• Published 5th Jan 2013
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Treating Her Right - Rated Ponystar



Rainbow Dash treats Applejack to a date.

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Treating Her Right

Treating Her Right

By: The Rated Ponystar

Edited by: Clavier, Sirisma, Apple Cinnamon, and First_down (Final edit complete on May 1, 2013)

Thanks to fauxsquared for letting me use his art work.

***

Rainbow Dash hated only one thing in life.

Boredom.

She was a pony on the go: fast, wild, and without any second thoughts. That was her. That was why she loved flying so much. When she flew, everything was always working, both body and mind. Her wings flapped, her tail turned like a rudder and she felt the wind blowing through her mane as she planned her next move. She couldn’t understand how some ponies just lay around doing nothing all day. Granted, she slept a lot, but sleeping counted as an action, right?

When she wasn’t doing anything, it felt like she wasn’t even alive. Even now, staring into the sky on her lonely cloud, she swore she was wasting away. If she didn’t do something—anything—she was going to have a tombstone that read: "Here Lies Rainbow Dash. Bored To Death".

Scratching her noggin, she tried to think of her options. Her weather duties were all done and there weren’t enough clouds for kicking. She wasn’t in the mood to sleep or train. Then she thought about hanging out with her friends, listing them off one by one. Twilight was going through the library’s books—again—with Spike, and that would only increase her boredom. Rarity and Pinkie Pie were too busy with their jobs. Last time she tried baking in Sugarcube Corner she got a six month ban from being near any stoves, and it would be a cold, dark day before Rainbow Dash modeled for even one dress. Fluttershy seemed like a good choice, but then Dash remembered that she was off helping a vixen give birth to her kits.

That left only Applejack... who didn’t have anything going on, if Dash remembered correctly. Applebuck season ended last month and she knew that between that and planting season, the cowpony was pretty much free. Excited, she jumped off her cloud and made like a bullet for Sweet Apple Acres.

Being the fastest pegasus in Equestria, Rainbow Dash arrived at the apple farm in a few minutes. Landing near the front door, she knocked and waited to be let in. A few hoofsteps later the door opened, revealing Big Macintosh, who greeted Dash with a nod.

“Hey, Mac. Is Applejack here? I wanna hang out.”

He nodded again before letting her inside. Thanking him, Dash followed the hallway towards the living room and the growing sound of acoustic guitars and bass thumps. She spotted Apple Bloom bobbing her head back and forth in time to a melodic tune flowing out of the record player. She noticed the cover of a ‘Bucky Cash’ album, the Apple Family’s favorite singer, just as Apple Bloom walked over with a smile.

“Howdy, Rainbow Dash. Ya here to see mah sister?”

“Yup, any idea where I can find her?”

Apple Bloom pointed to the stairway. “She should still be up in the attic. Don’t know why though.”

Nodding, Rainbow Dash made her way up the stairs, leaving the other Apple siblings to enjoy their music. The old wooden planks echoed in her ears with each step, growing louder as she proceeded upwards. Arriving at the top, she pushed away the last door and entered the attic. Her nostrils filled with a cloud of dust, and she barely held back the sneeze that threatened beneath the surface. Pushing away a few cobwebs, Rainbow Dash slowly made her way through the attic, eying a few antiques the family had stored over the years. Up ahead, she heard what sounded like Applejack mumbling behind some boxes. Pushing them aside, Rainbow Dash gasped at what she saw.

Applejack... was in a dress.

Not just any dress, either. It looked to be quite an expensive one. It was bright purple, made of fine silk that shone in the lamplight and had a small ribbon in the center. The edges of the dress, leading down from the hemline, were gold with grey swirls stitched on it. The dress even had a saddle, also purple and gold, with heart-shaped amethysts on both sides. Buttoned to the end of the saddle was another purple ribbon, only this one was bigger and extended over her flank. But that wasn’t enough to stun Rainbow Dash. Applejack had also fixed up her mane. She wasn’t wearing her usual hat. Instead her blond mane was tied up in a smaller ponytail that was also held together by a ribbon.

Rainbow Dash didn’t know what to think. A part of her was wondering why Applejack of all ponies was in a dress. Sure, she had seen Applejack in dresses before, but those were for special occasions. Not to mention, just like Dash herself, Applejack wasn’t the type to go all frou-frou, no matter how much Rarity begged. The other part of her couldn’t help but admit that it looked really good on her. In fact, this was the first time Applejack seemed to look like—well—a mare.

Her thoughts were interrupted when she noticed Applejack smiling into a mirror and politely bowing. “Why sure, Mr. Stallion,” she said in a tone that reminded Dash of those nobles in Canterlot. “I would love to take this dance with you. I must thank you ever so much for allowing me to join in this here party. You’ve been so good to me.”

At that moment, Rainbow Dash lost it. Falling onto her back, Rainbow laughed so hard it spooked Applejack off her hooves. Turning around, face flushed with embarrassment, Applejack stood in silence while Rainbow Dash was busy pounding the floor, trying to breathe. She sat up on her haunches and pointed to the beet-red farmer. “Oh Celestia! Wahaha! That accent! Hahahaha! My sides are killing me!”

Applejack, furious and ashamed, tried to find a proper response to silence the howling pegasus. This turned out to be an old boot thrown at her head. Hissing in pain, Rainbow Dash rubbed her noggin while Applejack smiled in satisfaction.

“Geez, Applejack! What’s the big idea?!”

“That was fer laughin’ at me!”

Rolling her eyes, Rainbow Dash got up and took another look at the dress. "Who would have thought that you still liked playing dress-up at your age?" she smirked.

“Ah-h... ah was just...” Applejack bit her lower lip and turned away. “J-just get out!”

“Hey, hey,” said Rainbow Dash, holding her hooves up defensively. “I’m only joking. You’re not that bummed out, are ya? If anything, you look pretty cute in that dress.”

For a second, Applejack turned around but quickly reversed her direction. “Y-yer just makin’ fun of me, still.”

“I’m not,” reassured Rainbow Dash, walking to her friend’s side and lightly hitting her on the foreleg. “In fact, I’d say you’d make a few jaws drop if you walked into town like that.”

Slowly facing Rainbow Dash, Applejack’s blush deepened as she turned to face Rainbow Dash. She undid the ribbon in her hair in one fluid pull, and her mane rolled down her shoulders in waves. Rainbow Dash was stunned a second time. Applejack looked even more beautiful without the ribbon. Shaking her head, Dash cleared her throat and asked, “A-anyway, what’re you doing up here and what’s with the dress? I thought you didn’t like acting like—well—Rarity.”

For a second, Rainbow Dash thought she was talking to Fluttershy as Applejack hid behind her mane. “Promise not to laugh?”

“Of course.”

“Pinkie Promise?”

“Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye,” promised Dash, going through all the movements.

With a loud sigh, Applejack looked at the ground while pawing her hoof against it. “Well... ah’ve always dreamed of... havin’ a special night with somepony... somethin’ romantic where ah’d be treated like... well... a real lady.” She quickly looked back up, her eyes soft yet firm. “Ah mean, ah’m not like Rarity. Ah don’t want some prince to come and take me away. But... ah would like to feel special for just one night. Ah know ah act all ‘tomboyish’ and such, but sometimes ah do wish ah was as beautiful as Rarity or Fluttershy. That way somepony can just walk up and want to treat me right. So sometimes... Ah pretend, ya know, that it's happenin’ to me.”

Looking into her eyes, Rainbow Dash could see that Applejack was completely sincere. Applejack always came across strong and proud of herself. Having her admit this was unexpected. Dash had been expecting a secret liking to dressing up or even an admission that she liked to pretend being a noble lady, but nothing of this magnitude.

Looking back at the mirror, Applejack did a little twirl and smiled at her reflection. “This dress was actually a gift from mah aunt in Manehatten. She said ah should wear it for a special night, but ah doubt ah’ll ever get it. Still, ah like to put it on and just believe...”

“Hey, don’t say that!” interrupted Rainbow Dash. “You look great in that dress. You’re a beautiful mare!”

Rainbow Dash nearly slapped a hoof over her mouth. She never expected to say that. In fact, she was wondering where such a thought came from. Applejack, meanwhile, was equally shocked and was turning an even darker shade of red than her brother. “Y-ya think ah’m beautiful? But ah’m not...”

“Well...” hesitated Rainbow Dash, struggling to find the right words.

Thankfully, their conversation was interrupted when they heard the door slam open, Apple Bloom’s shouts following after. “Are ya girls up here?! It’s been nearly fifteen minutes! Everythin’ okay?!”

“Y-yeah, Apple Bloom!” yelled back Applejack. “Just give us a few minutes.”

“Alright, but hurry up! Ya gotta give Granny her sponge bath!”

The door closed again, leaving the two in awkward silence. Rainbow Dash gulped and thought of the possible options in front of her. After going through each one in full detail at less than a split second, she decided to take the most obvious choice.

Leave before things got even more awkward.

“Well, I have to get going. I’ll see you later, AJ,” said Rainbow Dash, quickly, as she backed towards the door, nearly tripping on a few broken hand-me-downs along the way.

“Yeah. See ya,” muttered Applejack, looking back down at the floor.

Reaching the attic door, Rainbow Dash flew down the stairs and out of the house, leaving a quick farewell without actually waiting for a response. Making a beeline back to her cloud from earlier, which had hardly moved at all, she sat down while taking deep breaths. That had to be the strangest situation she had ever been in. Well, the strangest situation she had ever been in that didn't involve Pinkie Pie or saving the world from some evil.

Staring back at the sky, Dash began to think about what she had just learned. Applejack apparently had some dream of being treated like one of the mares in those romance novels that Fluttershy always talked about; some handsome gentlecolt taking a lady out for a night on the town, treating her to dinner and a show. All of it for her and her alone, one night only.

Dash didn’t know if Applejack wanted it romantic or just for fun or anything, but learning about this bothered her for two reasons. First, she was a big dreamer herself and understood the importance of dreams. The way Applejack talked about having a memorable night, being treated like a lady, was serious and full of passion. Having her own dreams supported for her own dream so many times by the farmer, it was only right that Rainbow Dash support her back. Yet while Rainbow Dash was confident in achieving her dream as a Wonderbolt, Applejack was completely dismissing hers like wasted trash paper.

That was the second thing that bothered her. Applejack had always been full of confidence, and was one of the strongest-willed ponies Rainbow Dash ever knew. Yet just moments ago, she kept insisting that she wasn’t pretty enough to gain the attention of that one stallion who could give her the night she always wanted. That was something Rainbow Dash couldn’t stand for.

“If only I help her...” Rainbow Dash thought out loud. Now that she knew this much, she wanted to help out in some way. How was the big question. “If only I knew some stallions that could help...” A thought then entered her mind, and she sat straight up, eyes widening. “Could that work? It would be a bit weird, but it’s just for one night and it might make her feel better...”

Making up her mind, Rainbow Dash took off from her cloud for the second time today, this time aiming for Golden Oaks library.

***

“The Complete Study of Transfiguration Volume XII?”

“Shelved.”

“Sea Ponies: Truth or Fiction?”

“Also shelved.”

“Biography of Sir Gentle Heart: Hero of the Third Dragon War?”

Spike picked up the last remaining book and hurried to the biography section. Placing the book in its proper place, he turned around and gave a thumbs up.

“And shelved.”

“Excellent, Spike. We got every book on the list,” said Twilight, rolling up her large parchment.

A great relief washed over Spike. Re-shelving day was always one of his busiest days and this time it felt like he had just rumbled with a manticore head-on. Ignoring the fact that a certain unicorn could just levitate the books on her own, Spike had been an assistant long enough to know each book’s title and place by heart.

With all the books finally stacked he could finally rest his sore body and enjoy the remaining hours of the day with some gems and a comic book. At least that’s what would have happened if Twilight didn’t suddenly get another large parchment and unroll it. He watched with disbelief as the scroll’s lower end reached across the entire floor to the end of his blistering feet.

“We’ll just take a quick break before we double check that every book is accounted for. Just in case,” said Twilight, cheerfully. She made her way to a cup of tea she had prepared earlier and started to enjoy herself, unlike a certain dragon who was eying the window nearby as a possible escape route. Before he could plan out anything further, his caretaker spoke. “Oh, and if you try to shirk your duties like last time, Spike, I’ll have to cancel that ‘free day’ you wanted next week.”

Suddenly, Spike felt himself waging in an internal battle. He had managed to convince Rarity to join him on a picnic next week, just the two of them. Freedom now? Or Rarity?

Banging his head against the shelf, he cursed his emotional weakness. “Come on, Twilight! We just re-shelved every book in the library for the last three hours! I’m sure if we missed something we would have noticed!”

“I’m just being thorough, Spike. It will only take another thirty minutes at most,” reassured Twilight, taking another sip. “Look at it this way: It could always be worse.”

Having been in Ponyville for so long, Spike knew that something worse could always happen. And since Twilight invoked the foreboding phrase that could only mean one thing: the universe was going to screw him over. He closed his eyes and accepted the inevitable fate that was to come. The question was, which calamity would it be this time?

Possibility A: Creature attacking from the Everfree Forest.

Possibility B: Letter from Princess Celestia that sends Twilight into a panic... again.

Possibility C: Rainbow Dash crashing into the library and ruining all his hard work.... again.

Possibility D: Pinkie Pie.

The door smashed open and in came a multi-colored blur that crashed right into the middle of the bookshelves. The impact shook the entire room and every single book fell back onto the ground. Possibility C it was.

“Rainbow Dash!” scolded Twilight as the pegasus tried to keep her head from spinning. “Why is it so hard for you to use a simple door?”

Shaking her head, Rainbow Dash got back on all fours and stretched her neck. “Well, you need excitement every now and then, Twilight. Seriously, you spend more time in the library than I do in the sky.”

“Is there a reason you’re here, Dash?” grumbled Twilight, looking at the mess. Spike didn’t know why she was so angry. She wasn’t the one who had to clean it all up again. He was starting to wonder if his ‘free day’ was worth it.

“Yeah, it’s important. I need a book.”

“I already told you, Dash. The next Daring Do book isn’t out for another month.”

Rainbow Dash shook her head. “No, I need a different book.”

Spike and Twilight stared at each other and blinked. He picked inside his ears a bit but found nothing to suggest that his hearing was impaired. Twilight found her voice again and asked, “Then you’re looking about a book on flying stunts?”

“Nope.”

“Weather?”

“Negative.”

“Wonderbolt history?”

“Interesting, but not it.”

Immediately, Twilight grabbed Dash’s left foreleg and started checking her pulse. Her horn glowed as a thermometer appeared and was forced into Dash’s mouth. “Hmm. Pulse is fine. Temperature looks normal. Maybe it’s a stress issue...”

Rainbow Dash spat out the thermometer and pulled her leg away. “I’m not sick! I just need a book on... well...”

“Yeah?” asked Twilight and Spike.

Rainbow Dash’s cheeks turned pink as she slowly leaned over towards Twilight and whispered something into her ear. Spike tried to listen in, but it was already over, leaving him to stare at a stunned Twilight. She soon also sported a blush equal to that of Rainbow’s, making the dragon even more suspicious.

Silent as a mouse, Twilight levitated a few books around until she came to a large blue one with a pink heart on its spine. This only raised more questions. Without so much as a word, Twilight handed it over to Rainbow Dash, who nodded and quickly left the library, thankfully through the door this time. Walking towards the unicorn, Spike asked, “So what was it?”

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” answered Twilight, who started to smile.

“Come on, I wanna know!” begged Spike.

Twilight shook her head before giving the answer. Needless to say, Spike’s mouth dropped the moment he heard it.

“How To Make A Perfect First Date.”

***

Reliable Applejack. That was what they called her. She was the most neighborly pony ever met and the first one to go to if there was a problem. Everypony turned to her for help. The Cakes often asked her to make some of her family's famous apple-tasting desserts when they were low on their own. The construction crews never missed out on a chance to invite her in helping make a new house or road. And if there was a lost pet or foal, Applejack and Winona would team up to find them lickety-split.

Applejack knew that a lot of ponies depended on her, and that’s why she never said no to helping anypony, even if it meantit meant dressing up in a wolf costume that itched worse than one of Granny Smith’s homemade sweaters. Yet she wore it because she, like everypony else, could hardly say no to Fluttershy, knowing how sensitive she was. Messing around with the fake ears with her fake paws, Applejack waited outside Fluttershy’s backyard while the latter was guiding a group of baby possums towards the center.

“Alright, little ones. Just stay there while I go talk to our special guest of the day. Then we can get started. Okay?” asked Fluttershy to the possums, who nodded in confirmation.

She walked towards Applejack with a big smile on her face. “Thanks for helping me teach the possums when to play—well—possum. It is okay, right?”

While Applejack preferred playing a wolf without the costume, she returned a smile of her own and nodded. “It’s okay, Fluttershy. Didn’t have much ta do at the farm today anyhow. So whaddya say we start teachin’ these here critters?”

“Okay, just stand over there until I call you, and we’ll do the performance like we practiced,” said Fluttershy, pointing a few hooves away. Applejack nodded and got into position as Fluttershy walked over to her students and got their attention.

“Okay, little ones. Today we get to learn what all possums are famous for doing: playing dead,” addressed Fluttershy, walking back and forth. “It’s a very special skill that some animals, like yourselves, can use when faced with danger from a predator. I myself have used it at times. Now the trick is...”

Applejack tuned out Fluttershy’s speech to the babies and thought back to what had happened two days before. She still couldn’t believe that Dash had found out about her secret and laughed at her. Granted, Dash apologized and called her—her cheeks flushed again—beautiful. Not that she actually believed Dash was serious, of course. She was just being polite and trying to cheer her up. That’s all. Speaking of which, she hadn’t seen hide nor hair of the pegasus since the incident.

Curious, she went about asking her friends if they had seen her. While Rarity and Fluttershy didn’t know anything about Dash’s recent actions, Twilight and Pinkie Pie did, but both were sworn to secrecy. That only made her more curious.

“Um, Applejack?”

“Huh?”

“We’re ready to start,” said Fluttershy, shuffling her hooves. “Do you need more time? I could go over the steps one more time with them if you need me to.”

“Naw, let’s do this,” assured Applejack. She followed Fluttershy until they were in front of the possums, who stared back at the two ponies with their wide, curious eyes.

“Okay, young ones. Applejack and I are going to show you how to play dead in a real situation. Watch and learn.” She nodded to Applejack and gave out a cry of terror. “Oh, no! It’s a wolf!”

“Grrrr! Ah’m gonna eat ya, ya little filly!” growled Applejack, leaning forward with her best wolf impression. Having heard timberwolves outside her home for years, Applejack unleashed a convincing howl that made everyone else step back in fright.

Shaking with fear, Fluttershy looked to have forgotten her part until Applejack cleared her throat. Snapping out of it, she stuttered, “Please! Don’t hurt me... I... I don’t taste good.”

Applejack decided to do a little evil laugh before saying, “Too bad for ya, little filly! Say yer prayers!”

Fluttershy then gasped and clutched her chest as if she was in pain. She moaned a bit before falling onto her back and gasped one last time, closing her eyes. Her four legs stood up in the air, still as could be, as Applejack pretended to look shocked. Continuing to act, Applejack moved in closer and started sniffing Fluttershy’s "corpse" while the worried baby possums watched in silence. She sniffed a few more times, and gagged. “Ugh, she’s dead. Ah ain’t gonna get sick by eatin’ some dead filly. Shucks, now ah gotta find somethin’ else to eat.”

Once she walked away, Fluttershy finished her performance, got up, and smiled at her cheering crowd. “Thank you, my little friends. See? If something scary like a wolf comes around, just pretend to be dead and he’ll walk away. Now I want you all to start practicing for a while, okay?”

Leaving the baby animals to their task, she walked back to Applejack, who was struggling to take off the wolf costume. “Thank you so much for your help, Applejack. You make a really good wolf.”

Just as she was about to reply, Applejack spotted something familiar out of the corner of her eye. Upon closer inspection, she realized it was a rainbow-colored blur coming straight towards them. Fluttershy turned around and noticed just in time as Rainbow Dash skidded across the yard, kicking up dirt and small rocks. Coming to a complete halt in front of them, she brushed off the mess on her coat and grinned. She was about to say something when her eyes turned to Applejack, widening in surprise.

Realizing she was still wearing the wolf costume, Applejack tried covering her face with her big paws. It was futile as Dash was already laughing hysterically. “Geez, Applejack. You've really got a thing for costumes this week, huh?”

“Ha ha, Dash. Very funny,” replied Applejack, deadpan. “Are ya here for a reason or just to keep makin’ fun of me?”

Calming down, Rainbow Dash rubbed the back of her neck, nervously staring at the ground. “Actually, I need to talk to both of you. In private.” Applejack and Fluttershy stared at each other, confused. Before either could ask, Rainbow Dash had wrapped a wing around Fluttershy and started pushing her towards the house. “I’ll start with you, Fluttershy. Don’t worry, I’ll be quick.”

Applejack raised an eyebrow and put this new information in her growing mental file. Not only Twilight and Pinkie Pie, but Fluttershy as well? That cinched it. Dash was planning something, and Applejack had a sneaky suspicion it involved her. She watched the two carefully, Rainbow Dash doing most of the talking while Fluttershy sat silently and nodded. Then, all of a sudden, Fluttershy gasped and turned completely red in the face.

“What in the Sam Hill are they talkin’ about?” Applejack wondered out loud.

Rainbow Dash then proceeded to put a hoof on Fluttershy’s shoulder, whispering something that made the flushed pegasus smile and nod. The two started walking back, but Fluttershy made a turn for her baby possums and began playing dead with them again,helping those who needed it. Rainbow Dash continued until she stopped in front of Applejack, a faint blush on her cheeks.

“Mind tellin’ me what that was all about?”

“You’ll find out tonight. Speaking of which, I’m gonna pick you up around five, so be ready by then.”

Applejack tilted her head. “Pick me up’? What are ya talkin’ about, sugarcube? Ready for what?”

Rainbow Dash gave a mischievous smile. “You’ll see.” She then leaned forward, whispering in Applejack’s ears. “And wear that dress from two days ago. Trust me, you’ll need it.”

With that said, Rainbow Dash kicked off the ground and was back in the air. Applejack watched in stupefaction as the rainbow trail lead further away. Her mind soon came back to earth, and she asked herself, “Five o’ clock? The dress? What?”

Just what was Rainbow Dash up to?

***

So far things had been going pretty well. Twilight’s book had given her some pretty good ideas on how to make the upcoming night memorable for Applejack. She was also really glad Pinkie had so many connections outside of town; otherwise making those reservations would have been a hassle. That, and Pinkie’s baking was almost second to none. Her treats would be really helpful in the final part, with Fluttershy’s assistance.

Going through her mental checklist, she realized that there was only one thing left for her to do, and she wasn’t looking forward to at all. Still, she was doing this for Applejack, and if that meant swallowing her pride for a friend, then so be it. Lowering herself towards the ground, she landed only a few meters from Carousel Boutique. Prepared to face what would surely be the most challenging thing she ever had to do in her entire life, Rainbow Dash went inside.

Rarity immediately turned away from her sewing machine, ready to greet a new customer. “Welcome to... oh, Rainbow Dash. Good to see you. Can I help you with something?”

Rainbow Dash nervously looked around the shop that spoke of everything she was not. All this girly fashion and beauty made her skin crawl. Closing her eyes, she mumbled, “I can’t believe I’m doing this.” Taking a deep breath, she puffed out her chest, and looked at Rarity straight in the eye.

“Rarity. I need you to make me look good.”

Rarity's jaw dropped so far down she could have easily swallowed an entire hoof. Rainbow Dash nervously stepped back as Rarity stared at her with wide wide eyes and shrunken pupils. Her right eyebrow twitched a bit before she squealed in delight. With great agility, she scooped up Rainbow Dash and squeezed her tight. Dash struggled to breathe as she was tossed around in Rarity's dance.

“Oh, Rainbow Dash! You have no idea how long I have waited for you to say such words!” shouted Rarity, throwing the dizzy pegasus to the ground. She looked up into the sky as a beam of light shined through one of her windows, illuminating her ivory form. “Long have I looked upon your wondrous, colorful appearance and said, ‘This body is full of potential! What I would do to get a chance to make it shine across the sky like the rainbow that it is!’ In spite of your objections, I always held hope that you would one day come to me, and at last you have. Of all the best things that could happen. This is. The. Best. Possible. Thing!"

Horn blazing, she used her magic to toss away her current designs, clean up her loose fabrics, and switch her ‘open’ sign to ‘closed’. Lifting Rainbow Dash to her hooves, Rarity started to pace around her, a quill going to work on a nearby floating parchment. “Now we definitely need to do something about the mane. A hooficure might be good too. A bubble bath, yes, but maybe two just in case. And as for the dress we’re going to need—”

“Hold up, Rarity!” shouted Rainbow Dash, getting her act together. “Two things. One, no hooficures. I don’t like my hooves being touched. Two, I’m not here for a dress.” Rainbow Dash took a deep breath, shifting her hooves around. “I’m here for a suit.”

Rarity paused in her trot and slowly turned towards Rainbow Dash, perplexity decorating her face. “A... suit? Um, Rainbow Dash? I had no idea you had... such proclivities. Not that it's wrong, mind you! Some ponies simply aren't comfortable with the gender they're born to, and I would never judge somepony for—”

“What? No! I’m not transgender!” shouted Rainbow Dash, holding her hooves out. “I know it’s weird, but I need to be in a suit tonight. It’s for Applejack anyway.”

“Applejack?” inquired Rarity, raising an eyebrow. “What does Applejack have to do with this? What’s going on?”

Rainbow Dash proceeded to explain what had happened two days ago and what Applejack had told her. She told her about Applejack’s dream for a special night of being treated like a lady, and how Dash wanted to give that to her, spilling some of her plans for the coming night. At the end of the story, Rarity had a warm smile that spread across her entire muzzle.

“Rainbow Dash... I believe I can honestly say that what you’re doing is one of the kindest things I have ever heard. Doing all this for Applejack, just so she can feel special. It’s no wonder you’re the Element of Loyalty.” Rarity’s grin then turned a bit sly. “Although, I can’t help but wonder if there is another meaning to all this. Hmm?”

Blushing, Rainbow Dash stuttered, “W-what are you saying?”

“Nothing. Not my place, darling. Anyway, we need to get you ready for tonight, and we don’t have a moment to spare!” She summoned a comb, scissors, a mirror, and a blow dryer to her side. “First, we need to make that mane of yours look in proper fashion.”

Rainbow Dash gulped as Rarity's shadow slowly fell over her.

***

Why was she doing this? She still couldn’t fathom why Rainbow Dash would want her to dress up again. For all she knew, this was some kind of prank meant to embarrass her. It wouldn’t be the first time either. Yet for some reason, it didn’t seem like that. Maybe she was being crazy or too trusting, but either way, she was curious.

Wearing the dress she had worn for many fantasies, Applejack looked at herself in her bedroom mirror. She didn’t put on any makeup—something she had very little experience with—and looked no different than the last time she wore it. Yet, every time she did wear it, it felt like she was special.

Sighing, she walked out of her room and down the stairs where her family was listening to their Bucky Cash album again. This time they were playing one of her favorites. She cleared her throat, getting their attention. Needless to say, they were all shocked. Apple Bloom was looking at her like she was a princess. Big Macintosh was rubbing his eyes, carefully looking at her in disbelief. As for Granny Smith, her jaw dropped so low her dentures fell out.

Apple Bloom was the first one to recover. “Wow, Applejack! Ya’ll look so amazin’! Ah almost didn’t recognize ya for a second!” She rushed over and started inspecting the dress. “Where did ya get this?! Is it from a special somepony?! Are ya goin’ on a date?!”

The word "date" instantly made Applejack blush. Was this a date? With Rainbow Dash? Before she could think this through further, a knock on the door alerted everypony that they had company. Big Macintosh got up and opened the door, revealing another surprise for the evening.

Applejack’s heart stopped as she took a moment to recognize who she was staring at. Her rainbow mane looked the same, but it was clean and combed, flowing in the breezy wind from outside. What she wore looked like the combination of a tuxedo and a cloak, pure black and with the tail end sparkling in silver. A jewel, one for each color of her gorgeous mane, shined in the moonlight on the sleeves. And in her mouth she carried a bouquet of red roses, which she presented in a bow.

“Pretty flowers for a pretty lady,” whispered Rainbow Dash.

Slowly lifting her forelegs, Applejack took the roses and stared at them, taking in their lovely smell. She didn’t know what to think or even to say. Was this really happening? She turned back to a smiling Rainbow Dash. “T-thanks...”

She eyed her family who were looking at them with wide smirks. Apple Bloom stepped forward and took the roses, as Granny Smith and Big Macintosh started pushing the two of them towards the porch. “Now ya’ll have some fun and don’t come back early, ya hear! Ah want to hear some good tales of yer date when ya get back, Applejack!” ordered Granny Smith.

“But Ah’m not! Are we? Ah don’t...”

The two were pushed outside and the door closed, instantly locked. Applejack slowly turned to a still-grinning Rainbow Dash. "I’m guessing you have questions.”

“A lot, actually. Why are ya dressed like a stallion?” asked Applejack, deciding to start with the most obvious.

“Well, since I don’t know any stallions personally that could give you the night of your life, I’ve decided to be the stallion of your dreams instead,” said Rainbow Dash, bowing before her lady. “It’s weird, I know, but let’s face it... in some ways I would make a better stallion than mare.”

Applejack snorted before frowning. “So... yer doin’ this for me? Why?”

Inching closer, face-to-face, Applejack felt her blush return as Rainbow Dash whispered, “Because you deserve to be treated right. You want to feel special? Like a real lady? I can do that for you.” Rainbow Dash moved closer, and winked. “Think of it as me helping you with your dream after all you’ve done to support mine. Not to mention I felt bad for laughing at you that day. I want to make it up to you. What do you say? Feel like a little role-playing tonight?”

Words flowed through Applejack’s brain, but none of them came out of her mouth. She tried to think of what possibilities this could all lead to. It was true that this was kind of what she wanted, and Rainbow Dash seemed to have put a lot of effort into it. Still, this was a bit weird. Her best friend was taking her out on a "date", dressed and pretending to be a stallion. She should have found that to be a bit creepy, at least.

But if that was true, why did she keep thinking that Rainbow Dash looked amazing? Why was her heart beating every time she looked into those magenta eyes? Why were each of her hooves sweating? She wanted to find out what else was in store for her. She wanted to go with Rainbow Dash.

This has to be a prank, right? There is no way Rainbow Dash is gonna take me out and act like some stallion. Right? Deciding to play along, Applejack held out her hoof, and said, “Well, sir. Ya’ll may lead me on this fine night of ours.”

Rainbow Dash nodded and wrapped her wing around Applejack, pulling her closer. As they walked down the road, a flushed Applejack tried to reassure herself that this was all just a prank.

Right?

***

Applejack was now starting to doubt her earlier suspicions as she watched the city of Canterlot loom closer. Leaning back on her first-class seat, she turned her gaze towards Rainbow Dash, who was watching her with a nervous smile. This was starting to go too far for Applejack. Prank or no prank, she wasn’t going to stand here and let one of her best friends waste their money on her.

“Rainbow Dash, what is yer game?”

Tilting her head, Rainbow Dash replied, “What do you mean? Something wrong?”

“What’s wrong? What’s wrong is that ah have no idea what yer thinkin’.” Applejack waved her hoof around their compartment. “First class on a train to Canterlot. Me and ya dressed all fancy like. Ah don’t wantcha to waste yer bits on me for somethin’ like this.”

“But isn’t it the stallion’s job to always pay for the mare? At least that’s what I’ve read in that book,” said Rainbow Dash, rubbing her chin.

Sighing, Applejack asked, “Look, Dash, why are ya doin’ this? Is it because ya feel bad for laughin’ at me? ‘Cause ah already forgave ya.”

Rainbow Dash rubbed her front hooves together, eyes avoiding Applejack’s. “Kind of... but when you said that you don’t think you’ll ever have that special night, I felt like I had to do something. You and the girls have always been by my side, helping me achieve my dream to be a Wonderbolt, so I thought I’d help you by giving you a chance to live your dream.”

Applejack’s heart skipped a beat. “Ya mean... yer treatin’ me on a real... date?”

“Well... I guess so?”

A long silence lasted between the two as Applejack tried to comprehend what was happening. A date. She was on a real date. With her best friend. She didn’t know if she should be flattered that Rainbow Dash was willing to do all this for her or be scared out of her wits. Having never been on a date, or even asked to one, Applejack didn’t know what on earth she was supposed to do. She had dreamed of such a moment multiple times with every kind of situation she could imagine. Now that she was here, all those times acting out with some pretend handsome or pretty pony were flushed out of her mind.

“I-I mean, I’m no stallion, and I guess that makes it even more awkward... ” said Rainbow Dash.

“Well, Ah’ve sometimes imagined... mares,” admitted Applejack, fiddling around with her dress.

“R-really?” asked Rainbow Dash, now supporting a blush of her own. “Well, okay! That’s fine. I mean, I like wearing this suit more than a dress anyway.”

Applejack nodded. “Ya look... pretty good in it.”

“Thanks.”

Neither of them spoke to each other for the rest of the trip. To pass the time, Applejack took another look at Rainbow Dash and found herself heating up. Truth be told, Rainbow Dash didn’t look "pretty good," she looked fantastic. The black and silver suit, the combed colorful mane, not to mention Dash seemed to have gotten her pelt cleaned as well. It had to be Rarity’s handiwork. Nopony else could make the rugged, down-and-dirty Dash look so regal, stunning, and cute.

Her throat suddenly dried up. Did she just think her best friend was cute? Maybe the situation was getting to her. The sound of the train whistle signaling their stop snapped her out of her thoughts. Seeing that they had arrived in Canterlot, the two got off their seats and exited the train where the wondrous city of Canterlot stood before them. While Applejack would always be a country pony, she had a soft spot for cities that were full of life at night thanks to her experiences in Manehatten. It wasn’t a sunset over the farm, but it was still amazing.

“So... what’s first?” asked Applejack, anticipation growing. Rainbow Dash only smiled before waving for a taxi. The carriage pulled up and she helped Applejack to her seat.

“Where to?” asked the cab runner.

Rainbow Dash gave Applejack a sly smile before answering, “The Golden Heaven Restaurant.”

***

The carriage ride was a bit too slow for Rainbow Dash’s taste, but she was willing to sit still for this night. She occasionally glanced at Applejack, who seemed to be slowly relaxing and taking in the sights. This helped ease some of her own worries. She wanted this to be a memorable night for Applejack, and she put a lot of work—not to mention bits—into this.

They soon arrived at the Golden Heaven Restaurant, one of the highest rated restaurants in Canterlot, and dismounted from the taxi. After paying their driver, Rainbow Dash guided Applejack towards the doors while her date was staring at their first stop in amazement. Rainbow Dash couldn’t blame her. It had that “heaven-like” look with white marble columns and walls wrapped with pure green leaves and roots, complete with an actual golden arch for a door. The whole design was similar to one of the buildings she read about in a Daring Do book, when the adventurer was looking for a rare artifact from Ancient Roam.

Passing through the golden doors, the inside was even more amazing. The entire floor was covered in clouds that were made specially thick for non-pegasus ponies to walk on. Golden chandeliers hung above with silver flames as waiters dressed in white suits carried fine wine and fresh food that made both ponies’ mouths water. There was a fountain, a small group of violin, cello, and bass players playing, and statues and paintings decorating all three floors of the restaurant.

“Rainbow Dash... how can ya even afford this?” asked Applejack, her breath taken away.

At first, Rainbow Dash was ready to spew out a lie, thinking that Applejack would only criticize her for the truth. But then she remembered one of the most important rules in the datebook: never lie to your date. Sighing, she answered. “I was saving a lot of my money for a trip to Las Pegasus. When I heard about your dream, I decided to use it for this night instead.”

As predicted, Applejack bit her lower lip and shook her head. “Rainbow Dash, ya didn’t—”

“Stop,” ordered Rainbow Dash. “Stop worrying about me and relax. Please, Applejack, just let loose and enjoy this night without worry. It’s what you’ve been dreaming about, right?”

Applejack stared at her for a while before her frown turned into a smile. To Rainbow Dash’s shock, Applejack nuzzled her neck, then gently kissed her on the cheek. It was nothing more than a quick peck, but it was enough to make Rainbow Dash stumble back in shock.

“Alright, handsome,” teased Applejack. “Ah’ll stop askin’ questions and just enjoy mahself like ya asked.”

“R-right,” said Rainbow Dash, leading them to their host.

The unicorn waiting upfront had put away a few menus before noticing the two. “Greetings, madam and...” He eyed Rainbow Dash’s clothing for a bit before continuing, “... um, sir. Shall it be two this evening?”

“Yup. We have a reservation, under the name Rainbow Dash?”

“Ah, I see you here on the list. Right this way.”

He guided them to a table in the center, and the two sat on their cushion seats. Presenting them their menus, their host asked, “Would you like something from our wine cellar?”

“You guys have Tempest Asti?” asked Rainbow Dash, receiving a nod in return. “We’ll have that.”

“Excellent choice, Ma-I mean, uh, sir. Your waiter should be here soon. Enjoy.”

Applejack snickered as he walked away. “He even called ya a stallion.”

Rainbow Dash shrugged. “Well, I am playing one.”

They sat in silence as the sounds of the restaurant continued around them. Rainbow Dash nervously scratched the back of her head and tried to remember the next part. The book said that this was the best time to have a conversation on a good topic, only Rainbow Dash was drawing blanks at the moment. She had come this far, and things had been going so well. She just had to talk about something interesting.

“So... nice weather we’ve been having lately,” said Rainbow Dash, who was ready to throw herself into the fountain for such a cliché start.

“It ain’t bad,” commented Applejack, focusing on a family of unicorns nearby. Rainbow Dash turned her head and saw that the adults were laughing while a lone filly was looking at the grown-ups with a bored expression.

“Something up?” asked Rainbow Dash.

“Just thinkin’ about that filly. She reminds me of mahself when ah was in Manehatten,” said Applejack, letting out a melancholy sigh.

“You know, I’m curious. You talk about how unhappy you were in Manehatten, but your dream was to be treated like one of them for one night. Why is that?”

Turning away from the family, Applejack gave a sad smile. “Ah wasn’t unhappy all the time. Mah family was good to me and the sights and shows were pretty neat too. But the one thing ah never forgot was during the last week ah was there, before ah headed home.” A nostalgic smile stretched across her lips. “Me and mah aunt and uncle went to a restaurant just like this one. Nearby there was this couple that ah couldn’t take mah eyes off of. She was so beautiful, and he was so handsome. They laughed and smiled at each other with such love, it was hard not to see it. Then, he pulled out a ring and asked her to marry him. She said yes and the entire restaurant exploded in applause. Ah thought ah’d seen somethin’ straight out of a fairy tale.

“That night, Ah imagined ah was that pretty lady, all grown up and beautiful with somepony that cared about me that much. Not a prince or anything, but somepony willin’ to do so much for me, just for one night. That dream only grew as ah got older, and eventually ah decided to try and pursue it.”

“What happened?” asked Rainbow Dash. “Surely you must have gotten somepony’s attention.”

Applejack sadly shook her head. “Nope. Neither a stallion nor mare. Ah tried every kind of pony ah knew, but they either didn’t notice or weren’t interested. Ah started wonderin’ why nothin’ worked. Was ah comin’ up too strong? Was ah not searchin’ right? Or maybe it was because ah wasn’t pretty enough.” She let out another sigh. “Ah figured that was the reason and so ah just stopped tryin’.”

“You're wrong,” said Rainbow Dash. She reached out for Applejack’s hoof and held it, making the farmer blush. “Let me tell you something, Applejack. I don’t know who turned you down, but they're idiots. You're strong, brave, kind, and despite what you may think, you’re beautiful.”

“A-Ah’m not...”

“You are!” Rainbow Dash raised her voice a bit, gaining some attention from others nearby, but she ignored them. “I was stunned by the way you looked when I saw you in that dress the first time. You looked so... so... cool! Your mane, your stance, even your face reflected perfectly in it. I’m not much for appreciating beauty like some ponies, but I can still tell when something looks cool and you, AJ, look very cool.”

Using her free hoof, Applejack wiped away a small tear dripping down her eye and smiled. “Rainbow Dash... nopony’s ever said somethin' so... kind to me like that.”

Rainbow Dash grinned. “Well, I’m not nopony. I’m your awesome, handsome stallion of the evening.”

Applejack nodded and the two let go of each others' hooves. Their wine was soon presented to them, and after a toast they ordered their meals, enjoying the rest of their dinner together.

***

“Okay. Best. Meal. Ever,” complimented Rainbow Dash as they exited the restaurant.

Applejack had to agree. Her belly was so full it felt like it was ready to burst. Besides the food, the experience was great as well. While she wasn’t one for boring, fancy dinners, Rainbow Dash had managed to make it lively. Her jokes and their light-hearted conversations were able to keep her interests, not to mention Rainbow occasionally flicked a pea or two at a nearby patron without their knowledge. Role-playing or not, she was still Rainbow Dash and that’s what Applejack liked most.

She found herself anticipating the next exciting thing Dash had planned for them. Her "gentlepony" called for another taxi and helped her inside. When asked where they were going, Dash gave an address and told them to hurry. “We don’t want to be late,” she said with a wink towards Applejack.

As the taxi driver galloped, Applejack found herself staring at Rainbow Dash, who was busy watching the street pass by them. More and more she was discovering things she never really noticed about Rainbow Dash, like how pretty her mane was in the light, the waves of colors mixing together to form that namesake of hers. Her eyes held such passion and fire; it brought a shiver down Applejack’s spine. Then there were her wings. She never noticed it before, but Dash’s wings seemed different from every other pegasus she knew. Maybe it was the feathers, or the shape, but she wanted to touch those wings.

She then started to stroke them, feeling the soft feathers pressed against her hoof. A gasp from Rainbow Dash woke Applejack from her daydream and the two stared at each other. Applejack quickly removed her hoof in shame. “S-sorry...”

To her surprise, the wing she had been ogling was now wrapped around her, pulling her closer to Dash’s chest. It was like having a blanket made of feathers, keeping her warm from the chilly night. Applejack didn’t want to move, not even an inch, from such warmth.

Rainbow Dash smiled as she rested her head against Applejack, who closed her eyes and let herself hear the beating heart of her date. Her date. She just couldn’t get around that fact. Not once had she thought that her special evening pony would be one of her friends. A thought came to Applejack. What would happen after tonight? Was this a one-time only thing, to give her a chance to live her dream? Or would they...?

Her pondering was cut short when the taxi came to a stop. Looking outside, she saw that they arrived just outside of a theater with a huge line already forming. After paying their driver they headed towards the front of the line, much to the irritation of the other ponies waiting.

“Can I help you?” asked the ticket mare.

“Two for Rainbow Dash.”

The mare looked on her list and nodded, levitating two tickets for them. Just as they were about to pass through the doors, Applejack spotted the poster for the night's show and gasped. Her legs froze as her eyes were focused on the image. It featured a handsome and rugged earth pony with a black pelt and a dark brown mane. His eyes were somber, but full of passion. In his hooves he held a guitar that had made so many listeners cry to his songs.

“Bucky... Cash...” Applejack uttered, the name of her favorite singer echoing in her ears. “Yer takin’ me to a Bucky Cash concert...”

“Well, your family listens to him nearly twenty-four seven. I figured it was only right that we would see h—gurk!"

Applejack continued to crush Rainbow Dash with her grip ,turning the poor pegasus purple. “Oh, Rainbow Dash! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Ah’v wanted to see him ever since ah first heard him as a baby! Ah can die happy now!”

“Mind... letting me... go before.... I kick the... bucket... myself!?” begged Rainbow Dash.

Releasing the gasping pegasus, Applejack blushed before helping her date up. They walked inside, Applejack doing her best to resist squealing like a fangirl. They moved past the reception area, past the bar, and made their way towards the doors for their seats. They showed their tickets and were guided up the stairs towards one of the guest balconies where they waited.

Well, Rainbow Dash waited. Applejack was bouncing in her seat. “Ah can’t believe ah’m gonna see him. Ah’m so excited mah teeth are chatterin’.”

“Guess I picked the right choice for our entertainment of the evening, huh?” asked Rainbow Dash, placing her hoof on Applejack’s.

The farmer noticed it for a second, but found herself comfortable with the touch and kept silent. The lights began to dim as ponies took their seats. Applejack bit her lip as a voice cried out, “Fillies and Gentlecolts. Bucky Cash!”

***

“That first act was amazin’!” cried out Applejack as she and Rainbow Dash made their way to the bar, the other audience members chatting with each other. “'Mare in Black'. 'Ring of Fire'. 'A Colt Named Sue'. He even did 'Goodnight, Irene'! Mah favorite.”

“I’ll admit that guy can play a guitar,” said Rainbow Dash, who sounded just as happy as Applejack. While she was more of a metal pony, Bucky Cash wasn’t that bad to her, and she didn’t once find herself bored. They walked up to the bar and ordered some cider, talking about their favorite songs and even singing a few lyrics before heading back to their seats. Along the way Applejack bumped into a fancily-dressed unicorn who lost control of her magic, causing her glass of wine to spill on her dress.

Unleashing a scream, she turned toward the two and shouted, “Look at what you’ve done, you clumsy fool! My dress is ruined!”

“Gosh, Ah’m sorry ma’am,” apologized Applejack. “Let me buy ya another one.”

The unicorn raised her eyebrow. “What is with that accent? It sounds so... common. Where are you from?”

“Ponyville,” said Applejack, narrowing her eyes.

Ponyville?!” spat the unicorn in disgust. “That backwater hole of a town? Nothing there but dirty barbarians who roll around in their own filth.”

“Hey, watch what ya say about mah hometown!” shouted Applejack, gritting her teeth. Rainbow Dash was glaring at the snob alongside her; nopony made fun of their home. Their reactions were starting to draw a crowd.

The snobbish unicorn only laughed and pointed at Applejack. “Aw, isn’t that cute. This little farmer thinks she can pose as one of us? Let me tell you something, you hillbilly. A mare like you may have the dress, but you’re nothing more than a wannabe playing pretend. You think you’re something? Not even your own cousins would want to be around you.”

“Shut up!” shouted Rainbow Dash. “Nopony makes fun of my friend like that!” She was ready to charge head first at the snobbish unicorn but security got between the two, ordering them to move along. “But...”

“I said move along, ma’am.”

Cursing, Rainbow Dash and Applejack walked away from the scene bitterly. The unicorn who mocked them only smiled and walked away herself. Dash growled. “Oh, would I love to take that horn and shove it right between her flanks.”

“Forget it, Dash,” urged Applejack. “Ponies like that are just jerks.”

Rainbow Dash still didn’t feel satisfied. She let that snob get away with insulting Applejack like that and without any retribution. She was supposed to be the stallion, defending her date’s honor. Bummed out from being denied her payback, she was forced to sit down and watch the rest of the show, but no longer paid any attention to the guitar player. She turned her eyes across the theater and found herself surprised at who was sitting in the booth across from them.

The stuck up unicorn was sitting all alone, eating her bag of popcorn on the side while keeping her focus on Cash. Growling, Rainbow Dash began to imagine using a Sonic Rainboom to obliterate the unicorn, when suddenly she felt her bladder calling for a toilet. Dash stared at the popcorn-eating unicorn and gave a sinister grin.

“I’m going to use the bathroom. Be right back,” said Rainbow Dash, taking off without warning.

***

Applejack knew that grin very well. It was a pranking grin, and already she had an idea who the target was. Like Rainbow Dash, she noticed that their instigator was sitting across from them on another balcony. While she was still frustrated about the whole affair, she was willing to put it aside for the show. Before she could say anything, Dash was past their curtains with the excuse of needing a restroom.

Sighing, she turned towards the other balcony and waited for whatever plan Dash was going to enact, listening to Bucky Cash sing. Nothing happened during the first minute, but she then noticed Rainbow Dash peek her head out of the curtains behind the targeted unicorn, who was too busy to notice. In a flash, Rainbow Dash swiped the popcorn sitting next to the unicorn and disappeared behind the curtains again.

“What in tarnation is she up to now?” asked Applejack to herself. It wasn’t long until she saw Rainbow Dash appear again, placing the popcorn back in its original spot.

Applejack waited until Dash came back moments later, smirking. Deciding it was pointless to beat around the bush, she asked, “So what did ya do with that popcorn?”

Rainbow Dash only pointed her hoof at the unicorn who had levitated a huge bundle of the popcorn into her mouth, only to spit it out in half a second later. She started gagging and scraping her tongue before leaving the balcony in a fit.

Confused, Applejack asked, “So what did ya do to her?”

“Let’s just say I buttered her popcorn a bit,” sneered Dash.

Eyes widening, Applejack’s mouth dropped before it closed back up and formed a shrewd smile. “Ya didn’t?”

“I did.”

Applejack laughed. She laughed so hard her sides hurt. Rainbow Dash joined in soon after and their laughter rang across the entire showroom, much to the confusion of everypony else in the theater.

***

It was almost over. But Rainbow Dash didn’t want it to be. Had she known this experience was going to be this... magical, she would have done it long ago. Looking outside the window of the train heading home, the stars seemed to shine brighter than normal. She turned away from the night and focused on the sleeping earth pony lying on her lap. Rainbow Dash sighed, gently stroking Applejack’s golden mane. Even asleep, she looked so beautiful.

Rainbow Dash mentally patted herself for doing a good job so far. She had been nervous about screwing up, but everything went perfectly. It wasn’t an experience only Applejack was enjoying, however. Rainbow had found herself having fun on their date as well.

Date. That word again.

It somehow always made her cheeks turn red just thinking about it. It was all suppose to be a role-playing experience, meant to help Applejack live her dream of a special night. So why did Rainbow Dash keep wishing it would never end? What was going to happen when it was all over? Were they going to be just friends again? Or something more?

She couldn’t deny that something inside her was building up as a result of all this. No, it had been there since she saw Applejack in the dress days ago. A part of her knew what it was, but she hesitated to say the word. What if she was just confused, or what if Applejack didn’t feel the same way? Dash thought about the way Applejack looked at her, so full of caring and warmth...

“Dashie...” muttered Applejack in her sleep, a bit of drool dripping out of her mouth.

Rainbow Dash blushed. Only Pinkie ever called her Dashie. Hearing Applejack say it, it was like she wanted to hug the earth pony closer to her and listen to the same word over again. Dashie. Dashie. Dashie.

She leaned over towards Applejack’s face, growing redder by the minute. She got closer, until she could feel Applejack’s hot, warm breath. Her lips were just inches away from touching...

Suddenly, the train stopped and jerked, nearly taking Rainbow Dash and Applejack out of their seats. Smacking her lips, Applejack noticed their faces so close to each other and started blushing as much as Dash. They separated and avoided each others’ gaze, Dash cursing her rotten luck. She was so close! There was no doubt in Rainbow Dash’s heart anymore. The feeling she held was true. If only she could confess it.

“So, we’re home,” pointed out Applejack. “Does the date end here?”

Rainbow Dash’s nearly smacked herself for forgetting the last part of their date. It would be the perfect place to confess and end the night. Rising up, she held out a hoof and smiled. “Not yet, Applejack. Just one more stop.”

“Well,” Applejack took the hoof with a smile, “Ah can’t wait.”

***

With Applejack by her side, Rainbow Dash guided them past the empty streets and into Ponyville’s park. The crickets chirping and owls hooting only enhanced the nocturnal experience. While Applejack enjoyed the sounds of nature, Rainbow Dash was busy looking for the picnic blanket and basket Pinkie was supposed to have set up. After a few minutes of searching, she spotted it near an open grove, illuminated by the bright moonlight. Rainbow made a mental note to give kudos to Pinkie for picking such a great spot.

Rainbow Dash guided her mare of the evening to the basket, when Applejack asked, “Did ya set this up ahead of time?”

“Had a little help from some friends,” hinted Dash as she sat down, Applejack following her example. Opening the basket, both ponies licked their lips at the sight of a small white frosted cake with pink frosted flowers decorated around it. Taking a knife from inside the basket, the two each cut a piece and began to eat.

They ate in silence, occasionally glancing at each other and giving a smile that made their hearts skip a beat. Dash was just about to finish her cake when Applejack raised her hoof. “Did ya hear that?”

Holding their breath, the two ponies sat in the moonlit darkness before they heard a few whispers from some bushes nearby. From the sound of it, it had to be four to seven ponies. Rainbow Dash smirked, “We’re being watched.”

“By a few nosy ponies, Ah’m guessin’,” said Applejack, peeking at the bushes for a second before turning back. “What should we do?”

“Eh, let’em watch. I want them to see how great my date looks,” said Rainbow Dash, getting Applejack all flushed again. A few ‘aww’s' were heard in the bushes, followed by a "Move over, Pinkie" and "Is Dash mah new sister-in-law?".

Rainbow Dash chuckled before noticing a bit of frosting on Applejack’s lower lip. Deciding to be sly, she leaned her head closer towards Applejack, her lips slightly opening. Applejack was as still as a doormat as she got closer. The spies in the bush were silent as well. She reached closer and closer until she was inches away from Applejack’s lips, emerald eyes staring into her own, pleading. With a smile, she wiped the frosting off AJ’s face with her hoof and licked it. “Had frosting on you. Gone now.”

Sighs of frustration and a few “Oh come on’s" were heard, making Rainbow Dash snicker. Her mirth was replaced with a yipe of pain. Rubbing her shoulder, she glared at Applejack. “What was that for?”

“For bein’ a tease,” answered Applejack, huffing in frustration.

“Fine, fine. Sorry. I’ll make it up to you,” said Rainbow Dash, hoping Fluttershy was ready for her cue. A second later, birds nearby were singing a harmonious tune that took Applejack by surprise as Dash stood up and held her hoof out. “May I ask the lady for a dance?”

Applejack stared at the hoof with wide eyes before smiling back and taking it. “Ah would be honored.”

Standing on their hind legs, the two supported each others’ balance with their thighs, forehooves intertwining in a close embrace. Slowly, Rainbow Dash took the lead and began to sway them back and forth. The two danced in the moonlight, hoof in hoof, with only the stars—and a few nosy ponies—as witnesses. Rainbow Dash had always believed her greatest moment in life would be when she finally joined the Wonderbolts, but tonight, it was here and now. Everything had been a success, and the look on Applejack’s beaming face only further proved it.

There was just one thing left to say. Only one thing she hadn’t planned on adding for the night, but she had to say it. Before she could, however, she saw something that made her heart sink. Tears were dripping down Applejack’s face. Halting the dance, she asked, “Applejack? What’s wrong?”

“Nothin’ is wrong, silly.” Applejack wiped her eyes. “Ah’ve never been so happy in all mah life. This night... this night has been everythin’ Ah’ve wanted since Ah was a little filly, Dash. Nopony’s ever been this good to me, treated me like this. Ah never thought though... that mah best friend in the whole wide world would be the one to do it for me. Thank you Rainbow Dash, for a night Ah’ll never forget.”

“Then...” Rainbow Dash closed her eyes and smiled. “Mind if I do one more awesome thing, to end the night?”

Applejack tilted her head. “It’s not over? What else could ya do to make this evenin’ more perfect?”

“This.”

She leaned forward and pressed her lips against Applejack’s, for real this time. Gasps emerged from the bushes, loud as could be, but neither of them cared. Applejack was surprised at first, but she closed her eyes and kissed back, stroking Dash’s mane. It was like a spark of lightning had passed through both ponies, pushing them to kiss harder, unique flavors swirling in their mouths. For Applejack, she felt like she was kissing the hot rainbows they made in the weather factory, but at a temperature that felt just right. Rainbow Dash, unsurprisingly, could taste apples with her kiss, but with a small flavor of cinnamon. Eventually, the two separated and looked into each others loving eyes.

“Applejack, I love you.”

“Ah love ya too, Rainbow Dash.”

They sat on their haunches and hugged each other, tight as they could. They could hear the others slowly leaving, letting them have their moment in peace. Applejack chuckled, “If this was the first date, Ah can’t wait to see what ya have planned for the second."

Rainbow Dash smiled. Neither could she.

The end

Author's Note:

This fanfic was made for the ApplexDash contest going on. For this contest I had two other ideas that weren't going to be made in time, but when I saw the artwork on Derpibooru I suddenly felt inspire to do this. It's a bit cheesy in some ways and maybe not the best romantic story out there, but I'm glad I got this done in less then two weeks.

Here's opening that it does good.

UPDATE: IT WON!

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