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  • E Dinky's First Kill

    Like every little filly, Dinky loves everypony and everything... except spiders.
    3,649 words · 6,156 views  ·  538  ·  6
  • E Dance 'Til We're High

    Twilight looks for love at the Winter's Eve Ball. What she finds is like nothing she expected.
    12,494 words · 11,354 views  ·  778  ·  20
  • E Whisk

    A colt and his fathers move to Ponyville to start a new life.
    13,364 words · 1,912 views  ·  113  ·  1
  • T Epic Unicorn History: The Beards of Harmony

    Barely three years old, the fledgling nation of Equestria is threatened by chaos foretold in a dream. It's up to Star Swirl and five erstwhile, beardy stallions to brave the Forest Ever Free in search of their only salvation.
    30,755 words · 2,189 views  ·  228  ·  5
  • E A Lovely Apology

    Spitfire decides to make up for an embarrassing mistake by inviting Filthy Rich out for a night on the town.
    6,802 words · 1,816 views  ·  136  ·  2
  • E The Sun Shines Brightest at Night

    Nightmare Moon's defeat meant more to Equestria than just the return of the sun and their Princess. Witness the conclusion of a story one thousand years in the making, through the eyes of a Hoofington nurse.
    6,108 words · 932 views  ·  90  ·  1
  • T Laugh, Laugh

    Though she admired him, Pinkie Pie was never close to Ponyacci. She wasn't expecting him to call her to visit. She really wasn't expecting to find him like this...
    1,122 words · 646 views  ·  111  ·  2
  • E ACT OF WILL

    A mysterious machine shows up in Ponyville, and things quickly get out of hoof.
    3,001 words · 3,316 views  ·  154  ·  4

Blog Posts632

  • Tuesday
    Project Bookshelf finished!

    Yes, I'm done spamming people!

    Project Bookshelf (which is what I’m calling adding all those fics to my new Reviewed Shelf) has turned up some interesting things. Like just how long it took me to start bolding the titles of the reviews, and that that was after I put in the “HRCVN” tallies at the top. Also, my greatest conditional recommendation remains “Recommended for Sneeze Fetishists and People With High Degrees of Self-Loathing”, which came from Ethesto’s peachfic. (Of course, I fucked up My Little Rarity: Rarity Is Rarity by not rating it "Rarecommended".) Good times! :V

    God, I hope I got everything though. c.c Interestingly, going through the reviews led me to find a number of stories, mostly from contests, that had been deleted. I’ve struck-out the titles and removed the links for those, but the reviews will stay.

    ALSO! I ended up adding a bunch of story collections to the shelf because someone did a reading of one or two entries. Because I am OCD (for srs), I want to get all those chapters read, so expect to see a lot of stories from a LOT of the same names in the near future, especially Cold in Gardez, Benman and Esle Ynopemos. (I am not, however, doing the one with 316 thirty-minute stories. I’m sorry, no.)

    The upshot is, things will be better for me in the long run, because when I run into a story marked read and it doesn’t have that big red checkmark on top, I’ll know it’s time to reread it and review!

    Speaking of which, now I find myself wanting to go through various authors' galleries and finish up reading all their stuff. People like The Descendant and Pascoite, who I tend to follow but occasionally miss releases from, and who likely don't have more than a half-dozen stories I still need to read. The only author on the site who I've made a concerted effort to read all the fics of is Device Heretic (oh, well, and Goris the Deathclaw). So who would you want to see me do a featured author fic rec journal for? Note that if you say someone like RainbowBob, it'll just be one story per page. :B Also, it'd help if they had 5-10 fics in their gallery, to increase the chances that they have five stories I haven't read. Make suggestions in the comments! (No voting for yourself! :V)

    28 comments · 238 views
  • Monday
    Fic recs, October 20th

    Bad news first: Hero541 has hung up the fic-reading towel. :( And here I’d only just gotten into his channel!

    There's no good news. :B Well, not yet, I suppose.

    H: 1 R: 0 C: 5 V: 1 N: 1

    Wonderful by obabscribbler

    Reading by GutiuSerenade and GloryoftheRainWings

    I guess I’ll just comment on these guys quickly. The reading’s on Scribbler’s channel, but she’s not in it. Gutiu is a good narrator, and I’d go for more readings by him, but all he does is creepypastas, not ponyfic. And Rarity has all of one line, so I didn’t get a good feeling for Glory. (Actually, she plays a couple parts in the Truth Be Told radioplay, and she's quite good at them.) She seems to be more of a singer anyway. Okay then!

    Genre: Alternative Narrator

    One of Rarity’s mannequins has a few opinions on her. Y’know, length aside, this could’ve been a decent Outside Insight entry. Okay, maybe it’s not so much about ponies, but it has the same sort of setup. It’s pretty easy to tell who’s speaking after a bit (I thought it was Spike at first), and otherwise it’s a solid little vignette. I can think of one or two ways to expand on it, but for what it is, it’s a decent read. (And, I should note, the second entry of Scribbler’s Dancing on a Looking Glass that I’ve read. Interesting.)

    Recommened as Light Reading

    Dream by Cascadejackal

    Reading by Illya Leonov

    Genre: Big Ideas

    A clockmaker, feeling his hopes and dreams have left him, finds the strength to dream anew. This is a marvelous piece of prose, lyrical and flawless, fairy tale-like in the first part and philosophical in the second. It’s so dense and rich, I was shocked to find out how short it was after hearing the reading. It raises a lot of big questions, mostly about the pursuit of beauty, and has a naturally emotional end. Plus, it's got a clockwork pony. It’s pretty much a perfect story, and high-minded on top of that.

    Highly Recommended

    Twilight Eats Sonata’s Taco by Admiral Biscuit

    Genre: Silly

    It’s pretty obvious, once you click the link and discover a lack of a Sex tag, that this exists primarily to have a sex-joke title. I can get behind it, however, as the author mentions he hasn’t actually seen the movie and was going off the Wikipedia article, which explains why the plot doesn’t make a damned bit of sense. This spends a little too much time setting itself up, but I’ll say that if you like stupid comedies like this, the ending definitely pays off. If not, well, this is not high comedy and can be skipped. (Also, not enough Sonata.)

    Vaguely Recommended

    Quills and Sofas by Just Horsing Around

    Genre: Silly Comedy

    Twilight’s dad is visiting, helping her answer fanmail, when he learns of Ponyville’s local eccentric, quill supplier. What follows is Night Light goading Davenport in the most hilarious way possible while trying to get to the bottom of the mystery: why quills and sofas? (He never finds out, spoilers.) While this has the trappings of a crackfic — goofy premise, opening narration full of terrible puns — it really comes off as more of a classic comedy. Davenport knows a lot about weird things, Night Light is kind of a jerk (though I was amused at how well he handles the strange situations his children get into). They butt heads, the result is amusing. That said, I’ve read funnier, and I don’t think this is one I’ll remember for long. It’s still worth a quick read, though.

    Recommended for Laughs

    Let’s Find You a Date! by soundslikeponies

    Reading by Hero541

    Genre: Shipping

    After Rarity brings up the topic of Twilight’s love life, she decides to help Twilight figure out this whole ‘dating’ thing. But Twilight has her eyes set on one mare in particular. This story does a lot of things right, and a few major things, if not wrong, then not-right enough that I felt uncomfortable about them by the end. What I particularly liked was the first chapter’s exploration of sexuality. Twilight’s never considered it before, and though it’s resolved in the first few thousand words, the way they go about figuring out that she likes mares is natural. Not to mention, Rarity puts up with a lot for her sake, despite professing to be bi-curious at best, so she gets a Good Friend award. With that said, let’s talk about character. Rarity I had some qualms about, in regards to her romance-novel approach to dating and her seeming lack of social awareness, but that second part at least is recontextualized nicely in the final chapter. Twilight was a bit more problematic. I’m okay with the fact that she makes mistakes in the pursuit of something she doesn’t know anything about (honestly, if anyone makes an unreasonable mistake in this story, it’s Rarity for letting Twilight off on her own too early, though even that’s cleared up by the ending), but she acts altogether childish throughout a lot of this story. Granted, that didn’t include when she was acting adorable as hell, because this story has a lot of adorable moments, but she still seemed oddly petulant more often than not. The one character who really stands out is May Flower, an OC, a model who acts as something of a sexual antagonist for most of the story. Out of the three mares Twilight ends up entangled with in the course of this piece, May is the one who not only wants her, but knows how to get her. I think the only reason she doesn’t is that A) she had at least a few morals, and B) she’s charmed somewhat by Twilight’s naivete. On that note, Carrot Top. I felt SO BAD for this girl. It’s obvious from the moment Twilight first talks to her that she’s even more naive than Twilight, and the fact that the story makes no bones about being a Twility vehicle makes this revelation even harder to stomach. I was waiting and waiting for Twilight to give up on Rarity and realize she had something good going on with Carrot, but I’m sorry to say it never happens. There’s what I want as a reader and what the story needs narratively, but all distaste for using a pony to get two others together aside, darned if I can’t really figure out what this was about. There’s a passing-of-the-torch thing going on with Twilight and Carrot’s relationship at the end, from what she and Rarity do at the beginning, but that’s about it, and it’s a bittersweet end for CT regardless. Overall, no one who’s not interested in shipping is going to want to read this, and even if you are, well, be warned, you need to be going in with the right expectations.

    Recommended for Shippers Only

    Peachocalypse Now by Justice4243

    Genre: Peachfic

    This one slipped through my peachfic-finding attempts, so I thought I’d remedy the oversight. The Peachening is upon us and everypony has gone insane, except Pinkie Pie and Spike. This is about as silly as you’d expect, though I like that Pinkie ends up being the straight man. The story doesn’t appear to have been proofread and the ending doesn’t really work, but I have to say, this is the rare story that would have been improved by the addition of more references. This is totally a Wickerman scenario and I was on the edge of my seat waiting for Pinkie to shout, “No, not the peaches! Ahh, they’re in my eyes! My eyes!” (Though there is one pretty phenomenal reference joke in this that more or less makes up for the lack of Nicolas Cage.) In all, it’s a pretty fun crackfic, if you like that kind of thing!

    Recommended If You Like Silly Things

    Twilight’s Play by Twi-Guy

    Reading by Akash the Reader

    Genre: Comedy

    Twilight’s stuck inside without anything to do because reasons, so she gathers up some books and brings them to life. I am thoroughly baffled as to what the point of this story was. The comedy is not terribly strong and is almost entirely centered around some very poorly-titled books (they’re not even puns, just synonyms for actual titles; I mean, “Hook-22”? That doesn’t even make sense!) coming to life and acting like pastiches of their plots: Jurassic Park talks about chaos theory, Fahrenheit 451 is a pyromaniac, The Shining is homicidal. In all, it suggests little more than a passing understanding of any of the books featured. The only one I found actually funny was the untitled self-help book, which seems in need of a dose of its own medicine. More comedic inversions like that might have helped this along. Oh, and this is the punchline, verbatim. Lastly, looking at the text, it’s pretty poorly written. You can safely pass this one up.

    Not Recommended

    Lone Princess by InkRose

    Reading by DrWolf001

    Genre: Psychological

    A lone princess, trapped in an empty world, sees snatches of what she truly desires. This is a strange case, because the reading linked above only covers first part; there isn’t another, yet the story is two chapters and an epilogue. And unfortunately, while the first chapter is pretty great on its own, the other two don’t add anything to it. The second chapter is just a rehash of the first, and the epilogue puts a needless period on the end of everything. But let me talk about that first chapter for a moment. It does a really great job of showing what’s going on. At first, it seems like this might be after some apocalypse causes the sun to go out, given all the ice on everything. Then, it seems like it might be Luna trapped on the moon. The actual answer is a lot cleverer, and it ends up being a great character study of Luna, in the way that the second chapter is not particularly enlightening about Celestia. Also, given the timeframe of when it takes place, the ending is beautifully tragic. It does suffer a bit from word choice issues, weak words keeping the prose from being as evocative as it could be. But if you like Luna, and you want to see a Sad Luna piece that actually works, do check out the first part of this. The rest you can take or leave.

    Recommended for the First Chapter

    25 comments · 282 views
  • Sunday
    Into Filly Funtasia?

    It seems to be making a comeback after all! :D Well, I discovered that execrable IP two years ago, bought two of the toys, hated them, and vowed to write horrible crossover fanfiction to showcase their terribleness for all the fandom to see.

    That... never really happened.

    So, today, you can see the first, and only, two chapters of "The Brony Princess" in my speedfic collection. There will never be any more (I include notes about what would have happened had I continued the story, at least). Get it now, while supplies last!

    And don't buy any Filly Princess toys, for srs. D:

    3 comments · 98 views
  • Sunday
    Bookshelf shenanigans, and important fic rec updates!

    I at last decided to make an Incompletes Bookshelf to differentiate from my RIL. This way, I can check it every week, or even once a month, for new completes to add to RIL and not have to worry about what’s on it not being complete. The final counts are 2982 RIL, 1032 Incomplete, and 19 Tracking. Tracking I use for incompletes I want to read the moment they’re done. Go ahead and check out that link to the shelf above; if you see one of your stories on there that you haven’t worked on in a while, maybe it’ll give you a kick in the butt to keep going! :V

    So, after going through all four-fucking-thousand stories on my RIL, I said to myself, “Hey, now those 1400 stories you reviewed don’t seem so bad, huh?” So yes, I’ve also made a Reviewed shelf, which is public. This means lots of spamming folks, but the important thing is, people will know I reviewed their stuff. I’ve changed up my userpage to reflect this, so that anyone coming looking will (hopefully) know what to do. (The upshot, though, is that apparently the new bookshelf system is set up to prevent said spamming, and I can't do them all at once. Tune in for more spam tomorrow!)

    I also ended up finding some interesting stuff in the older journals!

    Laugh as I whine about having 100 whole stories on my RIL. :V

    I actually rec’d The Descendant’s A Cup of Joe. It is Highly Recommended, for the record. This is good, because it was on my “Old Favorites” list to re-review, and I don’t want to read it again because I will cry. ;_; Going back through all my old journals, not just the ones that sound like fic recs, has also made me realize I never reviewed Silent Ponyville, so I’m gonna do that sometime, as it’s a pretty popular fic.

    Ah, Blueshift’s The Last Stand of King Sombra will now be Recommended. It was p. hilar. Martial Bliss by Skywriter is also Recommended. It was also hilar.

    It should really get its own journal, but I mentioned it here already: Pipsqueak the Valiant’s Adventure Journal by Casca is one of my all-time favorite stories, an imaginative piece written from Pipsqueak’s POV as he’s dragged off on a quest to find his ship’s captain father… by Mayor Mare. It won whatever writeoff it was part of, and I put the reason squarely on the perfect child’s voice Casca crafted. It doesn’t go anywhere you’d expect, and the reason I never gave it a proper writeup is that, well, I didn’t realize it was marked complete until now. :B It is Highly Recommended.

    Ah, here’s a good one! My journal talking about fiendofthet’s story Fallout Equestria: Lesbians was apparently removed in the big NSFW journal purge. (Which is weird, because I can still see it in the listings.) Here’s the original text, since I went ahead and deleted the blog on my end, as no one can read it now:

    If you haven't, I highly recommend reading Fallout Equestria: Lesbians. It's quite short, and hilariously brilliant. It reminds me of what I was trying to do with My Full-Sized Goddess Horse. :D There's even an "Applejack is a background pony" joke!

    Even though the words “highly recommended” show up in there, I’m going to officially call this Recommended If You Like Mocking FoE, because if you don’t, and you're not at least somewhat familiar with the original, you’re not gonna get anything out of it. It’s still officially my favorite FoE sidefic, though. :V

    Ooh, and not to end on a sour note, but it looks like I almost gave up fic recs before I started. The journal immediately following that one was the very first "official" recommendations blog, however. (My first structured review was actually the vs. Rainbow Factory blog, solely because I used the 5-point rating system.) And now look how far we've come. :D

    So I'm calling it: THE SPREADSHEET IS FINISHED. EVERYTHING PRE-2014 IS RECORDED. THAT’S IT, NO MORE GOING BACK TO SEARCH FOR THINGS. Yeesh. Here's to being organized! :twilightsheepish:

    15 comments · 164 views
  • Saturday
    Present Perfect vs. G2

    20 comments · 170 views
  • ...
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Honestly

by Present Perfect

Applejack couldn't believe what she was hearing.

"All right, sugarcube, lemme get this straight: ya tried bakin' muffins, but they jumped outta the oven, ran across the kitchen, and then exploded all over you.  Twice."

Rainbow Dash nodded vigorously, sending congealed blobs of muffin batter splattering onto her hooves.  "Yeah!  It totally wasn't my fault, AJ, I swear!"

"Uh-huh.  Ya sure you followed the recipe?  To the letter?"

Rainbow rubbed the back of her head.  "Uhh... Well, maybe I cut a few corners..."

Applejack stomped a hoof.  "Cut corners?"

"Yeah, but nothing major!  Recipes are just guidelines, you can leave stuff out sometimes, you know?"

"And just what, pray tell, did ya cut?"

Rainbow ducked her head.  "Maybe the baking powder.  I mean, I couldn't figure out if I needed baking powder or baking soda, so I just kinda threw in some of both..."

"Consarnit, Rainbow Dash!" Applejack put her hoof over her face.  "Just stop, I don't wanna hear no more.  I ain't never seen you set foot in a kitchen before save for dinnertime.  Tell me again why you're so dead set on bakin' things yourself instead of, I dunno, havin' Pinkie Pie help?"

"No, see, that's just it!  She's done so many nice things for me lately that I wanted to do something for her for a change.  Something, I dunno, that would mean something to her.  When you're always baking for everypony, it's probably nice when somepony bakes for you, right?" As she talked, Rainbow's face gradually grew redder and redder.

Applejack nodded slowly.  "So them rumors is true.  You're sweet on her, ain'tcha?"

Rainbow Dash's entire body shook.  "Wait, uh, no, I, what?  What rumors?"

Applejack chuckled.  "Ponies talk, Rainbow Dash, it's just how things are.  Besides, I can't think of no other reason why the Rainbow Dash I know would be so dead-set on doin' something she ain't no good at."

Rainbow bit her lip.  "Well...  That's why I came to see you, AJ.  You're just as good at baking as Pinkie Pie.  You gotta help me put something together for her, please!  I'll do anything!"

"Well, it ain't gonna mean much if'n you don't do the work yourself.  So I'll supervise and direct, how's about that?  And in return, you can maybe send a little extra rain over to Sweet Apple Acres next week?"

"Perfect!  Name your day; I'll push the clouds there myself!"

Applejack spit on her hoof.  Rainbow Dash did likewise, and they shook.  "All right, then, sugarcube!  Let's get bakin'!"


Rainbow Dash had always found that following rules made it hard to concentrate.  Phrases like "do this" or "make sure you" were like hooves on a chalkboard, and she immediately tuned out whenever anypony started using them.  Sure, it sometimes strained her work life; but it wasn't like they could keep the skies clear without Rainbow Dash there to help them, so she was able to get by.

But this wasn't a situation where getting by would cut it.  Applejack was a harsh mistress in the kitchen, and it took all of Rainbow's mental fortitude to keep from balking at her friend's every command.

"Focus, Rainbow Dash.  Remember Pinkie Pie.  She's your goal.  Pinkie Pie."

She and Pinkie had never really hung out before Twilight Sparkle had come to Ponyville.  Sure, Pinkie knew when Rainbow's birthday was and had thrown her parties before, and Rainbow liked attending the parties thrown for other ponies, but otherwise, she had never been more than a mild acquaintance.  Even after Twilight had brought the Elements of Harmony together, Rainbow had treated the pink mare with a certain amount of aloofness.  Her giddy randomness was entertaining, but a little too goofy for a pony as cool as herself to be associating with.

It wasn't until the unfortunate events with Gilda that Rainbow had seen a different side of her friend: both a cool prankster and a sensitive, caring pony.  That she could pull stunts the way she did and get away with them, without hurting anypony's feelings, made Rainbow just a little jealous.  Her own pranking at Junior Flight Camp had nearly gotten her expelled once, and she always got in trouble regardless.  Pinkie Pie worked her pranking magic with just the right combination of mischievousness and thoughtfulness.

It had been the pranks that brought them closer together as friends, and it was that caring mischief that had made Rainbow realize that her feelings for Pinkie Pie didn't end at friendship.  She wanted something more; she wanted Pinkie's caring directed at her in particular.  There was nothing saying whether Pinkie would accept, of course, but that kind of fear had never stopped Rainbow Dash before.

Even if she really wanted to let it stop her now.

This baking was her chance at popping the question, as it were.  There would be no better time to ask Pinkie about her feelings than over a hot pan of muffins.  Or cupcakes.  Or maybe strudel; she thought Pinkie might like strudel.

"Naw, I don't think you're ready for somethin' that complicated yet.  Let's stick to cupcakes."

Measure, stir, measure something else, stir again: all the work was really getting to her.  Especially since Applejack, having picked up on the gravity of the situation, was being a severe fussbudget about everything and a complete pain in the rear.

"Now make sure you watch the meniscus, Rainbow Dash... See how that water curves up?  Y'all gotta account for that so the measure's accurate."

"Three-quarters cup doubles to a cup 'n a half, not a cup 'n a quarter!"

"Don't crack them eggs on the bowl, you'll get shells in the batter!"

It wasn't like Applejack at all, but as annoying as she was being, Rainbow Dash was glad her friend was forcing her to be extra careful and make sure that the cupcakes would come out perfect.

Or as perfect as possible, anyway.  The first batch hadn't burned, but they had stuck to the pan.

"Oh my stars!  How in the hay did we both forget to put in the cupcake cups?  I reckon I'm a-worryin' about all the wrong things, I'm so sorry!"

"Ohmygoshohmygosh, I blew it!  Everything's gonna be ruined!"

"None of that now, this is no time fer panickin'!  Quick, get them other two pans and put the cups in; I'll try pourin' the batter back outta this one and we'll do it again."

It was a good thing they'd made enough batter for more than one batch.  Missing six cupcakes overall would be less of a blow than having to do an entire dozen over again.  That said, they both had to agree, tasting the few salvageable bits, that the cupcakes themselves were excellent.

Rainbow Dash had picked out a recipe in Applejack's collection that the cowpony hadn't used before.  She'd warned her that by doing so, they risked making something that might not come out the way they expected, but Rainbow was insistent on making something that Pinkie wouldn't have already tried.  She wanted it to be something memorable.  The recipe of course called for apples, but also carrots, strawberries, and bananas, which just happened to be in season.  The resulting cake was light and chewy, pleasantly fruity, sweet without being sugary, and with just a tiny bit of crunch from the shredded carrots.

"All right, sugar, these look perfect!  Yer really doin' great!"

"Thanks, AJ." Rainbow wiped the sweat from her brow, only some of which was due to the heat of the kitchen.  "Do you think she'll like them?"

"Of course she will, don't you worry none!  I'll make up the frostin', and why don't you start pipin' in the cream filling?"

"Cream... filling?" Rainbow Dash began sweating anew.

"Yeah, these're filled cupcakes.  I was kinda surprised you wanted to do somethin' so complicated, but I reckoned you were up to the challenge.  Cupcakes're still easier 'n strudel!"

Ohmygoshohmygosh, so much can go wrong right now!  Her first instinct was to make for a window, but she stilled herself.  Don't chicken out now, Rainbow Dash.  You're halfway there already!  Just think about your goal, think about the filly.  Think about Applejack too, she's put a lot of hard work into making sure you aren't a total screwup!  You can't let her down!

She watched Applejack for a moment, busily mixing a few tablespoons of milk into a heap of powdered sugar.  They'd been rivals for so long, but in the end Applejack had always proven to be a great friend.  Sure, Rainbow could be kind of overbearing occasionally; okay, she could be really overbearing all the time.  But that was just how she was, covering up insecurity with blustering, and Applejack had never let her down when she'd needed help despite all that.  This baking help was just one of the most recent examples of her dedication.

Rainbow found herself a little jealous of Applejack, too.  She, after all, was supposed to hold the Element of Loyalty.  She'd come through for her friends if they were in a bind, sure, but she had a tendency to stick to the blustering and overbearing thing when the chips weren't all down.  Applejack's innate understanding of her friends' needs -- like Rainbow Dash wanting to get everything perfect for Pinkie -- was what Rainbow liked about her.  She would've made a great Loyalty.

"Rainbow, them cupcakes ain't fillin' themselves!  D'you need a hoof?"

"Wha?  Oh, sorry, Applejack, I was just..."

"What?"

Rainbow felt herself blush.  "Sorry, I thought you had some flour in your mane."

"Oh, do I?  Pshaw, I'll wash up after we're done." She laughed.  "I reckon we'll both need a bath!"

She turned back to the frosting and Rainbow back to the filling.  Suddenly, her heart was pounding in her chest, like she'd just been flying at top speed until she was completely winded.  Thinking about Applejack was bringing up the same feelings that thinking about Pinkie had!  What was wrong with her?

You silly filly-fooler, you can't go falling for all your friends!

"Ugh!  No, Rainbow Dash, you really gotta press it in there or the fillin's gonna squish out all over the place!  Here, let me give you some help."

Without waiting for her to respond, Applejack pressed up against her back, forelegs curled around her, directing the filling bag in her hooves into the cupcake.  Rainbow Dash suddenly knew how those cupcakes felt, fresh out of the oven.  Her hooves went numb, just following along with whatever Applejack was doing.  Her friend's instructions were like the buzzing of summer insects in her ears.  The blood coursing through her veins made her feel like her head was ready to explode.

She dropped the filling bag, whirled around and embraced Applejack, kissing her passionately.  Applejack stood stock-still.  Rainbow's breath caught in her throat.  In an instant, she was out of the kitchen and flying anywhere.

"Stupid, stupid, stupid, Rainbow Dash!  What is wrong with you?" Tears ran into the corners of her mouth, the salty taste adding sting to her recriminations.  She didn't get much further than the edge of Sweet Apple Acres before she couldn't see anymore and skidded to a stop under a tree, flat on her belly, head buried in her hooves.

She lay that way for quite some time before she heard Applejack calling her name.  Unable to stem the waterworks, she did her best just to quiet her sobbing, and hoped her friend wouldn't find her.

"Rainbow Dash, there you are."

"Go away!" She sniffled and smeared her face into the grass.  It burned.

"Sugar, I dunno what's goin' on in that head o' yourn, but I ain't leavin' until you tell me what's up.  I don't care if you gotta let it all out first or what, but I'm waitin' right here with you until you do."

She sat down next to Rainbow, who gradually calmed down, though every time she glanced at her friend, who was stoically avoiding meeting her eyes, she felt a knot pulling tighter at her heart, threatening to start her up all over again.

At length, Applejack said, "You feelin' any better now?"

"Yeah...  I'm sorry you had to see me like this...  And what I did, AJ, I'm..."

"Don't say it!  Don't you say it."

"Wha?"

Applejack pointedly looked away from her.  "I got a hunch there's somethin' goin' on right now, and it ain't between you'n me.  So don't apologize none."

"I don't understand...  I don't understand you, or me, or..."

Applejack scooted closer.  "Understandin' yer feelin's is hard, sugarcube.  Sometimes it hurts a lot.  Shucks, I ain't even the best pony you should be talkin' about this to.  But, well..."

She sighed.  Rainbow waited for her friend to continue, but she didn't.  Out of tears, she heaved herself up onto her flanks and wiped at her face.

"Applejack, I feel so stupid."

"I can understand why ya might feel that way."

"I don't even know why!  I just... It felt good, you being so close, being such a good friend and all..."

"And you just got caught up in the moment, is that all?"

Rainbow was ready to agree, but she stopped.  "No, there's more to it than that.  I really like you, Applejack, a whole lot.  Maybe as more than just a friend, I don't know.  I respect you an awful lot, I... I look up to you, even if I have a hard time admitting it."

Applejack smiled.  "You do, really?"

"Y-yeah... But I wouldn't think that you'd..."

Applejack leaned over and pecked her on the cheek.  She got red-hot once again.  Her legs felt shaky.

"That's mighty sweet o' you to say so, Rainbow.  But I wouldn't want to get in the way o' you and Pinkie Pie."

"Applejack, you..."

"I been thinkin' about it lately; I guess my barn door swings both ways, you could say.  And yeah, so maybe I've thought about you like that." It was Applejack's turn to blush, a look that was entirely bizarre on her.  "I dunno if anythin' would ever work out between you 'n me, though, us bein' rivals for so long and all.  I really think you got a better chance with Pinkie.  I... I hope this works out for you, Rainbow Dash, I really, really do."

"But I haven't even asked her yet, and I..." She swallowed, and her voice came out in a squeak.  "I betrayed her.  Some Element of Loyalty I am."

"Betrayed nothin'!  Sometimes, a pony like you just has more love than she knows what to do with.  And I'm... I'm mighty flattered you shared a little with me.  I hope we can be better friends for it." She stood.  "As for your element, ain't no one I know that's more loyal than you, and that's a fact.  So don't you go second-guessin' or worryin' yourself about that none."

Rainbow smiled at long last.  "Thanks, AJ.  Although I kind of feel like the Element of Honesty right now, since I've been spilling my guts all over you."

Applejack laughed.  "I reckon we'd be able to swap Elements pretty easy, if it came to it.  But what's that matter now, anyway?  C'mon, Rainbow Dash, race you back to the kitchen!"

She joined in the laughter.  "Last one there has to fill the cupcakes!"


Applejack didn't mind doing the filling.  Rainbow Dash had really taken to the frosting, after all, and it was the one part of the whole process she seemed to have any knack for.  Applejack even let her do the final decorating without any interference.  And in the end, they had a dozen and a half beautiful cupcakes, with cream filling and strawberry icing, cherries on top, and maybe just a few too many sprinkles.  But that was okay; where Pinkie Pie was involved, you could never have too many sprinkles.

She sighed as she watched her friend leave, saddlebags brimming with cupcake boxes.  Rainbow had wanted to deliver them in person, and AJ felt, after all that had happened, that that would be best.  She still needed some time to think.

Everything she'd said to Rainbow had been true, of course.  She was still wrestling with her feelings, with who she was.  The thought of coming to one of her friends and being rejected was terrifying; that's why she'd kept it all to herself.  But after opening up to Rainbow Dash, it felt like a whole peck of apples had been taken out of her saddlebags.  She realized she'd needed that for a long time.  The affection her friend had shown had been extremely tempting to give in to, to accept wholeheartedly; but thinking back over it, Rainbow's dedication, and her desire to impress Pinkie was way more important.  She couldn't risk Rainbow's feelings while indulging her own.  Then she'd be the betrayer.

It don't matter too much, she told herself.  She wasn't ready to settle down with anypony yet, anyway.  There was too much work and not enough time for it; she was married to the farm, at least in this stage of her life, and she was fine with that.  Letting Rainbow go didn't hurt as much as she thought it would have, and that alone let her know that it was the right thing to have done.

Besides, she kind of preferred the rivalry.  It kept life fun.

"Love ain't gonna get in the way o' Loyalty, Rainbow Dash," she said to herself, "and that's the Honest truth."  Then she smiled, shook her head, and went back into the kitchen to clean up.

Author's Note:

Thanks again to Twilight Snarkle and Samurai Jack Anon for a little last-minute tweaking on this one, and thank you for reading!

#1 · 129w, 2d ago · · ·

This story made me slightly sad when I originally read it. It's quite well written and moving, but I almost wish AoE had stood alone entirely without additional context.

#2 · 129w, 2d ago · · ·

It stars Rainbow and A.J.  ...But it's a Pinkie Dash fic...  

:pinkiecrazy:

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#3 · 129w, 2d ago · · ·

>>521448

The decision to tie this into EoA was an afterthought. I call it a happy accident. There's more coming! (Eventually.)

>>521855

I noticed that as I was tagging this. Funny, huh?

#4 · 129w, 2d ago · · ·

Alright that was good, one shots ain't normally my thing, but that was really well done.

Looking forward to your next story!

#5 · 129w, 2d ago · · ·

I remember reading this quite a while back and thinking it was cute. A quick reread reveals that my feelings on the matter haven't changed. Interesting to see AppleDash get rejected in the actual story.

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#6 · 129w, 2d ago · · ·

>>524468

PinkieDash > Appledash :V

Unless you're talking Combinatorics Project, of course.

#7 · 128w, 6d ago · · ·

IS there going to be a second chapter?

#8 · 128w, 6d ago · · ·

And the story was great. Awesome read from start to finish.

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#9 · 128w, 6d ago · · ·

>>540018

This is (as I said), kind of the second chapter of my fic The Elements of Awesomery. There will be a sequel to both fics that will tie up the events of Honestly... someday.

#10 · 127w, 4d ago · · ·

Pinkiedash to Appledash and back to PinkieDash again. :rainbowhuh:

:pinkiehappy: Pinkie approves this story!

:ajbemused: Applejack doesn't.

...

Socially Awesome Penguin: THREESOME!

#11 · 127w, 3d ago · · ·

Come for the AppleDash, stay for the PinkieDash. Good job dude, thoroughly enjoyed.

#12 · 121w, 1d ago · · ·

This was really cute. I liked it. :twilightsmile:

#13 · 115w, 4d ago · · ·

I feel a little empty inside. I always feel betrayed by "I want my love to be happy" stories because it's usually the one I like getting the shaft. All old time anime fans remember the tragedy that is Tomoyo. And to a slightly lesser (and odder) extent, Koaru in Evangelion.

It was well-written and powerful but is hurts like a mofo and always will.

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#14 · 115w, 3d ago · · ·

>>1029491

Yay for hurt! :V I think.

Tomoyo? What anime?

#15 · 115w, 3d ago · · ·

>>1034655

Hurt shows you did well. Bravo, all my feels, etc. It was beautiful but tragic to me (because I'm an Appledasher.)

Cardcaptor Sakura. For the entire series Tomoyo was Sakura's biggest fan and interested in her in more than a friendly way. But she was so self-sacrificing she encouraged Sakura's many crushes. She was almost saintlike in her devotion to Sakura, such that she even set aside her own ultimate happiness. It frankly got a bit frustrating by the end.

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#16 · 115w, 3d ago · · ·

>>1035091

Ahh, yes, I remember her now. It's been quite a while since I watched Cardcaptors. :)

#17 · 105w, 2d ago · · ·

You brought up how AJ would have made a good Element of Loyalty.  I will now present my case for AJ as best pony.  Ramble mode activated.:ajbemused:

Applejack has shown through her actions that she can represent every element, barring Magic, for obvious reasons.  However, if you boil the elements down to base virtues, a la Nimaru, she covers them all.  Zen:ajsmug:, Selflessness:raritywink:, Grounding:rainbowdetermined2:, Empathy:yay:, Positive Energy:pinkiehappy:, and Love:twilightsmile:.

AJ has not been the sole cause of an episode's conflict since episode four.  Her only real character flaw is that she works too hard.  She's always there for a friend in need, gives excellent advice, and has a good sense of humor.  She's smart too, smarter than most realize.  Successful business owners usually are.  Even when she's only partially at fault for a problem, she's the first to work on a solution.  She's practical, but not uncaring.  Tenacious, but not stubborn.  Selfless, but not careless.  Empathetic, but not sympathetic.  Funny, but not immature or disrespectful.  She cares about her friends, but it doesn't cloud her judgement.  As far as measuring how "good" a pony is, Applejack is "best" pony.

That being said, and being that there are multiple definitions for "best," I'm not trying to say anyone's preference of pony is wrong.  Enjoy who you want to enjoy, just remember that AJ can do no wrong.  That's all I'm saying.

/ramble

#18 · 55w, 2d ago · · ·

>>1446135 Sorry I couldn't hear you over the sound of MA BASS CANNON!!!!

#Vinylforbestpony2014

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