Another weekend of dream filled sleep and Rarity found herself staring at Applejack from across the room. Her heart was beating over the loud music.
The party Pinkie had thrown was held in one of the homes of the Crystal Prep students they had made friends with. There was punch, loud music, and a whole lot of dancing. A normal party, by any standards, but filled with many faces she didn’t know.
After the flirtatious gesture she had made towards Applejack the other day, Rarity was frustrated to find nothing more had come from her efforts. She hadn’t gotten any extra attention from the girl she so desired. It left her wondering if the tricks she had used had just not worked like she thought or perhaps she hadn’t been bold enough.
It was quite possible that Applejack hadn’t even realized she was being flirted with, she was such a soft honest person that if it wasn’t presented at face value, then it had the chance to slip right by. If that had been the case it was something Rarity wanted to fix immediately.
Looking towards the drink area, she could see the girl she adored, talking to Sunset with a drink in her hand.
Before the party, when they helped Pinkie Pie set everything up, Sunset had pulled Rarity aside, asking her once more about her dreams.
"I know you told me no before, but you just seem a little more tired recently," Sunset frowned in worry, putting a hand on Rarity’s shoulder. "I wanna make sure you're okay."
The concern from her friends had always been helpful in the past and she knew from experience that sharing feelings, especially ones so strong, could only benefit the situation.
"Sunset, while I appreciate your diligence in my wellbeing, it's something I'm not sure I want to share."
Honestly, Rarity had been itching to share the feelings that bubbled inside her. She hesitated, if only for the fear of what her friends would think. Having a crush on one of your best friends wasn't something to take lightly.
Rarity squirmed for a moment, mulling over her options.
"Although," she said carefully, "well, I have been wanting to indulge in talking about it."
Sunset nodded eagerly, taking her hand away from Rarity's shoulder.
"Okay." Rarity decided, wanting nothing more than to finally gush about her crush. She nervously bit her fingernail.
"Please don't tell anyone yet. The dreams; the dreams are about someone. And they're, well, they're romantic in nature."
"Ohh," Sunset said in understanding. "Wait, didn't you wake up saying-" she cut herself off and Rarity desperately hoped she wouldn't finish her sentence.
Sunset shook her head. "Uh, nevermind. So, do you have a crush on someone?"
Rarity blushed, unsure how much Sunset had figured out. "It seems I do."
She was never one to be embarrassed from having feelings about someone, but the idea of it all and who it was about made her face red.
"I'm just not sure. I mean, I didn't know I even liked them before I had these dreams and now, they're all I can ever think about."
"That's good though, right?" Sunset said. "Even if it was your dream that led you to them, when you're awake you still want to think about them all the time."
Rarity nodded as Sunset continued.
"If you didn't really like them or if your dreams didn't really mean anything, you would consciously separate yourself from the feeling of romance while awake. If you want to think about them, that must mean you really want to be with them."
"That's true." Rarity mumbled.
She had never thought about it like that. If it had been one of her other friends, Rarity would have thought it was weird, but she would have known the difference between her dream self and her real feelings. She doubted she would have fallen so hard if it were anyone other than Applejack.
Sunset spoke up again, breaking her from her thoughts. "Do they know?"
Rarity let out a bubbling laugh. "Of course not!"
"You should tell them."
It was so demanding and matter of fact that it took her off guard for a moment.
"I- wait, I should?"
"Of course. If they don't feel the same, then there's no harm in letting them know and it'll help you move past your romantic dreams about them." She smiled. "Call it closure."
Sunset seemed so sure that telling Applejack she wanted a romantic partnership was a good idea that it almost seemed silly not to do it. Although, Sunset wasn't aware of who the person was, and it was that small fact that made everything more complicated.
That had been hours ago. Currently Rarity was still staring at the pair, her eyes fixed on Applejack.
While Rarity loved to express her feelings, she was never one to go straight up to someone and confess. Her approach was delicate and demure. However, that didn’t seem to work on Applejack. She needed to show her affections.
Soft flirting hadn't worked. She knew she had to turn it up a couple notches for Applejack to get the message.
Rarity made her way towards the middle of the dance floor, never taking her eyes away from the blonde. With as much boisterous movement as she could manage, while still looking desirable, she began to dance. She was slow at first but as the song picked up, so did her movements.
For a moment she looked away, enjoying the music for what it was as well as the rhythmic atmosphere. She moved in a circle, trying to keep herself on beat and as alluring as possible. Rarity turned to look in the direction of Applejack again.
Suddenly green eyes met blue.
Despite the heat of bodies around her, a shiver ran down her spine.
Applejack’s eyes were now glued to Rarity as she danced. She sipped slowly on her drink, never breaking her gaze. The attention burned through her and gave her an elated feeling. She laughed lightly to herself, enjoying the moment.
Rarity knew she had to be a little more obvious this time.
Moving her hips from side to side, she gave Applejack a small wink. Applejack blushed, realizing she had been caught staring and tried to be nonchalant as she looked around. Rarity wondered if she knew the wink was for her. Just to emphasize, she blew a kiss in her direction and turned her back, letting her friend get a good look at the tight-fitting pencil skirt she was wearing.
Flirting, especially gestures from across the room, was something Rarity was not only familiar with but quite good at. She knew how to flaunt herself.
It was just a little different and a little more exciting that the person she was trying to show off to was someone who knew all her tricks.
She shook her hips and turned slowly around, trying to be as desirable as possible, her flouncy purple curls falling around her shoulders as she moved her head to the music.
The display seemed to be a success. Applejack was smiling, her face still red, but she wasn't looking away.
There was a swelling sensation in Rarity’s chest. She wanted to dance with her. She needed to feel that strong feminine body against hers.
That idea could be potentially dangerous. Allowing herself to go so far with Applejack. Rarity didn't want to lead her friend on, but she was getting tired of pushing herself away and not giving in to her desires. She liked Applejack. She wanted Applejack and when she wanted something, she always got it.
Rarity slowly lifted a finger up, curling it in a gesture that told her friend to come towards her.
Applejack’s eyes widened for a moment. She looked unsure, not really knowing what to do in a situation like this.
It was a little unfair, Rarity could admit, that she was coming on so strongly, but she had already started something, and she was determined to finish.
Rarity pushed a smile back with a bite of her lip and nodded, making the gesture with her finger again.
Applejack slowly set her drink down.
Rarity could feel the pulse of her heart in her ears as she watched her friend take a slow and careful step forward.
Suddenly there was a dark-haired boy in front of her. He was smiling at her sweetly while making gestures to grab for her waist.
Rarity moved out of the way of his hands.
“I’m sorry,” she said, “I was actually waiting to dance with someone.”
He was quite handsome, but it was so jarring from the idea of dancing with Applejack, she couldn’t even entertain the idea of another person.
“Oh I know, I saw you looking in my direction.” He said, grinning a little too happily. “I thought I’d come over and help you with your dancing.”
“No thank you,” she said politely.
Rarity could deal with unwanted attention if she really tried but she wasn't in the mood, and it would take too long. All she wanted to do was dance with Applejack. She needed a quick getaway.
“I wasn’t looking at you," she said. "I was looking at-”
“Oh come on, don’t be crazy. We both want to dance, what’s the big deal?”
Rarity looked over the intruder’s shoulder at her friend. Applejack was still looking in her direction, but she looked quite upset at the situation, mixed with an emotion Rarity couldn't quite place. Rarity made a face, trying to convey her need for help.
“I told you no.” She said, looking back at the invading dancer.
He frowned and shook his head. “Come on, beautiful.”
The guy reached for her hips again but before he could touch her, Rarity felt strong arms wrap around her and she was pulled towards a firm body. Looking behind her she was met with the determined face of Applejack.
Rarity had to stop herself from physically swooning like a storybook character.
“Is there a problem here?”
Rarity smiled up at her savior, turning to lean into her arms and put a hand on her shoulder.
“Hello, darling” she emphasized as if she didn’t call all of her friends darling. She leaned in close, whispering in her ear briefly. “Thank you, please get him to leave.”
Applejack stilled when Rarity had breathed in her ear, but she nodded, whispering back.
“I’ve got ya, sugarcube.”
Rarity shivered at the feeling of her warm breath on her neck but cleared her throat as she turned to the guy they had been ignoring.
She spoke up loudly, “I was just telling this boy to please leave-”
“What she was saying,” the guy interrupted, “was that she wanted a dance partner. I was just coming to fill that position.”
Applejack glared at him. “Oh really? Sounds to me like ya were forcing yourself on the lovely lady.”
Rarity smiled at the name briefly but was pulled out of her thoughts when Applejack leaned around her shoulder.
“I suggest ya leave us alone now.”
The guy smirked at the pair. “Or what?”
Applejack stood still for a moment, unsure if physically removing him from the dance floor was the best option. Slowly she stepped to the side, walking towards a nearby table and lifted it into the air with her right arm. The necklace she was wearing glowed brightly and Rarity was again struck with how much she wanted to swoon at the sight of her.
Her beautifully sculpted muscles, from years and years of farm work, were flexed as she held the table over her head. Rarity wished she were wrapped in her free arm, imagining them on the cover of one of her romantic novels, the hero and the damsel. She let out a small sigh.
The poor boy who had previously been ready to argue looked frightened, his eyes wide and back straight. He put his hands up defensively and began backing away slowly.
“Ohh she was saying no to dancing. My bad. I’ll just- uhm-” He laughed nervously and scurried in the opposite direction.
Setting the table back on the ground, Applejack laughed. She looked at the people who had been sitting at the table, the laughter dying in her throat, and smiled sheepishly.
“Uhh, sorry ya’ll. I had to prove a point here.”
Applejack walked back towards Rarity, but she met her halfway, running into her arms.
“Oh my gosh, AJ!” She said, full of laughter. “I never get tired of seeing you do that.”
Applejack wrapped her arms around Rarity and smiled, blushing a little. “That? Oh, ya know that ain’t nothin' for me.”
“I know, but what a way to save a girl, showing off your strength like that.”
Before Rarity could stop herself, she had her hand on Applejack’s arm, giving it a light squeeze. She looked at her with fire under her fingertips.
“You could make a woman swoon with arms like these.”
Applejack let out a small chuckle and blushed. She held her gaze and Rarity suddenly felt the fire in her hands spread throughout her body.
In a sudden rush of emotion, Rarity urgently felt the need to tell her friend about her feelings. All this flirting had gone to her head and made her ache for the real thing. There was nothing more that she wanted than to feel the arms that were wrapped around her, every day.
Flirting was one thing but having her friend hold her for eternity, laying in the sun, laying in her room, together forever, was a dream she wanted so desperately to make reality.
Suddenly the term crush didn't seem to describe her feelings quite well enough.
Before she could say anything, Applejack spoke up, clearing her throat.
“I- uh, I saw ya dancing over here.”
Rarity’s grip tightened slightly, and she breathed in, smiling. She batted her eyelashes for good measure.
“And I think,” Applejack said slowly. She unconsciously licked her lips and Rarity felt heat wash over her like a wave at the gesture.
Applejack took a breath and her expression changed, as if deciding something in that moment. She pushed back slightly, making Rarity’s hands drop from her arms.
“I think ya better not act so alluring, so’s other guys won’t come and get the wrong impression.”
The heat from before was drained away in the idea of a rejection. The impression had been correct; it just had been seen by someone she wasn’t directing it towards.
Rarity wasn’t going to give up though. She wanted Applejack to understand her flirtatious gestures, even if the result wasn’t what she had hoped for. It had seemed, when Rarity had been dancing, her friend had picked up on the signals correctly and had planned on heading in her direction before the moment had been rudely interrupted.
“I think someone,” she tried to emphasize lightly without being too obvious, “did get the right impression.”
Applejack took a breath, raising an eyebrow.
“Is that so?”
She spoke slowly, as if trying to figure out what Rarity was trying to say and that was fine with her. The more Applejack understood the message she was sending, the better.
Rarity nodded and stepped close again, pushing her bangs behind her ear.
“Oh,” Applejack said. “Well, I can go and find that guy, if ya were wanting to dance with him. I just thought-”
“No!” Rarity said, a little loudly.
She held back a frustrated groan. Her well-crafted flirtatious demeanor that would have any guy waiting on her hand and foot, something she had perfected over years of practice, didn’t seem to be working in the slightest with Applejack.
“No, what I mean is,” She shook her head and gave her a gentle smile, putting on the most alluring face she could muster. “I would love a dance partner.”
Applejack stood there in confusion, waiting for her to continue. Rarity audibly sighed.
“Would you like to dance with me?”
“Oh,” Applejack said, as if Rarity hadn’t spent the past several minutes trying to get her to understand. “Yeah, sure Rarity.”
Applejack nodded and opened her arms in invitation.
It was a little awkward at first, both trying to get a rhythm with one another, and Rarity trying not to grab Applejack’s hips and pull them against her own. She knew that wasn’t the kind of dancing she was used to, but it didn’t stop her mind from wishing.
The beat was fast at the start, and they only held hands while dancing but as the song changed to a slower one, Applejack let go, moving away.
“I like this song,” Rarity lied, giving in to any excuse to be close to the girl she had been dreaming about for so long.
“This is a slow song, Rarity.”
“So?” she said, pulling at Applejack and wrapping her arms around her neck. “You don’t mind getting a little close, do you?”
She smiled, feeling the soft warm skin under her hands. Applejack looked breathless and swallowed thickly.
“N-no, I don’t mind it.”
Applejack put her hands hesitantly on the side of Rarity’s hips. It wasn’t as rough and firm as her dreams but tender. It made her heart lodge itself in her throat.
“G-good” she found herself stuttering as well.
Rarity absentmindedly twirled a bit of blonde hair through her fingers and smiled. A blush bloomed on Applejack’s cheeks, and she could see the dusting of her freckles highlighted underneath. It was so close and so intimate and couldn’t even compare to her dream.
Without thinking, Rarity pulled firmly at her friend’s neck and pushed their bodies together. A warm lightning of heat surged through her making her dizzy. The grip on her hips tightened.
It was all so real, and Rarity wanted nothing more than a romantic spark between them, but she was suddenly hit with the fact that if they did this, if they moved forward and something bad happened, their friendship could very well suffer from it.
Rarity’s breath hitched in her throat.
"I-I" Applejack began to speak.
She was unprepared for any spoken words, so she lifted her manicured finger to her friend's soft lips.
They were warm and despite her fear, she wished it were her own lips instead of her finger that touched them.
She could barely get the words out, but Applejack seemed to hear her or simply chose not to continue her thought.
Rarity let her fingertip linger for a moment before she gently laid her head down on the strong shoulder of her friend. It took everything in her not to let out a content sigh at the feeling.
They danced like that, floating in a sea of bodies that somehow ceased to exist just for the moment.
All dreams come to an end and while the dream she seemed to be in felt far more intimate than the ones she had during the night, it was one she knew would be hard to let go of.