• Published 13th Jul 2013
  • 2,661 Views, 43 Comments

Dominoes - MissytheAngle



It all starts with a heavy rainstorm, one event leading to more... and bringing two friends into a new perspective of one another.

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Downpours

Dominoes

by Missy Angel

Downpours

“Ooooh, why didn't Rainbow Dash bother telling us about this beforehoof?”

Silence overcame Ponyville in no time at all, since very few ponies were out in the midst of the rainstorm. While it wasn't too heavy, most ponies preferred to be indoors during wet weather. While she would have been more than happy to be one of the many ponies sitting idly in her home, plans got in the way. Rarity had to head all the way back to the Boutique to grab an umbrella before walking back out, else she find herself drenched head to hoof.

Rarity told herself to find Rainbow later and give her a piece of her mind. Why did Rainbow Dash, of all ponies, not know when it was raining?! That just didn't make sense!

Whatever the case, she stopped complaining to herself as she made her way to the Apples' farm. Rain pattered across Sweet Apple Acres, her umbrella creating a circle of dryness around her. She kept a gentle yet rather fast pace, wanting to not only get there without being outside too long, but also not wanting any water to touch her mane.

She headed down the trail to Applejack's farm, though with the veil of rain steadily becoming heavier, all she could scarcely see was a blur of reds and greens. She let out a breath of relief, knowing she could get out of this mess soon enough.

Just as she came closer to her destination, a sound made her freeze in her tracks. Her ears perked up, and she craned her neck closer to the right. With a gasp, she galloped over a fence. Normally, not just any sound should concern a pony, but it sounded... familiar.

It sounded like somepony was kicked something; specifically, a tree.

Passing several trees, she saw, amongst the flora of the Apple farm, an orange figure with long blond strands under a brown hat. Of course it was Applejack. She just wondered why.

“Applejack?” she called out, only to receive thunder claps in response. Applejack made no acknowledgment of her friend.

Rarity trotted closer, the clicks of her hooves lost in the wet mud. She grumbled to herself, wishing she had brought her boots along with her. Applejack still did not see her, her sight probably lost in the thickening rain. That didn't make Rarity any happier; despite her stubbornness, shouldn't Applejack know better than to work in these conditions? This made Rarity's lips curl down as her voice rose.

Applejack!"

Applejack flinched and stopped mid-kick. Her hooves fell back onto the squishy ground. She turned to the source of the voice and squinted, taking a closer look at the white pony standing there with a pout to her lips. The farm pony shook the raindrops off her body, but given that it would not stop anytime soon, Rarity was certain it wouldn't matter.

“Rarity? What're ya doin' out here?” she shouted, the rain now stomping viciously around them. Rarity could just barely hear her.

“I was about to ask you the same thing!” Rarity answered. “You don't even have anything to keep you dry.”

“I was workin' on these trees when it started rainin’ cats and dogs, but I'm almost finished,” Applejack answered with another kick, letting out a loud breath. “Don't worry 'bout me, Rare; I'll be done before ya know it. What about you?”

“Don't you remember? I came to pick up Sweetie Belle.”

“Oh, right! Don'tcha think... the rain's too much of a bother to try and walk here for her? We can handle the girls on our own.” Her eyelids sagged ever so slightly.

“Well, then I can handle a little rain,” Rarity defended herself, her stance straightening tensely. Applejack gave her an amused look in response, not even trying to hide her smile. She turned back to one of the trees, her kicks slowing down, less energy put into the force. Rarity rolled her eyes with an exasperated sigh. “Are apples really that important that you need to work in the pouring rain?”

“Just a few... more,” Applejack answered, her voice becoming breathy. She bucked one more tree, only getting two apples to land into the basket. “Shoot," she growled, falling on her butt and bowing her head. Her hat dripped more water in front of her.

The annoyance that shot through Rarity was replaced by sympathy as she smiled down at Applejack, whose determination for her work Rarity admired. Still, with the fatigue visible in her friend's features, Rarity couldn't possibly let her suffer any longer. Applejack was soaked like Rarity would never have wanted herself. She walked to Applejack's side and, waving the umbrella over her, said, “Here.”

Applejack rose her head back up and noticed it wasn't raining above her any longer. Addressing the umbrella, she tilted her hat up as she got onto all four hooves slowly. “Aren't... ya gonna get your mane all wet?” she asked.

Rarity shook her head. “Oh, we're not too far from your house. But let’s hurry. I might get drenched, too. We wouldn't want that, would we?”

Rather than run, Rarity had to keep the umbrella at a perfect position for Applejack. It wasn't big enough for her, and if she tried pressing herself close to Applejack, she could get the edge of her face dry. It was pointless, not to mention awkward for the both of them, so she didn't bother.

Nonetheless, she stayed close to Applejack while heading to the farm, which was still pretty far from where she found Applejack. She shook her mane, which by now fell straight and pressed against her coat. Mixing this in with the dirt sticking to her hooves, she had to remind herself she was helping a friend, to hold back her distress for a few minutes, and that a shower was required the second she could get one.

At last, the farm was in sight, as well as Applejack’s house. “Finally!” Rarity breathed, picking up the pace. Applejack was taken aback but caught up with her. They met at the door, which Applejack opened, letting Rarity in first. She thanked her before entering.

She took in the warm, dry air, relief washing over her. She sighed in content. Only when she realized she was here to pick up Sweetie Belle, her heart sank. If she had to go back out there... she did not want to think about that point.

Once inside, Applejack shook herself like a wet dog. Rarity flinched away from her. Looking at the farm pony, she tsked. “Agh, you're filthy, dear! How long were you working today?” she asked, bring out a strand to demonstrate. It, like most of her hair and coat, was covered in muck, rainfall and some sweat.

Applejack shrugged. “A while,” was her vague answer.

“And how often do you do your mane?” Rarity asked with slight hesitance.

“What I do with my mane and when is nopony's business but mine,” replied the farm pony in a strict voice. She wiped her brow, despite being drenched everywhere else. Perhaps it was just by habit. With a glance over at Rarity, a grin crossed her face as she pointed. “'Sides, you're not lookin' so spotless yourself.”

Rarity gazed down at herself, noticing just how much dirt stained her from helping Applejack. Her pupils constricted to a point where they were almost completely gone. Her worry for Applejack cleaning up was gone. She trembled a little, but enough to catch Applejack's attention, as well as her worry.

“Rar—?”

"Applejack, would you mind me using your shower?"

"Not at all, but - "

Before Applejack could even finish her sentence, the unicorn had burst upstairs to the bathroom, dust appearing her in wake. Applejack waved the dust away with her hat, coughing. She laughed to herself with a shake of her head, only to be interrupted by a tiny group coming into the room. “Hey, girls. Sweetie Belle, Rarity's here for ya, ah think.”

“My sister's here?” Sweetie Belle asked in disbelief, one of her eyebrows raised. Her expression showed how little she thought that to be real.

“Yeah, she's takin' a shower upstairs right now.”

“Now that sounds like Rarity, but still, she walked here in the rain?!” Sweetie Belle exaggerated the last part in a shrill voice, causing her friends to jump. She looked down for a moment, and then squealed, “Wait, does that mean I have to go home already?”

“Rarity'll decide that. Ya know, if she wants to walk back home in this rain or not. Have to say, it's pretty nasty outside. Ah'm glad she helped me get out of there. Otherwise, ah might've come back in worse,” Applejack said with a drifting look, smiling.

“You think Rarity would actually go back out again?”

Applejack looked at Sweetie Belle, knowing she desperately wanted to stay here and not be the one Crusader to miss out on the sleepover. After all, she doubted Scootaloo would go home at this point, not without something to keep her dry while heading there. Applejack just shrugged.

A few minutes later, a door opened upstairs. Glancing up, Applejack and the three fillies saw a white figure head down the stairs as steam rolled out from the bathroom.

“Ah, that's better.” Rarity stepped out, shaking her mane as the towel in her magical grip buried into it. Her coat and tail shined, and she sighed in content as she examined herself. The dirt and messiness gone, she just felt cleaner. She trotted downstairs, her hair sticking to her and smiling - to her not surprise - apples. It still had to be brushed, but that was an easy fix. She reached the bottom to meet the eyes of everypony in the room. “Evening, Sweetie Belle. Girls.” She nodded at each of them.

Rarity glanced around for a mirror. Not seeing one around, she let out a huff. “Well, I don't know for certain, but I still have to finish my hair. Too bad I didn't bring anything with me. Certainly at home, at least.”

“Ya sure you don't want to stay? Still pretty rough out there.” Applejack glanced outside, concerned for her friend.

“I have an umbrella, dear. I think I can handle myself,” Rarity replied, her giggles filling the air as she started to grab it. She looked out the window as it poured mercilessly upon the farm and no doubt Ponyville. She even saw a crack of lightning slash into the dreary sky.

“Oh, right.” Her face fell.

“C'mon, Rarity! Can't we stay for the night? It's raining a lot outside! Please?” pleaded Sweetie Belle with puppy dog eyes to boot. Those usually did it most days.

Today, however, was not the case. “I came here for you, dear. No arguing now. Let's just get home before it somehow gets worse.”

Sweetie opened her mouth, but it shut after a moment of silence. Accepting it, she turned to her friends and said with a pout, “See you guys, later.”

Rarity turned to leave, thanking her one last time for letting her borrow the shower. As she shook her umbrella of any remaining raindrops, she looked at the ponies in the room. Applejack was smiling, but it looked forced. Sweetie Belle's teary eyes were almost too much.

She sighed, earning everypony's attention.

“Oh, why not?” she caved with a wave of her hoof. Her head tilted to Applejack and Sweetie Belle, and she chuckled. “There's no reason to be out there in that mess, now, is there? As long as you wouldn't mind, of course.”

The Cutie Mark Crusaders jumped in the air, cheering for a sleepover. Even though Rarity now slightly feared how much they'd suffer from that, Applejack took her attention away from that. “Just something a friend would do. No biggie,” she said with a shrug, her eyes cast down. She picked up her head and pointed it to the left of her. “In there's a fireplace. Maybe we can warm up there and just hang out for the time bein'.”

“Not until you clean up. I can't have a friend looking like that, not when I have something to say about it.” Rarity put a hoof in front of her friend, almost poking her, but the dirt on her fur made her draw back. Biting her lip, she smiled sheepishly, a hint of blush brushing her cheeks. “I'll just... go in there.”

With a roll of her eyes, Applejack obliged, heading up the stairs while Rarity found a place to sit. Once Applejack left, the three Cutie Mark Crusaders formed a circle, speaking in voices that were attempting to be quiet but most certainly weren't. “What do you think we should do?”

“Super extreme pillow fights, complete with large pillow forts?” Sweetie Belle suggested, her face bright in excitement.

“How about karaoke?” Scootaloo exclaimed. Her tiny wings fluttered.

“We don't have any karaoke machine....”

“We can just do it on the spot!”

Rarity blinked. “Oh dear....”

***

Applejack exited the bathroom, not only feeling cleaner, but not as tired as before. She headed downstairs, the floor creaking. When she got downstairs, only Rarity was down there.

Rarity had turned around, shoving something under a pillow she got. Her hair was now pulled back in a maneholder, only a few curls dangling at her sides. Upon seeing Applejack, whatever she was paying attention to changed instantly. “Applejack! Ooh, you look much better now!”

Applejack squinted. “What're ya doin', Rare?” she asked in a wary tone, taking slow steps towards her. Rarity didn’t fight too hard as Applejack kicked aside the pillow to see an open book. When the writing looked very familiar, it seemed obvious, but she wanted to deny that big time. She shot Rarity a look.

“Oh, I... just couldn't resist. I'm so ashamed. Darling, you never told me you had a diary!” Rarity squealed in delight, giggling at the very idea. She was nearly bouncing in her place with the journal in her sight. “That's so adorable, Applejack!”

Applejack blushed violently, her face tomato red. Her ears were deflated against her head as she walked the rest of the way, leaning down to give Rarity a threatening stare. Rarity received the message with a defeated smile, slinking away from the book. “Right. Terribly sorry.”

“Why is that down here, anyway?” Applejack glared at the book, picking it up. She tapped her face several times before something crossed her mind. It was visible to Rarity as Applejack's face switched from confusion to shock, then to anger, her eyebrows gradually narrowing. Those large green eyes glanced upstairs. “APPLE BLOOM!”

“WE DIDN'T DO IT!” Apple Bloom's voice replied almost instantly. The other two chorused loud laughter.

“What did ah tell ya 'bout invadin’ someone’s privacy?” Applejack yelled.

“Well, you should've kept a lock on it or something. Even I do that with mine.”

“SCOOTALOO!” Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle scolded in deafening voices, but the latter added just a second later, far less rough, “Wait, you have a diary? Aww, how cute!”

“Darn it!”

When a few moments passed when the fillies finished screaming at each other, Rarity and Applejack turned to one another. Rarity was the first, but soon Applejack burst into laughter.

***

Sprawled in warm and soft blankets, Rarity and Applejack sat on the carpeted floor downstairs, right beside the fireplace. Rarity held a cup of coffee in her magic, her hooves resting on a pillow, while Applejack's drink sat beside her. The fillies had finally fallen to sleep. Any punishment for invading Applejack's privacy was not bothered. They had a feeling they knew they were doing something bad anyway.

“I can't believe those girls sometimes...” Rarity muttered, sipping her drink and letting the heat warm her up.

Outside, the storms had died down. Only a small trickle remained, and through some clouds at times, they could see the moon glimmering above. The moon's reflection shone down through the window, casting an elegant glow, and alongside the fireplace, they both felt completely at peace.

The mood died, however, when Applejack looked back at the diary hiding under her pillow. “What exactly did you read, by chance?” Applejack's hesitance told Rarity the last thing she wanted was for anypony to read her diary, not that she could blame her. It was a diary, after all. Still, her worry made Rarity curious.

“Mmm, just the part where you confessed your crush on somepony. Doesn't say who, though.” Rarity turned away to conceal her wide smirk, laughter dancing in her eyes. If she didn't turn away, what she was doing would be obvious.

“There isn't...!” Applejack's reaction, how defensive and self-conscious she grew, just drew Rarity in more. It was so cute to see her like this.

“Oh, relax, I only read the beginning when you first started using it,” Rarity interrupted, earning a sharp look. “Why, when I had one of these, I always wrote a bit in there, then.. some things happened that made me not use it so much.” Memories of the time where Sweetie Belle stole her diary for her newspaper came up and brought a frown onto her face.

“Ah haven't used this in a while, either. Dunno when ah will, though. Ah'm glad I didn’t write anythin’ recently.”

“Why?” Rarity asked, leaning closer to her friend with a glow to her eye. Any gossip, she absolutely loved and absorbed. “Is there anythin' secret in particular—”

Applejack’s look was enough to stop Rarity, who just giggled. Clearing her throat, she said, “Well, Sweetie Belle is the same way. I mean, thank Celestia I have my diary hid as best as possible, because no doubt she'd be all over that again!” Rarity sighed at the very idea of more of her innermost thoughts being revealed to her sister, of all ponies.

A chuckle took her out of her stupor. “Well, they're our sisters. It's pretty much their job to cause problems. Now don't get me wrong, ah love my sister, and we get along fine, but sometimes—”

“She can be quite a pain in the flank?” Rarity finished for her, trying to hide her grin behind her cup.

“Well... yeah,” Applejack admitted with a blush. “But we're sisters. We have to watch out for them, right?”

“I suppose. I even feel a little bad, talking so bad about them. But then again, I’m reminded of the diary thing and all.” Rarity drew her head back to laugh, and then yawned. Applejack yawned back.

“My, I'm exhausted. It's been a fairly busy day. You sure you don't mind if I just rest here for the night, do you?”

“'Course not!” Applejack answered, almost chuckling at the idea that sitting there would ever bother her. They both exchanged glancing, smiling at one another.

Rarity then lay her head down, already shutting her eyes and relaxing her muscles to rest for the night. Silence whispered in the air as the fire crackled before them, and Applejack adjusted herself to sit lower. The fire reflected against her friend's face as she slept. She, too, was becoming tired, and thought to go to bed.

However, feeling so comfortable where she lay, Applejack snuggled deeper into the blankets. Her head gently rested on the pillow, which sat right next to Rarity's. Their faces were close to touching, and Applejack could feel her fresh breath against her cheek. With a light breath, she shut her eyes.

“Ooh, might I advise also brushing your teeth?” Rarity whispered with her nose scrunched.

“... Gosh darn it....” Applejack mumbled, turning the other way.

Author's Note:

I want to give another thanks to the pre-readers of this chapter, Ponynumber14346 and Coco-loco. I was really nervous about making this story, but they've given me enough help to reassure me a little, at the very least.

So, yes, this is my first romance story, so I'm still trying to do my best with it, even if it's not the best. But what's the point of writing when you don't try to be a bit diverse and try new things? That said, I'd very much love to hear your thoughts,and maybe any advice/criticism you might have. You have no idea how open I am to both for this.