Chapter 8—He Only Eats Apple Products
Caramel awoke to the sweet scent of apples and pancakes. The light from the window bombarded his mind, surging inside his psyche, wrapping a chain around his consciousness, and pulling him out of sleep’s soft, dark clutches and into the shocking embrace of alertness. He stretched and yawned, rubbed his eyes, and noticed that something was off. I haven’t slept with a stuffed animal for years…okay, fine, a few days. There’s nothing wrong with being afraid of the dark. Twilight said it’s very common. He poked and prodded at the soft, furry mass. He opened his eyes and initially saw a sea of red. It was an ocean of red fur that rippled and undulated.
Finally recognizing the stallion, the memories of last night flooded into his now-awake mind—the picnic, the cuddling, and finally, the kiss. He threw his forelegs around his coltfriend and giggled with glee. There was a faucet inside his heart, and it had finally been opened, letting all his happiness and excitement flood his every facet.
Macintosh stirred, yawned, stretched, and hugged the yellow colt back. “Mornin’ Caramel,” he said drowsily.
“Morning!” Caramel said cheerfully. The faucet was now on full blast.
Suddenly, he shuffled away from the embrace faster than Rainbow Dash escaping from a hooficure.
“Somethin’ wrong? Macintosh asked, looking at his coltfriend with concern.
“Er…nothing…just…um…” he blushed and pointed between his haunches with a hoof. He looked away in embarrassment and kept the blanket wrapped tightly around his waist.
Macintosh chuckled. “Your little friend?”
Caramel nodded. “Well…it’s not that little…”
Applejack called from downstairs, “Big Mac! Caramel! Get yer’ flanks outta bed, and come and get yer breakfast! Or do Ah have to yank y’all out?!”
The surprise from the yelling helped Caramel regain his composure. Never ones to incite Applejack’s temper, they both rushed downstairs with a quick-paced canter. Two realizations and two trips to the bathroom later, they finally came to the kitchen table, where an orange mare was tapping the table with a hoof impatiently.
“So, how was yer date last night?”
“Oh it was so wonderful!” Caramel started. He began describing every single last detail, thoroughly milking the entire three hours into a story that he could have spent days discussing.
“That’s wonderful, sugarcube!” Applejack shouted in the middle of his descriptions of their cuddling, “But Ah really should be…uh…bucking apples! That’s it! Bye!” She left without another word, happy to escape from Caramel’s sappy story-telling.
“Eeyup?” he said with a mouthful of apple pancakes.
“How did we uh…how did we end up in your room? I mean, the last I remembered, I was asleep in your arms in the corner of the farm.”
“Ah carried ya. You seemed plumb-tuckered out, so Ah put ya to bed with me.”
“Mac, I have another question…if that’s okay…”
“Um…do you plan on telling your family about me?”
The red stallion sighed. “Ah do…not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but Ah will. Ah promise. It’s just that Ah don’t know how Granny Smith will react, and also the rest of mah family.”
“Then why don’t ya ask her?” came a voice from the other room.
Caramel’s mouth dropped open, and Macintosh became redder than usual as the frail legs of Granny Smith creaked their way into the kitchen. “Erm…er…mornin’ G-Granny…” Macintosh stammered. He’s…stuttering…that’s a first…
Granny Smith was in the kitchen with them, and for once, Mac had lost his composure.
“Ah’m disappointed in ya, Mac!”
Big Macintosh hesitated for a moment, before saying quietly, “But Ah love him, Granny. And that ain’t gonna change.”
“Ah don’t care how much ya love him, that’s not what ya do to a colt!”
“It’s wrong, disgusting, and not somethin’ Ah raised ya to do!”
“There’s nothing wrong with it!” Caramel suddenly shouted.
“Oh yes, there is,” Granny Smith continued, “He’s just takin’ advantage of you, you’ll see!”
“No, he’s not!”
“Oh yes, he is! Never be with a stallion that tries to get ya into bed with him on the first night!”
“No, he’s…wait, what?”
“Y’all heard me!” the elderly pony said, “Y’all shouldn’t have rushed into that so soon!”
“So ya don’t have a problem with me and Caramel datin’?” Macintosh asked.
“Datin’?” she said, “Ah knew y’all had yer eyes on him since what…a year ago! But now that y’all have him, Ah’m disappointed in ya for gettin’ in bed with him that soon!”
“Oh we didn’t…We didn’t do anything like that!” Caramel said, “We just had a picnic last night!”
“Oh…y’all didn’t do the two-trot tango? Oh. My mistake…Ah’m gettin’ old…” She walked back to the living room and resumed her rocking in her chair. “And by the way, Ah don’t give a flyin’ feather about that yonder coltcuddlin’. Ah knew you were one of them since ya told me you wanted to be a princess when y’all grew up, Mac. Tain’t somethin’ that goes unnoticed.”
Mac coughed softly. “Eeyup, Granny. Thanks.”
“Y’all be good to him, y’hear? He’s more fragile than ya think.”
The green pony’s eyes drooped, and soon soft snoring was heard. They both left her alone and began the walk into town. “I’m not fragile,” Caramel said indignantly.
“Eeyup,” Macintosh winked, “And Ah think it was Applejack who told me that you were cryin’ because you saw Twilight with me.”
“Hey, I loved you for eons, basically. And that really hurt! Still, I’m not fragile.”
“Eeyup I am, or Eeyup you agree with me?”
“You’re no help,” Caramel giggled, “But you are really warm to sleep with.”
Celestia’s orb was climbing the sky, and it was only a few hours before it would reach the summit. Ponies were ambling here and there in the market. Down the streets, Caramel could catch snippets of gossip as mares in fancy hats shared a Sunday brunch, explored a bookstore, or went window shopping: “Did you hear about the whole Spitfire scandal?” “Is that who I think it is?” “I had no idea it was fake!” “I heard that this store owner gives discounts for a little flashiness, if you know what I mean.”
“Where are you taking me?” Caramel whined, “Tell me…”
They stopped in front of Sugarcube Corner.
“Hello there, Big Macintosh. What can I get for you?” Mrs. Cake asked kindly from behind the counter.
“Howdy, Mrs. Cake. Two apple cupcakes, please.”
Two seconds later, two cupcakes with green frosting and apple slices were on paper plates, ready for consumption. “How much do Ah owe ya?”
“Don’t worry about it. You’re always so generous with your apple sales. These are on me.” She smiled and then returned to her baking duties.
“So why are we here?” Caramel asked, tentatively giving the light green frosting a lick. It was creamy and sweet, but not too overpowering. It melted in his mouth, and the texture reminded him of a marshmallow.
“Ah need to talk to Pinkie.”
“Talk to me about what?” came a giggly voice from under the table.
Caramel screamed. Macintosh recoiled. Pinkie giggled and emerged from the shadows, bouncing out from under their purple table.
“What…what were you doing down there?!” Caramel asked with panic.
“Oh, you know, cleaning…” she giggled.
“How did I not see you?!”
“It’s easy! Just close your eyes and whammo! You can’t see me!” Pinkie snorted with laughter again. “So what did you want to tell me, silly?”
“Er…thank you, Ms. Pinkie.”
“Just Pinkie is fine! About what?”
“For your advice on dating.”
“You came to Pinkie for dating advice?”
Macintosh nodded sheepishly. “Eeyup. Ah didn’t want to disappoint you, so Ah asked her where Ah should take ya. She told me to take ya to somewhere special to me, so Ah did.”
Wow…he asked for dating advice…I guess he really wants to be with me…That’s so considerate of him. “Well, I would have been fine with any date with you,” Caramel said happily.
“Thank you, Caramel…Anyways, Ah just wanted to thank ya, Pinkie. It really went—”
He stopped midsentence, looked around, but didn’t find anyone but Caramel. Where’d she go? That’s actually really scary… Caramel checked under the table, but didn’t see anything but Macintosh’s muscular hind-legs. No wonder Pinkie was down here. Hey, wait! She’d better not have been ogling at my coltfriend!
“Hrm?” he lifted his head from under the table, successfully giving himself another injury in the process. He rubbed his hoof on the back of his head and winced.
“Erm…it’s time to go. Y’all okay?”
Macintosh chuckled. “Let’s go, then. Ah have a full day planned.”
“Wait, what are we going to do?”
“We’re going to tell all our friends about us.”
“Are you sure?” Caramel stopped walking.
“Eeyup. Ah’ve been thinkin’ that I should for awhile now. Ah’ve fantasized about bein’ with ya for so long, and now that Ah finally am, it’s so much better than Ah’ve ever imagined, and Ah want everypony to know.”
Caramel’s heart fluttered. “Okay, Mac. I’m with you.” He smiled shyly and felt another peck on his cheek.
They set out to find their friends. Luckily, they were both relatively introverted and didn’t maintain a list of friends that exceeded a page. Good thing I’m not with Pinkie Pie. We wouldn’t be done with this in twenty years…but then again, I wouldn’t be with Pinkie Pie anyways because she’s a she. Boy, do I love my masculine stallion. Oh Celestia, I’m such a stalliosexual…
The first on the list was Derpy. They found her in the post office, and after a rebuke from Caramel’s supervisor for not showing up the other day, they told her the news.
“Yay, Caramel! You finally came out to yourself!”
“I have to tell the Doctor!”
“Yeah, him!” She flew off upside down without another word.
Big Macintosh stood with his head cocked to the side, unsure of what to say. “Is she…?”
Caramel nodded and then got on top of his coltfriend’s back. “Yeah, she’s crazy and ditzy, but oh so lovable.” He wrapped his legs around the red body.
Macintosh nuzzled his cheek. “Who’s the next one?” he asked.
Well, that was Derpy. I already told Rose. Twilight already knows. I saw her that day with Thunderlane. I think they hit it off pretty well. Oh yeah, friends…Um…is that all? Do I only have three friends? Oh, well Lyra. Ah, but she’s out of town with Bon Bon on their honeymoon.
Who else is there? No one? Really? Oh Luna, am I a sad, sad pony. Well, I would be, but I have the best stallion ever! Caramel mentally giggled. “I don’t think there’s anypony left.”
“Really?” Macintosh chuckled. “Is Derpy your only friend?”
“Well, there’s Rose and Twilight, but they know already. And Lyra’s out of town.”
“So what do ya wanna do now?”
“Well, we can tell your friends,” Caramel suggested as they walked down the road.
“Ah uh…Ah don’t really have any friends…” he confessed.
“Really? I mean…I only have like four friends, and I’m really introverted when it comes to that.”
“Well, since Ah was a colt, Ah’ve been kinda shy with other ponies. Applebuckin’ gave me somethin’ to do, and Ah didn’t have to really be friends with anypony anymore, and Ah was pretty happy with that.”
“Well, what about a coltfriend?” Caramel asked with a sly voice, putting extra emphasis on “colt.”
“Eeyup. Ah need my coltfriend, and Ah’d only be happy with him.”
“So what do you want to do now? It’s about…” he looked up at the sky, and the sun was well past its peak. “Two, maybe three?”
“Y’all want to buck?”
“Mac!” Caramel gasped, taken aback at the stallion’s bravado.
“Ah meant apples,” he snickered, “Gotcha, though.”
Caramel sighed in relief. “You scare me…”
They set their course for Sweet Apple Acres. Caramel hopped onto Macintosh’s back and nuzzled the stallion’s back while he was being carried.
I can’t believe I get to be with him now. It just seems so unlikely now. It took so much courage and pushing to get myself to ask him out, but then he was with somepony else. So I got another date. But then Mac did actually want me. And that, by far, was definitely the happiest day of my life. But it could be different from now on. The happiest day of my life is now in the future.
All in all, it was a painful…what has it been? Almost two months. It’s been a painful almost two months, but being with him is just all worth it. It was such a nice day. I hope every day is like this from now on. Mm…my big strong stallion. All mine.