Hours. It was hard to believe, but several hours had already passed since they had finally admitted the truth to one another. In the time since, the two mares had kissed, cuddled, and seen one another in a different light, all beneath a blanket of meteors and stars. It had been a truly beautiful sight, and neither one was sure they could have ever found anything better for such an occasion - even now, Twilight Sparkle and Applejack lay beside one another on the blanket, faint smiles upon their faces as they gazed up at the night sky.
"And that one's Aquila."
"Which one, Twi?"
The lavender mare raised a hoof towards the heavens, pointing out the constellation. "See it?"
"Wait... I think I got it. Looks kinda like a bird."" Applejack squinted her eyes and raised her own hoof, following the general outline of the constellation. It was rather difficult to discern for the untrained eye, but she was fairly certain she had found it.
"Mhm! An eagle, to be precise." Twilight lowered her hoof and rolled onto her side, her horn faintly glowing as she used her magic to rummage through the basket of snacks. They had seemingly run out, however, something that caused a faint scowl to appear on her face. "Welp, we're out of food... and it is starting to get late. Do you think we should head back?"
The earth pony let out a soft grunt as she quickly sat up, her eyes peering up at the unicorn. "Yeah, startin' ta get a bit chilly anyways. Big Mac's probably worried sick 'bout where I'm at."
"And Spike's probably still up, wondering when I'll be back..."
"I uh... I guess this is good night then, darlin'." Applejack hopped to her hooves and was already leaning forward to give Twilight another kiss, only to find herself stopped by the unicorn.
"AJ, wait... It doesn't have to be good night. You could always stay the night with me, and if Big Macintosh gets mad at you tomorrow, just say that... it was too late for you to make the walk home or something!" Twilight Sparkle briefly grinned, glancing about before setting her gaze back on Applejack. "That... that would work, wouldn't it?"
"I... 'spose it would, an' ya do got th' spare bed an' all."
"Applejack, I was kinda thinking that we'd just share my bed. Since we're um... dating now and all." The unicorn blinked and gave her head a quick shake. "...It still feels weird to say that. Anyways, we've shared a bed before, so this isn't that big of a deal."
The orange mare chuckled and slowly shook her head, grinning as she stared back at Twilight. "'cept I'm yer girlfriend now. We can do an awful lot besides jus' sleep."
"...u-um... like what, exactly?"
"Oh, you know... ya run a library, Twi. I'm sure ya've got books about it."
Prodded on by Applejack's words, Twilight Sparkle's own thoughts immediately shifted towards more risque subjects, causing her to blush once more. "Applejack, I... I don't know if I'm quite ready for that. I mean, we just started going out!"
"...I meant cuddlin' an' stuff. What th' hay were ya thinkin' about?" The earth pony raised an eyebrow at her, and Twilight quickly backed away, her face beet red from embarrassment.
"I'll just... go get my things. Um. Yeah."
For Spike, tonight had been a very long night thus far. Despite the fact that he was indeed growing up with every passing year, he was still technically a baby dragon, and baby dragons needed sleep. He simply couldn't go to bed while Twilight was still out, however - he needed to make sure she got home safe and sound. After all, he was her number one assistant, and these things were to be expected of someone with such a title. A quick glance at the clock on the wall revealed the time to be 3:43, and he let out a groan as he flopped over onto the table. "Ugh... where are you, Twilight? I wanna go to sleeeeep."
Not surprisingly, Owloysius was up and about, and turned around to face the baby dragon. "Hoo."
"Twili- wait, no. I'm not doing this again. You get me almost every single time this happens. Well, not today!"
"Tonight. Same thing."
Before the two of them could say anything further, a creak emanated from the front of the library, and it was one Spike knew quite well. He and Twilight had oiled the hinges on the front door time and time again, if only to get rid of the creak, but nothing ever worked. They had eventually given up on it and had simply decided to deal with it. The sound of hooves upon the wood floor made it quite clear that some ponies had arrived, and Spike had a fairly big hunch that he knew who they were. He rounded the corner into the entryway of the library, and the smile upon his face soon turned into one of confusion as he saw not one, but two mares. "Hey Twilight! And... Applejack? That's... a pretty crazy mane you've got going."
Applejack blew her mane away from her face once more, sighing and seemingly agreeing with the baby dragon. "Howdy Spike."
"Soo... what are you doing here?"
"Stayin' th' night."
"Oh. Another slumber party?"
"Eh..." The orange earth pony nervously glanced over towards Twilight and chuckled. "Somethin' like that."
Spike seemed utterly confused at this point, and continued to glance back and forth between the earth pony and the unicorn. "Twilight, you seem a little... more awake than usual. I mean, you're usually completely zonked out when you stay out this late!"
The lavender mare clearly hadn't been paying attention, considering she had been staring at Applejack's face almost the entire time, and she quickly blinked and directed her gaze at the dragon. "Bwuh? No, no... I'm fine! Perfectly normal!"
"You keep giving Applejack really funny looks..." Spike brought a claw to his chin, rubbing it as he peered up at Twilight.
"Oh, uh... look at the time!" The unicorn made a wide yawn, and Applejack quickly caught on, yawning as well. "Guess me and AJ should get to bed! You should too, Spike - you've been up all night, after all!"
The baby dragon stared at her, still quite skeptical, and eventually threw a claw into the air. "Have fun with your sleepover or whatever. I'll sleep in the basement. It's quieter down there."
Spike then grabbed both his bed and a blanket and promptly dragged both into the basement, shutting the door behind himself and leaving Applejack and Twilight to simply stand there and wonder what had just happened. Both had been expecting a confrontation, as well as an explanation of sorts in regards to their newly-formed relationship, but it seemed neither would happen just yet. The two mares quietly made their way up the stairs to Twilight's bed, and Applejack was already in the midst of yanking back the covers when she found herself interrupted by the unicorn. "Oh no you don't. I'm not letting you go to bed with your mane like that. C'mere and let me brush it."
"Twi, it's jus' gonna get messy again. Bedhead an' all that."
Twilight grinned and placed a hoof to her chest as one of her brushes floated up and down at her side. "Well, it still looks like you had a pretty rough night, and my sugarcube deserves better than that!"
"...Sugarcube? Reusin' mah nicknames now, huh?" Applejack chuckled and raised an eyebrow at the lavender mare, only to get a nervous laugh in return.
"I'm trying it... still getting used to all this, after all."
Applejack had already made her way over to Twilight Sparkle and had taken a seat before her. She saw no harm in having her mane brushed before bed, and she certainly needed it, even if it would just get messy again. The earth pony let out a soft sigh as she felt the brush begin to pass through her mane, and a faint smile crept across her face - she could get used to this. "Twi, you seemed awful nervous tonight. Jus' th' way ya acted an' all."
"Well... yeah. It's... kinda my first time dealing with this sort of thing." Twilight began to hum to herself as she sorted out the tangled and knotted mess that was Applejack's mane, and she could hardly contain her own smile either.
"So... I'm yer first? As in, first everythin'? First love, first kiss, all that?"
"Mhm. I spent so much time buried in my studies back in Canterlot, I never really gave myself the chance to form crushes or anything. There weren't ponies I liked, or wanted to marry... it was just me and my books - and then I came here and saw what I was missing out on."
Applejack chewed on her lip and then glanced backwards towards Twilight. "Twi, be honest when ya answer this... how long have ya been feelin' this way towards me?"
The unicorn hesitated for a moment and stopped the brushing as well, though she continued soon afterwards. "...a month or so. I started having dreams about you and the rest of the girls, and it steadily progressed to just... you. And as time went on, they got increasingly more vivid and um... heated. Not a day went by where I didn't dream or think about you. It only took this long because... well, I was nervous. And confused. I wasn't sure if what I was feeling was normal, or what I should even do about it. Your brother helped me sort it out, and he was kinda the one that encouraged me to ask you out on a date. The um... meteor shower was supposed to be said date."
"An' ta think, I almost missed it..." The earth pony let out a sigh and slowly shook her head. "I'll have ta give Mac a hug next time I see 'im."
"You should. You mean an awful lot to him, Applejack, and he was only trying to watch out for your best interests." The unicorn set the brush aside and smiled. "All done!"
With a smile of her own, Applejack sat up and gave her head a shake, chuckling softly as her mane moved about. Though it still covered most of her face, it wasn't nearly as troublesome as it had been earlier, and a lavender hoof soon brushed some of the strands of her mane aside. "Thanks, darlin'. Already feels a whole lot better. Ya ready fer bed?"
"Oh Celestia, yes. I think we've both had a really long day." Twilight had already galloped towards the bed and lept into the air, bouncing and giggling as she landed upon the mattress. "Ahh, my first time sharing a bed with my girlfriend!" The unicorn quickly covered her eyes with her hooves, wiggling her legs and letting out a faint squeal. "I have a girlfriend!"
"Awful excited, ain'tcha?"
"...c'mere, you." Applejack crawled into bed, slipping beneath the covers, and it didn't take long at all for the unicorn to do the same. With a brief burst of magic, Twilight snuffed out the candles illuminating her room, and the two mares were quick to embrace one another in the darkness. As tired as they may have been, neither one could really fall asleep - they were far too busy talking and enjoying the presence of the other. In between the pauses in their talks, the two would sneak in a quick kiss or a nuzzle, and sometimes even a brief ear nibble. The last one, in particular, often left Twilight extremely flustered, much to Applejack's amusement. "So, Twi... what happens next?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well... when are we gonna go about tellin' th' others?"
"Soon. I'd rather have us tell them ourselves, instead of having it slip out. We should probably tell Spike in the morning... he already seems a little suspicious, and I know how he is. He won't stop asking questions until we spill the beans. We'll tell the others afterwards." The lavender mare let out a soft sigh and brushed away some of Applejack's mane once more. "And then I'll eventually have to take you to meet my parents."
"Ooh... how do ya think they'll handle it? I mean... you datin' another mare."
"I think it'll go better than it sounds. They've always been rather loving, and sorta... scholarly, I guess? They're pretty open-minded, to be honest."
"Well, at least it'll go better than th' meetin' with Granny Smith... I ain't lookin' forward ta explainin' that one at all." Applejack rolled onto her back and stared up at the ceiling, a scowl on her face. "I jus' know that's gonna end in a fight, an' knowin' Granny, she'll probably try ta get th' others ta disown me."
Twilight sat up slightly and gave the earth pony a concerned look. "Macintosh said your family was pretty conservative, but... I didn't think it was anything like that."
"Th' younger ones are fine. They know that love is love, no matter who it's with, an' they're okay with that. Th' older ones, though? They'd throw a fit. There's a 'right' way an' a 'wrong' way fer them. I ain't lookin' forward ta that talk at all."
"We'll figure something out, AJ - we seem to have a knack for doing that. Besides, it's not like you'll be alone. I'll be there with you, and we'll do it together." The lavender mare leaned over, giving Applejack a quick kiss before settling back on her side. "Let's get some sleep, alright? We can talk about this more in the morning."
"Sounds good... g'night, Twi. Love ya."
The unicorn wiggled over slightly, wrapping her forelegs around the earth pony and smiling as they both relaxed into the embrace. As the two of them gradually fell asleep, Twilight let out one last yawn and leaned up to whisper into Applejack's ear.
"Love you too."