• Published 13th Jul 2013
  • 2,659 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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A Helping Hoof

Dominoes

by Missy Angel

A Helping Hoof

With a swift buck, Applejack sent several delicious red fruits raining down onto the basket beside her. She followed with another fluid movement against a tree to the right, energy strengthening her hooves. The last apples of the day filled both baskets right to the top. With a satisfied grin, she brushed a hoof over her forehead, wiping away the sweat dripping down her face.

Her hat shielded the glaring sunlight from her face, and only now did she feel the exhaustion from the hot, working day. She stared at the small section of the farm, the trees stripped of their fruit. Content with her work, she loosened the muscles in her legs and said, “Boy, I’m tired out. Think we can take a break?”

“Eeyup,” said Big Mac, coming up the hill.

She picked up the full baskets and the two of them took off towards the farm, walking beside each other at a slow pace. She fanned herself with her hat as they walked.

“Hoo! Scorchin’ out today.” A moment later her stomach growled. She chuckled and added, “You wouldn’t mind me headin’ out with some of the girls for lunch, would ya?

Big Mac shook his head and took the baskets she had filled. “Thanks!” she called out, trotting away from the farm.

It took no time for her to reach the town after her short walk. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, not a cloud in the sky. That storm two days ago was enough to give the dirt more than enough water, she thought, walking towards the Carousel Boutique. Once she arrived, she knocked three times.

A screech erupted from behind the door, shocking Applejack a few steps back.

Go away! I’m completely busy at the moment, so nopony bother me!” Rarity yelled from inside, her voice laced with hysteria.

Applejack didn’t leave or so much as step away. Instead, she stared at the door, like it would provide her answers on what was wrong. Eventually, her concern won out her respect for privacy, and she walked over to the door. She put her hoof on it, and with no struggle, opened it with a mild creak.

“If ya were so busy, it’d probably be best to lock the… door…” Applejack’s tease drifted into the air as she took a better look at the room, her face falling at the sight.

Several dozen layers of fabric lay scattered across the room, each bearing a different color or design. Everything was spread messily around the room, no order or neatness in any form, something Rarity would normally “tsk” at. Sketches of ponies in a variety of clothing lay all around a pony whose back faced her.

Said unicorn, however, was sitting in the eye of the mess. Her head bowed down, eyes cast to the cluttered floor, and her glasses tilted sideways on her muzzle. Dark circles rested underneath her eyes.

Rarity glanced up, grimacing. “Would you please—?” she sneered, but when she realized it was Applejack, she stopped mid-sentence. She let out a defeated, worn out sigh. “Applejack! Hello.”

“What happened, Rare?” Applejack asked, approaching her and glancing around the mess. “Looks like a windstorm picked up in here.”

Rarity pulled a smile, one that looked as if it was painful to wear. “Oh, it’s not a mess, dear! It’s... organized chaos!”

“Organized... never mind. ‘Cause it don’t look like it.” Applejack gave her a knowing look, eyebrows narrowed.

“That’s because - ” Rarity struggled to figure out the right words shook her head, strands of her mane falling over her face. “It’s not. Is it that bad?”

Applejack’s eye twitched, and for a moment, she questioned how true she should stay to her Element in moments like this. “Kinda? And, uh, you don’t look so good yourself, Rare.”

Rarity gasped dramatically and grabbed a mirror Applejack bit her lip, immediately regretting that she said anything beyond the first word, especially when Rarity observed her reflection in the mirror. She was still for a moment, and Applejack took a step toward her, hoping she wouldn’t faint.

Instead, she screamed. Loudly. Applejack almost preferred the fainting option. “I look horrible,” Rarity muttered in a cracked voice, her eyes watering. Examining herself more, then exchanging looks with Applejack, she let out another sigh. Her features sobered up, and she ran a hoof through her mane. “Oh, my. I really have let this get to my head.”

“Mind tellin’ me what’s going on?”

Rarity took off her glasses and rubbed her eyes. Applejack stared at her, noticing the exhaustion in her features, how tired she must have felt despite her determination to finish. Applejack understood that all too well.

“Well, I’m certain you’ve never heard of Golden Petals.”

“Got that right,” Applejack laughed just a bit.

For just a quick second, Rarity’s lip rose, but it fell when she turned away. “She’s a wonderful model in Manehattan. One of the best, in my mind. She’s going to an award show, with a red carpet event and everything. And she wants me - me, of all ponies - to make her dress. It’s due tomorrow morning, and what’s worse is that I have ten other outfits due sometime tomorrow!”

Applejack blinked, and green eyes filled with guilt. “Ah, Rare. You know you didn’t have to help me if it meant -”

Rarity threw a hoof in her face to cut her off. “Don’t start, Applejack. It was my choice to help you get better. I was certain I’d have time today, anyway, but…” Her head sank lower to the ground. “Oh, I just don’t know what to do.”

Rarity began sorting through the strewn papers, sniffling occasionally as she held back sob, Applejack watching with disdain. It took not even a minute for her to want to do something, rather than stand there. She fought a grin as an idea popped into her head. She kneeled down to meet Rarity’s gazel.

“Rarity,” she said, her voice quiet and careful. She waited for Rarity to meet her gaze.

When she did, Rarity blinked and sniffled, her nose now running as well as her mascara. The fact she didn’t even bother cleaning up only concerned her more. “What?” the unicorn asked. Her voice sounded tiny and vulnerable.

Frowning, Applejack fought back the urge to hug her. Right now, she had a plan. Extending a hoof, she said, “I have someplace to take ya.”

Rarity rose from her sitting position, and Applejack stepped back. Worry etching her face, she said, “Applejack, the last thing I need to do is leave all my work just sitting here.”

“Pretty sure it’s exactly what you need.” When Rarity refused to budge, Applejack’s nostrils flared, her patience growing thin. “It won’t take long, promise.”

Rarity stared at the ground, not answering immediately. Applejack decided to let her take her time; she didn’t mind at all, especially knowing Rarity did mind the little time she had on her hooves.

At last, Rarity’s face lit up just slightly. “Can I at least clean my face? I’m almost certain I look awful,” she said, touching her cheek. When she pulled her hoof away, smudges of mascara stained it.

“‘Course,” Applejack nodded. “Just meet me outside when you’re done.”

She watched Rarity take a small glance at the mess on the floor, but gradually step away from it and up the stairs. Only when she heard the bathroom door slam, did she take her attention away from Rarity at the staircase.

Once she did, Applejack ran out of the boutique. She had things to do, after all.

***

“Where did you run off to?” Rarity asked upon Applejack’s return.

Applejack huffed and grabbed her Stetson before it fell off her head. Taking steady breaths, she tried to think of a good lie. Now staring at Rarity, polished and raising a suspicious brow at her, well… there was a heavy emphasis on “try.”

“Oh, I, uh, had some chores!” she shouted the last part, wincing and biting her lip. “For Apple Bloom, I mean. I had to give Apple Bloom her chores for the day. Heh.”

When Rarity didn’t respond for a moment, Applejack tried her best to keep her face straight. “Very well,” Rarity answered with a shrug. “So, where are we going?”

“Can’t say. Just… follow me.” Applejack nodded out. Rarity caught up to her side, and they trotted east.

Once they stepped out of Ponyville, Rarity gave a confused look to Applejack. “Are we going to your farm?” she asked.

“Not exactly,” Applejack answered, struggling to fight a large smirk.

Minutes later, Applejack noticed Rarity looking over her back multiple times. She nudged her side to catch her attention. “We’re almost there, promise. You’ll get everythin’ done, I’m sure of it. You just need a break.”

“Coming from you, that sounds rather ironic, don’t you think?” Rarity’s sarcastic tone made Applejack roll her eyes. When the unicorn smirked, though, she smiled back at her.

They walked along the road surrounded by verdant trees. Applejack took a hard left at an opening in the treeline and gestured out with a hoof. “Here we are.”

Applejack led Rarity and stared at the edge of the farm, where the trees ended and a grassy plain stretched several feet in front of them. From the view of the at the edge of the farm, they saw not only Ponyville not too far away, but far beyond that. They saw the Everfree Forest and several mountains roll out miles off.

“Oh, it’s very nice,” Rarity complimented, stepping out from the shadows of the trees. She walked over to where Applejack stood, the wind blowing their manes back lightly. “Wonderful view, I must say.”

“Big Mac would bring me here as a filly. After a long day of work, we’d sit here and talk.”

Applejack sat on the grass, relaxing as the memories came to her. She sighed and turned to Rarity, who continued standing next to her. “And before ya ask, he was a chatty pony when we were younger.”

Rarity scoffed in disbelief, and she sat down beside her. “You’re kidding!”

“Well, actually… yeah. Gotcha,” Applejack said with a wink, catching her off guard.

After a pause to take it in, Rarity burst into loud guffaw, unable to contain herself. “Well, so much for Element of Honesty!”

“Hey, I’ve lied before - and gotten away with it!” Applejack defended herself, crossing her hooves with a confident air about her.

“Have you now?” Rarity leaned toward her friend, staring at her with sparkling eyes of curiosity. “Do tell.”

Applejack laughed at Rarity’s growing comfort. She sat back against a tree, the memories settling her. “When I was a filly, I got into this sorta phase, and when Pa told me to do all these chores, I didn’t wanna do ‘em! So I gave ‘em to Big Mac, told him they were his and just went to Ponyville. Did nothing but walk around and enjoy the break.”

Rarity’s amusement was impossible to miss in her wide beam. She sat herself next to Applejack, choosing to lay herself against the grass. “Really? And you got away with it?” she asked, turning her head up to look at AJ.

“Big Mac isn’t one to talk, so he just gave me a nasty stare afterward. It didn’t phase me, and even now, it doesn’t. But uh…” Applejack’s confidence fell as a sheepish look crossed her face. She scratched the back of her head. “Later that night, I told my dad what I did and got grounded.”

“Wh - I… then you didn’t get away with it, Applejack! You gave yourself away!” Rarity sputtered, again scoffing at Applejack, who bit her lip.

“I almost got away with it, and I did - I just didn’t have it in me to keep the secret for long.”

Rarity shook her head. “Oh Applejack.”

Applejack just shrugged. Rarity directed her eyes back up into the sky.

A sense of comfort rolled over Rarity, the air washing her with gentle, cool brushes. The silence that came afterward sounded like a beautiful song, a distraction from reality.

Her eyes fluttered shut…

...

And they opened again, and she felt grass brushing her cheek and muzzle. Rising her head, she noted two things: Applejack sitting close to her and staring blankly out toward the rolling hills standing before them, and the sun just a little higher than she last saw it. How she noticed that surprised her, but with time very limited in her head, she couldn’t let it go.

“Sweet Celestia, how long was I out?” she asked, her eyes moving just a little to see Applejack’s blink over at her then back to the view. She stretched her hooves.

“No worries; it’s only been… well, not too long,” she said with a shrug. She smiled at Rarity, but it fell when she saw the unicorn’s furrowed brows and pouted lips.

“Applejack, I don’t have all day.”

“It’s early. You’ll have plenty of time.” She took a good, long glances where she believed the Boutique sat, only to turn back to Rarity and nudge her. “Heck, I can help, if ya want.”

Rarity raised a brow, not looking quite that amused. “Dearie, we both know that you just aren’t meant to be a designer. How could you possible help?”

“I have an idea or two,” Applejack answered, only raising suspicion in Rarity even more.

“Which is?”

Applejack shifted away uncomfortably, eyes turning away from Rarity as best as she could. “Can’t we just sit here and relax? Just a bit longer, I promise.”

Rarity rolled her eyes and left the conversation there, turning to look out to the hill again. She couldn’t help but chuckle at Applejack’s sudden tension, and noticing it was still somewhat there, decided to play around with it.

“So, where did you run off to before?” she asked out of nowhere, catching Applejack off guard.

“I-I told ya – ”

Rarity cut her off with a pout and another raised eyebrow, AJ rubbed the back of her head. “Was I really that obvious?”

“Applejack, dear, you’re… well, how should I put this?” She tapped her chin to ponder, though she immediately added, “Not a good actress.”

“I actually thought you’d bought that,” Applejack said.

A giggle escaped Rarity’s lips. “Now that’s acting. Take notes. Now, why lie to me?” She rested her head closer to Applejack, both hooves holding both sides of her face.

“N-nothing, just…” Applejack stuttered, and Rarity noticed a bit of sweat pouring down her face. Rarity doubted it was from the hot day.

However, Rarity laughed aloud and cut her off. “Oh, you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to, dear. No need to get so flustered - even if it is adorable!”

Applejack chuckled lowly, but her stare on Rarity prolonged.

“What?” Rarity asked, blushing slightly. Applejack blinked, and Rarity added with a little worry in her voice, “Do I still have some old mascara on my face?”

“No, you’re good. You just… I imagine you’re feelin’ a lot better.”

Rarity blinked. “Hmm? Oh.” Her lit up face fell as she took in what she said, though she chuckled a little at some thought. “I actually forgot for a moment.”

“That’s why I brought you up here. Stressin’ ain’t gonna help anypony with getting stuff done. And bein’ up here, I always found it so relaxing as a filly… even when things’d get difficult.”

The relaxed mood lessened, replaced by a more somber air. Rarity stared at Applejack for a long, long minute, eyebrows furrowed. “We all just need a moment to breathe,” she continued for the farm pony, turning away and out toward the faraway view.

Rarity watched over Ponyville down below, very small in their perspective. Distracted, she didn’t notice Applejack staring at her and admiring the sun reflecting off of those purple locks.

With a sigh, she rose onto her hooves. “Thank you, but I really should get back and finish up. I pray I can meet all of those deadlines.”

Applejack nodded, and she and Rarity walked down the hill, letting the silence and the clopping of their hooves talk. Every once in a while, the trees would rustle and rain leaves down around them. They walked in sync for several minutes.

“Let’s take a run, how ‘bout?” Applejack offered, her smile wide.

“I don’t know, Applejack...”

Her hesitance only lasted a second before Rarity smacked her tail against Applejack’s muzzle. Before Applejack could so much as blink, Rarity ran forward to get a good start. “Catch you there, darling!” she shouted with high-pitched laughter.

Not a second later, she heard her friend catching up from behind. She couldn’t stop smiling the whole way.

***

When Rarity approached the door, she cheered for herself and turned around to see Applejack trotting not too far behind. “Hahah! Better luck next time, de-”

She silenced herself, though, when she actually looked inside.

What she first saw was their friends standing before her, eyes directed elsewhere. Then she realized they were standing in a room she most certainly did not leave as she desired. What once was a disorganized pile of papers and cloth had been transformed into a sparkling and clean center. In the course of a hour or two, the room she left was swept away and replaced with someplace she called part of her home.

“Hey!” Rainbow called out, directing their friends’ attention from whatever they were doing. “Took you guys long enough. What were you two doing?”

Rarity glanced around the room, jaw fallen slack. “Wh-what?” she stuttered, approaching the center of the room. Her mind refused to let her speak, instead wanting to take in everything. Applejack appeared by her side Shaking her head multiple times, she managed to let out, “What are you girls doing here?”

“Good to see you, too,” Rainbow teased, mouth rising in a wide smirk. “But a certain friend told us you needed help with some stuff.”

“So we decided to clean up your house for you while you took a little break.” Twilight gestured, beaming with delight, to the tables piled with things once scattered around the room.

Pinkie bounced to Rarity’s side and put a hoof around her neck. “Aaand check these babies out!” She turned them both towards a side of the room Rarity had somehow missed in the midst of everything. Somehow, if possible, her jaw dropped lower.

Two pony mannequins, adorned with lovely dresses, rested in front of her. One dress was slender and pink with gray accents, and the other soft purple with ruffles at the hems and long enough to brush the end of the carpeted floor. Rarity stepped closer to the dresses. She noticed a bit of a sparkle to the pink and gray dress. “Oh my…”

“Are they, um, good?” asked Fluttershy, shying her head away from Rarity’s blank expression. “You didn’t mind we did one or two outfits, do you?”

"It’s…” Rarity took a deep breath, and she turned around to them all, pausing for dramatic effect - only shortly, though, as she noticed Fluttershy growing antsy by the second. However, she couldn’t conceal her lit up face as she added, “Exactly what I needed. Thank you!

“You know, you could’ve just called us to help you out and everything. I didn’t expect AJ to come screaming up to my house asking to make dresses.” Rainbow cast a look at Applejack. “That was weird.”

Rarity let out another heavy breath and looked at Applejack, who shrugged with a little blush rushing to her cheeks. She nodded at her, but Applejack remained quiet.

“How much more do you have left to do?” Twilight asked, grabbing Rarity’s attention. “We’re still up for joining you, of course.”

Rarity picked up a notebook from the side and flipped it over. After scanning it, she answered, “Eight more to complete.”

“Easy peasy!” Pinkie said. “If we all do it together, we’ll get it done in no time!” She brought the rest of them in for an awkward, squished hug and punched the air. “Friendship!”

A great feeling welcomed Rarity, something that pushed away the tension on her back. Lightly pushing away her friends, she stared at them with an optimistic stance, her eyes glimmering with determination. She brought out her measuring tape and scissors. “Then let’s get to work. First, I need…”

***

Rarity wiped beads of sweat from her forehead. They all stood around in a semicircle, observing their work. The rest of the circle was formed by the eight dresses they had made in the course of several hours of stitching, sewing, the works.

Her eyes constantly shifted over to the most important part of this line; the long, red beaded dress with slits and a dash of sparkles on the bottom. She observed every detail, every stitching, and at last, she took a relieving breath of air. “This… this should do.”

She peeked the girls’ attention, their ears perking up. Applejack smirked, watching Rarity finally finish what she first thought would never get done.

“I think we’re done!” Rarity spread out her hooves in exaggeration. She grabbed her favorite red couch and collapsed onto it. “At last!”

“Wooohooooo!” Pinkie cheered alongside everyone else, tossing confetti from Celestia knows where all over the floor. “We should totally celebrate with some dinner!”

The girls all murmured in agreement. “That new restaurant, Lilly Orchards, just opened. We can go there,” Twilight offered, looking relieved.

Rarity nodded. “You all certainly deserve it. And I’ll pay.”

“Oh, you don’t have to do - “

"No sense arguing, dear.” Rarity tapped Fluttershy’s shoulder. “It’s the least I can do.”

“Finally! I’m starving! Let’s go already!” Rainbow cried out as she flew out the door. The others giggled before catching up with her.

Rarity, however, put a hoof in front of Applejack, who stopped immediately and turned to her. Applejack quirked a brow at her.

“I just wanted to thank you.” She nuzzled Applejack’s cheek. “For everything today. You’ve been wonderful.”

“Just saw that a friend needed help,” Applejack tried to play it off, but Rarity still caught the blush in her cheeks quickly.

Then her stomach growled, only far louder than the last time. She grit her teeth and buried her face in her hat. Rarity hid her laughter behind her hoof. “You know, you could’ve just asked to eat while we were busy working. I could’ve whipped up something really quick.”

Applejack shrugged, brushing away her concern. “No big deal. But, uh, can we get goin’ now?”

Rarity met her shy gaze and nodded. “Of course.”

Author's Note:

Big big big thanks to Kalreas and Drakkith for being my wonderful editors for this chapter. They helped me in great ways, and made this chapter better than it previously looked. I really needed it.

As for the couple obvious changes to the story, I decided to change the name very simply because the old name didn't fit. Rain had nothing to do with what was going on, so I decided to call it "Dominoes" (Google gave me the little... thingies [I'm a fucking genius] for both this and dominos, so don't kill me if I got it wrong! DX). Like the domino effect, one push starts the path to total shipping-ness. <3

I know I said on my userpage I'd wait until the story was totally complete to update, but... it's almost been a year, for god's sake! I hate keeping this so out of date. I should also mention that I lie. Like, a lot. So hush!

Comments ( 11 )

Yay update! !!!

Just wondering, is this story dead?:rainbowhuh:

6388721 It is not dead. At the very least, I'm trying to not let it die. I'm trying my hardest to work on finishing this, but a lot of things get in the way, from school to just plain lack of motivation.

I do want to finish this, though. I apologize for the long wait.

6388814 It's no problem. To be honest, I haven't actually started reading it yet because if you never get to finishing it I don't want to be left on a cliffhanger.

Fix your god damn cover art you pleb ass bitch

i.imgur.com/PpyYm2I.png

6828681It isn't that problem for me, tbh. :/ So I don't know what I can do.

6828748 Then you must yell at knighty

When will you uncancel this story?

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