• Published 7th Aug 2020
  • 2,123 Views, 87 Comments

Spike's Family Chronicles - frenettek314

*A sequel to "Spike's Family Journey"* Follow the many zany slice-of-life adventures of Spike the dragon and his family of ponies and other creatures across Ponyville and beyond!

  • ...

"Shipping and Handling"

In a small, yet cozy clubhouse nestled within one of the hundreds of trees on Sweet Apple Acres resided five close friends, happily spending a lax afternoon in each others' company as they each took turns regaling several of their hilarious adventures.

"...and that's how I got my wings." Spike summarized, taking a moment to glance around and survey the incoming reactions.

"Woah..." the other four gaped at once.

"Ya mean ya'll had to save Zecora from that giant Roc monster?" piped Apple Bloom.

"As well as Rarity?" nervously asked Sweetie Belle, slightly shaken that her sister had been in danger.

"All while you had to deal with those terrible molt-effects?" Scootaloo questioned in awe.

"Well, once I broke free from the mold and sprouted my wings, the symptoms were gone... but I may or may not have taken 3 showers that day." the dragon bashfully replied, remembering how it had taken him nearly an hour to finally feel like he was clean and free from that pungent odor.

"But you saved them anyways! You're a hero!" happily chirped Gabby as she swooped up Spike in a firm hug, causing him to blush at the affection given to him.

"Awww..." cooed two of the three gazing fillies, while a slightly less emotional Scootaloo playfully rolled her eyes in response.

While still not officially a couple, Gabby kept to her promise that she would visit Ponyville more often - and more often she did. As she and Spike found more time to hang out and become even closer, the two also decided to spend a good chunk amount of their time hanging out with the CMC.

The griffon, being a proud honorary member of the group, already accepted this with no hesitation whereas Spike slowly crept his way into the idea. The dragon was initially nervous at the idea, seeing as he hadn't spent much time with the three adventurous fillies before; but after their warm acceptance of him during his family quest, he found himself spending more and more time with these ponies. He had to admit it still felt a little awkward hanging out with others more attuned with his age group as opposed to one of the older girls, but he quickly began loving their company all the same. The three had become like proper siblings to the dragon, and now with the griffon being a best friend (if not more), Spike found himself relishing the prospect of simply getting to feel like a kid.

As the two winged creatures exited their hug, they proceeded to sit back down in a circle on the wooden floor before a sudden realization grabbed their attention - a feeling that strongly clouded the heads of the group, threatening to take them into its cruel submission.

They were bored.

"Well, now what should we do?" prompted the tiny orange pegasus, seeing as story time was officially over.

"We could try to find something to do on the farm?" offered Gabby.

"Like what?" asked Sweetie Belle.

The earth pony filly merely began chuckling at their curious pondering as she sagely looked out the clubhouse window, gesturing to the wide open fields in the distance.

"Don't be silly! The farm is ah wide open landscape of possibilities waitin' to happen."

The remaining four creatures slowly made their way off the floor to curiously peek at what Apple Bloom was referring to, seeing only swarm-fulls of trees and a familiar barn and house in the distance.

The filly, seeing her friend's confused looks, decided she needed to elaborate.

"Don't ya see? Everyday in the great outdoors is ah new adventure waitin' to take hold. The gentle breeze of the grass we can roll around in, the tall, generous structures of the trees we can climb, the beautiful scope of the plains we can run and frolic in..."

"...Rarity making her way towards the barn,..."

"Wait, what?!" Spike finally interrupted, caught off guard by the last declaration before he peered with greater focus at the outside world. Indeed, over in the distance near the entrance to the farm walked a dainty white unicorn as she slowly made her way towards the Apple Family's supply and storage space.

"You're right, there she is." he stared at the sight with ever-growing fascination.

"Really? Rarity's here?" Gabby asked as she took notice of the phenomenon herself. "Is she here to pick Sweetie up?"

"I doubt it." Scootaloo slightly grimaced. "She's been over here what seems like every day for the past few weeks."

"Really?!" gawked both dragon and griffon, not expecting that response.

"It's true." Sweetie Belle nodded with a look of puzzlement. "Lately, we've been seeing her visit frequently. She never used to visit the farm as much as she has."

"And that's not all." proceeded Apple Bloom. "Ah was in the fields once or twice and ah heard her say she was lookin' for my sister."

The dragon silently nodded, prodding a claw to his chin as he slowly made a stride back and forth inside the clubhouse.

"But why would Rarity be visiting Applejack so much? They're friends, sure, but last I knew she wasn't all too crazy about being in 'rural lifestyle'."

"That is strange." mused Gabby, "Why would she go out of her way to see her?"

Everyone silently theorized about the potential implications concerning the unicorn's behavior before Spike suddenly gained an idea.

"Why don't we go check it out and see if we can find anything?"

The others slowly displayed excited smiles as they collectively nodded their heads in agreement.

"I am curious about my sister." Sweetie stated.

"I've always wanted to solve a mystery - besides, it's not like we have anything better to do." Scootaloo declared.

"Yay! CMC detectives!" Gabby squealed in excitement.

"What are we waitin' for? Let's go!" Apple Bloom began making her way down the steps of the treehouse, the others in close pursuit behind her as they eagerly made their way to the center of the acres - the prospect of a shocking discovery danced in their minds.

Little do they know how right they are.

As Spike and the rest of the gang carefully made their way over to the barn, they glued themselves to the siding. Huddling uncomfortably close to one another, they slowly peeked their way through the corner of the door to see who was inside. Sure enough, as clear as day, stood the elegant unicorn as she stared at the slightly bewildered expression of the cowpony, both of them appearing to be engaged in conversation unbeknownst to the sets of eyes out of their peripheral vision.

"There they are!" anxiously whispered Sweetie Belle.

"Shhh.... let's listen." prodded Apple Bloom as they focused their hearing on the two mares.

"I must say darling, it's a beautiful day out there today." gently coaxed the unicorn as she batted her lovely eyes at the suddenly sweating farmer.

"Heh heh. Yeah it sure is." Applejack nervously rubbed a hoof to the back of her head.

"So, anyways, what brings ya all the way out here?"

Rarity slowly froze in thought before she returned with a very lucid and cheerful grin.

"Well, I was just in the neighborhood and I was wondering if you wanted to do something together - just the two of us - that is, if you're not too busy?" she batted her eyelashes again as her eyes conveyed a blissful sense of hope.

"Why does she keep battin' her eyelashes like that?" whispered Apple Bloom.

"Maybe she's having a stroke?" haphazardly guessed Scootaloo.

"Either that or she's really bad at staring contests." Gabby added.

Meanwhile, Spike kept silently staring at the ongoing scene as a sudden familiar set of triggers were picked up in his head.

"Wait a minute... the way she's staring at her, the flirty way she's batting her eyelashes, the slight calm tinge she's setting in her voice, where have I seen this all before?"

"Well, I'd love ta sugarcube..." Applejack momentarily stuttered. "...but ah fear these chores may take all day."

The unicorn's smile melted into a disappointed pout as a faint twinkle etched in her eyes.

"Applejack, darling, you've been saying that every day I've stopped by."

The farmer lowered her head in slight guilt as her lips quivered for a brief moment.

"Ah know and ah'm sorry, but the workload's been hectic recently."

"No it hasn't." Apple Bloom turned to the four sets of eyes with a shake to her head, indicating that her sister was lying.

But Applejack almost never lied - she was the 'Element of Honesty' after all - so why would she be lying to her friend?

Spike's mind was now working overtime as it desperately tried to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

"Even now with the way her lips slightly tremble in subtle dread. It reminds me of those times where she gets rejected by one of those stallions..."

Suddenly, Spike's body ceased all function as he gaped in realization.

He had completed the puzzle.

"Rarity's acting like those times where she's trying to ask someone out... but if she's doing that now with..."


"Rarity has a crush on Applejack!"

Almost as if the universe was trying to confirm his answer, Rarity's voice spoke out once again.

"It's a shame really, I just wanted to spend time with you."

Applejack tried her best in vain to look natural, though her constantly shifting eyes failed to help her.

"Well that's awfully sweet of you, but ah've been awfully busy. Maybe ya could hang out with someone else?"

The dragon couldn't take the torture Rarity seemed to be subjecting herself to any longer as he turned and glanced at the other pairs of curious eyes in a frantic manner.

"Pssst, guys! I figured out what's going on."

"Wait, you did?! What is it?!" Sweetie's eyes widened in anticipation.

"Rarity's in love with Applejack."

The others harshly, yet silently gasped as they appeared to have their worldviews shaken.

"What?!" Gabby exclaimed. "But I thought she loved the wealthy stallion types."

"I did too." Spike countered, "But the way she's talking and looking at her... I know it."

"But can she even like mares? I thought she's made it pretty clear she went for stallions." Scootaloo retorted.

"Again, I did too."

Sweetie just stared at the scene with introspective eyes, trying desperately to put two and two together but to seemingly no avail. Finally, she turned back to the dragon.

"No, there's no way. Rarity wouldn't like..." she defiantly tried to argue before he stopped her.

He sort of knew that the others would have a hard time believing this - heck, he was having a hard time believing it. They have all known Rarity for a long time (well, considerably less in Gabby's case), they thought they knew the pristine mare's in's and out's like a book; but here she was displaying a new side of her that he was sure no one had ever seen.

Of course they'd find the whole situation preposterous, he couldn't blame them for that; but he did have an ace in his sleeve to make them realize it.

With a heavy sigh, he turned to the quartet.

"Girls, picture Rarity and Applejack are Sugar Belle and Big Mac. Gabby, pretend they're us."

The four creatures stood gazing at the creatures with concentrated contemplation before they all ceremoniously let out airy gasps, turning back to the dragon like they had just uncovered the meaning of life.

"Yer...yer right." squeaked Apple Bloom.

"I...I never knew my sister could like mares..." Sweetie held a hoof over her mouth.

"Rarity's there trying to woo her, but Applejack isn't taking the bait." Scootaloo nodded solemnly.

Suddenly all their glances focused on her with inquisitive expressions.

"What? I helped Sugar Belle and Big Mac get together. That's taught me a little about romance."

"So... does that mean she doesn't like her back?" asked a saddened Gabby as she glanced at the pair.

"But I wanted to spend time with you dear." Rarity slightly whined.

Applejack's lips began trembling slightly as she turned her head away to hide her pain from the other mare.

"Ah...ah'm sorry... but ah don't know what else ah can say."

Apple Bloom directed her attention to her sister, her eyes slightly narrowing at her reaction. The way the mare hesitantly had been rejecting the unicorn's offers, the way in which she bashfully hid herself from her sight, the way she glumly viewed the unicorn's disappointment. Something wasn't right here.

"Ah don't know about that. Ah know my sister, and seein' the way she's rejectin' her - she's clearly regretting lying about the chores and ah can see the slight tremblin' of her lips that usually means she's upset. She's saying no to hide something."

Sweetie slowly tilted her head in thought.

"Perhaps she's worried about liking her back for some reason?"

The earth filly sympathetically glanced back at her sister as the unicorn next to her - her head lowered slightly in a sad sort of display.

"Ah don't know, but ah feel like we should help them before someone's feelings get hurt."

"JUST KISS HER ALREADY!" boomed a loud, ear-splitting shriek, definitely drawing the attention of the two now shell-shocked, blushing adult ponies who had discovered the crowd of watchful eyes from the barn.

Seeing the jig was up, the gang defeatedly walked in front of the barn, making their presences fully known to the horrified mares.

"Gabby, what the heck was that about?!" Spike shot an annoyed glare at the griffon who shrugged sheepishly.

"What? Apple Bloom said we needed to help them!"

"Yeah help them, not traumatize them!" countered the now face-hoofing filly.

"I liked Gabby's idea." a pegasus's voice made itself known as two irritated fillies and one judgmental dragon acknowledged her.


Rarity and Applejack merely stood still as fragile statues - the lightest gust of wind or the contact of a stray leaf could probably crumble them into bits of ashes. Only after what seemed like several agonizing minutes did someone make a move.

Way too quick of a move.

"I...I think I need to be going, if you excuse me." jumped a slightly teary-eyed Rarity as she gradually raced out of the barn and through the acres like a grounded Rainbow Dash.

"No, Rarity! Wait!" called out Spike, but he was too late.


Meanwhile, Applejack looked ready to keel over as her coat turned many shades lighter.

"What...have ah done..." she mumbled.

Despite the rather stressful situation presented to them, the dragon was quick on the objective. Seeing the pained and emotional expressions on both mares, he not only knew his instincts were right, he knew he to fix this before things got worse.

"Apple Bloom and Scootaloo - you two stay here with Applejack. Gabby and Sweetie, you two follow me to find Rarity."

Everyone simultaneously gave affirmative nods as each creature made their way to their respective task. The earth pony and pegasus fillies approaching the still stiff farmer while the dragon, unicorn filly and griffon all ran their way to the center of Ponyville.

"Don't worry, we're going to fix this."

As Spike and Sweetie confidently led the way back to the Carousel Boutique, a slightly confused griffon staggered closely behind the pair.

"Are you sure she came back here?" she hesitantly asked, peering up at the familiar shop.

Spike and Sweetie gave each other ear-splitting smirks before turning over in her direction.

"Oh, trust me. When it comes to an upset Rarity, we know her patterns like the back of our hooves." Sweetie Belle chuckled.

"Or claws." Spike interjected.

"Right, sorry." the unicorn blushed.

"The point is we know how to get her out, but you need to trust us and remain quiet for a second, ok?" Spike rose an eyebrow at her.

Seeing how assured the two of them in front of her were, Gabby felt a smile form on her lips as she gave a silent, enthusiastic salute, motioning for the pair to continue.

With one more glance at each other and a firm nod, they slowly walked over to the door as the unicorn delivered several rounds of knocks.

"The boutique is closed for right now on the account of emotional distress, if you could so kindly..."

"Ice-Cream Man." the dragon interrupted with a false soprano.

All too swiftly, a white hoof opened the door as a red, puffy-eyed unicorn stepped out to greet the supposed visitor.

"Oh thank goodness you're here! I need my depression special - 2 gallons of vanilla..." she halted, staring down at the three new creatures on her doorstep, realizing she had been had.

"Hello....." she stretched, "What brings you three here?" she added with a fake, toothy grin to boot.

"Rarity, we need to talk." the dragon spoke in a serious, yet well-meaning tone as the others silently agreed.

"About what darling? Everything is fi..."

"Sis, we were there." Sweetie deadpanned, raising an eyebrow at her sister's way too obvious attempts at curveballs.

The mare sighed, knowing there was no way out of this.

"Fine. Please do come in." she stepped out of the way, leading the trio in as they all gathered in her living room, sitting in a wide collection of couches and chairs.

After a moment or two of making themselves comfortable (which all but Rarity seemed to), the dragon decided to initiate the fatal ice-breaker.

"So. You like Applejack huh?"

Rarity winced ever so slightly as she nodded her head in shame.

"It's true. I've been rather attracted to her as of late, so I've been trying to spend more time with her over the past week or two."

"Rarity... we didn't know...we always thought you were attracted to stallions." commented Sweetie Belle as she reached a gentle hoof out to comfort her sister, the unicorn smiling appreciatively at the gesture.

"Well Sweetie, it's time I told you all a secret I've been keeping for a long time. While I typically have tried going after the perfect gentlecolt, I do also find myself swooning for the occasional mare. I've known for a long time, but I always told myself I would find my prince charming and live happily ever after like one of those storybook princesses." she dreamily spoke.

"So...what happened?" Gabby asked.

Rarity snapped out of her trance as she focused back on the topic at hand, "Well dear, I've realized for quite a while now that I've had...rather little to no success when it comes to finding the perfect male for me."

Spike's eyes struck wide in terror as he was taken back to a particularly recent memory.

"But when I found you spying on Gabby and I, I said... I told you all the guys you liked were jerks... Rarity... I'm so sorry..." he twiddled his claws in shame.

However, a unicorn leapt out of her seated position and gave the poor drake a reassuring embrace.

"Spike! Don't apologize! This has nothing to do with what you said to me, I can assure you on that!" she nuzzled him for a moment longer before heading back to her seat, leaving the dragon with a much more relaxed smile.

"But I have had a sort of crush on Applejack for quite a while. Ever since we started going to spa and began hanging out more often, I felt captivated by her. It was only until recently I finally decided to make a move on those feelings."

"Really? Why Applejack?" Sweetie regarded curiously.

Rarity lovingly smiled.

"Well sweetie, I love Applejack because I admire how strong, loyal, and hard-working she is. She cares deeply for her friends and family and I find myself taken by that devotion to protect those closest to her. She may be more of a country pony, but her heart is one of the biggest and shiniest I've ever seen."

"Awww..." the trio chorused as they saw the unicorn develop a light blush.

"But why hide this for so long, Rarity? Don't you want to be happy?!" Gabby's brows furrowed with worry.

Rarity felt her heavenly smile vanquish as she carefully rubbed her eyes with a hoof.

"I've wanted to tell her for a while but... I haven't even told anyone I'm bi."

"You have to leave? Why?" Gabby tilted her head.

Rarity softly chuckled as she decided to ever so elegantly explain.

"No, dear. Bi as in Bisexual. It means I can be attracted to either males or females."

"Oh....." Gabby drawled, as Spike and Sweetie nodded in understanding as well.

"Why wait to say anything though? You clearly want to hint it at her, what's stopping you from outright telling her?" Spike cautiously motioned.

Rarity found herself with a nervous lump in her throat, struggling to hold back her pent up feelings until a moment of three worried stares made her burst like a balloon.

"I'm scared, that's why!" the unicorn exclaimed as she bowed her head in guilt, causing the three other creatures to look at each other in confusion, before turning back to face her.

"Rarity, our friends will support you no matter what. In fact, I'm pretty sure you're not the only potentially gay mare in our group." lectured Sweetie.

"I'm like 85% sure Rainbow is gay." Spike added thoughtfully.

"I'll place 5 bits on Pinkie potentially having interest in a mare." added Sweetie.

"And I seriously think Fluttershy could be bi as well. I mean, I've never really been a big fan of the whole 'Fluttercord' ship - I mean, he can be a great best friend, sure, but lover? All I'm saying is that maybe we should get Fluttershy a soft, cuddly mare - someone like Pinkie or Twilight or even Rainbow." Gabby concluded in a huff.

The others in the room simply stared at Gabby with looks of bafflement.

"Gabby, you're not wrong, but you're projecting." Spike deadpanned, much to the griffon's embarrassed chagrin.

"No, no. I don't mean telling our friends - though I suppose I do owe it to them to tell them - I'm referring to telling Applejack." Rarity sighed.

"Ohhhh." the three mouthed in unison, now understanding where this conversation was going.

"Besides me not knowing how she feels about that way of thinking, she comes from a rather traditional family and I don't want her to have to make a choice if any of the family disapproves."

The trio processed everything she had said. She wasn't just worried Applejack would deny her, she was worried that her family would make her choose between them or her. If there was anything the farm pony loved more than her precious crop of apples, it was her family. If there was any more evidence needed for Rarity to be the 'Element of Generosity', worrying about her crush's feelings certainly helped. Though as they soaked this all in, they suddenly felt a new wave of resolute wash through them, Rarity may be worried right now but there was one thing that would guarantee everything would be alright, no matter what.

Spike and the others crowded around Rarity, each of them giving the unicorn a giant group hug.

"Don't be afraid to tell her, the worst she could say is no." quoted Spike.

"But she's your best friend and I know she'll always care for you no matter what." added Sweetie.

"And whatever happens, we're always going to be here for you." affirmed Gabby.

Seeing the three creatures around her give her fond smiles and words of encouragement prompted the waterworks to start anew for the unicorn. As she slowly sniffled a few tears down her cheeks, she reciprocated the gesture with a tender voice.

"Thank you - all of you. I suppose you're right. I'm finally ready to do this, I must tell her."

The three split apart from her to give her positive sounds of reinforcement as they all motioned for her to follow them out the door.

"What about my makeup?" she asked.

"Your makeup is fine. Besides, I have a feeling Applejack may have a surprise for you." the dragon replied.

The unicorn furrowed her brow ever so slightly.

"Really? How can you be so sure?"

"Just a feeling. Now come on, let's go." he quipped, the group beginning their trek back to the beloved Apple orchards.

Meanwhile, at Sweet Apple Acres:

"...and she's been like this ever since." finished Apple Bloom, with Scootaloo silently nodding in worry as Big Mac and Granny Smith viewed the horrified, mouth-gaping, catatonic state of the working pony with their own bouts of concern.

The elder Apple ponies glanced over at each other as if thinking the same thing.

"Mac, do the thing." Granny ordered; the stallion giving a gruff nod in response.

With a deep breath, he walked up to Applejack and...

"Apples or Strawberries?"

Snapping out of her trance, Applejack turned to Big Mac, her face deep red as she shoved a hoof in his chest.

"HOW DARE YA'LL SAY SOMETHING LIKE THAT! EVERYONE KNOWS APPLES ARE..." but she soon paused as she noticed the group of ponies surrounding her.

Taking her hoof off of her brother and bashfully rubbing it at the ground, she began to acknowledge everyone else.

"Uh... hey ya'll. Ah'm guessing ah did the 'zone-out' thing again, huh?"

Everyone nodded.

"Right. So, ah'm just gonna..." she tried to turn around for a hasty retreat.

"Sis, we all know ya have a crush on Rarity." Apple Bloom dryly replied.

Her body tensing up, the older sister gave a fake grin that not even a foal would buy.

"What?! Apple Bloom, that's the silliest thing ah've ever heard! Where would ya even..."

"We saw the way you avoided looking at her when she wanted to hang out with you." equally dryly replied Scootaloo.

"And we all know that the chores haven't been 'hectic'." mentioned the earth pony filly.

` "Well... ah.... ya see....the thing is...." the mare stumbled, sweating profusely as she tried to escape the room full of knowing, judgmental eyes.

"Wait a sec, Rarity?! As in that fancy pancy unicorn ah see you going gaga about? Ya'll still haven't asked her out yet? Sheesh, yer slower than molasses girl." Granny Smith sighed with an annoyed roll of the eyes.

"Wait... ya'll knew as well?!" Apple Bloom pointed a hoof at the elderly pony with her eyes widening.

"Well, sure." Granny replied. "Was the most obvious thing in the world. A blind filly could've seen that coming."

"...eeyup." Big Mac quietly replied, not wanting to be as direct as his grandmother, but also agreeing with her in most aspects.

The two fillies awkwardly glanced at each other, not wanting to bring up the fact that Spike was the only one who had noticed the circumstances earlier.

"Woah, woah, woah, hang on a sec. Yer telling me ya knew the whole time?" Applejack all too haphazardly asked, having just gotten rid of the shock that everyone seemed to know about her troubles.

"Mmm hmmm." Granny and Big Mac nodded.

"...and yer... ok with it?"

Granny seemed to notice that last answer was more directed towards her than the stallion as she slowly focused her attention on the slightly quivering form of the normally bold pony.

"What do ya mean by that?" Granny slightly glared as her voice seemed to be laced with suspicion.

The mare coughed in her hoof lightly as she started looking everywhere but at the fragile pony in the room.

"Well... it's just.... the family.... and tradition.... and...."

Granny's eyes slowly took on a more concerned look as she began to piece together why her granddaughter was so apprehensive. Slowly hobbling over to the mare, she placed an elderly hoof on her back, drawing the frantic pony's attention.

"Applejack, when ah first met yer mother, ah made the terrible mistake of not accepting her. Ah wanted her to stay away from yer father and keep away throughout most of their early relationship. But then they got hitched behind our backs and ah saw them so happy, only to see your Grand Pear turn away his own daughter."

The three Apple siblings felt a harsh sting of sadness, recalling the story of their parents' love and some of the tragic implications that proceeded. While Scootaloo wasn't aware on the full details of the story, she draped a hoof over the young filly's back, knowing that this was a rough topic for her, having little to no memories of her folks.

"In that moment, ah knew ah wanted nothing more than to accept them, to show them that ah loved them. That ended up bein' the best decision of mah life. They gave me three beautiful grandkids ah wouldn't want to go without - before...before they passed away..."

All the Apples in this room, as well as Scootaloo, had tears in their eyes at this point, touched by the mare's sentimental words as well as the loss she was describing.

"That's when ah realized... if ah hadn't grown with them, ah'd have missed out on so much. Yer Grand Pear wasn't so lucky - he's gotten to know you kids now, but he never saw his own daughter again. Ah don't know what ah'd have done if ah turned my son away, only to find out ah was too late."

Granny wiped her eyes before allowing herself to finish.

"The point here is ah almost wasted the chance to be with one family because of beliefs and traditions, ah'd be stupid to try the same thing again with you! "

Her tone abandoned its harshness as it dissolved back into a much more nurturing one.

"Applejack, ah love ya no matter who ya love or what ya do, and if anyone in our friends and family has a problem with it, then maybe they shouldn't be welcome on the farm. Because the ones in our family are the most important things after all."

Applejack tried to keep from outright bawling as she struggled to hold back the tears in her eyes with a snort.

"Granny... ah... thank you. All of you."

Suddenly, everyone rushed into the cowpony for a powerful group hug as they enjoyed the sanctity of the embrace for a good while. As they let go though, Applejack asked one more important question.

"Do ya'll think she feels the same way though?"

"I know I do."

Suddenly, all eyes inside the barn shifted towards the entrance only to discover a certain unicorn standing in the doorway with warm salty tears in her eyes - Spike, Sweetie, and Gabby appearing behind her, warmly smiling at the Apple Family - before they all made their way inside.

"Rarity." Applejack choked out as she slowly made her way over to the unicorn. "How much of that did ya hear?"

"Well thankfully, we got here just in time to hear Granny Smith's beautiful story - thank you by the way for your kind words." she sweetly acknowledged the elderly mare, receiving a firm smile and nod in response.

Meanwhile, the rest of the creatures made their way to a section of the room to admire a hopefully heartwarming moment between the two ponies.

"Nice job on the timin' by the way." whispered an impressed Apple Bloom.

"We were just lucky to be able to console Rarity in time." Sweetie Belle retorted with a sigh of relief.

"Think that'll be us one day?" asked Gabby as she leaned in towards Spike's ear.

"Heh heh. Maybe." a rather rosy cheeked-dragon muttered.

"Shhhh! Quiet! The show's about to start!" admonished a flighty Scootaloo.

"Rarity, ah'm so sorry. Ah knew you'd been tryin' to give me hints...."

"I was?" innocently inquired the unicorn.

The farm pony gave her a deadpan glare.

"You've willingly visited the farm more in the last few weeks than ya have in the years we've known each other."

"Right, sorry. Please continue."

"Anyways, ah knew you've been wanting to say something, but ah kept hidin' the truth and pretended ah didn't notice because ah didn't want to hurt your feelings if the family didn't approve."

"But we do!" offered Granny, much to the pair's delight.

"Right, but ah... ah'm sorry ah kept knowingly pushing ya away."

Rarity cupped the mare's cheeks with her hooves as she stared lovingly into her eyes.

"Darling, it's alright. I understand. I've been hiding the outright truth from you as well. The fact of the matter is I've sort of had feelings for you for a long while know, but only recently did I have the courage to act on them. I'm to blame too for trying to 'not so subtly' tell you after all this time of secret pining."

Applejack blushed as she felt a warmth radiate through her.

"Ya don't have to hide from me, Rare. Ah'll always be your friend - whether we're at the spa or having fights at a sleepover." she winked.

Rarity giggled into her hoof before she came to realize something as she lowered her hooves and shied away ever so slightly.

"I just... I didn't know if you'd have feelings in return or not."

The earth pony stood there stunned before it was her turn to cup the other's cheeks as she too gazed warmly into the unicorn's eyes.

"Of course ah do, ya silly mare. Yer one of the most beautiful creatures I know - inside and out. Besides yer radiant charm and the way you carry yourself with such grace, yer one of the kindest, most generous ponies I know. Ya care deeply for those around ya and ya do anything it takes to make those around you happy. Ya have such a big heart inside of ya'll and ah'd love to be a part of it."

"Oh, Applejack..." Rarity cooed as she felt happy tears barricade her eyes. "I feel the same way about you."

The two mares both hugged before they lightly pulled away from each other with warm smiles.

"So, ya want to try this relationship thing and see if it works?" Applejack asked.

Rarity gave a playful snort as she poked a hoof at the mare's cheeks.

"Just don't expect me to work on the farm 24/7. No offense, of course." she motioned to the Apples, who nodded.

"Only if ah don't have to model the latest dresses all day." she retorted as both ponies found themselves laughing.

"I love you Applejack."

"And ah love you too, Rare."

Then, like a magical moment in a romance film, the two mares slowly found their lips touching as they caressed each other in a simple, sweet kiss. A moment that would last forever, a moment that touched any heart who had witnessed it, a moment...

"Felt too forced, take it from the top!" hollered Granny Smith in the background.

"GRANNY!" Apple Bloom and Applejack yelled in horror as the others did their best to hide their chuckles.

"I think our family's growing even bigger." Spike commented as the dragon rushed to the two mares for a playful hug; the other fillies, griffon, and even Big Mac joining in as they all collided onto the floor in a heap of howls and blissful laughter.

The elderly mare merely witnessed this scene with a golden smile as she prodded her heart with a frail hoof.

"That's what it's all about."

Author's Note:

:raritywink: :heart: :ajsmug:

(Also - I may or may not have similar shipping opinions with Gabby. I think me and her should sit down at some point and discuss a certain pegasus.)

Anyways, thanks for reading! See you next chapter!