It was a bright and sunny day in Ponyville as a particular pink party pony was helping a particular orange workhorse set up a party for her visiting family. Tomorrow, the rest of the Apple family would arrive for the annual Apple family reunion. This year it had been scheduled only two weeks before apple buck season. The local Apple family was busy getting ready for both and had opted for assistance with one.
So, Pinkie Pie had arrived bright and early to help get the preparations for the reunion ready. As was her custom, she attempted to make this small, outdoor, quiet, family dinner into the "Best. Party. EVER!" to Applejack's dismay. That was why it had taken until three 'o' clock to get the the preparations correct in the eyes of the farmer pony. It would've taken longer had Fluttershy and Rarity not shown up around two to help and ended up with the two of them conjointly holding Pinkie's "party instinct" back.
Once the dinner was set up and ready (aside from the food, which would be prepared the next day) the four ponies present sat down to a happy meal of apples and cider. The four (or rather three talkative ones) talked randomly about their days in varying detail.
As would be expected of her, Pinkie explained in full detail her day of waking up, helping AJ, and spending her whole day thus far in Applejack's company. She then proceeded to ask Applejack about her day. This elicited a round of giggles from the other three, to her confusion. Applejack obliged, explaining her day in details that Pinkie Pie found suspiciously familiar. She assumed it was just because she and Applejack may have had similar days and didn't comment.
"Well, my day was quite boring. I simply spent it making the same dress ten times over, until Fluttershy arrived to come here and help. Truth be told, I expected you would need more help with the setup, dear." Rarity commented.
"Welp, S'pose Pinkie here was more a help than Ah thought she'd be." She said as she nudged the pink mare in question with her elbow. "So how 'bout you 'Shy?" She asked curiously of the, thus far, silent mare sitting to her left.
"Oh, me? I-I didn't have a very interesting day..." She said as looked away from the three.
"Nonsense, Flutters! Ah wanna hear all 'bout yur day." Applejack responded, her voice sounding with genuine interest.
"O-okay...W-well, I fed the animals and took care of some bears an-"
"See? What would make you think we didn't wanna hear about you handling bears!?" Pinkie broke in.
"W-well, I wasn't 'handling' th-"
"I agree with Pinkie. It's really quite interesting, and besides, it's not like I ever do anything that interesting with my day." Rarity added.
"Oh no, I'm sure you d-"
"Me neither! I haven't thrown a party in, like, a week! I've been so BORED!" Pinkie cut in again.
"And I've been making repeat dresses for a Canterlot client's dress store." Rarity said.
The two began going back and forth until they completely forgot about how they had gotten on this subject. While they were ranting at each other, Applejack leaned close to Fluttershy and whispered, "It's alright, sugarcube, Ah'll still wanna hear about yur day in a bit. These two just can't focus on somethin' so..." She searched for the right word for a moment, and Fluttershy attempted to supply it.
"Quiet?" She said with a small, yet, sly smile.
The four good friends finished their meal and said their goodbyes for the day. The last mare to leave was Fluttershy, as Applejack insisted she stay and tell her about her day. It was an excessive, and polite gesture, and it made Fluttershy feel a bit better to know that she genuinely wanted to hear her story.
She explained her day of animal care, tending to bears, and gardening to Applejack in as much detail as Applejack insisted on having. When she finished they said their goodbyes and Fluttershy went back to her cottage near the Everfree Forest, and Applejack went back to the farmhouse and went to bed straight away.
It was dark when Fluttershy got home and she decided that she would go straight to bed, after she took care of the nighttime chores, such as feeding the bats, or making sure the birds all had a way in or out, in case of nighttime....needs.
Once that was all taken care of, she brushed her mane and went to bed.
The morning could not be considered more similar for any of the six than it could when comparing Fluttershy and Applejack. They both woke up to the rooster's crow, they fed their animals, then proceeded to tend to their plants. The difference is what those morning chores were focused on. Fluttershy's animals were mainly small critters like bunnies and birds, while Applejack tended to cattle and pigs. Fluttershy had her small vegetable garden, Applejack tended an entire farm. Obviously, Fluttershy finished such chores more quickly than Applejack did. Then, when Fluttershy finished this daily routine, she would have a sporadic schedule of animal care throughout the wilderness around Ponyville. Applejack, however, occupied this time doing odd jobs around the farm, such as barn repairs and any other odd whatnot.
This particular morning, however, both mares finished early in order to make time with the family reunion. Applejack had invited all her best friends because, as far as she was concerned, after the Flim-Flam incident they were all honorary family members. So ALL Apple family members would be in attendance this year, including the Appleloosans for the first time in almost ten years.
Fluttershy was the first of their circle of friends to arrive, so she helped with the last minute baking. As she and Applejack finished up the dinner, the rest of their friends arrived and helped with the rest of the last minute preparations.
Applejack and Fluttershy spent most of the morning in a random chatter about just about anything that was relevant to them.
"So, who all is coming today? Um...i-if you don't mind telling me..." Fluttershy asked curiously.
"Well, lemme think... Just about all the Apple family will be here. 'cept fer the Oranges...." She added a little bitterly.
"Oh... I'm sorry about that." Fluttershy replied.
"N'aw don't be. T'aint yur fault." Applejack said, her face changing to a friendly smile. "Why were ya askin' 'bout my family?"
"Oh, I was just wondering."
"Uh huh. 'kay." She pulled a tray of fritters out of the oven and took them out to the temporary pavilion and set it down next to the pies. She examined all the tasty treats and pastries adorning the table, and mentally patted herself on the back for a job well done. Again.
"Well howdy, cuz!"
"Howdy, Braeburn. Howdy, Apple Fritter, and uhh....ev'rypony else." Applejack greeted with a laugh. Her distant and close family all giggled a little at her "Howdy" and started to mingle around the grounds.
Twilight mainly stayed with Big Mac for reasons that went over his head but no one else's. Rarity spent the time chatting it up with random ponies, trying to learn the gossip all over Equestria. Rainbow was playing the games with the younger foals, attempting to remember that she should let these kids win. Pinkie was...well, everything; food, games, food, dancing, food, and maybe a game or two.
And possibly food.
Fluttershy, as was par for her, pretty much just hid behind the nearest friend she could find, namely Applejack. For her part, Applejack enjoyed this feeling of protecting her friend, even if it was from the many dangers of smiling farmer's kids. After two hours of these shenanigans, Braeburn saw it fit to approach the timid pegasus.
"Howdy, Miss..." He left the space open so she would introduce herself.
"I'm..." She mumbled quietly.
" 'scuse me?"
"I'm Flu..." Still too quiet.
"Your gonna need to speak up miss."
"Fluttershy." She said before hiding behind her mane and under Applejack's tail.
"Howdy, Miss Fluttershy, Ah'm Braeburn! Ah don' believe we've met."
"Well if y'all had met, Braeburn, then Ah think ya'd know her name." Applejack interjected.
"Huh...yeah..." He mulled over that a moment before he remembered why he had come over to talk to these two. "So anyways... Ah was wonderin' if Ah might get a chance to talk to a purty young mare like yurself, Miss Fluttershy."
She had crawled out from behind Applejack and was now dumbfounded at his request. When what he had said finally registered her cheeks turned orange from blushing. Applejack, however, just rolled her eyes at her cousin's flirting; a commonality that she was surprised to see none of on her trip to Appleloosa.
"I-I don't know, I-I guess..." She looked to Applejack for reassurance, and she simply shrugged. Personally, she wouldn't enjoy Braeburn's flirting with anypony she'd known, but she was enjoying it even less because this was Fluttershy, and...well, that bothered her.
"W-What did you have in mind?"
"Oh, Ah just wanted to chit chat somewhere private-like." He replied politely.
"O-okay." She replied before following him away from the crowd. Applejack watched them go then turned away and bitterly ate a fritter.
Pinkie bounced over with a a cupcake sticking out of her mouth as she ate it without using her hooves. "Great party, huh?" She said, somehow fluently around the cupcake.
"Yeah happy reunions..."