• Published 18th Jun 2013
  • 1,951 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 Festive Fall Date

Holding the pins carefully in her mouth, Rarity looked through her glasses down at the outfit she was working on. Everything looked well and ready. No need for her to perform any additional final touch-ups. One final fitting to make sure it does so properly and, barring any unforeseen issues, it should be ready for today. She was not fond of working on an outfit up to the very last minute, but Carousel Boutique was a business and paying customers had to come before personal projects.

Checking the time, she found that there was more than enough to prepare. The pins were returned to their cushion, glasses to their case, and measuring tape to the work table. Rarity retreated to her bathroom, turning on the tub. Once the water was warm and filling, she slipped in, enjoying the feel of the hot water soaking into her form. It felt divine.

Not too long ago, the mayor had decided to have a carnival to celebrate the completion of an autumn harvest. A lot of ponies were quite excited, and a generous portion were working hard to make certain that things went well. Twilight had been asked to organize the event, to her delight and Spikes chagrin. At least it would be thoroughly planned out. Rainbow Dash was permitted to perform a sky show. It was something she would have done anyway, but at least this way the pegasus was going to be watched for safety instead of simply causing mischief. After quite a bit of coercing, Fluttershy was going to bring some animals for a little petting zoo. Hopefully it would not just be a large number of rabbits. Pinkie Pie was helping the Cakes prepare as many sweets as they could (though she was probably sampling a generous portion of them as well). Applejack was also planning to run a food booth, selling apples as well as baked treats that included said fruit.

It was also going to be the second date between herself and Big Macintosh. He had to help deliver food to the booth with his sister first, but would be by to pick her up after. They would get to go to the carnival and have a nice fun date. Plus, she would get to see all the ponies that were wearing her outfits. With a new event to celebrate, some of the ponies wanted new outfits to wear. As such, Rarity was able to get quite a bit of business. Nearly too much for one unicorn to handle. She almost did not have the time to create a new outfit for Big Macintosh and herself.

Feeling freshly washed and clean, Rarity drained the tub and got out. She wrapped her body in a nice fluffy bathrobe and put her mane up in a towel. It would have been nice to sit and soak a little longer, but she had to get ready. Moving to the vanity, she began to work on her make-up.

Just as she was about to take off the robe, there was a knock at the door.

"Just a moment please," Rarity shouted. Tightening the sash around her waist she trotted to the door and pulled it open enough to take a peak through.

"Oh," she let out in surprise. "You're early. Please come in." She stepped back and opened the door wider, letting Macintosh through. As he came in, Rarity moved away from the door and walked over to one of her mannequins. With a glow of her horn, she levitated the outfit off of the mannequin and toward the stallion.

"Here you go," she said, "There is a dressing room you can change into over there. I have to get dressed as well. Once finished, we can have one last check on how it fits before departing." With that, she left him to dress while returning to her room to do the same.

The robe and towel were removed and hung up to dry. Grabbing a brush, she gave it a quick run through her mane and tail to make it passable. She would have to give it a more thorough grooming when she returned. At the moment, she had to get dressed for her date.

The outfit was a lovely shade of dark lavender with a royal blue trim with gleaming gold thread. It was not a very elaborate outfit since she did not have much time to work on the outfit. A few gems, some additional buttons, perhaps a bit of white, and it would be perfect. Although it would probably be better to fully re-make the outfit from the beginning instead of trying to modify the current one. Regardless, it does not take her long to dress, and the garment looked just gorgeous on her. Satisfied she went to check on Big Macintosh.

The stallion's outfit was made with the same color palette as hers, although in differing proportions. The jacket of the outfit was a royal blue, with gold thread on the cuffs. Tied around the thick neck was a dark lavender tie with a small gold pin to hold it in place. She had wanted to do something a little ornate with the tie, but it would have required to know the exact location of where the knot would be tied in the length to fit around the stallion's throat.

"You look very handsome," Rarity said as she moved closer to study him. "Hm... the jacket looks a little tighter than I intended... or you put on more muscle since the last fitting." The statement was one that seemed impossible to be true, but she found that it would not surprise her if he actually had. "Well, it should hold up. Just to be certain though, you should be careful not to strain the fabric too much. That should be manageable. Now then, shall we?"

"Eyup," Macintosh responded. He moved toward Rarity and stood by her side. Together they left Carousel Boutique and headed toward center of town.

****

The blue skies above Ponyville were clear and cloudless, as guaranteed by the weather ponies currently on duty. There was a slight breeze, keeping everyone cool as they spent the time outside beneath the sun. The wind carried the sounds of joy and the smells of fresh food from Ponyville's first annual Fall Festival carnival.

It seemed as though every pony in town was at the carnival, either employed as a portion of it or enjoying it as a customer. There were several small stages with performers on them, spaced out far enough that the sound from one would not interfere with the other. Not all of the performers were actually on stages. Several were wondering around, performing for small crowds. There were booths for food, beverages, and games. If they wanted to, a pony could watch one show, go play a game, get something to eat, and reach another stage for a different performance.

Reaching the carnival, Rarity and Macintosh went and caught one of the shows. One the stage, a mint green pony was standing on her hind legs. One of her fore-hooves held a small stringed instrument, the mentioned strings of which glowed with a golden light that matched the energy surrounding her horn. The gentle notes from the strumming filled the air, creating a calming melody.

After the concert, the couple went to one of the concessions and ended up at the one that was actually being ran by Mister Cake. It was quite a surprise to see him at a stand since he and his wife ran Sugarcube Corner. Rarity could not help but wonder, learning that they were expecting, and wanted to try and get some extra bits before the foal was born. Each of them got a many fruit pocket pie (it has a yummy filling made from as many fruit as possible and made to be carried easier than a slice) before continuing on.

"You there!" a voice shouted, "you look like a strong young colt. Care to try your luck?" The source was a gray earth pony with black mane. Next to him stood a twenty foot tall piece of wood with a bell at the top. He gave a smile as he motioned toward the game.

"Two bits get you one buck," he continued, "ring the bell and win a prize. What do you say?" He continued to grin as Big Macintosh considered the game a moment. Rarity studied it as well.

Last time she had seen such a game, had been approximately around this time last year. Her friends Rainbow Dash
and Applejack had gotten hyper-competitive for some reason or other and ended up with an Iron Mare competition. A game such as this one had been one of the challenges included. Both the competitors had easily rung the bell, but Applejack had bucked hard enough to knock it from the top of the board.

At the thought of that, her gaze drifted from the game to Macintosh. He was larger than his sister by quite a bit, and had likely been bucking longer since he was the eldest sibling. If Applejack could knock the bell free, what could Macintosh do? Would the bell go flying so far that it would end up in one of the neighboring towns (a question which made her wonder what did end up happening to the previous one)? Would the kick shatter the wood? It did was unlikely to be as strong and sturdy as a full tree.

"Eyup," Macintosh said as he started walking toward the game. He paid his two bits and moved to stand in front of it. He looked at it a moment before lifting one of his forelegs.

"Sir," the barker said, "You're supposed to-" he stopped as talking as Macintosh gave a quick tap of the target plate with his hoof. The weight shot up from the plate, striking the bell with a strongly audible clang. Several of the ponies were staring at the game, some were staring at Macintosh, and some did not really seem to be surprised by the event.

Macintosh selected the prize, a stuffed white cat, and presented it to Rarity. She took it with a smile and looked at the thing. The material looked to be of a low quality as was the thread that made the sub-standard stitching. It would most likely come apart in less than a week.

"Thank you," she said politely as she set it safely to carry without worry of losing it. The barker had recovered from his shock and had resumed trying to coax other ponies into playing his game. A group of stallions were lining up to attempt, feeling the need to prove their strength to the mares they were with after feeling intimidated by the ease with which Macintosh had won.

The two continued to walk around the carnival. They listened to some of the music or watched a portion of the plays. They observed some of the games as other ponies attempted to play them. Having eaten, neither were hungry enough to purchase more food, but the aromas did make it quite tempting.

There were no rides to enjoy. No one who lived in Ponyville had the equipment for such a thing at the ready, nor the materials to build one in time. It turned out that requesting rides from elsewhere would require as much as a full year of advance notification. If the carnival did well enough this year, then plans for such request would be considered. None of the ponies in attendance seemed to be disappointed by the lack, however.

The pair went by to check on Applejack and the stand. The orange earth pony was doing a steady amount of business, which she seemed to be well in control of. She was able to get the customers what they wanted, bu was too busy to have a casual conversation. After making certain that Applejack required neither assistance nor additional supplies, Macintosh and Rarity decided to check on Fluttershy. As they went, something caught Rarity's attention.

Walking not far from them was a green mare with a blond mane and tail. Following her was a white stallion in a fedora on top of his red maned head. There was also a patch of a similar color up on his chin.

"Come on," the stallion said, "You're a cute filly. I bet you're even cuter when you smile. Well at least tell me your name." He speed up, moving in front to try and cut off her path. "Now don't be rude. I'm trying to be a nice colt here. The least you could do is talk to me."

Rarity stopped and watched for a moment, taking notice of the mare. The unicorn recognized the look on the other pony's face. It was the face of irritation and annoyance. She had seen it on several occasions when a colt -- either do to over-enthusiasm or insensitivity -- would not accept the indications that a filly was not interested in his advances. Rarity had also seen some males who took such an act personally, and once or twice even turned violent.

"Macintosh," she said, "Perhaps you should intervene on that lady's behalf. I get the impression that the fellow is not going to relent unless somepony encourages him to do so."

Macintosh looked at Rarity a moment then over at the other mare and stallion. His lips pursed out as his jaws tensed, watching a moment. Taking a deep breath, he straightened up to his full height (she had no idea he had been slouching), stuck out his chest and walked over. The green mare took a few steps away from the white stallion. Before the male could move closer, Macintosh moved between the two and looked at the other stallion.

"Sir," the large red pony said in a soft, but firm, tone, "I believe that the lady is not interested. It would probably be better fer the both of ya if you were to go speak with somepony else." Macintosh shifted to plant his legs firmly in the ground, looking down at the white stallion before him. The other stallion stared at Macintosh a moment before his eyes narrowed and lips turned into a scowl.

"This is none of your business, hayseed. I'm just trying to be a nice colt and get to know a filly. Besides, she doesn't need you to speak for her. If she wants me to leave her alone, she can just say so herself. Now butt out or I'm going to have to do something about it." A red glow encompassed the hat, lifting it to reveal that that white pony was a unicorn. He kept his eyes narrow and snarled at Macintosh.

Macintosh did not move. Instead he spread his legs wider apart for greater stability, relaxing slightly to lower his center of gravity and make it more difficult to move him. The tilt of his head changed as he adjust his stance, using his chin to protect his neck. Macintosh did not squint, nor snarl. He just continued to calmly look at the unicorn.

The white stallion did not take this well. Leaning his head forward, his jaw clenched as he focused. The glow around the horn grew brighter with arcane energy. The same energy moved toward Macintosh, collecting around the hooves and moving up his body to encompass him fully. The unicorn let out a grunt of effort, teeth bared and eyes shutting. Energy started to spark with an audible pop from the strain.

Macintosh's eyes went wide as he looked down. Slowly, he was being lifted off the ground. It was not noticeable for others, but he could no longer feel the support of the ground beneath his hooves. Trying to keep calm, he began to shift his weight, trying to break the spell and return to the ground.

It was at that point that the strain became too much for the unicorn. Instead of simply having the magic fade, it surged, causing a magical explosion. There was a cloud of dirt as the energy was suddenly released. The ponies nearby went silent at the sound, watching out of curiosity.

As the dust settled and the last of the energy dissipated, both stallions became visible. Macintosh sat in the same spot he had previously been, looking a little worse for wear, but overall unharmed. The unicorn, however, was not so fortunate. There were no signs of physical injury, and he was breathing, but he was sprawled out in the dirt, seemingly unconscious. Several ponies ran to check on each of them, with Rarity taking the lead in regards to Macintosh.

"Are you all right?" she asked as she reached the large stallion.

"Eyup," Macintosh replied, slowly standing up. Rarity looked at him as he did. His mane was no longer well groomed, the concussion from the explosion returning it to its normally slightly mussy appearance. The bright red fur of his coat was coated in a layer of dust.

"Oh dear," Rarity said as she moved closer. She leaned down, taking a closer look at the jacket. Like the rest of him, it was covered in a layer of dirt. There were tears along the seams as well as in the fabric.

"Well your outfit is ruined," she proclaimed, "How unfortunate. It looked quite lovely on you. Perhaps someday it could have been part of a regular wardrobe. I suppose I could re-make it." She gave a smile. "And next time, it will be a perfect fit. Perhaps we should return early so you can go home and clean up." With that, she turned and started heading back to the boutique. Macintosh watched her a moment before getting up and following.

This time the two did not walk side by side, a fact which did not escape Rarity't notice. Slowing down, she turned her head to glance back Macintosh. The large stallion was walking slowly, even with his longer stride. His head was low, looking more at the ground then anything else. Macintosh was chewing on his lower lip, seeming to be distracted.

If Rarity were to venture a guess, it would be that the stallion was lost in thought. Although it had not been much of a fight, he had just been in a confrontation. Perhaps he felt guilt over the unicorn being knocked unconscious. It was not Macintosh's fault. He had simply stood there.

The thought sent a small pang of guilt as she resumed walking. It was not Macintosh's fault since he had basically just stood there, but in a way it was hers. It was her suggestion that he intervene after all. How was she to know that the other pony was a unicorn? Or that said unicorn would suffer an explosive power surge due to strain of trying to lift the large stallion? The unicorn would probably be fine. Worse case scenario, he would simply wake up in the hospital feeling sore and exhausted.

The two continued on quietly until they reached Carousel Boutique. Macintosh walked Rarity up to the door and stopped at the step. He watched her as she opened the door and stepped inside.

"Thank you for a wonderful time," she said, "and it was very brave of you to stand up for that mare. I hope we'll have another date soon."

"Enope."

"What do you mean 'no?'" Rarity asked. Her eyes were as wide as they could get and ears pulled back. She was genuinely shocked by the statement.

"Ah'm sorry Rarity," Macintosh replied, "It just don't seem like you're gonna be happy wi'me." He took a deep breath and sat down before continuing.

"Now y're nice enough and ah know it's not on purpose, but when we get together, you try'n change me. It's been little things, like how my mane or my clothes, but it happens whenever we get together. Ya' seem to want me to be more like them Canterlot types you look up to so much.

"Ah like who ah am, and I like my life. And as such, I want a mare who will be happy with me as I am. I don't wanna change for anypony. Fairly certain you feel the same way. Wouldn't want a stallion to try 'n change you." He moved closer and gave her a kiss on the forehead.

"You shouldn't settle," he continued. "You should find somepony who is exactly what you want, and I plan on doing the same. Good night Miss Rarity." With that, he turned and walked off. Rarity watched him for a while before slowly shutting the door.