• Published 3rd Oct 2014
  • 2,149 Views, 34 Comments

What do I win? - HapHazred

Rainbow Dash returns as the Mare with the Rainbow Mane as she is pitted against Applejack in a series of four games designed by their friends testing more than just their physical ability.

  • ...


Once upon a time, in the magical land of Equestria, there was a house, painted as red as as an autumn leaf, surrounded by apple trees, crimson as can get. The warm sun was beginning to dip over the mountains, casting long shadows through the orchard.

In the orchard stood two mares: one as orange as honey, mane as golden as wheat on a summer afternoon. The other was blue as the sky, and her mane was as vibrant as a canvas attacked by a painter gone rogue. She was standing a foot behind her friend, watching her closely.

"You're sure you know how to do this?" she asked, doing her best to hide the twinge of worry in her voice. The corner of Applejack's mouth rose slightly, as she leant her head to the side, aligning her left eye with the barrel of the gun.

"Ya'll think I'd be an Apple and not know how to fire the ole' Widowmaker?" she asked. "Trust me, I can do this." she said.

She raised the barrel slowly, pointing it only slightly above the low hanging apple on the tree. Rainbow Dash grinned.

"If you're so confident, how about we make this interesting?" she asked, split seconds before the trigger was pulled. Applejack hesitated.

Curse that mare.

"What were ya'll thinkin'?" she asked, lowering the rifle. Rainbow Dash grinned, and leant to the side, her shoulder carelessly balancing against Applejack's flank as she rubbed her chin, feigning thought.

"Well... how about we have ourselves a little wager? Y'know, to see whether you'll hit the apple or not."

"What do I win?"

"If you win... you get a kiss." Rainbow declared. Applejack smiled.

"Sounds worthwhile."

"But if you miss, you'll have to kiss me." Rainbow Dash finished with a flourish. Applejack grinned.

"Not on your life."

Rainbow Dash flicked some mud out of her hoof, and then stepped away from her marefriend. "Best take care, then."

Applejack raised the rifle again, taking careful aim. She listened intently for the sound of anypony nearby... no sense hitting them by accident, after all, even if they were trespassing on her orchard. She stroked the trigger as she slowed her breathing.

She pulled the trigger.

The terrifying 'crack' of the gunshot almost deafened Rainbow Dash. She had no idea that guns were so loud. She swallowed nervously: no wonder those things were a rarity in Equestria these days. They scared her.

Applejack blew on the smoking barrel of the gun, the smoke dissipating into the air, as if the noise had been nothing more than a nuisance. Rainbow could only focus on the shape her lips made as she calmly dispelled the noxious cloud. She returned her attention back to their little challenge, and peered into the distance.

"Where was that apple again?" she asked.

Applejack shrugged.

"Over there... and there, and there..." she replied, pointing at seemingly random places over by the tree she had aimed at. Rainbow Dash flew over to it, searching desperately for any trace of the fruit: there was none.

"You know... I didn't believe you when you said you had a gun at the house... and I sure as hay didn't believe you when you said they were this scary." she commented. Applejack cantered to join her.

"I'm the pony of honesty... what did you expect?" she asked. "Anyway, I think ya'll owe me something."

Rainbow folded her hooves.

"Nope." she replied, playful as ever, if a little startled by the noise. Applejack sighed and held up the rifle.

"Ya'll sure about that, sugarcube?" she asked. Rainbow Dash backed off a little.

"Uh... that isn't loaded, is it?" she asked, her ears flattening against her head. Applejack shook her head.

"'Course not. But it can be if ya'll don't get over here right this second... I won, remember?"

Rainbow Dash was only too happy to oblige, and the pair embraced tenderly for a while under the cover of the apple trees. Applejack tossed the gun into the grass, a few feet away. Applejack savoured the moment whilst it lasted, and if felt all the better for having earned it. Their fur was sightly ruffled as they pulled away to breathe.

"So... how's talking about your feelings going for you?" Rainbow Dash asked. Applejack shrugged.

"Not sure yet. Rainbow, sometimes Ah think I don't get as appreciated as other ponies."

"That wasn't so hard, was it? How'd it feel?"

"Like a kick to the stomach. How's learning how to plan ahead going for you?"

"Not well. I forgot to plan for it."

Applejack laughed.

"You're terrible."

"Yup. We're as bad as each other." Rainbow Dash countered. She glanced nervously at the weapon hidden in the grass. "And I totally appreciate you. All the time."

She pecked Applejack's cheek, leaving a small mark where her muzzle left her fur. Applejack found herself stroking Rainbow back as the pegasus refused to release her completely. Rainbow Dash glanced across the grass to the gun lying there, almost hidden save for the tell-tale glint as the sun reflected across it's barrel, like a trap waiting to be sprung. She recalled, quite against her will, the terrifying sound of the gunshot.

"Hey... can you put that back inside? It... sort of scares me."

Applejack felt a small increase in pressure as she leaned back to get a better look at the weapon. She eyed Rainbow suspiciously.

"You're scared of loud noises?"

"Hey! A lot of ponies have that problem." she retorted. Applejack snorted.

"What, are you afraid of plastic bags, too?"

"Sh-shut up. Just get rid of it, 'kay?"

Applejack nodded, and nuzzled her marefriend reassuringly, making sure to keep the barrel of the weapon, loaded or no, far away from her. Rainbow sighed in relief, and let herself be drowned in a tidal wave of affection. She wondered how she could have ever gone a single day without her Applejack, but quickly returned to focussing on how lucky she was, right now.

"'Course, sugarcube. Anything for you."

They both began trotting to the house, Rainbow's wing hugging Applejack and keeping both of them from moving at their top speed: neither mare cared about that, though.

"It's the end of Sun Season tomorrow. Ya'll got work again, right?"

The ground was as dry as it could be, and it was time for the water cycle to start again. Rainbow was usually proud to be part of the engine of weather, but this time, all she could think about was that it would be a day she'd have to spend most of away from her favourite pony ever.

"Yup. But it's been a great holiday."

The End

Author's Note:

This was actually my first draft for the Appledash contest, which I then set aside for Healthy Rivalry, but intended to publish after the contest, and then picked up again FOR the contest because of a loophole and I can submit more than one entry.
Comment, enjoy, and if this is in some way impossible for you, then please feel free to give advice since I always like getting more of that.
Thanks to BFG for prereading, as always.

Comments ( 17 )

Remember, when your friend proposes a shiny multicolored food to eat, always say yes :eeyup: .
Also, helmets are females. True fact. :moustache:

5122614 I hope in a good way. I didn't want the contest to be fair from the get-go. I love Applejack to bits, and I don't see her as a stupid character, far from it in fact, but for incredibly long winded reasons, I often view Rainbow as being clever by birth, but lazy by choice, as opposed to Applejack who I always saw as less talented by birth, but far more hard working by choice, which in many respects is far more important.

It's really weird. I have my reasons, though.

OK, how much do this vacation last? because she spend a week lazing around, and another week with the contest... end then 4 days left? yeah, my math sucks that way, that was why I got a career in med school!:twilightblush:

5122657 It's in a good way! weather is not science? last I remember it was a science :rainbowhuh:

5122922 Where I live, in the heat of summer, there's often around two weeks of no rain. I modelled Rainbow's holiday off of that time, but by your maths it's gone a bit over too weeks.

Oh well. Hopefully nobody else will notice... :twilightblush:

Except you've gone and pointed that out, now. *gulp*:twilightoops:

And supposedly weather is indeed a science. Meteorology. Not that the news people on TV seem very knowledgeable about it sometimes: we still haven't gotten any sunshine here, despite what they've been saying.

5123024 nel, they only read a piece of paper given to them, and point to a green screen. You have 2 weeks without rain I got 40 days in the middle of hurricane season! we call it: "calendula"... it's kind of confusing thing.

Sorry, I like to read the fics more than once to understand everything (english is not may first language), that's why I only say it!. Sorry again! And maybe I'm wrong! Hope so!

5123271 I was just joking really:twilightsheepish:, and I'm perfectly aware of what it's like reading in a language you are not born with (I'm british but have lived in france for the past decade, so I've dealt with not understanding a goddarn thing before. That being said, your english isn't half bad. Better than my german in any case).

Also, Your maths isn't wrong, I just overestimated my two weeks. More the fool I, I suppose. I can't say it was something I paid a lot of attention to when I wrote it.

That was a very interesting approach with those challenges!

I often view Rainbow as being clever by birth, but lazy by choice, as opposed to Applejack who I always saw as less talented by birth, but far more hard working by choice,

And that... gave me something to think about. An interesting perspective. I never really considered Dash being into art that much, what was both surprising and funny. You made it believable, though.
It's always a bit difficult to decide how to value a story. To give the 'thumb up' was no problem at all, a favorite, too. I just wasn't sure if this is something I would recommend to others to read. At least, I wasn't until Pinkies challenge. From the moment of the first explosion onwards, you got me laughing. I tried to read further nonetheless and, to my misfortune, succeeded. When they presented their, let's call it 'work', to Pinkie and Rarity, I couldn't hold it anymore. I laughed so hard for... I don't know. Half an hour? I couldn't restrain myself. If my life would've depended on that, I would've failed. Hard. I tried to tell some friends who heard me laughing and asked for the reason, why I was entertaining the whole house, but I just couldn't stop long enough to actually tell everything. Sooo... yeah, thank you for that. It was hilarious. :twilightsmile: I needed that and hadn't laughed that hard for a couple of months.

Thank you.

5382339 Thanks a lot for the comment. I'm glad Pinkies challenge gave you something to laugh about: it was one of the wilder things I wrote since my very first story, and I'm glad someone else liked reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

As for RD and AJ and what I said there, well, it's part of why I think they work so well together. They're very alike, but in dissimilar ways. They have so much fun conflict to write about, but it's rarely so drastic that it removes the possibility that they'd stick together.

As for the art and mathematics, well, that was partly because of me seeing RD as a genuinely smart pony, and also partly because I do both of those (art for lolz and maths for my degree), and I'll be damned if I'm not going to force mathematics upon the internet.

5427419 I wrote that chapter during revision period for exams. My head was absolutely full of maths, and I was both sick of it, and impressed with my own progress, which is why I wrote it in there. One of Applejack's comments is one that I often mutter under my breath at lectures: 'if it's so important, why haven't I seen it before?'. Twilight, by contrast, takes the form of a less than helpful lecturer unable to put her work in context, and it's a problem pure maths suffers from a fair bit. Of course, later on I find it all to be relevant, but it's hard to take things like complex numbers seriously when nobody is showing you any concrete application for it, and unfortunately my degree suffers a little for that very reason.
But enough side-tracking: Applejack's frustration is a very real one I felt at truly not understanding something, and I can imagine that not everybody understands how to invert a square matrix or find the argument of a complex number. Unless you're looking for a degree that involves maths, I wouldn't worry about those too much: they don't come into real life all that often outside of engineering and scientific applications.

Aww, this was so sweet <3
Especially pinkies challenge. Especially because you can feel that rainbows feelings are mutual, when they both were standing on the roof =)
And I felt so sad for aj when she didn't know how to solve the test :( Shame on you, twilight!
(I was surprised at (b)rainbows skills in art and math, though ^^)
Anyways, great work, so thumbs up, fav and everything of that sort.. xD

5942548 Why thank you. It's nice to see some of my older stories get a little attention.

I'm not reeaaallly a big fan of AppleDash, buuuuuuttt this is undoubtly a great story~! :twilightsmile:
Surprised at Dashie's hidden artistic + mathematical abilities, heh :rainbowderp:
And Twi's "failed" challenge-I do pity her a tad :applejackunsure:
Overall, tis was worth my time ^w^ (Plus the moment when AJ & RD were standing together on the roof? Yeah, I had a hunch about their relationship status :pinkiehappy:)

6047100 Thank you. It turns out I am a big fan of AppleDash, and it always makes me happy when people enjoy my stuff.

If you want to check out more of my AppleDash-y things, I have a good few in my library. My personal favourite is The Gift Shop.

If you want more AppleDash, regardless of whether I wrote it or not, try looking around this group. There are some stunning stories there that got me interested in writing in the first place.

I wasn't too surprised with Rainbow's math/art skills.I kind of figured that she learned that kind of stuff in flight camp and needed to know more about physics/math because of the Wonderbolts (the Wonderbolts would probably need to know about that to give their best performance)It also seems like Ponyville has only one school, which is why I think Applejack wouldn't be the best at math.It seems like Cherilee(Don't know how to spell her name lol) only teaches them what they would need to know in life, basic math, what a cutie mark is, etc.We don't really know what Dash learned in flight camp but, its flight camp so you would probably learn about things that have to do with flight which is part of physics .Sure AJ needs to know some math for her business but you wouldn't need to know anything about a matrix, you would just need to know the basics.Dash just seemed like she would have a better education.

So anyways, good story I enjoyed all of it and there were defiantly good moments in every chapter.I liked how Dash wasn't too oblivious to AJ liking her, and Pinkie's challenge was amazing(I think 95%-100% of the people who read this story would agree with me there)I still wonder how they managed to make the muffins change color and how they accidentally made a sugar helmet, guess I shouldn't question it though since it is the Pinkie Challenge.I know this is kind of late(Story is kind of old now) but I enjoyed this story and would recommend it to my friends if they liked reading/ponies, none of them like the kind of stuff I like so :P.Off to read another one of your stories!

7001359 If you leave them alone long enough, they do actually change colour. They go kind of green and fluffy.

I wouldn't eat them, though.

Loved that story !! Im a big fan of AppleDash and i really like the way you turned their relation ! Also, I always knew RD was good in maths, but i didnt expect her to be good in arts ! This was great idea ! :pinkiehappy:

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