• Published 4th Aug 2015
  • 30,430 Views, 1,202 Comments

Sunset's Little Twilight - PoisonClaw



An accident with the Mirror Portal ends up with Twilight stuck as a small pony in the Equestra Girls' world. Her friends can't get over how cute she is.

  • ...
44
 1,202
 30,430

Ponies on the Farm

Sunset Shimmer sat admiring the massive flower beds that lined the fences of Rarity’s backyard, losing herself in the mesmerizing display of flowers in every shade of the rainbow. The white gazebo, of which she assumed Rarity’s mother had been the one to hang the chair swing she now sat on, had been built specifically to admire the flowers from. She wasn’t sure how long she had been there—half an hour, maybe—but every so often she gave the chair swing a little rock.

A small chirp to her left made Sunset look away from the flowers, where a robin perched on the gazebo railing, hopping up and down as it pecked away at the wood in search of food. Sunset watched the bird continue its search for several seconds before spreading its wings and taking flight. Sighing after it had vanished from sight, Sunset returned to looking at the flowers, the brief distraction doing nothing to calm her still raging thoughts.

“What am I doing?” Sunset asked herself yet again since coming out here. “It was just a drawing, yet I ran off with my tail between my legs. Smooth, Sunset; real smooth.” She was actually surprised no one had come out yet to check up on her after running off like that, but she preferred that they had left her to her own thoughts. Although she had come to enjoy their company, right now she needed to be alone to think.

Sighing as she ran a hand through her hair, Sunset tried yet again to sort through the whirlwind of emotions plaguing her. First there had been that thing with the bathroom mirror, and now Rarity’s drawing. She was just being reminded of her life back in Equestria left and right it seemed. Twilight being stuck as as a pony certainly hadn’t helped, but Sunset couldn’t really blame Twilight because of a random accident.

That still didn’t explain why she had reacted like that. It was just a drawing! A drawing of her and her friends as ponies maybe, but nothing wrong with that, right?

“No… that’s not true,” Sunset finally admitted with great reluctance. She knew exactly what was wrong and she had for some time since the fight against the Sirens. Stubborn as she was, she had tried her hardest to put it off for as long as she could, and it seemed that now she was beginning to pay for it.

Even so, she just couldn’t bring herself to tell her friends. That wasn’t to say she didn’t trust them, far from it after everything they had done for her. Yet Sunset couldn’t imagine them understanding just what it was she was dealing with right now. Besides, she didn’t want to ruin Twilight’s weekend by dragging her and the girls into her mess. After the portal was fixed and Twilight went back home, she’d figure out what to do about it then.

A voice in the back of Sunset’s mind wasted no time in telling her she was being silly, but Sunset brushed it aside as she stood up, her knees cracking after having been sitting for so long. Shaking some feeling back into her legs, Sunset walked back towards the house, stopping a moment longer at the back door to fully collect herself before stepping back into the house and heading straight for the living room.

“About time you finished sulking out there.” Stepping into the living room, Sunset turned to see Rainbow Dash looking up at her from the couch, earbuds in as she listened to music on her phone. She had also changed into a pair of black track pants and a hooded sweater sporting the logo of some band Sunset couldn’t recognize. “I was starting to think we were going to need to go out and get you before we leave.”

Sunset glared back at Rainbow. “I wasn’t sulking, Dash. Wait, leave? Leave for where?”

“Sweet Apple Acres,” Fluttershy answered as she walked into the living room, having changed into a yellow jacket and a longer skirt. “We thought it would be nice if we took Twilight somewhere she could stretch her legs.”

“Er… are you sure that’s a good idea?” Sunset couldn’t help but feel uneasy at the prospect of taking Twilight out in public. “What if someone sees her?”

“Twilight asked the same thing.“ Popping out her earbuds and pocketing her phone, Rainbow leapt to her feet. “Don’t sweat it though; Rarity said she’s got it covered.” Glancing in the direction of the stairs, Rainbow shook her head. “Gotta say, I wouldn’t want to be in Twilight’s shoes right about now.”

“That’s because they wouldn’t fit!” Pinkie said as she came bouncing into the room from downstairs, carrying with her a half empty six-pack of cola she had pilfered from Rarity’s fridge. Like her friends, she had traded in her skirt for a pair of jeans but left her shirt unchanged. “Drink?” she asked, holding up the pack.

“Yeah, toss me one, Pinkie,” Rainbow Dash said, then catching the thrown cola with one hand. She was careful to break the seal without popping the tab, hoping it wouldn’t explode and drench her in cola. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…

Knocking it back, she finished the drink just in time to see Applejack descend from upstairs. “Took you long enough,” Rainbow Dash remarked as Applejack joined them. “So, is your brother giving us all a lift or what?

“Yep, though he was none too happy about it. Had to twist his arm somethin’ fierce before he let up. I hope all of ya are up for some hard work out on the farm.”

“Work!?” Rainbow Dash balked at the very idea. “Don’t know if you noticed, AJ, but it’s the weekend. As in, ‘no-working-today’ day!”

“Spoken like a true slacker,” Applejack replied. “There ain’t such thing as a non-workin’ day on the farm, and Big Mac wouldn’t give in ‘less I agreed we’d do a few of his chores for him in exchange for a ride. ‘Sides, some farm work ‘ll do ya some good.”

“But… but it’s a long weekend!” Rainbow bemoaned.

Applejack’s expression remained unchanged. “Yeah… as ‘terrible’ as that is, we’ve got a bigger problem on our hands. Mac’s truck ’ll only fit four of us, so, seein’ as Sunset’s got her own ride and Twilight’s small enough to fit in someone’s lap, one of ya’s gonna have to ride in the back.”

“Actually, I think I’ve got a better idea,” Sunset said. “I’ve got an extra helmet, so someone could ride with me.”

“Huh… thinkin’ that could work too.” Looking around at the gathered girls, Applejack then turned her attention to upstairs. “Big Mac’ll be here soon, so now we’re just waitin’ on Rarity and Twilight. Haven’t heard a peep out either since Rarity dragged Twi upstairs. ”

“Hey, Rarity! Twilight!” Rainbow Dash shouted up the stairs, “Get the lead out or we’re leaving without you!”

“One moment!” Rarity called down from upstairs, her footsteps thumping through the ceiling.

Moments later, Rarity came down the stairs, having changed into an entirely new outfit: a navy jacket, unzipped slightly to reveal the royal purple shirt underneath, and a pair of black skinny jeans accompanied by a light blue skirt with purple trim. Though she was still wearing her diamond hairpin, she had also taken the time to put on a pair of diamond stud earrings and touch up her makeup. Finally, an oversized handbag hung off her shoulder to complete the look.

Applejack raised an eyebrow at Rarity’s new outfit, looking her up and down. “Uh, Rares? Ya do know we’ll be heading to the farm, not the salon?”

“Of course, but that shouldn’t be an excuse for me to not look my best!”

“Yeah, say that again after it gets all mucked up.” Shaking her head, Applejack noticed the lack of a certain purple alicorn. “Where’s Twilight? She still up there gettin’ ready? ”

“I’m in here,” Twilight grumbled from within the handbag.

“Oooh! Twilight’s a purse pony now!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed.

“It’s a pet carrier, Pinkie Pie,” Rarity corrected her. “I normally use it for the rare occasion I need to take Opal out, but for the moment I think it suits Twilight’s needs just as well. It’s certainly roomier than being carried around in someone’s backpack, wouldn’t you agree, Twilight?”

“I guess…”

“She certainly don’t sound like she’s enjoyin’ herself,” Applejack noted. “So, this is yer solution to takin’ her outside?”

“Part of it, yes.” Popping open the top of the carrier, Rarity peered inside. “Come on out, Twilight, so everyone can see your new outfit.”

“No.”

“Oh, don’t be like that, Twilight.” Rarity rolled her eyes as she tried to coax the mare out. “It’s not that bad.”

“Easy for you to say, you’re not the one wearing it.”

“Twilight, you’re making a big fuss out of nothing. You said you wanted a way to go out unnoticed, and this is the best solution I could come up with. Besides…” A mischievous glint twinkled in Rarity’s eyes, one known to instill fear in the hearts of many. “As much as I’d like to avoid it, there’s really nothing stopping me from pulling you out of there myself. Either way, everyone will see it eventually, so…”

There was rustling from inside the carrier before Twilight loudly groaned in defeat. “Fine… but no one better laugh!” After another moment of hesitation, Twilight reluctantly popped her head out of the carrier.

Perched atop her head was a pair of felt reindeer antlers, little bells dangling from the ends that jingled with each shake of her head. A small Santa hat covered up her horn, and to top it all off, a bright red bow was wrapped around her neck.

Silence hung in the air like a thick fog as everyone got a glimpse of Twilight and her new outfit. Sunset snickered; Applejack choked back a chuckle and Pinkie Pie held her breath, making her cheeks puff out like a chipmunk’s; Fluttershy was too busy awwing at how cute Twilight looked to laugh.

Rainbow Dash, on the other hand, showed no restraint and loudly burst out laughing, clutching her sides and teetering on her feet, threatening to collapse.

“I said not to laugh!” Twilight huffed, her face bright red from the blush quickly spreading across her cheeks.

“S-sorry, T-Twilight,” Rainbow managed to say in-between laughs. “But… but… have you looked in a mirror lately?

Twilight groaned and buried her face into her hooves, unintentionally revealing that she was also wearing little paw shaped booties on her hooves. “Yes, unfortunately.” Staring up at Rarity, she asked, “Rarity, why?”

“I’m sorry, dear, but as I said this was all I had on hand on such short notice. See, I made this outfit for Opal for the holidays, but for some reason she runs every time I try and get her to wear it.”

“I can’t imagine why,” Twilight muttered under her breath.

If Rarity heard her, she gave no indication. “As luck would have it, it fits you just as well after a few quick modifications.”

“Not sure I see how this is suppose’ to help,” Applejack remarked after regaining her composure. “Wasn’t the whole point to draw less attention to her? How then is dressin’ her up like a parade float animal goin’ to help?”

Rarity gasped, visibly surprised. “Why, Applejack! I thought you of all people would be able to understand my reasoning. After all, how does the saying go? ‘What’s the best way to hide a tree?’”

“Use a forest,” Sunset answered, a knowing smirk crossing her face. “I get it. As long as she’s dressed like that, all anyone else will see is a pet wearing a silly outfit.”

“Exactly! People see what they want to see, so should anyone take notice of our dear little Twilight here, all they’ll wonder is why she’s dressed out of season. Isn’t that great, Twilight?”

Whatever Twilight was going to say in response was interrupted by the loud blare of a car horn from the driveway. Opening the front door, Applejack briefly stuck her head out. “Well, there’s Big Mac now, so which one ya’s going with Sunset—”

“Shotgun!” Rainbow Dash shouted over her shoulder, already blowing past Applejack and out the door before anyone could stop her.

“Shot- Hey, no fair!” Pinkie whined, chasing after Rainbow.

Fluttershy frowned. “Um… shouldn’t we—”

“Hey!” Applejack yelled, taking off after Rainbow and Pinkie. “Ya’ll get back here! I’m ridin’ shotgun, ya hear?”

Rarity chuckled at her friends’ antics, looking down at Twilight. “Well, shall we depart as well, Twilight?” Twilight nodded, ducking back inside the carrier as Rarity made her way towards the doorway.

“Um, Rarity,” Fluttershy tried again, “what about—”

“Oh, that reminds me!” Reaching into a pocket on the side of the carrier, Rarity fished out a lanyard with a ring of keys on the end. “Sunset, darling, would you be a dear and lock up behind you?”

“Sure, no problem. I need to get my bike out anyway,” Sunset said, catching the lanyard when Rarity tossed it to her and hanging it around her neck.

“Thanks! Drive safe!”

“But… but…” Fluttershy was cut off for the third time when Rarity slammed the door shut behind her. Sighing, Fluttershy hung her head, slumping her shoulders in resignation.

Walking up to her, Sunset put her hand on Fluttershy’s shoulder, putting on her best reassuring smile. “Look’s like you’re stuck with me, Fluttershy.” When she only got a hushed mumble in response, she delicately patted Fluttershy on the shoulder. “I’ll try and drive as slow as I can, don’t worry.”

***

A short drive later, Big Macintosh pulled up to Sweet Apple Acres, cutting the engine before slumping back in his seat with a grunt. Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie all but flew out of the truck once the door was opened, Rarity gracefully climbing out right after them.

As Applejack undid her seatbelt, she turned to her brother. “Thanks for givin’ me and my friends a ride, Mac.”

“Eeyup.”

“Ya don’t mind, do ya?”

“Nope.” Yanking the key out of the ignition, Big Macintosh climbed out of his truck, making an immediate beeline for the farmhouse.

“Goin’ for a nap?” Applejack asked as she jumped out of the truck.

“Eeyup,” he replied, not even stopping to look over his shoulder.

“Don’t ya still have to go into town later?

“Eeyup!”

“If’n yer not up by then, I’m gettin’ Pinkie to wake ya up! Hear me?”

“EEYUP!” Big Mac hollered over his shoulder right before retreating inside.

Shaking her head with a smile on her face, Applejack walked over to join the others, discovering that Pinkie Pie had wasted no time in grabbing onto one of the trees by the trunk and running circles around it while shouting, “Weeeeee!”

“Pinkie, must you do that every time we come here?” Rarity asked as she watched Pinkie make herself dizzy.

“Yes! You should try it, Rarity! It’s fun.”

“If it’s alright with you, I think I’ll pass.” Putting the pet carrier down onto the ground, Rarity popped it open to allow Twilight to climb out.

“Hey, what’s taking Fluttershy and Sunset anyway? I thought they were right behind—“ Rainbow Dash stopped dead in her tracks, watching as Twilight climbed out of Rarity’s bag. On top of the antlers and padded gloves, Twilight was also wearing a festive vest with holes cut out for her wings and a bright red bow tied at the base of her tail. A smile spread across Rainbow Dash’s face as she felt another laughing fit coming on.

Twilight glared at her with an intensity that could melt steel. “Don’t. Say. Anything.”

Wisely, Rainbow Dash decided to keep her mouth shut.

She was saved by the sound of an approaching engine, everyone looking over in time to see Sunset riding up to the farm, coming to a stop next to Big Mac’s truck before cutting the engine of her bike and kicking down the kickstand.

Removing her helmet, Sunset looked over her shoulder at Fluttershy, who was still clinging to her for dear life and shaking like a leaf in the wind. “We’re here, Fluttershy. You can let go now.”

Fluttershy didn’t budge, burying her face into Sunset’s back with her arms still wrapped tightly around her waist.

“Come on, Fluttershy. I’d like to be able to breathe sometime!”

“Oh!” In a flash, Fluttershy released Sunset, quickly popping her own helmet off her head. “Sorry! I didn’t hurt you, did I?”

“Nah, I’m fine,” Sunset said, rubbing her side. “What’s a bruised rib or two?”

Fluttershy visibly paled, her eyes widening as her grip tightened on the helmet she was holding.

“I’m kidding! I’m kidding!” Sunset quickly reassured her before she could have a panic attack, taking the helmet from her before stepping off her bike. Once Fluttershy climbed off as well, Sunset quickly stowed both helmets away in the under seat compartment of her bike before going to join her friends.

As soon as Sunset and Fluttershy walked over, Applejack loudly clapped her hands together. “Right then, now that all ya’ll are here, we can get started workin’ on Mac’s chores for the day.”

That was Rainbow’s cue to make a break for it, sprinting off with plans to disappear amongst the apple trees and hopefully catch a nap. She didn’t get far though before something hooked around her ankle, causing her to wildly flail her arms as she tried to steady herself, before falling flat onto her face. Groaning, Rainbow glanced over her shoulder to see Applejack looking down at her.

“Not so fast there, Sugarcube. Ya’ll still gotta do some work, remember?”

“But Applejack!”

“Ah, quit yer belly-achin’. Sooner we get all this done, the sooner ya can goof off all ya like. Now come’ on, these chores ain’t gonna do themselves!”

***

First order of business was to work on picking the apples in the west orchard. Dividing up into groups, Rarity and Rainbow Dash worked on one area, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie in another and finally Applejack, Sunset Shimmer and Twilight in a third. Each group alternated between who would carry the bucket, the ladder and who would collect the apples.

Twilight was also proving to be a big help, flying up to the higher part of the trees and carefully trimming the apples with her magic, holding them aloft by the stems as she gently lowered them down into the bucket. As she released a few apples from her magical grip, she flew down and stepped out onto one of the tree’s branches, casting her gaze over the orchard as she took a deep breath of the fresh air, the many different kinds of apples coming together to form a pleasing scent that drifted over the fields.

Applejack was right; a little fresh air was just what I needed. Her main reason for coming over here had been to relax after all, and as afraid as she was of being seen, she couldn’t deny that coming out here had been an excellent idea.

Well, silly outfit notwithstanding.

“Ya almost done up there, Twilight?”

“Hm?” Glancing down, Twilight saw Applejack walking towards the tree she was standing in. “Just about. Just a few more and—WHOA!” As Twilight turned, her hoof slipped off the branch, sending her tumbling back. Flaring at her wings, Twilight desperately grappled for something to grab onto.

Next thing Twilight knew, she found herself hanging upside down from the branch, tightly holding on with all four hooves. Flapping her wings, she tried to right herself again, but to no avail. “Well, this is just great…” Contemplating just letting go of the branch, she wondered if she would have enough time to get her wings flapping before she hit the ground. I’m probably up high enough that I could make it.

“Just let go.” Twilight craned her neck to see Applejack standing underneath her, her arms outstretched. “Don’t worry none, I’ll catch ya!”

“All right… here I go!” Letting go, Twilight briefly tumbled through open air, a scream welling up in her throat right before falling into Applejack’s arms, letting out an “Oof!” from the sudden stop.

“Gotcha! Told ya I was gonna catch ya.” Still holding onto Twilight, Applejack looked around as the others worked harvesting apples. “With all o’ ya helpin’ we’ll be done in no time. Course, I’d reckon this is much easier where ya’ll come from, Twilight.”

Looking up, Twilight asked, “What do you mean?”

“Well, I’d wager it wouldn’t take much to just pluck all the apples from a tree in one go with that there magic of yers. Harvest a whole orchard’s worth in time for breakfast.”

“I could, I guess, but Applejack doesn’t usually like me using magic to help around her farm. Er… I don’t mean you, Applejack.” Twilight quickly added, glancing up to see Applejack looking down at her, her lips pursed and eyebrows raised in confusion. “I mean the pony Applejack. You know, the one from my world.”

“… Right.”

Twilight nodded. “She’s not the only one either. Most earth ponies I’ve met, especially the farmers, prefer to do things the old fashioned way, with as little outside magic as possible. I think I remember her putting it once as…” Twilight cleared her throat as she attempted to emulate Applejack’s accent, “If’n it ain’t broke, don’t go fixin’ it.”

“A notion I can get behind.” Putting Twilight back down, Applejack realized something. “If she doesn’t use magic, then harvestin’ an orchard must be a right ordeal.”

“It’s rather simple, actually. All she does is buck the tree, and the apples fall right out and land into the buckets underneath.”

Applejack blinked. “… Buck? As in kick?”

“Yeah, like this.” To demonstrate, Twilight braced her front hooves against the ground and kicked out with both her back hooves. “See?”

“Yer tellin’ me that ponies kick the trees… and all the apples just tumble out?”

“Exactly.” Walking back up to the tree she had been harvesting, Twilight reached up and ran her hoof over the bark of the trunk. “Actually… maybe…” Stepping back, Twilight took a moment to properly centre herself, spacing her hooves equal distances apart. Taking a deep breath, Twilight spun on her hooves and kicked, striking the tree as hard as she could.

The moment her hooves made contact with the tree, Twilight knew that something was wrong. She felt like she’s just kicked a slab of solid metal rather than a tree trunk, a jolt shooting up her legs that made her fur stand on end and her feathers tingle.

“Ahh!” Stumbling due to the sudden shock, Twilight fell flat on her face, lying in a very demeaning position.

Concerned, Applejack walked over to the prone pony, kneeling down next to her. “Whoa nelly, you alright there, Twi?”

Raising her head, Twilight shook the spots out of her vision. “I’m okay… I think.” Twilight swore she could taste burning ozone on her tongue. “I can’t say I was expecting that kind of reaction though.”

“Well, what did ya go in expectin’?” Picking her up by her barrel, Applejack gently set Twilight back down on her hooves. “That’s what happens when you just up and kick a tree ‘pectin’ it to rain apples.”

“No, I don’t think me kicking it was the problem. Not entirely anyway. It felt almost like the tree… rejected me.”

“I wouldn’t be none too happy if’n ya’ll just walked up an’ kicked me, and I don’t think Mary-Anne appreciated it much neither.”

“Mary-Anne?” Twilight asked, unsure as to whom Applejack was referring to.

“Yeah, that there’s this tree’s name.” Standing up, Applejack put her hand on the trunk of the tree. “What, does the other Applejack not name her trees too?”

“No, she does, I just didn’t think that… uh… nevermind.” Walking back up to the tree, Twilight lightly tapped her hoof against the bark, producing a dull knocking sound. Even if this is a different world, I definitely felt the tree push me back. Maybe… Maybe I just need to try a different approach. “I’m going to try again.”

“Twi, I don’t think that’ll—”

“Please, Applejack? Just let me try one more time.” Twilight pleaded, turning and gazing up at Applejack with a determined look on her face. “Even if I don’t manage to knock any apples down, I just want to try. Please?”

“… Alright,” Applejack relented, stepping back. “If’n ya want to give her another shot, I reckon I can’t stop ya from tryin’. Just be careful, ya hear? It didn’t look too kind the first time, and I just don’t want ya hurting yer’self.”

“I’ll be careful, I promise.” Facing the tree, Twilight positioned herself again, this time digging deep down and tapping into her stores of magic. Right, so just kicking it won’t work. I have to do something else. Hmm… I’ve seen Applejack talk to her trees before, so maybe… couldn’t hurt to try.

Taking a deep breath, Twilight kept her hold on her magic and relaxed her posture, sitting back on her haunches and placing her hoof on the tree. Well, here goes.

“Um… Mary-Anne?” Twilight paused, as if expecting the tree to reply back. “My name’s Twilight, Twilight Sparkle. You can just call me Twilight if you like.” Another pause, another bout of silence in response and Twilight was beginning to feel sillier and sillier with each passing second, yet she still pressed on, “I… I’m sorry I kicked you like that. It was rude of me to do that without asking, and I’m sorry for not considering how you would feel first. See, where I come from…”

“Hey, Applejack,” Sunset called out as she came running up to Applejack. “I finished filling the last bucket, so where should—” Skidding to a stop, she stared at the sight of Twilight sitting at the base of the tree, holding her hoof against the bark as she talked to herself. “Uh… AJ? What is she doing?”

“Far as I can tell,” Applejack replied, “she’s askin’ the tree if it’ll let her kick it. Apparently, that’s how you get apples where you and her are from.”

By now, Twilight had been having a one-sided conversation with Mary-Anne the tree for over a minute. “…So, I guess what I’m asking is if you’ll let me knock down some of your apples. I don’t need many; just one would be more than enough. Please?” A light breeze blew through Twilight’s mane as she waited for some kind of sign.

A pleasant tingling feeling suddenly flowed from her hoof down her leg, like the feeling of someone running a feather along her fur. “Is… is that a yes?” she asked, feeling the same sensation run down her leg again seconds later. Nodding in understanding, Twilight got back up and resumed her stance from before, spinning around and kicking her back hooves against the tree.

This time, the bark felt like it bent under Twilight’s hooves, the force of her kick resounding through the tree rather than back at her and making the tree shake slightly, jostling a few leaves loose to drift to the ground. For several seconds, nothing happened and Twilight thought that all this had been for nothing.

Then, one of the remaining apples fell free, bouncing against the grassy field before rolling to a stop a short distance away. Then, a second one fell right afterwards, followed a moment later by a third. When no more apples fell, Twilight stepped forward, a smile on her face as she placed her hoof back against the tree. “Thank you.”

“I saw it, but I don’t believe it.” Applejack muttered as she closed her hanging jaw and walked up to the fallen apples, picking one up and turning it over in her hand to examine. “Ain’t that something, not a single bruise or blemish I can see. Just when I think yer done being chock full of surprises, ya go ahead and spring a new one on me.”

Twilight nickered, blushing slightly as she rubbed the back of her head. “It wasn’t much, really. Most earth ponies can clear a tree with only a kick or two, but I don’t know if I could have done much better even if I was normal sized.”

Thinking about it, Twilight realized she had been seriously neglecting learning how to properly utilize her newfound earth pony magic. She had noticed early on that she could run for longer than before without getting tired and that she was physically stronger now, but besides that she’d done far more to get acclimated with her new wings and the magic that came with them.

List of things to do once I’m back in Equestria: Buy Spike the biggest gem I can find and research into the uses of earth pony magic, maybe even ask Applejack for tips on proper applebucking.

“Yo! Twilight!” Applejack, Sunset and Twilight turned to see Rainbow Dash running up to them, “You done over here? 'Cuz the rest of us are having a little trouble getting some of the apples near the tops of the trees, even with Pinkie Pie standing on her tippy toes. Think you could give us a hand?”

Frowning, Twilight glanced down at her hooves.

“Not what I meant!” Rainbow Dash scowled as the three of them laughed at her expense.

“Sorry, Rainbow,“ Twilight said, hiding a snicker behind her hoof. “Just let me finish over here and I’ll be right over.”

“Oh, why make’ em wait?” Applejack interjected. “Go right ahead, Twilight. I’ll finish up here for ya.”

“Alright, if you don’t mind.”

Shaking her head, Applejack said, “Nah, it’s fine. And Sunset, before I go an’ forget, just put the buckets by the barn. They’ll need to be sorted later anyway, so best to be havin’ them all in one place for that.”

Nodding, Sunset turned and walked back to where she had left the buckets, Rainbow Dash and Twilight following right behind her. As Applejack watched them depart, she looked down at the apple still clutched in her hand, before glancing over her shoulder at Mary-Anne and the apples still hanging from her branches.

“Hm, I wonder…” Dropping the apple into the nearest bucket, Applejack walked over and put her hand against the tree. “Hey, Mary-Anne, it’s just me. Call me silly, but I was wondering if you’d be willin’ to offer the same courtesy ya done gone and gave to Twilight just now. I know I don’t normally do this kinda thing, but I promise an extra helpin’ of mulch in it for ya if you’d let me give it a go, just this once.”

Just like with Twilight, she felt a pleasant feeling run through her hand and up her arm, making her smile. “I’ll be taking that as a yes. Better get ready, cause here I come!”

Stepping back, Applejack shifted her stance as she centered herself, digging her heel into the ground, as the muscles in her legs were primed and just raring to go. Like rivals in a kung-fu movie, Applejack’s eyes narrowed as she stared down her would-be target.

“HE-YAH!” With a mighty cry, Applejack spun on her left foot and struck with her right, driving the heel of her boot into the tough bark of the tree, a deafening thud echoing forth as the tree bore the full force of the kick.

For but a fraction of a second, as her heel came down onto the tree, Applejack’s whole body was surrounded in an orange glow, the ghostly afterimage of a pair of horse ears poking out of her blonde hair and the image of a red apple marking covering her right eye appearing for but a moment before disappearing along with the orange glow.

All at once, before the tremor had even passed, the few apples still remaining on the tree all came loose. While some happened to land in the buckets around the tree, most came to rest on the ground in the shade of the tree.

Lowering her leg, Applejack took a second to admire her work, taking a deep breath as she looked around at the apples scattered around her that she had knocked loose. With a smug smile on her face, she tipped her hat back as she looked up at the now empty tree. “Well, I’ll be.”

***

The hours flew by as the seven of them worked through Big Mac’s chores, including feeding the farm animals (to Fluttershy’s delight), to watering and sowing the crops, to bundling and storing bales of hay in the barn.

During a break, Twilight took the chance to sample some of the hay, remarking that it “tasted like uncooked pasta noodles.”

By the time Big Mac woke up from his nap and gone into town, all the chores that needed to be done were finished, allowing Rainbow Dash to finally cut loose by setting up a friendly game of soccer between them, designating a section of the orchard as the playing field and having two pairs of trees marked by a length of rope between them stand as the goals.

True to her nature, Rainbow zipped back and forth across the field like lightning, keeping the ball away from Applejack and Rarity’s advances as best she could. Seeing an opening out of the corner of her eye, she hooked her foot under the ball and sent it flying. “Sunset, heads up!”

Sunset leapt up and head-butted the ball as hard as she could, sending it hurtling towards the goal and its goalie, Fluttershy. Striking her square in the chest, Fluttershy lost her footing and fell onto her back with a thud.

Everyone stopped dead in their tracks, fearing that Fluttershy might be hurt. After several nail-biting seconds, Fluttershy threw her arms up into the air, proudly displaying the ball held between her hands and prompting everyone to breathe a sigh of relief.

“Nice catch there, Shy!“ Applejack quickly congratulated her teammate as Fluttershy picked herself back up and threw the ball back into play, kicking off another mad blitz for the ball.

Back and forth the ball went across the field, changing hands again and again before ending up under Rainbow Dash’s control again. Winding back, she kicked the ball towards the goal, only for her shot to go wild; the ball flying clear across the field, coming to rest past a row of trees bordering the imaginary field lines.

The harsh shriek of a whistle cut through the air as Twilight flew into view, sporting a whistle around her neck and a tiny referee’s hat on her head. Letting the whistle drop from her mouth, she hovered over the soccer ball. “Out of bounds! Applejack’s team gets control.”

“Oh, come on, Twilight!” Rainbow Dash whined. “That was so in-bounds!”

“Not from where I was sitting.” Picking up the ball in her magic, Twilight sent it hurtling towards Applejack, who wasted no time in making a running for the goal now that she was in control of the ball. With the ball back in play, Twilight flew back over to the tree she was watching the game from, a small chalkboard hanging from the branch proudly displaying the score as 2-1, in Rainbow’s and Sunset’s favour.

Pinkie put on her war face as Applejack bore down on her, arms raised as she prepared to intercept the shot. “You’re not getting by me, AJ!”

Smirking, Applejack drew her foot back for a kick, which Pinkie Pie lunged to block…

… Only for her to then strike the ball with the side of her foot, knocking it to her left to be intercepted by Rarity. Taking advantage of Pinkie Pie’s momentary confusion, Rarity swiftly looped around Rainbow Dash as she made a pass for the ball, before taking a shot at the goal.

Pinkie Pie had just enough time to watch the ball sail clear over her head, shooting past the goal lines.

“Gooooaaaallll!” Rarity shouted, jumping for joy as Pinkie Pie begrudgingly went to retrieve the ball.

“Now that’s how ya do it! Up high!” Running up to her, Applejack held up both hands, which Rarity eagerly jumped up to high-five back.

Rainbow glanced over at the scoreboard as Twilight changed the score to two all, growling from the back of her throat. I can’t let Rarity and Applejack beat me!

As Pinkie stepped back onto the field with the ball in hand, Twilight flew over and picked up the ball in her magic once more, carrying it to the centre field. As everyone got back into position, Twilight set the ball down and quickly flew back to her perch. Settling down, she blew a quick puff of her whistle and the game was back on.

Rainbow Dash immediately went on the offensive, all but tackling Rarity and Applejack aside to snatch the ball from them. Still, neither Applejack nor Rarity let up, coming down on Rainbow and Sunset at every turn. Both sides swarmed across the field like angry bees, neither side giving the other an inch as the tension grew.

Running down the field with the ball at her feet, Sunset suddenly found herself between the goal and a very determined Applejack bearing down on her. Frantically looking for an opening, her eyes fell on Rainbow Dash as she blitzed by, a clear shot to the goal in front of her,

“Dash! Take the shot!” Without a moment’s hesitation, Sunset kicked the ball towards Rainbow, who bounced the ball against her chest before running with it. With no one in her way, she pulled her leg back to make the shot, putting all she could muster into this kick.

From out of nowhere, Rarity dove into a slide, aiming to kick the ball away from Rainbow before she could take the shot. For a split second before they each made contact, their bodies became surrounded in a blue and purple glow, horse ears briefly poking through their hair as the images of a lightning bolt and a diamond respectively flashed over their eyes, disappearing just as quick as they had appeared.

With perfect timing, both Rarity and Rainbow managed to kick the ball at the same time, sending it rocketing away from the field at an untold rate of speed, shooting into the air before disappearing into the distance.

Watching the soccer ball sail away like a rocket, Pinkie Pie remarked, “Yeah… I’m not going to be the one who goes to get that.”

Meanwhile, Rarity continued on in her slide, knocking Rainbow Dash clean off her feet and causing her to fall flat on her face. Grunting, Rainbow climbed back to her feet, stomping over to Rarity as she stood up as well, wiping dirt off her pant leg.

“The hell, Rarity?” Rainbow yelled, getting right up in Rarity’s face with fire in her eyes, “Watch where you’re going!”

Rarity scoffed, meeting Rainbow’s ire with her own. “I could very well ask that you do the same. I was unaware that soccer was suddenly a full-contact sport.”

“That’s just how the game is played! Don’t like it, just give up then.”

“Hmph, I will do no such thing. Nor with I rise to the claims of someone who is clearly a sore loser like you.”

“Why, you—”

SMASH!

The sound of glass shattering echoed through the orchard like the rumble of a jet engine. Everyone glanced in the direction of the farmhouse, before five pairs of eyes all turned at once to stare at Rainbow Dash and Rarity, both of whom stood petrified under their friends’ glares.

Rainbow Dash glanced at Rarity, who looked back with an equally guilty expression on her face. “Uh… Whoops?”

“Whoops.”

Author's Note:

As always, if you spot any mistakes, feel free to point them out to me in the comments.