• Published 8th Nov 2014
  • 4,971 Views, 49 Comments

Mistakes Were Made - Sharp Spark

Applejack and Rarity's relationship was never easy, even at the best of times. But their love for one another was constant, an irresistible force, up until one day when it was no longer enough.

  • ...

Mistakes Were Made

Rarity pulled the scarf tighter around her neck, even though the flimsy material didn’t help much against the bite of the cold wind. Her hooves crunched in the snow, the flakes turning into dirty grey slush as soon as they made contact with the sidewalks.

The streets of Manehattan were quiet. Not empty – never empty, not in the Big Orange – but the gloomy weather kept most ponies inside, and those unfortunate enough to have reason to be out wasted little time as they picked their way through the snow towards their presumably warmer destinations.

Rarity almost missed the bar. The entrance lay down a half-stair, shrouded in shadow, and the neon ‘open’ sign that directed ponies that way had burnt out all of its letters except ‘P’. She stood at the top of the steps, looking down at the battered door and wondering what she was doing. It hadn’t been the first time this night she had asked herself that.

She put her doubts aside and moved onwards, pushing open the door to find the interior of the place dimly lit and shabbily-furnished. Her eyes swept across the premises, taking in the scarred pool table and beaten-up jukebox before they settled on the row of stools at the bar. There was only one customer tonight.

She took a deep breath and approached the bar. “Is this seat taken?” she asked.

Applejack didn’t look up. “S’all yours,” she drawled out.

Rarity sniffed, brushing a hoof against the stained surface of the stool and gingerly seated herself there. The bartender sauntered up, a stallion with a stringy black mane. “Could I get a Cosmopolitan?” she asked.

It earned a dry chuckle from Applejack and a squinty glare from the bartender, but he backed off, digging through a cabinet for an appropriate glass.

Rarity leaned one foreleg on the table, resting her head on her hoof as she gazed towards the orange mare beside her. Time had worked its toll on her old friend, she saw, even though Applejack looked in a way tougher than ever. Years of farm labour out in the sun had faded her to an even lighter shade of orange, but hard muscles still moved under the surface of her coat. Her hair was pulled back in its normal style, longer than ever, and Rarity was surprised to see a streak of silver prominent in the straw-colored blonde.

Not too surprised that the farmmare didn’t hide it though. Applejack was never one for concealing the truth, and it was clear she took a certain degree of satisfaction in the authority it provided.

But even though the details had changed and it had been years now since they had last met, she had no doubts. It was the same old Applejack.

A pang hit Rarity hard, causing her lips to twist in some emotion she feared to name. Yes, Applejack, who still somehow had the power to draw her out into the cold streets, searching from dive bar to dive bar for even the chance of her presence. Applejack, the mare that she once was certain that she knew inside and out, and yet, who had always been able to effortlessly surprise her.

Applejack, the mare that once strutted through the doors of Rarity’s old boutique a lifetime ago to turn her world upside down.

“I want to kiss ya,” Applejack said.

The spool of ribbon that Rarity had been floating bounced with a thud and rolled across the floor, leaving a vivid line of blue in its wake. She didn’t even glance down, her eyes wide as she stared at Applejack, standing solidly in the middle of her display room, a splash of vivid orange amidst the light pastels of her Spring line of designs.

“I’m sorry.” She laughed nervously, the sound suddenly seeming far too loud. “I must have misheard you, darling. I don’t know where my head is today. Now how can I help you, again?”

“I want to kiss ya,” Applejack repeated.

Rarity's mouth opened, but no words came out. For some reason, the realization that abruptly struck her was that Applejack wore a flower tucked into the band of her hat. She recognized the kind from her yard, one of the colorful blossoms that sprung up as not much more than weeds, but which she always let linger out of an appreciation for their beauty.

“What?” Rarity said feebly.

Her eyes drifted down to Applejack’s face, where she expected a smirk, some kind of ‘gotcha’. Instead she found a certainty behind them that made her suddenly keen to look at the floor again, or glance over to make sure her ponyquins were all in order, or, quite frankly, anywhere else.

“Aw,” Applejack said as she took her hat off. “Don’t make me say it again.” She shook her head gently in a motion that resettled her golden ponytail against her neck, and then held her stetson to her chest as she calmly stood there in the middle of Rarity’s boutique.

“T-that’s a rather sudden thing to spring on somepony.”

“Could be.” Applejack grinned. “But I’m not the type of mare to make things complicated. I say what I mean and mean what I say.” She hesitated, a hint of uncertainty creeping into her expression. ”I know I ain’t your traditional prince. And hay, compared to you, I’m not so much to look at.”

Rarity’s eyes snapped up, a frown on her mouth. “No, you—”

Applejack raised a hoof to cut her off. “That’s not to say I don’t take care of myself, and I’m right prouda that. Meant it more of a compliment to you.” She took a deep breath. “I like ya, Rares. And I want ya to know that, straight up. Might be that you could see yourself feelin’ the same way.”

Despite her best efforts, Rarity felt her cheeks growing warm. Applejack had always had a way of making her flustered, but she hadn’t expected something like… this.

“What if…” Rarity swallowed. “What if I were to say that I didn’t like mares.”

Applejack placed her hat back on her head, and looked at her with those green eyes, the feeling behind them unreadable. “Are ya saying that?”

Rarity swallowed the lump in her throat. Her lips pursed. “Applejack. Darling. You know that I think the world of you, really, I do. But I worry that what you are asking would be a terrible mistake for both of us.”

“Maybe so,” Applejack said. A smile crossed her face. “But that ain’t the same thing as saying you’re not interested.”

Rarity looked up as she heard hoofsteps. Applejack slowly walked forward, that damnable smirk still on her face. She stopped only inches away, and Rarity shivered, surprised to find that she had been expecting more.

“What’s the worst that could happen?” Applejack said.

Rarity bit her lip. “It could ruin our friendship.”

“Maybe.” Rarity could practically feel Applejack’s breath against her own lips. “On the other hoof, I’m a pretty darn good kisser, if I do say so myself.”

One of Rarity’s eyebrows raised, and she met Applejack’s gaze. “I find that hard to believe,” she said. “A country bumpkin like you?”

Applejack smiled, remaining silent. In a sudden change, Rarity found herself unable to look away from the green eyes filling her vision.

Rarity swallowed again. When she spoke, her voice was low, husky. “Someone so… rough?” Her hoof reached forward to brush against Applejack’s forelegs, lingering on the farmmare’s muscles. “So… unrefined?” She moved forward, her muzzle drawing even closer to Applejacks until she could feel the other mare’s breath against her own. “Applejack, darling, are you lying to me?”

Applejack was solid as stone, unyielding. “You want me to prove it,” her voice rumbled, sending a flutter through Rarity’s whole nervous system. “You just say the word, sugarcube.”

“A lady should never have to ask,” Rarity whispered, and then their lips met.

Applejack wasn’t lying. Not at all.

“I’m surprised to see you in Manehattan,” Rarity murmured, her voice ringing in Applejack’s ears in the silence of the near-empty bar.

Applejack drank the whiskey shot in front of her in one gulp, showing no signs of discomfort as the amber liquid went down her throat. “Apple Trade Convention,” she said.

“Mmm.” From the corner of her eye, Applejack saw the smile flit across Rarity’s face. “I could have sworn I saw a pony of your description at my showcase for Fashion Week. I guess I must have been mistaken?”

For the first time, Applejack turned to actually look at the unicorn to her side. A less sophisticated mare fought her age like an opposing army. Not Rarity. She had aged gracefully, choosing to accept the progress of time rather than fight in vain to appear in her twenties. Her hair still flowed in vibrant purple curls, but she had it cut shorter, styled to be elegant rather than alluring. Still, she radiated the same beauty she had always possessed, if anything only accentuated by her maturity.

Applejack’s eyes slid back to the empty tumbler in front of her. “I guess so,” she said.

“Mmm.” The silence stretched out, only making the chasm between the two clearer. Then Rarity spoke up again, as always mysteriously knowing the right thing to say. “How’s the farm?”

“Good.” A smile crept across Applejack’s muzzle, and she only hesitated a moment before the words started coming, a hint of pride and energy behind them “Better than ever, even with this winter hitting harder than usual. We’ve got a lot of hooves to help out now, with Mac’s oldest taking on a lot of the applebucking duties. And Bloom’s got plans to dig out an irrigation ditch for the southern fields. You should see her, all fired up and frustrated about not being able to do it now. Pip’s got his hooves full just keeping her from overstraining herself in her condition.”

Rarity’s eyes grew round. “You mean, she’s…?”

Applejack smiled, raising an eyebrow as she turned to Rarity again. “You didn’t know? This is her second, too. Lil’ Jonagold is almost two years old now.”

“My,” Rarity said. “Seems like just the other day she was in grade school with her friends.”

“That it does.”

The bartender trotted over, leaving a cocktail glass with something pink in it in front of Rarity. She sniffed at it and forced a smile for him, waiting until he left before gently pushing it away from her.

“I wish Sweetie would settle down,” she said. “She is doing well, of course. Dating some filly from the Wonderbolts, of all things. I met her once and found her to be uniformly dreadful in manners and upbringing.” She sighed. “But she makes Sweetie happy, and that’s the important thing.”

“Can’t be easy having a relationship when you’re touring Equestria all the time. I wouldn’t worry though. That filly has a good head on her shoulders.”

“That she does.”

Applejack hesitated a moment before quietly asking, “How’s the world a’ fashion?”

Rarity frowned. “Come now, you hardly care about that sort of thing.”

“Yup,” Applejack showed a hint of her old smirk. “But it’s important to you, ain’t it? So let’s pretend for a little bit that I do.”

Rarity’s smile was unguarded and genuine enough that Applejack had to look away again. “It has ups and downs, as in all things. Fashion Week looks to be a modest success, but a young designer from Whinnypeg has justifiably outshone my own designs with a delightful line of fleece coats. I’ve got another assistant that I think has tremendous potential, but she lacks the confidence to really go through with her ideas. I’m thinking of having Coco Pommel – you remember her? – having her mentor the poor thing for a bit, demonstrate that you can take pride in your creativity without constantly focusing the spotlight on yourself.”

“And Hoity?” Applejack interjected.

The smile fell from Rarity’s muzzle. When she spoke again, every word was carefully chosen. “He is fine, at least the last time that I saw him.”

“I’m sorry,” Applejack said. “I thought you and he— Well. I hadn’t heard anything about you two breaking up.”

“I doubt you would have,” Rarity said. “That’s hardly the kind of news that worth sharing outside of the usual society rags. Not the sort of thing you’d have occasion to read. But no… We’ve kept it quiet, but have been separated for a month now.” She sighed. “And it was over long before then.”

“I’m sorry,” Applejack said.

Rarity glanced morosely at the glass in front of her. She pulled it closer, and took a long drink. When she sat the glass down again, it was empty. “Tell me, Applejack. What’s wrong with me? You, of all ponies, should know.”

“Nothing,” Applejack said, the word coming without any hesitation.

Rarity rolled her eyes. “I’m serious. I want the truth.”

Applejack fell silent, looking away as she considered the question seriously. Rarity’s eyes didn’t leave her face, searching for some answer hidden there. “You want the truth,” Applejack whispered to herself, deep in contemplation.

“I want you to kiss me, you ungrateful brute.”

Applejack stopped stock still. She took a deep breath, refusing to turn around and answer. Instead she resumed moving forward, stomping as she made her way into the relative cool of the barn and grunting with effort as she bucked the haybale on her back off with a little more force than necessary. It thudded into the far wall, and she wheeled around, sweat still slicking her coat as she glared the unicorn down.

Rarity stood in the doorway to the barn, her chest heaving. She wore some ridiculous outfit, sequined silver boots, flimsy brown cloth made up to look like good solid duds but that didn’t even pretend to cover her flank or tail. And a saddle. Not the kind of thing that had any place on a real farm, more like— It all clicked in Applejack’s head. She felt like a fool for having missed it.

“That’s what this is all about?” Applejack growled.

Rarity’s nose turned up. “You didn’t know? You honestly thought I would spend all day rooting around in the mud just for fun?”

Applejack rolled her eyes. “I thought you were coming over to help out a friend with the summer chores.” Her lips tightened together. “I should have known better, huh? It ain’t ever straightforward with you. There’s always some game you’re playing at. Some game that leaves me stuck on the losin’ end.”

Rarity stalked forward, her eyes lidded. “I thought you liked things that way, darling.”

Applejack found herself retreating just as fast. “I said no.” She grimaced. “You broke up with me. Or was it me that broke up with you this time?”

“It hardly matters.”

“The fact that I can’t remember says enough.” Applejack shook her head. “You and me both know how this particular dance goes, sugarcube.”

“Yes,” Rarity said slowly, as if explaining something to a foal. “Yes we do. That is why I am asking you to kiss me. I trust the rest will come naturally.”

“Not that,” Applejack said. She shook her head, the frown across her face reflecting a rueful melancholy. “I’m talking about the whole thing. The next morning. Or maybe the next week or next month. You know how this plays out. You’ll start whining about me forgetting to wipe my hooves off when I come inside, or I’ll let slip how I really feel about one of your stupid dresses—” Rarity’s eyes flashed, but Applejack pushed on. “I’m sick of it, Rares!”

“You’re sick of me?” the unicorn said, her voice so soft as to be almost inaudible, but an undercurrent of danger lurking beneath.

“I’m sick of everything,” Applejack spat out. “Sick of the fighting, of the feeling awful when you’re around and worse when you’re not. Sick of building up something with you only to tear it down again. I’m sick of this… this… whatever this is.”

The words came out in a torrent, and Applejack gulped for breath. She felt herself shuddering. She felt wetness in her eyes. She looked up to Rarity.

It was a horrible decision.

The unicorn had lost the pretense, the facade of provocation, the anger that both fueled and destroyed their relationship. She looked empty, and the little things hit Applejack. The way her mane hung down, lacking its usual bounce. The way the stitching on her saddle was oddly uneven. The way tears streaked down her face, and Applejack abruptly realized that she wasn’t even wearing any makeup to be ruined.

A certain agony twisted up Applejack’s stomach. She wondered if Rarity could see the same hints in her.

“I know,” Rarity whispered. “But I don’t know how to stop.”

Applejack moved forward and pulled Rarity into an embrace.

In a way, she hated Rarity at that moment. But it was her fault when she kissed her. And she hated herself even more for enjoying it.

“It’s the truth,” Applejack finally said. “There ain’t anything wrong with you.”

Rarity ran her hoof around the rim of the glass in front of her, expression vacant. “Then tell me why my love life has been one unmitigated disaster after another. I’m no fool. There’s one constant in all my failed relationships: Me.”

“Anypony who don’t think you’re worth the moon and the stars is a fool and don’t deserve you to begin with,” Applejack said. She reached out with one hoof to rest it against Rarity’s shoulder. Rarity shivered at the touch. “You’re gonna find somepony, Rarity. Somepony who loves you for you, and will treat ya the way you deserve to be treated.”

Rarity gazed at Applejack, looking for something in her eyes. “What if… What if I found that pony already, but managed to screw everything up? What then?”

Applejack grinned. “Well, I always did tell you ya shoulda been nicer to that Blueblood fella.”

Rarity couldn’t help but let out a bark of laughter, leaning forward to rest her head against the wooden counter as the bartender looked up and glared with suspicion at the two of them. “Thanks, Applejack. I needed that.”

Applejack’s smile faded into a hint of melancholy. “Any time.”

“So tell me.” A sly look crossed Rarity’s face as she rolled her head to the side to peer at her friend. “How about yourself? Any mare of note you want to tell me about?”

Applejack shook her head. “You know me. I’ve got farm and family to take care of. I don’t have time for that sort of thing.”

“Sounds like farm and family are doing quite well on their own these days,” Rarity said. “Surely you are allowed some happiness as well?”

A flash of pain crossed Applejack’s face. “I think that train left the station a long time ago.”

They both stiffly turned to stare forward, unable to meet one another’s eyes.

“Where did we go wrong, Applejack?” Rarity asked, her voice soft.

“Might as well ask where we went right.” Applejack let out a long breath. “Didn’t you say from the very beginning? It was always a bad idea.”

“Maybe so, but we certainly had some times.”

“Yeah,” Applejack said. “I reckon we did.”

Another silence stretched out, but the chasm between the two had drawn shut. It was something more comfortable, a quiet that bound them together in a shared reminiscence.

“Sometimes,” Rarity murmured, “I look back at everything that happened and can’t help but see so many things that I wish I could change. How I could have acted differently, or spoken up instead of remaining quiet. Or, perhaps most of all, times when I should have simply kept my mouth shut. You know? How I could have been a different pony, and perhaps things might have turned out better. Do you ever do that?”

Applejack frowned. “Nope.”

“I see,” Rarity said quietly.

“No,” Applejack said. “I mean… I think things happen for a reason. I don’t— I didn’t love you because of what you did or said. I loved you because of who you are, and I don’t think I could have been happy with… with some other pony.”

“That’s…” Rarity discreetly wiped at one eye. “Thank you, Applejack.”

“Of course,” Applejack said, forcing some a hint of cheek in her voice, “you having a smokin’ hot flank didn’t hurt either.”

Rarity lightly pushed Applejack’s shoulder, frowning in mock disapproval as the other mare chuckled. “You always do have to ruin perfectly lovely moments,” she said. “I think I understand you though.”

“I’m sure you’ve not forgotten all the stupid decisions I made too,” Applejack said. “But… I wouldn’t change a single one of them if it meant losing what we shared.”

“A poet once said,” Rarity mused, “that love is the greatest mistake of all.”

“Oh? Who said that?”

Rarity smiled. “I haven’t the foggiest. I think I just made it up. Sounds nice though, doesn’t it?”

“Eeyup,” Applejack said. “Sure does.”

Rarity breathed out a sigh. “I still can’t help but wonder though. If not about the past, then about…” She trailed off into silence, the thought unfinished.

Applejack licked her lips, staring straight ahead as her eyes darted to the side to try and catch a glimpse of the unicorn. She tensed, her mouth opening, words on the tip of her tongue. And then her shoulders slumped as she raised a hoof to wave the bartender over with another shot of whiskey. She didn’t drink it, just stared down into the glass as if it held some kind of answer.

A plaintive look crossed Rarity’s face as she opened her mouth, looking to Applejack, but the other mare wouldn’t meet her eyes. Rarity turned away again, raising her hoof to hide her mouth.

“I—” Rarity halted, her voice sounding fragile. “I should be going.”

“Mmm,” Applejack muttered, her eyes focused on the whiskey.

A few bits clinked on the wooden counter, and then Applejack heard hoofsteps. They halted for a moment that seemed to take forever, and then the door creaked open and shut again.

Applejack let out a breath she didn’t know she was holding. Her forehead thudded against the countertop as her eyes squeezed shut. The memories came to mind unbidden, as many of them bad as good. But they were hers. Theirs.

And then one final memory came. One that didn’t have Rarity in it at all.

A loud thwack split the air as Applejack’s hooves slammed into the tree trunk, followed by a scattered series of thumps from apples falling into the baskets at her side. Not enough apples, from the sound of it. She shook her head and kicked out again, hindlegs burning with the effort.

There were five hundred and fourteen apple trees in the southern orchard. Today she had bucked two hundred and ninety-three of them. She knew that because she had been keeping very careful count – it was proving to be a very useful way to keep her mind off of other things.

Come to think of it, this was probably a record. Normally she and Big Mac would take the better part of a week to get through all of the apple harvest, working at a steady pace to keep from getting worn out or hurt.

She slowly walked to the next tree, favoring her right side due to a twinge in her left where an awkward buck a few orchard rows back had strained the muscle. She would be fine. That’s what you were supposed to do with a strain, right? Work out the muscle a bit.

It was one more thing to think about.

She had just turned around, slowly lining herself up at the proper angle as she squinted into the orange of the sun setting over a nearby hill, when she heard soft hoofsteps approaching.

She closed her eyes and bucked back again. There was a loud bang as her hooves impacted the tree but she could tell from the sound she hadn’t hit it right. She looked again to see a few scattered leaves falling, their colors already beginning the slow fade towards yellow. Oh, right. She knew the gnarled tree behind her quite well – Anglewood always needed a careful touch to give up his apples, but they tasted all the more sweet for it.

“Hey Sis,” a voice called out. Applejack twisted her head around.

The filly – no, young mare – who stood waiting had come a long way in the past several years, including the arrival of the mark of a hammer and a saw crossing an apple that decorated her yellow flank. She was in that time of teenage rebellion still, and had taken to wearing her thick red mane long and untamed, unbound by her old pink bow. But when Applejack looked into her eyes, she didn’t see any signs of the normally ever-present sassiness. Just… concern.

“Hi Apple Bloom,” Applejack grunted. “Don’t worry, I’m doing fine. I still have a few more rows left in me and then I’ll be in for dinner.”

“She’s gone,” Apple Bloom said.

Applejack didn’t respond. She glared forward into the setting sun, where Apple Bloom couldn’t see her expression.

“She waited at the train station for a really long time. Even changed her ticket over for the last train out this evening.” Bloom hesitated, biting her lip. “I think she expected you to show up, up until the very end.”

“I told her I wasn’t coming,” Applejack said, frost in her voice.

“Maybe so. I’m just sayin’. I think she hoped you’d be there.”

“I’m sure.” Applejack turned around to face Apple Bloom, her face twisted in a scowl. “That’s just what she wanted, wasn’t it? To be the center of attention, to have everypony fawning over her. Well, not this pony.”

“Applejack…” Apple Bloom said. “Everypony else was there. Sending her off it style. Pinkie had the station done up with streamers and there was cake and punch, like a big party. It was sweet. But she was waiting for you.”

“To rub it in my face,” Applejack spat out.

“Don’t say that. She’s your…” Bloom hesitated before lamely finishing, “...friend.”

“Some friend. I wasted five of the prime years of my life on that mare, and what do I have to show for it? Good riddance, I say.”

“You don’t mean that,” Apple Bloom said reproachfully.

Applejack rounded on her, something blazing so bright in her eyes that Bloom took an involuntary step backwards. “She never even told me about it herself. You want to know how I found out she was moving to Canterlot? When I got the party invitation from Pinkie. How’s that for a friend?”

“Sweetie said—”

“I don’t care. It don’t matter.” Applejack laughed bitterly. “It don’t matter at all, because I know she’ll be back.”

“I… don’t think she will, this time. The way she was talking to Twilight about the opportunity, I think she—”

She’ll be back,” Applejack shouted, only realizing too late how loud the words had come out. Her face flushed red and she turned away again, lining up another kick on old Anglewood. “She always comes back. Always has, always will. That’s how this works.”

“And if she doesn’t?” Apple Bloom said, the question barely audible.

“Then I’ll be better off, won’t I?”

Applejack’s hooves slammed into the tree with a deafening crack. Apples rained down and she trotted away, not even looking back at the permanent scar she had just etched into the trunk.

Applejack rubbed at her eyes. She wasn’t crying. She didn’t cry anymore. But her eyes still burned with tears she suddenly wished she could have shed.

“Coward,” she whispered. “Liar.” She stood up abruptly, the legs of her stool scraping loudly against the floor. Her teeth bared and she lashed out again, sending the stool next to her clattering to the ground.

The bartender was up and moving towards her. “Maybe you should leave,” he said.

Applejack didn’t respond, other than digging out a few bits of her own to cover the tab. She stalked towards the door, something midway between fury and agony building within her.

The cold of the night washed over her like she just jumped headfirst into a lake. It made her head feel sharper, more clear. It made her realize even more what a fool she was.

She trotted up the stone steps to street level and looked to left and right. A few hunched-over ponies in coats and hats hurried from one place to another. There was no sign of Rarity.

Applejack felt her shoulders slump as she sunk down to sit on the frigid concrete of the sidewalk, ignoring the cold of the snow rapidly sinking into her hindquarters. She closed her eyes, sitting there on a dirty street in a place she hated, never in her life feeling more out of place and alone.

When she heard the soft sob, she was surprised to find it hadn’t come from her. Her ears swiveled as her eyes sprung open again. She heard it again, a choked sound, somepony crying, ever so quietly.

Her hooves moved on their own, softly trying to muffle their sounds as she found herself trotting around the building, into a narrow side alley.

There, in the gloom, a white unicorn sat crying in the snow.

Applejack didn’t know what to feel. The cold outside had sunk into her very bones, into an emptiness inside her that she felt more acutely than ever.

Rarity looked up at her, rubbing at her eyes. “I was—” she said. “This is—” She shuddered, another sob squeaking out. “What do you want?”

Applejack swallowed. “I thought you left.”

She found herself facing a glare from the unicorn that was more pretense than anger. “Why did you come here?” Rarity said, and it was clear she didn’t mean the alley. “Why now? I was over you. I was doing fine.”

“Yeah?” Applejack said. “Then why’d you come after me?”

Rarity shuddered and pulled herself up to her hooves. She took a moment, her breath frosting out in the night air as she steeled herself. “We’ll just wind up hurting one another. We’re doomed, you and I.”

Applejack reached out a hoof to brush against Rarity’s cheek. The unicorn’s eyes fluttered as she leaned into the touch. “Maybe,” Applejack said. “Probably, even.”

“Well then,” Rarity whispered. “What do you want?”

Applejack breathed in and out slowly. She paused to look up at the narrow strip of night sky, the stars up there somewhere, but hidden by the lights of the city.

“I want to you to make a mistake with me.”

Rarity’s eyes slid shut. Her lips quivered for a moment, uncertain. Then they grew firm, curving in the slightest of smiles, as she relaxed into a hint of old, familiar assurance. “Darling,” she said. “I thought you’d never ask.”

They kissed in the snow, and for a moment even the worst winter could throw at them paled in comparison to the warmth they felt.

Comments ( 49 )

I'm with Dashingping on this one.

Cool. I like it.

I love it. It's beautiful and perfect.

I've been wanting to read something by you for a while, after seeing you comment places, but our ships seem to be at odds. I'm glad I was scanning the front page today.

In my personal opinion, this is the best RariJack fic ever. I'm just gonna bookshelf spam you now, I have three different shelves this needs to go on.

See, this is exactly how it would go. There's no perfection in this pairing - nothing of it that /sticks/, or is healthy. But it can definitely still happen. It's pretty much 5244767 's thoughts on rarijack, crystallized.

I don't really upvote or favorite any rarijack fics. I still can't bring myself to favorite this, but you're definitely getting an upvote from me, for showing how the ship truly would be, and having written it well.


I just can't say anything else that bookplayer and Tchernobog already said. Well, except the fact that I'm crying.

You, sir, did an amazing job with this fic.

Came here on 5244767's recommendation, and I'm very glad I did. This is a very compelling angle for Rarijack, going to show how that old cliche of attraction opposites deserves explosion and interrogation. Granted, I still enjoy reading stories where these two "complete each other" or something along those lines, but the way their decades of breakups, refractory periods, and reconnections blanket the evening these two have together is as reassuring as it is somber -- they don't get their fairy tale ending, or even lasting happiness, but they wouldn't be themselves without those ordeals.

Thank you!

To be quite honest, your blogpost on Rarijack ended up providing quite a bit of inspiration for me. I don't think all Rarijack is necessarily doomed to this particular sort of relationship, but I also think it's a powerful (and romantic) idea that was really interesting to explore.


I don't think all Rarijack is necessarily doomed to this particular sort of relationship, but I also think it's a powerful (and romantic) idea that was really interesting to explore.

I actually agree, there are plenty of other ways to write RariJack. What a lot of people seem to miss about those blogs is that they're titled some variation on "How X is the most romantic ship." I'm not arguing that any or all of them are THE most romantic ship, I'm explaining the way (as I see it) that a ship can be written in which it will come out more romantic than any other mane six ship would in the same way. The thing that makes it uniquely romantic.

So I'm glad you've captured that for RariJack. Like I said, it's a beautiful fic.

This reminds me of A Terrible Reason to be Unhappy.

This is a very solid RariJack story. Well done. :heart:

I don't like on-again-off again RariJack, I like them being a stable relationship quite a bit more, but this was good pal. Keep that head held high, you deserve to.

I admit, in terms of reading Rarijack, I often prefer the stable relationship side myself, because I'm a sucker for cute romance. It's more of... I really find it hard to write that. I'm not particularly good without some conflict or high-concept to bounce off of, and it led me down a more bittersweet path this time.

(Though stable Rarijack is also potentially very fun in them-versus-outside-force because damn, I feel sorry for anyone that has to face an angry Applejack and angry Rarity both. As, hey, Laughing Shadow in some ways demonstrated. :raritywink:)

I know what you mean in regards to writing it. I've been trying to do a cute little SoL one-shot with 'em and it's like pulling teeth compared to how I was able to get chapters done in The Laughing Shadow. It's like the only way I can do romance is if it's a side-bit while I focus on the main issue of punching monsters. But I guess that's the joys of trying something different, huh? :ajsmug:

Just ..really well done. You were able to tell an entire story in a one shot, that takes talent. :raritystarry:

The mistakes made were mistakes that needed to be made. So keep making them.

Excellent job with this story. You did a great job showing us just enough of the heartbreak to give context but not enough to fill in all the gaps. While I don't see a relationship between them this doomed, I can certainly see them having a few rough spots. Although, for my money the hardest thing they would have to deal with is that Applejack is tied to Ponyville and Rarity kind of yearns for the big city. I think of a relationship between the two, Rarity would have to give up more of her dream for it to work.

I also liked how you had them kinda try again in the end, I don't think in the context of your story they would be quit as doomed anymore since both of them are older and wiser now. I don't know, it would be awesome to see a sequel though.

I was wondering if anyone had any ideas for a short story I could write


Go at writeoff.me

A very sober and realistic take on a relationship.

I like it.

Very. Well. Done.

I DONT like RariJack. I only read this because it was featured, and I was curious. But wow. Just wow. I rarely fave any shipfic that isn't one of my three OTPs, but I think I will fave this for the writing alone.

Edit: What the hell? Why am I getting dislikes! All I said was, while I don't care for the ship, I thought this story was great. Can someone explain the dislikes please? :rainbowhuh:

Author Interviewer

fuckkk I wish I could write shipping like this .-. this was romantic as fuck omg

A beautifully tragic romance. A fantastic read. I really enjoyed this

5249272 rarity is my fave pone but I actually really dislike aj lol

Damn son. This is some Rarijack at its finest. :raritycry:

This seems very wrap-around, as in it never seems to get to the point.

And another thing, how old are they and how far into the future is this? In an early timejump AB is married with one child and another on the way, but in the second to last timeframe Applejack said she wasted five years of her life on Rarity, so I assume they were already older to begin with.

I guess I miss the worldbuilding in a vignette-like troubled/realistic love story. I don't know. I just feel confused.

It's not too complex, it's just that there's a fair amount only stated implicitly.

The story takes place in one major scene, set in Manehattan in winter quite a few years in the future. During that scene, there are three specific flashbacks: one to roughly the time period that the show takes place in, when the relationship first began; one an unspecified amount of time later, in the middle of the relationship; and one around five years after the beginning, when the relationship came to an end. Before, in-between, and after the flashbacks, it's just returning to the same first scene, where they're both older and haven't seen one another in several years.

Rarijack is the only pairing I don't inherently roll my eyes at because it's the only one from the show that i don't find obviously platonic or one sided at best, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that the very first time we see those two together they aren't new acquaintances but instead they are ponies with a story that are patching things up.

This story takes that angle and works on it in such a great way it made me smile. Thanks you!

Years of farm labour out in the sun had faded her to an even lighter shade of orange, but hard muscles still moved under the surface of her coat. Her hair was pulled back in its normal style, longer than ever, and Rarity was surprised to see a streak of silver prominent in the straw-colored blonde.

Whoo, is it gettin' hot in here or...

And hay, compared to you, I’m not so much to look at.

She is PLENTY to look at, especially when compared to Rarity.

Applejack wasn’t lying. Not at all.


Applejack moved forward and pulled Rarity into an embrace.

Very glad I'm reading this today of all days.

“Well, I always did tell you ya shoulda been nicer to that Blueblood fella.”

No, seriously, she should have. Rarity expected him to treat her like a princess without her introducing herself. She was an ungrateful bitch, but when he turns the tables to drive her away she does not take the hint, and suddenly he is the villain.
That was sweet.

5257215 I see. Thank you for the clarifications.

Ow! Bucked me right in the feels!
Good story. Mildly unsatisfying end, but then, I guess their story isn't over, is it?

Nice. It can really bring out the feels.

A very good RariJack fic. :pinkiecrazy:

I really like that ending. They both know its probably a mistake, but being without each other is just so much worse....I love it! Beautiful story. Very sweet.

Pure gold, as all your stories tend to be

The only thing that really bothered me here is that there's no reason given for why these two are so fixated on each other, even though they drive each other crazy.

Other than that, it was a fair representation of RariJack: Doomed from day one.

i dunno... it felt weird to me, like they knew what was going to happen but they still did it anyway even though they KNEW it wouldn't... couldn't work. they even said so in the last few paragraphs. i mean, i can understand hormones when they were younger but they have clearly grown up to the point where they have grey hair. it just strikes me as odd that they would still be making the same mistakes as in their youth. maybe it was the alcohol but it still felt odd.

I like this fic a lot. I have never seen RariJack as a plausible ship, and your fic addresses why very well. And it's well written. Bravo.

Even though their relationships never last, it's still better than anything else including solitude.
It's like the song says:
Just one year of love
is better than a lifetime alone
One sentimental moment in your arms
is like a shooting star, right through my heart

The rest of the song also applies.

Perhaps things might have been different if Rarity had managed to refuse Applejack the first time, though we'll never know.

Author Interviewer

God, it's been almost a year. Ten months of frustration, toil and... mostly just waiting around, but it's finally finished.

Wow. Very melancholy. There is clearly love and sadness throughout, but the sadness seems to run through stronger. There's the hope that maturity has resolved things between them at the end, but that feeling of inevitability that even they sense. As others have said, very bittersweet.

Quite worth the read and Like.

I reviewed this story!

My review can be found here.

I like rarijack, and I like this story a lot even though it's sad. Thankfully they get along exceptionally well in the show, even when Applejack messes up Rarity's fashion show, like their bond is incredibly sturdy. They and all of the mane cast will be friends for life. :)

Bonus, it looks like there's hoofful of good rarijack fanfics to read in the "Also Liked" category as well. ;)

I still love this story. It hurts so good. :heart:

Brilliant. I love the theme of jaded ex lovers and shared sorrow. In bars! One of the best fics I’ve read.

Login or register to comment