(PSA: Forgive me, I'm too busy/lazy to edit this entire story, but this message is for the stickler readers. The writing style between this story and the sequel is VASTLY different. Plot still fits and is still enticing though! So if you find this one to be too "simple", don't fret! The sequel is still my writing but completely revamped! Enjoy! )
“Lovely… lovely… blech, horrid…lovely…” Rarity said as she analyzed each individual apple before gently setting it in the bucket with her magic. The fastidious unicorn squinted as she plucked the next apple from the tree and studied it carefully.
“Hmmm, nice and plump, dazzling green hue.” she said while the apple levitated in front of her. Rarity rotated it slowly, eyeing the fruit carefully for any imperfections. As the apple was close to making a full 360, her eye caught a small bruise at the very top near the stem.
“Ah HA!” the white unicorn exclaimed as she shook her head disappointingly before casting the fruit aside. It rolled right in front of a nearby Applejack who came to check up on Rarity’s progress. The orange pony looked down at what appeared to be a perfectly fine apple. She raised an eyebrow and gave an annoyed sigh as she walked over to discover the unicorn barely had a bucket-full.
“Rarity! What in tarnation have ya’ll been doing this whole time?”
“I’m carefully inspecting each of these apples to make sure they are perfect like you asked.” Rarity replied not breaking her focus as she slowly spun another apple in front of her. Applejack slapped the levitating apple out of the air and into the bucket. Rarity gave the earth pony an offended stare.
“I wasn’t done with that one yet! Rude…”
“Rarity! Ah done told ya’ll just to get the apples out of the trees! We can check for the gooduns later! For Celestia’s sake, we been out here fer three hours and all ya’ll got is a half a bucket full of apples!?”
“Well forgive me for trying to make sure YOU have the very best apples so that YOUR family can stay in business! Hmph!”
“We’ll be as old as Granny Smith before ya even get through one apple tree!” Applejack exclaimed. “And yer not even puttin’ in all the good apples!” she said as she picked up Rarity’s most recent reject.
“Applejack, darling, surely even you can see that bruise. It’s quite unbecoming.”
Applejack had to squint to see what the finicky unicorn was talking about. Then she noticed it; a brown spot not even as big as one of her white freckles. She cast an aggravated looked at Rarity and clenched her teeth as she tried to hold back her anger. The hard working earth pony had already put in three times the amount of effort she normally would because she figured the unicorn wouldn’t be much help; but this was absolutely ridiculous.
“Yer tellin’ me, this teeny tiny, eensy weensy, spot makes ya’ll think this is a rotten apple? Yer just plum crazy if ya’ll think this here apple ain’t useful!” Applejack calmly retorted as she tossed it in the bucket receiving a glare from the purple maned horse as she did so.
“You know, for somepony who requested my help, you’re being awfully critical.”
Rarity was beginning to get highly annoyed. For once, she didn’t have any clients clamoring for her designs or any ponies pestering her for outfit alterations. Not that she minded, but it was nice to finally have a day off and her idea of enjoying it wasn’t getting reprimanded by a southern bred brute especially after she so generously agreed to help with a job that was clearly didn’t compliment her talents.
“Trust me if ah could’ve found any other pony available ah woulda, but the prissy princess was the only one with a free schedule.”
“Prissy princess?” Rarity gasped.
“Ah didn’t stutter, why ah bet ya’ll can’t even knock one single apple off one of these here trees without usin’ magic.” Applejack said before trotting up to a tree and kicking it with her back legs causing all the apples to fall in her buckets.
“I could so!” Rarity exclaimed.
“Oh yeah? Prove it!” Applejack retorted.
Rarity gritted her teeth then raised her head upright. She refused to be swayed by such childish remarks.
“Hmf, I do not have to sit here and be verbally abused. I would’ve thought you would be thankful that I even decided to help.”
“Yeah, some help you been alright, ah was better off by myself. What was ah thinkin’ askin a pony who’s incapable of doing any kinda physical labor?” Applejack said with a smug smile trying to get a rise out of her finicky friend. She figured if Rarity wasn’t going to be of any help work wise, her frustration could at least be used as a form of entertainment.
“I could buck these trees just as well as you can!” the unicorn roared overconfidently. She just about had it with the earth pony’s cynicism. Rarity knew she was highly capable of performing the task of “apple bucking” she just found it pointless to exert such high energy over responsibilities that were not her own. At least, that’s what she justified to herself.
Applejack grinned then stepped to the side; she stuck out her foreleg and presented a sizeable tree full of ripe luscious apples.
“Fine! You want to see me buck?” the unicorn snorted as she walked to the tree. She turned around eyeing it carefully and then positioned herself in the manner at which she was used to seeing Applejack.
“Well how do you like THESE APPLES?!” Rarity screamed as she shoved her back legs into the tree with all her might. The shrub didn’t move a bit. She gasped; she put all her strength into that kick and she was no weak pony. Granted she wasn’t nearly as strong as the orange equine but at least one apple should’ve fallen. She heard Applejack snicker. The elegant white horse glared and gave the tree another nice kick. Nothing; the leaves didn’t even rustle. The unicorn growled in frustration and started pounding the tree furiously with all the strength her back legs could muster, determined to prove herself. Applejack tumbled over with laughter. After about five minutes of consistent bucking in attempts to prove a point, to no avail, Rarity was on her back panting from exhaustion. The orange pony wiped a tear from her eye and then stood over her friend.
“Not so tough after all are ya?”
“I’ll show you tough!”
She leapt up and tackled Applejack, they rolled around for a while, each trying to pin each the other. The earth pony clearly had the upper advantage in physical strength, but the unicorn was putting up a decent fight. Eventually, after minutes of pony scuffling Rarity ended up on top of Applejack.
“Whoo doggy! I got a hand it to ya…you sure got some fight in ya Rarity!” Applejack said catching her breath. She was quite impressed at the white pony’s hidden toughness. Although had Applejack not used up most of her energy for the past three hours knocking apples out of trees, she knew she would’ve easily pinned Rarity with not so much as an elevated heartbeat.
“I…told…you!” Rarity said in-between gasps. The unicorn took the moment to bask in her physical accomplishment. As Rarity contemplated throwing a smug smile and a few condescending insults, she noticed Applejack’s hairband had snapped off. She raised a brow at the earth pony’s free falling mane. It was rather astonishing, a thing of beauty. Blonde flowing strands of hair lay daintily upon her shoulders in a way Rarity had never seen before. She shook her head. A chill ran down her spine. She had seen Applejack’s hair out before, granted it was from the back while putting curlers in at Twilight Sparkle’s first sleep over and another time to prepare for the Grand Galloping Gala, but this was the first time she ever truly noticed how beautiful Applejack’s mane was. She was gorgeous.
“Ya’ll alright Rarity?”
“I…um…yes…” Rarity said letting her up. A weird sinking feeling in her stomach started to overwhelm her.
“Applejack, darling, um…how come you never wear your mane out like this more often?”
“Easier to get things done ‘round the farm when it’s in a ponytail I reckon.” the earth pony said. She observed her unicorn friend and stifled a laugh.
“Ah like the look, is that fer yer western fashion line?” Applejack chortled. Rarity gave the orange pony a confused look before she realized that Applejack’s hat was on her head which made her giggle.
“Oh…my…I must look rather silly.”
“I beg to differ, it actually looks kinda good on ya, why I’d fancy you’d make a darn good-looking rodeo gal!”
Rarity blushed at the kind-hearted pony’s compliment and then looked again at her and her free flowing blonde mane. It was as if she was a different pony. She looked so much more feminine than her usual tomboyish demeanor. It was as if Rarity was truly taking her in for the first time; her gorgeous orange coat, her stunningly beautiful green eyes, her cute white freckles and of course that loveable accent all tied together with her beautiful blonde mane, usually kept in a ponytail, which was now cascading gently down her neck and giving off the most alluring fragrance. She was truly stunning. The feeling in her stomach intensified, the pace of her heart matching the speed of twenty trotting colts. She leaned in slowly; drinking in the earth pony’s scent. It was astonishing, she became light headed; a trifle floaty. She felt her insides quiver and her heart melt. She had never felt anything like this before. Reality hit her two seconds later as Rarity snapped out of her trance. Seeing the bewildered look on the earth pony’s face only confirmed that what happened was not in any way a dream. Did she just…? The unicorn stepped away covering her mouth with one hoof while Applejack’s hung open; too stunned to make a sound. About five more seconds passed before the orange mare was able to utter her first word.
“Oh look at the time! Rarity suddenly cried. “IdobelieveIhaveaclientcomingintodayandIhaventevenbeguntostartworkingonherorder!” I should get going! Bye Applejack!” Rarity said as she dashed off at breakneck speed leaving Applejack’s hat behind.
“Rarity! Wai-uh…” Applejack called, but it was no use. That was the first time she could’ve sworn she’d seen anypony move faster than Rainbow Dash. Applejack sat down, picked up her hat and scratched her head too stunned to even think.
“What in the hay just happened?”