• Published 3rd Jun 2012
  • 4,681 Views, 109 Comments

An Orchard of Apples - DivineGlory

Rarity needs fashion advice for a new line of clothes but finds something else as well.

  • ...

The Date(2)

I have a date – for real this time.

She repeated the sentence in her head, feeling the desire for her love resonate with an ascending sun. With a smile that could encompass Canterlot and no Sweetie Belle to distract her, she hugged her pillow, wondering if the two could connect their hearts. It’s a date and nothing more. A knot folded in her stomach. Time to get moving.

“Will she like this?” she asked herself, having showered and brought herself to the mirror. “Hm... probably too fancy for a southern pony like Applejack.” Puckering her lips, she put on another dress, throwing the previous set with matching hat back into the closet. “This one? Oh, I should have somepony else to help me with this.” She shrugged it off, opened the closet doors and dug her hooves into multitudes of feathery capes and prismatic hats. What will Applejack wear? Likely just her hat, but... perhaps it’ll be twice in a row? Maybe... She shook her head slightly, floating down a light blue saddle onto her back.

The wall clock chimed, bringing her head straight. Horseapples! It’s coming too soon! I'm not ready for this! Her breathing quickened, eyes shifting between the clock and her dress. Will I be good enough? She accepted quickly, but... was she trying to save my feelings? The saddle wobbled under these doubts, a characteristic of love and not fashionistas. Should I be early? I was a bit late for the other 'date' and then... she was fine with that, right? I mean, she didn't really comment on it at all or anything. The clock still showed a healthy span of time left. Early it is.

With a little haste she combed her mane into her usual, flowing style, then partially braided it to cascade over her left shoulder, reasoning that similar styles made better dates. The sun at its zenith, she moved out.

A pegasus couple was the first to smile at her, and she returned the favour under piercing eyes that pervaded her field of view. They know what I'm waiting for, don’t they? Ponies come here for dates, not some... boring meet-up or anything! She wanted to cower under her breath, something her continuous exposure to the spotlight made so embarrassing, but mustered enough self-esteem to purse her lips. Ten minutes left, perhaps... no, she’ll be here. One of her hooves rapped against the ground, powered by a torrent of blood rushing through, while the other adjusted her braid. My braids are a visual headache, and so is my saddle... sweet Celestia, where is that farm pony! Her posture drooped and she prepared to turn back in shame. I guess she isn't showing.

“Rarity! Where ya going?”

“Applejack!” Rarity jumped, looking back with a scrunched-up face. “I... I was just going to... fix my mane...”

“Ah’m sure yer mane looks fine.” She pointed at the entrance. “Shall we go in? Mares first.”

Rarity's face flushed. If only I could remember... how this wonderful pony would do that to me? Nevertheless, she moved through the door without pausing a second.

A black earth pony with formal suit and silver platter on flank stood by the side. “Do you have a reservation?”

“Yes, one for a Miss Rarity.”

“Right this way, Miss Rarity.” He held two menus in his right hoof while moving towards the table with relative ease. The dates trailed him and he was about to pull out a chair, but Applejack burst forth to do it herself.

“Ah' got it from here.” In response, the waiter simply nodded, positioned both menus and waited for the flustered guests to sit down. Rarity smiled at Applejack, who was ordering champagne. Only one pony has ever held my chair for me, and she certainly got her high-tastes right for tonight...

They stayed still for a few minutes, limiting communication to facial expressions when neighbouring tables were bustling with romantic excitement. Rarity gladly accepted “So, how did the Oranges enjoy their stay?”

Applejack clenched her teeth and raised both eyelids. “Ah' thought we already talked about this, they probably gonna sell some oranges down here. Aunt Orange really liked yer company and Ah' reckon she'll come down to see how yer business is going, an' maybe order something too.” Rarity nodded in their personal silence.

“So-” they both started.

“Oh, you go first darling.”

“Nah, I talked last. You go first, Rarity.”

“If you want to. Right... what’s on your mind?” She frowned. The whole date’s been fixed.

“Ah've really just been relaxing, gettin' ready fer tonight. And you?”

“The same.” Rarity pulled her eyes to the right. I don’t know, are they smirking? Hey, the waiter’s back.

“What would you like for dinner tonight, Madams?”

“I'll take a...” Applejack’s head shook. “Just get us whatever you think is good.” The waiter nodded and walked off towards the kitchen, leaving silence again. Fancy food wasn’t one of her considerations, but then again she doesn't seem that awkward with her country background. Is it me or do I not want to be in this relationship? A heat blitzed through Rarity’s nerves and into her cheeks. Hold on, I'm blushing... that's a good thing, right? Have my stallion loves blushed before? “There's no need tah blush,” Applejack informed.

“I'm just a little... little bit nervous.” Rarity chuckled and sipped her half-full champagne glass. “I haven't been on a lot of dates that I've wanted to... um... sort out, if you know what I’m saying.” This elicited Applejack to grin like what her date did moments ago.

“Well ah' want it to work out too.” Both sides settled into a receptive mood. “How's your dressmaking?”

“It's great. Fancypants has ordered plenty of my rustic dresses and he’s predicting the sales to blow Canterlot’s roof off. Obviously, most of that will go towards replenishing my resources. So how’s your apple business going?”

“That? It's goin' just fine. We been bucking the apples, sellin' them like all the other years. Not as excitin' as your job but it's an honest day's work... I don’t mean yers isn't.” Rarity giggled and was about to open her mouth, when the waiter came with platters: tofu steak sprinkled with daisy petals, served with rose petals, and sided by some of the finest tulip stems.

The words they had uttered, and their mental impressions, were soon lost in an explosion of flavours. Rarity kept her horn glowing, picking off different pieces of the steak and inserting them in her mouth. She glanced Applejack, who seemed to be mirroring her every action. This steak could serve anything romantic very well, but our lines of thought have been broken... Sighing, she returned to her food. Soon they were done, and found themselves giving relaxed expressions at each other. “Now... where were we, Applejack?”

“Dessert time, Ah’ believe.” She turned to the approaching waiter, then back. “You want anything?”

“Surprise me then.” Do I really have time for such fattening dessert? But if she wants it I shouldn't resist, right? Rules of dating, Rarity, don’t forget! The waiter looked towards Applejack.

“We'll just take a check.”

Rarity smiled. “Night’s late anyway.” Did I think out loud again?

“'Tis.” No, it's died out again! Rarity stood up and put down her half of the bill as a heap of bits. Thanking the waiter, she and Applejack wandered off into the cool Ponyville night.

This should have gone so much better! Rarity sighed and clicked her tongue, walking back towards her home. Where did I go wrong? It must've been me... Applejack was fine, she started the conversation, ordered the food. Was I too needy? I think so. She stayed below the moonlight, oblivious to a change in direction. My feelings foretell disasters... why am I so weird all of a sudden?

“Rarity?” The prompt paralysed her for a moment, and she saw an ice cream parlour straight ahead. Applejack held a large vanilla cone in her right hoof. “Sorry to interrupt, but what kind do ya' want?”

“I'll have the same.” The stallholder scooped out a nice dollop. “Applejack, you didn't have to do this.”

“Ah' wanted to, Rarity – for you.” Rarity leaned to her left, levitating her cone while staring at her date. “Oh-” Pausing to grin, she took a bite. “How's the family doing?”

“They're fine really. Big Mac's been bucking those apples a lot. I told him he's gunna have ta' stop if he don't want to get hurt again, he's just plain stubborn. Granny's hips feeling better the past few days, but that may be just the painkillers we’ve been givin' her. Need to have that replaced soon. Now Apple Bloom... well she's doing what she always does-”

“Oh, I know!” Rarity giggled. “Believe me, Sweetie Belle talks nothing but her cutie mark. It's like, 'I want my cutie mark!' and 'Hey sis, when did you get your cutie mark?' and as if the story’s been repeated a thousand times. Maybe she's thinking she missed something.” Applejack joined in the laughter. “I'm just really surprised they haven't thrown Ponyville out of its rhythm much with their ‘crusades’.”

“Ah' know what ya mean. Every now and then I check their clubhouse, it's sparklin’ clean! Maybe Scootaloo's gunna get a cutie mark in cleaning up.” Both sides went into laughing fits.

“Really, those girls should have learned by now how easy it is to get a cutie mark if you aren't looking for one.”

“Yeah, they'll get one soon enough. Might even convince Apple Bloom to help out with the harvestin' more often.”

“Ha! I'd say the same for Sweetie, but she doesn't really have the designer's eye. She once wanted to mix a blue saddle with green straps... and a pink hat. Has anypony ever seen such an outfit?” They chuckled on.

“At least you’re her good sister who can help out.”

“So are you, for Apple Bloom.” They smiled at each other, noticing the ice cream drip onto the floor.

“Well, better eat our treats quick. Them girls will be home in the morning and we need our sleep.”

Rarity nodded. “Maybe Twilight will hold them for a little longer.” They finished their ice creams, threading their talk along, albeit slower than before. After that, they walked back to Carousel under the chirps of nighttime critters.

An elaborate door stood by their side, Rarity’s eyes glowing in the moonlight. They stayed motionless for a few minutes, contemplating how best to conclude the date. Kiss her, you fool! “Well... I guess this is... good night...” Just kiss her! “I'm terribly sorry.” Rarity forced her head down, the bangs falling over her face. She bit her tongue under a rush of blood to her cheeks.

“Wha? Sorry fer what?”

“The date... the first part wasn't that great. It would've been awful if not for the ice cream.”

“Rarity,” Applejack confessed as she brushed the bangs, “the only reason this date was incredible was because it was with you. Working on the farm, I’ve won my family lots of fame and fortune... but I always felt some kind of hole deep inside. You filled it for me, even though I’m not that good at dating. You became my inspiration.”

Rarity was about to say something when Applejack intercepted her open mouth with a quick kiss.

“Goodnight, Rarity.”

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