• Published 10th Jan 2016
  • 1,380 Views, 37 Comments

Under the Hat - Tyro

Applejack always wears a hat. Always. But it can't be because her hat is special to her, not if she has a whole closet of of them. So why does she always, always, always wear a hat? Rainbow Dash is determined to get to the bottom of it...

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Peanut Butter Hats

"What did you do?"

Rainbow grinned sheepishly, standing amidst the carnage like a deer caught in headlights as Applejack surmised the destruction that lay before her. Rainbow guessed that A.J was not amused by her attempts at spring cleaning. In a moment of pure genius and inspiration, she had concocted her own all-purpose cleaning spray, made from various cleaning fluids from around the kitchen. Naturally she had decided to test it on everything she could find and, being the attentive, considerate marefriend that she was had remembered A.J mentioning that the spare hats and bows closet was in need of cleaning. Obviously it would make for a perfect test subject.

Unfortunately when she had been mixing the chemicals together, she had not been entirely paying attention and might have accidentally used peanut butter as her base instead of sugar soap.

The results had...not been pretty.

Deciding what Applejack needed was a nice big apology hug, Rainbow moved towards her, (deftly stepping over the mush that had once been a particularly nice bullrider) and prepared her embrace. To her surprise, A.J instantly backed away, turned and left the hallway as fast as possible.

Applejack and Rainbow were perhaps not the most mature of couples. Between Rainbow's...exuberant ideas and Applejack's quick temper, disagreements between the two had a habit of escalating into full blown arguments and shouting matches. Eventually things would die down or blow over and the two would make up. Those who knew them often paid no attention, saying that this was just how the two got things "out of their system". No matter how angry they got, nothing ever went too far and they were both thick skinned enough to take it.

So Applejack's hasty departure caught Rainbow off guard. She had been expecting a blow up and A.J had just left her hanging. She was almost disappointed...

The afternoon passed with little event. Rainbow had finally managed to clean up the damage. The hats were unsalvageable and the wardrobe still smelled like bleach and peanut butter, but at least the hallway looked more or less presentable. She hadn't seen any sign of Applejack since earlier, but with dinner approaching she knew A.J would appear before long. She had never missed a meal before and Rainbow doubted she would now.

Dash was seated at the table along with Applejack's family. Ever since the relationship had grown more serious, they had welcomed her into the family farm gladly. She had always been happy to be a part of the group, although she did wish Granny Smith would stop dropping hints about marriage. It had only been a few months...

Rainbow was helping Big Mac serve up the stew when Applejack finally entered the room. Rainbow looked up, intending to offer any last apologies if needed. But the words died in her throat when she saw what A.J was wearing.

She was wearing a bright red neckerchief that she sometimes wore when the sun was particularly hot. Rainbow had seen A.J wear it a dozen times and nothing about it was out of the ordinary. She rather liked it actually. She always thought it made A.J look kinda hot, just the sort of thing Daring Do might wear.

But what caught her attention today was not that A.J was wearing it. It was how A.J was wearing it. Instead of tying it around her neck, she instead had it on top of her head like a bandana.

Rainbow couldn't decide if she looked more like a pirate or a street thug.

As Applejack took a seat, Rainbow was stunned to notice that nobody else around the table seemed to be commenting on her odd choice of head wear. They were just passing around potatoes and gravy like everything was completely normal. This wasn't right. Maybe they had known Applejack for longer, but Rainbow had still known her for several years. And not once in that time had she ever worn something so...well, un-Applejack. This couldn't stand, something had to be said.

"So," she began, "hard to starboard? Get of the squall? Shore up the main sail?"

She giggled to herself, waiting for everypony to join in with her pirate themed jokes (the latest Daring Do book had had a major pirate theme). Then she realised that everypony was looking at her like she had lost her mind. She seemed to get that look from this family a lot.

"Um, what're you talkin' about Rainbow?" Applebloom asked in her innocently wide-eyed way.

"Oh come on, I can't be the only once noticing this!" Rainbow stood up and pointed at the bandana. "Seriously, did Nightmare Night come early?"

Part of her was expecting Applejack to get angry at her comments, as she so often did. But again A.J surprised her.

"I just needed somethin' to protect my head from the sun. Since somepony wrecked all my usual hats."

Rainbow would have commented on the snarky comeback, but she was distracted by something she saw in the window. Or rather, what she didn't see.

There was no sun outside. It was a completely overcast day. Applejack saw her looking through the window and just as she opened her mouth to comment, A.J stood up from the table and left the room. Moments later, they heard the front door open and close.

The atmosphere left behind was...tense. Rainbow could feel everypony looking at her like this was all her fault somehow. She especially couldn't help noticing Granny Smith's piercing stare. For such a kindly old mare, she could give someone the evil eye when she wanted to.

"Okay, maybe I was kind of out of line there," Rainbow tried another of her nervous grins, "but am I missing something? Applejack never wears anything like that! She always wears a hat!"

"Well she mentioned that you wrecked her hats." Mac causally spooned some more potatoes onto his plate, but there was a hint of a protective tone in his voice.

"Well yeah, but if she didn't have her hats, why wear something else? Why not just go without?"

Mac just shrugged. As did Granny Smith and Applebloom. Now that she thought about it, Rainbow had almost never seen Applejack without some kind of head gear on. And now that she really thought about it, a question came to her.