Commission: Tales from the Dark Side of the Mirror:
I'm the Pony Everypony Wants (Not) to Know
Commissioned by and idea by Grimwolf001
Why good morning, darlings. I am Rarity Belle, Equestria's finest fashionista at your service. Do you need fashion advice? I have quite the knack for it. I know all the rules of being a lady like the front of my hoof. Speaking of which, how do you like what I've done with my room? Just finished redecorating!
Oh? The polka dot wallpaper? Why because they grab the eye the moment you walk into the room, bright and vibrant. And the white goes so well with my fur, the exact same shade! A perfect match! And the stripes on the other wall are there to make the room look bigger, they are supposed to make things look fat, right?
“It looks like your room has chicken pox, and eyes...” Spike said looking in. “And the other wall looks like a prisoner.”
“Don't make me banish you again!” Yes, I banished him for insulting a perm I got. Twilight let him back in. I had to! Insulting a mare's mane is a massive breach of chivalry. It's a rule! Stallions are supposed to treat mares with proper respect! Even if they're dragons!
Oh, what does he know? He's a baby dragon. He's cute, but that's natural, not anything to do with style! He doesn't know the rules and pretends he does! And he won't wear this lovely yellow suit I made him. Doesn't he know you never turn down a gift from a lady?
Oh! Speaking of which, I must be getting dressed. It'd be unladylike to go to lunch undressed. Or anywhere for that matter.
Now let us see, it is still spring. I think. So hard to tell when you're in a drought. It is such an awful thing to have to wear a sunhat everyday. Or is it a good thing to have an excuse? So many rules to remember. Ah! Now I remember! It's awful because it's spring, it's only good during the summer. Because they're sunhats, and when is the sun the most intense if Celestia wasn't evil? Now back to more important matters: picking the proper attire! Well if it's spring, then green is a good choice. But I wore that lovely green sweater yesterday! The only other green I have is a Heart's Warming Eve sweater. Well, the TV always do 'Hearth's Warming in July' specials, don't they? This should be perfect! How do I look? Speechless? Just what I was going for.
What do I do? Why I make a splash, isn't that what a pretty mare is supposed to do? A noble pony makes certain all eyes in the room are on her no matter what it takes. That's the most important rule. The core rule. The one that is always right.
If I'm of noble blood, why am I staying here of all places? Simple, darling. When I moved away from home, I needed a place to stay and came across this lovely rustic abode. Not only is it charming, but every other part of Canterlot looks the same, so this is by far the most unique house in the entire city. And doesn't everypony always say unique is such an attractive thing? So how can living in one of the most unique buildings in town be anything but attractive?
Judging by the ruckus, I'm assuming that Pinkamena dumped out our food again, as she tends to do at least once a month. Oh well, ponies like to idolize dangerously slim ponies, or is slim out of style now? If everypony is slim and being unique is good, does that make pudgy the new slim? Ugh I do so hate it when the rules change all of a sudden! It's hard enough to keep track of them as is!
And now there's a crash. I do hope it was nothing that added character to the place. A lot of things can be so very hard to replace. Sure we could buy any old thing to replace it, but those would just be generic things you find a store, and being one of a kind is the best thing about this place.
Well while they're messing about, I should get my makeup on... Hmm... Eyeliner or lipstick? Or both? I am wearing green and red, so maybe lipstick to compliment it? Or maybe that would be too much red? Is makeup supposed to stand out against or complement what you're wearing? One of the two, both ways can't be right...Hehe, what was I thinking? Drawing attention to your face can never be a bad thing! I'll use both!
Huh? Who's at my door?
“Rarity! Get out here!”
“Twilight? What is it? I'm about to put on my makeup!”
“Important! House meeting! Now!”
“House meeting? What do-”
I suppose my makeup can wait.
I didn't even get the chance to do my makeup, this had better be important, or I will be quite miffed.
Oh, how do I feel the others? Well, there's Rainbow Crash, I do not believe she ever tries to dress up. Though she did look rather nice that time I loaned her my green sweater (so long as she told everypony I lent it to her). The green in her mane is rather understated, the green brought it out. Or does that only work when it's the same shade? No, I'm certain green goes with green.
Twilight normally dresses in that nice white lab coat if she does at all. I suggested she accessorize with green, green really stands out when matched with purple as well. I mean look at how adorable little Spike looks in them (when he's not insulting me and forcing me to banish him). For some, reason she never listens to me, though.
Fluttershy was born pretty, and she gets it. She knows what it means to be the center of attention. She doesn't have much fashion sense, though. And that's a shame, honestly. She'd look so much prettier in a the right dress.
Applejack at least knows the look she wants to present. Nothing says 'bad girl' like leather jackets and cowboy hats. Though would it kill her to accessorize? I mean really, if you want to look the part go all the way. Oh wait, she's got an eye patch, good. Still, could use some chains. Maybe some red. Nothing says bad like red and black if that's what she's truly going for.
Pinkamena is minimalist, but she does like dressing up. Even if it's just to sneak into places. I don't lend her anything because she can't tell them where she got it, though. But I can never convince her to wear bright colors, she just says they're 'untrustworthy.' Then again maybe muted colors attract attention to her fur. Or does it attract them to the dress? The dress is out of place on bright fur, so it probably will attract attention, so bright colors would bring out her appearance better. I'm sure of it. And it draws attention to you, so how could it be wrong either way?
Huh? 'What about them'? I just told you? Oh, what I think of them personally. Sorry, just most people think the first impression is the most important one. And how you look is just that, the first thing somepony sees of you. And the company a pony keeps draws attention to them.
Rainbow Crash...is a mess, but she's our mess. I think out of all of us I'm the one she gets to properly 'help' the most. After all, standing still to model isn't the hardest thing in the world. That and she pulls off the 'sad puppy' look better than anypony I've ever seen. Not to say she hasn't found a way to mess that up from time to time. Then again, having my room wrecked via domino effect did yield some interesting inspiration. But she is quite willing to tell others I gave her the outfits.
Twilight is a bit full of herself, easily distracted, and likes to experiment...on us sometimes. A lot of the times. But she gets what it means to make a splash and attract attention. She's certain one day her science skill will get her a big break. I can definitely see the appeal. It's a very good way to get all eyes on you. But I'd prefer not to wake up to explosions or her accidentally creating a stinkbomb.
Fluttershy and I? We get each other swimmingly. We both know standing out is what a proper mare needs to do. She's blunt and sarcastic, but she understands how to be a lady. We talk about the attention we've garnered or the like. The only problem is getting her to model for me; I'd love to, but she doesn't see it as 'worth the effort'. Which I admit has me a bit miffed, are my designs not good enough for her? Still, I suppose that keeps me from being overshadowed by her, so that I can stay in the spotlight.
Applejack and I have known one another since we were fillies. My parents and her grandmother arranged play dates from time to time while mother discussed one of the Apple's stores carrying her cookies. We're both of the upper class, even if she doesn't show it. And we both knew what it was like to have demanding parental figures, though I imagine mine were far more competent and caring if her view of Granny Smith is any indication. What? She never mentioned it? I wonder why. Is she trying to ignore me? Still, at least she actually accessorizes.
Pinkamena...is a...healthy pony. She gets us food. And she's very intelligent. And she at least actually wears clothing to go out, that's more than most of our friends. Still...I don't hang out with her to have fun; I must admit.
I suppose I've always been a social creature, though. It is a little surprise I would ultimately end up in a large group. After all, a lady's value comes from how others look at her, so how can one be one if no one is looking? Beauty that isn't looked upon goes to waste. Beauty must attract everypony's attention at all times.
Now, what is all the fuss about?
“'Evil Princesses Turn Over a New Leaf?!'” Applejack yelled, looking the newspaper.
“How?! What happened?!” I exclaimed.
I... Apparently, the Princesses.
Apparently they're now good guys, Sombra's corrupted to evil, and Lord Scorpan is back in Tartarus.
I...I...Forgive me, I...there's no rule for a lady reacting to a world changing event. I hate it when the rules change! It just makes everything so confusing!
Still...Princess Celestia looks unusual. Ponygypt, never fashioned her as that sort. She always seemed to be wearing a shade of purple. I do admit it went well with her mane. I just can't see her wearing bright colors or blue. Or anything not evil.
And apparently Rainbow Crash started an out of control storm, again. How did she do it the first time? I do believe by getting instructions backward and giving out storm clouds instead of normal clouds, but this time sounds far worse...
Oh! And there's a party to celebrate?! Everypony who's anypony is going to be there?! From King Tirek to Princess Trixie?! If Pinkamena and Twilight are going, I simply must attend! Why?...Because I must. A lady should never pass up an opportunity to show off! She must take every opportunity to be the center of attention with all eyes on her!...She must. It's a rule.
Oh, Pinkamena can complain about cake all she likes, but I need to figure out what to wear! Though now that everypony will get meat back on their bones, being skinny will probably go back to being in. I need to lose weight.
“Hey, why is there a picture of us fighting the Princesses here?” asked Rainbow, looking at the paper.
“What was that?” I asked, looking over and, my word; it is us! But, how?!
There on the picture were us, but not us. That was blatantly obvious. Pinkamena with curly hair? Applejack not decked out in leather? Fluttershy looking caring? Twilight with... were those wings?!
The most surreal image was... Rainbow Crash with a confident expression. It made her look almost like a completely different pony! It's...chilling to see that for some reason.
Myself? Oh...we weren't that different. She was beautiful and lady-like. Her mane was fabulous, and she carried herself with grace. Though she does seem more 'rubble tumble' than me, given she was fighting. Though she was naked! I mean even if you're going to fight, a lady must stand out and have a good appearance even in the midst of combat!
“Um...everypony...” I interrupted, needing help making sense of this. “Rainbow Crash was right...there is a picture of us fighting the Princesses...”
Thankfully Twilight hadn't tried to clone us again...apparently these ponies were literally us from another universe, who brought the weapons that purified the Princesses.
I admit...a world where I'm a hero? It's...so much to take in. But I admit that is an attractive prospect. After all, who has more eyes on them than a hero? More attention. And everypony worships the ground you walk on.
I am actually quite envious of her for that I think. Then again, being a heroine has even more rules. New rules. And I've spent too much of my life learning the rules of being a lady to learn new ones all over again. I hate it when the rules change or new rules decide to throw wrenches in the works.
Before our conversation could continue, there was a knock on our door and in came...Starlight Glimmer?! The Starlight Glimmer?! The owner of Our Town and one of the most famous teachers in all of Equestria?!
Oh no! I'm underdressed! I've got to get something better on! A lady can never be under-dressed before somepony famous! Or pass up the attention of somepony famous!
Alright, let's see. Starlight Glimmer is light heliotrope in coloration. What goes well with that? Well, yellow contrasts purple. Heliotrope is a variety of purple, and she's a pale color, so perhaps a dark yellow shade to contrast properly? Ah yes, there's my mustard yellow dress!
Huh? Why do I have a mustard yellow dress? Simple, it contrasts my mane and makes it stand out. Now, how should I have an accessory? Ah! She has aquamarine in her mane, so I'll put an aquamarine bow in my hair. There we go, now time to dazzle our guest.
“Hello, darlings,” I said, trotting in. Hold your head high, don't look down, look confident to draw her attention. Fluttershy was no longer here, well at least she won't overshadow me with her natural beauty. I looked to Starlight Glimmer. “Hello, Miss Glimmer. I have heard so much about your work.”
I make sure she can get a good profile look at me. Huh? Why did Applejack face hoof?
“Uh...thank you...Miss...Rarity Belle, correct?”
“Oh, you know me!”
“Yes...mainly from the multiple counts of vandalism.”
“I assure you, the accounts were greatly exaggerated, darling, do I look like a vandal to you?”
It wasn't vandalism; that house was just painted so dreadfully wrong! It'd have been against the rules to not fix it a little bit!
Starlight looked me over. Just let her have a good look and hope she likes what she sees.
“Uh... no... you look... very... yellow...”
“Thank you darling! It goes so well with my mane and eyes!”
She looks stunned, exactly what I was going for!
Huh? What's that spell?
“Wait...your special talent is for getting a reaction out of others?”
“Why yes, darling. Isn't that what a lady is supposed to do?” I asked. And it's true.
“I...I think I'll need to talk to you before I have a reply, but I'm afraid I don't have time at the moment, perhaps later?” Starlight asked, why does she look concerned?
“Certainly, I had a party to go to. I take it that's where you're heading?”
“I was going to, but I felt my business with Rainbow here was more important,” Starlight explained, pointing to Rainbow Crash.
“Wait, what business?” I questioned.
Rainbow looked down. “Uh...well...Starlight wants me to come with her to Our Town. Sorry...”
“Why does she get special treatment?” I questioned. Yes, I'm miffed! And envious! Why should Rainbow get to go with the celebrity?!
“Sorry...” Rainbow whimpered.
Starlight gave me a look that I admit frightened me a tiny bit...
“Miss Belle, Rainbow Crash is NOT getting special treatment. Our Town is open to anypony who wants to learn and grow, if you wish to come, then come along with us and skip the party, you are very welcome to it. Or come along later on, either way you're welcome.”
Why did that look on her face make me feel like she was testing me?
Party with lots of celebrities or going with one and skipping the party.
“...I'll come later if that's alright. Maybe...”
Why does she look sad?
What were the others doing? Applejack was talking to Rainbow for some reason; I wasn't paying attention. Regardless Rainbow Crash went with Starlight in the end. Worried? As if, she's with a celebrity! I'm green with envy!... Wait...should a lady not be that? A lady is supposed to be honest, but she's not supposed to be jealous...I...
“...See you later girls...” Rainbow Crash said, looking down. “Are you mad I'm going for a bit?”
“No, not at all darling...” I said. “I'm...happy for you...”
“...Yeah, happy for yah...”
Why does Applejack look more jealous than me? It's unlike her to be jealous of somepony else. Oh well, not my problem.
“...Tell Twilight I said see you later...and I'm sorry about breaking her window yesterday, and tell Fluttershy I'll write her, and...”
“Sure, whatever,” Applejack replied.
Well that was out of nowhere. Still, maybe catching a train ride to Our Town some time would be worthwhile, but it's so far away and who's going to see me there in the middle of nowhere? Still...
Oh goodness! It's almost time, and I still haven't done my makeup! A lady mustn't be late! Unless she's fashionably late!
“The party isn't for a few hours, what's the rush?” Applejack asked.
“I need to do my mane!”
“You look...nice Rarity,” Twilight said, pulling a wagon with some sort of...thing behind her. I don't question it. She'd wanted to wear her lab coat, but I convinced her to wear a dress. She still didn't take my advice and wear the proper colors.
“Why thank you darling, the mane was the difficult part.” I kept the mustard yellow dress, my makeup took awhile to get just right. Both eyeshadow and lipstick. I chose a particularly vibrant shade to make sure I drew attention to my beautiful face. There were a lot of eyes I needed to draw the attention of.
As for my mane, I went through the trouble of curling it, it takes time, but it was certainly worth it!
“I can tell...I didn't know that many curls were scientifically possible. Are your lips bleeding?!”
“No, darling, that's just my lipstick.”
“Oh...well, as for me, I'm going to impress Sir Discord, King Tirek and the others with my mastery of science!” She exclaimed. Her machine gave off lightning behind her as she said that (she is pulling it in a wagon after all). “And then everypony will see it should be ME and not Trixie who deserves their respect and admiration! And if that doesn't work...” she looked at this lovely purple locket she was wearing around her neck. It even had a little pulsing light in the shape of a purple star.
“Just so long as it doesn't explode, darling...again.” Well, we couldn't have the party ruined before I get the spotlight, now can we?
“That was Rainbow Crash's fault!”
“I meant the other time.”
“Spike forgot to carry a two, that's all. I double checked afterward.”
Twilight got arrested that time. To be honest, I think Applejack is a bit jealous of her. Of course, Twilight does want to be the center of attention, as a proper lady should, so making your friends jealous is simply part of that. Still, I don't believe she intended to get quite as much attention as the 'mane washing' incident. Do not ask. Just know she only got the washing part correct.
Ugh, walking to this party reminded me of how dull this town is. Just a dull, dull walk towards the city hall past the same cookie cutter buildings. Ugh, and I got in trouble for doing some improvements. Vandalism is Applejack's cup of tea; mine is ART!
Huh? Tell my life story to pass the time? What a wonderful idea! When does a lady look up a chance to talk about herself after all? Now where to begin?
Naturally a pony such as myself came from a noble and respectful family! My father is Hondo Flanks and my mother Cookie Crumbles, I'm certain you know all about them. Oh? Explain for those that don't? Certainly!
My father is currently the lead coach for Canterlot's hoofball team and has been quite the success at it. Yes yes, sports were suspended once Princess Luna turned evil, but he'd made enough money to last, and I'm sure he'll be going right back to work soon enough!
As for my mother, she is one of Canterlot's best and brightest chefs! Her secret cookie recipe is so fabulous that they took the city by storm! Even without sugar or sweetener! My mother is just that good! I'm certain now that sweets are making a comeback, she might even make royal chef in no time!
My cooking? Well, I'm not as good as my mother, or even my younger sister. I may be capable of burning juice...But I'm a lady, ladies being able to do their own cooking is a bonus, not a requirement!
And as you can guess, they are one of Canterlot's best power couples, and to such a life was I born. Father was often busy coaching during hoofball season and offseason he was planning for the next one, so mother influenced most of my early life. She had it set in her heart that I would learn to be a proper lady and instructed me on the subject daily. My, I'd even say I learned how to curtsy before I learned how to trot!
My lesson continued until one day I found myself in need of a dress of my own for a school play. Now, I had knowledge of sewing (what lady doesn't know how?), but my dress just felt...lacking. As if something very vital and important was absent from it. That's when I realized my mother had recently purchased a new set of jewel,s and her previous ones fell into disuse. Well, she wasn't using them, and we were naturally quite wealthy, so I decided to use them to spruce up that dress. Oh, I was so proud of it! And so was everypony else! So were my parents! It was a beautiful masterpiece! I wish I still had it to show you, but mother still has it back home.
And well, standing up there on stage, in the beautiful dress I created, with all eyes on me? It was that day my Cutie Mark appeared! Mother and father were proud beyond belief!
And afterward, my mother saw a talent that needed cultivated, and set out to help me do just that. Isn't that what a good mother does?
Mother drilled me on the rules, the do's and don'ts. The in's and out's. And father contributed as well during his off season time, telling me what a stallion wants in a lady. So many rules. So many things you should and shouldn't do, so many.
A lady should always wear a dress when outside, except when she shouldn't.
A mare should know how to sew, but a lady shouldn't bother herself with trivial things like menial labor.
Use that spoon for soup, that one for stew.
Don't wear stripes, they make you look fat, but sometimes they fill you out and then it's okay.
Wear purple, it's Sombra's colors, very patriotic, but be careful which type, certain shades are Celestia's.
It's impolite to ask your client a million questions, but you need to deliver on what they want to the letter.
Nobility is entitled to what they want, but must obey the rules of proper behavior and what it means to be a lady.
So many rules, many from mother, many from father, many from both but with different takes. I do say it got bewildering at times. Sometimes it was like trying to solve a Rubik's Cube blindfolded to figure out how all the pieces when together. Like my brain was going in all directions at once. But a child listens to her elders, correct? So how can my parent's dear advice not make sense? So I made sense of it! I made them all fit together in the end! I had to. After all, I wasn't a lady or a fashionista if I missed even one. That much mother made very clear. And I'm a better mare for it!
But one rule was always clean cut and clear. A lady must always draw the eyes of everypony. They must always bring the spotlight on them. A lady should always have all the attention she deserves. And a stallion should always treat a mare with due respect.
That rule was always comforting. It was the most straight forward. Naturally the other rules change, but that one? It never does. It's concrete. It's set in stone. The world can well go to Tartarus, as it has, and that rule stays the same. And it is my special talent, after all, so why shouldn't I strive towards it?
Eventually, my darling little sister Sweetie Belle was born and my parents began to focus on her, as parents should, even if it took attention off of me, which ponies shouldn't. Especially when she got her spot on Scootaloo's little program. She sings the theme song of the show and does a beautiful job, mother was so proud. I never quite did understand what Applejack worries about those three for, they're getting all the attention a foal could ever need.
The rest should be quite clear: I moved out so I could find my own spotlight to bask in, stumbled on this rustic place with my old friend Applejack as a tenant. The rest is history! Thank you for hearing my origin story, it was quite fun to share!
Ah, and it also served it's purpose well and passed the time! We're here!
And my, my, my, this is such a big gathering! Oh, there's Al. E. Zotl! Though that old grandfather's outfit doesn't suit him at all. He needs something that would bring out those muscles of his. And maybe something orange to go with his blue, those two colors complement each other.
And there's Captain Good Guy...in an odd outfit as always. A purple and green tux. Fits him quite well to be honest.
And ah! There's Princess Trixie! Ugh, but that blue barding is way too much blue! Is she even trying to stand out?! Maybe red or orange would fit!
Twilight decides to trot ahead upon noticing that. It's only natural, Trixie is her 'rival' as she puts it.
“Hey! Let me go!” Naturally the guard decided to stop her; she is a criminal.
“Twilight Sparkle...” Princess Trixie replied, trotting down to talk to her.
“Too afraid of finally being upstaged by your rival?!”
Normally I'd like to say hi to Princess Trixie, but Twilight is doing a nice job keeping the guard busy. Sorry, dear, but a lady must always be the center of attention, and I can't be if my friend already is, can I? I may not be Shadow Spade, globe-trotting thief extraordinaire, but I do know how to take advantage of a distracted guard!
Besides, Twilight would probably use that old teleporter she invented to get in, assuming it doesn't teleport her into a bank vault again.
Oh, Pinkamena's sister Maud Pie is doing the music! One of the greatest rock stars in Equestria here to perform! Oh, so many celebrities in the same place at the same time! Darn it, she's talking to an odd pony in a fedora and trench coat!
I don't know why Pinkamena insists on having nothing to do with her sister; I'd leap at the opportunity in a moment! I should know, I have with Sweetie Belle.
Huh? My! Looks like that pony got quite miffed at Maud...now she's open.
“Hello, Miss. Pie,” I said, trotting up to her and letting her see me.
“Oh, hey!” she called, snapping up. “Your...Rarity right? Pinkamena's friend!”
“Indeed, darling! We're good friends. And may I say, that shirt fits you. It definitely screams 'Rocker'...but may I suggest a choker collar or chains, though? If you're going for the rocker, go all the way.”
“Eh, I'm a simple gal. It's worked for me so far,” she replied, giving a shrug. Of course, her voice got ponies to look at her. And being a rocker had different rules than being a lady. “Your dress looks...nice...reminds me of a wild party I was at once! After we drank a lot.”
“Why thank you, darling!” I replied, giving a smile. “The yellow goes perfectly with my mane!”
“Yeah...kinda...I guess...hey, Rarity...” she started, shooting a look in the direction that odd pony left. “...is Pinkamena doing okay? I worry about her, you know?”
“Oh, she's doing fabulously. Very healthy, even in these trying times...though she does cause problems throwing out all our good food and the like. Though thin is likely going to be in again, so that's fine.”
“Yeah, always did that back home. Doesn't mean I don't worry she'll worry herself to death.”
“Oh, certainly,” I replied. “I know how you feel, sometimes I'm concerned about my little sister Sweetie Belle. I mean have you seen some of the things she wears on Scootaloo's little show?!”
What? I'm here to get attention, not let Pinkamena take it all when she's not even here.
Huh, I thought there would be more variety, why is it all fruits and veggies? Oh well, never pass up free food.
Oh! There's King Tirek! He's so majestic in that gold armor! But maybe he could be wearing some crimson, after all, it'd go with his skin tone so well! Too bad he's chatting with Sir Discord.
“Oh! Hello, Mrs. Smith!”
Applejack's grandmother is one of the wealthiest mares in Equestria, owner of an entire franchise of bargain stores! She is certainly one of the 'mares to know' in Canterlot.
How do I know that? Mother drilled me on tons of bios, said I should know the ponies I'm going to have to fraternize with. They're much easier to remember than the rules...bios only update, not change.
Why does she look so sad all of a sudden?
“...You still live with my granddaughter, correct?” she asked.
“Of course! We live together!”
“...Can you please tell her I miss her?...I just want to know why she's avoiding me. I know I might have been...off in how I raised her and Applebloom. I made mistakes, and I want to live up to them.”
“Certainly, Mrs. Smith, I'll make sure to do just that!”
Huh? She didn't even notice my dress! Well, I never! I've known her since I was a filly! Not to mention that fancy dress of her's didn't have one ounce of green on it! I mean really-OW! Warn somepony before you turn the speakers up that loud!
At least plenty eyes are still on me, even if Mrs. Smith can't see good taste when she sees it. This dress is fabulous!
Oh, and there's Sassy Saddles! Who is that? Why only one of the most innovative mares in Canterlot fashion, and has extended into many other pursuits. I believe she's currently trying her hoof at art, doing well. She's one of those ponies who's always trying something new, always innovating. It's why she's so successful. Oh, I simply must talk to her!
“Rarity Belle, is that you?”
“Oh, hello there,” I replied, doing my best to hide my annoyance, I have fraternizing to do! But a lady must always be polite...unless somepony else is rude. Or hitting on her. Or unless they're very handsome.
“Don't you remember me? Suri Polomare?” the pink mare asked.
Suri...oh! “Oh yes, I remember you! You used to live in Ponyville, right?”
Suri Polomare was an old acquaintance of mine who used to visit Canterlot all the time. She previously lived in Ponyville, harsh place to be if I recall. She and I always got along so well. We both got that a lady needed to have all eyes on them, and that friends reflected you, but you must always remain in the spotlight. You could say we were 'friendly rivals' so to speak. We both loved fashion though she was always a bit more...mainstream than I was.
“How have you been, Suri? It's been years, darling!”
Suri gave a small smile. “Because I moved to Manehatten to make it in the big city, sorry I didn't tell you.”
“Oh, I'm certain you must be doing well then! Mares like us would be perfect for the dog eat dog city, a lady must take the spotlight no matter what it takes!”
To think, an old acquaintance of mine big in Canterlot!
Huh? Why does she look sad?
“Oh, you're not doing well?”
“Oh, no I'm doing fantastic. It's just...well; I was hoping you'd grown out of that nonsense.”
I blinked in confusion. “Wait, what?”
She rubbed her head. “Since Luna turned bad, Manehatten stopped being so dog eat dog and more 'try to stop being eaten by the evil Princesses.' Being all about yourself doesn't get you ahead when everypony else is looking for team players just to survive, m'kay? Being selfish isn't exactly seen as lady-like anymore you know.”
“Rarity? Are you okay?”
“I'm...I'm okay...I'm fine...”
The rules... the rules say you have to focus on getting all eyes on you...how...she knew the rules...but...if the rules change...ugh! My head hurts!
Suri rushed to my side. “Rarity, you don't look so good, maybe you should lay down.”
I...it...it doesn't make sense. The rules...The rules can change, yes, but that one never has! Suri GOT me! She knew that rule! She knows how it works! She knows standing out and having all eyes on you was the one rule...the one rule that ALWAYS makes sense! How can it just suddenly change?!
“It...Well, Luna's back on our side, that means things should go back to normal, right?”
Suri frowned. “Rarity...no, it won't...and it shouldn't.”
“Yes, it should.” I snapped back from her. Stop confusing me! “That rule is the only one that's clear cut! The only one that always made sense! How can you just tell me it doesn't anymore?!”
“Rarity, you're making a scene, calm down!”
Good! At least now all eyes are on me again! No, bad! Because we're not supposed to do that anymore! No, yes, no, yes! Make it stop!
I spent years figuring out the rules, why do they keep changing?! That one is not supposed to change!
Huh? Why'd the lights go out?! What's in my mane?!
Duchess Chrysalis did something to take care of those nasty bugs...Suri...I lost her...
Somepony must have lied to her. Yes, that's it. They must have. How else would she think that rule no longer applies? Lies! A lady must always draw eyes to herself. A lady must always stand out. A lady must always have the spotlight. That rule can't change. It is set in stone, like the law of gravity.
Poor Suri, who lied to you? Pity.
I am not twitchy, why would I be twitchy? I...I need to focus my mind on other things! Stress can cause early aging!
Ah, here's a perfect example of why rules are important! This ice sculpture is on a blue tablecloth! That's too much blue in one place, especially in summer! I'll just correct this for them! There we go! Out the window!
Oh, and these plates are white! What, were they going for a winter theme?!
Huh? The guards?! Let go of me! I'm just enforcing the rules! That's all! I need to do this! Please!...Please!
I was just trying to let the world go back to feeling normal! Is that too much to ask?!
“Excuse me, sirs...”
“May we ask what's going on here?”
Huh? The Flim Flam Brothers?
“This mare was vandalizing the party, your honors,” said the guard rather rudely restraining me.
“I was not vandalizing! I was fixing it! There was far too much blue! It broke the rules!”
Flim and Flam looked to one another. “...Dear, what are these rules you speak of?” Flam questioned.
“The rules of fashion of course! Too much of one color is bad! It's just common knowledge...”
Flim rubbed his chin and had a brief word with his brother. I couldn't hear much, but I believe I heard them mention Starlight, Gilda, and Sir Discord and perhaps... Fluttershy? Why would they be talking about her? She's not even here! After a bit, they finally turned back to me. “Guards, can you please direct the lady to our table? Under watch, of course.”
“Fantastic idea, brother of mine,” replied Flam. “I am in agreement.”
Wait, what just happened?
“So, Miss Belle, please tell us...” Flim started.
“What exactly do these rules mean?” Flam continued. “The ones you view as good enough to cause to...'redecorate' a party?”
The two of them were such gentestallions, so of course I explained! Right down to how Suri broke THE rule.
The Flim Flam Brothers? Why they're the Chief Judges for the entire kingdom, renown for their fairness above all else. Certainly they'll see that somepony clearly lied to poor Suri.
“Miss Belle, just to ask, your belief that these rules your parents taught you are completely genuine, correct?” Flam questioned politely.
“Why of course, isn't it a rule a child is always supposed to believe what their parents tell them without question?” I replied. Of course, I do, why wouldn't I.
Flim rubbed his chin. “Yes, that is true I suppose...and you've never considered any of these rules mutually contradictory?”
“Well I used to think they were, but I've figured them out.”
The two looked to one another, and Flam whispered something in his brother's ear, getting a nod.
“Miss Belle, perhaps are you aware of a concept called 'extenuating circumstances?'” Flim questioned.
Let me thing. Hmm... “No, I don't believe so.”
He gives a polite smile. “Well you see, Miss Belle, it's quite the simple concept. Let's say that a certain pony beats another pony up. Under the law, that is quite clearly an illegal act, do you agree?”
“I believe so,” was my response. It was simple logic. Applejack had mentioned getting arrested that way on some occasions, but normally never succeeds.
Flam gave a smile of his own. “But let us say in this particular situation, the pony who got beat up broke into the first pony's home with the intent to rob it. And ended up in a confrontation with the first pony who owns the home. Resulting in them being beaten up?” he questioned. “By law, it is illegal to beat up another pony. But in the context, the extenuating circumstances change it from assault to self-defense, meaning the pony who broke into the home in the first place is at fault. Does that make sense, Miss Belle?”
“I...believe so...” I believe Applejack frequently reminds Rainbow Dash she's capable of such more often than not.
“Alright then, let's apply this same idea to some of your rules, specifically the one that brought you to our attention this fine day,” Flim continued, motioning to the table. “Now, you said there was an over-saturation of the color blue, correct? That is why you did it?”
I gave a nod. “Yes, especially for summer! Blue is a winter color. The white didn't help.”
“That rule is true,” Flam replied. Why did I feel like I was playing a chess game? “But what is your opinion on them being a water themed color?”
I put a hoof to my chin. Hmm...Water... “Yes...I believe so...”
“And therein lies the extenuating circumstances,” Flim replied, holding up a hoof. “This party is to celebrate the return of regular rain and futility to Equestria. There is a table on the other side of the party with more greens and pinks. So by your logic, the thematic connection between blue and water makes that rule valid. As does the connection between the white of the plates and the clouds.”
I couldn't speak. My words just died in my throat...I cannot be wrong...but...the rules...
“I...I suppose that's logical...but...the rules...how can...”
“Miss Rarity, there is a rather simple solution to that conflict,” Flim continued, putting a hoof on my shoulder. He's touching me...
“The rule of blue being a winter color is true in some cases, but in other cases the extenuating circumstances mean the rule of blue being a water themed color overrules and takes precedence over the previous rule. The rules are not in conflict, merely one applies here while the other does not.”
“That...that can happen?!”
I mean...yes, I've gotten confused on the rules before, by I didn't need to be?
Why do they look disturbed for a moment?
“Indeed, it can, and often does,” Flam replied. “You merely need to think through them wisely. And as for rules like the one you believe Suri violated...are you aware of the concept of an 'amendment?'”
“I may have heard of them in newspapers...” I muttered, feeling a bit dizzy. I was out of my element...maybe that's why I felt right listening to them.
“An amendment is an additional clause added later to an existing rule,” Flim replied simply. “For example, do you recall how the legal age to vote for elected officials used to be twenty-one?”
“...Yes...I believe so, I think Twilight explained the concept once...”
Flam nodded. “Changing that age was an example of an amendment to the law. Rules can be revoked, yes, but they can also be changed to become fairer or to address a previous error made in making the rule.”
Rules...can change their meaning? Not just be replaced with a different rule?
Flim cleared his throat. “Suri states that Manehatten is no longer dog-eat-dog, which is indeed the case. But that doesn't necessary mean your rule that a lady should always try and be in the spotlight is wrong...merely, outdated and in need of an amendment, so how about this one?” He took a piece of paper in his telekinesis and wrote things down. “A lady should always try and be in the spotlight when it is a matter of social status rather than survival, be it themselves or others.”
I...just set there staring. “I...”
“That way your rule of a lady being respected and honored remains intact, but the new circumstances surrounding it are addressed and acknowledged,” Flam continued. “There is no contradiction because now the rule remains valid, just evolved.”
When...when mother and father always tried to explain things...they drilled them into me...they drilled the rules into me...but they were both being such gentleponies to me...
“...Why...why are you trying to be so kind to me? I did something against the law...”
Both gave a chuckle. “Because, Miss Belle, it is our job to hear all the circumstances of a given case. Now, normally we'd let a defense attorney do that. But in this case hearing it from the horse's mouth was a valid option. And it'd likely have fallen upon a local court anyway, so we were within our rights to do so,” Flim explained with a friendly smile.
“And besides, is it not the rules that a gentlestallion treat a lady kindly?” Flam continued.
I blushed a little bit...I...given the situation...I think the red is appropriate. “I...that is correct.”
“But be that as it may, it is a judge's duty to give sentence...” Flam replied. “Given the extenuating circumstances and that we can ask such a settlement of Princess Trixie and Duchess Chrysalis, how does this sound: a reasonable fine for the damages and community service? After all, no pony was hurt, and the damage was minimal all things considered. Prison time does not seem particularly fair, particularly considering your confusion that influenced your actions.”
Flim held up a hoof. “In addition to some time with Miss Do the Wise, you seem as though you'd benefit from a little chat with her to sort out any lingering confusion...”
Ditzy Do the Wise?! I...she's the wisest mare in the entire kingdom! I...
“I...I feel that is fair...I...I have a lot to think about I suppose...”
“Very good, Miss Belle,” Flam replied, offering me his hoof. I shook it. “Now, how about we talk to Duchess Chrysalis and Princess Trixie about these terms? After all, Princess Trixie is currently acting ruler and Duchess Chrysalis her regent while she becomes accumulated for the role?”
Princess Trixie?! Duchess Chrysalis?! EEEEEEEEE! I can't wait to meet them!
Wait, what's Twilight doing with her locket over there? Is it supposed to be glowing like that?