• Published 27th Dec 2012
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Pick an Apple in a Thorn Bush - June Silver



When Fluttershy's life takes a turn, she needs all the help she can to get over the catastrophe and start again.

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Chapter Three: Just Friends

It was the day after Hearth's Warming, when I made my way to Sweet Apple Acres in the afternoon. I knocked on the door on the side of the barn, a couple of times, before an excited Pink mare opened it.

"Applejack! She's here!" Pinkie Pie yelled behind her. "You finally made it! I've been waiting for hours." she directed to me. "I thought you weren't gonna come!" Pinkie hopped back inside the home, and into her kitchen. I didn't wait any longer. It was freezing outside. I wiped my hooves on a mat that sat before the door. It read "Welcome". I shut the door behind me when I came in. It was so warm in AJ's home, I dropped my coat next to the door. It smelled of burning wood. I trotted past the living room, following Pinkie. She stopped when she reached the kitchen island. On top were many cooking utensils, and beside that were a bag of flour, sugar, a carton of eggs, a gallon of milk, a tin pan, and many more items. It looked like there wasn't even enough room to actually bake the pie. I heard hooves stomp down the stairs. I'm guessing that's Applejack, I thought.

"Howdy, Fluttershy!" she greeted me as she walked towards Pinkie and I.

"Why, hello Applejack." I replied.

"Ready to bake that pie?"

"Oh, yes."

"I was born ready!" Pinkie shouted. She came over with a chef hat and an apron in her hooves. She put them both on and stared at us, anxious to start.

"Uh, Applejack. I \want to make a simple pie, if that's alright." I said looking over at the mountain of ingredients.

"Don't worry your pretty little head, Fluttershy." She said, grabbing most of the things and putting them by the sink behind us. "Most of this, is just to make sure the pie taste just right. Plus, we're all making our own, since some of us want sprinkles." She looked over at Pinkie with a raised brow. Pinkie was eating sugar from the sole of her hoof. She stopped eating it when she saw us glance at her. She sheepishly smiled. "Anyways," Applejack muttered looking back over. All that was left in front of us were flour, salt, three bowls, and three cups of water. "before we start, we need to start heatin' the oven, so that by the time we're finished makin' the pies, we can just put 'em in." She walked over to the oven, which looked very modern. "I finally raised enough bits for a new one," she said, moving a few dials on it. It was sleek black, and actually stood out in the red, green, apple, theme of the kitchen.

"It's very nice." I said watching her.

"Ya'll should wash your hooves while I figure out the temperature. I'm still gettin' used to it." Applejack told us. She was having difficulty. There were so many shiny knobs. I went to the sink and washed my hooves. Pinkie did the same next to me (she finished the sugar in her hoof before doing so).

When Applejack finally found the right temperature she walked next to us in front of the kitchen island.

"First," said Applejack, grabbing one of the wide bowls. "we make the dough. Pour the flour, salt and butter in there." She poured each one into a measuring cup, and put the ingredients in her bowl. "Then, you mix it all up. While you're mixin' it, make sure ya put in water, to soften it." She was mixing it rather aggressively. After a few moments, Applejack looked at Pinkie and I, who were just standing there watching her. "Well, the dough ain't gonna make itself." She told us.

"Right, sorry." I muttered getting the bowl and it's ingredients. I followed her instructions, measuring and pouring. I could hear Pinkie giggle in delight next to me. I started to mix the dough. It was so hard, my hooves started to feel sore after a while of trying to stir with the wooden spoon I used to mix it. When everything seemed right, Applejack gave more instructions.

"Now, we're gonna knead it." Applejack moved the bowl, sprinkled some flour on a space of the island, and slammed the big ball of dough onto it. It sent a small fog of flour. She started to roll it around.

"Wee!" yelled Pinkie Pie as she copied Applejack. She rolled it around the same way. I hesitated.

"Uh, Applejack? Do we have to slam it so hard?" I asked, showering the flour on.

"It's better to, but I guess not. That's how my grannie taught me. That's how I do it." Applejack responded. I nodded, and started to knead it. "But ya' do need to knead it harder." Compared to Pinkie and Applejack, I wasn't kneading the dough. It was more like pushing it around.

"Now," she stopped kneading, and walked to the sink. She came back to us with three tin pans and three rolling pins. "We're gonna roll the dough out, to make the crust." She dropped one pan and pin in front of all of us. "Cut half of the dough, and put it aside. That'll be the top crust." She cut her's roughly with her hoof and set it father before her. She sprinkled some more flour on and put the half ball of dough on it. We did the same. We all started to roll it out as she explained the next step. "Put the flat dough on the tin pan." She put the dough on the pan and started to pat the sides to it. "Ya' see this?" She pointed to the extra dough, that hanged off the side of the pan. "Ya' just trim it. Don't worry if ya' have it." she grabbed some scissors behind her and started to cut. When she finished it she passed it down to Pinkie and I. While we were cutting the edges, she trotted over to her red fridge. She took out a plastic-wrapped, big, white, bowl. I couldn't see what was in it until she put it down. It was the filling for the pie. She took off the wrapping and put it in front of us. "This is what we'll fill the pie with. I hope ya'll don't mind but I made this, this morning. I had to, since it was made with the secret Apple family recipe."

"I understand." said Pinkie Pie.

"It's fine, Applejack." I added with a smile. She brought out three spoons for us to scoop it with. She told us to put as much as we felt like. How much would Big Mac want, since this is for him and not me? I thought. I'm guessing he'll like a lot of it. He's kind of big. Until then I didn't realize how fit he actually was. I guess it's from all that plowing in the apple fields. Applejack is always saying how much of a hard worker he is. He must be very strong then, always hauling a filled wagon, or bucking trees.

"Uh, Fluttershy?" asked Applejack.

"Yes?" I looked down at my pie and shrieked. I had a big pile of the filling, almost overflowing out of the pan. "Oh, I'm so sorry." I said ashamed, quickly scooping most of the mountain back into the bowl. Pinkie and Applejack laughed. I bashfully laughed along.

"Is something bothering ya'?" she asked.

"No, I just-- I almost forgot to go to Twilight's house. I need to go there today."

"Oh, really? Anything special happenin'?" Applejack started to roll the other half of the dough we left alone.

"Not really. I'm just going to check out some books." She nodded.

"We're almost finished with the pie. All that's left, is to put on the top crust." She grabbed her rolled piece and set it on top of the filling, sealing the pie. Pinkie and I rolled our dough again, and did the same. Applejack grabbed her pie, opened her black oven, and slid it inside. I gave her mine, to put in. Pinkie Pie took out a bag of sprinkles from her pocket and dumped it on her pie. She giggled as she gave it to Applejack.

"Applejack, do you think you can give my pie to Big Mac for me?" I asked. "I'm going to Twilight's right now, before it get's any darker."

"Oh, sure. No problem. Is there anythin' you want me to tell him, when I give it to him?"

"Tell him I said 'thank you for being so kind'." I made my way to the door, grabbing my coat from the ground. "Thank you for helping me, Applejack." I said, throwing my coat on.

"Anytime." she replied.

"See ya' later, Fluttershy!" Pinkie added.

"Bye!" I shouted to both of them, opening the painted door. The cold blew my hair off my face, as I stepped back into the snow. I shut the door. The sun was starting to lower, close to the horizon. I could see a few stars above Cloudsdale. I started to walk to the library. There was nopony outside. Must be the winter. The snow crunched beneath my hooves. One thing I enjoy about snow is it's sound. It's so ironic how something so soft can make such a loud noise.

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"You need a book on what?" asked Twilight. She was sitting by a stack of books labeled "Medieval Magic" and "Magic's History".

"I just want to know if you have any books on--on love." I mumbled.

"On lust?" she had a confused look on her face.

"No, love." I said quieter. "Or fairy-tales," I added.

"Well, I must have some here somewhere..." she turned to look at her walls of books. "Let's see..." she said under her breathe as she came closer to a section. I stayed where I was. I shouldn't have come here. I could've figured out what I'm feeling on my own. Now I have to face embarrassment.

"Spike!" Twilight yelled.

"Yes, Twilight?" He screamed from upstairs.

"I need your help!"

"I'm coming!" he replied, stepping down the stairs. "Hi, Fluttershy." he said when he saw me.

"Hello, Spike."

"Spike, do you know if we have any books on love?" asked Twilight. The baby dragon's cheeks turned into a light shade of pink.

"Uh, yeah. We do." he quietly said.

"Do you know where they are? I can only find 'Levitating' books." she looked harder, digging her hooves through the books.

"Give me a sec." he said. Spike dashed to the stairs, stomping up to his room. I heard footsteps walk to my right above me, a few seconds of silence followed, then back to the stairs. Spike's face was now red. He handed over three, thick, books to Twilight.

"Where'd you find these?" she asked, taking them with her purple pink magic. The books separated, revealing the titles: "The Love Bug", "Science of Love", and "Love for Beginners".

"They-- uh -- they were in my room." he shyly said. Twilight looked at him for a moment, then at the books. She looked like she didn't want to question him any further in front of me.

"Do you want to borrow all three?" she asked me.

"Yes, please." I answered. She walked over to a desk in the library, the books following her. Spike stayed at his spot, still blushing. I wonder why he had those in his room, I glanced over at Twilight who was putting the books in an old saddle bag. She walked back to me, with the bag. She put the saddle bag on me. "Feel free to have them as long as you need. Just remember, that when you give them back, to bring the bag too." Twilight told me with a smile.

"Thank you, Twilight." I said. I started to walk to the door when I was interrupted.

"Oh, Fluttershy!" Twilight yelled.

"Yes?" I looked back at her.

"I hope you don't mind me asking but, what do you need those books for?" I really hoped she wasn't going to ask me that when I came. Think, Fluttershy.

"Uh, mating season for the creatures. They're a little shy." I quickly said. I really didn't want to explain to Twilight about the weird feelings I've been having lately. I gave her a small smile.

"Oh, okay. Well, goodnight Fluttershy." She said turning to Spike.

"Goodnight," I replied. I didn't think Twilight heard me, but I didn't want to say anything else. It was already awkward as it was.

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The sun had officially set, when I was halfway home. The stars were shining very bright in the very dark sky. It was so beautiful. I could see patterns that I knew were constellations. I always forgot their names. I had my head held high to admire the stars, which I realized was a very bad idea when I bumped into something very heavy.

"Oof." I grunted, clutching the side of my neck. I looked to see a wooden wagon being pulled. There were many books, stacked in the wagon. They were all the same color and width. They must be school books.

"Hello?" a voice rumbled from the front. Is it...? "Fluttershy?" Big Mac asked as I flew over to the side.

"H-hi Big Mac." I mumbled.

"Are ya' okay?" he looked at my neck.

"Oh, yes. Just a little scratch, that's all." I smiled, taking my hoof off. He smiled back. When he did, I looked away. Why can't I face him when he smiles? I wanted to hit myself for not acting normal. I stopped flying, and started to walk instead. I looked back at him. He was staring ahead. I found myself observing the side of him. He had a very strong jaw line that moved every time the sprig of wheat was chewed on, and lots of freckles. I wondered why I've never noticed them before.

"So, uh Big Mac, are those books?" I glanced back.

"Eeyup," he stayed staring straight. "For Miss Cheerilee." I stopped walking when he mentioned her name. He looked back at me, stopping. I haven't talked to Miss Cheerilee since... "Fluttershy?"

"Sorry," I flashed back to the present. I flew over to him. I went back to flying again. "So, how's Miss Cheerilee? I haven't seen her in a while." I asked him.

"She's fine. She told me she wanted me to keep her books over the small break they're on."

"She must trust you, then. After all those books must have cost a fortune. There's hundreds of them."

"Eeyup," he repeated.

"I guess you guys are good friends."

"Eeyup"

"Or more than friends?" I immediately regretted saying that. It just slipped. I didn't mean too. I was just curious. I felt my face heat up.

"Nope. We're just friends." he quietly said, almost to a whisper. I've embarrassed him! It was so quiet after that. All that could be heard were the chirping of the grasshoppers, the crunching of the snow, and my wings flapping. I looked down at the ground, which I wasn't that far above. I had to open my mouth.

We were getting close to my cottage. I live right next to Sweet Apple Acres. The field is closest to me. "Have you talked to Applejack today?" I asked, looking at him. I was surprised to see that he was staring at me. My cheeks heated up. I knew I was blushing. But why? It might be because nopony has ever looked at me like he just did.

"I haven't since this mornin'. Why?" Big Mac replied.

"I asked her to give you something for me." I said. We were now in front of my home. "Goodnight, Big Mac." I flew over to my door.

"Goodnight." he said. I went into my home, to see Angel asleep on the couch. The window next to me, let in a shadow walking across my wall. It was Big Mac's. It slowly went from one end to the other. He left.

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After hours of intensive reading of Twilight's books, I've kept coming to the same question. I've probably read about twenty chapters that night. Even after the lights went out, and I lay in my bed to sleep, my mind kept me awake. The question kept coming back to me. A question that I haven't encountered in such a long time.

Is this love?

Author's Note:

I've been very busy this weekend (and still might be). School starts next Wednesday for me, and I've procrastinated my packet of homework for far too long. In each chapter there is something I always want to change. In this chapter, I wish I would have came up with a better ending. :/