• Published 5th Dec 2014
  • 3,498 Views, 106 Comments

Accidents - Dusk Melody

Applejack was busy bucking apples on the farm. Fluttershy thought she'd surprise her wife on their anniversary. It was a day neither would forget.

  • ...

Accidents Happen

Applejack was sat on her bed, gazing forlornly out of her bedroom window. She’d been sat on her bed for days it seemed, wallowing in her self pity. Her chores were unfinished, the apple trees unbucked. Indeed she hadn't even left her room since 'it' had happened several days ago.

Applejack didn't care.

Her usually tidy room was a mess, the detritus of the past week scattered about. Her straw blonde mane, usually tied up in a ponytail was a mess, her hair unkempt. She herself was a mess, her orange coat matted from all her tears. The farm pony had been crying so much the last few days she didn't have any tears left, she just sat there heaving her shoulders, crying tears that wouldn't come.

Applejack didn't care.

Since 'it' had happened she relished the solace her self imposed confinement brought her. Not that it helped much. She couldn't bear the outside world. Ponyville and the Sweet Apple Acres would endure without her. As much as she felt she deserved them, Applejack couldn't bear the accusatory stares, the whispers behind her back. Worse than that though were the sympathetic looks, the condolences she knew she definitely didn't deserve.

So here she was, the tough old dependable farmer, huddled in her room like a scolded filly that's just been grounded for misbehaving. Alone with her thoughts.

Applejack didn't stir as she heard the creak of her door open behind her. Didn't bother turning to face whomever had just entered her room. She heard the hoofsteps stop, felt her bed move as whomever it was sat on her bed behind her.

“Applejack……” Twilight Sparkle put her hoof on her friends shoulder, the princess tried to find the words to comfort the farmer. No words would come to her though. There were no words. Her lavender eyes alone spoke of the strain of the last week.

“Howdy princess.” The hollowness of the greeting shocked Twilight.

"I– I just wanted you to know, Fluttershy is being released from the hospital this morning. She- she's fully healed.”

Applejack merely nodded her head in reply.

Twilight cleared her throat audibly, steadying herself before continuing, “The, er, the service is being held later this aft-”

“Ah ain't goin’.” It was so quietly spoken Twilight almost missed it.

“Applejack please, Fluttershy's been asking after you all week, wanting to know when you're coming to see her. She, we, want you there.”

"Ah said ah ain't goin’. Ah got no business bein’ there after what ah done.” Regret and sadness coloured each word, a despair that Twilight couldn't hope to breach.

“It wasn't your fault Applejack, it– it was an-”

“An accident, yeah, so everypony keeps tellin’ me.”

“Applejack, nopony blames you for what happened.”

Twilight’s words poured over Applejack, igniting her anger. Before she knew what was happening the earth pony had spun around, facing Twilight for the first time. The movement was so fast the Alicorn still had her foreleg raised as if it was still on Applejack’s shoulder. Her emerald green eyes were alive with fury, her muzzle pulled back in a feral snarl. She stomped a foreleg on her bed, bringing a crack from the timber.

“AH BLAME ME! IT’S MAH FAULT FLUTTERSHY’S SPENT TH’ WEEK IN HOSPITAL, AN’ IT’S MAH FAULT THOSE, THOSE FOAlS ARE, are, are……” Applejack couldn't bring herself to say the word, as if not saying it would make it not be true. Her rage had left her. She buried her face into her hooves, unable to look at Twilight any longer. Fresh tears cascaded from her eyes, soaking her fur and the mattress under her.

“Ah- ah’m sorry Twi, so sorry.”

Twilight couldn't make out any more intelligible words from her stricken friend, she had dissolved into a quivering sobbing heap on her bed. She knew it was fruitless to carry on, that it was time to go. Hesitantly she flapped her wings, leaving the bed and landing near the door. The princess cast a look over her shoulder at the crying farmer.

“Fluttershy loves you Applejack, we all love you. The service is at four this afternoon. Please be there, for her if nopony else.”

With that Twilight Sparkle left the bedroom, closing the door behind her and descended the stairs. She paused in the living room to shake her head sadly at Granny Smith, Big Mac and Apple Bloom. All three had their ears pinned back, all three shared the despondent look of their princess. Twilight excused herself and saw herself out without a backwards glance. Once clear of the homestead she took to the sky, flying back to her castle. She had many duties as a princess, and most of them she looked forward to. This afternoon however was not one of them. She hated funerals at the best of times, and this one would be hard on everypony, especially Fluttershy. She hoped against hope Applejack would find it in herself to attend.

Back in her old room at the homestead Applejack had finally succeeded in crying herself to sleep, although the dreams she had would prove anything but restful as she once again relived the events of seven days previous. The day IT happened.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Seven Days Ago.

Dawn crept over the landscape, golden sunlight chasing away the shadows of night as the morning took over. Ponyville always looked magnificent in the early morning light, and the Apple farm nearby was no exception. As the sun was raised higher in the sky more and more of the apple trees were revealed until they all basked in the sun’s light. A few of these errant sunbeams found their way unbidden into the bedroom of a sleeping couple, waking them gently from their slumber.

Applejack opened her eyes slowly, adjusting to the light while letting out a wide yawn. She really didn't want to get out of bed, seeing as she was snuggled tight up to her wife beside her. Fluttershy was snoring gently, her head resting on Applejack’s shoulder, her pastel pink mane just under the farmer’s chin. All four legs of the yellow pegasus were wrapped around Applejack, a feat she found impressive given Fluttershy's growing belly.

Eight years ago when they got married Fluttershy had mentioned she wanted foals. Applejack had been resistant to the idea of foals at first, she was happy the way they were, although she found as she had gotten older the idea of having little ones running about the place more and more appealing. Until this day last year had rolled around, and Applejack had surprised Fluttershy at breakfast. She could still see the excitement on Fluttershy's face when she'd told her she had wanted to try for foals. It was the best anniversary gift Applejack could have given her wife.

After much discussion with Applejack’s family Big Mac had hesitantly and with no small measure of embarrassment volunteered his sperm to impregnate Fluttershy, given her reluctance to use a random stallion for the job. Twilight had agreed to carry out the insemination, she had assured them that magically it would be easy, although the princess had insisted upon having a trained midwife present at all times, not that she doubted her ability, she just wanted everything to run smoothly. And it had. Everything had gone perfectly. Besides her wedding day that day four months ago when Fluttershy had announced she was pregnant had been the happiest of Applejack’s life. They were going to be mothers! True, she had practically raised Apple Bloom as if she were her own but she was still her little sister. Now she would be a proper mother.

Their joy at the impending motherhood had only increased after the first monthly scan at Twilight’s castle when the Alicorn had revealed to them they were having twins. An earth pony colt and pegasus filly. The midwife unicorn, Cerulean Swirl, had used her own magic to project an image of the growing foals on a screen for them to see, although there wasn't much at this point.

With the third month of pregnancy they were able to make out more details of the miniature ponies. The pegasus filly had a deep red almost crimson coat and the beginnings of a light pink mane. The earth pony colt had a yellow/orange coat similar to Scootaloo but more yellow, and his mane was going to be as dark a red as his sister’s coat. Names for them both had already been decided. Apple Kicker for the filly because by Celestia's horn could she kick! Applejack had had many a daydream about teaching that one the finer points of apple bucking when she was old enough. They had settled on Hush for the colt, as quite unlike his sister he seemed content to barely move, just giving the occasional stretch in the womb to let them know he was still there. It was almost like he knew he wasn't going to out kick his sister.

Life on the farm had gone pretty much as normal. Applejack and Big Mac had taken to harvesting the apples with a vengeance, determined to get ahead before the foals arrived. Even Rainbow Dash had helped considerably more than she usually did, this time by actually doing some work rather than napping on the nearest cloud. Mainly thanks to Dash blurring about the orchards placing the apples in storage and making the deliveries to customers they were almost a month in advance of where they would be normally. Rarity was in her element, constantly designing maternity dresses as Fluttershy got bigger and bigger. Pinkie was in a constant state of “nervousitement”, planning baby showers, birthing parties and at the last count the foals tenth birthday parties all in advance. Applejack couldn't fault her friends enthusiasm.

The fourth month had rolled around as uneventful as the others, they'd had the regular scan yesterday. Everything was progressing as it should, the foals were growing and developing normally, they were even slightly bigger than they should be. Applejack and Fluttershy had put this down to Apple Bloom and Granny Smith’s excellent care. They made sure Fluttershy wanted for nothing while Applejack was out working.

That bought Applejack to this morning. Laid in her bed with her pregnant wife snoring gently beside her, five months away from having her own foals running about the place.

"Life surely don't get much better than this,” she thought to herself with a huge smile as she gently kissed Fluttershy's forehead. A problem did present itself though, how best to disentangle herself from Fluttershy's legs without waking her up. The trees in the south field needed bucking if they were to stay ahead of schedule. A minute or two later the problem wasn't an issue anymore as Apple Kicker took it upon herself to unleash a particularly powerful kick at that moment, lurching Applejack to the right and separating the two ponies, shocking Fluttershy awake in the process.

“Ouch! Kicker! Buck that hurt!” Fluttershy gasped out, before quickly adding, “um, I mean, good morning to you, Apple Kicker.”

Fluttershy let out a giggle as Applejack leant in and kissed her belly, then gave her a nuzzle too. "Mornin' sugarcube, an’ happy ninth anniversary.”

Fluttershy let out a shocked “eeep” and pulled back from the nuzzling slightly, a rosy blush on her cheeks “AJ I'm sorry I totally forgot all about it! I - I'll, um go and get something for you later…” Her quiet voice trailed off midsentence as she noticed Apllejack laughing gently.

“Ain't a thing sugar, I got all the gifts I need right here.” She cooed softly as she ran a hoof tenderly over Fluttershy's swollen belly. Lowering her muzzle to Shy's belly she said with a grin, “y’all don't be so rough with your momma, ah’m talkin’ to you there, Kicker.” Planting a soft kiss there Applejack was rewarded with a little kick from her daughter.

Getting off the bed, Applejack retrieved her stetson from the dresser and hoofed it onto her head with practiced ease before turning her gaze back to Fluttershy who was still laid on her side. She'd experimented with different sleeping positions as she had gotten bigger, and this seemed the most comfortable, at least it was when Kicker was asleep.

Fluttershy caught her looking, and gave her wife a warm smile before wincing a little at the visible bump of another kick interrupted her. “I think she's going to be a morning pony like her momma.”

“She sure is, them trees ain’t gonna know what's bucked ‘em when she gets goin’, at least Hush gives you some peace.”

Fluttershy nodded as she ran a hoof over her belly then grunted as she attempted without success to roll onto her hooves to stand up. Applejack suppressed a giggle as she extended a foreleg, helping Shy get to upright. With surprising grace for a mare in her condition Fluttershy flapped her wings twice, leaving the bed and landing beside Applejack with a nuzzle and a kiss.

“You working the south field today Jackie?”

“Yup, all day sugarcube. Ah’m all yours as soon as ah’m done though. You sure you don’ mind me not havin’ the day off?”

“Well, I might mind if I don't get a kiss first.”

Applejack wrapped a foreleg around Fluttershy's neck, bringing her into a tight embrace as she tilted her head to one side, kissing her wife full on the lips. Fluttershy returned the gesture, placing her own leg on Applejack, running it through her mane as she ran her tongue across AJ’s lips, asking permission to enter. The farm pony granted it, parting her lips for Shy's tongue as she ran her own over and around it, eliciting a few pleasurable moans from her. A second or two later Applejack thrust forward with her tongue into Fluttershy's mouth, running it around the inside before briefly wrestling Shy’s tongue into submission. Finally the need to breathe forced them to break the kiss, their lips coming apart with a wet smacking noise.

“Oh my…”

Applejack smirked as she saw Fluttershy's deep blush and fully erect wings, standing at a 90 degree angle to her body. She was proud of the fact that after nine years married a simple kiss could get that reaction from Fluttershy.

“Y’all alright there darlin’?”

“I– er, I mean yes, yes I'm ok love,” Fluttershy managed to stammer out, getting her errant wings and breathing under control. “Don't work too hard, I'll need you awake later.” She added with a little wink that didn't go unnoticed.

“Yes ma’am.” And with that Applejack casually strolled down the stairs and out the door, ready to get the day's work underway.

Fluttershy waited a few moments to make sure Applejack was really gone before she carefully flew down the stairs to the kitchen. She had a picnic to prepare for Applejack’s midday break, Fluttershy wouldn't usually go to this much trouble, but it was their anniversary after all. She did feel a little guilty about lying to her wife back in the bedroom but she hoped the surprise picnic would make up for it. If not then she'd apologise in the bedroom later. She could be very apologetic when she needed to be.

The morning had whizzed past in a blur, Fluttershy didn't know where the time had gone. At last she had the picnic surprise ready. Daisy and dandelion sandwiches, salads made with apples, carrots and pumpkins, an apple pie that Apple Bloom had shown her how to make and there was two bottles of the weakest Sweet Apple cider to wash it down with. Fluttershy knew she shouldn't drink while pregnant but she had been advised by midwife Swirl that the odd bottle every now and again wouldn't hurt, as long as it wasn't the really hard stuff Granny Smith had locked up in the cellar.

A quick check of the clock in the kitchen garnered an “eeep” from Fluttershy, it was fast approaching five minutes to noon. She'd have to be quick if she wanted to catch Applejack’s midday break. Hurriedly she piled the food in her basket, took the handle in her mouth and proceeded to fly out the front door towards the southern field and her love.

“Consarn it!” Sweat poured off Applejack's coat, her fur was matted with the stuff and she was pretty sure she stank horrid. Apple bucking in summer was horrible. The sun was high up and the trees gave almost no shade. She particularly hated the trees in the south field. They were tough gnarly old brutes that didn't surrender their apples easily. Each one had to be bucked at least three times. This particular brute she was bucking now had so far resisted five of her kicks and Applejack was fast approaching the end of her rope with it, not least because she was a few minutes late taking her break. She stamped her hooves into the dirt in sheer frustration. Part of her told her to sit, have her break now. The stubborn part of her told her to carry on, one more buck would do it. The stubborn part won. Foregoing her usual caution of checking behind her, after all she knew she was aimed at the tree, and she was the only pony out here, Applejack wound up her powerful hind legs for one last almighty kick.

Fluttershy flew between the trees, wondering how best to find Applejack amongst the orchard when she heard a rather loud “Consarn it!” off to her left. Changing direction she flew towards the shout, it didn't sound very far away. She carefully rounded a tree and sure enough she saw Applejack about thirty feet away, her back towards her. If Fluttershy was any judge, she'd have to say Applejack's mood was sour. She looked hot, sweaty and very fed up. She was tempted for a second to change her mind and leave her wife to it. No, she was here now, might as well try and cheer her up. With that in mind Fluttershy flapped her wings once more, silently closing the gap between herself and Applejack. She briefly thought about calling out to the farmer to announce her presence, then remembered she had the basket in her mouth.

Instead Fluttershy flew quietly behind her wife, her intention to land on her back and drop the basket in front of her with her wings over Applejack's eyes.

That was a good plan.

What could go wrong?

Nothing at all.


Except that.

Fluttershy was two feet from Applejack's rear as the farm pony suddenly leaned forward on her front legs, pulled her hind legs to her belly and thrust them straight back with enough force to permanently scar the tree.

Applejack never hit the tree.

Her aim was off just slightly.

Fluttershy caught the full force of the kick square in her belly, the impact sent her backwards into the tree, snapping her head back into the rough bark, knocking her unconscious. Applejack heard the “oomph” behind her, and turned in time to see a lifeless Fluttershy slide down the trunk of the tree to the dirt, blood seeping into her pink mane and flowing down between her hind legs.

“Sweet Celestia, what have ah done?”

Applejack didn't know what to do, she struck her hooves on the ground in a panic. Finally, spurred to action by the amount of blood Fluttershy was losing, and where she was losing it from, Applejack lowered her head and flipped Fluttershy onto her muscular back and galloped as fast she should without dropping her precious cargo. She had one thought in mind, Twilight. Get to Twilight, she'll be able to fix this. Alicorn magic, never failed us before. Twilight will know what to do. Applejack ran for what felt like hours, until she neared the base of Twilight’s castle. She pounded on the door with her foreleg, so hard it dented it, all the while screaming Twilight’s name.

A purple sphere of magic popped beside her, as Twilight Sparkle teleported beside Applejack, about to ask what the ruckus was about. The exhausted farmer cut her off before she had chance to ask.

“Fluttershy…accident…bucked her…needs hospital…Twi, help…please..” Applejack managed to stammer it all out before collapsing to the ground, her fatigue catching up with her.

"Meet me at the hospital.” Was all Twilight said as she ignited her horn, concentrated and then she and Fluttershy were both gone.

Applejack rested on the ground outside the castle, allowing herself to catch her breath and get her strength back. Despite a desire to gallop straight to the hospital, thunder in and demand answers she knew this would be pointless. She'd just be in the way right now, and she knew Fluttershy was in safe hooves with Twi and the doctors. Best to calm herself down, give them a little time to work and then make her way over there.

A glance up at the clock tower in the town square told Applejack thirty minutes had passed. She couldn't wait any longer. She forced herself to her hooves and made her way slowly to the hospital. She didn't care that she was filthy and dirty, didn't care her flanks were covered in blood that wasn't hers, all she cared about was Fluttershy and her foals. Applejack silently prayed to Celestia, Luna and anyone else who might be listening for them all to be alright. Deep in her heart she knew her prayers were in vain, she had seen where her wife had been bleeding from, and knew what that meant.

Still, Applejack held onto her slim hope as she pushed open the hospital doors and made her way through to the reception area. She held onto that hope right up to the moment she saw Twilight. The Alicorn princess was sat in the hospital reception thoroughly disheveled, openly weeping into her hooves, ignoring everypony around her. Applejack made her way unsteadily over to her friend, not wanting to ask the question on her lips.

“Fluttershy, is she, is mah wife alright?”

Twilight raised her head from her hooves, tear streaked eyes meeting Applejack's.

"She's in intensive care, they're operating on her now. From what they've told me, and it's not much, she's got five broken ribs, a punctured lung and a bad gash on the back of her head. They're stabilising the internal bleeding and they're confident she'll make a full recovery in about a week or so…”

Applejack let out a breath she didn't realise she was holding. Fluttershy was going to be alright, Twi had said she'll make a full recovery. Applejack began to smile, a smile that faltered when Twilight spoke next.

"Applejack, I – I’m sorry, the – the, your foals, they didn't survive. She miscarried in the operating theatre few minutes after I bought her here. There was nothing they could do.”

Applejack stumbled backwards, falling to the floor in a heap. Her brain refused to believe what her ears had heard.

“No, it – it ain't true, it can't be.”

“I'm sorry Applejack.”

“No…” But she knew it was true. She knew it before she had picked Fluttershy up, when she saw her bleeding. She couldn't understand why her heart was beating, why the world was turning, why everypony around her was carrying on as though nothing had happened when her whole world had been ripped from under her hooves. It was a cruel joke, surely? That she was crumpled here on the floor of a hospital still sucking air into her lungs when her babies lay dead?

It hit her then. Her babies, her foals. They were dead. They were dead and it was her fault. Had she only looked behind her before she bucked that damned tree, she would have seen Fluttershy, they would've enjoyed the afternoon and her foals would still be alive. How could she have been so careless?

“It's mah fault Twi.”

“W – what?” Twilight looked up from her hooves, not believing what she had heard.

“It's all mah fault.”

“How's that?”

Hesitantly Applejack told Twilight what had happened, about working the south field, getting frustrated with the tree, about Fluttershy flying behind her, how Applejack hadn't noticed her coming, and how in a fit of temper she had let loose the awesome buck that had caught Fluttershy and sent her into the tree. Twilight listened to it all, not saying a word until Applejack had finished. Getting from the chair the princess sat on the floor in front of the distraught farmer, and placed a hoof on her friends shaking shoulder.

“Applejack,” she said softly through her own tears, “it was an accident, nothing more.”

Applejack's reply was cut short as the doors to the operating theatre burst open, the doctors made their way over to where she and Twilight were sitting.

“Your highness, the surgery was a success, we've stabilised the patient. She'll make a full recovery in a few days. She's still out from the anaesthetic but if you wish you can see her for a few moments before we move her to a ward.”

“Thank you. Come on Applejack, let's go and see them.”

She extended a hoof to the unmoving earth pony, shaking her gently.

“Come on, she's going to need you.”

Twilight extended a wing over Applejack and the walked side by side into the operating room, fresh tears stung Applejack's eyes as she saw Fluttershy sleeping on the bed, covered to her neck with a white sheet. She ran a hoof through her pink mane before softly kissing her wife's forehead.

“Ah'm sorry Shy, ah never meant to hurt you…”

Her voice trailed off to silence as Applejack's tears eyes rested on two small white rectangular boxes on the table next to the bed. Twilight saw where Applejack was looking and nudged the farmer with her hoof.

“Go on, go and see them.”

“Ah can't Twi…”

"Applejack, go and meet them, while you have the chance.”

Slowly she made her way around the bed to the white boxes, her hooves made barely a sound against the floor, as if she was scared of waking them up. Applejack saw her two foals, her little babies, laid in the padded boxes. They had been wrapped in tiny white sheets, just their heads were showing. Carefully, not wanting to disturb them, Applejack placed a tender kiss on both of their foreheads before nuzzling their cheeks. They were so soft, so small…so, beautiful. They looked for all the world to be sleeping.

Applejack opened her mouth but no words came, her grief threatened to overwhelm her, she owed them this much though, as small as the gesture might be. Choking back her tears she swallowed her grief enough to say a few words.

“M– momma’s s – sorry, a - ah'm so sorry…Twi, ah can't do this, ah can't be here. Ah need to go…to be anywhere else…ah'm sorry…”

Applejack turned and ran, leaving Twilight with Fluttershy and her foals. She ran, not caring who she ran into, not caring where she was going. She ran and ran until she thought her heart would burst, trying to out run grief itself. She didn't realise she had ran back to the farm, back up the stairs to her room. Slamming her door she threw herself on the bed and vented her grief and sorrow into her pillow. The fact that it smelt of Fluttershy only made it worse.

Author's Note:

This story is dedicated to anyone who has lived through the pain of losing a child.

To my God daughter Jessica who would have been five years old today.
You were taken before your light had the chance to shine.
Happy birthday sweetheart, you would have been magnificent.