Chapter Seven “Coping With The Circumstances”
As Luna had predicted, Applejack and Twilight were allowed to leave for home. On the train ride back, nearly at Ponyville, the two struck up conversation once more.
“It was shock enough to ma family the first time ah told em I was changing, ah just don't know if I'm up ta tellin them again.”
“You may not have to,” Twilight said a little sheepishly.
“Whada ya mean,” Applejack said eying Twilight suspiciously.
“Well...” Twilight squirmed a little, “I may have sent a letter back to Spike telling him about what we learned.”
“Oh no,” Applejack said, already knowing where this was going, “and he told everyone huh?”
“Yeah, pretty much,” Twilight said with a slight smile.
“Great, do they know we are heading back in today?”
“Spike knows, but I doubt he's had enough time to tell that many people we are coming in today, I sent that letter just before we left.”
As they pulled into the train station, only Rainbow Dash and Spike were waiting for them.
“AJ,” Rainbow said in a joyous tone, swooping down to give Applejack a big hug, “I hear you're growing wings, congratulations!”
“Not now Dash, I wanna go home and talk with ma family.”
“OK I'm not going to stop you, just keep in mind when those bad boys come in that your best friends with the fastest Pegasus in all of Equstria.”
“Yeah, so,” Applejack said, not really seeing were Rainbow Dash was going with this.
“SO,” Rainbow Dash said a little irritated, “your going to need someone to teach you to fly aren't you?”
Applejack realized the offer Rainbow Dash was extending and smiled, “thank ya Rainbow, I'll keep you in mind.”
“Ah yeah,” Rainbow Dash said and flew in a tight loop midair, “I can't wait to get started, you hurry up and grow those wings OK?”
Applejack smiled at Rainbow Dash's enthusiasm, “alright Dash I'll get right on that.”
After that Applejack headed back to Sweet Apple Acres to talk with her family, and Twilight went to her home to study a while on Pegasus flight.
Once home Applejack began speaking with her family about what she had learned, but as she figured, they had all already heard from Spike. Relieved to not have to break such news a second time, Applejack ate some lunch, and went to bed early.
The next day she woke up to find two incredibly small wings on each side of her. “Well that was fast,” she mumbled, already having gotten used to the concept of having wings. She went outside and began practicing her magic for a few hours. By the time Rainbow Dash showed up she had gotten to the point were she could move an entire fields worth of apples into multiple baskets in just a few seconds.
“Wow AJ, your doing fantastic on your magic, I hope you put that much effort into flying,” Rainbow Dash said as she flew in observing the massive movement of apples. As she landed she saw Applejack's tiny, but very noticeable wings, “whoa your wings have already came in?”
“Oh yeah, woke up and there they were.”
“Well then let's get started.”
“Rainbow, I don't think these tiny wings are going to take me anywhere.”
“No not yet, but there are a few things you can do to get a jump start on things.”
“Like,” Applejack asked expectantly.
“For instance,” Rainbow Dash said as she landed, “high jumps, you can use your wings for extra lift at any size or strength, to get slightly higher, just try jumping straight up and flapping your wings once as hard as you can, like this,” at the last word Rainbow Dash shot straight up propelling herself with not only her legs, but also her wings, she then gently fell to the ground with her wings outstretched. “Now you try.”
“OK,” Applejack said, and crouched down and attempted to jump straight up. She went fairly far but didn't actually flap her new wings at all, but not for a lack of trying.
After she landed Rainbow Dash looked irritated, “no, no, you got to flap your wings, you have tried moving them right?”
“Well no not really,” Applejack said a little matter of factly.
Rainbow Dash let out a grumble, and said “OK then just try to do this,” Rainbow Dash flexed her wings out then back in.
Applejack tried to imitate Rainbow Dash, but just ended up Twitching her shoulders a lot. After this went on for nearly a minute, Rainbow Dash flew over to her and grabbed a wing. “OK Applejack this may hurt a little, are you ready?”
“What are you gonna do?”
Without answering, Rainbow Dash lifted up Applejack's right wing into full stretch. Applejack let out a small yelp, and pulled away, once her wing was out of Rainbow Dash's hooves, it snapped back to her body.
“Whadya do that for,” Applejack asked gently rubbing her right wing.
“Sorry AJ, that's what you do to newborn Pegasus when there wings won't open, it's a little painful, but if you don't do it then the wings won't open when they're an adult, and when they are older the wings are stronger, making them a lot harder to force open, and if I remember right I was told your wings were going to be about Celestia's size.”
Still rubbing her right wing Applejack hesitantly asked, “OK but can you be a little slower next time?”
“Don't worry, the more you do it the less it will hurt.”
Applejack and Rainbow Dash spent the next thirty minutes slowly flexing Applejack's new wings. After that Applejack was feeling a little more confident in their use.
“OK Rainbow, I think I can flex them on my own now.”
“Let me see, I wanna be sure.”
Applejack slowly opened then shut her wings. “Again, but faster,” Rainbow Dash said almost like a drill instructor. Applejack opened and closed her wings again, in about two seconds time. “Faster,” came Rainbow Dash again. Once again Applejack opened and shut her wings, this time in about one second. “Just a little bit faster,” Applejack opened and closed her wings in about half a second's time, and came about half an inch off the ground.
“You did it! OK now do what I showed you earlier, look straight up, and jump flapping your wings.”
Applejack looked straight up, and jumped, flapping her wings mid air. She got about a foot higher then she had earlier.
“Keep that up and you will be flying almost as fast as me in no time,” Rainbow Dash said with pride showing in her voice.
“OK Rainbow, I'ma call it quits for today, I'm hungry and it's gettin late.”
“OK then, but don't you slack off, if I'm not here tomorrow, you keep doing that OK?”
“Sure thing Rainbow.”
Rainbow Dash took off in the direction of her house in the sky, and Applejack went in to eat another huge meal. She wished she didn't need so much food to sustain her growth.
The next day she went into Ponyville to go to a party that Pinkie Pie had decided to throw her. She called it her “Applejack Becoming an Alicorn Party,” and all five of Applejack's friends were going to be there.
When she arrived Pinkie Pie greeted her enthusiastically, “Oh AJ I can't believe the news, are you really becoming an alicorn? Huh huh huh?”
“You can see ma horn and ma wings can't ya Pinkie?”
Pinkie Pie stopped for a moment to examine the horn and wings. “Wow wee those are really neato, I wish I had them, or even one of them, I mean can you imagine what I could do if had a horn, or wings, I mean I could do SO MANY THINGS.”
Applejack stopped to shudder for a bit at the thought. Pinkie Pie kept going, “I'm so excited, I've never been so excited, well except for that time...”
Twilight interrupted, “Pinkie isn't that the third time you've used that line?”
Pinkie gave her a look as if she was stupid, “duh Twilight, don't you know the readers love a reference like that? Now you've gone and ruined it, oh well.”
Twilight and Applejack looked at each other and shrugged.
The rest of the party consisted of Applejack visiting with each of her five closest friends, and them sharing advice. Rarity attempted to advise Applejack on what a princess should wear, Rainbow Dash talked about how to achieve maximum speed while flying, Twilight talked about Canterlot and how to handle the people there, Fluttershy talked about how Applejack should be herself and not let other's expectations change her. Finally Applejack sat down with Pinkie Pie after everyone else had left Sugar Cube Corner. “Well I s'pose your going to tell me somethin like 'you should have fun in life' or somethin like that.”
Pinkie Pie looked a little sympathetic, “what's wrong AJ, aren't you happy to have your new horn and wings?”
“Yeah ah am, but Celestia talked about how I'm gonna live for a really long time, and how I'll have to watch everyone grow old and die.”
“So, what's the big deal?”
“I don't want to watch everybody I care fer die.”
“But AJ, you were going to do that anyway, or die first. You need to look at this the other way around silly. It's not that you have to watch everypony grow old and die, it's that you get to watch everyone you know live out there whole lives, and not worry them with your own death.”
Applejack looked at Pinkie Pie for a moment, then smiled and hugged Pinkie Pie, “thank ya so much Pinkie, you don't know how much that means to me.”
Pinkie Pie smiled wide and hugged Applejack back, “always glad to help a friend smile.”