An Orchard of Apples

by DivineGlory

The Business Proposal

A silver needle made its way through the pale blue fabric of a layered dress for the last time, having reached the end of a particular seam. The white mare behind it, humming slightly, let a sigh escape from her mouth as she laid the dress over an unused pony-mannequin. She glanced over to the window, then back to her dress.  Her mind kept silent only for a moment before doubts clouded her thoughts.

Is it perfect? She pursed her lips together before shaking her head slightly. “No, Rarity, it isn’t. Perhaps,” she bent down and looked at the frills on the back, “a bit more styling down the seams.” Her horn cast a light blue glow as she lifted up the dress and dropped it back onto her worktable, a knock at the door interrupting her from starting again.
A visitor? Perhaps it’s a customer! She pushed the door aside to reveal the mailpony, a stallion with a small object pinched between his teeth.

“Letter for one Miss Rarity,” he announced, his words barely enunciated. Her name was clearly visible on the envelope though, so she grabbed it with her magic and thanked the mailpony before closing the door and heading back to the dress. Her name was written elegantly, and this intrigued Rarity. She opened the envelope and read aloud to herself.

“Dearest Rarity,
I’m sure you've noticed the recent trend this season, with everypony throwing old dresses to the side and sporting new accessories! What I’m asking of you is a rustic fashion line for the Canterlotites. Have it done as soon as you can, dear. Don’t want to leave these ponies waiting.
Sincerely, Fancypants”

Her words hung in the air before she squeed audibly, “Fancypants wants me to do a special order?” However, her excitement was short-lived. “Rustic? How is that even possible? How can a beautiful dress look simple and plain? Besides, the closest thing I've done would be Twilight’s dress from her party, and that wasn't even planned!”  She lay her head down on her unfinished dress and sighed before jumping up.


Her mind was filled with plans and blueprints as she changed the sign to closed at the Carousel Boutique and started down the road. “Simple, and fabulous,” she thought to herself as she trotted along, “Truly something only I could create.” Murmuring to herself, she almost collided with a young stallion on the street.

“What was that?” the stallion asked, to which Rarity only responded with the sounds of her quickening hoof steps, fading into the distance. Rarity was far too gone into her ideas and the thought of pleasing the mustached unicorn with her dress.
As she trotted along the path, she visualized her plans. “A decorated straw hat, with a beautiful brown saddle laced in a light green to match the ground and the grass. Oh, and I can’t forget fabulous boots embroidered on the top. Just simply wond-,“ she stopped for a second before shaking her head at herself, “No Rarity, you must think simple. What you’re used to is far too flashy.” She tried to organize another dress but her thoughts were stopped when she collided with another pony.

“Oh Rarity, I’m so sorry I bumped into you,” Twilight apologized, levitating her book away from her face. “I have this new assignment that I’m real busy with at the moment, guess I need to take my head out of the clouds once in a while.”

“It’s no problem, dear.” What was that design? A lacy straw saddle with…brown horseshoe…and an…oh darn. Her face dropped a bit, “I’m dearly sorry as well, Twilight. I should have been paying more attention as well.” Without waiting for a response, she regained her pace on the way to her destination.

Soon, the path beneath her turned into a layer of dust and an orchard of apples sprawled out in front of her. Her pace quickened once more, she cantered to the barn and felt the tempo of her heartbeat increasing among the silence of the orchard. “Hello? Is anypony home?” she called out while sweeping her head back and forth, her question fading away to the expanses of empty field.

As the white pony started to give up on her search, she felt something hit the side of her head. As she stumbled backwards, she turned towards the intrusion and noticed a small orange Pegasus uselessly flapping her wings on the ground. “Sorry Rarity! Are you okay?” the young Pegasus asked as she boosted herself up with her hooves.

“Of course, Scootaloo, but you shouldn't be playing out here where other ponies might be working,” Rarity brushed the dirt out of her mane, her mouth grimacing at the young filly. Scootaloo’s coat was dirty with branches and small leaves as she looked out towards the way she fell. “If I may ask, what are you doing?”

“CUTIE MARK CRUSADER CARRION CATCHERS! Yay,” Scootaloo’s cheer was harmonized by the two other fillies that appeared out of the orchard.

“Did ya’ catch any birds, Scoots?” Apple Bloom asked, looking around the ground.

“Nah, but I caught Sweetie Belle’s sister,” Scootaloo grinned and looked over at the white filly who was trying to hide her laughter.
“Big Sis? Why are you here?” as she calmed down, she started to shake her head, believing the fun to be over and the day’s cutie mark crusading to be at an end, “It’s not even supper.”

“Sweetie Belle,” Rarity’s mouth twitched slightly, “I might ask you the same question.” She didn't remember the last time the CMC didn't get slightly hurt from their crusading.

“CUTIE MARK CRUSADER CARRION CATCHERS!” the three fillies shouted again before Apple Bloom stepped forward. “We made this thingy that shoots Scoots into tha’ air to catch some of them crows that Applejack is always fussin’ about!”

Rarity’s eyes rolled as she sighed, “Oh, well,” At least it’s better than letting them into the Everfree Forest again. “Have you girls seen Applejack?”

“She ain't here!” Apple Bloom stated, pointing her hoof towards Ponyville, “She said she had ta’ go see Twilight.”

Twilight’s? If only I hadn't been so enthralled I wouldn't have had to come all the way here… “Thank you, Apple Bloom,” she stared at her younger sister before starting the trek back to the library. “Sweetie, do be careful. And be home for dinner,” she called over her shoulder. With Rarity leaving, the three fillies ran back into the orchard to catch more crows.

Really darling, you need to pay more attention. This whole trip could have been avoided. Rarity scolded herself as she picked the foliage out of her hair back at the Carousel Boutique. She brushed the dust off her hooves as well before leaving again. Making sure to pay more attention to her surroundings, she quickly made it to Twilight’s library, seeing the large tree in the distance. Speeding up as she approached, she knocked on the front door, her horn glowing light blue. “Hello? Twilight, are you there?” she called inquisitively.

As Rarity was about to look through one of the windows, the door opened and she almost tumbled over Spike, her last knocking hitting his top spike. “Watch where you’r-” he began before identifying the visitor and having his pupils replaced by hearts. “Rarity. To-um-what pleasure do I have of you being here in…in…” he continued, floating off the ground with his gaping mouth.

Smiling as he stumbled over his words, she interrupted, “I’m here for Twilight, Spikey-Wikey. Can I come in?”

“O-of course!” Spike yelled before moving aside.  “Would you like some tea, or cookies, or tea and cookies or a book or what? Anything you want, I can get! Twilight doesn't call me her number one assistant for nothing!”

“Some tea would be nice, dear.” As Rarity walked past, she felt wrong not to have reciprocated his feelings, but she couldn't make up because he was just a baby dragon and she was almost a full-grown mare!

Twilight’s eyes shifted from her book for a second, “Did we have an appointment?” She waited for a second before quickly adding, “That sounded a bit rude, didn't it. What can I do for you?”

Rarity smirked. Looks like Twilight didn't heed any of my social etiquette lessons. “ I've heard Applejack is here, and I’m seeking her help for a project I’m working on.”

“What a coincidence!” Twilight grinned before nodding towards the door, “She was just over here to help me with my project. I sent her out to test some new spell. She should be back in a few minutes.” Patting the seat beside her, she smiled wider as Rarity duly sat down.

“So what’s your project with Applejack?” Rarity asked, her right eye spying a peculiar cover: Etiquette for the Well-Dressed and Wealthy. She held back her chuckling. A good read, but what is Twilight doing with it?

Before the librarian could respond to Rarity’s question, the door flung open to reveal an orange earth pony. Rarity whipped her head over to examine the intruder, her eyes widening a bit. Ponytail aside, her body was covered in a frilly dress-saddle, draped over her strong legs-yet attention was diverted to her eyelashes, pointing down towards each other, and flaring nostrils. “Well, consarn those dang ponies!” she yelled, stomping into the room. Noticing a flutter in her stomach, Rarity tried to erase the image of the attired Applejack from her mind.

Twilight stood with concern in her eyes, “What happened?”

“Those darn stallions all ran up to me!” Applejack’s voice rose as if she had all the air in Equestria to speak. “They kept telling me I was so sexy and such. One of them even asked me on a date! Who do these ponies think they are?” Her nostrils flared again and Rarity could almost swear her eyes turned slightly red in anger.

“ Wasn't that the point of the experiment though?” Twilight glanced towards the book and then to Rarity, “We wanted to see other ponies’ reactions, considering she’ll be dressed like that in just a few days.”

Applejack opened her mouth to yell some more, but found she lacked words. “Well, er…” she stammered as her voice cooled down, “I guess I was a little harsh. Shouldn't ha’ kicked that one stallion in the flank…”

At the word “stallion”, rarity stood up and crossed over to Applejack wearing a perfect poker face. With Twilight comforting, and distracting, Applejack, she had plenty of space to think. She really is quite a fine looking mare. Her legs are accentuated with that saddle, and the lack of a hate let’s her beautiful, golden hair fre-No. Rarity, she’s your friend. Besides, you’re into stallions. Although, ponies compliment their friends all the time. Why can’t I? I mean, look at Fleur de Lis…

Erm, beggin’ yer’ pardon Rarity,” Applejack motioned. Rarity had just put herself back into reality with a funny face, both the ponies in the room staring at her suspiciously.

“Was I…thinking out loud?” Rarity was hoping her quavering voice would mask anything they  heard.
“Of course,” Twilight made a heartfelt smile, “We didn't hear anything besides your muttering anyways.”
“Heh, ya. Heard nothing at all.” Applejack’s nose scrunched up. Rarity, feeling the heat creep up her spine, gave a quick excuse on why she needed to leave and galloped out the door.