• Published 21st Oct 2016
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Appledashery Vol. Two - Just Essay

Rainbow Dash and Applejack have a long, joyous, arduous relationship.

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Rainbow Dash and Applejack

"So... uh..." Rainbow cleared her throat and looked towards Applejack. The two stood side by side besides several baskets of apples on the family farm. "What did he do after you said you'd 'give it some thought?'"

Applejack's freckles lit up. "Heh... dang varmint smiled, then keeled over and passed out."

"Snkkkt!" Rainbow Dash spat.

"Slept the whole darn day on our couch." Applejack tilted her hat back as she mused with a smirk. "Ya shoulda seen Big Mac. He wanted to elbow drop him at every blink. Granny and I had to take shifts playin' bodyguard to the slumberin' fool."

Rainbow smiled. "That... sounds awesome and yet it doesn't."

"Shoot..." Applejack shrugged. "Big Mac will get over it. That's just the thang." She waved her hoof, speaking gently. "Life is short and dang complicated. If we dun get over our hang ups... all we'll ever do is hang ourselves and nothin' will ever get done... and nopony will be any the wiser."

"But... but you are strong, Applejack," Rainbow insisted, trembling at the sight of the distraught mare. "You're... you're the strongest—"

Applejack fell weakly to the ground.

With a jolt, Rainbow Dash tried to catch her. She could only hug her as Applejack laid across the ground, shuddering.

"I just... j-just don't understand..." Applejack cried. Sobbed. "Why would he do this? Everythang was just perfect... perfect." Snarling, she punched the ground with her hoof. "Darn him! Would it kill another soul... just one soul in this stinkin' world to be honest?! Is that askin' too much?! Am I all there is?"

"You're more than that, Applejack. Please, don't cry," Rainbow Dash stammered. "You don't... don't..." Rainbow Dash stopped in mid-speech, clenching her eyes shut. When they reopened, she was wearing a righteous frown. "Wait right here."

Applejack sniffled. She rubbed her cheek. "Rainbow..."

Blue feathers ruffled. With flapping wings, Rainbow took to the sky.

Swallowing a lump down her throat, Applejack managed to tilt her head up, squinting at the clouds. "Where... what are you—?"

"I'm going to fix this."


"I promise." FWOOOOOSH!

"I... uh... gotta rest up," Rainbow Dash said as the two parted ways along the edge of Ponyville. "My time off is over with, and I got lots of cyclone-practicing to do tomorrow."

"Best of luck with that," Applejack said, standing with the wagon.

"Oh, I've got... plenty of help in that area."

"Guess we're both lucky, huh?"

"Sure." Rainbow Dash nodded. "Sure thing, AJ."

"This..." Applejack fidgeted slightly. "Was a really good trip, Rainbow."

"Oh, totally."

"It... it helped nicely." She gulped, smilingly tenderly up at the mare. "Really, it did."

"That's cool."

"Yeah... cool..."



"Well..." Applejack smirked, saluted, and pivoted about. "Wagons west..."

"Ugh..." Rainbow rolled her eyes. "Bet you were waiting days to say that."

"You dun know me that well."

"And you suck at lying."

"Heheh... yeah..." Applejack sighed, shuffling off with a smile. "Reckon I do."

"Crkkk! Kaff! Kaff! Mmmmm..." A tiny voice mewled, whimpered, then wheezed. "Guhhh... Apple... Applejack? Why are... why're there so many ponies in my room...?"

"Apple Bloom...?"

"Oh gosh. Did... did I sleep in through school? Miss Cheerilee's going to kill me..."

"Oh Apple Bloom! Oh darlin'... I-I lurve you so much. Praise Celestia... Praise Celestia Almighty...!"

"Applejack? What's...what's wrong? Guh... You're squishing me..."

"Nothin's wrong, sugarcube..." A chuckle, then more sniffling... weeping. "Everythang's just heavenly. Oh praise Celestia... m-my little sister is back, everypony!"


"Hot diggety!"


"Boundless elation! A cause for celebration!"

"Okay... did y'all enter me in a pageant or somethin'? This is startin' to get weird..."


"Yer so precious to me, Apple Bloom. Oh... what a miracle." Applejack giggled and sobbed all at once. "What a fine miracle indeed...!"

Applejack and Rainbow Dash lay in separate beds in the dark of an Atlantrot hotel room at night.

They were talking.

"Applejack, being part of a family and helping others is... is so totally you. I see the way you love on Apple Bloom. I see how you fret and worry over Big Mac and Granny Smith all the time. I just... always sorta got the impression that if you had a way to put more on your plate, you would. Because everything about you just screams 'family.'"

"You mean everythang about me just screams 'motherin'."

"Uhhh—I-I-I didn't say that!"

"Heheh... reckon ya thought it though. I mean, ain't that what yer goin' for? 'Applejack, how come you don't plan on bein' a mother someday.'"


"For the same reason that you say I'm all about takin' care of a family, I'm hesitant to even try startin' one of my own, Rainbow."


"I just dun know if I can even afford it. Raisin' a farm ain't easy. I dun care how things go down with Shindig or not. If I bring a beautiful new life to this world, I'd feel responsible for makin' sure it gets the best future possible. And until I feel that kind of security, I can't pretend to get my hopes up."

"You can't pretend or you just don't want to?"

"I... uh... I reckon I don't see the difference."

"For real? You can't even afford to think selfishly for one in your life, AJ? Even when it means an opportunity to do something that—knowing you—could be completely awesome?"

"Heheh... Rainbow, are you fixin' to get me pregnant or something?"

"Pfft! No, AJ! I just wonder if you've ever asked the question of yourself."

"What question?"

"Like, without any strings attached, without havin' to worry about the future or the farm or how you're doing with your crops, what would you want out of life?"

"Luna have mercy. Ya silly filly, I dun told you I can't—"

"I'm not talking about what you expect to afford, Applejack. I'm asking you... simple and plainly... what do you want out of such a life?"

"What... do I want?"


“Orlandoats, Fillyda...” Applejack shook her head in shock. “That there's a heck of a gallop...”

“Yeah... it's... it's pretty far away...” Rainbow fidgeted with her bangs, avoiding Applejack's gaze. “Perhaps there's a train that leads down there. But... y'know... you'd have to make a stop by Atlantrot.”

“Who doesn't, these days.”

“And if you take her up on her offer, that probably m-means moving far away and—”

“Now hold yer horses, Rainbow.” Applejack chuckled. “I haven't agreed to anythang yet. Whew! To be honest, I'm still reelin' from the bomb you just dropped.”

“Heh! Well, that's me!” Rainbow smiled cheekishly. “Rainbow Professionalism Bomb Dropping Danger Dash!”

“I need to talk it over with Granny... with Big Mac...” Applejack stared at the dimming horizon. “Fancy Pants too, I reckon.”

“Well, y'know, eventually.”

“And I can't even begin to imagine the sort of finacnes I'd have to wrangle my head around!” Applejack winced. “Numbers have never been my strong suit. Reckon I'd have to chat up Twilight about this too.”

“Whatever you do, AJ, just make sure it's something you wanna do.”

“Why wouldn't I wanna do it?!” Applejack blinked. “It means potentially turnin' our franchise into a big cider empire overnight!”

“Oh... r-right...” Rainbow Dash shuddered, staring at the ground as she fiddled with her bangs. “Of course.”

“Rainbow...?”Applejack murmured.

Rainbow looked up.

“Everythang alright, sugarcube?” Applejack's emerald eyes glinted with the last hint of daylight. “You seem a bit frazzled, darlin'.”

“Who, me? I'm fine, AJ.”

“Y'all sure about that?”

“Totally! I just...” Rainbow Dash clenched her teeth. With a shuddering breath, she said, “I-I'm just... super glad, y'know?” She smiled sweetly. “That everything's lookin' up for you.” She cleared her throat. “You've been workin' so friggin' hard for so friggin' long. Just seems like just desserts, ya feel me?”

“Awwwwwwww...” Applejack smirked. “Well, if it means anythang, I can't think of a better pony I'd rather hear the news from.”

Rainbow twitched. “F-for real?”

“Uhhhh... you girls think one of us should wake her up or something?”

Applejack looked to where Rainbow Dash slouched against the edge of the party's table at Sugarcube Corner, slumbering away. "Reckon it wouldn't hurt to send her on her way. Ahem.” She reached over to shake the petite pegasus' shoulder. “Hey. Hey! Rainbow, sugarcube, high time you headed home for a nap. Don'tcha think?”

“Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm...” Rainbow's hooves fumbled until they grasped Applejack's dangling ponytail. The mare nuzzled it, smiling drunkenly. “But I ammmmmm hommmmmme...”

The table filled with giggles..

“Heh heh heh...” Applejack guffawed, then warmly shook Rainbow's shoulder. “Ya might wanna take a second gander, darlin'.”

Rainbow's bloodshot eyes flashed open. She flew back in her seat, leaning away from Applejack's mane while stammering: “Acklejack! I mean, Applejeez! I mean... Guhhhhh...” She blink-blinked at everypony. “Wh-what am I doing here?!”

Pinkie Pie was dying of laughter while Rarity suppressed a dainty snort and Fluttershy blushed like a burning bush. Twilight smiled awkwardly. “You decided to treat us to breakfast, remember?”

“Ya doin' alright, sugarcube?” Applejack craned her neck. “Last time anypony ever used my mane for teethin' was when Apple Bloom was a lil' sprout.”

"I... I-I-I...” Rainbow's eyes flew all about. “I-I didn't g-get much sleep last night,” her voice cracked.

“Well, that much is certain,” Twilight said with a slight chuckle.

“Awwwwww... ya poor thang...” Applejack patted Rainbow's shoulder. “Ya feelin' alright, sugarcube? Ya know I was only teasin' about my mane.” She flipped the ponytail in question over the other side of her neck. “No harm, no foul.” She winked.

“Right...” Rainbow nodded... then nodded again and exhaled. “Right right right... right.”

"Uhm..." Applejack stood before her farmhouse, glancing awkwardly at the letter held in Winter Green's hoof "I... I-I can't imagine what this could be about. Sweet Apple Acres hasn't done any business with no 'Fancy Pants.'"

"Well, you just might want to after reading this," the stallion said with a smile.

"Just open it, darlin'," Granny Smith said.

"But Granny—"

"Shhhh..." Granny leaned in and whispered. "We talked about this, didn't we? Any opportunity is a good opportunity."

Applejack sighed. "Alright, then..." She took the envelope from Winter Green's hoof and ripped it open. Pulling the letter out, she squinted at the surface.

Granny Smith and Big Mac leaned over her shoulder.

Apple Bloom hopped and hopped behind them. "What's it say? What's it say?"

"It... it..." Applejack's sweat tripled across her forehead as her jaw hung agape. "It says..."

"My vision's all confoundedly blurry..." Granny Smith hissed. "Is that as many zeroes as I think it is?"

"Eeyup eeyup eeyup!" Big Mac wheezed, his big red jaw forming a dumb grin.

"This... this c-can't be real..." Applejack's hooves trembled and trembled more. She gawked at the stallion in front of him. "He... he wants our apples?" She gulped. "For the next twenty seasons?"

Winter Green chuckled, nodding. "If you show an interest in this venture, then Mr. Fancy Pants offers to meet with you to speak about it a week from now. Be it his mansion in Trottingham or here in Sweet Apple Acres, he's left the choice up to you—"

"Oh yes! Yes!" Applejack flew forward and gave the finely-suited stallion a sweaty hug. "Here! There! Anywhere!" She dropped him like an anvil and spread her limbs towards her family, grinning wide. "Ya hear that?! We're back in business, y'all!"

"Woohooo!" Granny Smith gave a tree a mighty kick, hooting. "Darn tootin'!"


"Yeeehaaa! Ha ha ha ha!" Applejack scooped Apple Bloom in a hug while Big Mac leaned in to nuzzle them both. Finally Granny Smith drifted into the group hug as they all cheered and laughed together.

Apple Bloom blinked, then nestled into the family embrace. "Yaaay! Things are all happy n'stuff!"

"They sure are, Apple Bloom..." Applejack shared a smile with Granny Smith before nuzzling her with a tear running down her freckled cheek. "They sure are..."

Applejack and Rainbow Dash paused on a hilltop overlooking Sweet Apple Acres. They talked while resting from constant apple-bucking.

“I… uh… think," Applejack spoke, "I’d settle for a stallion who could help me take care of the young’n’s…" She smiled. "And the farm, of course.”

With a shudder, Rainbow pivoted about. “But AJ…” She winced. “What… what if you don’t get to salvage the farm, y’know?”

Applejack’s face stretched. She lingered for a few seconds, shrugged, and said, “I reckon in the end, it doesn’t matter. Trust… loyalty… commitment.” She rolled her eyes. “A handsome scent.” She chuckled.

Rainbow Dash smiled crookedly. “Heh. Heh. Hehhhh.”

After a prolonged sigh, Applejack’s ears twitched, and she stared a million miles away. “In the end, it’s all about havin’ somepony special to come back home to.” Her jaw hung straight.

Rainbow Dash sat in silence.

“Yeah, well…” Applejack shrugged, squirming her hooves in the grass. “Yer a better dreamer than I am, Rainbow Dash. I’m ‘fraid it only gives me the blues somethin’ fierce.”

“I… uh… I feel ya." Rainbow exhaled. "Believe me.”

Applejack and Rainbow Dash strolled up the front steps to the Twilight Sparkle's Canterlot apartment.

"Uhm... AJ?"

Applejack stifled a yawn. She turned to squint back at Rainbow. "Yeah, darlin'?"

The pegasus was wincing. Nevertheless, she hovered on limp wings and muttered, "You... uh... you really deserve better, y'know?"

Applejack stared blankly.

Rainbow cleared her throat and added, "You and the farm, that is. You... really deserve more."

With a tired smile, Applejack calmly said, "T'ain't about what a pony deserves, Rainbow Dash, but what she dares to accomplish in spite of the worst stuff that fate has to throw at her."

Rainbow said nothing.

With a shrug, Applejack turned about and shuffled in through the front entrance.

Rainbow Dash stood alone out in the cold.

“Hey!” Rainbow Dash shrugged, clutching her mug of cider as she and Applejack sat alone in Donut Joe's cafe—still wearing their tattered ballgowns. “We all put our hopes and dreams into that Gala! It wasn’t our fault that it royally crashed and burned!”

“Wasn’t it, though?”

Rainbow winced heavily and rubbed the back of her skull. “Yeah, well…”

“Makes no difference.” Applejack shook her head. The starlight outside the windows gave a melancholic glint to her freckles. “I feel bad for ya gals. Really, I do. Especially Rarity and her dream of romance come true.”

“Pfft… yeah, well…” Rainbow Dash smirked. “That mare dug herself in deep.”

“Not as deep a hole as I dug for my entire family.” Applejack’s ears drooped as she gazed limply at the tabletop. “The apples don’t just belong to me, y’know. They represent the cream of the crop of Sweet Apple Acres. When I invested the bushels for the sample table, I took a big cut out of what could have earned us regular profit. Now we’re behind in stock for the upcoming harvest.” Applejack shrugged with a sigh. “I’m still not sure how I’m gonna break it to Granny Smith and Big Mac. Someway, somehow, we’re gonna have to preserve some of what we have in store and bank on a really big cider season.”

“Wow, AJ. I didn’t realize how…” Rainbow fidgeted. “H-how involved all of that was.” She bit her lip. “Though, I guess it makes sense…”

“I had so much bet on this Gala earnin’ us the bits,” Applejack said. “I was bitin’ off more than I could chew. It’s only my fault, of course. I just wish the whole family didn’t have to flounder around because of it. Just because I did it for them don’t make it proper.”

Rainbow Dash bit her lip. Then, with nostrils flaring, she tilted the mug up and downed the rest of the cider.

Applejack gave her a double-take.

Rainbow Dash emptied the mug, slapped it down, and slapped a hoof over her chest. “Phweeeeee!” she wheezed, eyes bulging. Then, with bloodshot eyes, she leaned forward and bravely hissed, “If a bunch of Canterlot hackjobs could sell this crap for bits, then I know for a fact that you’re gonna sell the heck out of all your friggin’ apple juice, Applejack! Don’t you worry your big blonde head over nothin’, girl!”

Applejack blinked at her. With a warm smile, she chuckled and shook her head. “Yer somethin’ else, Rainbow. You know that?”

“Is that a good thing or a bad thing?” Rainbow Dash winked.

“I dunno, sugarcube, but it feels mighty fine to have a loyal marefriend believe in me so much.” She reached over and playfully punched the pony’s shoulder. “Thanks a bunch.”

Rainbow Dash exhaled heavily in an effort to keep her cheeks from burning. She rubbed her shoulder and in a weak whisper said… “Don't mention it.”

"Ugh..." Rainbow stopped pacing in front of entrance to the Cloudsdale Stadium and flicked her tail angrily. "Just forget it! This is... this is a total disaster waiting to happen. I don't even know why Twilight dragged the whole bunch of you here."

Applejack gazed across at her as they stood on the misty cloudbeds. "Pardon me, sugarcube, but this dun sound like you."

Rainbow Dash slowly turned around, glaring. "No offense, AJ... but you don't know a darn thing about me."

Applejack trotted forward and rested a hoof on Rainbow's shoulder. "This... I know... and it's the honest truth." She leaned forward until her eyes were even with Rainbow's. "You've got what it takes to win everythang you set yer heart to, Rainbow."

"I..." Rainbow's lips quivered. Her ears folded. "...you really think so?"

"I know so," Applejack said, grinning. "Honest to Goddess..." She crossed her heat, then ruffled the mare's prismatic mane. "Wouldn't be polite to steer ya wrong, ya reckon?"

Rainbow finally exhaled. "No..." She pushed her bangs up, smiling stupidly. "Eheheh... I reckon not..."

Applejack winked. She then stepped aside and pointed straight into the competitors' entrance. "Now get yer blue butt in there before I whoop it red!"

"Ahem."Rainbow Dash galloped straight past her. "Ma'am! Yes, Ma'am!"

"Land's sakes!" Applejack galloped towards a deep trench in the farm soil formed by a crashed pegasus' body. "That sure was one whopper of a dive you done took!" The mare came to a scuffling stop, her breath panting. "Gallopin' galoshes! Look at you! Are y'all okay, Mister?"

"Guhhh... Missus," Rainbow Dash corrected with a grunt, struggling to get up one bruised limb at a time. She muttered something under her breath.

"What's that, darlin'?" Applejack leaned over. "'Fraid I couldn't make you out."

"Look, whoever you are... I'm friggin' sorry." Rainbow Dash continued to squirm. "I was trying out my signature cloud-breaking move but the stupid winds... grrrrrr... nopony told me that the Equestrian Valley had gales!"

"Heh. I ain't no pegasus pony, but the weather dun regulate itself 'round these parts like it does up in Cloudsdale."

"How... did you know...?" Rainbow Dash winced, shaking her head. "Forget it. I gotta get back to my weather team or else the sky captain's gonna fire me on my first day. Freakin'..." She fought and struggled to yank herself out of the earth. "What's this mud made out of?! Seagull poop?!"

Applejack smiled proudly. "Richest and most fertile earth in the whole kingdom! You bet yer colorful mane!"

"Yeah, well, at the moment I don't really care for it."

"Here, lemme help you out with that, sugarcube." Applejack reached over. "What's yer name, speedy?"

"Mrrmmmfff... I'm fine, really. If you must know, my name is Rainbow Dash and—"

Applejack yanked the pegasus out of the trench. The mare looked up, her ruby pupils instantly shrinking as they reflected a golden, freckled face.

"Hmnmm?" Applejack smiled patiently, easing Rainbow into a standing position and dusting her off. "And what, darlin?"

Rainbow's wings slowly spread as she murmured: "...it's my birthday."

Applejack looked at her. The mare's freckles shone in the sun...

...and she smiled.

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