• Published 13th Dec 2015
  • 1,235 Views, 8 Comments

Of Conversations and Pairing Stones - bahatumay



Rainbow Dash and Applejack visit the Pie Family rock farm for Macintosh and Marble's Choosing Stone Ceremony.

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Of Conversations

“So. This is a rock farm.” Rainbow Dash lay on her back, looking up at the cloudy afternoon sky. She glanced over at Applejack. “It's… not like I was expecting.”

“What were you expecting?” Applejack asked.

“I don't really know,” Rainbow admitted. “I mean, I get the whole rocks everywhere thing; but I dunno. It just seems so… flat. Flat and gray and kinda bleh.”

Applejack crossed her hooves behind her head. “There are some crystal caves a good ten minutes from here that are really something. Spiky, colorful, and plenty interesting.”

“I might take you up on that,” Rainbow said, looking back up at the sky. “Here, there’s nothing but Polder’s boulder-”

“Holder’s boulder,” Applejack corrected absentmindedly.

“Yeah, whatever. That. Big rock from a dragon’s nest…” Rainbow’s voice trailed off, and she looked over at Applejack again. “Doesn’t that sound kinda strange to you?”

“Maybe,” Applejack shrugged, “but after seeing what Maud and Pinkie can do, I don’t think I’d put anything past this family. Maybe he just really wanted that rock.”

Rainbow shrugged, conceding this point. “I could see that. Some pony just waltzing in, knocking out the dragon with one punch, taking the boulder for himself…” She frowned. “Why would a dragon even have a giant rock? It's not like he could eat it.” She paused. “Or maybe he did want to eat it.”

Applejack raised an eyebrow. “Why, ‘cause he thought it was a giant gray ruby?” she asked sarcastically.

Rainbow shrugged. Her ears pricked up as a new idea occurred to her. “Maybe it's an egg.”

Applejack looked over at the rock far off in the distance. “Then that's one humdinger of an egg,” she said. “Don’t reckon I’d want to tangle with the dragon that laid that. Or the dragon what’d come out of it.”

Rainbow shrugged. “It’s cool. I’ll just hold off from any Sonic Rainbooms nearby and it won't hatch.”

Applejack cracked a smile. “I’m thinkin’ that’s for the best. If’n you did, Cloudy Quartz might have a heart attack from the shock, and I’d be against having a funeral so close to a wedding.”

Rainbow chuckled. “Yeah, no kidding. All that color, the loud noise, the excitement; I’m pretty sure I nearly made her faint when she saw me for the first time. Everything’s so gray here. I’m the brightest thing out here.”

Applejack nodded, a tiny smile playing at her lips. “You always brighten my day, sugarcube.”

Rainbow scowled playfully before continuing. “So yeah. No dying. That’d really put a damper on your relationship with… is she going to be your mother-in-law?”

Applejack scrunched her nose as she thought. “I think so? Never been one for keeping track, really. Doesn’t matter how you’re related, you’re family, and that’s what matters.”

“Yeah. I’m glad I get to show up to those family reunions now.” She grinned. “And now you and Pinkie really are related.”

“We never could figure that out,” Applejack shrugged. “On the bright side, Twilight figured out that we’d be, like, ninth cousins if we even were related, so there's that.”

Rainbow Dash shuddered. “Didn’t unicorns used to do that, in, like, the really olden days? You know, ‘keep it all in the family’?”

Applejack shrugged. “Never was one for history,” she confessed. “I could tell you about where the different kinds of apples originated, though?”

Rainbow settled back down and put her hooves behind her head. “Unless you’ve got samples in the form of cider, I’m not interested.”

Applejack chuckled. “You might get some apple pie later. Big Mac wanted to show off his cooking skills, so he baked enough pies for an army of ponies. Nearly drove Apple Bloom nuts on the trip here, smelling those pies and not being able to eat any of them.”

Rainbow quickly jumped in. “Enough for an army of ponies… or one Pinkie Pie.”

“Or one Pinkie Pie,” Applejack agreed with a slight chuckle. “She sure can pack it away.” She exhaled. “Honestly, I think he’s still scared.”

“Scared? Mac? Of what? Quartzy and… uh…”

“Igneous Rock Pie and Cloudy Quartz?” Applejack supplied.

“Yeah, them. Heh. Glad I'm not marrying into that family, can't even remember their names… What are they going to do, look disapprovingly at him and tell him ‘get thine hindquarters out of mine humble abode’?”

Applejack hit Rainbow Dash with her hat. “Be nice,” she scolded.

“Honestly, Limestone’s the one he needs to be afraid of,” Rainbow continued, only half-heartedly blocking the hit. “She’d probably bash his head in with a pickaxe if she thought he deserved it.”

Applejack rolled her eyes, but Rainbow Dash wasn’t done.

“Now, Maud, on the other hoof… Maud would be happy for them. As happy as she can get, anyway.” She sat up and swiped at her mane to put it in a rough approximation of Maud’s simple flat style. “I can just see her standing there, all like, ‘Macintosh. I see you have impregnated my sister. Congratulations. I hope it’s a rock-’”

Applejack swung wholeheartedly at her this time, and Rainbow did have to actively dodge her hat.

“Tell me I’m wrong!” Rainbow protested.

“You’re not- It’s-” Applejack gave up and merely swung her hat again.

Rainbow grinned from under her hooves, and when she deemed it safe, put them down again.

Applejack exhaled and slid her hat back on her head. “Actually, I think it’s more like he wants to show everypony that he can provide for Marble,” she said. “You know, keep her safe. I mean, Marble’s never left the rock farm. Not once in her life. Now she's gonna have to go and leave her home to follow him somewhere where she'll be surrounded by apples instead of rocks. Poor Marble, I bet she's scared spitless.”

“She's always scared spitless,” Rainbow said dismissively. “That's, like, her natural state.”

“Rainbow,” Applejack scolded.

“What?” Rainbow asked innocently.

Applejack exhaled, unable to think of a proper rejoinder.

Rainbow continued. “If they haven’t already figured out that she’ll be fine with Mac, they’re about as bright as a rock.” She paused. “One of the really dull, gray, not bright ones, I mean.”

Applejack cracked a smile against her will.

Rainbow grinned, pleased that she'd gotten a reaction. “She’ll be in Ponyville. Sure, there’s the odd timberwolf from the Everfree, and maybe the random storm or so; but Pinkie’s there, and Mac, well, he'll protect her. He's like a giant brick wall. Nothing’s getting past him.”

Applejack grinned. “Yeah, I bet that does help.”

Their conversation lapsed into a silence. Rainbow laid back down and looked up at the sky again. Together, they watched as the sun began to set, and the cloudy sky slowly shifted into a more varied array of grays.

“You ever wonder why Pinkie Pie was born pink?” Rainbow blurted.

Applejack cocked her head. “Can’t say I have,” she answered slowly. “Why?”

“Everything here's so gray and brown and gray; and then she’s… pink.” She glanced around, half expecting Pinkie Pie to pop out from under a rock with a (to her, anyway) perfectly valid and logical explanation.

Applejack thought for a moment. “I think families get the ponies they need,” she finally said. “I can't imagine life without Apple Bloom. We needed her, and so she was born. The Pies just needed a little color in their lives, and so Pinkie was born.” She cracked a smile. “I think we needed that color in all of our lives, really. Did you know the Cakes were fixin’ to move out of Ponyville before Pinkie showed up?”

“Huh. I’m glad they didn’t,” Rainbow said. “Have you tried their milkshakes? They’re delicious.”

“That they are.”

There was a silence. The sky grew darker and the air a bit colder, and Rainbow Dash subtly slid over a bit closer to Applejack. Applejack reciprocated, and now they were close but still not touching. Not yet, anyway.

Their little dance was slightly ruined when Rainbow’s stomach growled. Applejack hid her chuckle behind a hoof. “Hungry?”

“Always,” Rainbow said, accepting this as it came. “Wonder what’s for dinner?”

Applejack grinned. “I’d bet apples to acres it’s rock soup.”

Rainbow hesitated. She glanced at a nearby rock and briefly imagined herself trying to eat it. “Sounds… good,” she said, unsure of her words.

“It's an experience.”

Rainbow sat up. “I know that tone,” she said, her voice strained. “It's nasty, isn't it?”

Applejack pulled her hat down over her face and said nothing, but silent laughter rocked her body.

“Please tell me you brought actual food,” Rainbow whimpered.

“Now, Rainbow,” Applejack gently chided. “Different families have different traditions, and it's only right to try them out for yourself to understand where they're coming from.”

Rainbow stood up and stretched her wings. “Yeah? Well, I'm going to be coming from someplace with actual food. Try me. No, time me. I’ll be there and back with food in my belly before they know I’m gone.”

“No need to go anywhere, sugarcube,” Applejack said calmly. “The rock soup’s their tradition, but the baked goods are our tradition, and tonight, we’re mixing traditions while we're mixing families. New traditions. You get the best of both worlds.”

Rainbow relaxed. “That’s right. I forgot.”

The conversation lapsed. Rainbow Dash laid back down, rotating enough so she could rest her head on Applejack’s stomach. Applejack, who did not mind this contact in the slightest, gently reached up a hoof and ran it through her mane.

Rainbow’s shaking of silent laughter made her stop. “What?” she asked.

Rainbow shoved her hoof into her mouth for a moment, eventually managing to get her laughter under control. “So, if Mac and Marble do have a foal… would that mean we would start calling her Great-Granny Smith?”

Applejack snorted a laugh. “Doubt it,” she said.

“I might try it once. After dinner.”

“Why? So she could throw a dirty plate at you?”

Rainbow shrugged. “Better than having her throw a full plate at me.”

Applejack chuckled. “You and your strange logic.”

The wind blew once more, and Applejack flicked her tail over, letting it rest on Rainbow’s stomach.

“Speaking of dinner…”

Applejack snorted.

“I just had a thought of Iggy and Cloudy at an Apple Family Reunion.”

Applejack grinned. “Not taking it so well, I bet.”

Rainbow shook her head. “He's just staring blankly at a wall and she's all curled up on the ground, rocking back and forth.” She cracked a smile as a new thought occurred to her. “That'll make the reception fun.”

Applejack exhaled. “I trust Pinkie. I’m sure she’ll have something that’ll fit both families better’n an old hat.”

“She’ll probably have two parties, one for each side.” Rainbow lifted her head. “And I’m invited to your family’s, right?”

Applejack rolled her eyes. “Yes, Rainbow. Significant others are always invited. You know that.”

“Because there will be cider there.”

“Yes, Rainbow,” said Applejack with a hint of long-suffering in her voice, “there will be cider there.”

Rainbow laid her head back down. “You know, we should bring Limestone. I bet Limestone likes cider. She just doesn't know it, yet. I bet you when she tries it, she’ll smile so big her whole face cracks. Just falls off, like that. Crash!” She mimed an explosion with her hooves, showing just how far the pieces of Limestone’s face would spread.

Applejack noticed that she had also shifted her hips during her little demonstration, bringing them a little closer together. She responded by gently brushing her hoof against Rainbow’s shoulder. “You think everypony likes cider.”

“Because everypony does,” Rainbow defended herself. “Not even Cranky Doodle Donkey doesn't like cider. Even Rarity drinks it.”

Applejack chuckled as she tousled Rainbow’s mane. “Yeah. I still say putting it in a teacup is a little over the top, though.”

“Nopony’s got time for that,” Rainbow confirmed. “Give it to me by the barrel.”

Applejack dropped her hoof and snorted. “I'd give it to you, just to watch you try and drink it,” she said.

“Don't tempt me,” Rainbow warned. “I’ll do it.”

They were closer, now. Rainbow rested her head on Applejack’s chest, and her hoof trailed across Applejack’s body to brush up against her cutie mark. Thoughts of cider were forgotten as the two began to breathe in unison.

“I bet it's our fault,” Rainbow said suddenly.

“Huh?”

“Macintosh and Marble.”

“Oh, it is,” Applejack confirmed. “He woke me up one night and told me he was going for it, and afore I could ask what in tarnation he was talking about, he'd bolted out the front door. Came back two days later, red as could be, asking me how to properly propose to a mare.”

Rainbow made a ‘hm’ sound. “No kidding?”

Applejack sighed, reminiscing. “Nope. Mac may be quiet, but when he makes up his mind to do something, ain't nothing can stand in his way.”

They were truly cuddling now, their bodies nearly together as one; the cool night and their conversation having slowly brought them together.

“Quiet isn't so bad,” Rainbow said suddenly. “You don’t need words. It’s cool to just be with somepony else, you know? Sitting in silence.”

“Huh,” Applejack said, with just a hint of sarcasm. “Wonder what that’s like.”

Rainbow nipped at her barrel. It wasn't a hard bite; it was more of a ‘you and I both know you deserve something for that comment but I'm enjoying your company too much to do anything about it’ bite. It wasn't painful so much as almost erotic; and Applejack responded by reaching down and resting her hoof on Rainbow's cutie mark. Rainbow exhaled deeply and rubbed her head against Applejack, trying to settle deeper into her embrace. Really, this was natural; this was where they were meant to be.

“Hey, you two!”

Unfortunately, Limestone Pie did not share their sentiment. Rainbow rolled over and groaned. She grabbed Applejack’s hat, putting it on and pulling it down over her eyes.

“Dinner’s ready!” Limestone yelled, banging her pickaxe against a rock in a crude imitation of a dinner triangle. “Stop mackin’ on each other and get your lazy tails over here!”

“Coming, mother!” Rainbow blurted before she could stop herself.

Applejack couldn't hold back a snort of laughter as she heard Limestone scowl. Never change, Rainbow.