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    It was common knowledge to ponies from all around that Princess Rarity was one of the most sought after mares in the land.

    How many mares and stallions of noble houses had tried in vain to steal her heart and all that came with it? More than the maids, butlers, and servants of the castle could count or even remember when day after day, month after month, dignitaries from all over returned to their lands with their tails between their hindlegs.

    Nopony knew what made it so difficult to woo the Princess. She, who spent hours immersed in books of romance and fairytales, should so easily fall into the hooves of a suitor, and yet she hadn’t. There were some who pinned it on her upbringing, on the fact that a princess’s heart belonged first to her nation, not to herself.

    “None of them can bring better lands to our kingdom!” a butler said, watching with contempt as yet another noble was politely rejected.

    “Maybe she’s already in love,” a maid suggested, giggling afterwards.

    “Whatever it is, I bet her shadow knows,” another one added.

    Wherever Rarity went, four guards trailed behind her at all times. It was certainly not out of the ordinary, for every prince and princess, king and queen had escorts with them wherever they went. In Rarity’s case, however, though the faces of her four guards would change every so often, a fifth guard was always with her.

    Princess Rarity’s Shadow.

    A unicorn mare, to be exact, who without her armor would be nothing out of the ordinary. Foreigners to the castle would always look at her with a suspicious gaze, seeing as her own gaze was lost, away from Rarity, unattentive to the princess as if the guard wasn’t really interested in protecting her.

    The locals, though, never questioned or doubted this for they knew that Princess Rarity was not in safer hooves than those of Twilight Sparkle.

    Guards, the usual kind, the ones that came and went every three days, would always have their eyes on the Princess. Meanwhile, Twilight Sparkle would focus on everything else, if only because she cared for Rarity more than anypony in the land. To a passing guard, a curtain would be a curtain, elegant in its design if a bit bulky. To Twilight Sparkle, it was a potential hiding place for an assassin, who could harm the life of the mare who, like many others, she’d surrendered her heart to.

    Unfortunately, it was difficult to protect a princess when you had no forsaken idea of where she was.

    “Welcome to Equestria’s Annual Masquerade Ball!” a sign read, which Twilight glared at through her pink mask.

    It wasn’t that Twilight disliked masquerade balls — far from it, in fact — but to her immense displeasure, she had been forbidden from escorting Rarity to the ball herself. Even though it upset her (for strictly job-related reasons, thank you very much), Twilight could understand that Rarity didn’t want her around all the time, and it wasn’t like this had never happened before.

    In any normal ball, spotting Rarity had been as easy as reading books on complicated magic spells. This time, though, as she watched dozen upon dozen of ponies dressed in extravagant costumes and masks, Twilight knew that finding Rarity would be no easy task.

    “You know, maybe she just wanted a break from you,” Rainbow Dash suggested, fidgeting with the black mask over her face. “Or maybe she wants to do something fun, but she knows you’ll be a party pooper about it if you find out.”

    Twilight looked away from the crowd. “I thought you weren’t going to come. Masquerade balls aren’t really… a mercenary’s go-to event.”

    Rainbow shrugged. “Nah, but Shy asked me to do it. I just told her that she shouldn’t be expecting me to join in you-know-what. I’m just here for the grub.” She then raised an eyebrow and playfully poked Twilight on the ribs. “But you’re here for something else, huuuuh?”

    “I’m here because of my job,” Twilight quickly replied.

    “Because of your job, or because you wanna get it on with your jo—”

    “Miss? Excuse me, Miss?” a mare said, thankfully cutting off Rainbow’s reply.

    Twilight blinked, looking away from Rainbow and finding a costumed mare addressing her. For a moment, she wasn’t sure how or if she even should reply. As a guard, she was used to nopony addressing her, no less a member of nobility.

    “Oh, uh, yes? How can I help you?” she asked immediately, fidgeting in her dress and feeling rather awkward in her get-up. Why hadn’t she been allowed to use her normal body armor?

    “Excuse me, have you two attended these balls before?” the mare bashfully asked, and even with the mask on, Twilight could tell she was blushing.

    “Yes, I have,” Twilight replied, trying to speak over Rainbow’s snorted ‘yeah, right!”

    The mare, pleased by this, straightened herself up a bit and asked, “Would you happen to know what Princess Rarity will be wearing? I heard she’s quite recognizable!”

    Twilight’s first instinct was to ask why was the mare interested in knowing Rarity’s location, and who was she, and that she should know Princess Rarity has the best protection in Equestria, so if she’s even thinking of—

    “Well, it’s a costumed ball, y’know. Not knowing who everypony is is kinda the point,” Rainbow said.

    The mare laughed. “I guess… You know, the king invited me and my family personally,” she continued, whispering to Twilight and Rainbow in a conspiratorial voice. Her blush returned, and she added, “I think the Princess and I have gotten along… rather well these past days, and perhaps she’d be interested in my company~!”

    “… Your company?” Twilight asked, flatly.

    The mare giggled again. “Maybe we’ll even move somewhere intimate~! It’s no secret that her father has long been interested in my father’s lands! I’m sure they’d be more than thrilled~!”

    For a painful moment, Twilight wondered if King Belle would be interested in the small but well cared for book collection in her room.

    “Well, wish me luck! Maybe I’ll be wearing her mask in a few hours~!” the mare exclaimed with a giggle, waving airily at the incognito bodyguard and then following the crowd into the ballroom, leaving Twilight there to feel sick.

    Midnight, of course, was the moment where the masks came off, where the disguises vanished, and everyone revealed themselves for who they were. Older ponies thought of it as a fun tradition, but younger ponies — those in the same age rank as Twilight and Rarity — thought of the entire event as an opportunity to flirt the night away with some mysterious stranger. If, at the end of the night, they both liked each other, they would then trade masks as a sign of their mutual affection.

    “Hey, looks like you’ve got competition, Sparkle,” Dash exclaimed, trotting towards the open door. “Better find your princess quick!”

    Twilight watched her go, memories flooding her mind. She remembered how Rarity used to be a few years ago, when Twilight had barely served a year as her bodyguard. She remembered how viciously the princess flirted about, without a care for consequences or risks, and how she’d leave a trail of broken hearts when she refused to trade masks with anypony.

    It was this memory that made Twilight worry about how successful the mare would be at wooing Rarity that night, and yet… and yet, truth be told, Rarity had barely paid attention to anypony else during the last few masquerade balls. Her attention had always been on Twilight or Fluttershy.

    Maybe she’d outgrown the whole flirting business?

    You’re not here for some silly tradition, Twilight, she scolded herself, shaking her head and finally making her way towards the ball. You’re here to work.

    The ballroom, as immense as it was crowded, was truly a sight to behold. Decorations of all kinds hung from the ceiling, alongside several old chandeliers illuminating the room with several hundred candles. There was a refreshment bar at the end of the room, which one could only get to if they were brave enough to venture into the sea of ponies and creatures dancing around, their costumes taking up as much space as possible.

    Nobles, after all, did little to try and hide who they were, or how expensive their outfits were, much like their princess, who’d no doubt made sure she waltzed around in the most extravagant dress in the kingdom.

    Twilight pushed her way through the crowd, confronted with the most unusual of events: nobles smiling and greeting her, as if she were one of them and not a lowly echelon in the ladder of social classes. In fact, she rather liked it, being treated as an equal and not the guard they didn’t even bother to acknowledge.

    “Masquerade balls are quite enchanting, aren’t they?” a mare asked, swirling the wine in her glass.

    “They’re actually a very good political strategy,” Twilight replied, slightly delighting in how everypony was giving her serious looks, like what she meant mattered to them. “It’s a very good opportunity to talk business without the distraction of social standings and prejudices that come with knowing who you’re talking to.”

    A stallion laughed. “Lord, I don’t think I can take that risk. What if I end up discussing with the Duke of Trottingham? I’d throw my drink in his face the second he takes off his mask.”

    Twilight opened her mouth to reply, but a loud boisterous laugh cut her off instead. It filled the room, making no attempt at hiding how it wanted to be the center of everypony’s attention.

    “Ah, and last our Princess makes her appearance!” the stallion snorted, taking a sip of his drink. “Loud as ever, too.”

    Twilight turned around, her eyes settling on a mare being trailed by several smitten ponies, avoiding to step on her long green dress. Her purple mane was tied up in a bun and her face was entirely hidden behind a red mask inlaid with rubies and sapphires. Behind her, four ponies followed her and her entourage, and Twilight frowned at just what a poor job they’d done at hiding the hilt of their swords.

    To anypony in that room, it would seem that Princess Rarity couldn’t care less about hiding her presence, and yet… and yet being Rarity’s shadow for years meant she knew Rarity perfectly. She knew, for starters, that Rarity would never wear a dress that didn’t match her mask to perfection, and she knew perfectly well that Rarity would rather die than let her dress drag on the floor like that.

    Who was the impostor, anyway?

    Twilight racked her brains, trying to pinpoint which one of Rarity’s friends would agree to pose as her. She was positive it couldn’t be Fluttershy, and she knew Silk Snow had a date for the ball, and—

    “You know, I’ll have to have a word with Winter Swirl tomorrow because I act nothing like that,” a mare said, standing next to Twilight, her unimpressed eyes staring at the impostor through her elegant blue mask.

    Another mare stood on the other side of the bodyguard, her gentle laugh revealing the identity behind the green mask. “Well, sometimes…”

    “What do you mean ‘sometimes?” Rarity, the real one, scoffed, indignation ringing in her voice. “I do not!” She turned to Twilight, gesturing to Fluttershy. “Twilight! Tell her!”

    Despite herself, and despite the desire to scold Rarity for having somepony impersonate her, Twilight couldn’t stop a giggle. “Well, Your Highness, to be honest…” she said, barely hiding her smile when Rarity let out an offended gasp. She cleared her throat and frowned. “Princess—”

    “Tut, tut! Don’t call me that!” Rarity chastised. “I am now… Lady Platinum!”

    Twilight nearly rolled her eyes. “Lady Platinum, why is Winter Swirl imitating you? And why is your entire royal guard following after her?”

    “You call that an imitatio—”


    Rarity rolled her eyes and let out a theatrical sigh. “Twilight, to my knowledge, no pony has ever been assassinated at a ball, so will you please stop worrying and enjoy yourself?” she asked. “I didn’t have Winter Swirl make a mockery of myself so you’d sit here and frown at me.”

    But, Princess—

    Lady Platinum,” Rarity continued, lifting her hoof, “And, if you must know, my royal guard all know they’re following an impostor, and they’ve been taking turns to check up on me. So there.”


    “Now, Twi, you know how she is,” Applejack said, having joined the trio. As Fluttershy’s bodyguard, it was natural for her to be close by, and Twilight felt thankful that this meant Rarity hadn’t really been unprotected. “Nothing you say is going to change her mind. Believe me, I tried. Ain’t that right, Princess?”

    “Pardon me, darlings, but Princess Rarity is over there,” the Princess said, fluttering her eyelashes. “I am nothing but a simple lady trying to enjoy her evening and finally doing something that’s sorely overdue.”

    Twilight raised her eyebrow playfully. “Spy on your subjects for gossip?”

    “Twilight! I’d never do that!” Rarity gasped, hoof against her chest, until her offended expression shifted into an innocent one. “I’d get you to do that for me, of course!”

    Twilight rolled her eyes. “Of course.”

    “And besides, that’s not what I was going to say! I was going to say that, for once, it’d be nice to spend time with you as a friend, and not my shadow, as everypony loves to call you.”

    You started that trend.”

    “That’s completely besides the point!”

    Rarity stepped forwards, gesturing to the crowd. “Look at them! Don’t you want to join them? Don’t you want to dance? Do you even know how to dance? See, you don’t!”

    Twilight stepped forwards. “What? Yes, I do!”

    Rarity snorted. “Twilight. Do excuse me, but ‘trashing about’ hardly counts as dancing.”

    An embarrassed Twilight wished the mask covered all of her face, rather than just her eyes.

    “Girls! You’ll have to excuse us for a moment,” Rarity said, trotting over and taking one of Twilight’s forehooves. “Somepony ought to teach this mare the ways of waltz.”

    The loud music drowned out Twilight’s protests, and Rarity dragged her away, but rather than lead her to the dance floor, they ended up near the refreshment bar. All sorts of delicious-looking treats were placed in an orderly fashion, each as mouthwatering as the next.

    Rarity bit down on her lip, her hoof hovering over the food, but instead, her horn lit up and two glasses of wine floated towards her, one of which she gave to Twilight.

    “So!” she exclaimed, whipping herself around, taking a sip of wine and regarding the crowd. “What’s our plan of attack?”

    Twilight raised an eyebrow, discreetly putting the glass back on the table. “Our plan of attack? I thought we were going to dance?”

    Rarity waved her off with a hoof. “Heavens no, I just needed an excuse to give Fluttershy some space. That mare needs to learn to flirt a little without me there to guide her. You know, I noticed earlier this sta—” She cut herself off. “Twilight, where—” She looked around and saw the guard’s missing glass on the table.

    “As I was saying,” she continued, levitating the glass and forcefully shoving it against Twilight, “I noticed this stallion trailing after Fluttershy, and if I’m not mistaken, he’s the Duke of No— Twilight, will you stop that?!”

    “Stop what?” Twilight asked, pretending she hadn’t again put the glass of wine back on the table. Upon receiving a pointed stare, she felt her cheeks heat up. “Princess, I’m on duty.”

    “No, you are not,” Rarity replied, taking the glass again, and again, and again when Twilight kept putting back on the table. “You are here to have fun, and let me tell you, if you truly are on duty, then you’re doing a ghastly job because Princess Rarity is over…there…”

    Rarity’s pointed hoof moved away from ‘Princess Rarity’ and came slamming on Twilight’s chest. “Please tell me she’s not dragging my Saddle Arabian imported silk dress on the floor.”

    Twilight giggled, levitating her glass of wine towards Rarity. “I think you’ll be needing this more than I will, Lady Platinum.”

    Rarity rolled her eyes.

    “Har har,” she said, pushing the glass back towards Twilight. “You know how many guards would be jumping through hoops for the chance of drinking with me? Can’t you at least indulge me?”

    Twilight bit down on her lip, ever weak for the Princess’s expert puppy eyes. “Fine,” she said, rolling her eyes at Rarity’s delighted smile and finally taking a sip of the tangy wine.

    Rarity was right, though, wasn’t she? There were guards out there who’d gallop over each other just for the chance to talk with Rarity as casually as Twilight was allowed to. What was routine for her was the highest dream to others. Long ago, even Twilight herself had been awed and intimidated by the unicorn, when just the idea of interrupting Rarity was nigh unthinkable.

    But now? How many times had she practically scolded Rarity with please go to sleep, we have to be up at seven o’clock. No, I can’t go in your place. Yes, I promise I’ll sit through it with you, I don’t have a choice, Your Highness. No, I didn’t mean for it to sound like that and, no, for the last time, I am not staging an assassination just so you can get out of it!

    “Don’t you ever think of all the things we could get away with tonight?” Rarity asked suddenly, surveying the crowd. “I could just get up and leave, never come back, and since nopony will know who I was, I’ll be the beautiful princess who vanished during a masquerade ball.” She then leaned against Twilight, sighing. “You wouldn’t tell on me, would you, Twilight?”

    “I wouldn’t have to,” Twilight replied, smiling innocently. “You’ll come back the second you realize daily spa sessions aren’t included in the runaway princess lifestyle.”

    Rarity pulled back, indignant. “I would not!” she protested, and upon receiving a pointed stare, she harrumphed. “You know me so well, and I hate it.”

    “It’s my job, Lady Platinum,” Twilight replied, straightening up a little, having a hard time biting down a giggle when Rarity replied by curving her lips into a playful smile.

    “It is, isn’t it?” Rarity said, leaning against Twilight, as if she delighted in the fact that she was required to be Twilight’s entire focus of attention — which she was, and not just because it was Twilight’s job.

    If it really was just because she was a bodyguard, then it would be enough to just know the Princess’s schedule, her most common habits, and her personal entourage. The difference, in Twilight’s case, was that though her job required her to know the Princess, it was her ever-growing affection that nearly forced her to gather as much information as possible on Rarity.

    Rarity had wanted to dance earlier, but that wasn’t necessary when their entire relationship was a dance. A constant sway, eternally brushing the thin line separating a diplomatic relationship and the something more, something else that Twilight could only dream of in those quiet hours at night, or when Rarity looked at her for too long, smiled at her too gently, stood too close.

    Twilight saw the differences, too. Iron Accord, King Belle’s bodyguard, didn’t act at all with the king like Twilight did with Rarity. Accord and the king never seemed to speak, and though Accord was always there, the king barely acknowledged him.

    Rarity, however…

    Rarity constantly sought Twilight’s presence, in every way and shape, silently or loudly. She remembered, one time, Iron Accord having told her that King Belle barely knew anything about Accord’s life, and yet Twilight felt as if Rarity had pried her entire life out of her.

    “Princess Rarity!”

    Brought back to reality, Twilight looked around to find a stallion next to them, his voice outing him as Duke Fancy Pants.

    Moi? Goodness, Lord Fancy, whatever do you mean? I am Lady Platinum!” Rarity said. “Princess Rarity is over there, losing every… shred… of dignity.”

    Fancy Pants laughed. “Yes. I fear you could have made a wiser choice with your replacement, my dear.” He then turned back to Rarity and lifted his glass. “So, my dear Platinum, any chance you’ll be wearing a different mask after midnight? It’s the talk of the ball!”

    “As it should be!” Rarity replied, laughing haughtily. However, just as fast did she let out a theatrical sigh. “I just don’t know! Every year, I’m offered cucumber sandwiches when all I want is something with a bit more of a punch!” She turned to Twilight, and smiling, asked, “Twilight, darling? What do you think? Any potential candidates you’d like to point out?”

    Twilight froze. How… How was she expected to reply to that without her reply being, well, herself?

    “Uhm… I could use some punch, actually,” she eloquently replied. “S-Some real punch, I mean!” she added, quickly levitating her glass of wine.

    Good going, Twilight. Good going.

    She noticed Rarity looking at her with a slight air of disappointment, but before she could be sure of it, Rarity’s expression shifted into a playful one and she levitated a glass of punch towards her guard. “Here. Satisfy your poor taste in beverages.”

    “Dear, I must say your costume is splendid!” Fancy said, redirecting the conversation towards himself. “Your own work?”

    “Why, yes! Though it’s hardly effective if you recognized me.”

    “Not at all! Your costume had nothing to do with it.”

    Rarity blinked. “No?”

    “It had to do with the fact that this lovely mare was nowhere near Princess Rarity. I knew that rather than look for you, I needed to look for Twilight and you’d be there next to her,” Fancy replied, bowing his head to Twilight. “Isn’t that right, Twilight?”


    “Twilight!” Rarity gasped, playfully tapping Twilight her hoof. “How terrible! You’re going to give me away to everypony! Shame on you!”

    Her anger was short-lived, though, and she quickly set off to continue her talk with Fancy Pants. Twilight, on the other hoof, was now lost to her own delusions and fears as she realized that, indeed, she herself was the key to giving away Rarity’s location.

    Sure, at a ball, the worst that could happen was that some uppity noble (excluding Fancy Pants) found the princess and tried to talk to her, but what if Rarity really did have to hide her presence one day? Would that mean Twilight would have to spend the entire time with an impostor while Rarity was out there with some guard who didn’t know Rarity like Twilight did? And what if something happened to Rarity, and Twilight would then have to live with the knowledge that she could have prevented it, but what if she couldn’t have because she would have brought attention to—


    Twilight blinked, noticing Fancy and Rarity staring right at her.

    “Fancy Pants was just saying goodbye, Twilight,” Rarity said, gesturing to the Duke with an expression that clearly meant Twilight had rudely zoned out.

    “Oh, er, sorry, Lord Fancy Pants!” she quickly blurted out, bowing down to him. “It was nice seeing you.”

    “And you, Twilight! Do keep up the good work,” he said, nodding his head to her. He then turned to Rarity and nodded his head. “Your Highness, or rather, Not-Your Highness.”

    Once Fancy Pants had gotten lost in the crowd, Twilight turned to Rarity, and she assumed her horror must have been visible on her face if Rarity’s raised eyebrow was anything to go by.

    “Is something wrong?” the Princess asked.

    “Your Highness! Didn’t you listen to him?! He found you because of me!” she exclaimed, hoping and failing to find any sign of Rarity recognizing the gravity of what this meant.

    “Well, I should hope so, darling, or else you’d be a terrible bodyguard.”

    “But—! Doesn’t that worry you? I’m a dead giveaway to your location! And that means that you’d actually be safer without me next to you than with me next to you!”

    Rarity smiled. “And what do you suggest? Shall I get a new bodyguard? Captain Armor told me Daisy Twigs is climbing up the ranks, and I’m sure she’ll be more than happy to be my new midnight card game companion.” She put a hoof on her chin. “Then again, Rift Shield is quite the soldier and conversationalist, if you look past his odd obsession with changelings. Firestorm is also—”

    “Okay, okay, I get it.”

    Rarity giggled. “Darling, honestly, I think of it more like a warning sign, telling any potential assassin that they’ll always have to get through you first,” she said, lifting her hoof to adjust Twilight’s mask. “And besides, we’ll both have much more serious things to worry about soon.”

    Twilight blinked. “What? What do you mean, ‘we’ll have much more serious things to worry about’?” she asked, heart thumping in her chest. “Is something going to happen? Is something wrong? Do I need to get other guar—”

    “You’ll see, Twilight. You’ll see,” Rarity said, smiling and trotting off. “Come now! Time to mingle while we’re still single!”

    Torture was the only word that could accurately describe the following hour for Twilight. Torture and worry while Rarity mingled with the crowd, not a care in the world, as though she’d never said a thing. In fact, the more Twilight worried about what the hay could she have meant, the more she realized Rarity seemed to be avoiding her gaze.

    Finally, after the thirtieth noble she’d watch Rarity converse with, Twilight had had enough.

    “Lady Platinum?” she said, catching Rarity’s attention before somepony else did.

    Rarity didn’t reply at first, and instead looked towards the clock hanging above one of the walls.

    “It’s nearly midnight, isn’t it?” she said, adjusting her mask and brushing a lock of her mane out of her face. “I can’t wait to see everypony’s shock when they realize they’ve been following the wrong princess all night!”

    Your Highness?” Twilight asked again, forcefully. “What did you mean when you said we’d have more things to worry about?”

    “Twilight, you know everything, don’t you?” Rarity asked, annoyingly avoiding the question.

    “Yes,” Twilight replied. “Well, no. A lot of things. Not everything, because I still haven’t read the Dark Magic Theorems and—”

    “Twilight, just say yes,” Rarity quickly replied, and once more, she kept avoiding Twilight’s gaze, as Twilight knew her to do when she was nervous or worried.

    Reluctantly, Twilight did as ordered. “Yes.”

    Rarity took a deep breath and then let it out in a very slow motion. What was she going to say? Was she going to fire Twilight? Was she going to confess to something terrible? What?!

    “Twilight, hypothetically speaking, if I were to have a romance with…” She drifted off, a red tinge on her cheeks. She cleared her throat and continued, “If I were to have a romance with a ‘commoner’ as it were, what would be the worst that could happen?”

    It was odd to say that it felt as though everything but Twilight had stopped. It felt like the dancers were all waiting in place, like the music faded to a hum, the entire world waiting with bated breath for Twilight to finish processing the question.

    And yet, even though everything else came to a stop, Twilight herself felt everything within her accelerate; her heart, her breathing, her neurones, all struggling to keep calm.

    “What?” she finally blurted out, as eloquent as ever when faced with a question that may or may not be indirectly hinting at something she’d both longed for and feared for quite some time.

    Rarity took another breath and repeated the question, dropping the hypothetical aspect and using pronouns now, which only further accelerated Twilight’s heart.

    If I were to have a romance with somepony below nobility, what would be the consequences for her and I?

    “H-Her?” Twilight asked.

    “Her,” Rarity replied, finally turning to look at Twilight and moving her body around so she’d be directly facing the bodyguard, wordlessly letting her know that indirect teasings were now going to be a thing of the past. “So?”

    “I— I— Well—” The words stumbled out of Twilight’s mouth, her cheeks turning redder than they’d probably ever been. “Hypothetically speaking! Hypothetically, hypothetically, purely hypothetically spea—”

    Rarity took a step forwards. “Mh-hm?”

    “Hypothetically speaking!” Twilight stammered, taking a step back and looking at anything but the princess. “Being involved in a romantic relationship with somepony below nobility would be extensively frowned upon by Equestria nobility and the nobility of neighbouring countries, and may result in shame brought upon the involved monarch – hypothetically speaking, you – which means you might have to abdicate or through other means regain your lost dignity. There’s also the political sta—”

    Once more time came to a stop when her speech was interrupted by Rarity’s lips. Her wide-open eyes allowed her to take in the almost dreamlike sight of Rarity’s flushed face and closed eyes behind the mask, both mares locked in a flustered first kiss. Truth be told, as far as kisses went, Twilight was sure that it could have been… more passionate and less… static, but she wasn’t really in a position to complain.

    It took a moment, but when the kiss broke, the two mares lingered in the same position, their lips brushing against one another’s, and it wasn’t until Rarity almost violently pulled away that the gravity of the situation finally came crashing down on Twilight.

    Princess Rarity kissed me.

    “Twilight!” Rarity gasped, stepping back and sounding almost indignant as she placed her hoof over her mouth.

    “Y-Your Platinumness?! I mean, Highness?!” Twilight shot back, also stepping back, amazed by how she could still hear over the sound of her frenetic heartbeat.

    “Twilight! What have you done?!

    “Me?! What have I done? What have you done?!” Twilight blurted out. “You—! You—! You…” Try as she might, she found herself unable of finishing the sentence for finishing it meant it was real, it happened, and oh my gosh, she…

    “You kissed me…” she finished, barely above a whisper, no longer speaking to Rarity but to herself.

    “Well, I had to!” Rarity blurted out, face flushed. “You were going on and on and on, and I didn’t think you’d actually give me an entire speech about it, and I thought I was going to lose my nerve if I didn’t just do it, and I’d been planning this for so long and now…” She stepped back, a hoof against her mouth barely muffling her giggles. “I kissed you. I actually did it.”

    Suddenly, her hoof lowered to her chest and her expression changed. “Oh dear, I think I need to sit down. No. No, I need Fluttershy!” She looked around and gritted her teeth. “Oh, where is that mare when I need her?”

    “Yo-Your Highness, I—”

    “You!” Rarity said, turning to Twilight, still looking flushed beyond measure. “You stay there! Wait for me! I need—! Just—! Stay! Or don’t! Just—!” She made one last gesture, which could either mean stay or go, before trotting off into the crowd and leaving a dumbfounded Twilight to sit there for a while.

    However, no more than a few minutes later, Princess Rarity re-emerged from the crowd, looking torn between avoiding Twilight’s gaze and trying to pretend nothing had happened.

    She cleared her throat and casually said, “Twilight.”

    “Lady Platinum.”

    Rarity looked around for a moment, then back to Twilight, then back to the surrounding crowd and…

    “We forgot something,” the Princess confessed.

    “Our escape plan in case we’re found and you’re nationally disgraced and I’m thrown to jail?”

    “Twilight, that’s why I did this during the masquerade ball,” Rarity said, shaking her head. “And no, we forgot…” Her horn flashed, and in a second the two masks switched places. Once Twilight’s mask was in place on Rarity’s face, she fluttered her eyelashes and asked, “Thoughts?”

    “It looks nice,” Twilight said, hoping her smile didn’t look as smitten as her heart felt.

    “Good! And I made mine to match your dress, too!” Rarity exclaimed. She looked as if about to say something else, but instead she leaned in to kiss Twilight again. Before Twilight could sigh into it, Rarity once more pushed away, appalled. “Twilight Sparkle! You did it again! What has gotten into you?! For shame!”

    Without allowing Twilight time to reply, Rarity rushed off with a cheeky smile on her lips, leaving her bodyguard to again sit there for what felt like endless hours.

    For once, Twilight Sparkle didn’t immediately start worrying about the political implications of… Gosh, it was hard to think when all she wanted to do was giggle, and dance, and ahem!

    For once, she didn’t think about the political implications, or how reckless they’d both been to do such a thing in a private event, or anything because all that mattered was… that Princess Rarity kissed her, and liked her back, and… there was going to be so much time later to have fifty panic attacks over what had happened, but right now, she just wanted to revel in the moment.

    “Twi! Twilight!”

    Twilight looked around, finding Rainbow Dash rushing towards her, seeming quite out of breath.

    “O-Oh, Rainbow Dash! What’s wrong?” Twilight asked.

    “Twilight! What do you mean ‘what’s wrong’?! I just saw the Princess wearing somepony else’s mask! I saw her earlier wearing a blue mask, and now she’s wearing a pink mask!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed.


    “Oh? What’d ya mean ‘oh’?!” Rainbow Dash said, staring at Twilight as if she’d lost her mind. “Rarity got it on with somepony, and you’re like ‘oh, ok, whatever, who ca—’. Wait.” Rainbow Dash narrowed her eyes. “You… Your mask…”

    And now, now Twilight couldn’t stop herself from giggling like a smitten schoolfilly.

    “Wait a second! Wait, wait, wait, but you—!” Dash turned around towards the crowd and then back to Twilight, and so on and so forth. “But Princess Rarity—! And you were wearing—!” She finally set her gaze on Twilight. “Twilight…”

    “You know,” Twilight said, still giggling, “I really should find Princess Rarity! See you later, Rainbow!”

    “Wait, Twilight! Stop acting like nothing happened! Come back here!”

    ~ Fin ~

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    1. Farfalla_Ridente
      Mar 19, '24 at 2:55 am

      God, I love these useless lesbians!

    2. Jay-155
      Jun 4, '22 at 12:16 pm

      Oh that’s some pure serotonin, I’ve always loved Mono’s additions to the Bodyguard AU and this one is an excellent inclusion!