• Published 15th Jan 2014
  • 4,215 Views, 107 Comments

Kinds of Love: The World - Rainedash



A series of short stories set in the 'Kinds of Love' universe.

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The Princess of Shipping vs Applejack and Rarity

“Come on Apple Bloom, these doors ain't getting any lighter,” said Applejack as she made her way through the crowded market with two new doors for her apple cellar on her back. They were thicker and stronger than the old doors, these would be more likely to withstand getting hit by falling fillies during failed attempts at getting cutie marks. The downside of the new ones though were their weight. It was nothing that Applejack's muscles couldn't handle for now, but they were getting a work out, and the sooner she got them back to the farm the happier she'd be.

The sound of hoofsteps came up from behind her. “Ah don't see why we needed to get new ones. Ah could have fixed the latch no problem. “

“'Cause it was just gonna break again. If ah can't trust the doors to hold up around you and your friends, then I doubt they'd hold up well in a storm either, should we need to stay in that cellar during one.” Thankfully the other early morning shoppers were nice enough to clear the way for Applejack while she was carrying a heavy load. It wasn't so bad as long as she could keep moving forward and not have to stop.

“Could ya at least let me carry one, to help?”

“Sorry sugarcube, but ah think these are a bit too big to be carried by a filly. Ah'll let ya help me install them if it'll make ya feel better.”

“Oh, look over there!”

“Apple Bloom, ah can't be stopping and looking at everything we pass. Could ya just tell me what it is?”

“It's Twilight and Princess Cadance, and they're coming this way.”

“What?” Applejack came to a sudden halt, and Apple Bloom ran into the back of her leg. She looked over and the two princesses were heading their way. “H-hey Apple Bloom? Ya still want to help?”

“Of course ah do.”

“Right well,” Applejack kneeled down and let the doors slide of her back, onto the ground. “Tell you what, ah'm gonna let you carry them the rest of the way.”

Apple Bloom blinked a few times while looking at the doors. “You're kidding, right?”

“Nope.” Applejack backed away from her, hoping that Cadance hadn't seen her yet. “You're a big pony now. Ah know you can handle it. I've got to... do a thing. Um, a thing with Rarity, to... help Rarity.” She turned tail and quickly trotted away.

***

“And that... should... do it! Perfect, as always.” Rarity placed the brand new scarf around the neck of the mannequin. Her stomach rumbled, letting out a rather unladylike sound. “Ahem, yes well, I suppose I have earned myself a treat for completing that as quickly as I did.” She reached out and adjusted the scarf, making sure it wouldn't slide off. “Now, you wait right there and I'll be back later to make sure you have no imperfections.” She patted it before grabbing her saddlebag and opening up her door to an unusual sight: Applejack sitting there staring at the ground while muttering something under her breath. “Applejack?” Rarity slowly approached her. “Is something wrong, darling?”

“Wah!” Applejack's hat fell off as she jumped back. “Oh, it's just you Rarity.”

“Yes. 'Just' me. “ Rarity got close, right up to Applejack's side. “Now then, would you mind telling me what it is that has you acting in such an unusual manner?”

“...ah saw Princess Cadance earlier.”

“So, it's your turn for a date, huh?”

Applejack shook her head. “Nope! Ah ain't going on one.”

“Really?”

“Yep.”

“Do you want to come inside and talk about it?”

Applejack turned away. “Ain't nothing to talk about.”

“Fine then, do you want to come in for some tea?”

“Sure.”

Once inside the pair had an awkward silence until the tea is ready to serve. Rarity placed a cup of it in front of Applejack. “Let's talk about it.”

Applejack groaned. “Rarity, ah said ah didn't want to.”

“It's fine. I completely understand why you don't want to go on a date,” said Rarity before sitting down across from Applejack and sipping on her cup of tea.

“Ya do?”

“Indeed I do. You run a farm that requires you to be devoted to it as a full time job. You can't just go running off on dates whenever you feel like it.”

Applejack seemed to perk up as Rarity sided with her. “That's right.”

“And even if you wanted to, it'd take you time to figure out a proper schedule to allow for a boyfriend.”

“Yeah!”

“And it's not like you're in need of a partner. You're perfectly happy with your life the way it is.”

“Ah'm glad somepony understands.”

“The only thing holding you back from just telling Cadance that is that you won't allow yourself to lie to her.”

“That's right.” It took a moment for Applejack to realize what she just agreed to. “Hey!”

“Listen Applejack, I would be more than willing to support those reasons if they were true but we both know they aren't. You haven't even been able to look me in the eye when talking about it.” Rarity got off her seat, walked around the table, and places her hoof on Applejack's hoof. “Applejack, please tell me what's wrong.”

“Ya promise not to laugh?”

Rarity gasped. “I would never laugh at something troubling one of my friends.” She pouted. “I can't believe you'd even need to ask me that.”

“Sorry. It's just a might embarrassing is all. Ah... ah...” She pulled her hat over her face. “Ah ain't ever went out on a date before and ah'm scared of making a fool of myself, okay?”

Rarity pressed her hoof to her mouth, attempting to hold it back as little squeaks of laughter broke through the sides of her muzzle.

“Rarity!” Applejack slid off her chair and started to leave the room. “That's it, ah'm leaving.”

Rarity gave up, dropping her hoof and letting it out. “Hahahaha. W-wait! Applejack.” As the last of the giggles leaves her system, she tugged on Applejack's tail with her magic. “I'm sorry darling, really I am.”

“Gee, why would you ever think that ah'd laugh at you.” Applejack's expression became tight-lipped.

“Applejack, I most certainly was not laughing at what you think I was.” Rarity walked up to Applejack and laid her foreleg across Applejack's back, pulling the farm mare into a hug.

“Shoulda just kept my dang mouth shut.”

“That is not the attitude to have about this, Applejack, and I meant what I said, I was not laughing because you never went on a date.”

“Coulda fooled me.”

“I was laughing because of how dramatic you were making it sound.” Rarity's face turned to a playful smile as she walked around in front of Applejack, to look her in the eyes. “If I didn't know better, I'd say some of me was rubbing off on you. Tell me, have you had sudden urges to check your make up? To curl your tail? The desire to be swept off your hooves by your dream prince?”

Applejack rolled her eyes. “Oh, ha ha.”

“Seriously now, there is no need to be grumpy. If it makes you feel better, I do apologize for laughing at you.”

Applejack shook her head. “Nah, don't worry about it. Look, ah know ah'm probably overreacting here.” Applejack's ears droop as she lets out a sigh. “It's just that it seems like everypony but me has at least been on one date growing up. Even Fluttershy's been on a date before me.”

Rarity reached out and held her hoof to Applejack's chest. “Then why not use this as your chance?”

“Oh yeah and make a fool out of myself because ah don't know what to do on one. Thanks but no thanks.”

“Oh please, you make it out to be some big hassle with a bunch of unwritten rules. Being on a date is just about two ponies that are attracted to one another enjoying each others company, Nothing more. But...” Rarity walked away and into her sewing room. Hearing that Applejack was following her anyways, she didn't bother to call for her. “Let's see...” She held up some half finished dresses. “This would take too long to finish.” She tossed it aside. “This is simply too formal.” It got placed back on the pile. The only one left was a black dress. “Ah, eloquent in its simplicity. Kinda like you in a way.”

“Ah ain't sure if that's a compliment or an insult.”

“Oh, I'll need to make proper foreleg holes for it, and cinch the waist a little, but that should take no more than an hour.” She spun it around in front of her, examining it from multiple angles. “Perhaps some lace... nah. That would be going too far for this and I don't want to have to rush it.”

“Rarity, would you mind letting me in on whatever it is you're up to.”

“I will in one moment.” She carefully folded the dress and sat it down on the pile. “But first, I need to go get somepony. Be a dear a stay put.”

“Ah doubt ah have much choice.”

***

About twenty minutes later Rarity, Applejack, and Princess Cadance sat in Rarity's front room. “And that's the situation. Applejack is fearful of being embarrassed. I think the best way to deal with this is to have an experienced friend with her to reassure her that everything will be alright.”

“Oh, I can make that happen.”

“I knew you would understand.”

Cadance's horn lit up. “Now, just stand still and you'll be a stallion in no time.”

“Oh, okay... wait! No!” Rarity waved her forehooves in front of her.

“I thought you were volunteering to be her date?”

“Now that would be just plain weird,” said Applejack.

“While I'm sure I would make for a rather dashing stallion, that was not my intention. I simply want you to find two stallions so we can go on a double date.” Rarity turned to Applejack. “With me around, you have nothing to worry about.”

“If'n you say so. Ah still think this could end badly, but if you'll be there, ah'll give it a shot.”

“Now that's the Applejack I know.”

“Um, Applejack?”

“Uh, yes, Princess Cadance?”

“Is this the reason why you fled from us earlier and left you sister to try to carry two heavy doors larger than she is?”

“I... I...” Applejack's eyes grew big as she sat in silence for a moment. Finally, her ear twitched. “I gotta go!”

“Applejack!” said Rarity.

“Ah ain't running away. Ah'll go on the date, but I need to take care of something right now!” She took off.

“...care for some tea? Applejack didn't drink hers.”

“That would be lovely.”

***

Applejack ran past where she left her sister and the doors, seeing no sign of either. Where could they be? Ain't no way Apple Bloom got them to the farm on her own.

Applejack didn't slow down, going full sprint until she got near the farm house. “Apple Bloom? Where are you?”

“Ah'm around the side of the house.”

Applejack trotted around the corner to see Twilight holding one of the doors in it's place with magic as Apple Bloom screwed on the latch – the hinges had already been attached to both of them. “Twilight?”

Twilight glared at her. “Apple Bloom asked me to carry them since the pony responsible for them ran off, leaving her behind.”

Apple Bloom spit the screwdriver out of her mouth. “Yeah! Good thing my other sister was there to help me.”

“Other sister?” asked Twilight and Applejack in unison.

“Well, she will be when she marries Big Mac.”

Twilight's face turned red and she released the door, letting it slam shut. “Uh, w-we haven't really thought that far ahead.”

“Well, if it's any consolation, ah think you did a real good job of putting on them hinges and the latch.”

“Ah did, didn't ah?”

“Yep! And ah'll make sure to let you pick out something nice next time we're in the market. Okay?”

“Hm...” Apple Bloom gave her a heavy stare but then perked up. “Okay. I forgive you.” She grabbed the screwdriver and trotted off, likely to put it away.

Applejack walked over to the doors and open both before shutting them again to test them. “Hope it wasn't too much trouble getting them here.”

“No, it was simple enough...” Her voice sounded distant, as though her mind was miles away.

“You're thinking of a wedding with Big Mac, ain't ya?”

“N-No, of course not.”

“Sure, whatever you say... sis.”

***

A day later and Applejack was back outside Rarity's door. Well, guess it's time. Just, be polite, smile, and hope you don't trip up. She reached out and opened the door, to see Cadance and Rarity standing together, talking. Rarity was beaming. She had one of the biggest smiles Applejack ever remembered her having.

“Hope ah ain't late.”

“Applejack! We were beginning to worry that you ran off,” said Cadance as she waved for her to come closer using a wing. “Do you want to hear who your date is or do you want it to be a surprise?”

“For this, ah don't want any surprises,” said Applejack as she walked up to the pair of them. “Ah want to know as much as possible going into it.”

“That's understandable and I have good news, you already know your date. It's a pony who has worked on your farm, Caramel.”

Applejack raised an eyebrow. “Really?”

“Does it surprise you?”

“Yep. Ah never would've thought that Caramel would agree to this. Ah wouldn't call him timid, ah suppose, but he sure ain't that confident.”

“He didn't volunteer on his own. I had a pleasant chat with your brother about what type of stallion would suit you. Caramel happened to be with him at the time and Big Mac pushed him into doing it. Said that he'd trust Caramel to treat you right.”

Applejack rolled her eyes and huffed. “Okay, now that makes a bit more sense. Figures Big Mac would want me to be with somepony that already helps on the farm and is a friend of his.”

“Any objections to the choice?”

“Nope. Caramel is cute, ah suppose. If he's willing to step up and give it a shot, ah'll give him a chance.”

“Applejack, do you plan on going like that?” asked Rarity.

“And what is that supposed to mean?”

“Well, you should try to look your best for a stallion taking you out. Surely you could leave your hat at home and let your mane loose. I'll even brush and wash it for you.”

“Oh, that's a swell idea. Throw me into something that already worries me and then take something that can make me feel a bit more comfortable,” she pointed to the hat, “away.”

Rarity groaned. “I should have known better than try to convince you to leave it behind. At the very least let down your mane and let me give it a proper brushing.”

“Fine.”

***

Later that day Applejack followed along with the group, Caramel at her side and Rarity and Fancy Pants leading the way. No wonder she was so happy about it.

“Applejack?” came a quiet voice from her side.

“Yeah Caramel?”

“Um, I just wanted to make sure you actually wanted to do this,” said Caramel as he stared at the ground.

“Don't you worry none, ah'm here cause ah decided to be here. Ah weren't pushed into it.” Poor stallion. He seems almost as lost about what to do as ah am. Hm, what would Rarity do to get a stallion to open up more? As they walked, Applejack inched closer to him, hoping he wouldn't notice. Hope ah don't mess this up. She brushed her tail against his flank, which succeeded in getting his attention.

Caramel turned bright red, quickly turned his head to look at her, and then promptly fell over his own hooves, going face first into the dirt road with a thud. Both Fancy Pants and Rarity looked back.

“Good heavens, what happened?” asked Rarity.

“Ah didn't mean to make him trip like that!” Applejack extended her hoof to Caramel. “Sorry about that, partner.” Great... what next?

Caramel hesitated for a moment and then took her hoof. “N-No, it was my fault.”

The pair walked the rest of the way to their destination in silence. As they approached their destination, The Ponyville Cafe, Caramel rushed ahead and opened the door for the all of them.

Well, maybe he does have some confidence after all. Applejack waited for the other couple to go in first and then followed, making sure to thank Caramel with a smile and a tip of her hat as she passed. He smiled back at her as they briefly made eye contact.

“You two can order the meals, Applejack and I need to visit the little filly's room.”

“We do?”

Rarity hit Applejack hip with hers. “Yes, we do.” She turned back to the stallions. “We'll try keep this short.”

Not wanting to argue with Rarity, Applejack followed her into the bathroom.

“Okay, now tell me what happened back there.”

Applejack's nose wrinkled up in annoyance. “Like ah said, just an accident.”

“That doesn't tell me anything.”

“Fine, if'n you need to know that badly, ah tried to flirt. Celestia knows ah see you do it often enough, ah figured it'd be simple.”

Rarity shook her head. “Oh Applejack, what ever am I going to do with you?” Her horn lit up and she Applejack felt her hat being pulled up. Just as she was going to complain, “Your mane can be troublesome when not tied back, huh?” Rarity used her hooves to brush back loose strands that had gotten out of place, making sure all of it was behind her ears and over one shoulder before putting the hat back. “You and I are very different ponies. Just because that's my style doesn't mean it's what you should do.”

“Then what should ah do?”

“Be the polite, straightforward, strong-willed mare that I've come to consider one of my closest friends. Underneath your rough edges you have a charm that few can match.”

Applejack's cheeks burned and turned red at the compliments. “Ah'll try my best.”

“That's more like it. Now, I believe we've made our dates wait long enough. Shall we?”

“Yep.”

After walking out and finding their dates waiting for them at a table, they sat down. The food arrived a moment later. “Fancy Pants, how have things been in Canterlot?”

“Oh, the usual. Though I did get the honor of planning a charity ball recently. Even Princess Celestia and Princess Luna made an appearance.”

“I'm sorry I missed out on that,” said Rarity.

“Ah don't know, aren't those things usually boring?” asked Applejack.

“Applejack! A formal party is most certainly not boring,” said Rarity.

Fancy Pants chuckled. “Well, I can say that this one certainly wasn't.”

“What happened?” asked Caramel.

“Well you see, there was this young mare there who apparently had quite the fear of spiders.”

“Uh oh. Ah think ah see where this one is going.”

“An hour or so in, all my guests were walking around, mingling with one another. This mare was standing by the concession table with a young colt, her brother if I'm not mistaken. As I made the rounds, checking on everypony and ensuring they were enjoying themselves, I spotted a spider sliding down from the ceiling and landing on her head.”

“Oh good heavens.” Rarity shivered and quickly checked the top of her mane. “That poor girl.”

“It gets worse. I was going to try to flick it away with magic before she was alerted to it; sadly the colt near her didn't think before speaking. As soon as he said it was on her head, she jumped back and forth, shaking head, and kept bucking, doing anything to try to knock it off.”

“I hope she didn't accidentally kick some pony,” said Caramel.

“I'd be mortified if I did that,” said Rarity.

“What she did may have been far more embarrassing. She kicked the table and sent the punch bowl flying across the room. When it finally landed, it came down right on Princess Celestia's head, leaving her drenched.”

Applejack let out a whistle. “Dang. It's one thing when you mess up in front of others, it's a whole new problem when your mess up hits Celestia.”

“The party stopped immediately as everypony stared at Celestia in shock. The poor mare looked absolutely terrified. It was as if she was in front of a full grown dragon. Not a single pony was willing to move or make a sound for a moment, until Princess Luna burst out laughing while pointing at her sister. I can't say the others ever fully recovered from the sight during the party but she at least broke the ice enough for the party to continue.”

“And what of that poor girl?” asked Rarity.

“You don't need to worry about her. Princess Celestia went over and talked to her, making sure she would be fine.”

***

They had finished their meal while trading stories of their recent exploits. After a while, Applejack was starting to feel a little left out as there's only so many times you can tell a pony about growing a gigantic apple or making the occasional trip to deliver apples or seeds to other places. They finished the last bites of their meal, paidd the money due, and walked out. Once more Applejack and Caramel ended up behind Rarity and Fancy Pants. The next destination was the town park, a perfect spot to simply sit and get to know one another, according to Cadance.

“Applejack, I noticed that in all your stories about the farm, you generally only mention yourself and your older brother. Don't you have more helpers?” asked Fancy Pants.

“We do hire part time workers like Caramel here to help out at times, but we can't afford to keep steady ones around.” Applejack picked up her pace to get next to Fancy Pants, leaving Caramel's side. “That leaves Big Macintosh and me to do all the hard work during the rest of the year.”

“Oh? Is the farm tight on money?”

“Ah wouldn't go that far. We make enough to maintain the farm and live well enough off it. We just can't go spending the family's bits whenever and where ever. We got to keep to a budget.” As they walked Applejack swore she heard Rarity say something, but didn't pay much attention to it. If it was important, Rarity would make sure to get their attention somehow.

“If I'm not mistaken, your name comes from a type of alcoholic drink, right? One similar to brandy.”

“Yep.”

“Can you make it?”

“Course ah can. In my family, you'll never hear the end of it if you can't make what you’re named after.”

“Is there any special significance behind the recipe you use?”

“Yep. It was made by my great great granny, over two hundred years ago. Well, that and it kinda played a part in why I'm here now.”

“Oh?”

“As Granny Smith tells it, ma and pa were celebrating something. Ah think it was some great harvest, but ah can't remember. Anyways, the important part is that for this, they decided to break out a really old barrel of Great Great Granny Applejack's special blend. Eleven months later, ah was born. After that, it just felt right for them to name me Applejack.” Applejack stopped and so did he. “What, do you want me to make you some or something?”

“While I would love to try some, I was thinking along the lines of a business venture. A way for you to get extra bits for all your hardwork.” He raised his hoof and waved it as he said, “From a family with centuries of experience growing apples comes a drink whose recipe has been passed down through the generations, Apple Brand Applejack. Pressed and bottled by a mare whose very name comes from the drink itself. Don't just pick up any old liquor, you deserve the best.”

Applejack scratched her chin, thinking over what he said. “Ah don't know. Ah'm proud of what ah grow and what ah make with it, but ah'm not sure ah'd be comfortable gloating that much.”

“Think nothing of it. Just fancy wording to catch their attention. What really matters is the taste and quality; I'm sure there will not be an issue with that. We just need proper bait to reel them in first.”

“Well, that makes sense ah suppose. Though, ah ain't sure ah'll be able to meet some high demand. If needed ah could get another plot of land and grow some extra apples just for it.”

“Actually, that's great that it'll be a bit rarer in the beginning. It'll go out to a who's who first. The right nobles being seen drinking something that's uncommon along with the advertisement will make all of Canterlot's upper class want it. Price early on will be high and then we can lower it as you make more, making ponies rush to get it once it's more affordable. Slightly more affordable, anyways.”

“Now hold on, ah don't want to be charging too much. It ain't right to be jacking up the price like that. It don't take that much to make it.”

“You aren't just charging them for the materials needed but for the time and care you put into the product. This is a product that you're willing to stake your family's name on. Not just theirs but even your own. Surely that shouldn't be devalued.”

“Well...”

“Besides, it's not as though you're doing anything dishonest by it or forcing them to pay more than they have to. Nothing is stopping them from getting a cheaper, less worthy drink.”

“That's true. But ah have to ask, why are you so interested? Ah know you're not as self-centered as some of the noble folk in Canterlot, but it's hard to believe you'd help me without expecting anything in return.”

“Well, you have me there. At the ball I spoke of earlier, there were some complaints about the quality of food. Turns out going with a cheaper supplier was not a smart move this time. For helping to make sure this goes well, perhaps I could get a discount from your family's farm. Maybe ten-”

“Eight. Ah'd be willing to go that high of a discount but no more. 'Least not until ah'm sure selling my applejack will really bring in that kind of money.”

Fancy Pants chuckled and clapped his hooves. “My compliments to your parents and grandmother for raising a shrewd daughter. So, we have a deal?”

“Maybe. Ah would have to talk this over with mah family first, but ah think they'd go for it.” Applejack extended her hoof. “Looking forward to working with you, partner.”

“Like wise.” They shook hooves.

As Applejack released his hoof she looked forward, finally taking note of where they were. They had passed the last house and were part way up the path towards Sweet Apple Acres. “Uh oh. This... this is bad.” Applejack facehooved and shook her head. “Would you look behind us, Fancy Pants?” She didn't pay attention to his movements, only waited for an answer.

“Oh dear... It appears that we've misplaced our companions.”

“That just figures. On my first date, I end up ditching the poor stallion.”

“It was purely a mistake on our part. I'm sure if we properly explain that it was merely an accident, they'll understand. I hope.”

***

“Applejack! Fancy Pants! You two are going the wrong way!” Are they ignoring me? Hmph! Rarity gave a little stomp of her hoof. She would simply have to rush up and get them herself. But as she stepped forward, she felt Caramel pulling her back.

“Wah!” In the process of stopping her, he stumbled forward, going face first into a mud puddle.

“Good heavens, Caramel. Are you alright?”

He stood up, with mud covering his muzzle, the front of his neck, and his chest. “It's, um, not the first time I've fallen in mud. I'm just happy I kept you from stepping in it. I know that you don't like getting dirty.”

“Oh. Oh! I was about to step in it, wasn't I? Why Caramel, thank you ever so much, but now you're all muddy.” She leaned to one side to see around Caramel. Applejack and Fancy Pants looked to be long gone, having walked up the road without him. “You certainly have better manners than a certain stallion and a certain mare we know.”

“If we hurry, we can catch up to them.”

“A lady should not have to run after her date, especially not after he walks off with another mare.” Using her magic, she brushed some of the mud off of Caramel. “Nor are you in any position to finish a date. Come with me back to the boutique. I'll have you cleaned up and looking even better than you did before.”

“That's not necessary. I can just go home to wash up.”

“Nonsense, you're only muddy now due to trying to help me, so I won't take no for an answer. This way.” She started to walk forward but quickly stopped. “Actually, considering what just occurred, we should walk side by side.”

***

Back inside the boutique's kitchen, Rarity busied herself with pouring hot tea into a pair of cups, while keeping her ears perked ready to pick up hoofsteps coming down from her bathroom. Fifteen minutes or so had passed since their return, and she sent Caramel up to wash off the mud. I do hope he doesn't mind scented soaps. I really ought to buy non-scented ones for emergencies like this. Her ear flicked as she finally picked up his steps. “I made us something to drink, Caramel. Come and sit down.” She pulled out a seat for him with her magic.

“Y-You really didn't need to go through all this for me. I was just happy to help,” he said as he entered the kitchen and sat down on the chair. “You seemed upset already and I knew getting dirty would have only made it worse for you.”

“That it most certainly would have.” She sat on the opposite side of him. “Did you find everything you needed in my bathroom?”

“Yes. Though this is the first time I've ever smelled like lilacs. Uh, not that I'm complaining.”

Rarity giggled. “For what it's worth, I'm sorry that your date with Applejack took this turn of events.”

“That's okay, actually.”

“Really?”

“It's just that, I don't really like Applejack. Um, like her like that. I mean, I do like her as a friend but I don't-”

“You don't need to worry, I understand what you're trying to say. Though I do question why you would agree to a date with her when you have no romantic interest.” She leaned forward on the table, curious of his answer.

“Big Mac pushed me to do it. He said he could actually trust me with his sister and thought she'd be a good influence on me, make me less shy around others.”

“Still, you should have told him right then and there that you were not interested.”

Caramel slumped down in his seat. “I know, but Big Mac always sticks up for me when I make a mistake on the farm and he's my closest friend. I usually go along with anything he asks.”

“No wonder he believed Applejack would have had a good influence on you, she would make you stick up for yourself more often.” Rarity sipped the tea, the delicious taste mingling with her tongue and warming her body from the inside out as it went down her throat. “Ah. I am already starting to feel better about tonight's fiasco of a date.” A knock echoed in the building, followed by two more. “They're right on time. Shall we go greet the ponies who left us behind?” He nodded and followed her to the door. Once upon, just as she thought she would, Rarity saw Fancy Pants and Applejack standing there. An annoyed grin formed as the left side of her lips curled up. “Oh, what do we owe the pleasure of your visit?”

“Rare, look, we're sorry. Ah mean it, it was an accident. We didn't mean to leave you two behind.”

“Indeed,” said Fancy Pants. “Please accept my most humble of apologies. I take full blame for steering the conversation where it went, thus causing the distraction.”

“Yes, well, that's all nice and good, and I suppose I won't hold a grudge. Now if you'll be so kind as to excuse me, I'm having a private talk with my friend, Caramel.” She turned to him, giving him a stern look. “Isn't that right?”

“I.. I.. y-yeah.”

“Come on, Rarity, don't be like that.”

“I shall speak to both of you later, but for now, I bid you good day.” She shut the door before they could say more. She held her muzzle high as she let out a small, “Hmph.”

“Maybe you shouldn't be so hard on them. It was an accident. I-I don't want to see you staying mad at Applejack over this.”

“You needn't worry about that.” She turned and headed back for her table. “I'll speak to her in a day or two, and to Fancy Pants next week when I have to visit Canterlot.” She sat and quickly drank the rest of the tea in her cup, letting it help sooth her irritation. “I am upset now but I am not so petty as to allow this to disrupt an important friendship or my business relationship with Fancy Pants. Though I certainly will not be going on another date with him anytime soon.” Caramel took his seat across from her again. Rarity pouted as she stared at her cup, rocking it back and forth. “Is it really too much to ask for?”

“Hm?” he grunted while drinking from his cup.

“Have I not done enough? In stories, the beautiful peasant mare who raises herself up, who becomes the hero, always gets her prince. I have been the element of generosity, I have dealt with diamond dogs, and I have built a successful business. Is getting a handsome, attentive prince who devotes himself to me really too much to ask for?” She crossed her forelegs on the table and leaned forward, resting her chin on them. “It isn't fair.”

“Well, maybe you could aim a little lower. Maybe you could take a stallion and make a prince out of him. Isn't that something a fashion designer would do?”

“Heh. You almost sound like my mom. She always told me to make the most out of anything you can get, and not take it for granted. But you know what?” She raised her head and smacked the table with her hoof. “You are absolutely right! As a premier fashion designer it is my duty to bring out the inner beauty of ponies. By Celestia, if I can't have a prince come to me, I'll make a prince.” At this moment, she started studying Caramel a little closer. Her lips spread out into a large smile as she thought of the way he valiantly stopped her from stepping into the mud, the way he made it a point to politely hold the door open for them, and his concern for her potentially upsetting her friends. Well, he is pretty cute.

“R-Rarity... why are you staring at me like that? It's, um, a little scary.”

Yes, he could make a solid foundation. “Tell me, Caramel, how would you like to go on a date?”

His face turned bright red and all that came out was a squeak.

“I'll take that as a yes.”

Author's Note:

Come on guys, speak up. Last update got on the feature box but didn't have much in terms of comments. Let me know what you think.