The beginning of the school week was one Rarity wasn’t looking forward to. After the breathless dance she had shared with Applejack, she wasn’t sure she would be able to look at her without falling into her arms.
Rarity sighed to herself as she sat in class, leaning her head in her palms.
Applejack was sitting next to her, looking just as radiant as she had on the dance floor. Rarity was pleasantly surprised to find that it didn't matter if she was dressed up or wearing her regular school clothes, Applejack always looked stunning. She had a raw beauty about her that was intoxicating.
Rarity sighed again, a little louder and dreamier this time.
At the end of class, as her friends were all exiting the classroom, she felt her arm being tugged on and was suddenly pulled around a corner.
Before she could begin to scold whoever had grabbed her, she saw the determined face of Sunset.
"Oh, darling, you scared me." She put a hand on her chest. "I thought some ruffian had grabbed me from behind!"
"Rarity." Sunset said, ignoring her comment. "This crush you have, it's Applejack, isn't it."
Rarity's mouth dropped open. She knew her friend had always been bold, but it was so straightforward and to the point, she wasn't sure how to respond.
She stuttered over her words. "I- I'm not quite s-sure what you're talking about."
Sunset gave the most disbelieving look she had ever seen, making her nervousness get to her.
"Quite possibly," she said, unable to look her in the eye, "this could be a correct assumption."
Rarity cringed. "Well, I didn't want to tell anyone. Having a crush on one of your best friends is a little complicated."
"Rarity," she said, a little more calmly, "you liking Applejack isn't a problem."
Rarity finally looked up, a little surprised.
"If I'm being honest, after I realized it was her who you had a crush on, the chemistry between you two is obvious."
A blush came to Rarity's face at her words.
"But why haven't you told her yet?"
Rarity sputtered in her defense. "Well, I did! I've been flirting with her, even getting a little physical with her but she hasn't responded back."
Sunset sighed as she continued.
"I really don't see the harm in flirting with her if it doesn't mean anything to her."
"Rarity, it sends the wrong message. You can't just flirt with her if you don't mean it."
This made her cheeks bloom with embarrassment and frustration.
"I do mean it! Of course, I mean it. There's nothing more that I want than for her to return my feelings. Flirting has always been my way of showing my affection, but she doesn't seem to feel the same way."
The assumption that flirting with Applejack didn't mean anything to her was almost insulting. While she used her techniques to get what she wanted in some situations, mostly with strangers, when it came to romance and when it came to someone so important to her, she didn’t act frivolous.
“This is AJ we’re talking about. Our friend.” Sunset said, a little annoyed as well. “She probably wouldn’t act on your flirtatious behavior, even if she likes you back. I’m sure she sees it in the same way you do.”
Sunset nodded. “You’re her best friend, if she started having feelings for you do you think she would come out and tell you?”
There was truth to her words. She hadn’t thought about it from Applejack’s point of view. If she had been feeling the same thing as Rarity, she wasn’t sure her friend would have confessed her feelings. At least not in such a social situation as a dance.
Rarity had to talk to her. She wanted to know if the blindingly suffocating chemistry she felt when she was around Applejack, the feeling she felt when her strong arms were wrapped around her, was a shared feeling. Rarity wondered what would happen if she told her.
“What if she doesn’t feel the same?” Rarity said, a little scared. “What if this ruins our friendship?”
The fear of losing one of her closest friends, someone she could always count on when feeling worried or upset, was enough to make her lose her breath.
Sunset smiled and wrapped her arms around her friend. Rarity held her composure as she embraced her.
“She would never let that happen. Neither of you would.”
When Sunset pulled back, she was still smiling as she held onto her shoulders.
“So,” Rarity said, her heart in her throat. “You don’t think my flirting worked?”
A smirk came across Sunset’s face, and she laughed lightly. “Well,” she said, pulling away. “There’s one way to find out.”
With a determination she hadn’t possessed before, Rarity began planning out her words carefully.
Throughout the rest of the morning, she only thought about one thing: how she was going to tell Applejack the truth.
She didn’t want to scare her friend away or cause her any discomfort by admitting her feelings. It was a delicate process but after her talk with Sunset, she had decided that letting Applejack know, talking to her face to face, would be the best solution.
She shared one class with her but knew from experience that a heavy conversation like she had planned was best saved for their lunch period.
Even though she was nervous, knowing Sunset had seen some sort of chemistry between them gave her courage. Perhaps she had a chance.
When class was over, she followed Applejack to her locker silently. Her own locker was across the school, but she was too determined to care about grabbing her lunch. She watched as Applejack reached into her backpack, pulling out several books at a time.
Rarity took a deep breath.
“Hey, Applejack? Could I t-talk to you about something?”
She internally cursed herself for stuttering, trying hard to hide her nervousness. Applejack smiled at her, but it fell slightly when she saw Rarity’s expression.
“Uh, sure Rare. What’s the matter?”
Rarity clutched her books to her chest and breathed in deeply again. When she exhaled, she put on a slight smile, hoping it didn’t look manic.
"Now Applejack, you've got to promise me, no matter what I say you will forever be my friend. I wouldn't want to do anything to jeopardize that."
Looking almost startled, Applejack closed her locker and turned to face her.
“Of course, Rarity,” she threw her backpack over her shoulder and pulled on the straps. “you’re startin’ to freak me out a little.”
“You know those dreams I've been having?” Rarity said, watching her friend nod. “They are very romantic in nature, and it was at the sleepover that I realized who the dreams were about.”
She closed her eyes, hoping blinding herself to the beauty of Applejack would help her nerves.
“They’re about you.”
It was quiet for a moment and Rarity could feel a large lump in her throat. She swallowed as she opened her eyes and found Applejack still, a shocked look on her face.
She tried to continue. “I've been debating with myself whether flirting with you was the best way to show my affections, but I didn’t want to lead you on if it wasn't going to go anywhere and-”
“Woah there,” Applejack interrupted, putting a hand in front of her face. “You’ve been flirtin’ with me?”
Rarity began to sputter. Sunset had been right.
“Y-yes, darling! I’ve been flirting with you since last week- what did you think the dancing was about?”
Applejack shook her head and blushed, stepping away. Rarity was afraid she was going to run so she grabbed her outstretched hand, giving her a soft pleading look.
“Did you not feel the-'' she said, the words caught in her throat. “The magnetism between us?”
Applejack was still for a moment, looking between their hands and her face. Rarity was almost sure she was going to let go when she smiled, and her free hand reached up, gently rubbing the back of Rarity's hand.
“Of course, I did.”
It was like a warm fiery light bursting in her chest and all Rarity could do was cling to her friend’s every word.
“Watchin’ ya dance, feelin’ ya dance against me, was the most thrillin’ thing I had ever felt in my life. And I was scared.”
Applejack dropped her hands and pulled the hat from her head, moving it around in front of her, as if examining the stitching.
“It was so confusin’ havin’ heated romantic thoughts about ya. I couldn’t even believe I was thinkin’ about one of my best friends like that. And when we danced together, when ya pushed your body against mine, I couldn’t breathe. It was like no one in the whole world existed except you and me.”
Finally looking up at Rarity, she gave her a small shy smile.
“I guess I was so preoccupied with having these feelings for ya, I didn’t really realize ya were tryin’ to get me to look at ya like that.”
She let out a low chuckle and the sound loosened every tense nerve in Rarity’s body. She put her hands over her mouth and couldn’t contain the soft giggle that escaped her lips.
“Well,” she said with a little more confidence than before. “I guess my flirting did work.”
Applejack put her hat back on her head and blushed. “Yeah.”
There was a small moment where they held each other's gaze, before Applejack spoke up again.
“You're my friend. Thinkin’ those things about ya,” she shrugged. “I didn't know it was allowed.”
Rarity smiled. “Heh, yes I suppose I thought the same thing.”
The moment was so surreal, and she was acting off instinct, pulling herself closer to the girl in front of her. The magnetism was something she was sure Applejack could feel as well.
“There is something between us, isn't there?”
Applejack stepped closer as well, moving her hand up towards Rarity’s face. When it made contact, she breathed in the familiar scent of apples.
“God, I sure hope there is. I think,” she hesitated, “I think I want there to be.”
Rarity smiled. “I do too.”
She wasn’t sure who was the first to initiate but they moved as one, surging forward in the most breathtaking kiss Rarity had ever experienced. Applejack clutched her head delicately and if this action disturbed Rarity’s perfectly coiffed curls, she didn’t know, nor cared.
The kiss wasn’t anything like her dreams. It was so much better. The feeling of Applejack’s lips on her own was real and warm and it made her weak at the knees.
When they parted, Rarity felt absolutely breathless, dizzy with elation, and was glad she had clutched to the strong arms that moved around her waist.
She slowly opened her eyes to find Applejack in a similar state, smiling back at her.
“So,” Applejack said, her voice a little rough. “Does this mean you’re my girlfriend now?”
Rarity let out a laugh, moving her hand over her face.
She was so unbelievably happy that confessing her feelings to her friend hadn’t cost her their friendship. If anything, it had made it much stronger. She made a mental note to thank Sunset in the near future.
“Of course not.” Rarity said, holding back a smile. Before Applejack could speak, she continued. “You’ve got to do proper courting first.”
Applejack smiled and pushed Rarity back, straightening herself with a cough.
“Fine. What do ya want me to do, bring ya flowers or somethin’?”
Rarity straightened herself as well, smoothing out her skirt slightly.
“Yes, dear, that’s exactly what I want.” She lifted a finger between them and tried her best to look as serious and intimidating as possible. “And don’t forget, taking me out to a nice dinner.”
The moment they seemed to drift in was a dream Rarity didn’t want to wake from. Luckily this time, she was sure she wouldn’t have to.