• 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 4

The bright morning sun beamed down on Ponyville as Applejack walked through town. She successfully convinced Rarity that she wouldn’t need Sweetie Belle’s assistance today since she would be in town and if anything happened there would surely be a pony nearby to help. Her eyes wandered to the sky noticing a few clouds hanging lazily in the sky which left her wondering if it was supposed to rain later, or if Rainbow had just slept in this morning. She quickly scanned the sky until a prismatic tail hanging off a cloud caught her eye.

“Hah! Napping on tha job? Ah got something for ya.” She snapped her head upwards grabbing her hat in her teeth. Her eyes narrowed as she watched the wind gently flow through her hair. Making a guess at the speed and direction, she flashed a devious smile and flung her hat making sure to follow through. She held her breath as the projectile cut through the wind, spiraling through the air headed straight for her target. Her eyes lit up as it grew closer until…..

poof!

The cloud vanished leaving the Pegasus laying flat out in mid air.

“What the?! Whaaaaaaaaaa- Oof!

Applejack stood over the Pegasus laying in a crumpled heap in front of her. The rainbow maned pony shook off the shock of the impact.

“What the hay was that for?!”

“Ya’ll aint the only pony that knows how to pull a prank or two ya know?” The cowpony said retrieving her hat from beneath the Pegasus. “Besides all that, it’s past time for ya’ll ta get up.”

Rainbow glared at her angrily, “Ha, ha, so hilarious! I suppose it is time for me to get up though. The weather team is probably wondering where I am.”

“Oh, I bet they know you well enough by now ta guess.”

Rainbow poked the orange mare in the chest. “you, are the worst alarm clock ever!” Just before she took off she sniffed the air following a smell which lead her straight to the cowpony. “Uhhh Applejack, you smell like strawberries….”

The orange mare’s eyes went wide, she gave her hair a tentative sniff only to be rewarded with a fruity smell. “It’s just one of Rarity’s fancy shampoos, that’s all. You better get before the weather team starts lookin for ya.”

“Yeah, yeah, see ya later.”

Applejack watched the Pegasus pony take off, doubtlessly to start her day in the weather business. Continuing her stroll she finally came upon her destination. In front of her stood the large tree which acted as the town's library. Before Twilight came into their lives, the town's library fell into disrepair and the books were rarely organized. Now that the tree had ponies living in and visiting on a more frequent basis it seemed brighter, happier even. In the mid morning sun she glanced off to the side of the tree and saw a large pole with a wire attached to it hastily ran right outside a window leading into the tree.

“Applejack! Speak to me!”

Applejack’s breath hitched. Her heart beat faster, almost to the point of hurting. The voice she heard in her head belonged to Twilight. Frantic and full of concern, it chilled her blood. Staring at the metallic pole she saw two black marks, one high on the pole, one down low. On the ground she spied a small burnt patch of grass, doubtlessly one of the points where her body completed the circuit for the lightning to pass through. She tore her eyes away from the structure and ran towards the library’s front door, relieved to be away from the scene of her accident. Shaking off the sudden panic attack she rapped her hoof on the large wooden door. Little footsteps thumped from the other side as the occupant hurried to answer. The large door squeaked open a little bit revealing a familiar baby dragon on the other side.

“Applejack!” Spike threw his clawed hands around her legs. “I’m so glad you’re OK! I wanted to visit you yesterday when I heard you left the hospital, but Twilight wouldn’t let me leave by myself in case we got any visitors.” The baby dragon grumbled. "Spike! what if somepony needs to check out a book? Somepony has to be here at all times!" Spike pantomimed in a mocking tone.

“Speaking of tha egghead, where is that crazy pony at?” She asked trying to stick her head inside.

“That’s just it. She’s in her room. She’s kinda upset and I’ve been instructed not to let anyone in by any means necessary.” He said twiddling his claws.

“Is that so….” Applejack said glaring down at him.

Spike looked back at her nervously. “Ummmmm Rawr?”

The cowpony pushed him aside effortlessly, not that he put up much of a fight to begin with. She walked straight through the spacious main area of the library until she reached the door leading to Twilight’s room. With a gentle touch she knocked softly on the oak door.

“Twi, c’mon out and talk ta me.”

She waited for any sort of response. After about twenty seconds of silence she knocked harder on the door.

“Twilight Sparkle, ya’ll know me well enough by now ta know ah’m too dang stubborn ta give up. Faster ya talk ta me, tha faster we can be done with this.” She waited for awhile, for any sound of movement or acknowledgement. She raised her hoof again to give the door a proper whacking.

“I’m sorry, Applejack.”

The cowpony gently placed her face and front hooves on the door. “C’mon Twi, open tha door and let’s get it over with.” The lock quietly clicked and the door opened just a crack. Applejack slowly peeked her head inside the room. Unlike usual, the lighting of the room was dark. Really dark. All the curtains were drawn and not a single candle lit. Her eyes adjusted to the dark of the room affording her a better view of a purple unicorn sitting across the room, her head turned downwards and next to her a stack of scrolls lay unfurled having been read recently.

Applejack placed her hoof on the mare’s shoulder slowly, waiting for any sign of resistance, but none came. “C’mon Twi, what’s going on here?” She felt the unicorn draw a deep breath.

“I’ve been going through all the friendship reports I’ve sent to Celestia ever since I came to Ponyville. It seemed like I made such good progress, I thought I was ready for this whole friendship stuff, that I’d be ready to put my friend’s needs ahead of my studies, but I couldn’t. I put your life in danger, and for what? Some stupid experiment? I thought I had changed, but I’m the same uncaring pony I always have been.”

Applejack spun the unicorn around to face her, she saw matting around her eyes where tears had fallen earlier and a glistening in each eye where they threatened to pool this very moment. She buried her friend in her shoulder in a warm embrace. “Twilight Sparkle, now ya know that just ain’t true. Don’t matter whose idea it was or whose fault it is, in tha end, I’m tha one that made such a dang fool decision in tha first place. Ah don’t believe for a minute you were ever an uncarin pony. If ya were an uncarin pony ya certainly wouldn’t be beating yourself up over it now would ya?”

“But what would’ve happened if Princess Celestia hadn’t been there? We might’ve lost you! I can’t even face the others, they’re all probably mad at me for nearly getting you killed! Ponyville would never be the same without you, heck, all of Equestria would be in danger without the Element of Honesty! I don’t know what I would have done if you never woke up…”

Applejack shushed her gently, “Now, now. None of that. I'm still here and ah plan on being here for a long time yet. Listen ta me, friendship ain’t always easy and there are times when something comes along knocks us down, but it’s worth weathering the storm for.” Applejack’s eyes widened in self awareness. “Will ya listen to me? Now ah sound like some sorta bookworm who goes around lecturing everypony.”

Twilight pulled out of the hug and flashed a weak smile, “Yeah… I guess you do. Maybe I just need to forgive myself. Just… please tell me you forgive me?”

“Ya never had ta ask.” The orange mare said with a wink,”Now, promise me you’ll get out of this stuffy old library and go see our friends. They’re all worried about ya.” The cowpony said moving to the door.

wait!”

Applejack turned around just in time to be pulled into another hug.

“Thanks AJ, I guess sometimes we all need to be pulled out of the fire now and then.”

The cowpony chuckled, “Yup, now if you’ll excuse me, I've got a few more fires to put out.”

Twilight started sniffing the air around her.

“Ummm Applejack, i might be going crazy, but you smell like strawberries.”

Applejack rolled her eyes, “So ah’ve heard.”

~

“Ugh. Why am I doing this again?” Rainbow asked cutting her eyes angrily.

Needles glowing in bright blue magic skewered the dress in several places as Rarity tried to ignore the complaining pony modeling for her.

“Ow! Hey, watch it with those things!” Rainbow said stamping her hoof.

“Hmph, well if you hadn’t been fidgeting I wouldn’t have stuck you in the first place, and the reason you’re doing this is because Fluttershy is handling the farm today.” The unicorn stated tersely.

“Yeah, yeah. Where’s Applejack, she can do this can’t she?”

“She went to the library earlier to check on Twilight, and if you think I can get her to help with hemming up a dress, you’re crazier than our pink friend. I just hope she’s able to talk some sense into that unicorn.”

Rainbow rolled her eyes, “You and me both. I tried to check out a book yesterday and she stayed in her room the whole time. Spike had to do everything, she wouldn’t even talk to me.”

Rarity let loose a massive yawn. “Oh dear, my sincere apologies Rainbow, I’m usually not this sleepy.”

“Big order last night?”

Rarity focused her attention back on the dress, “Nothing of the sort. Applejack and I stayed up late last night listening to music.”

“Hah! And here I was thinking you two would rip each other’s hair out. “

Rarity growled under her breath. “The week isn’t over yet. When I cleaned her bathroom this morning I found her hair in the drain! Ugh. And this morning I woke up to find the kitchen a disaster area! Sure she cleaned it when she woke up, but it really should have been done last night.”

Rainbow smirked at the white mare, “Aha! So there is some trouble going down”

Rarity bit her lip, afraid she was coming off too negative, “Well I know she is still getting back on her feet from her accident so I’ve tried not to trouble her too much. She’s been awfully handy to have around. She’s a top notch chef, she’s good with Sweetie Belle, and there’s certainly something to be said about a rugged earth pony whose not afraid to get her hooves dirty. “ She prattled off with a smile.

Rainbow raised her eyebrows at the tirade, “Rarity…. if I didn’t know any better I’d say you seem a little obsessed with her...

Rarity scrunched her face.

“No…..”

She tilted her head away in shame.

“You’re joking, right?”

“Maybe?”

Rainbow fell to the ground, “Bwhahaha! You and Applejack!”

Rarity glared angrily at the Pegasus squirming in laughter. “And just what is so funny you… you overgrown pigeon!”

“Oh no, nothings wrong, this is absolutely perfect!” She raised her left hoof and started moving it in time to her voice.
“Oh no Applejack! This mud puddle is so deep and dirty!” she said with her best impression of Rarity. She moved to her other hoof, shaking it around in a similar manner.

“Don’t worry yer pretty head there none ya’ll! I’ll jus carry ya’ll across and such!” She continued, this time with a southern accent.

“Oh Applejack, you’re so brave and strong and sexy- ow! Hey!” Rainbow rubbed her flank with her hoof, after being drawn violently out of her performance art by a sharp needle.

Rarity tossed the needle aside looking irately at her friend, “That’s quite enough from you! Now you listen to me, you won’t breathe a word of this to anypony. Not a single one, and so help me Luna,if I even think you’ve talked I’ll make sure you and your wings have an 'accident' and that the only pony available to take care of you is Pinkie Pie!”

Rainbow’s eyes widened in horror. “Ok, ok! You win! But if you don’t mind my asking, when are you going to tell her?”

The unicorn’s face fell. “That’s just it, I don’t think I can, and even if I could, I doubt she would be interested in an uptown, fashion focused unicorn like me.” Rarity fell to her belly, and covered her face with her hooves. “Ohhhh this is just ridiculous! I should be chasing after some Canterlot noble, not some Ponyville farmer! Why am I doing this to myself!” She screamed in frustration.

Rainbow walked over to the prostrate mare and stuck out her hoof, “I’m not good at all this mushy stuff, But I'll give it a shot. Sometimes we just have to do something, like sometimes I just have to fly. I don’t know why, but I just do. The longer we ignore it the worse it gets. Sometimes you can’t just stand around and ignore yourself, sometimes you just gotta fly!”

Rarity offered a gracious smile and took her friend’s hoof to pull herself up. “Thanks Rainbow. I’m just not sure I can. Applejack doesn’t need somepony like me, she needs somepony dependable, somepony reliable, somepony strong enough to hold her up when she can’t stand. I’m afraid I’m not that strong.” She said, her voice trailing off.

The cyan mare snorted, “Hah! You’re stronger than you give yourself credit for, now I hate to sound antsy, but can we please get this done so I can get out of this dress?”

“Fine fine, hop back up here,” Rarity said tapping the pedestal. “I hope Applejack gets back soon, She knows I’ve no time to fix dinner if I want to get these orders done.”

Rainbow stamped the pedestal impatiently, “Hey! Less crowing, and more sewing!”


~

Orange hooves galloped through Ponyville, the sun had just dipped below the horizon spurring the mare forward. Since the accident she hadn’t used her saddlebags, but today they were a necessity. The added weight sapped her strength quicker than she expected, but she trudged forward through the pain. Finally the boutique came into view, giving herself a mental nudge she pushed herself even further until she finally reached the front door. Applejack opened the door noting that the lights in the showroom were off. A clamoring further in the building pushed her to the kitchen where she found two unicorns scrambling in the kitchen.

“What tha hay is goin on in here?”

Rarity turned to her with fire in her eyes, “We are trying to cook! You assured us that you would handle dinner arrangements, but dinner time came and I had to drop everything I was doing just to make sure we had something to eat! This is a recurring theme with you! Always running around completely oblivious to everypony else!”

Applejack marched over to the table removing something from her saddlebags and placed it on the table. “Ah knew ah would be a little late to make supper when I got back so I picked something up for dinner!” seeing the sudden change and vanishing anger in Rarity’s face she decided to drive the point home. “Maybe if ya’ll had a little bit of faith in me, ya’ll wouldn’t just assume ah’d screw something up, now if you’ll excuse me, ah think I’ll be off ta bed!” satisfied she had turned the knife enough she marched down the hall to her temporary bedroom and kicked open the door. Sweetie Belle poked her head out the kitchen,

“Uh Applejack, aren’t you going to eat anything?”

“Ah’ve lost mah appetite.” The orange mare said closing the bedroom door behind her. With a quick kick of her back legs she dislodged the saddlebags catching them by the strap in her mouth. She put them on the bedside table and hopped into bed. Her stomach growled at her protesting it’s deprivation of dinner, but this time she would let pride win out. She wanted to make sure she sent her point home to the prissy unicorn in the other room and the cost of doing so tonight would be an empty stomach. As soon as she closed her eye's, Applejack’s breath hitched at a sudden rumble from outside. She wasn’t sure if it was real or a hallucination until a bright flash lit up the room through the window.

“Applejack! Speak to me!”

The words echoed again in her mind. Her chest tightened and her heart beat faster as another flash of light burst through the room intruding upon the darkness. She jumped out of bed to the window drawing the curtains closed. With the window covered she jumped back into the bed, her heart still racing.


“Oh Celestia, please no! Somepony, please help me get her to the hospital!”


Twilight’s words echoed in her mind. Words she had forgotten thanks to the accident, now came flooding back to her. Lightning flashed again, despite the curtain, it still cut through the top and bottom of the cloth covering the window, refusing to be ignored. Thunder boomed through the quiet room pushing her into a higher state of panic. Out of ideas she threw the blanket over her head and covered her ears with her hooves, desperate to put herself out of the storm.

“Don't worry Applejack! We’re gonna make you better and then you can have all the treats you want, just hang in there!”

This time Pinkie’s words bounced in her skull, a voice filled with heartrending desperation she’d never heard from the pink pony before. Another flash filled the room, this time almost imperceptible under the safety of her blanket. Tears started down her face as she wished she could be near her family or anyone else for that matter. Time slipped away from her, but each flash of light, every rumble of thunder made her heart skip a beat as she relived her ordeal over and over again. At some point in the night her mind tired of fighting, and allowed her to mercifully fall asleep.