• Published 5th Sep 2017
  • 1,247 Views, 21 Comments

Five First Dates - Sixcardroulette

So, Applejack is in a relationship now... with a human. Hilarity ensues. Sort of.

  • ...

An Ending (Ascent)

MATT can only watch in horror as the trapeze swing breaks, sending Pinkie Pie falling, screaming, down towards the circus tent floor, into the crowd of panicked ponies, who start to stampede in all directions, when -

- no, wait, now they're outdoors, and Pinkie's still far above, still falling, and Applejack is there, calm as ever, rope between her teeth, lasso spinning furiously around her head, ready to catch Pinkie before she lands, and -

- and Matt gradually opens his eyes, and the bright light and the colours and the shapes gradually resolve themselves into the increasingly familiar surroundings of his bedroom...

something's not right

...his treehouse bedroom, with its gnarled, wooden walls formed from the very roots and bark of the tree itself, and his too-small but very comfortable bed...

Something's not right.

...which seems smaller than ever today, because he doesn't remember being squished up on one side like this before. Come to think of it, he usually wakes up by stretching out, but he doesn't seem to have enough space to do that today, because...


Matt jerks upright, in the special kind of instant panic that comes with suddenly finding out you aren't as alone as you thought you were.

"Mornin', sleepyhead," says Applejack, and Matt turns to look down at his marefriend, propped up on the pillow, brushing her mane out of her eyes as she playfully cuffs him on the cheek. "What'cha been dreamin' about?"

"Applejack!" blurts Matt, and AJ winces for a moment, before smiling and trying to shush him.

"...What are you doing here?" he hisses, trying to stay quiet as his heart rate slows back down.

"Well, that's a fine way to greet your marefriend first thing in the mornin', ain't it?", she huffs in whispered mock annoyance. "Ah crashed out here last night, we ended up walkin' here from the restaurant and ah didn't want to walk on over to Sweet Apple Acres, so ah stayed the night." She takes note of his incredulous look. "Aw, nothin' happened, sugarcube, you didn't miss nothin' good. Though ah gotta say, ah do remember this bed bein' more comfortable in the past..."

"I shouldn't complain, waking up to find a pretty girl in my bed," smirks Matt, and Applejack gives him another playful shove on the shoulder.

"Flattery will get ya everywhere," she giggles. She notices a bruise on Matt's arm, and has a flashback to the previous night. "Did ah do that? Ah'm awful sorry."

"Yeah," says Matt, rubbing his arm. "After you found out I knew Twilight and Big Mac were a couple before you did. Which I'm really sorry about," he adds, quickly, before she can frown. "I hated keeping a secret from you, but I felt like I'd be a real shit not keeping that secret, not when we weren't trusting Twilight and Big Mac with ours."

She fixes him with a look, but she's not angry, or at least she doesn't seem to be. "So long as you ain't keepin' anythin' else hidden in there, ah think we're good", she smirks.

Matt hopes beyond hope that his smile doesn't look too fake. "...Does Twilight know you're here?", he asks, now rubbing his sore head instead of his sore arm.

"Ah don't believe so. Truth be told, ah crashed out pretty quick once we got in, and she weren't back from the restaurant yet. And you was already snorin' on my chest by the time I dropped off."

"Hey, I do not snore!", blurts Matt, indignantly. Applejack just giggles, and is about to say more when she's suddenly interrupted.

There's a knock on the door. Matt and AJ share a quick look, silently asking the other what they should do.

"Are you guys both awake?", Spike's voice sounds through the door.

"Come in, Spike," says Matt, pulling the covers up to his waist as Applejack fumbles for her hair bands. The little dragon pads into the room, apparently completely unfazed by the sight of the couple obviously having spent the night together.

"Sorry to wake you up, but I need your help with Twilight," he says, voice filled with concern, and any embarrassment Matt or Applejack felt is quickly washed away by worry for their friend.

"Hold on a sec, Spike," says Matt. "Just let me get dressed and I'll be with you in a moment."

"Ah'll leave you to it," says Applejack, tying a ribbon around her tail and grabbing her hat from the nightstand. "Spike an' I will wait outside while he fills me in on what's happenin'."

Matt watches his marefriend closing the door as she trots out behind Spike.

"What did you guys do last night?", he hears Spike ask, and he can picture Applejack's face as she tries to answer.

"Twilight," coos Applejack, through the closed bedroom door. "You can open up this here door, sugarcube. It's just us."

"I'm never leaving this room again!", comes a despairing wail from the other side.

"It's all gonna be fine, Twi," whispers Applejack, as softly as she can manage.

"It is not going to be fine!" snaps Twilight. Apparently, any hangover she's got from last night's shenanigans isn't stopping her from shouting.

"I made a fool of myself in front of every pony in Ponyville! I just know word will have already got back to Princess Celestia. Now I'll be in the newspaper, and the Princess will probably disown me as her student, and all because I couldn't read a stupid monograph and I drank too much stupid beer!"

"Ah wouldn't count on that," says Applejack, rolling her eyes at the others crowded on the little library landing. "An' even if'n it were true, your friends are out here waitin' to see you. Me an' Matt was there the whole night. You didn't do nothin' worth all o' this fuss. Trust me, ah'd be the first pony to tell you otherwise if'n it weren't so."

(A pause. Applejack, Matt and Spike all look to one another, wondering what to say or do next.)

Finally, the door opens just a hair, and a timid little voice chirps through the gap.

"...Do you really think so? Really?"

"Really," says Applejack, kindly but firmly. "And one more thing. Ah can say for sure mah brother wouldn't be too pleased to find you shuttin' yourself away like this forever, so ah reckon that plan still needs some more work."

The door opens wider, and Twilight's droopy-eared face slowly emerges.

"...I'm sorry I made such a mess of everything," says Twilight, looking at the floor.

Applejack steps forward and pushes the door open some more, clutching up Twilight in a warm hug.

"Don't go thinkin' on it any further, sugarcube," she says, stroking Twilight's mane. "Ah ain't plannin' on it. And for the record, ah had a fine evenin' last night."

"...But what if everypony hates me now? Or laughs at me in the street? And what about the princess?", says Twilight, face still buried in Applejack's shoulder.

There's another moment of silence, as everyone ponders what to say next, when...


...suddenly, the tension is broken by Spike letting out an enormous loud belch.

"I'm never going to get used to that," mutters Matt, leaning aside as a whoosh of magical flames appears and Spike reaches in to produce a tightly-furled scroll.

"It's from the Princess," says Spike, somewhat unnecessarily. There's another moment of silence.

"...What does it say?", asks Twilight, timidly.

Spike unfurls the scroll and clears his throat before starting to read.

"My dear Twilight Sparkle," reads Spike, apparently unsure whether to put on some kind of voice when reciting Princess Celestia's words. "I understand from some friends in Ponyville that you enjoyed an evening's entertainment in public last night, and that you were seen with a male companion. I also hear some members of your party may have enjoyed a number of beverages..." Spike tails off, unsure whether to continue.

"Oh no..." squeaks Twilight, from under Applejack's mane.

With an imploring gesture, Matt urges Spike to carry on.

"...Please rest assured," continues Spike, nervously, "...that I have already spoken with my contacts in the press this morning, with a view to clearing up any unfortunate misunderstandings they might have formed as to the events of last night, and after I had made the true position clear, we were all very much in agreement that nothing took place that might remotely be considered a news-worthy occurrence. I do however expect to talk with you soon so that we can 'catch up' - she's, uh, put that bit in quotes - and especially about this colt friend - she's put a big space between the two words there - I hear mentioned so often in these reports. Please do not worry, my faithful student. Everything will be alright. Your friend, always, Princess Celestia."

More silence descends.

"I mean... that's good, right?", asks Spike, still nervous.

"Ah reckon so. You see, Twilight? So, it all worked out just fine," says Applejack, with a reassuring smile. "Wouldn't you agree, Matt?"

Suddenly, Matt has two ponies and a dragon staring at him, waiting for a response.

"Uh... Yeah! Right. It was, uh, an... interesting night," Matt sort-of agrees. "It definitely went better than the last time I took AJ on a date. And I promise I don't think any less of you, or Big Mac, or our friends, for anything that happened."

He pauses for a moment. "Well, maybe Rainbow Dash, a little bit. But, uh, no, I had fun."

He looks around, as if he's only just noticed something. "Um... where is Big Mac, anyway?"

"Oh, he went back home after he dropped me off here," says Twilight, wiping her eyes as she disentangles herself from Applejack's hug. "He was the perfect gentlecolt, as always. I don't think we're at the stage in our relationship where we're really ready to be..."

She slowly looks up at Matt, and then at Applejack.

"...spending... the night..."

She looks at Matt, and then at Applejack.


And then at Matt, and then at Applejack.


There is an extremely long, extremely uncomfortable pause.

Applejack loudly clears her throat.

"So, uh... are y'all wantin' breakfast? How 'bout ah go fix us some pancakes? And maybe some coffee?"

"...That would be nice," nods Twilight.

Matt mops up the coffee he just spat all over the table, and the others studiously pretend not to see. "Can we maybe not talk about this right now?", he asks.

"Agreed," calls Spike from the next room, through a mouthful of pancakes.

"Hey, I'm no prude!", says Twilight, slightly too loudly. "I've read plenty of books on the subject! I don't care what you two get up to! And I certainly can't put up a cogent argument against you two having those kind of... relations, in the library as opposed to anywhere else, if you want to put it that way."

"I don't," says Matt, but Twilight ignores him.

"I guess I was just... surprised, I suppose," she finishes, and looks to Applejack for her thoughts.

"Well, you can rest easy on that score, sugarcube, on account of there weren't no funny business last night. Ah were too plum tuckered out even if'n ah wanted to get to it at mah friend's house, which ah wouldn't do anyway. Ah just needed someplace to sleep, and the bed looked as comfy as anyplace else." She smiles. "No offence, Matt."

"None taken," he mumbles through the faintest hint of a scowl, but Twilight brushes past his interruption.

"...I just didn't realise you two were that serious," she says, nursing her own coffee cup.

"Well, we are," says Applejack, and pulls Matt close to her. "Ah don't know how you ain't picked up on it before. Every time we're around each other, one of us is like to come out with some cheesy remark about how much we love each other."

The word just slipped out, and for Twilight it hangs heavy and intrusive in the air, something to be discussed immediately... but neither AJ or Matt reacts in the slightest. By now, for both of them, it's just too obviously true, so obvious it doesn't even merit further discussion.

They love each other.

Twilight opens her mouth to say something else, but changes her mind when sees how Matt and AJ are just staring into each other's eyes. She might as well not even be there. Instead, she just sighs and finishes off her coffee.

"These were really nice pancakes, Applejack," she says as she stands up. Applejack gives her a beaming smile, the kind of smile she hasn't really seen directed at her since Matt arrived in Ponyville.

"You're welcome, Twi," she smiles, and finishes off her own last pancake before getting up to clean the dishes.

"Here, let me help," says Matt, and the two stand and clear the table together.

"Y'know," says Applejack, with a smirk, "ah do believe this is the first time we've gotten together for breakfast without mah family bein' around. You could almost say, this was kinda like a first da-"

"Don't say it!", shouts Matt, a little louder than he meant to, and his heart is in his mouth for the briefest moment as Applejack looks up in surprise.. and proceeds to move in and nuzzle him, even with her hooves full of dishes. Matt returns the impromptu hug, and they just stand there, pressed tightly against each other, not moving, just enjoying being in each other's space.

Twilight just watches them for a moment, before giving a little shrug and trotting off to see Spike.

"You go on now too, Matt," says Applejack, gently disengaging herself, already loading dishes into the sink. "Ah got this. You go an' change into a shirt that ain't quite so... coffee-stained, and we can maybe go out for a canter, get some air, clear our heads a little bit?"

"You sure?" asks Matt, squeezing Applejack back into another impromptu hug. "I like being around you."

"Me too," smiles AJ, as she grabs a sponge with her teeth and drops it into the water, scrubbing the first plate with her hooves. "And it sure was nice wakin' up beside you again. But ah think we ought to maybe get out from under Twilight's hooves for a spell, and ah don't really want to go back to the farm just yet... and seein' as how we don't have nowhere else to go an' be together, well, ah reckon clean dishes and a clean shirt and we're good to go."

She gives him a peck on the cheek, and gets back to scrubbing.

"Yeah, you're right," sighs Matt, making a big show of his mock disappointment.

"Ah know ah am," says Applejack, not turning around, but Matt can tell she's smiling.

As Matt pulls on a clean shirt, he thinks over what Applejack said.

Somewhere to be together.

They don't have somewhere they can just be together, with no roommates or grannies or anyone else likely to barge in unexpectedly or turn up around an orchard corner. They don't have somewhere that's just theirs.

Somewhere. Together.

He's never thought about this before, but it seems so obvious he now wonders why it never came up. A plan forms in his mind in seconds, right there in his little storage cupboard turned bedroom, all the details immediately in place. He knows exactly what he's going to do. He's never been so sure of anything in his life.

"All done, Matt... Ya comin'?"

"I'm coming," he replies, tossing the stained shirt into the laundry. He takes another look around his room, and then out of the window, out towards Ponyville, out towards his future. The rest of his life. With the pony he loves.

"I think we're going to like it there," he says, to nobody in particular.

He closes the door behind him.

Author's Note:

The (canon) story continues in Chapter 13 of MaxBeezy's epic My New Life in Equestria. Go there now.

Comments ( 2 )

Aaand that's the first story I've ever written. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it, sorry this last epilogue bit took so long to get up, and special thanks to MaxBeezy for letting me borrow his characters for a spin.

I had a lot of fun writing it, anyway. I'd love to know what people thought - I can see it's gone past 500 readers now but nobody's left many comments or given many votes, so please do say what you liked or didn't like, I promise I'll read them all! I have a few ideas for "original" stories of my own now that this is over, and I'd really like to hear any feedback people have, it's really the only way I'll get better.

Well. Cheers!

Welp, that's 600 readers. Thanks to everyone who's read this!

I've made a couple of tiny tweaks in the last few chapters, nothing major, just a bit of tidying up. If you liked it, or indeed if you didn't, please do let me know (or just up or down vote!), I'd love to hear from you either way with feedback.

I have two stories in production right now, so all help, advice, criticism or whatever is gratefully received.


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