“Thank ya kindly! Ya’ll come back now ya’hear?” the orange country mare said as she waved off another customer.
Applejack re-filled an empty bucket with apples from her apple cart, humming a familiar tune as she did so. She threw friendly smiles at the passing customers, presenting to them her delectable fruit. Some would oblige with ease, others needed a bit of persuading and there were those who already had their needed supply of fruit.
“Excuse me.” a sultry elegant voice floated through the air. “Might I ask you a question?”
Applejack observed the proud smiling pony standing before her. He was a white unicorn with a brownish blonde mane and tail. A single strand from his elegant mane dangled freely to the side of his head. On his chest lay a tuxedo shawl collar decorated with a beautiful red rose and a light blue tie. Tattooed on his flank were two overlaid four-pointed stars that made for a dazzling cutie mark. The pony’s appearance seemed familiar to Applejack but her mind couldn’t seem to put a name to the face. One thing she could determine though, he definitely wasn’t a resident of Ponyville.
“Howdy, what can I do ya fer?”
“I’m looking for a unicorn who goes by the name, Rarity. I was told she works as a seamstress at the Carousel Boutique in this town.”
Applejack allowed herself a slight smile but had to stifle a chuckle. He was nothing more than another colt attempting to swoon Rarity. “You sure ya wanna visit her hun? I heard she was already interested in somepony.”
As much as Applejack hated herself for it, she couldn’t help but smirk at the defeated look that grazed the white colt’s eyes upon hearing such news.
“Eeeeyup, I mean, it ain’t nothin’ serious just yet, but I reckon’ it soon will be.”
“I see, well, I still wish to speak with her, would you be so kind as to point me in the proper direction?”
Applejack directed the colt westward towards Rarity’s Boutique. He generously thanked the country equine and took his leave.
“Yer just wastin’ yer time, sugarcube.” Applejack said to herself as the colt disappeared from view.
Opal’s eyes sprang open as a loud knock on the front door sent chills down her spine. She hissed violently and meowed, eyeing the door with an evil glare as if ready to pierce any possible intruder with her razor sharp claws.
“Oh Opal, darling, relax. It’s probably just Applejack.”
Rarity shushed the cat and opened the door. The unicorn’s eyes widened and her bottom lip dropped faster than a ton of bricks, as if she’d seen a ghost. In front of her stood the more than memorable and well known Prince Blueblood. The horse looked as sophisticated as ever as he beamed a gentle smile her way.
“Hello, Miss Rarity.”
“Do you… remember me? I’m Pri-”
The gentlecolt’s sentence was cut short by an angry hoof that made impact with his face. He shook his head and blinked as he recoiled from the sting of the forceful slap he was dealt. “I take it you do remember.”
“Oh, of course I do! How could I forget a pony as egotistical, inconsiderate, discourteous, stuck-up, poorly raised and uncharitable as you?”
The resentment of Rarity’s words sliced through the air and caused Blueblood to lower his head. “I deserved that.”
“What brings you to Ponyville Mr. Royal Pain in the Flank?” Rarity sized him up and down, “This is the last place I’d expect to see a pony of your divine quintessence.”
The white colt frowned as Rarity’s sardonic tone pierced through his heart like a dagger. He sighed, and cleared his throat to relieve some of the tension, reminding himself not to be disheartened as the young lady let out her frustrations. “I’ve come to apologize to you, Miss Rarity.”
The purple maned equine raised an eyebrow. “Apologize? Really?”
“Yes, the way I acted at the Gala last year was inexcusable.”
“Hmpf, well THAT is certainly the understatement of the century.”
“You are a beautiful, no, gorgeous elegant mare, who deserved so much better than how I treated you that night. I know this apology is long overdue but, it took me a while to comprehend the weight of my misconduct. I stand here now, before you, pleading for your forgiveness and a chance to make it up to you; to show you that I’m a changed colt.
Rarity eyed the colt as he bowed before her. Trust was one thing he was far off from earning but still, he seemed sincere and Canterlot wasn’t a mere stroll down the road away from Ponyville. It takes guts to show up unannounced to the door of a lady you’ve wronged with apologies. This gesture in itself was quite admirable.
“And how do you propose to do that?”
“There ya go sugarcube, you got the last bucket-full fer today! Enjoy!”
Applejack smiled as she tilted the last of her apples in the customer’s saddle bag before she waved him off. She collected her bag of bits and placed it in the empty cart. Slight unsettling thoughts of her unicorn friend Rarity began to prance through her mind and the colt who seemed so anxious to see her. She strapped the saddle of the cart to herself and began walking to Rarity’s Boutique.
“Better check up on Ms. Fussy Flank.” the country mare said jokingly.
Applejack arrived to Rarity’s home just in time to cross paths with Blueblood whose identity still remained a mystery. Upon grazing her presence once more, the colt’s eyes widened and the smile he was already sporting enlarged. He bowed to Applejack. “Thank you again, kind mare. Without you, I wouldn’t have received a chance at redemption. I am at your debt.”
“Uhm… no problem?”
Without another word, Blueblood trotted off, his steps almost mimicking that of an over joyous school mare with a hopeless crush. Applejack knocked on the door and it swung open. She stepped in, being sure to wipe her hooves and avoid scraping the edges of the door with her cart as to not throw her unicorn lover into one of her infamous hissy fits.
“Applejack!” the unicorn greeted in a gleeful tone as she approached.
The white equine placed a gentle peck of adornment on her friend’s cheek forcing them to flush a slight shade of red; an instinctive thing Applejack desperately loathed, but Rarity adored.
“How did sales go today?”
“Sold every last apple.”
“Hey, what was with that colt I just passed by? He came to mah cart earlier lookin’ fer ya so I sent him on over this way. He looked so doggone familiar but I can’t quite remember where I’ve seen him.”
Rarity let out a slight giggle.
“Darling, that was Prince Blueblood.”
Applejack’s eyebrows flared and a frown washed over her face as her mind recollected the memories of their short encounter from last year’s Grand Galloping Gala.
“You mean that un-neighborly, nasty, bad-mannered, dis-considerate, unkind and prissy colt what did ya so badly at the Gala?”
“Yes, that was him.”
Applejack stamped the ground as if to punish herself for her inability to recognize the colt. “Aw shucks, sorry bout that Rarity, had I known it was him, I woulda told him off and sent his prissy flank packin’!”
“It’s fine, darling. He actually came to apologize.”
“Well, it’s about dern time! Took him long enough.”
“Precisely what I said, he even asked for a chance to make it up to me.”
A short condescending laugh escaped Applejack’s lips. “Now ain’t that a hoot! What’dja say to him?”
Rarity cleared her throat and blushed. She turned away from her friend and wet her lips before gently nibbling on the bottom one.
“I… I said yes.”
The country mare tilted her head and blinked.
“Ah beg yer pardon?”
“I said yes to him, Applejack.” Rarity vocalized a tad louder turning to her wide-eyed friend.
“Now, why in the hay would ya’ll go and do a silly thing like that? After how badly he treated ya?”
The unicorn shrugged. “He just, seemed so sincere, so sorry for what happened.”
“Right, and it took him almost an entire year to figure that out.”
“Not everyone realizes their wrong doings right away, Applejack.”
“He shouldna been actin’ so dang bad-mannered in the first place!”
Rarity nodded in agreement and lowered her head as she re-contemplated her thoughts.
“Ah’m fine with an apology but if ya ask me he doesn’t deserve no second chance. Why, if that were me, and Big Mac ever found out a colt was doin’ me that bad, he’d go plum cuckoo! ”
“If anything darling, I’m doing this for him. His conscience is clearly haunting him and this second date is a way of putting his mind at ease.”
“Whadda you care fer his peace a mind anyways?”
“Element of Generosity?” Rarity answered insecurely.
“Hmf, more like Element of Gullibility if ya ask me.” Applejack said, turning away from her friend.
Rarity’s mouth opened. She started to speak on Applejack’s seemingly harsh attitude before a second thought hit her which caused her to raise a brow.
“Applejack, are you… jealous?”
“You are, aren’t you? You’re jealous!”
“Now where in the hay are ya getting that idea from?” Applejack said as she turned her head to the white mare.
“You think that if I go on this second date with Blueblood, I’ll fall for him all over again.” Rarity said walking in front of her earth pony friend.
“No!” Applejack denied while trying to mask an obvious blush.
“Oh, Applejack,” the white equine nuzzled her friend, “even if Blueblood has changed, that’s not going to alter my feelings for you.”
“It ain’t about us, it’s about you. Ah don’t think he rightly deserves another chance after what he did to ya.” Applejack’s eyes watered a bit. The thought of this date was enough of a concern, but the earth pony had deeper issues that burdened her mind. Rarity, noticing the mistiness in her friend’s eyes, reached to wipe what she expected to be oncoming tears but the country mare turned her head to blink them away.
“I… I, just can’t stand to see you hurtin’ like that again.” Applejack admitted. Rarity curled her lips and sighed as she recalled the period of time to which her friend referred.
“I was a bit of an emotional wreck after that gala wasn’t I?”
“Three weeks, and every minute felt like a century. Every time y’all cried it felt like the end of the world.”
“And you were right there to help me through it, every day.” Rarity said as she again gently rubbed her check against her
“What can I say? I care about ya. It breaks mah heart to see you sad like that.”
Rarity planted a soft kiss on Applejack’s lips before gazing into her eyes as if directly looking inside her heart attempting to squash all concerns and fears. “And that’s why you’re my special somepony. No prince can change that.”
Applejack’s cheeks flushed red again as she smiled, then let out a sigh. “I still don’t like it. Maybe I wanted y’all to mahself tomorrow.”
“Oh, Applejack.” Rarity rolled her eyes as her friend’s jealousy became more apparent. “How about this? He’s picking me up tomorrow for lunch in Ponyville, afterwards, you and I can have a real date.”
The white unicorn gently kissed her friend’s neck which emitted a slight moan. “Hehe…what’d y’all have in mind?”
“Ohhhhh, I don’t know… maybe a… trip to the spa?”
Applejack scoffed and rolled her eyes.
“Y’all always wanna go to the spa. Now ah don’t mind it every now and again but don’t ya’ll ever get tired of going there all the time?”
“Mmmmmmm… no.” the unicorn exclaimed sweetly.
Applejack rolled her eyes again and Rarity beamed an innocent smile at her.
“Ugh, fine… the spa… again…”
The unicorn squealed to herself and nuzzled the earth pony’s nose.
“Thank y’all honey!” Rarity exclaimed in her best southern accent imitation.
“Whatever, Ms. Fussy Flank.” The country mare said as she turned to leave easing the saddle of her cart onto her back.
Rarity scoffed as she followed.
“You know I hate when you call me that!”
Applejack turned back around and planted a gentle kiss on the white equine’s lips. “Love you, darling.” The orange mare then turned around once more and started her walk back home.
“Love you too, sugarcube.” Rarity said as she leaned against the door and watched Applejack’s figure slowly disappear into the sunset.
“Fresh apple turnovers y’all!” Get ‘em while they’re hot!” the country mare exclaimed as she rang the bell on her cart. Several ponies flocked over to purchase the farm fresh pastries. As the crowd diminished, Rarity approached; the white equine was dressed in the same pink gown she wore the day of the Grand Galloping Gala. She sported the same earrings and crown as well. Applejack smiled at her friend.
“Same outfit? Ain’t that a fashion crime?” the orange mare joked.
“Only at the same event darling, plus, with the prince’s new attitude, he can observe my handiwork in all its fine glory… minus the cake stains which, mind you, took ages to get out!”
“Awful lotta dressin’ up and preparation for a pony ya’ll ain’t that interested in.”
“Oh stop, Applejack. I just pulled this old thing out of the closet, I’d been looking for an excuse to wear it once more, and now I have one.”
“If’in ya say so. Whatchall doin’ here anyway? Ain’t he s’posed to be pickin’ ya up soon?”
“Something came up,” Rarity admitted uneasily. “I received a letter from him this morning saying he couldn’t make it, so he generously offered to court me in Canterlot.”
Applejack raised a brow at the unicorn. “So he sent ya a letter sayin’ he couldn’t make it, and now he’s makin’ ya go all the way out to Canterlot so HE can have a second chance?”
“You don’t have to make it sound so negative.”
“Is he at least payin’ for yer ticket there?”
“He’s… going to pay me back when I arrive.” Rarity mentioned averting her gaze from the country mare. Applejack scoffed and rubbed her head.
“Don’t ya’ll see what’s happenin’?”
“Applejack, please, I know it seems a tad bit suspicious.”
“It’s downright fishy! Did he even tell y’all why he couldn’t come to Ponyville?”
“Well… no, but I’m sure there’s a good reason.”
Applejack shook her head almost as if she was ashamed in the unicorn.
“Darling, why else would he have come all the way to Ponyville yesterday simply to apologize? Let’s be fair about this, he put in the effort to come see me, I don’t mind returning the favor.”
“Ya’ll weren’t the one actin’ like a huge pain in the a-”
“Ugh… fine…” Applejack submitted as a disapproving pout washed over her face.
“Anyway, I was hoping to purchase some apple turnovers from you for my train ride. How much for a half dozen?”
Applejack put six of the delicious pastries in a small bag and placed it in front of the unicorn.
“On the house, sugarcube.”
“Applejack, I can’t ju-”
“It’s fine hun, just have fun, and don’t forget about the date ya promised me. You will be back in time won’t ya?”
“Of course, darling, a trip to the spa with my special somepony? I wouldn’t miss it for anything else in the world.”
Applejack sighed. “The spa… whoodoggy.” the country mare said unenthusiastically.
“Oh, you know you love it!”
The unicorn smiled and used her magic to gently place the bag of pastries in her saddle bag. She winked at her friend and started her walk towards the train station. Applejack smiled and before the unicorn fully disappeared she called out to her.
“Have a safe trip hun!”
Twilight walked up just in time to see to whom Applejack was talking. “What’s she all dressed up for this time?”
“She’s got a date with Prince Blueblood.”
Twilight raised an eyebrow at the earth pony. “Are you talking about that mean, disrespectful, impolite, meager, self-centered, uptight colt that was extremely rude to Rarity last year at the Gala?
“The one and the same, sugarcube.”
“Why in Equestria would she be going on a date with him?”
“Well, he was here yesterday lookin’ fer her, and apparently he came to apologize and make it up to her. So bein’ the ‘generous’ pony she is, she thought it fittin’ to give him a chance to show he’s changed.”
“Wait, but I thought…” Twilight paused for a second as her brain carefully danced around her words. “…you and Rarity…?”
“It ain’t nothin’ like that hun, she’s just bein’ nice to him. Somethin’ bout helpin’ him clear his conscience.” Applejack said as she shrugged and rolled her eyes.
“Oh! Well that’s nice of her. Still, you seemed kind of concerned.”
“I… well… it’s nothin’”
“Applejack…” the purple mare accused.
“It’s just that he came here all sorry like and said he was gonna take her on a date here in Ponyville, but this mornin’ he sent a letter sayin’ he couldn’t make it and that she should come to Canterlot. I just think it’s a bit shady, is all.
“That does seem rather peculiar.”
“Rarity says I’m just being jealous… I don’t know, maybe I am.” the country mare sighed and lowered her head, “I just don’t want her hurtin’ like last time Twi.”
“You care about her a lot Applejack, nothing’s wrong with that.”
Applejack raised her head and smiled. It appeared Twilight had become much more accepting since the sleepover.
“Yeah, I do really care fer her.”
“A little jealousy is natural. At the same time, everybody deserves a second chance. Don’t let your overprotectiveness get in the way of things. It will lead to a road of passive aggression which will cause a serious wedge in your friendship.”
“Which one of them books didja get that out of?”
“Dr. Marriot’s Manuscript on Mare Mayhem in Relationships.”
Applejack chuckled. “Why do ya’ll even need a book like that Twi?”
“What? My brother’s married now. This book is useful anytime he and Cadence have a fight. Twilight blushed as she hesitantly started to admit another reason. “And I might find a special somepony one day and it’s always good to be prepared ahead of time. But it’s mainly for Cadence and my brother!”
“Can’t she just use her lovey dovey unicorn magic whenever they fight?”
“Yeah… well… I… it’s still useful!” the purple mare exclaimed as she blushed.
Applejack snickered at the unicorn’s transparent innocent smile.
Rarity stepped off the train and glanced around. The station was relatively empty save for the hustle and bustle of a few other passengers and work ponies, but no sign of Blueblood. She frowned disappointedly at the thought of having to look for him. The unicorn took the last apple turnover from her bag and ate it. As she chewed, she tossed the empty bag in the nearest garbage can using her magic. A voice suddenly rang through the air behind her.
“Rarity, you came!”
Rarity choked a little, finished chewing and swallowed as she turned around to greet the prince. She cleared her throat.
“Prince Blueblood, you startled me!”
“Please, just call me, Blue. After the way I acted towards you, I have no right to be addressed in such a formal fashion. Plus, Blue is more appropriate and intimate for today’s plans.”
“Oh, alright.” the unicorn smiled slightly, “So, Blue, where to?”
“Well, I was originally thinking, dinner, dancing, and a lovely walk through the garden. But, then I thought, how selfish of me, the lady should decide what she would like to do.”
As much as Rarity didn’t want them to, her cheeks flushed red with admiration. This wasn’t anything like the Prince she met at the Gala; he was starting to sound more like the colt about whom she used to dream.
“Well, all of those sound lovely, actually.”
Blue whistled; a regal carriage being pulled by three royal guards came to escort the two unicorns. “Shall we?”
The white mare smiled and nodded. As she approached the carriage to open the door, Prince Blueblood put his hoof in front of her.
“Allow me,” he said as he opened the door using his magic, then gesturing the white mare to enter, “Ladies first.”
Rarity’s cheeks flared a brighter red and she emitted a slight giggle as she stepped inside the carriage. Blueblood followed, and as he closed the door, the horses took off.
Applejack sighed as she sat in the hot tub. She had been staring at the door for what seemed like forever. The only time her gaze changed was to monitor the clock while pondering the location of her unicorn pal. The earth pony sighed again and made a gentle splash with her hoof, she grazed it against the water’s surface gently, and watched the ripples travel until they dissipated. She gazed back up at the door, yearning for it to open.
“Where are you, Rarity?”
Two twin earth ponies, the first, Lotus, with blue fur and a pink mane and tail, and the other, Aloe, with pink fur and a blue mane and tail approached the country mare.
“Ms. Applejack? We’re about to close dear,” the blue pony said softly.
Applejack kept her focus on the door as if mentally begging it to open; praying she hadn’t been forgotten at this point, or that Rarity was ok was enough to soothe her. But the door didn’t budge. It just sat there taunting and teasing her, basking in its lack of fulfillment that brought the earth pony so much sorrow. Applejack looked at the two earth ponies and sighed.
“Is everything ok? Was the mineral bath not to your liking?” Aloe inquired.
“No, everythin’ was great. I was just… watin’ fer somepony…”
Applejack stepped out of the bath and smiled as Lotus and Aloe generously dried her off. Before she proceeded to leave,
Aloe stepped in front of her and smiled.
“I’m sure she has a good reason, Applejack. She wouldn’t miss a trip to the spa unless it was really important.”
Applejack gave a slight smirk of gratitude, then just as quickly her face formed a frown.
“Honestly sugarcube, that’s exactly what I’m afraid of…”
“And then, he kissed me goodnight! On the hoof, just like a gentlecolt, of course. It’s as if he’s a brand new pony Twilight!”
“I’m glad to hear you had a good time. It’s great that you guys were able to end things on good terms. How’d your date with Applejack go?”
“Oh, um…” Rarity blushed as her mood deflated slightly, remembering that she had forgotten her date with Applejack.
“You didn’t forget about her did you?”
“You should probably go apologize to her. She was worried about you.”
“Worried? What ever for?”
A knock on the door came. Twilight used her magic to open it and Applejack poked her head through before entering.
“Twi, can I talk to yo--” the orange equine started before seeing Rarity standing before her, “Oh, well howdy there.”
The white mare walked over to Applejack sporting curled lips and innocent eyes.
“Darling, I’m soooo sorry I forgot about our date last night.”
Applejack turned away. “It’s fine, I only sat in that there mineral water ‘til the spa closed.”
Rarity frowned and walked in front of her as she continued to explain. “It’s just, we had dinner, then we went for a walk and one conversation just led to the next, and Blue and I star–”
“Whoa whoa whoa whoa… ya call him Blue now?”
“I… well, yes.” Rarity admitted. She licked her lips nervously noticing a slight sense of fury generating from the earth pony “By his request.” She added.
“Movin’ pretty fast there ain’t ya princess?”
The orange mare glared into the white unicorn’s shock and hurt filled eyes and sighed. She couldn’t stay mad at the unicorn even if she wanted.
“Ah, I’m sorry sugarcube. I guess I just missed ya and got a lil worried is all.”
“No, I’m the one who’s sorry, I told you I would be somewhere at a certain time and I wasn’t. Forgive me?”
“Yer not gettin’ off that easy. Y’all gon have to make it up to me.” the orange mare nuzzled her friend, “So, how’s bout a make-up date today?”
The unicorn bit her lip. “Erm… I can’t, darling.”
Applejack pulled away and frowned. “Why not?”
“I have to finish that outfit for Lady Zsa Zsa. Afterwards, I need to work on three new dresses for Sapphire Shores.”
“How long will all that take?”
“I’ll probably be pretty busy for the next week or so.”
“Well, maybe ah can help? I know I ain’t too good with that doggone sewin’ machine, but maybe I can be yer live manny-kin like last time.” the earth pony said as her eyes glimmered with hope.
“Thanks Applejack, but, I… it’s really something I’m better off doing alone.”
Applejack sighed and gently rubbed her hoof against the ground.
“You understand, don’t you darling?
“Yeah, I guess.”
The unicorn placed a gentle kiss on her friend’s cheek forcing the earth pony’s lips to curve into a slight smile as she blushed. “Thank you, I’ll see you later Applejack. Bye Twilight.”
“Ah love you, darling.” Applejack said smiling as the unicorn walked away. Rarity stopped, she didn’t reply, she just turned her head slightly, smiled, and then continued walking.
Applejack frowned and her mouth hung open, stunned by the unicorn’s lack of reply.
“That doesn’t seem like a good sign.” The purple equine stated as her face was buried in her relationship book.
“Ya saw it too?”
“You bet I did.”
“I didn’t think I was crazy, she ain’t say she lov-“
“You are letting your insecurities get the best of you, Applejack.”
“Ah.... huh…. wha…. pardon?”
“When you said: ‘It’s fine, I only sat in the mineral water until the spa closed’ and ‘Movin a little fast there ain’t ya princess’. Those were one hundred percent, passive aggressive statements.” Twilight flipped to the next page, “ These are statements that, on the surface, seem harmless, but have an underlying tone of resentment to them.”
“Wha… what about her? She ain’t say she loved me back. She always says she loves me back!”
“Well, after your personal attack on her, she subconsciously felt the need to retaliate, and the best, and most common, way is to withhold statements of affection.” the purple unicorn stated as she referenced her book.
“Without knowing it, your passive aggression caused her to retaliate with her own. You need to control your jealousy or it’ll turn into an emotional war that will terminate your relationship!”
“That book is startin’ to sound like a buncha hooey!”
“I don’t know Applejack, Dr. Marriot’s logic seems to fit here don’t you think?”
Applejack let out a deep sigh. She lowered her head, staring at the ground for what seemed like ages as she contemplated Twilight’s words.
“Maybe yer right…” the country equine raised her head and smiled, “maybe I am just gettin’ all worked up for nothin’.”
“Books have never let me down before.” Twilight exclaimed proudly.
“And, she seemed fine right? Ah mean, she didn’t say anythin’ bad happened yesterday?”
“Nope, she actually had a great time. As I understand it, she just got caught up in conversation and was planning to go apologize to you for missing your date. ”
“Aw shucks, and ah was bein’ more stubborn than a rattle snake wrapped round a ragin’ bull horn.” Applejack stamped the ground as she recalled how petty she must’ve sounded. “Thanks Twi, I needa go make this right!”
The earth pony sprinted out the door towards Rarity’s home, the words of her apology already stirring in her heart in hopes that she hadn’t emotionally pushed her unicorn friend away.
“Rarity!” her voice bellowed through the air, startling the unicorn.
Rarity turned around swiftly, gasping at the oncoming orange equine. “Applejack?! What are you doing here?”
“I…” Applejack swallowed and took a few seconds to catch her breath, “…I came to apologize. When ya didn’t show up yesterday I got worried. I over reacted at Twi’s pl–”
“It’s quite alright darling.” Rarity said as she cut off her friend and eyed her surroundings nervously.
“So ya forgive me?”
“Of course, of course. I should be going now though.”
“Are ya sure? Ya seem like yer a bit ticked at me.”
“Oh no, no it’s just that I have so much work to ca-”
“Miss Rarity,” the sultry voice of Prince Blueblood causing a shiver down the white mare’s spine, “Are you packed and ready?”
Applejack almost caught a case of whiplash as her glances fluctuated between the two unicorns. “Pardon?”
“Applejack…” Rarity started.
“This lovely lady and I had such a great time yesterday that we decided to make plans for another get together. I mentioned a weekend trip to Fillydelphia and she humbly obliged.”
“Ahem, um Blue?”
“I need to speak with Applejack for a second. Would you mind?”
“Not at all, my lady.”
Rarity opened the door to her house and she gestured Applejack to come inside noticing the gleam of betrayal that plagued
her emerald eyes. The unicorn closed the door and shifted uncomfortably as the earth pony just stared at her, unable to make a sound.
“I know how this must look darling, but I promise you I have an explanation.”
“He’s nothing like the pony he was last year. He’s completely refined himself! He’s caring, considerate, a gentlecolt.
“Everythin’ you used to dream of him bein’.”
“Right, and I had such a good time with him, I just…” Rarity bit her lip and tenderly rubbed her hooves together “… wanted to make sure it was real. So I agreed on this trip to see.”
“And if it is real?” the orange equine said as she cast a glance toward the ground in fear of an honest answer.
“Wh-what do you mean?”
“What’s gonna happen with us?”
Rarity choked on her words as the struggled to come up. The tension in the air was thicker than molasses. She bit her lower lip as the words danced delicately from her mouth.“We can… still be friends…”
A spark of heartbreak seeped its way into Applejack’s eyes, coinciding with the betrayal that found home there earlier. Her deepest fears she had been harboring since yesterday all of a sudden confirmed. She swallowed hard as she tried to hold back tears and slowly spit out her next words.
“Why’d ya lie to me?”
“Bout everythin’!” Applejack roared staring directly into the unicorn’s eyes as tears fled from her own. “Ya said ya never felt as strongly towards anypony ‘cept ME. Ya kissed ME. Ya said ya loved ME!
“And I do love you Applejack. But, this is everything I’ve dreamed of. Please try to understand.”
“How can ya’ll even ask me to understand somethin’ like this? Yer tellin’ me that everythin’ we been through meant nothin’?”
“Applejack, aside from kissing and a few deep conversations, it’s hardly been much of anything.”
The orange equines muscles tightened. Her heart pounded heavily and she took a deep breath as she felt her insides grow hot. She gritted her teeth trying to hold back the urge to pounce Rarity. The unicorn gave her a stern look.
“If you really cared about me, you would at least try to see my perspective on this.”
Applejack masked a low growl from her throat. She stamped a hoof on the ground to regain composure. Her mind raced with thoughts of pummeling the unicorn, kicking her face in until she physically felt the pain Applejack felt emotionally.
Rarity timidly approached the country mare and gently nuzzled her cheek. “Applejack, please say something…”
The country equine closed her eyes as the tears streamed. Steam discharged from her nose with each deep breath she took. The elegant unicorn’s touch no longer brought her comfort and joy, at the moment it was brining anguish and rage. The urge to bash the unicorn into oblivion grew stronger and Applejack knew if she didn’t leave soon, she’d end up doing something she’d regret. She took another giant inhale, held it for two seconds, and released. She wiped away her tears and looked Rarity in the eyes.
“So, you do understand?”
Applejack swiftly turned and headed towards the front door. Rarity rushed to block her path she curled her lips and looked around timidly before looking at the earth pony.
“Are you mad at me?”
The country mare looked again into the unicorn’s azure colored eyes. The usual gleam of beauty and innocence that she used to see was now nothing more than the vindictiveness of a shifty prima donna whose only desire was to give freely from her heart as long as it fulfilled her requirements. Element of Generosity never sounded so disgusting and vile in Applejack’s head.
“Applejack, please don’t be mad at me. I couldn’t bear it.”
Applejack cast an apathetic gaze at her and said nothing. An angry frown formed on Rarity’s face.
“Fine! Be mad! But I hope you know you’re being very inconsiderate and mean!”
Despite her mind raging with nasty words, the country equine kept her mouth closed and simply preceded out the front door passing Blueblood on her way. The colt bowed to her as she walked.
“Nice seeing you again, Miss Applejack.”
Rarity scoffed as she stared daggers at the disappearing country mare.
“Is everything alright, Rarity?”
“Everything is divine, Blue. Let me just get my things, and we can go.”
“And she had the nerve to say I was bein’ inconsiderate and mean!”
Applejack paced back and forth in Twilight’s library as all the words she withheld yesterday came flying from her mouth faster than hungry parasprites at a dinner party. The purple unicorn flipped through her relationship book as the country equine continued to talk. “Ah mean, how in the hay can she expect me to understand somethin’ like that? She’s crazier than a bucket fulla parasprites!”
“Well one thing is clear Applejack.”
“Don’t I know it? Rarity–”
“Is absolutely right.” Twilight said as she closed her book.
At hearing those words, Applejack’s pacing came to such an abrupt stop, that she tripped over her own hooves and face planted into the ground. She shook her head as she sat up.
“Say what now?!”
“According to Dr. Marriot, your jealousy has exceeded to a level in which you have now become controlling. It’s perfectly natural for a significant other to want to explore repressed feelings. You would have generated a more positive response had you reacted more favorably to Rarity’s news.”
Applejack’s gaze focused on Twilight. In her head she was trying to contemplate how such logic made sense to the purple mare. She raised her hooves in the air in frustration.
“Twilight! She lied to me! About dern near everythin’!”
“She lied to protect you. She very well may have kept it a secret so she could spare your feelings. The trip to Fillydelphia was no more than a self-test to see where her true emotions lie. Now that you’ve responded so poorly to that, subconsciously she may rebel against you and believe she actually has stronger feelings for Blueblood.”
“Ya gotta be kiddin’ me!”
Twilight used her magic to levitate the book and opened it up to the page she referenced.
“The book doesn’t lie, Applejack.”
Applejack slapped the book from her sight and it hit a nearby wall. She stood up and pointed at the book and stared directly at Twilight.
“That’s what I think of yer stupid book! I don’t care what Rarity, you, or that silly doctor says,” she curled her lips and lowered her head as tears began to well up in her eyes, “ya don’t say ya love somepony unless ya really mean it.”
A frown swept over Twilight’s face and she went to wrap her forelegs around her friend. “Applejack, I’m so sorry.”
Applejack gently pushed the unicorn away.
“I gotta go.”
Without another word the earth pony stormed out of the door, leaving nothing behind her but gentle droplets of tears.
Rarity sighed as she sat across a round table from Blueblood. The two ponies were currently at the Canterlot Cuisine restaurant inside the train station. The pain in Applejack’s eyes after their last conversation plagued the unicorn’s mind. She lied to the earth pony and said what they had meant nothing knowing it wasn’t true. But, before Applejack, all she knew was the Blueblood of her dreams, and now she had him. Yet, somehow, it didn’t feel right. Rarity attempted to rid her mind of these thoughts as to not dampen the mood. She used her magic to unfold her napkin and place it in her lap. Blueblood cast a concerned gaze towards the mare noticing a lack of interest on her face.
“Is everything alright Miss Rarity?”
“Yes Blue, everything is fine.”
“Are you sure? Would you like to talk about it?”
Rarity’s shoulders drooped as she let out a sigh. “It’s just that–”
“Well howdy there!” a voice rang from across the room.
Rarity’s eyes perked up, she turned her head to be greeted by a yellow earth pony. Her resemblance to Applejack was almost uncanny. She had the same dazzling emerald eyes, same freckles, her own cowboy hat and from what she could tell, the same thick accent. The only difference was her mane and tail were strawberry blonde, and were kept in two braids flowing down both sides of her head and of course her cutie mark, which was a crossing knife and fork.
“My name is Sally Mae, and Ah’m gon be ya’lls server this evenin’.” The chipper pony pulled out two menus from a nearby drawer and placed them on the table. “Can I get ya’ll anything to drink while ya look through the menu?”
“A sparkling water please.” Blueblood said.
“Alright, one sparkling water, and fer the miss?”
Rarity’s mouth hung open slightly as she continued to gaze at Sally Mae in shock. It was if the cosmos themselves were trying to speak to the unicorn. The yellow pony raised a brow in concern at Rarity’s frozen facial expression wondering if she was possibly having a stroke or if she had just been given a revelation.
“Everythin’ alright sugarmuffin?”
Rarity blinked and shook her head. “Yes, I’m sorry, you just remind me of someone. I’ll also have a sparkling water, please.”
“Welp, with that look on yer face, that pony must really be something special to ya.”
Sally Mae shot the unicorn an innocent warm smile, one that mimicked Applejack’s perfectly. “Ah’ll be right back with yer waters. Take yer time, we gotta lotta good stuff on the menu. Ah’ll tell ya’ll bout some of our specials when Ah get back.”
The yellow earth pony trotted off to the other side of the restaurant.
A gentle smile covered Blueblood’s face. “If I may say, you look absolutely divine tonight.”
Sally Mae returned with a large platter in her teeth that held two glasses of water and a plate of pastries that looked freshly made. The unicorns obliged her by using magic to take the sparkling waters as Sally slipped the pastries off the metal disk before accurately tossing it back into the kitchen.
“Thank ya’ll kindly. Here are yer waters, and some complementary apple turnovers.”
Rarity’s gazed at the fresh pastries that sat before her. “Apple turnovers?”
“Yes ma’am, made ‘em myself. Ah apologize, but just gimme ‘bout another few minutes and Ah’ll be right back to talk to ya bout some of the best selections on our menu!”
As Sally Mae rushed off to attend to other duties, Rarity inhaled the sweet scent of the apple turnovers. She picked up one using her magic and gently bit into it. It was delicious, but it couldn’t hold a candle to the ones Applejack made. The unicorn closed her eyes as she reminisced on the times the country mare would bring her the home made pastries fresh from her farm. Applejack made a living off of selling apples and apple based treats, but that never stopped her from generously giving a batch or two to the unicorn knowing she had well over enough bits to pay. A sigh exited her smiling lips.
“Oh, Applejack…” Rarity thought.
The unicorn raised her head to be greeted with a warm smile from the colt sitting across from her.
“I can’t express enough how grateful I am for the second chance.”
“No problem, I had a great time with you.”
“And, tell me, are you having a great time now?”
“A fantastic one, Blue.”
“Good, that makes this question I’m about to ask much easier…”
Applejack took deep staggering breaths as tears cascaded down her face and onto her pillow. Her gaze on her headboard, but her focus stuck on the emotional heartache she was feeling as her conversation with Rarity played over in her head. A slight break in concentration came from a soft pound on her door.
The door creaked silently as it moved, and in walked a burly crimson furred colt. He approached his sister whose head suddenly turned away in attempts to mask her current state.
Applejack tried to hide a soft sniffle. “Nope.”
“Nothin’ Big Mac, I’m fine…”
“Come on A.J., talk to me.”
The red colt moved closer to the bed, he gently rubbed his nose against the back of his sibling’s neck.
“Y’all wouldn’t understand…”
“I could try.”
Applejack stirred slightly but remained silent. Big Mac plopped his muscular rear on the ground causing the room to give a slight shake. “Welp, I ain’t budgin’ ‘til ya tell me what’s wrong.”
Applejack did her best to wipe all signs of tears from her eyes and blinked to hopefully rid them from some of the puffiness attained from crying. She turned to her brother.
“Somepony who I thought loved me, lied to me. And now, they might just be with somepony else.”
Big Mac stood up and stretched his neck, back, his forelegs then his back legs.
“Alright, now what’s their name and where do they live so I can knock some sense into ‘em?”
Applejack curled her lips in attempt to stop a smile, but it turned into a soft chuckle, amused and uplifted by her older brother’s concern. Big Mac smiled and sat back down.
“Big Mac, say ya’ll admired somepony for a long time, but then some other pony-”
“How ‘bout we use names so I don’t get confused sis?”
Applejack’s lips curled slighty as she contemplated names. She didn’t want to reveal that the pony who broke her heart was Rarity in fear of how he might react. Another giggle slipped its way through the orange mare’s lips as she suddenly came up with the perfect scenario.
“Right, say ya’ll admired Cherilee for a long time…” Applejack gave her brother a sly smile as Big Mac rolled his eyes and blushed recalling his short, potion induced fling with the teacher, “…and let’s say ya’ll spent some time together to find out she was not at all what ya expected. So then, ya found somepony else… let’s say… Smartypants…”
Big Mac glared as his younger sister who bit down into her covers to keep from bursting into laughter.
“Ya know, I’m startin’ to regret comin’ in here…”
“Ya’ll asked fer names, sugarcube.”
“Continue…” the red colt said as he cleared his throat attempting to hide his embarrassment.
“So, you spend some time with Smartypants and realize that, ya really care about her. Ya even kiss her and tell her ya love her.”
“Is it safe to say we’re pretendin’ Smartypants is an actual pony and not your friend Twilight’s stuffed doll?” the colt asked sarcastically. He gave a sly grin and Applejack returned it with a smile before rolling her eyes.
“Anyway, things between you and Smartypants seem to be serious, but all of a sudden, Cherilee comes back into the picture and she’s actin all different, kinda like the way you expected her to act when you were crushin’ on her.”
“I’m still followin’ so far…”
“And so, ya’ll go on a date, cause all of a sudden Cherilee realizes a year later how badly she treated ya, but yer only s’posed to see her one time cause you just wanna help her “clear her conscience” but you had planned a date with Smartypants that same night and you missed it cause you got caught up hangin’ with Cherilee and when ya get back you lie to Smartypants ‘bout havin’ somethin’ else to do and she catches you hangin’ out with Cherilee again. Then ya tell her that everythin’ before that moment meant nothin’.”
“And ya tell her to stop bein’ so dang upset and to try and understand yer feelin’s…”
“Even though, if ya reckon back, it was you who first kissed her and–”
Applejack was silenced by a hoof to her mouth.
She took a deep breath and her brother removed his hoof. “Sorry Big Mac, I told ya it’d be difficult to understa-”
“It sounds like a textbook case of miscommunication and a slight instance of insecurity as it pertains to closure. I clearly desired to be loved by somepony, preferably Cherilee. When I realized that such a dream proved impossible, I decided to move on and re-evaluate what I was looking fer in a special somepony.”
Applejack blinked and raised an eyebrow. She hadn’t expected such words from her brother, but before she could even comment on it, Big Mac cleared his throat and continued.
“One day, I happened to realize Smartypants may potentially be that special pony. Overwhelmed with emotion, I acted accordingly ‘til Cherilee stepped back into the picture. At this point in my life, under normal circumstances, I would be apathetic to any of her advances, unless she completely transformed her personality. Observin’ such a drastic change in her character rekindled a curiosity in me that protruded itself to my heart, and eventually worked into my brain. Wonderin’ if it was possible to potentially have what I originally dreamed of was too enticing of a thought to cast away on a whim, so I lied to Smartypants. That way, I would be free to explore these curiosities. Ultimately though, I still hurt her the same as I tried to defend my curiosity by using it as a valid point to elucidate my actions during the heat of the argument after I was caught. I chose to view the situation merely from my perspective, claimin’ that I didn’t feel as strongly as I thought in order to spare myself from feelin’ any guilt.”
Applejack’s flabbergasted stare and agape mouth cemented on her face for several seconds as she tried to wrap her head around the words that came from her brother. Everything he said made perfect sense, but such an cultivated and in-depth response coming from her brother was almost too much for her to consider real.
“Yes, Smartypants does have the right to be upset, feelings of betrayal and anger are normal. Even if she weren’t to accept my desire for closure, out of respect, I should’ve at least come to her with my concerns, she may not have been thrilled, but love isn’t defined by always liking every decision, but understanding and working through them together.”
Big Mac smiled at his sister whose puzzled stare had changed to blinking in befuddlement.
“Don’t worry AJ, Rarity will come around...” Applejack’s head snapped back in shock. She had never even mentioned the unicorn’s name. How did her big brother know? Before she could even present this query or object the statement the red colt continued,“…this is just a part of herself she is still searching. Once she does that, she’ll be more secure in herself and thus able to love herself more, and the truth will surface as it pertains to her feelings toward ya. When that does happen, hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst.” Big Mac concluded.
Big Mac gently tapped his sister’s chin with one of his forelegs before turning to the door. “In the meantime, stop cryin’ and do somethin’ to get yer mind offa things.”
“Big Mac, wait…”
Big Mac turned his head to meet his sister’s still shocked gaze.
“Ah never said Rarity wa-”
“Ya didn’t have to, sis. I may not be a genius, but I know when the sales to product ratio is off. Not to mention when ya would go to Rarity’s, the kitchen would smell like somepony had been bakin’.”
Applejack’s cheeks flushed red. She didn’t expect Big Mac to be the one in the family who kept a close count on apples sold in correlation to how much money they made AND notice that she was occasionally baking fresh batches of apple turnovers for Rarity. “So, ya don’t think that…I’m weird?”
“’Course not lil’ sis, now I can’t speak for everypony, but ya love who ya love. At the same time don’t expect me to be bringin’ no colt home anytime soon.”
The two siblings shared a laugh. Applejack smiled warmly at her brother.
“Thanks Big Mac, ya really are a wonderful brother.”
“And yer a pretty dern great sister AJ.”
Big Mac opened the door to leave.
“Hold on one second!”
Big Mac turned to face his sister and raised a brow.
“Where in tarnation didja get all that psycho babble from?”
“Twilight’s not the only pony who loves to read. We live on a farm, and as you know I ain’t the most social of ponies. I gotta find something to do when I’m not applebuckin’”
“Have ya’ll by chance read a book by somepony called Dr. Marriot?”
“Dr. Marriot’s Manuscript on Mare Mayhem in Relationships?”
“That’s the one.”
“Worst piece of literature I’ve ever come across.”
Applejack shook her head and smiled as she folded her arms. “Ah guess it’s safe to say you think that Dr. Marriot is a quack too, huh?”
The two siblings smiled at each other and Big Mac turned to leave, closing the door behind him.
“G’night, Big Mac.”
“2 bits ma’am! Thank ya kindly!” Applejack said as she exchanged an apple for the pieces of currency dropped in the bucket. She smiled at the lengthy line of customers today. She had already been selling apples for at least thirty minutes straight and with every purchase, the line seemed to grow longer. Another pony dropped her two bits in the bucket.
“There are no better apples than the farm fresh ones from sweet apple acres!” she exclaimed forcing Applejack’s cheeks to flush a slight red.
“Aw, shucks, thank ya miss, we do our best!”
Applejack continued to beam her customer friendly smile at people until a familiar face stood in front of her. The elegant white mare Rarity, who wore what looked to be a shameful smirk on her face.
Applejack felt her eyebrows begin to tilt diagonally. Hateful words boiled in her chest desperately wanting to cascade out of her mouth and swallow the unicorn whole. She recalled her conversation with Big Mac and forced her lips to curve upward.
“Good, afternoon miss. How many apples can I interest ya in?”
Rarity’s smirk titled to a slight frown, the warm welcoming tone she was used to hearing from the country equine was not there.
“Well, I’m not… really here to buy any apples. I jus–”
“Well ma’am if’in ya aint here to buy apples, I’d be much grateful if ya gon ahead and step aside. I have quite a lengthy line of hungry customers buildin’ up behind ya.
Rarity felt her heart sink from Applejack’s tone; the cold apathy of kindness whose only existence is to pretend to be nice and professional stung like dry ice. “Can we at least talk?”
“Sorry ma’am, ah have to give all my customers the proper respect and attention they deserve.”
“Please step aside, miss.”
Rarity let out a low growl and reached in a small satchel around her waist and dropped two bits into the bucket.“There, now can we–”
Applejack shoved the apple in the unicorn’s face almost as instantly as the currency clanked in the bucket.“Thank ya kindly, ya’ll come back now ya hear?”
The orange mare looked passed Rarity and to the colt behind her. “How can Ah help you, sir?”
“Ten apples please.” The colt said stepping forward, forcing Rarity to step aside. The unicorn glared.
“That’ll be 20 bits.”
Rarity stormed away from the applecart. “This isn’t over, Applejack.”
Another thirty minutes passed and Applejack was selling her fruit as expediently as ever. The amount of apples slowly dissipated until she was down to about half a cart. Rarity approached her again only this time she holding a giant blue sac encrusted with gems in her teeth. She dropped it and Applejack noticed it was full of bits.
“50 apples please darling!”
A suspicious look shot from the orange mare’s face. She wondered what was the finicky unicorn up to.
“That’ll be 100 bits miss…”
“Certainly…hmm… 1… 2… 3… you know I must say I certainly love your apples… 4… 5… they are the most delectable in all of Equestria… 6… why I positively don’t know what I would do without them 7…”
Applejack glared as Rarity’s objectives became clear. The ponies behind the unicorn started raising eye brows and muttering amongst themselves. The country equine lowered her head and spoke in a harsh whisper.
“What in tarnation do you think y’all are doin’?”
“Trying to talk to you!” the unicorn whispered back.
“Well maybe I ain’t wanna talk to ya right now.”
“That’s too bad, it’s important!”
“Yer really gonna do this? Right here, when Ah’m havin’ one of my best sales days?”
“All you have to do is listen to me, Applejack.”
“Well that ain’t happenin’ anytime soon.”
“Fine, we’ll do it your way then.”
Rarity cleared her throat. “Oh, silly me, I’ve seem to have lost count!” Rarity elicited an annoyingly pretentious laugh, “Guess I have to start all over again 1… 2…” the unicorn glared counting even slower now.
A low growl formed in Applejack’s throat. Rarity having her way was the last thing Applejack was going to let happen. She smirked as a plan formed in her head. She beamed a bright smile toward the unicorn.
“Let me help ya there miss!” said the earth pony as she reached for the bag and started speeding up the count.
“Oh, no no no no! You work so hard for me and all the other ponies, the least I can do is count my own money.” Rarity said moving the bag with her magic.
Applejack grabbed the bag with her teeth and pulled it towards her. Rarity used her magic to retrieve it. Soon the two ponies were tugging the fabric back and forth like an intense game of tug-o-war, each exchange more forceful than the last. The rest of the ponies’ complaints began to vocalize more prominently.
“Please darling, I’m perfectly capable of counting my own money.”
“I’m aware of that mish, but ah fink fangs will go much smoofer if ah helped.”
“I don’t think so.”
“Ah do times infinity!”
“I don’t times infinity plus one!”
The seams holding the fabric together began to split. With a final tug from each side the fabric ripped right down the middle. Applejack fell back into her cart propelling all her apples into the air. Rarity fell in front of the colt behind her. The ponies scattered around as the apples and bits shot down to the ground like missiles. Some of the ponies did their best to catch the bits and apples in their saddle bags, most just ran for cover squishing the fruit as they ran. When the dust cleared, Applejack and Rarity sat up, their fur riddled with hoof prints and apple stains.
The orange mare growled. Half her fresh apples were completely ruined. She shot a glare at the unicorn who dusted herself off as she stood eyeing her coat disapprovingly.
“Yuck, now my fur is all icky…”
“IT JUST WERN’T ENOUGH FER YA WAS IT?! YA GON AND BREAK MY HEART, NOW YA TRYNA RUN ME OUTTA BUSINESS TOO!?”
“Applejack, darling I–”
Applejack sprinted off at full speed. Her frustration peaking with her sorrow screwing up her ability to think straight. She wanted to cry and curse, sob and shout, weep and wail but all she allowed herself to do was just run. Run from the pony who was currently causing her so much pain.
Rarity took off after her doing her best to desperately keep up. “Applejack… please… slow… down!” the white mare exclaimed through staggered pants.
As the two passed by Twilight’s house, Rarity stopped to catch her breath. She knew there was no way she’d be able to keep up with the country equine. The unicorn saw a branch hanging low on a nearby tree. If she timed it right, she could use it to trip Applejack. She closed her eyes and her horn began to glow. The branch wiggled slightly then started to bend backward. Rarity opened her eyes and watched Applejack as she got closer to the tree. The unicorn released the branch and it sliced through the air before making contact with Applejack’s face. The earth pony tumbled backwards before hitting the ground.
Rarity rushed over to Applejack’s side, she gasped and covered her mouth noticing the mark her miscalculation had made on the earth pony’s face. It wasn’t in need of medical attention but it was a small cut that curved down from the bottom of her eye to her chin.
“Applejack! I’m so sorry! I was only trying to trip you.”
Applejack stood up slowly and rubbed her face, taking a few steps away from the unicorn. She wiped away the droplets of blood that seeped from her cut. The earth pony felt her insides grow hot like the time in Rarity’s Boutique. She grit her teeth and closed her eyes tightly but her primal instincts would allow repression no longer as they rampaged inside of her head. Rarity had already caused a great deal of emotional pain, but now she had a physical scar of the unicorn’s egocentricity etched across her face.
“That tears it.”
Applejack turned around swiftly and dug her hooves into the unicorn’s chest knocking her to the grass. The unicorn yelped in pain as she felt the earth pony’s full weight press her into the grass leaving her completely immobilized. Rarity struggled to breathe as Applejack’s hooves dug into her chest and stomach as if trying to puncture through her internal organs. Applejack raised a forehoof and stared into Rarity’s horror-stricken eyes ready to release all of her pent up frustration upon the elegant mare’s beautiful face.
“Applejack stop!” Twilight called.
The purple equine, who had been secretly watching them from her window, sprinted out of her house and up to the two ponies. Her face was flushed with horror and her eyes filled with concern.
“This isn’t the way, you need to-”
“Twi! Yer next if ya quote somethin’ from that dumb book of yers!” Applejack said, her focus still on the unicorn’s misty eyes.
“Twilight, no, I deserve this darling.” Rarity interrupted
Twilight looked at Rarity in an attempt to protest but was cut short by the gleam of shame in her eyes.
“I hurt Applejack in a way that she didn’t deserve. I behaved worse than Blueblood did towards me at the Gala last year.” Rarity said before turning her head to look at the fury in Applejack’s eyes. “I made her feel like she was nothing to me, I took advantage of her feelings and that’s not fair.”
Twilight frowned and looked at Applejack who was still shaking violently, hoof ready to attack.
“So go ahead, darling! Strike me! I deserve everything I have coming to me. Just, be gentle please.”
Applejack snorted and her hoof shook with fury. Twilight masked her vision with her hooves and turned away lowering her ears as she did so. Just the thought of her friends fighting was too much of a scene to even contemplate. Applejack screamed as her hoof came down, slamming into the ground next to Rarity’s face leaving a dent in the dirt. She panted for a while looking at the surprised unicorn. She grunted and felt new tears start to form in her eyes. She couldn’t hit Rarity, as much as she deserved it, she just couldn’t. She blinked, stood up and turned to walk away.
Rarity rolled onto her stomach. She allowed herself a silent sigh, thankful that Applejack chose not to beat her face in, but she was still aware of the unsettled pain that she herself had inflicted on the country mare.
“Applejack, I’m so sorry.”
The orange pony stopped in her tracks, but didn’t turn around. The white mare stood.
“I treated you horribly, I said the meanest things and I was being completely selfish. I shouldn’t have lied to you about seeing Blueblood, I should have just told you the truth. Most importantly, I should’ve never called what we had nothing…because honestly Applejack… it was everything… it IS everything.”
Twilight peeked through her hooves and slowly raised her head to look as Rarity moved closer to Applejack. The orange equine sat down and fixated her gaze upon the grass.
“And what ‘bout Blueblood?”
“I was a fool to think he could ever be anything more to me than a friend. I already have a special somepony, and that’s you. Oh, Applejack I’m so sorry, please if anything, won’t you just forgive me?”
Applejack remained silent. The suffocating tension in the air caused Rarity to sigh. It seemed as if she was too late. Her words appeared to fall on ears deafened by her own self-regard.
Rarity turned and started her walk home. She stopped and walked back over to Applejack whose gaze was currently on the setting sun. The unicorn placed a gentle kiss on the earth mare’s cheek. Her eyes watered and she sniffed as a single tear fell down her left cheek.
“I love you, Applejack.”
She lowered her head, defeated, turned around and began to walk again.
“What do you love ‘bout me?”
Rarity stopped and turned her head towards the earth pony.
Applejack faced the unicorn giving her a stern gaze. She then plopped her rear down onto the grass.
“It’s a simple question; What do ya love about me?”
Rarity cast a glance at Twilight who merely shrugged her shoulders. Was Applejack forgiving her? Or was this merely a test? A sick game to get revenge and play with her feelings perhaps? She walked to her orange friend and sat down in front of her shuffling the grass with one of her hooves as she thought.
“Is there anything specific you want me to say?”
Rarity looked down at the grass carefully picking her brain for words.
“I really…like your mane?”
Applejack scoffed and began to turn away before the unicorn grabbed her and looked sincerely into her eyes.
“I love the way you scoff when you’re frustrated with me. I love how I can depend on you in a crisis. I love your hoof-made apple turnovers. I love your honesty, your caring heart, your freckles, your dazzling emerald eyes.”
Rarity blushed and leaned in slowly, Applejack moved her head back only slightly, as if unsure whether she decode the amount of honesty in the unicorn’s words. Rarity gently rubbed her cheek against her friend’s.
“I love kissing you, I love feeling your fur against mine; your adorable accent. I love your heart warming smiles and the cute shade of red you turn when I kiss your cheeks.”
Sure enough, against Applejack’s will, her cheeks flushed red after the unicorn planted a gentle kiss on each one. The country equine curled her lips slightly trying to hide a smile.
“I love the feeling I get when you wrap your hooves around me. I love taking in your scent when we cuddle. I love that no matter how I’m bad I’m feeling, I can automatically think of you and find peace in my heart. I love who you are. I love who I am when I’m around you. I love you, Applejack.”
Twilight did her best to sniffle quietly as her eyes filled with tears at the romantic moment her two friends shared. She covered her mouth as a small whimper found its way out.
Applejack stared into the tear filled azure colored eyes of her friend. She felt all ill feeling inside her break; a warm sensation in her heart grew and the gaze of sincerity in the unicorn’s eyes instantly melted away all the anger and frustration she had carried for what seemed like decades. “I… I love you too, Rarity.”
Their mouths shared a soft embrace. The two ponies exchanged emotions of, passion, sorrow, and infatuation, as their lips intertwined, dancing close like lost lovers who were finally reunited after years of disconnection. Twilight was unable to hold her overwhelming emotions and wept to herself softly.
“It’s so beautiful!” Pinkie Pie said handing Twilight a tissue. Eyes full of tears, the purple unicorn looked up at the pink pony.
“Pinkie Pie? What’re you doing here? When did you even get-”
“Shhhhhh!” Pinkie hushed and pointed at the two lovers.
As Rarity and Applejack gently broke the kiss they gazed into each other’s eyes.
“I’m sorry fer getting’ all upset atcha. I know now ya just needed some closure.”
“No darling, it was my fault, if I had just talked to you we could’ve avoided this whole mess.”
“Yeah, yer right. It was all yer fault.”
An innocently smug smile formed onto Applejack’s face in response to Rarity’s offended stare.
The two ponies exchanged soft smiles as Pinkie Pie and Twilight approached them.
“This will certainly make for an interesting letter to Princess Celestia.” Rarity mentioned.
“SPIKE!” Twilight called.
“Coming!” Spike yelled from inside the house. He ran out with a quill and parchment and prepared to write.
“Dear Princess Celestia, today I learned that communication and honesty is the key to the success of any relationship. If you’re too afraid to explain how you feel, you could wind up hurting somepony you really care about…”
“And when ya are that somepony who does get hurt,” Applejack continued, “ it’s mighty important to be patient and let thangs take their course. Sometimes yer friends have to find a sense of closure in certain situations. Instead of bein’ judgemental and angry, ya should be supportive. Holdin’ a grudge in yer heart only makes things worse. Ya gotta trust that things will work out for the best, whether they favor you or not.”
“Is that everything?” Spike inquired.
“Also, sometimes the best way to learn something is from experience, not just from your own life, but from the lives of your friends. This is true when dealing with emotions. Although books are very useful in providing information, they are not always accurate in every situation, for everypony is different. Not everypony applies to the information you may read in a book, and you shouldn’t try to analyze them accordingly, instead you should be supportive and listen with an open mind and an open heart. Your faithful students, Applejack, Rarity and Twilight.” Twilight said completing the letter.
Spike wrapped the letter up and blew it into flames that soared to the sky delivering the letter. Twilight smiled and walked over to Applejack.
“Turns out the more I read that book, the more one-sided I realized it was. Sorry Applejack.”
“No problem Twi.”
The three ponies embraced. Pinkie jumped in the hug bawling loudly as her tears cascaded from her eyes.
“I love you guys so much!!!”
“Pinkie Pie? Where in tarnation did you even come from?”
The pink pony’s tears immediately stopped and a smiled formed on her face.
“What? I never told you that story!? Well, one day my mommy and daddy decided they loved each other a whoooooooole lot! Then, they decided they wanted babies! So my mommy propped herself on the bed, spread her legs reaaaaaaaallly wide, and…”
“OKAAAAAAY PINKIE PIE!” Twilight shouted covering Spike’s ears, “I think we get the point…”
“Wait, what? I don’t get it. Then what happened?” the baby dragon asked inquisitively.
The four ponies burst out into laughter at the baby dragon who scratched his head.
“What’s so funny? Why are you guys laughing?”
Spike folded his arms and frowned as the mares continued to bask in hysteria.
Rarity gently squeezed Applejack as they nuzzled close to each other, watching the sun slowly set on the horizon. The wind blew gently as the grass tickled their fur.
“That sure is one heck of a sunset huh?”
“Yes, but it’s not nearly as dazzling as you.”
Rarity wrapped her hooves around her and kissed her friend on the cheek. Applejack blushed.
“Aw shucks, will ya stop with all the compliments already? Ah already told ya I forgive ya for everythin’.”
“I know. I’m just glad to have you back is all.”
“Speakin’ of which, what happened between you and Prince Blueblood anyways?”
Rarity sighed. She knew eventually she was going to have to tell Applejack the truth. She shook her head and stared at the grass for a few seconds before turning to her friend.
“You promise not to laugh when I tell you?”
“Ah promise sugarcube.”
“So Blue, what did you want to ask?”
“Well, now that we are on good terms. I feel you should know that I’m looking for a serious relationship.”
Rarity put a hoof to her mouth as her eyes widened. “Oh Blue, I d-”
“I know this is sudden but…will you introduce me to Applejack?”
Rarity blinked. “What?”
“Her orange fur, her blonde mane, her freckles, that accent, not to mention those delicious apple fritters she made at the Gala just made me fall in love.”
“Yes, I know I caused such a fuss over them that day, but the taste on my tongue still lingered, despite them being common carnival fair, they were simply divine, baked from what clearly must’ve been the finest apples in Equestria!”
Rarity’s mouth hung open. She tried to make a sound but her vocal chords were frozen stiff.
“I know I acted terribly toward you and the show I put on in front of her was anything but pleasant. But I thought, if I can redeem myself in your eyes, you would put it in a good word for me. So what do you say?”
Applejack stamped the ground as she desperately tried to hold back her laughter. She eventually caved in and tumbled to the ground crying and kicking her back legs in the air. Rarity glared at the earth pony then eventually her lips curved into a smile and she laughed too. Applejack sat up and wiped away her tears, trying to catch her breath.
“Whoooo doggy! He is one crazy colt.”
“All colts are. Thank goodness I have you.” Rarity said as she nuzzled her friend. Applejack pulled away and scratched her chin with one hoof.
“I don’t know, now that I’m thinkin’ bout it, he is rather good-lookin’, and I could become one of them fancified princesses if’in I were to marry him.”
“Oh please, you wouldn’t last one day as a princess, you can’t even sit still when I do your hair!”
“That’s cause yer so danged heavy hoofed.”
Rarity scoffed and sized Applejack up and down. “I am NOT heavy hoofed. My touch is delicate!”
“Last time ya braided my hair I thought ya were tryin to skin me.”
“I use MAGIC to braid your hair. Your argument is invalid. Hmf!”
“Alright then yer magic is heavy hoofed.”
“That doesn’t even make any sense!”
Applejack kissed Rarity gently on the lips and smiled. The unicorn, taken aback, curled her lips and blushed. Applejack snickered and pressed a hoof to her chest.
“Does too times infinity.”
Rarity smirked and gave the country equine a kiss back. “Does not times infinity plus one.”
“Ya know,” the orange mare said wrapping her fore legs around the unicorn, “ya still owe me a date. So where ya takin’ me?”
Rarity smiled slyly.
“Gee, this was unexpected.” Applejack said as she sat in the mineral bath.
Rarity cuddled up next to her, softly rubbing her nose against Applejack’s neck.
“Isn’t it just the best way to relax with your special somepony?”
Applejack rolled her eyes. “If yer special somepony is Rarity then it’s really the only way yer allowed to relax.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” the unicorn said backing away.
“Whatever you want it to mean hun.”
“I detected sarcasm.”
“Ah’m just sayin’ there are plenty other places to have a date.”
“The spa is one of my most favorite places to go. You should be honored to be here with me.” Rarity raised her head and folded her forelegs.
“Right cause the Ponyville Day Spa is soooo exclusive.”
The orange equine chuckled. The unicorn glared and pointed at her.
“With the money you make, you’re barely able to keep your farm, so this IS pretty exclusive for you.”
“Maybe ah should gon’ ahead up to Canterlot and marry Blueblood then! Since he thinks I’m so pretty and all.”
“Go right on ahead! He’ll eventually get tired of that barn yard smell you so graciously sport around!
Applejack pressed her face up against Rarity’s and shoved a hoof into her chest.
“Ya’ll sayin I stink?”
“Well, I don’t always bring you to the spa because you smell like a springtime meadow.”
“You wanna fight Ms. Fussy Flank?”
“I told you NOT to call me that!” the unicorn exclaimed as she pushed the country pony away.
“Fussy Flank! Fussy Flank! Fussy Flank!”
“I’m warning you Applejack, one more time...”
Applejack smiled and nuzzled her friend’s cheek. The unicorn moaned softly as the earth pony placed gentle kisses on her neck.
“Mmmm, I love you Applejack.” Rarity said softly.
“I love you too…” Applejack whispered before gently kissing up to her ear, “…Fussy Flank.”
Applejack splashed the unicorn in the face then jumped out of the mineral bath.
“Oh. It. Is. ON!”
Rarity shook the water off her face and jumped out of the mineral bath. She chased her friend out of the spa and into an open field where she tackled the earth pony. She smiled as she gazed into her lover’s green eyes. They nuzzled noses and wrapped their hooves around each other as they kissed while the soft grass gently grazed and tickled their freshly washed fur.