• Published 13th Dec 2015
  • 1,243 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 Pairing Stones

Limestone looked particularly angry about something tonight. Judging by the glares she had sent Macintosh's way all night, she wanted to hate him. Perhaps it was because he was taking away her sister. Maybe it was because her chore list was about to increase substantially. Or maybe it was just because she was currently sick of Apples on their property.

Apples as in ponies, maybe; but not apples as in fruit. After all the pies Limestone had eaten (and Rainbow Dash had lost count after the fourth; maybe eating big was just something that ran in Pinkie’s family?) she seemed to be unable to do more than glower every so often at nothing in particular. It is really hard to hate someone who makes such nice things. If anything, she was more angry with herself for having eaten and enjoyed so many of the enemy’s treats.

Rainbow Dash, however, had had no such inhibitions nor mental blocks. She had made an honest attempt to eat the rock soup; and once she had been determined that to be a lost cause (she vaguely remembered picking up an old gym sweatshirt in her mouth once, and the taste of the rock soup wasn’t substantially different), she had elected instead to entertain herself by teasing the happy couple. She'd meet Mac's eyes and flick over to Marble and wink with her best lecherous smile, and he'd look down and blush and squirm in his chair; then she'd do the same to Marble, glancing over at Mac and giving her ‘the nod’, complete with tongue running across the front of her teeth. Her greatest accomplishment tonight was when she'd gotten Marble to blush, squeak, and hide her face all at once by holding up her spoon, waiting until Marble was watching, and then slowly and sensually extending her tongue and running it all along the underside.

That was when Applejack had finally noticed what she was doing and told her with a none-too-gentle elbow jab to the ribs that she needed to stop. But it was fun while it had lasted.

Now, however, came the Choosing Stone Ceremony. There was a cold formality to it; nopony (not even Pinkie!) spoke as they walked (or, in Rainbow’s case, hovered alongside near the back of the group) to where the stones were kept. Limestone intentionally walked between Macintosh and Marble, tail flicking, as if in challenge.

They soon arrived at the little rock sanctuary, where a grim-looking gray earth pony stood guard. He nodded once, and turned back around and disappeared into the shadows inside. He soon returned to the door, holding a bowl covered by a rough sackcloth. He placed it in some saddlebags, stepped outside, and closed the door behind him.

And then, to Rainbow’s surprise, everypony turned around and started heading back. “Are we going somewhere?” she asked.

“Back to the farmhouse, I reckon,” Applejack guessed.

Rainbow looked over, and Maud nodded to confirm. She looked back over at Applejack. “What, the stone can’t choose here?”

“It’s how it’s done, I guess,” Applejack shrugged.

“You’re kidding.” Rainbow slammed a hoof into her forehead. Behind her, she could hear Limestone sniggering.

Pinkie Pie bounced up behind her, jumping high enough on each bounce to reach Rainbow’s eye level. “Well, duh, we’ve got to go back,” she said, as if it were obvious. “That’s part of the tradition! You go back to the mare’s house for the casting because she’s the heart of the home, and the heart’s the most important part!”

Rainbow snorted, but didn’t argue that point (even if the logic seemed a little bit forced). Still… “At least it’s not the stallion’s house,” she grumbled. “If I’d’a had to go all the way back to Ponyville this slow, I’d probably tear my feathers out.”

“And we gotta be back there anyway for the party!” Pinkie cheered. “Regardless of the outcome, we’re partying Pie style tonight! Rock soup and poetry for everypony!”

Rainbow groaned and massaged her temple with a hoof. “I can hardly wait,” she deadpanned.

* * *

It was a long journey back, though it seemed to go a bit faster than the first trip. Even so, it was long enough that Maud let Apple Bloom ride on her back. Rainbow looked over at Applejack and grinned, but it was clear from her glare that she would not be getting a similar offer.

Eventually, they made it back to the Pies’ homestead. Throughout this whole journey, Rainbow Dash found her eyes being drawn to the little box the gray stallion carried, and she wondered what the choosing stone could be.

She was slightly underwhelmed by the answer. “It's a cube,” she said, not quite sure if her eyes were deceiving her. “No, it’s two cubes.”

Applejack squinted as the earth pony carefully uncovered what looked like two golden cubes. “Sure looks that way,” she agreed.

“So basically they're rolling gold dice? It looks like gold. Is that gold?”

Maud looked over at Applejack. “Applejack, I fear your girlfriend might be a fool.”

To Rainbow’s shock, Applejack snorted to cover a laugh. She turned and glared at her, demanding an explanation.

“It's called fool’s gold, Rainbow,” Applejack explained. “Too light to be real gold. Looks shiny, but you can't do much with it. It ain't soft like real gold.”

“Pyrite,” Maud added helpfully. “Most common of all sulfides. Naturally forms cubic structures. Usually, the crystals are intergrown; but these crystals were found-”

But Rainbow Dash had not walked all that way for a lecture on rocks. She waved them both down. “So let’s see if I’ve got this straight. They’re rolling dice, and it's basically sheer luck on if the other pony is ‘chosen’?”

Applejack considered this. “More or less, yeah.”

Rainbow scoffed. “Really?”

“Yeah.”

The pegasus dropped to the ground and pulled Applejack a few paces away. “How it's done is kinda dumb,” Rainbow whispered in Applejack's ear. “They're perfect for each other. You know it. They know it. Hay, I know it; and it took me two months before I figured out you were flirting with me. But now they're making it a chance game with a one in Celestia knows how many chance to-”

“Thirty-six.”

“Whoa!” Rainbow Dash jumped; she hadn't realized that Maud had stayed close enough to hear.

“Thirty-six,” she repeated, apparently unconcerned with what Rainbow had said about their tradition (or the fact that Rainbow was now hovering above her). “Six possibilities for her stone and six for his. Only one result is a successful match. One sixth times one sixth is one thirty-sixth.”

“O… k…” Rainbow said slowly, landing and taking the tiniest of steps away from Maud. Applejack shook her head.

They watched as the two ponies squared up, about a pace and a half apart, each holding a cube in their hooves.

The gray earth pony spoke, his voice low and scratchy. “By the power of the magic within them, the choosing stone will decree if these two ponies should love one another, and spend their lives together, to have and to hold, forever.”

Rainbow rolled her eyes.

“You will roll together, and the answer you seek will be found.”

The two ponies shared a look. Macintosh gave Marble a comforting nod, and she cracked a shaky smile from behind her mane.

“Roll!” he ordered.

Together, the two ponies tossed the cubes on the ground.

Rainbow blinked. All the faces looked identical to her; the ones facing up seemed to look just like the ones on the sides. Had she missed something?

But Pinkie Pie threw a hoofful of confetti and let out a shrieking cheer (causing Limestone to flinch and glare angrily at her). Maud stomped politely; her slow pace almost unnerving (especially when compared to Applejack’s triumphant stomping).

“That’s good, right?” Rainbow wondered aloud. Feeling left out, she quietly began stomping as well.

Igneous stepped up proudly. “Truly, fortune and favor have found this household tonight; and may fortune and favor come to the new household of Macintosh Apple and Marble!”

Rainbow squinted at the crystals. Now that she looked closer, she could see two ponyshoes, etched ever so thinly into the faces, crossed and forming a heart, on top of both cubes. She scowled.

Completely unused to being the center of attention, Marble tensed up before attempting a rapid retreat; but it didn't seem to work, though her hooves scrambled desperately for purchase against the wooden floor. It took her a few seconds to realize that the reason she couldn’t run away was because there was a large red stallion there in her path, and all she was doing was pushing against him. She quickly looked up, unsure how he'd react.

Macintosh, however, thought that she was just showing him a little affection, and he grinned proudly and moved to return the gesture. He placed a hoof over her shoulders and pulled her in even closer, providing her with warmth, protection, and affection. He gave her a gentle squeeze and an encouraging smile, and she visibly relaxed. Eyes closed, she exhaled gently and tried to burrow herself deeper into his chest before looking out at the ponies watching, and she smiled as Macintosh gently slid her mane out of the way of her eyes. With Macintosh around her, for the first time in her life, she felt somewhat comfortable with being the center of attention.

Rainbow stepped closer to Applejack, extending her wing just far enough to brush the tips of her feathers against her cutie mark. Applejack didn't flinch or even break her stomping, but she did shoot Rainbow Dash a knowing smile.

Unfortunately, the two had slightly different plans for tonight.

* * *

The door slowly creaked open, revealing a sliver of moonlight that was quickly blocked by a moving pony. Her eyes flicked around, but saw nopony stirring. She grinned, and slowly crept along the ground over to the bed currently occupied by an orange earth pony.

“Applejack!” she whispered.

Applejack stirred, but didn’t wake up.

“Applejack!” Rainbow reached up a hoof and nudged her.

Applejack began to wake up, inhaling and rubbing at her eyes. “Huh? What?”

“Get up.”

“It ain’t morning yet. It’s…” Applejack checked, but her internal clock wasn’t quite functioning properly this early in the morning, so she settled with a simpler, “really early.”

“Yeah, I know, but everypony’s asleep now, and there’s something I want to try.”

“What?”

“There’s something I want to try,” Rainbow repeated. “Come on!”

Applejack groaned and pulled the pillow over her head, mumbling something that vaguely sounded like 'morning'.

But Rainbow wasn’t going to give up that easily. She grabbed Applejack’s tail and tugged. “Come on,” she whispered. “Get up! I need you for this!”

Applejack opened one eye and glared accusingly. “This ain’t about your whole ‘wanting to do it outside’ thing, right?”

Rainbow dropped Applejack’s tail and scowled. “Pegasi have been riding each other on top of clouds for centuries. It’s normal,” she repeated as she had so many times before. “But no, not this time. There’s something else.”

Applejack entertained the notion of kicking Rainbow, but finally sighed. “Fine,” she grumbled, sliding her hindquarters off the bed, “but this better be good.”

“Oh, it’s good.” Rainbow insisted, pushing Applejack along with her head. “I promise.”

For some reason, Applejack doubted that; but Rainbow didn’t give her much chance to protest. She pushed Applejack through the kitchen and into the living room, finally stopping on top of the threadbare rug. Blearily, Applejack looked up just in time to see Rainbow press something into her hooves. Something small, and cubical, and distinctly golden.

Startled into alertness, she looked down and saw that she had indeed been given a choosing stone. She looked up at Rainbow. “Where did you get this?” she demanded.

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes. “From Pinkie Pie’s mane. Where do you think I got ‘em?”

“You stole the choosing stones?”

“Borrowed,” Rainbow insisted firmly. “I borrowed them, and I’m going to give them back before anypony knows they’re gone.”

Applejack facehoofed. “You woke me up for this?”

“Come on, AJ,” Rainbow wheedled. “I gotta figure out if these are real or not.”

“Rainbow, this is ridiculous.”

“What’s so ridiculous? What, you think it’s just an earth pony thing?” She squinted at the cube. “These’ll work with pegasus magic, right? They should.”

“Rainbow…”

“What?”

“I guess; but… why?”

“Why?”

“Do you really wonder if we're supposed to be together?” Applejack asked.

Rainbow shook her head. “No. I know we're supposed to be together. Trust me. I know that.”

Applejack squinted. “So if you know that, and I know that, why are you all fired up about us rolling them?”

“Because I gotta know if this is just random chance or if these are actually magic artifacts. If it’s magic, and we throw it, it’ll show choosing side up, because you going out with me is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. If not, well, we’ll know it’s all a fluke. Hay, it’ll probably show choosing side up anyway.”

Applejack dragged a hoof down her face. “That’s… sweet, in a really, really roundabout sort of way. I think.”

“So you ready to roll it with me?”

“That’d make me an accomplice to Grand Theft Stone, though,” Applejack protested, though a little smile played at the edges of her lips.

Rainbow snorted dismissively. “Grand Theft Stone isn’t a thing.”

“It might be here.”

Rainbow paused. “True,” she conceded. “So roll with me so I can put them back.”

Applejack exhaled. “Fine,” she said, taking a few steps forward and rotating to face Rainbow. She scooted over and lined up across from Applejack. They faced each other, each holding one of the stones.

“Ready?” Rainbow asked.

“We'd need witnesses,” Applejack interrupted. “At least two.”

Rainbow shrugged. “So I'll be yours and you be mine.”

“That’s not exactly how that works, Sugarcube,” Applejack said.

“Just roll the stupid stone already,” Rainbow grumbled.

Applejack took a steadying breath and held up her stone, just as they had done yesterday. Rainbow held hers up, and at a silent nod from Applejack, the two threw their stones.

Rainbow was almost afraid to look, but look she did.

And sure enough, atop each of their cubes was that little insignia of ponyshoes crossed in the shape of a heart*.

Rainbow’s wings flared, and she did a little loop right there in their living room. “Yeah!” she cheered. She darted in and grabbed Applejack, and kissed her right on the cheek.

“Rainbow!” Applejack hissed, pushing her away. “Keep it down! You’re going to wake up-!”

“Too late!” a new voice broke in.

This little moment was interrupted by the appearance of Pinkie Pie. This wouldn't have been so bad, had she not been accompanied by a little storm of confetti and the harsh sound of a party streamer she carried in her mouth.

“-somepony,” Applejack finished flatly. “And that somepony just so happens to be Pinkie.”

“Congratulations! Or should I say congratulations again? I mean, you already knew you two were supposed to be together, and I always knew you two were supposed to be together no matter what; and now it’s so official! The choosing stone has chosen!” She grabbed both of them in a tight squeezing hug. “And now you’ve got to love each other forever and ever and-”

“Hey!” Limestone’s voice broke through Pinkie's cheering, quickly followed by a thrown pickaxe. “Keep it down! Ponies are trying to sleep around here!”

As Pinkie continued her breakneck pace of rambling congratulations, Rainbow looked up and grinned sheepishly at Applejack. Applejack glared, but her expression soon softened. She couldn’t stay mad at Rainbow Dash for long.

Though, if she were to be perfectly honest, Rainbow would definitely not be getting any on a cloud for a very, very, very long time.

Author's Note:

*The alternate ending, of course, is that the stones don’t show the same face, and the screen turns grayish-sepia as they look at each other in horror as Adele’s Hello begins to play.

Furthermore, it is my headcanon that little Marble Pie actually has a really high alcohol tolerance, and their first night ended up with her carrying him across the threshold.

Comments ( 7 )

I WAS WAITING FOR A PAIRING STONES STORY
AND THEN YOU GO AND ADD APPLEDASH TO IT?!

:heart:


AMAZING

A small, quick, cute, fluffy story! Very nice. :pinkiesmile: The Like was earned from the second chapter at the moment of the roll.

This was quite good.

Not bad at all.

Also, the dialogue heavy bits worked quite well.

~Skeeter The Lurker

And judgement is pending...

~Skeeter The Lurker

6847165
The first thing that came to mind was, 'You have been weighed. You have been measured.' Let's see if I am found wanting. :rainbowlaugh:

6847612

Excellent... Gotta keep y'all on your toes!

~Skeeter The Lurker

A cute little pairing that I greatly enjoyed.

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