It felt as if time-lapse photography was at play to Rarity as each day new layers of fabric seated themselves upon a mannequin. Octavia's beautiful ensemble came together elegantly, flowing brilliantly in a pretty blend of grey and pink. For a certain yellow mare, however, it each day felt like a lifetime. A beautiful lifetime, each containing its own adventure as she blindly and happily stumbled through the passing weeks, loving and soaking up every moment she could spend with the white unicorn. It was this bliss that was worrisome for the mare with diamonds on her flanks.
Their relationship began at a moment's notice. Nopony could have foreseen it coming; not even Fluttershy had predicted that her endeavors would turn out this well. It almost seemed too perfect to Rarity, like at any moment it could just fall apart. She was positive that she loved the mare, that was for sure, but she questioned what would happen as soon as they faced any sort of tension or the slightest strain on their relationship. She felt as if she was walking along a virgin tightrope line, unsure if it will hold or snap.
With each passing day it became more and more apparent to Rarity that Fluttershy had something on her mind, something that she wanted to ask her but wasn't going to without the proper trigger. The pair continued to work on the dress together every day, however, forming a beautiful ensemble.
The pegasus watched intently as the dress maker toiled away, occasionally offering aid when possible. She always insisted on retrieving materials, only wanting to appear useful to the pretty mare, although the unicorn could easily levitate it over, not that she was complaining, however. It was another time of Fluttershy wanting to help that Rarity dropped the materials, stopped working and turned to her.
"Dear, for the past week it's felt like there's something on your mind. Would you care to tell me what is it?"
Being the honest, kind pony that she was, the yellow mare looked around the room frantically for some means of escape, knowing that lying would be of no use to the intelligent unicorn. "Well… I- I wanted to know something, and… Never mind."
Rarity looked at the fragile pegasus with a soft smile. "Please, you can tell me anything." She wrapped a comforting hoof around her. "Anything."
"I remember when you told me… You told me you loved me, and I know what that means and everything, but how much does it mean? I- um, that doesn't make any sense… Hold on…" Fluttershy was clearly overwhelmed as she tried to process her thoughts, Rarity telling her to take her time.
The question she wanted to ask slowly lined itself up in her mind. A shaky voice escaped her lips. "Have you ever loved anypony before me?"
The winged mare saw a nervous blank stare roll across the face of her partner; it was this initial reaction that she feared. This hesitation to respond to her inquiry about her much coveted love disheartened the pegasus. It all made sense to her; Rarity was the most beautiful pony she had ever seen, of course she has had a multitude of lovers and love interests. In her mind it felt like all of the puzzle pieces were falling into place; Rarity didn't really love her, she was just another pony in the life of the unicorn.
Stuttering, the unicorn didn't help Fluttershy's paranoia. Looking upon the face of her interrogator, she felt at even more of a loss for words as she was looking upon the face of a pony in fear, a pony in fear of collapse. Relentlessly, the question persisted in her mind: had she loved anypony? Of course she had interests, but they were just that, interests. At least she believed them to be. The lines of her own truth became blurred as she pondered the question, quickly realizing that she was taking much too long. Running on instinct and a desire not to lose her mare, she walked up and embraced her tightly.
The pegasus' vision became fuzzy as so many thoughts pounded against the walls of her brain, almost threatening to break her mind and spill out of it. She shook her head violently as a salty wetness began to roll down her face, letting out an ear piercing squeal. Rarity may have said something; she didn't know; she didn't care. Her mind slowly began to lose its grip on her body as she felt herself beginning to feint and start to collapse on the floor.
Unfortunately for her she would not have the mercy of losing consciousness. Her legs began to move quickly as her flight instinct kicked in, commanding her to escape the dangers, but to no avail as she found herself caught in the unfortunately loving embrace of Rarity, who showed no intention of letting her go. Violently flailing her upper body, she found herself breaking free of the unicorn's forehooves. She quickly galloped down the stairs, nearly blinded from the tears in her eyes, quickly finding herself stumbling outside as she wailed.
Rarity wasn't far behind in her pursuit, shouting different variations of "wait" and "I love you". In her instinctual daze she attempted to capture the fleeing pegasus right out of her door, but the light mare was quicker than she thought. She found herself galloping head on down the street, hoping to overtake the mare and tackle her, possibly remedying the situation.
The efforts of the beautiful mare were fruitless, however, as her hooves slipped from under her and she found her body tumbling to the ground. A cough escaped her mouth as she spit out some of the material of the dirt road as a bit of blood ran down her muzzle, dripping to the ground. Her face shot up to be met with the vision of a yellow pegasus' skyward rear as she flew away into the sky. She slammed her hooves into the ground at her failure; one that may have ruined their relationship permanently.
Those beautiful sapphires some ponies called eyes welled up once more, this time opening the floodgates that were holding back her sobbing. Somepony may have offered to help her up, but she didn't know; she didn't care. Her hooves lifted her back up to full height as she attempted to chase down the pegasus once more, but found that her body couldn't keep up.
Turning her head, she shamefully and slowly trotted back to her boutique, a trail of tears falling behind her.
She entered her home and immediately blindly ran into her workshop, letting a crying scream. Her body spun in circles at her mental torment, her pain turning into rage as she searched for something to vent into. Her eyes fell upon the massive rolls of fabric and designs hung up all around her and without thinking she began to lift them up with her magic. Those blue marbles of eyes closed as her logic center slowly began to return to her and she considered her actions; she quickly threw it away, going back to her instinct drive daze.
A yell, a battlecry even, escaped the unicorn's lips while her magic worked in swift motion and tore lines of fabric to shreds. All of her pain and sadness was put into the developing the satisfying sound of shattered efforts, leaving her looking for more. Her aura enveloped whole dresses in progress as they too were torn at the seams and hurled through the air, different material and string slowly falling to the ground.
Holes were punched into more gowns as her hooves made swift contact with them, turning them into unusable scraps. Nearly satisfied she stopped and fell to the floor, letting out a load and painful groan as she rolled around into little pieces of her now pointless work. She looked up as she levitated one specific piece of fabric she found above her head. Her eyes narrowed and brow intensified as she gazed upon the velvety piece. It was a beautiful shade of crimson, one that would be seen on a matching gown of two lovers. Her teeth gritted together while she felt a strong amount of magic grasp the fabric, a deep breath entering her mouth. One quick and painful motion later the fabric was torn in a pattern similar to her heart, the wounded pieces falling to her chest.
She looked upon the broken piece with distaste and anger; an anger that one could only harbor for themselves. However, it wasn't broken. A sliver of material kept the separation from being complete. A loud grunt resonated throughout the room as she tossed piece aside with her hoof, not wanting to deal with it anymore. Her false satisfaction didn't last long, however; she desired more to destroy.
Running on nothing but brutal instinct, Rarity stood up, staring at the wreckage in the room, her eyes falling upon the one thing that had remained untouched in her rampage: Octavia's dress. Slowly creeping up upon it, she felt her magic envelop some of the individual seams on the ensemble, her gaze shifting all about the unfinished piece. Such an elegant, beautiful feeling resonated from it, as if it was pleading to Rarity to remain whole. The unicorn took a deep breath.
Memories suddenly flooded back to her, completely enveloping her mind. She was reminded of a certain pegasus that had labored upon it. Labored not because of her profession, not because of her hobbies, but labored because of her love, her love for the white unicorn, her love that she had put so much of into this dress. This piece wasn't just another client, it was a bond between the two ponies; one that was as physical as it was emotional. The fabric seated upon the mannequin, some of it retrieved and sewn by the yellow mare, was but a heart poured out into a trade, as an artist does to a canvas.
The lone mare felt the aura lose its grasp and her legs weaken once more as she was slammed into by a train of emotions. Feeling the cold of the floor had never been more welcome, reality returning to her in a wave of emotion, her rage inverting and being replaced with her sorrows. An invisible weight was lifted from her shoulders, being replaced by one that was harder to bear. Droplets of moisture fell to the ground with almost audible splashes, painfully and falsely ringing in the head of the unicorn, her sniffles actually sounding out. She tightly hugged the base of the mannequin desiring it to be the warmth of another pony.
No, not another pony. She desired the warmth of the forelimbs and stomach of Fluttershy: the harbinger of her beautiful pain. Her head shook back and forth, rustling her damaged mane and flinging tears to all corners of her consciousness. Amidst her sobbing words managed to slide out from her tongue.
"What have I done?"
She wiped her blood, sweat, tear and snot stained muzzle on her right forelimb, openly sobbing into it, wishing it was the leg of another instead. This desire for companionship caused her to search her mind for answers; answers to Fluttershy's question, but more importantly, answers to their relationship.
"I love you."
Rarity wished it was the pegasus saying it, but to her distress, it was only the product of her own mouth. She continued to sob loudly, hoping that she could at some point run out of tears, the tears themselves bringing a comforting warmth to her cold and hurt face. She looked up once more at the beauty above her, forcing a smile to her face as she gazed upon the dresses elegance. Of all times to think of how good Fluttershy would look in an outfit such as that, she chose now. The smile faded as the unicorns head dropped back to the base of the stand.
"I love you."
Another wave of tears welled up in her ducts, freely flowing out and leaving a salty trail upon her. With this wave of tears came a tsunami of something else: exhaustion. She was unsure of how long she had been laying there, but she knew it was not a short amount of time. More loud sobs escaped her mouth as her body found comfort upon the tear and mucus stained floor. All of her painful thoughts were sedated as she fell into sleeps clutches, mannequin in hoof and pegasus in mind.
Before the world faded away one more line resonated throughout the room.
"I love you; nopony else."
The harsh, slicing glare of the sunlight pounded against Rarity's head. She grasped at her cranium, hoping to stop its intense and distracting throbbing and pulsating. Wading through the sea of torn fabric and wobbling on her hooves of gelatin, she made her way to a nearby mirror, levitating a comb so she could observe how bad the damage from the previous night was. She gazed upon what was supposed to be herself with disdain.
Her eyes were met by a torn and tired figure; one that could have looked Discord in the eyes and be unmoved. Blood and mucus was smeared across a beautiful white coat, the same white coat that had lines of tear stains and clear evidence of deep sobbing.
Traveling up her features, her eyes fixed themselves upon her mane: her once beautiful mane that was curled just so with a soft, velvety texture reminiscent of a newborn foal; her mane that was her pride and joy. The unicorn's hoof lifted to test the now dirty, crumpled and tear stained mat of hair seated upon her head, hoping this was just a dream; a dream in which she would distract herself from Fluttershy.
She sighed as her magic enveloped a nearby comb and she levitated it to her mane, hoping to correct the injustice that had been inflicted upon it. The comb gyrated, turning and bouncing as it awkwardly danced across Rarity's strands of hair. The unicorn looked up upon the mirror in front of her, hoping to guide the comb properly, noticing something strange in the process. Instead of the brilliant blue aura that usually emanated from her magic, the force took on a hue of a soft yellow.
Rarity let out a quiet groan. It seemed like everyone she went she saw Fluttershy and her elegant colors.
"Those beautiful colors…"
Her head started to sink as gravity began to pull upon it, only to shoot back up as a train of brilliance rammed itself into her mind. She looked around at all the torn fabric around her; all the shards and scraps from the previous night. She gazed upon the vibrant colors laid out before her as her mind began to stich them together, and most of all create beauty out of destruction.
All of a sudden her messy mane was infinitely less important while she floated an intact mannequin to the center of the room. It seemed as if fabric was being simply tossed upon it, and yet elegantly so with the certain poise and precision that Rarity had acquired over the years. Various yellows, pinks and blues, or the scraps of those, were experimented with as they were levitated upon the figure, the curves of the material tightly hugging it.
Piece by piece the ensemble began to form; basically what the unicorn thought Fluttershy would look like as a dress. However strange that thought may be, she used it as her motivation and guide, closely following whatever image she had in her mind. It wasn't long at all be for she had the basis of a gown strewn out, the image in her brain now having some physical material to latch onto.
For the first time that day she smiled. Not at her handiwork, but at what she was working for; who she was working for. Her hooves and magical aura glided across the fabric in a ballroom waltz, leaving no line of string unchecked and no stitch unfinished. It could be 11 P.M. and it also could be 10 A.M.; she didn't care. This was a labor, not of labor itself, but of love; an intense love for all things Fluttershy.
The concept of her yesterday intensified her realization of how fragile that pony with the pink mane really was. She was not one to place her feelings on a silver platter and serve them up for all to see, so when she did, it was of course a delicate, tip-hooving situation. When a pony as beautifully reserved as her lets her true heart be shown it was a situation of mine defusing in that one slip of words, or hesitation of words, can make her world erupt.
Still, Rarity couldn't help but wonder why she had reacted so hurtfully, and more importantly, how she was coping. Surely the timid pegasus was in a greater state of torment than she was.
"What am I doing?" she asked herself as she realized that she should be there for her. There was no reason Fluttershy should have to go through this without a comforting hoof behind her the whole time.
Her eyes fixed themselves upon her creation-in-progress. This was not something she could leave, her ideas were fresh and flowing and most of all, this dress could be a major bandage for their relationship. The creation of something simple yet elegant, a description that mirrored Fluttershy's, was all the motivation Rarity needed to stitch such a thing.
Those blue eyes found themselves dancing across the room, more so her situation. She had little but scraps to work with, only a few full sheets of material left for use. Despite the situation that another would call grave, she smiled again. It was just this kind of challenge that would be a worthy obstacle for her to face.
Any attempts to take a distracted break and work on Octavia's dress were foiled by her inability to reach for any colors, however scarce they were, than the yellow, pink and blue shades. It was a frustrated and yet happy groan that escaped her lungs this time; her mind had obviously and painfully set itself on the task before her. There was no avoiding it until it was complete. Not just complete, but accepted by Fluttershy.
"A daunting task indeed."
Still letting her magic toil away, she allowed herself to sit down for a spell. All of her troubles seemed to press upon her like a ten ton brick, but her thoughts and love for a certain mare floated her stress away and allowed her to continue her labor.
Taking this pony's-length-away step and theoretical break allowed her to gaze upon the beauty she had created. Only the underlying layer had been completed, complete with holes for the wings, but being a simple dress for a beautifully simple pony it wouldn't be too work intensive and mind sapping afterwards.
Rarity ran a soft hoof across the material, its velvety texture reacting with a nice "hello" to her touch, although she still wished it was the coat of another pony. She navigated her way through many scraps until she found her way to the resting place of her last piece of complete pink fabric, personally taking it off of its shelf and placing it upon the mannequin.
The dress maker took a gulp of air as she cut and sewed the pretty pieces for the pony; it was as if she forgot to breathe sometimes. Flowing, the fabric came together in a manner that made Rarity smile for a third time, feeling that this fabric was made specifically for this dress. The rigged and yet swan like hems complemented the design in such a way that the eye was automatically drawn to it, but not lingered upon it, just as a timid pony such as Fluttershy would want.
The design being finally completed, Rarity took a step back. Her blue marbles danced across it, ultimately satisfied and yet feeling that it was missing something. Naturally, they were drawn to the flank.
In a loud "Aha!" moment she levitated up nearby pink, yellow and blue scraps and began to snip butterflies out of the fabric. The triumvirate of insects completed, she placed them upon the flank, not yet attaching them. A better view being obtained from another step back, she still felt as if the dress was lacking in some sort of character.
The butterflies were quickly tossed aside as she began again audibly snipping small shapes out of small shards of material. Satisfied, she placed her work upon her larger creation, again gazing upon it.
The rear of the dress was now graced with a triangle of diamonds, the same style as those that adorned her own flank. Yet another smile flashed across her face; she felt that if this would do the work of a repairpony, nothing would.
She herself levitated the complete dress off of the mannequin and tried it on, letting out an exhale of relief when it stayed whole. With a prance and twirl she ogled herself in the mirror. It was a pretty dress, of that she was she, but not a pretty dress for Rarity.
The gown was folded carefully into her saddlebags; she felt that there was no time to waste in going to Fluttershy's. Her hoovesteps echoed as she walked down the stairs and in that span of time threw away any presumptions about her own appearance. She approached the door and personally opened it with her hoof, sharing a mutual gasp when she saw what was on the other side of it.
Her dress in pony for had been sitting upon her doorstep, nervously repeating a hasty speech to herself for if she were to knock on the door. The pegasus stuttered in shock, a shock that was unneeded considering this was, in fact, Rarity's house, and unknowingly debated flight yet again. Fluttershy all but fell to the floor, tears yet again welling up in her eyes, begging the question of how long she had been sitting there.
Rarity, on the other hoof, was just as surprised to see the mare of her mind occupying her doorstep ever so gracefully. With a moment of painful hesitation, she walked forward and embraced her, lifting her off the ground; this was what she wanted. Her horn glowed yellow yet again as she levitated the saddlebags off of her back and placed them on the side of the room.
"Please, come in, Fluttershy."
The pegasus wordlessly complied, silently happy that Rarity didn't seem in the least bit mad at her actions. She was led to the couch and sat down, but the silence became too much for her as she took a deep breath.
Rarity smiled once more, not caring that she didn't process a word of it.
"Listen dear Fluttershy, I forgive you. I was actually seeking my own redemption."
The yellow mare looked up, surprised that the unicorn had felt in the least bit at fault.
"That's the past, and as the name is let's move past it. We both were hurt, but there's nothing we can do about that now. It's my fault, Fluttershy, I hesitated and should have known better. I love you and only you, please never forget that."
The salty substances pouring from their eyes mixed together as they shared another locking of lips, breaking away and beaming with happiness once more.
"Rarity… I- I don't know what to say."
"That's not all, darling, I have something for you." The unicorn ignored her magic and trotted over to her saddlebags in the corner, lifting them up and placing them next to Fluttershy.
"I made this for you. I think you'll like it," she stated before slowly lifting the result of her day of work out of her bag. The subject of the gift gasped as her eyes were met with the design. It flowed so brilliantly and caught the light in such a way that it grasped at her attention but didn't beg for it. It was so beautiful, so simple, so her.
"It- It's beautiful! I don't even know what to say!" The pegasus stopped herself as she realized her voice was increasing in volume.
"How about you say 'yes' and try it on, dear." Rarity smiled and gently carried the dress in her mouth over to her partner, who happily and eagerly complied.
It didn't take long for her to don the gown, her wings displayed through the holes in the back. She danced around in front of the mirror, amazed at the beauty of the ensemble as it flowed with her body. Her eyes lit up as she noticed the three diamonds the adorned the flank, the signature of the mare of her life.
Careful not to mess up the dress, she tackled he partner in a crushing hug, or what felt like a crushing hug to her.
"It's perfect! You have no idea!"
Rarity let herself and her partner fall to the couch as a light barrage of kisses assaulted her muzzle. She had realized her desire of the past day, to yet again feel the warmth of Fluttershy.
Their elation was only slightly interrupted as a barely audible knock lightly slammed into the door. Rarity grudgingly stood back up and cantered to the door, opening it with her magic. Her mind had partially made her expect another Fluttershy on the other side, still not yet fully processing all of the events of the day.
Alas, it was not a clone of the mare of her dreams but the local mailmare.
"Good afternoon, miss Rarity! I've got something for you, hold on." The gray mare always seemed to be in a state of happiness whenever delivering mail, even as she rummaged through her bags. This had always made the unicorn question if that was even possible in such a menial job, but she didn't allow her mind to wander through that hallway.
The pegasus quickly lifted out a very pretty letter. "Here you are! And it looks important, I'm glad I brought it to the right house." She turned and began to walk away. "Have a nice day!"
"And you as well!" came Rarity's reply. She couldn't help but grin at the actions and mannerisms of the pony.
She looked over the letter, familiarly admiring the handiwork of it. Opening the treble clef clasp, she took out the parchment inside as she walked back over to the couch where Fluttershy was seated in her dress.
"What is it, Rarity?"
The unicorn levitated out two brilliantly bronze colored tickets.
"We've been invited."