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Chapter 1: Premiers Symptômes (First Symptoms)
It was a pleasant day in Ponyville. While most of the ponies were out enjoying the warmth from Princess Celestia's sun, one purple maned unicorn was working in her shop. Using her magic, she was forming beautiful gowns and dresses for her clients. A ringing of the doorbell interrupted her work.
Pausing in her work, Rarity trotted out of her workroom and down the stairs. "I wonder who that could be?" she asked herself as she arrived at the door. Opening the door, she quoted her usual sells pitch to her customers. "Welcome to the Carousel Boutique, home of the finest dresses in Ponyville!"
On the other side of the door were two familiar faces to the white unicorn. It was Applejack and her older brother Big Macintosh "Howdy there, Rarity!" the orange mare spoke, "Thought ah'd come by and pick up mah dress today."
Rarity smiled to her friend, "Ah, Applejack! Yes, come on in, I just finished it last night. I do need you to try it on, if that's alright, dear." She quickly turned and headed to the back of her shop.
"Ain't a problem in the least," Applejack commented as she entered the shop with her brother. Big Mac was looking around the shop, feeling slightly out of place.
Rarity returned with a green and red dress that was being carried by her magic, "Here it is. Now I just need to have you put it on to double check for any fitting problems."
"Right, lemme take care of that now," Applejack said placing her hoof out.
Rarity gave a puzzled look, "Um, won't you need help, dahling?"
Applejack scoffed, "Nah, ah'm a big pony. I don't need no help. Just hand it here."
Rarity was still a bit unsure about having Applejack put the dress on herself, but gave in. The earth pony was off to change in a different room, leaving Rarity alone with Big Mac. An awkward silence was growing between them. Rarity could tell Big Mac was feeling uneasy for being in her shop, so she thought she could ease the situation for him by chatting.
"So, Applejack dragged you over here, did she?" Rarity asked with a small smile, hoping to have the colt relax.
"Eeyup," Big Mac replied, "she wants me ta make sure the dress will work fer her trip ta Manehatten in a few weeks."
"Oh, what's the occasion, if I may ask?" Rarity inquired.
"She wants a formal type of clothin' fer when she visits our relatives. After last time, she thinks it would be good to have just in case." Big Mac stated.
Rarity nodded, "Oh, I see."
The silence returned. Applejack still was in the process of putting on her dress and the other two were still plagued with awkward situation.
"Well, I guess while we wait, I could finally move some of that furniture upstairs." Rarity stated. While she really didn't want to be rude about doing such when there was company, she felt it was at least something productive.
"Do you need some help, Miss Rarity?" Big Mac asked in his low voice.
Rarity's ears perked up when she heard what he had asked. She wouldn't of thought that he would offer to assist. "Oh, you really don't have to, dear." she stated.
"Ah don't mind at all," the red colt replied.
"Well, if you insist. Thank you for offering," the unicorn smiled shyly. Rarity then began up the staircase with Big Mac following behind her.
They arrived at her workroom, which was a slight mess from her working that morning. Placing a hoof over her mouth, she thought about where exactly she wanted the furniture. Big Mac stood to the side in silence, awaiting the unicorn's words.
"Hmm," Rarity began, "I think I want my work table that's in the center against the far wall and against the window. And then the tables near the door would look lovely to the right wall. I think that would open the room up quite a bit. What do you think, Big Mac?"
The stallion nodded, "Ah think it would be mighty fine, Miss Rarity. Shall I move them for you?"
"Oh, yes please, Big Mac!" Rarity replied. Big Mac went right to work and pushed the tables to where Rarity had suggested. Watching him, the unicorn's face turned a slight pink. She had never seen a stallion act like such a gentlecolt before. In fact, the only time she knew of anypony behaving like Big Mac were in old tales of chivalry and courtesy of knights to princesses and damsels in distress. Then a colt came to mind that she thought had those qualities: Prince Blueblood. Just his name was enough to annoy Rarity. But before she could do anything, Rarity realized that Big Mac had the qualities that she had always wanted in somepony special. She quickly shook her head of all her thoughts and returned to reality. She saw Big Mac push the last desk into place.
"All done, Miss Rarity," Big Mac smiled warmly the unicorn.
"Oh, thank you so much, dahling!" Rarity said happily to the red colt.
"Not a problem."
The two returned downstairs to find Applejack standing alone and annoyed with her dress upon her back, waiting for the Rarity and her brother to return, "Ah knew if ah waited long enough, the two of ya would return."
"Oh dear, Applejack! I'm so sorry. Big Mac was helping move some furniture around upstairs," Rarity seemed very embarrassed.
"Ah, don'cha worry about it none, Rarity. Anyway, the dress fits quite fine and it seems to be perfect fer Manehatten in a few weeks," Applejack commented happily.
"Oh, wonderful dahling!" Rarity chimed.
"Thanks a whole bunch, Rarity. Well, we best get back to the farm now. See ya later!" Applejack raised a hoof to waive to her friend as she headed toward the door.
"Yes, see you soon, Applejack. And thank you again for your help, Big Mac!" Rarity waived good back to the two ponies exited the shop.
Big Mac smiled and nodded toward the white unicorn, "Of course, Miss Rarity."
After they had left. Rarity took a deep sigh and quietly asked herself a rhetorical question, "Am I feeling the symptoms of love for Applejack's brother?"