Chapter 1: Premiers Symptômes (First Symptoms)
It was a pleasant day in Ponyville. While most of the ponies were out enjoying the warmth from Princess Celestia's sun, one purple maned unicorn was working in her shop. Using her magic, she was forming beautiful gowns and dresses for her clients. A ringing of the doorbell interrupted her work.
Pausing in her work, Rarity trotted out of her workroom and down the stairs. "I wonder who that could be?" she asked herself as she arrived at the door. Opening the door, she quoted her usual sells pitch to her customers. "Welcome to the Carousel Boutique, home of the finest dresses in Ponyville!"
On the other side of the door were two familiar faces to the white unicorn. It was Applejack and her older brother Big Macintosh "Howdy there, Rarity!" the orange mare spoke, "Thought ah'd come by and pick up mah dress today."
Rarity smiled to her friend, "Ah, Applejack! Yes, come on in, I just finished it last night. I do need you to try it on, if that's alright, dear." She quickly turned and headed to the back of her shop.
"Ain't a problem in the least," Applejack commented as she entered the shop with her brother. Big Mac was looking around the shop, feeling slightly out of place.
Rarity returned with a green and red dress that was being carried by her magic, "Here it is. Now I just need to have you put it on to double check for any fitting problems."
"Right, lemme take care of that now," Applejack said placing her hoof out.
Rarity gave a puzzled look, "Um, won't you need help, dahling?"
Applejack scoffed, "Nah, ah'm a big pony. I don't need no help. Just hand it here."
Rarity was still a bit unsure about having Applejack put the dress on herself, but gave in. The earth pony was off to change in a different room, leaving Rarity alone with Big Mac. An awkward silence was growing between them. Rarity could tell Big Mac was feeling uneasy for being in her shop, so she thought she could ease the situation for him by chatting.
"So, Applejack dragged you over here, did she?" Rarity asked with a small smile, hoping to have the colt relax.
"Eeyup," Big Mac replied, "she wants me ta make sure the dress will work fer her trip ta Manehatten in a few weeks."
"Oh, what's the occasion, if I may ask?" Rarity inquired.
"She wants a formal type of clothin' fer when she visits our relatives. After last time, she thinks it would be good to have just in case." Big Mac stated.
Rarity nodded, "Oh, I see."
The silence returned. Applejack still was in the process of putting on her dress and the other two were still plagued with awkward situation.
"Well, I guess while we wait, I could finally move some of that furniture upstairs." Rarity stated. While she really didn't want to be rude about doing such when there was company, she felt it was at least something productive.
"Do you need some help, Miss Rarity?" Big Mac asked in his low voice.
Rarity's ears perked up when she heard what he had asked. She wouldn't of thought that he would offer to assist. "Oh, you really don't have to, dear." she stated.
"Ah don't mind at all," the red colt replied.
"Well, if you insist. Thank you for offering," the unicorn smiled shyly. Rarity then began up the staircase with Big Mac following behind her.
They arrived at her workroom, which was a slight mess from her working that morning. Placing a hoof over her mouth, she thought about where exactly she wanted the furniture. Big Mac stood to the side in silence, awaiting the unicorn's words.
"Hmm," Rarity began, "I think I want my work table that's in the center against the far wall and against the window. And then the tables near the door would look lovely to the right wall. I think that would open the room up quite a bit. What do you think, Big Mac?"
The stallion nodded, "Ah think it would be mighty fine, Miss Rarity. Shall I move them for you?"
"Oh, yes please, Big Mac!" Rarity replied. Big Mac went right to work and pushed the tables to where Rarity had suggested. Watching him, the unicorn's face turned a slight pink. She had never seen a stallion act like such a gentlecolt before. In fact, the only time she knew of anypony behaving like Big Mac were in old tales of chivalry and courtesy of knights to princesses and damsels in distress. Then a colt came to mind that she thought had those qualities: Prince Blueblood. Just his name was enough to annoy Rarity. But before she could do anything, Rarity realized that Big Mac had the qualities that she had always wanted in somepony special. She quickly shook her head of all her thoughts and returned to reality. She saw Big Mac push the last desk into place.
"All done, Miss Rarity," Big Mac smiled warmly the unicorn.
"Oh, thank you so much, dahling!" Rarity said happily to the red colt.
"Not a problem."
The two returned downstairs to find Applejack standing alone and annoyed with her dress upon her back, waiting for the Rarity and her brother to return, "Ah knew if ah waited long enough, the two of ya would return."
"Oh dear, Applejack! I'm so sorry. Big Mac was helping move some furniture around upstairs," Rarity seemed very embarrassed.
"Ah, don'cha worry about it none, Rarity. Anyway, the dress fits quite fine and it seems to be perfect fer Manehatten in a few weeks," Applejack commented happily.
"Oh, wonderful dahling!" Rarity chimed.
"Thanks a whole bunch, Rarity. Well, we best get back to the farm now. See ya later!" Applejack raised a hoof to waive to her friend as she headed toward the door.
"Yes, see you soon, Applejack. And thank you again for your help, Big Mac!" Rarity waived good back to the two ponies exited the shop.
Big Mac smiled and nodded toward the white unicorn, "Of course, Miss Rarity."
After they had left. Rarity took a deep sigh and quietly asked herself a rhetorical question, "Am I feeling the symptoms of love for Applejack's brother?"
Chapter 2: Little Lover's So Polite
The next day, Rarity joined her friends to pay a visit to Applejack at Sweet Apple Acres. Upon arriving, they surprised their friend. The earth pony was busy with the apple harvesting and looked tired.
"Howdy, ya'll. What brings ya around to these parts?" the orange mare said slightly out of breath.
Twilight Sparkle was the first to speak, "Well, we realized it was applebucking season and we felt we could a hoof for you."
"Yeah, figured we should stop by and help since you are too stubborn to just ask," Rainbow Dash added.
"And we don't want you turn have yourself get hurt or anything," Fluttershy meekly spoke.
"Well, shucks, that's mighty nice of ya'll to do such a thing," Applejack was impressed with her friends offering their time, "Even you Rarity?"
The white unicorn was slightly taken back by Applejack's comment, "What's that exactly supposed to mean? I certainly can hold my own with labor!"
Applejack laughed, "Ah'm just pullin' yer reigns, gal. I really am thankful fer all of ya to help around the farm. C'mon, ah'll show ya what needs ta be done."
All the ponies followed Applejack, though Rarity was still a bit annoyed at Applejack and the comment she made. The orange pony showed her friends what there was that needed to be done for the day's work. Rarity, who was taking her time behind the group, paused when a red stallion in the distance caught her eye. It was Big Macintosh working in the barn. The unicorn was feeling the way she did the day before. Looking to see that her friends had continued on without her, she trotted over Big Mac.
"H-Hello, Big Macintosh," Rarity spoke as she drew close. She cursed herself in her mind for tripping over her words.
Big Mac turned to see the familiar purple mane, "Afternoon, Miss Rarity," he gave a small smile to her, "What brings ya 'round here?"
Rarity tried carefully to not trip over her words like last time, "Oh, well, my friends and I figured we would stop by to help Applejack out. Then I saw you over here by your lonesome and….I thought I'd stop by and thank you again for your help yesterday in my shop."
Big Mac nodded, "T'was nothing, Miss Rarity."
Rarity shook her head, "Nevertheless, it was very kind of you and quite helpful to me," the white unicorn paused and noticed she had interrupted Big Mac in his barreling, "Oh dear, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt your work!"
"It's quite alright," Big Mac reassured her.
Rarity still felt a bit guilty, "Still though, shall I assist you?"
"Beg pardon?" the stallion wasn't sure that he heard her correctly.
"Would you like me to help you, Big Mac?"
The red stallion gave a small laugh. While Rarity had to admit he did look charming while he chuckled, it was the same reaction that his sister had when she offered to help.
"Big Mac! Why are you laughing?" Rarity was annoyed again, but was trying to not be angry.
"I'm sorry, Miss Rarity, but it just seems yer not the type of pony who would get their hooves dirty," Big Mac apologized.
"I'll have you know that I can work just as well as your sister here!" the unicorn was becoming defensive.
Big Mac smiled at her statement, "Alright then, you can help me move these barrels of apples inside the barn, if ya want."
Rarity nodded with a determined look, "Very well."
The two ponies worked together to move the barrels inside. Rarity surprised herself as well as Big Mac with the fact that she did not use her magic once. She had to admit that she wasn't exactly fond of her body getting sweaty, but once they had finished, the satisfaction that she got from her manual work was quite unique.
"I must say, Miss Rarity, I didn't think you had it in ya," Big Mac confessed as the finished.
Rarity, who was exhausted and whose coat seemed to have a slightly warmer shade of color to it, gave a smile, "I told you I could hold my own, dahling."
"Ya certainly can," Big Mac nodded.
Almost without thinking, Rarity began to speak, "Say Big Mac, would you by chance like to stop by Sugarcube Corner for some refreshment?" It wasn't until after she finished that she realized she somewhat asked Big Mac out.
Taking a second to think, Big Mac replied, "That actually sounds like a fine idea, Miss Rarity."
Chapter 3: Simplest Love
Rarity and Big Mac began their walk over to Sugarcube Corner. The white unicorn was surprised to take note of herself being bashful around the stallion. Never before had she been so flustered around anypony before, in fact, she was used to it being the other way around. However, she managed to keep a level head as they made their way to the bakery.
Upon arriving, it was apparent that other ponies had the same idea of stopping in for a treat. A blue unicorn with a wavy mane took their order and offered them a place to sit. Before Rarity could get a chance to sit on the stool, Big Mac pulled it out for her.
"Oh, why thank you, Big Mac! You are such the gentlecolt," Rarity stated as she sat down upon the stool.
Big Mac lightly blushed at her words as he seated himself.
The two began to chat amongst each other as their food came. While it was just small talk, Rarity found that it was one of the most pleasant conversations that she had ever had with anypony. She also noticed that Big Mac seemed to be enjoying himself as well. As they talked, Rarity's mind wandered, 'I must say, Big Mac is quite a sociable colt once somepony gets past his rough and quiet exterior. And I must say, his exterior is quite attractive….wait! Get hold of yourself, Rarity! While, yes, he is quite good-looking, you mustn't be so forward with him! I mean….he's honestly what you've wanted in your prince, Rarity. And more….'
"Miss Rarity?" a low voice called to the thinking unicorn.
Suddenly hurled back into reality, Rarity replied, "Wha- huh?"
Big Mac smiled, finding her small panic amusing, "I was sayin' that my first impressions 'bout ya were wrong."
Rarity was quick to calm herself back to her normal, elegant demeanor, "How so?"
"Well," Big Mac began, "fer starters, you showed ya can hold yer own on the farm. Ah was might impressed with yer hard work an' all. And seein' ya be quite independent with yer help around the farm, not askin' fer help. And, after all of that, still be as lovely and charmin' as ever."
The last words from Big Mac caused Rarity's face to turn a bold pink, "Oh, dahling, your just saying that."
Big Mac shook his head with a smile, "Eenope."
The blue unicorn that took their order had returned with their check. Before Rarity could get to her money, Big Mac had already got out his money, which was enough to cover for the both of them.
"Big Mac, you really didn't have to do that, dear," Rarity stated.
"It's nothin', Miss Rarity," Big Mac smiled to the unicorn, "Ah should get back to the farm before Applejack puts me on pig duty again." He joked and nodded toward Rarity, "Have a pleasant afternoon, Miss Rarity, and thank you fer yer help."
Rarity watched Big Mac walk out the door of Sugarcube Corner toward his home. She continued to watch him out from the window until he disappeared out of her view. She then slouched on the table, her head resting on the surface. She finally came to a conclusion in her mind, 'It's simple: I'm in love with Applejack's brother.'
Chapter 4: In My Life
Leaving Sugarcube Corner, Rarity began to trot aimlessly around Ponyville. She had no destination in mind. In fact, her mind was too busy trying to piece together her frustrating emotions. The unicorn strolled throughout what seemed like the entire town of Ponyville to her hooves. When her mind finally gave up on trying to make sense of her feelings for Big Mac, Rarity noticed that she had spend the entire day trotting around Ponyville and that Celestia's sun was setting on the land. Hanging her head, Rarity began her walk back to the Carousel Boutique. Crossing the town square, Rarity smelt a familiar aroma in the air. It was the unmistakable smell of homemade apple fritters from Sweet Apple Acres. Raising her head, Rarity saw a face of her good friend Applejack working her family's apple cart.
"Hello, Applejack," Rarity greeted her friend.
"Howdy, Rarity. What brings you 'round these parts?" Applejack returned the salutation from behind the merchant cart.
"Just….doing some thinking. You wouldn't happen to have any apple juice, would you?" Rarity asked in a crestfallen tone, looking down.
"One apple juice, comin' right up. What's got ya so down?" Applejack asked as she was in the process of fulfilling the order.
"Promise not to hate me?" Rarity peered up at Applejack.
"Promise," the orange mare held out Rarity's refreshment for her.
Rarity sighed, using her magic to take the apple juice, "I think….that I might be in love with your brother." The unicorn's cheeks were a slight pink as she spoke.
Applejack blinked in silence before she started to burst out laughing. Rarity shouted at Applejack to be quiet. Finally regaining her composure, Applejack looked to see that Rarity's face was not amused. "Oh wait, yer serious," Applejack replied, "let me laugh even harder." While the earth pony resuming her laughing, Rarity's face burned a bright red as she tried to hide her face and sip some of her apple juice.
"Applejack! Honestly! I would expect this from Rainbow Dash, but not you!" Rarity's face became more flustered as she shouted at her friend.
Applejack finally calmed herself and spoke with a smile still on her face, "Ah'll tell ya, Rarity, never thought ah'd hear somethin' like that from you."
"To be honest, nor did I. There seems to be just something so….different about him," the unicorn said before enjoying more of her juice.
"Well," Applejack began, placing her front limbs on the cart and supporting her head with her hooves, "like what?"
"He seems more of a gentlecolt than anypony I've ever met before. Big Mac is just so caring, charming, and, to be quite frank, he's very attractive. I have never met somepony with such qualities in my life," Rarity spoke candidly. She never though she would ever talk so freely about her emotions with anypony, much less Applejack.
Applejack nodded, "And?"
This puzzled Rarity, "And what?"
"Are ya goin' ta do anything about how ya feel about him?"
Rarity didn't say a word. She took a sip of her juice.
Applejack continued, "Look, Rarity, it's obvious ya like my big brother. And for that matter, ya have my blessin'. But that's only if ya grow yerself a backbone."
"I beg your pardon, AJ?" the white mare asked.
"Ya heard me, pony up and tell him."
"But what if he refuses? I mean, it would be just the worst possible thin-"
Sitting up, Applejack cut the Rarity off, "So what? Yer a big pony, you'll be fine. Look, ah know it doesn't seem like ah'm bein' fair ta ya, but ah really want ya to be happy. An' sometimes ya need to be pushed and shoved, ya hear?"
Rarity smiled to her friend, "I hear."
Applejack smiled back, "Good. Now get home and relax, will ya? It ain't like ya ta be sweaty." The orange mare gave a joking wink to Rarity.
The unicorn chuckled a bit, "Well, you are right about that, dear. Oh, I need to pay for the juice."
Applejack raised a hoof up, "No worries, it's on the house, partner."
"Thank you, Applejack. For everything."
"Hey, that's what friends are for."
Rarity bid Applejack farewell as she continued her journey home. Taking a few more sips of juice, the unicorn was contemplating how exactly she was to admit her feelings for Big Mac.
Chapter 5: Classic Girl
The next morning, Rarity awoke in her bed. Her mane was frizzled from her sleep. Taking a big yawn, she stepped down onto the floor and made her way to the bathroom for her morning beautification ritual. As she trotted slowly over, she began to think about how she was going to do exactly what Applejack had told her she should do: confessing to Big Mac her feelings. Pausing in front of the mirror, she took a look at herself. A smile appeared on her face as she looked at her messy mane. 'If only Big Macintosh could see me right now,' she jokingly thought to herself. Nopony had ever seen Rarity's unkempt bed head before. Using her magic, Rarity levitated her brush to begin taming her wild mane. However, the doorbell rang.
Rarity put the brush back and began trotting down the stairs, "I wonder who it could be at this early hour," the white unicorn asked herself quietly.
Opening the door, Rarity was surprised to see a red stallion with an orange mane on the other side. It was Big Macintosh.
"B-Big Macintosh! What brings you over here?" Rarity spoke, doing her best to mask her emotions.
"Mornin' Miss Rarity. Mah sister Applejack said you needed me ta stop by for somethin'?" Big Mac's voice was low and soothing to the stressed mare.
"Applejack?" Rarity replied. She quickly thought about what she had said to her friend the night before. "Oh, um, yes. Do please come on in," Rarity offered. Inside of her head, Rarity began to curse out Applejack, 'How dare Applejack do this to me! Curse her and her….Applejack-ness! Though I must admit she knows how to be pushy to get things done.'
Big Mac paused in the mane room, waiting for instruction, "So, what'cha need help with?" He tried his best to not stare at Rarity's disordered mane, "Um, if ya want, ah could come back later if ya want to take care of yer….um….mane."
"Huh?" Rarity had completely forgotten that her mane was a disaster. Normally, she would have vanished in a blink of an eye to tidy it up, but not today. "No need to worry about it, dear," she brushed it aside, "I have something I must say, Big Mac." Pausing, Rarity spoke to herself inside of her mind, 'Alright Rarity, time to take Applejack's advice, and grow a backbone!' She resumed, "I know this might not sound right, but I'm quite fond of you…." Rarity's cheeks burned a bright red as she spoke the last five words. She stared off somewhere, praying Big Mac was not looking at her.
Big Mac was speechless. He couldn't help but look at Rarity was eyes of disbelief. He didn't know what to say, nor did he know what to do. The silence between them grew more and more. Finally, Big Mac spoke one word, "Really?"
Rarity's face grew more flushed, "Yes, I do. You really are quite the amazing gentlecolt."
Big Mac became flustered, "But, ah'm nothin' of the sort, Miss Rarity. Ta me, yer like a queen; all high and mighty, deservin' of the finest like all classy mares. As fer me, ah guess ah'm just a commoner; nothin' all that fancy about me."
Rarity looked toward Big Mac finally and replied by shaking her head, "Nonsense, Big Mac. You are far more than that. In fact, you are like a knight. You are kind, caring, chivalrous, and a simply wonderful colt. You are just like the hero in old pony tales." Her own words were making Rarity nervous, but she felt happy she was finally admitting her feelings.
Big Mac looked downward, his checks burning from blushing. He was silent for a moment before continuing, "Well….ah do have ta admit, Miss Rarity, ah am quite fond of you as well. Ah guess seeing that independent and strong side of ya made realize that….but…."
"But?" Rarity's ears perked up.
"Ah know nothin' about bein' in any type of relationship, Miss Rarity. Ah admit that ah am not really good at the things…." Big Mac was still staring at the floor.
Slowly trotting over to Big Mac, Rarity softly replied, "It's perfectly fine. I'm new to this sort of thing, too. We can take things as slow as you would like, Big Mac."
"Ya mean that, Miss Rarity?" the red stallion raised his head to look at the white unicorn.
Rarity nodded as she wrapped her front limbs around Big Mac's neck, "Of course. And please, call me Rarity."