Chapter 2: Who is that?
Before the storm
Most of the day had gone by as usual, Big Mac worked the fields, pulling the plow by himself, his big muscles flexing, relaxing and stretching as he worked his way through the dirt. One of Rainbow's favorite pass times was to watch him work, admire his muscles. Today however they were both busy, him with the farm and her with the weather team, so it seemed there was no lunch together or her laying on a branch and watching.
Not that he minded to much, his thoughts were occupied by worries of his sister. Big Mac may be the silent type, but he was not blind. He was pretty observant and no one knew his sisters better than him. Big Mac had hoped he would see Applejack at lunch, but she never showed, probably working away whatever worries she had. He only knew that because it was what he would do.
When the sun was setting, signaling the the end of today's work. Big Mac moved the plow into the barn and put away the last tools before he suddenly heard a loud smack. The sound was like a loud crack, like if Applejack had bucked a door open. Turning around he saw the barn doors had started to flap open and closed again. "Hm?"
He found it strange as Rainbow Dash had not mentioned anything about strong winds or rain, usually she would give them a heads up, did she forget? Trotting his way to the barn doors, he was about to close them securely when his eyes widened at the sight of the clouds quickly turning dark. He saw how they changed by themselves, no weather pony getting them ready for raining or anything!
His gut feeling told him something was very wrong, and he was quick to lock the doors to the barn from the outside before running towards the farm house. As he did so he felt the first drops of rain which was soon followed by the distant sounds of thunder.
"Granny!" He called out as soon as he slammed open the door.
"Hold yer hoofs dearie, ah am just fine." the older mare said from her rocking chair. "Apple Bloom and her friends are upstairs."
Big Mac sighed relieved, but then looked outside. "What about Applejack Granny?"
Now Granny Smith was frowning. "I thought she was with you?" Big Mac shook his head and turned towards the door, but Granny was quick to call him. "Now hold on there young'n, the storm is gonna get worse. If you get on out there then you be in danger."
"But Granny, Applejack is out there!" he protested, but he could already hear the rain suddenly pour down along with the strong wind. "Ah cannot leave her out there!"
Granny Smith gave him a look that told him this was the end of the discussion. As much as he hated admitting it, there was nothing he could do, she could be anywhere out there in the fields and they might both get hurt, or Applejack might have sought shelter making his attempts useless.
None of them liked it and both of them were worried...
Big Mac was like glued to the window, trying to look out and see if he could spot anypony out there! Applejack or Rainbow, he did not like how this storm looked and he hated to think about the two of them out there in this weather with him powerless to help them.
Suddenly the rain started to die down, the clouds were starting the scatter and then finally, he saw his sister. "Granny! It's Applejack!" He ran to the door and almost bucked it open. "Applejack!" He called out and noticed the stranger. He had seen him before out the window, but it was like it was only now registering in his mind his sister was being carried by a strange stallion.
Big Mac hurried towards them, but suddenly the stallion fell over and Applejack landed in the mud in front of him. "Ouf!" She grunted as she landed.
"Aj! Are ya alright?" he asked with his worried expression.
"Ah..." She looked up at him and then at the stranger. "Ah am alright... He saved my flank out there.." She replied before standing up, her legs were shaking a little, but she was not hurt, at least she did not seem like it.
A voice called out and both ponies looked up into the air and saw Rainbow Dash speeding towards them, her rainbow trail following her as she was moving with great haste. Big Mac took a step back as her speed worried him, for a moment it looked like she was gonna crash into him. However she managed to land right in front of him and push herself into him. "You're alright.." She let out a relieved sigh and nuzzled up against his neck.
Big Mac returned the affection moving his front leg up on her mane to sooth her. "There there surgarcube, ah am alright.." Normally Rainbow was not one to show this kind of worry and affection in public, but she had gotten used to it when she was here on the farm.
She pulled away and looked at Applejack relieved to see her friend was not hurt as well, but then her eyes fell on the buff stallion in the mud. "What happened here? Who's he?"
Applejack shook her head. "Ah got no idea, but he saved me from the storm.."
"We should bring him inside." Big Mac said and moved over to the orange stallion to get him up on his back, but as soon as he tried he felt how heavy the stallion was. "Horse apples.." He grunted after two tries. "This here stallion weighs more than me"
"Well big guy." Rainbow cut in and moved over to the stallion in the mud. "I think this might have something to do with it." she moved some of the green tunic down his neck revealing a shiny metal shirt. The three of them leaned closer to inspect it, looked like some kind of armor. Instead of metal plates it looked like tiny metal rings that had been locked together to form a shirt.
"Chainmail?" Big Mac said in almost a gasp. He could not help being a little impressed and suspicious. "Ya tellin me he carried you from the fields to here in heavy winds and rains, wearing that?"
Applejack looked at her brother. "You saw it yourself." She pointed out.
"Eeyup, just hard to believe that's all." He said knowing his sister would not lie, it was just crazy to think about. "Ah think you better tell us what happened once we get this fella inside."
With some effort Big Mac had managed to get the big stallion into the house. The rest of the apple family was shocked to see the big stallion, but soon made way for him to be brought to the guest room. They removed the tunic and the chainmail from his body and placed him in the bed, for now the dirt of the mud did not matter as he seemed to need rest.
With that finally out of the way the apple family, Rainbow Dash and the cutie mark crusaders gathered in the living room to go over the events of the storm. Rainbow Dash explained that no storm had been on the schedule and they simply lost control. The clouds had suddenly multiplied at a rapid speed and turned dark all on their own, they had no control no matter how much they fought it.
Big Mac told how he saw the wind pick up, how the clouds had seemed to gather and pretty much corroborated Rainbow's story.
Then it was Applejack's turn, at first she was silent, it was not like her, but she did not know how to explain it. Taking a sip of the hot coco Granny Smith had brought in for them she took a deep breath and began. She told them about how she had been so focused on work she never noticed the sky changing. She told them about her going home, about the tree and how she was trapped under it with no way of escaping.
The CMC was sitting very close, holding their breaths as they waited for her to continue. Then she told them when that strange stallion had appeared, lifting the tree like it was nothing, it was just an apple tree, but it was still not an easy feet under the circumstances.
A silence filled the room after her story had concluded, leaving them all to soak in all they had heard today. "Well maybe he had something to do with the storm." Rainbow Dash suddenly said from her spot beside Big Mac in the couch.
All turned to her. "What?" Applejack raised an eyebrow. "He saved me and-."
Rainbow Dash cut in. "Hey i ain't saying he's a bad pony or anything, though it is strange. He shows up at the exact moment of the storm?"
She had a point and they all knew it, Big Mac had already gone over this possibility in his head, but how would he have been able to create a-. "Uhm!" Scootaloo raised her hoof looking at Rainbow Dash. "But i thought only pegasi could manipulate the weather..?"
Sweetie Belle nodded. "He's not a unicorn either!" she added.
Silence filled the room again as that was the gab in Rainbow Dash's assumption, by all accounts the stallion looked like a regular earth pony. Finally Granny Smith broke the silence. "all ya youngsters are so worry looking.. All ah know is that he saved ma granddaughter, that is all ah need to know for now."
Big Mac still had his doubts, but Granny was right, he had been the one to save his little sister, so being involved or not he did the right thing. That meant they owed him. "Well ah say we wait until he wakes up, he cannot give us any answers right now."
They all agreed to wait until morning, even so Applejack still felt restless even though her body was exhausted. She let out a sigh knowing full well it was no use thinking about it now, she would not be able to get any answers before tomorrow.
After a quick dinner Applejack had taken a loooooong shower, earning her a few annoyed whines from Rainbow Dash that was getting impatient. She was finally in her bed, thinking she would fall asleep with ease....She didn't..
Normally after a long day of work she would have no problems falling straight to sleep, but tonight that did not seem to be the case. She kept turning under the sheets, trying to find a better position, but her mind was fully awake. "Erghmm.." She groaned annoyed and getting more frustrated by the minute.
The same image came to her mind, the same tornado of feelings, the fear.. Then suddenly him standing over her, his blonde mane flowing in the wind, his muscular body not moving an inch in the storm, his-
She felt her face grow hotter. "Arghh, sweet soaking biscuits!" she finally got out of bed and trotted out of her room and into the hallway.
She noticed there was no light coming from under the other doors or any sound to be heard. The other had to be asleep, which meant it was past midnight, well at least that was her guess. Applejack knew the reason why she was so bothered, who was this colt? Why was he here? How could he lift that tree in the storm? As she was going over all the unanswered questions she hardly noticed she was making her way down to his room.
It took her five seconds to notice she was standing in front of his door, she let out a frustrated sigh knowing she would not be getting any answers tonight, so why did she feel the need to go in there?! At any rate it was no use standing out in the hallway thinking about that, so she opened the door and stepped inside.
Everything was as she expected to find it, the guest room with it's single bed and small dresser, a recliner in the corner. The apple themed curtain in the window and the few random pictures here and there, not to forget the massive stallion in the bed, snoring.. The light from Luna's moon was making it's way through the window, shining it's silver light upon the stranger, revealing his messy face.
Something compelled her to move closer, to look at him. When she came to the edge of the bed she looked at his muddy face, the mud had of course dried now and stuck to his fur. He was quite handsome, well fit and strong, his muscles were clear. She could swear he was as big or maybe even a little bigger than Big Mac, but she did conclude they were about the same size.
Letting out another sigh she felt stupid for coming in here, there was no point to it since he was not awake yet. However, that being said she did start to feel herself relax now. She made her way to the recliner, not really wanting to leave she got comfortable and soon drifted off into a deep sleep.
Like the day before Celestia's morning sun was cutting through the night sky like sharp knives, it's rays even reaching through the window hitting Applejack in the face. "Mmmmh...." She groaned, moving her hoof over her eyes until she finally yawned and opened them. "...hm..?" She was not in her room?
Then everything came back to her, the strange storm, the tree, her mysterious rescuer. Looking over to the bed she could tell he was still there, having apparently not moved one inch during the night. She got out of the recliner and trotted over. "Still tuckered out big guy..?" She asked in a long yawn, not expecting a reply.
Now she had a better view of him, there was no confusing storm, no darkness, just the natural light. Once again she was struck with how handsome he looked and she found herself staring at his features. This time she did not deny herself that pleasure, it was only fair after all, he saved her, so he deserved to be admired for a few seconds!
She smiled to herself. "Well ah cannot deny you're handsome sugarcube."
His eye shot open, looking at her and her eyes widened.