• Published 3rd Aug 2012
  • 6,997 Views, 248 Comments

Weak wings and a useless unicorn. - Sugar Moon

Rarity wants nothing more than applejack but will she be generous enough to take in an orphan?

  • ...

Chapter eight

Stupid. Stupid, stupid.

Applejack continued applebucking, mentally berating herself while trying to listen to Rarity. She was a mare of many talents, and beating herself up, yet still doing her job, was one of them. She’d had plenty of practice.

You almost kissed her, ya big foal. Ya dumb idiot.

Do not tell me you did not want to, my dear. Lying does not suit you. The annoying Manehattanite accented voice in her head was back. So, tell me; why didn’t you?


Her hooves smacked into the tree. General Leave this time.

Fine. Ah did. But Ah couldn't. Just kiss her outright like that? No siree, Applejack ain't no floozy. And besides, Ah don't know if Ah do like her or not.

Ha, The voice scoffed.

Fine. Maybe Ah do like her that way, but... to just kiss her? Ah need to know a few things first. Sure, Ah know Rarity pretty well, but Ah need to know her better. Ah don't want to rush this too much. Best way to lose a rodeo is to count your trophies before you win 'em. Granny always told me that.

I disagree, my dear. You know she likes you. Perhaps even more than that. But fine, have it your way, you stubborn oaf. But please, do get on with it, hmm?

That's what Ah'm doing now, you pest. If you weren't bothering me, Ah'd get to listen to Rarity talk about herself. Now shoo.

When no reply forthcoming, Applejack allowed herself to tune in - so to speak - to Rarity.

“...and that's when I learned the colour swapping spell. I still have not returned to that despicable establishment since that night. Though, now at least, perhaps they will think twice before wearing mauve and orange with green culottes. I mean, really,” Rarity said, arching an eyebrow.

Applejack laughed lightly, not because she heard most of it, or because it was funny, but because it was expected of her. No need to hurt Rarity's feelings over her own inner squabbling. Stupid brain.

Scanning the orchard, Applejack swelled with pride. She had cleared all the trees in this section of the farm all by herself, and even quicker than usual this time. Or maybe it just felt quicker. A blush tinged her orange cheeks as she thought why exactly that might be.

“Darling, are you alright?” Rarity's voice contained a slight hint of worry.

“Ah'm fine,” Applejack said. It was the truth after all. “That's all the trees in this section. Come on ‘til Ah get these
apples in the barn.”

“Oh.” Rarity was slightly disappointed. She was really enjoying her time with Applejack, despite all the mud and a... certain incident that she would not speak of. Besides, Applejack did happen to look adorable when she bucked the trees, and even more so when she flashed that doggy grin Rarity was oh-so-fond of.

Plus, the topic of conversation was her favourite. Herself. It may be a tad vain, but Rarity really did enjoy talking about herself. Anyway, it was Applejack who asked her in the first place, so it was quite all right.

She was a little downtrodden at returning from applebucking so soon, but she spied a tree from out the corner of her eye.

“Applejack, what about that tree?” she asked, wanting to extend the time the two of them shared together.

Following Rarity's pristine hooves, Applejack saw her favourite tree. Old Bloomberg. She was the matriarch of the whole Bloomberg family. Damn near mothered every tree on this side of the farm.

‘Course, she didn't bear fruit anymore. Just too old for that. Applejack knew she should cut her down, allow a younger sapling to flourish in her place. Twern't no shame in passing when your time was done, but she just couldn't do it to the old girl. She was much too special.

“Her? Sorry sugarcube, but she can't give apples anymore.”

“Well, what about that one darling?” Rarity pointed to a spot high up in the tree. Nestled in the leaves was a bright green apple.

This was strange for a number of reasons. Not counting the fact that the tree should have been barren, but when she used to bear fruit, they were always red gala apples. Nowhere near as large as this green apple.

“Well ah'll be. She hasn't given any fruit since...” Applejack grew quiet, looking at the ground.

“Applejack?” Rarity was clearly worried.

“Since my momma…” a dry sob suddenly escaped from her mouth. Rarity rushed over and took her into her hooves like a small filly.

“It's ok my darling. It's all right.” She crooned into Applejack's ears.

Applejack buried her head into Rarity's shoulder, sniffling as her hooves encompassed Rarity's waist. She wasn't used to being held, but it felt right to her. To allow herself to been seen so fragile, and to trust somepony implicitly with herself. To be honest about things, even those things she hid from herself.

“Rarity...” Applejack said from her purple maned pillow.

“Yes Darling?” she answered.

“She's dead, Rarity. She's dead.”

With that, the dam burst and she cried like she had never cried before. Old Bloomberg hadn't given a single apple
since the accident. It was like she knew. Only her Momma knew how to get Bloomberg's apples. Even AJ's Pop knew to leave her alone up there. It was her Momma's special place. In time, it was hers as well. Where she got her mother’s favourite hat. Where she learned how to applebuck.

“My Momma’s dead Rarity.” In response, Rarity just held her tighter and Applejack squeezed back. “Ah suppose Ah should tell you about her, huh?” Applejack wiped her runny nose with the back of her hoof. The tears still hadn't stopped.

“Only if you want to,” was all Rarity said.

Applejack lifted her head up and looked Rarity in the eye. “I want to.”

With a nod and encouraging smile from Rarity, Applejack started talking.

“She was about my height. With a dark green coat and piercing blue eyes. She was the prettiest mare in the country, ah reckon. Diamond Jubilee was her name. Heh, she hated it though. Always got ponies to call her DJ. She was nothing like me. She loved the farm, but ah think she missed the city. She always said that the Big Apple was the only other apple for her besides Pop.”

Rarity tittered. Applejack continued.

“She taught me applebucking right where we are now. On Bloomberg. She told me what a special tree she was. That our earth pony magic was the only thing that could affect it. It wouldn't grow without us. Without something we had.”

Applejack was quiet now, so Rarity asked, “Something, darling?”

Wiping away the last stray tears, Applejack laughed gently, and said, “Can't tell ya that. Apple family secret.”

They went silent for a second, then Applejack got to her hooves and began leading Rarity back to the farm.

“Come on, best head back,” she urged. “Granny will be wondering where we are.”

“Applejack, are you sure?”

“Yeah. There's more to the story, of course, but Ah’ll tell ya later. Ah've never told anypony even that much before, so just give me some time.” She flashed that lopsided grin. “Now come on. Ah think you and all the young'uns should have dinner with the Apples tonight. Sound good Ms. Rarity?” She said with a sweeping bow.

Talking her hoof in hers, Rarity replied, “Darling, it sounds delightful.” She paused. “But what about Bloomberg's apple?”

“Not right now, Ah don't think. It's almost ripe, but not yet.”

As they walked down to the farm, Rarity could not help thinking that Applejack wasn’t talking about apples.

Author's Note:

What's this? Correct spellings? Sentences that make sense? Yup, it's all edited to this point. Seriously though, after having this chapter edited I re-read it and boy do I hate it. Ugh, everything is so rushed and comes out of nowhere. I have no idea what I was thinking when I wrote this. Anywho it's too late now and a re-write would either mess up the story to the point where it makes no sense or cause me to go off into a tangent to make it, make sense. Either way you're stuck with this but hey, at least it's edited properly now.

We now return to our regularly scheduled author's note

Fancy these authors notes eh? Well first time I've ever used them so lets not beat around the bush. The name of Aj's mother as diamond jubilee. Maybe a bit on the nose but I thought it fit. What with it being a large green apple (which I already decided on before getting the name) and also a cooking apple which appealed to me for various reasons. Stoke of luck really having a DJ be a big green one. Which oddly I have in mind for a sort of prequel story for Big Mac. Anyway I'm rambling.

Next chapter will be in up a week or so. I have finished it. Sort of. Actually came up with three alternate versions, none of which I'm very happy with. Worst comes to worse and I haven't written a better one soon I'll just the one I like best and go with that.