The day seemed to go by twice as fast as it normally did for Twilight. She shuffled and sorted papers, stacking them neatly in drawers or atop desks that were designated for such a task while Applejack swept and tidied up the room in general. Her and Twilight chatted casually as they worked, smiling happily as they did.
Spike was sitting at a cleared desk Twilight had set aside specifically for him, and he was going over a checklist of preparations for the Festival. The list was relatively short, compared to the usual ones Twilight composed. It was condensed with the help of a patient Applejack and a desperate Spike, of course.
"Alright, so I'm off to see if Pinkie has the pastries and desserts prepared," the young dragon declared, rolling up the scroll and putting it in his shoulder-slung satchel. "After that, I think I'll head home and catch some shut-eye," he added with a yawn.
Twilight objected almost immediately by suggesting, "Why don't you come back here? I'd hate to leave you all alone in the library." It wasn't that she didn't trust the young dragon. It was simply that she had formed a motherly bond with him over time, and cared for him as if he were her own child.
"Come on, Twilight. I can take care of myself, you know?" Spike replied, rolling his eyes in slight annoyance.
"I know, I know," Twilight agreed, nodding her head with a frown. "Do you at least have something to eat? I could go to the Library and make you someth-" she began before Spike cut her off.
"I still have some gems Rarity brought me. I'll be fine, Twilight," he interrupted, looking to the clock. "I've got to hurry before Pinkie closes up shop and.. Well, before she does whatever it is Pinkie Pie does when she isn't baking," he reasoned with her."
"He'll be fine, Twi'," Applejack spoke up, having patiently waited through the whole conversation, "He is growin' up, after all."
Spike nodded eagerly, giving Applejack an appreciative look to which she tipped her hat in understanding. "See? Even Applejack agrees," Spike offered, turning for the door.
Twilight turned to Applejack, contemplating the situation. Applejack nodded to her with a small, knowing smile, and Twilight turned back to Spike with a sigh. "Alright, go ahead," she agreed reluctantly.
The small dragon smiled wide and shuffled towards the door before Twilight changed her mind or came up with another reason for him to stay. He waved and called back, "See you when you get back home, Twilight!"
"Bye, Spike," she replied half-heartedly. After he had gone, she surveyed the room. After a full day's work, her and Applejack had cleaned it up considerably. Papers were alphabetized and tucked away in their correct spots, the floor and windows were shining due to Applejack's labor, and Twilight's nerves had calmed considerably due to the neatness of the room.
"See?" Applejack said quietly as she moved to sit beside Twilight, who had unknowingly sat down while she looked around the room. "I told you we could do it," she finished, nodding in a satisfied manner, "All it took was some hard work and a good bit of confidence!"
"Thanks for the help, Applejack. I don't know what I would have done without you," Twilight told the orange mare sincerely. She looked over and after but a moment's hesitation, gave Applejack a friendly nuzzle. It seemed only a second or two before applejack returned the gesture, resting her head atop Twilight's neck.
The gesture didn't last nearly as long as the comforting hug the two shared earlier, but Twilight felt her mood brightened by it nonetheless. If this was to become a regular occurrence, Twilight could certainly get used to it happening. Each time it happened so far she felt her blood, and her cheeks for that matter, warming slightly. There was a sort of comfort that it brought, a sort of tranquility that she wasn't used to. Though it was foreign to her, she enjoyed it thoroughly.
"So what's next, Twi'?" Applejack asked, taking off her hat and lying down to relax.
"Well," she replied as she turned about, looking for something. "Where's my list? I could've sworn I had it somewhere," she mumbled, checking her satchel on a nearby desk. After rummaging around for a few moment,s she turned to Applejack with a raised eyebrow.
"Have you seen my checklist?" she asked in a confused manner.
Applejack tapped her chin with the bottom of her fore-hoof and then gestured towards the door with her head as she recalled, "Didn't Spike take it when he went off to see Pinkie?"
"Oh, right! He did, didn't he?" she confirmed, taking her place beside Applejack once again. She sighed and said, "That was the only checklist I had. I haven't had time to make a backup checklist yet. Usually that step is high priority on my first checklist, but it must have slipped my mind."
"Woah there, Twi'," Applejack said, interrupting her chaotically organized train of thought, "Don't get too worried about the list just yet. Besides, we've been workin' hard all day. No need to go and ruin it now with a bunch of worryin' over some list. We'll just get it tomorrow and start from there."
Twilight thought for a moment, then took yet another look around the room. "Yes. That seems like a good idea," she agreed, satisfied with the amount of work the two ponies, along with a little help from a certain absent dragon, put into the mayor's office.
"For now, I s'pose we could do something together, right?" Applejack offered.
"What'd you have in mind?" Twilight replied, and her stomach grumbled.
"Seems like your belly has the right idea. Didn't you save some of them apples that I brought you this mornin'?" Applejack said, gesturing towards her satchel, "We could always have a good old fashioned picnic, if you'd like!"
"That sounds quite nice," agreeing for more reasons than just hunger.
"Then it's settled. Let's head on out 'fore it gets too dark, shall we?" Applejack said as she donned her hat and stood up.
Twilight nodded in agreement for what seemed like the twentieth time today, and she smiled happily at Applejack. "Let's," she said simply, and grabbed her satchel.