• Published 24th Mar 2014
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Time Doesn't Heal All Wounds - Caineachu



When the land of Equestria is decimated by an apocalypse, the Element of Honesty must do whatever she can to survive the world left behind

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Chapter Six

The first thing Applejack saw when she opened her eyes was Apple Bloom shaking her awake. "AJ, the building's fallin' down-"

A massive wooden beam hit the ground next to them, springing Applejack into full-on alert as she quickly sat up, taking her little sister's hand as she started to move towards the exit. The building was groaning and collapsing around them as she ran, and she chanced a glance up, seeing a gigantic piece of the ceiling heading straight for her.

She felt a push from behind her and tripped over her own feet, stumbling and falling out of the doorway. She hit the ground with a thud as the shelter behind her gave a final crash and fell down entirely. She looked back, her heart stuck in her throat.

"NO!"

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"Apple Bloom!"

She sat up with a jolt, nearly falling off of the couch as she awake from her nightmare. Her head was held in her hand and her eyes were shut tight, the sunlight shining through the windows too much for her still sensitive eyes. She panted heavily, her chest heaving as she took in deep breaths. She flinched when she felt a pair of hands on her shoulders before remembering she wasn't alone in the house.

"AJ, are you okay?" Applejack opened her eyes, looking up at her blue-furred friend before she calmed herself down a bit, nodded, and looked away again, completely unconvincing.

"Yeah, I'm jus' fine-"

"You're still a terrible liar." Rainbow moved herself in front of Applejack, making the ex-apple farmer look back into her bright magenta eyes. "I'm gonna ask you again, and I want the truth: are you okay?"

Applejack hesitated. She was tempted to try lying again, but she knew Rainbow would see right through it again. She sighed before slowly shaking her head, tears already making her vision fuzzy.

"No...no, Dash, I'm not okay, but..." She looked at Rainbow, seeing the heartbreak and worry in her friend's expression before she turned away again.

"You know you can tell me anything, right?" The farmer just nodded, and she felt a hand gently turn her head, forcing her to look back at Rainbow's face again. They locked eyes, and Applejack felt a slight heat rush to her cheeks as she stared into her friend's magenta orbs, a blush which she noticed was matched on Rainbow's face. For a split second, she almost lost it entirely and poured everything out right then and there, but she stopped herself, taking a shaky breath.

"...I had a dream about Apple Bloom. Or, I guess it's more like a nightmare..."

The tears started gathering at her eyes again, but she didn't try turning away this time. Rainbow's brow creased slightly, worry painting her face. "What happened in the dream, Applejack?"

Applejack swallowed, the dam crumbing as she closed her eyes, remembering the dream vividly. "I was bein' woken up by her...the building we were in for the night was comin' down around us, and...and a big part of the roof was about to fall on top of me, b-but she pushed me out of the way and-"

A sob managed to choke itself out, and Applejack looked down, tears streaming down her cheeks. Without much warning, she felt Rainbow's arms wrap around her and pull her tight against her soft blue fur. She found herself hugging back, her hands clutching at the back of Rainbow's shirt as the sobs poured out, ugly tears lining her face when they rolled down her cheeks. Her head buried into Rainbow's shoulder, a faint smell of rain detectable above the more noticeable hint of sweat.

They sat on the couch together for what felt like a very long time, but in reality was only a minute or two at the most. She felt Rainbow start to lean back, and her arms instinctively tightened a little around her friend. She heard a soft chuckle before she felt arms wrap around her again, gently rubbing her back. She shut her eyes, sniffling a little as the calming embrace and the light touch of her back being rubbed led her off towards sleep again.

"...Applejack?" Applejack's ear flicked at the sudden voice, and she turned her head slightly so she was facing the side of Rainbow's face.

"Yeah, Dash?"

She saw her friend swallow before she spoke again. "There's something I gotta tell you. I've been hesitating for a while now, but it's a bit draining to keep it in, you know?"

"Sure, shoot."

Rainbow leaned back a bit, and Applejack let her, their eyes locking again. Rainbow's blush was deeper than it was before. "I just don't want to make things weird or something-"

"Rainbow, it's okay. Just be honest with me." She offered her blue friend a small smile to reassure her, and it seemed to work.

"Well, I-" Suddenly, there was a thud from upstairs. They both nearly jumped at the sudden noise, their heads slowly turning to look towards the stairs. Rainbow spoke first. "What was that?"

Applejack glanced at the coffee table next to them, reaching out to grip her revolver in her hand. "I dunno, but we're gonna find out."

"We?" Applejack turned around and gave Rainbow a look, to which her blue-furred friend grinned at. "I'm kidding, I'm kidding. Let's go."

She reached over for her bat and nodded when she gripped it in her hands, and they both slowly stood and walked towards the stairs. They stopped at the bottom, both of them hesitating and looking up the steps. "Uh, you go first."

"Me? You're the one with the dang bat!"

"Yeah, but-" She glanced over, and sighed when she saw the look Applejack was giving her. "Fine, fine, I'm going. You better be right behind me, though." Gripping her bat, Rainbow slowly started up the stairs, each step rewarding her with a load creak that made her heart stop each time. "Stupid old wood stairs..."

She reached the top, and looked around. All of the doors were opened besides the one at the end of the hall, and she didn't see anything in the rooms she could look into. She glanced back at Applejack, who had joined her at the top of the stairs. "There's only one room it could've come from."

She looked straight ahead, walking down the hall to the door that was closed. She reached her hand down to the door knob, turning it slowly and pushing the door open. Suddenly, something small and filly-sized plowed into her, knocking her down onto the ground as a jaw snapped wildly at her, trying to sink its teeth into her. She held her bat straight across its chest, holding it back. "GODDAMN, GET IT OFF-"

She saw a boot collide into the side of whatever was on top of her, and it was sent back into the wall as Rainbow scrambled back to her feet. Whatever it was that attacked her was a bit sluggish in getting back to its feet, and they both stared at it. "What in tarnation is that thing?"

Rainbow turned to Applejack. "Why are you asking now?! Shoot it or something!"

Applejack nodded, raising her revolver up as it turned to face her. She stared down at the face that had reminded her so much of her sister the day before, and she frowned, pulling the hammer back. "I'm sorry."

Her finger pressed the trigger, the gun kicking up as it sent a single bullet colliding into the head of the thing staring at her. Brain and skull splattered onto the wall behind it, and it slowly fell back, sliding down the wall. Applejack's arm fell to her side, and she slowly holstered her revolver before turning to move down the stairs, not even giving the body or Rainbow a backwards glance.

"Come on. We're leavin'."

Author's Note:

Hey look, a chapter that technically doesn't have any kind of flashback section. I guess there's a first for everything!
And what was Rainbow gonna say? It's literally anyone's guess!
Also, some kind of zombies? That's a pretty sudden and chaotic introduction for them, huh? I wonder what, or who, could be behind that...