• Published 22nd Apr 2012
  • 8,042 Views, 109 Comments

Dirt and diamonds - Starlitomega



To Applejack, spending a week with a fussy unicorn sounds like hell. given enough time however.....

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Chapter 3

“Hoo whee! It sure is good ta be in tha fresh air again!” Despite the burn marks on her hooves, Applejack strolled happily down Main Street with Sweetie Belle at her side. Ponies along the way gave friendly waves, warm smiles, and well wishes to the orange mare. “What else ya got on yer list there, sugarcube?”

“Hmmmm. It say's here we need three bolts of red number two fabric, five boxes of assorted sequins, and our usual order from Sugarcube Corner.”

“Whattya think we should get first, Sweetie?”

A low rumble sounded from Applejack's stomach.

Sweetie laughed at the sudden outburst from coming from the cow pony's stomach, "I guess we're going to Sugarcube Corner first!"


~

Sweet smells and smiles filled the air in the bakery. After having a quick scan of the shop, Applejack noticed her favorite pink pony working the front counter, taking orders and handing out sweets to the customers. She sidled up to the counter as stealthily as possible careful not to draw attention to herself.

“Here you go Mrs. Mayor, one dozen apple turnovers! Don’t eat’em all at once!”

“Thank’s Pinkie. It’s always a treat to see your bright smile.” The mayor replied, taking her bag of baked goods.

The pink pony snorted, “No silly, the treats are in the bag. You can’t eat my face. Have a great day!” Without hesitation she craned her neck towards the kitchen, “Need more turnovers and banana nut muffins up front!”

Applejack and Sweetie Belle stared as the bewildered mayor retreated from the counter, making off with her goods. Applejack chose this moment to step forward while the party pony was preoccupied with shouting into the kitchen.

Ahem! What’s a mare gotta do ta get some muffins round here?”

A blur of pink blazed across the counter knocking the orange pony off her feet and pinning her to the ground.

"Applejack! It’s so good to see you! You look so much better now than you did in the hospital! Oops! Not to say you didn’t look good before, but you were in the hospital and it’s hard to look good in one of those paper gown thingies espec-”

Pinkie’s tirade was cut short by an orange hoof, “Easy there girl, let’s take it one step at a time.” She carefully pushed the energetic pony away to get up only to be wrapped up in a vice-grip hug.

“Don’t ever scare us like that again.”

The sudden sincerity and concern in Pinkie's voice made Applejack feel uneasy. She gently pushed her pink friend away to get a good look at her face. beneath her normally bubbly smile she saw a hint of unease and sadness beneath the surface. Wordlessly, she pulled the pink pony back for another hug, “Don’t ya’ll worry none, it’s gonna take more than that to get rid of me.” This time Pinkie broke the hug, her eyes and smile back to their former glory. In a flash she jumped back across the counter to the register.

“Alrighty then, what’s it gonna be? Muffins? Turnovers? Brownies, cupcakes, pies?”

Sweetie Belle stepped forward, “Me and Applejack are doing our shopping rounds for Rarity since she’s stuck with some big orders today.”

Pinkie reached under the counter pulling up a bag filled with various baking ingredients for just about anything a pony might want to make and tossed it over the counter. Sweetie poked her head inside to make sure everything was there only to tumble inside it. Applejack smiled and rolled her eyes as the unicorn fought to escape the bag. watching the little filly struggle with the bag sparked an idea in the orange mare's head.

“Say Pinkie, How’s about throwing in tha stuff for that chocolate cupcake recipe you and ah cooked up awhile back, I’ll pay tha difference.”

“You mean the double decadent deluxe chocoholic chunk cupcakes? Sure thing!” The pink pony disappeared into the kitchen before returning almost instantly carrying a small bag filled with more baking stuffs. “You know you’re going to have the buck trees overtime to lose weight if you eat like this without exercising.” She said with a wink.

“Not all of us can eat anything without gaining a pound like you. Don’t matter none, a few days back on the farm and I’ll be back in shape in no time.” Applejack reached into the first bag and yanked the struggling unicorn out. “I’d love ta stick around and chat, but we gotta pick up a few more things ‘fore we get back, see ya later Pinkie!”

“Wait you guys!” The pink mare hopped the counter and pushed a cookie into each of their hooves, “One chocolate double fudge cookie for each of you! Have a great day!” she said waving them off with a smile.

Both ponies took their cookies with gracious smiles and left the sweet shop to continue their shopping.


~

The cowpony moved in a Pinkie-like blur about the kitchen, she swiftly placed three plates on the table and scooped several heaping spoonfuls of steamed carrots onto each plate. With all three plates full she dashed back to the counter picking up a pan stacked high with rolls and placed it in the middle of the table.

“Wow, I thought you had an apple for a cutie mark, how did you get so good at cooking?” Sweetie Belle asked, confusion plain on her face.

“Sugarcube, just cause ya got a cutie mark in something don’t mean that's tha only thing yer good at. Just look at Pinkie Pie. She might be good at throwing parties, but she can certainly give anypony a run for their money in the kitchen. Twilight’s cutie mark might be for magic, but she’s mighty good at her scholarly duties too. Maybe you should try cooking with me one day?”

The little unicorn beamed back up at the orange mare and threw her hooves around her legs, “I’d love to!”

“Oh my, something smells delicious in here.” Rarity observed entering the aroma filled kitchen. She was immediately beset by her sister.

“Rarity! Applejack's going to teach me how to cook!”

“Oh…. She is? Ummm is that a good idea?” The unicorn asked hesitantly.

The farmer pony waved her off, “Don’t you worry none. I’ll keep a good eye on her. Yer right on time, dinners waitin.”

All three ponies took their seat at the table digging into their plates.

“Hm, it’s been quite awhile since I’ve had steamed carrots.” Using her magic and a fork, Rarity skewered several pieces bringing them to her mouth. “I’ve had such a stressful day trying to fill this order for a Canterlot noble. You have no idea how hard it can be to please them, such finicky ponies.”

“I reckon ah have some idea. You should try catering for them, buncha picky eaters. I don’t know what they eat at home considering how little they eat in public.” Applejack said, rolling her eyes.

“I suppose that’s true” Rarity agreed between dainty bites of carrot pieces. “By the way, do you HAVE to wear that hat to the table?”

“Aw c’mon, it’s not like it’s hurting anything,” The orange mare said tapping it with her hoof. A fine layer of dust fell from the hat covering her section of the table. Rarity smiled back at her in vindication, “Fine…” The cowpony removed her hat and placed it under her chair out of sight.

“So Sweetie, what did you and Applejack get into today?” Rarity asked, as she used her magic to pull a roll to her plate..

“Not a lot, we visited Pinkie at Sugarcube corner and she gave us a cookie. Oh, and that order for fabric hasn’t come through yet, Clothwork said she should have it in two days.”

The seamstress’ face fell a little, “Oh dear. That may push the order for Neighona’s backup dancer’s dresses back. She absolutely must have them for her tour by next Friday! Hmmmm, it’s not like this is the first time I've had a strict deadline, I’ll just have to buckle down a bit more once I have the fabric. Applejack, I do hate to ask, especially in your condition, but is there anyway you can watch after Sweetie Belle a bit more once the material comes in?”

The cowpony sat back with a prideful smile, “Why I’d be glad ta watch after her. Gets kinda boring without mah kin around ya know? By the way, its good ta see ya got yer appetite back.”

Rarity glanced down at her nearly empty plate. “Hmmm, I suppose that order took a lot out of me.”

“Good, cause I certainly wouldn’t want these babies ta go ta waste.” The orange mare said, vacating her seat.

“Hmm?”

Applejack reached into the fridge and pulled out a large tray of cupcakes. Everyone's eyes opened wide as she placed the chocolate treats on the table. “There we are! Mine and Pinkie’s very own Double Decadent Deluxe Chocoholic Chunk Cupcakes!” She finished with a proud smile.

Rarity looked on the verge of drooling on the tablecloth, “Oh those look… Absolutely delicious… and tempting…I .... I can’t! A fashionable pony like me has to watch her figure. I must not let my will power falter in the face of temptation!” She said holding her hoof to her head.

“Awwww, but surely one or two can’t hurt, right?” Sweetie asked.

“No, I mustn’t! I must stand resolute! I’m sorry, but no cupcakes for me!” The unicorn stated firmly.

Applejack’s face fell a little bit, “Well, alright then. Tomorrow I’ll see about bringing them ta somepony else’s.”

Rarity continued eying the forbidden sweets, scrunching her face a bit, “I do appreciate the gesture but, I simply cannot cave.” The unicorn placed her fork on the table, “I suppose that’s it for me then, I shall be off to bed. See you two tomorrow!”

Sweetie Belle and Applejack both stared as the unicorn left the table. Finally the filly broke the silence, “Is it just me or was that a little weird?”

“Absolutely, ah wonder what made her leave like that?”

Sweetie snatched one of the cupcakes, “Oh well. More for us! You saw how little syrup she used on her pancakes. Rarity can be really strange when it comes to sugar.” She said between mouthfuls of cupcake. “These are amazing! Can I have more?” Sweetie asked with pleading eyes.

Applejack mussed the little unicorn’s mane, “You have all you want sugarcube. I’m glad somepony is eating them.” The cowpony stood up from the table carrying her dishes to the sink. “I’m gonna nab mahself a good bath and a good night’s sleep. Just leave the dishes to me. I'll handle them in tha morning.” She said walking towards the hall.

“Goodnight Applejack! Sleep well!” Sweetie said with a mouthful of cupcakes, sending crumbs flying everywhere.


~

Applejack slowly opened her eyes, her throat felt dryer than she could ever remember it being before. Chalking it up to the medicine she had been on, she stepped out of bed groggily and made her way out of her room and down the hall. She stumbled down the barely lit hallway into the kitchen pondering what to drink. The refrigerator door slowly opened as she struggled to blink back the bright light shining inside. Spying a carton of orange juice, she snatched it and closed the door, thankful to be back in the relative darkness of the quiet boutique. Pulling out a glass from the cabinet, she poured the juice slowly as her eyes wandered to the window, by the moon's position she guessed it was probably around midnight. Her eyes wandered to the library, a bit of light still poured from one of the top windows from the upstairs bedroom.

“Heh, that bookworm. One day all that staying up late is gonna catch up with her.” A soft splashing sound brought her gaze back down to her glass overflowing with juice. “Consarn it!” Grabbing a paper towel, she wiped the juice off the counter and threw it in the trash. With her mess now cleaned up She gulped down the glass of juice and placed it in the sink. Done with her drink, she grabbed the orange juice and opened the fridge door to place it inside when something caught her eyes.

“What the hay?” The tray of cupcakes she baked earlier only had two left. She chuckled to herself, “That little filly must be nursing one heckuva sore stomach right now.” She closed the door and started back towards the hallway when something caught her ears. It sounded faintly like music from the upstairs room. Nervously she started up the stairs quietly to keep from awaking anyone. As she got closer, she could hear the music better. Smooth jazz poured from the cracked door, the dulcet tones of Neighles Davis Jr. quietly echoed outside the room. Thinking it odd that Rarity might be up this time of night, Applejack carefully pushed open the door and was horrified by what she saw.

The unicorn, clad in her luxurious pajamas lay on her bed, with a dreamy look on her face and a plate filled with six cupcakes sitting in front of her. Her bulging cheeks puffing outwards with what had to be another cupcake if the chocolate crumbs on her lips were any indication. “Rarity?

The unicorn’s eyes went wide, “Afujaf!” She spat sending crumbs flying all over her comforter.

The cowpony pushed the door open completely. “And just what in Luna’s name is going on here! I thought ya’ll were watching yer figure!” She said stamping her hoof.

With a mighty gulp, the unicorn swallowed her mouthful of chocolate cupcake,” I know, I know! I was weak! They looked so…. Delicious.” She said hanging her head in shame.

Applejack shook her head, “Lemme guess, ya’ll were gonna polish all these off and blame it on Sweetie Belle weren’t ya.”

Rarity bit her hoof, “Guilty…”

The cowpony hopped onto the bed earning a look of ire from the unicorn. The orange mare presented her hooves, “Clean, see?" The unicorn nodded in satisfaction, her smile returning. "Now, in mah time ah’ve learned, a pony don’t usually eat like this unless something’s botherin them. Wanna talk about it?”

Rarity shook her head, “No, at least not this moment. I wouldn’t mind the company though. It gets a bit lonely at night sometimes.”

Applejack rolled her eyes, “Sure it does, Miss royal wedding dressmaker. You could have tha pick of any stallion round these parts, yer just too buried in yer work to bother with it.”

Rarity laughed nervously, “Heh, heh, heh, yeah… any stallion I suppose. What about you? I never see you with anypony.”

The cowpony shook her head, “Ain’t found nopony worth dealin with. When the time comes, I’ll know.”

“That simple, is it?”

Applejack lay back on the bed next to her friend, “Simples how ah live mah life. It’s worked pretty well so far, but sometimes it gets a bit boring.”

Rarity nodded, “I can certainly see a comfort to their being predictability to one’s life. I myself find it a bit tedious at times. Some nights I stay up late and listen to music or read a book in the bath. Anything to break free of the monotony of the day. I simply don’t understand how Twilight endlessly reads and studies. Surely that has to wear on a pony.”

The orange mare nodded, “She’s burnin the midnight oil tonight too.”

The unicorn was silent for a time. “You should probably pay her a visit tomorrow. She feels absolutely dreadful about what happened. It might help if she knew you didn’t harbor any ill will towards her.”

“That crazy mare, she should know by now I don’t” The cowpony rolled her eyes.

"Well that's something for tomorrow, the night is still young." Rarity sat up in bed, firing a sultry smile towards Applejack “You wouldn’t happen to like smooth jazz would you?”

A smile crept over the orange pony’s face, “Are you kiddin? Sometimes that’s the perfect way to unwind after bucking trees all day!”

Rarity’s horn began to glow softly. A magical aura engulfed a box of records pulling it towards the bed. “Would you like to see what else I have while we tackle these cupcakes?”

“I’d love to.”