• Published 5th Sep 2017
  • 1,250 Views, 21 Comments

Five First Dates - Sixcardroulette

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

  • ...

Unanswered Questions and Questionable Answers

I. What Happened when Applejack Got Home

TRAIPSING home late from Dodge Junction after her date, bruised and boozy, Applejack arrived back at Sweet Apple Acres long after nightfall. The night was dark, Luna's moon barely visible behind layers of thick cloud.

Fumbling around in her saddlebag, trying to find her keys, she cussed loudly as she fished them out only for her clumsy hooves to drop them. Trying to stay quiet so as not to wake anypony, she rooted around in the darkness, she finally found the latch-key on the barnyard floor and unlocked the back door, as quietly as she could manage.

Somehow, somepony seemed to have turned up the volume on the farmhouse door, and the quiet night air was pierced by a groaning, endless CREAK... followed by the sound of Applejack drunkenly trying to shush it.

"That's enough outta you!", she hissed, before starting to giggle at her own silliness. Yeah, she was pretty drunk.

Suddenly, AJ winced as her world exploded into brightness. The lights flicked on, revealing a still-awake Big Mac at the far door. When he saw Applejack's face, his own expression lit up. Still shielding her eyes from the light, through her hooves AJ could see Big Mac bounding over to her like an excitable puppy, eager to hear how wonderful her night had been.

Applejack had a number of thoughts on the matter which she planned on sharing with her brother, mainly centred around how his choice of “restaurant” had led to a mass bar brawl which almost resulted in Matt being speared with a broken pool cue by an outraged bunch of deranged pony nationalists. But her headache, and the impending hangover she knew was on the way, meant she couldn't really go into quite as much detail as she'd planned.

"It, uh... coulda gone better, if'n we're bein' honest," she sighed, and then wished she hadn't, as Big Mac's face fell twenty stories.

"But, uh, it coulda gone worse too!", she hastily added, with a too-wide smile, in the hopes of cheering up her brother. It didn't really work.

"Ah'm awful sorry, AJ", muttered Big Mac, shame-facedly pawing the kitchen floor with his hoof. "Ah just wanted you an' Matt to have a great time out there."

"And we did," Applejack interrupted, hoping to catch Big Mac before he falls too far. "That Sgian Dubh fella, he was a fine pony an' no mistake. And me an' Matt, we had a lot of fun drinkin' with 'em all at the end. Ah think Matt had a good time too, all told. It was real nice to just be out and about with him."

Big Mac's face lights up again. "Ah knew you'd like it!", he said, his grin returning, his voice getting louder as he got more excited. "And ah knew that crowd wouldn't care if you showed up with some stallion who weren't actually a stallion!"

Applejack winced again, and Big Mac's moment of triumph stalled a little.

"Hold on," he said, looking curiously at his little sister as she fought to meet his eye. "Did somepony give you an' Matt a hard time on account of his not bein' a pony?"

"You, uh, could say that, yeah. Kinda," said Applejack, almost apologetic, before drawing herself back up again and puffing her chest out. "Some assholes tried to start some trouble. But we showed 'em, me, and Matt, and Sgian Dubh, and, well, everypony in the bar, pretty much. We got a couple bruises to show for it, but we got a bunch of new friends, too."

"Ah'm awful sorry, AJ," Big Mac said again, more softly this time.

"Y'all don't got any cause to be," smiled Applejack. "Ah can take care of mah self just fine. Matt, too, as it turns out. Like ah said... sure, it coulda gone better, but it coulda gone a whole lot worse, too."

"Still," said Big Mac, ruminatively. "Ah don't think Twilight would enjoy that kind of setup."

"Huh?" asked Applejack, wondering if she'd missed a step in the conversation thanks to her slightly drunken state. "What's Twilight got to do with any of this?"

"Oh," muttered Big Mac, still deep in thought. "Ah was just thinkin', ah'm gonna have to try harder for the double date."

Which opened a whole new 40-pound family-size can of worms.

Big Mac had been dating Twilight Sparkle for some time now, and had neglected to inform Applejack of this situation.

While Big Mac explained, a range of emotions had gone through Applejack’s mind.

Happy, for her friend, and for her brother.

Angry, that they’d not told her sooner.

Ashamed, in case anything she'd done had led them to feel they had to keep it quiet.

Embarrassed, that this had been going on all the time she and Matt had been cavorting in secret.

Perhaps surprisingly - not least to AJ herself - she found that, mostly, "happy for Big Mac and Twilight" was winning out.

Sure, when Big Mac then started to excitedly explain how he and Twilight Sparkle had ended up together - and it wasn’t one of the great romantic stories, since it had begun with a clumsy, cider-fuelled one-night stand, the details of which Big Mac was having trouble censoring for his frazzled sister - Applejack had stopped him with a raised hoof, and staggered off to bed, declaring she was too drunk to hear any more of it.

Which was mostly true, though she was also worried about what her brother was about to tell her regarding his bedroom activities.

Some things, you just don't need to hear.

II. What Happened the Next Morning

A BLEARY-EYED Matthew Williams stumbled out of his bedroom to make some coffee. It was a hot, sunny day, he could tell because the air in the library was warm and stuffy, and the light streaming through the many windows was bright and felt hot on his face, but he didn't bother to open his eyes more than a crack.

He didn't know what time it was, and he didn't really care. He was probably supposed to be over at the farm right now, but after last night, he needed a minute to get his (pounding) head together, even if it meant being chewed out by Granny Smith later on.

He wandered into the kitchen in just his T-shirt and underwear, feeling the wood creak under his bare feet. He was getting used to living inside a giant tree, and to having a female housemate who wasn't all that bothered if he wandered around half-dressed like this in the morning.

Reaching over to the kitchen cupboard - set low in the wall, much lower than in a human apartment, just one more thing he'd gotten used to since arriving in Equestria - he grabbed himself a cup and padded blearily over to the counter, eyes still half-closed.

Brushing his unkempt hair out of his face, he idly looked around while he waited for the kettle to boil, expecting to see the main room still empty, or maybe to find Twilight pacing about in her own little book-induced trance. Instead, his eyes opened wide, as he saw his marefriend, in the middle of a tight hug with his housemate. They both looked like they'd been crying.

Matt just gawped at the scene for... well, he didn't know how long, exactly, but eventually Applejack noticed him staring and cleared her throat. Twilight looked over and gave a jolt as she saw him standing there, before she untangled herself from Applejack's hug.

"...Morning?" ventured Matt, uncertainly. AJ and Twilight both blushed, but for different reasons.

"There y'are, sugarcube," smiled Applejack, her sprightly demeanour surprising and confusing Matt, who not only knew how much she'd had to drink a few hours earlier, but also had first-hand experience of how savage AJ's hangovers could be.

"Ah was wonderin' how long to leave it before ah came and got ya outta bed mahself," she smirked, briefly raising an eyebrow. Matt was glad he hadn't taken a mouthful of coffee yet, or it would likely have ended up sprayed across the kitchen in an epic spit-take.

"Uh, yes," stammered Twilight, snapping out of her frozen state. "Matt quite often sleeps late when he isn't needed over on the farm. I suspect it's a human thing. Although I guess you would probably know more about... um... Hey, look at the time! I should go and wake Spike, too! Excuse me a moment!"

With a bright purple flash, Twilight disappeared from the room, leaving Matt staring at Applejack again.

"Cat got your tongue there, partner?", giggled Applejack. "Ah know you weren't expectin' to find me here this morning, but, well, somethin' happened last night. Now, now," she admonished, noticing Matt's alarmed look. "Weren't nothin' bad or anythin' like that. No, just, ah got some pretty big news, and ah needed to come on over."

She took a deep breath, and motioned for Matt to sit down.

"See... it turns out... well, it turns out that Big Macintosh, and Twilight Sparkle here, are a couple! Can ya even believe it?"

Matt could, in fact, believe it, given that he'd known about it the entire time. He didn't know what to say, or how much Twilight had told AJ while he was asleep, and therefore how much trouble he might be in. Luckily for him, Applejack took his blank, dumbfounded expression as shock at the big news.

"Ah know, right?", she said, shaking her head. "Can you even imagine? Well, no, don't go imaginin' too much, but ah mean... Twilight, and mah brother? An' here ah thought you an' me was gonna be the weirdest couple in Ponyville for a mite longer yet."

Matt could only nod, slowly, which Applejack took as a sign to continue.

"Ah only went and found out by accident, on account of Big Mac caught me creepin' back in late last night, an' he kinda blurted it out," she said, still shaking her head. "An' at first, ah was all set to be mad at him for keepin' it a secret, but then ah thought, well, Applejack, that'd make you a pretty hypocrite, wouldn't it? Y'know, given all the sneakin' around we was gettin' up to."

Matt nodded again, this time with a smile.

"An' so," she said, "ah got to thinkin' on it some more, an' ah decided ah was fine with it. Not that it were ever mah place not to be fine with it," she adds, hurriedly, "but ah mean, that mah friend and mah brother, datin'... ah can see it kinda makes sense. Big Mac can be awful shy and quiet, but, y'know, still waters run deep, as Granny always says, an' besides, ah know he and Twilight will make each other real happy."

Matt smiled again, and nodded in agreement.

"So, even though mah head don't exactly feel the best right now - and ah'm guessin' you're kinda in the same boat, seein' as how you ain't said one single word 'cept mornin' one time?"

Matt chuckles, guiltily. "Yup," he says.

"...even though ah feel kinda like mah head's a half-raised barn full of ponies who won't quit hammerin', right after ah woke up this mornin', ah marched mah self right on over here to talk to Twilight, to let her know that ah know... an' to let her know, well, how everythin' was gonna be OK."

She looked Matt right in the eyes, and he was glad he was sitting down, because the look of sincerity in those deep green eyes made his knees feel weak even when he wasn't standing.

"Because, Matt?", she said, quietly but firmly. "I do believe everything will be OK."

At that moment, Twilight and a yawning Spike appeared at the top of the stairs.

"So... I take it you've told him?", asked Twilight, a little sheepishly. Matt was about to say something, but a look from Twilight - barely perceptible, but definitely A Look nonetheless - hushed him back down.

"Well, Twilight," said Applejack, smiling that smile, the smile that always told Matt she was in a good place, "thank you kindly for seein' me this mornin', and for the coffee, but now ah have to get back to the farm... and ah'm gonna take your room-mate here along with me."

She stopped to sniff the air for a moment, and wrinkled her nose.

"Or, uh, maybe ah'll just head on down to Sweet Apple Acres mahself, and you, Matthew Williams, can follow on just as soon as you've had a chance to take a shower. Phew! Well, see ya round, Twilight! Mornin', Spike!"

And with that, she turned on her heel and trotted straight out of the library, leaving a dumbfounded human staring in her wake.

"So," yawned Spike, with a big stretch. "What'd I miss?"

III. What Happened Later That Morning

JESUS CHRIST, thought Matt, it was stupidly hot today.

Having showed up late, Applejack and Matt were having to work at almost double speed just to catch up to where they were meant to be. With Big Mac off on a delivery run to some village even Applejack had never heard of, and Apple Bloom in school, Matt and AJ were putting in more effort than either had ever seen the other put in before.

It was hot. Much too hot. Especially if you were two ponies down, and nursing a bad head.

Row after row after row of apple trees stood before them, all heaving with apples that needed to be bucked right away before they spoiled in the broiling heat. They'd started at top speed, Applejack bucking the trees with an impressively consistent rhythm, Matt doing Apple Bloom's job catching the falling fruit in a padded barrel to stop them bruising. They hardly had time to speak to each other, but the look of satisfaction as they finished a tree and caught each other's eyes, panting but smiling, was worth a thousand words.

But every time they cleared a row, every time they turned a corner, there seemed to be more trees, and yet more trees, just standing there, mocking them. Each row grew less and less satisfying; the smiling looks became scarcer; AJ's hooves began to ache; Matt's back was starting to hurt.

After a couple of hours, Applejack had had enough; she'd gone off to the toolshed and grabbed a few more barrels, as well as a heavy rubber mallet, which she carried in her mouth as if it was weightless but which took Matt a little by surprise when he felt its heft.

"Now...", she panted, between ragged breaths, "...you can... buck... too."

And so they fell into a new system, spreading the barrels on the ground beneath a tree, and alternating bucks - AJ would flex, and smash her rear hooves into the bark, bringing down a satisfying rain of fruit, and while she reared back for another hit, Matt would swing the mallet, hitting the trunk with a deep, sonorous "thunk", often accompanied by another sprinkling of apples. He was pretty pleased whenever he managed to get some to fall, but even when only one or two apples fell to the ground after one of his "mighty" swings, AJ would flatter him and say he'd loosened the others up for her.

Reasons Matt loved Applejack, #9501.

As noon approached, Matt couldn't remember the sun ever being this strong, not in all his time in Equestria. The heat was so bad, the sweat was running liberally into his eyes now, while Applejack was visibly struggling, the two of them sweaty and dirty and tired. It was so bad, Matt was thinking about asking AJ if she could somehow contact Rainbow Dash and arrange for an emergency rainstorm, or at least some temporary cloud cover, just to offer some relief from the scorching heat.

Matt looked over at Applejack, and saw her cooling herself in a patch of shade under a tree. He was a little surprised, but also grateful he didn't need to pretend to be able to tough this out any more. Instead, he dropped the mallet and walked over to sit down next to his marefriend, and they just sat there together in silence for a while, chests heaving, listening to the other breathing in and out.

"Water", said Applejack, suddenly, snapping Matt out of his daydreams.


"Water", she repeated. "Ah think we need to go get some water, or ah'm like to fall asleep here listenin' to you breathin'."

Matt felt himself blushing through all the sweat and dirt and flushed cheeks, but got up and followed Applejack across to the well all the same, watching as she expertly drew up a pail of water and then poured it into a smaller bucket, hardly spilling a drop.

Like something out of a fairy tale, he thought, and a million miles away from New York City.

He made to walk up and have a go himself, but she stopped him with a raised hoof, and instead handed him the bucket of water, not making a face as she saw him clumsily slop some over the edge as soon as he took it, before she turned back to draw herself another pail for her own bucket.

Matt wanted to be a gentleman and refuse, or wait for her before he started to drink, but it was too damned hot for such pleasantries, and he eagerly raised the bucket to his face, gulping down several mouthfuls of water, not caring that some of it was spilling on his chin, his shirt, the floor, whatever. After a few hefty gulps, he puffed out his cheeks and lowered the bucket to look over at Applejack.

And then he dropped the bucket.

Instead of drinking, Applejack had picked up her bucket and dumped the entire contents over her head, pouring it through her mane. Her ribbon had come untied, and now she just stood there, soaking wet, eyes closed, loose hair plastered to her smiling face, just enjoying the cold water on her fur.

Matt immediately had a problem, and wondered if he could keep it under control by grabbing another bucket and doing the same thing himself before she noticed.

But then she opened her eyes, and looked straight into his.

Matt's resolve melted, and before he realised he was moving, they were kissing.

And then she looked in his eyes again, this time with a smirk, and put her front hooves on his shoulders, and began to push.

Before he realised they were moving, they were lying down.

"...holy fuck..."

Applejack giggles at Matt's traditional lack of eloquence.

"That good, huh?", she chuckles, but she's absolutely out of breath too, and it comes out more a panting whisper than her usual jovial laugh.

"...I ...uh... holy fuck..."

Applejack gives an amused snort, and snuggles herself up to him, and he brings his hand up to scratch behind her ear.

"Ah sure hope Granny didn't hear that...", she whispers, and his eyes shoot open. She giggles again, and Matt gives her a playful shove (or as close as he can manage, in his exhausted state).

She grabs her hat, still on the ground where it fell when she was at the well, and pulls it over her eyes as she snuggles back up with him.

"If'n anypony chances 'pon the two of us, lyin' here like this...", she whispers, "we just fell to sleepin'..."

Matt tries to nod in agreement. He wants to tell her how amazing she is. He wants to tell her how amazing his life is, now that she's in it. He wants to tell her he never wants to be apart from her, ever again. He opens his mouth to try and form the words, the words that will truly express just how he feels when he's around her.

"...Holy fuck..."

Close enough.

IV. What Happened That Afternoon

Nopony did chance upon them, and after what might have been a few minutes or a few hours, they managed to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and head back out to work as if nothing had happened. Although from the smirks and giggles they now shared each time their eyes met, it would be obvious even to a foal what had been going on.

"So," said Matt, after they'd cleared another row of trees.

"...So," smirked Applejack, meeting his gaze with a coy smile.

"That was... um..." he stammered, searching for the right words.

"Yeah," she finished for him. "Yeah, it was."

"I wasn't even planning on...", he continued, but she shushed him with another raised hoof.

"Ah know," she sighed, happily, "but maybe ah was. After our date last night, and after findin' out about all the love that's goin' around right now, and how happy everypony is... ah looked at you, and ah thought how strange it is for me to be part of that sort of thing. Y'know? Like... this is the sort of thing that doesn't happen to me. Only it is. You're real. This... this is all real."

She smiled at him. "There ah go again, huh?"

Matt smiled back. "I'm used to it."

They shared another long, happy look, and they drew closer, and for a split second it seemed like it's all going to happen again... but then Applejack shook her head and gave a chuckle.

"We really do got a lot of work to finish up," she said, half playful, half regretful. "Maybe we can pick up where we left off another time?"

"Count on it," smirked Matt. "How about I take some of these full barrels back to the barn, and you can have a rest, or buck a couple more while I'm gone if you want?"

"Sure," said AJ with a smile, already lining herself up for a powerful kick at the next tree.

Matt had finished unloading the apples into the storage bins, and was busy gathering up the empty barrels to take back to the orchard, when he heard a strange noise outside the barn. He couldn't quite place the sound, though it was vaguely familiar to him - a kind of rustling, flapping sound, followed by metal dragging in the dirt...

A pegasus landing, he thought to himself. Rainbow Dash, maybe?

He hoisted the stack of empty barrels up onto his shoulder, and stuck his head around the barn door; but the pegasus who was standing there wasn't Rainbow Dash. In fact, he'd never seen her before in his life; bright amber coat, orange and yellow mane looking uncannily like flames, and - weirdest of all - a blue jumpsuit rolled down around her neck, covering her legs and body.

"Matthew Williams?" barked the mystery mare, and he noticed she had a pair of old-timey aviator goggles slung round her neck.

"...Who wants to know?", asked Matt, suddenly wary.

"Name's Spitfire," she said, stiffly, "Captain of the Wonderbolts. I'm here to ask you a couple of questions."

"Wonderbolts..." said Matt, going through his mind for where he'd heard that word before. "You're the flight team, right? The guys Rainbow Dash wants to join?"

"That's us," said Spitfire, curtly. "So, are you gonna answer the questions?"

Matt looked at her. "Depends on what they are," he said. He'd had enough of asshole ponies in the last 24 hours.

"We aren't just a display team," said Spitfire, still eyeing the human with what could only be suspicion. "We serve Princess Celestia and Princess Luna as the elite air wing of the EUP. We're here," she continued, barging past Matt's question before he could interrupt, "to counter any and all threats to Equestria, and if need be, to neutralise those threats before they pose a danger to ponykind."

A danger to ponykind? What the hell? "I didn't just arrive here, uh... Captain?", said Matt, sounding aggrieved. "I've been here for months now. Princess Celestia herself sent me to live here in Ponyville, and she's questioned me lots of times. I'm not a danger to ponies."

"...Is what you would say, if you were a danger to ponies," muttered Spitfire.

"Look, Captain, I understand where you're coming from, and back on my world, local law enforcement had some issues when a bunch of ponies showed up out of nowhere, so it's not like I wasn't expecting this, but... I mean, I've been here for a while now, and nothing bad has happened..."

Matt's voice tailed off as Spitfire produced an alarmingly thick sheaf of papers from under her wing.

"Let's see," she said, perusing the notes. "Incident with Lyra Heartstrings... encounter with Changelings... aggressive behaviour at fashion show... involvement in bar fight in Dodge Junction..."

"I can explain all of those!" blurted Matt, but Spitfire ignored him.

"...Infiltration of the Elements of Harmony," she continued, looking up at him, "to the extent of apparently forming a romantic relationship with one of them?"

Matt gulped.

"...And now, you've somehow influenced Princess Celestia to pass a law allowing you to sleep with a pony," she concluded, at which point Matt exploded.

"It's not like that!" he shouted. "I am in love with Applejack! I never asked Celestia to do that, it was Applejack herself who told the Princess how she felt! And I'm not a threat! I'm a regular guy, stranded on a strange planet, who can never go home again, and who just wants to make a new life for himself!"

He fixed Spitfire with a glare. "And I'd appreciate it if you didn't make me sound like some weird alien pervert who only came here to... interfere with you ponies!"

Spitfire stared at Matt, her eyes boring into him, snorting as she pawed the ground with her forehoof.

Matt stared right back, not willing to back down one inch.

Spitfire continued to stare him down, eyes narrowing in anger.

Matt just stared right on back.

The silence hung heavy in the air for an unbearably long time.

And then Spitfire gave a grin.

"Glad to hear it, human. I hope things work out for you. But I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't check."

Matt gawped for a moment, before regaining his composure. "You were testing me?"

"Affirmative," smirked Spitfire. "We've had issues in the past with ponies, and other creatures, using magic to try and influence the Princess, or the nobility, or otherwise trick Equestria into letting our guard down."

She pulled the hood of her suit up over her head, and for the first time Matt saw the weird green charm thing she wore on a necklace.

"Magic dampener," said Spitfire. "It's meant to stop you hypnotising me with your weird alien magic." She noticed his look, and tapped it as she smiled. "We had to be sure."

"Did... did Princess Celestia send you?", asked Matt, no longer enraged but still pretty pissed off.

"Not directly," said Spitfire. "We - and the rest of the Equestrian military - have standing orders to protect her, or her sister, and to investigate in case one or both of them seems to be behaving strangely. No offence," she added, and Matt could see in her smile that she meant it.

"...None taken," said Matt, standing down a little. "This has just been another weird thing to add to the collection."

"Well, human, for what it's worth, you seem to be doing a fine job. Rainbow Dash spoke highly of you."

"Huh," said Matt, bemused. "That's good to know. Uh... Am I going to be getting any more of these visits in the future?"

"Not from us," said Spitfire, with a smirk, as she turned to leave.

"...How about from anypony else?", asked Matt, noting the non-answer.

"Human," smirked Spitfire, "if I were to tell you that, I wouldn't be doing a very good job, now, would I?"

And with that, the pegasus blasted off from the ground, her take-off surprising Matt with its ferocity as he watched her zoom into the sky, becoming a speck on the horizon in an instant before disappearing altogether. He shook his head as he heard hoofsteps behind him.

"Everythin' alright there, sugarcube? I was startin' to get worried about where you'd got to with them barrels you mentioned."

Matt turned to look at Applejack, the look of concern in her eyes stabbing him in the heart. "Just some more Ponyville weirdness for me to get my head around," he said, and she calmed down noticeably. "You ever hear of a mare named Spitfire?"

Author's Note:

Sorry for the lengthy delay...! Thought I'd try doing a chapter in (mostly) past tense for a change, though I couldn't resist putting that one scene into my usual present...

Ooh, trivia. The chapter titles are all either film or music references, and I think maybe this one is the most obscure of all. Great song though.