Wasn't expecting this, but I don't see why not. Might be kinda fun. I'll be by your place at 5 PM on Friday. Your friend already gave me the address.
See you then.
"Huh." Applejack continued to stare at the letter, unable to believe that the Wonderbolt had actually accepted her request. The earth pony honestly wasn't sure which surprised her more - the fact that Soarin' had agreed to the date, or that he still remembered who she even was. A quick peek at the calender showed that with the current day being Thursday, she only had one day to fully prepare, and the orange mare groaned as she looked back at the letter once more. "...Aw shoot."
She quickly opened one of the drawers on her nightstand and hastily stuffed the letter away, shoving the drawer shut as she walked over to her mirror. If she was going out on a date - with one of the Wonderbolts, no less - she needed to look her absolute best. Unfortunately, that meant dressing up in 'frou-frou stuff', something she utterly despised. With a huff, she grabbed her brush and undid her hair bands, steadily sweeping the teeth of the brush through her mane. As she worked, her thoughts continually shifted back to Twilight Sparkle and Big Macintosh - her brother had returned from his date with the unicorn just last night, but he had refused to speak of anything they had said or done. The red stallion normally didn't talk much anyways, so perhaps it was just his way of saying that things 'went well enough'.
Several loud thuds quickly drew Applejack's attention away from her own thoughts, and she glanced out towards the hallway, a frown upon her face as she sat the brush aside. "Apple Bloom, what did I tell ya about jumpin' up an' down on th' floors?"
"Oh. Right." The thuds stopped, but the filly's hooves still clattered along the floor as she ran to peek into her sister's room. "Sorry, sis. I'm jus' excited, is all. Macintosh got himself another date!"
"Another, huh?" Applejack did her best to feign interest on the subject, and gave a simple nod of the head in return. "Guess things went well enough with him an' Twi, then."
"Nope! Not with Twilight!"
The orange mare paused and slowly raised an eyebrow. "Not... with Twilight? Somethin' go wrong between him an' Twi?"
"Nuh uh." Apple Bloom shook her head furiously, grinning as she continued. "Only said that they had a lil' chat, an' that was it."
"Alright, so who th' hay does he have a date with now?" Applejack narrowed her eyes and peered at her sister, and the filly was quick to reply.
"Nurse Redheart! He went over to th' clinic earlier an' asked her, an' she said yes!"
"Redheart?" The orange earth pony rubbed a hoof against her chin as she thought it over, and in a way, it did make sense. Nurse Redheart was just a year or two older than Big Macintosh, and she had apparently stayed in the guest room while they were off on their journey for the fruit. It wasn't out of the question to think that both Redheart and Macintosh had spent extended periods of time with one another, and the white mare had done her best to care for the entire Apple family, as opposed to just Granny Smith - that was certainly an admirable trait in Applejack's eyes.
"Huh? Sorry, AB. Was doin' some thinkin'."
The filly raised an eyebrow at her sister, then quickly turned and walked off. "...adults are weird."
As Apple Bloom left, however, it gave Applejack more time to consider everything she had just been told, and such a thing probably wasn't for the best. She had set up the date with Soarin' as some form of childish revenge against her closest friend, but things between Twilight and Macintosh had apparently fallen through - if that were the case, then what was the point of the date anymore? With the date just a day away, however, it wasn't as if she could simply cancel it. She would have to simply go through with it anyways, and the earth pony sighed as she saw the mess her emotions had made.
"So, Applejack! Are you doing anything this Friday? ...No, no. Too vague."
Twilight Sparkle currently found herself standing in front of her mirror, practicing over and over for the perfect way to speak to Applejack. She had been doing this for hours now, and she would have missed lunch if Spike hadn't walked in to ask about it. Immediately afterwards, though, it was right back to practicing. This simply had to be perfect - Applejack was her closest friend after all, and considering what she was planning on telling the earth pony... anything less than perfection simply would not do.
"Hey, Applejack? Are you busy this weekend?" Twilight let out a groan and slowly shook her head. "Ugh, no. Still too vague. What was it Big Macintosh said again? 'Be subtle and ask if she wants to meet somewhere'?"
The unicorn thought back a bit further to everything they had discussed that evening, and she slapped a hoof against her forehead as she remembered her trump card- the meteor shower. Twilight Sparkle cleared her throat and stared at the mirror once more as she gave it another go. "Hey Applejack, there's gonna be a meteor shower this Friday, and I don't have anypony to go with me. Would you like to come?"
It was much better than her other attempts, but it still felt a bit 'off'. She took another breath and tried once more. "Hey AJ, there's gonna be a meteor shower this Friday... do you wanna come watch it with me?"
Perfect. It was the right balance between telling too little and telling too much, and it still got the message across clearly. There was something else she was curious about, however, and so Twilight remained in front of the mirror. She eyed herself, took another breath, and tried something else. "I love Applejack."
That much was certainly true, as she did indeed love Applejack - as a friend. She loved all of her friends. The lavender mare pushed past that thought, and began to think of Applejack as more than a friend, and of them as being more than friends. "I l-love..."
She couldn't even bring herself to finish the sentence, and her own furious blush betrayed her emotions. Twilight quickly brought her hooves to her face, rubbing her cheeks and letting out a sigh.
"You love what?"
Twilight let out a yelp and quickly turned around, laughing nervously as she spotted Spike. "Books! I love books! I thought that was obvious, right?"
"I'm just... gonna go nap some more. You keep doing that thing you're doing." The baby dragon stared at her for a moment, then slowly began to back away. As Spike waddled off to return to his bed, Twilight turned and looked at the mirror once more, staring at her reflection as she planned her next move.
Okay, so... definitely practiced. Just gotta ask.
And you're sure you want to do this?
And if she says no?
Then we'll still be friends. Nothing will change that.
With Spike asleep, now was the perfect opportunity to carry out the next part of her plan.
Next stop - Sweet Apple Acres.
As Celestia's sun began to make its slow evening descent, Applejack took the time to ask her brother about his apparent interest in Nurse Redheart, and the two of them had since retreated to the farmhouse. Their chores had already been taken care of anyways, and they had more than enough free time to allow such a discussion. The red stallion went into great detail, explaining the talks he and the nurse had while Applejack and Twilight were gone. Redheart had kept a very watchful and concerned eye upon the entire Apple family during Granny Smith's illness, and Big Macintosh had been no exception. The white mare had apparently woken herself up on several nights, just to keep the stallion company while he battled his own bouts of insomnia - such an act surprised the orange earth pony. Even after Granny Smith had been cured, Macintosh and Redheart had apparently stayed in touch with one another, and as Applejack now knew, it culminated with him asking the nurse out on a date.
Applejack slowly shook her head and chuckled as her brother finished up his story, and she could still scarcely believe it. "Well, shoot. Jus' like that, Macintosh?"
"Jus' like that. Went in during her break, asked her, an' she said yes."
"I'm awful happy for ya, Big Mac. Really." She smiled at her brother and gently patted his back. It wasn't a fib either - she was genuinely happy that her brother had managed to find somepony special for himself.
Macintosh, however, had something planned. He always had something planned, simply on account of who he was. "Funny of ya ta say that, AJ. Ya didn' seem none too pleased when Miss Twilight asked me out. Why's it different with me an' Nurse Redheart?"
"...Uhh, well. Ya see..." Applejack blinked and quickly found herself fumbling for the right words to use. She had been caught off-guard by that latest question, and it was painfully obvious. "It was 'cause... you asked Redheart out! Instead of... ya know, you gettin' asked out."
"What? Ya don' believe yer own sister?" The orange earth pony leaned over and stared her brother straight in the eye, and even seemed a bit irritated when he grinned in return.
"...not entirely, lil' sis."
"An' what th' hay is that supposed ta mean? Are ya tryin' ta say tha-" There was a knock at the door, and Applejack slipped out of her chair to answer it. As she opened up the door, she quickly found herself face-to-face with Twilight Sparkle, and the lavender mare was sporting a rather warm smile. "Oh, uh... hey Twilight. Wasn' really expectin' ya ta come over today."
Twilight giggled nervously at the mention of that, and from her spot within the doorway, she could spot Big Macintosh inside the home - the red stallion smiled upon catching sight of the unicorn, and she quickly returned it in kind. "Sorry for popping up unannounced, AJ. There's just... something I wanted to ask you."
"Alrighty, sugarcube. I'm listenin'."
At that moment, the full realization of what she was about to say dawned on Twilight, and she found herself growing increasingly more nervous. This wasn't Night Mare Moon, an Ursa Minor, or Discord - this was her closest friend, and though she shouldn't be afraid of simply speaking with Applejack, she was. It wasn't the fact that she was talking with Applejack, but rather, what she was going to be talking about. Subtle or not, it represented a very big leap for the unicorn, one that she still wasn't sure if she was quite ready to make. Sometimes, though, one has to make that leap of faith before they can truly discover what's worth living for, something she soon began to realize. Twilight stared at the precipice for a few fleeting moments, and then made her decision - she leaped.
"Well, there's... a meteor shower this Friday, and I was kinda wondering if you'd... wanna go with me?"
"Oh, uh... well, y'see..." Applejack sighed and quickly broke eye-contact with Twilight, absentmindedly rubbing a hoof on the back of her neck as she continued. "I... kinda got plans fer Friday already."
Twilight Sparkle's ears almost immediately flattened, and the unicorn began to slowly nod. "...Oh, that's... that's alright, Applejack. Knowing you, it's probably important."
The lavender mare had already begun to turn away and was preparing to leave when Applejack called out to her once more. "Twi, look... I ain't sayin' 'No'. Jus'... fer right now, it's a 'Maybe', alright? I dunno if I'll be able ta show up or not, but if I can, you bet I'll be there - no promises, though. Sound good?"
It wasn't quite the answer she was hoping for, but Twilight's ears perked up once more and she gave another nod before departing. "Alright. See you later, AJ."
As her friend slowly trotted off into the distance, Applejack retreated into the confines of the farmhouse once more, and slowly made her way up the stairs to her room. Big Macintosh watched her every step as she ascended the stairs, and as he heard her bedroom door click shut, he sighed and shook his head. Based upon body language alone, he already knew which emotion was first and foremost within his sister's heart.