Automated wordcount: 9974
This was file was automatically generated by a google docs scraper, intended for use with e-reading devices. If you wish to have this removed from this list, email ra.llan.pcl+complaints @


By TotalOverflow ’11

        “Ugh, I’ll never understand those pegasi,” Rarity moaned, staring out the window.  The light rain hid most of the town from her view, and the dark sky made it feel as though it were evening while it was only morning.  “Why would anyone want to ruin such a lovely morning with a downpour, of all things?”

        Sauntering slowly towards her kitchen table, Rarity brushed her indigo hair out of her eyes.  A teakettle was hissing quietly on the stove, but the rest of her counters were completely bare.  She smiled at her clean kitchen and looked back to the table, upon which silently rested all the requirements of tea-for-one; the all-important teacup, platter, silver spoon, sugar, cream, and a pair of fresh muffins from Sugar Cube Corner that she had purchased just before the rain started.  They sat side by side on the platter, decorated with blueberries on top.  Rarity loved the muffins Mrs. Cake made, and was glad to get them early in the morning before Pinkie Pie had gotten to them, at which point they would have become cupcakes.

        “SweetieBelle?” Rarity called softly.

        “Yeah?” was the rushed reply from upstairs.

        “Are you sure you don’t want one of these muffins for lunch?  They’re blueberry, you know.”

        The young white filly hurried downstairs to the front door, her satchels filled with books and pencils.  “No thanks sis, I’m going to go for lunch with Scootaloo and AppleBloom, remember?”

        “Well, would you like me to save it for you for after school?” asked Rarity as she ambled towards the door as well, “I thought you liked blueberry muffins.”  SweetieBelle sighed as she opened the front door, letting in a cold damp draft.

        “Sis, I’m going to be late!  I need to go now!” She said as she ran out into the rain.  She didn’t make it more than a yard away before she was lifted back in by her older sister’s magic.

        “Not like that, you’re not!” Rarity clicked as she levitated over a rain jacket and fastened it to her floating, struggling sister.

        “Aw man, now I’m gonna be late for sure!” She whined as she was slowly lowered to the floor.

        “‘Going to be late,' not ‘gonna be late,'” corrected Rarity, “and it’s better to be late than to be sick from a cold.”  

        SweetieBelle rolled her eyes.  “Fine, okay, I’m going now!” She shouted over her shoulder as she galloped towards the schoolhouse.  

        “I’ll see you after school then!” Rarity yelled out, but received no answer.  Sighing heavily as she closed the door, she made her way back to the kitchen, staring at the muffins.  One had fallen over from the breeze; Rarity hurried to stand it up again.  Her horn glowed as she moved it around for a few seconds before setting it down again in the perfect spot, right next to the other one.

        “One, two, three, four,” Rarity mumbled while pointing at the left muffin.  She shifted her gaze to the right muffin and counted again: “One, two, three, four, five?” Snorting out that last digit she levitated the fifth blueberry off the top of the muffin and threw it in the trash.  “Honestly,” she muttered to herself, but her thoughts were interrupted as the teakettle finally screamed in excitement.  Rarity nearly did too at the thought of hot chamomile tea in this weather and hurried to prepare it: adding one sugar cube and a touch of cream, the treat was finally ready.  She levitated the cup to her nose and breathed in the scent before lowering it to her mouth.


        Nearly spilling her tea, a very disgruntled Rarity stormed over to the front door.  “Who could possibly be out at this hour, and in this weather?” She demanded as she opened the door.

        “The midnight express knocked over the land-shark!”

        Rarity was stunned at what she beheld.  The strange sentence had come from a grey pegasus pony with blonde hair, a mail-satchel which partially covered her cutie-mark of seven pink bubbles, and a letter held in her mouth.  She was breathing heavily, soaked from the rain and had a panicked look in her amber eyes.

        “I BEG pardon?” Rarity sputtered out at the pony she had never seen before.  The mare shook her head and handed Rarity the wet letter.

        “I’m sorry,” She said, calming down a bit, “I meant to say your mail-slot is jammed, and you should really get that fixed, because if it’s broken then I can’t give you your mail and If I can’t-”

        “GOOD HEAVENS, WHAT’S HAPPENING TO YOUR EYES!?” Rarity screamed suddenly.  The young pegasus’s eyes had started to move independently from each other, but she didn’t seem to notice.  Her right eye stayed relatively focused on Rarity but her left looked somewhere off in the distance.  “What should I do!?” Rarity panicked, “Do you need a doctor?  Or-”

        “Oh, don’t worry,” chuckled the young mare, “it’s fine, I just... Muffins!” Throughout it’s wanderings, her left eye had managed to spot the pair of muffins sitting on the table.  She started panting with excitement as Rarity looked back and opened the door wider.

        “Yes, dear, do please come in, you’re positively drenched from the rain!” She said as she opened a nearby closet and lifted out a warm coat (That she designed, naturally) with her magic.  “Here, put this on before you catch-”

        “Muffin for Ditzy?” impatiently asked the pony, her left eye now focused on Rarity and the right on the muffins.

        “Oh, um, yes, please have one, I don’t need two anyway...”  The grey pony squealed with excitement at Rarity’s answer.  Unfurling her wings she flapped over to the table at top speed.  “Look out, you’re-!” Rarity shrieked, but it was too late.  The pegasus had already run right into the table, sending muffins, tea, cutlery and the rest of the table flying across the room.

        “Bubble wrap!” she blurted out, pulling herself up, “jumping sodas make the package miss!” She tried to get to the disaster on the floor but tripped over her own hooves and landed face first into what remained of the muffins.  “Spaghetti!” She said happily as she licked the mess off her face.  Glancing out a window with one of her eyes, she floated in the air, face still covered in muffin.  “The glaze left the blue!  The mail returns to flapjacks!!”  She flew for the open door, which led to a now sunny if damp Ponyville; instead she found herself crashing into the door frame.  Shaking her head again, she flew outside.  “Thanks again for that delicious muffin!” She shouted behind her as she soared away.

        Rarity just stood in shock before her body finally allowed her to pass out.

        “Oh, Fluttershy, it was unbelievable!” Rarity moaned from inside the sauna.  “It took me ages to clean up that mess, and I never did get my tea!”

        “Oh my...” Fluttershy said softly as the attendant Lotus poured more water on the hot-rocks, sending a burst of steam into the air with a loud hiss, “I hope she didn’t hurt herself...”

        “I just couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw her, all damp from the rain, but I really couldn’t believe her eyes!” continued Rarity, “It was unlike anything I had ever seen!  And the way she spoke!  It made absolutely no sense at all!”

        “Poor Ditzy...” Said Fluttershy as they were moved to their next treatment.  Lotus and Aloe smeared a generous amount of mud-mask on Rarity’s face.  Fluttershy received only a small dabble on each cheek.

        “Who?” Asked Rarity as she lay down on a bed; the masseur began his work.

        “She’s the Pony Express mail-pony,” Fluttershy replied, receiving a much softer massage than her friend, “her name’s Ditzy Doo.”

        “Not according to most ponies...” Rarity’s attendant muttered to himself.  Rarity looked over at her friend (as best she could with those cucumbers over her eyes).

        “Are you friends with her?”

        “Oh no,” Fluttershy smiled, “but she seems like such a sweet pony.  She waves hello to me every morning when she leaves the mail in my mailbox.”

        “I just cannot believe they’d allow someone so clumsy and incompetent to deliver the mail!” They were guided to yet another section of the spa, Rarity huffing all the while.  She sighed heavily as she stepped into the mud-bath.  “I suppose she does an acceptable job; apart from this morning I haven’t had any issues with her service, but all the same!”

        “Well, I suppose nopony’s perfect...” Fluttershy said suddenly.  Rarity tried to glare in her general direction.

        “And just what is that supposed to mean?” She demanded.

        “Ah!” Fluttershy cowered, “Nothing!  I just... Um... It’s a saying... And...”

        “Oh, I don’t know why I’m snapping at you,” Rarity said hurriedly as they were moved to their final treatment. “Please forgive me Fluttershy, it’s not your fault she made such a mess of my boutique.”  They stepped into the Hoof Soak and Rarity sighed deeply again.  “Nopony is perfect, you’re quite right, but to be so imperfect as that, why, I just cannot imagine how I could survive like that!”

        “She seems happy, so she must be doing all right for herself.”

        “This whole situation has got me completely flustered.  I must get that mail-slot fixed tonight so such a disaster won’t happen again.  Oh, I wish I could simply forget about the whole thing, but she was so clumsy!  Augh!”

        “Well, maybe we should get something to eat,” Fluttershy suggested as they finished up their visit to the spa.  Rarity hooked her purse over her shoulder as they left.

        “Oh my, is it past lunch time already?  I’m so sorry Fluttershy, I had hoped we would finish our spa visit before noon, but I had to spend so much time cleaning-”

        “Don’t worry about it, Rarity,” Interrupted the pink-maned pegasus, “let’s go get something sweet from Sugar Cube Corner.  That should cheer you up.”

        “Thank you Fluttershy,” Rarity sighed, “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”  Fluttershy smiled as they made their way along the path to their destination.  

        As they entered the doors to Sugar Cube Corner, they were greeted by a pink blur covered in confetti.

        “Rarity!  Fluttershy!  My two most favouritest ponies in the entire universe!” Pinkie Pie shouted happily, bouncing around, “You're just in time to try out my newest invention!”  Rarity mumbled something as Pinkie pulled a pair of cupcakes out from under a sheet and passed them to her friends.  Immediately her cheeks puffed up with stifled laughter as the two confused ponies stared at their treats.  Rarity leaned in to take a bite when she noticed Pinkie turning bright red and trotting in place.

        “Are you all right, dear?”

        Pinkie stopped dead in her tracks and put on her ‘serious face.’ “What do you mean?”  Rarity shrugged and took a small bite out of the cupcake.


        Rarity shrieked as the cupcake exploded and rained down confetti upon the trio.  Pinkie was rolling on the floor, beside herself with uncontrollable laughter.

        “YES!  ConfettiCakes are a success!  Mwahahaha!”  She jumped up to her feet and started catching the confetti on her tongue.  “Hmm, I wonder if I should make the confetti edible...” She swallowed, jumped over to Rarity and stared at her friend with huge eyes.  Rarity was frozen in place, staring ahead until Pinkie shook her out of it.  “What do you think?  Huh?  Huh?  Huh?”

        “Well,” Rarity stammered as she straightened her mane, knocking several bits of confetti out, “they up to their name.”

        “Don’t you want yours, Fluttershy?” Pinkie asked happily.

        “Um, no thank you,” Fluttershy giggled as she gently passed the ‘cupcake’ back to her friend, “I’d just like a normal, non-exploding apple cupcake, please.”

        “Aw, boring!” Tossing the cupcake back to the table, Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy looked over to Rarity who was busy cleaning up the mess of confetti with her magic.

        “Rarity?  What would you like?”

        “Huh?” She said absentmindedly, “Oh, I’ll just have a Danish, please, Pinkie.”

        “Wow, a ConfettiCake AND a Danish!” Pinkie Pie shouted merrily, “you must be starving!”  She bounded away to the counter to prepare their order.  Rarity’s horn stopped glowing as the pile of confetti fell into the trash bin.

        “Are you okay Rarity?” Fluttershy asked tentatively as she took a seat at a table.

        “I simply cannot enjoy myself when there’s such a mess in the room,” the white unicorn huffed as she sat down.  Pinkie Pie hopped over with their treats.

        “Hey, where’d all my confetti go?  Ah well, I guess I gotta make myself more!  Whee!”  Leaving her friends to enjoy their snacks, the pink pony scurried off.

        “I ‘have to make more for myself,’” Rarity mumbled to herself as she took a bite from her Danish.

        “Rarity, today was supposed to be a day of relaxation for you, remember?” Fluttershy said supportively, “But you seem as strung up as ever.  Don’t let yourself be so concerned with little details, or you miss the big picture.”

        Rarity looked up suddenly at the yellow pegasus.  “Whatever do you mean, Fluttershy?  I feel absolutely fine.”  Giving her friend a concerned look, Fluttershy started on her cupcake.  She hardly took a bite when the door-chime sounded again.

        “Hi Ditzy!” Pinkie shouted, poking her head up from under the counter.  Rarity choked on her Danish and ducked down under the table.

        “Hi Pinkie!” Ditzy shouted back as she trotted up to Pinkie, who pulled up a small white package with a red bow on it.  It looked like a present from a birthday party.

        “Mrs. Cake made it extra-super-special today, Ditzy!  I hope you love it!”

        “Delicious Plum!” Ditzy chirped as she grabbed the box by its bow using her teeth.  She started heading towards the door as Fluttershy looked down at the quivering pony.

        “Um, what are you doing, Rarity?

        “I don’t want her to see me,” She whispered, “she’ll manage to ruin the rest of my day if-”

        “It’s the Muffin Lady!” Ditzy hopped over and bumped into their table.  Rarity quickly straightened up.

        “Oh!  Ah, there it is, silly thing,” she stammered, “I found my, erm, hairpin.  Oh, hello Ditzy!  I, ah, didn’t see you there.”  Ditzy dropped her package on the table and just smiled at the two.  Rarity hadn’t noticed before, but her eyes were very large, and full of life.

        “So,” Fluttershy broke the silence, “how are you today, Ditzy Doo?”

        “Today is great!” She beamed, “I delivered the mail, it rained, and I had a muffin!  Most funnest day ever!” Rarity winced and mumbled something to herself. “Although, I do feel like I’m forgetting something important,” Ditzy pondered as her right eye started to drift.  She sat quietly for a minute, both eyes staring in different directions as Fluttershy and Rarity exchanged nervous glances.

        “Um...” Fluttershy began, but Ditzy popped back into reality.

        “I guess it wasn’t that important after all!” She looked down to her package and her face lit up again.  “Ferris Wheel!”  She blurted as she grabbed it and pranced towards the door, “long-handled grass pipes!”

        “No, but, what?  That doesn’t-!” Rarity growled as she glared after the leaving pegasus, “Honestly!  That mare has the worst grasp on vocabulary I’ve ever seen!”  Standing up in a snit she paced around the table.  “Her manners!  Her eyes!  Her speech!  I just... Rgh!”

        “Rarity, it’s really not that big of a deal,” Fluttershy said softly, “you really shouldn’t let it bother you.  We all have little quirks and oddities.”

        “Well, I certainly don’t!” Rarity said as she used her magic to straighten the tablecloth.  “Now my appetite is completely ruined!  I need some air,” she stormed outside, fuming to herself.  Fluttershy left a few coins on the table and hurried to catch her friend.

        “Rarity, I think-”

        “I will not let it disturb me so!” Declared the white unicorn as she struck a pose, “I am Rarity, the most collected, calm connoisseur of fashion in Equestria!  That pegasus will have to try harder than that to upset me!”

        “Well, I don’t really think she was trying in the fir-”

        “Oh my goodness!” Rarity exclaimed, “I forgot to pay for my lunch!  I must go back and-”

        “Don’t worry, Rarity, I already paid for us,” Fluttershy smiled.  Rarity spun around and approached her friend.

        “Oh, Fluttershy!  You’re the sweetest mare I’ve ever known!  I simply must pay you back!” Her horn glowed as her purse opened and a few shiny coins floated out.

        “No, it’s okay... It’s my treat,” Fluttershy said softly as the coins were forced into her hooves.

        “No no, I insist!” sang Rarity, “my behavior was deplorable, and you deserve it for being so patient with me.  I assure you I will not be so disturbed again.”

        Fluttershy was about to reply but a battalion of firefighters rushed down the road, their large wagon’s siren demanding everypony’s attention.  The large stallions were dressed in heavy yellow and black jackets, and they tore through the town shouting warnings to anypony in the way.  Shaking violently as though it were about to topple over from it’s own weight, the fire-carriage glowed bright red and was adorned with numerous devices and tubes.  They thundered around a corner towards a tall tower of smoke coming from the edge of town that Rarity and Fluttershy (and apparently many other ponies, judging from their whisperings) hadn’t noticed.  The wind had started blowing it a different direction, but not towards town.

        “Oh no!” Fluttershy gasped, “I hope nopony got hurt!” She panted, hovering in the air, “the smoke is heading right for my cottage!  I need to go!”  She flew off towards her home as Rarity looked around at other confused ponies.  The street became full of onlookers; it had been many years since the last fire and some had started to wonder why they even they still had a fire department.  For safety reasons, though, they remained, even if the force was very small.

        “Those firefighters are excellent at their job,” Rarity consoled herself, “I’m sure they’ll take care of it.  I’ve no need to worry, that fire will never spread to the rest of town!” Even so, she had a nervous expression and breathed heavily.  She wiped a single bead of sweat from her brow and started off towards her home, perhaps a bit faster than was really necessary.  The cloud of smoke had nearly completely dissipated by the time she arrived, and she looked back towards the clear sky.  Heaving a heavy sigh of relief, she let herself inside.


        A few hours later, the doorbell chimed.  Quickly straightening up her mane, Rarity went to answer it, and as she opened the door she was greeted by the Mayor of Ponyville.

        “Hello Rarity,” she said, smiling but with a somber tone in her voice, “are you well this afternoon?”

        “Oh, yes, I am,” Rarity said, somewhat flustered, “I’m sorry, I didn’t expect to see you.  Are you here for a new ensemble?  I’ve just finished a new set that I think-”

        “I’m sorry Rarity, but that will have to wait,” The Mayor said as she turned towards town, “would you be able to come to Town Hall with me?  There’s been somewhat of a small emergency and I’ve gathered a few other ponies that I hope can help.”  Rarity followed the Mayor, keeping up a brisk pace.

        “Oh my,” she said, “I hope nothing too serious.  If you don’t mind my asking, why did you visit in person?  I’m sure a public announcement or sending messengers would have been more efficient.”

        “It’s really more of a personal problem, and she would prefer if it was kept as quiet as possible, which may be difficult considering the circumstances.”

        “She?  Circumstances?” A bemused Rarity inquired.  They passed through crowded streets as various ponies gossiped amongst themselves.  Rarity could hear one or two of them questioning what the fire from earlier was caused from; if maybe a monster from the EverFree Forest had entered town.

        “You’ll see soon enough; I’d rather discuss it in private with the others.”

        The rest of the trip was made in silence, and in good time.  Inside Town Hall, there were already several ponies waiting, but Rarity only recognized a few of them: standing near a table on the opposite side, AppleJack, Fluttershy and Twilight called her over.  Everypony was talking very quietly, perhaps out of respect for the building they stood in.

        “Hello Rarity,” Twilight smiled, “how’s it going?”

        “Fine, I suppose.  Do you have any idea why we’ve been called?”

        “I was hopin’ you’d tell us,” AppleJack replied.

        “Oh, Fluttershy,” Rarity said, keeping her voice down, “is your cottage all right?  Did the fire reach it?”

        “Thankfully, no,” She coughed; her mane had patches of soot and smelled of smoke, “but the smoke did.  I had left the windows open this morning, and it looks like most of the animals ran away when they saw the smoke coming.  I really should be out looking for them, but the Mayor said this was an emergency...”  Rarity had pulled out a brush and started combing Fluttershy’s fur free from the dirt.

        “Your poor cottage must be a disaster!” She bemoaned.

        “Actually, it’s not too bad, it won’t take too long too clean up; Angel Bunny’s already started cleaning out the soot, and AppleJack’s offered to help in the search.”

        “Well, please let me know if you need any help at all,” Rarity smiled, satisfied at getting Fluttershy’s fur back to it’s yellow hue.

        The door suddenly opened again and an orange unicorn mare entered that Rarity recognized as Dewdrop, an employee at the Inn.  

        “I’m sorry my boss couldn’t come, Ms. Mayor,” She said, “he’s out of town for a day or two.”

        “That’s all right dear,” the brown mare replied as she stood up on a platform.  Instantly, the room fell silent.  “Well, I suppose that’s everypony now.  Let me just begin by saying that everything discussed in this room is confidential, so please do not discuss it with anypony else.”  The small group nodded, almost every one held a focused frown on their face.

        “By now, you all must have heard about the fire on the edge of town,” the Mayor continued, “the fire department was able to stop it before it spread, and fortunately nopony got hurt.”  Fluttershy let out a sigh of relief at this.  “Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the home of Ditzy Doo, who works for Pony Express,” a few ponies whispered to each other.

        “Ditzy Doo?  You mean the one that’s a few slices short of an apple pie?” AppleJack muttered to Twilight.

        “Apparently she left a candle burning as she was out delivering the mail.”

        “I don’t see her anywhere,” Rarity said, a little louder than she intended, as she looked around nervously.

        “She didn’t want to be present for this meeting; she wanted me to address you all instead,” The Mayor resumed.  At once everypony in the room fell silent again.  “The poor pony’s home is destroyed, and most of her possessions are as well.  She’s going to need somewhere to stay until we can figure out how to help her more permanently.”  The crowd started murmuring again as the Mayor looked at everypony.  “I asked all of you to come because you all have some of the larger homes in Ponyville or have experience hosting guests.”

        “I can’t take her in,” AppleJack said sullenly, “the whole Apple family just came in the other day and the whole place is more packed than a fat filly’s fridge.”

        “I’m afraid every room in the Inn is occupied at the moment, too,” Dewdrop added.

        “Oh, I wish I could,” Fluttershy whispered, letting her mane cover half her face, “but I’m going to be so busy looking for my missing animals.”  The Mayor nodded and looked over to Twilight.

        “I’m afraid now’s not really a good time,” Twilight frowned.  The Mayor sighed as she looked around at the other ponies, who were also mumbling to themselves.


        Everypony turned to Rarity who had been standing quietly until now.  Blushing, she quickly stood tall and breathed deeply.

        “I think that I-!” She stammered again, shaking her head.  Finally she regained her composure.  “I will take her in,” she sighed heavily as she hung her head.  The mayor walked over and placed a hoof on her shoulder.

        “Thank you for your generosity, Rarity,” she said, “I know Ditzy Doo will appreciate it.”

        “It’s... My pleasure,” Rarity smiled weakly, “she needs help and I intend to give it to her.”

        “I’ll go and let Ditzy know you’ll accommodate her.  You can expect her to arrive in a few hours.”

        “Yes, I suppose I should go and prepare for her,” Rarity said softly as she turned for the door, “I’ll see you all later, then.”  Smiling lovingly, her friends waved goodbye.  Rarity stepped out into the sunlight and stared at the sky.

        “Oh, what have I got myself into?”

        “I’m home!” SweetieBelle shouted as she hopped inside Carousel Boutique.  “Sis?  What’s going on?” Looking around her home, she noticed almost all the dresses and outfits Rarity designed were gone, as was almost everything breakable.  “Were we robbed?  Did they catch him?” She shouted excitedly, “Maybe I can be a Cutie Mark Crusader Detective!”  She started crawling along the floor, sniffing around.  “I’ll get my magnifying glass!  Maybe there’s hoofprints!  Ooh!  Maybe he left a scent!”

        “SweetieBelle, there you are!” Rarity panted as she quickly pushed a rack of clothing over to a closet, “Help me with this, won’t you?”  Trotting over, she watched Rarity try to force the rack into the closet which was already stuffed full of all the items SweetieBelle noticed were missing.

        “Wait, what?” She asked, tilting her head, “Did you rob yourself?”

        “What?  No, I... Urgh!” Forcing the closet shut she managed to keep everything inside, although the door bulged, ready to explode if breathed upon.  “We’re having a house guest stay with us for a while, and I just wanted to, er, make more room for her.”

        “Really?” SweetieBelle chimed, “Who’s staying with us?  Who’s staying with us?”

        “I don’t think you know her, dear; she works for the Pony Express.”

        “What’s her name?”

        Three slow knocks on the door interrupted Rarity’s answer.  “Oh that’s her now,” She gasped, straightening her mane, “Please be kind to her, Sweetie, she’s having a difficult time at the moment, so please don’t make any mention of her eyes,” She caught herself just after she said it and looked down at her sister.

        “Why?  What’s wrong with her eyes?”

        “Um, nothing... Let’s just let her in.”  Rarity slowly opened the door to puffy, red-eyed Ditzy Doo.  A small bag was draped over her back, and she still held the small package by the bow between her teeth.  Hooves covered in soot and ash, she sniffled quietly and hung her head.  Rarity hadn’t noticed before, but the grey pegasus was quite thin; her forlorn expression made her look even more drawn out.

        “Hi, Ms. Rarity...” She said weakly.  Rarity stepped forward and helped the pony inside.  Hopping away to give them room, SweetieBelle appeared concerned and confused.

        “Oh, just look at you, darling!  You’re in such a sad state!  Come on, let’s get you inside and cleaned up,” guiding Ditzy in, Rarity tried her best to smile, but came up short.  “Where are the rest of your things?”  She asked.  Ditzy looked to the floor and sniffled.  “Oh... I see...”  The white unicorn gave her a gentle squeeze, instantly pulling back and checking if any soot had rubbed off onto her.  “I’m so sorry, dear...” She did her best to console the pegasus, but found herself at a loss for words.  Unable to think of anything useful to say, she tried to fill the awkward silence as best she could.  “Let’s get you cleaned up, and then have some dinner.  You must be starving!  It’s been a very long and hard day for you, I’m sure.”

        After a short bath, Ditzy managed to return to her natural color, but her expression was still dark.  SweetieBelle accompanied her downstairs, from where the smell of steamed carrots filled the part house, part shop.

        “Are you sure you don’t want to stay in my room?” SweetieBelle asked again, staring wide-eyed at the pegasus.

        Ditzy sniffed and looked at the young unicorn, forcing a smile.  “No, but thank you, Sweetie,” her voice cracked slightly.

        “Aw, why not?  I’ve got lots of dolls and toys and it’s much nicer than the guest room,” frowned SweetieBelle as they reached the main floor.  

        “I...” Ditzy tried to regain her composure, but was still very emotional, “I really don’t want to be an incon-(sniff), incon-(sniff), problem to anypony... I’ll only be here for a day or two and shouldn’t get comfy.”  SweetieBelle frowned, but knew she couldn’t persuade this new friend.

        “Well, let me know if you change your mind...” She hopped into the kitchen and took a seat at the table.  “Oh, Rarity, it smells delicious!”  Her older sister was bustling around in the kitchen, using her magic to set the table, stir a pot of carrots and toss a bowl of salad all at once.

        “Hello you two!  Dinner’s ready, but I’m afraid I’m not much of a cook,” chuckled Rarity as she finished setting the table.  Staring wide-eyed at the bowl of carrots, Ditzy absentmindedly licked her lips.  Rarity motioned her to take a seat, which she did, but she never took her eyes off the food.  Doling out dinner, Rarity beamed with satisfaction at her completed meal.  “Please eat as much as you want, Ditzy, and don’t be afraid to ask for...” Ditzy held up her licked-clean bowl.  “...Seconds.”

        “Super-purple shingles!” Ditzy glowed with happiness.  Her eyes, which had started to drift again, sparkled with glee.  “Popping the cactus, it’s the squid!”  SweetieBelle inched away from her and looked at her sister with worried eyes.

        “Oh, my, I was right, you were starving!” Rarity hesitated, “please, have some more.”  She refilled her guest’s bowl which was quickly emptied again.  Finally, leaning back in her chair, Ditzy sighed with contentment and rubbed her belly.

        “Capturing the second chance,” she smiled, “the spot has been hit!”  

        SweetieBelle giggled as she moved closer to their guest.  “Hee hee, you’re silly!” She started on her own bowl, but Rarity had to force herself to take her eyes off Ditzy.  

        “So, what is it like, delivering the mail?” asked Rarity, taking a bite out of a magically floating carrot slice, “I’m sure it’s an exciting job.”

        “Yes yes yes!” Ditzy bubbled, leaning on the table, “So much fun!  The boss takes all the little letters and puts them into piles!  My pile is always the biggest, because he knows I deliver them the fastest!  Sometimes I fly real fast like a peanut, and sometimes I stop and talk for while with ponies I know, or don’t know, or think look chowder!”

        “Heh heh, ‘peanut,’” SweetieBelle snickered.

        “But my boss doesn’t like it when I have spoons, because the irons bounce cakes!  So I flapjack, and find the secret!” Grinning, and stretching out her wings, Ditzy gazed at Rarity with her left eye, who had a piece of lettuce hanging from her mouth.  The cogs in Rarity’s mind turned furiously, her own right eye twitched slightly and her jaw fell open, causing the lettuce to fall with a soft ‘plop.’  She struggled, trying to find the right thing to say and not offend her guest.  After several moments of opening and shutting her mouth, she spoke.

        “Well, isn’t that nice,” she cleared her throat and stood up.  “Please excuse me,” she ran out of the kitchen, leaving behind a happy Ditzy and a giggling SweetieBelle.

        “No, no, no, no!” Rarity paced about in her bedroom, pressing a hoof into her forehead, “I can’t do it, I simply can’t!”  Slumping onto the bed she covered her face.  “It’s simply too much!  I want to help anyone in need, I really do, but this!  Argh!!”

        “Rarity?  Are you okay?” SweetieBelle tapped on the door, “You’ve been in there for ten minutes!”  She let herself in and cantered over to the bed.

        “Oh, I don’t know if I’m all right,” moaned Rarity, “her vocabulary and grammar are so disjointed, I simply cannot ignore it!  Oh, my gracious, the non-sequitors!  Why does she do it?  Sometimes, I’m not even sure we’re speaking the same language!”

        “I think she’s cute,” giggled SweetieBelle, sitting down beside her sister, “You shouldn’t be so finicky, sis; talking bad never hurt anypony.”

        “Talking ‘poorly.’”

        “Whatever.  Point is, lighten up, Sis!  Don’t be-”

        “Wait!” Rarity shot up, “Where’s Ditzy?”

        “Um, oh yeah!  She said she’d help clean up after supper!  She’s in the kitch-”  She was cut off by a loud crash from the kitchen, followed by the sound of breaking glass.  Rarity was gone like a bolt of lightning down the stairs, then she bolted into the kitchen.  Her head began to spin: the sink was overflowing with soapy water, dirty pots littered the counter and some had spilled their contents onto the floor.  The entire dish rack was overturned and covering a pile of mixed dirty and clean cutlery, some of which had scattered onto the floor.  For some reason, all the plates and bowls were out of the cupboard; some lay shattered on the floor.  Floating above it all with a guilty look on her face was Ditzy Doo, eyes crossed and wearing an upside-down apron.  

        For the second time that day, Rarity fell to the floor unconscious.








        “Huh!?  What?”  Screamed Rarity as a bucket of cold water brought her back to reality.  Shaking her head, she saw SweetieBelle, Twilight, Spike and AppleJack standing around her, the latter of whom was holding an empty bucket.

        “See?  I told you it’d work,” she exclaimed proudly, looking back to her friends.  

        “Rarity!  You’re okay!” Squealed SweetieBelle as she jumped on her sister.  

        Spike crossed his arms and turned away. “I still think you should have just let me try,” he grumbled at Twilight.

        “Yeah, well, I just don’t think Rarity would have enjoyed being woken up with a kiss,” looking down her nose at Spike, she trotted up to the damp Rarity.  “Now go get her a towel, Spike.”  He grunted as he left the room.  

        Rarity stared dumbly at her friends.  “Wha...What happened?” she mumbled, trying to stand up.  Looking around, she saw that she was in her kitchen, which was still a disaster.  “Where’s Ditzy Doo?”

        “She’s in your guest room,” AppleJack replied, “the little filly was tryin’ her darndest to wake you up when we got here; boy howdy, she was so upset, she looked like she was ready to burst into a pool o’ tears.”

        “SweetieBelle ran to the Library to find help,” explained Twilight, who was helping Rarity keep her balance.  Spike returned with a towel and handed it to her, bending on one knee and bowing his head.  Twilight groaned as she took it and wrapped it around Rarity.  “AppleJack was helping me do a little organizing, but we came right over.”

        “Sorry we didn’t clean up yet,” SweetieBelle smiled, “I wanted to make sure you were okay first.”  Her older sister chuckled as she finished drying herself off.  

        “Thank you all,” shaking herself off, Rarity smiled at her friends, “I’m so sorry you had to see me like that.”

        “Don’t worry ‘bout it, sugarcube,” AppleJack beamed, “but is everythin’ all right?  It hasn’t even been one day since you took in Ditzy Doo, and already somethin’ like this happens.”

        Sighing heavily, Rarity paced around, using her magic to lift the pots and dishes off the floor.  She was silent for a second, collecting her thoughts.  “It is difficult, I must admit.  That pegasus is very sweet, but it’s so difficult for me to look at or listen to her.”  

        Twilight tilted her head, confused.  “Why’s that?”

        “Where do I begin!” Rarity groaned, “She never seems to keep her eyes focused!  It’s so... Disturbing to see her eyes staring in opposite directions, or crossed!  I don’t know how she makes them do that, and even though I opened my door to her she continues doing it!  Is she really so ungrateful!?”  Her pacing had become stomping, her groaning now yelling.  Twilight thought hard for a moment before speaking up.

        “Rarity, she’s not doing it on purpose.”

        “What?” the white unicorn stopped in her tracks, glaring at the purple pony.

        “She must have a lazy eye,” Twilight said quietly, “It’s a medical problem that she was born with.  She can’t control it.  Because of it, she has poor depth perception.  It’s a marvel she can fly as well as she does.”  Rarity’s expression softened for a moment before she frowned again.

        “Even so, she cannot seem to speak properly at all!  I cannot believe her parents were so neglectful as to raise such an inartictulate and poorly spoken daughter!”  She stormed over to the cupboard and started reorganizing plates and bowls with her magic as she spoke.  “She’ll constantly break out into random nonsense and gibberish!  Her grammar is terrible, and her sentences are so broken and disjointed, rgh!!  Did she even go to school as a filly!?”

        “Heh, ‘peanuts,’” Sweetiebelle giggled again.

        “Oh my...” Twilight pondered for a moment.  She put a hoof up to stop Rarity’s ramblings and looked her intensely in the eye.  

        “It sounds like she has logorrhea.”

        “Eew!” Shrieked Rarity.

        “No no, ‘logorrhea.’  It’s another medical condition.  It means she loses control of her speech sometimes.  She can’t control it or stop it either.”

        “Poor creature,” AppleJack said softly, taking off her hat.  

        Rarity collapsed to the ground and covered her face.  She started sniffling before looking up at Twilight, eyes large and watery.  “Oh, I feel terrible!  How could I?  I even accused her of doing those things on purpose, just to annoy me!” Standing up she wiped her eyes dry.  “How could I be so selfish!  I must apologize to her immediately!”  Rushing down the hall to the guest room, her friends stayed back and looked sadly at each other.  

        “An’ here I was thinkin’ she was just none too bright,” AppleJack sighed, “Oh Twilight, I feel awful.”

        “Me too AppleJack...” The unicorn looked to the floor, “me too...”

        “She’s gone!” Rarity screamed, galloping back into the kitchen.

        “What!?” SweetieBelle yelled as she rushed past her sister who followed suit, the other three close behind.  When they got to the guest room, they found it empty; the window was open, and Ditzy’s bag sat alone on the bed.

        “She must have flown away!” Twilight looked out the window for any trace of her.  SweetieBelle started sobbing and clung to her older sister who gazed sadly at Ditzy’s small bag.  Looking closer, she noticed a small bit of ash left on it.

        “All right Ya’ll,” AppleJack bellowed, assuming command, “Let’s spread out!  If we-”

        “No, wait!” Rarity whinnied, rearing up on her hind legs as she ran out the room, “I know where she is!”

        “What!?  Where!?” Twilight shouted after her, trying to keep up.

        Rarity already galloped out the door towards town.  “You four wait here!  I’ll be back with Ditzy!” She shouted over her shoulder as she disappeared around a corner.  Twilight started after her, but AppleJack blocked her way.

        “Ah think she needs to do this alone, sugarcube,” She said solemnly.  Twilight, nodding slowly, stepped back into the house.  SweetieBelle looked nervously at the older ponies, and Spike clasped his hands together.

        “Ah, she’s so brave and wonderful!” he swooned, receiving a disgruntled glare from the others.

        The sun was already setting before Rarity was halfway through town.  Its orange glow basked Ponyville in a color and warmth that calmed the souls of most who saw it, but this unicorn had no time for scenery.  Panting for air as she made it to Sugar Cube Corner, she stopped for a second as she tried to recall where the tower of smoke had risen from earlier that day.  Pointing herself in what she hoped was the right direction, she galloped off.  

        Reaching the edge of town, she saw where the smoke had come from, and the destruction its fire had wrought.  Where once had stood a modest home was now a charred black wreck.  Rarity didn’t slow down as she ran through the barricades blocking off the crumbling building, which gave off a sickening smokey smell.  Somehow, it still stood, though one wall had collapsed and the others were also on the verge of doing so.  A few embers still glowed under piles of ash, and there didn’t seem to be any obvious way inside the wreckage.

        “Ditzy Doo!” Rarity gasped for air, “Ditzy, are you there?”

        No reply.


        “...Go away...” A quiet voice came from the second story.

        “Ditzy!  Come out from there before it collapses!”

        “No.  Leave me alone....”

        Pacing around the black building, Rarity managed to find a small opening leading inside.  Glancing between the black ash and her white fur, she whimpered.  Holding her breath and closing her eyes, she squeezed her way inside, causing the house to groan loudly and drop some splintering debris around her.  The air inside was smokey, making it difficult to see more than a few yards away.  She did her best to avoid pools of murky water as she searched for a way upstairs.  Looking around, she saw that the inside was as badly burned as the outside, although, Rarity noticed with some dismay, there really wasn’t much inside to be destroyed in the first place.  She was in what she assumed to be the living room, which consisted of a single chair, a collapsed table and a bookcase with two or three scorched books on its shelves.  Other than that, the room was bare, and there weren’t any large piles of ash or wreckage around to suggest there ever was more than that.  The other rooms were just as empty.

        “Ditzy!” Rarity coughed, squinting as she crawled over a collapsed door frame, “Please, you must come home with me!”

        “Go away!” The voice sobbed, muted slightly by the sound of falling wood, “I don’t want to go back with you!”

        “Why ever not?”

        “I heard what you said!  That I’m ungrateful and stupid!  That I never went to school!” choked the voice.

        Rarity’s felt her stomach churn with regret.  “I know, I’m so sorry!” She managed to find what remained of a staircase and crawled her way up, “I was so self-centered, I never even once stopped to think whether or not (cough) it was a disability!”

        “I’M NOT DISABLED!” Ditzy shrieked, sobbing and coughing heavily.  Rarity’s eyes filled with tears from the smoke and her emotions as she made it to the top of the stairs.  Several floorboards had given way around her, collapsing to the lower level, sending up a cloud of ash.  Rarity stepped cautiously around the holes towards a room with a slightly opened door.

        “I’m so sorry Ditzy!” Rarity shouted, “I didn’t mean it that way! (Cough) You’re such a sweet, wonderful pony, and I’m so sorry for judging you like that!”  Stopping for a moment outside the door, she took a deep breath and pushed it open.

        In the center of the room sat Ditzy Doo, smudged by soot and ash.  Filling one corner of the room was a pile of empty packages, just like the one Ditzy got from Sugar Cube Corner that morning.  The walls were covered with drawings of everything from flowers, fields and candy to ponies of all kinds and special events.  There was even a drawing of NightMare Moon from the Summer Sun Celebration several months ago.  Most of the drawings had fallen to the floor, and even more had been burned completely, but what remained was more than enough to fill several large boxes.  

        Looking down to her hooves, Rarity saw a drawing of her home and her standing outside.  Scattered around were similar drawings: one of Twilight and Spike in front of the Library, one of Fluttershy and her many animal friends and even one of Rainbow Dash performing the Sonic Rainboom.

        “You didn’t want me there in the first place,” Ditzy cried, staring down at something she held, “I could tell that (cough) you hated having me there.”

        “I know...And I’m so sorry,” Rarity stepped round and tried to look at Ditzy in the eyes, but she kept her gaze focused on a small, charred piece of paper grasped between her hooves.  In front of her sat the small package, now stained black, it's red bow crumpled and torn.  “Please, please, please forgive me!” Rarity sobbed, collapsing to the floor, “I was so selfish!  I hate myself for what I did, how I acted!  I never wanted to act that way again!” Rarity looked up through watery eyes to see Ditzy blinking at her, tears running down her blackened cheeks, “Please, I don’t want to lose someone that way again!”  

        Ditzy coughed heavily as the building started shaking, sending ash raining upon the two.  Suddenly, the floor gave way beneath Rarity and she fell toward a pile of jagged, splintered rubble, sticking up at the roof like a bed of spears.  Closing her eyes she braced for impact, her voice too choked up from smoke to even scream.  

        Just as she was about to be impaled on the debris, she felt Ditzy’s arms lift her out of harm’s way.  Rarity looked up at her savior, who struggled to lift the unicorn, but was smiling lovingly at her.

        “LOOK OUT!!” She managed to shriek; the building had started to collapse completely, sending massive chunks of wall and roof crumbling down towards them.  Dodging this way and that, Ditzy carried Rarity through a storm of falling debris, towards an opening in the wall.  A deafening roar came from above as an enormous charred support beam came crashing down towards the hole.

        “We’re not going to make it!” Rarity cried as Ditzy shut her eyes tightly and flew as fast as her wings would take her.  Rarity meant what she said; they would not make it.  Unless...

        Using every ounce of her power, her horn glowed brightly as she held the beam in place, just inches above the gap in the wall.  As they squeezed through the whole, Rarity fell limp, completely drained of energy as Ditzy’s wings gave out as well.  Tumbling onto the grass, they looked behind to see the whole house crumble to the ground with a mighty crash, throwing a huge cloud of smoke into the air.  When the smoke cleared away, the two could see that all that remained was a smoldering pile of ashes.

        Rarity looked over to Ditzy, who collapsed to the ground, tears flowing down her cheeks.  On the grass before her lay the package and slip of paper she had managed to save along with Rarity.

        “Ditzy!” Rarity shouted, running over and giving the quivering pegasus a tight hug, “I’m so glad you’re safe!”  Ditzy buried her face into Rarity’s mane and wept.

        “Just let it all out, dear,” Rarity said softly, “just let it all out.”

        Ditzy tried to speak, but Rarity hushed her until she had finished crying.  Still sobbing softly, the two looked out to the sunset which had by now filled the sky with brilliant shades of orange and purple.  The sun was partially hidden behind the mountains, casting a large shadow across Ponyville.

        “Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh!” came a voice from behind them.  Turning around they saw Fluttershy floating in the air, staring around at the wreckage with her hands covering her mouth.

        “Fluttershy!” Rarity cheered, calling her over.  Fluttershy was so taken with the pile of rubble she hadn’t even seen the two, but once she did she crashed down into them, hugging them tightly and wailing loudly.

        “Rarity!  Ditzy Doo!” She cried, “you’re alive!  I saw you (sob), go into the house and (sniff), I called the fire department, and then it (sob), it-it...and I was so worried that (sob)...”

        “We’re okay, Fluttershy,” Rarity assured her, “Ditzy saved my life.”

        Ditzy looked over and smiled weakly, her eyes slightly crossed.

        “Is anypony hurt?” The fire department had arrived and gathered around the small group.  Wrapping them in heavy blankets, the large stallions helped them up.  Already a crowd had formed at the edge of town, hoping to hear about what happened.

        “We’re all right,” Rarity said, holding onto Ditzy Doo, “I think it’s about time we got home.”

        Ditzy Doo looked up to one of the fire fighters with large eyes.  “I’m sorry I went back... I know you told me it was unsafe, but...”

        “As long as you’re not hurt, it’s okay,” he replied, giving her a big smile, “but you had better go visit the doctor just to make sure.”

        “Yes, sir!” Ditzy smiled back as the two pushed through the crowd towards the doctor’s office.

        “I see them!” SweetieBelle shouted from the window, “I see them!”  Hopping down from the ledge she rushed out the front door, jumping onto her sister.  “You’re safe!  I was so worried!”

        “Hi Sweetie!” Ditzy grinned, still black from the soot.  Rarity gave her sister a tight hug and got back on her hooves.

        “Yes, we’re safe.  You can thank Ditzy Doo for that!” The now grey unicorn said.  Twilight, AppleJack and Fluttershy were standing just inside the doorway to Carousel Boutique.

        “Fluttershy told us what happened,” said Twilight, helping the pair inside, “are you hurt at all?”

        “The doctor gave us a clean bill of health,” Rarity replied, “but we really must clean up before our coats get stained!”

        “Speaking of cleanin’,” AppleJack smiled, pointing to the kitchen, which was now spotless.  Ditzy looked at Rarity with sorrowful eyes and began to apologize.

        “It’s quite all right, dear!” Rarity interrupted, turning to face her other friends “and thank you all for taking the time to clean!”

        “Our pleasure.  Well, we should probably get going now; I had to send Spike home early since it’s past his bedtime,” snickered Twilight, stepping outside.  AppleJack and Fluttershy followed shortly.  “We’ll see you tomorrow?”

        “Of course!” smiled Rarity, stepping outside to see her friends off

        “Um, please don’t be afraid to call if you need any help,” Fluttershy whispered, wiping a tear from her eye.

        “Thank you Fluttershy; we’ll be all right now.  I’ll see you tomorrow!”  The three ponies started off towards their homes as Rarity closed the door behind them.  Turning back to her sister and guest, she sighed deeply.  “Well, that was certainly an adventure.  Come on, Ditzy, let’s wash up and then have some hot cocoa.”  

        SweetieBelle started hopping about excitedly.  “Oh boy!  Can I have some?”

        “Of course, SweetieBelle!” Rarity laughed, starting up the stairs, “But then it’s right off to bed.  It’s past your bedtime too, you know!”

        “Aww!” whined the little filly.  Ditzy giggled as she followed her host upstairs.

        Crackling softly, the fire filled the living room with a warm orange glow.  Rarity and Ditzy sat peacefully on the sofa, sipping their drinks in silence.  Rarity had a difficult time getting the fire burning, and SweetieBelle hopping around in excitement didn’t make it any easier.

        “Poor SweetieBelle,” said Rarity, “tonight’s the first time we’ve ever used this fireplace and I had to send her to bed.”  She took a sip from her mug, staring lazily ahead at the flames.  “I’m afraid I’ve never been too fond of fires.”

        “I don’t really like them much either,” Ditzy said suddenly.  She had been quiet until now, staring wide-eyed at the fireplace.  

        “I suppose not, not after what happened today,” sighed Rarity, “Shall I put it out?”

        “No, that’s okay...” Ditzy said quietly, “this one’s different.  It’s friendly, not angry.”  She pulled out the burnt slip of paper and stared longingly at it again.  Breathing deeply, she shuffled closer to Rarity to show it to her.  It was an old photograph, stained yellow from the heat.  It pictured a beautiful pegasus with long flowing hair and large eyes.  Most of the color had faded, but there were still hints of blue and green on the winged mare.  In her arms, she held a small, blonde pegasus with crossed eyes.

        “That’s my mama,” whispered Ditzy, “she was the nicest person in the whole world.  She took care of me every day.  She called me her ‘muffin.’”  She sniffled as her eyes watered slightly.

        “Oh no, and it was damaged by the fire today!  Such a lovely photo!” Rarity said emphatically.

        “No, not from today...” whimpered Ditzy, holding the picture tightly, “When I was real little, maybe a little older than Sweetie, there was a fire.  Mama had left the stove on while...” Her voice started quaking, tears forming at the corners of her amber eyes, “She was sick, so she was sleeping and forgot she left the stove on.  I was upstairs when I could smell the smoke, and...and...” She closed her eyes and pushed her head into Rarity’s mane.  “I c-c-couldn’t do (sniff) anything!  When I got downstairs, m-ma-mama was still (sniff), still sleeping and...and...” Her voiced became choked as tears ran down her cheeks into Rarity’s hair.  Hugging her tightly, Rarity started rocking slowly, her maternal instinct kicking in.

        “Ditzy, I’m so sorry...It must have been terrible...”

        “She...She wouldn’t w-w-w-wake up!” Ditzy wailed, “I shouted and s-s-sh-shouted but she didn’t wake up!”  Completely unable to speak, she broke into uncontrollable sobs and hugged Rarity tighter than ever.  Rarity stared ahead into the fire, her own eyes beginning to water.  

        “Ditzy, you know...” She whispered, after a few minutes, “My parents also passed away in a fire.”  Ditzy looked up into her eyes, which were fighting back tears of their own.  “I was also just a filly, even younger than my sister is now.  We lived in ManeHatten, in a very large home...My parents were quite wealthy, but they were neither greedy nor stingy.  In fact, they were the most generous ponies I’ve ever known.”  She looked down at Ditzy who was staring up at her with huge, red eyes.  Rarity swallowed a sob and continued. “They would open up their doors to anyone in need, and spend tremendous amounts of time and money helping the poor.  I often felt neglected when they had guests staying, but it wasn’t until my sister was born that I became resentful.”  A tear ran down her cheek as she gazed ahead.  “I became bitter and selfish; angry at my parents for spending more time with my sister than with me.  So, (sniff), I ran away.”

        Trying to keep her voice from shaking, she swallowed heavily a few times.  Ditzy’s large watery eyes were enraptured by the unicorn’s story.

        “I lived in the streets for a few days, hiding under a bridge or behind a dumpster.  Looking back now, I’m tremendously lucky that I never encountered any...” She looked down at Ditzy, choosing her words carefully, “...Bad things.  An officer found me one day, and took me home, but...” Her voice trembled and her breathing became shallow.  “My house was burning to the ground before my eyes.  It...I still don’t know what caused it, a-and I tried to go in, but the fire fighters said it was too late...They were only able t-to save my sister.”  Ditzy gave her a tight squeeze, causing Rarity to burst forth into tears that she had been trying to fight back.  Crying together, the two held each other close.  “I-I...I felt resp, responsible...Th-that it was my-my fault!” She cried, digging her nose into Ditzy, “I was so-so selfish!  It was my fault!  (Sniff) I ki-killed them, b-be-because I ran away!”

        “No, no...It was-wasn’t your fault...” Ditzy cooed, her own voice choked with tears.

        “I know...” Rarity sniffed, “but I b-blamed myself.  I promised that I would never act selfishly again, and take care of SweetieBelle like, like a-a, a m-mo...” She couldn’t finish; her voice gave out, replaced with uncontrollable sobs and wails.  They didn’t speak another word that night.  Letting out a torrent of emotions, the two just held each other tightly and watched the fire slowly burn itself out, before falling asleep on the couch.

        The rising sun cast a beam of light upon Rarity’s face.  Slowly waking, she glanced around the room.  Ditzy was still sleeping, leaning on Rarity’s shoulder.  All that was left of the fire was a little pile of ash, and sitting over in the corner, forgotten, was Ditzy’s little package, now a sad, crushed, discolored box.  Rarity gently pushed Ditzy off, picked up the package and brought it with her to the kitchen, where she put on some tea.

        A few minutes later, just as Rarity had poured the tea into two cups, Ditzy ambled slowly into the kitchen, bleary-eyed and with a disheveled mane.

        “Good morning, Ditzy,” Rarity chimed as she nudged the second teacup closer to the pegasus, “I already called the Pony Express, and they wouldn’t dream of making you come in to work today after yesterday’s incident, so just take all the time you need today to rest up.”  Ditzy smiled, sitting down and taking a small sip of tea.  Her eyes were slightly crossed, and she looked around tiredly, with an absentminded smile across her lips.  

        “I thought that maybe we should just take the day off to recover.  Yesterday was more eventful than either of us had expected, I imagine.  SweetieBelle also has the day off from school, so maybe we could all do something together,” continued Rarity, consolingly.  “Maybe we could go out for some breakfast soon.”

        “I have no money,” Ditzy said suddenly, looking up.

        “Oh, don’t worry about that, dear.  I’m more than happy to pay for our meal.”

        “No, I mean I...I really have no money...” tears had started to form at her eyes, “My job didn’t pay very well, and...I couldn’t even afford to b-buy food.”  Sniffling, she averted her eyes from Rarity’s concerned expression.  “I hadn’t though about it before, but...I’ve completely d-destroyed my landlord’s (sniff) house... He’ll be so upset!” she cried, covering her face.  Rarity stepped over and patted her head gently.

        “Listen, Ditzy,” speaking softly, she had started brushing the pony’s hair, “you’ll stay with me for as long as you need to.  Maybe you could even help out around the shop!  I’m sure you could design some wonderful outfits!”  Ditzy looked up at the unicorn, her eyes filled with gratitude.  “I’ll pay you, of course, and we’ll find you a new home in no time.”

        Ditzy clung onto Rarity and flew into the air.  “Oh, thank you!  Thank you!  You’re the nicest narwhal I’ve ever known!”  

        “Ooookay, dear, please put me down, now!” Rarity panicked, kicking the air.

        “Oops!  Silly rabbit!” Ditzy blushed, lowering Rarity down to the floor again.  

        “Quite all right, don’t worry about it.  Oh, by the way,” Rarity exclaimed, bringing over the small discolored box, “Here’s your package.  I hope whatever’s inside wasn’t too damaged by the excitement yesterday.”

        Ditzy’s eyes lit up as she quickly opened it, revealing a flattened and crumpled muffin, sprinkled with bits of soot.  Her expression fell when she saw it, and her eyes started to water again.

        “Oh dear, the poor thing’s completely ruined!” Rarity said cheerfully, “well, I’m sure Mrs. Cake must have some freshly baked muffins ready, why don’t we go get some?”

        “Muffin for Ditzy?” The pegasus beamed.

        Rarity opened the front door.  “Yes, that’s right.  Let’s get some muffins.”


Author’s Notes:

        I never really intended to get into the realm of fanfics; I promised myself I’d never read nor write them, but finally caved and read a few wonderful fanfics on Equestria Daily, and had what I thought was a good story idea, so I figured, why not?

        I really like the concept of an OCD grammar nazi like Rarity being forced to live with a clumsy, inarticulate character like Der-I mean, Ditzy Doo.  I tried to write it as an actual episode, and maybe the show’s creators could do a better job with the premise, but as my first fanfic (ugh, I’ve written a fanfic :( ) I’m pretty happy with it. The backstory I thought up for Rarity and Ditzy could easily be upset by a future episode, but I really think they should incorporate darker backstories like this into the show.  So far, the series has done well to take its audience seriously, but it could stand to do so even more, IMHO.

        I’d love to get any feedback at all; did I keep the characters in character?  Was I clear in my descriptions?  

        Special thanks to Laurence Brown, author of the excellent fanfic “MoonBeam” for allowing me to give Dewdrop a special cameo!

Are you still reading this?