• Published 18th Jun 2013
  • 1,952 Views, 20 Comments

A Rare Apple - Hopeful_Ink_Hoof

During a harvest at Sweet Apple Acres where all are helping, Rarity contemplates a relationship with Big Macintosh. But can a hopeful fashionista unicorn be content with a simple living earth pony?

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A Date Different Than Expected

The three of them walked through Ponyville, heading toward the park. Rarity and Macintosh walked casually side by side. She actually had to walk faster than originally expected. Macintosh seemed to walk at a slow pace, but his long legs allowed him to take great strides with ease. Sweetie Belle did not bother trying to stay with them too much. Instead, she would run ahead before coming back only to run off once more.

The walk had gone mostly in silence. It was making Rarity realize something that she had not thought about before: she was going to have to make most of the conversation. She had been aware that Macintosh was one who spoke very little of course, but had not thought about the fact it would he would not speak much during their evening together. As such, it would be on her to start, and probably proceed with, any conversations they were going to have.

"Your mane looks very nice like that," she said. "You know, you should brush it like that more often. It makes you look much more sophisticated." She smiled, batting her bright blue eyes at him. She saw a sheepish smile spread across his lips before Macintosh turned away, his ears flicking back and down in embarrassment. If it was not for the deep red coat, Rarity would have been able to see how he was blushing at the comment. Before he could respond, Sweetie Belle came running up to them once again.

"Hurry up hurry up!" the filly shouted. "We're almost there." With that, she ran ahead again, leaving the two alone once more. Rarity gave a small shake of her head at her sister's enthusiasm and continued walking to the park.

The sun shined in the sky of the late afternoon. It was quieter than usual since many of the ponies have gone home or to nearby eateries for supper. It was neither completely empty nor quiet however. There were still ponies of various ages running and playing, as well as the tweeting of birds.

As they walked to the pond, Rarity and Macintosh searched for a shady quiet spot to set down while Sweetie Belle ran toward the water. The sound of splashing and squeals of happiness could be heard easily. While the unicorn filly played, Macintosh took the saddle bags from his back and pulled it open. Shortly he started to pull out food: a jar of apple butter, several slices of fresh baked bread, dandelion and daisy sandwiches, alfalfa, a bottle of apple juice, and honey cookies.

Rarity looked at all the food in surprise. It was quite a generous spread. There seemed more than enough for three full grown ponies to eat. Or was it? Big Macintosh was a big stallion. She had never thought to pay attention to how much he ate when eating together. Would he actually have been able to eat most of this? Did he think she ate as much as Applejack? Or was a part of it just the natural hospitality of the Apple family to make sure everypony had enough to eat?

"Rarity! Rarity!" Sweetie Belle shouted, "Look what I caught!" At the sound, Rarity turned around and found herself staring at the wide eyed stare of a slimy, shiny, dark green bullfrog. The frog let out a croak, and Rarity let out a squeal of horror.

"Sweetie Belle!" she shouted, "Put that..." She stopped a moment, eyes turning toward Big Macintosh. The stallion was sitting down and watching them, his face not showing much of what he was thinking. Looking away, she closed her eyes. Rarity took a deep breath and slowly let it out, trying to control her irritation at the frog.

"Why don't you put that thing down Sweetie," she said in her more calm and controlled voice, "and come eat. Mister Macintosh has set up a scrumptious banquet for us to enjoy."

The frog let out a surprised croak as it flew through the air, already forgotten about by the unicorn filly. All of Sweetie Belle's attention was on the food that was set out for them. The filly started to grab different bits of food, ready to start shoving them into her mouth as quickly as she could.

"Ah-ah-ah," Rarity corrected, "Remember proper etiquette deary." Sweetie Belle rolled her eyes at her sister, but still slowed down. In according to her older sister's wishes, the younger sister sat down to "properly" pick up and eat one of the ready-made sandwiches.

Rarity smiled at her little sister, then sat down and started eating as well. After her third bite, she noticed that Big Macintosh was picking up a piece of bread and started to spread the apple butter on it. It sent a thrill to see such polite behavior. The stallion had waited for the ladies to begin eating before doing so himself. She never would have thought that such a simple living pony could be so well versed in proper manners. What else had she been missing out on? This question lead a thought about something she had never wondered about before.

"Have you ever wished to do anything other than work on the farm, Macintosh?" Rarity asked. Macintosh took a bite of his bread and chewed slowly. His gaze wandered off into the distance as he thought. The three of them ate quietly a moment.

"Eyup," he finally responded. "Can't seem to remember what it was though. Reckon it's been too many years. Been workin' the farm so long, don't think I could do anythin' else if I wanted." That was a surprise. It was hard for Rarity to imagine having to put her own dreams aside to help out with the family, to say nothing of doing it so long that her own wishes had become forgotten.

What should she say? Telling him that maybe he could pursue his own dream in the future seemed pointless since he could not even remember what it had been to begin with. It did not seem that he really ran the farm either. Although he did a lot of the physical labor, Macintosh seemed to defer to his sister when it came to making the decisions and handling the money.

"Well," she said, "It was very sweet of you to stay. I'm sure the farm never would have lasted without all you have done for it." That got a warm smile.

"Eyup," he said with a small nod.

"I can't wait until I get my cutie mark and figure out what my special talent is," Sweetie Belle added to the conversation. She then started to tell Big Macintosh all the adventures she had been having with the other Cutie Mark Crusaders. The young filly went on at length about each of their attempts at trying to get their cutie marks, and what ended up happening because of it. Rarity had to correct her sister's behavior several times for trying to talk while eating. Macintosh, for his part, listened to the tales intently. It would be hard to believe that he had more than likely heard these stories all before seeing as his youngest sister was one of the crusaders as well. Neither he nor Rarity tried to keep the young unicorn from talking. Rarity speculated that Macintosh was being polite.

As for her self... well, she still was not sure what to say to the stallion. Family was important to him, but it did not seem appropriate to speak about their parents and conversing about Applejack seemed like it would be uncomfortable. She had no interest in learning about farming, and he did not seem the fashion oriented type, so talking about work was not very appealing. Applejack was the one who worried about the finances in the family, so sharing business tips would be pointless. Rarity started to wonder: did she have anything in common with Macintosh that would be a foundation for a relationship? She continued to eat as she considered the question.

With most of the main food finished off, Rarity suggested they start on the cookies. The sweets were wonderfully prepared; the inside was soft without being raw, the edges crisp but not dried out, and the honey was just a slight hint without being too sweet. Rarity ate one, Macintosh ate two, and Sweetie Belle ate four. It made Rarity grateful that they were outside where the younger unicorn could burn off all the extra energy. Sweetie Belle seemed to have the same idea since she ran off to play some more as soon as she finished. Rarity watched her sister run off before turning back toward Macintosh

"So do you intend to work on Sweet Apple Acres the rest of your life?" she asked.

"Eyup." Macintosh gave a nod of his head. "'though when AJ starts a family her own, reckon' I'll get a place of my own nearby. Settle down and start a family of my own."

"Well it looks like you would be a great father." She turned to watch her sister trying to catch another frog. "You do seem to be good with foals."

"Eyup." He turned and looked up at the sky. "Sun's settin'." With that he turned to look up at the sky and watch the pale blue brighten into a rosy red color before darkening into the deep purple-black of night. Rarity moved to sit next him and watch as well. It was quite a lovely show.

"Well, I suppose we should begin returning home," Rarity said. "Sweetie Belle?" She turned to call her sister, and stopped. Sweetie Belle was curled up in the grass, asleep. Her body rose and fell with the gentle shallow breathing of her restful state.

Rarity stood up and moved toward her sister, smiling slightly. The young filly looked so innocent and adorable. Using her magic, Rarity carefully lifted up her little sister and set the sleeping unicorn across her back.

"You want I should carry her, Miss Rarity?" Macintosh asked. She looked at him, standing with the saddle bag already back in place.

"Thank you, darling," she replied, "but that won't be necessary. Sweetie is not as heavy as a basket of apples and I am accustomed to carrying her to bed." Shifting, she adjusted the weight of her sister and her own balance. Once comfortable, Rarity began to walk back toward town and her boutique. Macintosh quickly fell in step beside her, adjusting his stride to keep pace with her and not risk waking the sleeping filly.

The calm quiet of a small town evening fell over Ponyville. Many of the residents had gone inside, although a few were out to enjoy the night sky and the singing of the birds that were still awake. One or two turned to watch as Macintosh and Rarity walked past, somewhat fascinated to see the pair.

It was a quiet trip back to Carousel Boutique. Macintosh stopped at the doorway as Rarity opened the door and stepped inside. She turned to face the stallion and smiled at before speaking.

"Well it was not quite the date that I was expecting, but it was quite a lovely time. Perhaps we can go on another, although next time it will hopefully just you and I."

"Eyup," he responded with a small nod. Macintosh took a step back from the door and waited. Rarity blinked at him a moment before slowly closing the door. As soon as it was shut, she looked through the peephole. It seemed that he had waited until she had waited for the door to shut before leaving. He had been sweet enough not to try and get a kiss or come inside, but he had not simply turned to leave either. The stallion seemed to be making sure that she was inside safe and sound before actually heading home himself.

That's sweet she thought as she moved away from the door and through her home. She carried Sweetie Belle to the filly's bed room. With the help of magic, the young unicorn was carefully lifted and set in bed, the sheets pulled over the sleeping form. Leaning down, Rarity gave her sister a gentle peck on the cheek then went to work on some of her designs before bed.