I just realized I forgot about Hearts and Hooves.”
“Now, hold on. As in you forgot it had happened recently, or—”
“As in there was a Starswirl convention in Manehattan during the weekend of the 14th of February, and I went to that instead of celebrating the holiday with Rarity because I forgot Hearts and Hooves was even a thing.”
“But… didn’t Rarity say anything?” Fluttershy asked.
“…No,” Twilight replied, burying her face in her hooves. “She was there with me when I bought my train tickets! She just… She didn’t say anything! Is that what’s wrong?! Why wouldn’t she say anything?!”
“Maybe she thought you cared more about your convention,” Applejack mused, “which, you did.”
“Applejack, don’t say that,” Fluttershy chastised, even though Applejack was right.
And Twilight knew it.
But when Twilight had asked Rarity if anything was wrong, Rarity had said everything was fine! And she didn’t even do the gesture!
…Unless she knows her own tells?!
“It’s okay,” Twilight suddenly said, taking her face out of her hooves. “I’ll make it up to her.”
Exactly a week later, Twilight tried to look dashing rather than tired as she rowed Rarity and herself across a moonlit lake. Normally, rowing a little boat wouldn’t be tiring at all for the princess, but to be fair, this was coming off the heels of an extravagant dinner, and a lovely picnic, and waking up at six in the morning to prepare Rarity the best breakfast she’d had in her entire life.
“Oh, darling,” Rarity said, completely enamored by the alicorn, “today has been truly something else.”
“Good!” Twilight replied, putting the oars down so as to hold Rarity’s hoof, and also give her forelegs a break but that was beyond the point. “I’m glad, Rarity. You deserve a wonderful date, and I wanted to give you one.”
“Do I? My, my!” Rarity giggled. “Well, your highness, you have certainly delivered that and more. Though…” She tilted her head to the side. “What’s the occasion?”
“Occasion?” Twilight did not yelp. She said it in a very composed manner. She did! “There’s no occasion. I just wanted to take you out on a simple date.”
Rarity laughed. “A simple date? This is a simple date? My! Is this how all of our dates are going to be, then?”
“No,” Twilight replied. “Just this one.”
“Just this one!” Rarity leaned in and offered a dazzling smile. “Just because?”
Twilight licked her lips. “Mm. Just because.”
Rarity admired her for a moment, and then smiled slyly. “You’re lying, Princess Twilight Sparkle. And don’t try to deny it.”
“W-What?” Twilight protested, cheeks flushing. “No, I’m not!”
“But you are.”
“But I’m not! Why would you think I am?”
“Ah, ah, ah!” Rarity tapped the tip of Twilight’s nose. “A lady never tells a tell.” She leaned back. “So? Out with it, dearest.”
“…Alright, fine!” Twilight exclaimed. “I’m trying to make up for the fact that I went to the Starswirl convention last month and completely forgot about Hearts and Hooves day!”
“Aaaaah. I see.”
“Why didn’t you say anything?” Twilight asked, distraught. “I wouldn’t have gone if you’d reminded me! I didn’t mean to forget!”
“Darling, darling!” Rarity said, her voice soothing as she grabbed Twilight’s hoof. “Twilight, it’s fine! I’m not upset. I never was!”
“But—but why didn’t you say anything?”
Rarity mulled her answer over. “Well, because I know how excited you were about your little event. If I told you, you would have stayed in Ponyville just for me, and I wouldn’t have wanted that. Either that, or you’d have insisted I go along with you, and I must confess I was happier spending the day at the spa over being surrounded by Swirlies with, ah, dubious sanitary routines.
“And besides,” she continued, “I also…” She fell silent, biting her lips and pressing a hoof against her neck, which was not a tell for her lying, but a tell for her having done something mischievous.
“You also what?” Twilight prompted, raising an eyebrow.
Rarity leaned back, trying quite hard not to laugh guilty. “Weeeeell… I will admit that after seeing just how much you overcompensated about forgetting my Madame Lady paperwork, I was slightly curious to see what kind of overcompensating date you’d take me on when you realized you forgot Hearts and Hooves.”
As Twilight’s narrowed eyes stared straight into Rarity’s fluttering, loving ones, the following tacit conversation took place:
“Would it help to say that yours is the only beating heart that keeps me alive every day?”
“I am going to murder you.”
“A crime of passion? Oooh! Just make sure I leave behind a lovely corpse.”
Finally, Twilight Sparkle broke into a smile, endeared by the giggling unicorn before her.
“Please. Please tell me I’ve finally made up for that stupid letter.”
“You have,” Rarity replied in a smitten whisper, “in full.”
This was supposed to be 500 words long but then I don’t know what the eff happened ANYWAY I HOPE YOU LIKE IT!!!!! Because I do. It’s been a rough month and it’s nice to see I can STILL WRITE CUTE STUFF!!!