• Published 1st Oct 2012
  • 17,964 Views, 981 Comments

A Pony Walks Into A Bar... - chief maximus

A Ponyville bartender tends to the booze-related needs of Ponyville seven nights a week.

  • ...

Rainbow Dash

Rainbow Dash

The rest of the evening went by without incident. I decided I'd give Ms. Applejack a day to come and repay her debt before sending Rocko after her. He was a gentle soul, but his size and appearance frightened most deadbeats into coming up with a tab they ran out on. Honestly though, I think she just forgot.

Anyway, wouldn't you know it, around the same time the next day, another stranger came in, looking just as sour as the last non-regular. Unlike the last one, I could have guessed her name by looking at her.

She fluttered over to the bar and flopped down on a stool. "What can I get you, Rainbow Dash?" I asked. Boy, I'd be embarrassed if it wasn't her.

"I dunno," she sighed, "what do you—wait. How'd you know my name?"

Looked like Rainbow Dash was unaware of the giant multi-colored neon sign on top of her head. "Just a lucky guess," I said. "What'll it be?"

"Start me off with some apple cider."

"Comin' up," I replied as I walked to grab a pint glass. She seemed just as distraught as the mare before her, and I might hazard a guess as to why. After all, it can't be easy having your best friend dump their feelings in your lap while you're trying to date their brother.

I slid her pint across the bar and she caught it like a pro. Maybe she was a regular somewhere else?

Ordinarily, I wouldn't start the conversation. I like my patrons to regale me if they wish, but if not, I'm fine to let them sit and drink in silence. Some of them even prefer it that way, and I've got tips to prove it! Anyway, I went ahead and stuck my nose in where it may not have belonged.

"By chance, do you know a mare named Applejack?"

She ran a hoof through her mane and let out an exasperated sigh.

"You could say that." She sipped her cider as she flicked her eyes back up to me. "Why?"

"She was in here yesterday," I said. No need to reveal how much she'd told me. I still wanted a tip, after all. "Seemed pretty upset."

She rolled her eyes. Looked like I was right. "Yeah, well," she began, pausing for a few seconds before setting her glass down. "This cider's out of season."

Everpony's a critic. It's not my fault the farmers that make this stuff only make it once a year! It doesn't exactly keep well, but it's not gonna go 'bad' either.

I gave her a nod and went back to my regulars. I didn't think she'd be much for talking, but as soon as I got back over there, she opened up.

"You ever have somepony assume something about you, just 'cause of the way you look?" she asked. I chuckled a bit.

Now, I'm not the most handsome stallion in Ponyville, but I know my stubble, bit of a gut and affinity for cigars after work can put ideas into a pony's head about what it is I do for a living. You wouldn't believe how many drunks think I can get them mint leaves. I'm only a purveyor of legal drugs! Anyway...

"Sometimes. You don't get to be a bartender without lookin' the part," I replied. "But this ain't about me, is it?"

"Not at all," she said before taking another swig. A brief pause followed before she began her tirade. "Just because somepony's mane is different, and they like sports, doesn't mean they're... a certain way!" she finished. "I mean, just because I don't let ponies rub my hooves or any other part of me at the spa every other day like Rarity, I'm some kind of..." She trailed off into her drink as she chugged the rest of her cider.

"Remember that 'Applejack' that you said you knew?" she asked, wiping her mouth. I nodded. "Yeah well, she came over to my place last night, and she pretty much confessed her undying love for me... 'Nother cider." She exhaled deeply, sliding her mug back toward me. I refilled it and she continued her story.

"Do you have any idea how awkward that is? Especially when I had to hide her brother underneath the bed 'cause she just barged in there like she owned the place!" she finished, sipping a bit on her fresh cider.

"Applejack made it seem like she caught you two together," I recalled, "so why hide her brother?"

A blush fell over her cheeks as she broke eye contact, becoming intensely interested in her mug. "Well, she caught us during one of our... 'vanilla sessions'," she explained, glancing up at me briefly as I raised an eyebrow.

"Vanilla sessions?" I asked.

"Let's just say that when Mac and I have the time to set up, our roleplaying can get a little wild. I didn't think AJ needed to see her brother in his... uhm, outfit."

And it was on that night that the record for too much information garnered by a bartender from his patron was shattered, and its pieces ground up and snorted by rockstars.

"Anyway," she said loudly, getting both of us back on track. I had long since begun cleaning my handy wiping glass as she continued, "Applejack comes over and asks to head to my room—where Mac is hiding," she began, before taking another sip, "and asks to sit on the bed, which Mac is under. Clouds don't have lots of support for earth ponies, even after they drink that cloud walker potion, so we were pretty much sitting on his chest the whole time." She began smiling as she went on, probably the for the first time since walking in.

"I don't know how he didn't make a sound, but he managed to keep quiet until she left," she said, her words broken up by laughter.

"But, Applejack ended up telling me all this about how she's been in love with me since we first met, can't stop thinking about me, blah, blah," she finished, waving a hoof dismissively. It was possible her ciders were already sneaking up on her. Pegasi generally can't hold their liquor as well as other ponies.

"Seems a bit harsh..." I answered.

"Well, it wasn't like I didn't love AJ, I just... didn't love her in the way she apparently loves me," she sighed, putting both hooves over her eyes. "I feel like such a jerk for throwing her feelings back in her face, but I couldn't lie to her!" she lamented. "What was I supposed to do?"

That was a great question. I had never encountered a situation like this during my 'young and reckless' years. I decided to echo what she'd already said.

"Well, you didn't lie to her, which was a good thing. Better for her to know the truth than keep wondering, I guess."

"But why does the truth have to suck so much?"

I shrugged. Didn't have an answer for that one. Often times, the right thing to do is the thing that sucks the hardest.

"So, if you don't mind my asking, what did you tell her?" There I go, sticking my nose where it doesn't belong again.

She sighed heavily. "That I just wasn't into mares... gah! That isn't even true! I mean, have you seen Spitfire?" Of course I had. In fact, I'd be in serious trouble if the wife found the magazines I keep stashed away.

"So I take it the real reason was a bit harder to tell her?"

She took another drink and nodded. "You don't know the half of it."

I gave her problem a moment's pause before trying to lighten the mood a bit. "Too bad you can't just bed them both and be done with it, eh?" I said jokingly. Her face slowly began to light up at the suggestion.

"Hey, you're right!" she said, perking up a bit. "Why can't I just do that?"

I wasn't sure if she was serious, so I gave a rather obvious answer. "They're brother and sister, would be my guess."

Rainbow Dash deflated as soon as I brought this up. "Oh, right. I guess they probably wouldn't be too happy about sharing me," she mumbled, taking another sip of cider. "Not that I can blame them."

I was extremely glad to have defused a potentially incestuous plan hatched at my bar (I've inspired some pretty absurd schemes, but no way did I need that on my conscience), but I could tell this young mare was still in a bit of a bind.

"Sounds to me like you just need to find the right words for her," I suggested.

"Well, duh," she replied, finishing another cider. "That's why I'm here."

I thought for a moment before returning to our conversation. "So, you need to find the right words to tell Applejack why it won't work," I began.

"Yeah... I just said that."

"Right, well start there!" I said, sliding her another cider and noticing my delinquent tab from last night coming through the door. "Why won't it work?"

"Because..." She put a hoof to her chin. "I mean... it isn't because she isn't pretty. She's one of the cutest mares I know. It's not even that I wouldn't consider another mare instead of a stallion, it's just..." I could see she was searching for the words. Best to let her find them on her own. "If something happened and we broke up, or got in a fight, or did something to change the way we look at each other, I don't think I could do without her as my friend," she explained, seeming to discover these feelings as she described them.

"I just... I'd hate myself if I screwed up the amazing friendship we have now. If she weren't there for me to talk to, for me to confide in, I don't know what I'd do." She exhaled, looking up at me with a sincerity in her eyes I don't see much in this business. "I can't risk it. I won't. That may sound selfish, but that's why." After she'd finished her exposition, she slumped back into her chair, wings dropping and ears flattened against her head.

"It ain't selfish, Sugarcube."

I couldn't have timed that more perfectly if I'd tried. Applejack's voice made Dash's ears (and the rest of her) jump to attention as she whipped around on the barstool.

"A-AJ? You heard all that?" she stammered. Even from behind her, I could tell she was as red as the apples on my cider barrels.

"Ah did. Ah'd just come back ta pay my tab," she said, tossing a sackful of bits my way before walking closer to Rainbow. "But Ah heard what you said."

Rainbow looked back to me, then back at Applejack. I could see the panic in her eyes. She was trapped!

"Well... I meant it. Applejack, you're my best friend, and I love you. I'm... I'm just not in love with you." I could tell that cliche hurt her as much to say as it hurt Applejack to hear. "I wouldn't trade what we have for a million Wonderbolt jobs, and I mean that."

"Well, it ain't exactly welcome news, but Ah'm glad you told me your true feelin's."

Rainbow went from terrified to comforted in no time flat. She hopped off her barstool (but not before paying her tab) and embraced Applejack. It's that kind of thing that makes selling booze to drunks, strangers and weirdos all worth it. That, and resolving ponies' emotional crises certainly does well for the old tip jar.

After those two came a knocking, I was convinced a light dusting of liquor could solve any ailment. That is, until a fashionable mare I could have sworn I'd be more likely to see in Canterlot than in Ponyville walked through my door the very next night. Her mane was purple, her coat as white as driven snow. The next night would belong to one: Lady Rarity.

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