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Applejack's Little Apple

Applejack’s Little Apple

It was a bright, sunny day in Ponyville. Everypony was out relaxing and enjoying the day. However, as much as she wanted to kick back, there was one pony down at Sweet Apple Acres hard at work.

Applejack was doing what she normally does every day: going around her orchard and bucking apple trees to get the delicious fruit to fall into the awaiting buckets beneath them, while simultaneously picking up and discarding the bad apples into different buckets. Today though, she was working harder and faster, for although the sun was out and the day was warm, winter has almost arrived to Ponyville. Because of this, the farm pony was attempting to harvest as many apples as possible so the family won’t hurt for food during the cold season.

The orange mare was about to buck another tree when she heard a voice shouting her name excitedly.

“Applejack! Applejack!”

It was Apple Bloom, Applejack’s little sister. Apple Bloom was running towards her sister, a big smile on her face. When the little yellow pony reached to where Applejack was standing, she started jumping up and down, her saddlebags smacking against her small flanks.

“Guess what? Guess what!?!”

“Now hold on there ya silly filly. What’s got ya so excited?” Applejack asked her.

Apple Bloom reached into her saddlebags and pulled out a piece of paper, apparently the source of her happiness. From the contents on the paper, it appeared to be a math test Apple Bloom took. And at the top, circled, was a grade.

Applejack grinned at her little sister. “Ya got a B+ on yer math test? Well congratulations Apple Bloom!”

Apple Bloom put her paper back into her saddlebags. For most ponies, a B+ wasn’t usually something to get excited over, but for Apple Bloom it was seeing as how math was her worst subject and usually failed in that area of academics. She then asked her sister “Have you seen Big Mac? I wanna show him too!”

“Last I checked, he was goin’ through the vegetables ta see if they’re ready ta be harvested. If’n he ain’t there, he’s probably gettin’ rid of some old stumps down in the southern edge of the orchard.”

“Ok, thanks Applejack!” Apple Bloom started turning around and running off before her older sister called after her.

“Yer welcome. And after you show Big Mac, maybe you could tell Granny Smith an’ perhaps she’ll make ya an apple pie for a job well done!”

But the little mare was too far away to hear or respond. The cowpony simply stared after her sister, smiling and chuckling to herself. Applejack turned around and went back to apple bucking.

--

The next morning, Applejack woke up a little bit later than usual.

After all, it was a Saturday. Her sister didn’t need to be at school and her older brother, Big Mac, was making breakfast, so why shouldn’t she sleep in a little late? Speaking of breakfast, she could start to smell the warm and inviting aroma of pancakes, eggs and oats. So Applejack woke up, brushed her teeth, braided her mane and tail like usual, picked up her signature hat and headed down stairs.

When she got to the kitchen, she saw her brother at the stove cooking and their grandmother asleep in a chair in the corner as usual.

“Mornin’ everypony.” Applejack said with a cheery tone.

“Mornin’” Big Mac replied with his usual calm tone.

At the sound of voices, Granny Smith’s eyes popped open and looked about the room with a slightly bewildered look, as if she was expecting something dangerous. Upon noticing two of her grandkids, the old green mare smiled. “Mornin’ Applejack dear…” Granny Smith started mumbling as she went back to sleep.

Applejack couldn’t help but chuckle. She then looked around and noticed one pony missing. The cowpony turned to her brother, “Apple Bloom not up yet?” she asked.

“Nnope.”

As if by magic, the small yellow pony came trudging down the stairs yawning. When Apple Bloom entered the kitchen, she smiled at her family. “Morning everypony.” she tiredly said.

Applejack looked at her sister with concern. “You alright there sugarcube? You don’t look so hot.”

“I’m fine, just didn’t sleep well because I had a tummy ache. I think I ate too much pie last night.” Apple Bloom replied.

Again, Granny Smith’s eyes popped open.

“Tummy ache? Who’s got a tummy ache?!” Granny asked.

The yellow filly looked at her grandmother with a slightly confused look. She could never understand her granny’s way of thinking. “Ah do Granny. But it’s alright, it’ll go away.” Apple Bloom said.

Then with unexpected energy, Granny Smith scooped up Apple Bloom and placed her in a chair at the table. She then grabbed a glass, a jug of apple juice, and some honey and mixed it together. When Granny thought the concoction was ready, the old mare placed the glass in front of Apple Bloom. “Drink that deary; it’ll make ya feel all better.”

“Umm, alright then.” Apple Bloom picked up the glass in her teeth and gulped down the drink. She then started coughing from the thickness of the honey and the sweetness of the drink. But it did what it was suppose to do. “Hey, yer right Ah do feel better!”

At this comment, the four ponies in the room laughed. Just then Big Mac spoke up.

“Breakfast is ready.”

The large, red stallion placed all the food on the table while Applejack got the drinks. When the table was placed and the family was about to eat, there was a knock at the door.

Applejack, a little upset that she had to wait longer to eat, got up and started walking to the door while Winona, her dog, started barking her head off.

“Now who the hay could that be this early in tha mornin’?” Applejack thought to herself. Sure it was later than her family was usually up, but it was still earlier than when most of Ponyville got up. When she almost reached the door, the knocking turned into pounding. “Hold on, hold on Ah’m a comin’!” the famer shouted towards the door.

When she reached the door, Applejack opened it and asked, in as nice a tone as she could, “How may I help….you?”

Applejack almost didn’t say the last word. She was standing at the doorway, her eyes showing a mixture of confusion and fear. Standing in front of her was an earth pony stallion, maybe half a head shorter than Big Mac, panting and looking about as if expecting something or somepony to jump out and attack him. His body was a sand-yellow, except for the areas that contained bruises, cuts and splotches of blood, his earth-brown mane was in a tangled mess and the pony was shaking.

“Help….me..” the stallion croaked out, before passing out in front of Applejack.

--

The stallion shifted about, feeling like he was being watched. After a few moments, he decided to open up his eyes a little bit. When he did though, he became worried. Staring back on him was Apple Bloom’s golden-orange eyes, her face a few inches from his own. His eyes dilated as he let out a scream, causing the small pony on him to jump off as the stallion jumped from the couch he was laying on. Then the stallion sat huddled in a corner, pointing one hoof at the curious, and now somewhat sad, Apple Bloom.

“Y-y-you st-stay away from m-me.” he said in a frightened voice.

Apple Bloom sat down, her eyes becoming wet from tear buildup. “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean ta frighten ya. I was just making sure you was okay, honest!”

All of a sudden Applejack walked in, wondering what was going on in the living room.

“What in tarnation is all the commotion about Apple Bloom?” the orange mare asked her sister.

Apple Bloom turned to her sister. “Ah think ah frightened him when he woke up..”

Applejack turned to the stallion, who was still cowering in the corner, looking at him. “Well at least Granny got ‘im patched up” Applejack thought. She then put on a warm smile and pointed towards the couch he was laying on a moment ago.

“Why don’t you take a seat and we can have this mess fixed up lickety-split.”

The earth pony slowly made his way to the couch, still keeping an eye on the two ponies sitting down. When he was comfortable, he looked back at the two and smiled awkwardly.

“Now that we’re all settled in and comfortable. Why don’t we start with introductions? Ah’m Applejack, ‘n’ this here’s mah sister, Apple Bloom.”

“Howdy!” the smaller pony said with a smile.

“I’m, uhh, I’m Quest.” the stallion answered hesitantly.

The orange mare smiled again at him and chuckled a little bit. “Quest? That’s kind of a funny name.”

“No funnier than Applejack…” Quest mumbled under his breath.

Applejack’s eyes narrowed, “What was that?” she asked.

Quest’s face blushed and he quickly answered. “Nothing. I didn’t say anything.”

“That’s what I thought. Now I’m sure you got a whole heap of questions, but I want my question answered first. Why did you show up at my door beaten and bruised askin fer help?”

Quest shifted where he laid. He looked at his front legs, one of which was bandaged, and seemed to be asking himself if he should tell them the truth. After deciding, he looked up at the two country ponies and sighed. “I guess I should tell you. After all you did help me, it’s the least I could do.”

He took in a large breath, and then slowly started explaining. “I’m a traveling pony, as shown by my cutie mark (a blank piece of paper with a rose compass in the middle). But traveling abroad isn’t always easy. Sometimes you run into hardships or problems that aren’t as easy as you think to overcome. A few weeks ago I was in Hoofington thinking of where I could travel to next, when I overheard some ponies talk about Canterlot. After getting some information and spending my last night there, I headed towards Canterlot. When I reached the Everfree Forest, I remembered I was told to not stray from the path. But being somewhat arrogant and stubborn, I thought I knew better and decided to take a shortcut. At the start everything was okay and I couldn’t see why anypony would be afraid of the area, but then I started understanding their fear around nightfall. I was setting up camp and went into my tent to grab something, when I heard howling and noticed a bush rustling off to the side. All of a sudden a group of timber wolves jumped out and started growling at me while approaching. I did the only thing I could think of, I ran as fast as I could. Of course they chased me, but luck seemed to be on my side that night as every twist and turn I took slowed down the wolves. But I made the mistake of not paying attention and I ended up falling down a somewhat deep crevice in the ground. I looked up and saw the wolves staring at me and howling, waiting to see if I would make the mistake of climbing up. After waiting for a while, they decided to leave, that’s when I passed out. I woke up yesterday morning and cautiously climbed out. After getting my bearings, I looked around and saw your apple trees in the distance, so I started running for here. And that’s how I ended up here.”

Applejack and Apple Bloom just stared at Quest, a look of amazement and worry on their faces. Finally Applejack spoke up, “Well, that’s quite a tale there partner. I take it that you’re gonna stay here for awhile and rest up?”

Quest stretched his legs and yawned. “No no. I should probably get going. I wouldn’t want to be in your family’s way or anything. Thank you for helping me out though.” he answered while smiling. He got up and started heading towards the door. But Applejack stood in his way. “Umm excuse me, but I should really get going. Again, thank you for helping me.” He went to get around the farm pony, but she stood in his way still.

“Sorry, but no can do Quest. As much as you would like to go and have your own adventures, ya’ll can’t leave yet.” Applejack simply said.

The stallion gave her a questioning look.

“Ya can’t leave for a few reasons. One, because you ain’t got nothin’ and I sure as sugar ain’t gonna let you go back into the forest to grab yer stuff. Two, because ya haven’t healed all the way an’ three, because winter’s gonna be startin’ in a few days so the pegasus are gettin’ ready for a snow fall.”

Quest looked at the floor and sighed, obviously saddened by the fact he can’t leave. Applejack helped him back to the couch and put a reassuring hoof on his shoulder. The traveling stallion looked at her and she smiled again at him.

“Thanks Applejack. I promise I’ll try not to get in the way and I’ll help out as much as I can.” Quest said, smiling back.

“No problem partner. If’n you need anything, don’t hesitate ta call me or mah brother Big Mac. Come along Apple Bloom; let’s let Quest here rest up.” Applejack started heading out the room and back to the orchard. Apple Bloom waved to Quest than chased her older sister outside to help.

--

Quest was lying in his bed in the guest room of the Apple family’s house. It’s been a month since he stumbled upon the Apple family’s farm, injured and asking for help. They gladly took him in and healed him right up. Quest would’ve left after he was healed up, but Applejack insisted that he stay for the winter season. He couldn’t say no to Applejack, he respected her too much and felt obliged to stay and help. His thoughts started straying to other things Applejack related. Quest blushed as he realized what he was thinking about. He tried to think of other things, but couldn’t. Every thought led to Applejack and how much he liked her.

“Am I…am I starting to develop feelings for her?” Quest thought. ”No that can’t be. It wouldn’t work. She’s a down to earth farm girl who cares about her family and friends. I’m just a simple pony who travels everywhere. Besides, she doesn’t like me like that….but..could she….?” Quest tossed and turned some more in his bed while thinking. After a few hours though, he finally fell asleep.

The next morning Quest woke up with the sun, a habit he developed with the Apples. He walked out of his room and into the kitchen where Applejack, Apple Bloom and Big Mac were sitting around the table eating and chatting. Granny Smith had fallen asleep in her rocking chair in the corner.

When the sand-yellow stallion walked in, Apple Bloom looked up from her plate and smiled widely at him. “Mornin’ Quest!” she said in an excited tone.

“Hey there small fry.” Quest said, calling Apple Bloom by her nickname that he gave her. He took a seat between her and Big Mac while Applejack was getting him food. Quest looked at the stove where she was. He started blushing when he noticed that he was staring at Applejack’s flanks. Apparently Big Mac noticed too and cleared his throat, snapping Quest back to attention.

Applejack set Quest’s plate down in front of him then took her place back at the table, sitting across from him. This morning’s meal was rather simple, a plate of pancakes with apple syrup, coffee, and apple juice. Quest took a few bites from his pancakes before looking at Applejack and asking, “So what’s the plan today?”

The orange cowpony seemed to think this over for a few moments, and then responded. “Well, we got some apple crates that Big Mac’s gonna be taken apart fer spare wood, Apple Bloom’s gonna help Granny clean up the house, and there’s not a whole lotta snow so Ah’m gonna see about maybe selling some apples today in Ponyville. So feel free ta help any of us.”

“Hmm, I think I’ll help Big Mac with the crates. Then when you’re ready to head into town, I’ll tag along and help. If that’s alright.” Quest said before taking a drink of his coffee.

Applejack smiled at him. “Sounds good ta me. We’ll get started after breakfast.”

--

It’s been an hour since breakfast, and as far as Quest could tell, things going alright. Every once in awhile the red stallion would look at him, as if thinking of starting small talk, but then would quickly look away and continue working. After about the fifth or sixth time, he looked at Big Mac.

“Is everything alright, Big Mac?” the stallion asked his slightly larger friend.

“Eeyup.” Big Mac replied, in his typical manner.

“Now be honest. Is there something I’ve done or said? Cause you’ve been looking at me like you’re expecting me to do something weird.”

Instead of answering Quest’s question, Big Mac asked his own. Which would’ve been fine were it not one so unexpected and somewhat personal.

“Ya’ll like mah sister, don’t ya?” the red stallion simply asked.

Quest looked slightly dumbstruck. “Wh…what?”

“Ah said-“

“I heard what you said. It’s just….well..”

Big Mac got up and walked towards Quest. He sat down in front of him when he was a few hoof beats away. “Now be honest. Ah ain’t gonna pummel ya or nothin’. All Ah’m lookin’ for is an answer.”

“Well… yea. I do.” Quest finally admitted. He looked towards the stallion in front of him, kind of expecting a glare. But true to his word, Big Mac simply looked at him. In fact, Big Mac even looked like he had a small smile.

Big Mac then said something Quest wasn’t expecting. “She likes you too, ya know.”

“R-really?” Quest asked, a slight blush forming on his face.

“Eeyup.”

Just when Quest about to say something else, Applejack poked her head through the door to the barn from the house. “Hey there, fellas. Ah’m goin’ ta Ponyville ta try an’ sell some apples. Yer welcome ta come with if ya want, Quest.” The orange face that was just there disappeared.

Quest got up and was about to go through to door to meet up with Applejack, when a large red hoof caught him on the shoulder. “Listen Quest. Ah respect ya and Ah’m grateful fer all ya’ve done. Ah’m not sure if Ah feel comfortable lettin’ some stallion try an’ get with mah sister, but if’n it makes her happy, than Ah’m willin’ ta put up with it. But listen here cause Ah’m only gonna tell ya once, if ya’ll do anything to mah sister to make her cry or sad or worse, Ah promise Ah’m gonna hunt ya down an’ make a new blanket from yer hide. Got that?”

Quest gulped, eyes dilated from fear. “I p-p-promise Big Mac, I won’t do anything to make Applejack upset.” the stallion finally managed to say.

Big Mac sat back down, a smile spreading on his face again. “Well alright then. Have fun sellin’ apples.” He turned around and went back to taking apart the old crates.

--

“Well that went just downright horrible.” Applejack sighed.

Applejack and Quest were walking back the Sweet Apple Acres from Ponyville. Applejack was hoping to sell some apples so her family could have some extra money to help fix up their home and barn.

Quest looked at his crush and felt heartbroken. He hated seeing Applejack sad or upset. “I’m sorry Applejack.” he said, hoping it might help cheer her up a little bit.

“It’s alright. Just guess today wasn’t a good day ta sell apples...”

Although both ponies hate to admit it, today did go by rather horribly. First, on the way to Ponyville, one of the cart’s wheels broke and got stuck in some mud, meaning Quest had to lug the crates on his back the rest of the way. Then, it started raining and the wind blew wildly, causing some of the apples to wash or blow away, along with Applejack’s hat. In fact, the only good thing that came of this day was Rainbow Dash stopping by while on weather duty and talking to Applejack for a bit.

“There’s got to be a way to cheer her up. Think man, think!” Quest thought to himself. Then the idea hit him like a buck to the head. Quest stopped in the middle of the road, making Applejack turn around and stare at him questioningly.

“Something wrong, sugarcube?” she asked him.

“No, nothing. I just remembered that I wanted to stop by the library and look for some books to read while I’m staying with you guys. You don’t mind, do you?”

Applejack thought for a moment. Normally that wouldn’t have worked because there’s usually lots of crates to carry back. But with today’s profits being either lost in mud or blown away, it wasn’t a big deal.

“Sure thing, Quest. Just please be back before a worse storm hits.”

“No problem, Applejack!”

With that, the stallion turned around and galloped back to the small town. He felt bad for lying to the mare, but he wanted to surprise her.

--

It was midnight and Applejack was sitting at the kitchen table. Bags were under eyes and a worried expression was on her face. It’s been 8 hours since Quest went back to Ponyville to get some books and he hasn’t returned.

“Ah know Twilight likes ta talk to ponies about books. But there’s no way in Equestria she could keep Quest this long. Where is that darn pony?” Applejack thought. As if by magic, the kitchen door was opened up and in walked a tired and muddy Quest.

Applejack flew from where she was sitting and tackled him, knocking him over and causing whatever was in his mouth to be dropped.

“I was worried ya’ll was hurt Quest. Where have you been!” the farmpony asked her friend.

Quest chuckled a little bit. He was too busy admiring the ponies emerald eyes and feeling her heartbeat against him to answer right away. But when he did, he had a huge grin on his face.

“I thought I’d bring you a gift to cheer you up.”

Quest than got up and picked up the object that fell. When Applejack saw it, she gasped, tears were falling down her face.

“Mah hat!! Where did ya find it?!” Applejack took the muddy object from Quest and put it on the kitchen counter, intending to clean it up later.

“I had to look all over Ponyville for it. It wasn’t easy with the wind blowing it around everywhere. But I finally managed to grab it out of a gutter. Sorry about all the mud and grime, it wasn’t easy to carry in the wind.” Quest blushed sheepishly.

Applejack ran up and gave the muddy stallion a huge hug. It was probably one of the nicest things any ponies have done for her. When they were done hugging, Applejack looked at her friend in the eye and asked why he did it.

“Well, because when I saw how upset you were at losing it, it hurt me. So I decided on the way here that I’d look for it, which is why I made that excuse. But I also did it because I..I love you Applejack..” Quest said rather quietly.

It was the cowpony’s turn to blush. “You what?”

“I love you, Applejack.” Quest said a little more confidently.

Applejack was stunned. She never thought of anypony ever having feelings for her. And although she did like Quest, she didn’t know if she could admit it herself. “W-why, since when?” she asked him.

Quest looked into her eyes. “Those beautiful emerald eyes.” he thought.

“A few weeks after I started helping around the farm. I just thought you were most beautiful pony I’ve ever seen. And your kindness and willingness to help out anypony got me, too.” Quest blushed as he said this.

All of a sudden, Applejack leaned up and kissed Quest. The unexpected motion caused Quest’s eyes to widen and both ponies to blush. After a few moments, they broke apart for air.

“Ah love you too Quest.” Applejack said softly. She then started towards the stairs, making her tail suggestively brush against the stallions chin and cheek as she walked away. Before she started up the stairs, she turned and winked at Quest, causing his mouth to drop open and slightly drool. Applejack giggled and started up the stairs, shouting back down “You comin’ or what?” After Quest’s brain registered the question, he darted up after the orange mare and jumped into bed with her, where they both enjoyed the night in each other’s brace.

--

It was late morning when Quest woke up. He looked around, still not used to sleeping in Applejack's bedroom after three weeks. Quest turned to the side he thought Applejack would be sleeping to give her a morning kiss, but she wasn’t there. Tumbling out of bed, the stallion slowly walked down the stairs and into the kitchen, where Big Mac, Apple Bloom and Granny Smith where sitting.

“Hey everypony. Have you seen Applejack?” Quest asked.

“Eeyup. She’s in the bathroom. Sounds sick to me.” Big Mac calmly replied.

At that moment, Applejack walked in. Eyes were bloodshot, she looked terrible. Her mane and tail were frazzled and she walked as if she’s been hit in the head a few times. When she noticed the ponies around the table, she managed to give them a weak smile.

“Mornin’ ya’ll.”

Granny Smith then spoke up. “Get yer flank over here missy so I can checks ya out an’ make sure you’re alright.”

“Ah’m doin fine Granny. Just had an upset stomach is all.”

Granny wasn’t buying it. “Now Applejack, don’t lie ta me. Ah taught ya’ll better than that. Now sit here so I can see what’s wrong.”

The cowpony sat down in the seat Granny Smith indicated. The wizened old mare walked up and started checking her granddaughter. First Granny put her hoof against Applejack’s forehead; she then grabbed her wrist to check her pulse.
Granny ended the check up by putting an ear to Applejack’s chest, it was then the old green mare smiled. She stood up and knowingly said “Well, ya ain’t sick that’s fer sure.”

Applejack looked unsure. “Well if Ah ain’t sick, than what’s wrong?”

Granny Smith warmly smiled at her eldest granddaughter. “Yer pregnant.” she simply said.

Everypony in the room was quiet. First they looked at Applejack, then at Granny. Big Mac finally spoke up.

“Are you sure Granny? Ah ain’t doubtin’ ya, it’s just that maybe you made a mistake or somthin’?”

Granny frowned at her grandson. “Of course Ah’m sure. So far Applejack’s got the signs. Mornin’ sickness, headache and sore wrists.”

“Ah don’t have a head-“Applejack’s sentence was interrupted by the predicted headache. And boy did it ache. “Now Ah know what Rarity went through.” the orange mare thought, remembering one of her friend’s pregnancy.

At that moment, Quest felt a pair of eyes burrowing in the side of his head. He cautioned a looked to his right and flinched. For Big Mac was sitting there, glaring at the stallion that impregnated his sister.

The only pony that seemed happy was little Apple Bloom. “Oh boy Ah’m gonna have a li’l nephew ta play with just like Sweetie Belle!” the yellow filly said while jumping around the kitchen.

--

It’s been a few months since Quest first joined the Apples. It was mid-spring and Quest would’ve been gone by now, but he couldn’t leave. He stayed for two reasons: to help Applejack and his child, and out of fear of Big Mac’s promise to hunt him and skin him.

Normally he would be working on the farm, taking of Applejack’s chores while she was out. However, Quest and his marefriend were at the hospital today. The doctor wanted to check Applejack every two to three months, this was their third visit and Applejack was seven months into her pregnancy. For the most part, nothing exciting ever happened. Applejack usually woke up sick, so Quest ended up doing her chores. Big Mac would do his own chores, but not without keeping an eye on Quest in case he were to upset Applejack.

“Well, it looks like everything’s coming along fine. Are there any questions or concerns you two have?” the doctor asked Applejack and Quest.

Applejack smiled to herself while holding her stomach. “Nope. Thank ya, doctor. Hopefully the next time we see ya is when Ah’m gettin’ this li’l feller outta me.” Applejack chuckled.

The doctor smiled at the young couple. “Very well. Take care, you two, and don’t forget that I’m always available if you ponies have any questions or concerns.”

“Thank you, doctor.” Quest said, letting Applejack lean against him as they walked out of the hospital.

--

(Flash Forward 2 ½ months)

It was midnight and everything was peaceful in Ponyville.

Quest was asleep in bed with Applejack, whom he assumed was asleep as well. That was, until he felt a kick to his back, which caused him to fall to the floor. While still recovering, an orange blur shot pass him and heard a voice calling back “Sorry, sugarcube. It’s an emergency!”

The stallion was about to lie back down in the remade bed when he heard a shriek pierce the house. Quest, Big Mac, and Apple Bloom left their rooms and darted down the stairs, slowly followed by Granny Smith who could only move so fast. Just as the four of them reached the living room, Applejack blasted open the door to the bathroom, the look on her face filled with excitement and surprise.

“We need ta get to tha hospital!” she screamed. After a moment of stillness, the house was filled with ponies running everywhere. Big Mac hitched himself to a cart that Apple Bloom was filling with blankets and pillows so that their sister was comfortable on her way to the hospital. Granny Smith was helping Applejack to the cart while calming her down and reassuring her granddaughter. Quest just stood there, shocked and dumbfounded as to what he should do.

“Are ya comin’, Quest?” Apple Bloom shouted from the cart as Big Mac started for the town.

Quest started to panic. “Uhh…uhh, no I don’t think so. I think I’ll stay here and keep an eye on the house!” he shouted back.

--

It’s been 2 hours since Applejack was rushed to the hospital. She was tired, sore, and worn out from everything that’s been happening.

"Alright, Applejack, you're doing good. Just keep pushing," the doctor who was performing the delivery said.

Along with the farm pony and the doctor, there were nurses keeping an eye on her to make sure nothing went wrong. Applejack’s family was also in the room with her. Granny Smith was laying in a corner watching as tears of happiness fell down her cheeks; Apple Bloom was lying against the old mare’s side. The little filly passed out a few minutes after settling down. Big Mac was standing next his sister’s bed, also crying. But unlike Granny, the red stallion was crying because Applejack was crushing his hoof that she held in her own hoof.

The stallion looked at the doctor. “Doc, are we almost done yet?” he asked, trying not to cry out loud from the pain.

“Almost. You just need to push one or two more times, Applejack, and you’re finished.”

The orange mare took in a deep breath and started pushing again. The doctor told her to do it one more time so she did. This time though, Applejack cried out from the pain and squeezed her brother’s hoof even harder. Right when she did, Big Mac cried out as well, making all the ponies look at him in surprise and waking up his youngest sister.

“And here we are. A young baby colt.” the doctor said gently, lifting up and showing Applejack her crying baby.

Applejack grasped and held her new foal close to her and admired him. Big Mac limped towards Granny and Apple Bloom, glad that Applejack had something else to hold on to. When he reached them, the large stallion turned around and smiled at Applejack.

A unicorn nurse walked up next to Applejack’s bed, floating a clipboard and pen next to her. Cheerily she asked, “So have you thought of a name?”
The cowpony cradled her son. She warmly smiled and said “Cobbler, Ah’ll call him Apple Cobbler.” The name seemed to fit the child. His coat was an amber, the wisps of hair that would become his mane and tail seem to be a caramel color, and his eyes were a yellow-green.

The nurse smiled, wrote down the name, and walked away, leaving the remaining nurses to put everything away. One nurse came and took the new member of the apple family to be examined while other nurses transferred Applejack and her family to a room.

It’s been 5 hours since Applejack went through her ordeal. Although she was tired, she was content to just sit in her bed and cradle her son. At the sound of the door opening, the ponies in the room turned and looked to see who it was.

Through the door came Applejack friends: Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie and Rarity. Rarity’s newborn, a three month old pegasus named Frostfyre, was asleep on her back. Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle rushed in behind them, wanting to see the new baby and their friend Apple Bloom.

Applejack smiled at her friends. “Hey, everypony. Glad ta see ya.”

Rarity was the first to speak, “Of course, darling. Why wouldn’t we come to see our friend and her new wittle baby?” The white unicorn said the last part in a silly voice, making Apple Cobbler give her a weird look. “Yes, well then.” Rarity chuckled slightly while blushing.

Fluttershy was standing next to Big Mac when she spoke, “Oh yes, Applejack. We wanted to make sure you were doing alright, seeing as how we haven’t seen you since before winter started.”

“Actually I wanted to ask you about that, Applejack. Usually you come to Ponyville a few days after Winter Wrap-up to see how everypony’s doing. But this year nopony saw you since the event.” Twilight said, giving her friend a concerned look.

Before Applejack could explain herself, their cyan friend, Rainbow Dash spoke. “Yea. And who was that pony you were with the day that storm started?”

“Alright, alright, everypony calm down and Ah’ll tell ya the whole story.” Applejack promised her friends. Once they all sat down and were looking at her, the cowpony started telling her tale of the past months, starting with when Quest showed up.

After she was done, Applejack laid back, smiling to herself as the memories replayed themselves in her head. She looked down at her now sleeping foal and nuzzled him gently.

“Awww” five ponies could be heard saying. Then a pink one jumped up, her eyes wide with excitement at an idea she had.

“Oh my gosh, Applejack! We need to throw you a party ASAP!!!” Pinkie Pie said.

Their orange friend chuckled to herself. “That’s alright, Pinkie. It can wait fer a li’l while longer.”
Just when Pinkie was about to argue, a nurse poked her head through the door. “I’m sorry to bother you all. Visiting hours are over though and I’m going to have to ask all non-family members to leave.”

After this bit of news, the five ponies let out a communal sigh that they have to leave their friend. But before they left, they each said their own goodbyes, with Pinkie promising ‘the best party ever!’ and Fluttershy offering to watch over Apple Cobbler should Applejack ever need it. When the last of their friends left, Big Mac closed the door and turned off the lights, shrouding the room in peaceful darkness. He went and laid down in a corner with Granny Smith, letting Apple Bloom lay on top of him like a bed. Even though Applejack was tired, she stayed up for a little bit; feeling her son’s small heartbeat, listening to her family’s breathing, but mostly thinking. Thinking about where Quest was and why hasn’t he shown up? Surely he would want to see his own kid and his marefriend wouldn’t he?
“Ah’ll ask him tomorrow.” Applejack thought before finally closing her eyes and going to sleep.

--

Applejack woke up next morning in a panic. She was having a dream about her son, and instinctively slightly tightened her grip on where he should’ve been. But instead what she felt was nothing. She sat right up in bed and looked around the room, but all she saw were white walls and her siblings asleep in a corner. All of a sudden the door opened and Granny Smith walked in with Apple Cobbler giggling on her back. The farm pony released all the tension she had and smiled.

“Sorry fer worryin’ you deary. But he woke up hungry and you needed yer rest so Ah figured Ah’d go an’ find some food fer him.” Granny spoke gently while giving Applejack back her son.

Applejack rocked her foal back and forth. “It’s all right, Granny. Ah know he’s safe with you. And thank ya fer doin’ that.”

At the sound of voices, Big Mac woke up, whose stirring in turn woke up Apple Bloom. “What’s goin’ on?” the filly asked wearily.

Granny Smith walked up and nuzzled her granddaughter. “Nothin’, child. What say you to goin’ an’ getting’ some breakfast?” the old mare asked.

Apple Bloom merely smiled and ran out of the room, calling for her grandmother to follow. Granny walked after her, chuckling to herself.

Instead of going with the rest of his family, Big Mac walked up to his sister’s bed. “How ya feelin’, AJ?” he asked.

“Ah’m fine, Big Mac, thanks.”

“Alright. Well Ah’m gonna go an’ fix up the house so it’s ready fer ya’ll when ya get there.”

“Thank ya kindly. But maybe ya should relax fer a bit. A lot has happened the past few days.”

The large farm stallion only smiled as he walked out the door, closing the door behind him.

--

It was the afternoon when Applejack, Granny Smith, Apple Bloom, and their friends walked up the road to Sweet Apple Acres. Apple Bloom and the other Crusaders were running around chasing each other. Applejack was talking to her friends while Apple Cobbler and Frostfyre kept cooing and laughing at one another, apparently having their own conversation. When they reached the farm though, they all heard some crashing coming from the inside. Panicking, Applejack asked Twilight to watch Apple Cobbler while she ran inside. Granny Smith stayed behind to make sure Apple Bloom didn’t follow.

When she ran inside, Applejack stood in the living room slightly confused. “Ah could’ve sworn Ah heard something breaking..” she said to herself. Just then the door to the guest room, Quest’s old bedroom, splintered open to let a small dresser fly out and crash on the wall next to Applejack. The orange pony turned and stared into the bedroom, seeing a furious Big Mac snorting and staring off into oblivion. Applejack ran up to her brother, concerned.

“Woah there Mac, what’s wrong?” she asked.

Big Mac snorted again, then slowly, not attempting to hide the anger in his voice, said “He. Left. Us.”

“What’re you talkin’ about?”

This time the stallion yelled, causing his sister to flinch. “HE ABANDONED US!

“N-n-now Ah’m sure Quest had a good reason.” Applejack didn’t like the idea of her lover just leaving her.

Big Mac, with his voice shaking, told her to read a note he left on the bed. The cowpony walked up and found the paper lying on a pillow. After scanning it, tears started falling down her cheeks. She read the note again, hoping that this was all a nightmare:

Dear Applejack,
If you’re reading this note then I am already gone, I left after you did. Just to be clear, I want you to know that I am deeply sorry for doing this, but it’s who I am. As a child I could never stay still for too long, guess that feeling never left. Don’t come looking for me, for you won’t find me. I already feel horrible for leaving you and our child but I promise that one day I will be back. When that day comes I can only hope that you will still welcome me with your love and affection. Should our child ever ask of me, simply tell him/her the truth; show them this note if you think that it will help. I’ll miss you and will be thinking about you every day until the day I get to see you again. As I said when I first confessed my love to you, you are the most beautiful mare I’ve ever met. Until the day when my travels take me back to Ponyville and I get to see you again, farewell.

With all my Love,
Quest

“Ah….ah can’t….he…but…” Applejack couldn’t finish her sentence. It felt as if somepony had taken her heart and smashed it under their hooves. All she could do now was lie down on the floor and cry. Applejack cried and cried, creating a small puddle under her head. She cried until she felt a very soft, very small nudge. The orange mare looked up and saw what made her heart melt. Apple Cobbler was sitting in front of his mother, tears starting to fall down his cheek simply because tears were falling down hers. Applejack sat up and scooped her son up in her arms. Sitting back on her haunches, she cradled the colt while smiling at him, tears still streaming down her face. She looked around the room and noticed she was alone. That didn’t matter now; she wanted to be alone with her son.

“Ah promise Ah’ll always be here fer ya. Nothin’ is gonna take me away. Ah love you li’l guy.” Applejack whispered to her son.

She set him in the bed and climbed up into it. After the mare got comfortable, she cuddled with the small pony, who was starting to fall asleep. Applejack breathed in sharply, holding back another sob. She then kissed Apple Cobbler gently and nuzzled him, falling asleep shortly after he did.

It was late at night when the door to the room Applejack and her son were sleeping in opened. A large form quietly walked up to the bed, making sure not to wake the sleeping mare and her son. When he reached the bed, Big Mac pulled a blanket from his back and laid it over them. Tears were streaming down his face; it hurt him to see his sister in so much pain. As he walked back to his room, the stallion looked back one more time at the two sleeping forms. “You better not show yer face around here, Quest. If Ah see even a hair that belongs to ya, I’m gonna get ya and make you feel ten times the pain you made Applejack feel today.” Big Mac uttered this threat under his breath, feeling some of his earlier anger coming back. Instead of going back to his room, the stallion laid down in front of the bedroom door, keeping guard should he hear any weird noises or feel something amiss. After a few moments, Big Mac eye’s gently closed and he fell asleep.

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