• Published 28th Jun 2012
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A New Hero - Alex The Lone Wolf

What if there was another pony who joined the pony gang? (Look at longer description...)

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Apple Family Reunion

Episode 60 – Apple Family Reunion

When I awoke, I felt something completely strange and…abnormal… I groaned and opened my eyes slightly. My bed felt different. My whole atmosphere felt off. I sat up and managed to look around while wiping my eyes. I looked to my right, seeing a lamp, photo frame, and vase on a nightstand near the bed. But that wasn't just it. What really caught me was the western equipment on the wall to my left. There was a cowboy hat and a lasso. After having a few seconds to think to myself as I stared sleepily, my eyes suddenly widened.

Am I…?

I looked at the bed, seeing apples everywhere on the pillows. I don't mean actual apples, just depictions.

What the… Am I in Applejack's room? What the hay am I doing in Applejack's room? I don't remember ever coming in here!

I gasped when I heard the door by me open.

"Howdy there, hun." Applejack spoke, walking in and observing me.

"What…?" I could only respond with, completely confused.

"Did ya have a nice sleep?" She asked, sitting on the side of her bed next to me.

"What… I don't even… How did I…?" I looked around, trying to ask questions but unable to complete them fully.

She chuckled. "You know what today is, don't you?"

"Uh…" Was she really asking me this? "Tuesday…?"

"Not exactly…" Applejack answered, shifting her back hooves a little…oddly… "It's our wedding anniversary!"

My eyes widened in shock when I heard this. I even flew back a few inches on the bed. "WHAT?!" I exclaimed.

"Aw." Applejack released a small frown. "You didn't forget about it, did you?"

"Forget? Applejack! We aren't even married! Did you hit your head or hurt yourself applebucking?!"

"Did you hit your head? We've been married for a year already!"

I could only stammer and stutter. "I…but…what…huh…?"

Applejack released a giggle and leaned her head closer to mine. "Hehe, you're so cute when you're like that." I could only stare at her, feeling nervous and still completely jumbled about the situation. "So we're we goin' tonight for our anniversary?"

"…Applejack… We're not married… I'm in a relationship with Fluttershy…" I attempted to reason.

"Don't be silly now!" She responded. "C'mon…" She began giving me these…eyes…as if she was about to do something…out of the ordinary in a calm way. "I betcha a kiss will jog your memory?" She closed her eyes and puckered out her lips.

I began to seriously freak out. She continued bringing her head closer to me. After a moment, I began quickly scattering away from her, continuing to stare at her to make sure she didn't make any sudden moves, but I quickly used my hooves to crawl as fast as I could away from her.

Then, she opened her eyes and noticed me. She brought a hoof to her face and sucked in her bottom lip a bit. She began snickering as I continued staring at her in shock with my heart pumping out of my chest. All of a sudden, I heard laughter out of her room.

"Bahaha!" Rainbow Dash revealed herself from the door, laughing out loud. Soon, she fell on her back towards the floor, kicking her hooves up as Pinkie Pie revealed herself as well. She was giggling loudly as she snorted in between breaths. When Applejack saw them laughing, she began releasing laughter of her own as well.

"Ooh." A moan was heard by Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash. Rarity appeared from the doorway as well, being the only mare to not laugh while the others did. "Why couldn't have I been the one in the prank?"

"Are you kidding?" Rainbow managed to say through battles with her laughter. "You probably would have kissed him for sure! Haha!"

Rarity could only immediately shut her mouth, blushing intensely and holding a hoof to her face in embarrassment.

"Now that that's over," Applejack began. "Why don't you meet us for breakfast downstairs?" She asked me. "I'm sure you're really hungry after that big scare." Afterwards, she began walking out with the others, their laughter slowly fading away into an echo.

I could only remain there with a hoof placed on my heart as if I had just been completely startled or scared.

"…what the buck…?"

After recovering from that…surprise… I slowly began walking downstairs. I looked around to find them. I turned towards the window to see them sitting around a table outside. I took a deep breath and walked out to meet them.

When I was only a few steps away from them, they noticed me and smirked.

"C'mon, Alex." Applejack announced. "We're not gonna bite, I mean kiss." Afterwards, she snickered, sending the rest of the girls, except Rarity, to laugh softly. Rarity rolled her eyes and placed her cheek on her hoof instead.

I sighed and walked towards them. "That wasn't funny… You really had me scared there…"

"Which part?" Applejack asked as I joined them at the table, sitting down. "The kiss or the marriage part?" She questioned, continuing to send a smirk with a jokey tone.

I looked at the large breakfast laid out in front of me, but I seemed to have lost my appetite after the prank. "All of it. You all almost had me believing I was in some alternate reality or something…"

"You have to admit it was pretty funny, haha." Rainbow brought up and laughed.

"How did you all even get me in Applejack's bed?" I asked, really wanting to know how they managed to pull it off.

"You tired yourself out after that amazingly super-duper party we all had last night, remember?" Pinkie Pie explained. "I think you had so much sugar, you crashed!" She giggled.

"I thought it would be a neat idea to prank you right there. You always have the best reactions." Rainbow Dash looked at the others that were involved with the scheme. "We didn't want to do some pretty cheap prank though. It was a rare moment, so we decided to make the best of it. When Pinkie Pie and I finally thought up of an idea to have you married to some pony, we began brainstorming on who would be the married pony. Pinkie Pie most likely would have given the whole thing away, because I'm pretty sure she would have never stopped laughing throughout the prank!" Pinkie giggled at this nonetheless. "Me? Ha. Everypony knows I'm not that type of pony. We were thinking about Rarity, but then we realized how overdramatic she is, so she probably would have given it away too early." Rarity looked away and blushed slightly. "You know how she is, right Alex?"

"…Yeah…" I replied, glancing at her for a second.

"Anyways, we definitely thought about Fluttershy, but we wanted it to be a SURPRISE. You two are already a couple; you'll probably be marrying each other soon!" My eyes widened at this, and then they slowly moved away to the ground in slight embarrassment. "You'd probably actually like the prank, and we all know if someone doesn't freak out, it's not really funny. Twilight, of course, wouldn't have approved the idea of the prank anyway. So finally, we thought Applejack was the perfect pony to be 'married' to you."

"Oh… I see… Well, I guess you girls got me good…"

"Heck yeah we did!" Rainbow emphasized.

"Why don't you have a nice breakfast?" Applejack asked me, gesturing towards the food. "You deserve some delicious food in your belly after that big scare!"

"Yeah, okay…" I looked at the food. It did look delicious… I probably would have eaten as fast as Pinkie Pie, but ever since that prank, it seemed like I needed some time to get over the shock of it. Sure, it wasn't like a devastating prank. It was a good harmless prank. However, the shock was going to take a while to get over.

I managed to eat somewhat. However, our breakfast was slightly interrupted when Granny Smith creakily walked over to our table to speak with Applejack.

"Pardon, Applejack. I need ya to help me find dem box with the reunion things and whatnot! You know the reunion is coming along real soon and we need to start makin' preparations!"

"Of course, Granny Smith." Applejack responded and looked at the rest of us. "Sorry, y'all, but I need to go take care of some important business."

"No sweat, Applejack!" Rainbow Dash stated. "C'mon, Pinkie! Let's go find somepony else to prank!"

"Hehe!" Pinkie giggled and ran off with Rainbow Dash. Applejack walked off with Granny Smith.

"I suppose I shall see you later, Alex." Rarity rubbed her hoof a little embarrassingly, seeming to still be stuck on the prank situation.

"See you, Rarity." I replied to her.

Afterwards, she left in an almost hesitant motion. I looked back at where Applejack and Granny Smith walked off to. I decided I could go see what was going on. Maybe I could lend a hoof?

It seemed that they had headed towards the big red barn, so I began my way over there. Only taking a few steps, I arrived at the doors and slightly pushed the left one open.

"Nope! Not here either!" I heard Applejack's voice.

I walked in and looked around, noticing them looking for something.

"What are you all looking for?" I asked, spotting Applebloom near a bale of hay, working with letters.

"Oh, howdy, Alex." Applejack greeted. "You're still not afraid of big bad me, are ya?" She teased.

"Haha." I responded with a sarcastic, but friendly, tone. "I just thought I could probably lend a hoof or so."

"Well, we'd sure appreciate it!" Applejack answered as she continued looking around. "Our big Apple Family Reunion is tomorrow afternoon, so we're lookin' for our box that holds every single little thing that has been passed down from generation to generation from each reunion."

"Tomorrow?" I inquired. "And you're barely getting started on it right now?"

"Not to worry, sonny." Granny Smith explained. "We've been doin' this for a whole long time now. We've gone through this far enough to have everythin' ready in a jimmy!"

"Well then." I replied. "I'd love to help out. I don't really know what a family reunion is. It sounds nice."

"Never?" Applejack questioned with widened eyes and then narrowed them a bit angrily. "Huh! Don't you worry! When we find that darn box, we'll show you!"

I noticed a darkened area near the ceiling of the barn. "Have you tried looking up there?" I asked, keeping my head still but moving my eyes towards the area.

"I think I did… Let me double-check." Applejack looked towards me. "Alex, toss me that ladder there, will ya?" She pointed towards the wooden ladder on the side of the barn wall. Using my magic, I grabbed a hold of it and placed it where Applejack needed it.

"You know I could just fly up there and check for you?" I mentioned as she climbed up the ladder.

"Haha." Applejack chuckled, reaching the top. "I don't want you to start thinkin' about this morning, freak out, and hurt yourself. I merely rolled my eyes with a slight smirk at her comment. Soon enough, Applejack made an announcement. "Ha! Found 'em!"

She tossed the box towards the hay-filled floor. The impact caused dust to spew out from the box, making me flinch while Granny Smith accidentally inhaled it. "Aaa-choooo!" She sneezed, flying back a few steps.

"Heh! Gesundhoof!" Applejack expressed, reaching the floor level again.

"Why, thank you, Applejack." Granny Smith fixed her mane and turned her attention to the box. "I still can't believe it's been almost one hundred moons since our last family reunion." She shuffled through the box with her hooves and pulled out a quilt. "Aw, I remember it like it was yesterday."

"Well, you have been talkin' about it pretty much every day since then."

"Applebloom?" Granny Smith looked over to Applebloom, who continued to work with the letters. "How them RSVPs comin' along? Who's showin' their muzzle at the reunion?"

"Everypony!" Applebloom exclaimed, throwing out her hooves in a joyful manner while spraying a few letters from the hay.

"Everypony?" Granny Smith repeated in a shocked tone. "Feathers on a goat." She commented towards Applejack. "Are you sure?" She asked Applebloom.

"Well, I got RSVPs from Apples from Yonder Hill, Hollow Shades, Galloping Gorge, Foal Mountain, Apples from Fillydelphia," As soon as I heard that town, I was so glad to know my parents were fortunately not any part of an Apple family. "Tall Tale Town, and all the Apples from Appleloosa!"

"Guh?" Granny Smith seemed to be blown away by the information Applebloom provided.

"Oh! And how could I forget? Manehatten!" Applebloom threw out the letters excitedly. "Babs is comin'!" Applebloom bounced and hopped around jubilantly. "I get to see my favorite cousin!"

"I think we're gonna need a bigger cider trough." Granny Smith expressed, seeming to still be stunned.

I managed to reveal a small grin. "It looks like you all could really use my help. Don't worry." I shook my head. "It'd be my pleasure."

"I suppose usin' your fancy smanshy magic and whatnot could help indeedy with different things." Granny Smith responded and then began walking out of the barn. "C'mon young'uns, let's go get Big Mac to help us with these confangled RSVPs."

Granny Smith began to look like she was going to dash out of the barn, but her elderly age prevented her so. Instead, she only slowly and creakily walked towards the exit with her body lunched forward. Applejack and I shared a smile and followed her out.

The whole Apple family gathered around the table in their home. While Applebloom had brought some of the letters she was looking at, Big Macintosh had to bring the rest of them in a wheelbarrow, literally.

"Whooeee! Looks like the family's grown tenfold since the last reunion!"

"Ten times?" I responded with slightly widened eyes. "And when was the last family reunion?"

"The day when Nightmare Moon came around." Applejack added with a smirk.

"Ten times in such a short period of time…? Wow…" I commented, shocked.

"Yes siree." Granny Smith nodded her head and continued to observe the letters. "I'm gonna be busier than a worm in a rotten tomater tryin' to get everything ready!"

"I could always help out." Applejack reminded.

"Me, too!" Applebloom added.

"Eeyup." Big Macintosh only offered.

"I'll be glad to help out in anyway." I spoke. "Whether it be painting, working, serving, or even just baking and cooking. I may not be a usual baker, but I sure can cook up something satisfactory…sometimes…"

"Oh, I sure would appreciate that. Granny's a little rustier in the giddy-up since the last time the Apples all got together." Granny Smith literally pulled her face up, removing all the wrinkle and saggy parts of her face. I widened my eyes at this, but soon enough they returned.

Applejack and I had a brief moment of exchanging odd looks between each other. Nonetheless, she offered to speak. "You may be a tad old, Granny, but you're as feisty and full of spark as ever—"

"Who you callin' old?!" Granny Smith cut Applejack off in mid-sentence to scold her greatly, frightening her as well as me.

"Uh... I just meant..." Applejack stumbled with her words for a moment. "Why don't you let me take over puttin' the reunion together this time round? Then all you need to worry about is enjoyin' yourself."

"Hmmm." Granny Smith wondered, removing the fierce look at her face. "Alright, young'un, you got yourself a deal. You are in charge."

"I won't let you down, Granny." Applejack assured. You just tell me what the reunion needs, and I'll take care of the rest!"

"I'll do better than tell you what the reunion'll need. I'll show ya!" Afterwards, she stood up and began walking out of the room.

Applejack and I exchanged a look for another time today, wondering what she meant. Nonetheless, we followed her to the next room. She brought out something that appeared to be an old album full of pictures. She took a seat on the couch near the doorway, prompting Applebloom to quickly jump on the couch and sit to her left. I sat by Granny Smith's right while Applejack sat by my right.

Granny Smith opened the album as we began paying attention to her. I already knew what interesting stories she had to tell after Family Appreciation Day back at Applebloom's school. I wasn't going to miss out on what she had to say now. "We've been hostin' these things at Sweet Apple Acres every hundred moons since we first planted roots here in Ponyville.

"Hey, who's that?" Applebloom pointed to one of the pictures in the album.

"That'd be your Great-Great-Auntie Applesauce when she was just about your age." Granny Smith explained and then moved on to the next picture with the same pony in the same position, only a lot older. "Now, she used to go by another name, but everypony started calling her Applesauce after half her teeth fell out when she was makin' apple jam." There I saw her dentures falling into the cauldron. I slightly flinched a bit in…disgust…just imagining apple jam having dentures inside… "Yeah. Never did find them teeth in all those jars."

"Hey! That's you, Granny!" Applebloom pointed to one of the mares lying among the other mares in the picture. In front of all of them was a quilt, and it appeared that they were in the works of finishing it.

"Sure is. Apple family's been workin' on that same old quilt since our first reunion. I thought I could finish that dern quilt, but when I finished one side, the needle and thread just came out like nothin'!" Applebloom returned a giggle. "Well, nopony told me you actually had to knot the end of the thread!" Applebloom released one more giggle.

"Okay, so I'll need to get new quiltin' materials, fabric, needles, thread..." Applejack thought out loud to herself. "You've really been workin' on the same quilt since the first reunion?" Applejack asked Granny Smith.

"Surely have. I don't think we're ever gonna finish that doggone thing!"

"Hey, what's goin' on here?" Applebloom pointed towards another picture while Applejack was thinking to herself as she held a hoof below her chin.

"Well, you know us Apples enjoy a good fritter..." Granny Smith explained. "Why in one of them reunions, the family started noticing all our apple fritters disappearing like magic! At first we thought some dern unicorn was running around and taking all our fritters, but we heard the culprit right under the table! We saw little ol' Applejack under there, her face full of fritter mess!" Granny smith pointed to one of the pictures that had Applejack as a baby. She had cute little pigtails for her mane and sat down holding her tongue out so adorably. Of course, she wore a diaper at the time. "That's how we figured out your sister had the appetite of a full-grown stallion!"

"Aww." I commented looking at the picture and then switching over to Applejack. "Applejack, you were so cute and adorable as a baby."

I was expecting her to return an embarrassed or flushed expression, but instead she continued to mumble things about the reunion. "Better get twice as much honey and flour, then... fifty more buckets of apples... more oil... wood for the fire..."

Nonetheless, Granny Smith continued to flip the pages. "Now, stick an apple in my mouth and roast my rump! This one sure brings back memories." She directed towards a picture of her younger self and another mare. "Y'know how Babs is your favorite cousin? Well, Apple Rose is mine. The two of us entered the seven-legged race every reunion!" Granny Smith looked at the picture for a moment and sighed happily. "Never won a single one of them races."

Applejack sat herself up from the couch next to me and walked towards the barn door, pacing around. "Races. We'll need cloth ties, finish line... not much to a seven-legged race. Hmm..."

"And, of course, we can't forget to take the big family photo!" Granny Smith continued, starting at the first one. "We always snapped a photo in front of the barn at the end of every reunion, let's us see how our family's grown!" Surprisingly, the family did grow significantly…

"Photo in front of the barn. Got it." Applejack checked, leaning on the barn door.

"You sure have some great memories of these reunions, don'tcha?" Applebloom asked.

"Indeedy, and I'm lookin' forward to makin' more this one." She rubbed Applebloom's mane. "Oh, I'm sure everypony is, and I do mean everypony! We got the whole family together this time round! Who knows if they'll all be able to make the next one?"

"That's true!" Applejack added from the barn door. "Busy as everypony's lives are gettin' these days, chances are pretty slim we'll be this lucky next time round." She pushed herself off from the door and walked towards where we were. "Don't worry, Granny, I'm gonna make sure this is the most memorable reunion we've ever had! I'd better get started... I've got some plannin' to do!" She walked back towards her room.

Granny Smith and Applebloom focused their attention back to the album. "Oh, hootenanny! Would you look what your second cousin is wearin' on her head?"

Both of them shared a giggle while I looked back at the direction Applejack left to. "I'm going to see if Applejack could use any help…" I announced and began heading to where she was. When I entered her room, she was already bringing out pencils and paper to start her planning. "Need a hoof?" I asked.

"Oh!" She was lightly startled. "You scared me a bit there, Alex." She walked towards me. "You sure you really want to lend a hoof on this?" She inquired.

"Of course!" I released a heartily smile. "I wouldn't want you stressing over this, to be honest."

"Aw, that's sweet of ya." She expressed.

I walked in and closed the door. "So, what are we working on?"

"I'm just planin' the things I need to prepare."

"Got it." I grabbed one of the pencils with my magic and began writing down the list from what I could remember Applejack speaking of.

"That's just the least of it." Applejack explained. "If you really want to help me out, you're going to have to stay here all night."

I shrugged. "I can make it."

"You sure about that?" She asked, adding a little smirk.

"I've been up longer." I answered.

"Hehe." She chuckled. "Okay." Before she was about to get to work, she stopped herself for a moment and paused. "I guess I should say sorry about the prank this mornin'… I'm starting to think we went a little too far, considerin' you're not the prankin' type."

"Don't sweat it, Applejack." I released an assuring smile. "You didn't scar me for life or anything…I hope…" I joked.

She chuckled once more before she resumed working as I assisted her.

After so much work, my eyes were already starting to droop. I could hear the clock tick and tock every second. I looked at where the hands where. Observing them, I figured out that it was just about to be two in the morning. I looked at Applejack who seemed to be pacing around, too frantic to be tired. "Aren't you tired, AJ?" I asked, noticing her mane which was a bit messy due to the work for the past time.

"I am…but I'm too busy thinking about other things to plan for the reunion tomorrow…" She stopped and looked at the clock. "I mean today…"

"You don't have to go overboard with this." I mentioned. "It's just a family reunion, not an amusement park."

"I know. I know. I just want this to be the most memorable and best family reunion ever." She sighed and walked over to the bed, throwing herself on it for a moment. She laid down and looked at the ceiling. "What if I don't do good?"

"Don't think like that." I immediately responded. "You're going to do great. You've already placed so much thought to this. I think you deserve a big rest for the reunion."

"Maybe…" Applejack began to close her eyes. She seemed like she was about to finally fall asleep until the door opened and we heard a small soft yawn. Applejack rose her body up from the bed as we noticed Applebloom poke her head inside the room and look around, having bed mane herself. "Applebloom!" Applejack spoke in a hushed tone. "What are you doin' up?"

"I was gonna ask you the same thing." Applebloom answered as Applejack sat on the side of her bed.

"I can't sleep. My gears are turnin' in my head about this reunion!" She threw herself on the bed.

Applebloom repeated the same action, yawning again. "Yeah... I can't wait to see my cousin Babs. We're gonna do so many fun things together..."

"Fun?" Applejack sat back up. "That's just the beginnin' of it! Granny Smith handed me the reins of this reunion, and I'm gonna make the most of it!" Applejack jumped from the bed and began skipping excitedly towards the wooden board we had recorded the activities on. "Applebloom, I've got so many things planned you won't even have a minute's rest!"

We heard snoring, causing us to turn our heads towards the bed. Applebloom was soundly asleep. Applejack released a soft smile and placed a small blanket over her little sister's body. "Trust me, little sis." She patted her softly. "This reunion I'm puttin' together is gonna be worth the wait." Applebloom released one last loud snore and then continued to sleep on Applejack's bed.

I yawned and rubbed my hooves on my head. "I guess I better get home then." I sat up and faced Applejack.

"See ya, Alex." She hugged me warmly. "Thanks for staying up late to help me out. I really appreciate it."

"Haha." I chuckled softly. "You're welcome. Goodnight, Applejack. Take it easy, okay?"

"Will do." I began walking out the door, but she quickly stopped me. "Hey, Alex…"

"Hm?" I looked back.

"You'll be comin' to the reunion, right?" She asked.

"Huh…? But I thought the reunion is only for the Apple family?" I questioned.

"Usually… But you said that you've never experienced or even know about a family reunion. I'd like you to come and enjoy it with all of us. After all, you are my honorary family member, right?"

I smiled warmly. "Yeah… Okay, I'd like to come and see the family reunion. Since you're the one who's running it this time, I'm sure it'll be a blast. Heh… My first family reunion with one of my best friends… It'll be amazing."

"Geez, Alex." Applejack slightly blushed and looked away. "You're always makin' us feel good about ourselves. Do you even try?"

"Don't know." I shrugged. "I usually say what I mean."

"Aw." Applejack expressed. "Get outta here before I hug ya to death."

That statement seriously made me want to laugh out loud, but I left it inside. "Hm. I should. I still have much more to look forward in life." We shared a little laugh. "Have a goodnight, Applejack."

"Nighty night." She waved.

Afterwards, I climbed down the steps, careful to make no noises while doing so. Then, I left their home and began heading towards my own…which was actually a pretty a long walk from here.

Heh… What I would do for the girls…

Staying up late last night had me oversleep a bit. I awoke, remembering the reunion and thinking that it might have already begun. I quickly scurried out of bed, fixed my mane a bit, and hurried out the door towards her farm.

I landed from flight, thinking that the wind might increase my speed and I wouldn't sweat so much. I arrived just in time to see Applejack placing the last rope of flags on the pole that held the welcoming fabric as well. She used Big Macintosh to reach the height. "H-ah. Think that'll do it!"

"And just in time, too." Granny Smith commented as Applejack jumped off of Big Macintosh.

Applejack noticed me and smiled. She skipped over to me and greeted me. "Howdy, Alex!"

"Hey, Applejack. I'm sorry. I didn't get to help you with setting up the reunion." I replied.

"Don't you worry about it!" She assured. " Besides, it was my fault for keeping you up late."

"No." I shook my head with a smile. "I stayed up to help you."

"Well, you're just in time to meet the family!" She placed a hoof around me and turned me towards the other direction. "Look! They're here!" A loud rumbling noise sounded from not too far. We saw many ponies arriving using different methods of old-fashioned transportation. I was surprised to see how many ponies came. As Granny Smith went to reunite with her old friend, I noticed other ponies come from the sky. A couple of fillies saw each other and started playing a little rough with each other in an adorable way. It was truly amazing to see how each one of them was joyous to see each other. I could only remain there in awe. Applejack noticed me, excited as well. "C'mon!" She grabbed my hoof and pulled me out of my daze, taking me with her to a megaphone. She tapped it and began speaking into it. "Howdy, y'all, and welcome to the Apple family reunion!" Everypony came to pay their attention to her. They all cheered loudly. "My name's Applejack, and I just want to let y'all know that I got a real big day planned for ya! But, first off, I'd like y'all to meet a very special friend of mine!" She presented me. "His name is Alex!" As soon as the rest of her family saw me, they immediately grew quiet as they stared at me. Applejack noticed this and quickly began to resolve the problem. "Don't worry, folks. He may be an Alicorn, but don't let that stop you from enjoyin' this reunion! He just wants to be treated like any other pony, nothing more! Got it?" They looked at each other and cheered nonetheless, quickly recovering from their shock. Applejack turned her head to me and returned a smile with closed eyes. Afterwards, she faced back to the audience. "Now, we're gonna start off with an obstacle course for the young'uns, and some fritter makin' and quiltin' for the not-so-young'uns. And there's lots more to come after that! Hope y'all enjoy it!" The family released a mighty cheer, ready to begin the reunion. "You're gonna love this, Alex!" Applejack told me. "It's gonna be the best one we've ever had!"

I released a soft but energetic smile. "I know it is, Applejack. I can feel it already."

Applejack looked over to the crowd and seemed to notice something. "It's Babs Seed!" She exclaimed.

"Babs?" I asked. "Hm. I wonder how she's been doing ever since the last time she visited Ponyville…"

"Come on." Applejack gestured her head towards the area where she was. "Let's go see her!" As we began walking to approach her, we saw her speaking with Applebloom. Applejack grew excited, so she called out for her again. "Babs! Huh, so glad you could come!"

"What am I, gonna miss out on spendin' time with my favorite cousin? Forget about it!" She blew her mane away from her face again.

"I'm glad to see you again, Babs." I expressed. "I'd really like to hear how it's going for you now."

"Well, I—"

"Why don't you two head over to the obstacle course?" Applejack offered, cutting Babs in mid-sentence.

"We kinda wanna catch up a little bit first..." Applebloom responded as Applejack began pushing the both of them towards the obstacle course.

"Don't you worry. There'll be plenty of time for family bondin' while you're racin' against your other cousins."

Applebloom and Babs exchanged a look with each other. I faced Applejack. "I'm not so sure you can bond when you're racing…"

"When everypony gets together later on, everypony will have time to bond. Trust me. It's only the beginning!"

"Alright…I guess."

Applebloom and Babs tied their hooves together with a rope, along with two other couples of fillies. They lined up at the starting line as Applejack and I stood by them.

"Alrighty, ponies! Ready to have some fun?" Applejack asked.

"Whoa, is that the finish line?" Babs asked, pointing towards a hill with a barely visible flag. "It's like a mile away or somethin'!"

"Actually, that's just the marker where you go on to the next leg of the race." Applejack explained.

"There's more?" Applebloom asked as both Babs and her presented a worried expression.

"Much more. Trust me, I have put together somethin' you are never gonna forget." Applejack walked towards the front of them.

"Maybe a little too much…?" I muttered.

"After the seven-legged race you're gonna wanna hurry up and head over here," she pointed and ran over to a bucket full of apples. "…where you'll be bobbin' for apples!" She dove her head inside the water and brought out three apples with her mouth. "Then you'll run around these trees…" She quickly dashed over to several trees and demonstrated. "…fifty times until you're real good and dizzy, then you'll jump these big wooden hurdles," She continued demonstrating. "…and then there's the final leg, where you'll balance plates on your head while sayin' "Pappy pony picked a pluck of prickly pluffnuggets" over and over and over again." After the final obstacle course, she raced back towards the front of us. "Last pony standin' wins!"

The fillies remained silent for a moment, only returning a stare towards Applejack.

"...Seriously?" Applebloom asked, pointing a hoof up.

"Seriously!" Applejack quickly answered. "C'mon, y'all, let's start makin' some memories! On your mark... get set..." Applejack held up a flag. "…go!" She waved it, initiating the start. The fillies began running, except for one couple that accidentally tripped as soon as they began. However, they quickly recovered from their fall and continued on, attempting to catch up with the others. Applejack chuckled. "Looks like they'll be havin' a good time."

Noticing how they might be eventually having trouble with the insanely long obstacle, I faced towards Applejack. "Why don't you let me watch the fillies? I'll take them back to the barn when they're finished."

"That's mighty kind of you, Alex!" Applejack responded. "Sure! I'll go get the quilt started!" Afterwards, she rushed out, continuing to seem very excited.

I looked out towards the fillies and decided they could use some help…

Applebloom and Babs Seed were in first place, sprinting through the course with perfect precision even with both of their hooves strapped together with a rope. I have to admit Applejack did go a little overboard with this activity. Even with the accurate steps the fillies made, they were still too far from the checkpoint. I flew towards Applebloom and Babs, catching and keeping up with them as they were slowing down on their running. They sweated and breathed heavily as they were growing tired.

"Hey, you two." I greeted, flapping my wings lightly. "You both sure look like you could use some help…"

"Help…?" Applebloom questioned tiredly. "How?"

"Well, first off… Why don't you two go ahead and…" I glanced over to where the flag was. "…skip the part of going all the way over there…"

"Skip…? Wouldn't that be cheatin'? We have to reach the flag first before movin' on."

"Well in that case…" I increased the pace of my wings and flew over to the flag. Using my magic, I grabbed ahold of the flag and pulled it off the ground. After, I flew back towards Applebloom and Babs and placed the flag a few steps in front of them. "There you go." They looked at each other and returned a light shrug. Afterwards, the passed the flag and finally stopped to catch a break. As they regained their breath, I could see the other fillies running up to the area we were in. "At least you only have to bob for apples for the next round."

"I guess you're right…" Applebloom responded.

I led the fillies towards the apple bobbing station, where I began watching them. They were just dunking their heads in the bucket with water and apples, so there wasn't much of a safety hazard. However, I was waiting for the rest of the obstacles to make sure they didn't hurt themselves.

"Howdy, Alex!" Applejack dropped by. "How are the little ones doing?"

"Oh, they're fine." I responded, feeling a little nervous and hoping she wouldn't realize that I cut the race short. "They just started bobbing for apples."

"Huh. Really? That was fast…" Applejack mentioned.

"Yeah…" I chuckled a little nervously.

"Dang! They must be so full of energy! I should've made the running longer!"

"…I think it was long enough, Applejack." I replied as I continued to watch the fillies struggle to retrieve apples with their mouths.

"If you say so. Say, why don't you come and meet more of my family? We can eat some delicious home-made apple fritters! Whaddya say?" She offered.

"That sounds great, but can that wait until the girls finish the obstacle course? I really just want to make sure they're safe…"

"Oh, they're fine!" Applejack emphasized. "I made sure there'll be no harm in this obstacle course."

"Are you sure about that…?" I questioned, remembering and specifying towards the dizzy tree part of the course.

"Like a cow on milking day!"

I looked back and sighed a bit. " I suppose I can spare just a few minutes…"

"Great! C'mon!" Applejack immediately grabbed my hoof and almost dragged me away from the fillies.

When we reached the area where the fritters were being made and eaten, we saw cauldrons and tables. Big Macintosh was at a table with a steaming apple fritter in front of him. He stuck out his tongue and appeared to be attracted to it, eyeing it carefully. As Applejack and I walked towards him, he immediately sucked the fritter into his mouth and began to chew. Applejack reached the table and noticed the fritter was gone as Big Macintosh gulped. Applejack returned a not-so-angry-but-odd-stare at him as he whistled and looked back nervously.

When Applejack turned her attention towards the fritter-making mares, he quickly took evasive maneuvers to escape the situation.

"You've got eight now, dont'cha?" One asked the mare next to her.

"Oh, sure do. Tell you what, my Apple Tart may just be a baby, but he is a hoot!" The other mare responded.

"Havin' fun?" Applejack asked them as I noticed Braeburn walking by with a platter of hot apple fritters.

I decided I could say hi, since I hadn't seen him for quite a while since that whole feud with the buffalo and ponies.

"Hey, Braeburn." I greeted as he placed the platter on the nearby table.

He noticed me and looked slightly puzzled. "Howdy, uh…Alex, right?"

"Yes, sir." I responded. "Do you remember me? I was with Applejack and the others during the whole hostility between the buffalo and the settlers."

"I remember now. Those were some crazy times…" He shook his head with a slight grin as he looked back in thought. "So you're Alicorn? How? I don't remember you bein' like this back then."

"You know… I really hate to say this, but it's a long story. Really, it is." I answered. "I mean, I'd love to tell the story to anypony that wanted to know, but it's too long to recall in words and you don't know how exhausted I'd be after sharing the events to every single pony that wanted to know."

"Oh, don't worry. I hear ya." He looked to the side. "I better get goin'. I still need to set the apple fritters. It was nice talkin' to you, Alex."

"You too, Braeburn."

Afterwards, he moved along to continue his work.

"That's it! Gotta keep this assembly line movin', gals! We want every Apple here to get a chance to taste the best darn fritters in Equestria!" I heard Applejack say to the mares that were working.

"What's going on?" I asked, walking towards her as she was ready to leave the area.

"I'm just givin' them a few tips to make the best fritters we'll ever eat." She replied.

"Oh." I glanced back to see them working on the fritters. "Okay."

We walked out, reminding me to go see how the fillies were doing.

"I should go check on the girls, just to make sure they're alright…" I mentioned.

"No worries, partner. I'm about to give everypony a nice little break, c'mon!" Applejack led me back towards the area where she had the megaphone in order to make an announcement for everypony. She placed a hoof on it and lowered enough to bring it to her lips. "Alright, Apples, break!" Everypony immediately fell to the floor, looking exhausted. "Ooh," Applejack expressed as she began aiming a camera at different spots. "…can't forget to capture all these memories for Granny's album! Huh. Nothin' all that memorable there. Or there. Or there." I looked at the areas she observed. Why did everypony appear to be so weary? The area with fritters really surprised me. They had already made so fritters, it looked as if they could last a whole year. "C'mon, Applejack, think... you gotta kick this thing up a notch! Hm..."

"Uh…Applejack…" I mentioned. "Have you been…working them too hard?"

"What do ya mean?" She asked.

"Look." I pointed. "The fillies are tired from the obstacle course. Granny Smith and the other elders are rubbing their hooves as if they were sore. And the fritter makers made too many apple fritters!" I faced back at Applejack. "It doesn't look they're getting to enjoy the reunion at all. You know… They aren't reuniting with each other… They're working instead."

Applejack gasped. "That's it!"

"What?" I questioned.

"That's what I can do! I can organize a hay ride through the orchards!"

"Oh." I reacted with widened eyes. "Y-yeah… That's a good start."

"Haha." She chuckled and ruffled my mane a little. "I knew you'd like it. Can you tell the other ponies to come near the west orchard?"

"Yeah, sure."

"Great! I'm going to get the hayride started. See ya then, partner!" She waved and ran off to accomplish her duty.

I waved as I watched her leave. Well, at least she's finally offering the family to bond a little in a gentle hay ride. Come to think of it… I don't think I've ever been in a hay ride before… Hm… I wonder what it's like… Anyway, I better get going and tell the other Apples.

Afterwards, I began at the fritter area, having a bite of their delicious fritters while directing them towards the area Applejack told me about.

Once I had notified everypony, I followed one group to the location. Once I was there, I saw a couple of stallions holding a cart full of hay behind them. Huh… Looks nice so far…

It was a moment until Applejack arrived with Babs Seed and Applebloom. "Alright, everypony! Step right up, take a seat, and leave the drivin' to these stallions!" She directed, pointing towards the inside of the cart. I walked inside, taking a seat next to a fellow pony. The three other ponies seemed to glance at me, appearing to be amazed as they were actually near an Alicorn. I couldn't help but feel a little embarrassed, wishing a bit that they wouldn't look at me so much because of my appearance… Applebloom and Babs walked inside to take a seat by me as well. Another elderly mare walked in and sat near Babs. I believed it was Applesauce or so? "Now, I know ya'll've been workin' real hard makin' some awesome memories, and in all of our past reunions, we always had a nice and relaxin' hayride around the farm." Applejack continued to speak as a few more ponies, including Granny Smith, sat on the other side of the cart. "Which is why I decided to change things up a bit, and try somethin' just a wee bit more excitin'."

It appeared Applejack was staying out of the cart, so I brought it up. "Hey, Applejack… Aren't you getting in too?" I asked.

"Nope! I've got somethin' better in mind, so let's get this show on the road!" She closed the gate for the cart and fiercely kicked the end of it. "Giddyup!"

As soon as she said that, the cart began moving at much higher speeds than I was expecting. Everypony tried to keep still as the wind was roughly blowing at us. "Whoa!" They all expressed.

"Umm." I announced rather a bit shakily. "Is this what a hayride is supposed to be, or is it some kind of Apple family tradition?"

"Neither!" Applebloom exclaimed.

After a moment, the cart hit a nasty bump along the ride, causing for everypony to jump a little. Applesauce's dentures chattered and accidently flew out, biting Big Macintosh on the nose.

"I just had those professionally polished." She mumbled. Speaking without her teeth, I was unable to hear her clearly.

"Where in the world does that girl have us headed?" Granny Smith asked. "The west orchard?"

Big Macintosh walked to the front and placed a hoof above his eyes. "Eeyup." He answered.

"What?!" Granny Smith immediately exclaimed. "I was jokin'! Why, we haven't tended those fields since all the trees went and got filled up with…" She suddenly paused for a moment and later gulped, sucking in her lips significantly in a frightened motion.

"What?" I inquired. "What's wrong with the west orchard?"

"Those trees got infested with fruit bats!" Applebloom answered.

"…fruit bats…?" I asked. I looked over and noticed our distance between the trees and the cart growing less. All of the sudden, fruit bats invaded the sky, hovering above us. What I found impressive was that the fruit bats together actually depicted a rainbow, due to their different coats of color. Everypony released sounds of awe as they observed the sky.

"Wowsa!" Babs exclaimed. "Never seen real fruit bats before!"

I smiled in amazement. It sure was an incredible display to go along with the hayride. However, a bolt of fear struck me when I saw one of the fruit bats looking our way. Remembering that a lot of the Apple family were working with apples, I turned my head towards them and revealed a hint of worry. "Um… No pony brought any fruits...did they…?"

All of sudden, they came raining down upon us like water drops falling from the sky. They began swarming us like bees, causing for everypony to release cries of panic and yelps. The fruit bats caused for the stallions running the cart to drift off course and head straight for the barn.

"Everypony! Jump out!" Applebloom cried out when she realized this.

Everypony immediately began getting out of the way, including the stallions.

"Wait! Hold on!" I exclaimed, even though they didn't hear me from all the panic. "I can stop this!" I tried activating my magic, but as soon I saw the barn growing closer to me by the second, my nerves prevented me from casting anything that could help. I tried working my horn, but it was as if trying to light a lighter with no fuel. Before I could see if I did anything, the cart immediately crashed into the barn, having every fruit bat scatter and scamper away in flight. I groaned from the impact and looked above me to see the ceiling shake terribly as if everything was about to fall down. "Oh Celestia…" I muttered. As soon as everything began crashing down, I immediately flinched and braced myself for whatever to come, hoping I would cast a spell in the process.

There were many loud noises and crashes as I held my eyes shut. However… I didn't feel any pain or damage to my body… Once the cacophony halted, I slowly opened one eye. I fully opened both of them when I noticed a dark blue bubble around me. There were many planks of wood that could have landed on top of me, but the bubble prevented so. I allowed my horn to rest, which then allowed the planks to touch me. I pushed the planks off and away enough for me to escape without a scratch.

When I was out of the rubble, I noticed Applejack running towards me. "Alex, are you okay?" She immediately asked.

"Yeah, yeah. I'm fine…" I dusted off my shoulder a bit. "I guess I was able to protect myself…but I couldn't protect the barn from being demolished. I'm sorry, Applejack…"

Tears began forming in her eyes as she noticed the mess behind me. "Don't be… It's my fault. Look at it…" She pointed towards it. "Ruined. Everythin' is ruined." Her lips trembled. I could only frown at her distraught. There was a crunch as a wooden plank tore from another and fell towards the bottom of the rubble. Applebloom and Granny Smith joined us. "Oh Granny, I'm so, so sorry..." She rubbed her hoof on the dirt.

"Oh, it's alright, child." Granny Smith advised.

"But it's not alright." Applejack countered. "Just look at this!" She walked a few more steps towards the pile of rubble and harshly sat down. "The barn, and all my plans for the perfect family reunion are completely destroyed!"

I walked to her side, wanting to comfort her.

"Maybe that's a good thing." Applebloom offered to her big sister.

"How can that possibly be a good thing?" Applejack asked in a lightly angry manner.

"Applejack, you had us so caught up in all the doin', we haven't had a second to enjoy the company of the folks we've been doin' it with!" Granny Smith brought up as I heard everyponys' hooves step on the ground as they gathered around us.

"Really?" Applejack asked in surprise. Everypony agreed. "Oh Granny Smith, here you let me be in charge of creatin' great memories, and the only thing anypony's gonna remember about this reunion... is that it was the worst one we ever had…" Applejack's tears began to flow once again.

"Hey…" I placed a hoof around her and brought her closer to me, placing a small smile on my face. "Your whole family is still here. Isn't that the main idea of this reunion thing?" She turned her head to see me as water still nested in her eyes. "Listen… I've never been to a family reunion, or any reunion for that matter, but from what I can understand, it's supposed to be a family reunion. The activities shouldn't matter. They don't make the reunion great. It's the reunion that makes it great. Reuniting with the ones you love."

"He's right, Applejack." Granny Smith added. "There's still plenty of time to make good memories! You've just got to give everypony a chance to actually make 'em."

"The family photo!" Applejack immediately perked up and raised herself. However, she lowered herself down sadly. "Guess we can't take it in front of the barn this year..."

"Not unless you can get the barn up together." I glanced towards the destroyed barn.

This caused Applejack to release a light gasp. "Everypony! I have one more activity!"

"Applejack..." Granny Smith strained in a scolding manner, believing it would be another one of Applejack's troublesome activities.

"Trust me, Granny Smith. This'll be one we'll remember for all the right reasons." Applejack winked, removing her doubt. Applejack called three of her relatives to come up, confusing me a bit. She whispered to them. Each of them grinned and nodded. Then, they each pulled out a different instrument, one being a harmonica, another being a violin, and the last one being a banjo. Applejack tapped her hoof on the ground four times in a rhythmic motion and suddenly the air was filled with delightful country-styled music. "Yee-hoo!" She cheered and began singing.

"Raise this barn, raise this barn

One, two, three, four

Together, we can raise this barn

One, two, three, four" A grin formed on my face as Applejack grabbed Granny Smith's hoof and twirled her around.

As Applejack continued with the lively and motivational music, the entire family, especially me, helped rebuild the barn. I grabbed some beams of wood with my magic and lifted them up to build the structure of the wall.

"Up, up, up, go the beams

Hammer those joints, work in teams

Turn 'em round quick by the right elbow

Grab a new partner, here we go!"

"Yeah!" Her entire family cheered and began to dance, each with a partner.

"Come on, Apple family! Let's get to it!" Applejack motivated as I stood by her in amazement. "Wee-hoo!" She cheered loudly and lifted her hat up into the air.

"Raise this barn, raise this barn" I decided to sing along as Applejack allowed me to. We were both on top of a structure of a wall as ponies were lifting the actual wall.

"One, two, three, four

Together, we can raise this barn

One, two, three, four

Finish the frame, recycling wood

Workin' hard, you're doin' good

Turn 'em round quick by the right elbow

Grab your partner, here we go!"

"Yeah!" The Apple family cheered, especially as we were already finished with the basic framework of the barn.

Applejack caught me by surprise when she grabbed my hoof and began dancing with me, leading me into energetic and quick steps.

"Raise this barn, oh, raise this barn" We both continued together.

"One, two, three, four" Applejack held out some apple fritters to further increase the production process. I delightfully grabbed one and bit into it as other family members took one as well.

"Together, we can raise this barn

One, two, three, four

Slats of wood come off the ground

Hold 'em up and nail 'em down

Turn 'em round quick by the left elbow

Grab a new partner, here we go!"

"Yeah!" The Apple family cheered once again, presenting a very neat produce of the barn!

"Come on, Apples! Get 'er done!" Applejack inspired significantly.

Applejack and I dashed over to Applebloom and Babs Seed, who were trimming a large piece of wood nicely together. They stood at each end and tossed the trimmer to each other in a controlled and rhythmic motion.

"Look at us, we're family!" Applebloom sang.

"Workin' together thankfully!" Applejack and I added.

"We Apples, we are proud to say!" Applebloom continued.

"Stick together the pony way!" We all finished.

"Bow to your partner, circle right" Applejack continued.

"Get down if you're scared of heights" She advised towards a pony holding on to a piece of wood on the roof. I decided to surprise Applejack as she did to me, so I grabbed her hoof as she continued to sing.

"Forward back and twirl around" I did exactly as she instructed, twirling her around. I allowed her to lean towards the floor before I caught her with my hoof across her back, holding her up.

"The barn's gonna be the best in town"

"Yeah!" The family cheered once more.

Applejack noticed Applebloom riding an ox energetically as it was bringing in some more supplies. "Yee-haw! Attagirl!" She cheered as she remained in my hooves.

"Alright, let's get to it!" Applebloom expressed jubilantly.

"Raise this barn, raise this barn" We all continued, bringing in buckets of red paint as we were ready to paint the almost finished barn.

"One, two, three, four

Together, we can raise this barn

One, two, three, four"

When we had brought the buckets, along with the paint brushes, Applejack was ready to instruct us.

"Take your brushes, young and old

Together, paint it, bright and bold

Turn 'em round quick by the left elbow

Grab a new partner, here we go!"

Feeling so alive, I grinned and held my brush with my magic. I began painting the barn along with the others. The paint was finished so quick, it was truly amazing to see how the family worked so well together. Soon enough, the violin, along with the song, slowed down, but continued the rhythm.

"We raised this barn, we raised this barn" We all sang as we gazed at our finished product. I stood by Applejack.

"Yes, we did

Together we sure raised this barn

Yes, we did

Being together counts the most

We all came here from coast to coast" Applejack readied a camera to take a picture of all us in front of the barn. I looked at Applejack and gestured my head towards us, insisting that I would take the picture by pressing the button with my magic. She presented a warm smile and ran back towards us.

"All we need to strive to be" Applejack arrived and sat by my left. I beamed as I continued singing, placing a hoof around Applejack and looking at her for a moment.

"Is part of the Apple family" We all finished as I turned my eyes towards the camera.

"Yeah!" Finally, I used my magic to activate the camera.

Afterwards, everypony was enjoying the rest of the reunion. As they did, I couldn't help but feel this really warm feeling in my heart. I looked in the scrapbook where the new family photo was placed. I smiled warmly as well, feeling so…gifted to have taken the family photo with them. It was really exciting and so…swell…

I looked up from the scrapbook to see members of the family beginning to leave.

"I can't wait for the next reunion!" Applebloom exclaimed to Babs who was readying her stuff on the taxi.

"Me neither!" Babs responded.

"I mean, obviously we have to get together before then!"

Babs chuckled. "Obviously."

She placed a hoof around her and nuzzled her head against her, presenting a good sign of best childhood friends. This emphasized my soft but warm smile even more. I walked towards them.

"Well, I can't wait to hear how things are for you when you get back, Babs." I told her. "I'm sure you'll do great on the branch of Cutie Mark Crusaders over at Manehattan. Soon enough, every single little colt or filly will never feel alone when they don't have their cutie mark. They'll be united and connected."

"Hehe." Babs lightly chuckled. "Thanks. I'm sure too."

Applebloom waved at Babs. "I'll see ya later, cuz!"

"You too, cuz." She jumped onto the taxi and waved at all of us. After, the taxi began moving out of Sweet Apple Acres.

"I'm gonna go see if there are any fritters left!" Applebloom exclaimed and dashed out.

I chuckled lightly and noticed Applejack washing dishes in a tub filled with soap. I walked over to her. "Need a hoof?" I asked.

She was lightly and softly startled when she heard me, but she chuckled when I joined her by her side and grabbed a dish to work on as well. "Thanks, Alex." As I continued to wash the dish, she paused for a moment and then looked at me. "Y'know… It's been a real treat havin' you here."

"Huh?" I asked, finishing up and placing the clean plate away to grab another one.

"It really feels like you're a part of the family. Like…if it wouldn't have been complete without ya in the family photo."

I released a smile at the comment, washing up the plate I had. "Hm. Thanks, Applejack. I really appreciate that… I mean… I believe you girls are my family…but this family feels like a much more explored and extended part of the complex chain we all hold as a tight family." Applejack responded with a raised eyebrow in a confused sort of way. I lightly chuckled and looked away with my eyes. "I mean… We're all just one big happy family."

Applejack returned to her grin and chuckled. "Hehe. Yeah…"

By the time we finally finished up cleaning and putting away things, night fell once again. I decided I could stay a little while longer to review over the new pictures taken at the reunion. I sat by Granny Smith once again as Applebloom was by her. Big Macintosh was at the back of the sofa this time to look at the book. Applejack was lying on the floor, holding a pencil in her mouth as she was writing on a piece of paper.

"Ohohoh, that's a good one." Granny Smith commented as she observed the pictures.

Granny Smith, Applebloom, and I shared a small laugh when we noticed how silly, in a good way, some of the pictures were.

"Oh!" Applebloom pointed towards one.

We came across a picture that Applebloom and Babs Seed were in. Applebloom was hopping high into the air as Babs sat by Wionna delightfully. Next was Braeburn and Applejack. He was smiling as he held a hammer with his mouth. Applejack appeared to be laughing with her eyes closed as she held a couple of nails with her closed teeth. On the next picture, Applebloom and Babs were depicted dancing, along with a few of the family, with the band. I chuckled softly when a silly picture of Applebloom and Babs came along next. They were both wearing empty buckets, which used to hold nails, on their heads. Applebloom was saluting as she held a nail with her teeth. Babs appeared to be a grunt as she held two nails with her teeth and positioned herself to appear tough. The rest of the pictures involved family members fooling around during the building process of the barn. Then, there was another one that depicted Applejack with the elders as they held up a quilt. It was finally finished.

I continued smiling at the pictures until Applejack suddenly jumped on the couch and placed her hooves on my back. She raised herself a little using my back and looked past my shoulder to analyze the pictures as well. I smiled brightly at her and returned my attention to the book. There, I saw our picture with Applejack and I. We were both holding our hooves over each other and smiling brightly at the camera. However, Applejack was tilting her head towards me a bit and looked up with her eyes to see me when the shot was taken. I was really proud to see the picture.

Granny Smith soon yawned loudly. "After a heck of a reunion like that, this granny sure needs her rest!" She closed the book and placed it away as Applebloom yawned as well.

"Night, y'all!" Applebloom announced as Granny Smith, Big Macintosh, and she walked off to bed.

When they left, I faced Applejack. "Hm. I guess I better be going too."

"Before you leave… Can you come up and hear my letter to the Princess real quick?" She asked.

"Sure." I answered and walked with her to her room.

Once there, she pulled out the letter she was writing on and began reading it. "Dear Princess Celestia, today I learned a great lesson about family, which, if you think about it, is really the first group of friends you ever make. Turns out that when you're with folks you care about, you don't have to do much to make that time memorable. Even the simplest of activities can take on a whole lotta meanin'! And you'll find that you'll remember the who long after you've forgotten the what. Your humble subject, Applejack." She lowered the letter from her face. "Whaddya think?" She asked.

"Fantastic as always." I replied with an assuring smile. "Great job, Applejack."

"Thanks, Alex." She smiled as well and pulled me in for a squeeze.

"I'll deliver this to Twilight." I said when we pulled away.

"Alrighty then, Goodnight." Applejack answered.

"Goodnight." I stated and turned around to leave until she stopped me.


"Hm?" I turned back to see her.

"I forgot to tell you. Somepony came lookin' for you when you were too busy cleanin' up. She asked me if I knew who you were and if you were around here. I didn't know who she was, so I wasn't too open on givin' her any information about you. I didn't know where you were at the time anyway, so I told her I wasn't sure exactly where you were. She looked a little sad after that and thanked me for the time. After, she left."

"Another pony…?" I questioned, looking at the floor in thought. Then, I raised my head and looked back at Applejack. "And it wasn't somepony you knew living in Ponyville?"

"Nope." She answered. "And that's because I know almost every pony here in Ponyville!"

"Huh…" I muttered, pausing for a moment. "How'd she look like?"

"Hmm…" Applejack thought. "I think…she looked a little like you, but with a lighter coat." She continued thinking. "Glasses too, I think. Sorry. That's all I can remember."

"Oh…okay…" I responded and began trying to think of any pony that fits that description.

"Any pony you know?" Applejack asked.

"I don't know... Don't think so…"

"Who knows?" Applejack jumped on her bed and laid down, resting her forelegs above her head. "Maybe just some pony who wants to meet you because you're an Alicorn."

"Why would she go out of her way to look for me? I mean…she wouldn't just know where I am…"

"You got me there…"

I sighed. "Well… I guess I can just think about this later. Right now, I could use some sleep." I grabbed the letter and rolled it up with my magic. "Goodnight, Applejack."

"G'night, Alex."

Afterwards, I exited her home and headed back towards town.

I arrived back at my home after dropping off the letter at Twilight's. I walked up the stairs and made myself comfortable in my own bed. I closed my eyes and tried to go to sleep, but I just couldn't shake the thought of that pony that was supposedly looking for me. Why would a mare be looking for me? I doubt it was just to meet an Alicorn…I think… I don't know… This is really weird… I don't even know if I know who the pony is…

I groaned.

Hm… A mare that has a lighter coat than me who also wears glasses…

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