Why Can't I Be Your Rara?

by Oroboro

Chapter 1: Envy

Fluttershy smiled as she bowed her head and stepped away. “It was really fun meeting you and getting to talk to you like this, Miss Coloratura, but I should really get going.”

Rarity’s eyes darted between Fluttershy and the other two occupants of the table. “Oh come now, Fluttershy. The night is still young, have another drink!” Her voice came out a little more shrill than she had intended it to, but she cleared her throat and kept going. “You can tell Miss Coloratura all about that time you, hmm…”

A bead of sweat dripped down her forehead and she rubbed her hooves together. “The, uh, uh, what was it again… Oh, right! The bat thing! With the apples, and all that nonsense. Yes, lovely story. You should tell us all about it, Fluttershy!”

Fluttershy cocked her head, staring into Rarity’s eyes. “I'd, um, love to really, but I really need to be getting back to Angel. I'm sure Applejack would tell it much better than I could anyway.”

Coloratura giggled and snorted in a rather unladylike fashion, her cheeks rosy with intoxication. “Bats and apples, huh? Not going to lie, AJ, I'm already curious.”

Applejack chuckled heartily, her eyes sparkling as she hefted her mug of cider. “Shoot, Rara, you're gonna love this one. It all started with a particular species of fruit bat…”

Rarity groaned, slamming her head into the table as Applejack launched into her story. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Fluttershy excuse herself and leave. With a weary sigh Rarity raised her hoof and gave a shaky wave for attention. “Monsieur, another mojito please?”

Applejack spared a moment to shoot a sideways glance Rarity’s way, directed at the three empty glasses already in front of her. Applejack’s disapproval was short lived, however, as the gentle touch and enraptured gaze of Coloratura brought Applejack back into her animated storytelling.

In the beginning, Rarity had been starstruck, like she always was with celebrities, but after Coloratura had let her hair down and joined them all in getting drinks after the show, the pony she truly was shone through crystal clear.

But there was more than that. It was painfully easy to see. The way Coloratura’s eyes sparkled, the way she laughed at every joke, the way she hung on Applejack’s every word like it was golden silk.

Rarity let out a high pitched giggle at something Applejack said, then hid the grimace that followed by taking a sip of her drink. It wasn't right for Rarity to be feeling this way. She was an adult mare, with her fair share of drama in her past. She recognized the foul stench of jealousy when it reared its ugly head.

But when rationality battled feelings, feelings tended to win. Not once could Rarity ever remember Applejack laughing so hard at one of Rarity's jokes. Applejack looked so happy in this moment as she reconnected with her childhood friend. She was warm and open and unguarded.

It was a side of Applejack that Rarity was never privy to. Even now, she could only look on as an outsider.

It only made sense, right? Coloratura was amazing in every sense of the word. She was glamorous, refined, and regal. But of course, Applejack didn't care about that. She saw ‘Rara’ as somepony genuine and honest and down to earth.

In comparison, Rarity was just… Rarity. She'd never attain the luster of Coloratura, and the last time she’d attempted to be a little more rustic it had been an unmitigated disaster.

This was stupid. She was just wallowing in self pity for the sake of wallowing. How many lessons had she learned about the nature of friendship by now? Applejack had every right to have a close connection with a childhood friend.

“Rarity? You still with us?” Applejack asked.

Rarity blinked. She was staring at the bottom of her glass. “Sorry, darling, I was just lost in thought. What was that again?”

Applejack frowned, then sighed. “I said that it's getting late. I'm gonna walk Rara back to her hotel. You should probably be getting home yourself.”

“Yes, yes.” Rarity said, waving her off. “I just want to sit here and clear my head a bit longer, then I'll head home. You two have fun now.”

Coloratura smiled, then took a step forward, stumbling and leaning against Applejack for support. “Oops! Anyway, thanks again for all your help earlier with the concert, Rarity. I wouldn't have been able to do it without you.”

Rarity put on a pleasant smile. “You're welcome.” A nice, easy, and simple answer.

Applejack narrowed her eyes, then glanced between Rarity and the bartender. “You've had a lot to drink tonight already,” she said, raising her voice a little. “Just get home soon, alright?”

Rarity nodded, and watched as Applejack and Coloratura left together.

As soon as they were gone Rarity made her way over to the bar. “Another mojito, please.”

The bartender stopped polishing a glass for a moment and looked up at her. “Ain't you had enough already?”

Rarity slapped a handful of bits onto the counter. “I’m in the mood for drunken wallowing, so I’d really appreciate it if you’d indulge me. My money is as good as anypony else’s.”

With a shrug, the bartender mixed up another drink and set it in front of her, taking the bits.

Rarity swirled the straw through the clear liquid and let out a sigh. It wasn’t fair. Life rarely was, but still. This particular bit of unfairness had struck her deeply tonight.

Sure, Coloratura was Applejack’s childhood friend. There was always a rush of excitement when catching up with somepony you haven’t seen in a long time.


Coloratura wasn’t the only pony around who knew Applejack when she was a filly…

Rarity let out a sigh as she pushed open the door to the Ponyville Schoolhouse. It was hard to be excited about school, as of late. Things just weren't the same without—

“Applejack!?” Rarity blurted out, her eyes wide and her mouth hanging open. “Y-you…”

Applejack looked up to meet Rarity’s gaze, and she gave a tired smile. The filly was just sitting there, in her seat next to Rarity’s, like she had never left in the first place. “Heya, Rarity. Long time no see.”

Rarity’s eyes filled with tears, and she dashed forwards, throwing her forelegs around Applejack’s neck in a tackle. “Oh my gosh! Darling, when you left for Manehattan, I thought I would never see you again!”

“Right. Yeah, I realized that my place is here,” Applejack mumbled. She patted Rarity's back with a hesitant hoof.

“That's wonderful!” Rarity pulled out of the hug with a sniff, and rubbed at her eyes. “Goodness, it must have been absolutely amazing! The lights, the sounds, the ponies… oh, I've always dreamed of going to Manehattan! You simply must tell me all about it. Did you get to see any Bridleway shows?”

Applejack grimaced and looked away. “It wasn't anything special. Mostly just spent a lot of time failing to learn from Auntie and Uncle Orange.”

Rarity scoffed. “Nothing special? Darling, you were in the biggest metropolitan hub in all of Equestria! It's a city bustling with ponies and cultures from all walks of life! How can you just disappear without telling anypony where you went, then just waltz back saying it was nothing special?”

“Do you really think,” Applejack growled, her voice low. “That I left Ponyville, my family, just to go on a vacation? Manehattan wasn't fun. I hated it. I thought that after my… I just needed to be somewhere else. Anywhere else. I needed to find myself and where I really belonged.”

“Well, yes, but—”

Applejack twisted, thrusting her flank towards Rarity. What had been blank the last time Rarity had seen it was now adorned by a trio of apples. “Well, I found it. For my family. They need me and I need them. My place is home. Not some noisy city.”

“O-oh.” Rarity's face fell, and she lowered her head. “I'm sorry. Um, congratulations? Speaking of cutie marks, I actually—”

“Butts in your seats and mouths shut,” the teacher called out as the classroom door burst open. “Today we'll be starting from page forty-five.”

“...I got my cutie mark, too,” Rarity mumbled under her breath as she slumped back to her seat.

It made sense. Applejack was still depressed after what had happened. Even discovering her purpose in life hadn't been enough to return her to the lively filly Rarity had known.

All she had to do was find a way to cheer Applejack up. Perhaps a makeover? She was looking a little drab. A new look could really help accentuate her new cutie mark. Or maybe even coordinate with Rarity's own new cutie mark!

There was no way a plan this genius could fail.


Dear Applejack,

How are you doing at Camp Friendship? I am quite well.”

Rarity smacked her head into the desk, then crumpled up the letter and tossed it into the wastebasket with the twenty that she had started previously.

What could she possibly say? For the past few months, she had tried her hardest to cheer Applejack up, to bring her up out of the dumps.

She brought Applejack new dresses every week to try and find something that would fit her style. She brought flowers, scheduled makeovers, and even lent her some of her favorite romance novels.

None of it made any difference. Applejack stayed grumpy and snippy, no matter what Rarity did. She was completely out of options.

And now, Applejack was gone again, away at summer camp. At least Applejack had promised to write this time, but there hadn't been any letters yet, so Rarity had to take the initiative.

But still. What words could she put on this paper that would truly make Applejack feel better, and make things like they were before?

She hadn't the foggiest. But she at least had to try, right?

Dear Applejack,”


“Aw shoot, Rarity, I had the most amazing time at Camp Friendship!”

Well, Rarity could see it, plain as day. Applejack was back, and as enthusiastic as ever. It was as if her prayers had been answered. Except—

“I swear, I ain’t never met anyone like her before. Rara sure was something else. Voice that could melt the heart of the meanest feller you ever met, I tell ya. And we had so much fun together!”

This was what Rarity wanted, wasn't it? She just wanted to see Applejack smiling, and laughing again. She wanted her to be happy.

Unable to help herself, tears filled her eyes and her lip trembled as Applejack exulted the praises of her new friend.

Applejack frowned. “Rarity? You alright?”

“Applejack, you are the worst! “ Rarity screamed as she turned and fled, tears trailing behind her.

Rarity pulled herself out of her reverie, once again staring at the bottom of an empty glass. Her stomach burned with alcohol and her face burned with the embarrassment of her youthful folly. She thought about ordering another, but Applejack was probably right, like she always was. She'd had enough.

With hindsight and the wisdom of adulthood, it was easy to see where she had gone wrong as a child. Rarity tried to help Applejack with her own interests, and didn't put any consideration into what Applejack would enjoy. Not to mention the nature of Applejack’s grief at the time was never something Rarity could fix. Applejack had needed time, and could only recover at her own pace.

But her failure as a filly still stung. Rarity felt hot tears rolling down her cheeks as her heart bled for her childish innocence and sincerity. But worse, since all these years later, she still wasn't the kind of pony Applejack could connect with like that.

“Rarity?” Coloratura asked. “Are you alright?”

Rarity started up, sputtering. “I, what, no, I…” She finally managed to twist around in her seat to see Coloratura standing behind her, her face a mask of concern. “Goodness, no, I'm fine! Just at that level of intoxication where you get a little weepy, you know how it is. I, uh, shouldn't you be with Applejack?”

Coloratura's face softened and she took a step forward. “I left my wallet here. Are you sure? I know we've only just met but, if there's something you need to get off your chest, I’d be happy to listen.”

Rarity sniffed, stood up straight, and did her best to put on a smile. “I appreciate the offer, darling, but I assure you, I'm quite alright. Just need to go home and take a nice long bath and relax, and then I can…”

Her legs trembled beneath her, and her vision blurred once more. This was silly. She was a grown mare, not a weepy filly. She could hold herself together without—

A sob escaped from Rarity's throat, and Coloratura was there, wrapping her forelegs around Rarity's neck. “Hey, it's okay, just let it all out,” she said, her voice soothing. After a moment she added, “This is about Applejack, isn't it?”

“Mmm,” Rarity murmured. She let out an ugly snort and let her tears flow into Coloratura's fur. “It's dumb, I'm sorry. I'm just a pony, right? The problem is that I'm not the right pony.”

Coloratura pulled out of the hug and wiped Rarity's tears away with a hoof. “Hey, don't say that. I know I don't know you very well, but Applejack told me a lot about you.”

Rarity blinked, then used her magic to flick away more tears. “She did?”

“Yeah, she did,” Coloratura said with a smile. “Back at Camp Friendship, we shared a bunk. We spent hours talking every night. Applejack told me a lot about Ponyville, about her family. About how much she missed her mom and dad. I shared my own woes with her too, though that's beside the point.”

Coloratura placed her hoof on Rarity's shoulder, and looked her in the eyes. “But she also told me all about her best friend back home. How she was a pony who was pretty and prissy and fussy about fashion, and kind of annoying sometimes. But also how she was generous to a fault, about how she would always give all of herself to help a friend in need. Even if she missed the mark, that she tried to be there for Applejack when she needed it meant a lot to her.”

Warmth blossomed in Rarity's heart, and her mouth hung open. “You mean she…”

Coloratura smiled. “I mean it. Honestly, the way she talked about you, it made me kind of jealous. But you—or at least, the image of you I had in my head kind of inspired me to become the pony I am today. Even if I lost my way until just recently.”

Rarity stared at Coloratura for several moments before she burst out laughing. “You were jealous of me? That’s absolutely ridiculous!” Still giggling, she wiped tears from her eyes.”I'm sorry. I'm just being silly, that's all.”

“Applejack’s one of the best friends I've ever had, even as brief as it was. You're way luckier than you think.” Coloratura sat down at the bar next to her.

“No doubt about it. Applejack is Applejack, and we're both lucky to be her friend.” Rarity took a seat as well. “And I think that perhaps, we should try to be friends as well. What do you say, Coloratura? Another drink? One for the road?”

Coloratura grinned. “I'd love to, Rarity, but under two conditions. One, they have to be non-alcoholic drinks.”

Rarity belched, then blushed. “Fair enough. It's been a long night. And the second?”

“You have to start calling me Rara.”

Rarity threw back her head and laughed. “Very well. Barkeep! Two Virgin Mojito’s for Rara and Rarity!”

Author's Notes:

Rara, Rarara.

Thanks to Kalan and Dubs Rewatcher for editing.

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