• Published 3rd Aug 2012
  • 9,387 Views, 360 Comments

A Dash of Apple - Lycan_01

Applejack tries to teach Rainbow Dash how to cook. Naturally, disaster and awkwardness result.

  • ...

Culinary Misadventures

"Hey AJ, mind if I snag a couple of apples?"

Applejack heard these words from Rainbow Dash several times each week. It was a very common experience for her to be out in the orchard, checking on the trees and bucking apples, when suddenly the cyan pegasus would randomly drop in. It was usually after her shift on weather patrol, or after a flight practice session. They'd chat for a bit and swap a few jokes, before inevitably the rainbow-maned pony would ask that same old question. The answer was always yes, of course. Applejack didn't mind letting her have a few free apples, and Dash would usually give her a some bits at the end of the week to cover the rest.

Today was slightly different though. Dash had dropped in to say hi while Applejack was working in the orchard, and they'd chatted for a bit, as was normal. Dash had hovered up to the top of the nearest tree, and made her usual request. But today, a thought crossed Applejack's mind in response to Dash's inquiry. One she'd never really considered before.

"Yeah, sure," Applejack nodded. She then smirked and asked: "Though Ah gotta wonder, do you eat anything else besides apples? You take enough of 'em to live off of, almost."

Rainbow Dash had been reaching for a rather nice and shiny red apple. But upon hearing those words, she froze. "Uh... Hah! Of course I do! I eat plenty of other stuff!" she replied with an unconvincing grin. "Lots of variety! Yup!"

Applejack raised an eyebrow. Her curiosity was piqued. "Like what?"

"Uh... Oh, y'know," the blue pegasus gave a dismissive wave of her hooves, "Those energy snack bars, sandwiches from the local shops, Pinkie's cupcakes, and.... uh.... cereal.... and... and..." her voice trailed off. She then smiled sheepishly down at Applejack. "That's about it."

An awkward silence fell. Eventually, Applejack flatly asked: "Y'all can't cook, can ya?"

Dash's shoulders slumped, and she let out a deep sigh. "No... Not really, no," she groaned, shaking her head. "It's never really been something that, y'know, clicked. I never really learned how to do it growing up, and usually when I try, it blows up in my face. Sometimes literally. It's... kinda embarrassing," she frowned. "Don't say anything to anypony else, okay? Please?"

The orange mare shrugged. "Eh, ain't nothin' to be embarrassed about. If ya want some lessons, Ah can teach ya a thing or two."

Dash's eyes widened slightly. "Really? Like what?"

Applejack shrugged again. "Ah dunno. Nothin' too complicated. Scrambled eggs, pancakes, muffins..."

A large grin spread across the pegasus' face. "Oooo, pancakes! Let's go with pancakes!"

Applejack let out a chuckle. "Heh, alright, pancakes it is. Ah should be free in an hour or so, if ya wanna drop on by and get started."

"Sounds good!" Dash exclaimed. "Anyway, I'll let you get back to work. See ya then. Later, AJ!" And with that, the blue mare flew off, leaving Applejack to finish her work. But not without grabbing a pair of apples first, of course.

Applejack had finished working in the orchard a little bit earlier than expected, and had been able to wash up and start getting things in order before the pegasus' arrival. Rainbow Dash's arrival came about an hour after she'd originally left; a knock at the back door, which led into the kitchen, heralded her arrival. A few seconds after knocking, Applejack opened the door, and Rainbow Dash stepped inside.

"Thanks," Dash smiled as she stepped through the doorway. "Y'know, I really appreciate what you're-" The blue pegasus suddenly froze. Not because the kitchen was perfectly organized and prepared, with a variety of ingredients and baking appliances laid out on the table and counter tops. Instead, she froze because of what Applejack was wearing. Or rather, not wearing.

"Where... where's your hat?" the blue mare finally managed to ask.

It was true. Applejack was lacking her signature hat. Instead, she had a white chef's hat perched atop her head. The orange mare simply smiled, and factually informed her: "Ah thought it'd be smarter to wear somethin' else. This hat is more fittin' fer the situation. Plus, better safe than sorry."

Dash frowned. "Better safe than sorry? What, do you think I'm gonna light your hat on fire or something?"

Applejack grimaced. "Yeah, uh, about that... Did Ah ever tell you 'bout what happened when Applebloom tried to learn ta cook?"

Applejack stared in horror at the wall of flame pouring out of the microwave. As black smoke filled the kitchen, she could only look down at an equally horrified Applebloom and scream: "HOW DID YOU CATCH OATMEAL ON FIRE?!"

Rainbow Dash stared blankly at her best friend.

"Eeeeeyup," Applejack nodded. "An' that is why Ah ain't wearin' mah hat fer this. It ain't that Ah don't trust ya. Ah just think it's better ta be safe than sorry."

"Oatmeal... she caught oatmeal on fire?" the blue mare asked, dumbfounded by such a concept.

"And we're makin' pancakes, remember?" Applejack poked her shoulder playfully. "A bit harder than oatmeal."

Dash swallowed nervously. "Hey, um, maybe this isn't such a good idea. I mean, you don't have to worry about all this. I'm fine with apples and junk food. I need all the extra calories and stuff anyway, and-"

"Oh hush up," Applejack snarked. "Ya got nothin' to worry about. It's impossible to light a pancake on fire. Ya mix up batter, pour it in a skillet, and flip it a couple of times. Worst case scenario, it comes out a bit brown and burnt."

The rainbow-maned pegasus shifted uncomfortable. "If you say so..."

"Ah do say so," Applejack replied crisply. Trotting over to the kitchen table, she poked a hoof at the open pages of a recipe look. "Now, lookie here..."

Dash hopped up and hovered over to the table, idly flapping her wings to stay airborne. "What's this?" she asked, before leaning in to look at the book. "Oh, pancake recipe? Hmmm. Sugar... Flour... Baking soda... Wait, what?" she suddenly pulled back, and looked at Applejack in confusion. "You put soft drinks in your pancakes?"

Applejack raised a hoof to her forehead, and sighed. "Baking soda ain't a drink, it's a powder. Anyhoo, you wanna add something extra to the pancakes?" she asked. "Chocolate chips? Blueberries? Apple?"

Rainbow Dash chuckled. "I've never heard of apple pancakes. But I'm totally not surprised that you'd suggest it."

The blonde-haired pony smirked smugly. "Ah will take that as a compliment. But yeah, it's the same concept as apple-cinnamon muffins. Dice some apples, a pinch of cinnamon, there ya go."

"Huh," Dash tilted her head to the side. "Yeah sure, let's give it a shot."

"Mighty fine choice," Applejack grinned. "Now, time ta measure out the ingredients..."

It hadn't taken long to get all the ingredients sorted out, measured, and mixed together. Flours, eggs, sugar, baking soda, milk, and other various things were all poured into a large bowl, which Applejack cheerfully set about stirring as she explained everything to Rainbow Dash. "Now, ya can't mix it up too much, cuz if the batter gets too thin it can mess up the pancakes' cookin' process."

"Uh huh, gotcha," Dash happily nodded along, making mental notes.

"Make sure yer skillet is heated up and greased, but not too hot. If it ain't greased, yer pancakes will stick. And if it's too hot, they'll get too brown and burnt," Applejack explained, gesturing a hoof at the large skillet warming up on the stove.

"So when do you add the apples?" Dash asked, arching an eyebrow.

"Ah, tha's the tricky bit," Applejack replied. She paused to put the stirring whisk down, before trotting over to a different spot on the countertop. A yellow apple was sitting on a cutting board, with a large knife beside it. "This here's a bakin' apple. We're gonna dice this sucker up, but we're not gonna toss it in with the mix just yet. All the bits would clump and stick together at the bottom, more than likely. Instead, once we pour some batter in the skillet fer the pancake, we'll add a dash of apple and a pinch of cinnamon, and-"

Rainbow Dash suddenly started to giggle.

Applejack looked around in confusion. "What's so funny?"

"Hee, hee, nothing, nothing," Dash shook her head, trying to stop laughing. "Uh, just go on..."

The orange earth pony narrowed her eyes. "Oh no. Yer gonna tell me what's so funny."

Dash had stopped laughing by now, and she waved a hoof at Applejack, gesturing for her to continue. "No, no, don't worry about it."

Applejack fixed her with a level stare. She did not look amused. "What's so funny?" she repeated her inquiry.

The blue pegasus let out a sigh. "Alright, fiiiiine. I just thought it was funny when you said 'a dash of apple' a second ago."

The blonde mare's expression became one of bewilderment. "Ah don't get it."

Dash let out another sigh, this one of exasperation. "A dash of apple. Dash. Apple. Rainbow Dash, Applejack. 'A dash of apple' could be an innuendo implying us together," she explained. "I just thought it was funny."

"The idea of us together is funny?" Applejack asked, before shrugging. "Ah don't see why, we're together right now ain't we?"

The rainbow-maned pony began to giggle. "No, no," she shook her head, grinning in amusement, "Not like that. Like, romantically or something."

Applejack blinked. "Oh." She then recoiled slightly, her eyes widening in realization. "Oh!"

Dash couldn't help but laugh at her friend's shock. "Hah! Wow, took you long enough!" she playfully commented between laughs.

The earth pony glared in annoyance. "Well a'scuse me! Ah still don't see wha's so funny 'bout it!" she growled.

Rainbow Dash finally managed to stop laughing. "I dunno, I just thought it was funny," she shrugged. "But hey, I also thought it was funny when ponies actually thought we were a thing."

"A... thing?" Applejack asked, visibly concerned. "As in...?"

"Dating, yeah," the blue pegasus nodded aloofly.

For a moment, there was only silence. Then Applejack took a step back in wide-eyed horror. "What?!"

Dash waved a wing dismissively. "Yeah, some ponies thought we were dating. Especially after all that fuss with the Running of the Leaves. Some folks thought our rivalry was a love-hate relationship or something. Rarity actually asked me about it..." she casually explained.

"R-R-Rarity?!" Applejack stammered, utterly shocked. "Rarity thought...?!"

"Well, it's not like the actually thought it," Dash shrugged. She was clearly much more cool and aloof about this than Applejack was. "She was just asking me about it, just to clarify things. She'd heard some rumors, and she didn't want to repeat anything that wasn't true. So she asked me if there was anything between you and me, and if I actually had any interest in mares."

Applejack's jaw dropped. "She actually asked you that?!"

Dash shrugged again. "Yeah, it was no big deal. She wasn't rude about it or anything. She was actually very polite and respectful. Plus, I didn't mind telling her, since I trust her and stuff. Like I said, she just wanted clarification."

The orange mare shook her head. "But... that just seems so... blunt. An' personal. Like somethin' ya just don't share with folks."

"Eh, it's Rarity. Like I said, I trust her and whatnot. Plus, she's actually pretty chill about personal stuff. I mean, have you ever heard some of the stuff ponies in high society gossip about?" Dash asked with a crooked smirk. "It was really no big deal for either of us."

"You... she... Ah..." Applejack muttered, trying to comprehend.

"Just don't worry about it," Dash advised her. "I told Rarity the truth, and she made sure all those rumors died out. Everything's cool."

Applejack stared for a moment. She then sighed, and turned back to the apple on the cutting board. "Er, let's just get on back to cookin'..."

"Works for me," Dash smiled. She then added: "Sorry for the awkwardness."

Applejack smiled back. "No worries. Glad to know Rarity helped set them other ponies straight, at least..."

Things went back to normal after that. Applejack diced the apple, and guided Rainbow Dash through the process of pouring the batter in the skillet, letting the pancake set, and then flipping it so it could cook on the other side. She made several successful pancakes, and let Dash take a stab at it. Her first few came out kind of burnt or undercooked, but eventually she started to get the hang of it.

As Applejack was pouring batter into the skillet to make another pancake, her curiosity finally got the better of her. "Alright," she sighed. "Ah gotta ask..."

"Gotta ask what?" Dash replied.

Applejack glanced off the side. "About, uh... That thing Rarity asked ya about."

Dash immediately burst in a fit of laughter. "Oho, somebody's curious, huh?"

"No!" Applejack protested. "Ah mean, yes! Wait, no! Uh... Consarnit!" she snapped. She then let out an annoyed sigh, and did her best to put on a neutral expression. "Look, ya said ya didn't mind when Rarity asked, so Ah figured it wouldn't be a big deal if Ah asked. Ah'm just curious. No more, no less," she calmly explained.

"Uh huh," the pegasus grinned playfully. "Curious. Right."

"Ah ain't got no alterior motives, dedgummit!" the orange mare snarled.

"I think it's 'ulterior,' actually," Dash corrected her with a knowing smirk.

Applejack rolled her eyes. "Whatever," she grumbled. She was clearly annoyed now.

"Hey, it's cool," Dash replied with a gentle hoof wave, trying to pacify her irate friend. "I'm just playing around. Anyway, to answer your question... Well, it's pretty simple, but hard to explain."

Applejack nodded, gesturing for her to continue. "Go on, Ah'm listenin' to ya."

"Well," the pegasus tilted her head from side to side, her expression thoughtful and pensive. "It's like... I don't really care what gender a pony is. I think pony's should be able to like each other regardless of gender. Y'know, for who they are, not what they are. So if a mare likes a mare or a stallion likes a stallion, big deal. As long as they're happy, who cares? Does... that make sense?" Dash asked, a slight look of worry on her face.

The orange earth pony looked thoughtful for a moment. Finally, she smiled softly and nodded. "Yeah, that makes perfect sense. It sounds like a pretty good outlook, actually. And that's the way you see it, huh? Likin' a pony as a pony, regardless of gender?"

Dash smiled nervously. "Yeah, pretty much."

"Whatcha so nervous for?" Applejack smirked. "Afraid Ah'm gonna freak out or somethin'?"

"Well, yeah, kinda," the blue pony rolled her eyes sarcastically. "I mean, a lot of ponies aren't exactly comfortable finding out their friend's barn door swings both ways. They're all like 'Oh my gosh my friend is gonna hit on me and try to seduce me and ewww' and stuff like that," she smirked playfully, having raised her voice an octave or three to parody an immature pony freaking out.

"Nah, no worries here," Applejack shook her head. "Ah'm pretty laid back 'bout stuff like that. Besides, not like y'all would wanna hit on an' seduce me, anyhoo," she scoffed.

Dash smirked mischievously. "Heh. Somebody sounds disappointed."

Applejack immediately blushed. "No Ah ain't!" she sputtered.

The pegasus' smirk turned into a wicked grin. "And now somebody sounds defensive!"

"Ah ain't defensive!" the earth pony snapped indignantly.

"You certainly sound like it," Dash quipped.

Applejack rose up to stand on her hind legs, placing her forehooves on her hips in a defiant gesture. "Y'all are just tryin' to get me all flustered!" she growled.

Rainbow Dash echoed her friends' movements, and stood up on her own hind legs. However, the rugged earth pony possessed a more powerful build than her, and was thus slightly taller. Dash had to hop up and hover a few inches off the ground in order to stay at eye level with her. "You wouldn't be flustered if you didn't have a reason to be," she grinned.

"Ah ain't flustered and ah ain't being defensive," Applejack snapped.

"Are too!" Dash retorted, leaning in closer.

"Are not!" the orange mare replied firmly, also leaning forward slightly.

"Are too!"

"Are not!"

"Are too!"

"Are not!"

By now, the two ponies' faces were barely inches apart. They were close enough to feel each others' warm breath against their muzzles. In fact, they were close enough to pick up the others' scent - Applejack could faintly smell rainwater, while Dash could barely detect the aroma of apples. The glared intently into each others' eyes, unwilling - or unable - to look away. Tension hung heavily in the air, thick enough to be cut with a knife. Neither pony dared to move, or even flinch a muscle. Finally, just as the situation reached its boiling point, Rainbow Dash opened her mouth and flatly asked: "Hey AJ, you smell something burning?"

Apparently, if you leave a pancake unattended in the skillet for several minutes, it will blacken to a crisp. And then it will burst into flames. Very large and very hot flames.

Thankfully, the inferno had been easy to contain and put out. The only casualties were the pancakes, the skillet, a fire extinguisher, and Applejack's chef hat.

"See? Ah told ya," Applejack flippantly observed, plucking the burnt cap off of her head and tossing it over her shoulder. "Better safe than sorry..." She seemed pretty laid-back, considering her stove was covered in soot and fire extinguisher foam.

Dash didn't comment. She was too busy sitting on the floor near the stove, surveying the damage. She bore a frown on her face, and her ears were laid back. "Yeah, uh... I'm reeeeeeeally sorry about this. Like, really really sorry," she said.

Applejack gave a dismissive hoof wave. "Aw shucks, ain't nothin' but a thang. I'll get Big Macintosh ta clean it up later. Y'all ain't gotta worry 'bout it."

"I know, but it's still my fault," Dash grumbled. "If I hadn't distracted you, the pancake wouldn't have... exploded."

"Eh, no biggie," the earth pony shrugged. "Ah'm okay. Yer okay. And mah hat is okay. Speakin' o' which..." Applejack proceeded to trot over to a cabinet near the refrigerator, open it up, and remove her hat. Placing the cowboy hat back atop her head, she turned back to Dash and flashed a grin. "There we go, much better."

"Yeah, you do look better in that hat," Dash observed casually with a sideways glance.

Applejack was slightly caught off guard by that. "Wait, was tha' a compliment?"

The cyan pegasus' frown was replaced by a playful smile. "Well, you were disappointed about me not hitting on you, so I-"

"Galdurnit, we are not havin' this conversation again!" Applejack yelled in frustration. She gave a strong stomp of her hooves for emphasis. However, there was a faint smile tugging at the corners of her mouth, despite her apparent irritation. It seemed she found some amusement in the situation, as annoying as it was.

Dash flashed a lopsided grin. "Why? Because you know we'll end up face-to-face again, and you won't be able to resist kissing me this time?"

Applejack's face quickly went from orange to vibrant crimson. "You... T-that... What..." she stammered, trying to form a cohesive and coherent reply.

"Oh don't deny it!" the cyan mare proclaimed. She hopped into the air and took flight, gliding over towards Applejack and pausing to hover just in front of her. "I could totally see it in your eyes!"

Applejack's blush began to subside, and she was now just staring levelly at Dash, looking rather unamused. "Mah eyes, huh?" she asked flatly.

"Totally! The eyes are the window to the soul and all that jazz, after all," Dash observed. She then grinned, and continued poking fun at her friend. "But yeah, I could see it all! That internal struggle, trying to keep your self control, fighting to hold back your passion," she playfully said, leaning her face in close to Applejack's.

"Passion, huh?" Applejack deadpanned.

"Eeyup," the pegasus replied with a smug grin. "And you-"

Without warning, Applejack suddenly reached up and grabbed Rainbow Dash's face with her hooves. She then pulled the surprised pegasus in closer, and before she could have a chance to react, kissed her. Not a peck or a gentle little cutesy kiss, but a full-on passionate lip-lock. Dash's eyes went wide in shock, and her wings immediately locked up in mid-flight. Unable to stay airborne, the blue pony immediately dropped unceremoniously to the floor. With a loud thud, she landed in a jumbled heap, eyes still wide in shocked surprise.

"Heh, that shut ya up," Applejack observed with a wicked smile. "Y'all alright, though?" she asked, her tone holding more concern than her expression would have implied. "Didn't think ya'd drop like that."

"Oh yeah! Never better!" Dash replied over-enthusiastically. Her eyes seemed distant. She was clearly in a daze from either the kiss, the impact with the floor, or both.

The orange mare shook her head, but continued to smile. "Sorry, but if ya poke at a rattlesnake enough, it'll eventually bite."

Rainbow Dash rolled over on her back, and looked up at Applejack with what could only be described as a goofy grin. "If that's the case, I gotta mess with rattlesnakes more often. They're great kissers..."

Applejack giggled, and lowered her head so that she was eye to eye with her friend, their faces upside-down from each other. "So what, yer plan was ta just keep messin' with me 'til Ah eventually snapped an' kissed ya or somethin'?" she curiously inquired.

Dash grinned roguishly. "Well after you didn't freak out about me liking mares and stuff, I thought I'd do a little playful flirting. Just to mess around a bit, all in good fun. I figured you'd be cool with it. I mean, I wasn't actually trying to get you to kiss me or anything. I wasn't even sure you were into that sort of thing. But, uh, I guess I was wrong. Not that I'm complaining, heh heh..."

Applejack rolled her eyes, but still maintained her smile. "So y'all ruined mah skillet, dirtied up mah kitchen, and messed with mah head fer no good reason. Rainbow Dash, y'all had better have some way of makin' this up to me."

"Oh, well..." Dash purred, "I think I can come up with a few ways, if you're interested. Like... maybe a date?"

The earth pony smirked coyly, and a faint blush rose to her cheeks. "Ya know... Ah think Ah might actually be interested in takin' ya up on that offer. No harm in givin' it a shot, right?"

Dash grinned, excitement sparkling in her eyes. "Awesome! But, um, in the meantime, I've got other ideas for ways to apologize. Like this." She then proceeded to lift her head up off the floor, raising her lips to meet Applejack's, giving her a gentle kiss. The two ponies closed their eyes, losing themselves in the small, tender moment.

And that's exactly when Big Mac opened the backdoor and casually walked into kitchen. "Afternoon," he idly greeted them, not realizing what was happening in front of him until he'd taken several steps into the room.

Time seemed to freeze for every pony in the room. All three equines went wide-eyed in surprise and horror. Big Mac's gaze darted back and forth between his sister, Rainbow Dash, and the scorched stove. Dash and Applejack, their lips still locked, alternated between looking at Big Mac and each other.

Finally, Big Mac shook his head, simply stating: "Nope. Nope, nope, nope." He then spun about, and briskly strode right back through the door. He didn't even bother to close it behind him; he just trotted away as quickly as his powerful legs could carry him.

Applejack and Rainbow Dash stared at the backdoor for several seconds after the red stallion had fled. They then turned their gazes back upon each other, and finally pulled away from each other, breaking the awkward kiss. "Well, that was awkward..." Dash muttered.

"Ah don't think I'm gonna be able to look him in the eyes for weeks..." Applejack groaned.

Dash clambered up off the floor, and staggered back onto her hooves. "Yeah, uh, I should probably leave before he gets back. Y'know, to avoid further awkwardness. Sorry about all this..."

The blonde mare scoffed. "Feh. Nothin' to apologize for. But yeah, it's prob'ly is best if y'all head on out. Yer welcome back any time, of course, though... it may be best if ya avoid Big Mac for awhile, 'til the awkwardness dies on down."

"Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. Anyway, I guess I'll head on out. See ya later," Dash said with a small smile, before turning to head for the door.

Applejack took a step after her. "Hey wait, one more thing."

The pegasus paused near the backdoor, and looked back over her shoulder curiously. "Hm?"

The orange pony smiled. "Y'all wanna try again tomorrow?"

"What, the cooking lessons that potentially lead to disaster, or the awkward flirting that eventually leads to making out?" Dash asked with a sarcastic smirk.

Applejack shrugged, and flashed a sly grin.

"Why not both?"