Hey! It looks like you're new here. You might want to check out the introduction.

The Best Medicine · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
It's a Fine Line
Rarity was having trouble keeping her eyes open.

The massage room in the Lotus Luxury Spa was hot by any standard, just a few degrees shy of body temperature, and so humid that water beaded on the wood walls and ran in rivulets down to the floor. Her sodden mane, still wet from the baths, hung like a curtain from the edge of the massage table, swaying like a pendulum, and she felt it tug at her scalp with each swing, slowly lulling her to sleep.

A pair of firm hooves pressed against her lower back, just above her dock, and began to grind into the muscles. The delightful sensation of relief and pressure, just on the border of pain, was barely enough to keep her awake.

And so she almost missed it when Twilight Sparkle asked her a question.

“Mm? I’m sorry, darling?” She turned her head to face the other table, where Twilight Sparkle lay stretched out beneath Aloe, the pink twin to the powder blue pony currently attending to her own needs.

“Oh, I was just asking how often you came here,” Twilight said. Her eyes were lidded and distant, but as always they held a spark of calculation. Twilight Sparkle never, in Rarity’s experience, asked a meaningless question.

“Once a week, I suppose. Unless it’s been a busy week at the shop and I need to unwind, or if my sister has done something destructive again and I need to escape. Or if I’m meeting Fluttershy for lunch and we have some time in the afternoon. Oh, and whenever I can pry you out of the palace, of course. So, you know, a few times a week.”

“Mhm.” Twilight said nothing else.

Rarity waited.

Sure enough, Twilight didn’t disappoint. “It’s just that this must cost a lot.”

Rarity arched an eyebrow. “I budget my expenses carefully, Twilight. And the Boutique is a well-run business, if I do say so myself.”

“I know, but—urk...” Twilight lost her momentum as Aloe placed both hooves alongside her neck and began sliding them up her poll, stopping just shy of her ears, and then squeezing them back down to her shoulder. A minute passed in this way before Twilight found her voice again.

“Ahem, I mean, don’t you ever feel like you could be spending this on something else?”

“You mean, not wasting it on frivolities.”

“No! I mean, well… okay, yeah, that’s what I mean.”

“It’s fine, Twilight. It’s a reasonable question.” Rarity waited for Lotus to stop squeezing the breath from her lungs before continuing. “After all, spending who-knows how many bits at the spa might seem like a waste, when there are other ponies who need them. Not so generous, if you will.”

Across the room, Twilight nodded.

“Tell me, Aloe, Lotus.” Rarity tilted her head slightly to see them both. “Do you think I’m wasting my bits, spending them here?”

They both froze. Twilight did too, her eyes suddenly wide open. “Well, that’s not what I meant—”

“Isn’t it, darling? After all, nopony really needs to visit the spa. If I were being truly generous, shouldn’t I bundle up my bits and give them to the needy, rather than spend them?”

The spa twins still had not moved, except for their eyes, which darted back and forth between their customers and each other.

“Of course, between my own visits and when I bring you girls along, I daresay we make up a sizable portion of the spa’s customer base,” Rarity continued. “But I’m sure they would agree those bits could be better spent. There are other jobs Aloe and Lotus could do.”

“Now, hang on,” Twilight said. “I didn’t say you should stop coming.”

“No, but where does one draw the line between generosity and penury, Twilight? Does generosity mean giving away all of one’s possessions, or simply doing everything one can to help others? To make them…” She paused for thought. “To make them flourish?”

Slowly, slowly, the hooves on Rarity’s back began to move again. They slid easily along her oiled coat, but she could still feel the faint quaver in them.

“I’m sorry,” Twilight said. “I wasn’t really thinking.”

Rarity smiled. “The world needs beauty as much as it needs charity and sustenance. Such things keep the soul healthy.”

They spent the rest of the visit in silence. As was her custom, Rarity paid for them both, and left a sizable tip in the jar by the register.
« Prev   39   Next »