• 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.

  • ...

A Second "First Date"

"...And so, you just up 'n asked him straight, huh? Ah mean... I gotta say, that's somethin' ah never expected."

It's getting late, and the Sweet Apple Acres farmhouse timbers creak with the warm evening breeze. Princess Luna has long since raised the moon, and the Apple family's chores are done for another day; the animals have all been fed and brought in for the night, the plows and carts have been safely stowed, and a tired Big Macintosh has already turned in, the sound of his loud snoring reverberating through the corridors.

Up in Applejack's bedroom, AJ and her sister are chatting with one another while getting ready for bed. Apple Bloom used to do this all the time when she was a little filly, but these late night conversations have been getting less and less frequent as she grows up, especially since Applejack became a national heroine.

Now, she sits on a stool at AJ's dressing table (the Apples all refused to call it a "vanity", surely the least appropriate word for anyone in the family), looking at her own face in the mirror, while Applejack stands behind, brushing out her sister's mane with her forehoof and untying Apple Bloom's ribbon bow with her mouth.

"Ah'm just so happy for the two of you!", Apple Bloom exclaims, still giddy with excitement. Behind her, an undeniable blush spreads across Applejack's face, clearly visible in the mirror. Apple Bloom glances up at her big sister's reflection. making eye contact in the glass, and continues.

"Ah know it weren't rightly mah place," she stammers, and checks Applejack's reflection for signs of anger. None so far.

"...Ah wasn't gonna say nothin' at all," Apple Bloom continues. "But then... ah saw him alone in the kitchen, and ah just had to ask him what was goin' on. Ah was angry, on account of maybe he was just ashamed to let anypony know you two were seein' one another."

Applejack gives an annoyed snort, and Apple Bloom winces slightly as her sister drags the brush through her mane a little more forcefully than is strictly necessary.

"No, no, sis, ah already told you, it ain't like that. Ah asked him what was goin' on, seein' if he'd give me some answers. Ah won't let anypony hurt mah big sister..."

Another glance up at the mirror. Applejack is smiling.

"An' so, ah spoke up. Now, he was a little shy at first, 'cos he didn't want to say it all without you there, but finally he admitted it. You two... are in love."

Applejack has stopped brushing again, and instead she's just staring into space with a big goofy smile. Apple Bloom smiles too, and this goes on for a moment before Applejack snaps back to reality.

"...That we are, sugar cube," she mutters dreamily. "Ah'm glad I don't have to keep it a secret, especially around you."

"So," says Apple Bloom, taking the untied bow ribbon and folding it up ready for tomorrow. "What are you gonna do now?"

"We gotta tell Granny. It ain't right her not knowing what's goin' on under her own roof. Big Mac, too."

Applejack pauses, and chews on her own mane for a moment, deep in thought. Apple Bloom knows she shouldn't interrupt, but her restless Crusader curiosity and manic energy are too strong tonight. "What'cha thinkin' on, sis? You know you can tell me, right?"

Applejack smiles as she snaps out of her reverie. "Ah'm pretty sure it'll be OK when Granny and Big Mac find out the truth. Ah ain't worried about Matt not being a stallion, ah reckon they hold him in a certain regard. An' as for the whole species thing... Ah don't believe that neither of 'em will be concerned about that."

"Ah know it!", exclaims Apple Bloom with a huge grin. "But... if your worries ain't about that, then what's on your mind?"

"You already said it, sugar cube. Ah'm in love with him. I've had coltfriends in the past, o'course, introduced 'em to y' all just so, even when ah knew you wouldn't approve."

Apple Bloom tries not to giggle, but an amused whicker escapes as she remembers some of the colts her big sister brought home in the past.

"Yeah, yeah, laugh it up, young'un", snorts Applejack, rolling her eyes. "Hindsight is easy. Just you wait until you get all the boys linin' up to take you to prom."

She playfully punches her sister on the shoulder, and Apple Bloom sticks her tongue out in mock annoyance as Applejack continues her explanation.

"Mah point is, ah never had no hesitation introducin' some of them guys to y'all. But it ain't like that this time. Not because he ain't a pony. It ain't his hands that make Matt different from those dumb-ass stallions ah dated prior. It's more like..."

Another pause. This time, Apple Bloom doesn't interrupt.

"...Ah'm scared of messing up, Apple Bloom. I ain't never felt like this over nopony. 'Specially not a friend of the family. Ah want to tell everypony in Equestria how much I love him, end all the secrets... but at the same time, there's a part o' me that knows everything is gonna change once I do. That part doesn't want to go all in, risk it all, in case somethin' goes sour."

Apple Bloom nods, and then gives another huge, beaming smile. "But, AJ," she says, reassuringly; "...Ah think you already know it ain't gonna go sour, don'tcha?"

Applejack smiles. "When did mah little sister get so smart?", she chuckles.

Apple Bloom jumps up in excitement, knocking the hairbrush to the floor. "Ooh! Ooh! Maybe ah can get mah cutie mark for givin' advice!" She spins around, trying to look at her own flank. "Huh. Nothin' yet," she frowns, looking downcast for a moment, before her trademark energy returns. "But, hey, it's a good idea, right? Right?"

"Ah think it's maybe a good time to go to bed and get some sleep," says Applejack. "We can make plans for makin' announcements and gettin' cutie marks in the morning. Right now, ah could use some peace and quiet to quiet down all these thoughts in mah head."

Just like every day, after a long shift of hauling bushels of apples and fetching barrels of water, Matthew Williams and the Apple family trudge back to the farmhouse, tired and dirty, off to clean up ready for dinner. Just like every day, Matt and Big Macintosh head off one way, and the ladies head off the other way.

Unlike every other day, when Matt heads for the shower stall to wash up and change his clothes, Big Mac isn't there. As he puts on a clean shirt, he wonders what's going on; the Apples are (quite literally) creatures of habit, and if there was going to be a change of routine, surely somepony would have mentioned it before now? Mind, everypony had been pretty quiet today. Normally you couldn't stop Apple Bloom from chattering on as she pitched in with her after-school chores, but today she'd seemed a bit lost in her thoughts.

He wishes Applejack was here with him; not only would she help him figure out what was happening, she'd also be a lot of fun just to hang around. No chance of that for the moment, though; there were a whole bunch of unwritten, unspoken rules in Granny Smith's house, and one of them was that the mares and the stallions washed up separately for dinner. Fraternising was definitely frowned upon, and not only because he was a human rather than a pony; this was just the way things were done in AJ's family, and he respected that.

Still wish she was here, though, he thinks as he pulls on his boots. He pushes the thoughts of sharing the shower stall with AJ out of his head, and instead thinks to himself that it won't be long, that they're going to tell Granny Smith and Big Mac soon - tell them they're in love, at least, while keeping some of the more intimate details to themselves.

Not long now. Apple Bloom promised she'd help take the lead, didn't she? I wonder if she's got a plan, and...

Matt's blood suddenly turns to ice, as everything suddenly falls into place.

Oh, shit.

Apple Bloom is telling the rest of the family right now. Right to their faces. To Granny, with her withering stare. To Big Mac, with his sixteen hundred pounds of disapproving workhorse. With poor Applejack right there, and facing this alone. And here he is, too far away to help.

Oh, shit.

Matt practically runs from the barn to the farmhouse, buttoning his shirt on the way.

Through the window, Applejack sees Matt approaching. She's already realised she can't give him any kind of warning, much less an apology, for her sister blurting everything out right there; luckily, from the way he's running, she reckons he's figured it out for himself anyway.

Pride flashes within her. Mah human can be smart, she thinks to herself with a private smile.

Matt slows down to catch his breath as he approaches the door. He sees AJ through the window, and they share a look, confirming everything to each other.

"Are ya comin' to sit down, Applejack?", asks Granny, except she's not really asking, so much as telling.

Applejack breathes in and out, deeply, as Matt climbs the porch steps.


"So, Applejack, you sit yerself right down... there, like so," motions Granny, with a wave of her hoof, as she leans back in her chair.

AJ and Matt share a wordless glance, the cowpony's green eyes wide with panic and apology, before she does as she was told.

"And you, Matt, you sit yerself down... there. Next to Applejack. Uh-huh, like that. Don't be gettin' too close to one another, now."

He doesn't even think about answering back; he just meekly complies, with a terrified "Yes ma'am," sitting on the chair next to Applejack.

Matt wants, desperately, to hold Applejack's hoof, to look her in the eye, to let her know everything's going to be fine. Truth is, though, he doesn't know if everything will be fine, his previous self-confidence having evaporated under Granny's maddeningly non-committal stare, hearing Big Mac's louder-than-usual snorts, seeing Applejack unexpectedly rattled. With all of that pumping around his head with every thudding heartbeat, he finds himself unable to do anything but keep his hands to himself and his eyes down on the table, glancing up every now and again to find Granny Smith staring right at him... staring right through him.

It feels like an eternity passes while Big Mac and Apple Bloom take their own seats on Granny's side of the table. Matt's mind briefly flashes back to his one and only stint doing jury duty.

After a couple of interminable days of sitting around doing old crossword puzzles and getting backache in a waiting room that smelled of stale sweat and failure, he'd finally been assigned to a robbery case; some guy stood accused of holding up a gas station, and was now wasting everyone's time pretending it was a case of mistaken identity. He remembered how small the accused had looked there in the courtroom, the eyes of Matt and his eleven peers boring through him, everything seemingly stacked against him, the judge scowling, the prosecutor confident, even the public defender half-hearted, as the perp's unmistakeable face stared back down at him from a huge enlargement of a frame from the CCTV camera.

Guilty. Easy as pie.

This reminded him an awful lot of that day, except now he was the one shrinking into his shadow as the jury leaned forward in disdain, feeling as though they were picking over every single thread of his clothes, every hair on his head, judging his guilt, while somehow a giant picture of him and Applejack rolling around in the orchard stood on an easel, their features magnified and blown up to many times their normal size, black and white and splotchy and wholly undeniable... and he knew the game was up, as Granny would give a sadistic smile, lick her lips, bang her gavel, and sentence him to... well, he didn't know what, but it couldn't be anything good...

"So," said Granny, snapping him out of his daydream. No jury, no evidence, but the terrifying bench still sat in judgement.

"I hear tell, young'uns, that the two of you ain't been wholly truthful with me of late, huh?"

Matt tried to form his mouth into a shape ready for speaking, only to hear Applejack murmur beside him. "No, ma'am... we haven't."

"Hmm", says Granny. Another long pause. "And so I guess you have something to tell me now then, do ya?"

This time, while Applejack seems to be steeling herself, Matt finds his voice. Perhaps he was emboldened by his earlier experience telling all to Apple Bloom. Perhaps he was overcome with wanting to spare AJ the worst of what had to be one of the most embarrassing moments of her life. Perhaps he'd just cobbled together a bunch of ideas about what he'd do if this was all happening on Earth, about what a conservative, old-fashioned matriarch like Granny might want to see from a boy courting her granddaughter. Whatever prompted it, he stood up in his chair, blood rushing through his head, a tiny voice in the back of his mind yelling shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up over and over again, as Granny and Big Mac and Apple Bloom widened their eyes in amazement.

"Ma'am," he began, polite and contrite. "I should apologise to you all. You deserve to know the truth. Granny... Big Mac... Applejack and I are in love."

For the first time, he looks down into AJ's eyes, deliberately not looking to see what Granny's reaction was.

"The truth is... I've been in this world a few months now, and it would have been easy to be lost, to lose myself, to completely freak out. But I haven't, and Applejack is the main reason for that. She's kept me anchored, she's given me a place in the world. And a few days ago, I asked her to be my special somepony."

He takes a moment to gather his thoughts. He closes his eyes as he turns back towards Granny and Big Mac. Part of him wishes he was wearing his hat, just so he could respectfully take it off.

"I know that was wrong, and that I should have asked you first... I'm still learning the pony way of things. You've been so good to me, taking me in, treating me like part of the family... the last thing I ever wanted was to go behind anyone, uh, anypony's back. And so I'm going to try and do this right..."

He opens his eyes. As he suspected, Granny and Big Mac (and Apple Bloom, come to that) are all staring at him, slack-jawed but otherwise unreadable.

"This was all my fault, Applejack would have said something a few days ago, but I persuaded her not to. And then we were planning to talk to you on Sunday, but then we didn't end up having dinner, and..."

He tails off for a moment. Luckily, AJ is there to pick up the slack.

"Ah know it was wrong not to say nothin', but it was just hard for both of us. Ah never thought about this ever happenin', fallin' for somepony who... uh, ain't... a pony."

She looks at Matt, and puts a hoof on his side, pulling him back down to his seat.

"But, ah hafta say somethin' in his defense too."

Matt turns to look at her. What's she doing?

"Ah know however weird this is for me, and for you - and ah well know it ain't exactly normal for any of us ponies here - ah knew it were fifteen times weirder for Matt. An' he's been dealin' with it all in his stride, just like a real cowpony should. Ah can't find no fault in him for not comin' right up and tellin' you straight away when he started to have feelings for me."

Matt smiles at her. She didn't need to say any of that, but he's grateful all the same, not that he has any idea whether it's making things better or worse with her family across the table. Apparently, she's not done yet.

"Ah dated some real dumb ponies in the past, ponies with a heck of a lot less respect for the farm, the land, our traditions, our ways - an' you sat down an' broke bread with them just like they was already family. Ah'm tellin' y'all right now, Matt deserves more respect than any o' them foals I brought home before..."

How many ponies is she talking about?!, Matt's mind interjects, but he stays quiet, still humbled by his marefriend's putting it all on the line for him like this.

"...Ah know y'all respect him. Ah respect him too. And... Ah love him."

At this, Matt has to interrupt, and he stands up again.

"Granny Smith... Mrs Apple," he says, the formal greeting sounding all wrong; he powers on anyway. "I would like to ask your permission to date your granddaughter."

He tries a smile. It isn't reciprocated.

Granny continues to stare.

He looks from side to side. That really was his best shot; he can't think of anything else to throw in to change Granny's mind, so if she's still not on board, she likely never will be. He waits for some kind of response, anything, even a flicker, some recognition that he's even finished talking.

There comes none.

He slowly sits back down.

When Matt was ten, he'd had to give a science presentation to the whole school assembly; his class, and therefore his best friends, as well as the girl he had a desperate crush on at the time, were all sitting right in the front row. The topic, drawn from a hat, was all about sperm whales. Having stammered his flustered way through the longest five minutes of his life, trying his best to ignore the stifled giggles every time he said the word "sperm", trying not to make eye contact, secretly thanking every god he could think of that the poor kid who'd drawn Lake Titicaca had had to go before him, he finally reached the end... only to realise his flies had been undone the entire time.

Trying to fasten up his pants, and at the same time exit the stage with some kind of dignity, while his friends hooted and hollered in laughter and his crush stared, mortified, at the floor, he'd managed to trip over an untied shoelace. The next moments had happened in slow motion, as if Matt was watching someone else in a dream, unable to do anything to stop the inevitable oncoming disaster.

As he flew through the air and braced himself for a painful impact, he'd looked up, seen a pair of terrified eyes frozen in fear, and slammed face-first into the next presenter, the two of them rolling in a heap at the foot of the stage steps. Matt had looked up just in time to see Jason's presentation, a model volcano filled with "lava" made of glitter and corn syrup, upend itself above him and then land in a messy, audible splat right on top of him, splashing the front row in the process.

Lying on the floor, groaning, possibly concussed and covered in bits of soggy, broken papier-mâché, with sticky glittery goop dripping off his face, hearing his friends cussing him loudly as they jumped from their seats, hearing the rest of the crowd roaring in laughter, Matt had consoled himself that at least he'd probably never feel that uncomfortable again.

But no. This, somehow, is worse.

The silence is oppressive, almost stifling, as if even the animals out in the barnyard have stopped their clucking and oinking and barking, and turned their attention on him. The only sound is the ticking of a clock on the wall... or maybe that's just the blood rushing in his ears.

Granny Smith is staring right through him.

Big Macintosh is staring right through him.

Even Apple Bloom is staring right through him.

Applejack is staring at her spoon.

He wants nothing more than to grab Applejack's hoof on the table next to him, to pull her close... but he doesn't dare. He doesn't dare reach for a fork, or his food, or drink from his untouched glass of water. He's trying not to breathe too loud. But on the inside, he's screaming.

Why is nopony saying anything?!

Finally - finally! - Granny Smith breaks the silence by clearing her throat. Matt hopes he didn't just exhale too loudly with the relief of it all. It's probably only been a few seconds, but it felt like hours.

Is she... smiling? She looks like she's smiling. Big Mac, too.

"About time, too, by my reckonin'."


"Ah knew already! ...Ah mean, uh, yeah."

"Matt," says Granny, lighthearted again. "We all like you. You're a good worker, you're a fine farmpony, you're honest, and, well... Ah ain't blind, young'un!" She laughs out loud. "Ah can see you care for mah Applejack. An' that's the most important thing for me."

Matt feels Applejack's hoof, holding his hand, on top of the table. Everyone can see.

Granny Smith looks at her. Applejack looks back.

Applejack does not let go.

The sun is low in the sky as Applejack and Matt walk back to Ponyville, arm in arm (or, well, foreleg, but Matt isn't splitting hairs).

"That was pretty intense, weren't it? Ah mean, even though we both figured it'd all go fine, ah got chills there."

"I knew it would be fine", he lies, before he clocks Applejack's raised eyebrow, and the two of them burst into fits of giggles.

"Oh, God, AJ, your family can be terrifying when they want to be! I felt about six inches tall!", he laughs. "I'm not going to lie, I was really worried for a minute."

"Ah know. Ah'm glad that's all out of the way."

They trot along towards the town in silence for a moment, taking in the evening sounds; birdsong, rustling leaves, far-off cartwheels.

"Ah meant all them things ah said, you know."

"I know," says Matt. "It was really something. I wanted to give you a massive hug..."

"...Among other things," she smirks.

"Ha! No, not that. For once." He laughs. "No, just the hug this time. My fantasies don't usually involve your grandmother and brother and sister glaring at me. But it was amazing hearing you say those things."

He holds her tighter as they meander down the path. "I'm really honoured, Applejack. Between working on the farm, and what you've told me, and what Twilight's tried to teach me about earth ponies, I understand what a big deal all of this is, bringing in an outsider... no, scratch that, an alien. But you know I'd do anything for you."

Applejack laughs, the sound lifting Matt's heart. "Ah surely do, Matt. If ah didn't know that - and what's more, if ah didn't know you understood the same thing was true for me - ah wouldn't be so sure about us. But ah am. Ah ain't never been so sure about anythin' in mah life 'til now."

They stop for a hug.

A loud clearing of the throat comes from some distance behind them.

"Don't you be frettin' none, Big Mac," calls out Applejack with a laugh. "There ain't no funny business goin' on. You can report back to Granny with a clean conscience."

"...Eeyup", comes the response, as the couple resumes their languid trotting.

"I still can't believe she made us have a chaperone," laughs Matt. "Although I shouldn't complain, at least this way I get to see you on the way back home."

"Well, ah'll tell ya somethin that might cheer ya up some. Ah've brought stallions home in the past..."

"...I've heard more cheering things, AJ, if I'm honest!"

AJ rolls her eyes. "Shut up talkin' a moment, ya big goof," she giggles. "Let me finish. Ah've brought stallions home in the past, an' you're the first one Granny has ever approved of me takin' a walk like this."

Matt has a number of responses jostling to break free and blurt out and fill the silence - that AJ is a grown mare (and a superhero at that), that her decisions are her own, that it's not really for Granny to tell her what she can and can't do - but he forces them all back down. He's long since squared all of this as him dating a Southern girl from a deeply conservative family, and it's not just that if he wants to date her, she comes with all of that baggage; it's that "baggage" that makes her who she is, and he wouldn't have it any other way.

Great, now even his own thoughts are going cheesy.

He realises AJ is waiting for a response. Instead of trying to put any of that into words, he simply whispers into her twitching ear.

"I love you, Applejack", he whispers, and kisses the side of her head, briefly, so as not to draw Big Mac's attention from however far behind them he is; he's not scared of the giant red stallion any more, but there's no need to make things any more awkward.

"Ah know", she giggles, as she nuzzles into him. This time, she ignores the throat-clearing noise. Matt turns and gives a shrug. What can you do?

"So," says Granny, snapping the couple's attention back to her across the table. "Now that we've gotten all of that straightened out and such, ah reckon it's time we set a few ground rules."

"Of course", says Matt with a smile.

"First," says Granny, "ah'm glad the two of you finally get to have a dinner where you don't have to be pretendin' things ain't what they are. Ah'm happy to be seein' your very first date like this."

For once, Matt is glad his throat is dry, or he might have done a spit take. Instead, he tries what must surely be the weakest smile anyone has ever attempted as he feigns gratitude.

AJ isn't doing much better. "Ah... heh heh heh. Right," she says. "Because we ain't had a date 'afore now. Not without askin' you. Without Matt askin' you. To go on a date. With me. Us. On a date."

Matt wonders if he could get away with kicking her under the table, but thinks better of it for a great many reasons.

Granny fixes them both with a long look, and then continues talking as though nopony had interrupted.

"Mm-hm," she says. "Ah sure woulda been disamappointed to find y'all had been datin' behind mah back. But, of course, you ain't been doin' none of that."


"See," says Granny, "if'n it were to transpire that y'all had been datin' without mah knowin', ah might consider that a, whatcha-call-it... breach of the trust I have in mah little Applejack, an' in our valued guest."


"...'Cos then, ah suppose ah might find it kinda tough to believe y'all if ya told me different on any, uh, other matters."


"But bein' that ah needn't never have had no worries on that score, ah s'ppose ah don't need to explain how ah might feel a little betrayed, or how ah might fear someone was a-takin' advantage of mah Applejack, or what mah own granddaughter was really gettin' up to."


"And, o'course," says Granny, more sternly than ever, "ah surely needn't say out loud what don't even need sayin', namely that if Matt were to break mah Applejack's heart, ah'd be sure to break his legs. But ah know ah don't need to say that."

Silence. And some sweating.

"So," says Granny, fixing both Matt and Applejack with a wide, toothless grin. "Ah'm happy to pronounce this yer very first official date, never mindin' whatever happened 'afore now, seein' as ah can be happy in the knowledge nothin' more is gonna happen from here on in without mah being consulted on any... important develemopments that might take place. Not that there ain't been anythin' like that goin' on between you two, of course."

Silence, followed by smiles. Matt is convinced he saw a half-wink from Granny as she turned... no, surely not, he must be imagining things.

"Oh, and one other thing - Matt, ya can't be stayin' overnight in Applejack's room no more, lest somepony might get the totally wrong idea. Ah mean, I know well enough you two ain't been havin' relations, but..."

This time AJ does do an actual spit take, but Matt draws on his experiences from prom night back on Earth. "Of course," he exclaims. "It hadn't even occurred to me to ask. I'm an old-fashioned kind of guy, Granny."

Granny grins again. "That's a good boy", she smiles. That was obviously the right answer.

Applejack's hoof squeezes his hand. He just won some points there, he thinks.

"Now then," Granny announces. "Enough flappin' gums. Ah'm hungry, an' after a day like today, ah'm guessin' the rest of y'all could do with some eatin' too. Well! No need to stand on ceremonony on mah account. Soup's on!"

And with that, everything was back to normal; conversation descended back on the table, Big Mac and Apple Bloom started guzzling their food, Granny put her dentures back in before tucking in with gusto, laughs began to emerge, jokes began to flow. The only difference was that Matt and Applejack could feel comfortable sitting next to one another, being themselves, even parrying little jokey barbs on the subject of their relationship.

At the door, instead of furtively hugging AJ under Granny's watchful eye, he'd been left alone with Applejack while the family retreated back to the farmhouse for a moment. "Now, y'all, let's give Applejack and Matt some space now," Granny had insisted, and despite some initial moments of awkwardness, the couple's desire to be close to each other had let them slip seamlessly into a full-on passionate embrace.

This had gone on for a moment before Matt noticed Granny in the doorway, pretending not to see. He immediately straightened himself up, loudly clearing his throat; AJ had taken another second or two, lost in the kiss, eyes closed in bliss, before similarly standing up straight and fixing her hair.

"Oh, look," said Granny. "It's gettin' awful late now. Applejack, ah think you'd best maybe walk back to Ponyville with Matt, no?"

Both Matt and AJ had stared at Granny in disbelief for a moment, before enthusiastically agreeing to the plan.

"Of course, I'll have Mac follow behind, just so as to be able to walk you back here again when y'all are, uh, done walkin'. That's alright, ain't it?"

"Sure thing", both Matt and Applejack had exclaimed in unison, sharing a giggle at their replying in stereo. Granny had smirked too, Matt was sure of it, but when he looked at her, she was once again the picture of innocence.

"Well, goodnight then, you two," smiled Granny, as she turned to head back into the farmhouse.

And so, the two lovers had headed off down the path to town, with Big Macintosh following at a respectful distance behind. Matt wondered, given he knew something Big Mac didn't want broadcast - namely, that Matt and AJ hadn't been the only secret couple in the Apple family, and furthermore Matt very pointedly hadn't ratted him out to Granny - Matt wondered just how much of an eye he was really keeping on them, but decided against pushing it.

"So, that's your family told... And, I guess, Princess Celestia," laughed Matt, quietly.

"Right," said Applejack, suddenly nervous again. "Uh, so. About that."

Author's Note:

(Quite a lot of this is based on stuff that actually happened to me before I got married - not the Matt/school flashback, but the incredibly awkward dinner with the super-conservative in-laws. In fact, the "and I'm sure I don't need to say, but if he breaks your heart, I'll have to break his legs" is actually a direct quote from my father-in-law the first time we sat down to dinner as a couple with her parents. That was 20-some odd years ago, and we're still together...)