Friends and Lovers

by Donny's Boy

Chapter 1: Mutual Assured Destruction

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"Friends and Lovers"

by Donny's Boy

Synopsis: A series of mini-stories exploring various pony ships. Because shipping is magic.

Warning: Non-explicit references to adult pony sexuality.

"Mutual Assured Destruction" (RariDash)

It was Tuesday, and Tuesday invariably meant three things. Tuesday meant spa day. Tuesday meant library day. And Tuesday meant a long, slow burn that would eventually end in an explosion.

That particular Tuesday evening, the pegasus flew quickly and silently through the moonless sky, thankful for the cover of clouds and the resulting darkness. She reached her destination in record time and, after one last glance around, crept up to the front door. The door was unlocked, as she knew it would be. The door was always unlocked on Tuesdays. Without bothering to knock, she nudged the door open and stepped into the boutique.

It was as dark inside as it was outside, but she could hear soft hoofsteps approaching. A moment later, there was a pair of lips on hers, hard, insistent, urgent. Rainbow Dash met the kiss with every ounce as much urgency, and she shoved the unicorn backwards.

They landed on the little chaise longue that Rarity liked so much, with the pegasus on top, pinning Rarity with the full weight of her body even as their kiss continued unbroken. Desperate heat tore through Dash like the winds of a tornado as Rarity's hooves began running through the feathers of her spread wings. When Rainbow responded by nipping the unicorn's ear, Rarity moaned in a voice that was low and deep and nothing at all like the voice she allowed herself to use in public.

For the briefest moment, she was confused when she awoke to a pair of bright blue eyes. Her first thought was of Pinkie Pie, because sometimes she slept over at Sugar Cube Corner after an evening of partying particularly hard, but she didn't feel hung over as she usually would when waking up at the bakery. Then, she abruptly recognized just where she was.

It wasn't Sugar Cube Corner.

"You fell asleep last night," the unicorn murmured softly.

There had been wine. That much, she remembered. Good wine, too, imported directly from some fancy vineyard located in Canterlot. Not that Rainbow Dash knew much about wine - and, besides, after the first several glasses, she couldn't really taste anything anyways. But she'd liked the wine. She remembered liking the wine.

Just one glass of wine, Rarity had suggested. Just one glass of wine, shared as a thank you gesture, for all the help Dash had given that afternoon on Rarity's latest project. The dress had been created for a pegasus, Rarity had explained, and the designer had wanted to ensure it would fit perfectly. It had to fit perfectly, she'd explained, eyes serious and intense.

There had been something else in the unicorn's eyes, too, something that Rainbow couldn't quite remember now. Something sad, perhaps. That was how it had all started, probably. Rarity had probably looked sad, and Rainbow had probably stayed past the end of that first glass of wine in order to help cheer up her friend. But Rainbow couldn't remember if there had been a particular reason why Rarity might have looked sad.

In the present moment, in the harsh light of morning, Rarity didn't look sad. The unicorn's face was perfectly blank and utterly devoid of any identifiable emotion whatsoever, in fact, as she stared hard at Rainbow Dash. The pegasus realized that she was still lying in the unicorn's huge, plush bed, and she flushed in embarrassment.

"Sorry! Um, sorry. Didn't mean to fall asleep." She leapt out of the bed, stumbling, awkward, her wings already snapping out in preparation of imminent flight. "I'll just, uh, just get out of your mane here. Thanks again for the wine - it was good stuff."

Rarity just sat there and watched, silent and aloof. As there really wasn't anything else to be said, Dash turned around and took to the air, rocketing through an open window in the boutique. She didn't look back.

Sometimes, you just wanted to stop having to be so perfectly loyal all the time.

I shouldn't be doing this, thought Dash, even as she buried her face deeper in Rarity's mane. I'm not in love with her. She rubbed her cheek lightly against the unicorn's horn, and it was a gesture of tender affection more than anything else. In the dark, she couldn't see the pony beneath her, and it was all too easy to play pretend. To pretend that this horn belonged to somepony else, somepony too brilliant and too intimidating and too unreachable to ever be touched like this.

She remembered. Despite trying not to, despite trying to lose herself in the roar of the blood pumping through her veins like a raging flood, she remembered.

She'd asked if they could meet for lunch, just the two of them, and like the fool she was, Rainbow Dash had thought it was a date. The pegasus didn't dress up or anything like that, but she did shower that morning and she did take the time to actually run a brush through her mane and tail.

They'd ordered daffodil sandwiches. Dash didn't know why she remembered that, but she did. The sandwiches were good, and so was the company. For a bit, they indulged in a bit of idle chit-chat about the continuing adventures of Daring-Do. Rainbow grinned as they tentatively stepped onto this newly-discovered common ground, as both their eyes lit up while they traded speculations as to who the adventurous hero's next villain might be, as they argued cheerfully over which book was the best in the series. It was simple, and it was silly. And it was perfect.

Then, the mood suddenly shifted, and a hush fell over their little table.

"Rainbow, there's something I have to tell you. It's why I asked you to have lunch with me, actually."

Rainbow Dash felt her pulse quicken.

"I kinda … I kinda have a crush on somepony. Oh, wow, this is harder than I thought. Um, I have a crush on ..."

She dared not move or speak.

" … a crush on … on Fluttershy. Whew! You don't know how good it feels to just finally say it."

The pegasus blinked, very slowly, very deliberately, and tried to remember how to breathe.

"Do you, uh, do you think I have a chance, Rainbow?" Her violet eyes were painfully earnest, almost naive. So piercing, so scarily intelligent, so … so trusting.

"You're her oldest friend, I mean, so I figured if anypony would know …"

Dash could've lied. Should've lied, maybe. But that would have been selfish, more selfish than even Dash usually was. Besides, it wouldn't have been something a good friend would do. And despite occasional appearances to the contrary, Rainbow Dash was a good friend.

"I dunno if she likes you likes you, but she thinks you're pretty awesome," the pegasus admitted. Her voice sounded like gravel to her own ears. "You should … you should totally ask her out. Totally."

Sometimes, you just wanted to stop having to be so perfectly generous all the time.

I shouldn't be doing this, thought Rarity, even as the pegasus' teeth scraped roughly against her neck, drawing a gasp of pleasure from somewhere deep inside her. I'm not in love with her. But this felt too good, too necessary, for her to dwell on that thought for too terribly long. It was self-indulgent, perhaps, but she always had been a pony who believed in indulgences.

She lifted her chin, to allow her lover easier access, and continued running her hooves along Dash's wings. As she concentrated on the feel of those strange, silky feathers under her hooves, she allowed her thoughts to drift to fond remembrances of other wings, wings as delicate and beautiful and majestic as the sun.

"For me? This is … for me?"

"Well, of course!" Rarity laughed easily, a high, tinkling laugh. "You do want to look good for your big date tonight, don't you, darling?"

The pegasus ran a gentle hoof along the hem of the elegant teal dress on the mannequin, seemingly in a daze. When she finally looked up, a tremulous smile was spreading across her face.

"Oh, thank you, Rarity! Thank you so, so much." Her eyes shone with gratitude, wide and sincere, and the unicorn felt a bittersweet pang in her chest.

Rarity had never known anyone who was as thankful as was the pegasus who now stood before her. Who so deeply and consistently appreciated all that she was given. The unicorn didn't give all that she did in order to receive any thanks, of course, but she had to admit that she cherished the thanks she did receive - especially the thanks she received from this, her dearest and most beloved friend.

At Rarity's urging, the pegasus changed into her new garment so that the designer could exclaim over how it looked on her and, once dressed, she did a bashful twirl. The dress' long skirt flared out in a most enchanting way, and the blue-tinged greens in the dress perfectly matched the eyes of the dress' new owner, just as Rarity had intended. And the sunlight streaming from the boutique windows lent both the dress and the pegasus a lovely, almost ethereal glow.

"So, um, how do I look? Is it … do I look okay?" She sounded nervous, even more nervous than she did usually, and was lightly pawing at the ground with a hoof.

Rarity's smile never faltered, never slipped. After all, a lady never held her mask so far away that she couldn't quickly raise it to her face when the need arose. "You look absolutely beautiful," the unicorn replied, very quietly.

Her voice shook only a little.

It was a terrible idea, all of this, and it had been from the very start. But, sometimes, you just wanted to take something for yourself. Sometimes, you just wanted to lay down your burdens for a few precious minutes, and sometimes you just wanted to be selfish for a change. Even if you knew that you'd have to pay dearly for it later.

Because all those costs wouldn't come until tomorrow. Tomorrow they would wake up sick and ashamed and with their chests as aching and empty as they had been the day before. Tomorrow they would part without a word and without a single glance back, with unspoken promises that they'd never repeat this again, promises they both knew they would never be able to keep.

But tonight? Tonight they had each other and, hidden from sight of the rest of the world, they abandoned all of the complications of their daytime lives and embraced the simple pleasures of the nighttime. Tonight, they self-destructed in ecstasy. Tonight, they self-destructed in agony.

Author's Notes: Very loosely inspired by, and written while listening to, "Tear You Apart" by She Wants Revenge. (The song is very NSFW, by the way, if you're interested in looking it up.)

Rewrite 2/7: Hopefully this addresses some of the issues that this piece had.

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