• Published 23rd Dec 2016
  • 9,682 Views, 393 Comments

Friendship Is Monsters - spotty8ee



Twilight is a human in a world of monsters, although she's never met one. So when she finds a vampire dying on her front lawn one day, she's not sure what she's found. A new friend? Or her demise...

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Appledisiac

Author's Note:

Hey guys! Sorry it took a bit to get this one up! I was planning on it being shorter than this, but I got away with myself and threw in more scenes as I went! Please enjoy and thanks again to my betas/ editors Blazeblast4 and Ladrian!

I also wanted to thank ajvasquezbrony28 for his written review! I was not expecting it in the slightest, thank you!

Reading by ajvasquezbrony28

Another week of school had come and passed. Thankfully everyone was too enthralled in the recounting of their March break adventures to notice Twilight shifting through the shadows of the halls. She had been left unmolested by her peers, and for Twilight that was a pretty good week. In fact no one had so much as glared at or taunted her.

The situation only got better in her dorm. Through the week she slept at school, having a small single room to herself that attached to a small kitchen, sitting area, and bathroom shared with four other girls. That week one of the girls she bunked with, who was nasty person in general but was twice as abusive with Twilight, had moved away, so she was gone for good at a new school on the other side of the country. Lemon Zest was busy preparing for a big violin recital, so she didn’t surprise Twilight by plopping her head phones over the nerd’s ears to show her another rock song she found. Moondancer had a test in her advanced science classes, and was studying all week in her free time. (Twilight had proudly passed that class before, though Moondancer was even less social than Twilight was, and didn’t want help.) Twilight had the run of the place, if you didn’t mind the muffled violin playing or cursing from Moondancer’s room.

Not to mention Twilight had been messaging her friends on Facebook. Some, like Rarity and Pinkie, had sent her their numbers so she could text them. Applejack and Rainbow were still grounded from their computers and Sunset’s phone was lost in Everfree Estates, so until she got a new one it was tough tootsies. Fluttershy had also given out her number, but had shyly explained she didn’t like to get calls, so to only ring her in an emergency.

Twilight could understand that feeling.

It was nice to talk with them. Even if it was just instant messaging. They weren’t best friends by any means but it was getting somewhere.

Guess Mom was right, we are hanging out at school, even if they aren’t technically here.

Friday had come at last and Twilight was bussed home for an eventful weekend. Though not because her mother wanted it to be…

“Damn Pristine Clean and her community events.” Velvet scowled as she hustled around the kitchen. “If it’s not one thing with that woman it’s another!”

“Mmhmmm,” Night Light mumbled affirmatively from the couch, face buried in the newspaper.

“I mean, it's not like anyone has time for these things!” Velvet flipped through a cook book on the shelf, grumbling. “Fundraising bake sale. Mandatory involvement due to lack of previous participation…” Velvet groaned. “Why do we live here again?”

“Your mother bought the house for us as a wedding present.” Night Light explained. “You know, when we didn’t have any money and you were pregnant with-”

Twilight watched both her parents wilt a bit at the mention of their eldest child. Twilight herself frowned and looked back down to Spike as she scratched him behind the ears.

The last time they had talked they hadn’t had the best conversation…

“Yes. Well,” Velvet sighed, “I’m getting really sick of that woman…” Twilight’s mother threw a dish cloth over her shoulder. “Chairwoman of the homeowner’s association be damned.”

“What does she want us to do this time?” Twilight asked.

“A bake sale fundraiser, sweetheart. She wants me to bake some things to sell,” Velvet grunted. “To make up for our ‘somewhat unenthusiastic contributions’ over the years, she wants ten baked goods to sell, or we’re going to be fined. “

“We can’t be ‘somewhat unenthusiastic’ if we never even contributed anything at all,” Night Light chuckled.

“Well she’s up my butt this time,” Velvet sighed. “What can I make…”

“Just make apple pie. Remember two weeks ago? Your mother sent us all those pre-made pie shells?” Night Light said.

Velvet groaned again. “I remember. I do not know how she could insist that baking fresh pie ‘everyday’ is a wifely duty.” Velvet opened the freezer, looking inside. “We should get rid of these. Make more room in here…” Nodding Velvet turned to her daughter. “Twilight, go out and buy me a whole bunch of apples, would you? Try and make sure they’re fresh. God knows that Pristine would know if they weren’t...Take forty dollars from my purse.”

“Sure,” Twilight said, scooping Spike up in her arms and heading for the door. She kicked on her runners and shrugged on a coat before leashing her pet. As Twilight stepped out into the bracing spring air she stretched, smiling down at her canine companion. “You ready Spike?”

“Bark!”

Twilight lead him down to the sidewalk before pausing again. “Do you think we should go to Vittle’s market or local grocer?” She asked, watching Spike sniff the ground, circling around. The dog looked up, cocking his head quizzically. “Well, mom did say fresh as I could get… Vittles usually has a great product… but it could cost more.” Twilight hummed in thought. She stared down at her shoes before looking back up. “Freshest I can get…”
___________________________________________________________________
It wasn’t hard to get her bike out of the shed, or to attach the bike trailer her mother had bought when she was just a little kid. She pulled it to the front yard, popped Spike into his front basket, and after crossing the Everfree Estates gates again she was off. Thankfully the weather was good, and the temperature was mild. Usually she couldn’t bike too far without her asthma acting up a little, but with the fates being this kind she was able to make it all the way without stop. Spike was happily leaning out of the basket slightly, ears flapping in the gentle breeze. Just as Twilight crested the hill and the walls of Everfree Estates ended, there was a small stretch of remaining woodland, and then-

“Whoa.” Twilight muttered, stopping her peddling to admire the rows upon rows of mature apple trees. Many different kinds and colours were visible as the trees stretched over the horizon. Clean, green foliage as far as the eye could see. She could even make out a few apples that had fallen here and there.

She peddled on for a few long moments, admiring the lush beauty of the trees, until she came across a dirt driveway with a mail box perched on the end. The large sign over it spelt out ‘Sweet Apple Acres’ in beautiful calligraphy. Twilight and Spike looked at each other, both clearly enjoying the atmosphere, before moving on down the driveway.

It was surprisingly long, taking several more minutes before Twilight got to the house. It was a large farm home with two stories, dull red in colour with white accents and a large, wrap-around porch.

“Bark! Bark!” A brown and white border collie ran out of the nearby barn, hearing their approach. It approached them with its head held high, tail wagging. Twilight cautiously got off her bike and watched the dog come closer, sniffing around her front tire.

“Bark!” Spike lean out of her basket, both dogs sniffing each other for a moment before the collie licked him.

“You must be Winona,” Twilight said as the dog looked to her. Winona sniffed at Twilight’s leg, then at Twilight’s offered hand before licking it as well. “Aww, nice to meet you to!”

“Bark!” Winona responded, tongue lolling out the side of her mouth. Twilight stepped back to look around the farm again.

Should she start with the door?

Heading for the porch she climbed up the steps, looking this way and that for anyone she could talk to.

SNOOOOOOO-

Twilight jumped at the loud noise, realising it was coming from around the corner of the porch. Twilight turned away from the door, heading for the noise curiously. As she turned the corner she found an old woman in a rocking chair who was obviously related to Applejack.

She was a plant person, though her age clearly showed. Her bark was cracked in places and slightly mossy in others. The leaves and vines making up her hair were slightly weathered and gnarled, blackened on the ends in a few places. Her flowers were white, though slightly droopy, and any odd leaf growing from her body was brown or red, like autumn leaves ought to be. She was snoring, clearly napping in her seat and looking rather peaceful.

So much so that Twilight didn’t want to disturb her.

Twilight looked back out to the barn for movement, wondering if she may have more luck knocking on the door of the house. Turning back around Twilight gasped, stumbling out of Winona’s way as the collie bounded past and jumped up to the old woman’s lap.

“Bark! Bark, Bark!”

The old woman made a snorting noise, sitting up in her chair shaking her head. “Wha in th- wha?!” She smacked her lips, looking around before finding the dog in her lap. “Winona! What’dacha think yer a doin’ !? You ain’t a puppy no mores, now off mah lap!” As the collie slipped off her lap the woman stood, groaning a little and stretching her arms up with the sound of creaking wood. “Ough… I gotta get a pad for this thang. I’m gonna grow a crick.” She snuffled before turning around. “Now where did them kids get t-”

She paused, looking Twilight in the eye. There was a few moments of silence, save for Winona's panting. After a few more seconds the woman sighed, shaking her head and scowling. “You’s ain’t with that development company, is ya? I’s told you people at least a hundred times-”

“Development company?” Twilight blinked. “Uh, I’m sorry I don’t know what your talking about.”

In an instant the woman went from cross to the picture of hospitality. “Oh! Well why didn’t cha say so! I’m Granny Smith, and this here is mah farm. My family’s been growin’ crops here for nearly a full millennium,” Granny said conversationally, waving her hand to the trees.

“M-Millennium?” Twilight gasped.

Granny started to chuckle slightly. “Oh! Oh, I keep forgettin’ how short you human’s life spans are there, hun. That ain’t so as impressive to our kind. I was just a lil younger than you when we set up the farm here.” Granny smiled fondly. “Course the land was alot younger then too.” Granny frowned suddenly, scratching her head. “But, ah, what are you doing here, uh….”

“Twilight, Twilight Sparkle,” she responded. “ I came here because I was hoping to buy some… apples…”

Without calling ahead to see if you had any available… ah shoot.

Granny looked thoughtful. “Well, lemme see here.” She turned to looked behind her at the large ,lush fields of apple trees, all bearing fruit. “Ah huh.” She then turned to the barn where, through the slightly open door, one could make out boxes, upon boxes of apples in storage. “Mm hmmm.” She then turned to another field of apples, just as plentiful as the last. “Hmmm. Welp, I think we’s can help you,” Granny said at last, wiggling her eyebrows as she chuckled.

“Oh, thank you!” Twilight smiled.

“Ah, it’s fine. We’s gots so many apples they're comin’ out my ear roots!” Granny said. “Though that's a high class problem to have, if’n I say so myself.” Granny teetered down the porch steps towards the fields. “Let's go find Applejack. She can get cha sorted out. I’d try to get some out, but mah eyes ain’t what they were. Could give yah one of ‘em Morsus Apples by mistake…”

“Uh, my latins a little rusty,” Twilight said softly. “What is-”

“S’an apple thats got teeth,” Granny explained. “No good for eattin’. They’d just bite cha back! Good for replacing dental work though.”

Twilight looked at the trees surrounding them, nervously. “T-these trees, are they-”

“Gala deary. They won’t hurt cha. These trees are as sweet as ya please. Right Reginald?” Granny turned to a tree nearby, almost expecting a response. Oddly enough the woman nodded, like the tree actually did say something, before holding out her hand. An apple dropped cleanly into her open palm, much to Twilight’s surprise.

“Ya see? Reggie here’s an old soft wood,” Granny laughed as she pocketed the apple. Twilight watched as ‘Reggie’s’ leaves seemed to start curling. Granny stopped laughing and sighed. “Ah, he hates bein’ called Reggie. Alright! Alright! Calm down REGINALD.” Granny shook her head as the leaves uncurled, she lead Twilight along through the fields before chuckling again. “The Gala trees is all prim and proper. Their apples aren’t as sweet unless yah keep the trees trimmed and pretty.”

“I never knew that” Twilight said, looking back to the galas quietly.

“Don’t reckon you ever could dear. We Timburr Dryads can hear what the trees want. They say a little off the top you get the shears out.” Granny shook her head. “Course trees can only sense things around them a little ways. They can tell what shape they is and what shape we is. So long as you got the basic shape they like then they don’t complain too much.”

Granny lead Twilight through the Galas to the Red Delicious, then through the Braeburn to an orchard of what seemed to be trees growing rock apples. They passed through a crop of miniature apple trees with fruit the size of cherries before traveling through a group of bright white apple trees with silver leaves, golden apples hanging from the branches that shone so bright Twilight had to shield her eyes. Not watching where she was going Twilight hit one of the apples that had fallen from their perch with her foot, stumbling and yelping in pain.

“Ah dear!” Granny said, helping steady her. “Do be careful!”

“Sorry, its just- I hit that with my- oh! My toes!” Twilight whined as she shook her foot, trying to disrupt the pain receptors in her leg.

“These are the Apples Of Goddess Iðunn,” Granny said. “Or as they're also called, Gold Apple, on a count that they're made of solid gold!”

“Solid gold?!” Twilight said, squinting up at the trees.

“Yessum they are. Don’t try and smelt them though. They rot like any other apple. Unlike gold they’re not forever,” Granny grunted as she took the fallen apple and lifted it into her hands with a small amount of difficulty. “They’re only good when they start to soften and go past their prime. Taste like crap, but they’re good for age reducin’ creams.”

Granny held the apple out to Twilight. Though the moment she accept she nearly fell over at the weight in her own hands. She struggled to hold the apple up in both hands, just barely hovering it off the ground, back arched and legs quaking.

“Just put it in the basket there,” Granny said off-handedly. “But hurry up!”

Twilight struggled the few feet to the basket as Granny started off again. With a few deep breaths she managed to heft the apple up and over the rim with the others before taking hit of her inhaler. By the time she managed to catch up to Granny Smith the elder was waiting by a gated area.

“There you are! Now in here you want ta stay nearby me. The trees here is a little more fiesty,” Granny explained as she unhooked the fence. Twilight noted a sign a little to the left of the gate.

DANGER. DO NOT ENTER.

Oh dear.

Granny pulled the entry open and motioned Twilight through. The girl looking around in apprehension as Granny secured the gate behind them. “I-is it safe here?” Twilight asked.

“Ah course. The trees is just non too pleased to let you pick their fruit… or come near ‘em. In fact I think they enjoy inflicting pain on others for some reason…” Granny scratched her chin thoughtfully as Twilight began to sweat. “Well anywho, Applejack and Big Mac is just around the bend.”

They went deeper into the fenced area towards the trees. They were grey with black leaves, vines crept down from the branches and scattered across the ground like snakes. As Twilight walked she almost stepped on a vine, only for it to slither out of her way. Twilight inched a bit closer to Granny as they crested a hill and came upon Applejack and her brother, who seemed to be having trouble.

“WHOA THERE!” Applejack shouted, holding a few vines down as her brother, a large, red-barked character with orange tinted leaves for hair with a few flowers dotted around in them (though far fewer than his sister) was busy picking some of the smokey grey apples from their places in the tree. A vine leapt out to try and stop him, but Applejack grabbed it in her hand and put it under her arm. “Ah no ya don’t!”

The tree shook a little, leaves curling as it let out a haunting, creaking noise.

Applejack looked less than impressed by the display. “Barkly! You stop that! Y’all need to be picked and you know it!” One of the vines in her arms smacked Applejack square in the face. She winced, but otherwise just rolled her eyes up at the tree. “Really!? You’re over a hundred years old! Act your dang age!” As Applejack held the vines a little tighter she looked up, spotting her brother backing off from the tree with a full basket. “Got ‘em all?”

“Eeyup,” Big Mac nodded.

With a grunt Applejack threw the vines away from her, scampering back as they rose back up and came for her. Thankfully she was out of range before the tree could get her. ‘Barkly’ creaked angrily, vines coiling tightly under their branches in, what even Twilight could see, was an act of displeasure.

“Ah, you’ll feel better in a minute! Those apples just weighed your branches down.” Applejack scoffed. She looked to Big Mac as he piled the collected apples into a trailer. “Next time, I pick.”

“Eeyup,” Big Mac nodded again, making his way to the next tree.

“Now hold it there Applejack. We’s got a customer here. Ms… ah…” Granny turned to Twilight, scratching her head. “What’cha say your name was again?”

“Twilight!” Applejack spoke before Twilight had a chance, stepping up the hill to greet her. “Well pluck my leaves and call me a stick! I didn’t know you were coming over!”

“Oh, you know each other then?”

“Granny, this is the girl who saved Sunset and went to the movies with us last weekend,” Applejack explained.

“Oh, so that’s her huh!” Granny looked Twilight over again quickly. “I thought she’d be taller.”

Applejack sighed and put a hand to her face. “I- Never mind. What do you need Twilight?”

“Well my mom is making some apple pies for a fundraiser bake sale and asked me to buy some apples. She wanted them as fresh as I could get and since you said your apple farm was almost next door, I thought I could pop in and buy some,” Twilight said, pausing before looking uncertain. “I-if you have any for sale-”

“Well a-course we do!” Applejack said happily. “We got a whole bunch of bushels in the barn to be sold at the market on Sunday. We can sell you one of ‘em.”

“That be great! How much do you need?” Twilight asked, reaching for her bag.

“Ah nah! Put that away!” Granny spoke up, swatting lightly at Twilight’s hand. “If’n it’s fer a fundraiser, we can just give ‘em to yah.”

“Really? Thats so nice of you!” Twilight smiled.

“We ain’t so hard up on money that we can’t give away a bushel or two,” Granny joked. “Now Applejack, what apples are best for a pie?”

“Well-”

“Oh! I know! I know!”

Twilight leapt back as a small plant girl jumped up from hiding in the applecart, waving her hand excitedly. “Its Jonagolds or Honey...Crisps… or ah…” The girl petered off and shyly sunk down a bit in the cart as her family glared at her.

“Applebloom!” Applejack chastised. “You're not supposed ta be in here with the Whompin’ Apple Trees!”

“I can help!” Applebloom pouted, crossing her arms and rising from the cart again. She had similar leaves to applejack, though hers had red flowers instead of yellow. Her bark was a bit brighter than Applejack’s as well, and her eyes were more of an amber, like her granny’s.

“No ya can’t,” Granny said, “You're still too little of a sproutlin’.”

“Don’t you worry Granny. I’ll take her back while I get Twilight her apples,” Applejack frowned and hoisted her sister out of the cart one-handed, Applebloom still pouting. “ Now let’s get goin’, I still need to finish pickin’ the Whompin’ apples with Big Mac-”

“Applejack!”

Aj paused to turn back to Big Mac, finding him wrestling with some tree vines. “What you couldn't wait a second?!” Applejack groaned.

Big Mac glared at her as he struggled to hold the vines steady, though it was clear that he was taking two of the trees at a time. Comically, one of the tree vines snuck up behind him, tapping him on the back. When Big Mac truned in surprise, the vine poked him in the eye. “Ah!” he yelped, putting a hand to his eye, losing all the vines in the process. They quickly overpowered him, dragging him to the ground. One of the trees creaked in a laughing fashion.

“I’ll help you Big Mac!” Applebloom shouted, running over before her sister could grab her.

“Applebloom!”

She kept going before a vine intercepted her, a third tree joining in. Applebloom rolled up the sleeves on her shirt before shaking her fists at the vine. “Alright! Come an’ get it!” The vine went for her eyes as well, but Applebloom had the sense to smack it away. “Wise guy eh?!” Applebloom shouted as the vine came back. It weaved a bit before going for her eye again. This time the girl grabbed it in both hands. “Gotcha yah varmint- Ow!” Applebloom yelped as another vine smacked her on the head. She rubbed her face for a moment before scowling. “Mmmm! That’s it!” She took the vines in her hands again, this time missing the third vine behind her that slipped around her ankle. Before Applebloom seemed to know what was happening, she was hanging upside down, the tree shaking her, though not enough to hurt her. “Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!” She grunted with each shake.

“Now that’s why you can’t-! Mmmm!” Applejack ran forward as well, grabbing at the vines around her sister’s ankle. “Now you stop that Larry! You hear me! Why I ought- ah!” One vine shot out, clutching her chin as another made a grand show of arching up before clonking down on Applejack’s head. “Ahh!” She stumbled back as the tree released her, causing her to fall back into a waiting vine, which quickly scooped her up.

“Ah shoot,” Granny rolled her eyes at all her struggling grandchildren. While none of the trees seemed intent on hurting the kids, they also looked like they were enjoying themselves and wouldn’t release the Apple kids anytime soon. All creaking in amusement, or at least Twilight thought they were. Granny hardly seemed alarmed. More annoyed than anything. “Darn kids. Just stay here Twilight.”

Granny marched forth next, though the little old woman was nothing intimidating… She stopped before the trees, scowling and just out of reach. “Larry! Curly! Moe! You let my grandchildren go! NOW.” The woman held quite a bit of venom in her voice, and the three trees quickly deposited the kids on the ground, clearly unnerved by the elder. The one holding Applebloom lowered her to a meter off the ground before dropping her, the young girl grunting unhappily. Granny huffed and crossed her arms, the three trees curling up their vines and wilting under her gaze. “Bunch of stooges,” Granny frowned.

Tap. Tap.

Twilight turned herself to find a vine right beside her. She squeaked as it came forward, only to poke her in the middle of her chest. Unwittingly, Twilight looked down, only for the vine to swing up, bonking her nose and nearly throwing off her glasses. She clapped her hands over her nose quickly and twitched as the vine came back.

“Don't think I can’t see you back there Shemp!” Granny shouted, the vine spasming before drawing back quickly. Granny came back to Twilight, cross. “Why I have never seen you trees misbehave so much! Maybe I should skip yah when we do the fertilising next year.” All the trees around them curled up, almost shaking. Granny held no sympathy for them.

The three Apple children came up the hill, slightly frazzled with random twigs sticking of everywhere. Which were theirs and which they had picked up in the misadventure was uncertain. Both AJ and Applebloom were missing their respective bow and hat, and their hair leaves were a mess. Big Mac frowned before he spat a whole apple out of his mouth. The three and Twilight stared down at it in shock.

“What have you kids learned?” Granny asked.

“Don’t let anyone harvest the Whompin’ apples alone?” Applejack suggested tiredly.

“Keep your mind on your work?” Big Mac spoke, he and Applejack sharing a small glare.

“Don’t be afraid to ask fer help?” Applebloom added. “Like from me? Cause I can help!”

“No, you learned to stay outta the Whompin’ patch till I say you're grown enough!” Granny snapped, shaking a finger down at her granddaughter. Applebloom didn’t try to argue this time, just looking down to the ground glumly. She sighed before jolting.

“What the- mah boot!” The girl stuck out her sock covered foot. “That dalgarn tree has mah boot!”

Thunk.

Applebloom yelped as her missing boot was flung at her back. She grumpily picked it up and glared at the apple trees behind her as she pulled it on.

“Your lucky these ain’t Whompin’ Willows there Applebloom. They’d sooner rip yah apart then toy witcha’ like this,” Granny frowned. “Close a’ cousin as they are, at least the Whompin’ Apple trees are just mischievous. Now get back to the farm. I’ll talk which you later.”

Applebloom moaned before starting back to the gate.

“Wait a second,” Applejack shouted, picking her hat up and putting it back on her head. “Take Twilight with you and help her get some apples.”

“What?” Applebloom groaned.

“You wanted to help, so help. I’m needed here to help Big Mac,” Applejack ordered, stepping on a wandering vine, which promptly tried to curl in on itself. “You apparently know what apples she needs, don’t cha?”

“Well, yes- I mean-but-!”

“Ahh! Ahh! Ahh!” Granny chided. “You take her and get her the apples young sprout. NOW.”

“Yes Granny,” Applebloom sighed before waving Twilight over, though she didn’t wait for the teen to catch up. Twilight sent Applejack and Granny a wave before following after, as they approached the gates Twilight looked around nervously at the trees.

“What a- what are Whomping Apples for?” she asked.

Applebloom sighed, but shrugged and untied the gate. “They’re supposed to help accelerate healing. I guess you need it if you're pickin’ Whompin’ apples in the first place…” Applebloom opened the gate, letting Twilight pass before securing it again. “I dunno what happens after we sell ‘em.”

“Oh.”

Applebloom lead Twilight back to the barn, though she seemed a little too cross to try and be very conversational. Twilight could make out some of her grumbling as they walked. Something about how she was big enough to help with the harder trees, or like that.

As they came to the barn Twilight could see Spike asleep in his basket before Applebloom pulled open the doors and went inside. “Where abouts do you live?” Applebloom asked as she looked over the first bushel of apples.

“Oh, Everfree Estates,” Twilight said as she paused at the door, looking in at the high shelves packed with full baskets of apples, with plenty still stored around on the floor.

Applebloom paused, looking back in surprise. “You mean that Human subdivision, just down the street?”

“Oh, yes. Your sister said you can see it from your room, I suppose.”

“Oh yeah I can…” Applebloom grumbled, rolling her eyes. “Diamond Tiara says it's quite the place, her mom wants to move them there… notthatI’lleverknow,likeshesays…”

Twilight cocked her head, not catching what the girl said. “Uh, is Diamond Tiara a friend of yours?”

“What kind of apples did you want?” Applebloom asked grumpily, moving a heavy looking bussel out of the way with ease.

Twilight was a little lost with Applebloom’s attitude. However given the way her family basically shooed her away when the rest of them were all working together, Twilight chose not to take it personally. “I'm sure whatever ones you think are best,” Twilight shrugged.

Applebloom paused, a thoughtful look on her face before she hurried behind a shelf of apples and disappeared. “Ah? Applebloom?” Twilight called in confusion.

“Hold on! I’m getting you some … fresher ones!”

Ok.

Applebloom returned after a moment, holding a basket in her arms. As she brought it forward Twilight looked down at them. They were a soft rosy pink colour, though their shape was rather odd, as they were more pointed on the end than any apple Twilight had seen. The top had two bumps.

“Looks like little hearts.” Twilight said, picking up one.

“They’re Sweetheart apples,” Applebloom explained, “Sweetest apples there is.”

As Twilight looked closer she detected an irresistible fresh apple smell. It was sweet and almost made her mouth water. “They do smell good.”

“Come on!” Applebloom carried the basket to Twilight's bike, setting the apples into the bike trailer for the human. “There ya are! Sweet Apple Acres are the best apples guaranteed,“ Applebloom said, this time a little more cheerfully.

“Well thank you for your help Applebloom,” Twilight smiled. “I’ll see if I can bring you guys something from the bake sale as thanks.”

“Ah we don’t need you ta do that,” Applebloom said, smiling a little oddly now that Twilight really looked. “Your thanks is enough.”

Twilight blinked as Appleloom turned and hurried back to the house. She watched the girl wave before disappearing inside. “Ummm, ok?” Twilight shrugged before climbing back on her bike, petting Spike as the dog woke up with a yawn. With a little difficulty Twilight started peddling, turning the bike around and heading home.
______________________________________________________________________________

“Twilight I do not know how you found apples this fresh,” Velvet said as she chopped the fruit up as her daughter peeled them. “Why I can almost smell the orchard with every cut.”

“Oh, well there is an apple farm nearby…” Twilight smiled nervously as she grabbed another apple to peel.

“Is there?” Velvet looked shocked for a second. “Well I suppose I don’t leave the community very much. I didn’t even know there was a farm of any kind nearby… When was the last time I left?” Velvet looked thoughtful for a moment, pausing her chopping. “We couldn’t go on our honeymoon… Uh- Oh! Yes of course! Two years before you were born we went to an amusement park out of state. That was nice.”

“And you’ve never left since then?” Twilight asked in confusion.

“Well I work from home as an editor, you know. So there's really no need to leave all that often.” Velvet started to cut the apples again. “Your father’s work is just a quick drive from the gates, and you’re bused from school to home. I don’t even think you’ve been out of the community besides for school.”

Twilight swallowed tightly.

“Well I think those are enough. We’ve almost finished the basket off,” Velvet said as she looked down at the couple of Sweethearts left. “I’d say we can move onto the baking. Go grab the brown sugar for me Twilight.”

The teen did as instructed, pausing as she opened the cupboard. “Uhhh... Mom.”

“Yes Twilight?” Velvet said as she measured some butter on the cutting board, chopping off the size they needed.

“How do you… feel about monsters?” Twilight took the sugar over, setting it on the counter.

“Well that’s an odd question. What brought that up?” Velvet asked, putting the butter into a sauce pan. “Oh, measure out five cups of that Twilight.” Velvet paused at her daughter's shocked look. “We’re making ten pies, we need to double the recipe.”

“Well…” Twilight shuffled as she started to measure the sugar into a large mixing bowl. “I was just looking around online and there were a lot of… monster videos on youtube, and grandma-”

“Your grandmother is so lost in the past I swear she could get sick with the black plague at any moment,” Velvet rolled her eyes. “Honestly, I have no idea what monsters did to her to make her hate them so much…” Velvet sighed as she set the butter on the stove to melt. “Maybe it's just the way she was raised.”

“What about you, though?” Twilight asked, rolling up the rest of the sugar to put away. “How do you feel about them?”

Velvet opened a cabinet. “Well, I can’t say I have an opinion dear. I’ve never really had enough contact to form one. I know some of the writers I work for are monsters. Their stories are quite good, though they’d never sell around here sadly.”

“And dad?”

“He works with some. Says they’re friendly enough if I recall.” Velvet poured some pre-measured flour into the butter. “Course he and I are still cautious. You never know with anyone, even humans.”

“Yeah, I guess,” Twilight said, knowing that fact all too well.

Velvet sighed as she poured the sugar from the bowl into the saucepan. “Honey does this have anything to do with your brother?”

“What?” Twilight looked up. “What would this have to do with Shiny?”

Velvet looked uncomfortable for a moment, scratching her head. “Well, you were there the last time we … talked.”

“I don’t remember it too well. I was ten,” Twilight said sadly.

“Yes well, your brother and your grandmother had a little… disagreement over his choice of schools. He wanted to go to the Canterlot City University, a well respected school. Only your grandmother wanted him to go to a school that wasn’t as, uhhhhh… Diverse?” Velvet groaned and threw up her hands. “Oh why beat around the bush, one that was only for humans, what few there are.”

“Ok, but why did he…” Twilight trailed off sadly.

“Leave?” Velvet asked sadly. At Twilight’s unhappy nod the woman sighed. “Well, your father's work in astronomy wasn’t paying much back then, and while we could support ourselves fine the community’s security and building upkeep bills were falling behind, so your grandmother helped us out.“ Velvet shook her head as she took the defrosted pie shells from the counter and started to line them with apples. “Your brother asked us to stand by him and his decision, but you know how I am with my mother… and your father felt like he was a failure for not being able to pay all the bills… So while we didn’t support his decision, we also didn’t forbid him.”

“So he left?” Twilight frowned.

“You need to understand Twilight. This wasn’t the first time. We sent him to a sleep away camp when he was seven. He made some monster friends and when he got home my mother told me it was dangerous from him to keep friends like that, so I stupidly did as she said, and never let him visit them. He wanted to go backpacking in high school, across the country but I listened to my mother and didn’t let him. It happened so often then not that, well, that moment was the final straw that broke the camel’s back.” Velvet frowned as she finished the pie and started to pour the gooey sugar mixture into it. “Fast forward five years and we’ve still not heard from him…”

“Do you think he’ll ever come back?” Twilight asked sadly.

“Maybe… He wanted to be there when you graduated. He might come back for that… Or when my mother dies, whichever comes first.”

“Mom,” Twilight said with a simper.

“I know, I know. I love my mother, but even when I was a girl she could be quite controlling,” Velvet grunted.

“I don’t really have that much trouble with grandma,” Twilight said.

“Of course you don’t Twilight. You do everything you're told for the most part. Your grandmother doesn't have any fuss with you,” Velvet sighed. “Why I bet she thinks you're the most sane of all of us.”

As Velvet set the first pie in the oven Twilight turned away.

“So long as she doesn't meet my new friends…” She mumbled quietly.
______________________________________________________________________________

“Why if it isn’t Velvet Twilight!”

Twilight didn’t know if she had ever seen her mother so tense in her life. Velvet stood rigidly as she forced a tight smile and shook hands with another woman. “Pristine, it's good to see you again,” Velvet forced out pleasantly, eyes slightly narrowed.

“So good to see you taking an active role in the community Velvet,” Pristine said with a smile. Flipping back her white and soft pink striped hair, the tall, thin pink woman placed a hand to her hip over her business suit.

“Well…. You know me,” Velvet chuckled dryly.

“N’yes, but today you proved that there is a first time for everything.”

Velvet’s eye twitched.

“Ugh, hello Pristine. Where do you want the pies?” Night Light asked, pointing down to their rolling cooler.

“Oh, pies! Not many of those on the tables yet! I may need to snatch one up… See how your cooking is,” Pristine smiled at them, raising her brow. Velvet simmered. “Take them to Mrs Vittle, she’s in charge of placement and sale,” Pristine nodded to the slightly pudgy woman manning a few open tables. “She’s such a doll, three kids, her own business and still time to volunteer.” Pristine looked Velvet out of the corner of her eye. “Weekly.”

“How… nice,” Velvet said, teeth close to grinding.

“Uh, Twilight, why don’t you take these over to Mrs Vittle? Your mom and I can take a look around at the tables,” Nightlight said swiftly, putting an arm around his wife’s shoulders. “We can find some sweets for later on tonight!”

“I'm on a no sugar diet,” Velvet grumbled, squinting at Pristine in a fashion that could have lit her on fire.

“So good to hear you’ve started to take an interest in your appearance Velvet. Some of the other women were worried you were depressed or something,” Pristine smiled before she looked to the entrance. “Oh! Mr Luscious and his family are here! Excuse me.”

As Night Light was forced to tighten his grip on his wife, Twilight watched Mrs Clean greet the arriving family. Twilight frowned when she realized who they were.

Sugarcoat wasn’t…. Well she wasn’t horrible. She was almost as socially awkward as Twilight herself and they could have been good friends, if not for the fact that Sugarcoat tended to not notice or care about the emotions of other people. She played hardball with the truth and could throw a mean pitch back into your face. Not to say she did it vindictively, but…

As Sugarcoat, her parents and her brother came into the community center Twilight ran for the sale table.

She didn’t want to spend the night with her.

“Twilight,” Mrs Vittle smiled as the girl approached. “So good to see you dear!”

“Hello Mrs Vittle.” Twilight noted the three year old eating some cookies at the woman’s side. “Hey Little Vittle!” As the child waved to her and stuffed more sweets in her mouth, Twilight laughed. “Here's the pies my mom made for the sale.”

“Lovely!” Mrs Vittle said as she pulled the first few out of the cooler. “These look delicious Twilight. I’m sure your mother worked very hard on these. They’ll sell in no time at all!”

Twilight twitched as something pulled on her skit. Looking down she found Mrs Vittle’s oldest child, Tasty Vittle.

“Oh, hello T,” Twilight said.

“Hi Ti-light,” He said softly. “I’m seven now. My birfday was last week.”

“How… nice?”

“Oh Twilight these smell amazing. I think I’ll have to buy one right now!” Mrs Vittle said, putting a pie down by her bag. “My husband Big just loves apple pie!”

“Is there a price chart I can look at? I want to buy something for a friend of mine,” Twilight explained.

“Why of course, right over there. It’s hung up on the wall.”

Twilight made her way over and looked at the list quietly. There were some nice looking cupcakes, cookies and pies for sale. What would Applejack and her family like? Do they get sick of eating apples after working with them all day? Well, chocolate is usually a safe bet, maybe a cake or something...

“Hi Twilight.”

“Gah!” Twilight jumped back as Sugarcoat stopped at her side, observing the startled girl with a blank face.

“You’re very easily startled, like a rabbit,” she said.

“Y-yes, thank you Sugarcoat…” Twilight sighed as she placed a hand over her heart. “H-how are you?”

“Fine. Well, as fine as one can be, coerced into an evening of looking after one’s brother and making useless small talk,” Sugarcoat huffed. “I’d ask how you are due to social protocol, but I don’t really want to know.”

Yep, that’s Sugarcoat.

“Uhhh, ok?” Twilight shrugged. “So... uhh-

“Is Kamikaze still toying with you?” Sugarcoat asked suddenly. Twilight flinched violently at the name. “I’ll take that as a yes. Indigo Zap asked, her family is going for dinner with them, apparently their siblings are dating, and she wanted to know if she should keep her guard up.”

Twilight swallowed tightly and looked at the floor, wringing her hands.

“Shall I take that as a yes as well?”

“Mmmm…” Twilight mumbled. “I don’t know if… if it's the same. Indigo is more popular than-than I am. She may not try anything-”

“Better safe than sorry,” Sugarcoat said, whipping out her phone to make a quick text. “Ok. Bye.”

Twilight sighed as Sugarcoat turned to leave, but the blue girl groaned when she did so. “Sweet-talker...”

“Tsk, Tsk, Tsk!” A younger boy with Sugarcoat’s colours said as he came around the older girl. His hair was dark blue instead of white and his eyes were the same purple as his sister’s. “That’s no way to treat someone Suggie.”

“Sugar. Coat.” Sugarcoat grumbled.

“Let’s not be so formal,” Sweet-talker said, putting an arm over Sugarcoat’s shoulders. “We’re family after all Suggie!” The boy looked to Twilight before stepping forward, hand out. “Sweet-talker, though I’m sure my sister has mentioned me.”

“Oh, hello Sweet-talker…” Twilight mumbled, shaking his hand.

“Please, such formality. Call me Swee. Much more relaxed,” Swee said in an upbeat voice. “So tell me, you ladies looking to buy some confections?”

“Well I am, but I’m not sure what to get yet…” Twilight said, uncertain.

“I get it, you don’t know what's good. Well, if you want, you could get something and I could taste test it to see if it's any good.-”

“She’s not buying you anything Sweet-talker,” Sugarcoat frowned, scatting at him like a stray animal. “Shoo.”

“Well, I never,” Swee said in indignation. “I would never ask a lady to buy me anything I couldn’t reimburse her for myself! I merely suggested-”

“No,” Sugarcoat grunted.

“But I-”

“No.”

Swee scowled. “Really, Sugarcoat.” He gestured and looked up to Twilight. “I’m sure this beautiful young lady can speak for her-self- ah….” Swee stared at Twilight, who looked nervously back. “I- Have I seen you before?”

“No. I don’t think so?” Twilight said in confusion. Crystal Prep separated the High School and Elementary students. She’d never seen him at school and she had never been to Sugarcoat’s house.

“Wait.” Swee looked closer. “I know I have…”

“Around town, maybe?” Twilight tried, unsure of what the boy was talking about.

“No, my father drives me everywhere.” Swee shook his head. “I’m not sure how, but I know I’ve-” Swee stopped, frozen in place, gawking at Twilight before throwing his hands over his mouth to hide a guffaw. He snorted and snickered for a moment before lowering his hands to look at her. “Oh lord, I remember now.” He chuckled in amusement.

“Really?” Twilight asked, not liking this turn of character.

“Oh yes… That- That-” Swee let out a loud laugh. “That video online! It was hilarious!” Swee wiped at his eyes and chuckled darkly. “I know why I didn’t recognize you! You have a shirt on!”

Slap!

Swee yelped when his sister smacked the back of his head. “Ow! Sugarcoat!”

“You're being too casual,” Sugarcoat snapped, looking slightly angry. “Go back to mother.”

“Fine!” Swee scowled and turned away from her with an angry wave of his hand. “I’ll be sure to tell her of your attack on my person!” Swee looked to Twilight again before leaving, giggling a bit as he went. Sugarcoat also looked back to Twilight, her look of boredom and annoyance twisting in a slight pang of sympathy at Twilight’s embarrassed and upset expression, staring at her shoes and her shoulders slumped. Sugarcoat shuffled in indecision before she sighed and stepped forward uncertainly.

“Nobody really talks about that video anymore… Least the circles I’m in,” Sugarcoat said.

Twilight shrugged sadly.

“They let you keep your bra on,” Sugarcoat offered in an even more awkward fashion than usual, clearly unclear on how to comfort someone. “In the video, that is…”

“They weren’t going to…” Twilight murmured.

Sugarcoat griminced. “Ah.”

She ran a hand through her snowy white hair. “Well, all the more reason to warn Indigo Zap of what that sadistic Kamikaze could do.”

“Yeah.”

Sugarcoat rubbed her arm and studied the floor tiles as well. “Hmmm… Twilight I’m not good at this stuff,” she admitted, tapping her foot. “I happen to know for a fact some students were tempted to show the principal at least. However given Kamikaze’s… Infamous reputation…” She scratched the back of her head. “Nobody wanted to, shall we say, risk their personal safety with that psycho.”

“I understand…” Twilight mumbled.

Sugarcoat shifted back and forth on her feet before patting Twilight on the shoulder awkwardly. “Welp, bye.”

“Bye,” Twilight sighed and she watched Sugarcoat’s shoes disappear from sight. She stood staring at the floor for a long moment of time before a pie was put in her sights. Twilight looked up from the lemon meringue to see her father.

“Hey honey, look what I bought!” He said proudly, leaning in a bit to whisper. “It’s sugar free.”

“Yeah, that’s nice…” Twilight said with a heavy voice.

“Twilight what’s wrong?” NightLight asked in concern. “Your looking a little upset.”

Twilight wrung her hands again. ‘Well, uh-”

Kamikaze’s infamous reputation…

Nobody wanted to risk their personal safety with that psycho.

“Nothing. I was just hoping there would be… chocolate cake,” Twilight sighed.

“Oh there is! Somebody made Lava cakes!” Nightlight said, however he paused when Twilight didn’t light up as expected. “Honey are you sure you're ok?”

“Yeah dad, I just- I think I need to get out of here, too many people.”

“Your mother’s been saying the same thing. I swear that Pristine gets too far under her skin- Oh no!” Nightlight gasped, quickly handing the pie to his daughter before running off. Twilight, alarmed, looked up to see what her father was so upset about.

Twilight wasn’t sure if she’d ever see her mother holding a pie up in a throwing position again. She just hopped her father could get to her in time before the pathway to Pristine cleared of innocent people.
______________________________________________________________________________

The event was a humble success. Apparently all the baked goods had sold in record time and Pristine was pleased to announce that the new decorative fountain would be arriving as soon as possible.

Whoo hoo?

Just before Night Light had managed to drag his wife home, one side of his face covered in berry peach pie, Twilight had bought a Lava cake with the intention of taking it to the Apple family the next day.

However she ended up going earlier than even she expected.

Twilight was dressed and shoving cereal tiredly into her maw when the phone rang. Her mother put her coffee down and answered the cordless phone quickly. “Hello?” She asked fighting back a yawn. “Mmmm, yes. Yes…. Ok.” Velvet covered the phone. “Twilight. It’s for you.”

Twilight looked up in surprise, reaching across the table to take the phone. She put it to her ear. “Uh, hello?”

“Hello Ms Twilight Sparkle. This is Chainlink at the eastern guard post. We have someone here who needs to see you.” There was a pause as the man sighed. “Immediately.”

“Who would that be?” Twilight asked, intrigued.

“Well, she’s a very insistent, non-allowable visitor- HEY!”

“Fer dog gonnit sake! I need ta speak to her right-”

“Away, yes. I know! Stop grabbing for the- stop!” Chainlink grunted. “Ms Twilight, please come out here and get rid of this looney! She’s attempting to break into my guard post!”

Oh dear.

Twilight stood, pulling on a coat. It sounded like Applejack. Only why would Applejack come to Everfree? Thinking quickly she took the Lava cake with her in its plastic tub.

“I’m going out really quick mom!” Twilight shouted as she put on her shoes. She caught sight of Velvet raising her cup up with a tired nod before she took off out the door. Grabbing her bike, Twilight started for the east entry.

What could Applejack want? Did they need money for the apples now? She did still have it if that was the case. Maybe Applejack needed her help with something now. What could that be?

Twilight slowed to a stop at the crosswalk, waiting for the light to turn when, out the corner of her eye, she spotted a young couple on a park bench…

Making out.

It was very unusual to see public displays of affection. Usually it was just frowned upon in such a tightly kept, family oriented community. Not that there was a written law mind you, but anything beyond hugging and quick pecks were a rare sight.

Wow. They're really, really into that…

Twilight shook her head clear, looking back up in time to cross the street and keep riding. As she peddled she spotted someone up ahead. It was Tasty Vittle. Sitting on his yard, alone.

Odd.

Twilight stopped beside him, looking down at the boy and parking her bike for a moment. “T?”

“Hi Ti-lightt,” the boy said, lifting up two of his toy cars. “Wanna play?”

“Uh no, thank you though.” Twilight looked around. “Where are your mom and dad? Are they watching you?”

T shook his head, pointing back at the house. “Nuh uh. I was gonna ask them to play, but they’re busy.”

“Busy?” Twilight asked, confused.

“Wrestlin’ in bed-”

“OK!” Twilight kicked her stand back up. “Look, go back inside and- ugh- play with your sisters!” Twilight said quickly, voice squeaking. When the boy started to protest Twilight grimaced. “Just go inside, ok? No playing in the road…Bye!”

An olympic cyclist would have been envious of the speed Twilight took off with.

What the heck?! Mrs Vittle is usually so diligent with her kids… Not- gah! Dead kittens. Dead Kittens!

Twilight shook her head to dislodge the incredibly unwelcome images…

She turned up the main street, peddling for the the gateway in the distance. As she neared the end of the residential area somebody walked out into her path. With a squeak she slammed on the brakes, skidding to a stop just inches before crashing into Pristine Clean.

“Oh! Ms Clean! I’m so sorry, I know I was going over the regulated bike speed but-”

“Hmm?” Pristine grunted, looking down at her before shrugging. “Oh, Twilight. Yes hello. Can you keep your voice down?”

Twilight clamped her mouth shut, confused. After a moment she spluttered. “But- but the bike speed?! You always-”

“Shh!” The woman hushed quickly, seemingly crouching behind the bush in front of them. There was a few moments of pause before Pristine looked back up at the teenager, swiftly ushering her to hunch down with an air of emergency. Confused, Twilight got off her bike to crouch with her, the two were silent for a moment.

“Ughhh, Ms Clean?” Twilight whispered. “What are we doing?”

“Just look Twilight,” Prisine said.

Twilight looked up over the shrubs quietly. She didn’t see anything odd, it was just a park area with a playground, some flowers… There was a mother and child at the swingsets and a gardener tending to a flower bed.

“Ok?” Twilight said with a shrug. “Sooo…”

“Isn’t he magnificent?” Pristine sighed, resting her head in one hand. Twilight looked back out over the park, watching the gardener wipe his brow before starting to edge.

“Mr Green Thumb?”

“That chiseled jaw, those muscular arms…” Pristine whispered. They watched as he got to the end of the garden and put the edger away, taking his shirt off afterward.

“Isn’t not wearing a shirt against community parameters?” Twilight asked.

“Those abs are well within my parameters,” Pristine said happily before shooting Twilight a glare. “Don’t get any ideas, I plan to ask him to the community get together next weekend.”

“He’s twenty eight, right?” Twilight asked, highly confused. When Pristine fixed her with a heavy glower Twilight blinked. “Ummm, ok? Yeah, sure. You called dibs.”

“Excellent.” Pristine’s emotions switched at the speed of light, frown turning to a smile in an instant. She wrung her hands together. “Just think Twilight. Soon enough, if I play my cards right, it will be Mrs Pristine Clean.”

Twilight blinked owlishly. “Uh, Ms Clean, is there anything you need me here for?”

“No, no. I just didn’t want to rouse his suspicions. You may go and… uh, tell your mother about next weekends- weekends… thing. That thing I just told you about before,” Pristine mumbled, she eyed Twilight sideways before sighing. “Nevermind, knowing her she’ll likely duck out of it any way she can. I swear your mother would sever her own head clean off if it meant not participating.” The woman sighed, looking back out to the gardener, who was taking a drink from a bottle of water, a drop of which ran a line down his pecs. “Mmmmmmm….” Pristine sighed before swatting Twilight away.

Twilight shuffled, looking around awkwardly before standing back up and getting on her bike. She watched Pristine for a moment before pedaling off again, brow raised. She rounded the corner and rode past the gardener, who looked at her, eyes darting to where Ms Clean was poorly hiding before looking to the teen again, looking slightly confused.

Twilight shrugged with a sheepish smile before pedaling off again.

Ok, what the hell is going on? Everyone is acting strangely.

As the entry gate came into sight, Twilight started to peddle faster. As far as she could see, the gate house wasn’t swarming with guards, so that meant that Applejack wasn’t causing too large of a fuss. However as soon as she got close enough she spotted the Timburr Dryad leaning against her truck on the other side of the road, looking a bit ruffled. The guard was keeping an eye on her, but more out of boredom than actual alarm.

Twilight supposed so long as monsters peacefully came to the gate house, there wasn’t too much they were worried about.

The guard noticed her first, standing straighter as Twilight stopped her bike. “Ms Sparkle?” He asked gruffly.

“Yes it is,” Twilight said, whipping out her I.D card. The man looked it over before sighing.

“Yes, I’m Chainlink, the one who called you. That girl says you two are acquainted and needed to speak to you as soon as possible.” The guard shrugged his shoulders. “However she refused to disclose what about.”

“Oh, well thank you I-”

“Twilight!” Applejack had finally seen her and was quickly coming back up. “Twilight I really need-”

“Behind the line please.” Chainlink grunted duly, pointing down at the yellow painted line on the pavement. Applejack shot him an unimpressed look, but did as instructed, stepping back a bit.

“Twilight I need to talk to you now.” She looked the guard quietly. “Privately. It's important!”

“May I leave my bike here?” Twilight asked. When the guard pointed to a bike rack nearby she swiftly went about locking it up before following Applejack out to her truck. As the two piled in Twilight looked to her friend cautiously.

“What’s going on?” Twilight asked.

“It’s about them apples.” The monster explained, turning on the truck and starting to drive. As Twilight put her seatbelt on the farmer groaned. “Ah, this ain’t good….”

“What? What’s wrong with the apples?!” Twilight asked, panicked.

“Ahhhhhh…..” Applejack gulped. “I just want Granny there to talk to you too. She knows more about this then me..”
___________________________________________________________________

Driving up to Sweet Apple Acres Twilight could already see a difference. All the trees were slightly curled up, almost fearful as the truck came to the house, parking by the barn. “What’s wrong with the trees?” Twilight asked nervously.

“They can just tell Granny is none too pleased right now,” Applejack said, running a hand through her leaves.

Twilight shrunk a bit. “W-with me?”

“What? Oh no!” Applejack blinked and put her hands up assuring. “Not you. She just, well, it’s a bit of a tadoo now…”

“Why? What’s going on with Granny? Or these apples?” Twilight asked in growing confusion. “Do you want me to pay for the apples now, or-”

“Naw, not that either,” Applejack grunted. “She, well, it's just… come talk to her with me.” Applejack finally just opened her door and jumped out. Twilight wasn’t sure why but the flowers on her cheeks were slightly pink instead of their usual yellow.

As she and Applejack walked up to the house porch, Twilight could see Applebloom standing, facing the corner of the house with a bored expression on her face. She was pouting a little, arms crossed tiredly.

“What’s Applebloom doing?” Twilight asked.


“She is in time out,” Applejack said with a grunt before speaking a little louder. “And she is gonna stay there for a while!”

“I didn’t do it on purpose!” Applebloom argued, still facing the corner.

“You knew what those were!” Applejack snapped with a tone of finality in her voice, stopping the budding dispute. Applebloom was still pouting, but now she looked a little depressed. “Granny!” Applejack shouted, keeping an eye on her little sister crossly. “Granny she’s here!”

“About time!” The elder scuttled from the barn quickly, Big Mac following diligently and setting down a basket of apples at the door. The elder hurried to Twilight, looking nervous. “Twilight what did you do with ‘em apples?! Please tell me you didn’t sell ‘em whole!”

“Uh! No, we made them into pies…” Twilight said, slightly alarmed.

“Do you still have them?!” Granny asked, now looking hopeful.

“No, the sale was last night…” Twilight frowned.

“Ah hell!” Granny grunted and turned, kicking a rock in the driveway. It flew up and over the house a good ways, startling a few birds.

“Granny,” Big Mac chided, however he too seemed a bit uneasy at the news.

“Let’s not panic. I mean she did say they was baked,” Applejack mumbled, not sounding a sure as she usually did.

“Ah, excuse me!” Twilight said loud enough to get their attention. “I’m so sorry, but I just want to be sure. Did I just poison anyone?!” She felt like there was a large knot in her gut as they exchanged looks.

“No, no, no dear. Nothin’ like that,” Granny assured her, taking her hand and patting it. “No poison. This ain’t life threatening or nothing…. I hope.”

“Hope…?” Twilight gaped.

The three older Apples looked between each other again. Applejack was uncertain and Big Mac slightly alarmed.

“Twilight hun, those apples that Applebloom gave you… They were-” Granny trailed off, thoughtfully before grimacing. “Special.”

“Special how?” Twilight asked in worry.

“Whelp, they were…” Granny rubbed her hands. “What did Applebloom tell you they were called?”

“Sweetheart Apples.”

Granny gave a sideline glare at Applebloom, who hunched over in her corner. “Well, that's their nickname. They’re true name is Appledisiacs.”

“Ok… wait.” Twilight paused as the name sunk in. “That’s not a pun on-”

“Aphrodisiac, yes, yes it is,” Granny said. “We grow ‘em for perfume companies. They’re very expensive little apples, but they’re quite potent.” Granny scratched the back of her neck with a frown. “However, as a smell it's only alluring. It’s not mind or morally meddling, but more of an ice breaker. If you like someone this will just make talking with other people easier. However-” Granny grunted, looking at the ground. “-if you eat it….”

“You get more horny than a honry toad,” Big Mac spoke up loudly, the flowers on his cheeks turning pink. Applejack’s followed suit as she looked down at the ground.

Oh, so that was blushing…-

WAIT!

“Wh-wha-wh-what?” Twilight gurgled out, eyes wide.

“Eat a whole, raw Appledisiac and you’re insatiable,” Granny said pointiently. “Any thought, rhyme or reason- poof! Gone.” Granny echoed her hands out, miming an explosion. “It’s dangerous! Which is why we need a permit to grow them! It’s also why we sell them at such an expensive price.” Granny tapped her boot and looked at her youngest grandchild once more, unimpressed.

The girl had turned slightly to watch them, and ducked her head a bit.

“T-then- oh my god!” Twilight gasped.

“Don’t you fret dear.” Granny said soothingly. “Baked, them apples just stir thing up biologically. You know what I mean… All the usual thought that goes into these things are still up and running, if a little hot and bothered.”

Twilight let out a relieved sigh at that. “Oh good… so nobody…”

“Nobody wouldn’t do something so long as they wouldn’t do it before. Course it may push some people to start flirtin’ if they were too nervous to before…” Granny sighed. “I expect your community will be a little more lively for the next few days. At least until all the pies are eattin’ up.”

“Oh boy,” Twilight swallowed. “That does explain a few things I saw today…”

“I suggest you take any apple you got left and throw ‘em out!” Granny ordered.

“You don’t want what's left?” Twilight asked. “I thought you said they were expensive…”

“Ah, we been deliverin’ on time in full fer years. Those perfume makin’ paper pushers can take one missing bushel. Sides, those few of apples won’t be missed.” Granny shrugged. “So long as no one was hurt, I think I’d say it's the best case scenario.”

Twilight nodded in agreement. Everything had turned out alright, the pies had been good, money was raised and nobody was hurt… maybe besides their pride.

“Only one last thing to do now,” Granny said. “APPLEBLOOM!” Said girl looked over her shoulder to her gesturing grandmother, who pointed down at the floor beside her. She quickly scuttled to Granny’s side. “Applebloom. You apologize right now.”

Applebloom looked pointedly at the ground. “M’sorry.”

“ERHM!” Granny grunted, tapping her foot.

Applebloom looked up at her grandmother sadly before sighing. “I’m sorry Twilight…”

“It’s ok. Nothing bad really happened…” Twilight said.

“Alright. Applebloom, you’re joining your sister in Grounded Town. For a whole month it’s school, chores, bed. Repeat until sentence is done,” Granny spoke, watching Applebloom slump. “Understand?” When she received a nod Granny pointed back to the barn. “You can start by sorting the apples back out!”

Applebloom walked gloomily to the barn. They watched her go before she disappeared into the barn. “I’m so sorry for all this Twilight,” Applejack frowned.

“It’s ok, really,” Twilight said. “I’m sure it was just a misunderstanding.”

“T’weren’t no misunderstandin’,” Granny growled. “That girl knows apples better than some people know their own feet! I suspect she thought it was a funny ol’ joke. She still gots some growin’ to do.”

Twilight shrugged as she looked around at the remaining Apples. “Like you said, nothing bad happened. Though I should go home and get rid of those apples I have left.”

“Good idea girl! Applejack go give her a lift would you?” Granny said quickly. “The sooner those apples are gone the better.”

“Alright I-Oh!” Twilight jolted a bit. “Oh I just remembered, hold on!” She hurried back to the ruck and lifted out her tupperware. “I got you guys a cake at the sale.”

“Ah shoot Twilight, you didn’t have ta do that!” Applejack chuckled as the human handed the sweet over to Big Mac.

“It’s ok, I wanted to!” Twilight smiled. “To thank you for the apples.”

“I suppose you may want to take that cake back now,” Granny chuckled as her grandchildren rolled their eyes.

______________________________________________________________________________

After returning home and throwing away the apples, the weekend went relatively as normal, though a few community members were more touchy feely than they usually were. The sunday before
school Twilight was packing up her bag for the next week when her phone buzzed.

‘Hey Twi, This is Sunset. I got your # from Pinkie. My new phone is here!’

Twilight smiled as she texted back.

‘Great! Is it a nice phone?”

‘Yup, mom spent a good amount on it. So Applejack said you had a wild weekend because of her sister?’

‘Just the start.’

‘You can’t leave it like that! Tell me about it, what did she do?’

Twilight thought for a moment before chuckling lightly. ‘What do you know about an Appledisiac?’

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