• Published 7th Jun 2012
  • 6,043 Views, 104 Comments

Mistaken for Strangers - Evan MacIan



While expecting her first foal, Rarity finds her relationship with Big Mac tested.

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He War

Chapter Two

He War

Big Macintosh steadily pulled a plow across Sweet Apple Acres’ western fields. He hummed an old folk song to himself while he worked. Blinking the sweat out of his eyes, he glanced to the sky. The sun was just about at its peak. He figured he would make one more pass, then head in for lunch.

He had just unhitched himself from the plow when he saw Rarity trotting up the path towards him. It looked like she was carrying a lunch basket on her back. His face brightened, and he trotted over to meet her.

“Hello, darling,” Rarity called.

“Well hey there,” he said, coming up and giving her a nuzzle. “What’s a pretty filly like you doing out here? Come to make eyes at the handsome farmhoof?”

Rarity giggled. Doing farm work always put Big Mac in a good mood.

“I decided to take a break from the boutique and bring you lunch. I thought we could have a picnic.”

“What’ja bring?” he asked, sticking his muzzle into the basket.

Rarity gave him a slight smack on the rump. “Honestly, you’re worse than Applejack. Now sit down and wait while I set everything up.”

Big Mac obediently laid down on the grass while Rarity spread out a blanket. She then set out a large grain and hay salad and two thermoses filled with cold apple juice.

They sat and ate. Rarity chatted about local going-ons, while Big Mac concentrated more on eating. After they finished, Big Mac rolled over and lay on his back and gave a contented sigh. Rarity lay down next to him, and rested her head against his chest.

“Big Mac…”

“Yeah?”

Rarity hesitated. “Never mind.”

Big Mac bent his head down to look at her. “Ya sure?”

“Positive, darling.”

He leaned his head back against the ground. “Ah got a surprise for ya.”

“Oh?”

“Well, we got a pretty sizable order of apples from Canterlot. Big enough so that I’m gonna have to take a wagon up there mahself. They’re having some big hootenanny, an’ they threw in a couple tickets with the order. Thought ya might want to go with me.”

“You don’t mean…”

Big Mac grinned as he heard a gasp.

Fancypants’s Autumn Extravaganza?!

“Ah think it was called something like that,” he said with feigned deliberation.

Rarity rolled over and propped herself over Big Mac so she looking down at his smiling face. “It’s one of the premier social events of the year! Only the crème de la crème attend.”

“So Ah guess ya want to go then?”

Rarity leaned down and gave him a kiss. “Oh darling, you’re wonderful. Oh! But it’s only a week away! I need to start working on an ensemble right away.”

She moved to stand up, but before she could, Big Mac rolled them both over, so their positions were reversed.

“Now hold on,” he said leaning in close, “Ah wasn’t done with ya yet.”

Rarity giggled. “I need to get back to the shop.”

“It can wait.”

She gave a laugh as he started to nuzzle her neck. “You’ve all sweaty from working in the fields, you’re going to get me all dirty.”

“Eeyup.”

*****

“So did you ask him?”

Rarity glanced up from the dress form at Twilight.

“No, I didn’t,” she replied. She carefully stuck a pin into the fabric. “I decided that it really doesn’t matter. The past is the past; there’s no need to go dredging up old unpleasantness.”

“But aren’t you curious?” Twilight persisted. “I mean, he’s never mentioned anything about it to you.”

“If he never tells me what happened, it’s because I don’t need to know. Oh, isn’t this dress magnificent?”

It was black and sleek, with a gold trim around the neck..

“I’d have liked to make something special for Big Mac, but I know he’d never wear anything fancier than a simple tux.”

Twilight looked at the dress and gave a slight sigh. “Yes,” she answered, “it’s wonderful.”

*****

Rarity rushed around their guest room, preparing for the night’s festivities. She and Big Mac had made the journey to Canterlot earlier that day. They had expected to see some of the city before the party, but Big Mac had insisted on her keeping such an easy pace that they didn’t have time.

“This is going to be simply amazing,” Rarity said while adjusting her makeup. “I know you and Fancypants are going to get on swimmingly. And afterwards we’ll go and see all the sights. The gardens are beautiful at night. I can’t believe you’ve never explored the city any of the times you came up before.”

“Jus’ never found the time Ah guess,” Big Mac replied, slightly distracted. He was trying to tie his black bowtie, but there was a reason unicorns wore ties more often than earth ponies.

Rarity, seeing his plight, magically lifted his bowtie and deftly tied it around his neck.

“Seems a bit tight,” he said.

“It’s fine,” Rarity assured him. “You look very dashing. Oh, we need to get going.”

“Eeyup.” Big Mac turned to the bed and started to slide on the horse collar laying there.

“Ahem.”

He looked over to see Rarity raising an eyebrow.

He gave an embarrassed chuckle. “Uh, Ah guess Ah won’t need it.” He slid it back onto the bed. The two exited the room, Big Mac giving a slightly mournful glance back at the bed.

*****

Big Mac stood by the punch bowl and tugged slightly at his collar. He felt slightly strangled by the bowtie around his neck. At the same time he felt exposed without the familiar weight of his harness across his shoulders. The two competing sensations made for a strange combination.

Rarity was halfway across the room, chatting to a pair of mares, one of whom Big Mac thought looked like a china doll.

Big Mac reached for the punch bowl ladle, but right before he closed his mouth around the handle it was pulled out of reach by a glow of magic.

Big Mac looked around in surprise to see a grinning white unicorn with a styled blond mane. “Excuse me, I hope you don’t mind. I’m sure you understand that it makes more sense for a unicorn to go first. After all, we’re quite a bit faster than you earth ponies with these kind of… skilled… operations.”

The mare standing with the unicorn giggled.

Big Macintosh bit back his instinctive response. “Go ahead,” he replied stoically.

The unicorn poured out a glass for himself and his date, and then moved to a spot where he apparently thought Big Mac couldn’t hear him.

“Can you believe they let him in here? He’s clearly some working class pony. I mean, he has a docked tail for Celestia’s sake!”

Big Mac was tempted to give the unicorn a piece of his mind. Instead he took his glass and moved out to the balcony.

The ballroom was at one of the higher points of Canterlot, and the balcony gave a clear view of the city lights stretching down the mountainside.

Big Mac glared over the railing. He wished he was back at Sweet Apple Acres, looking over the orchards instead. Big Mac took a sip of the punch and made a face. He emptied the cup over the edge.

“Not the finest of refreshments, I’ll admit.”

Big Mac turned and saw a white unicorn with a blue mane and a monocle smiling at him.

“Not really mah kind’a drink,” Big Mac said.

“I understand perfectly.” The unicorn waved a waiter over. “Would you go to the kitchen and tell the chef to pour two glasses from my ‘special stock?’ He’ll know what you mean.”

The waiter hurried off.

The unicorn turned back to Big Mac. “I’m Fancypants,” he said. “And you must be Big Macintosh. Rarity’s told me all about you.” He pointed to the mare Rarity was talking to, the same one Big Mac had thought looked like a china doll. “That’s my wife there, Fleur.”

The water returned with two glasses of dark amber liquid.

Fancypants magically floated a glass to himself and to Big Mac.

Big Mac sniffed the drink. He could smell oak, flowers, and a hint of apple. He took a sip, and gave a satisfied sigh.

Fancypants grinned at him. “Single cask single malt whiskey. Aged twenty years. Very exclusive.”

Big Mac grinned back. “Mah grandpappy used to make bourbon in the fall, after we harvested the corn.” He took another sip. “Still got some. If ya ever come down to Ponyville, we’ll have to split a bottle.”

“I may just take you up on that someday,” Fancypants replied. He looked at something over Big Mac’s shoulder, and his grin faded slightly.

“Fancypants! Quite a party.”

Big Mac turned to see unicorn from earlier stroll onto the balcony.

“Hello, Blueblood,” Fancypants said cordially. “I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself.”

“Oh yes,” Blueblood replied, “particularly your wine stock. You always have the best selection.” He sauntered up to Fancypants, ignoring Big Mac. “Although I’m not so sure about your taste in guests.”

“Oh?”

“Well, I thought this party is only for the elite. I wouldn’t have thought you’d invite any common ponies.”

“I invited my friends,” Fancypants said quietly.

Blueblood was oblivious to the warning in Fancypants’s tone. “I saw one mare talking to your wife who I’ve actually met before. Certainly not a pony I’d call classy.”

Big Mac carefully set his glass down on a nearby table.

“Don’t get me wrong; she’s fine in the looks department. But I think the only way she’d get into high society is by sleepi—”

Blueblood was suddenly slammed against the railing.

Big Mac was reared back, his front hooves pressing into the unicorn’s neck.

Blueblood’s eyes bulged, and his mouth flapped open, trying to suck in air. The rail creaked.

“Macintosh!”

At the sound of Rarity’s voice Big Mac released Blueblood.

The unicorn fell to the ground, coughing and gasping as air flooded back into his lungs.

Big Mac turned to see Rarity standing next to Fleur in the doorway to the balcony, a look of horror on her face.

“What are you doing?” Rarity asked, almost in a whisper.

Fancypants strolled nonchalantly up to Blueblood.

“That... that...” Blueblood started as he struggled to his feet, “animal! I thought he was going to kill me! Fancypants, you need to—”

“Blueblood,” Fancypants interrupted. He didn’t raise his voice, but even Blueblood couldn’t mistake the anger in his tone. “We’ve known each other since our school days, and because of that I’ve often overlooked your little indiscretions. But when you come to my party and insult my guests, my friends, you’ve gone too far. You are no longer welcome in my home.”

“Well, I… I…” Blueblood stuttered.

“I’m sure you can find your way out,” Fancypants said calmly.

Blueblood gaped for a moment, then turned away and stormed out of the ballroom.

Rarity was staring at Big Mac. “What are you doing?” she repeated.

“Rare…” Big Mac said. He was at a loss for words.

“Rarity,” Fancypants said smoothly, “I assure you, no matter how this may look, Blueblood brought it upon himself. Any honorable stallion would have reacted as Big Macintosh did.”

“I…” Rarity composed herself. “Yes, of course. I am very familiar with how Blueblood acts.” She turned to Big Mac. “I think we should go.”

“That’s not necessary,” Fancypants said.

“No, I… I’m actually not feeling well,” Rarity replied. “I think I’d like to lie down. Please, Big Mac?”

Big Mac, and turned to Fancypants, who raised a hoof before he could speak.

“I understand,” Fancypants said. “And I apologize for what happened here tonight.”

Big Mac nodded, and followed Rarity out of the ballroom. Most of the guests hadn’t realized what had happened, but there were a few who were looking at him and whispering.

He didn’t really give a damn.

*****

As they stepped into their hotel room, Big Mac finally let out his anger. “Can ya believe that sumbitch?! He’s lucky Ah didn’t whup his ass!”

Rarity didn’t answer him. She made her way to the bathroom and began remove her makeup.

Big Mac’s expression softened as he watched her. “Shoot,” he muttered under his breath. “Listen, Rare, I’m sorry. Ah guess Ah shouldn’t have let him get to me.”

“It’s all right,” she replied. “I know what Blueblood’s like. I understand why you’d react like you did.” She slipped out of her dress and lay down on the bed with her back to Big Mac.

“C’mon, Rare, let’s go look ‘round town, like ya wanted,” Big Mac suggested.

“No thank you.”

“Oh, come on, Rare, it’ll be fun,” he implored.

“I’d just rather not,” she said.

“Rarity jus’ ‘cause yer mad at me, don’t mean—”

“I’m not mad,” she said quietly. “I just—I’m just tired is all.”

Big Mac paused for a moment, then let out a snort. “Fine,” he said. He pulled his suit off, and slipped into his work collar. “Ah’m going out.” He exited the room, slamming the door slightly behind him.

He didn’t see Rarity crying.

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Author's notes:

The chapter title is taken from a song by Cat Power.