“The ridiculous proportions of this mansion makes me wonder if Princess Celestia was serious with the offer to make me a princess. What do you girls think?”
Applejack huffed in annoyance. “Well Rarity, I think you should stop standing around and help us a little. You barely did anything!”
Rarity gave Applejack a sour look, which the farm pony ignored, and continued to prepare the food in Fluttershy’s kitchen. They had stayed the whole night in Twilight’s library making plans for the double date with the two princesses, and they had gone together to Fluttershy’s house in the morning.
First they couldn’t figure out why Pinkie chose Fluttershy of all ponies to go on this double date, but it made sense once she revealed her intentions behind it. Pinkie reasoned that it would raise suspicion when they suddenly invited them for a double date.
They needed a plausible reason, and what could be a better one than inviting them as a thank you for Fluttershy’s new house? It would make sense that it’s only Fluttershy and her special somepony showing gratitude, which freed the rest of them to do recon.
They were all on board eventually, except Rainbow Dash. She had to leave in the morning for some paperwork at the Wonderbolt Academy. Twilight was kind of glad that she wasn’t here today. They had put aside their differences yesterday, but there was still some tension between them.
Eventually things would calm down, they always did, and Twilight hadn’t any reason to believe otherwise.
With poor Fluttershy’s timid nature in mind they settled for her new mansion as the location, and a simple dinner in the afternoon to not make it too complicated. Twilight figured that one of them would play the part of the fourth pony to make it a double date.
“Ok girls, it’s almost time. Remember that this dinner is only to gather intel on both of them and their relationship status. Nothing more and nothing less. Fluttershy with whom of us do you want to partner up?”
“I don’t think anyone of you is her type.” said a deep voice behind them.
Twilight and her friends spun around, gawping at a smirking Discord. The way he nonchalantly sat there at the table as if the world belonged to him reminded Twilight eerily at the look Celestia was sporting these days. The amused draconequus put a finger in the freshly made pie on the table and licked the cream from it.
His face distorted in disgust. “Pears? Who puts pears in a pie?”
“I know!” said Applejack stomping the ground, momentarily forgetting who she was talking to, “ I told them to use apples, but nobody listens to me!”
Now they all stared at the furious farm pony as if she had grown a second head. Applejack blushed and deflated slightly when she noticed that there were more important things than apples right now.
Not by much though.
“We really need to talk to her about this obsession of hers…” thought Twilight, before turning her full and undivided attention to Discord.
“Why are you here?”
“Uhm…” said Fluttershy to get her friends attention, “he’s my date.”
Twilight stared at Discord while his grin got more and more wide with every second. When Fluttershy had said that she would get a date on her own and none of them had to fill in, Twilight didn’t really think she would find one or ask Discord for that matter. And from the looks of the others, they didn’t either.
Fluttershy walked up to Discord and started a quiet conversation while the rest of them were busy with digesting this piece of information. He tried to get a second finger of pie, but she gave him a slap on the wrist and a stern look. The draconequus grumbled in irritation, his arms folded and pouting. She sighed and walked to a cupboard and took a covered up plate out of it.
Putting it on the table before him, she nuzzled Discord’s side and removed the cover to reveal a plate of cookies. His eyes sparkled and he started to munch down on them with glee. He loved Fluttershy’s cooking and would tell her so regularly. “I’m a master of magic, but nothing I can conjure compares to your baking prowess! I should’ve changed sides ages ago!”
A content smile appeared on Fluttershy’s face with a slight blush as she watched Discord eat. She liked getting compliments from Discord, knowing how rarely he gave them to anypony. Unnoticed by all, Pinkie’s eyes narrowed to slits and someone who looked closely would have noticed her jaw moving. She took a cookie from the plate and and scrutinized it intently, before putting it into her mane.
“Has the whole world gone insane?” thought Twilight, watching the exchange of pleasantries between Fluttershy and Discord.
The thought that made her the most furious though was that it made sense in a bothersome way. Discord was also living here and him taking part at the dinner wouldn’t be weird.
That didn’t mean Twilight had to like it.
“I can feel the love from here princess, might wanna take it down a notch before my head explodes,” said Discord, putting on a pair of sunglasses.
Twilight’s eyes narrowed. “I’m watching you, mister. You better not plan to do something nefarious.”
“Moi?” said Discord in mock hurt, “I wouldn’t dream of it. The wellbeing of dear Tia and Luna is a heartfelt desire of mine.”
She wasn’t buying it, but couldn’t do anything about it. Of course Discord didn’t do it out of the goodness of his heart. He had his own agenda on this day. Tia had caught him off guard with her forwardness a few days ago, but now he was ready for her new self.
Discord had kept himself up to date on her actions and was ready to start his second attempt. Sunbutt wasn’t acting like herself and he would get some answers today.
Spending time with Fluttershy was also a nice bonus.
Everyone in the kitchen turned their heads when they heard loud voices outside.
“...This place is huge! What happened to her old house, Tia?”
“...It kinda… sorta... got blown up”
A long silence ensued which caused Twilight and her friends to listen more closely. They almost jumped out of their skin when a loud whine was heard.
“...DON’T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT WITH THOSE JUDGING EYES, LUNA! THE PINK ONE PULLED THE TRIGGER... SO I’M INNOCENT!”
Discord snickered. This day is gonna be fun.
They heard a knock on the door and Fluttershy went to open it with Discord right behind her, while the rest of them stayed in the kitchen. She took a deep breath and opened it to reveal Frank and Luna. The draconequus and the human-turned-princess instantly locked gazes. There was genuine surprise in Frank’s eyes and unhidden amusement in Discord’s.
Luna watched the two before she focused her attention on Fluttershy. “Hello Fluttershy. Thank you for inviting us for dinner.”
Discord and Frank still stared each other down, and Fluttershy noticed that none of them had blinked since they started. Worried about the success of the double date, she quickly tried to diffuse the situation.
“Oh, no reason to thank us. It’s only natural that you and your sister are the first guests in our house, which she so generously provided. Isn’t it Discord?”
“Yes, of course. We’re ever so grateful for your kindness,” said Discord, bowing deeply but without breaking eye contact with him.
Frank raised an eyebrow. “You’re welcome…”
They entered the doorway with Luna and Fluttershy conversing animatedly with each other about the mansion interior, what there’s gonna be for dinner and general stuff which Frank would categorize as girl stuff. Prepared for a long and painfully boring night, Frank’s and Discord’s eyes met again. Their expressions both went to confused once they saw that they had the same bored look before.
“The bond between men, annoyed about their women transcends dimensions and species” thought Frank, feeling better already because he had a fellow sufferer.
Fluttershy turned to both of them. “Dinner will be ready in a minute. Does anybody want something to drink?”
That was the signal for Discord to take action.
“I’ve heard you’ve got quite the acquired taste when it comes to alcohol, Tia. I acquired many assorted alcoholic drinks during my travels around the world. Are you interested in a little sample?”
Discord suddenly was blinded by the twinkle in Frank’s eyes.
“I take that as a yes”
“She tries to minimize her intake Discord,” said Luna in a dismissive tone.
“Don’t be a party pooper, Luna!” countered Discord, letting a large glass with amber liquid appear before Frank, “today is a cause for celebration and there’s nothing wrong with letting loose a bit.”
Luna rolled her eyes and Frank shrugged with his shoulders, taking a big swig out of the glas. It tasted like scotch with a sweet aftertaste. He smacked his lips and smiled. Discord responded with his own smile, but for totally different reasons. Today he would get to the bottom of things and nothing loosens a tongue better than alcohol.
The dinner went as normal as it could have with no major occurrences. They had a some kind of vegetarian gratin which tasted all right for Frank’s standard and had no hay in it to his great relief. Luna and Fluttershy talked the whole evening, playing catch up since they haven’t really talked since Nightmare Night.
That left Frank with Discord, who was creepily calm and collected. No shenanigans, no stupid comments and the most caring host you could hope for.
Especially with the generous refilling of his drink. So generous that Frank felt the buzz halfway through the afternoon. Nobody else on the table noticed though, with him sitting quietly and Discord doing it as inconspicuous as possible.
Twilight was meanwhile ready to throw a hissy fit in the kitchen. Fluttershy was supposed to engage the two of them in conversation, but instead left Celestia completely out of the loop and in the clutches of Discord. Contrary to the dinner guests, she had noticed the state that her mentor was in.
The door to the kitchen opened and Fluttershy entered, oblivious of the ire she had incurred on herself from Twilight. She faced her friends with a huge smile on her face, after putting the dirty dishes in the sink.
Applejack, Pinkie and Rarity all had friendly expressions, but Twilight looked really out of it. Unsure of what to do, she waited for Twilight to say something.
The wait wasn’t long. “Fluttershy what are you doing?”
“Having a double date with the princesses?” said Fluttershy, confused about where this was going.
Twilight decided to crank up the volume, mirroring her rising frustration. “So why did you decide to mess it up? The goal of today was to get information about them and gauge the level of their relationship. Instead you decide to play catch-up with Luna and leave Celestia to be filled up by that bloodhound Discord!”
Fluttershy didn’t like to be yelled at, especially if she didn’t do anything wrong from her perspective.
“But I thought…”
“But nothing!” roared Twilight and let it all out, “I know you don’t get much visitors out here in the boondocks, but try to concentrate on the task at hoof. Get your flank out there and do what we all agreed on idiot!”
The instant the words left her mouth, Twilight put a hoof on it with terror filled eyes. Fluttershy looked like she had been smacked in the face, wordlessly taking the pie from the table and walking out of the kitchen.
“Wow…just wow, Twilight…” said Pinkie slowly, “you definitely skipped some levels. Poor Fluttershy...”
Nobody in the kitchen said anything after that, staring at the door in awkward silence. Twilight was tempted to go after Fluttershy and abandon the whole plan, but she was stopped by a white hoof on her shoulder.
“Twilight, darling. I know you’re under a lot of stress and I’m willing to overlook your little outbreak because of that.”
She turned around to face Rarity who had a smile on her face. The words out of the fashionistas mouth didn’t match her cheery expression though.
“Nonetheless, I expect an apology later, and by Tartarus, if you talk like that to our sweet Fluttershy again, I’ll slap you so hard that you’ll change colors. Understood?”
Twilight only nodded.
Frank downed his latest glass of hard liquor when Fluttershy came back from the kitchen. The smile on her face looked wooden and her voice was a bit husky. “I hope you have room for dessert. I’ve made pear pie.”
Luna eyed the illustrious piece of baked goodness with great interest. “That is unusual for a pie. Most of the time ponies stick to the classics, like apple or cherry.”
Fluttershy cut each of them a piece and they took it thankfully. “Yes, I would have made apple pie, but for some reason there weren’t any apples for sale this morning. Now that I think about it, I haven’t seen a single apple in town all day. That’s weird.”
Everyone at the table jerked when a sudden loud noise from the kitchen broke the quiet conversation, followed by the sound of something running very fast and the bang of a door getting closed. Frank saw a shadow passing outside the window, wearing a familiar stetson hat.
“What was that?” asked Luna looking at the kitchen door.
“Nothing!”, said Fluttershy nervously, “most likely Barry the bear again. He was here the whole morning, so just ignore it.”
Luna looked at her piece of pie, not thrilled of the prospect to eat something which was baked while animals ran around the kitchen.
Fluttershy noticed her uneasiness and tried to come up with an excuse. “Don’t worry about the hygiene, princess. Barry is… hairless and really clean.”
Discord slowly turned to her with wide eyes and eyebrows raised almost to the top of his head. Luna blinked a few times, and Frank had to bite his tongue to stop himself from laughing. Fluttershy was so bad at lying it almost hurt to listen.
“You have a hairless bear running around in your kitchen?” asked Luna, showing interest.
Meanwhile, Frank was losing his mind. “Why are you engaging on this lie? For Pete’s sake are you serious with this right now?!”
The meek pegasus nodded and took a sip from her drink to hide her face.
Luna shrugged with her shoulders. “Ok then…”
“WHAT?!” Frank and Discord screamed internally.
“Tia, why don’t you and Discord make yourself comfortable in the living room while I help Fluttershy with the dishes?”
The two looked at each other and shrugged. Frank got up from his seat with a little sway, feeling the alcohol a bit. He leaned on Discord, to not raise suspicion about his drunken state. Luna waited for Tia to offer her help and was prepared to argue against it. All she got though was the sound of a closing door, and she stood alone with Fluttershy in the dining room.
“She could’ve at least tried a little bit…” said Luna, before she turned around to Fluttershy and ripped the kitchen door open.
Twilight and her friends minus Applejack, stood there like deers caught in the headlights with an angry Luna staring them down.
Meanwhile, Frank and Discord had made themselves comfortable on the living room couch.
“...And then she shat all over the floor and I rolled around, laughing my ass off!”
Discord held his side from laughter. “I always knew that Sparklebutt had the talent. She should become a comedian!”
“I know right?!” said Frank, signaling Discord to fill both of their cups before they toasted to each other, “Let’s make a fan club. All hail Princess Doodoo!”
Frank took a sip from his cup and looked at the door to the dining room. “Maybe I should go in the kitchen and get her. What do you think?”
Discord did a spit take, showering Frank in alcoholic mist. “You know?”
“Oh please, they are so obvious that it hurts to watch,” said Frank, before he wiped the booze from his face and started to laugh again, “I’m curious what they came up with. Those girls are hilarious!”
Discord looked in the eyes of Frank and felt really weird. He would never admit it, but Celestia was one of the ponies which infuriated him the most in the past and was the most satisfying to mess with. The holier than thou attitude she was spotting all of time, this aura of impeccability drove Discord insane.
Now Discord stared into a face which he barely recognized. Not the expression of a motherly unfailing saint, but a drunk nutjob laughing on the couch and wiggling with her hooves. Discord cringed as Frank fell from the couch and landed face-first on the floor. Unmoving.
“I’m ok…” mumbled Frank into the carpet, not bothering to turn his head.
That was the signal for Discord to start stage two of his plan. Tia was now drunk enough to let something slip, but not too hammered so she still could form coherent sentences. Levitating the drunk alicorn on the couch, he got closer and looked Frank deep in the eyes.
“We are friends, aren’t we Tia?”
Frank burped loudly. “Sure we are, Diddy!”
“... anyway, tell me something about yourself. We never got to know each other better.”
Frank narrowed his eyes to slits and went quiet. “Are you coming on to me, buttpirate?”
“No?” said Discord, recoiling from Frank and putting some distance between them.
Frank crawled slowly towards him like a cat as he purred. “Why? Am I not a pretty enough horsey for you? You’re no catch either Mr. Patchwork.”
There was that feeling of discomfort again. The mind of Discord went to a familiar place where he didn’t want to be right now, in a large bedroom and Fluttershy as one of the major actors.
“Wait a second, one of them? Who else could be… OH BOY!” thought Discord, quickly banishing his fantasies into depth of his twisted mind.
“And why am I the only one who’s drinking?” said Frank with outrage, “If you want to be my friend, don’t make me look like a lonely hobo and be my drinking buddy!”
Discord downed his glass and made a face, not used to the bitter taste. He had a really low tolerance for alcohol and planned to let only Celestia drink. That plan went out of the window once Frank noticed his apprehension and pulled the pressure on him even more.
The buzzed alicorn would only drink when Discord drank something and even cheered him on, hooting and hollering “chug, chug, chug”. The drinking lead that he had over Discord evened out pretty quickly. In a short while, he was more smashed than Frank.
“This pamby princess is drinking me under the table!” thought Discord blearily, trying to drink out of his empty glass.
He frowned and snapped with his fingers to refill it, but instead two penguins appeared in the living room and started tap dancing. Discord didn’t think it was that funny, to the contrary of Frank who found this simply hilarious. He stopped laughing when Discord told him that he couldn’t refill their glasses anymore.
Twilight and her friends were completely unaware of this and were facing the interrogation of a certain dark blue alicorn in the kitchen.
They had several contingency plans in form of made-up stories for this event, but each of them unfortunately used a different one for their part so it didn’t match very well.
Luna rubbed the back of her nose with both eyes closed. “According to your story, you would need five Twilights, four Pinkies, three libraries and two Ponyvilles in separate time zones for it to make any sense.”
Taking a deep breath to calm her nerves, Luna opened her eyes. “Let’s try this again, but this time you tell me the truth.”
Twilight and her friends shared glances, until she finally plucked up the courage to address Luna directly.
“Luna, we know that you have romantic feelings for your sister.”
The annoyed expression on her face dropped instantly. Luna felt like someone had filled her stomach with ice water and she slowly backed away from the group. Nobody was supposed to know about this. She didn’t feel ready to come out with it or face a possible rejection from her sister.
“And we have reasons to believe that Celestia feels the same way. Because of that we—”
Twilight didn’t came further than that in her explanation, before she was violently tackled to the ground.
“What? How? Tell me!”, said Luna to the pinned down Twilight with all of her restraint thrown overboard, “You better not be talking nonsense!”
“Why not ask Celestia herself? The cat is out of the bag anyway!” said Pinkie as she opened the kitchen door and walked through.
Twilight and Luna instantly ran after her with Fluttershy and Rarity in pursuit. They managed to catch up to the pink party pony, right when she pushed the door to the living room open. The four of them were not able to stop themselves in time because of the slippery parquet floor and smashed into Pinkie, which caused them to tumble inside the living room in a bundle of limbs and heads.
“Where are they?” asked Pinkie, looking out under the groaning pile of ponies.
Pinkie was right with her observation. Frank and Discord weren’t in this room. The dancing penguins were the only evidence that someone had been here. They Ignored their squeaks and looked around frantically for any clue of their whereabouts.
Twilight’s eyes fell on a little note on the couch table:
Dear Princess Doodoo,
Ran out of booze.
Gone outside to get more.
Will come back whenever.
with best regards
Tia and Discord, founding members of the fan club for her holy Pottyness.
She read through it again and took an extra moment to appreciate the drawn doodle of her sitting on a toilet throne. Twilight was suddenly filled with a case of total dread. Two of the most powerful beings in existence were now strolling through the town. Unsupervised and most likely drunk out of their minds.
“These are the end times…”
“Don’t worry Twilight,” said Pinkie reassuringly, “I mean how much damage could they possibly… is the sky supposed to be pink? Wow it’s raining teddy bears!”
“...Get them! I don’t care how, but do it!”
Frank trotted through the lively masses who enjoyed another day of the festival. The festivities were well in the afternoon business and the absence of Pinkie as a planer seemingly didn’t cause any troubles. In search for booze they somehow had ended in the Ponyville Park, aimlessly walking around the green spaces and mingling with the park guests.
He did stick out like a sore thumb though, and the other park occupants instantly made way for him despite of the turmoil in the park. Frank blamed his status as royalty for that.
“I can’t hold on, stop wobbling so much…”
And the drunk draconequus slouching on his back like a wet washcloth, of course.
Frank was used to being drunk and still doing stuff, keeping at a functioning level if he wanted to. Discord had gotten steadily worse since their departure from Fluttershy’s house. He had tried several times to summon something to drink after they left, but every time something else happened.
Discord got frustrated after a while and stopped trying, going back to loafing around on Frank’s back.
His limbs and head flailed around with every step Frank made, giving the illusion that Discord didn’t have a single bone in his body. The serpent like neck he had now to look around didn’t help either.
“For Pete’s sake…” said Frank, focusing really hard before a white flash enveloped both them which originated from his horn.
The crowd made even more room for them, waiting for the light to fade out. Frank stood there as the spell was completed, wearing a saddle and matching headgear. It looked really flashy with lots of shiny buckles and ornate design patterns stitched into black leather.
He looked down on himself and frowned. A small wagon should have appeared which Frank wanted to use for pulling Discord around. The alcohol was still messing with his magic and he decided to not try again, settling for the pony ride solution.
Frank tried to formulate a coherent sentence through the bridle in his mouth, but had only semi-success in doing so. “Ish daet beddar, yu paensy?”
Another flash of light blinded him.
“Now it is!” said Discord, wearing a jockey outfit and taking the reigns.
It was inexplicable for him, how Discord could do the right spell now when he had failed a simpler one a dozen times before. Frank also noticed the large pink feather sticking out of his head.
He was too drunk to care about how this would look like and decided to make the best out of it, strutting down the park path like a show horse. In fact, he made a point of swaying his hips around which caused more than one stallion in the close vicinity to spill his drink.
The society rules of equestria were a bit weird at times. A pony wearing a saddle in public wasn’t unusual or special in any way. But combine it with a leather bridle and a rider on top, and you have one of the kinkiest things a pony could think of.
Soon Frank noticed the lusty looks he was getting, but wasn’t offended by it.
Quite the opposite actually.
“You want something to ogle at?” thought Frank, spotting a stallion who actually drooled into his drink, “I give you something to ogle at!”
A song started playing in his head which by the rules of this world, soon transferred over to real music that could be heard by everyone.
What followed next would become a mind stimulation of many lonely stallions at night for weeks to come. He started with a slow downward dog pose which almost let Discord slip off. Dwelling in this position with his butt raised in the air, he fluidly spun it in circles for effect before transitioning into stretching like cat.
Moving slowly and sensually with a lot of hip sway, he stopped in front of a large metal flag pole. The captivated audience couldn’t figure out at first what he would do with it, but that rapidly changed once Frank started.
After he gave the pole a hard and long lick, Frank stood up on his hind legs and grabbed onto it while twirling around. He started his little pole dance after scanning the gathered crowd a last time with bedroom eyes.
One would think that a three-hundred pound pony with a rider on top, should have difficulties in performing stunts on a pole.
Frank would prove that thought wrong.
For his last girlfriend he’d taken lessons in pole dancing as a surprise for her and had gotten really good at it. In the end it didn’t help to salvage the mess which was his last relationship, but the skills Frank aquired never had left him and were surprisingly easy to apply even in this body.
Blame the unusual bendy limbs of those ponies.
He practically played that pole like an instrument with his body, sliding and grinding alongside it with gusto. The secret of a good pole dance was to convey your own enjoyment of what you are doing, and Frank had the time of his life right now.
You had to develop a feeling for when to speed up or slow down, which was a key instrument to emphasize a certain motion and attracting attention to the wanted body part.
The crowd was really getting into it once he hung upside down with his hind legs spread out and only holding on with his front legs. To the chagrin of many stallions and some mares in the crowd, he purposefully used his tail to cover up his private parts during the whole act.
He was drunk, not stupid.
Discord had fallen off halfway through the act with a look of awe on his face, watching the alicorn work the pole. He had never seen something like this before, getting light headed by the movement and the level of alcohol in his blood.
Frank launched himself from the pole with his wings unfolded and landed in a sitting position on the ground, doing an excessive hair flip with his prismatic mane. The great finish was to lean back slowly while crossing his hind legs in a sultry way, with wings spread to their maximum span.
He got roaring applause before the crowd dispersed and Frank noticed that many ponies were in a great hurry to get home as fast as possible. With and without their partners.
“Hm?” said Frank to Discord, out of breath and still amused from the reaction of the crowd.
“You’re a pretty horsey…”
His vision was suddenly blocked by Discord’s head and Frank felt something warm, wet and wiggly inside his mouth. It took a moment until Frank realized what just had happened. This guy had stretched his neck like a snake again to french him.
Discord finished with a hearty squeeze of Frank’s flank, before he returned to laying on the ground. The draconequus was out like a light and slept his buzz off when Frank finally shook free of his mental numbness. He had a crooked smile on his face, but it didn’t reach to his eyes which were twitching like crazy. Enveloping the snoring Discord in his magic, Frank lifted him off the ground and laid him down a nearby park bench.
“It might get cold. I need something to cover him up,” thought Frank, still with the smile on his face.
He looked around the park to see if he could find something suitable. He did eventually, and everyone in the park heard the sound of something heavy ripped out of the ground, followed by a loud rumble and quaking earth.
“Daed wel du...” said Frank, looking at the huge uprooted tree that he had used to squash Discord under.
Satisfied with his work, he strolled away and tossed his horse tack. Only to stop at the closest trash bin to loudly empty his stomach into it.
All the while crying and cursing like a little girl until he was finished.
Frank walked out of the park and down the street with no clear goal in mind, spitting in disgust and wiping his tongue with a hoof to get the taste off. The little unwanted gesture of affection from Discord had shocked Frank into semi-soberness and made him shudder involuntarily.
He wanted to go back to Fluttershy and Luna, but wasn’t ready to face the consequences right now. Not to mention that he just had flattened one of the hosts with a tree.
Playing for time, he spotted two little fillies who were pretty high on his to-do list. Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, both with their saddlebags full of toys and candy from the festival. Frank vaguely remembered that the festival was specifically scheduled for kids today. The stalls were deliberately modified to be more interesting to kids, and had more things they would want, like the candy and toys in those saddlebags.
“Would explain the fact that there were only adults in the park during my little show. Lucky me!” thought Frank, happy to have dodged this bullet.
Unknown to him there was third filly, hidden even from Frank’s sight. That filly was Apple Bloom, who silently followed Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara. She had tailed them the whole day to get a clue of their further plans, but came out empty up till now. The two of them didn’t do anything nefarious or suspicious and just enjoyed the festival like normal fillies would with their friends. A thought that was weird to Apple Bloom.
Silver Spoon noticed Frank first, quickly poking Diamond Tiara in the side and pointing frantically at him. Her gaze followed the pointing hoof and hardened when she recognized Frank. She didn’t move or show any kind of reaction, polar opposite to her panicking friend.
Frank thought about what to do for a second and came to a conclusion. He marched straight up to the two fillies and gifted them with a winning smile. Might as well end this right here.
“Hello, you two. Are you having fun?”
Diamond Tiara snorted snidely. “What do you want?”
Silver Spoon stared at her friend and was horrified of how rude that sounded. You couldn’t speak to royalty like that.
Frank didn’t care. “I see. Cutting out the chit chat and going straight to the point… Ok, that’s fine.”
The smile vanished from his face.
“You seem smart enough to know that I helped Apple Bloom and her friends,” said Frank, walking in circles around them, “so I assume you’re also smart enough to know that this support of mine won’t stop anytime soon and that you know who I am and what I am capable of.”
He summoned two cones of ice cream, slightly happy that it worked the first time he tried. “I’m extending an olive branch here, and give both of you the chance to give up and settle this peacefully. You can’t win kid.”
Silver Spoon took the ice cream, but Diamond Tiara barely looked at it before she smacked the cone to the ground.
“I don’t give a rat’s ass about who you are…”
She ignored her friends outcry and stepped closer, poking Frank in the knee. “I don’t care how many important friends she has or how slim the chances are for me. I’m not backing down. Not from her, you or anypony else! Bring it, fatty!”
The street became suddenly silent. Every pony in the vicinity stopped doing what they did before and watched in awe.
“Oh my god, Diamond! Aren’t you afraid of anything?” thought Applebloom, watching the defiant filly stare down Frank.
She was afraid though. It took all of her willpower to not just run away right then and there. Silver Spoon was violently shaking beside her. Diamond Tiara simultaneously felt bad for dragging her best friend into this and really good because she stood by her side despite how dangerous it was.
Frank lifted one of his front legs and reached out for her. The sudden movement made Diamond Tiara flinch and she closed her eyes, expecting to get hit. The little filly waited for the without a doubt painful experience, but only felt a slight weight on her head.
“I changed my mind, I like you kid,” said Frank, ruffling her mane and tilting the tiara she wore slightly off center, “you’ve got balls, unlike most of those hoof-lickers.”
And without warning he turned around and walked away, leaving the two baffled fillies on the street.
Sweet Apple Acres
As far as the eye could see, bare trees without a single apple on the whole farm. Applejack was living her own personal nightmare, running frantically through the orchard. Out of breath she collapsed on the ground with her heartbeat ringing in the ears.
Applejack had known instantly that something was foul when she heard from Fluttershy that there were no apples today in Ponyville. Even when they didn’t sell on their stall in town, a huge part of their customers also came directly to the farm for buying apples.
Not seeing a single apple in the apple-loving town of Ponyville would mean that there were no means to buy them. Applejack had run all the way from Fluttershy and ditched their stupid plan, hoping against hope that she was wrong but sadly it wasn’t.
“Gone. Everything is gone!” thought Applejack, almost moved to tears before her eyes went wide.
Picking herself up, she hobbled through the valley of trees to check on her little baby. Bloomberg Junior was the apple of her eye, grown out of the seeds from Bloomberg which Braeburn sent her from Appleloosa. She loved this tree like a son and if whoever did this had hurt him, then there would be hell to pay.
Bursting into the clearing, she could see him on his special place right in the middle of the orchard. Applejack planted him to be surrounded by the senior trees to protect him from outside harm.
“Junior, I’m here! Mommy’s here!” said Applejack, checking the young tree for any obvious damage or abuse, “everything’s gonna be ok my little…”
She stopped, putting a hoof on her mouth in shock. It had been his first year of bearing fruits and Applejack had been so proud of him. Now he was bare like all the others, stripped from some stranger. From her experience she could tell that those apple had been picked and not bucked. Applejack’s thoughts were filled with images of sleazy looking stallions, mercilessly ripping off the apples from her little baby.
She hugged the little tree and nuzzled the bark. “Your first time, and I wasn’t there to see you through. I’m so sorry…”
Applejack froze mid-hug, but recovered quickly and pretended to check the bark of damage.
Big Mac rolled with his eyes, but didn’t say anything. He knew the quirks of his little sister and had learned in the past to ignore it. Her obsession with apples was extreme, even for a member of the Apple family but harmless most of the time and kinda cute.
Like right now, standing there with a scrunched up face and looking embarrassed for being caught. “So what is going on here Big Mac?”
He turned around and pointed his head in the direction of the barn. Applejack followed him and walked with her brother through the orchard to start their usual ping-pong like conversations.
“What happened to all the apples?”
“All of it? Who would do that?” said Applejack, before her eyes went wide, “for how much?”
“One bit for everything? Has Granny gone senile?”
Big Mac gave Applejack an angry look for the comment about Granny, before he shook his head and Applejack tried again.
“One bit per basket?”
He shook his head a second time and kept walking in silence towards the barn, which made her frustration grow.
“What? Come on Big Mac, the silent stallion schtick get’s dull sometimes!”
Big Mac sighed heavily. “Per apple, sis. They bought it for one bit per apple.”
She stopped dead in her tracks and watched back to the fields. Applejack let his statement sink in, but wasn’t quite capable of comprehending it.
“They also bought every apple product we made out of it, like the cider or the pastries. At this point you wouldn’t be able to find even a single apple seed in the whole orchard. I did some rough estimates of how much it is, but nothing concrete yet.”
Applejack stomped the ground angrily. “Spare me your fancy-schmancy mathematics. Give it to me straight!”
Big Mac sighed and kicked the barn door open with force and shielded his eyes from the sudden brightness. He forgot to warn Applejack though and she was temporarily blinded. Once her sight returned to normal, she didn’t believe it did. The sight before her couldn’t be real.
“Big Mac, is that a mountain of bits in our barn or have I gone insane?”
“Eyup, congrats sis, we’re officially rich now.”
She said nothing and Big Macintosh watched her walk to the giant pile of gold coins which almost reached the ceiling. Picking up a hoofful, Applejack let them slowly trickle back onto the floor and listened to the metallic jingle they produced.
“Who and how, bro?”
“Minotaurs from minos,” answered Big Macintosh, “said that they had a poor harvest and needed it desperately to fight a famine. The story almost broke Granny’s heart to the point where she almost barely wanted any money for it.”
“So why is there so much of it?”
Big Mac snorted. “Those minotaurs had gone on about honour and responsibility until Granny gave up and took their money.”
Applejack frowned and bit her lip. This whole thing stunk to high heaven and she didn’t believe one bit of it for even a second. Only Celestia had the necessary funds and connections to do something like this so fast, but she couldn’t fathom the reason why the princess would have done that.
Princess Celestia really must be batshit crazy.
She had gone out of her way to make them accept her money and made sure that they couldn’t give it back. Their apples were gone and until the next harvest it would stay that way. Not that they needed to grow crops anymore with all the bits they got.
Applejack shook her head violently to get this thought out of her head. She would never quit. Apples were her life and joy, but she couldn’t stop herself from daydreaming about her future life.
“No more groveling before snooty Canterlot snobs for crumbs.”
She opened two saddlebags who were lying around and started to shovel bits into them. “No more sleepless nights because of unpaid bills.”
“We can renovate the house and build a new barn,” she said, looking around the place and getting more and more cheery, “Granny can afford her dream of a luxury cruise to Galopoli, in addition to a new hip and new teeth.”
“Something else to eat other than apples for a change!”, said Big Macintosh happily, before he saw the angry glare from his sister, “Just saying. A pear once in a while doesn’t hurt.”
The glare intensified, but Applejack couldn’t hide a little smirk. “Not funny, Big Mac.”
She was always the dependable one, the pony who was down to earth, the most calm and collected. The boring farmer and the party pooper, ruining the “fun” of others by having some actual morals. Applejack always worked hard to get what she wanted and never stepped out of line.
Applejack was no purple nerd princess with ocd, or a self-centered and self-proclaimed flying daredevil. She didn’t have outbreaks of randomness like Pinkie, or sudden mood swings as Fluttershy. Not even a little case of being overdramatic, something Rarity had improved to perfection over the years.
She is, and always has been plain and old Applejack who never has never done anything for herself, tagging along for the ride.
And now she had enough.
Buck it. Why does she even bother? Nobody else seems to care about anything, so why should she? They were rich now and didn’t owe anything to anyone. It was time to think about herself more. Starting today Applejack would do whatever the hell she wanted to whenever she wanted to.
No matter what it was.
“Where are you going?” asked Big Macintosh as she passed him with the two saddlebags filled to the brim with bits.
“‘Las Pegasus. Oh, I almost forgot the most important part,” said Applejack, turning around and positioning herself in front of her brother.
He looked at her expectantly, watching her fiddle around nervously before she took off her hat and put it on his head in a way so he couldn’t see anymore. Something warm pressed against his lips, long enough so he was sure he didn’t just imagine it when Applejack addressed him again.
“For good luck, my little red delicious.”
Big Macintosh shoved the hat from his eyes and watched the smiling Applejack skipping happily towards town, ready to catch the next train and whistling a happy tune.