• Published 1st Sep 2013
  • 2,853 Views, 35 Comments

The Kiss in His Eyes - Desideratium

Rarity has a long line of suitors. How does a simple farm stallion compare?

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The Fashionista

The doorbell to Carousel Boutique tinkled lightly, its pale sonority ringing out across the silent shop and finding its way to Rarity’s ears. The alabaster unicorn in question looked up from her sewing machine, eyes automatically moving towards the front door, despite the wall separating her from the object of interest. She frowned lightly, lips barely twitching to show her displeasure—it was after closing time, and she wasn’t particularly thrilled about the prospect of visitors at the moment.

Wistfully, she allowed her gaze to drift over to the row of mannequins that stood silently near the window. They stared back at her, with blank eyes that had always unnerved the fashionista, no matter how often she worked with them. One near the front of the queue had a wide-brimmed hat placed delicately over its head, with a veil deliberately covering its face—one less emotionless doppelganger to stare at her.

“Just a moment!” Rarity called, her words sing-song. She tried to remain professional, not letting the strain of the night work its way into her voice. She turned away from the mannequins—they only encouraged her to ignore the doorbell and keep working. And however tempting that sounded . . .

Opalescence the cat poked her head around the door and mewled patronizingly at her owner. She crossed the room with several quick strides and hauled herself up onto a nearby table. Avoiding Rarity’s gaze, she turned once, then sat heavily on top of a sheaf of fabric.

“Who’s at the door, Opal?” Rarity mused to the inattentive cat. Opal, unsurprisingly, ignored her and instead lowered her head to begin daintily licking her nether regions. Rarity spared a moment to run her hoof gently across the top of her cat’s head, then stood to leave. The main room of the Boutique was dark, and the light spilling from the back room threw a wide puddle of illumination across the carpeted floor, Rarity’s silhouette splashed across it in a heroic emblazonment. The image was erased from existence, however, when Rarity flicked the light switch next to the door. Overhead, the electric lights flickered to life.

“Coming!” Rarity said, assuring whoever was at the door that she was actually going to heed their request. “Just a moment!” Rarity broke into a trot, but immediately faltered as her mind latched onto a possible explanation for the visitor.

Applejack! Rarity thought to herself. She had those overalls that needed patching! She’s probably just coming to pick them up.

Some of Rarity’s animosity towards her visitor dissipated; it was only Applejack. Not some eager fashion connoisseur looking for her opinion on some atrocious headgear that could barely even be called a sun hat, or a delivery pony whose fabric shipment was late because he’d “gotten lost in the rain”, or . . .

Rarity shook her head. She pasted a smile to her face in preparation for answering the door, prepared the best gushing “Applejack, my darling!” she could muster. Her hooves only clopped lightly against the white-carpeted floor, but sounded deafening in the silence, so she quickened her pace to shorten the duration of the trip.

She waited until she was right in front of the door to activate her magic. The light blue that emanated from her horn reached out to take hold of the doorknob, twisting the brass knob clockwise and pulling inward simultaneously. Stretching her smile even wider, she poked her head around the door to view her visitor, the words already rolling across her tongue.

“Applejack, my . . .”

Rarity’s throat constricted, preventing the rest of her sentence from escaping.

The pony waiting on her step was hardly Applejack.

Instead of the light orange, Stetson-clad farm mare, standing sheepishly on the doorstep, his hoof partially raised to ring the doorbell again, was Applejack’s brother, Big Macintosh.

Startled, the stallion hurriedly lowered his hoof to the ground, clopping on Rarity’s doorstep much louder than he had probably intended. Big Mac looked down, a sheaf of orange hair flicking across his face, hiding one eye. It was hard to tell, given Big Mac’s normal crimson coloring, but Rarity got the distinct impression that Applejack’s brother was blushing.

Recovering from her surprise, Rarity coughed daintily, lowering her own eyes to her hooves. She realized that the beaming smile that she had reserved for Applejack was still affixed to her face, and quickly adjusted it to something more . . . suitable for Big Mac.

“Why, Big Macintosh! What a . . .” Rarity floundered for words, distracted by Big Mac’s unexpected presence. Luckily, he looked just as awkward as she felt. “Delight!” she decided firmly, taking a chance to allow her eyes to flick back up to the stallion’s face, a slightly less exuberant smile now adorning her facial features. Politely friendly, not overdoing it any more than she had to.

Peeking out from under his mane, Big Mac nodded once. “Eeyup.”

Rarity’s carefully-crafted smile suddenly became forced, taking on the appearance of a clown’s face paint. “Can I help you?”

Big Mac straightened to his full, considerable, height, but still wouldn’t meet Rarity’s gaze straight on. His eye line seemed to flutter everywhere else except for her own eyes. Rarity watched his emerald orbs rove around, hypnotized by the deep green of his irises. She barely realized what she was doing, until Big Mac coughed uncomfortably.

“AJ needed to work tonight,” he said, his deep gravelly tone ringing in Rarity’s ears. “Ah came t’ pick up her britches.”

“Britches?” Rarity inquired, unfamiliar with the rustic-sounding term. Her stoic grin tightened.

Big Mac looked down again. “Erm . . . overalls,” he clarified. “You had ‘em here for . . .” He trailed off, hoping that Rarity would finish the thought for him. He kicked out a hoof in a shapeless gesture of hopelessness.

“Ah! Right! Applejack’s overalls that needed patching! Of course!” Rarity slapped her forehead as if she had just thought of the notion. She stood aside graciously. “Would you like to come inside whilst I fetch them?”

Big Mac nodded. “Thank yeh, Miss Rarity.” He stepped inside, ducking ever so slightly to avoid hitting the bell that hung above the door to announce visitors. Despite his caution, the top of his head still brushed the bell, causing it to whisper out a quiet tinkle. He flinched at the noise. “Sorry.”

“I assure you, it’s quite alright,” Rarity said condolingly, since the expression on Big Mac’s face was akin to one that he would wear if he had accidentally trodden on her cat’s tail. A crime that would be less easily forgiven, by the way.

Hesitantly, Big Mac nodded, stepping further into the boutique. The heavily-muscled farm stallion looked out of place surrounded by all the delicate displays and frilly, brightly colored dresses. Evidently Big Mac noticed this as well, because he seemed to try to shrink, making himself less imposing—a feat which he failed magnificently at. His eyes continued to dart around the room, hastily flicking away when they came anywhere near Rarity.

Slightly amused by Big Mac’s uncharacteristic nervousness, Rarity smiled warmly. “I’ll be just a moment, if you would kindly just wait here.”

“Eeyup,” Big Mac intoned simply, looking simultaneously relieved and disappointed that Rarity was leaving the room. He looked nervous to be left to his own devices, even if it was only for a short period of time.

As Rarity withdrew into the back room, she momentarily made eye contact with Big Mac. His eyes widened and he hastily looked up at the ceiling. Smiling to herself, Rarity set about ascertaining the location the object of Big Macintosh’s interest: Applejack’s coveralls. She racked her brain, traveling back to the week before, when she had actually performed the patch job. She remembered draping the overalls over the back of one of the mannequins at one point, but none of the faceless effigies lined along the wall bore them. Rarity frowned. The supply cupboard, perhaps? No, it couldn’t be. She wouldn’t have left it in there.

Still, on that whim, Rarity nosed open the already-ajar door to the cupboard. The light from the outside room wasn’t enough to completely illuminate its contents, though, so Rarity reached up to tug down on the thin chain that dangled from a bare light bulb on the ceiling. Dirty yellow light threw the supplies into sharp relief, and Rarity was pleased to see the familiar shape of Applejack’s denim trousers draped over a wooden chest full of sapphires. Barely visible, Rarity could make out the outline of the stitching she had used to perform the patch job, but only because she was specifically looking for it. Almost invisible—one of her finer patches, if she did say so herself.

Rarity emerged from the back room, the overalls hovering just above her head. Big Mac hadn’t noticed her; he was focused on a particularly flashy ensemble that stood near the front of the store—a gold-inlaid, gemstone-encrusted piece that Rarity had been commissioned to make for the pop star, Sapphire Shores.

Rarity was struck with the sudden mental image of Big Macintosh wearing the same dress, the piece barely stretched far enough to cover his massive frame. She smiled to herself at the thought, and without realizing she was doing it, she tittered quietly. It was audible enough, however, for it to catch Big Mac’s attention. He started, jumping as though he’d been stung by a bee, and immediately looked ashamed for doing it.

“Here we are then,” Rarity said. Out of respect for Big Macintosh, she decided not to comment on his apparent nervousness. She levitated the overalls in the stallion’s direction, and he turned sideways for her to drape the denim across his well-muscled back. “Do tell Applejack I said hello, wouldn’t you?”

Big Mac nodded, but kept his head down. “Ah will. Thank yeh kindly.” Behind him, the door opened, seemingly of its own accord. First, he looked surprised, but then his eyes dropped to the turquoise aura around the doorknob and he nodded in understanding. “Have a good evenin’, Miss Rarity.”

“And yourself, Big Macintosh,” Rarity replied, smiling evenly.

Big Mac, having already turned to leave, twisted his head around to flash a quick, nervous grin of his own in Rarity’s direction.

Rarity looked after the farm stallion, leaving the door open long after he had left, simply staring at Big Mac’s retreating figure.

At the sight of his smile, something had lurched in her stomach—a momentary flutter, that’s all.

A momentary flutter that she hadn’t felt since . . .

It was probably indigestion.

Nothing more.