• Published 29th Jan 2017
  • 1,991 Views, 81 Comments

Roots - Storm butt

Caramel and Big Macintosh have been dating for a little over two years now, and with the Apple Family Reunion approaching Big Macintosh struggles to decide if he's ready to invite Caramel and take their relationship to the next level.

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Chapter Nine: Sunset

Appleloosa was warm, even as the evening sun was beginning to set far out in the distance. It was much different from Ponyville’s sunset, which was usually obscured behind a great forest of trees. From Cam’s front porch the sun perfectly set between a crevasse of a mountain, illuminating the whole town in a somber twilight light that seemed to strengthen by the sand. Big Macintosh sat there staring out, a mug of cider in his hooves. Cam had given it to him when he came out to check up on his nephew, but he had yet to take a sip of it. Behind him he heard creaking. The sound of Cam’s large rickety swing moving back and forth again and again in a near rhythmic tone. In Ponyville, it was just the time of year where the nighttime was beginning to make noise again. Cicadas would scream and crickets would chirp. Here, however, it was still quiet. A different sort of quiet. Wind whistled through the mountains and he could see tumbleweeds far in the distance bouncing about. It wasn’t anything like home, but right now Big Macintosh was fine with that.

“So how long are you staying?” Cam questioned. He was the first to break the silence that Mac hadn’t minded so much. Big Macintosh looked to him.

“Hopefully till the reunion ends,” Big Macintosh said with a slight shrug. “I may have to send a letter or two to figure it all out.”

“Mmm,” Cam made a noise of acknowledgement and leaned back with his eyes closed. His face bore a thin smile that looked blissful. “I think Braeburn’s taken a liking to your boyfriend. Last I saw he drug him back to his room.”

Big Macintosh resisted the urge to shudder. By now Caramel was more up to speed of his cousin, but Braeburn with this newfound information might talk his ear off and as a million invasive questions. Not like Big Mac being there could stop it.

“How…” Big Macintosh paused, looking down at the floorboards of the patio. It was new wood, not yet tainted in color by age and still bright yellow. He went over to the large swing set as big as a small couch and sat at the side opposite Cam. The springs sagged and cried out at his weight but the thing still swung. “How did you know me and Caramel were dating?”

To his surprise, Cam laughed. Big Macintosh wasn’t sure how to react to this, so he kept his face stone-like and kept staring until Cam settled down.

“When Braeburn was a colt he used to hide magazines of stallions and sneak into showers with guys just to get a glimpse pretending he was looking for something. I’ve known he liked stallions since he was seven years old.” Cam opened his eyes and touched his temple with the tip of his hoof three times. “You pick up on these sorts of things. You two had lovey-dovey written all over you. Don’t think I didn’t see you holding hooves under the counter.”

“Oh,” Big Macintosh said when he looked down. If he were Caramel he might have blushed, but instead he felt a little silly. He thought him and Caramel were being conservative until he could find a better time to let it slip that they were dating. He supposed it was obvious, given the fact that Braeburn had never seemed to hide it.

“Does your family know?” Cam asked. “I mean the gals back home.”

“Eeyup,” Big Macintosh replied.

“How’d they take it? That’s not why you’re here, is it?”

Cam’s smile changed slightly. It was no longer humorous, but more sincere and caring. At once Big Macintosh reassured himself of his decision to bring Caramel here of all places.

“Nope,” Big Macintosh shook his head. “They know. Known for ‘bout two years now, I’d say.”

“Braeburn only came out to me four years ago,” Cam said with a smile when he stared downward. Big Macintosh blinked, thinking how it had barely been any time since the rest of the family knew. He was turning his mug over in his hooves before taking a sip on it. “He got all offended when I said I already knew. He was totally prepared to argue and everything. First time I’ve seen my colt scared to talk to me.”

“How did you know?” Big Macintosh asked, curious now. “I mean, for sure.”

“He had a boyfriend,” Cam chuckled. “I caught them kissing in the front of my house about a year before that. I think it might have been his first kiss too because he was all giddy for a week. I think that poor unicorn broke his heart or something, never saw from him again and Braeburn got all mopey a month later.”

“AJ and Granny took it well enough,” Big Macintosh shrugged. “At first it was hard. They knew I dated and liked mares before so they didn’t really get it. They warmed up quick, though.”

“How about that little tyke?” Cam chuckled.

It took Big Macintosh a moment to realize he was referring to Apple Bloom.

“She once called Caramel ‘Uncle’ and he cried to me later he was so happy,” Big Macintosh said with a smirk.

Cam laughed at that. He had a good, hearty, and loud laugh that Big Macintosh just could tell was genuine. It was the reason why it hadn’t scared him when Cam knew him and Caramel’s secret, just took him aback. He was a good stallion.

“Honestly,” Cam said when he had finally settled down. “Me and Brae talked about this for a long time.”

“Me havin’ a boyfriend?” Big Macintosh asked.

“No,” Cam said through a laugh again. “Coming out like this. Whole family, and all. He thought it might have just been him in the family. He felt scared and singled out, y’know? When he came out, officially I mean, I sort of fought against it.”

Cam’s smile grew tight. He looked like he was gripping his mug just a bit tighter.

“He’s my colt, y’know, I didn’t want him to get hurt. Family already was weird around us since me and his Ma never married.”

Big Macintosh thought to that. He had never met Braeburn’s mother, and in a strange way he didn’t know if Braeburn himself had ever met her. When they were colts Braeburn said that his mom left when he was a baby foal, and it was up to his father to raise him. They didn’t know where their mother went, but from the way Cam raised him you might have never thought their home was a little empty.

“We don’t fight much,” Cam said. “That was a fight.”

Big Macintosh thought back to his talk with Applejack in the barn about bringing Caramel. If somepony had said the wrong thing or the situation hadn’t defused as fast as it had it might have escalated and left a similar scar to the one it looked like Cam was showing to Mac now. He looked guilty in a way, and smaller even though the two were the same size. He brushed his hoof through his aged, graying mane and sighed.

“I didn’t want them to blame me or him cause I raised him differently. I kinda had a feeling this would happen, though. More family would come out once one did.”

“Like a floodgate,” Big Macintosh finished.

“Exactly,” Cam chuckled.

“Honestly,” Big Macintosh shrugged. “I’m kinda relieved I don’t have to be the first. I don’t want Caramel to have to get all that attention.”

“I know you didn’t exactly tell me,” Cam said with a coy smile directed at Big Mac. “But it means a lot that you came to me and Brae. Even if it was just cause the reunion was here.”

Big Macintosh smiled.

“So why don’t you tell me why you’re really here?”

Big Macintosh’s reaction flipped. He frowned and glanced to Cam, who was still smiling but the look in his eyes was serious. It wasn’t asking, but demanding to be told. The Apple family seemed to have this unique power that nopony else in Equestria had, and that was to be able to tell when something was off with their own family. Even the tiniest thing, and they were asking about it. Mac sighed, and finally took a sip of his drink. It burned going down his throat, but the sweet taste made up for it.

“I was planning on coming anyway,” Big Macintosh said. “With Caramel. Things just happened that it made sense to come a little early.”

“Things?” Cam pushed.

“Just… Personal things. Caramel’s family ain’t exactly perfect.”

Cam closed his eyes briefly and leaned back in the chair. The swing swung back in a creak and then stopped. The sunset was now entirely gone and the only light illuminating the two stallions was coming from the window directly behind them. Big Macintosh gripped his mug tightly and stared down at his reflection, hoping not to be pushed further. This was Caramel’s burden, and not something he could advertise freely.

“Okay,” Cam said with a nod. “That’s enough for now. I expect to know sometime, alright?”

“That’s up to Caramel,” Big Macintosh replied.

“Guess he wears the horseshoes in the relationship?” Cam chuckled. When Big Macintosh didn’t smile back he coughed and then said “S-Sorry. Brae tells me I make kinda bad jokes about the whole gay thing sometimes.”

“It’s fine,” Big Macintosh shrugged.

“You notice anything about the ponies in this town?” Cam inquired, changing the subject.

Big Macintosh thought about this. Nothing except the outfits seemed very off from usual, so he shook his head in response.

“All young,” Cam said. “New town needs a lot of young strong folk to do heavy labor. Old folk just ain’t coming for more than a visit. Nopony here has ever batted an eye about Braeburn likin’ stallions. It’s why I convinced him to come. Caramel and you can probably get away with everything short of groping in public and nopony would bat an eye. Save that for the guest room when me an’ Brae are far away.”

“…Good to know,” Big Macintosh mumbled after a slight pause. He wasn’t sure how to feel that his uncle just implied him and Caramel might grope. But now that he thought about it, he did realize most of the ponies were young and around his age. It made sense, new town, new ponies. This place was sounding better and better for someplace him and Caramel could relax.

“Thanks for having us, Uncle Cam,” Big Macintosh said after a short pause as he began to stand up. “I think I’m gonna go check on Caramel. Make sure Brae ain’t talked his ear off just yet.”

“I’ll wait here,” Cam said with a slight nod. “I like to watch the land for a bit.”

Big Macintosh nodded his head in reply and went inside. The whole house was dimly lit, but he could hear Braeburn’s loud voice emanating from upstairs. He couldn’t make out the words, but the slight pauses indicated Caramel was up there as well replying in his usual quiet tone. He went up the stairs slowly, slinking towards the guest room with the door half cracked.

“Wow, you’re real good at that,” Braeburn said with a chuckle when Big Macintosh approached the door. He pushed gently, peaking inside. To his surprise, Braeburn was on his belly and Caramel over him running his hooves through Braeburn’s mane with a brush.

“It really is super soft,” Caramel said in a bit of a sheepish tone. “Sorry, is it weird to say that?”

“No way,” Braeburn chuckled. “It’s my pride and joy. I got mares jealous of this beauty. But seriously, most stallions don’t know how to brush at all much less long hair.”

“Mac taught me,” Caramel said.

“You’re pullin’ my leg!” Braeburn snapped.

“Nope,” Caramel giggled. “He brushes Apple Bloom’s mane all the time. She begs me to do it sometimes cause I don’t get stuck on knots as much. Mac’s better at braiding, though.”

“Hehe, so have you two said you love each other yet? How long you’ve been dating?”

“Yeah, we have,” Caramel said with a small grin. “And about two years.”

“Can’t believe he kept a cutie like you hidden for so long,” Braeburn mumbled, a bit annoyed sounding. “Sorry I was rude ‘bout it earlier, Cara. I just was starting to think I was the only one who was gay in this family.”

“It’s fine,” Caramel said. “It’s nice talking like this.”

To Mac’s surprise the two of them seemed to be having a good time. He expected to come up here to find Caramel whimpering in the corner with Braeburn yelling questions at him, but instead the two were lying on the bed side by side just talking and giggling. It was nice to see such a big smile on Caramel’s face. If anything, Braeburn was infectious.

“So tell me,” Braeburn said with a devious giggle. “Mac got any weird kinks in bed?”


“Howdy!” Big Macintosh said as he shoved the door open.

Both Caramel and Braeburn jumped, but it was only Braeburn who looked guilty as he sat up and the brush still in his mane topped to the carpeted floor and bounced under the bed. He started giggling while it was clear Caramel’s face was mildly flushed.

“Hey, Mac,” Caramel said when Big Macintosh approached. Big Macintosh went in for a kiss, and though Caramel was mildly hesitant in front of Braeburn he accepted.

“Still can’t believe I didn’t know,” Braeburn mumbled when he hopped off the beg and snagged his brush from under it. He pointed it at Mac. “Next time you have a boyfriend half this cute I wanna be the first to know.”

“Don’t plan on having another,” Big Macintosh responded.

“ARUGH!” Braeburn cried out in almost a pained sounding way. “An’ you two are cute, too! Why did it take so long for me to know?”

“Brae,” Big Macintosh said when he leaned in. “Mind giving me some alone time with my boyfriend, if you mind? Or were you not done talkin’ bout me in bed.”

Braeburn and Caramel’s faces both blushed, but Braeburn’s was about three shades darker and spread all the way to his ears.

“I… I uh… well… y-you’re right it’s late I should let you two settle down,” Braeburn said quickly as he nearly sprinted out of the room and closed the door behind him. Big Macintosh whinnied and then turned back to Caramel who was fumbling with his hooves shyly.

“I wasn’t gonna tell him,” Caramel mumbled.

“I know,” Big Macintosh said as he climbed onto the bed. He grabbed Caramel suddenly and was rewarded with a squeak as he wrestled him down onto the blankets and gave his big, round belly a squeeze. He put his lips right up to Caramel’s ear and spoke with his hot breath tickling Caramel. “Cause you’d never tell anypony how much I like your big, tubby belly, would you? No you’d blush too much to tell ‘em.”

“M-Mac c’mon you’re tickling!” Caramel whined as Mac’s hoof began to rub around his belly. His back legs began to kick. “C-C’mon c’mon!”

“But I like it when you squirm,” Big Macintosh chuckled. “Plus you kept bitin’ my neck on the train earlier. How’d you do it?”

“A-Ah!” Caramel whined when Big Macintosh’s lips nibbled on his sensitive neck.

Big Macintosh overpowered his tiny boyfriend for the next several minutes until he was sure Caramel learned his lesson. He then gave him a big kiss and rolled onto his side to be Caramel’s big spoon, but refused to leave his hooves from Caramel’s belly.

“Meanie,” Caramel mumbled when Mac bit on his ear.

“Love you,” Big Macintosh replied.

Caramel let himself sigh and settle into Mac’s grasp. Big Macintosh went back to taking in Caramel’s smell, and it was almost strong enough to overpower the new scents that this guest room gave off. The bed was weird, but not as rough as the train cart one had been. Right now Mac was just happy, and from Caramel’s occasional giggling he could tell he wasn’t the only one.

“Mac?” Caramel asked eventually.

“Yeah?” Mac replied.

Caramel’s hooves pressed on top of Mac’s own and he squirmed closer into the spooning.

“I think I like it here,” Caramel giggled. "Thanks for bringing me here. I love you."

Big Macintosh smiled and kissed Caramel right at the base of his ear.

“I love you too, Sugar.”