“So you ain’t comin’.”
Applejack didn’t bother phrasing it as a question. It definitely wasn’t one.
“I’m sorry, Applejack…” Rarity’s horn was glowing bright, as various items set themselves in a suitcase on her desk. “I’m very busy.”
“Y’know, this is kinda important.” Applejack frowned, looking around at the once-cluttered workshop. Between the fire and the…packing…it was considerably roomier now. “World’s in danger, sugarcube.”
Rarity turned, shrugging. “And I am sorry, darling. But I’m busy, like I said. And…” She raised an eyebrow. “This mission doesn’t seem exactly safe, Applejack.”
“Of course it ain’t!” Applejack tried to keep her tone level, but she could tell by Rarity’s flinch that anger was slipping out. “But—Rarity, for pete’s sake, when’s that stopped you before?”
Rarity set a small pile of gems in the case. “It’s not just that, Applejack. Twilight has seemed…strained. Lately, that is to say…” She paused. “…I don’t know that she has our best interests at heart right now. There is a decided conflict of interest, as it is.”
“Has our best—Rarity, she’s my friend! She’s your friend! Has everypony gone complete bonkers?”
Rarity looked angry, but the expression quickly passed and was replaced with her old mask. “You see, darling? I am not the only one. Distrust is becoming quite common. Go on to them, and enjoy your little, ah, goose chase. I’m running late.”
“Late? For what?”
“Well, I’m not the only one.” Rarity looked away from Applejack’s accusing eyes. “You are. And…well, ever since the fire, I’ve been very busy. I have duties to attend to.”
“Managin’ a fancy dress shop!”
“My fancy dress sh—” Rarity stopped and shook her head. “It doesn’t matter. You need to go.”
“An’ what’re you gonna do?” Applejack took a step closer. “Stand around here glad y’ain’t puttin’ your life on the line?”
“Cleaning up what used to be my livelihood!” Rarity shouted. “Before you all got it burned down.”
Applejack faltered. She hadn’t expected Rarity to bring that up.
“That dragon was gonna bring us all down, Rarity.” She found, to her surprise, that her voice had gone quiet. “Bring Ponyville down. We had to distract it with somethin’. All the jewels here…”
Rarity sighed. She gave a second shrug. “You’re late, Applejack.”
She levitated a single dress into her suitcase, and shut it. “And so am I. The train is leaving soon.”
“Where’re you gonna go?”
Rarity gave a weak laugh. “I’m not sure. But…well, we’ll see.”
Applejack looked at the trinket she had brought to the boutique. The Element of Generosity.
She looked back at Rarity. “You’re not gonna bring this, are you?”
Rarity eyed the Element.
Then, she turned away. “Applejack, my fr…Applejack, do you really think it’s going to help me?”
“I doubt y’can use it.”
Rarity looked at Applejack.
She looked away.
“It’ll get better,” she murmured. Her false accent was, for once, completely absent. “You’ll see, Applejack. I’ll find a way. But…well, the train is waiting, and so are…your friends.”
She levitated the suitcase up and trotted out.
“I’m sorry, Applejack. When I have my bearings once again, I’ll find a way. I promise you, I will.”
Rarity and Applejack have such a wonderful dynamic. This was a great story that I enjoyed a lot! Reading lots of dialog between two characters that bounce off each other so well is always a great ride, especially when you can feel the tension between them like this. Good job!