The Town: Crime is Magic - Chapter 2

Too Close to Home

“*GASP* Twilight, are you okay?! What happened? Did they hurt you? Omigoshomigosh, when we heard what happened in the papers, we were SOOOO scared!”

“Pinkie, i’m fine, really! Its not that bad, i’m just a little.....shaken is all.” Twilight tried to force a smile to comfort her friends. They were all sitting in the library, terrified for their friend’s well-being. She had just been home for ten minutes when all her friends came busting through the door on the verge of tears, embracing her in the tightest and most sudden hug she’d ever been on the receiving end of. It was late in the afternoon, 2 days after the robbery, and she had just began explaining what happened to Spike.

“I knew I shoulda been there!” Spike proclaimed. “Those guys wouldn’t have been so tough if you let me come! Why, next time-”

“There’s not going to be a next time,” Twilight cut in. “The princess told me that I shouldn’t be running missions for her in Downtown Canterlot anyway. Spike, remember why we were never allowed to go downtown when we were younger? Its getting much more dangerous down there. One of the FBI agents told me that there’s this place called Bucktown that’s not too far from Canterlot, and it’s basically a breeding ground for criminals!” Rarity cringed at the mention of Bucktown, but nopony noticed. “I think one of them called me a ‘tooney’ before they let me go.”

“Well, what the hay’s a tooney?” Applejack asked.

“It just means that Twilight isn’t a pony from Bucktown,” Rarity said casually. Everypony gave her a weird look. “Umm, you have to learn these terms in the fashion industry...” she lied, hoping nopony would delve any further. She quickly changed the subject. “Twilight, don’t try to tell us that you’re okay. We’re your best friends and we’re going to be here for you! Why, you and Spike shouldn’t even be spending the night here by yourselves! You simply MUST be my guests tonight!”

Twilight smiled at the kind words of her friend. “Gee Rarity, that does sound nice, but I just got back and-”

“WE’D LOVE TO!” Spike enthusiastically shouted, unaware of how eager he actually sounded.

“Perfect!” Rarity exclaimed. “Come by once you’re settled in, and we’ll have a GREAT night! Would anypony else like to join us?”

“I’d LOVE to!” Pinkie Pie said with a flourish of confetti from nowhere in particular. But her smile dropped with a quick realization. “Oh, but I have to start the plans on your special party for tomorrow, Rarity. Sorry, i’ll make it to the next one!”

Rainbow Dash and Applejack excitedly accepted the invitation, and Fluttershy said that she could come around as soon as she tended to the animals. With that, the five of them said their farewells to Twilight and Spike, concern still fresh in their voices. Rarity, Applejack, and Rainbow Dash began heading towards the Boutique as Celestia’s sun began to set.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Hey Trip, check out this fine piece a’ flank I picked up on the way over here!” Deadbolt shouted from his van as he pulled up to Tripwire. “She says her name’s Tracy!” With that, the back door of the van opened, and out stepped a blue unicorn with a long jet black mane and tail, green eyes, and a cutie mark of a sketch pad and pencil. Trip’s jaw went slack as she trotted over to him.

“Trixie?” Tripwire finally managed to ask. “Holy s***, that is SOME disguise!”

“Yes, Trix- I mean Tracy was very skeptical about altering her flawless appearance, but Tracy is very glad to see how it came out!” she said with a proud, almost smug smile. Even in the thick fog of Bucktown, she still shined like a torch.

“Uh, Tracy, you gotta cut out the third-pony speech thing if you wanna blend inta the crowd.” Deadbolt reminded her. “And what’s with the tooney accent?”

“Oh, sorry. I have a habit of getting into character before long adventures. By the way, when’s Will getting here?”

“He said he was gonna stop by the florist to find out our cuts,” Trip replied.

“...Are we takin’ hostages now?” Deadbolt asked.

“No, we’re not takin’ hostages now...” Trip reassured him.

“You gonna talk to him?”

“That’ll only make things worse.”

“You’re the one he listens to.”

“You think he listens to-” with that, they saw Will flying towards them from around a corner, a disgruntled look on his face.

“Guys, we got a prob- whoa, nice hair, Trix.” She quietly smiled. “Anyway, there’s a bit of an issue.”

“What is it? Fergie gettin’ selfish?” Deadbolt asked.

“No, nothin like that. Oh by the way, our cuts were deposited into these four accounts,” Will said as he tossed a small blue debit card to each of them. “We each got about 100k.” All three of them smiled and laughed.

“Heh, thats the best buckin problem i’ve had all my life!” Deadbolt sarcastically told Willowisp.

“That’s not what I meant! You see the address a’ that unicorn we picked up?” Willowisp passed around the ID as each of the ponies’ smiles was replaced by distress as they cursed to themselves.

“That’s only four blocks from Rarity’s house!” Trip said, anger appaernt in his voice.

“Jeez, are you buckin’ kiddin?” Trixie asked, her natural Bucktown accent unhindered.

“Well, takin’ her for a ride didn’t help!” Trip said.

“I’ll take care of it,” Willowisp said calmly.

“How?” Tripwire said with concern in his voice.

“Imma stalk her like a buckin’ ninja pony, find out if she’s scared.”

“Will, you go within 100 meters of her, that’s intimidating a witness. You already got 2 strikes! If you get pinched, they’re gonna bury your flank under the buckin’ jail! I’ll do it.”

Will let out a long sigh, indicating a total loss of patience. “Fine Trip. S***, you’re like a buckin’ old mare, I can’t argue with you...” Right then, Deadbolt flashed Tripwire a look, as if to say

‘See, he does listen to you!’

As they all began loading the van with their suitcases, Trip said “Bro, this s*** with the florist is gettin’ old.”

Will replied “Yeah, but its great money. I got some investments in the whole buckin’ Manehatten coke trade. I’ll be gettin’ bits pourin’ out both ends by next year.”

Trip laughed. “What are you, an entrepreneur now? I’ve known you all my life, you couldn’t sell a bucket a’ slop to a pig!”

“Were you with me in the Ponyville state pen?”

“Did you have bits in the Ponyville state pen?” Will gave Trip a hard, playful punch to the shoulder. “Heh, this kid can’t ship no more guns, so what does he do? He goes out and sells coke and oxy to little foals!” All four of them busted out into laughter as Deadbolt started the van’s engine. “Allright, let’s hit the road!”

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

It was about 10pm in Ponyville, and Luna’s crescent moon was on full display, illuminating the whole town with a cool, calm sense of comfort. A perfect night for a slumber party. At Rarity’s home, Sweetie Belle and Spike were fast asleep on the top floor as the five ponies in the living room were watching movies and telling jokes.

“So Rarity,” Rainbow Dash began, “what’s this super secret special party that Pinkie’s throwing you tomorrow?”

“Exactly what it sounds like,” Rarity replied as she motioned for Rainbow Dash to come closer. As Dash leaned her head in, Rarity moved her Rainbow mane to , cupped her ear with a hoof, and quietly told her “.....a SECRET!!” Rainbow Dash almost hit the ceiling at the unexpected shout as the other four ponies rolled on the ground with laughter, clutching their sides.

“Heheh, excuse me,” Twilight said as she walked into the kitchen. Rarity, being such a gracious host, followed her friend after a few moments. The other three ponies calmed down and brought their attention back to the movie.

“Twilight, is there anything you ne-” Rarity stopped as she saw Twilight sitting at the kitchen table with a dejected look on her face. Rarity slowly walked over and pulled up a chair. “Twilight, do you need to talk about what happened?”

“Rarity,” Twilight began, “that’s really the last thing in Equestria that I want to talk about. I thought this slumber party could distract me from it, but I just can’t stop.....” she stopped. “Can we- can we talk about something else?” Twilight said with a pleading look in her violet eyes.

“Well of course, Twilight, anything you want,” Rarity told her, putting a hoof on her shoulder.

After a few moments, Twilight finally said, “Rarity, what’s your family like?” Rarity’s smile disappeared in an instant. “Oh, is it a touchy subject? I’m sorry, its just I feel like I know so little about you.”

“Oh, its fine Twilight. I have no problem telling my friends about me!” Rarity replied with a troubled smile. “But yes, it is a bit complicated.” Rarity took a deep breath and began.

“Well, when I was little, I didn’t have a care in the world. My parents were happy and caring, and my older brother Tripwire and I were very happy. Sweetie Belle was born when I was about 13, and my brother was around 16. But a few months later, my mother, well....... ran away. That’s what my father said at least. Oh, it crushed his heart; I think that was the first time I saw a grown colt cry. My brother and I were hurt, confused, and angry. Thank Celestia that Sweetie Belle was too young to remember, because the next few years were simply awful. About two years after, my father was arrested for......I’d rather not say if that’s okay.” Twilight nodded, her full focus on the story.

“Tell me about your brother?” Twilight asked. A warm grin grew on Rarity’s face.

“Tripwire? He’s the greatest pony you’d ever meet. He left Ponyville around seven years ago to find work. You see, he’s a very gifted actor; he even has a stage mask cutie mark! He played the lead in his high school play One Flew Over the Cockatrice Nest, and it brought tears to the whole audience! It was his distraction from mom running away, as fashion was mine. He got accepted into this amazing acting school, but when dad was arrested, he turned it down to take care of Sweetie Belle and I. Oh, bless his heart.”

“Wow, he sounds amazing! But.... how did he take care of you by himself?” Twilight asked.

“Well, my grandparents died about a month after my father was arrested, and they left us a generous inheritance. Also, he wasn’t exactly by himself. He had a best friend named Willowisp, and he lived with us for the first year to help out. He’s a pegasus,  used to be one of the fastest pegasi in Ponyville! I remember Rainbow Dash and I used to follow him home from school all the time and annoy him with our little questions!”

“Wait, why’d YOU follow him Rarity?” Rarity silently blushed and giggled. “...Ooooooh, you LIKED him!”

“Well he was handsome, if not a bit short for a colt. And he was always so nice to us, even though he wasn’t so nice to some other ponies...”

“What do you mean?” Twilight asked.

“Well, he and my brother got into some trouble with the law. They began selling narcotics and got into some disputes with a few ponies. Apparently, a very large colt threatened my brother, and Willowisp shot the colt to death on the sidewalk.” Twilight’s eyes widened. “He isn’t a bad colt, he was just in a bad situation.... His father was friends with my father, and his life was pretty rough, even compared to ours. Anyway, Willowisp was looking at ten years in Ponyville state penetentary, but my brother scraped up all the bits he could and used most of his share of the inheritance to post bail for him. He was allowed to move to Canterlot to find work, but my brother knew that he’d just get in more trouble if he was alone.....”

“So, he went with him?” Twilight asked.

“*sigh* Yes. I wasn’t upset with him for leaving, but we’ve lived together all our lives until that point. I love him so much, and he loves me and Sweetie Belle! But his life was going nowhere fast since he rejected acting school. He gave me the remainder of his inheritance to help me start up my boutique and take care of Sweetie Belle, and he and Willowisp just.....left.”

“Oh Rarity, i’m so sorry!” Twilight said, pulling Rarity in for a hug as her eyes began to water.

“It’s- quite allright, Twilight,” Rarity said, regaining her composure. “I’m happy for them. Trip has written me a letter twice a month for the past seven years and he says that they..... found some work that pays well. I still miss him, though...”

“Does he ever visit?” Twilight asked.

Rarity looked back in the living room to see her three friends focused on the movie. She came back to the table and whispered to Twilight, “Can you keep a secret?”

“Rarity, remember the last time you asked me to keep a secret?” Twilight said, almost glaring at Rarity.

“This is different! You’d only have to keep it for one day, and it’s so exciting!” Rarity squeaked.

“Fine, I guess. What’s the secret?”

“Well, you know how Pinkie is throwing that party for me tomorrow?” Twilight nodded. “Well, its actually a surprise ‘Welcome Back!’ party! Tripwire and Willowisp are coming back to Ponyville tomorrow with a few friends, and they’ll be staying here for a few weeks!!”

“Oh my GOSH, thats wond-” Twilight stopped as Rarity shoved a hoof in her mouth.

“Shhhhh, nopony knows but you and Pinkie. When everypony sees them walk through the door tomorrow, they’ll be so excited! Especially Sweetie Belle!” Rarity and Twilight began to shake with excitement.  “Allright, let’s get back to the girls.”

“Sure Rarity,” Twilight said. “Oh, and thanks. For everything.”

They shared a smile and went back into the living room.