It took Twilight seconds to rearrange the library. Using her magic, she shoved aside tables and chairs, leaving one in the middle of the room so the three mares could talk with Aile. The dark unicorn was floating in the middle of the room, only able to move her head while her limbs floated aimlessly, as if captive in their own personal bubbles.
For the next hour or so, Fluttershy explained as much as she knew about Trixie. The day the magician arrived (which was apparently the same day she left the library), what her goal was (to learn Elemental magic to regain her normal unicorn magic), and how she returned to help Fluttershy, which is how Applejack found out she was still in Ponyville. Then, both the farmer and the pegasus explained each encounter with Aile – when Applejack saw her two days prior and received her cryptic warning, each attack on Fluttershy, everything either one could think of. Details of the previous night were especially talked about as it seemed to interest the young unicorn the most.
Once they had finished, Twilight looked between her two friends and Aile, her expression one of deep thought. A few minutes into an awkward silence, she broke it by saying, “Trixie is just being Trixie. I believe that the problem is Aile.”
The unicorn looked down at Twilight with a curious expression, who was still floating several feet above the ground. Applejack looked up at her, and instead of a resentful expression, she only appeared to be mildly annoyed, frowning with discomfort from being unable to move her limbs of her own accord. Applejack sneered at her, and Aile responded by quickly averting her gaze.
Twilight flicked her head, and with a flash of magic, released Aile from her aerial prison, the dark unicorn landing in a heap on the floor. “Ack, you could have g-given me some w-warning,” Aile said, somewhat angry. “I could have landed on my bad leg!”
The student ignored her. “You came to the library this morning and said you were in the wrong, but you lied about what you had really done. I think that’s almost unforgiveable. What you attempted on Fluttershy,” she motioned to the now-alert pegasus with a hoof, “I think, is unforgiveable. You could have waited for something to happen... especially with this scrying ability of yours. But...”
Aile brushed herself off and looked at Twilight inquisitively. “Yes?”
“I also don’t think that you’re a very bad pony. You didn’t have to see somepony about some alternate solution. You could have just tried again. So I think that you must have truly believed what you were doing, to be the right thing–”
“What did ya just say, Twilight?”
The violet unicorn looked to Applejack, who glowered at the purple unicorn. Twilight winced at her friend’s harsh gaze. “I’m just saying that I understand her position...”
Applejack’s eyes narrowed even further. “Ya can understand
needin’ to kill somepony? Is that what yer sayin’ Twilight?”
“Self defense is one thin’ Twilight...” Applejack stepped back from the table, suddenly feeling an anger rise in her that she wanted to let out. “Ah couldn’t shame a pony for protectin’ herself... but claimin’ to see the future and decidin’ that killing an innocent pony is the only way to deal with it?”
“That isn’t what I–”
“So what did ya mean?”
“Are you going to let me finish?” Twilight asked, her voice rising. Applejack said nothing, staring down the unicorn, and the student said with a huff, “Applejack... all I’m trying to say is that I can see the logic she was using and understand it. It’s bad, and horrible, but I see where she’s coming from. That’s all.”
The now-freed unicorn coughed. Once all eyes were on her, she said, “Look, I’m glad you think so highly of me–”
“Don’t ya even think
about makin’ any wise cracks!” Applejack yelled, “Ya should be happy we haven’t turned ya in yet for what ya did to Fluttershy.”
Aile shrugged. “What I’ve done is illegal, but at the time, it was the only solution.”
“That’s all she’s wanted to say, Applejack,” Twilight explained. “She thought that it was the only thing she could do–”
“Oh, is that
all?” Applejack yelled, interrupting the student another time. “Oh, yes, ah see the future and ah can tell ya that the only damned solution is to kill a perfectly innocent pony.
No, ah’m sorry that ah don’t ‘subscribe’ to yer beliefs, and that ah don’t think it’s ever a good idea to kill some pony. Ah’m done with this.” The farmer turned around and went out the library’s front door, ignoring both Fluttershy and Twilight’s calls as she stormed off. ----- Only thing she could do... ponyfeathers.
Applejack found herself lying down under the shade of a tree. She was well within both walking and viewing distance of the library, but she didn’t care. She just needed time to herself to think. How can killin’ anypony ever be right? How can bein’ so pointlessly cruel ever be right? Ain’t that part of Hearth Warmin’ Eve? That we can all get along just fine and that’s just the best way to go about it – if not fer ourselves, then fer everypony else’s sake? Ah just don’t get it...
The farmer opened her eyes to see Fluttershy standing above her. The caretaker’s face was riddled with concern.
“Are you okay?”
Applejack nodded. “Sorry about that... ah shouldn’tve lost mahself in there. Not in front of you.”
“Well, you were defending me, so it’s okay, I guess.” Fluttershy plopped herself down next to the farmer, looking at her briefly before turning her gaze to the view of Ponyville before them.
“No, it wasn’t okay.” Applejack sighed, getting herself up to her haunches. “Ah was getting’ mad at the pony that knows better than ah do about almost anythin’, and ah decided that, even after goin’ to her fer help, that ah’d rather just curse at her.” She shook her head in frustration. “What she said still rubs me the wrong way though...”
Fluttershy turned to look at the farmer. “Applejack...”
She shook her head again. “Ah just... can’t understand how anypony could think like that. That killin’ them would be the solution.”
Fluttershy nodded. “Well... that would be pretty hard to accept. I don’t think we’ve ever had to worry about anypony ever getting to hurt as to maybe die... except maybe when there was that hydra, or when dash had that accident and injured her wing...”
“Yer sayin’ ya agree with me?” Applejack turned her head to her friend.
Fluttershy paused for a second, then shook her head. “No, I don’t.”
“Applejack... just trying to understand somepony doesn’t mean anything more than that. It means exactly what it says – that you want to understand them better. The more you understand somepony, the better you can try to fix the situation or help them.” Fluttershy turned her head to meet Applejack’s gaze. “All Twilight wants to do is figure out what Aile was really trying to accomplish. She didn’t agree with her or want her to keep trying or anything. She just wanted to understand.”
Fluttershy nodded. “Exactly.” She stood up, and turned towards the library. “Are you coming back? I’m sure Twilight wouldn’t mind–”
Applejack stood up as well. “Ah’ve been enough of a burden already. She’ll keep ya safe, Fluttershy.”
Fluttershy looked to the library, then back at Applejack. “Are you sure? She has good magic, but what if Aile tries to fight her or–”
“Ah don’t think she’ll try that again. Not anytime soon.”
“Well, if you think so. I guess I’ll see you later?”
“Ah’ll probably be back home, so sure, ah guess.”
With that, Fluttershy returned to the library. Applejack sighed, letting her back fall to the ground once again with a solid thud. Is that really all Twilight was tryin’ to say? Didn’t sound exactly like that to me... oh, forget about it AJ. As selfish as it sounds, it isn’t yer problem anymore. How about ya take some alone time on yer last day off?
Applejack nodded to nopony in particular. “Now... what should ah do when ah feel like takin’ some time to mahself?”
Voicing her question gave light to an answer instantly. “Ah buck apples. Right. ‘Cept ah don’t think anythin’s ready unless somethin’s changed in the last few days... so what else do ah do?”
She hoisted herself up again, this time deciding to get to all fours. She looked to the path in front of her, recognizing it quickly. Ah’m on mah way to the market... guess ah could ask Big Macintosh how everythin’s holdin’ up... maybe get somethin’ to eat.
It was then that her stomach growled, as if signifying that this was the only solution available. “Well, that settles it!” She started an upbeat trot, following the path down to Ponyville square. -----
Nothing at the market seemed out of place to Applejack: stands were set up by various ponies, selling all kinds of foods, cookware, crafts, tools, and such things as was the normal daily affair. She recognized a few, mostly the vegetable vendors, only because they tended to sell on the same days that the Apple Family did. The day was perfect for shopping – clear skies and a temperature just warm enough for everypony to feel comfortable. It was everything that Applejack felt like she had needed since the previous day to cheer her up.
The farmer let her gaze wander around the market. Though she was looking for something that might make a quick lunch, she also realized that she didn’t see the Apple stand anywhere. That’s odd, we’re normally open for a few more hours... ah well
After a few moments of fruitless searching, she realized she had made no progress as her stomach growled again. Well, ah got some money to spare... guess ah could go to a restaurant...
Deciding that her thoughts had some merit, she headed towards the nearest restaurant she could see. Applejack recognized it instantly, due to being one of the oldest restaurants in the town that had been there since before her birth even.
While it was a real restaurant, the place had the feel of a casual diner. The outside area was only around ten tables, roped off from the rest of the outside. Each table was silver, shining metal, with low, metal chairs. The building itself had a simple two-toned brown-painted wood exterior, the name of the business in large red lettering above the glass door entrance. The farmer herself had never been inside, but she knew that some of her friends had eaten here before.
“Welcome to Bubba Rump’s,” spoke a voice from beside the mare.
“Wah!” Applejack jumped forward in surprise, swiveling her head to find the source of the voice: an earth pony waiter. “Sorry, didn’t see ya there.”
“Where would you prefer to be seated, ma’am?” He asked, ignoring her reaction
“Uh, outside, if ya please.”
“Of course, right this way.” The waiter led her to a table on the outer-most corner of the seating area, which the farmer felt was just fine. Applejack seated herself and immediately decided to use the time to stare off into space, instead of looking at the menu he had placed in front of her. It’s pretty nice to finally have some peace and quiet.
She let her eyes fall onto the market again. Her gaze went about on its own accord, following ponies as they went between stalls as they did what she figured was their usual business. At least life for everypony else is okay... ah couldn’t do with worrin’ everypony out of their minds... after all, this might be nothin’, and when it’s all over, life’ll go back to normal.
Finally content with her situation, she decided to relax, taking her eyes off of the market place and leaning back in her chair, pulling her hat over her eyes.
Applejack lost her balance, almost falling backwards out of her chair. She righted herself and quickly realized that the waiter had returned, clearly waiting for her order. “Uh, what do ya got with apples?”
The earth pony raised an eye brow. “A few things... but for a meal, we have a new item that’s a salad with several fried fruits strewn over it, a sweet vinaigrette–”
Applejack didn’t want to bother thinking about other possibilities. “Yeah, that’ll do.”
“An excellent choice.” He picked up the menu and left promptly. Well, ah hope ah didn’t just get gulled into the most expensive thin’ they got... but given how much thought ah put into it, can’t blame anypony but mahself.
Applejack leaned back in her chair again, pulling her hat down over her face a second time.
And for a second time, a voice interrupted her calm from out of the blue. “Hi!”
The energetic voice caused the apple pony to lose her balance once again, and this time she did fall back out of the chair. Pulling herself away from the chair, and after massaging her back for a few moments, she opened her eyes to see a familiar pink pony standing in front of her, a wide grin on her face.
“You okay Applejack? That kinda looked like it hurt.”
Applejack got to her hooves as quickly as she could and looked over the baker. She appeared to be the regular Pinkie Pie that the farmer had gotten to know over the years – bubbly smile, bouncy hair, energetic personality. Nothing indicated that Pinkie Pie still had any lingering feelings over what the two had talked about the previous day, or that the talk had even taken place. Sometimes that girl is too good at hiding what she’s thinking... but then again most of the time she’s terrible at it.
The baker tilted her head. “Are you staring at me? Oh, are we having a staring contest?”
“No, Pinkie, ya just startled–” it was then Applejack remembered something vital and said in a panic, “Oh, Pinkie Pie! Ah’m sorry ah didn’t come by this mornin’! Ah was busy with Fluttershy and had to go see Twilight and–”
Pinkie Pie blew a raspberry, waving the issue off with a hoof. “It’s alright, I had lotsa work to do today anyway. The Cake’s got this big last minute order and they needed me to help until about half an hour ago!” Her expression softened a bit as she continued, “Thanks for at least remembering, though...”
The farmer shook her head. “No, ah shoulda come by anyway, to at least let ya know, but a lot of stuff happened...”
Applejack then explained all that had happened since she left Pinkie’s room the previous day: Fluttershy’s assault, Trixie’s healing magic, Applejack’s stay overnight at the caretaker’s and the second assault, and their meeting with Twilight and with Aile that morning.
“So after Fluttershy was done talkin’ to me... ah came here first thin’. Ah...” the farmer sighed. “To be honest, ah really wanted some alone time, to think. But now that yer here, ah feel kinda bad that ah didn’t see ya this mornin’, even to say that ah was busy... so, sorry.”
Pinkie’s face was, for the first time the farmer had ever seen in his life, one of deep thought, looking down with a hoof to her chin, her eyes darting around and the occasional frown and scrunched expression covered her lips. Before Applejack could ask her what she thought, her food arrived, the waiter quickly dropping off the salad and walking off again. Without the baker to start a conversation, she decided to take at least a few minutes to eat quietly. She’s definitely thinkin’, but ah can’t ever really recall her actin’ like... well, anypony who had so much to think about. It’s a might disconcertin’ when she ain’t talkin’...
“You know what we should do Applejack?” Pinkie spoke so suddenly that Applejack had to look up from her food to make sure she wasn’t hearing things. She had an expectant, preparatory smile on her face.
“What?” Applejack asked.
“We should... throw Fluttershy a PARTY!” Pinkie Pie threw her forelegs up into the air. “A party would be the perfect thing to cheer her up! We could invite, like, all her animal friends and maybe Aile could make up for it and–”
“That’s, uh, a good idea Pinkie, but how about that waits until we figure out all of this, okay?” Applejack set down her fork. “Once we’re sure we’re safe, ah think ya could throw as many parties as ya wanted.”
“I can always throw parties, Applejack, but this would be like, a, uh, your-friends-will-always-be-there-for-you-and-to-protect-you party, just for her!” She looked around for a moment, then back to the farmer, her face filled with only a hint of suspicion. “Are you sure
it wouldn’t be a good idea?”
Applejack nodded. “Pretty sure.”
“Well... I guess you know more about what’s going on than I do, so I’ll wait.”
“Glad to hear ya listen to reason, Pinkie.” Applejack took another bite out of her salad.
There was a distinct pause between the two earth ponies while Applejack ate her food. Pinkie Pie seemed content in glancing around the dining area and occasionally at the orange mare, her smile never once wavering. Why ain’t she talkin’? Ah’m glad for some quiet, but Pinkie not talkin’ isn’t very Pinkie...
“So...” Pinkie asked her question abruptly, while Applejack was taking a bite of her salad. “What were you going to do the rest of the day, Applejack?”
“Not sure yet,” the farmer replied through her mouth full of food. She swallowed it and added, “probably just go home and take a nap.”
Pinkie turned a sympathetic frown. “Didn’t sleep well?”
“Not with everythin’ that was happenin’ to Fluttershy.” The apple mare sighed. “And whatever sleep ah got didn’t feel like much anyway.”
“Hmmm... I don’t want to keep you from sleeping...” Pinkie wondered out loud.
“Was there somethin’ ya needed, Pinkie Pie?” The farmer asked. Despite Pinkie’s hyperactive nature, Applejack found herself more and more surprised by how much the baker could hide from everypony else.
“I just figured since you’ve been so nice to me that maybe we could do something fun together! Instead of, you know, you listening to me ramble on about everything wrong with me!” Pinkie finished wearing a grin that threatened leave her head in two halves.
“Uh-huh...” Applejack shrugged. “Well, Pinkie, if ya wanna ask me somethin’, go ahead. Yer mah friend, so ya shouldn’t worry about it.”
“If you say so!” Pinkie looked up to the farmer hopefully. “You wanna come over to Sugar Cube Corner later tonight?”
The apple mare raised an eyebrow. “Hang out?”
“Yeah!” The baker’s face shifted instantly from a smile to one of thought. “Well, actually, that isn’t the right word. What do you call it when you want to have a private evening with someone, maybe even share a meal?”
“A... meal?” Applejack paused. “Yer askin’ me over for dinner?”
“Yes!” Pinkie nodded to match her words.
“Well, uh, call me crazy, but... Rarity’d call that a date.”
“Yeah, that’s the word!” Pinkie’s face rushed up to meet the farmer’s, their noses bumping. “A date!” She pulled back and brought a hoof on top of her head. “I totally forgot what the word was, but yes! I’m asking you out on a date!”
Applejack blushed instantly. “P-Pinkie! Ya know that ya only ask somepony out on a date when ya think ya might like them... ya know that right?”
“Right! And you’ve been so nice to me lately that I figured I could do something nice to you!” Her mouth took the form of a large, toothy grin.
“No, Pinkie... a date is for somepony you think ya like
like... like Mr. and Mrs. Cake.”
Pinkie rubbed her chin in thought, and in a sudden jump, her eyes went wide. “OooooOOOOOOooooohhhh! That’s what Rarity meant.”
Applejack smacked a hoof to her forehead. Rarity tried to explain dates to her and she still didn’t get it? Guess ah can’t be surprised...
Pinkie nodded to herself vigorously. “Well... I think that still works!”
Applejack blinked. “What?”
“You see, I’ve also been thinking about how much fun it was to spend time with you, like yesterday morning!” Pinkie started motioning wildly with her hooves, clearly lost in her rambling. “It was really fun, and I figured that we could do that again because I really like having friends over and stuff but I think what happened yesterday totally showed me that maybe we could spend even more private time together and I realized that I really wanted to spend time with just you and that the date would be a perfect way to do that!”
Applejack’s jaw dropped. Pinkie continued again, not noticing the farmer’s frame of mind. “I could even return the favor for yesterday! It wouldn’t be fair if only I
got to talk, so like, you could tell me what’s going on with you, cause you’ve gotta have a lot on your mind with everything that’s going on, right?”
Applejack felt like her mind stalled. No no no... Pinkie... is she really askin’ me... out? She thinks she likes me? No, this can’t...
“Pinkie, are... are ya sure of this?”
The baker tilted her head. “What do you mean ‘am I sure?’”
“W-Well, ya know, ah’m a mare, Pinkie...”
“Oh, you’re worried about that?” Pinkie gave a dismissive wave. “I mean, I
don’t care what gender you are, but I guess
if you aren’t into that, that’s okay–”
Applejack shook her head vigorously. “N-No, Pinkie, that isn’t what ah meant.”
The pink mare tilted her head. “Then what did you mean?”
“Can...” Applejack swallowed her anxiety. “Can ah have a second to think? Ya don’t have to go or anythin’.”
Applejack looked up at Pinkie Pie, who seemed to be in that oblivious state again, looking at anything in her view that moved. The apple mare suspected that if this were any of her other friends asking her out, that they might be sad, worried, or anxious. She knew how much the rejection had hurt Rainbow Dash, as well as her argument with Applejack. The farmer, though, didn’t see those emotions in Pinkie’s eyes. Pinkie was just Pinkie – the same, silly, party pony that the orange mare had always known. And she just asked Applejack on a date. Ah guess she’s serious... but she’s just Pinkie. Shouldn’t she be nervous or somethin’? Askin’ somepony out isn’t just a little thing... well, maybe to her it is. Maybe she still doesn’t get it, though ah’d hope she ain’t
that dense... But can ah... date a mare?
The thought surprised the farmer, but then she came upon another realization. She wasn’t disgusted, upset, or concerned with that thought. The idea that Pinkie was a mare bore little weight in her mind, other than realizing that it wasn’t completely normal. No, her thoughts were about the fact that it was Ponyville’s premier party pony asking her out, not that she was a mare. Dating Pinkie... means seein’ her a lot. Alone. Am ah really somepony that... even wants to spend
all that time alone with her? She’s a hyperactive, unpredictable baker and ah’m just a simple, down-to-earth farmer.
Applejack rubbed her temples with her forehooves. Ah wonder if this is why ah never cared to see anypony before...
“Applejack?” Pinkie asked. Applejack looked up, realizing that she had been silent for a bit longer than she wanted. “If you don’t wanna date a mare, I totally understand–”
“No, that isn’t it Pinkie.” The baker stopped talking instantly, and Applejack sighed. “It’s just... a strange feelin’.” Applejack smiled. “Ah’m pretty confident that if ya asked me a few days ago, that ah’d have just said no.”
“Huh?” She tilted her head. Applejack was already starting to see that, if nothing else, spending time with Pinkie wouldn’t be boring.
“Before this whole fiasco... heck, ah probably wouldn’t have thought twice about sayin’ ‘sorry, not interested in mares,’ even though yer my friend. Ah woulda figured ya understood that ah wasn’t that way. Ah woulda figured that it ain’t no big deal. But ya know what?”
“What?” Asked Pinkie, following up exactly on queue.
“It is a big deal. Ah’d feel bad sayin’ no just because of somethin’ so stupid as yer gender, ‘specially after talkin’ to Dash so much. Ah seen how much just that rejection for so little reason hurts. So, ah am okay with it. Ah don’t care if yer a stallion or a mare or whatever. Yer mah friend, and that’s why ah’m gonna say that ah’d be glad to see ya tonight.”
“So you will!”
“Ah def–” The farmer was interrupted by the pink pony bringing her up in a powerful hug, lifting her out of her chair and into the air effortlessly.
“I promise that we’ll have tons of fun! Oh, I’ll make us a nice meal and we can play games gossip and talk and we can have a sleepover and–”
“Whoa, a sleepover?!” Applejack gently pushed the baker away. “I don’t... know about that, Pinkie...”
Despite her pink fur, the mare somehow found a way to blush bright red. “I-I don’t mean that!” Her face scrunched up with surprise and disgust. “Ewww...”
The farmer chuckled. “Ah don’t mean nothin’ by it.” Feeling that the conversation would be coming to a close, and that her exhaustion was catching up to her, Applejack got up from the table. She placed several bits on the table, enough for both the bill and tip, even though the waiter hadn’t returned yet. She left the restaurant at a comfortable walking pace, Pinkie Pie bouncing along beside her. “Ah’m gonna go home and check on Big Mac and everypony else. It’s been a while since ah’ve seen ‘em and ah never sent word about what ah was doin’. Should ah just come over tonight?”
“I, uh, hadn’t thought that far ahead yet!” Pinkie said, bouncing beside the farmer. “Can I come over and get you at seven? Is that okay? We’ll probably have to spend most of the night in my room, since the bakery stays open until around ten.”
“That sounds good Pinkie. It’s a date then.” Applejack winked at her pink friend. The action caused the baker to go into a giggle fit as she turned towards Sugar Cube Corner, starting her signature hopping-walk as she headed towards her home.
As Applejack watched her bounce off into the distance, then turned and started for home. Ah’m glad she’s happy. Ah get the feelin’ ah’m gonna be seein’ more of that happiness around here... soon this whole fiasco’ll be over and everythin’ can go back to normal.
The farmer started to feel blissful, inspite of everything going on. Is it right for me to be lookin’ forward to tonight when... when ah’m not sure ah’ll even like her? With all of this goin’ on with Fluttershy and Aile?
Applejack stopped walking for a second, and shook her head. No, of course it’s fine. I left her at Twilight’s for a reason. She can handle it much better than ah can. It can’t be healthy to be worryin’ about all of this for so long... ah gotta think of me for once.
The farmer blinked. Wow, that sounded selfish. But Pinkie... this date ain’t just a night of ‘hangin’ out’ as it were, and it sure ain’t just about me – it’s kinda serious. She may not have said it outright, but ah think she thinks that she really likes me – she doesn’t just decide she likes somepony more very often, since everypony is her friend. Goin’ on this date means that ah gotta think about if it’s okay that she does, and if ah can like her too. Can ah really do that? Can Pinkie be more than a friend?
The thought made her smile. -----
The sight of Sweet Apple Acres as Applejack crested a hill was more comforting than she could have imagined. She had only been gone a day, though with all that had happened, it felt like forever. The thought of seeing her brother, her sister, and her granny again gave her some sense of stability in the crazy world she had been living in the past few days.
She promptly walked past her house and looked to the apple orchard that expanded as far as the eye could see. Nearly every tree had the delicious red fruit on their branches, and the view gave her a sense of peace. At least the apples are the same...
“Applejack?” The mare turned to see her brother standing just outside the door to their home.
“Big Macintosh.” Applejack lowered her hat in greeting.
The red stallion walked over to her sister, matching her gaze as it glided over the orchard. “Ya didn’t come home last night, and ya didn’t send any word.”
“Sorry ‘bout that, somethin’ came up. Had to play body guard all night for Fluttershy.”
“Everythin’ all right?”
Applejack sighed. “Not in a manner of speakin’, but there ain’t much to be done about it.”
A few minutes of silence passed between the two of them, though it wasn’t awkward to the farmer – she and her brother had long been used simply sharing each other’s company in total silence. As rare as these moments were with her work and her friends, she savored these moments, since they were as relaxing to her as to somepony reading a book or taking a nap. She let her mind wander, mostly finding thoughts of Pinkie Pie and what kind of things to expect later that day.
She then realized that it was the first time either of them had ever had a date. Not wanting to keep the news to herself much longer, she said with an air of confidence, “ah have a date tonight.”
“That so?” Big Mac turned his head to his sister, a building smile on his face. “Mah ah ask who the lucky stallion is?”
“She ain’t no stallion Big Mac.” Applejack took in a giant breath to gather her resolve. “She’s Pinkie Pie.”
“Pinkie Pie?” The red stallion looked up in thought for few moments before continuing. “Are ya serious?”
“Why wouldn’t ah be serious about–”
“That’s twenty bits ah owe Braeburn now,” he said. “Guess he’s got ya pegged better than ah did.”
Applejack blinked. “Wait, ya, took a bet on... mah first date, or if ah liked mares?”
He nodded. “The latter. Oh well, ah’m happy for ya sis. About time somepony in this family started seein’ somepony else anyway.”
The orange mare looked to her brother with raised eyebrows. “So... ya don’t care that she’s a mare?”
“Don’t see why ah should. Ya can date whoever ya want, yer a big girl.” Big Mac stood up. In his turning around, he noticed that Applejack let out a big yawn. “Ya tired?”
“A might. Ah’m gonna take a little nap.”
“When ya headin’ out tonight?”
Applejack started walking towards her home, going up to her brother and keeping pace. “Pinkie said she’d come by around seven.”
“Ah’ll make sure ya don’t sleep in then.”
The orange mare paused at the entrance to her house and then turned to the Big Mac. “Yer almost always worried about me. When ah tried to get through Applebuck Season all on my own, when we went off to Canterlot to stop Discord, when–”
“A date ain’t somethin’ to get worked up over, sis. Ah worry about ya, but ah also know that ya can handle yerself.”
She nodded. “Thanks for worryin’ at least.”
“Eeyup. Now go get some rest. A night alone with Pinkie’s gonna take a lot of energy.”
Applejack frowned. That better not mean what ah think it means...