Rarity's eyes scanned over the nearby apple orchard as she walked down a path with her dear friend Applejack.
"Thanks a lot for comin' Rarity. Means a lot to me," said the orange mare.
Rarity shook her head. "Oh darling, it's not problem at all. I've always wanted to help you landscape your orchards... I just never thought you'd ask!"
Applejack shrugged and looked away. Rarity had been noticing that she was acting rather odd today. Almost... nervous? Embarrassed? Perhaps both?
Maybe she was embarrassed to be asking Rarity to "prettify" her orchard. Speaking of that... why did she ask her to?
Applejack finally spoke again. "When ya were sayin' how a little more décor might make Sweet Apple Acres more popular and improve business... how could I not ask ya?"
Rarity nodded. "Very aptly put, Applejack, you didn't have much of a choice. Sweet Apple Acres has been under-decorated for far too long." She paused and glanced at Applejack, who seemed determined not to look her in the eye. "I know you had to sacrifice your pride to ask me this. But remember, I'm having to make sacrifices too."
Applejack finally looked at her, eyebrows raised in surprise. "Ya are? Oh Rarity, if I'm keepin' ya from something, I'm sorry."
Rarity shook her head. "Oh no darling, I had no former engagements. It's just the dust from this farm practically ruins my hooves and gets in my mane... I'm going to have to go straight to the spa after this."
Applejack rolled her eyes and sighed. "Oh, is that all?"
Rarity huffed in indignation. "Applejack! This is a very big deal, what would my customers think of me if they saw me covered in dirt? I would be disgraced and never sell a dress again! So my only choice is to go to the spa, and it's not cheap you know."
Applejack just chuckled. "I thought you went to the spa everyday anyway?"
Rarity paused. "Not... everyday."
Applejack laughed again, but then stopped abruptly. "Uh... sorry Rarity, you've been all nice and all to come and help me. I shouldn't be making fun of you."
Rarity raised a single eyebrow at her friend's increasingly odd behaviour. "It's all right darling. All in good fun, as they say."
They walked in silence to the top of the hill that was their destination. Applejack sighed and gestured out at the farm. "So, what do ya reckon we should change?"
Rarity pursed her lips and starred at the trees. "Well, I doubt I can rearrange to position of the orchards themselves... which is ghastly. But perhaps you could start by tearing up those ugly white fences and replacing them with something far more elegant."
Applejack snorted. "Tear up all the fences? And who's going to do that? Not you I assume."
"Oh, goodness no, that is far too much heavy lifting for moi. You and Big MacIntosh are more than capa-"
"Rarity." said Applejack, abruptly, but not unkindly. "Do ya really expect me and Big Mac to tear up the entire fence that extends all around Sweet Apple Aces? Especially when we've already got so much work to do?"
"Would you consider at least painting them a more attractive colour?" Rarity said, eyes shining hopefully.
Rarity sighed and pouted. "Fine."
"Could ya think of something... a little less... well less?"
Rarity shrugged. "Well the least you could do is knock down some of those dead branches."
Applejack shook her head. "Nah, they'll come down this applebuck season when I..." she trailed off, seemingly realizing that she was refusing Rarity's most basic request. "I mean... sure! Why not?"
The two mares then proceeded into the orchard to begin said task. Rarity gently levitated the dead branches down to the ground, whilst Applejack bucked the trees, knocking down cascades of twigs and branches and causing an awful mess. Luckily the apples themselves were far too young to fall yet.
"Applejaaack!" Rarity whined. "You're making an even bigger mess, stop that this instant and clean up those twigs."
Surprisingly Applejack did as she was told, placing the branches in a nearby empty apple barrel. Satisfied, Rarity turned around to continue her work.
Suddenly Applejack spoke up in a quiet voice, saying something rather surprising. "I love ya Rarity."
Rarity stiffened. She... loves... me? Surely she meant as a friend? Right?
Clearly. Applejack would never... love me...
Rarity cleared her throat and turned to her orange friend, convinced she only meant as friends. "Aww, Applejack, that's very sweet of you. I love you too. You're one of my dearest friends, and you know that."
Applejack opened her mouth to reply, but then shut it again. And then opened it and shut it again... several times. Finally she just nodded, and smiled a forced smile. "Yeah, who'da thought we'd be such great friends."
"I know I didn't." Rarity returned to her work.
Stupid! Stupid, stupid, STUPID!
Applejack paced back and forth in her room later that afternoon. She may be the Element of Honesty, but nopony should just say 'I love you' at some random time, with no romantic gestures... or even atmosphere! What was the point in going to all that work to get them alone on the farm, if she was just going to botch it like that?!
She stopped pacing and gazed out her window. Now she had lost her for sure. Whether Rarity had guessed she was professing romantic love or not... there was not another chance she could work up the courage to tell the gorgeous white mare. And great Celestia is she gorgeous....
Applejack hadn't even been interested in mares before she started to fall in love with Rarity. They'd known each other since they were fillies, but they hadn't really became good friends until Twilight came to town, as they had nothing in common.
After that... memorable night at Twilight's Library, Applejack had found herself admiring Rarity's beauty... until the point where it was more than admiration. Applejack wasn't gay, she would still glance twice at a good looking stallion... She wasn't even sure if she was bisexual. But Rarity... Rarity was something different. She was beautiful... but so much more than that. It wasn't her physical beauty that attracted Applejack, but her inner beauty. She was just so... good.
Applejack flopped on her bed moodily. All this brooding was getting her nowhere... she could never have Rarity... it was simply impossible.
Or couldn't she? Maybe Rarity hadn't realized that she meant romantic love in her confession?
If so... if she could just work up the courage... no!
This was getting impossible to do on her own... but maybe if she had help? She had four other amazing friends. She knew her family didn't approve of homosexuality, but perhaps one of her other friends did!
That was her first thought. In the short years she had know her, Twilight had quickly become Applejack's most trusted and closest friend. Surely she would understand? Right?
She jumped off the bed and walked as fast as she could downstairs. She passed her family in the dining room.
"Applejack, come and join us, dinner is ready!" Granny Smith called out to her.
"No thank you Granny Smith, I'm heading over to Twilight's, perhaps I'll eat there. That's okay with ya'll right?"
"Eeyup" replied Big MacIntosh.
"Ah good, see ya'll later!"
Rarity sat on her bed, starring out the window of her fabulous Boutique. For once, her mind was not on some dress or new trending fashion. Or what some famous pony was doing what leagues away in Canterlot or Manehattan. Instead her mind was on a simple orange farmpony only a few kilometres from where she was sitting now. A farmpony who had just turned her world upside down.
Did Applejack really love her? As in romantic love? It was her greatest dream and greatest fear becoming reality at once. She never wanted anypony to discover her bisexuality. She would be utterly disgraced among the elite of Canterlot. In their eyes she would be no better than a fillyfooler. And nopony of class buys from a fillyfooler.
Even Rarity herself avoided associating with them for fear of her own reputation. What's worse about being bisexual, is she couldn't even find solace with the fillyfoolers as gay ponies tended to be disdainful of bisexuals. Calling them 'undecided' or 'pre-gays'.
Rarity had realized her own sexuality after she started designing dresses, spending that much time studying the body form of mares made her realize how attractive it was to her. Seeing her results on beautiful models only made it worse.
She couldn't come out... her friends would reject her, she could never step hoof in Canterlot again. Her business would be ruined! Her parents might disown her too. And then deny her from ever seeing Sweetie Belle again... she would lose everything. That simply wasn't worth Applejack...
Why in Equestria she had fallen for the most unrefined mare in Ponyville she would never know. But there was something about that mare that just... was amazing. She was so fabulous and didn't even try. Rarity couldn't even imagine what she would look like without the hat and with her hair down and perhaps a little make-up... She would be simply breathtaking, amazing...
And her flank too...
Stop it! Rarity did not think such pathetic thoughts. Also, she didn't think about mares that way. She simply couldn't!
Suddenly there was a knock on her door below. Her store was closed, so it must be one of her friends. Oh Celestia... please let it not be Applejack!
She reluctantly got off her bed and trotted downstairs, opening her front door nervously. The postmare, Derpy, stood there.
"Hey uh... Rarity!" she said happily.
"Excuse me, but I'm not open at the moment. Please come back tomorrow."
"Oh no... I wasn't wanting a dress, I came to deliver a message."
Rarity cocked her head. "Shouldn't you just deliver it to my letterbox?"
Derpy scratched her head, as if momentarily perplexed by this as well. Then she seemed to remember. "Oh yeah! But... it's kind of a verbal message..."
"Uh... it was... Francy Prance?"
"Fancy Pants?!" Exclaimed Rarity, excited.
"That's the one!" said Derpy.
"Oh what is it?! Tell me, tell me, tell me!" said Rarity, trotting in place.
"Uh... it was... well," Derpy scratched her head again, awkwardly. Rarity glared at her, and suddenly Derpy seemed to remember, word for word too. "Uh, 'Miss Rarity, I am in Ponyville to discuss some political things with our nation's newest Princess and your friend, her Majesty Twilight Sparkle. After which, me and Fleur would love to stop by your house to see your Spring stock, the styles I've seen so far in Canterlot are not worthy for my prized supermodel."
"YES!" Squealed Rarity. Then she grabbed Derpy. "Find him and tell him yes, definitely yes!"
Derpy saluted and flew off towards Twilight's Library.
"Yes, yes, YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!" Rarity squealed again, almost forgetting about Applejack in the depth of her extreme excitement.
Applejack trotted sadly through Ponyville towards the library, a few pones waved at her, but she just ignored them. Finally, she reached the library, not even noticing the two ponies that stood outside it.
"Excuse me ma'am, hold there please."
She looked up in surprise at the strong stallion that stood in front of the door, holding a hoof outstretched to stop her.
"Eh?" she said. "Who in the hay are you?"
"I'm Mr. Fancy Pants' personal bodyguard, now, if you please, I'd like you to go on your way."
Applejack glanced at the other pony there and recognized her to be the nationwide famous fashion model: Fleur Dis Lee. The supermodel looked down at Applejack with something reminiscing of pity on her face. "Please, do run along dear, you don't want to upset my friend here," she nodded towards the bodyguard, whose stern expression was unchanged.
Applejack gritted her teeth, angry at the arrogant Canterlotians. "Now see here, I'm here to see my friend Twilight, you'd best let me in!"
Fleur Dis Lee laughed. "You're friends with the Princess? Don't be ridiculous."
Applejack rolled her eyes. "I was friends with her before she became a princess. And unlike some ponies, she don't think herself above us common folk. Now let me in!"
Fleur Dis Lee looked insulted, but did not retort. The bodyguard just shook his head. "I can't do that ma'am, Mr. Fancy Pants and Her Majesty are busy discussing politics."
Applejack snorted. "Yeah right!"
"I'm sorry, I have my orders." said the bodyguard.
"Hmph! Fine!" Applejack turned and stormed off. It wasn't worth it.
She walked back through the town, almost defeated. Perhaps her other friends could help? Fluttershy perhaps? Nah... she needed courage, Fluttershy was not the pony to talk to. Not Pinkie Pie, anypony but her. Her advice would make no sense, and then she'd probably tell the whole town about it.
That leaves Rainbow... Dash. Oh boy.
"Rainbow!" shouted Applejack, when she arrived bellow the daredevil's house. "Rainbow I need to talk to you!"
"What'dya need AJ?" asked a voice from behind her.
"Ah!" Applejack jumped and turned, finding herself face to face with the pony in question. "Sorry Rainbow... I needed advice."
"Sure!" Rainbow Dash jumped up and spun in the air, landing on a nearby cloud and peering down at Applejack lazily. "What can Ponyville's most awesome pony do you for eh?"
Applejack sighed. Confessing her feelings to Rainbow Dash was not going to be easy... she would undoubtedly mock her. Forever. "I need some advice."
"You said that," the cyan mare rolled her eyes. "What kind of advice? I mean, I'm best at flying, but I've got a few athletic ground tricks."
"I don't need tricks Rainbow."
"Oh, workout routines? I got-"
"Not those either!" said Applejack, frustrated.
"Advice on awesomeness then?" Rainbow grinned. "I'm not sure if that comes free!"
"No! No! No!" Applejack stopped her hoof. "I don't need physical advice, or even awesomeness advice... it's... something... else."
"Huh?" asked Rainbow. "What is it Applejack? Just spit it out already!"
"I need..." Applejack took a deep breath, it's now or never. "Relationship advice."
Rainbow starred at her for a full two minutes, before breaking into laughter and falling off her cloud. She landed on the road beside Applejack and rolled around clutching her stomach. Applejack growled.
Rainbow sighed, and wiped her eyes. "Relationship advice... haha! From...Me! That's a good one Applejack!"
"It's not a joke," Applejack muttered.
"Hahahahaha... wait what?!" Rainbow sat up and stared her friend/rival in the eye. "You mean... you really are in love with somepony?"
"Yeah..." Applejack looked away, embarrassed.
Rainbow burst into laughter again and rolled around the ground, chanting. "A-J is in love! A-J is in love! A-J is in love! Hahahahaha!!!!"
Applejack waved her hoof at the rude mare. "Shush! It's a secret RD!"
Rainbow stopped chanting and sat up again, still snickering. "Oh really? Why? Is he a high-class pony, and you're too embarrassed to admit you like him?"
"No... well yes... But actually..." Applejack sighed. It's too late now, might as well spill the rest of the beans. "It's... it's not a him..."
Rainbow's eyes widened and her mouth dropped open. Applejack looked away, ashamed. She half expected Rainbow Dash to fly away, yell at her or burst into laughter again. But Rainbow did none of these things. Instead, Applejack felt surprisingly gentle forelegs hug her in a warm embrace. She looked at Rainbow in surprise, the cyan mare backed away. "You're gay?" inquired the rainbow-maned mare.
Rainbow put a hoof on her mouth and whispered. "It's okay... I am too."
It was Applejack's turn for her eyes to widen in shock. Rainbow removed her hoof and Applejack spoke. "Really?!"
Rainbow nodded. "True-blue, through and through."
Applejack shook her head. "Weird. I guess it makes sense."
"Unlike you. I'd have never expected you to be gay."
"I'm not, actually," explained Applejack. "I'm... well, I guess I'm sort of bisexual. For the most part, I like stallions... but this one mare..."
"Oh," said Rainbow simply, "Cool." She didn't seem disappointed or disapproving. Applejack never expected Rainbow Dash of all ponies to be so kind and understanding.
"So I really wanted to know... how do you approach a mare? One you don't even know if she likes mare or not?"
Rainbow scratched her chin, looking up at the now darkening sky. "Well I guess... I mean, I've never dated yet. But I suppose... How much do you love her?"
Applejack sighed. "A lot."
"And how much do you think about her?"
"Every day... too much."
"Does it effect or even damage your work and everyday life?" Rainbow looked back at her, starring intently into her eyes.
"Well, some ponies might say take it cautious, you know, get her talking, find out if she is okay with homosexuality and dig even deeper from there," Rainbow shrugs. "But not me, I'm Rainbow Danger Dash. If you really can't live without her, then just come clean. If she rejects you, you'll get over it faster than you'll get over the crush... at least I think so..."
Suddenly it made sense to Applejack. Rainbow was... right! "Thank you partner! You're right, I'm going to go tell her right now!" she turned around to run off to Carousel Boutique.
"Wait, wait, wait... you never told me... who is she?" Rainbow suddenly looked nervous. "It's not... somepony I know right?"
Applejack stopped and turned. "Uh..." she grinned sheepishly. "It's... uh... it's... Rarity."
"What?!" cried Rainbow Dash, but Applejack had already taken off down the road.
"Hmm... too flowery," said Fleur Dis Lee.
"But darling, your cutie mark is flowers!" said Rarity, concerned, the supermodel and Fancy Pants had gone through two dozen dresses with not much positive feedback.
"Yes, Lilies, not daffodils."
"I agree, Fleur, it's much too simple for you. It's a great dress to be sure, just not for my Fleur Dis Lee," said Fancy Pants. "Bring out the next one, please, Miss Rarity."
Grumbling slightly, Rarity trotted back into her closet and dragged out another dress form with a more elegant but breezy pink and white dress. "This one was going to be for my friend Fluttershy, but she didn't really like it anyway. It suits you Fleur," Rarity grinned at the white unicorn hopefully.
As Fleur inspected the dress, Fancy Pants made small talk. "Fluttershy, wasn't she that short-lived popular fashion model?"
Rarity suddenly felt defensive of her friend. "Voluntarily short-lived fashion model yes, the fashion life wasn't for her."
Fancy Pants nodded. "No indeed, it's not for everyone is it?" He looked over at Fleur. "What do you think, my dear? I like this one."
Fleur nodded, "Me as well. Far better than that Suri Polomare's spring line... terrible!"
Rarity had to bit her lip to prevent herself from screaming in delight. Fancy Pants turned to her, presumably to order the dress or perhaps to congratulate her work...
Suddenly the door burst open, and a muddy-hooved, dishevelled Applejack stood there. "Rarity, I need to talk to you... oh, ya have company... Pardon."
"Urgh!" said Fleur. "You know this pony?"
"Uh-I... well..." Rarity laughed awkwardly.
Luckily Fancy Pants stepped in and saved her. "Ah yes, Applejack, I do believe we met at the Canterlot Garden Party, correct? A pleasure to see you again." He showed no signs of shaking hooves with the dirty farm mare however... but who could blame him? Certainly not Rarity.
"Ahh... yes!" said Fleur Dis Lee. "Pardon my outburst, I was simply startled by your... dramatic entrance!"
"No problem, I'll just be goin' now..." said Applejack.
"Yes, farewell," said Rarity.
"Nonsense my dear, if you need to speak with your friend, go ahead! We were just leaving anyway." said Fancy Pants. "Come along my dear," he beckoned to Fleur who followed him past Applejack and out the door.
"No... no!" said Rarity, "Come back!"
"Oh we'll be back to pick up the dress later," said Fancy Pants and he closed the door behind him.
Rarity glared at Applejack as soon as it was fully shut.
"Uh... heh-heh," the farmpony awkwardly laughed. "Sorry?"
"Hmph!" Rarity stuck her snout in the air. But after a second she softened. "I guess you didn't ruin everything. They are coming back, and that's what matters. Now, tell me what you wanted to say Applejack, it had better be very important to interrupt us like that!"
"It is important... Rarity..." she came over to the white mare and knelt in front of her. Suddenly Rarity was terrified that what she had to say was very important.
"I love ya!" said Applejack, "I really, really do, and I have for awhile. I want to date ya. I'm serious!"
Rarity backed away and looked out a window, overwhelmed by emotions. On one hoof... she could have Applejack! On the other... all her other dreams would be destroyed. "Applejack... you shouldn't have... I... I can't..." She glanced back at the Earth Pony, who hung her head.
"I understand Rarity. I never expected you to be gay or bi... I'm not even sure if I am myself... I just love you. And I needed to tell you."
She turned to leave, but Rarity held out her hoof. "Applejack wait!"
The farmpony turned back and raised an eyebrow.
"I..." Rarity sighed. "I am bisexual. I just... I just..."
"Just don't like me? I'm not surprised, why would such a gorgeous, brilliant mare like yourself love a dirty farm mare like me..."
She opened the door and walked outside. Panicking, Rarity ran to the steps and called after her. "No. No! That's not it at all! You are gorgeous... very gorgeous. And brilliant too."
Applejack walked back up the stairs and starred Rarity in the eye. "Then what then? What is wrong with me?"
Rarity looked down at her hooves. "Nothing," she whispered.
Applejack just stood there. Not leaving, not really staying... perhaps Rarity hadn't said enough?
"Nothing at all," she continued in just as quiet a voice. "You're perfect."
She looked back up into the orange pony's eyes, which widened. "Perfect?"
Rarity nodded and looked away again.
"Are you already dating somepony? Fancy Prance? Is that it?"
"No!" Rarity turned back to glare at Applejack. "And his name is Fancy Pants!"
"That's so much better!" Applejack spat, bitterly.
Rarity growled, but it was cut off as Applejack suddenly grabbed her and kissed her deeply on the lips. It was the most amazing feeling she had ever felt. She had kissed a few stallions before... even some colts back when she was a filly - what could she say? She was a romantic. - But none of them were as good as this... this.
Rarity melted into the kiss, just enjoying the bliss for the moment. Just one moment...
"Oh great Celestia!" said a female voice down the road a short ways.
Applejack broke the contact and they both looked behind her for the source of the voice. Fleur and Fancy Pants stood there, awkwardly. Fleur's mouth hung open in shock, but Fancy Pants' expression was more unreadable.
"Oh... Eeck!" Rarity squeaked and dived behind Applejack, who stood before her defensively.
"Well, I say! We simply came back to buy the dress, we thought you'd be done by now. But I can tell you are still busy, ho, ho!" Fancy Pants said.
Rarity was suddenly filled with rage, but not at the Earth Pony mare who had stolen her kiss. But surprisingly... at Fancy Pants and the rest of the Canterlotian High Society.
"That's right! We are busy, me and my marefriend, do you have a problem with it?!"
Applejack glanced at Rarity nervously.
Fleur Dis Lee looked angry at the outburst, but Fancy Pants chortled. "Not at all dear, I think more ponies could be a little more open minded about such things. I hardly understand it, but it's your life eh?"
"Well you can..." Rarity was so prepared for an argument, she almost continued to shout at him. "Oh... well, good! Actually, if you want to buy the dress now... it'll only take a moment... if that's all right with you dear?" she glanced at Applejack, who grinned.
"As long as I keep the right for you to call me dear... you can do whatever ya want... dear!" Applejack laughed. "Celestia almighty! Yee-haw!"
"Um... Applejack?" Rarity gave her a silent look to please not embarrass me too much!
"Uh... right, I gotta go see somepony anyhow. See ya in a bit Rarity."
"All right darling... see you later. Miss Lee, Fancy Pants, this way, if it pleases you," Rarity ushered them both inside, waving at Applejack.
"You make such a charming couple," said Fleur Dis Lee.
Rarity just rolled her eyes. "Thank you Fleur, let's get you fitted for the dress."