• Published 24th Apr 2012
  • 4,191 Views, 55 Comments

Duality - RaijingtheClockworkPony

A young man must choose between two worlds, but can he?

  • ...

Eggs and Day.

Sam was surprised that he wasn't the only one up when he reached the house. He walked into the house to smell the scent of apples and feel the distinct heat of the oven. He walked to the kitchen to find Applejack already hard at work making breakfast. He reached into his pocket to check the time now that he had enough light to do so. 5:26. 'Damn I was out late.' He walked over to Applejack and was about to say hello when she spoke first.

"Mornin' Sam. What were you up to so early in the mornin'?"

Sam took a seat at the table. "I needed to get some fresh air. Had a good walk."

"Well since you’re up and moving how 'bout Ah teach you how to cook that strata?"

Sam rose and took up a spot at her side. She started to show him how to cut the apples, how much cinnamon he should use and showed him how to lay it all out. They were talking the whole time about this and that until they put the strata in the oven.

"So how was your walk?"

Sam wondered if he could tell her what had happened. Part of him wanted to tell her because of how much it meant to him, but another part wanted to keep it private. 'Well I can tell her the basics of it at least.'

"I went south down the road. Stopped off by a little pond and killed some time trying to skip rocks across the surface. Then Luna Showed up and we talked for a bit."

"Two things there big guy. Skipping rocks?"

"It's when you take a smooth rock and try to get it to skip across the surface of a pond or lake. You've never done that?"

"Nah. That sounds like a human thing there, sugarcube. Okay for that then. Now what did Luna want to talk about?"

Sam sat there having an argument with himself. On one hand she was being open and honest with him but on the other hand he really didn't know how she would react to any of it. He took a deep breath before he spoke.

"We talked about something that happened to me recently..."

Sam explained to her the whole mess with Jenny and how he went berserk at the pond. Just like Luna she stayed silent as he talked. He reached the part of the kiss before he stopped.

"... and then she..."

"She what? I won't tell anypony if you don't want me to."

He took another breath. "She kissed me. On the cheek, then she laid her head on my shoulder."

Sam was almost expecting a sudden gasp from her but she just looked out the nearby window, watching the sun rise. She looked back at him with a thoughtful look on her face. She tilted her hat back on her head, and then turned to face him. She wore a deep thoughtful look.

"And how did you react?"

"I just let her... I didn't pull away from her or anything really. I just accepted it and... I kinda enjoyed her being near me."

Applejack looked at him then smiled. It was a knowing smile that he had seen on the face of many women in his life. The kind of smile that meant understanding that only a woman can have, and men can never reach. 'The female smile... transcends worlds as well.' He didn't bother asking her what she was smiling about, because like every other time he saw that smile, he knew she would say.

"She's a good friend. A bit hard to reach Ah'd gather, but she was there when you needed her. You should thank her some time."

Sam grabbed another apple to cut up. "How? I have no money and I doubt I'd be able to get a reservation anywhere she would like to go."

Applejack bumped him on the shoulder playfully. "Well then just take her on a picnic or a fancy walk. As long as you just say thanks Ah'm sure she'll be happy with it."

Sam sat there for a moment when he was hit with a sudden thought. "Are you telling me I should take her out on a date?"

The smile on her face turned from knowing to wickedly playful. "Maybe Ah'm or maybe Ah'm not."

"I'm not in love with the princess. We are just friends, besides... I don't think I'm her type."

Applejack could barely hold back her laughter at Sam's sudden protests. "Ah think your protesting a little too much there big guy."

Sam grabbed another apple to start slicing up. "Whatever. Even if I did like her, there's no way it would work. We just aren't... compatible."

Applejack raised an eyebrow at him. "Ah'm afraid Ah don't follow."

"Nevermind. Since you want to dive into my 'love life', why don't I dive into yours? Got a special someone?"

As he spoke he noticed that her ears splayed down. This wasn't something that she wanted to talk about. 'Oops.' He was about to tell her to forget the question when she looked him in the eyes with a fierce look.

"What Ah'm about to tell you never leaves this kitchen. Got it?"

"As long as everything else stays here too."

Applejack smiled at him. "Deal. Ah've had my eye on a pony for a long time but Ah don't think they like me the same way."

Sam watched as her smile faded away to a look of deepening sorrow. She was clearly hurt by the aforementioned pony. "What’s their name?"

She looked up at him. He could see that she was struggling with a way to tell him. "It's... Rarity."

Sam was stunned, but not surprised. He had read a good amount of fan fictions and knew that shipping was a popular thing with bronies. He was stunned by the fact that this one was real.

"Rarity. The fashion mare with her head in the cloth, Rarity. The two of you would make a cute couple."

It was Applejacks turn to be stunned, by his sheer honesty. Sam watched the look of surprise turn to a reading look. She had thought of him one way and turned out to have been wrong.

"You’re not shocked by that at all?"

"Well to tell you the truth I was shocked by the fact you haven't asked her out yet."

Applejack blushed. "I don't think she is really into mares."

Sam shrugged. "Not homosexual then. Well there's always another one arou- Why are you looking at me like that?"

Applejack's face went from to the sadness she was wearing to a stern look. "We don't label ponies like that Sam. Ah would like it if you didn't either."

Sam returned her gaze with a raised eyebrow. "I didn't mean to offend, guess it’s a culture thing. Still why wouldn't Rarity like you?"

"Well she did have a crush on that prince what’s-his-face. When that didn't really work out she just sorta dropped off the dating scene. Ah haven't heard her talk about anypony since then."

Sam watched her as she turned her head back to the window. She looked like she didn't have an answer for him or herself. She looked out the window, deep in thought. 'Searching for an answer. Like I will have to when this week ends.' He wanted to tell her to go for it but part of him knew better. He thought the same thing when he asked Jenny out and look where that had gotten him. 'But they have known each other for a long time. This wouldn't be rushing anything; this would be making sure they knew one another before taking that leap.'

"You should tell her how you feel. If she feels the same way then you can take it from there."

"Ah don't think that she will just accept my feelings without a second thought. She and Ah are just too different. She's into fashion and Ah'm a farmin' kind a gal. Maybe Ah should wait for my special somepony."

"Who's a special somepony?"

Both Applejack and Sam wiped around to see Applebloom standing in the doorway of the kitchen. She was rubbing her eyes trying to wake herself up. Sam looked at Applejack and she caught the hint that she was the one to distract Applebloom.

"We were just talking about... the dating customs of humans and ponies. Sam was just telling me about one of the differences they have. Sam?"

Sam gave a sarcastic smile to Applejack that Applebloom failed to catch. "I was telling her about... uh... in some parts of my world people have arranged marriages."

Both of the Apple's looked at him with the same curious expression. "An arranged marriage is one where the parents choose who the child marries, instead of the child choosing for themselves. It's quite common in the more populated countries."

"Huh, that's kinda... strange. Do they not trust their kids to find the right one?"

"It's got nothing to do with trust. I think it has to do with tradition and the parents making sure they live in a good home."

Applebloom sat there with a confused look and was about to ask another question when Applejack cut her off. "Applebloom you might want to go get washed up for school."

She grumbled at her sister then left the room. Applejack walked over to the table to set it for breakfast. Sam joined her in setting out the plates when she turned to him with a very serious look written on her face.

"Hey Sam, Ah would appreciate it if everything Ah said stayed private. Ah just don't feel comfortable if ponies went around talking about my feelin's, and Ah promise not to tell anypony what you said either."

Sam nudged her on the shoulder. "No prob. I can keep a secret when I need to."

Breakfast consisted mostly of the Apple family taste testing the food that Sam had helped prepare. The reactions ranged from passing to 'blah', as Big Mac put it. Sam didn't mind the rather harsh criticism from Big Mac because he was just happy that he hadn't burnt the strata or that one of them had choked on it. He and Applebloom where on the third helping before Applejack started to rush Applebloom out the door.

"You need to get to school. And Ah don't want Cheerilee sending home another note saying you've blown up a desk or something."

"Ah didn't blow up a desk! Ah only broke a chair and it's not like anypony got hurt."

Sam looked over at Big Mac with a look the asked the question on his mind: How bad was it? Big Mac gave him the answer with a silent look of his own: You don't want to know. 'That bad huh... how much can that filly break?' Sam was pulled out of the silent conversation with Big Mac by Applejack calling his name. He walked to the front door to find Applebloom wearing her school bag and an irritated looking Applejack. She turned to him and handed him a pouch.

"Sam could you go into town and deliver this to Sugarcube Corner? Ah been meanin' to send this to them for a while but Ah've been busy here on the farm."

Sam took the pouch. "Sure I have nothing planned for the day."

Sam walked alongside Applebloom and the pair set off towards the road. She started talking about her school work and the lessons that were planned for this week. She talked for the whole trip and was about to tell him about the field trip to the Museum of Science and Magical Industry in Canterlot when they came up on the school house. When they drew close the fillies and colts in the playground stopped in the middle of their games and stared at Sam. He tried to act like nothing was going on but when the crowd of young ponies rushed him he couldn't help but be slightly panicked by the sight. It wasn't every day a horde of ponies charges a man. He talked to them for only a couple of seconds before a loud voice called them all into the school house. The teacher of the school, Cheerilee, walked over to him after making sure all of the students were inside.

"Saved by the bell. Hi I'm Samuel."

"Cheerilee. I heard about you yesterday while I was in town, you're staying with the Apples over on the farm right?"

"Yup. I'm running an errand for Applejack, need to deliver this to Sugarcube Corner."

Sam lifted the pouch to show her. She nodded at it without really looking at it. 'This is going better than I would have thought.' She looked up at him with a questioning look then seemed to decide something.

"Mister Sam I know this is short notice but would you be willing to come in some day to talk to the kids? Knowing them you're all they will be able to talk about for the next few days so I think this would be a prime catch for them to learn about you and your species."

Sam nodded his head with her and realized that he needed to have something to do that week so he might as well say yes. "Sure thing. Just tell Applebloom the day and she’ll surly pass that along to me. But I would like it if no personal questions be asked if you don't mind."

"Oh of course dear. No problem at all. Thank you so much!"

With that they both said a hasty farewell and went off on their own ways, Cheerilee to teach all the ponies standing at the windows watching them and Sam to town. He was surprised at how quickly word had gotten around town, and the fact that he was already the next 'show and tell' for the school ponies. 'Word moves quickly here too. Might as well just go with the flow.' He reached the town with nothing of worth for him to note. He walked through the town waving at any pony that pasted him on the street. Most waved back with a strange smile on their face but Sam really didn't notice it. He knew that he wasn't something any of them really knew about, aside from the local gossip. Now that he had thought about it he was wondering what they were saying about him since the only times he had been seen in public was with the Crusaders and Princess Luna. 'Royal foal-sitter? Seems legit to me.' He let his mind wander on the more outrageous of ideas in his mind when he reached the bakery, and as per the norm for a bakery in the morning, it was packed with hungry ponies having breakfast. He didn't get the chance to enter the bakery due to him catching sight of a pink blur heading straight for him. He did have time to react this time and braced himself for the impact of Pinkie Pie.

"What'cha doing Sam?"

He opened his eyes to see Pinkie Pie standing in front of him. He let his guard down and resumed a normal stance. He looked down at her smiling face to reply.

"Well Applejack wanted me to give you this. She didn't really say what it was though."

"OH!! Those are the final pieces of the decorations! She knew a pony that could get them for me so she ordered them and now they’re here!! Yay!"

"You’re throwing a party? What’s the occasion for this one?"

Sam knew that the first part of his question was stupid, it was Pinkie, and of course she was throwing a party for someone. However the second part was the one he really cared about, because now she sparked his curiosity about the contents of the pouch he had just given her. She motioned for him to follow her into the shop. They walked into the store and headed towards the back and when they reached the kitchen they took a sharp turn right back around and went up the stairs. They reached the second level of the building when Pinkie turned around to face Sam.

"Can you keep a secret?"


She motioned for him to come closer. "Like a super-duper mega secret. Nopony can find out."

"I promise not to tell."

She looked around the room to make sure no one else was there. Sam was starting to smile at Pinkie's antics due to the fact they were alone in the room.

"We are going to a really big surprise party for Twilight! She hasn't figured it out yet and now that we have the final decorations we can get ready for the final stage of the party. Oh, that reminds me will you come to the party as well?"

"Yeah totally. Wouldn't miss a Pinkie Pie party for the world. When is it going to happen?"

She laughed at him and rolled her eyes in a very exaggerated manner. "It's a surprise silly, I can't just tell you! I thought you would at least know what a surprise party is... oh and Twilight wanted me to tell you that she has that book you wanted to barrow."

Before Sam could say anything he was rushed out of the building and told to hurry to the library. He decided not to even try to argue with Pinkie. She could shatter the fourth wall like it was nothing and he was just a simple lawyer, what chance did he have at winning an argument with her? As he walked away from the bakery he put his hands into his pockets only to find that someone, or rather somepony, had put a stack of wrapped cookies into his left pocket. 'When... how... never mind. Bet they taste great.' He was happy to be proven correct when he took his first bite. He finished the cookies when he reached the door of the tree home of Twilight. He reached to knock on the door but was met by the door rapidly opening and Spike the dragon welcoming him inside.

"Hi. Pinkie Pie said that Twilight had a book for me."

Spike stared at him for a, what felt to Sam, as a small eternity then snapped back to reality. "Yeah she's inside. Did you really stop Scootaloo from trying to earn a river diving cutie mark?"

Sam walked into the tree home the turned to face Spike. Spike was still staring at him with a mix of curiosity and childlike wonder. "Yeah. She didn't realize that the river wasn't deep enough for that kind of thing."

"Hey Sam, I was wondering when you would show. I have the texts you wanted over on the desk."

Twilight was walking down the staircase that lead to the second floor levitating a set of scales and three separate books. Sam only looked at her for a second then went to the desk to pick up the book, but was surprised to find a stack of books waiting for him. He looked at each one to read the names. 'Equestrian Law and You: Know your rights. The Essential Guide to Law: Vol. 1 through 5. She really wants to make sure I have it all.'

"I hope that those will be enough for you to start with. I tried to find more but this library doesn't have a very big legal section. I could write to Celestia if you want more."

"No this will be fine. I could use a bag for these though."

"Spike, get a bag for him please. So what are your plans for today Sam?"

Sam opened up the first volume and started the preface. "I thought I would just walk around the town... maybe visit Rarity and Sweetie Belle. What do you have planned?"

She set down the books and the scales on the table in the center of the room. "Well I need to work on a theory of mine. After that I need to help the mayor with planning the next Running of the Leaves, and then I have to help Applejack balance the account of the Sweet Apple Acres. Aside from those few thing nothing really."

Sam raised an eyebrow at her then shrugged. 'Nothing new with Twilight then.' He finished the preface of the tome when Spike handed him a bag for the books. Sam packed the books away then turned to face Spike. "So what exactly do you do in your free time Spike?"

"Oh, nothing much. I usually clean this place up, help out around town, and generally have fun with the other ponies."

Sam leaned in closer to Spike so that he could still hear him when he lowered his voice. "She didn't say anything about planning something for her birthday. Is that why Pinkie is throwing her the party?"

Spike whispered back to him after checking over his shoulder if Twilight was looking at them. "Yeah. She gets so busy that really important things can get left behind. I was the one who told the others about her schedule lacking a birthday date."

Sam looked back up at Twilight, who had her face buried in a one of the books, and smiled to himself. 'She has her heart in the right place but still hasn't learned how to have fun.' Sam stayed in the tree library until noon rolled around then he got up to leave. Spike was disappointed he wouldn't stay longer but he needed to stretch his legs and he had a plan that needed to be attended to. He said his farewells to both of them then set off to the Carousel Boutique.

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