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Great Expectations · FiM Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
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Doing Well by Doing Good
Over the years, Rarity had come to realize that there were several matters about which she was rarely mistaken.

A client's measurements, for instance. Yes, she made a show of deploying her tape up, down, over, and across each pony who visited the Carousal Boutique for a fitting, but that was simply for the customer's peace of mind. From fetlock to flank, from withers to chest, both front and rear inseams as well as collar and hat size: one appraising glance was all she needed.

This did, she had to admit, lead to the occasional problem. Such as—

"A perfect size three!" Fashionably Late flexed a bulky pastern. "I've been a perfect size three, my dear Rarity, since my school days." She sighed. "Fil has been enamored of my figure since our very first cotillion, and twenty years of marriage haven't changed me a whit!"

Ever the professional, Rarity didn't allow her smile to so much as waver. "Of course!" She made an entirely fictitious note on her pad and a mental note to multiply the written number by four. "I have Mr. Rich's ensemble in the next room awaiting your approval, but first—" Not allowing her horn to spark the way it wanted to, she smoothly turned to the next page, the page she'd been waiting all week, all month, and in a larger sense, all her life to turn to. "I wanted to show you my preliminary thoughts on the gown you'll be wearing with the Azdariz Diamond."

Just saying the name forced Rarity to stifle another shiver. For while she'd worked with larger gems, none, she was convinced, could hold the proverbial candle to the Azdariz. That she'd been allowed to touch the diamond during Ms. Late's previous fitting session, had been allowed to caress it with her magic and soak herself in the dazzling prismatic reflections and refractions from its surface—

Suffice it to say that the sensations had featured quite prominently in her dreams during the course of the last week.

Intoxicated by the memory of its radiance, Rarity had worked with increasing fervor to design an outfit that would transform Fashionably Late's ever-so-slightly brick-like self into the ultimate display platform for—

"The Azdariz Diamond?" Ms. Late gave a sniff. "Oh, no, my dear. I'll not be wearing that old thing! Honestly! Do you want me to be taken for a provincial?"

One of the other matters about which Rarity was rarely mistaken, she'd found, was her life-long adherence to that simple piece of business advice: the customer is never to be hit over the head with a table. The twitch that seemed to wrench her left eyelid several inches to the side, however, made her consider for the first time in her distinguished career the complete abandonment of this principle.

"Not be wearing it?" That she didn't shriek the words, Rarity felt, should qualify her for an award of some sort. "The single most perfect gemstone ever mined, polished, cut, and set upon a gold chain during any period before or since the founding of Equestria, and you'll not be wearing it?"

Fashionably Late waved one of her double-wide hooves. "A mere bauble, Rarity, I assure you. Besides, Fil sent straight to the jewelry exchange when I misplaced it the other day, and—"

"Misplaced it?" This shriek, unfortunately, would have forced Rarity to return the award had it in fact been presented to her a moment previously. "You—! How—? Where—? When—?"

"Oh, now, really!" Ms. Late pursed her lips. "If I knew the answers to those questions, the diamond wouldn't be lost, would it? All I know is that I brought it here last week, then I tucked it into my bag, ran a few errands around Ponyville, went home, opened my bag, and the diamond was gone. Cloves and the rest of the household staff have spent the week searching here and there for it, but to no avail. So I've arranged for a notice to be printed in tomorrow's newspaper telling anypony who finds it to keep it. I never much cared for the thing anyhow." She shrugged her broad shoulders and gestured to her saddlebags, hanging on the rack beside the fitting room door. "The topaz necklace Fil bought me is much more cosmopolitan, I'm sure you'll agree, and much more complimentary to my coloration."

And yes, it was a perfectly lovely topaz necklace, one that stood out quite well against the acreage of Ms. Late's wine-dark hide. But after the gentle zephyrs of the Azdariz Diamond, the topaz rankled against Rarity's magic as crass as garlic breath, as rough as dried bubble gum and as scratchy as beach sand between the bed sheets.

Nodding, Rarity of course agreed to design a new gown around the necklace, but it wasn't until Fashionably Late had left with many an approving glance at Filthy Rich's outfit for the upcoming Rich Family Spring Social that Rarity realized how truly and thoroughly shocked she'd been. Wandering dazedly into her workshop after locking up the Boutique for the evening, she found herself staring at her fainting couch, still settled in its place against the far wall.

Her dismay—nay, her horror—at the thought of the Azdariz Diamond being lost ran so deeply through her that she couldn't even bring herself to pass out. Instead, her every fiber screamed that action must be taken, that a stalwart response much be made, that this literal shining jewel of Equestrian culture must not be allowed simply to vanish into some treasure-seeker's hidey hole.

"But how?" she muttered, her hooves unable to cease pacing her back and forth across the room. Her jewel-finding sense was, of course, splendidly acute, but it didn't function with the sort of specificity required to locate a particular diamond. Still, if the Azdariz had truly been lost somewhere within the city limits of Ponyville, she could easily stroll up and down the streets this evening before the gem's loss became public knowledge—

With her horn glowing like a lighthouse beacon and attracting a great deal of unwanted attention. She could wear a hat, of course, to mask the effects of her magic, but, well, she always attracted attention due to the power of her extreme fabulosity—which, despite Twilight Sparkle's continued insistence to the contrary, was as real a word as any Rarity had ever uttered. Attention would lead to questions, questions would lead to answers, and answers might very well lead to others entering the search for the diamond.

Rarity's chest tightened, shivers racing from her ears to her fetlocks. Yes, most current jewelsmiths considered the Azdariz to be old-fashioned and quaint—"fusty," she'd even heard a colleague call it, a colleague with whom Rarity had so far managed to avoid ever conversing again—but she certainly couldn't help it if most current jewelsmiths were tasteless hacks and boors. It made her stomp a hoof, the thought that somepony like that might come into possession of the diamond. She definitely needed to act tonight.

But how to manage it? How could she search discreetly for a lost gem when she was the most noticeable pony in town?

Taking a breath of the midnight air through the mask's fabric, Rarity slid open the window of her darkened showroom and slipped into the space between the wall of Carousel Boutique and the shrubbery.

Yes, this was undoubtedly a silly idea. When it had occurred to her, in fact, as she'd paced and pondered earlier, it had struck her as so inordinately ridiculous, she had batted it away with a laugh as blithely as Opalescence batted at that feathered ball with which she enjoyed playing on occasion.

As evening had deepened to full night, however, Rarity restlessly prowling the halls, the idea had kept returning. The outfit had a large enough hat to cover the telltale light of her horn in action; it was dark enough to render her largely invisible should she keep to the shadows and tread softly; and the cape, she'd always thought, was simply to die for.

She'd kept the costume, of course, carefully hung in the back closet with others of her designs that she couldn't bear to dispose of for sentimental reasons. And with the clock in the hall striking eleven, Rarity had found herself standing in the doorway of that very same closet, her magic rifling through the unfinished or ungainly items stored there till she'd come across those very particular and sleek purples and dark blues.

It took her the rest of the hour to convince herself that she hadn't lost her mind, but only a few moments to don the entire ensemble. Yes, she'd been alone among her friends in not actually wearing the suit during their chastisement of Rainbow Dash, but since she'd had to work on a very tight deadline in constructing the original version, she'd used her own measurements as the template.

Crouching behind the shrubs, she straightened a seam with the slightest of smiles. The Mare-Do-Well outfit still fit her as snugly as the day she'd made it.

Glancing from side to side and pricking her ears, she perceived no other ponies anywhere about. So with another breath, she activated her gem-finding spell—the scan she'd already made of the Boutique and its environs had brought nothing to light but her regular stock of jewels—and scurrying from the bushes to the wall of the building across the street, she began slinking through the shadows toward the town square.

Fortunately, Fashionably Late had always struck Rarity as a creature of habit, visiting the same spots when out on errands either alone or with that appalling child of hers. Unfortunately, as the matriarch of the town's wealthiest family, Ms. Late visited quite a variety of spots: the Gardening Committee met at the gazebo in the park, the Parent-Teacher Association at the schoolhouse, the Library Board of Trustees downstairs in Twilight's castle, the Village Beautification League at City Hall, et cetera, et cetera. The more she thought about it, in fact, the easier it seemed for Rarity's current purposes to eliminate those few places the mare didn't go and work from there.

With her mind focused on putting together an itinerary, she crept along the silent streets while shrugging off the occasional tug of her horn toward the jewelry box of some sleeping pony in whatever house she was passing. That she might be too late, however—it had been a week since the diamond's disappearance, after all—she refused to think about. She would do this first scan of the town tonight, and if she came up empty—

A fluttering of feathers and a clearing of throat behind her made her hooves freeze halfway into taking her next step. Swiveling her head, she squinted over her shoulder through the mask's eyepieces, and her entire circulatory system froze as well. For there, those unmistakable violet eyes narrowing beneath that ill-cropped, multi-colored mane, stood the very last pony Rarity had hoped or expected to see wandering about Ponyville in the middle of a Thursday night.

"Hi," Rainbow Dash said, her body taut and still and making Rarity think of an arrow notched and ready to shoot from its bow. "D'you think I could maybe ask you a couple questions?"

Bolting for the nearest alleyway was a mistake, Rarity knew the moment she did it, but by then it was rather too late. The whoosh of wings made her ears twist, and throwing herself sideways, she ended up tripping and tumbling out of Rainbow's way, the pegasus whisking past with a shouted, "Hey!"

Rarity regained her hooves quickly enough, and galloping down the sidewalk, she searched the street ahead frantically for anywhere she could hide that wasn't a trash bin or the underside of a dusty stoop. The rather unkempt rhododendron bush along the side of the hardware store seemed the best option, so she stretched her magic, pushed as many of the branches out of the way as she could manage, leaped inside, and let the foliage snap back into place.

Two heartbeats later—and Rarity's heart was beating rather quickly at that moment—a flapping of wings brought Rainbow Dash to a landing in the middle of the street, the frown on her muzzle about as ferocious as any Rarity had ever seen there. Rainbow looked to the left, looked to the right, and her forehead wrinkled, her frown getting even more ferocious. Peering through the leaves, Rarity held her breath, and when Rainbow turned slowly in a full circle without her frown lessening, a little spark of hope tingled along Rarity's spine. Perhaps the dark fabric of the costume would keep her safe from detection?

But then Rainbow closed her eyes, tipped her head back, and sniffed. Her eyes shot open, blinked several times, then moved so Rarity found herself looking straight into them. "Rarity?" Rainbow asked.

Cursing her all-too-distinctive jasmine perfume, Rarity considered staying put and remaining unresponsive. But, well, another matter that Rarity had found herself to be rarely mistaken about was the behavior of those ponies who had become her dearest and closest friends over the last few years. Indeed, Rainbow was already stepping closer to the rhododendron bush, her wings flaring to no doubt lift her into the air so she could get a better vantage.

"Yes, Rainbow," Rarity said with a sigh, firing her horn to clear a path as she stepped back out onto the sidewalk. "It is I..."

Her gaze on the concrete, Rarity didn't know—rather, she didn't want to know—what expression Rainbow had on her face. "Huh," that scratchy voice said. "You wanna tell me why you're out here in the middle of the night wearing the Mare-Do-Well suit?"

For another half a heartbeat, Rarity thought about making something up. But really, what could she possibly say? What story could she fabricate when the truth sounded odd enough to be fiction?

"Well, if you must know," she said, and removing her headgear, she carefully folded the mask over the crown of the hat, settled herself to sit on the sidewalk, and told Rainbow plainly and straightforwardly how she'd come to learn that Filthy Rich's wife had lost the Azdariz Diamond. "And I'm determined to find it," she finished some moments later, "before the mad searching that's likely to begin when the news is made public tomorrow."

Rainbow had stayed completely blank-faced throughout the entire recitation, and as the night's silence drifted down around them again, Rarity had no idea what to expect. Would Rainbow react with anger since Rarity was dredging up this unfortunate episode from Rainbow's past? With derision since she was engaging in this childish bit of dress-up? With a scolding since she was trying to cheat other ponies out of the opportunity to find the Azdariz for themselves?

But instead— "Okay," Rainbow said. "I'm in."

Rarity stared. "I beg you pardon?"

"I mean, c'mon!" Rainbow waved her wings. "I took Cloud Kicker's night shift this week 'cause her folks're visiting from Cloudsdale, but unless there's a storm brewing, night weather's the absolute boringest." A grin spread over her face, and she rubbed her hooves together. "So tracking jewel thieves? Yeah, you bet I'm in."

"Thieves?" Rarity could only blink for a moment. "Rainbow, the diamond was almost certainly not stolen. Fashionably Late's just, well, careless is perhaps the kind word for her. Growing up in luxury, she's never had to do without anything, so she's never had to pay much attention to what she does have."

"Hey." Rainbow poked Rarity's chest. "Don't you be badmouthing Shony."

That got Rarity blinking even more. "Shony?"

"Sure, she gets a little snooty sometimes, but—"

"Shony?" Rarity felt like a sewing machine that wouldn't quite take thread from its bobbin. "Are you honestly telling me that you know Fashionably Late well enough to call her by a nickname?"

Rainbow folded her front legs across her chest. "When we do our fundraiser every year to help out any ponies who lost stuff or got hurt 'cause of the weather, Shony's right there pitching in. She gets all her rich friends to come, pays to put the dinner together, and she's, like, the biggest donor all the time, too."

Suddenly, the costume seemed much too warm around Rarity. "I...I had no idea."

"And how's this for thinking?" Rainbow sprang into a hover and stretched her neck to whisper right into Rarity's ear. "If Shony had just lost this diamond, then somepony woulda found it by now. And if somepony'd found it, they woulda turned it in to City Hall or to Twilight at the castle, right? It woulda made the papers, too, I betcha." She reared back, spread her hooves, and shouted, her voice echoing all along the street, "Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Some guy finds a great big—!"

"Shhh!" Leaping up, Rarity shoved her right hoof into Rainbow's mouth ,wrapped her left front leg around her neck, and dragged her to the ground. "Ponies are trying to sleep, you know!"

With a little flip, Rainbow broke away from Rarity's grip, her grin more abashed than usual. "But you see what I mean?" she asked in something closer to a midnight tone of voice. "If it was just lost, we woulda heard about when somepony found it. But we didn't, so that means we're dealing with thieves."

Rarity tried her best neither to raise her voice nor to scowl. "Or perhaps it's fallen someplace difficult to access. Down the storm drain or in the river or somewhere similar."

"Half of one, six dozen of the other." Tossing her mane, Rainbow drifted upward again, her wings a blur. "Either we're fighting jewel thieves, or we're hunting for ancient treasure. Hey, and if we're lucky, maybe we'll getta do both!"

The tiniest needle-like ache started jabbing into Rarity's temple. "This isn't a Daring Do novel, Rainbow."

Rainbow poked the clasp holding Rarity's cape in place. "Last time I looked, I wasn't the one wearing the costume." With a laugh, she zoomed off toward the town square. "You coming, Mare-Do-Well?"

"Rainbow!" Once again, Rarity barely managed to choke off her yell; levitating the mask and hat, she took a step to follow her friend, but she couldn't concentrate fully on her gem-finding spell if she was busy floating all this paraphernalia around. She couldn't leave the hat and mask here, either, as that would break up the ensemble and spoil the entire look. So with more than a few grumbles, she wrenched the mask over her head, shoved the hat into place, and raced off into the darkness after Rainbow Dash.

Again, nothing unusual pinged her horn as she ran past the houses and shops, but she gained a new appreciation for the fabric she'd used to construct the costume. She'd of course started with one of the lightweight, cotton/rubber blends all the professional sports teams used, but she'd also performed a bit of her own special magic on it during the sewing process so it would move and breathe more easily. Perhaps she should contact the suppliers who handled the Wonderbolts' equipment and see if—

"Pssst!" The hiss brought her up short, and Rarity blinked to see that she'd actually arrived at Ponyville Square. Rainbow, clinging to the side of the toy store just above Rarity and peering around the corner, motioned with a hoof, her grin brighter than the moon overhead. "Thieves, see? Didn't I tell you? At Time Turner's place!"

This time, the suit suddenly felt too tight. Inching forward till she could see into the square, Rarity blinked and squinted. In the uncertain silver light, it indeed looked very much like a ladder was standing propped against the side of Dr. Turner's clock shop.

"Oooo!" Rainbow grabbed Rarity with one front hoof and pointed the other at the shop. "There's somepony walking around up on the roof! C'mon! Now's our chance!" And she took off across the square, a blue shadow whipping away only a couple hoof-widths above the close-cropped grass.

"Rainbow!" Rarity's eyes had gotten somewhat more used to the dark by then, and she'd gotten a good look at the silhouette of the pony atop the clock shop's flat roof. And one of the other matters about which Rarity was rarely mistaken involved identifying ponies based solely upon the silhouettes of their manecuts. "Wait!"

Not that Rainbow stopped or slowed, of course. Gritting her teeth, Rarity took off in the same direction, but she was barely halfway there when Rainbow swooped up the ladder and landed beside the figure with a thump Rarity could hear quite clearly. "All right, buddy!" Rainbow's voice rang out. "Where's the diamond?"

"I'm sorry?" a stallion's voice replied, quiet even in the post-midnight silence, and Rarity upped her pace.

"You heard me! I want that diamond?"

"I...that is, all my clocks here have jewel bearings, of course, but—"

"Your clocks?" Rainbow sounded confused, and Rarity, reaching the bottom of the ladder and starting to haul her panting self upward, hoped against hope that the pegasus would put two and two together and come up with— "The clocks you stole from Time Turner, you mean!"

"I beg your pardon, Ms. Dash, but I—"

"And nunna your double-talk! You're gonna put every wunna these clocks back, see, and then you're gonna—!"

"Rainbow!" Rarity heaved herself over the roof's parapet and somehow managed not to sprawl like a rag doll onto the tar paper and gravel. "This...is...Time Turner!"

"Huh?" Rainbow turned her head and blinked, Time Turner standing in front of her, the whole roof around them covered with all manner of clocks and watches. Looking back, Rainbow squinted, then started as if she'd found herself staring at a bee. "Oh! Hey, Doc. I didn't recognize you. New manecut?"

Dr. Turner ran a hoof through his hair. "Not as such, no..."

"So then—" Spreading her wings, Rainbow gestured to the clocks. "What's up with this?"

"Moon crystals." Rarity had finally caught her breath. "They power most timepieces in Equestria, but they need recharging every few full moons." She pointed upward and nodded to Dr. Turner. "Pray, sir, forgive my friend her enthusiasm, but I'm afraid we must be on our way."

Glad that the mask hid her blushes, Rarity grabbed the top of the ladder, swung herself onto the top rung, and started down. "Sorry, Doc," she heard Rainbow say. "No hard feelings, huh?"

"Oh, no, Ms. Dash, none at all. But, ummm, who was that masked mare?"

Rarity groaned without making a sound and slid the rest of the way, the costume's dark blue wrapped boots handling the friction quite well, she couldn't help noticing. "Doc?" Rainbow said above her. "It's a long, weird story, and if you're lucky, you'll never hear it." A flash in the moonlight brought Rainbow to street level. "So!" she asked jauntily. "Where to next?"

"Oh, I don't know." Rarity glared at her grin. "Perhaps we could visit the glazier's shop so you could shatter some windows. Or the paint store so you could roll a dozen empty cans down the side of the building."

"Hey!" Rainbow scowled. "I make one honest mistake, and you get all grouchy on me!"

"I just—" Taking a breath, Rarity blew it out, the fabric of the mask slightly damp and sour smelling. "I donned this outlandish costume, Rainbow Dash, in the hopes that I could go about this evening's business without drawing undue attention to myself."

"Uh-huh." Had Applejack been there to witness the arch of Rainbow's eyebrow, Rarity was sure that their friend would've been quietly proud. "The hat, the cape, and the bug eyes is how you do incognito?"

Sighing some more seemed rather pointless, but Rarity found that she couldn't stop herself. "Please, Rainbow. It's past midnight, and I want to have as much of the town scanned as possible before the sun comes up. So I would take it as a personal favor if you would help me toward that goal instead of hindering me."

Rainbow's mouth went sideways. "Fine. But we see anything else that looks like a crime happening—"

"Yes, of course." Rarity started up the street toward the site of the former library. "We shall leap in with all hooves blazing or however those dreadful comic books of Spike's always put it."

"Okay!" A flap of wings brought Rainbow to Rarity's side. "Now you're talking!"

That the rest of the night's activities went smoothly brought Rarity as much pleasure, she knew, as it brought Rainbow grief. "Six hours!" She waved a wing toward the eastern horizon, now substantially brighter than just a few moments before. "And nothing!"

Finding nothing, Rarity had to admit, made the entire situation a good deal less than satisfying, but they'd indeed covered every spot in Ponyville that Fashionably Late could conceivably have visited. Rarity reached up to rub her eyes only to remember that she was still wearing the Mare-Do-Well mask. "Somepony must have already found it...."

"No honest pony!" Rainbow took to the air and smacked her front hooves together. "I mean, face it, Rares: that diamond's prob'bly cut into four or five pieces and halfway to dragon country by now!"

The thought made her miss a step. To cut the Azdariz Diamond would be a travesty beyond compare, but to lock it away in some dragon's hoard, never again to know the kiss of sunlight or the gentle cradle of a mare's throat? "No." Her horn as numb as a leg slept on incorrectly, her hooves throbbing and her neck stiff, she nonetheless raised her head and looked east. "Because I'll be going after it."

"What?" Rainbow's voice cut through Rarity's head like a mid-winter icicle. "Are you nuts? It's just a rock! You can't seriously—!"

"I must." She could barely swallow, her throat felt so thick. "It's beauty, Rainbow Dash, the purest, loveliest, most inexpressibly perfect object I shall ever see or touch. And to let that go..." Her whole body seemed to clench, and she couldn't continue.

"Wow," a thick voice said behind her. "Your friend must sure like watching the sun rise, Rainbow Dash."

Blinking, Rarity turned, and—

"Oh, hey, Derpy." Rainbow gave a nod. "Early delivery this morning?"

"You betcha!" The postmare was nodding, too. "There's always somepony somewhere who needs their stuff before breakfast."

Rarity, however, couldn't look away from the object hanging from Derpy's neck, the chain much too long for a pony her size, the light of dawn catching it, embracing it, calling forth its inner fire in a way that made Rarity forget everything else she'd ever known.

"Huh." Rainbow stepped forward into the corner of Rarity's field of vision. "That a new necklace, Derpy?"

"Yep!" Derpy caught the swinging chain with a hoof and raised the Azdariz Diamond closer to Rainbow's face. "I found it in the park the other day just laying in the mud! Isn't it pretty?"

"Yeah, I guess." The indifference in Rainbow's voice shocked Rarity; she turned to glare at Rainbow, but the glare Rainbow was already aiming at her made Rarity's simply deflate. "I've gotta say, though, that it sure isn't the sorta thing I'd, y'know, leave my friends and family and business and life behind to go chasing after. But, yeah, it's pretty enough."

Derpy was blinking at Rainbow. "What?" she asked.

"Stones like that," Rainbow said, but her gaze stayed fixed on Rarity's, the intensity there not allowing Rarity to look away. "You gotta be careful with 'em 'cause they sometimes make ponies do stupid things. Especially when those ponies forget the stuff that's really important."

The suit around Rarity was getting warmer and warmer, the now-risen sun shining full upon her. But a part of her mind had already begun planning her visit to Derpy's house after midnight tonight—Derpy didn't lock her doors, Rarity was certain, and the Mare-Do-Well costume should serve quite nicely to stop any hair or hide traces from remaining behind....

She shook her head. Then she shook it again. "Yes," she said, her voice barely sounding like hers even to her own ears. "It is a lovely stone."

But one of the matters about which Rarity was rarely mistaken involved her belief that true beauty could never be possessed but could only be shared. Sitting back on the ground, she reached up with her hooves and removed her hat and mask. "If you like, Derpy, I can show you a better way to wear it."

"Rarity?" Derpy's eyes went wide even though one of them seemed to be focused straight up. "Oh, wow! I didn't know it was you in there!"

"It very nearly wasn't." Rarity gave Rainbow a glance and saw her friend really smiling for the first time in many long hours. "But you need to wear a stone like that close about your neck: these sorts of gems love to rest against the skin, you see." Sparking her weary horn, she sent her magic out to bunch the chain, form a temporary clasp, and draw the Azdariz up to nestle against Derpy's breast, the mailmare's gray coloration the perfect background for the rainbows dancing within the diamond.

"Wow," Derpy whispered, both her eyes somehow pointing downward at the same time. "You're right. It's even prettier now..."

"Come by the shop later." Rarity took a deep breath. "I'll fix it more permanently for you." She blew the breath out. "It'll be a lovely heirloom to pass on to Dinky someday."

"Okay!" Wings buzzing, Derpy swooped over to give her a quick hug. "Thanks, Rarity! I'll see you! You, too, Rainbow Dash!" And she zipped off in the direction of the post office.

Dawn continued its silent stirring around them for a moment, then Rainbow said, "I'm not gonna ask if you're okay, Rares, 'cause I know you are."

"I will be, I think, yes." Looking at Rainbow Dash, Rarity counted herself quite fortunate to know so many ponies who wouldn't allow her to be mistaken. "Thank you."
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