An Orchard of Apples

by DivineGlory

Slumber Party: Take Two

“Ah' can ask Rarity out again, right?” Applejack smiled as she read the letter, her hooves passing it to her brother. They had examined the novels, memorising everything Rarity would watch out for, from the three-day rule to details for ordering and payment.

“Eeyup.” His tones sounded a bit higher than the usual muffle.

“So Ah' go there, just talk to her? Or should Ah' go straight for the date?”

“The latter.” Big Mac tapped his beige hoof on Trotita.

Applejack nodded. “Wish me luck.”

The park’s trees would rustle in an oncoming storm, but not Rainbow Dash’s. It would be Rarity’s storm, that of anger and heartbreak among sheer beauty. Time would bow down to her slowing heartbeat, passers-by frozen in their paths, Applejack locking eyes. Rarity would encroach on the farmer, left defenseless against a whirlwind of fashion, and she would start “How dare you!” Applejack's scent would only indicate her presence, and it would die under what words came next. “You didn't call.” Applejack would become the coldest bystander, every muscle locked in its place by the fashionista. “You kissed me. Kissed me. And you’re not going to show your face? Not even going to drop by and say ‘sorry, Rarity’? I decided I wasn't too happy with that moonlighted kiss. You aren’t my marefriend anymore! I am not a doll you can play with one time and toss out!

Rarity had spent an entire morning scheming, but her mind let off sparks when her target came into view. Why am I such a drama queen? I need to think more clearly... like Twilight. She lost control of her body and eyes. Sweet Celestia, what should my next move be?

Applejack came up and smiled. “Hello Rarity, how ya doin’?” Chirping birds. “Ah' just wantin’ ta know if... you want a second date?” Rarity nodded, trying to pull her jaw up, when somepony called out from the clouds.

“You ponies going to work, or just stand there?”

“Sorry, Flitter.” Both ponies on the ground went to shake branches off a large tree.

Applejack turned to Rarity after a few minutes. “Why'd you seem all surprised ah' asked you?” Her mouth wobbled, but she kept her cool. “Cuz it hasn't been three days?”

Rarity's eyelids jumped. The whole thing’s been foreordained! Rarity, stop overreacting! One day itll ruin your relationships! She giggled to herself with drooping eyes. It’s always easier without the drama.

They toiled away at their sections, both side’s musings broken by momentary glances and blushes. Rain clouds hung over them, but they weren’t hurried, instead smiling at their romantic reconciliations. They finished working as thunder roared into their ears.

“Ah’ guess this is goodbye for now.” She always trusted her hat as a makeshift umbrella.

“Yes.” Her purple mane draped over her eyes. “And our date – would two days from now be OK?”

“Of course.” Whistles emanated from the library, which the lovers knew was Twilight beckoning. They ran over after sharing a brusque glance.

“I'm so glad I caught you two. I was thinking of another slumber party like last time, so... Slumber 102: All You Ever Wanted to Know About Slumber Parties but were Afraid to Ask! It includes thirteen new suggestions and deeper discussion on activities with a larger assortment of ponies!” Applejack and Rarity chuckled. “And this next chapter goes into even more detail with the finer differences between pegasi and unicorns. Pegasi are usually more energetic with activities, due to the-”

“Uh, Twilight, can we come in?” Applejack tilted her head up, letting raindrops do the remaining derision. Twilight's ears dropped, and she walked in with the dates trailing while still raving about another drab book she was taking out from the shelf labelled “romance”.

“So like I was saying, pegasi have much more energy due to their metabolic needs for flying, making them good for pillow fights and slumber-less slumbers – “all-nighters”, as the book calls it. They sound really fun, but I don’t know how it’s even physiologically possible, though a good book works better. Hm... group readings?” Twilight muttered under her breath, shifting between flipping through and scanning the table of contents.

Rarity turned, shrugged, and slumped on the floor while Applejack watched. “Twilight, perhaps we should do what we did last time, but... less fighting...” Did she tell Twilight? Should we? We aren’t closet romantic school fillies anymore... Letting her thoughts go, she noticed Twilight lecturing on, now sitting down and pointing at different pages.

“As you can see here, unicorns can actually play more games. The older ones can play this game where you spin a bottle and... oh my, I’ll skip that.” A red flame ignited in Twilight's cheeks, her eyes and hooves gliding over the more intimate parts. The other two mares craned their necks, curious about what caused the embarrassment, then turned to each other. Is she thinking about how our first date ended? They relaxed, looking at Twilight skimming over and then closing the book. “Well, the rest are very appropriate suggestions, so we’ll stick to the first one.” Swapping the two books with her magic, she beamed at Rarity and Applejack. “First step, makeovers!”

Rarity grinned at the laughableness of her present condition, as she and Twilight created a mudmask mixture while Applejack chopped up cucumbers. When finished, Twilight attempted to dip her hoof in but was pipped by Rarity, who slathered the green paste onto Applejack's face by herself. The southern pony looked indifferent at Rarity's caressing, and later returned the favour, her hooves rougher but still loving on the fashionista.

“Um, girls?” Twilight inquired. The lovers turned to her with mudmask all over their faces.

“Sorry, Twi.” Applejack's nose scrunched up. “Must've been lost in, uh, being perfect?”

“We were making sure nothing was exposed. I’ve been lecturing her on how weekly spa sessions can help keep her face beautiful.” Indeed, she was trying to pester Applejack into looking after herself more, but she would never relinquish her brashness. Rarity applied the mask on Twilight's face, this time with haste to prevent her from announcing their lies.

“Since that's done...” Applejack plonked a cucumber slice into her mouth. “Supper time!” She did it again to send Twilight giggling. Rarity rolled her eyes, covered them with two slices and lied back, indulging in the juices.

“This is the life, isn't it?” She was in her world, having heard Twilight put on her slices and hoping Applejack did too. Her hat is beauty in itself, even with those eye bags and her average complexion. Though, that last bit could be improved. She swam in her ideas for an hour before somepony sighed on her left.

“Sorry fer this, but can we do somethin’ else?”

“Of course!” Twilight cleansed her face, throwing out the slices. “Hm... kelpie stories again, do you have anything new?”

“Um...” the daters started.

“That's a no, darling.” She shook her head. “I’m not really into the supernatural, I guess.”

“Nah, Twi. I ain't much of a story teller anyways.”

“We're moving on to s’mores then!” Twilight bounced up and moseyed over to the kitchen, taking out everything required. She’s planned this. The three friends immersed themselves in creating their treats: those of the unicorns were concocted to maximise flavour intensity and temperature contrast, whilst Applejack's was more rushed. Realising her creation had somehow become neater, the farmer looked up to find Rarity, smiling and levitating the messy, half-eaten s'more. Meanwhile, Twilight had finished her snack, and she turned around to see everything gobbled up and her friends gesturing for more, so she pulled back the book and turned to a new page.

“It’s now... Truth or Dare!”

The three ponies formed a triangle on the floor, and Twilight started. “Rarity, truth or dare?”

“I'll pick truth.” Rarity kept her eyes on Twilight, her horn glowing a faint magenta.

“Have you ever... ” She glanced through some pages. “Cheated on a test?”

“Yes, once.” Her eyes flipped left and right. “I stayed up one night to organise my closet and make a new hat when I wasn’t allowed to.” Twilight's eyes widened, but she kept silent, hoping to use this for a later friendship report. Rarity continued. “So Applejack, truth or dare?”

She smiled. “Hm... Ah'll pick truth as well.”

“These questions are a little harder...” Rarity grinned at Twilight, who nodded in indifference. “No offence. Applejack, how many ponies have you kissed?” She leaned back, thinking of shying away. You haven’t kissed Applejack only. Same goes for her, you can’t be jealous!

“Only two...” Applejack’s head wobbled. “...but take away one, ‘cos that was mah cousin for a dare.” Rarity bit her tongue.

Twilight smirked. “And the other was?”

“Um... Ah'd rather not say.” The librarian frowned. “Now it’s just you, Twi, truth or dare?”

“Dare!” She smirked harder at amping up the difficulty. Applejack checked on Rarity before turning back.

“I dare you... to stand outside in the rain for twenty seconds.”

Twilight hesitated, then galloped out. “ONE!”

“So, we're alone now...” Applejack scanned the windows so Twilight wouldn’t peek.


“Yes, Applejack, but we should stay still. It’s not just me who’s finding it unnerving. Twilight’s a third wheel and she doesn’t even know it.”

“TEN!” Her voice cracked. The ponies inside were certain about her shivering.

“Ah' guess... but don't ask anythin’ more 'bout my dating life. I don't want you to be jealous.” She turned her volume up a notch.


“Oh, I'm not jealous of Braeburn.” Applejack raised her mouth before giggling with Rarity.

“SEVENTEEN, EIGHTEEN, NINETEEN... TWENTY!” Twilight walked back, twisting her body in every direction where bookshelves weren’t. She cast a quick spell to dry her mane and sat down. “Much warmer in here. Rarity, truth or dare?”

“Hm... I’ll have a dare.”

“I dare you to...” She blushed. “No, wait a second.”

Rarity rolled her eyes. “Twilight, I'm sure we’re old enough for that.” The book looks more for fillies, but she’s loving it. Indeed, it’s quite fun. We should be doing silly things.

“Alright then. I dare you to... k-kiss Applejack.” Her tongue fell out as the lovers gulped and looked at each other in their predicament. It’s not like we haven't... but in front of Twilight?

Rarity inched closer. “I guess we have to...”


“Wait!” Twilight exclaimed. “I'll turn around so you’re in the honour system.” Rarity and Applejack touched noses.

“ do this.” Rarity kissed Applejack lightly.

“Yeah.” She returned the favour.

“This is horrible!” Both parties pushed their lips deeper for a few seconds, Rarity's hoof stroking Applejack's braids. “We're done.”

Twilight’s cheeks were brighter than Pinkie Pie, as Rarity patted down her flowing mane while hinting at the dishevelled state of her lover’s. Applejack understood and followed suit, gazing an oblivious Twilight. “Oh, yes. Applejack, truth or dare?”

“Erm, truth.” She didn’t want any more romance. Rarity pointed her hoof at her face and then at Twilight, who shrugged back.

“So... do you hate anypony?” Applejack made another one-sided stare.

“Being the element of honesty and all, there isn't one pony Ah’ don't like... besides those Flim Flam brothers. Trixie’s braggin’ was also too much.” She turned to Twilight. “Truth or dare?”

“Dare.” Her enthusiasm was veiled by slight hesitation on the vowels.

“Ah' dare you to lick the floor!” Applejack and Rarity sniggered at Twilight’s obligation.

“I clean it thrice on weekdays and twice on weekends with magical soap, so the bacteria count is negligible.” The fashionista felt disturbed. “Rarity, truth or dare?”

I could pick dare, and thus get more Applejack shenanigans, or I could pick truth... I’m not letting this be so awkward with Twilight. “Truth.”

“Oh, OK. Have you ever been in love, and if yes, who?”

Rarity froze. Horseapples. “Um... yes... do I really have to say who?” Twilight pointed at number 4 in the truth-or-dare rules: Every question must be answered truthfully and fully. “Fine then, it's... uh... I'm in love with...” Her mouth stayed ajar. I don't have to, or need to, follow these silly rules! I could be honest, but it'd be awkward! “High... class.” Really, Rarity? That’s the wrong word! “I met him in Canterlot, and he had this wondrous knowledge of fashion and food, and he was gorgeous with a light orange coat and a short... yellow mane.”

“I see. I've never heard of him. Where in Canterlot did he stay?”

“He... was just a visitor. He’s a Manehattanite.” She smiled at Twilight, noticing Applejack’s nose scrunch up. The librarian tried a more inquisitive appearance. “Applejack! Truth or dare?” Rarity fired, desperate to continue.

“Dare.” She tried to play safe here.

“I dare you to... eat a page from a book.” She fought the idea of Applejack eating paper. That’s rude, sure, but isn’t it better than kissing? Twilight, on the other hoof, felt so violated that within a second she flipped back to the rules, showing them to Rarity.

“Sorry, but: Any dares causing direct harm to somepony or their property are off-limits. Applejack has no books, so she can't do it. Pick another one.” Her upbeat demeanour contrasted Rarity’s sigh. Another dare? I wasn’t finished with the first...

“Alright Applejack, I dare you to put on makeup and a fancy dress.”

“Hmm...” Twilight rubbed her lips, remembering their last slumber party, calming down Applejack. “Maybe we should skip to sleeping?” Pitter-pattering persisted through the darkness, and the three ponies agreed to enter Twilight's room. Two beds. The daters glanced each other. We’ll need to share...

Rarity turned to Twilight. “Perhaps I’ll take yours and Applejack will get the guest bed for herself. She's worked really hard today, so the extra space will suit her.” Twilight shrugged, slipping under her blankets beside Rarity, who convinced Applejack she was over them. Rarity mouthed her goodnights, looked back at Twilight, then blew an air kiss.

“Please don't go all lovey-dovey, Rarity,” Twilight muttered.

“H-how?” Her eyes sprang open.

“I overheard your calls for Applejack. Besides, sneaky glances when you two were kissing? I just put two and two together.” Twilight shifted herself. “Don't worry, I’ll keep this between us, now get to sleep. I'd like an early breakfast for all of us.” Rarity kept her eyes on Applejack, their facial expressions identical. No, she isn’t that awkward. With one more glimpse, she slid down and closed her eyes.