• 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...

  • ...

Quirks and Secrets

She could see her prey through the leaves of the bush. She licked her lips greedily and bounced on her hooves in excitement. Her quarry would soon be within her grasp.

As Applejack paused from mending the fence to wipe her brow, Rainbow seized her opportunity. Her muscles tensed and with a primal roar (that may or may not have come out as more of a screech), she pounced.


Stars burst in Rainbow's vision as she clutched her head in agony. Applejack had ducked at the last second and Rainbow had sailed merrily past her straight into a fence post. She rolled onto her back and looked up at Applejack, who was now standing over her, that red bandana still firmly tied around the cowgirl's head. Mockingly.

"You mind tellin' me what you're up to there?" Applejack's eyebrow was arched as always. Rainbow decided it was time for plausible deniability.

"Oh y'know. Just wanted to say hey." Rainbow coughed." So...hey."

"Any reason why you're wearin' eyeliner on your cheeks?"

"What, a mare can't like feelling a little prettier once in a while?" Rainbow quickly scrubbed the camouflage makeup from her face and stood up. Somehow, Applejack's eyebrow rose even higher. Rainbow sometimes wondered if it would ever come down.

"Okay, well while you're playin' dress up, I gotta get on with this." Applejack turned back to her tools while Rainbow seethed. "We'll hang out later, but right now I-" Applejack stopped talking for a moment in order to sidestep Rainbow's second leaping grab at the bandana, "but right now I got a lotta work to do. Why don'tcha go and see one o' the girls?"

Rainbow sat down and folded her forelegs grumpily as Applejack gathered her things and moved on. It didn't make sense. Why was Applejack so weirdly obsessed with wearing hats? And how did she always seem to know when Rainbow was about to make a grab for one? She couldn't possibly have seen Dash coming, they didn't call her 'Rainbow Stealth Operative Dash' for nothing!

She perked up suddenly when she remembered A.J's advice to hang out with one of the others. Twilight! Twilight would be able to think of a sneaky way to remove Applejack's bandana! It was the only way that made sense! It wasn't like she could just ask Applejack why she always wore a hat.

"Couldn't you just ask Applejack why she always wears a hat?"

Twilight was no fun.

"Come on Twilight, there's no way she's gonna tell me! There's obviously some weird reason why she always wears a hat!" Rainbow paced around the castle in frustration. It would have been so simple if Twilight had agreed to just teleport her right above A.J so she could yank the bandana off, but no, Twilight had to get all ethical about it.

"She doesn't always wear a hat. I've seen her hatless plenty of times." Twilight returned to her book, clearly not appreciating the gravity of the situation.

"Well yeah, but have you ever seen her up close without a hat on?"

"Well sure, there's...um...." Rainbow smirked in satisfaction as Twilight seemed to be lost for words.

"You know she goes swimming with a hat on?"

"So? Plenty of ponies wear a bathing cap-"

"I mean her cowpony hats! She wears a cowpony hat when she swims!"

"Huh. That seems like it'd be bad for the felt..."

"And then was the time she snuck one onto her head at your brother's wedding when she thought nopony was looking!

"Sneaked, not snuck."

"Heck she even keeps it on when we're in bed togeth-" Rainbow was cut off by Twilight's hoof mushing up against her mouth. "Too much information?"



"Okay, so she has something of a quirk." Twilight closed her book and put it away with a remorseful sigh. "Is that really such a big deal? Compared to Pinkie, she's still pretty normal. Heck, she's pretty normal compared to you."

"What's that supposed to mean? I'm totally normal! I could be more normal than A.J with one hoof tied behind my back!"

"Well did Applejack ever get thrown out of a Grand Galloping Gala event for insisting on dressing up like Daring Do?"

"That only happened like three times..."

"Did Applejack ever break half the windows in town by trying to pull off two Sonic Rainbooms at once?"

"Nopony can prove that was me!"

"Did Applejack ever paint a declaration of love for Spitfire in huge letters on the side of her barn?"

"She didn't tell me that was hard cider!"

"My point is, we all have little...oddities about us. Why does it matter so much if Applejack has one?"

"Because-" Rainbow stopped and took a breath. "Because she won't talk about it. It's like she's keeping a secret."

Twilight looked at her with a degree of sympathy. "We all have little secrets Rainbow. It doesn't have to be a big problem."

Rainbow tried not to sound dejected. She really tried. "But why is she keeping a secret from me?"

While flying back to the farm, Rainbow's thoughts turned and turned through her mind. Maybe Twilight was right. Maybe it was just a weird quirk about A.J that she'd never noticed before.

And that was part of dating, right? Getting to know the other pony in more (ugh) intimate ways that you had before? Maybe there would be other things to learn about A.J as time went on. And A.J would probably learn things about Rainbow too. Like how Rainbow sometimes liked to snuggle in bed with her Daring Do plushie.

That thought did not bring Rainbow much comfort.

Besides, a thought kept coming back to her. When A.J had first found out about Rainbow destroying her hats there had been a look on her face. At first she just looked annoyed, but when Rainbow moved closer to her, she looked different. She looked...afraid. Rainbow's own words played in her head.

"But have you ever seen her up close without a hat on?"

Rainbow set her mouth in determination. That settled it, Twilight was wrong. This wasn't just a quirk. Applejack had a secret. And whether she wanted Rainbow to or not, Rainbow was going to find it out.