Baby, it's Cold Outside

by Captain Unstoppable

Baby it's Cold Outside

Baby It's Cold Outside

Rainbow Dash was cold.

No. She was downright freezing!

Sitting in her bed in the early morning, she pulled the blankets tightly around her, trying to keep as warm as she could. But she was still shivering, her entire body shaking like she was in the middle of a earthquake. Her teeth chattered as she tried to occupy her mind with warm thoughts; anything to keep her mind off her current predicament.

How could she forget to prepare her house for the winter?

Actually… she thought, remembering the hectic months before. Being an Element of Harmony, and with ponies everywhere in need of help from the forces of evil and destruction, it was quite easy to forget such things. Still, she couldn't believe that she had forgotten all about it, considering how chilly it was.

Like all pegasi, she was used to the cold--it came with the territory of flying so high--but that didn’t mean she liked it! She would have gotten her walls properly insulated to keep out those icy blasts of wind, and installed extra padding on the floor so her hooves wouldn’t go numb every time she dared touch it!

Stupid scheduling conflicts. Why can’t they get to my house sooner?!  Rainbow thought, too cold to even talk to herself for fear of her saliva freezing if she opened her mouth. As proud as she was of building her house with her own hooves, she was well aware of the fact that it took specially trained ponies to create insulation to make a cloud home warm for the winter. Even while being an Element of Harmony, reserve member of the Wonderbolts, and best friends with a princess, they still couldn't get to her house for at least another two weeks!

Pulling her collection of Wonderbolt blankets, comforters, towels, and any other source of warmth around her tighter, she tried to figure out how to get out of this mess. There was no way she could stay in her house for another two weeks. Not like this! It was supposed to get colder in the next few days, with blizzards predicted all over Equestria that the weather teams could not control. Growling, she buried her head deeper into her cocoon.

I can’t stay here! I need to find a place to crash for a while. Rainbow’s eyes grew wide and her nostrils flared as she tried to think of a place to stay for a couple of weeks until her home became livable again. Maybe I could stay at Fluttershy’s. Her house is always warm with her baking and her animal friends… no… she’d probably want me to go out and work in the Everfree with her to keep the animals safe. I don’t want to go out in the cold any more than I need to! Rainbow gave another growl, striking Fluttershy off the list. Besides, Discord would randomly pop in, and she did not want to spend time with the Lord of Chaos if she could avoid it.

I could stay with Twilight. She has a whole castle to herself and I could read all the Daring Doo I want! Rainbow liked that idea; she could curl up next to a nice, roaring fire and read Daring Doo all day long without even having to see Twilight outside of meals. Actually, no… ever since Shining and Cadance said they were expecting a foal she’s gone crazy with reading up on how to be an aunt. Rainbow gave a shudder at the idea of Twilight in a constant manic state to learn everything about being an aunt, and reading about all the things that could go wrong during pregnancy. Or maybe it was the cold still clawing at her comforters.

With another friend scratched off the list, Rainbow considered her other options. Pinkie was a definite no: as nice as it would be to live in a bakery for two weeks, she didn’t think she could survive such a large period of time with Pinkie and the Cake’s foals. She did not like kids, except for Scootaloo, at times, and she was just plain bad with them. Rarity was another no. She would more than likely have Rainbow model for her in exchange for letting her stay there. Plus, Rarity had been planning on having Thunderlane over during one of the snowstorms to experience the whole ‘Lovers trapped in a Blizzard’ type thing from her romance novels. The idea made Rainbow laugh a bit to herself: the mental image of Thunderlane trapped with Rarity and being forced to smile like he enjoyed having her draped over him ‘for warmth’.

Thus bringing her to her final friend and rival: Applejack. The Apples always have a nice fire going and Granny Smith is usually knitting blankets to keep them all warm during the winter. Also, I could possibly score some bottles of cider. Rainbow licked her lips at the idea of having a mug of that wonderful liquid in her hooves as she sat by the fire, whole acres of wool wrapped around her to keep warm. Winter is usually their off season. Most of the time Mac is the only one working outdoors. Rainbow thought about the big red stallion. And then a little bit more about him..

The more she thought about it, the more it became obvious that Sweet Apple Acres was the only choice for Rainbow Dash. Bolting out of her bed, she flew around as fast as she could, collecting everything she might need for the next two weeks and stuffing it all into an overnight bag,  including a few books, toiletries, her warmest pajamas, and blankets, before blasting out the front door, almost causing a Sonic Rainboom in the process.

She was going to be warm these next two weeks, no matter what!

Rainbow was used to the winter weather from working shifts for the weather team, but with how dangerous it was going to be for the next few weeks the team had been grounded. However, she still couldn't ignore the wind slicing her feathers as she flew toward the Apples’ home. Her wings felt like they were going to fall off at any second, but she kept pushing on, knowing that the end of her journey would have a roaring fire, warm cider, and spending time with her best friend!

Swooping down below the clouds, Ponyville came into sight. As much as she hated the cold, snow, and ice, she had to admit that the town always looked beautiful with a blanket of snow over it. Smoke came up from the warm houses with warm fires as a few ponies walked about the town dressed in their warmest clothes, all the while braced against the cold. At night the the warm glow of light came out of the windows, causing a magical effect on the snow and making it glitter like the stars in the sky.

The town looked especially magical when the sky was free of clouds, letting the stars shine and twinkle and shimmer. If it were not below freezing, she would love to fly around in the clear, crisp air, to take part in the magic of the night, to look out over the couples enjoying the moon’s soft glow.

As nice as it was to look down at Ponyville, the biting cold kept her flying forward towards the farm. She could not spend time thinking about all that guff when a warm fire was waiting for her!

Making it to the farm in record time, she landed on the front porch of the farmhouse before pounding on the door, ready to break it down if need be. She had not seen Applejack out in the fields, only the bright red shape of Big Mac as he pulled a large cart of apple-like products into town. She kept pounding on the door till finally it opened up and Applejack appeared.

“What in tarnation is it?” Applejack shouted, avoiding one of Rainbow’s hooves as she brought it down to pound on the door again. She had only a bright red scarf tightly wrapped around her neck. Besides that, she looked the same as any other day. As much as Rainbow Dash loved being a pegasus and thought they were the best out of all ponies, she was jealous at how warm earth ponies were. The never seemed to need more than an extra fragment of clothing to keep warm.

“Hey AJ!” Rainbow Dash said happily, pushing her way inside the house’s front door and dropping her overnight bag. “Mind if I stay with you guys for two weeks? Thanks!” With that, Rainbow Dash flew over into the living room where the fire was roaring proudly, filling the house with heat, and leaving a confused Applejack behind.

Upon entering the living room, Rainbow Dash felt her wings go stiff as she fell out of the air and onto her flank, hard. There was no warm glow of fire in the fireplace, or Granny Smith sitting in her rocking chair knitting blankets. Instead, the room was devoid of any flames, causing a chill to run up her spine, and no other ponies were in the room.

“What the hay, Applejack?! Where’s the fire? Granny Smith knitting blankets? Heat!” Applejack walked into the room right as Rainbow Dash got back up. She had no chance to avoid Rainbow’s hooves clamping to her shoulders, or the violent shaking that nearly ripped them from their sockets.

“What are ya talkin’ about?” Applejack shouted out in surprise, pushing Dash off and adjusting her scarf. “What do ya mean yer stayin’ fer two weeks?” Rainbow Dash gave out a low growl, as she looked around the room again. Where was everything she was expecting?

“I didn’t get my place done right for winter and it's as cold as it is outside! So I need a place to stay till they get it all fixed up. Where is everypony? Where is the fire?” Rainbow Dash started to walk around the room as though it would all come into place if she trotted enough laps. Applejack merely shook her head at Rainbow and gave a sigh.

“Granny Smith and Bloom are in Appleloosa right now. Granny’s gonna be spendin’ winter down there from now on, the cold and her don't mix well anymore. Bloom went along ta see Braeburn and will be comin’ back with him in a week or so.” Applejack kept on watching Rainbow Dash, her green eyes locked on the pegasus. “As fer why there’s no fire, Ah’m leavin’ fer Manehatten taday, so Mac’ll be here by himself. He dosen’t need a fire ta keep warm, so we didn’t start one.” Rainbow rounded on Applejack as though she had just insulted the Wonderbolts.

“Why are you going to Manehatten? And why doesn’t he need a fire! I need a warm, toasty fire!” Applejack had to turn away from Rainbow with how pitiful she looked, shivering there and looking up at her with puppy dog eyes. When Rainbow wanted to, she could look cuter than any filly. Of course, if anypony ever told her that, they could look forward to milkshake meals for the rest of their life. Giving a sigh, Applejack looked around before shaking her head.

“Fine, ya can stay,” As soon as the words left her lips, Rainbow gave a cry of joy as she did a flip in the small living room, barely missing cracking her head on the wood ceiling. Applejack rolled her eyes at Rainbow Dash, and went on as though nothing had happened. “It’s just gonna be Mac and ya tonight. Ah’ll be in Manehatten till late tanight sellin’ some product.” She passed by Rainbow Dash and over to the dead fireplace.

Applejack threw a few logs in, stacking them up like a small cabin. She then placed a piece of paper inside the firewood, before setting it alight with a couple of spare matches. In a few short minutes a fire had to come to life in the fireplace, bathing the room in a warm glow and creating the perfect spot for a wiry pegasus to do her best impression of a cat. She yawned smugly, stretching until her back popped, and finally curled up in a rainbow-tufted ball. Rainbow Dash gave  a low sigh of content as the waves of heat spilled gently across her, eyes starting to flutter shut and let her take a long, winter nap.

“What in tarnation do ya think yer doin’?” Applejack shouted, taking Dash’s tail into her mouth and dragging her away from the fireplace.

Rainbow gave a sudden yelp, not just from the pain of her tail being pulled, but from being dragged away from the magnificent heat.

“Hey! What was that for? It was warm there!” she shouted, glaring at Applejack and pulling her tail from Applejack’s mouth.

Spitting out a few stray hairs, Applejack returned Dash’s glare while stomping her hoof. “Do ya know how many times a pony’s tail has been set alight by sleepin’ by the fire? Ain’t a pretty sight!”

The mental image of her rainbow colored tail being singed and shortened by fire was not something Dash wanted to dwell on. However, as she thought about it, she remembered that Applejack’s tail had once been burned at the end, its bright blonde marred by black, burnt strands.

“Wait… is that how you…”

Before Dash could finish, Applejack had spun around and smacked Dash on the side of her face, effectively silencing her.

“Ah got ta catch up with Mac. Ah’ll have him set up the guest room when he gets back,” Applejack said, keeping herself from looking at Dash. “Now don't do anythin’ indecent with mah brother: don't ya dare corrupt him.”

Rainbow gave a snort at that, jumping up on the couch. “Please! You wish I would,” she laughed, running her foreleg over herself. “Have you seen me?” Dash laughed again, only making Applejack roll her eyes.

“Like you could handle a real stallion,” Applejack said with a sly grin, and slipped out the front door before Dash could say anything back.

Rainbow gave a low growl as Applejack left; somehow, she had managed to lose again to her best fr- rival.. Giving a huff that sent her bangs up and out of her eyes, she curled up again and gave a loud yawn.

She could get back at AJ over the next two weeks. At that moment, the warmth of the fire and the soft couch underneath her pushed all other thoughts from her mind, and before long she was out.


Dash was lost in that moment between sleeping and waking, where the mind starts to wake up but the rest of the body remains one with the bed, or floor. With her eyes still closed, she didn’t care to wake up just yet.

She was surrounded by perfect warmth; not one part of her body was too hot or too cold. From her hooves to the tips of her wings, she was completely and utterly content. She could feel a nice, fluffy quilt over her, something Granny Smith had made, and other quilts underneath her that were just as soft. She felt like she was sleeping in a nice, warm cloud that was providing the perfect amount of heat.

The best part, however, had to be the large pillow she was holding. It felt like one of those giant ones that were as long as a pony, made so that the owner could have something to hold on to while sleeping. She had never considered getting one, but after this she would have to buy ten of them! They felt amazing!

The pillow had to be a fuzzy one, though. She could feel the short, soft fabric against her face, and it was just fantastic. Nuzzling it, she could feel its gentle warmth sinking into her cheeks, and could smell the faint scent of something like fresh air and… apples?

It had to be Mac’s pillow to have such a scent. She would have to thank the large stallion for giving it to her. Who knows? Rainbow thought. I might just have to corrupt him a bit as thanks. Rainbow smiled a bit at the thought of the expression on Applejack’s face when she came home to find that Dash had had her way with her brother.

With that thought, Rainbow Dash nuzzled her big, warm pillow again and began to drift back to sleep.


Dash’s ear twitched at the sound. Th-thump? She repeated the sound in her head, her ear swiveling around to find the source. But the sound did not come again. All she could hear was the crackling of the fireplace.

Shrugging slightly, Rainbow took a deep inhale of the pillow before relaxing again and letting sleep have its wonderful way with her.


This time both of Rainbow’s ears shot up, twitching to find the source of the sound. What is that? Rainbow’s nose scrunched up as she concentrated. The sound was so familiar, yet she could not place it.


This time the sound was loud and clear and was coming from the… pillow?

Dash’s eyes flew open at the realization that what she was hearing was the sound of a powerful heartbeat.
As she opened her eyes her sleep-blurred vision was assaulted by bright red, forcing her to shut them again. Giving her head a light shake, she cracked her eyes open again to see the bright red coat of Big Mac.

If it was possible, her eyes grew wider as she took in the large stallion lying next to her. His hooves were crossed in front of him, holding up a book as thick as a wall. She glanced at his face, where a pair of tiny reading glasses perched on his snout.

Feeling her stir, Mac looked down into her gawp with a simple smile. “Mornin’ Miss Dash. Or should Ah say evenin’?” Mac chuckled.

With a start, and not a squeal, Rainbow got to her hooves, kicking the blankets around her away until she was free to stand up, her wings at their widest extent. She looked down at Mac, her mind racing, trying to put all the dots together. One moment she was asleep, and now she was waking up next to Big Mac in bed.

“I… you… what the.. you jerk!” Rainbow finally shouted, causing Mac to flinch. “I can't believe you! I figured you were a decent stallion, and then you-!! I'm gonna pummel you into dirt for taking advantage of me like this!” Rainbow shouted, fire in her eyes as she jumped at Big Mac, ignoring the fact that he was five times her size.

Mac’s eyes went wide at the declaration that Rainbow Dash had made, and quickly thrust his hooves out in front of her to stop the enraged mare, his glasses falling off in the process. “Miss Dash, Ah don’t know what yer talkin’ about!”

Rainbow Dash pushed against his large hooves with all her might, her wings batting either side of his head.

“Not only are you a pervert, but a liar too?!” Rainbow growled, glaring into his green eyes.

“Pervert?” Mac yelped, the word seeming to disgust him as he spoke it, like it was some kind of poison. “Miss Dash, Ah didn’t do nothin’ inappropriate!”

“That right? Then why are we in your bed?” Dash was filled with white hot rage. How dare he take advantage of her like this! When she was done with him, Applejack would the be the new eldest sibling of the Apple family.

“We’re still in the livin’ room!” Mac shouted back as he kept her at bay with his large hooves... hooves that had defiled her.

“Like that makes a difference!” She growled,  still batting him about the head with her wings, trying to get her hooves around him to give him a good, solid punch to the face.

"Miss Dash!" Mac finally roared at the top of his voice, causing Dash to pause in shock. She had never heard Mac shout before. Even though she had faced untold horrors time again, something about the normally quiet pony raising his voice sent a jolt right through her.

"Ah don't know why you think so little of me, but have Ah ever done anythin’ ta make you think Ah’m that kinda stallion?" Mac looked like he was going to stomp a hoof through the floorboards, his stony stare making Dash pause and settle to the ground. Her wings gave a nervous twitch as she looked at the larger pony as he rose to his full height.

There was a silence between them, one louder than any shouting match could ever have been. There was still anger inside Rainbow Dash as she glared defiantly into Mac’s eyes, though it did nothing to unsettle him. Instead, his calm gaze that seemed to have lost the anger that, mere seconds ago, had almost ripped the floor from under her.

Giving a huff, Dash kept on glaring up at Mac, determined to win this, whatever this was. “Then why the hell did I wake up next to you?” Mac gave a sigh of relief, seeing that she was willing to hear him out, even if her eyes looked like she was ready to knock his head off.

“Alright. It started a bit after you arrived, Ah think….”


“Remember while Ah’m gone ta feed the hogs, cows, and chickens.”


“And ta deliver them apples ta the Pies before the storm starts.”


“Make sure ya plow the way from Fluttershy’s ta town after it snows; you know she enjoys her walks.”


“And don't ya do nothin’ like Braeburn did when he was left alone! Ah don't want ta come home ta find ya passed out and some show mares lyin’ around.”

Mac just rolled his eyes. Yes, he and Braeburn were close, but that didn’t mean they did the same things.

“Eeyup.” Mac and Applejack stood on the train platform as ponies loaded up all the Apple products onto the train. With how cold things were getting, Applejack believed she could make a fortune in Manehatten selling warm pies and cider. After she was all done, she would go to the Oranges to spend the night and be back the next day.

Applejack eyed Mac carefully before breaking out in a large grin and giving him a big hug around his thick neck. “Ah’m just messin’ with ya, Mac. Ah know you’ll be fine.” She laughed as Mac returned the hug with one large foreleg.

The train let out a high-pitched whistle as the conductor leaned out and shouted, “All aboard!” while steam came out of the engine.

“Looks like it's time ta go,” Applejack said, letting go of Mac and giving him a light smack on the shoulder. Mac just shook his head and smiled as she began to walk towards the train. However, before she could take more than a step, her eyes went wide, and he could practically see the bulb glowing atop her hat.

“Stars above! Ah’d almost forgotten!” Turning to face her brother again, she continued. “Rainbow Dash is stayin’ with us fer a bit due ta the cold. Somethin’ about her house not properly insulated or somethin’, Ah don't rightly know. But when ya get back, can ya get the guest room set fer her? She’s still probably napping by the fire.”

Mac raised an eyebrow. Not a moment ago she was giving him grief over what Braeburn did with a few show mares, and here she was having a mare stay over while he was alone.

Chuckling under his breath, Mac just smiled. “Eeyup.”

Applejack smiled as she adjusted her scarf.

“Good! Now don't do anythin’ that would ruin yer reputation as a gentlecolt.”

Mac found himself rolling his eyes again as Applejack just laughed. “See ya in the mornin’, Mac! Love ya!” She called out, boarding the train as it gave a jerk and began to move forward.

Mac stood on the platform for a moment, waving to her as she sat down at a window and waved back. The train continued to pick up speed until it finally disappeared from sight. Mac stood there for a second more, before making his way back to the farm.

So Miss Dash will be stayin fer awhile, Mac thought, chewing on his ever present wheat stock; he saved a few for the winter months. He didn’t know much about her, but a friend of his sister’s was a friend of his. Furthermore, what kind of honorable stallion would leave a mare out in the cold?

With that resolve, Mac made his way through town, careful to avoid any spots that had mistletoe near by. Just like Hearts and Hooves day, the season was uncomfortable to Mac as a few mares and stallions tried to catch him under one. Even back in his grade school days he had learned to treat those things like they were poison.

He never understood the fascination with the little plant. It didn’t even taste good! 

Taking his personalized path through the town, he drew ever closer to home. While he did so, his mind became occupied with thoughts of what he was going to do while home alone, or, at least, mostly alone.

After Ah get Miss Dash settled in, Ah’m gonna tap into a barrel of cider! Maybe bake mahself somethin’ sweet fer supper. No way Applejack will notice some sugar missin’. Mac licked his lips at the combination. It was not as wild as others might get when they were home alone, but it being such a rare treat for him to have the house to himself, this was living on the edge!

With a slight skip in his step, he pushed the door open, tempted to break out into song for the sheer fun of it. But, he remembered, he was not truly alone. Keeping his hoof steps light, he hung up his scarf and poked his head into the living room.

Curled up on the couch, Rainbow Dash was fast asleep, her tail flicking slightly as she slept. Mac couldn't help but find the sight cute. Knownin’ her from AJ, she’d probably break mah nose if she heard me say that. Mac just smiled at the sight for a few moments more before turning to go up the steps. The sooner he got her room done, the sooner he could enjoy himself.

The guest room was always in good condition. Apples were no stranger to helping out a pony in need, giving them a place to rest if they could not afford an inn. All Mac had to do was put on clean sheets and make sure that it was clear of dust.

Placing one of Granny's warmest quilts on top, Mac gave a nod to his work. Nothing too fancy, but it would keep her snug and warm. With that out of the way, Mac could get on with his own fun.

With hurried steps, Mac made his way down the stairs. He already knew what he was going to bake and the phantom taste of cider on his tongue made him drool slightly. Passing the living room and kitchen, Mac went down into the cellar where he kept his own private stash of cider.

It was the perfect place to hide it. Bloom was scared to go into the cellar by herself, Granny couldn't make the trip anymore, and Applejack… well, she was stronger than any other mare in town and a lot of the stallions, but she was still nowhere near as strong as Mac. He had hidden his barrel of personal cider behind some old farm equipment that had been welded together and was so heavy that not even Applejack could move it, which frustrated her to no end.

Every year she would try to get at it once her own supply ran out. She could probably move the original hunk of junk, but adding a few nuts and screws that had been enchanted by a certain purple alicorn to weigh much more than they should helped. He had told a little white lie that they were for training. There was a reason his sister was the Element of Honesty and not him.

Removing the enchanted items, Mac easily slid the hunk of junk out of the way and licked his lips in anticipation. The barrel sat in a small hole, using the natural cold of the earth to keep it nice and chilled. As he began to lift the barrel out of the ground, his thoughts moved back to his guest. Outside of the Apple Family he had never met a mare that loved cider as much as she did. Rainbow Dash was always the first in line whenever they got ready to sell. Mulling it over for a moment, he decided to bring the whole thing upstairs. As much as he loved his little private stash, cider always tasted better in the company of another pony who appreciated the taste.

Pulling the barrel onto his back, he started to make his way back up the steps, the contents sloshing around with every step. He was sure that the sound alone was going to be enough to wake up the sleeping pegasus. While he knew better than to arouse a sleeping mare -having learned after receiving several hard hits to the head from the mares in his family when he had tried to- he was sure all would be forgiven once he showed her what it was that made him wake her.

Upon returning to the upstairs and walking past the living room, Mac could see that Dash was still out cold, her tail flicking so slightly as she slept. Poor thing, Mac thought, watching her sleep. Mustn't have had a good nights sleep with her house bein’ so cold. Leaving her there to doze more, Mac entered the kitchen with the first part of his home-alone treat.

As much as he wanted to open the barrel and have a swig of the amazing drink, he was even more eager to get to the next part ready. Skipping over to the pantry like he was a colt again, Mac retrieved bags of sugar, flour, and a few other odds and ends needed for his cake. While most ponies recognized Applejack and Granny as the apple treat experts, and quite rightly too, Mac was the one normally preparing the meals since he was up the earliest out of all of them.

Placing the ingredients he had on the counter, he reached for the recipe book near by, careful to mark the place he got the book from and how it was placed there. Leave it ta Applejack to look around ta find out if Ah was on mah best behavior. Once he was sure he had memorized the location, Mac flipped through the pages till he found what he was searching for.

‘Lemon Upside Down Cake’. 

Mac licked his lips at the title; just another thing that would infuriate his sister. He could still hear her spluttering ‘what kind of Apple enjoyed anything that came from a lemon?’ They were opposite to apples in almost every way, but Mac loved them! It was a little dark secret he kept from his family. He reached into the fridge and pulled out a few lemons. Being the primary cook for the family meant that he got to get the groceries for anything they could not grow on the farm, and so he could slip in a few of these ‘cursed items’, as his sister would call them.

Hunger and thirst building, Mac got to work baking himself a cake. He could eat the whole thing himself, but maybe if he gave some to Rainbow she would help cover for him when Applejack got back and swore she smelled lemons. With that in mind, Mac busied himself weighing out the flour.

A hour or more later, Mac was pulling the cake out of the oven, the scent of fresh lemons heavy in the air and filling the farmhouse with its sweet aroma. Mac took several deep breaths, bringing the scent into himself, the hunger now baying to be sated. He still had to put icing in between the layers and around the cake, but he had to wait for it cool first. That didn’t stop him from breathing in the sweet aroma and making his stomach growl more.

While he baked he made sure to keep an eye on Rainbow and the fire, throwing a few logs on to keep it going. He was surprised she could sleep so heavily and for so long, not stirring even once. Placing the cake on the counter to cool, he went to check on her again.

She had proven herself to be a deep sleeper, but he didn’t want to chance waking her up to carry her to the guest room. He didn’t want to get hit by the mare if she was anything like the rest of his family, who would reached for the alarm clock when woken up and smack the first thing in their way.

Upon entering the living room, he was greeted by the increasingly familiar sight of a toned, sky blue pegasus in blissful hibernation, her tail flicking with the eddies as she slept. Ah know Applejack said she don’t like ta be called cute, but she is just plain adorable! Mac couldn't help but smile at the sight. He was tempted to leave her like that, but AJ would have his head if he let a guest sleep on the couch, even if they seemed mighty comfortable there. So he had to go with the next best thing.

Some ponies in town thought Mac was slower than the normal pony when it came to brains, seeing as he only using two words to answer questions. That wasn’t it; he just didn’t like to have long conversations when those two words would suffice. In truth, he loved to learn. Reading was one of his favorite things to do when he had off-time, for it took him to faraway lands and let him explore the entire world from under the shade of a tree on a nice spring day. He liked to learn about others, and one book he had read was one about pegasi.

Most of it was basic knowledge, about things like how their wings were very sensitive, that their metabolism was higher than average ponies, and that they could walk on clouds. What had struck his interest was that they also liked to form nests. They didn't build them out of sticks and mud like birds, but of clouds and other soft items to help keep them warm. The book even described how a pegasus might be able to make a nest if they were on the ground and unable to use clouds. For a while, Mac thought he would never use that bit of information, but it just went to show that knowing a bit of everything can come in handy.

While the cake cooled, Mac got to work on building Dash a little nest on the ground so she could sleep more comfortably. Moving the table from the center of the room, as well as chairs and the other couch, Mac cleared an area to make the nest.

The first thing he did was retrieve the quilt he had been planning on using for Dash’s bed and lay it down on the ground before getting on top of it and lying down as well. He could still feel the hardwood floor under it, and while Dash might be lighter than him, he didn’t want her to be uncomfortable: that wouldn't be the gentlecolt way.

Going into the hallway, he opened up the closet that was filled to the brim with Granny’s quilts. Might need to talk to her about slowin’ down on the quilt makin’. Kind of becomin’ a habit, was Mac’s first thought as he started to pull them out and drag them back into the living room. Soon the floor became littered with quilts, spread out enough that the pile was not enormous, but at the same time comfortable enough that Mac didn’t feel the hard floor under him as he settled on top of it.

Satisfied, he went on to the next part: surrounding the quilts with pillows. He wasn’t sure if it was completely necessary, but pegasi apparently liked the feeling of being surrounded. It helped keep body heat in, and, on some level, helped the pegasus feel like they were surrounded by family or loved ones. At that, Mac looked over at the sleeping pegasus and cocked his head slightly.

Wonder if she's got a special somepony, he thought, taking in Rainbow’s lithe form. She’s a mighty pretty filly, that’s fer sure. Must have ponies courtin’ her all the time. With that, Mac felt a pang go through him, a sudden feeling of betrayal, before a ripple of goosebumps flushed the idea from him. What are ya thinkin’, Macintosh? You’ve got no claim on her. Hell, ya only spoke to her once… barely. Ain’t nothin’ can come from that. Mac went on with his task, but something about that thought haunted him, and it hurt.
Gathering up spare pillows from around the house, even including a few of his own, Mac finally had enough to surround the blankets he had laid down, and had gotten another large quilt to lay over her. Gotta admit, fer mah first nest, it’s pretty good. Mac just chuckled at his own pridefulness. Wasn’t good for one to praise their own work so fondly, but he could congratulate himself on a job well done every once in awhile.

It was just far enough away from the fire that she could feel the warmth of it without setting any part of her ablaze. Mac almost burst out into laughter as he remembered the time Applejack had fallen asleep too close to the fire. She had settled down for a nice snooze, then the next thing he knew she was running out of the living room with the tip of her tail on fire.

Taking in a few steady, deep breaths to calm himself, Mac went back into the kitchen and finished icing his cake. The scent of lemons was still heavy in the air and he knew Applejack was going to figure out what he did when she got back, but he decided he'd cross that bridge when he got to it. As he put on the finishing touches, he grabbed a plate and fork. They were not for him -he was just going to dig into it- but he did cut a large slice out for Rainbow, almost half the cake.

Taking it into the living room, he placed it right beside the nest for when she woke. He also brought in two large mugs of cider. One for her and one for him for when he had finished putting her to bed and could rest by the fire himself for a spell.

But he was not done yet. Just to prove that he was a good host and a proper gentlecolt, he also placed a few Daring Doo books next to it all. He had heard Applejack complain more than once about Rainbow’s obsession with the book series, and, being an active reader himself, he naturally had a few copies as well. With all of it in place, the only thing left to do was get the said mare into it.

Turning to the couch, it surprised him how deeply asleep she was. Not once had she moved the entire time, so enthralled in sleep was she that Mac could have sworn this was the first time she had slept in days. Taking in the absolutely adorable nature of her nap, Mac leaned over and started to roll her onto his back.

“Just like taking Bloom to bed, gotta be careful and—

As soon as he had placed his head under her she had latched her forelegs around his neck in a vice-like grip. Mac had to fight off the instinct to jump back when he felt  her hooves clamp around his neck.

“Whoa there!” Mac had to keep himself from shouting that out, still afraid to wake the mare. She was hugging his neck securely and nuzzling her head against him, causing his face to heat up as she did so. Mac looked around in a panic, afraid that somepony’s mischievous eyes might have caught them. But, just as before, the house was empty except for them.

Swallowing hard, Mac tried to push aside the awkwardness of it all and lead Dash to the nest. A simple task within itself; she was so deeply asleep that she didn’t even stir as he lifted her up off the couch. She didn’t so much as twitch as her legs dropped off his side and her hooves bashed into the ground. However, getting her to let go of him was a different story entirely.
He tried to ease her off, to unwrap her hooves from around his neck, but, as he pulled on her forelegs, she tightened her grip and buried her head deeper into his fur. This only served to push Mac’s face right past blushing and into being as hot as the fire.  Looking around for a way to escape, he found none. The mare had trapped him in a iron grip that if he tried to pull out of would suffocate him to death.

Finding that he was out of options, Mac just heaved a heavy sigh and lay down in the nest he had created, thankful that he had made it soft enough for him as well. Reaching behind him, he pulled the final quilt over top of him and Rainbow Dash, and then reached for the pair of reading glasses he had left nearby.

He was stuck.


Rainbow looked up at Mac, seeing him bent over like a puppy that knew they were in trouble, with big, pleading eyes to match. Her eyes roamed around the room, taking in everything Mac had done for her.

The nest Big Mac had made looked almost identical to the ones her dad used to make for her when she was a filly. She was still sitting on it, and the amount of quilts used, plus the way they were spread out, made her feel like she was back home, nestled on her cloud bed. The pillows really looked like a pegasus had done them, pulled up perfectly to give that feeling of security.

Then if that wasn’t enough, he had even brought her a mug of cider for when she awoke. How could she had ever think that a pony like Mac would have ever taken advantage of her.

Chewing on her lip, she looked up at the giant form of Mac, knowing that she needed to say something, but her stubbornness prevented her from uttering a single word.

As if he knew this, Mac just smiled at her. “Don't ya worry none. Ah understand what kind of shock it could be,” Dash let a slow breath, happy that he didn't hate her, but she still feeling terrible for thinking so badly of him.

“Mac, I... “ Whatever she was going to say fell short, for Mac had turned away from her and lifted up the mug of cider he had gotten for her.

“Eeyup, “ was all Mac said, that slight smile never leaving his lips as she took the mug. “Might be a tad warm. You slept fer so long, Ah had time ta finish a book,” Dash just licked her lips, all feelings of guilt left her as she saw that golden brown drink.

Before Mac could utter another word, she brought it up to her lips and began to take large gulps, a trickle of cider escaping from the corner of her lip. It was not till the liquid hit her tongue did she realize how thirsty she was. Lifting the mug higher, she swallowed every last drop of the amazing drink till not a spec of it was left.

“Ahh… that's the stuff,” Dash sighed, wiping the little bit of the cider left on her cheek away with her foreleg, before letting out a loud and satisfied burp.

Looking up from the empty mug, she found the sight of a wide eyed Macintosh, staring at her like she had grown a second set of wings. Cocking her head to the right, and raising an eyebrow. “What?”

Mac blinked several times, before giving his head a hard shake. “No… nothing. Just never see a filly, like yerself, drain a mug of hard cider like that before” Mac realized his mistake right away, as Rainbow narrowed her eyes.

Filly?” It came out as a low hiss, escaping between bared, sharp, surprisingly-not-bloody teeth. Her magenta eyes drilled into his green ones.

She looked more ferocious now than she had when she first attacked him. Swallowing the lump in his throat, Mac looked for someway out of this mess, that did not involve a drinking contest. As he looked everywhere, besides into the eyes of the angered mare, he found his salvation.


It was Rainbow’s turn to pick her jaw off the floor. She was all ready to take this stallion on, and he offered her cake? 


“Lemon Upside Down Cake,” Mac said, lifting the plate for her. His hooves were slightly shaking as he did so, causing the fork he had placed on it to rattle.

Dash just grinned at the trembling stallion. She would have to save that mental image for later; she could make the strongest stallion in Ponyville tremble before her.

Looking at the yellow piece of cake, and inhaling the sweet, yet tart smell of lemons wafting from it, her stomach let out an impatient grumble. How long had it been since she last ate?

“I thought Apples didn't like lemons,” Rainbow said, picking the fork up with her wing. Mac let out a long breath, evidently holding it in anticipation.

“Ah won't say anythin’ if you don’t,” Rainbow just smiled up at him, before taking a big bite of the cake. Just like the smell, there was a sweetness to it, closely followed by a taste of tartness that only enhanced the experience.

Looking up at Mac with half lidded eyes, she swallowed the bite and grinned. “You can make a nest, cider, fix about anything, bench lift a house, and bake a pretty good cake. Is there anything you can't do?” Mac gave out a low chuckled at the complement, thankful for his red fur to hide the blush.

“Reckon magic and flyin’ are still out of the realm of possibility fer me,” he said, still holding the plate for her as she reached for another bite.  

“I'm sure if you bake a few cakes like this for Celestia, she'll make you an Alicorn,” she mused, savoring the tangs racing across her tongue.

“Ah’ll make sure ta keep that in mind,” Mac watched her enjoy another bite of the cake, before reaching out again. “Any chance Ah could put the plate down?” Mac asked as she took an extra large piece.

“Nope!” Dash declared, her mouth full behind a bright smile that let pieces of cake tumble out. Swallowing what she had, she just looked up at Mac with a toothy grin. “You should be honored to be holding my food as I eat. Stallions would line for miles to do what you’re doing.” She wiped some invisible dirt from her shoulder. “I'm just that awesome!”

Mac just rolled his eyes. She was more full of herself than a blue ribbon hog, but dagnabit she was cute doing it. “Well Ah’m honored by this here position, but if Ah’m a holdin’ yer food, who's gonna get ya more cider?”

She had just put another bite of cake in her mouth when he posed that most serious of questions. Her face scrunched up in concentration, another small act that made her look precious.

Sweet Luna. Fer a mare that hates being cute, she has ta be the most adorable filly Ah’ve ever met. He was thankful she could not hear his thoughts; if she knew he had called her a filly again, AJ would come home to find bits of him on the roof.

Pulling the fork out of her mouth, she twirled it between her wings. Then, closing her eyes, she puffed out her chest, looking like she was royalty.
“You have my blessing to get another mug of cider for me,” she said, before opening one eye slightly. “And more cake,” Mac had to keep himself from bursting out into laughter.

“Thank you, yer highness.” Mac placed the plate at the front of the nest so she could be by the fire, before giving Rainbow a bow. He then proceeded to trot into the kitchen, his back as straight as an spear and head held high. Rainbow watched him leave before plopping down in the quilt nest to continue eating.

Now this is the life, Rainbow thought, taking another fork full of cake. A soft nest, warm fire, cider, cake, and a sexy stallion serving me. As that thought materialized, Dash felt the cake shoot down the wrong hole..

Her eyes began to water as she coughed on the piece of stuck food lodged in her throat. After a few endless seconds, she gave a great splutter and was finally able to breathe again.

Did I just call Mac sexy?! She could feel a wave of heat rolled over face, that was most definitely not the fire. It's cool Rainbow. No need to get all worked up about it; hay, a lot of mares find that big hunk of an Apple sexy. The thought calmed her for a moment. It was okay to find her best friend's brother attractive… right? Still, there was something more about that stallion beyond those impossibly green eyes, great body, hot accent, soft red…

Stop that! Stop thinking about him like that! Rainbow took several bites of her cake, anything to distract her from Big Mac. The fact he had made the amazing cake didn’t help anything, just added to the list of reasons to like him. Growling, she rubbed her hooves against her forehead, anything to shake this train of thought from its rails.

“You alright there, Miss Dash?” Rainbow’s face grew to a shade of red that matched the fur she had just imagined nuzzling. How did he affect her so much?

“Yeah, just peachy,” she replied, looking up and forcing a big smile. She didn’t have to force it for long, for she broke into a fit of laughter at Mac.

In order to bring in the cake and cider, Mac had been forced to balance what was remaining of the cake on top of his head, while the mug of cider took priority in his free hoof. The result brought Rainbow to tears with how silly he looked, trying to keep his balance and the cake atop his head, his mane flopping as he darted about to try and keep in in place.

Mac just smiled, setting the mug down near her and the cake just beyond them. “Laugh it up,” he drawled as he looked at her. “But ya sure yer fine? Yer face is awfully red,” before Dash could realize what was happening, Mac had placed his massive hoof against her forehead, effectively silencing her.  

His hoof felt rough and beaten against her forehead from years of hard work on the farm, but their was a certain gentleness to it all. With his strength, he could easily break anything if he willed it, but the way he held it against her... it was like she was a dainty flower. If any other pony did this, they could expect the very worst of the next storm’s rain, but with Mac doing it…

Mac withdrew his hoof, and began to rub his chin as he looked down at her, his mouth askew and lips pursed. “Don’t feel like you got a fever, but yer face is still red.” Dash tried her best not to roll her eyes. She would think after the amount of times he had talked to mares in the street, he would know when one was blushing.

“Yeah, yeah. Probably just something from the cold.” She looked away as she talked, laying back down to avoid further embarrassment. Fate had other ideas, though, because a second later Mac laid back down, not against her but close enough that she could feel the heat rolling off his body.

Looking over at him, she watched him put on his reading glasses again -they were so small on him- and opened his book up to the page he was on. Dash had to bite her lip to keep from laughing, he looked so off with those small glaces. He can even pull off the hot nerd! Rainbow bit down on her lip harder, trying to keep those treacherous thoughts from forming.

Come on Rainbow! Think of something else, anything but him! Her eyes scanned the room, but it was impossible to find anything there that didn’t have some relevance to Mac. You can do this! Let’s see… Cider? No he makes it… and if I get in good with Mac he might… stop! Alright cake? No he baked it. Why can’t more stallions bake? Damn it Mac! Daring D-- The fire! No, hes been keeping it—

Rainbow’s head whipped back around, till her eyes landed on a stack of Daring Doo books. Salvation! Was her only thoughts as she pulled herself towards the books, looking over the titles to find either something new or one of her favorites. At the very bottom of the stack was one of the newer ones: Daring Doo: The Amulet of Justice. A smile broke out across Rainbow’s face, and she totally didn’t give out a squeal of delight as she reached for the book. Grinning like a foal on Hearth’s Warming and bouncing in her nest, she yanked the book from the stack, causing every other book to fall over with several loud thuds.

Sitting up, she tucked the book to her chest and smiled, right up until low chuckle reminded her that she was not alone;.  Turning on her three hooves, she looked down at him -even lying down he was huge!-and glared daggers right through  the chuckling stallion, who stopped the moment he saw his eyes dared to look at hers.

“Don’t. Tell. Anyone.” She said through gritted teeth, stressing each word as she spoke, still holding the book to her chest. Mac gave several quick nods in rapid succession. Seeing that he understood, Rainbow looked down at the book and smiled again before flopping down onto her stomach, opening the cover as soon as possible.
“Under one condition.” Rainbow rounded back on Mac, flames shooting from her eyes. He just sent her that warm, gentle smile, though he did retreat a bit from the blaze.

“And what’s that?” Rainbow’s voice was barely even a  growl.  

“Ah read it with ya. That’s the only one Ah’ve haven’t read yet.”

Rainbow Dash just blinked at him. Was he for real? He made the drink she loved above all else, baked amazing cakes, built a pretty damn close to perfect pegasus nest on his first try, one of the best looking ponies in Equestria, and he was a Daring Doo fan? If he was a Wonderbolt I would drag him down to the courthouse to marry him now! Images of Mac as a pegasus flooded her head; it was a very attractive one. He would have to have huge wings to compensate for how big his body was, and everypony knew that that pegasis with big wings have big—

Get your mind out of the gutter Dash! What was wrong with her? What was it about Big Mac that made her think and act this way? She was Rainbow Dash! Element of Harmony, Future Wonderbolt, Savior of Equestria more times than she could count, and held records that other pegasi could never hope to beat! Yet somehow this stallion had made her act like Rarity! If she wasn’t careful she was going to start giggling like a filly and doing things that were un-cool! She didn’t even act this way when she met Soarin!

“Uh… is that okay?” Mac’s deep voice derailed the train of thought that was going through Rainbow’s mind. As the world came back into focus, she saw a once an enormous red puppy gazing at her, seemingly afraid that suggesting such a thing was punishable.

“Of course it is!” Rainbow laughed, giving him a quick jab to the shoulder. “I just hope you can keep up with me!” Placing the book between them, Rainbow tried to block out further thoughts about Mac, wanting to concentrate on nothing else but the adventures of Daring Doo.

But as most of her plans went, this one didn’t pan out the way she wanted it all. Mac scooted over towards her, so that they were touching now, allowing her to feel those thick, but somehow soft--seriously, how was this tank of a stallion so comfy to lie on?-- muscles against her again. She could just barely make out the scent of apples and fresh air again, wafting off his fur.
“Do ya mind bein’ so close? Just easier fer me ta read the words,”

“Ye- yeah! Just don’t block my light is all.” Dash mentally slapped herself for stuttering like that. He was just so close to her now; his soft, snuggly barrel almost called out to her, begged her to nuzzle into that thick, red fur, demanded that she melt against him and let those massive hooves-- 

Focus on the words, Dash. Don’t get distracted! she told herself as she started to read the first page, her eyes darting across the page as she read about her favorite hero. If she was lucky, it would be an adventure packed one that would let her imagination take her to a land filled with tombs, unknown enemies, and a treasure that nopony had seen for thousands of years! Not ideas of her and Mac, snuggling closer till she finally leaned up and…

Giving a hard shake, Dash went back to reading, to seeing what her hero had been up to since the last book. Just like everything else she did, her eyes zoomed over the page and took in every detail of it, before reaching out to flip to the next one.

“Oh. Hold on a second there, Ah’m still reading it.” Dash gave out a low groan. Of course Mac would be the opposite of her in this regard, reading the page slowly, in no rush to get to the end sooner.  

She began to tap her hoof as she waited for Mac to finish the page so that she could continue on with the adventure. Seconds seem to stretch out into minutes, and then hours as he lumbered through the words. She started to read the page again, puffing her cheeks and propping her head on a hoof as she did, and then a third time, trying to figure out what was taking him so long.

“Alright, Ah’m done,” Mac said, and no sooner had he spoke those magical words was Rainbow flipping to the next page. As she did, however, Mac placed his hoof on top of hers, sending a jolt through her. “But, seein’ that yer a quick reader, how about Ah read it outloud? That way you ain’t gotta wait fer me ta be done.”

Rainbow wasn’t sure what was making her face grow redder, the fact that his hoof was on top of her’s; or that he was offering to read Darin Doo to her. A small part of her, a very, very small part, had always like the idea of a stallion reading her favorite book series to her. She had imagined it on her cloud bed, covered up in her Wonderbolts blankets as she let his warm voice wash the words over her. Somehow, lying in front of the fire and in a nest made of the Apple Family’s hoof knitted blankets was much better.

Pulling her hoof away, she tucked it under herself and gave a shrug. “Sure, if that’s what you want to do. But you better do the voices!” She had fought to keep herself looking cool, not like some little filly that was expecting a bedtime story, but that last statement kind of blew it.

“Of course,” Mac said, as he cleared his throat and began to read the words aloud. His deep, rich voice filled the living room, raising and lowering at the right time to give the story more depth. He even managed to make his voice higher to speak the lines of Daring Doo, and somehow did it without sounding cheesy; he was a natural storyteller.

Rainbow drank in every word. Though it was a bit slow for her taste, she couldn't help but appreciate the way he told the story. As time went on, however, and the hours went by she could feel her eyelids getting heavier, her breathing deeper, till finally she couldn’t keep her eyes open anymore and was transported to dreamland. Her dreams filled with the adventures as Daring Doo, doing stunts with the Wonderbolts, but through it all there was the thick smell of apples and fresh air.



Rainbow’s eyes flew open at the sudden sound, scrambling to her hooves faster than one’s heart could beat; her’s was beating a million miles per second. Adrenaline coursed through her body, her eyes scanning left to right for whatever had woken her.

Her scrambling looked like an elite gymnastics routine compared to Mac’s reaction, as he gave out a cry that sounded more a frightened filly, rolling onto his back and kicking his legs in all directions. As he got to his side and started to rise, the top of his large head crashed into the table he had managed to roll under in his fright.

Giving a low hiss through a strained grimace, he backed up as quickly as he could, rubbing his head as he did so. As he backed up, his rear hoof landed on the plate that a cake once sat upon. It crumbled like a meringue, earning another yelp from the stallion.

All in all, Rainbow had to hold her hoof against her mouth to keep herself from cracking up. Just like other ponies his size, Mac suffered from being uncoordinated and prone to little episodes like this. As he rubbed the lump on his head, and hovered his hoof over the circle of pottery crumbs, a series of knocks echoed through the house.

If she watched Mac for an longer, she was bound to lose it. “Pull yourself together, Mac. I'll get the door,” Rainbow said, suppressing the urge to laugh at the poor stallion.

Making her way to the front door, she felt her limbs crack and popple as she stretched them alternately.. She had spent the entire day before curled up in bed, and her athletic body was not used to taking such long breaks.  

The knocking on the door started again as she neared it. “I hear ya! Keep your mane on!” Rainbow shouted, throwing open the door, only to get smacked in the face by a gray hoof. Pressing her hoof against her nose, Rainbow hissed warningly.

“Rainbow Dash?” Rainbow looked up, her teeth grinding as she prepared to sock the pony dumb enough to hit her.

However, as her vision became clear that anger subsided as she looked up at Ponyville’s favorite, muffin-loving, mail-mare, Derpy Hooves.

“Morning, Derpy,” Rainbow managed to choke out, as she gave a deep inhale through her nose to make sure it worked right. Derpy didn't return the greeting as she looked up and around the house, her mouth slightly agape, hoof pointing limply at Rainbow. 

“Derpy?” Rainbow questioned.

“I'm sure I went to the right house…” Derpy muttered, looking at the piece of paper in her hand. “Sweet Apple Acres… to Big Mac…” Looking up again, she cocked her head at Rainbow Dash, her eyes drifting as she did so. “But Rainbow is here, so that means… that means… oh… oh!” A bright and genuine smile broke through the confusion of Derpy’s face. “I get it!”

“Get what?” Rainbow asked, a small shiver fear going through her, wondering what Derpy could possible have ‘got’.

“You and Mac are sleeping together!”

Rainbow’s jaw dropped, as all the blood in her body shot up into her cheeks.

“Wh… What?! No we’re not! It’s nothing like that!” Rainbow cried, as Derpy merely chuckled.

“Then why is your fur covered in his?” Rainbow looked down at herself and let out a perfectly reasonable yelp little strands of Mac’s red coat stood proudly against her sky blue.

Her mouth opened, trying to say something, anything that could sound halfway believable, but nothing intelligible came out.

Derpy just giggled as she booped Rainbow on the nose. “Don't worry, I won't say anything!” she happily chirped as she put the paper on Dash’s mouth. “So long!” she called out, as gave her wings a hard flap, and sending her head first into the cover of the patio and creating the same wham that had woken her and Mac.

She gave out a small chuckle, before speeding off.

Rainbow was frozen in place, her mind totally blank, except for the echoes of Derpy’s chirpy assertion. You and Mac are sleeping together! The world kept turning and Rainbow just kept staring at it, eyes glazed. You and Mac are sleeping together! She could see him under her, his mane slick with sweat and his chest heaving, but his smile still warm and gentle. You and Mac are sleeping together! She could feel his great, shaggy hooves on her sides, clutching her tenderly. You and Mac are sleeping together! She could taste his lips on hers, his tongue pressing for more. You and Mac are sleeping together! She could feel him.

And she could feel the dozy, sated, real smile on her lips.

No! Just because you’ve got to know him a bit more, does not make you an item! That's the crud Rarity believes in! Rainbow clenched her teeth and shut her eyes, savaging the big red hunk in her mind.

“Who was it Miss Dash?” Mac’s calm voice broke her concentration, and reminded her of the letter in her mouth, quickly taking it out.

“Huh?” Rainbow growled to herself, mentally, turning to go back inside. She bristled at this change in her whenever he was around, whatever was causing her to lose of all her confidence and to be so uncool.

“Who was it?” Mac repeated, throwing a bright green scarf around his thick neck.

“Oh, it was Derpy.” Rainbow was about to pass the paper over to him, when she noticed the teeth marks and saliva on it, pulling it back before Mac could take it. Her eyes quickly moved across the paper. “It's a telegram from Applejack. Oh, wow. Looks like a blizzard is hitting Manehatten and she's snowed in.” Mac nodded to the news, not looking all that concerned.

“Ah’m sure she'll be fine. She's with family,” Mac said calmly as he started to head outside. “Looks like it’ll be just us fer a awhile. Feel free ta help yerself ta anythin. Ah’m gonna to finish as much as Ah can, before we get hit by any more snow.”

It was for the best that Mac was walking away from Rainbow Dash, so he couldn't see how the color of her face was beginning to resemble a tomato. The ease with which he accepted the news and how he didn’t seem to mind being alone with her set shivers through her.

It was a blessing and a curse all wrapped up in one. The idea of spending more alone time with Mac was like a dream come true, and that was what made it a nightmare. Could she handle more alone time with him?

Damn it, Applejack! Why did you have to go get stuck in a blizzard, leaving me alone with your hot brother! Rainbow groaned as her mind went off and really admit what she was feeling.

Thankfully, her stomach gave out a low grumble, taking her mind off Mac and pulling it right back onto a better track: food. Happy for the distraction, Rainbow made her way to the kitchen, intending on helping herself to anything.

The rest of the day was pleasantly peaceful. Taking a few snacks into the living room, Rainbow spent it curled up on the couch again, reading Daring Doo and snacking. While the nest was far more comfortable, and warmer, the scent of apples and fresh air was too much to bear. The shards of the broken plate also played in a small factor why she moved to the couch.

Besides, the show Mac was giving her was just as much as she could handle. Out the living room windows, she could sometimes see Mac hard at work, preparing for the snow. His large muscular figure didn't seem bothered by the cold at all, steam funnelling from his nostrils as he worked. There didn’t seem to be a single ounce of fat on him, just pure, hard-working and honest muscle.

And as sinful as it was to think, Rainbow couldn't help but find this show better than some Wonderbolt shows. But not by much, obviously.

That was how she spent her day: reading, eating, and watching that oh so tempting Apple work.

When he finally came in, he didn’t stop working for a second. Instead he busied himself cleaning up the mess from the night before. When she offered to help, he just turned to her with a simple grin, and said in that accent she was beginning to adore, “Eenope!”

When he started to disassemble the nest, she felt a small part of her heart break. It provided just the right amount of warmth and security; it should have been a crime to get rid of it. He didn't seem as broken up about it, though, as he took a few of the blankets out to shake free of the cake and plate crumbs. He then proceeded to take them upstairs and reset the guest room for her.

For a few more hours he busied himself with work, refusing any help she might have offered, insisting that she was a guest, and that a guest wasn't to work. Finally, as the sun set in the sky and dark clouds full of snow rolled in, Mac came back into the living room with a mug of cider for each of them.

Settling in the couch across from her, Mac put his glasses back on and took up the large book he had been reading the first time she had woken up.

For her, she was trying to read the Daring Doo book from the night before, but part of the adventure had faded. After hearing Mac read it to her, his natural storytelling abilities pulling her into the story like never before, the book had lost some of its luster. Even when an army of undead unicorns showed up and pinned Daring Doo in the Cataclysmic Catacombs, it just wasn't as exciting as it was before.

The two stayed like that for the rest of the evening, the only sounds were those of pages turning, sipping of cider, and the popping of the fire.

The quiet thud of a book being closed pulled Dash out of her book, as Mac gave out a long and loud yawn, smacking his lips afterwards.

“Ah’m a gonna turn in,” he said, stepping off the couch and stretching his powerful legs. “You can stay up as long as ya want. Just make sure ta throw that bucket of water on the fire before goin’ up.”

Rainbow pushed herself up as well, spreading her wings as she stretched her back out like a cat. “I'll head up as well. If you leave me down here, I'd probably fall asleep, and you’d have to explain to AJ why the house burned down.” Mac chuckled at the idea, as he took the bucket himself and splashed the water on to the fire. The hiss of the water hitting the hot logs filled the air as steam shot up the chimney.

“Fair enough,” Mac said, as he took the empty mugs. “Yer room is the second one on the right. Ah’m in the very last one. If ya need anythin’, don't hesitate ta ask.” With that, Mac disappeared into the kitchen, leaving Dash all alone.

Sighing, Rainbow made her way up the stairs to her room.

Rainbow tossed and turned that night. Unable to fall asleep.

The bed was warm and soft, the room was completely dark, and there was no noise to keep her awake. So why couldn't she sleep? It wasn’t like her mind wouldn't shut off with random thoughts; she just couldn't get comfortable. With every toss and turn, it felt like something was missing that was preventing her from falling asleep.

Grabbing one of the pillows, she wrapped her forelegs around it and buried her face into it, trying to figure out what was missing.

That was when a the light smell of apples hit her.

No… No, no, no! Rainbow’s eyes widen, her face still buried in the pillow as the realization slammed into her like a bad crash. There is no way, no bucking way! I can’t… it was just once… do I? Rainbow roared into the pillow as she realized what she was missing, and fought against it with every fiber of her being, but she couldn't.

She missed sleeping with Big Mac.

How could just that one instance of sleeping against the big stallion change her so much? That now she needed to sleep against him in order to sleep at all! She pummelled the pillow with her face. What the hay was she doing? Was she a little scaredy baby who needed a big, tough stallion to come and save the day? Was she going to cry out for mommy and daddy, too? Were they going to come and check the closet for monsters?


I’m Rainbow Danger Dash! I don’t need a stallion to keep me safe and warm at night! I laugh in danger’s face! I live life in the fast lane, the best flier in Equestria, and I’m. A. Winner! If I want something, I take it! Her eyes shot open as the bit dropped, as if from the highest cirrus. 

She wanted Mac.

Roaring into her pillow again, a roar that would put dragons to shame. There had to be some other reason why she couldn’t sleep, right? Surely? The quilts… well, they were the same that kept her all snug and toasty earlier, when she was with-- The pillows… were just as fluffy as before. Maybe even more, now that she’d been able to do them properly, not that he’d done-- The mattress… was nice and comfy, without being too floppy, but it had nothing on… him..

She sighed, staring at the door. He was right down the hall. The biggest, sweetest Apple. Ripe for the picking.

Rainbow stopped slamming her head into the pillow, stopped her roars of anger, and stopped trying to excuse herself.

I do live life in the fast lane. I’m a winner. And I take whatever I want… Raising her head from the pillow, a devilish grin painted her lips. So… moving this fast isn’t that odd for me… and taking him would be kind of a reward for taking the most desired stallion for myself, and I want him. Throwing back the covers, Dash strutted her way to Big Mac’s room.

She wasn’t going to be like some other mare, and wait for him to realize she was interested. She was going to show him right then and there. Reaching the door, she didn’t even knock as she raised her back legs and bucked the door. Hard.

Mac gave out a slight snort, as the door to his room was kicked opened, nearly breaking free of its hinges. He barely sat up enough to see Rainbow Dash marching into his room and to the side of his bed. “Miss Dash?” was all he could say in a bleary tone. She didn’t respond, as she threw back the covers of his bed and climbed in, like it was her own. As his mouth started to open, ready to ask what she was doing, she placed her hoof against his chest and pushed him back down.

“Shut up and snuggle me.” Dash said, in the most commanding tone one could have while asking somepony to snuggle. Grabbing the blankets with her wings, she pulled them over herself and Mac before pressing her back against him and pushing her head under his chin. A few quick wriggles against his warm bulk carved out a wonderful snug for her, allowing her to get comfortable. His breath rustled her mane, and she closed her eyes.

Mac just allowed her to do whatever she wanted, unsure if he was still dreaming or not. Once she was settled, and the covers pulled over them, Mac heard Rainbow Dash give out a sigh before a light snoring started to emanate from her. Looking at the prism of color that was her mane, Mac finally decided it didn’t matter. Placing his foreleg around her, he pulled her in a bit tighter, resting his head on top of that mane.

Dream or not, he couldn't think of anything better in the world.