• Member Since 11th Jul, 2011
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The campiest of happers.


After finishing her portion of the day's harvest in record time, Applejack heads home early to check on how Apple Bloom's doing alone in their house. What she discovers once she gets there shocks her right to her core, and what happens afterwards changes the way she sees her little sister forever.

First runner-up in Obselescence's The Most Dangerous Game contest, using the prompt "An OC and a major canon character (in this case, Apple Bloom) fall in love with each other."

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 90 )

A dangerous game indeed, that you pulled off with aplomb. Aquaman, why does everything you touch turn to gold?

This was a very creative and fun story. I liked it. :heart:

Very well done. A good OC and very imaginative situation. You have a very good understanding of Applejack's character.

Romance for the sake of character development? In the family of the lovers? Genius!

This was a very enjoyable read. I could easily see AJ forced to face this kind of dilemma, and I think the way you went about it was creative, especially considering this is part of the Most Dangerous Game Contest. Good luck!

This is just amazing! :ajsmug:

The way that you presented the emotions in this was extraordinary.

Applejack was handled with the precision of a surgeon and his scalpel. Her conflicting feelings upon her discovery of her little sister in the lustful embrace of a strange stallion was beyond perfect: a terrifying mix of wanting to brain him and disappear into the woodwork. The way you mixed her emotional state into a ball of embarrassment, anger, and the flashing memories of a younger Apple Bloom seeking her comfort as she made her way silently back down the hallway is the sort of thing that I find lacking in the larger shipping and romance stories in this fandom. This work was a master-class in how the choices that we make in our lives affect those around us and who love us... and Apple Bloom and Chip Shot are extremely lucky that your interpretation of Applejack discovered them first, and that her level-headedness came into play.

I really can't say enough about your Applejack in this piece. She exhibits so many different feelings and such a grand sweep of her characterization in such a small work that we feel for her. From the pain and tiredness she feels as she retreats for her home, to the pointless embarrassment of her concern for her aging, to the heart-in-her-throat moments going from the bedroom and down the hallway, to sitting there trying to only drink one glass of cider as some stallion she's never seen before fucks her baby sister in the room overhead, pondering her own failings in raising the filly... wow, her presentation was immaculate. You made us, the reader, feel how lost and unprepared she was for this moment.

I guess my only complaint was that it didn't fulfill the prompt.

To whim, the prompt read: "A major character and an O.C. fall in love." I guess the only way I have to state it is that this story needs a "sex" tag, not because it has any graphic depictions, but because it was what the story was about. In the end, this wasn't a story about "love"... it was a story about "sex." To anyone jaded enough to believe that the two are the same... well, they aren't. This story was about Applejack trying to determine what life for the Apples now looks like since her teenaged sister is now sexually active. To the story's credit, Chip Shot turns out to be a genuinely nice kid, and he certainly has an interesting backstory, but he never crosses that line to where I was actually rooting for him, even though in reality us liking Chip wasn't necessary for the plot.

When Chip was describing how he met Apple Bloom, when he was telling Applejack about asking Apple Bloom to the dance, when he was describing how they had both lost their mothers, I kept waiting for that one thing that would "put me on his side" and would make me feel good about him being the one to take Apple Bloom's virginity. It struck me as why when he was asking "Mommajack" about still seeing her. When he said "I'd like to keep seeing her as friends and maybe something more" I found my right hand waving through the air and myself mouthing "And? And? Annnnddd?"

But the "and" never came... he never said that he loved Apple Bloom, and I went back to re-read the section to see if I had missed it. Certainly, there was noting in the work that suggested anything other than two friends choosing each other to have a roll for the first time (the "real" first time, Apple Bloom says the other "first time" didn't count.) In the end, this was a story about two teenagers having gangly, awkward sex and getting caught by the character the story was really about... not a story about love. At least, I think, not a story about love between the O.C. and the main character.

For that reason alone, if I had a vote in the contest (which I do not, thankfully) I'd have to say that it wouldn't get my top slot, as it didn't really feel like a romance to me. It was harsh, gritty, realistic... but not romantic. That's not a knock against the writing at all, thought! It was a clear demonstration of the careful measure and pacing that you've developed over the years, and is a clear example of the defined sense of characterization you've always possessed.

To conclude, I'd like to take umbrage at one of your last lines:

lucky that everything was different now and yet nothing had really changed.

I'd say that more has changed in the Apple household than hasn't. Suddenly, that scared, embarrassed filly at the top of the stairs has become a mare. There are now two women in the farmhouse that sits astride Sweet Apple Acres, and there is no returning to the carefree days of childhood for Apple Bloom. She is lucky to have an understanding, reasonable sister in the mare who waits for her in the darkened kitchen, one who can clearly see that her days as Apple Blooms protector and guardian have ended, and that any chance that she may have had to be Applebloom's mother as well as sister are now as gone as the butterfly kisses and little games that exited the house with the young stallion. But, assuredly, the only thing that hasn't changed–her love for her sister–will be more than enough to see them through the new reality that must come with the conversation soon to fill the kitchen where one light burns in the gathering dusk.

That was the real power of this work–and the power of your writing–the exploration of how this has changed Applejack, and that alone is more than worthy of the appearance that this has made on the Featured Bar. Well done, Akwa, well done!:twilightsmile:

Man, that's a lot of text, and most of it's the kind of stuff that turns me into the amateur wordsmith equivalent of a giggling schoolgirl. With regard to your sole criticism of the story, however, I have a very simple counterpoint: Apple Bloom and Chip Shot weren't having sex.

With that being said, I'll freely admit to the possibility that I didn't make that clear enough within the story, but my intention was to emphasize that Chip Shot was Apple Bloom's very first "significant other", and as such the fall dance was the site of her (and, by association, Chip's) first kiss rather than her first sexual experience. The very first draft of this concept inside my head did have it revolving around a sexual experience, but as the idea developed I realized it wasn't necessary to take things that far, primarily because I realized the story wasn't going to be about Apple Bloom. Aside from being able to keep everything accessible to "Everyone", so to speak, I found it easier to justify Applejack being able to temper her emotions after walking in on a kiss, rather than on anything more. On top of that, your thoughts on the subject played heavily into it as well: taking things that far would've made the story at least partially about just two teenagers hooking up, and that was very close to but not quite what I wanted to portray.

To that end, the story is about love, but not in its purest form. I wanted to focus instead on, as you mentioned, the things shipfics usually leave out: how the opening stages of a relationship bridge the gap between friendship and romantic affection, and how familial love exists on a different but parallel plane. Chip Shot and Apple Bloom aren't "in love" yet, because the idea that two ponies their age, hardly more than children, being able to comprehend true romantic love doesn't stand up to much critical examination or, for that matter, what happens all the time in the real world. What they do have, however, is a genuine connection and affection for each other, and that means that--as Applejack recognizes--they have the potential to fall in love if things last to the point where they're mature enough to truly do so.

This is the only reason why, in writing this, I could believe Applejack would find herself completely comfortable with Chip Shot's role in Apple Bloom's life, because when she asks him if he loves her, he doesn't say yes. He doesn't give the "romantic" answer and speak in tired clichés that he'll someday break her heart with. What he does do is demonstrate what real love is, which lies in emotional compatibility and the willingness to support and understand your partner beyond just the honeymoon period of physical passion. It's an uncommonly mature outlook for even adults to have, and even though Chip doesn't realize that's what he has, Applejack does recognize it, and that's why she accepts him so willingly by the end of the story. Whether or not the relationship blossoms into traditional passionate love remains to be seen, but until then she can trust him not to take advantage of her.

tl;dr friendship is magic


Apple Bloom and Chip Shot weren't having sex.

Welcome back to The Descendant Makes Himself Look Like an Idiot in the Comments of Someone Else's Story. In today's episode, T.D. makes wild assumptions about what was going on in teenaged Apple Bloom's room while her sister sits downstairs having an existential crisis. How will Akwa respond to T.D.'s failure to catch a very critical plot point? Tune in and find out!

God dammit, this is why I don't comment on stuff very often.

In my defense, the "critical plot point" takes place in Apple Bloom's bedroom, and the sheer emotional weight of what Applejack experiences afterwards (as well as threats of what Big Mac may have done to Chip) made it seem very likely that what I assumed was happening was, well... happening. In my career, I've had to deal with the fallout of what happens to teens who engage in such, and I guess that "the worst case scenario" is what played out in my head first.

Sorry to make such an assumption. Everything positive I said still stands, of course.


I don't get the "Buttons" joke.

Think of the "So" as "Sew." Yeah, it's an old joke... it's kinda like when people dangle "Well.." and my grandpa would say "Deep subject."

4613156 If only for that, your grandfather is made of win.

Dam, not bad. Not bad at all.

Something I've missed from you, maybe because I've neglected to set aside enough time for your stuff, is the way you're able to conjure these poignant character-establishing images from the past -- Apple Bloom's tree in the southwest orchard, or the time Applejack knew that tree was rotten inside before it crashed onto her.

But as 4613372 pointed out just now, Chip's response in that scene really anchored the story for me, and reflects the most valuable principle I took away from my screenwriting class last year. There were two great opportunities for either you or Chip to fill that answer with trite, on-the-nose statements, when by keeping him silent at first I immediately fell into his thoughts as filtered through AJ's point of view. Many readers, placed into Chip's situation there, just wouldn't be able to say those words when so many authors think they could.

Really rooting for this to win the contest. Faved and upgoated, you know the drill.


*Strokes beard* I say. A dangerous Game, indeed.

Jolly good tale, old boy.

Well done from start to finish. The emotional resonance of each scene is captured perfectly, and honesty wins out in the end, as it should with any Applejack story. Thank you for this story, and best of luck in the judging!

Also, you are an evil, evil man for avoiding all mention of Apple Bloom's cutie mark. :applecry:

Very well done. The actions of AJ and Applebloom I thought were spot on.
Didn't need to change a thing. A pleasure to read.

In my imagination, any lingering worries in Applejack's mind about her sister are settled when she tells her that she knows and see's this face in response.


and also Hem Hem. Oh Great Sir Pratchett, what wonderful ways you have introduced to us to make inappropriate jokes sound clean. (and Vice Versa)

I thought it was quite well done. Everyone was in character, and I can definitely see AJ sitting there, glowering over a glass of cider like she could sense truth in his words.

Let me just upend this bucket of upvotes all over you, ok?

This story. I like it.


I rather like that quite a bit. Also, I thought what you did for most of the story as well, at least until Applejack's "don't do what I wouldn't do" comment, that seemed pretty clear on establishing what didn't happen.

Very enjoyable story indeed. I was kinda hoping to see a bit from the conversation between AJ and AB if only because you handled this one so well, but at the same time I see that not only is that not necessary, it's not what the story is about. It definitely is a finished story.

Oh man, today was the day, I mean seriously, the day of thinking and feeling too much. First it was brokeback mountain and now this fic. brokeback mountain destroyed me, and this fic is like the opposite.

honesty. pure honesty is what we need . always. :ajsmug:

Thank you!

Wow. I sure hope I will have this in the back of my head the day my kids bring home their first flirts. Nice one, gave a fav and an upvote. Maturity in mlpfanfic FTW!

Very nicely done all around!

This was a touching story, Aqua.

I kept wanting AJ to reach across the table and stroke Chip's leg, muttering under her breath about "hollow little bones," but I guess she took this discovery better than Big Mac would have.

Good luck in the contest. There's shaping up to be a few really good entries.

Faved and followed. Well done, sir!

:ajbemused: "Ah ain't old"

That was an amazing story.

4611517 he has the hand of midas duh!

Why won't it let me hit the like button more! :twilightangry2:
Awesome, touching story. Good job! :twilightsmile:

I wish all big sisters were as cool as your portrayal of Applejack. Her characterization was spot on and I loved how she handled a sticky situation. I can't like this fiction enough. Kudos, now I will have to find a place to put all the excess feels I'm experiencing. My heart and head are packed with them. :derpytongue2:

Very nice story, lots of feels.

Of course now Big Mac's going to have to whup Chip, but he won't mean anything bad by it, it's traditional.

Very nice story, handled marvelously, and Aj characterization is spot on. I'd pay to see this made into a movie, but obviously that will never happen.
Great work!

"Big Mac ! Put down that scatter gun, I dun talked to him alredy" Errrnope !:eeyup:

The invatations are in the mail.:applejackunsure:

Very good story. Been quite a while since I stopped to read something over 3,000 words or so without stopping. I'd love for a sequel where Applejack talks to Apple Bloom if that's possible.

Comment posted by Gadgetphile deleted Jul 17th, 2014

He looked up before his smiled faded,

"Smile" is misspelled.

I visited ED for the first time in a month and happened to see a feature for this story. I'm very glad I clicked on the link. This is quite possibly the best characterization of Applejack I've ever seen - arguably even better than most of the actual episodes. "Somepony to Watch Over Me" was poorly executed, but one thing I liked about it was that it hammered in AJ's relationship to Apple Bloom as a surrogate mother. I wish there were more fanfics that focused on this aspect of her character. She had to mature fast in every way, and it really shows in this fic as she feels existential angst at 25.

The descriptions are creative and vivid. One paragraph that stood out to me was the one about the river of time eroding AJ's cares away. I wish I could write like that.

Chip Shot has depth and maturity combined with some youthful fumbles. This elevates him above the run-of-the-mill gratuitous OC. It's not clear exactly how far they took things in AB's bedroom, but based on the context it makes the most sense to assume they got to second base. If they had gone all the way, I think AJ would've had a few more things to say to Chip.

Is the story's description supposed to be so misleading?

It's supposed to be vague. How were you reading it?

Yes, that's it Applejack. Assuage all of his fears, so that when you kill him later on and bury his body they don't think it was you...

This is a kind of fic i have not read in a long time, i like it a lot, well written, nice development. some random rambling at the start but it got a nice flow as it started advancing 9.5/10 added to favs :pinkiehappy::ajsmug:

4612915 Don't be ridiculous! Of COURSE they had sex! You're just the author! You can't tell the ponies in your story what to do!

Fanbois are far more powerful and they DEMAND that ponies engage all their carnal desires frequently and rigorously! Nonstop, even!

Relationships? What are those? Ponies just screw 24/7 and then become emo about it!

Then they go screw some more. Usually with vampires, humans, changelings, or Discord... or all of the above... simultaneously.

Character development, depth, a sensible plot, bah! Who needs such useless trivialities when you have UNF UNF?!


Calm down, dude. It was just a misunderstanding, and TD's a good guy. No need to vilify him for an honest mistake.

4714504 I was actually poking fun at all the trillion of awful ship fics out there. :trollestia:

Well, I hadn't read this yet.

I liked it a lot. Only one of the top five I hadn't read beforehand and it definitely earned its place there. Well done!

This was the entry that ended up getting my vote for the best of the lot, and I think it very clearly deserved it.

I've been meaning to read this for weeks now and I finally got round to it earlier... and boy, was it worth the wait! The emotions really rang true, and I was gripped all the way through -- in particular, the way you handed Applejack was magnificent. I'm very, very glad that this made the final five.

Best of luck to you!

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