by Curly_Q

Suspect Number Three: Applejack

As I flew away from where I'd crashed into Fluttershy, I began to lose hope. What if her crush isn't even one of our friends? It'll take FOREVER to find them! And Pinkie Pie has a LOT of close friends...

"Rainbow Dash!!!"

"Huh?!" I quickly snapped back to reality, and then I went into panic again. I knew that voice anywhere. Pinkie Pie... With hesitation, I looked downward to see Pinkie Pie running after me. How is she back already....? Then again, why am I even asking myself that...?

"Rainbow Dash, slow down!"

I let out a small sigh. There was no point in trying to escape. I learned that lesson a long time ago. I slowed down just enough for Pinkie Pie to catch up, and flew next to her, but I only looked at the path ahead of me; never at her.

"Rainbow Dash! I just got back from Canterlot!" She announced.

"That was fast..."

"I know, right?! Oh, I couldn't find your goggles, though. Sorry..."

For a moment, Pinkie Pie's tone of voice took me by surprise. She sounded genuinely sorry. "Uh, it's okay..."

Even without looking at her, I could feel Pinkie Pie staring at me.

"It is?" She asked, sounding hopeful.

"Yeah.. don't worry about it..." And then my mind began to race. Now what?! Where else am I supposed to send her? The Crystal Empire?! She's way too fast, and I can't just keep telling her different places to run off to just to find some pair of goggles I lost a long time ago! I'll probably never see those again!

Pinkie Pie smiled widely. "Yay! ... But I still wanna make it up to you!"

"Uh.. how?"

"I'll just have to keep looking for them until I find them!"

Is she being serious right now? It's just a pair of goggles... and a small one, at that. She'll never find them! "Pinkie Pie, are you sure...?"

"Of course I'm sure! I told you I would find your goggles, and I meant it! In fact, consider this a Pinkie Promise!"

"Really?" Careful, Pinkie... don't make a promise that you can't keep... "But what if you don't find them?"

Pinkie Pie simply giggled. "Don't be silly, Dashie! I Pinkie Promise, and I'd never make a promise that I can't keep!"

Oh, Celestia... PLEASE don't tell me she can read minds... "Pinkie...."

"Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye!"

And with that, she disappeared.

Now that I think about it, I wonder what would happen if she broke her own Pinkie Promise.... Oh well. I don't have time to think about that.

After a bit of flying, I noticed Sweet Apple Acres in the distance. I guess Applejack is next, then. I sped up, and soon reached the barn. I noticed Applejack heading inside with some apples. What else would she be carrying? "Hay, Applejack!"

Applejack flicked an ear, then turned to face me. "Oh, howdy, Rainbow Dash!"

"What's up?"

Applejack paused for a moment. "...Just harvestin' apples."

I became suspicious. Just one bucket? And then immediately taking it back inside? I don't think so... "That's not that many apples."

"Ah know... but ah don't really need that many right now."

"Why are you taking them inside?" I asked, giving the cowpony a confused look.

"Because... ah'm gonna bake with 'em. Ya know it's best to bake with apples that are fresh."

"Oh, I guess that makes sense." I glided down to the ground and stood. My wings were getting tired from all the flying around I was doing today. "So... what are you baking?"

"A pie..." Applejack responded and glanced away.

"A pie? Just one? I don't think you can fit all those apples into one pie." I tried to get more answers out of her. I could tell something was up.

"Ah'm makin' more than just one pie!'

I could tell Applejack was getting frustrated with me by the tone in her voice. I had better hurry up and get all my questions asked before she leaves. "What are all the pies for?"

Applejack glared at me. "That's none o' yer business!"

"Hay! Sorry, geez..."

Applejack just stared at me.

"Erm... Well, seen Pinkie Pie lately?"

Applejack's expression changed quickly. Huh?

"No... Ah haven't. Why did ya wanna know?"

"Oh, I was just wondering... It's no big deal." It can't be Applejack, either... If Pinkie Pie had a crush on somepony, that pony would be seeing her quite a bit. And Applejack hardly ever lies. I felt that horrible feeling creep up on me again as I realized I only had one friend left to ask. Rarity. And what were the odds of Pinkie Pie's crush being Rarity?

"Rainbow Dash, are y'all alright?" Applejack's voice broke into my thoughts, and I looked at her.

"Yeah! Great! Perfect! Awesome!" I gave the best smile I could manage.

"Are you sure about that?" Applejack raised an eyebrow at me.

"Of course! Why wouldn't I be?"

Applejack gave me a concerned look. Time to get out of there, quick.

"Uhhh...... Oh! Look at the time! Gotta go, bye!" I sped away. There was no time to waste. I still had one more place to visit.

Carousel Boutique, here I come...