The sun shone brightly on another day in Ponyville, where everyone was going about their business.
Pinkie Pie was bouncing about town, delivering invitations (and the occasional cupcake).
Rarity was working on another dress for a client, sewing on more jewels to make it (in her words) “utterly fabulous, darling!”
Fluttershy had taken it upon herself to help a family of squirrels move their stash of food from inside the tree on the right side of the road to the tree on the left side of the road.
Rainbow Dash was somewhere in the clouds, but with her lightning speed, no one could be really sure what she was doing and where she was doing it.
Applejack was setting up shop near Twilight Sparkle’s library, putting all the freshly-made apple treats on display. The sweet smell of the delicious wares of Sweet Apple Acres floated up and through the window to tickle Twilight’s nose.
The purple pony looked up from the book she was reading. Once she realized what she smelled, she quickly stood up and made a run for the door, using her magic to slip on her saddlebags.
“Howdy there, Twilight!” Applejack called out once she saw her friend trotting towards her store.
“Hi, Applejack!” Twilight greeted back. “Could I have some of those delicious apple fritters?”
“Sure thing, sugarcube. How many do ya want this time?” The orange pony grinned. Once she had set up shop near the library, Twilight had bought apple fritters from her every single day. The filly had certainly developed a taste for the sweet apple fritters from Sweet Apple Acres.
Twilight let out a nervous chuckle. “Two dozen?”
Applejack blinked, stopping right in the middle of wrapping one apple fritter. “What was that?”
“Uh… About two dozen?” Twilight gave her friend a nervous grin. “Y’know, I figured I always buy one a day from you. I figured maybe it would be more economical if I bought them from you in bulk. There’s also the fact that I’ve got a friend coming over for tea later today and I really wanted to show them some of what Ponyville has to offer,” she quickly said in one breath. “And I really like your apple fritters,” she added.
The orange pony laughed. “Why thank ya kindly, sugarcube,” she said with a smile. “We got ourselves a problem here, though.”
“What’s that, Applejack?”
“I didn’t bring two dozen apple fritters with me today,” she replied. “I’ve only got a handful, to tell ya the truth. Sorry ‘bout that, Twi,” she said, an apologetic look on her face.
“Oh,” Twilight said, her shoulders drooping slightly. “I was kinda hoping I could send my friend off with a basket of apple fritters. I’ll just buy however many you have right now, I guess,” she said, a half-hearted chuckle coming out of her mouth.
Applejack sighed and gave her friend a smile. “Tell ya what. Come by the farm after lunch. I’ll have a fresh batch of apple fritters cooked up just for you!”
“Thanks, Applejack!” Twilight said as she used her magic to float the apple fritters into her saddlebags, as well as drop the right number of coins into the bucket sitting on the apple cart. “I guess I’ll see you then!”
As she watched her friend return to her library, Applejack let out a chuckle. “Better let the big man on the farm know about our special order…”
“So can ya do it?” Applejack asked her older brother, who was currently decked in a frilly pink apron and in the middle of washing all the bowls, pots, pans, spoons and kitchen stuff that had been used this morning.
“Did you just say two dozen apple fritters?” Big Macintosh asked, giving his sister a confused look. The orange pony held in her laughter at the sight of her big and burly older brother wearing an apron usually reserved for her.
“Yep! Two dozen apple fritters!” she replied, nodding her head vigorously. “That’s what the customer ordered! I promised they could pick them up after lunch, and it’s almost lunch!” She cocked her head towards the clock on the wall. “You wouldn’t wanna let me break a promise, would ya?” She looked at him with those big green eyes, employing an expression that Big Mac had no way of fighting off.
“I guess I could make ‘em,” he finally told her and gave his sister a smile. “Lemme just give ya this apron,” he began, moving to slip the pink and frilly thing off.
“No!” Applejack nearly shouted, hiding a snicker. “It looks better on you anyway, big brother.”
Big Macintosh let out a sigh and chuckled. “Whatever you say, AJ.”
After mixing several batches of batter (and cleaning up a mess courtesy of the Cutie Mark Crusaders), the two dozen apple fritters that the customer ordered were all packaged and ready to go, sitting on the counter in the Apple family’s kitchen. Applejack had left with the Cutie Mark Crusaders and had left Big Mac to do most of the cooking, something that he didn’t actually mind doing.
He had been keen on learning how to cook, and had started off by helping his sister make apple pie. Eventually, he had found that he was actually quite good at making apple fritters, and that cooking was actually a good way of relaxing after a day of working in the field. Eventually, he had even started helping Applejack with making their apple treats to sell at Ponyville.
He was broken out of his thoughts by someone calling from the front door.
He immediately recognized the voice of Twilight Sparkle and his eyes widened. He had always seen her when she visited Applejack on the farm, and remembered that one time she had helped them during Applebuck season. But he had never really spoken to her at length, as the quiet colt had never really worked up the nerve.
“Hello?” Twilight Sparkle repeated. “Applejack? Are you in here?” He heard her entering the house and quickly made his way to the doorway of the kitchen.
“H-Howdy,” he managed to stammer out. It was a step up from his usual “hi” to her, especially since looking at the pretty librarian filly had the effect of taking away his voice.
Twilight’s eyes widened at the sight of the bright red colt. “Oh! Big Macintosh!” she said, her voice suddenly a high-pitched squeak. “I didn’t expect to see you here,” she quickly said, a nervous chuckle punctuating the end of her statement. “Of course, why wouldn’t you be here? It’s your house after all. Then again, I always see you out in the fields. So I guess I didn’t… Really… Uhm, expect to see you here,” she finished, her awkward ramble quickly turning into an awkward whisper.
There was a few seconds of silence before Big Macintosh finally broke it with a cough. “Did ya come here to see Applejack?” he asked her, trying to stare at anything in the room but the purple unicorn.
“I came to… Uhm, pick up my order,” she quickly replied, also trying hard not to make eye contact.
“You ordered two dozen apple fritters?” he asked, more of a statement than a question, raising an eyebrow in slight surprise.
She nodded, her purple mane bouncing along with the action. “I… I’ve got a friend coming over later and I wanted to introduce them to some of the local fare,” she began. “I also wanted to make sure to send them off with some of the best apple fritters I’ve ever tasted…”
Big Mac felt a little surge of pride when he heard her words, and a smile appeared on his face. “Ya really think so?”
She nodded again. “Yes! I mean, they’re not too sweet. They’re not bland either. They go great with a hot cup of tea. I’ve bought one from your sister every single day ever since she moved her cart near my library about two weeks ago.”
The colt’s eyebrows lifted slightly. Two weeks ago was when he took over making apple fritters for their apple cart. Obviously, Twilight had taken a shine to them and hearing the filly he was interested in praise them made that little surge of pride grow exponentially.
“Well, they’re all ready for ya right here,” he told her and led her to the kitchen. A little plate of apple fritter ‘scraps’ was sitting on the counter, and he saw how her eyes lit up when she saw them. The colt could not help but blush at the sight.
“Thank you!” she told him and levitated the two packages of apple fritters into her saddlebags with a smile. “I’m sure they’ll be delicious, as always.” She put the right amount of coins on the counter and finally looked up at Big Mac. “So… I guess that’s all for me. I’ll see you around.”
Big Mac gestured towards the little plate holding the ‘scraps’ of apple fritters, which were just smaller fritters made with leftover ingredients. “D’ya want some?” he offered.
Twilight pondered his offer for a few seconds. “Well, maybe just one…” She levitated a small piece into her mouth and ate it. “Delicious!” she exclaimed, her eyes lighting up.
“Thank ya kindly, Twilight. I was afraid I’d put too much sugar in that batch,” he told her.
It took her a few more seconds to process what he had just said, a few seconds of her staring at him with a look of surprise. He chuckled.
“You make these?!” she practically shouted, her purple eyes wide.
Big Mac gave a shrug of his shoulders. “Well, my sister ain’t the only one in the family who can cook around here… And just ‘cause I’m a colt don’t mean I don’t cook,” he told her. Her look of disbelief quickly dissolved and she let out a laugh.
“Good point,” she replied, along with a nervous chuckle. There were a few seconds of awkward silence again, but this time they were broken by Twilight. “You make really delicious apple fritters, Big Macintosh,” she said and nudged him with her hoof.
“Glad you like ‘em, sugarcube,” he replied, using the nickname his sister always used. That seemed to have an odd effect on her, as she quickly looked away and brushed past him, determined to hide her quickly-reddening face from the colt.
She coughed. “Well, I should get back to the library… Gotta make sure it’s presentable for my guest later,” she told him.
“See ya around, Twilight Sparkle,” he said as they walked towards the front door.
“Bye, Big Macintosh!” she replied and walked down the path leading to Ponyville. “Oh!” She looked over her shoulder. “And, Big Mac?”
She giggled. “Cute apron.”