• Member Since 15th Apr, 2012
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Twilight floated a second fritter up to her mouth when she realized the first was gone. “What is in these things?” “Mostly love. Love ‘n about three sticks of butter.”


While coming home from the Canterlot rodeo with Applejack, Rainbow Dash spots a strangely familiar pony. The weird coincidence seems to mean something more to Applejack, leading to a conversation about family that may bring two friends even closer.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 57 )

Proofread and improved by DbzOrDie.

This story is set in the same head canon as the one shots Three Little Apples and Of Cottages and Cloud Houses. For more backstory on AJ and Dash's families you can check out those fics.

Someday there might be a longer fic following this (I make no promises.) Fave this if you'd like to read it, I'll send out a blog post if it's ever posted.

I like this universe you're creating around you fics:twilightsmile:

makes me want to read moar!!!

Have a freakin' comment because you deserve it. Once I finish up with my damn reading I'll read this.

Guys, this is important, you need to read more bookplayer.

Seriously guys. Not a joke.



Cute story.

I found this utterly charming in whatever way it is that leaves me with mixed emotions.

(Disclosure: my own personal OC, never seen in any fic, has a tumbleweed for a cutie mark.)

This pulled my heartstrings :heart: Loved the read! :ajsmug:

AppleDash? Aww man, did you have to? With little kisses in public?
Nice story though, you evil shipping person. :yay:

I liked it. There was one problem that I didn't like. First thing you do, you start off with the awkward scene where Dash finds someone who looks like Applejack, but isn't.
I didn't like that too much, specifically the way you did it. Reading it was awkward itself. You should either A) Add a small intro or something before that scene, or B) Change the way the scene is introduced.
That is all. Nothing else that sticks out; will look closer for more things.

Awesome. Awesome, awesome, awesome. I loved everything about it. The intro, Dash's confession without confessing, and the gray-eyed mare's perspective. It was so cute. I just don't even know what to s--


I second this. bookplayer writes some excellent fanfiction.

As usual, loved this one, too. I'm enjoying getting these bits of history. Continuity is awesome.

Pity comments! My favorite kind!
Really, you're an awesome friend. Do you know how many times I've wished for a happy Fluttershy emoticon just for you?


Thank you.

And maybe your OC is related to AJ's birth mother. :ajsmug:

Aww, thank you!


I'm a shipper, what can I say?
Oh yeah, I can say thanks. :ajsmug:

I personally liked jumping straight into the scene. It creates a questions right away- why is there a pony who looks like Applejack? Where is Applejack?
It's just one way of doing things. Sorry if you didn't that part, but I'm glad you liked the story!


Thanks! I have a longer fic idea that builds on all three of these, but I don't know when I'll get to it. You know how many fic ideas I have. :rainbowderp:

Warning! Headcanon detected
Conflicting headcanon found...
Would you like to overwrite C:\Program Files\My little pony: friendship is magic\fandom\headcanon\AppleJack\parents died during her youth.
[yes] no
Overwriting... ... ... ...
New headcanon accepted
C:\Program Files\My little pony: friendship is magic\fandom\headcanon\AppleJack\parent abandoned her at Sweet Apple Acres and she had a sweet childhood. Has been added.

So glad to see you continue this theme of family building. Detailed characters so often have backgrounds as diverse and compelling as they are. The show hints but hasn't yet devoted any significant time to said history. Until they do, if they ever do, there's a fertile, untapped land for ideas and authors. Seeing you carve out your own piece has been a treat because you do it so well.

<<Applejack had done better than last time and having Dash come along seemed to have cheered her up when she lost, so there was a lot less danger of AJ exploring the wide world of agriculture this time.>>
Chronologically this is being set after the season 2 wedding finale, yes? I also liked how you set up the relationship reveal further down with subtler lines such as this one. We see initial friendship in "Of Cottages and Cloud Homes" turn into something deeper in the show as all six characters learn about their special connections to each other, which then takes its next step in this story. Much as I can enjoy a well done "shock and awe" reveal or a character getting hit over the head with a clue-by-four, there's something to be said for natural progression. Since we don't get any narration from AJ's perspective in this story or the first one, and "Three Little Apples" only has the one comment about how she hasn't decided yet who she's into, lines like the above also give the reader a window into her thoughts too. It keeps her returned feelings for Dash from appearing to be out of the blue.

<<Applejack was awesome, and she was Dash's friend. That added to Dash's coolness just by association.>>
This got a smile from me too. Writers sometimes portray Dash's confidence as a mask. I see it more as a forcefield and her friends are the generators. When they're succeeding, her confidence is also high and she can deflect whatever is thrown at her. Moments where her inner turmoil slips out have almost always been in moments where she's by herself, or at least absent from her friends (I can only think of one instance where that wasn't the case). It's one of the reasons I find her bragging strangely endearing rather than annoying. When she does something awesome, yes, she shouts it to the world. But if you're her friend and you do something awesome, she will also shout it to the world.

<<“Did ya' catch her cutie mark, by any chance?” Applejack said. Dash could tell she was trying to sound casual, but there was something hesitant about the question.>>
I always wondered how much Applejack knew (or looked into at some past point) about her natural genealogy. To me, the expression she gave Twilight in "Three Little Apples" contained a layer of inevitable resignation in it, like she knew someone was eventually going to ask. I just got this sense she was holding back. Asking what the mare's cutie mark was seems to go along that line.

<<There's Apple what's-her-name and Apple um, somepony else, and they all have cutie marks that make me hungry.”>>
Hands down, funniest line in the story to me.

<<“She ain't my ma.” Applejack explained without a hint of anger or sadness.>>
Moments like these, and Dash's "That's not what parents do" paragraph, exemplify how differently these two characters see the world and the things in it that are important to them despite all their similarities in personality. And yet, they still work well together when you write their back and forths.

<<Dash blushed, she hated being pitied, but she felt like even AJ's non-existent mom was better than her parents. This was all her dad's fault anyway.>>
This was my favorite paragraph in the story. Just... the abruptness of those two thoughts combined with how well they contrast yet at the same time help define Rainbow's character was amazing. I hope you do continue forward if/when you feel inspired to write that longer fic, because you've certainly set a compelling stage.

<<“Come'ere you!” Applejack's said with a grin, trying to catch Rainbow Dash as the train to parts unknown pulled out of the station.>>
So with all this deserved gush, gush, gush, do I have any real criticisms about your story? Well, no. But I do have a preference. This line above? I would have preferred if that had been the last line in the story, if those last three paragraphs had been excluded.

Let me explain. Despite the fact that this is told from Dash's perspective I felt like the magnifying glass was on Applejack the entire time. This was her story even if we never got in her head. Now, I think she knows a bit more about her birth parents than she lets on, but that's speculation on my part. I don't doubt her sincerity at all though when she says she doesn't want to ask why she was left at Sweet Apple Acres regardless of how curiously she stares at the end. I like her explanation about what family is to her. And that's kinda my thing with character study stories: I want to be there with the character too. If Applejack really doesn't want to know her mother's motivation then I don't want to know either. That way, if she ever changes her mind, it'll be first-hand knowledge for me, the reader, as well. And if I never know... then I'm ok with that. I can guess if I want to, but Applejack defined her position so well it's not important for me that I have to know. Having those three paragraphs at the end then, even gleaning the tiniest sliver of motivation from the mother without AJ's knowledge, I feel like something gets taken away. Yes, I'm weird, I know. And as I said, this isn't a true criticism. The ending was well written and full of emotion. There's nothing wrong with it. My preference is the opinion of one person. I just felt like I should state it.

Overall, this is yet another well written story. The dialogue was at its usual level of quality I've seen in your other works. The imagery was minimal, but since the setting never changed I was able to get a good picture of where everyone was. Dash and Applejack were in character throughout, and I loved the message AJ gets across with regards to her family and her definition of it. An absolutely solid tale and thank you for sharing it!

I'll have to take the blame for those three paragraphs.
I came up with the idea and she decided to roll with it.

I like it, too . . . it's just the way you did it . . . I think it might've been the dialogue. Maybe like a little "Rainbow Dash approached her" paragraph, or something.
You get what I mean?


No way am I giving DbzOrDie the blame there. I always tell people who are pre-reading for me that it's my story and I won't listen if I don't like the idea. I listened, so I must have agreed.

I wrote those because I was a little worried that it was too open ended for a one shot. I do wish now that I'd gone with my gut- less because of First_Down's thoughts than because it's my inclination to leave blank anything I don't have to fill in. I did intend her to be AJ's mom, but it was totally outside the point of the story. I just got spooked by the idea that it was a one shot and the mystery wasn't solved. Totally a mistake on my part, I need to trust my audience way more than that. You all are smart folks.

On to First_Down's other thoughts, which are wonderful and detailed as usual. (Seriously, your comments are like author cookies :pinkiehappy: )

I thought AJ's question about the pony's cutie mark was interesting. Ponies are all essentially wearing their lives on their flanks, but at the same time it's completely symbolic. So knowing another pony's cutie mark (and nothing else) gives you a hint about who they are without giving any concrete information. Which is kind of all AJ wants to know about her birth mother, it's the only real question she asks Dash about her (the rest is just confirmation of what Dash said).

With regards to the differences in how the two act- did you hear about the proposed episode that Lauren Faust talked about that was never made (yet)? All that's known is that it had Dash and AJ finding a pony in the woods who thinks he's a deer. Dash wants to explain to him that he's a pony and bring him to Ponyville, while AJ wants to leave him with his deer family. When I heard that, I thought right away of Three Little Apples, and I think it colored my head canon as to how Dash reacts here.

Also, once again I tried not to make it a black and white issue. Dash's opinions on her upbringing aside, she has some valid points about parents being willing to sacrifice for their children. If AJ had a foal I seriously doubt there's anything in Equestria that would keep her from working her tail off to provide for it, no matter how she feels about her birth mother doing the right thing. What AJ understand that Dash doesn't is what she said about choices, that if a pony is trying to do right and really doing their best, you can't blame them for the outcome. Dash can't understand that, at least in context of her father.

Once again, thank you so much for your comment. It was a joy to read, and I'm glad you liked the story for the most part. And I've learned my lesson with the last bit. :ajsmug:

Well, if you hope that you would have decided not to use those three paragraphs, think of it like this
508 views and 1 person complains/notes that he didn't like the end
If you deleted it maybe more people would've complained that it didn't have a one-shot feeling to it or something :)

Right, but I can't accuratly tell how many people disliked the end now, I only know that First_Down said something. And had I done it the other way, I never would have known how many people disliked it, either. The only question I can actually answer is whether I like the end, and I don't really, for the reasons I said.

I'd actually like it better if we found out it wasn't her mother. Though I did intend for it to be her mother, finding out it wasn't would keep the question of who is her mother mysterious.

If I never came up with the idea you wouldn't have put it in the end
It's all my fault!!:raritydespair:

It was my decision. And it's not the end of the world, if I felt that strongly about it I could delete it, or write something else.

Well, I like the ending so that evens me and first_down out :)


<<I just got spooked by the idea that it was a one shot and the mystery wasn't solved.>>
Don't know if it helps or not, but even without the reveal at the end my first guess would have been that it was AJ's mother. Second guess would have been older sister and third guess would have been aunt. When I was reading, it seemed to me like you wanted Applejack to have the chance to speak with a blood relative and turn it down. Not in a resist temptation kind of way. More in a "re-affirming that the peace she made in her head years ago with this was the right thing to do in her mind" kind of way. And naturally, Rainbow Dash would not be able understand that outlook at first. At least, that was my interpretation of it. If I'm wrong, then I'm wrong.

<<(Seriously, your comments are like author cookies :pinkiehappy: )>>
My comments are delicious but unhealthy?

<<Which is kind of all AJ wants to know about her birth mother>>
So the tumbleweed symbolizes the mother's propensity for being a drifter? Fair enough. It's different - in a good way - to watch a show that has complex characters with multiple facets of personality, and yet their special talents are plastered on their flanks like some billboard you'd see from the highway. It's something I do have to remember.

<<With regards to the differences in how the two act- did you hear about the proposed episode that Lauren Faust talked about that was never made (yet)?>>
Now I have. And now I hope that episode gets made. Although what really fascinates me about that synopsis is how Dash and AJ attempt to handle the situation. Had you given me the general summary, but not disclosed which character was in favor of what, I would have guessed that Applejack would have wanted to tell the pony he was a pony, and Dash would have wanted him to stay with his adopted deer family. You know, honesty and loyalty. But it's good to the see the show, and its writers, handle their characters with care and not always define them by what gets magically tattooed on to their hips.

<<Also, once again I tried not to make it a black and white issue.>>
Usually the best conflict is more than black and white. I thought the points you gave both sides came through just fine. I think I mentioned something similar to you in your last story when Dash and her father were arguing. Neither side, in particular the father because it would have been easy to do, was a prop for the other to verbally wail on. They both had points to make.

<<Once again, thank you so much for your comment. It was a joy to read, and I'm glad you liked the story for the most part.>>
You're welcome and thank you for responding. For the record, I liked the story in its entirety, not just most of the way through. That's why I said I had a preference and not a true criticism. To paraphrase you from earlier, "it's not a black and white issue." Also, it is extremely comforting to know my comments will in no way ever pressure you to change something if you don't want to. That allows me to keep giving honest feedback, which I believe is the best kind.


I'm willing to learn if you're willing to share. Why did you prefer an ending with a character and motive hint/reveal?

I like to know motives behind actions. There's this little guy inside me that basically craves answers to the questions that spring up in fics.
I dislike open-endings for that reason because you'll keep guessing unless the author intervenes.
EX: if a writer writes a story where in the middle he hints at a romance between secondary characters, then I want confirmation if it turned in a real relationship or not. If I have to keep guessing, then I keep thinking of all possible outcomes, good or bad. I'd rather know if they break up or stay together than keep thinking what would happen in that fic universe.

I reckon it's just my thirst for knowledge

I LOVED the ending. Very amazing story. I like the ending more then the rest though.


Sorry for not responding to you sooner. The last few days have been interesting, in the Chinese proverb sense of the word.

I can get behind the pursuit of knowledge in stories. It's one reason why I ask questions when I leave feedback. However, I don't think I go as far as you do with it. Out of curiosity, what's your stance on personal interpretation in literature? If an author writes something, be it a major plot thread or minor, and has no intention of keeping it anything besides open-ended, would you feel comfortable forming your own opinion of what you think happens/happened given whatever facts you've received earlier? I ask because I really liked the example you provided. I thought it displayed the different ways you and I approach a story. Under your scenario, I would request a firm conclusion to a possible romance between secondary characters if and only if the overall story was affected by it in some way. Otherwise, if the characters were well written, I'd be fine with imagining my own resolve for them.

I really don't like to interpreter things that are a result of something in the story or that has an impact on the story. I could make up an entire fictional universe around the fic with the secondary thing fully developed only for the author to completely obliterate it if they get a change of heart and decide to elaborate on it.

If it's just a casual, random thing that doesn't have any real impact, then I'd be happy to let my fantasy rampage on it.

I think that's about the best that I can explain it.


You explained it fine. And you did it more concisely than I did. Casual is one thing but you want to know what happens if different outcomes end up changing the overall story in any way. As I said, I can get behind that sentiment even though I allow concessions depending on the scenario.

Thank you for indulging me, and for being a much quicker replier than I am.

Short and sweet. Any more elaboration, short of making this a middle chapter in a much longer work, would have dragged it out too long and ruined the very nice scene these three ponies had. Just right as it is.

You really do seem to have a way with the sweet little stories. The characters come alive more without the rush of packing as much as possible into a one-shot. This I applaud you for.

I would have liked to see AJ go after the woman, but I agree with her choosing not to and her reasoning behind it. It would be out of character for her because family to her isn't about blood, but who is always there for you at the end of the day. After seeing that, as much as my curiosity pushes me to imagine what would happen if AJ confronted the woman, I'm glad she didn't. Even though AJ isn't the element of loyalty I get this feeling that she would feel as if she betrayed her real family and therefore herself. You just can't have Applejack without the Apples! I just cannot picture her anywhere else other than Sweet Apple Acres, and though her past is seriously heartbreaking, she takes it for what it is and builds her own life despite her past and not because of it. Applejack is one strong pony. :ajsmug:

If I didn't read the other stories beforehand I would say that the relationship between Dash and AJ was too fast and forced, but because of the hints you've put into other stories made it happen beautifully. Dashie is such an awkward pony sometimes. :rainbowhuh: When I first started reading pony fiction AppleDash was an instant favorite, as I continued reading more stories my mind changed. I pictured Applejack with Fluttershy and Dashie with Pinkie. This story, and your previous ones, have brought back my love for AppleDash. Personally, I believe it is the way they are portrayed in other stories, that their similarities and competitive natures is an instant relationship maker. You go beyond that and delve a little deeper into their characters and PROVE why they are so good for each other while still keeping the original basis of the friendship. You give them a perfect mix of seriousness and silliness. :rainbowlaugh:

Definitely love this series :) as well as for the appledash as for the setting/idea behind the Apple family. I want moar, you hear?! :flutterrage:

I think the ending was what made the fic for me. There's just something beautiful about her mother watching over her and seeing how well she's done for herself. It dispels any doubt that her mother had about her decision to leave AJ in a hopefully better home. Her mother still loves her even if she had to give up that joy for herself so that her daughter could have a better life than what she could have provided. She realizes that AJ has her own family as well as everything she needs to be happy and she's content just to know that her daughter is doing well. It's beautiful and selfless. Pure unadulterated love for her child.

:raritycry: That's the kind of story you need every now and again.
I love the ending too :ajsmug:

Very sweet and touching. Using freckles as the tying point to keep calling back to really adds a feeling of depth to the fic.

Will we be seeing more from this continuity?

I do have a story in mind, but I'm not sure when I'll get to writing it.

Loved the story overall, the ending felt a little open ended anyway - <<Maybe there would be hints, the same pegasus with her, maybe even a deep kiss after a tough event. More little reminders for the old mare that she had made the right choice.>>> - will you be continuing this with a sequel?

Overall pinkie rating - :pinkiesmile::pinkiesmile::pinkiesmile::pinkiesmile: / 5

This is calling for another chapter!!pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiegasp:

This is calling for another chapter!!pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiegasp:

I liked this one almost as much as Of Cottages and Cloudhouses. It was a bit more on the somber side, but then it ended on more of a high note. I like stories like that, even though I'm not really known to write them. Also, this is the cutest shipping ever, in fact, you deserve a blue ribbon for it. :pinkiehappy:

How did I just get around to reading this?

My only real problem with it is that the romance aspect seems a little hastily executed. Stares by Rainbow would be one thing, but I feel like a kiss and a confession might be a little bit on the spontaneous side.

But then again, Rainbow Dash is spontaneous, and Applejack does like that about her...

Y'know what? Forget I said anything. I liked this story. No complaints. :rainbowkiss:

Oh mah gawd... This was so sweet! c:


Omg you should make a sequel where they both see her and go after her and have like an adventure hoping to find Applejacks mom that would be SO AWESOME! :rainbowkiss:

This is beautiful! I loved how the mare and AJ never approached each other, and I adored how Rainbow loved AJ's blush! :rainbowkiss:
Have an upvote and a fav! :pinkiesad2:

For the record:

I read this a long time ago, and I didn't vote on it. I still hadn't as of today. I realized that this was silly, as I knew this story back and front, and I must have read it a number of times to have done that, and it is kind of ridiculous to not vote on a story you've read that many times.

So that is where the upvote came from. Because I am a silly dragon. :heart:

This was a nice story, nicely done! :D

This was a nice story, nicely done! :D

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